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Lakeside Home

Project Story

This client acquired the residential property that had a 70’s vintage rambler modular home with the intention of doing extensive upgrades and remodeling. After doing some initial estimating of whole house renovations and feasibility of repairs to the cracked foundation – he concluded that he might be better off starting over. With the goal being that he may not ever move again – Durability, Energy Efficiency, Comfort and Style all played into what his “dream home” might be like. After doing some checking around – he wisely chose Wagner Zaun Architecture to design a new energy efficient home. Rachel of Wagner Zaun in turn referred J&R Sundberg as a good fit as the Contractor for the client, who put a lot of value into details and workmanship.

On this beautifully landscaped double-lot in town, the client ended up with a single-story 3 bedroom home with finished basement featuring a tuck-under garage on an ICF foundation. For energy efficiency – he chose 12” dbl-stud exterior walls (R-40+), 20” attic insulation (R-72) & triple glazed – fiberglass frame windows. Other significant features are a nicely fitting Front Cedar Porch accessed by a poured concrete stair & walkway and a large cedar deck in the back.

Due to careful analysis, design, workmanship and testing – this house achieved the <1 Air Change/hour (50Pa pressure – blower door test) – meeting the stringent target goal set for air tightness. With the superior window glazing and other great R-values – he now enjoys heating bills less than 1/3 of other comparable size code built house in Duluth.

My project was a complete residential rebuild designed by Wagner Zaun Architecture.  As the design phase was nearing completion, I was introduced to J&R Sundberg Construction through Wagner Zaun as a one of their preferred contractors.  They were a perfect match for my project.  They demonstrated a strong knowledge of high efficiency home construction, understood my goals, listened to my comments and concerns throughout the construction process, and performed beyond my expectations.


The construction project was very well run.  J&R Sundberg’s crews were productive, continuously onsite, finished the project ahead of the anticipated schedule and the craftsmanship was excellent.  From a fiscal perspective, the project tracking was remarkable.  I was consulted for all change orders, was able to approve all cost increases in advance, and the construction loan draw process was seamless.

While there are many characteristics that support my recommendation of J&R Sundberg, for me, it can best be summarized in a simple statement:  “I lived in a house for many years, now I have a home.”

Mr. Darby

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