The long-time, trusted home-improvement brand and media company “This Old House” is currently building its first Idea House in the Midwest. After eight houses elsewhere in the country, “This Old House” has teamed with Amy Matthews, general contractor and host of such television shows as “Renovation Raiders,” “Sweat Equity,” “Bathroom Renovations,” “Blog Cabin,” and “This New House,” to build her dream home: a modern, Scandinavian-style “barnhouse” in the St. Croix River Valley.
The team also includes builder Chad Maack of Hartman Homes, plus D/O Architects’ Colin Oglesbay and Aaron McCauley-Aburto. Matthews purchased the property several years back, Maack says, after initially working with the homeowners on a renovation that would broadcast on “This Old House.” After buying the home, she contacted Hartman about building a new house. Meanwhile, Matthews and “This Old House” decided to feature her new home as an Idea House.
The 3,700-square-foot home has several sustainable aspects. Shaped like a long, narrow 20-foot-wide by 100-foot-long barn, the construction includes innovative SIP construction for a tighter envelope and speedier build. The house will have an open-plan kitchen and living room with vaulted ceiling and fireplace. A renovated outbuilding, with a fully equipped workshop, is being completed for Matthews’ non-profit, And Now She Rises. It will serve as a space for women recovering from domestic abuse to get training in the building trades.
Curious? You can follow the build on these 24/7 webcams. The episode on “This Old House” about Matthews’ home will broadcast in Fall 2021.