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Top 10 Tips for Choosing the Best Builder

People often wonder how to choose the right builder for their new home or home remodeling project. The best advice we have comes directly from our very own expert. This clip from the Today’s Builder TV Show features Scott Lowell discussing the qualities that make his company so highly sought-after and respected.

 We created this Top 10 list to summarize the qualities you should look for when hiring a builder.

  1. Experience – Nothing surpasses experience and longevity in the custom home industry.  A builder must have a strong character built on the reputation of the experts within the company. Meet our experts right here.
  2. Quality – High quality materials should be the standard for a custom home project.  The infrastructure in a home is just as critical as the components that can be seen.  This delivers a home that is solid, serenely quiet and finely detailed.
  3. Responsiveness – The best builder is more than a good listener, he is a responsive innovator. The process of designing and building the perfect home requires an ongoing exchange between builder and homeowner in order to deliver a home that is truly distinctive.
  4. Empowered Customer Experience – A fully transparent system allows homeowners to be comfortable with the process from day one.  A builder should document every aspect of the project and its progress so the homeowners can have a clear understanding of every nuance. This results is happy customers like these and these!
  5. Clear Communication – The right builder will have a designated point-person to establish a direct line of communication for the homeowner.  At Lowell this is the Project Superintendent who is always available to update and respond promptly to questions and concerns.  Without a doubt there will be unexpected circumstances that arise during any construction project, but a good builder will keep you informed and have them resolved without delay.
  6. Established Timelines – A timeline for construction should be established before the project even begins and include a secure delivery date for the convenience of the homeowners.  Common delays are avoidable when the builder has an in-house team that includes an architect, office staff and reliable contractors who are meticulous about staying on track throughout the construction process.
  7. Established Budgets – A good builder will have an accurate budget that has been approved by the homeowner. The building process should include flexibility for some changes, but the builder must have a documented system where homeowners can approve variations. There should be no surprises. 
  8. Value Engineered – It is a balancing act to deliver the best value with uncompromising quality.  You want your home to have every feature on your wish list, and an experienced builder will help you prioritize and allocate funds in order to deliver the perfectly customized home.
  9. A Home Warranty – A quality builder will have a comprehensive home warranty that delivers complete peace of mind to the homeowner.  Lowell Custom Homes is known for their exceptional commitment to the care of every home.   Even after homeowners have moved in, the Lowell team never walks away.  They even provide a warranty for the next owners if the home is ever sold.
  10. Ongoing Relationships – A sure sign of a quality builder is when customers remain enthusiastic about their homes long after it has been completed.  You can read about what Lowell customers have to say right here!

At Lowell Custom Homes we treat our clients like family.

It’s the reason generation after generation turns to Lowell when it’s time to build a home of their very own.

262-245-9030

 

Lowell Custom Homes Homeowners

What it’s like to be a Lowell Homeowner!

The one thing that makes every day more memorable is the people you encounter along the way.

We have had the honor of working with the most delightful clients over the years.  While our slogan is “Building Memories You Can Come Home To” we are building memories of our own as we get to know and enjoy our homeowners throughout the building process.
If you wonder what it would be like to build with Lowell Custom Homes, just listen as our homeowners share their experience!

Thank you to all of our homeowners for becoming part of the Lowell family!

Lowell Custom Homes Featured on Today’s Builder TV March 31st!

Move over Norm Abram – Scott Lowell is coming to a screen near you!

Flashback – June 2017!  The film crew from Today’s Builder Television Show  was in Lake Geneva filming at Lowell Custom Homes.  It was a flurry of activity that was only contained by the ambitious efforts of Nadine Harris in Marketing.  The award winning television show has become the premier showcase for the finest custom builders in the industry . . . and next week it will feature an episode about Lowell Custom Homes!

Nadine Harris schedules film crew

Tune in! We think you will be completely charmed by the program!

For a sneak peak at the interview with Scott Lowell click right here

Scott Lowell interviewed on Today's Builder TV

Then listen here while our resident AIA Architect Todd Cauffman explains how we create beautiful flow throughout each home.Todd Cauffman AIA Architect Lowell Custom Homes

Next Up,  General Manager Rich Kinter explains how Lowell Custom Homes ensures complete customer satisfaction, right  here

Rich Kinter General Manager Lowell Custom Homes

Then click here so Superintendent Dennis Levine can fill you in on a few of the essential details that make every Lowell Custom Home better than the rest.

