After years of living in apartments in Sidney, Mike Sitter decided it was time to own his own home.

Rather than purchase an existing home, Sitter set about building a new home from scratch with the help of friends Luke Lamphier and Jason Jacobson, and his mom, Donna Sitter. “I kind of designed it from the seat of my pants,” Sitter said.

He started building in July of 2010 and while the home is not yet finished, Sitter was able to move in last spring. “I’m absolutely happy with the way everything turned out,” he said.

After stepping through a set of double-doors at the main entrance of the house, the first thing one notices is the size of the interior, from its 10-foot ceiling to a huge stone column in the center of the main room.

Directly in front of the main entrance is a wide carpeted stairway leading to the three bedrooms on the upper floor. On the right, is the living room, which features a large flatscreen television in front of a forest green wall featuring one of the many custom wall textures and painting treatments that are throughout the house. Behind the living room is the open kitchen, which features dark brown maple MidContinent cabinets furnished by Creative Solutions. The cabinets are designed with Copenhagen door styles and an espresso finish. The countertops are Burnished Montana laminate, a style Sitter said he picked because it has Montana in the name. The countertops also feature the new 180FX finish from Formica, which is made to mimic granite. Sitter also chose to put a wide island countertop in the middle of the kitchen, something he hopes will get use as a card table when friends and family visit.

“This was such a fun project to work on,” said Brenda Larson of Creative Solutions. “Mike is great with colors and not afraid to try new products or ideas. He had a clear vision of what he wanted his kitchen to look like when completed. He put his heart and soul into this project, and the final product reveals that.”

Sitter is not a professional builder, so building his own home was a challenge, but it was a project he was prepared for thanks to the time he spent helping his father with remodeling projects when he was younger. “My dad showed me a lot of this stuff when I was little,” he said. “We had remodeled before, so I knew how to do it.” He also received invaluable help from Lamphier and Jacobson. “Luke knew everything,” Sitter said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him.”

Kurt Katzenmeyer took care of the plumbing, but the rest of the project was handled by Sitter, Lamphier and Jacobson. Sitter purchased foam blocks called superforms from Jerry Gangstad and Teragren bamboo floor in a brindle pattern from Johnson Hardware and Furniture. The paint also came from Johnson Hardware. He and Lamphier hung the sheetrock, and Jacobson handled the mudding and texturing.

The toughest part of the project was the days they poured concrete and when they put on the roof, Sitter said. “When we put the roof on right around Christmas (of 2010) and it was freezing out. We had to shovel the house out four times before we got the roof on.”

The end result was so satisfying to Lamphier and Jacobson that they decided to start their own contracting business called APEX Custom Homes. For Sitter, the best part of having a new home is the fact he built it himself. “When you have grandkids its like, that’s the house my grandfather built.”

Added Donna, “There are so many good memories of doing this.”

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