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Should You Build? How to decide if building a new home is right for you.

There may come a time when you look around your house and start to think about breaking up. As any good Cosmo article will confirm, once you outgrow a relationship there is no long-term potential. So, how do you know if it’s time to move on?
Consider the benefits of building a new home:
1 denten exterior round deck wall with lantern copy
Geographic Desirability
When building new, your choice of home style and location are independent decisions. You create the unique combination rather than settling for homes that happen to be on the market. As builders we actually reserve beautiful properties in anticipation of future customer needs.   Lowell Management Properties
2 get what you want pix
Get your perfect match
The biggest advantage to building a new home is getting exactly what you want. This is your dream, your way. It doesn’t matter if most homes have a 3-car garage, you can have as many as you want. When you build you choose the right size, the perfect floor plan and then fill it with features that are meaningful to you. You are able to fully express your style with architectural details, cabinetry, flooring, finish colors and all of the other dreams from your wish list.
3 create perfect space PIX
Compliment your unique needs and interests
No compromise needed, when building a new home you can design every aspect. Eliminate the Formal Dining Room, add a Pool House, Outdoor Kitchen, or 2nd Master Suite, it is all about you!   Your unique preferences for comforts, like counter height or lighting, will be built-in. Universal Design features can even be incorporated allowing you to enjoy your home for years to come.
Cabinets by Geneva Cabinet Company
No Old Baggage – Cost Control & Savings
Building instead of remodeling offers a fresh start with major efficiencies in scheduling and purchasing. The problems with retrofitting an older structure are eliminated and the latest smart home technology integrated. Building allows you to balance your spending priority features, like a gourmet kitchen, with saving opportunities for low profile areas.
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Quality & Trust
When you are working with a custom builder like Lowell Management, you witness firsthand the level of quality and craftsmanship going into your home. All components of your home are new and finely tuned to provide years of comfort before you need to think about replacements.
Cabinets by Geneva Cabinet Company, Lake Geneva, WI
Saving Energy and Operating Costs
State of the art systems, with innovative technology, meet and exceed the latest codes for energy efficiency. Our HVAC, insulation, and windows are selected based on their ability to prevent energy waste. The latest appliances, and fixtures for plumbing and electric offer a substantial savings by operating at highly efficient levels.
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Good for your health 
Having a healthy home starts with good construction. The latest ventilation and air filtration systems are known to improve air quality while materials used for construction are designed to be non-toxic and sustainable. Cabinetry, carpet and paints now use fewer VOC (volatile organic compounds) to drastically reducing outgassing and allow everyone to breath easier.
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Low maintenance 
Modern construction uses materials that have been engineered for durability. Mechanical systems are more reliable and maintenance requirements have been simplified.

Satisfaction and Connection
There is a strong emotional connection to a home when you take part in its creation. It is a satisfying experience and the team at Lowell Management enjoys the process as much as their homeowners. Once you decide that you are ready for a change, we are happy to guide you in building a new home where you will live happily ever after.
 

Master Your Bath: Planning Decisions

The bathroom is where you prepare for the day ahead and transition for a good nights rest. The typical American spends at least an hour a day on bathroom activities.  That adds up to two weeks per year, or the amount of time spent on vacation.  If you are thinking of building or remodeling your bath, consider all of the options that can make it a place worthy of your time.

Your Bathroom Profile
The essential fixtures are familiar, but the endless variety can be overwhelming when making decisions. Knowing the role a particular bath will play in your home helps narrow down the choices so you can focus on the best solution. Ask yourself the following questions to help identify the most beneficial features.

  • How many people live in the home and what are their ages?
  • What is the size of the bath?
  • How many bathrooms are available and how convenient is the location of each?
  • Will there be growth or reduction in number of people at home?
  • Are there any physical issues that need to be addressed for safety and comfort?
  • Is this bath private or will guests share it?
  • Is water quality or usage a concern?
  • Aside from normal activities, are their other ways you would like to use this space (e.g. spa shower, washer and dryer, beverage station)?

 
3 image plan layout hometime plan
 
 
 
Layout
A good layout will makes the most of available space while providing for your personal and intimate needs. As an experienced builder we strive to maximize the efficiency of every square foot while introducing economies in the location of plumbing fixtures.  Consider key usage matters in advance to alleviate daily congestion.