Superintendent Dennis Levine Lowell Custom Homes
On the program, which airs March 31st at 6:30 pm, you will also have the chance to see the Lake Geneva area featured from a lifestyle perspective.  Along the way many of our favorite craftsmen and vendors are showcased with their remarkable work.
The entire experience was wonderful, but we are most touched by our homeowners who opened their homes for photography and interviews while discussing their experience with Lowell Custom Homes.

A special thanks to our producer Tom Langdon and videographers Greg and Matt!

Greg and Matt Videographer for Today's Builder television

Please join us to view the Today’s Builder Television Show and learn all about what makes

Lowell Custom Homes so special!

Tune in on March 31st at 6:30 PM

CBS Channel 2 (WBBM)

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Lowell Custom Home Lake Geneva Wi Living Room remodeling

Lowell Wins Best of Houzz Awards 2018!

Best of Houzz 2018 Best of Design Award
All of us at Lowell want to thank all of you and the fine people at Houzz for awarding Lowell Custom Homes the Best of Houzz 2018 awards for Best of Service and Best of Design! We were selected by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.Houzz Best of Service 2018

Best of Service

Lowell Custom Homes has been awarded the Best of Service every year since joining Houzz in 2016. We owe that honor to all of our customers who took the time to submit a review about their experience working with our dedicated team.

Best of Design

This is our very first year to win the sought-after Best of Design award! Although Lowell homes have been featured in other award winning portfolios, this year viewers selected their favorites from the many projects we posted on our Lowell Custom Homes profile resulting in this 2018 award!
“The Houzz community selected a phenomenal group of Best of Houzz 2018 award winners, so this year’s recipients should be very proud,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing at Houzz. “Best of Houzz winners represent some of the most talented and customer-focused professionals in our industry, and we are extremely pleased to give them both this recognition and a platform on which to showcase their expertise.”
We invite you to continue to  join us on Houzz where you can view our portfolio of lovely homes.  Be sure to save your favorites to your very own Ideabook for future inspiration!

To learn more about building with Lowell Custom Homes

contact us at 262.245.9030

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Deconstruction, Reuse, Recycle – The Alternative to Demolition.

When part of the building process includes clearing the way for new construction, we approach the task in the most socially responsible way for our community and the environment.
With the approval of our homeowners, we called in Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity  for this extraordinary project. The process of deconstructing a home and donating the materials to Habitat is fascinating!  So are the countless people who volunteer and make it all possible!

1 habitat volunteers and plannning.jpgIt all starts bright and early with a crew of over 30 volunteers, 2 trucks and buckets of tools.

1 Cindy G and Scott
Cindy Gear, volunteer Deconstruction Product Processing Leader, meets with Scott Lowell to review the days activities including a recap of items to be donated and the “do-not-take list”.  We learned from Cindy that to volunteer at Habitat one must be relatively handy, the crew members actually brings their own tools.   Most volunteers are retired or have part time business interests, and all are dedicated to the task of providing quality homes and products to the community.
Photo Dec 06, 11 53 52 AM this is a production staging .jpg
One of the most interesting tidbits we learned – every item is sorted, cleaned, priced packaged and entered into inventory before it is even loaded on to the ReStore Milwaukee truck.  Typically donations hit the sales floor the same day!  That makes products and materials available to savvy shoppers asap! The proceeds are used to “build homes, communities and hope locally and around the world”.

Along with plumbing, lighting and appliances, this donation included high quality Wood-Mode Cabinetry, and SubZero refrigerators.  All contributed by our very generous homeowners!

Salvaging Materials for Reuse & Recycling

On demolition day, a careful salvaging process is used for materials that will be reused or recycled. Watch this fancy bucket-work from excavator Bobby Stewart as he starts by dismantling the stone fireplace and carefully removing the chimney piece.  This is aluminum and can be reused or fully recycled.  The decorative face stone is removed and can also be reused. Concrete blocks that form the structure along with other concrete will be broken to small bits and recycled to use as road bed.

1 Melissa and Bobby from steward from day 1 worked togeher.jpgAmidst the deconstructed material, Melissa Lowell pauses for a hug from an old friend Bobby Stewart!   Stewart Excavating has been a part of the Lowell Custom Homes family since Day 1!
1 removing and seperating materials during demo .jpg
While this may look a bit messy, there is a method to the work that is focused on identifying and separating material for recycling.  Workers pull wire, copper and other metals from the debris. Ductwork, appliances, air-conditioners can all be sent for recycling.  Steel beams can be reused if not bent or be scrapped for recycling.
1 lumber seperated and reused when suitable .jpg

Undamaged lumber is stacked for reuse.

