Building the house at Timberhill

Although we had owned our Decatur County property since 1988 it was September 1993 before we could afford to build the house. The biggest obstacle was selling our house in Des Moines. It was located at the end of dead end street overlooking a private nature preserve. But the city wanted to connect our road to a dead end street to the south. This would provide access the the private nature preserve and adjacent woodland where new housing would provide added real estate taxes. They planned to take part of our driveway for the new road. Our privacy and natural surroundings would be lost. It wasn’t until 1993 that when the proposed road was dropped and we could sell the house.

Our architect standing in building site

When our architect visited Timberhill he suggested that we build at the highest point, in the meadow overlooking the pond. The design consisted of a one story wood framed residence with a two bedroom loft, a guest house and an attached 2 car garage. The many windows would provide indoor-out integration and lots of natural light. Kitchen-living-dining were integrated into one space with fireplaces. We began construction in 1993.


A concrete contractor from northern Missouri poured the foundations. In the foreground is the garage, the main house is in the middle and the guest house is in the background. I was certainly impressed with the quality of the work.

Tiimberhill house under construction

We were very fortunate to have found an excellent contrator to build the house. He even understood the prefabricated wood truss joists/rafters set at right angles to roof above the main floor. They framed the high ceiling over the kitchen on the left and bedroom on the right. In the center above the living-dining was the two bedroom loft.

Finished house

In March, 1994 we moved in. When we left Des Moines I wondered whether we would regret moving from the Des Moines to the least populated county in Iowa. We have never regretted that decision.

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