At Newcastle Home Builders, we're proud of the homes we've built. We are honored to have been provided with the opportunity to build concrete homes and energy-efficient homes for so many homeowners in Des Moines, Iowa and the surrounding communities.
Dan, you have been a wonderful master craftsman, very knowledgeable, and confident. This entire quality in one contractor has made building our home effortless on our part as homeowners. Thanks Dan and Dewey!
— Charley and Charla Church
The first time we met with Dan and Shari to plan our kitchen remodel, they were in "listening" mode. They soon returned with multiple layouts and were fully prepared to offer observations and alternative ideas. With their help, we ended up with a kitchen that far exceeded our expectations. The remodel came in close to original estimates, despite several changes and/or upgrades. They were great about cleaning up every day. Their timeline estimates held up remarkably well, despite the usual construction glitches. Most subcontractors were local and obviously in sync with Dan's meticulous standards. One out-of-towner failed to meet expectations. Dan personally observed all work done on their return trip... which may have been their last to Winterset! We love our new kitchen and highly recommend a meeting with Dan and Shari if you are considering a remodel.
Thanks to Dan Bush we were able to realize the benefits of an ICF home even after another contractor caused us to nearly scrap the idea. Our first ICF contractor started out doing such a horrible job we literally had to tear out the initial ICF wall and start over. We thought seriously about changing to traditional building methods but really wanted the security, comfort, and energy efficiency of an ICF home. Dan came in and explained how ICF forms and the correct process works, answered all our questions and gave us the confidence to move forward again with ICF. And the best part was that Dan did what he said he would.
— Rob and Lynda Cox
Hand ICF Home
In January 2009, we lived in a duplex in town with a full, unfinished basement. The basement and single floor above ground were about 900 square feet or less. The basement was minorly conditioned - I think it had 4 supply vents. The energy bills that month were: $95 for natural gas (79 therms), and $41 for electricity (393 kWh @ $0.1055/kWh). The total is $136. That place was drafty and you could feel the whole house move with a strong wind gust. The energy cost for that place is: $136/1800s.f. = $0.0756/s.f. per month.
We moved into our new house just before Christmas 2009. Our house has ICF walls to the roof, and a sealed attic with ~6" of spray foam on the bottom side of the roof sheeting. The exterior walls end up being about a foot thick, and inside the exterior walls, it is 1,350 s.f. for each floor It is a ranch house 9' ceilings in part and vaulted to 12'-6" in most of it. There is a full, 9' basement that is fully conditioned, that walks out on the West side. We have large windows to take advantage of some passive solar heating. Our house is all electric with a multi-stage geothermal heat pump with a variable speed fan and an air exchanger. Our energy bill for January 2010 was $120 (1122kWh @ $0.1072). We live out in the country with nothing to block the wind.
When the wind is strong, I can hear it whistling around the roof, but there are no drafts and there is no chance that the whole house will ever shake from the wind. The energy cost for this place is $120/2700s.f. = $0.0444/s.f. per month, less than 60% of the other place and far more comfortable and comforting.
The combination of ICF, spray-foam, and a geothermal heat pump with a variable speed fan and an air exchanger is definitely the way to go. We also enjoy the extra wide window sills that are somewhat automatic with ICF walls.
My husband, Bryan and I spent several years looking for the perfect acreage and the perfect house plan. When we couldn't find a plan that met all of our needs, Bryan drew up plans for the house of our dreams. This was a huge undertaking for my husband and myself. We had never had a home built before and choosing a builder that would make our dream a reality was a bit unnerving.
We had to find "the person" that we could trust to create our home from our homemade plans. We needed someone who would respect our wishes and desires, include us daily in the building process, and someone who had the skills and the knowledge necessary to bring our plans to life. Choosing Dan Bush to build our home was just the beginning. He coordinated the construction effortlessly, it seemed. He answered our questions and made suggestions when necessary. He was always forthright and honest with us. He kept our best interest in mind at all times and was our advocate throughout the entire building process, and still is today.