1 recycle scrapped metal .jpg

Copper is one of the worlds most recycled and reusable resource.

When remodeling we remove roof shingles and place them in a designated dumpster for recycling.

 

Protecting the Natural Environment


Before and during construction, we take steps to preserve the surrounding landscape.  This is critical for property adjacent to the wetland areas in Lake Geneva.  We work with Conservancy to implement the best practices for erosion control using silt fence and straw bails to slow water run off to the lake and reduce sediment.

The Special Character of Reclaimed Material

1 recycled brick reclaimed from streets of Iowa.jpg
Once material has been reclaimed, it can contribute to some of the most intriguing architectural details.  This antique reclaimed brick from an old midwestern street has a rich history,  it will be a definite conversation starter when the homeowners entertain on their terrace.
1 board and beam montage .jpg
One of our favorite sources for reclaimed material is Heritage Beam & Board in Elkhorn, WI!  The backstory for this reclaimed lumber is touching and meaningful.  The Hubbard family farm has endearing memories connected to the barn they called The Grand Queen and now the barn boards lives on to create memories for an entirely new family.
Lake Geneva is rich in opportunities for families to build and establish a home that is beautifully integrated into the natural surroundings.   We take on our role in this process enthusiastically and continue to advance our socially responsible commitment to the community.

To learn more about building in the Lake Geneva area,

contact Lowell Custom Homes at 262-245-9030

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Television Debates – We answer the age old question, where to put the TV

Back in the day, designers would disguise a big boxy television set with a big boxy piece of furniture. Thankfully the inventors of flat screen television (talk amongst yourselves to identify the first) put an end to the madness.
Flat screen television units eliminate the proverbial elephant in the room. Television placement has never been more liberated. We can now bring our attention back to business of design, without the burden of bulk.
1 where to place the television Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Pay no attention to the television behind the picture

Often more traditional homes, or interiors that want to maintain a more formal appearance, will opt for complete concealment. Now this camouflage can be smoothly integrated into the design of any room. Just a slight recess in the wall or fireplace will provide an opportunity for doors or artwork to complete the disguise.

2 where to place the television built in shelving Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Tastefully absorbed by built-in paneling and shelving

Intimacy and comfort are heightened when the background wraps you in an undisturbed shell. The key to success is a light hand when accessorizing the nearby shelving in order to reduce distraction from your favorite program. Lighting should be adjustable to avoid glare that could cause eye strain.

3 where to place the television disguise blend to background Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Is it wrong to put the television above the fireplace?

Not anymore, especially when it’s hidden in plain sight. Dark tones on the wall prevent a large screen from visually intruding on your space. When placing your television at this height, be sure to use an adjustable arm that allows you to angle it downward for better viewing.

4 where to place the television frame and recess Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

The great frame up

Building a frame around the screen is a streamline solution, especially when it’s balanced by black accents. The stone fireplace surround keeps the television from making the room top heavy.

5 where to place the television kitchen niche shelf Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Rise above the hustle and bustle

In the kitchen or office a high recessed niche is the perfect way to get your daytime television fix while keeping workspace clear.

6 where to place the television kitchen backsplash Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

It’s just another appliance

Your favorite programs line up perfectly on the backsplash providing an ever-changing design element to eliminate kitchen boredom.

7 where to place the television bedroom simple wall mount Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

The no excuses approach

Sometimes a TV just needs to be a TV, but this is no afterthought. Mounting directly to the wall saves space while knotty cedar paneling provides an interesting and unexpected contrast. The symmetrical arrangement of architectural features, like these flanking and clearstory window, will create balance for a serene effect.

8 where to place the television family room background extra big screen Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Television as wall mural

An extra large screen acts as an ever-changing backdrop for your leisure activities. Conversation is encouraged when seating is versatile and viewers can face each other or the screen.

9 where to place the television bar game room multiple tv screens Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva WI

Indulge Yourself

Weather the urge is “all sports, all the time” or a battle of HGTV, BRAVO, and The Cooking Channel, a multiscreen arrangement will immerse you in entertainment.

One last tip

When choosing the placement of your television it really comes down to size. For comfort refer to his guide for viewing distance.
Screen and recommended viewing distance

Happy Viewing!

 

We have a dedicated staff of professionals including an AIA architect, Interior Designer & Construction Superintendents who are all pleased to help you with your home projects!

We are just a call away at 262-245-9030

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Be Our Guest! – How To Create A Home That Welcomes Houseguests

Summer equals houseguests for many homeowners who live in beautiful resort communities, and Lake Geneva is no exception. The secret to effortless entertaining is a good plan and a home with versatility. As builders, we have become experts at designing and building homes that can feel like a private retreat, and then expand in a way that lets friends and family feel welcome.

