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Family is a good theme for the home of Mark and Lori Mattson and their family. Daughters. Sabrina, Ashlyn, Lindsey and Haley relax in front of the fire place in the newly completed home built for their growing family

Mattson home built to accommodate a growing and active family

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It was just meant to happen. This is how Mark and Lori Mattson feel about the new home that they moved into in early March. If you would have asked them a year ago if they would be in a new home now they would have had a negative response. But as they quickly learned, life is never certain and the future holds many unexpected challenges.

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Last summer, Mark and Lori and their six daughters were living in their four bedroom home in Hancock and making plans to build a new addition to accommodate the family. The girls were sharing bedrooms and one bathroom while the family area, kitchen and dining room were starting to feel smaller as the girls grew. In September life threw them a curve ball. They learned that Lori was pregnant with their seventh child and the planned addition just wasn't going to be enough.

The couple sat down and had a serious conversation about their family needs. After a lot of talk and prayers they decided to list their home and see what happened. Within a week the home was sold and they knew they had their answer. The plans for a new home were put in place.

The first decision was location with the couple debating between sites in Hancock and Morris. They eventually selected a lot in Hancock that was just a block from their current home and a couple blocks from school. With Lori and the girls all in Hancock and Mark working at Cullen's in Morris, it just seemed like the better choice.

Mark and Lori met with Kevin and Jonathan Joos of KJH Builders, Inc. to start the process. They drew up plans for a 30'x67' home with a bump out and three stall garage. There would be 2300 square feet of living area on each floor. The plan included two bedrooms, kitchen, living and dining room plus laundry, office and locker room on the main floor.

The lower level would have three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a store room, mechanical room and very large play room or family room. Each of the three bedrooms were extra large to hold two beds and the walk-in closets were fitted with Shelvi organizers making more space for the each of the girls.

A unique aspect of the two downstairs bathrooms is divided vanities and separate shower and toilet areas so the girls can each be occupying areas in the bathroom while not in the way of the others.

As you enter the home from the garage on the main level, the first room you see is what many call a mud room but in the Mattson home it is the locker room. There are several separate lockers or spaces for each person in the family to store their coats, boots, shoes, and backpacks.

The next room is an extra large laundry fitted with many bins and heavy duty appliances. The counters have lots of folding space and the walls hold an extended hanging area.

Next is the kitchen, dining and living area all open with three foot windows overlooking the countryside to the east. The kitchen has many unique aspects including built-in appliances with fronts that match the cabinets. Mark was able to purchase the integrated front cabinets through Cullen's so the front of the cabinets and appliances match. One could hardly recognize the refrigerator from the other cabinets and would be surprised to open a drawer and find a freezer.

The kitchen also includes two dishwashers, a large island for family dining and in the corner, a 5'x12' walk-in pantry. Lori loves the kitchen where she says she has enough space to cook even while the girls are working on projects or homework at the counter.

Next to the kitchen is the living room with fireplace built by Stonewall Masonry and a large dining area. The hardwood floor in this space is from Shaw Hardwood flooring. Each piece is hand finished by prisoners from North Carolina and no two pieces are exactly the same. The majority of the floor is a dark color with the dining area framed in a lighter color. The lighter flooring is also in a set-in area in the foyer designed and laid by Jonathan Joos.

Throughout the home a central vacuum system was installed and also a sound system connected to two different radios, a CD player and a computer. All four can be operated at the same time in different areas of the home.

Other work done on the home was provided by Messner Electric, Mohr Plumbing and Heating, McGinnis Appliance, Olson Drywall, Riverview LLP, Dvorsak Flooring, and Koehl Excavating. Materials came from Morris Lumber and Millwork and Hooters Lumber. Mark stated that about 70 percent of the products used throughout the home were purchased through Cullen's such as the windows, siding, appliances, lighting, flooring, interior and exterior doors and trim.

Probably one of the best and most unique features of the home is the geo-thermal heating and cooling system installed by McGinnis. For this system they dug five wells averaging 180 feet. These are connected to a coil system that utilizes the natural heat and coolness in the soil to heat and cool the home. The wells cannot be connected to any other watering system.

Mark stated that gas heat is 95 percent efficient and electric heat is 100 percent efficient but geo-thermal heat is 350 percent more efficient than gas. The system qualifies for a rebate on taxes which makes it cost effective along with energy saving.

KJH broke ground on the home on November 4 and the Mattsons moved into their new home on March 6. Everything moved along so smoothly and efficiently that they knew it was just meant to be. The family now has a beautiful new home with plenty of room for each of them and energy saving features. But if you ask any of the four older Mattson girls, Sabrina, Lindsey, Haley or Ashlyn, they have their own favorite aspect of the new home. There are lots and lots of great places to hide when playing hide and seek. They girls also enjoy their spacious bedrooms, closets and bathrooms.

Even though the family is all moved in, the work is not complete. The concrete work on the driveway and sidewalk will soon be done and they are working with Riverview LLP to do this in a manner that will include color and stamping. Mark and Lori can then focus on the monumental task of landscaping, especially in the back where they plan to do a tier system from the basement level to the main level. Meanwhile they will also be welcoming their seventh child very soon who has his or her own special nursery right next door to the master bedroom and six big sisters ready to introduce the newest family member to the Mattson family home.

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