Our home is beautiful. It's everything we dreamed of and hoped for. The thick concrete walls provide us with a constant, comfortable, quiet environment with considerable energy savings. I realize I must have taken my previous homes for granted. There's something special, and hard to express, about living in a home that you've had custom built to your specifications. You see it differently. I sometimes sit in wonder as I think how wood and concrete, paint and drywall has all come together to be our home. The skill and workmanship involved is something I will never take for granted again. We'd been warned over and over that the homebuilding process was one of the most stressful periods a couple could go through. I can honestly say Dan took the stress out of this experience for my husband and I. He orchestrated the birth of our home without the heartache and sleepless nights I was told to expect.
I can't say enough lovely things about our experience with Dan Bush as our builder. We came to him as strangers, but we now consider he and his family our dear friends. I will be forever grateful to him for making our dream home a reality. With heartfelt thanks.
As first time home builders, Dan worked with us to help us understand the process, and he clearly explained the benefits of ICF construction. Our priorities were high quality, beautiful workmanship, and energy efficiency in our dream home we never want to leave. Dan delivered on all fronts. We appreciated the transparency of his estimates and the quality of the people he uses for sub-contractors. The practical elegance of his design still has us sitting in our house astonished at how beautiful and well-built it is.
Newcastle Home Builders built our energy efficient dream home on our family farm using the latest concrete wall construction, radiant floor heat and Geo-thermal earth efficient ground source exchange for heating and cooling. Thanks to Dan's experience he is always ready to resolve construction concerns and on-site to keep the home construction process completion on schedule. Dan Bush and his crew are hard workers, honest, and customized our home to exceed our dream home expectations. Dan is great to work with.
The construction process of our house presented a unique opportunity for a group of high school students to learn about home building. Dan Bush, who is community minded and has a genuine care for others, was happy to be involved with teaching the building and trades students about Insulated Concrete Forms construction. He and his crew, from Newcastle Home Builders, did an excellent job from the very beginning to the very end. We are extremely happy with our new home and would recommend Newcastle Home Builders, as well as the ICF construction process, to anyone who is interested in a superior quality product.
— Dan and Kerry Staples
Early Chapel Christian Church
Newcastle Home Builders built the fellowship hall for the Early Chapel Christian Church. Newcastle was excellent to work with from the first meeting with our Building Committee to the end of construction. Being the spokesman for the church, I met with the foreman every morning. If he had a question for our committee I got answers for him, or if our committee had a request for a change he worked it out for us as if it were part of the original plans. I have never worked with better people than the foreman, Dewey Eyerly, and Dan Bush. If there was a problem with a subcontractor it was worked out and fixed. Everyone did a great job. We have a beautiful fellowship hall.
Rarely in life does everyone agree on anything but there seems to be one hundred percent agreement that the newly constructed John Wayne Birthplace Museum is an outstanding addition to the Winterset community. While it's the graceful architecture that first meets the eye, it's the rock solid construction, as sturdy as John Wayne, himself, that will stand the test of time. Newcastle delivered as promised.
— Brian Downes, Director
We are so pleased with the building and the process. You have earned my respect, for sure. My dad would be very proud.
— Aissa Wayne, Esq.
Daughter of John Wayne
Folks when you visit The John Wayne Birthplace Museum in Winterset, Iowa you will notice three things right away. A strong building made by a strong man to honor an American Patriot John Wayne. Dan Bush owner of Newcastle Construction has built a facility to last the test of time just like John Wayne. Dan's company exceeded on their professionalism and knowledge of all aspects of construction. Dan's leadership in dealing with all the contractor's involved as well as the owner's was just simply fantastic! We at the John Wayne Birthplace Museum take pride in honoring John Wayne and the man who built his museum.
Our church decided to hire Newcastle Home Builders for a large remodel project. Dan got our attention when he honestly pointed out a potential problem that other contractors either didn't see, or chose to ignore because it would raise the bid. When we did our own inspection, we discovered that Dan was right, and we chose him for his honesty.
One thing I would tell people is that Newcastle does not just build homes. Dan has many years of experience working with churches. I still receive positive feedback several years after the project has been completed. As a church, it's nice to have a builder you can trust and develop a relationship with for future remodels, additions, and projects. We look forward to working with Dan in the future.
Our goal was to build a very energy efficient and low maintenance home. We did a lot of research and focused in on ICF construction. We asked everyone we knew who had ICF homes about their experiences and actually started to lean away from this construction type due to our inability to locate a highly qualified and experienced ICF builder in our area. We met Dan at the Home and Garden Show and really liked him. He had new solutions for our project that we had not heard before and really appealed to us. We left him a copy of our plan and he got right to work on getting us a quote. Dan met with us at our home and provided us with a highly detailed bid. Dan provided full disclosure on all the costs and his fees up front. Therefore, we were able to easily see where we could cut some costs in areas that were not as important to us and understand where every penny was going.
