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Remodeling – A Story with a Fairy Tale Ending

Do you get a kick out of those remodeling horror stories?  Then stop reading because this is more of a remodeling fairy tale!

Lowell Custom Homes remodel in Lake Geneva Exterior Elevations Before and After
It all begins in a not so far away land near Lake Geneva. A stately but dated home starts it’s transformation at the entry by correcting a medieval door which was completely exposed to the elements.   (While medieval works in fairy tales, it’s not ideal for a lake house.)  A new welcoming covered porch completes the front elevation with other gracious architectural details.
2 entry door .jpg
On the interior an equally impressive makeover was in progress.  In the kitchen, walls were taken down to open up the space to the family room.
3 kitchen before and during.jpg
The dark 80’s oak cabinets were replaced with bright white and gray painted cabinetry from Medallion Cabinetry with kitchen design by Geneva Cabinet Company.
4 kitchen after
A small walk-in pantry flanked by two tall glass-front cabinets provide additional storage and eliminate the need for wall cabinets in order to maximize lake views.
6 living room before and during
Meanwhile the formal living room was taken down to the studs.  The load-bearing wall was removed and a new I-beam installed.  The fireplace was trimmed to the ceiling and the dark brick painted pale gray.
7 living room after
On the second story the guest bedroom had a ceiling that was just too spectacular to remove.   We preserved it and updated it with high gloss white paint for a fresh look in keeping with the new character of the home.
8 bedroom ceiing

All drywall and floor sheathing on this 2nd floor was replaced before new wool carpet was laid.  The crowning accent was a delicate chandelier to replace the tired ceiling fan.
5 family room
The family room and staircase were not neglected during this enchanting makeover.
9 stairs
But the real drama is saved for the lake side elevation of the home’s exterior.
10 screened porch
More than a cosmetic makeover was needed.  This exterior suffered damage from water that had seeped in under the siding and all soffits and facia.  Once repaired a screened porch was added to the back of the house with access to the family room and kitchen.  This allowed for a balcony off of the 2nd floor master bedroom.  A delightful outdoor kitchen by Danver was added to complete the lakeside living space.
11 screened porch after with kit and shower

We are happy to report that homeowners and the entire Lowell team lived happily ever after! lowell team at More

Special thanks to our homeowners for the pleasure of working together (and the pizza parties) !

When it’s time to build or remodel, just ask us how you can create your own fairy tale ending.

262-245-9030

Photography by Josh Zuelke Josh Z Photography
Kitchen by Joyce Zuelke for Geneva Cabinet Company
Superintendent Rich Kinter for Lowell Custom Homes
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How to Choose the Best Home Plan

You don’t have to settle for ordinary home plans.  Your home should be customized to fit your personal needs.  The floor plan or layout of the room is a key factor for shaping how you live in your home and how happy you are living there.  We enjoy guiding new homeowners through the process of building their dream home and want to share some of the factors that will help you create the perfect home plan.
Home Plan Floor Plan Lifestyle ConsiderationsLifestyles
This is an all encompassing category that will help you express the general attitude of your home.  It is all about who you are and what your typical day looks like.  In general, think in terms of your desire for a structured or relaxed atmosphere. Consider where you are in your life and the possibilities for the future.  Does this home need to accommodate a single or married person, youthful or mature couple, growing family or empty-nester?  These are all indicators to help you decide on the compatibility of your home to your lifestyle.
Floor plan size considerations for home plans
Size
A home of any size can be fabulous, so asking yourself how much space you use.  Take inventory of your current living conditions and plan ahead for the amount of space your will need to be comfortable in the future.
Questions to ask yourself:

  • Is the space you have actually where you need it?
  • What spaces are unused and where can you use more square footage?
  • Do you need more storage or more living space?
  • Will you family be growing?
  • How long do you plan to stay in this home?
  • Is this a weekend retreat or your main residence?
  • Will you need additional living space in the future to possibly care for elderly parents or grandchildren?

Open Floor Plan Great RoomActivities
It is important to know how do you spend your day and accommodate all of your normal activities.  A family with children may have the central focus of a sunny eat-in kitchen while a retired couple may spend a good part of the day in a cozy den with a fireplace.? Questions to ask:

  • Which room is used most often during the most active hours of the day?
  • Do you live a formal or informal lifestyle?
  • Do you entertain often? Will you need space for overnight guests?
  • How many people and pets are living in a home and how active are they?
  • What are the important home activities to make space for, like cooking, working-at-home, relaxing?

staircase squareAdjacency, Traffic Flow & Versatility
This is as important as the size of the rooms. Be aware of how your day progresses, and which rooms need to be near or next to other rooms?  This is referred to as “adjacency” and having your spaces organized with convenient locations will save you time and energy in your day-to-day activities.  The idea of an open vs. closed floor plan will start to form as you decide on the best relationships for your spaces.  Entry points, traffic flow and storage spaces are all key considerations. The location of the storage space must be convenient to its use, serving pieces near the kitchen, coats near the entry, toys near the play space.
Floor Plan Home Plan consideration energy efficiencyEnergy Efficiency
As a builder we are using the most advanced materials and systems.  In addition to this, floor plan design becomes an important part of the equation.  The most active areas during the day should take advantage of natural lighting. This along with the careful placement of windows is referred to as “Daylighting”.  Generous overhangs and abundant windows are just the start to floor plan design that will work with the mechanical systems to enhance the efficiency of your home.
Floor plan Home plan considerations noise cotrolNoise Control
Open spaces are great for the flow of activity, but noise will easily bounce through the room.  If you need quiet zones, build in niche areas with walls or lower ceiling heights to help control the sound.  Add to this the careful selection of materials for sound absorption and the combined effect will give you the alternatives you need for balance.
Home Plans Private Spaces vs. Open PlanPrivate Spaces
How much privacy do you need and where do you need it?  Even an open floor plan needs areas of privacy or intimacy. Analyze your needs in terms of the amount of quiet time you would like in your day and be sure your floor plan provides the space for you to retreat, study or work-at-home.  In addition to this, be sure to consider the views into and out of each room to ensure that you have privacy from neighbors and street traffic.
Floor Plan Home Plan Indoor to OutdoorIndoor Outdoor Living
Your access to the outdoors will be determined by the convenient location of exit points to the leisure areas on you property. This is a major consideration in the placement of your home on the lot.  If you can see your property and the outdoor living spaces from indoors, you are more likely to go out and enjoy them.  Create a natural flow between indoor and outdoor spaces with plentiful doors that open wide for activities like cooking, entertaining or playtime.
Floor Plans Accessible and Aging in PlaceMulti-Generation Friendly, Aging In Place & Accessibility
Building our homes so they are accessible through the normal ups and downs of life is more important than ever.  It’s not just about aging; the occasional injury or health condition can influence your appreciation of design factors like living on one level or easy to reach cabinets and appliances.  Additionally, blended families are becoming more common and empty-nesters are not necessarily downsizing. Our longer and healthier life styles make it wise to add accessible features that will allow us to live independently in the homes we love.
Expert guidance is available to you. As a highly reputable and experienced builder, we encourage you to seek the help you need in making key floor plan decisions as you prepare to build a new home or remodel. We are available to answer any questions you may have and please visit us if you are in the Lake Geneva area!
Lowell Management
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
262 245 9030