  • How many people will use the bath at the same time?Universal Design
  • What plumbing fixtures or appliances will you use   (e.g. number of sinks, soaking tub, towel warmer)?
  • How much counter surface is needed?
  • How much storage space will you need for linens and grooming products?
  • How many electric outlets are needed and what location would be best?
  • Would having an enclosed water closet allow multiple users privacy?
  • What is the most direct path between activity zones?
  • Would you be more likely to use a soaking tub or luxurious shower
  • Would adding Universal or Accessible design features allow for aging in place?   Enclosed Water Closet

 
 
 
 
 
Express Your Style

No matter the size, every bath deserves a style statement. Since you need to purchase new components when building new or remodeling, this is the ideal time to apply a viewpoint to each selection.  Consider all of these possibilities:

  • Plumbing fixtures that have a sculptural quality to advance your style.
  • Vanity styles from built in wall-to-wall to freestanding furniture pieces.
  • Trough and Vessel Sinks 5 furniture style m master bath copy 2
  • Shapely tile in an unexpected pattern to add visual texture.
  • Hardware to act as a touch of jewelry accenting the overall look of your room
  • A bold wall color that makes you smile every time you walk in.
  • Countertop materials from man-made to natural to standout as statement piece.
  • Showstopping mirrors that set the tone for the entire bath.

This helpful quiz from Medallion Cabinetry will help you identify your style!
 
 
Cabinetry: Storage & Convenience
storage and space saver cabinetry
At the intersection of style and storage is your bathroom cabinetry. Interior cabinet and drawer organizers divide space for clutter-free access to daily essentials. These latest features will make the most of every inch.

  • Niches built-in above sinks and in showers keep necessities visible and within reach.
  • Cubbies and open shelving move into the bath to help organize and sort belongings.
  • Push-touch and soft-close features are worthy additions for quiet, smooth and safe cabinet operations.
  • Electric outlets on the interior of cabinets or drawers prevent tangles and dangerous dangling cords.
  • Vertical pullout organizers maximize space.
  • Above counter storage improves visibility and provides easy access.
  • Built-in step stools and laundry hampers free up floor space.

 
Lighting the way to a good mood
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Every room benefits from multiple sources of lighting, and the bath is no exception.   A combination of fixtures and natural light will help you achieve balanced color rendition throughout the day and through the seasons. The mirror area is most critical. Good illumination from above and the sides will eliminate shadows during grooming. Using the correct lamp completes the picture by allowing you to see color accurately when doing hair and makeup.
energy star color rendering

This helpful guide from Energy Star will help you choose the best lighting!

 
The installation process
Like many contractors, we trust a cabinet showroom like Geneva Cabinet Company to assist with the proper layout and detailing of cabinetry. Their work was recently featured on the PBS home-improvement show, HOMETIME.  Follow this link to watch the show as they discuss the important consideration for planning master bath and the installation of these beautiful Medallion Cabinets.

Hometime PBS Master Bath Design by Geneva Cabinet CompanyCabinet Planning Video by Geneva Cabinet Company

Follow this link to view the entire episode of Hometime where you will also see how solid surface Cambria countertops are measured, fabricated and installed in the Master Bath.

Inviting Entries – Guidelines for your homes first impression

You had me at hello!
It is scientifically proven that first impressions are lasting. A phenomenon refer to as thin-slicing demonstrates our powerful ability to make rapid decisions based on a narrow window of experience. No matter the size, the entry point is where you and your home will make a first impression. With thoughtful design guidelines, your foyer will make a stunning statement on your behalf.
Communicate Your Style
Create an “ahhh” moment at the point of transition between the great outdoors and your home interior. Ancient Feng Shui principles believe the entry is the gateway for your homes energy.   Use this idea of natural flow to heighten the anticipation for visitors with a well-curated selection that represents your style.

  • Focus on developing a mood that will set the stage for your entire home.
  • Connect to the exterior of your home by repeating an architectural element, color scheme or material.
  • Control the visual “thin-slice” with simplicity as your guide with a few well-chosen features.
  • Think of the entry as an introduction to your home with a story that will unfold room to room.
  • Hint at the level of formality to your lifestyle with the size and detailing of your space.

Consider all angles for Foyer design
Consider every angle
Your entry is experienced from several vantage points. Consider them all when making selections for this space. Start with the exterior approach to your entrance and take in 360 views while standing in the foyer. This space is often in the background of your daily activities.   Reach for an integrated design theme that can be referred to throughout your home.

  • Select an entry door that enhance the character your homes character.
  • Express your style and gain natural light by choosing from the variety of transoms, sidelights and windows.
  • Consider privacy needs during in the initial design process. Size, shape and architectural features can control exposure to the elements and unknown visitors.

