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Full of character

Posted March 12, 2014 in Community Featured, Des Moines West
Dennis Rustad with his youngest daughter, Opal, 13.

Dennis Rustad with his youngest daughter, Opal, 13.

The character and age of the house at 505 Country Club Blvd. was enough to draw Dennis Rustad into buying it for his family.

“There’s nothing like old houses; they have so much more character,” he says.

Rustad needed a house with four bedrooms to accommodate his three daughters — only youngest daughter Opal, 13, still lives full time at home. He found what he was looking for in the 1920s-style brick house with the large front porch in 2001.

“We found this one, and it needed a lot of work, and I enjoy doing that,” he says. “That’s the thing about a lot of old houses. You need to bring them up to date and make them more modern.”

Since that time, he has torn out the original kitchen and renovated it with four pantries and storage closets. Rustad did almost all of the work himself except for installing the granite counter tops.

He built a screened-in back porch and a larger garage on top of which he added a multi-tiered deck to utilize the space as much as possible.

The Rustad home at 505 Country Club Blvd. in Des Moines.

The Rustad home at 505 Country Club Blvd. in Des Moines.

Rustad removed carpets from the 1918 house to reveal hardwood floors, which were then refinished. But otherwise, everything has stayed the same in keeping with the character of the house.

Rustad does not know much about the history of the house except that it was at one time owned by Plymouth Congregational Church or possibly another church, which used the house as a viewing parlor. The front door of the house is wide enough to accommodate a casket, and the house has a large open living room area that would have been used for viewings.

The family spends most of its time in the den of the house, where the television and computer are located, but Rustad also enjoys sitting on the back decks and the front porch, which gives views of Country Club Boulevard and Grand Avenue.

Rustad also says he enjoys all of the large mature oak trees on the property.

“It provides a lot of natural shade,” he says, adding this allows him to hardly ever need to run his air conditioning unit.

The only disadvantage is the volume of leaves the trees produce in autumn. Rustad has always raked the leaves into a big pile in his front yard near the tree swing and allowed neighborhood children to swing and jump into the pile of leaves.

“They have a lot of fun doing that,” he says.

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