'We love it' -
Left to right - Marty, Jonathan, Jena and Dawn Jenness are shown sitting on the front porch of their new house.
The old place -
The Jenness' former house is substantially smaller than their new one.
Marty Jenness lived in the house at 1100 Lake Street in Cherokee for twenty years, and during that time, he married his wife Dawn and the couple had two children, a daughter Jena, who is now 8 years old, and a son Jonathan, who will soon turn 6. As the family expanded, the house underwent a couple of remodeling projects in an effort to provide the family with more living space, but the results were "never quite the way we wanted it," said Marty, who is employed with the Department of Transportation.
Marty and Dawn, who teaches first grade at Roosevelt Elementary, came to the conclusion that building a new house at the site of their current home would allow them to get the house they wanted, and would not cost much more than would remodeling the old house.
The couple started planning their new house in January 2011, contracted with Ebert Construction of Marcus, and had plans drawn up by Marcus Lumber.
Living Room -
Jonathan Jenness plays a video game in the living room at his family's new house. Window curtains and a fireplace mantel - items missing in this photo - will be added shortly.
On August 18, 2011, ground was broken for the new house, which sits near the old house. This close proximity has allowed the Jenness family to continue living in their old house and also to watch as the new house was built.
As we spoke last week, the Jenness family had not yet completed the move from their old abode to the new one, but they have been sleeping there for several nights and have most of the furniture in the new place and all the carpet laid. All that's missing now are a few details, such as curtains and a mantel for the fireplace. The wood for the mantel, by the way, will be a section from the old tree from which the family's tire swing hung - but it requires some more curing before it can be installed.
Sit down and watch the game ...
This leather couch fills much of the large room downstairs at the new home of Marty and Dawn Jenness.
The Jenness' new home is a big hit with all four family members - not to mention Minnie the cat - who all appreciate the extra room they have gained. Their former home was a 1250 square feet, two -story house with only one full bathroom and no usable basement. Their new, ranch-style home has 1750 square feet upstairs, a full sized basement with plenty of room for good-sized gatherings, and three full bathrooms and one half bath. There's also a guest room downstairs. a laundry room upstairs, and both children have their own bedrooms. Jena. a second grader at Roosevelt Elementary, has colorful "girls" bedroom, featuring her favorite colors - pink and purple, while Jonathan, a kindergartner, has a "boys" decor in his room, featuring a John Deere bedspread and curtains. In the corner of his room sits a model barn which was built by his grandfather, Tom Jenness. The names of Marty and his sister Julie are painted on the barn, along with the date (1971) it was constructed. Below their names are those of Jena and Jonathan and the date (2007) that the barn was repainted.
The new Jenness home features an accessible kitchen with a solid island, which has quickly become the family dining table. The kitchen is adjacent to a good sized living room with a wall-mounted television and comfortable seating. There is a patio off of the living room and though the view at this time is not the greatest, down the road I could see this being another excellent place for outdoor family gatherings. The bedrooms, bathrooms and linen room are located down two hallways adjacent to the living room, and the Master Bedroom has its own bathroom.
The basement, as I mentioned previously, has a lot of room, and also features a large, comfortable leather couch, complete with built-in cup-holders, to allow for group television viewing. There are also plans to put a piano in that room, and all-in-all, the area should make a lovely recreation room for family and friends. One other feature of the family's new home, which was lacking in the old house, is a double garage, with a paved driveway.
In addition to drawing up the floor plan for the new house, Marcus Lumber provided supplies and suggestions on the project, along with the carpeting and flooring. Modern Heating and Plumbing installed the heating and plumbing, and Ebert Construction was the General Contractor.
Jena and Minnie in the 'girls' room' -
8-year-old Jena Jenness and her cat, Minnie, show off Jena's room at the new house.
Marty Jenness said that they were able to stay within their budget building the new house, and he added that when their move to the new house is completed, the old house will be "available to anyone who'd like to move it."
On the farm with Jonathan -
Jonathan Jenness, who will soon turn 6 years old, sits in his new room by the barn his grandpa built 41 years ago and repainted five years ago.