Practical Matters in the Foyer and Entry
Practical matters
Comfort features will be greatly appreciated by guests and family. When the entry is reserved for visitors, a more streamline, statement focused on design is possible. However, don’t neglect these basics that are appreciated by everyone.

  • A Chair or bench for struggling with footwear
  • Closet or coat rack
  • A mirror for last minute check ups
  • A chest or console table to hold and store out-the-door items like keys and gloves.
  • Good general lighting with a task light option

Traffic flow directing traffic from foyer through home
Traffic Flow
An Architectural pivot point, the foyer often guides traffic through the home. Directional cues are helpful for guiding visitors and family to the path you would prefer they travel.

  • Increase the size of any openings that you want used more often.
  • Use the same type of flooring to encourage flow into adjacent areas.
  • Change the flooring or wall color to subtly suggest a boundary.
  • Minimize walls or hallways and use open space to establish a visual connection that will encourage everyone to move into that space.

Showcase your foyer and entry style
Showcase Your Style
The entry is an ideal location to showcase your style by displaying art or special collections. This placement allows you to share something special with visitors while the central location lets you appreciate it daily.

  • Build in shelving or niches to keep collectables out of harms way.
  • Use accent lighting to highlight your treasured pieces
  • Keep this area simple and streamline to create a gallery effect that elevates the value of art, area rugs or a statement light fixture.

Multipurpose foyer
Foyer Flexibility
Often various rooms within a home converge at the foyer or entry. The shared open space will facilitate traffic flow as well as create open space that you can transform as needed.

  • Place important pieces, like a baby grand piano, in this area to make a statement within easy view.
  • Free up family activity areas by moving large storage pieces to this transition space.
  • Expand into this space for special events with a beverage bar or dining tables.
  • Enjoy this space for music lessons, dance practice or reading corner.

Use foyer or entry to entice visitors and surprise the with style
Entice and Surprise
Complete your entry area in a way that will entice and surprise everyone including yourself. When all of the elements of this space are carefully selected, your first impression will be memorable.

Low Maintenance Essentials for Easy Indoor-Outdoor Living

There is so much to look forward to at this time of year! Engaging outdoor spaces will help you celebrate the season, but not if you are burdened with upkeep. While indoor-outdoor living is a hot trend, low-maintenance design is essential for maximum enjoyment. Our tips for choosing the ideal location are listed in Creating Attractive Outdoor Living Spaces. Once that decision is made, these easy care ideas will add enough leisure time for you to truly enjoy your summertime happy place.

Lowell Management, Geneva Deck, Ecosmartfire, Brown Jordan Outdoor Furniture


Fold back doors and generous windows will create an invisible threshold that encourages a beautiful connection with nature. Keep the merger agreeable and reduce housekeeping concerns with durable flooring and a clear path of travel.
Geneva Deck, Zuri Deck, Sunbrella Fabrics, Surya Outdoor rugs and pillows

Geneva Deck, Surya Outdoor Textiles, Sunbrella Fabrics


Decking is a popular choice for delivering indoor/outdoor convenience with a level platform to accommodate activities. If easy care is your driver, new materials like Zuri® premium decking which is used by  Geneva Deck  will grant you the gift of time. The exotic hardwood appearance unites with remarkable durability for years of minimal maintenance.
Ecosmart Geneva Deck Lowell Management

Geneva Deck, Ecosmartfire, Brown Jordan Furniture


Round out your outdoor entertaining by introducing the element of fire. Whether the purpose is heat or light, fire creates a natural gathering place. Outdoor bioethanol fireplaces by Ecosmart are weather resistant, portable and self-contained. This renewable energy source produces no embers, ash or soot. There is virtually no clean up and they can even be placed on decks. When the focus is food preparation, outdoor kitchen equipment housed in Stainless Steel and Powder Coated Cabinetry is the weather resistant answer to your easy clean up dreams.
Lowell Management, Varaschin, Anacara Company

Lowell Management, Anacara Company Furniture, Varaschin Furniture


Innovative materials are extending the life and upkeep of outdoor architectural details and furnishings. Powder coated metal, teak wood and aluminum-framed resin products add lasting color and texture to traditional pieces. Top designers are creating fabrics for Sunbella that can tolerate remarkable abuse and offer built in UV resistance. Even area rugs are venturing outdoors using these new technologies to warm up and define exterior rooms with the same detail we enjoy indoors.
Join us on Facebook all season for updates on our favorite products for your outdoor enjoyment.
Product Links:
http://genevadeck.com
http://www.sunbrella.com/en_us/
http://www.surya.com/outdoor/
http://www.ecosmartfire.com
http://www.anacaracompany.com/index.html
http://varaschin.it