Our home was a custom plan drawn by a local architect and included a 1000 sq. ft. workshop under the garage. Dan had no problems utilizing this plan. Even though things were not always perfect, he had a solution for everything. One of the best things about our house is the attached workshop, which is insulated and heated with floor heat. We have no support beams or walls in the entire space because Dan used a ‘lite deck” system which is our garage floor and the ceiling of the workshop. Dan was responsive to our questions, and easy to work with. We did a lot of the finish work ourselves, and Dan was supportive of our DIY goals. The home is beautiful. We get lots of compliments on the deep windowsills. We drywall wrapped all the windows and doors which saved on the cost of trim and it looks great. We just received our first electric bill and it looks like the ICF and geothermal were worth the initial investment.
We don’t plan on leaving this home, but if we ever built another house we’d select Newcastle. Not only was Dan great to work with, but his employees and subcontractors were professionals who are just as good to work with.
The number one thing we can say about Newcastle is -- if you can dream it, they can, and will, build it! We wanted simplicity, ease of maintenance, and flexibility for us as we age. They gave us a wonderful home with all of those characteristics. Specifically, we worked with the Dan Bush and his staff to design and build a home for our long-term retirement living. We asked for a home that would be easy to maintain, inexpensive to heat and cool, and flexible for us as we aged.
We built an ICF home that barely needs any energy to heat or cool. We have full records on all energy usage since the home was built if anyone wants to see the data. The solar panels fully power the entire home, and even the electric lawn mower. We pay MidAmerican $8.50 per month, 12 months per year to use their lines and to trade electricity with them. From March through October we produce almost twice as much energy as we need, and then from November through February we draw down our stored kilowatts.
If you study the front of the home you will see long south facing windows that are shaded all summer (this photo was taken in late July) by the 3' overhangs. Once September arrives, the sun begins to come into the windows and by mid-November, we have enough solar heat from the windows to fully heat the home on a 20 degree day with sun. The shades are cellular shades with tracks on the side. When closed, they have the R value of a door. They can be opened from the top or bottom so that we can fully control how much heat and light come through the windows.
We built a simple ranch style home with a full basement that could be converted into an apartment for a live-in caregiver. We split the heating and cooling ducts so that the basement and first floor have their own thermostats. The fully insulated basement varies from 68 degrees on the coldest day of the winter to 72 on the hottest day of the summer - and we only turn on its thermostat when we have company who like it warmer by a degree or two.
We can get from the street to every room on the first floor without lifting our feet more than an inch. The fully insulated garage is neither heated nor cooled -- but when the garage door stays down, its temperature ranges from 40 degrees on the coldest night to 85 on the hottest day of the year. Upstairs, the super quiet home's temperature is whatever we set the thermostat at -- in every room and in every corner of the home. Another advantage of the tight home that Dan builds is that we seldom need to dust. What dust we do need to remove, mostly comes in on our clothes and shoes. Dan's electricians placed all of our electrical sockets higher on the walls so we don't need to reach over so far - and could easily reach them if we are in wheelchairs someday.
Finally, we had a small lot with a steep back yard. Dan worked with us to design a wonderful east facing screened in porch, and to put in the walls and corner garden shed to allow us to have a raised bed garden.
We found the perfect location for our dream home and we searched over a year to find a contractor that had the skill, knowledge, and reputation to build our ICF home. Dan is definitely elite in his field and we are so thankful he agreed to build our dream home when we live over 2 hours away from the Des Moines area. He gave us an estimate that was broken down so we could see what our money was going towards. Dan and his crew are hard workers and always make sure the job is done right. He was always able to answer all our questions and made us feel at ease when we had some bumps along the way. We are so happy to be moved in and we LOVE our new beautiful home. Thank you Dan!
Six years ago my wife Mary and I made the decision to begin the process of either finding an existing home or consider building one that would meet our future requirements and that of our family. After one year and countless visits to surrounding area homes we came to the conclusion that the only way we were going to meet those requirements was to build our own home.
