Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Just wanted to share this interesting video that shows where and how the Structurally Insulated Panels we use are made. Check it out!



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We are almost totally finished with our work on the Nelson home near Glenville. We’ve also shingled a house, remodeled a bathroom, put steel on a huge shed and also a garage… among other things that I’m surely forgetting.
It’s been a great first half of the year. The customers have been awesome. I appreciate their business.
This summer we will be starting on a new, slab on grade, one story home for a great family near Northwood, Iowa. We have also been booked to build a series of homes in Charles City for a development named Parkside.
The Parkside Development is a change of pace from our normal direct building for homeowners, but it’s all been positive so far in the planning process. Morning conference calls are a nice alternative to evening and weekend meetings.
Basically we just do our best to keep up with demand and add new employees to the workforce as needed. So far we’ve been able to find some great skilled workers.
Hope our luck keeps up.
Here are some highlights from the Nelson Home.
SIP Home










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I’m happy to share with you photos from the second new home will are building this year in Lake Mills.  It’s for yet another Helgeson family!  (Gotta say, I’m happy they are making this a new family tradition!)

The couple is related to the last home I built in Lake Mills and it’s actually right across the street!  Nice!

At the end of November, the site was excavated for the new home and the concrete foundation was poured in the first part of December.

As soon as it was ready, we were setting floor trusses and laying the subfloor on December 12th.  Since the weather was nice the next day and we were waiting on the panels for the exterior walls to be delivered, we did a little homework ahead of time  – so to speak – and framed up the interior walls so we could quickly install them in case the weather took a turn for the worse.

That Friday the panels arrived from Extreme Panel Technologies, Cottonwood, MN.  First thing Monday, Dec 19th, we were putting together the exterior walls.  Tuesday we finished the exterior and moved on to installing those interior walls we had a jump-start on.

Can you believe this is just 4 days of carpentry work?  Crazy.

This is one of the key reasons we have such positive views on Structurally Insulated Panel (SIP) construction.  It saves a lot of time, and we all know time is money… and who doesn’t like to save a bunch of that?

Another thing to notice in these pictures is the lack of construction waste.  All the panels are custom, created just for this home plan.  That means they are all pre-measured, the doors and windows openings are cut in, and we are able to have very little construction site waste during the early stages of rhe building process.

Check out the one picture… it shows how the panels already have electrical chases for the wiring to be pulled through.

I’m not going to go into the energy efficiency, which is amazing, but you can check out more info on the “Building with SIPs” tab above.

Just a key note:  I thought it might be good to explain that SIP panel homes are nothing like a modular home or that.  I can see where someone might get confused since the building progess is so fast, especially in the initial stages of construction, but these are a high-quality, custom designed, green building product.  You can find any house plan you like and it can be created with these highly energy efficient panels.  Check out the Structural Insulated Panel Association’s website for even more information www.sips.org

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This week has sent Andy down to Southern Iowa, past Ottumwa to the Pine Ridge Hunting Lodge to build a new lodge for Tom & Rhonda Brakke at their hunting preserve.  You can click the link to see their accommodations so far.  Right up his alley, huh?  🙂

In the meantime, the crew is going strong at the Helgeson home putting up trim and prepping for insulation.  Some of the things they have been working on last week don’t show much in the photos, but they coated all the concrete on the foundation that shows to give it a really nice, finished look.  Also they installed all the soffit and fascia, which takes quite a while on a home this big, with so many corners and you don’t have much to show for it when you’re done.  Soon the siding will be getting installed and that will really show BIG progress and FAST!

Better let these guys get back to work...

I am a little embarrassed since I haven’t posted pictures of progress on this home since the ones I took May 6th… so actually you will see a lot of progress compared to the last ones I posted.  I did take some pictures May 21st just never got around to getting them up on the blog.

At the end of May they erected the garage panel walls, and finished all the roofing.  They also installed all the windows and Andy framed in some arched doorways that will be sheetrocked.  (They did have a whole week off from this project while they went to Brainerd, but the home-owners didn’t mind at all.  They were actually a little happy because it gave them time to make some decisions they hadn’t really had time to think about since progress has been moving so fast.  It was a win-win.)

Can’t wait to see the pictures Andy brings back after working on the lodge.  I’ll be sure to share them as soon as he returns… I promise!