It’s all about ease, for you as well as your guests.Extend a warm welcome to houseguests when they first arrive Interior Design by Elizabeth Drake

Warm Welcome

Take a moment to reconnect and share refreshments on the porch or screened in room when first guests arrive. Cozy seating, fresh air and the gentle breeze will set a leisurely tone for the visit. This is the perfect opportunity to plan activities together and provide a tour to help them feel at home.
Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin Interior Design by Elizabeth Drake

Guest Quarters

Size does not matter, but privacy does. A reserved space where guests can set up camp will help them feel comfortable. This can be a room that doubles as a home office or craft room with open space available for guest belongings. Visitors will appreciate the ability to organize themselves and you will be rewarded with the lack of clutter in your other rooms.
Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin Interior Design by Elizabeth Drake
Often the homes we build include guest suites with private baths, and hospitality features like sitting areas, beverage bars and private porches. When the additional space is not available, clearing personal clutter from a common bath and living space is a thoughtful gesture.
Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin Interior Design by The Design Coach

Guest Storage

They may not be staying long, but fun filled days often demand several wardrobe changes. A bench at the foot of the bed is good place for luggage. But living out of a suitcase is clumsy, if possible clear some space in the closet or drawers and supply extra hangers. Lockers or cubbies are a great way to keep everyone’s belongings visible and within reach. Wall hooks are ideal for hang clothing, swimsuits and towels throughout the day.
Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin Interior Design by Elizabeth Drake

An Inviting Bed

Think comfort and minimalism. Crisp, freshly laundered sheets, plump pillows and a simple blanket or duvet are appreciated over an avalanche of fussy toss pillows. Twin beds provide mix and match options for non-couples or children. One of the hottest trends is also incredibly practical, bunk beds to maximize the sleeping space in a guest room.  More on Bunk Rooms  A few essentials set up on a bedside table will go a long way to provide comfort for your guests.  Frame your Wi-Fi access information to help guests stay connected.

We have a special template at the end of this blog, just add your own codes, print and frame.Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Bathroom Privileges

Vanities with open shelving are a helpful way for guest to locate basic supplies without asking. Along with plenty of towels and toilet paper, consider stocking up on extra toothbrushes, toothpaste and shampoo. A hair dryer and basket filled with sample size lotions and cosmetics could save the day for your guest.
Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin Cabinetry by Geneva Cabinet Company, LLC

Snack Station

Encourage guests to help themselves with the grab-and-go convenience of a Snack Station. This is becoming a standard in many busy households. It is especially helpful during activity-packed summer months. You can easily create your own version by dedicating a section of your kitchen counter or the top of a cabinet or sideboard. Include a coffee maker, mugs, bowls and utensils along with a basket of drink pods, cereal, fruit and nutrition bars.   Early risers can start their day without disturbing the hosts and everyone can grab an energy boost as needed throughout the day.
Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Alfresco Cooking & Dining

Outdoor dining can be casual or formal, but comfortable seating and good food are essential. An outdoor kitchen lets the cook socialize while preparing the meal and encourages guests to pitch in for a memorable group project.
Lowell Custom Homes Lake Geneva Wisconsin

Downtime & Guilt-Free Pleasures

Be sure to allow some downtime and a relaxing place to enjoy it. A shady hammock or restful view is the perfect antidote for vacation burnout. While there is no shortage of  local attractions and fun activities, let guests set the pace to truly enjoy their stay. Relaxation and togetherness is the ultimate goal for both guests and hosts.

Print and frame this Wi-fi notice for your home.

Print and frame for your houseguests

We have a dedicated staff of professionals including an AIA architect, Interior Designers & Construction Superintendents who  are all pleased to help you with your home projects!

We are just a call away at 262-245-9030

 

Lowell Custom Homes

Interior Design of Guest Rooms and Porches by  Elizabeth Drake Interiors

Interior Design of Lockers by The Design Coach

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Bunks Room Lowell Custom Homes

Battle of the Bunks – Bunk Beds and Bunkrooms defeat the blow-up mattress!

The latest trend making its way into the most stylish homes of Lake Geneva is reminiscent of pillow fights and childhood sleepovers. Bunk beds and even bunkrooms are becoming the guest quarters of choice. There is an appealing social factor to this trend that blends sleeping arrangements with the ability to spend quality time together. You are never too old for a sleepover!

