Building a New Home! Week 4

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Week 4 of building a new home.

It’s finally here! Countertop Week! How thrilling. This is the week Jay and I drove all the way to Illinois to find the perfect counters.

Now we had already shopped for countertops several times, including a trip up to the cities to look at slabs, but just couldn’t find what we wanted. Then one day when I was researching online I stumbled upon MGSI, a company in Niles, Illinois that sells more “upscale” granite, quartzite and marble. As I mentioned last week, we were looking for a solid stone that closely resembles marble, but is more durable.

So, during the hottest week yet this year, we drove over 12 hours roundtrip to hunt it down! (I was excited on Wednesday because it was supposed to be cooling down in Minnesota, but Jay so gently alerted me to the fact that in Illinois it would still be 97 degrees. Bummer.) For over a month I had corresponded with Darina, a nice woman who works at MGSI, and when we arrived she dutifully toured us around the enormous, steamy warehouse. We were overwhelmed! If you took a minute to look at the link I posted you last week, you’ll understand how incredibly beautiful these stones are. They are truly pieces of art.

Jay and I had a hard time decided which one we like best, but finally narrowed it down to our top three: White Macauba, White Princess, and Mother of Pearl.  We are looking for something that can work well in a modern kitchen, but also has a look that won’t go out of style, like marble. Unfortunately the pictures are from my phone – they all look a lot lighter/whiter in real life, so take that into account. These three slabs are in the same prices level, but we saw some that were incredibly gorgeous and then Darina said, “Um… those are Level 10.” Whoa! Level 10! That’s like saying, “Feel free to add another $8000 to your budget, peeps.” Yikes. We eliminated those options.

So that’s that! Next week they’re starting to sheet rock, so as my Grandma Stromberg would say, “Hip hip!”


The exterior of the Rochester MN house didn’t really look that different when I went by to tour last week. The majority of the changes were inside where electrical and plumbing wires abounded!