Are You Ready for A Custom-Built Home?

Sounds like a silly question doesn't it?  But is it?  What makes a home "custom"?  Is it the floorplan, the exterior finishes, the flooring, the trim?  The answer is ALL OF THE ABOVE, and more—much, much more.

As a custom home builder, a lot of people come to me starry-eyed thinking they are ready to build a custom home.  But too many times after the dust settles, that is after I have spent two weeks preparing a detailed bid for them and they skip the first 8 pages and go straight to the page with the final cost, it turns out they are really just looking to have someone build them a new house that they can move into as inexpensively as possible.  So what's the difference?  How are they different from any other customer?  

Well, a custom-built home is unique in almost every way.  From the foundation to the roof, nearly everything in-between is defined by the homeowner, and therefore by definition, custom. In fact, Webster defines "custom-built" as "built to individual specifications".  Mike Gepfert Homes doesn't have a book of floor plans to choose from.  Each home we build is new and unique, never duplicating a floor plan or exterior.  A great deal of time is spent before and during the design phase to ensure the finished product is exactly what the owner wants and needs.  The owners are directly and deeply involved in the process right from the start.  The home is designed by a team consisting of the owners, myself and an architect or designer.  From there the owners are busy designing and selecting their cabinetry, picking out flooring, light and plumbing fixtures, wall colors, interior trim and doors, siding and masonry, and a host of other features that when brought together make the home.

We take great pride in crafting some of the finest custom homes in the area.  It is incredibly rewarding to watch a home come together.  But, the greatest reward is watching a homeowner enter their home after we complete a phase - the emotions and expressions are indescribable.  If you are ready to build your custom dream home please give me a call or send me a note using the Contact page.

The Uniqueness of Waterfront Homes

Building a home is the same regardless of where it’s located right? Wrong. Building a waterfront home may seem the same as building a home in an ordinary sub-division or on an empty country lot, but trust me they are totally different universes. Waterfront homes (when I refer to waterfront I am generally speaking of lakefront) are typically secondary homes, vacation retreats, or retirement dream homes. As such, most people will spend a little extra, add a few more upgrades and gingerbread, and incorporate details that make the home uniquely theirs.

While most contractors can accomplish the construction phase, it’s the initial design phase that is the most critical. How many times have you seen two waterfront homes that look similar or maybe started with the same floor plan with a different exterior look? Sadly it happens, and is normally due to the homeowners choosing a builder who is not accustomed to building outside of subdivisions.

Besides having the extra touches a homeowner may add, waterfront homes also have two fronts - and for true "lakers" the front is where the water is. That is where most of the time is spent with family, friends and neighbors, and not surprisingly that is where the money is spent – on things like siding accents, masonry, decks and patios, etc. For homes designed to be built in subdivisions, that is the back of the house and lacks character – it is where homeowners save money because it is not a high-visibility elevation and generally a private area.

Mike Gepfert Homes specializes in custom design and construction of waterfront residential properties. From the placement of the home on the lot to the smallest interior or exterior detail, Mike Gepfert Homes will ensure that your home is built to your exact standards, meeting your needs and fulfilling your dreams.

Creating Custom Waterfront Homes – It’s a Passion

Passion - everybody has at least one. Often times it's what defines us. My passion, at least the one that defines me, is designing and building custom homes. Often times these are waterfront homes, but certainly they are homes that are unique and personalized to each homeowner.

When I meet with clients, I want earn their friendship. I don't want our interaction to be a one-time business transaction. I may only do one project for that client, but that doesn't mean that once that project is over we must cease to interact. Many of my clients are my neighbors - what an awesome opportunity. I make it a point to get to know as much about each client as possible, on a very personal level. That way I can give them a finished home that is unique and personal, a testament to their individuality.

In my opinion, a custom home does not mean that it is the largest, most opulent home on the street. It doesn't mean that it has the most gingerbread on the outside, or the largest and most-ornate interior trim. To me, it's a finished home that is tailored to the owner's lifestyle and needs. It has a personality that mirrors the owner. There are unique attributes of the home that make the owner feel comfortable, relaxed, and safe. Maybe it’s a piece of a former home that we incorporate somewhere in the new design; or a wainscot or paneling that a homeowner grew up with in their grandparents cottage that we duplicate in an office or sitting room. Whatever it may be, it is unique to that owner, which to me takes an ordinary house and makes it a home. My favorite thing to do is take something special that an owner shared with me and incorporate that into the design...without their knowledge when is my "thank-you" for putting their trust in me to build their dream home.