Mary and I spent the next two years designing the home and interviewing potential contractors. Two years seems like a long time since all one really has to do is find a ‘cookie cutter’ design or completely leave it up to the home designer to fill in the blanks after some initial inquiring questions. However, this home was and needed to be special; it was going to be completely handicapped and wheelchair accessible not only on the first floor, but also to the walk out basement.
The interview with five different home contractors was interesting. The summary conclusion of the first four was our project either to much for them to handle, they did not build with ICF, or the price was prohibitive. Enter the fifth contractor and his wife, Dan and Shari Bush. We met the bush team at the Des Moines Home Show. Twice. Two years apart. Following multiple informal and formal get togethers at our home and countless meetings with the home designer, Dan concluded that our project was doable.
Thursday, September 25th, 2014 Mary operated the tractor that moved the first load of dirt on our building site. Friday, July 29th, 2016 we moved in. Pictures are worth a thousand words. See ours and decide for yourself. We believe no one else could accomplish this task but Dan Bush and his team. We are grateful for his time, talent and patience. More than once he had to calm us with his reassuring words, "we will get there;" and we did!
I want to thank you for all your help during my home construction. You and your crew went above and beyond when it comes to quality. You were very patient with me and you were very accessible during construction. I've been in the home a year now and I am very happy with my choice of going with you and an ICF home. It's amazing how efficient and quiet the home is. Once again thanks for helping turn a vision into reality.
— Tom Steffes
Taylor ICF Home
Joanne and I have built 10 homes over the last 40 years in every corner of the United States. We met Dan Bush at the Iowa State Fair and it wasn’t long before I realized that Dan was the expert in ICF construction in the state of Iowa and a consummate home building professional.
It wasn’t hard to convince us to hire Dan as our contractor. We had Dan build us a 5,700 square foot home in Urbandale. Started and finished in less than 10 months, and ever since we’ve been delighted with our home. The home is everything that we expected. To say the least, our home is energy efficient, stylish, provides peace of mind, air tight, quiet and unique. This project won also won Dan the Excellence in Concrete Construction Award in 2011 too. Dan’s work, including his subcontractors, was outstanding, fairly priced and the best experience we’ve ever had with a contractor. We are so pleased with Dan’s work that we plan to build another ICF home in the next few years and Dan will also be our contractor for this project.
Finally, we are more than happy to give anyone a tour of our home, and showcase Dan’s great work. Just let us know when and what time.
— Jim and Joanne Taylor
Thompson ICF Home
We couldn't be more pleased with the product. But the part that really stands out is the service. Dan went all out to make sure we had what we needed to get the job done right, from the product and service to the knowledge. To top it off, we even came in just under our initial quote. Thanks Dan!
We wouldn't build with any another builder! Dan and his crew are the best! My wife and I looked 15 years for land to build on, spent at least ten years looking at house plan magazines, attended countless home shows and open houses getting ideas to design our own house, drew at least a hundred different floor plan versions before we settled on our own unique plan, and we met with countless builders of custom homes. We knew what we wanted and that left one last important question. Who would we trust with all our work, our savings, and future happiness? There were some great custom home builders out there, but few with experience building custom concrete homes. We watched several other concrete homes being built at various stages by other builders, and we weren't impressed with their final product. Our plan would be a challenge to any builder with the 36 exterior angles on a walk-out ranch house with virtually only three rooms on the main floor to bear the weight of a massive roof.
Dan was recommended by a friend of a friend. We were impressed with Dan from the very first moment he invited us to his home to meet his wife and family. I remember waiting to see his response as we rolled out our plan the first time. Instead of shaking his head in disbelief that anyone would even want to build our plan, you could tell he wanted the challenge of building our unique dream. He was as excited as we were for a chance to build this house – our home. We knew Dan was going to be our builder before we left his house that night. As time went on it became very apparent that Dan just plain loves to build. Dan is very hands-on, pays great attention to detail, and he knows exactly what he is doing from the beginning to end. His work ethic, integrity, and honesty are unsurpassed. Today, Val and I are proud to call Dan and Shari our close friends, not just because he built our house, but because how he helped us build our dream home! You can trust that Dan's patience, understanding, ideas, knowledge, and quality work can help transform what potentially can be a very costly and trying time for most people into a great experience that will last a life time and beyond.