Spring Valley couple builds new home, downsizes to better fit needs
Monday, March 26, 2012 6:48 AM
Costs to repair their former century-old home and the desire to downsize to better fit their needs led Ronald and Cheryl Bornholdt to purchase a new manufactured home for their farm at 15543 County Road 8, east of Spring Valley last year.
Ronald and Cheryl Bornholdt built their new home last summer on their farm east of Spring Valley on County Road 8. They also constructed the breezeway and two-car garage to attach to their Schult manufactured home, bought from Homes of Harmony. The foundation of the house is lined with brick skirting, which the couple liked the look of.
According to the couple, they made the decision to build because their former home was old and needed costly repairs (more than what the house was worth), and the couple wanted to downsize and settle into a house that fits their current needs.
Ronald stated that they had been looking for a new home for a long time, visiting dealers of manufactured homes and looking through the company booklets at house plans. They finally decided to order a Schult model in March 2011 from Homes of Harmony in Rochester.
They tore down the old house this past fall. "We moved into the old home in 1987. We were told that the barn was built in 1919 and that the old house was older than the barn," said Ronald.
Cheryl added, "It was a bigger house and the kids are grown and gone. We didn't need all of that space." They also had a basement in the home but noted that after the kids were gone, they hardly went down there.
The Bornholdts wanted to get away from all of the steps and have everything they would need on one level, noting that Ronald has a bad back and knees.
The new 28 ft. by 64 ft. house was moved onto the farm in June 2011 and the couple, along with the help of family members, painted the interior walls. The Bornholdts moved into the new home on July 19 during the hottest week of the summer.
Ronald noted they were a little bit nervous because the home wasn't slated to be ready until July and the state shutdown on July 1 was looming.
"Luckily the house was completed on June 27 in the factory in Redwood Falls, and they were able to move it before the government shutdown," said Ronald, noting that the movers would not have been able to secure a road permit during the shutdown.
When looking at house plans, Ronald noted he wanted one that had an office and that layout proved harder to find. The couple did find two plans that offered offices and decided to go with the one they liked the best, just flipping it end for end.
The stainless-steel kitchen appliances were picked out by the Bornholdts and were included in the home package. The kitchen also has a wall of cabinets with glass doors that Cheryl has utilized to show off her china - their family heirlooms. They were able to customize the cabinetry, counter tops and flooring, among other items.
The floor plan includes an entry with laundry room and half bath (so Ronald can take off his farm clothes and clean up before entering the rest of the house), kitchen with plenty of cupboards, dining room, living room with a fireplace, three bedrooms, two and a half baths and an office.
The master bedroom with "raspberry" colored walls has a full bathroom attached with a whirlpool tub, shower, his and her sinks on a large vanity and a good-sized walk-in closet.
The couple decided to build a breezeway off of the entry on the left side of the house and attached to the breezeway is their two-car garage. Both the breezeway and garage are extras, not included with the house package.
The Bornholdts did recycle one item from their old home and had it installed in the breezeway - the furnace. The garage and breezeway are heated separately from the rest of the home.
What Ronald likes the most about the construction of their home is the "warmth," which has been helped by the 2x6 walls.
The man of the house is also really happy with his office, noting this is one of his favorite rooms, along with the living room.
He has made himself at home in his new office, where farm business is taken care of. Photos of family line the walls and decorate the cupboard doors.
In his office is where they also proudly display all of the aerial photos of their farm they have bought over the years.
Cheryl noted she is looking forward to the next photo taken of their farm because it will now include the fruit of their labors - the new home.
Cheryl's favorite room is the kitchen, which includes an island that has lighting above it. She also now has a dishwasher for the first time in her life and admits that she still doesn't use it all that often because "with just the three of us, I don't see the sense of using it."
For the foundation, the Bornholdts decided to opt out of having a basement and instead the house sits on 36 piers. The stone skirting under the home outside gives it the appearance of a basement though, noted Ronald. He said the stone skirting is an extra cost but "it's good stuff."
"It helps to insulate and I liked the looks of it," he added. "I was surprised that the floors are warm, even with no basement."
As far as advice to others hoping to build a new home - either stick built or going the manufactured route - Ronald said to "make sure you cover all your expenses because they are far more than the price of the house."
In their case, Ronald cited the extra costs of adding the breezeway and garage, putting in a new septic system, redoing their water system and building permits.
Cheryl's advice to others is to "do it when you are younger."
"You can enjoy it more," she concluded.