German for "woods' edge"
News & Updates


We have had some interest in the monetary expenses of building such an abode. We are happy to share. Here is a running total of our expenses to date. We'll update is frequent as the construction progresses.


The smell of spring is finally in the air. Our winter was spent cuddling up with our Adele Celia who was born during a storm on October 27, 2010. She has grown and is ready to get working on the house. So are we! Our excitement is hardly containable!. Liz has two more days left of work. Then we will slowly pack out things and head southeast. DreamAcres, here we come!


Thank you to all who joined us September 25th for the raising. We could not have done it without you! Liz and I feel so fortunate to have had all the help, support, and interest in the event. It makes us smile to think of all the people whose hands and hearts are now a part of this building. What a joyful way to build a home!

We are now on hiatus from building and eagerly awaiting the arrival of our first child. The frame will spend the winter seasoning; the joints will stiffen and the surface of the wood will turn a silvery gray. Come spring, the roof will be our top priority. After that, walls, insulation, masonry heater, windows, doors, and so much more. Our goal is to be able to move in prior to the first snowfall of next winter.

We'd love more help anytime from anyone who is interested. Food, lodging, and a great experience on the farm are offered in exchange.


With help from family, friends, and students, we have been working hard over the past couple of weeks preparing the timbers. We are nearly finished! The completed timbers have been stacked and organized at the site and await assembly into the walls that will be raised. We are getting very excited for the event and hope you all will join us.


Work has commenced on the frame timbers! A mixture of white oak and pine timbers were delivered last week, We began marking them and cutting them to length. Work on the mortise and tenons will follow. Jake built stairs into the basement allowing for Liz and him to spend their first night in their new abode. Both slept very well.

Progress has been slow over the past month and a half, but there are a few items to mention. Ma and Pa Stacken came down and helped us install the subfloor over a hot July weekend. The subfloor is made of boards cut from Aspen trees that were looming precariously over the house site. The pegs and wind braces that will help hold the posts and beams in place have also been shaped. Last week the basement floor was poured allowing for work on the backfill, septic system, and 1600 gallon rainwater cistern to continue this week. By week's end we should have all of those complete, plus a gravel driveway along the edge of the woods and hayfield. The rest of the timbers for the frame are also scheduled to arrive this week. We anticipate a busy month ahead prior to the raising on September 25th. Hope to see you there!

The sill is on! After a few weeks of tough work preparing the sill beams and floor joists, the pieces were moved and assembled on the finished foundation. The sill will hold the rest of the frame in place and support the main floor. The next steps involve installing a subfloor, finalizing the frame plans, and placing a timber order at the Fillmore Sawmill. A good portion of the timbers will be cut from trees logged from the property earlier this summer.

Jake's been busy. He spent the better part of two weeks at Dreamacres; first cutting trees down for the driveway, then overseeing the foundation being dug, footings poured, and block walls going up! It is hard for us to believe the project is really starting - but there it is, walls with windows sticking up out of the ground! He also has been working timbers until his hands gave out to get the sill and first floor joists ready. Still to go in the ground are the septic and cistern, and the daylight floor drains. There is some block work left to do, both on the outer walls and the inner masonry support foundation. It's been a noisy couple of weeks with all the trucks disturbing the peace of the hay field.

Final house site is staked out! We ran out of battery on the camera so no photos, but there wasn't much to see anyways except a few stakes. The excavation is tentatively scheduled for this month, with block and basement floor to follow. The timber for the sill & floor joists is on order; white oak.

The concept
We have joined the Dreamacres Community Cooperative and own a share in a 60 acre parcel between Wykoff and Spring Valley, about 30 minutes south of Rochester, MN. We are building a timberframe house in the hayfield, at the edge of the woods.

The building
The house is a modest one and a half story, designed by Jake, Liz & friend/neighbor Todd Juzwiak. It is a saltbox style with a bench dormer. It will be a timberframe construction, also known as post and beam. We plan to get the frame up in the fall of 2010 and let it season through the winter. We'll finish it in the spring, summer, and fall of 2011.
See more photos here!