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After living in a modest home in Muhlenberg for about a decade, Ted and Tracey Gaul were ready to build their dream house.
When the couple came across a piece of land about a half-hour away in Boyerstown in the late 1990s, the Gauls immediately knew they had found their location.
"It's just sensational," said Ted, who owns an asbestos removal company. "As soon as I saw it, I told Tracey and said this land is unbelievable. And we agreed on it."
The Gauls purchased a 30-acre lot at the top of a mountain peak on Woodside Drive. The land had recently been used by a farmer.
As first-timers building a home from scratch, the Gauls took their time and didn't break ground on their project until 2003.
They hired an architect to design a plan, and then sent the design out to 20 different contractors.
One contractor – an Amish man named John King – stood out from the rest. He told the couple he was about to tear down an 1860s barn, and felt like the pieces from the barn would be perfect for their new home.
So the Gauls chose to work with King, and constructed the 5,800-square-foot home over the next year.
The rustic hand-hewn posts and beams from the central Pennsylvania barn are visible throughout the property.
"The timbers have tremendous character," Ted said.
They custom-cut the beams to extend the living room's 25-foot ceilings. In this room, there is a wall of windows in the back of the house that provide great views the valley.
"We wanted something that would be tall enough to take advantage of the view," Ted said of his inspiration behind the design.
They put in four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The master bedroom overlooks the living room with a balcony, has his-and-her walk-in closets, a private bath with a whirlpool tub, and a laundry chute.
The kitchen opens to the living room, and includes custom cabinets and tile flooring.
The Gauls used the basement as a family and recreation room. It opens to the ground level in the front of the house.
Aside from customizing the interior of the house, the Gauls have used the property in other ways, raising llamas and chickens, and growing hay.
"I've kind of become a part-time farmer," Ted said.
It's been about about a decade since the project was completed, and the Gauls can walk away and say they successfully built their dream house. At this point in their lives now, they have decided to downgrade and put their home on the market for $1.4 million.