Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Amana, Amish, and Another Floor

I'd like to take this opportunity to clarify a common misconception: Amana and Amish are not the same thing. The old house in the photo is north of Amana, and is being dismantled by a great couple of people who refer to themselves as Tri-Coastal Salvage. Beth and John dismantle beautiful old buildings and sell the gorgeous, sturdy materials for reuse in new projects like ours. This is a circa 1920 farm house, from which we are utilizing the subfloor for our finished floor. The wood has been milled by an Amish craftsman, who has shaped the boards into 5 and 5 1/2" tongue and groove flooring. We are told it is old vertical grain douglas fir, and we have no choice but to believe it! It is beautiful, and we are extremely fortunate and grateful to those who have lovingly rescued it and crafted it into the Yum Yum Farm house floor.

Now, just to be clear (and please comment if I get this wrong): The people who settled the Amana Colonies were known as Inspirationists, from Ebenezer, New York. The Amana Colonies consist of 7 distinct, but related villages, that are probably best known outside of Iowa for having produced the Amana Radarange microwave ovens, and other household appliances. This is quite different from the Amish, who live in northern Washington County, primarily in Kalona, but also toward and around Riverside, Wellman, Frytown, and Joetown. Outside of our area, Amish are known for devout lifestyles that shun many modern conveniences, such as Amana Radaranges and other household appliances. Get the picture? Please note that these are ridiculous simplifications of very rich cultures, which we hope to expand upon in future posts.

We're Floored!

We now have a basement floor, and are ready (almost) for framing. The various things sticking up out of the floor will facilitate the elimination of waste water from the house, and the venting of radon gas out of the basement. Radon gas apparently occurs in abundance in Iowa, which is not something you'll generally hear about at our lovely welcome centers. The good news is, there are ways to eliminate it from your living space. The lower left photo will be the corner of the mudroom. Mother Nature, as you may have noticed, has provided an ample supply of mud so that we may test the limits of said room. So far, so good! Of more interest is the foam insulation that separates the basement floor from the foundation wall, to reduce the transfer of winter cold to our lower extremities. Nice!