Located on 20 acres at 33217 K Ave., the original house was empty for many years and was absolutely dilapidated when the Haldemans purchased the property in 2005. There was a vibe enhanced by a breathtaking natural setting — the perfect place to raise Joshua, Rachel and Samuel. The family — all five — lived in a camper, “not a motor home” says Nikki, “a camper” while starting renovation.
“Some may think of a camper as a large motor home with facilities for sleeping and cooking. No, ours was a camper,” Nikki says. “We had to build bunk beds in the camper for the children to sleep on.”
Nikki, who has home schooled all three children, continued to home school through the entire remodeling process.
After six months of camp-style living, they moved into an apartment in an 800-square-foot metal building that Eric constructed on the property where they lived for three years. They moved into their completely restored home two years ago.
“This was a family project,” says Nikki. “All three children took part in building this house. They got up every morning, did their school work and then worked on the house.”
Eric has an extraordinary artistic talent, but he won’t admit it. He built the house, handcrafted a lot of the furniture and all the cabinetry. He took a year off from his job to work full time on the house, but both he and Nikki will be forever grateful to the many friends and family members who helped with the construction.
The two-story house was transformed with inspiring detail. The completed renovation project includes an additional wing, three bedrooms, a master suite, a kitchen with a pantry, an office, music room, living room and basement. They extended the rustic look of the house with unique selections such as rough-sawn log interior trim, pine flooring throughout and compatible furnishings in keeping with the characteristics of the house.
For example, in the bathroom, rather than a whirlpool tub, an old-fashioned classic cast iron tub was installed. A metal roof, stained glass windows, a front yard of flowers and rock terraces adds to the rustic appearance of the cedar siding home.
Eric grew up in Adel and attended school in Minburn. Nikki grew up in Dallas Center. Eric is an accomplished carpenter and Nikki is a certified pharmacy tech and works for Medicap Pharmacy in Perry.