Cool livin’: Family’s giant backyard igloo attracting attention

Posted at 10:36 PM, Jan 15, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-15 22:36:06-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Koons family wasn't going to just settle for building a run-of-the-mill snowman this winter.

Instead they took it to the next level.

“We wanted to build a giant igloo and we have a big family and a bunch of neighbors who wanted to help," said Dan Koons, who originally thought up the idea.

“We took recycling bins and packed them with snow and just started a circle and slowly inclined it up."

Before the Koons knew it, within one week's time they had managed to build an igloo measuring 12 feet in diameter, standing more than 15 feet tall.

“It wasn’t intended to be this tall," he said.

When asked why not just settle for a snowman, Dan replied “go big, or go home."

It's a mantra his wife Holly knows well.

“Knowing him and how he likes to do everything big, I wasn’t surprised he wanted to do this," she said.

“I have a window upstairs that overlooks  everything so I just got to sit there and just watch the spectacle unfold.”

And what a spectacle it was: Koons along with his kids and several of the neighbors and their kids all pitched in over the week to construct the snow structure.

The igloo's bricks are made out of snow that was packed into recycling bins. Koons estimates they used approximately 150 snow bricks to complete the igloo, with each one measuring 16 to 20 inches thick.

Koons says the plan is to spend a night with kids outside in the igloo. The building process has been a learning experience for everyone involved, he said.

“There's a science. It’s amazing how many research papers on igloos there are online, it’s quite ridiculous," Koons said.

For Holly Koons, she said she enjoyed seeing the kids work together with the dad to accomplish a project of this magnitude.

“It was great, I think it was something (the kids) really enjoyed doing together and it got them outside even though it was cold," she said. "They did something with their dad and it was a lot of fun watching them do that.”

A time-lapse of the build can be seen in the YouTube video below.