Making Your Dream Home a Reality

Article by Jane Claspy Nesmith
Photography by Justin Fox

A beautiful home can be a family’s refuge from the stress of the outside world, a comfortable gathering place for friends and family, and an investment for the future. Keri and Ben Dahl of Dahl Custom Homes know how to create that kind of home--in fact, they live in a home they built, a home that serves as an example of what Dahl Custom Homes can offer to clients.

Located in a quiet new neighborhood in Marion’s popular Hunter’s Ridge area, this home showcases superior build quality and beautiful design.

With its peaked roofline, siding and composite stone exterior, and professional landscaping, this home has a lot of curb appeal. Get closer and you’ll notice some special touches: wood-grain carriage doors on the three-car garage that are stained to match the cedar posts flanking the front porch and cedar porch ceiling. A composite concrete porch floor adds a unique texture, and side lights along the door welcome visitors.

Those special touches continue as you walk in the front door. The warm engineered hickory floors, with their distinctive seven-inch-wide planks are echoed by a stunning coffered ceiling in the great room--the interior is painted a deep brown while the frame is bright white. The great room also features a built-in stone fireplace and custom cabinets. At Dahl Custom Homes, whole-house audio is a standard feature, and a 5.1 surround sound set-up makes this room a nice place for watching sports or movies.

Ben Dahl’s up-front, honest, and clear communication style--something noted by many former clients--is evident as he talks about this home and explains what his company has to offer.

“We have a good team,” Dahl says. “We’ve been working with our subs for a number of years, and we’ve developed a seamless process.” Dahl Custom Homes has a personal touch, too. I don’t have project managers,” says Dahl. “You’ll deal with Keri and me though the entire build. We develop a personal relationship with our clients.”

“Lots of people like the layout of this home,” continues Dahl, pointing out the open floor plan and staircase at the back of the home. It allows the home’s kitchen to take center stage--that’s where everyone ends up anyway. This kitchen features beautiful cabinets topped with contrasting crown molding and granite countertops. A glass tile backsplash adds a bit of sparkle. A walk-in pantry, just steps, away has sliding barn-style doors and lots of shelving for storage.

Because the kitchen will surely be a gathering place, the kitchen island offers seating for casual meals, and just beyond is a spacious eating area with plenty of room for a table. Sliding doors just beyond lead to a screen porch with floor-to-ceiling EZ Breeze windows. Just down a set of stairs from the porch is a large patio with a built-in firepit and C-shaped concrete bench, just waiting for an outdoor celebration with family and friends.

The main floor’s split-bedroom floor plan is popular with many clients, says Dahl. Two bedrooms on one side of the home share a full bath. On the other side is a luxurious master suite with a ten-foot tray ceiling and large windows overlooking the backyard. Glass tiles in the master bath create a swath of color through the room and on into the walk-in, step-down shower. Two sinks in a marble vanity are opposite the shower, and a large walk-in closet helps keep everything neat.

Also on this floor are the laundry room--with cabinets and space for baskets--and an extra room at the front of the house that can be used for an office or even another bedroom.

The open staircase at the back of the home leads down to the lower level. Daylight windows let in plenty of light, and the ceilings here are nine feet to provide a feeling of spaciousness. A well-appointed bar with a tiled floor and granite counter awaits on this level, and there’s room for game tables and a TV area. Three more bedrooms share a bathroom on this level, providing a private space for guests or family members. There’s also an unfinished room for storage, and additional storage under the stairs. “We made that space into a play area for our kids,” says Dahl.

Located in Marion, Dahl Custom Homes builds homes all over eastern Iowa, from Anamosa to Shellsburg and in between. “We build in all price ranges, no matter what our client’s budget is,” says Dahl. “Whether it’s a starter home or the home you want to live in for the rest of your life, we can build it. And in all our homes, our quality shines through.”

Make sure to stop by the Dahl Custom Homes 2014 Fall Parade Home and see what new features could be in your next dream home.


Building Team:

A-Tech/Beam Team
Security – Home Theatre
Central Vacuum – Home Organization
5741 C Street SW Suite A, CR 319.848.7171
Coralville - 319.339.0004

ABC Supply Co Inc
Americas Largest Wholesale Distributor
Of Roofing, Siding, & Windows
325 Waconia Court Southwest, Cedar Rapids
319.364.5037 -

Carpet King Carpet One
Carpet – Vinyl – Laminate
Ceramic – Hardwood
998 44th St, Marion 319.377.9801

Cedar Rapids Millwork
Windows – Doors
Mouldings – Cabinets
Hardware – Stair Parts – Specialties
1950 Progress Drive, Hiawatha

OGDEN & ADAMS LUMBER Visit our new showroom!!
Doors – Windows – Cabinets Countertops – Siding
Lumber – Moldings
144 32nd St Dr SE, Cedar Rapids
(off 1st Ave behind the Irish Democrat)

Hills Bank and Trust Company
Apply for your Construction Loan Today
Iowa Stone Supply
1530 Stamy Rd, Hiawatha

Koelker Excavating Inc.
Specializing in Excavating
& Grading for all your
Housing Needs
6245 Partners Ave, Marion

Rogers Concrete
“Building a Solid Foundation”
Commercial, Residential, Agriculture
22802 County Rd E 34, Anamosa

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