Bunk Bed room at luxury hotel start trend in homes for guest room accommodations
Even boutique hotels are introducing bunk options. Not only is this attractive to families, but the luxurious feather bedding and 300+ thread count sheets draw big kid pajama parties and friend getaways.
For the Lake Geneva homeowner, bunks are the best way to maximize space without compromising style. Children, grandchildren and long-lost cousins can all have a place to rest for round-the-clock togetherness and good times.
Which bunk bed concept is the best fit for your home? Let’s look at the possibilities . . .
Lowell Custom Homes Bunk Room with open concept and built in bunk beds to sleep 4 to 6 people
An open and airy space with built-in bunks will transform one bedroom into a space for 4 – 6 houseguests. Keep the base bunk low to allow extra headroom for your full-grown bunkmates.

Playing with themes can add an element of intrigue for your guests.  We created enclosed bunks with The Design Coach, Phillip Sassano, to be more Orient-Express than summer camp. Each is like a mini room with privacy curtains, storage and individual lighting, all wrapped up in plushy velvet comfort.
Lowell Custom Homes Unused space can be transformed into a guest area when fitted with freestanding or built-in bunk beds.
Unused space can be transformed into a guest area when fitted with freestanding or built-in bunk beds. Consider an open niche, attic space, or even a generous hallway that can be lined with bunks.  Each cozy little cocoon will attract kids of all ages when it’s time to take a snooze.
Lowell Custom Homes
Encourage camp-like comradely, minus the swirlies, with an adjoining locker and shower room. Beautifully detailed bunks feature specialized lighting and easy access steps instead of a ladder for ageless appeal.

We have a dedicated staff of professionals including an AIA architect, Interior Designers & Construction Superintendents who  are all pleased to help you with your home projects!

We are just a call away at 262-245-9030

Lowell Custom Homes

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Outdoor Living Spaces – The Best Ideas for Your Home

The great outdoors is calling. Alfresco dining, entertaining friends or just lounging under a clear sky . . . the best home design will create gracious indoor-outdoor living space where you can truly embrace the spring and summer months.
Get inspired by stunning outdoor ideas from these Lowell Custom Homes, and then create a space to complement your personal indoor-outdoor lifestyle.

  • Align interior and exterior spaces for a seamless extension of your main living area. A fluid transition between indoor and outdoor rooms can be created with a disappearing wall of glass doors. An easily accessible patio will draw everyone outdoors, enlarge your living space, and extend your spring and summer season with gentle protection from the elements.

Balance your outdoor space with large open and private areas

  • Balance your options with both open and intimate space. Just as a good interior space plan will provide areas for private and social activities, your outdoor rooms can offer alternatives that adapt to your needs throughout the day. Sun vs. Shade – Active vs. Restful – Entertainment vs. Retreat.  You select the most suitable outdoor environment to match your mood.

Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor living furniture position

  • Get in position to enjoy the view. Use your natural surroundings to create a focal point.  Arrange outdoor furniture where everyone can appreciate the scenery. A beautiful garden, swimming pool, or outdoor fireplace can all serve as appealing points of interest.

Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor living areas zones for activity

  • Locate zones on your property according to use. No need to cram all outdoor living space against the house.  Just anchor each zone with its own useful focal point.  A boathouse services lake front activities, a cabana offers poolside convenience and an upscale shed will store hobby or gardening equipment.

Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor Living areas

  • Create an outdoor hub where essentials are clustered for convenience.  Food preparation, dining table and entertainment equipment in one outdoor zone will let you enjoy the fresh air while hosting friends and family. An outdoor shower and self-serve refreshment bar can eliminate messy indoor traffic patterns and keep your home tidy.

Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor Living Cozy Fire pit

  • Introduce a fire feature to cozy up your outdoor space after dark. S’mores and story telling around the fire pit or outdoor fireplace will create memories and start traditions to be passed on for generations.

Lowell Custom Homes Outdoor Living Space Best Ideas

  • Dress up your space with weather resistant products to compliment your indoor style and color palette. Create visual interest with light fixtures, fans, area rugs, and accessories to add indoor comfort to your outdoor experience.

The experts at Lowell Custom Homes can help you plan a home with the most natural flow between your indoor and outdoor environments.

 

401 GENEVA NATIONAL AVENUE SO. – LAKE GENEVA, WISCONSIN 53147 – 262.245.9030

Lowell Custom Homes is Featured in a Spotlight Interview

Screen Shot 2017-04-18 at 8.17.10 AMJust click here to read the full story!

[houzz=https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/84047885/thumbs/pro-spotlight-get-a-home-for-the-empty-nester-lifestyle w=620]