Shortly after Chuck and Karla Thompson married in 1971, they knew they wanted to own their own home. They bought two 10-acre plots on L Avenue, contacted CAPP Homes Inc. and went to work. CAPP offered a distinct pre-cut package of unique designs and start-to-finish solutions for every part of the home building project. This is just what they were looking for, an architectural plan that could be customized. Chuck and Karla decided to build the house themselves, but during the building process had help from family and friends.
“We were short on cash, but long on ambition” says Chuck.
Every day after work, both Chuck and Karla worked on building the house.
“The house site was on a slope” says Karla. “Chuck’s uncle delivered a truck load of sand every day and every night for over two weeks. Chuck and I hand-shoveled the sand to level out the basement and garage floors.”
“She worked just as hard as I did” says Chuck.
The exterior of the Colonial style house is based on symmetry with the doorway centered on the façade and windows in pairs on either side. The dining area is furnished with carved oak furniture, and a great room with a marble fireplace and Buck stove insert are adjacent to the kitchen. A stairwell in the entry hall, three bedrooms, three bathrooms, sunroom, den, utility room, full basement and attached garage complete the custom plan. Native American art by JD Challenger and paintings by artist Kathy Algreen of Earlham are displayed throughout the house.
Chuck served in the U.S. Air Force in West Berlin. After the wall came down, he took his youngest son to Berlin where they hammered out chunks of concrete from the wall to bring home as a reminder of the past, a symbol of the future.
Chuck looks forward to Veterans Day each year when he goes to Park Avenue Elementary school in Des Moines and participates in a patriotic program, giving each student a small fragment of the Berlin Wall.
Karla works for New Leaf Wellness. Chuck is retired from AT&T.
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