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Northfield Construction Company
Commercial and residential construction and remodeling -- Northfield, MN
Updated: 19 min 41 sec ago
In early April we finished up a bathroom remodeling project. One of the issues for the client was that the exisitng shower compartment was too small. So we removed an existing wall and made the shower a bit larger. Because it was a custom size shower we used ceramic tile for the floor and walls. The client picked out some very nice ceramic tile with accents. We carried the tile out into the room and around the soaking tub. There is no shower at the tub so we were able to retain the window and trim, but obscure glass was added to the window.
In spite of the very wet, cold weather we have made good progress on our East side Northfield new home. Last Friday we had a crane on site to lift the roof trusses into place. This home is what traditionally is called a story and a half house. It has a second level, but the second level is narrower than the main level and the roof slopes down to the main level walls. To accomplish this efficiently we ordered roof trusses that incorporate the second floor joists into the roof trusses. You can see the room available in the second floor in the photo of the trusses. This makes good, economical second story space and the mechancial systems can run in the joist area.
On May 1st a big event took place at Northfield Construction Company. I sold Northfield Construction Company to Chris Kennelly. Chris is business owner in the Northfield area that has been involved in commerical real estate for several years. He wanted to find a construction company that would compliment his work, and that he could grow as the construction industry continues to improve. He looked over Northfield Construction and felt it was a perfect fit—I couldn’t agree more. The Northfield News just noted this change.
All the personnel are staying in place as Chris takes over the operations. I will continue to work with Chris and the company through 2014, helping to ensure a smooth transition of ownership.
Northfield Construction Company was started in 1972, and I began work at that time. Over these 41 years we have constructed thousands of projects for folks in the area, including hundreds of new homes, many many commercial alterations, and a substantial amount of new commercial work. I have thoroughly enjoyed working my entire career in this community, and volunteering for all sorts of activities to make it the great place it is today. I know Chris will continue the excellent service, quality and care for every construction project as Northfield Construction moves forward with Chris at the helm. Everyone at Northfield Construction is pleased to welcome Chris Kennelly to the team!
On Saturday the Northfield Hospital held an open house at the Emergency Medical Services facility on Riverview Lane. It is right next to our shop/office so I walked over to visit with the folks. The first thing that captured my eye was the helicopter that landed in the street. EMS helicopters never look very large to me and by walking up close to it I confirmed that they are not large! I always wondered how a prone patient fit into the helicopter and now I know. There is a gurney that pivots into the cab so that one end of it is where the co-pilot would normally sit, and the other end of the gurney sticks back into the cab. It is a tight fit for the pilot, patient and medical staff but it seems to work well when urgent transport is required.
There were some demonstrations inside the EMS facility and people were able to look around and see how things work at the EMS. They have been in this new facility for about 9 months. It is a huge improvement over the old facility on Second Street in Northfield. Here there is adequate room for the ambulances, supplies, offices, staff rooms, etc. They can wash and maintain the ambulances in the garage. There is a large meeting room where training meetings take place. On this day they set up tables and one could buy a hot dog lunch. It is nice to see the EMS settled into their new quarters.
The weather has finally straightened out enough for the synthetic finish to be applied to the Passive house we have been working on. This thin synthetic finish is applied over 8″ of foam that has been added to the exterior walls. The owner worked hard to get the tracks in place on the sides and heads of the windows for the roll-up shutters. That is quite a detail and I’m anxious to see how the shutters work.
The owner has been working on many parts of the interior. They have installed the in-floor heating piping on all levels of the house. Some areas will receive hardwood flooring so they installed nailer strips and poured lightweight concrete in those areas.
Our work continues at the Kenyon Sunset Home remodelilng project. We have been phasing the work with barrier walls so that the home can continue to operate during the project. One of the fun things to see is the art work on the temporary walls. Residents, family members and friends have been using markers to draw pictures or leave messages. Today I found a very nice thought on the wall that reads “Always remember the power of a simple smile, a helping hand, a listening ear and a kind word.”
Another set of rooms is being completed in this phase. The ceilings were repaired after the asbestos was removed and look great. Patching and fresh paint on the walls, along with new windows make the resident rooms very bright and cheerful. The staff and residents have been very patient as we move from phase to phase on this project.
On Monday the new owner took possession of the Crossing condominium that we finished for her. She made some very nice choices for the interior finishes. All the cabinets, doors and trims are maple with a light stain applied. The kitchen cabinets have glass in the upper doors and the cabinets extend to the ceiling. There is excellent lighting in the kitchen with new bright under counter lights as well as the overhead and exhaust hood lighting. In this unit we installed shallow shelves above the kitchen sink which makes good use of that space.
As part of our work we removed the existing acrylic shower unit in the main bathroom and installed a full ceramic tile shower. It is quite a bit of work making the waterproof pan in the shower, but the end result looks great. This unit did not have any carpet flooring—everything is either tile or wood. The wood flooring extending all the way from the kitchen to the east windows overlooking the Cannon River has a very nice appearance. We intalled French light pocket doors into the den which saves space with door swings.
Last week was a real wipe out for our rural remodeling project. Between the snow and power outages we didn’t get a lot done. But this week is starting off to a great beginning. The workers have re-framed all the openings on the dining room in preparation for new windows. We are installing Andersen window units on this home. Most of the dining room openings have been changed to accommodate larger windows that will look over the lovely landscape. We found some areas of deterioration on the home, but the carpenters are making the necessary repairs. Part of the work involves building new parapet walls around the dining room as the owners will use the flat roof on the dining room as an outdoor deck area.
This 1970′s house is what I consider ‘modern cubism’. It has flat roofs at multiple levels. We will be replacing all the roofing materials, adding significant amounts of roof insualtion, and rebuilding all the parapets. Some windows and siding are being replaced as well.
We are finishing up our interior work at another Crossing condominium unit. This unit is finished using maple doors and trims. I really like the lighter finish on the wood. The kitchen cabinets extend to the ceiling and incorporate some glass doors. As with other units this one has a deep pantry to the right of the refrigerator. The stainless steel hood provides excellent light over the stove.
In the private bathroom we removed the existing soaking tub and replaced it with a closet. The closet has double doors on it to provide good access. This change works out well as many people are concerned about storage when moving into condominiums like this.
We will soon finish the flooring and countertops and have the unit complete for the new owner.
The weather forecasters have been talking today about possible snowfall—-amounts that might need to be shoveled. With our warm weather last weekend this is not good news. Everyone here has been feeling much better with these recent warm days. Our work sites have been drying up nicely. A bunch more snow will not be welcome anywhere! Last weekend Ellen and I were at our lake cottage. I snapped a photo of snow almost as tall as me. Our lake was totally frozen over as well. Time for nice weather!
Our East side Northfield new home project was set back a bit when we discovered poor soils on the site. We contracted with McGhie & Betts Engineers to come to the site and inspect. They made recommendations for soil corrections and observed and tested as we implemented the plan. This involved trucking out unsuitable building soils and trucking in clean granular materials. We compacted soils as we progressed resulting in a good, stable base for the house. Once that work was done we installed the footings and foundation walls. On this house, as with most of our houses, we are using Reward insulated foundation forms. These forms consist of blocks of polystyrene foam that are set in place with steel reinforcing inside. When everything is set we pour concrete in the core of the forms creating a very strong, warm foundation wall.