The Home Building Process

What to Know Before You Build

What to Know Before You Build


The process of remodeling or building your home is exciting, but can be stressful at times.  Your best strategy is to educate yourself and select a builder with experience and a stellar reputation.  The right builder will guide you through the process seamlessly and run interference before you are even aware of any problems.
A great place to become familiar with the homebuilding process is the  “Current Construction” section of our Portfolio where you will see our daily behind-the-scenes activities.   Here you can follow along as stunning custom homes take shape from the ground up.
Here to illustrate the earlier stages of building, is the stunning home featured in last month blog.
The Design Build Process

The Design Build Process


Having a builder with the patience to walk you through the building process is essential to your peace of mind.  Every design and construction detail must be worked out in advance.  The design process can take six months or more depending on the style and amenities you choose.  There will be multiple meetings between you, your builder, designer, and architect with everyone focused on creating your unique space. Some builders even have a complete team in-house for you.  Creating a stress-free experience for his homeowners is the main reason Scott Lowell assembled his team of experts at Lowell Management.  You can be certain that everyone is pulling together.  Their goal is to listen to homeowners and say yes to as many requests as possible.
Selecting the Perfect Site for Your New Home

Selecting the Perfect Site for Your New Home


What does going home look like to you?  The home site will influence the design of your home.  Equally important, your home’s architecture must be appropriate for the site and surrounding areas.  The right location will validate your investment and provide years of happiness.  An experienced builder will ensure the best combination suitable for your home site and style.  Major considerations when selecting a lot include:

  • Level of activity or seclusion you desired
  • Views from multiple perspectives
  • How the home will be oriented on the lot to maximize natural light and protective barriers
  • Technical considerations such as elevation, slope, soil type, depth of soil, water table, etc.

In addition to the expertise required to evaluate a lot you are considering, Lowell has secured a number of beautiful home sites in the most desirable areas of Lake Geneva.
http://lowellmanagement.com/properties.html

Customizing Your Home

Customizing Your Home


This is the reason you decide to build or remodel. The opportunity to have the exact home you’re dreaming of without compromise.  Every detail, interior to exterior, will be designed just for you. Each nuance will set your home apart from the ordinary.  Your preferences will come into play as your home design evolves.  Major decisions will include:

  • open vs divided spaces
  • flow and adjacency of rooms
  • plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems
  • insulation and energy efficient systems
  • window and door options
  • interior and exterior materials
  • cabinetry, lighting and plumbing fixtures

An experienced builder will guide you through all options and help you evaluate the cost/benefit of each.

Plan Ahead to Minimize Changes


Do your best to include everything you want at the very beginning.  Once construction is underway it may becomes difficult or costly to add to the plan.  An experienced builder will be tuned into all possibilities during the planning stages.  Keep an open mind and you are sure to benefit from a professionals experience.

Budget and Timeline Management


You want a builder with the ability to maintain ongoing open communication with you throughout the process.  A contract detailing cost and possible contingencies will be agreed to by all parties along with a timeline compatible with the size and features of your home.  You want a builder who understands what it takes to deliver your home on time and within budget.   You will play a major role by making selections according to a timeline created to keep construction on schedule.  Lowell maintains long term relationships with the most talented craftsmen and reliable suppliers who work together to avoid and efficiently resolve problems with the least amount of delay.

Exceptional Building Materials


You simply can not find the type of materials and finishes you see in dream homes at a big box home improvement store.  Access to statement making material is a result of continuous research over time.  Many exclusive sources will only work with the most reputable and established builders.      Many specialty products take longer to receive, so professional planning and scheduling is vital to timely availability on site when needed.

Constant Supervision to Ensure Quality


Supervision during the construction of you home is essential to quality.  Building codes and architectural specifications are fundamental to your health, safety and welfare at home.  The permit process and scheduled inspections are calculated into your timeline.  A professional builder respects the codes and will oversee every aspect of construction to make certain your well-being and investment are protected.

Builder Reputation is Everything


The perfect partner for your building or remodeling will have your best interests at heart.  You want to select a builder who develops lasting relationships with customers.  Reading what our customers say is a valuable lesson in the importance of trust and confidence.
http://lowellmanagement.com/testimonials.html
We wish you the best as you explore your options for building a new home or remodeling your space.  Your questions and inquiries are always welcome, please let us know if there is any way we can help.