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Well, I don’t know about you guys, but our home was hit hard by a virus that’s been making the rounds I hear.  Our son, Collin, stayed home on Monday because he had been having a slight fever and cough over the weekend and he needed that extra day to recooperate, then Andy started in on the symptoms on Wednesday and stayed home Thurs and Friday for the most part… he did leave on Friday for a while and Saturday too, to do some work.  But, I’m happy to say I got him to stay home all day Thursday and vegetate… for the most part.

I tried to take his cell phone away from him for an hour so he could take a nap and he acted like I was asking to cut off his hand.  Seriously.  That phone rings all the time.  At least a couple times an hour.   Most of the calls are legitimate work related calls, but I told him there weren’t any that were going to be life-or-death emergencies that couldn’t wait for an hour.  Needless to say, I wasn’t successful in taking his phone… thank goodness for his crew of guys who were able to accomplish some work on Friday because it drives him insane to not be getting things done.

Guess that’s a good characteristic to look for in your contractor.



P.S. Last week they’ve been waiting for the painters to finish in the Lunning’s house and they’ve been working on putting some more steel on that shed.  I have a few pictures to share that I took of the painters working with my Ipod and I have a  neat photo Andy shot of the icicles on the framework of the shed.

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This past Monday, Andy took pictures at a house he built over a year ago down in the Ventura/Clear Lake area.

It’s a beautiful, rustic, cabin-type of home.  Basically, it’s like Andy’s dream home because it’s got stained wood galore and lots of wild game trophies hanging from the walls.

I love it because of the beautiful windows and the huge open living area and loft over the kitchen… and the amazing stone fireplace.

They are just finishing out the basement now.  Waiting to finish a basement is a popular option for many new home owners that want to spread out the overall cost of building.

Actually, I shouldn’t even be calling it a basement because that brings to mind dark, dirty, concrete walls.  This my friends, is more appropriately called a “lower level”… yeah.  🙂

So back to business.  Andy and the guys were doing some more great stonework in the family room downstairs.  They are surrounding the TV’s alcove with beautiful El Dorado stone and they also installed all this great wainscoting with a picture rail above it to display photos or other artwork.

I am really excited to see the finished product in person because this house is really magnificent and the homeowners do a great job of decorating the space and making it feel homey without feeling like a showroom or too cluttered.

Enjoy the slidehow… sorry about the dust in some of the pictures – like I said, Andy took these.

I guess then you know they’re really working when they’re stirring up that much dust!


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Steel in the Mud

Andy and the guys have been working in Lake Mills this past week, putting up a 24×75 addition to the side of a big steel sided shed.

The weather has been absolutely wonderful, as we all know, with temps in the 30s and 40s… but that always leads to another problem with the melting snow.  MUD.

Yeah, I don’t envy these guys at all.  I hate getting mud all over my boots and pants so I guess that’s why I don’t swing a hammer.  Luckily, it doesn’t seem to slow them down at all.

I can’t believe how fast this is going up.  They were just putting up the posts on Monday and now they are almost ready to start with the steel siding and that won’t take them long at all.  I can’t wait to share the finished product with you next week, if the wind cooperates.

Today it was a bit too windy in the morning to accomplish much with the siding, so the guys are working down by Clear Lake finishing out a basement in a house they built a couple years ago.  Hope to share pictures of that soon as well!



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Hi there!  Welcome to the new, Andy Houg Contruction blogsite!!!

It’s a great thing to have a blog that also serves as a website for our current and potential customers.  It will provide lots of helpful content as well as feature up-to-date news and pictures from current projects.

To get things going I will probably post a little bit about past projects too, but today I want to showcase one of the projects Andy is currently working on.

This is a beautiful new home for the Lunning Family in Albert Lea, MN.  It’s a nice, roomy rambler with lots of windows on the back side to enjoy the view of the lake.

Ground was broke on Oct 11, 2010 and so everything has gone very quickly on this project, even during some of the coldest and windiest days this winter.  Andy’s crew is definitely tough for all the work they do in adverse weather.  It’s only been four months and they are getting close to being done, it’s up to the plumbers and electricians right now to get their work done.  Before you know it they will be putting siding on!

Can’t wait to share the finished product with everyone.  Thanks to the owner for sharing all her wonderful pictures.  She’s done a great job documenting the project.

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