Category Archives: Blog

Indoor Gardening Your Passion? Lemel Homes Can Build That

Fresh herbs and vegetables in the backyard are a welcome sign that springtime is finally returning to Wisconsin.

However, countless locavores are taking their passion for farm-to-table produce out of the hands of local restaurants and grocery stores by setting up their own gardens. And many of them aren’t waiting for warm weather, opting instead to bring their gardens indoors by using hydroponic growing methods.

This exciting new trend is taking over the United States as homeowners opt to pick ripe herbs and vegetables from the comfort of their own homes. Like any new hobby, these new-wave gardeners want to retrofit their home to fully enjoy their new passion. Lemel Homes is adept at designing your passion into your home whether it is a custom build or a remodeling job. Hydroponic gardening is no different.

Hydroponics – or “vertical farming” – takes the dirt and outdoors out of gardening by relying on sand, gravel or liquid with added nutrients. Hydroponic gardeners also set up LED lighting to replicate the sun’s rays, often giving the plants access to the vital daylight they need 24/7.

For those interested in building a custom home, Joe Lemel and his team can easily incorporate space for a home garden into the design specs of a ground-up structure. Built-in storage, appropriate lighting and temperature controls for such endeavors are nothing new for Lemel Homes, a company that prides itself on catering to the wishes of the home hobbyist.

If you’re already in your dream home, Lemel Homes can remodel a room or add a full-blown addition, based on how big your hobby is. We can retrofit space in your existing home to help you grow your kale, tomatoes or herbs inside while the winter weather takes its toll on Wisconsin. Whether you need electrical rewiring, more storage or an entire addition for your new passion, Lemel Homes works with you to bring your hobby to life.

Hobbies come and go, but the desire for your own space to fuel your passions never fades away. Visit the “Custom Functionality” of the Lemel Homes website to see how we’ve catered to some of our clients’ unique hobbies and interests.

Whatever your passion or hobby, Lemel Homes tailors your custom home or remodeling project to ergonomically suit or enhance your lifestyle. Contact us today to help you design the space you need to grow your interests, whatever they may be.


Lemel Homes Scouts for Future Homebuilders

When searching for hard-working, industrious kids looking to build something with their own two hands, working with the Boy Scouts of America would seem to be a natural fit. With the shortage in the construction labor pool that doesn’t seem to have any end in sight, Todd DeLonge of Lemel Homes saw an opportunity to sell youngsters on a career in the skilled trades with a fun program.

“I wanted to do something that would give us as much construction-type stuff to do and make it as grandiose as possible,” said DeLonge, who serves as construction manager for Lemel Homes. “In construction in general with the labor shortage and as little as kids know about construction, I wanted the older kids to work with tools and get as exposed as possible.”

The homebuilding industry certainly could use a boost in interest if labor demands are going to keep up with the housing boom. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 200,000 construction jobs are unfilled in the United States – an 81 percent increase in two years.

DeLonge is doing his best to alleviate the situation, one scouting event at a time. For the annual Family Day Camp for Cub Scout Pack 175 out of Sussex this June, DeLonge organized a doghouse-building project to expose the scouts and their siblings to different jobs in construction.

The scouts – and their siblings, parents and anyone involved who wanted to learn about construction – built the doghouses to benefit the Humane Animal Welfare Society in Waukesha. The society will auction off the houses, which will be decorated in a variety of themes this fall, to raise money for its mission.

Aside from helping the Humane Society, DeLonge chose doghouses for the project because it would give the 100 or so participants an opportunity to experience as many aspects of homebuilding as possible on a smaller scale.

DeLonge also organized other building projects for the camp that exposed kids to different skills. For example, scouts and their family also built a trebuchet, which is a type of medieval catapult. Once the trebuchet was complete, the campers, armed with about 300 tomatoes, took aim at DeLonge and another scout leader who were floating in kayaks on Lake Michigan.

Along with stations for the doghouses and the trebuchet, four groups of 20 or so people were rotated through stations to learn about plumbing and knot-tying, fishing, fire building and boiling eggs in paper cups as well. DeLonge organized the event – his fourth and final day camp as his sons are moving on from this pack to Boy Scouts and another Scout Pack – but he and the pack had immense support from a variety of sponsors, including Lemel Homes, Drexel Building Supply, Able Plumbing Supply, Pick N Save, Meijer and Piggly Wiggly.

“I take great pride in putting on a program like I did,” DeLonge said. “The only way I’m able to pull it off is through the support of so many people, especially from Lemel Homes. They back me and make our events a home run.”

Based on the reaction from those in attendance, kids and parents alike were plenty excited to learn something new.

“The kids were getting engaged with the projects they were working on,” DeLonge said. “In my eyes, this was the first step in what I can bring to the table as far as events to help promote the skilled trades among the youth, and it’s a small stepping stone toward many more events like this for many different youth groups that I can be a part of.”


Interior Paint Colors Homeowners Lives with Sense of Individuality

Although interior painting typically represents just 3 to 3 ½ percent of custom home’s construction budget, it is an important aspect of the homebuilding process that requires careful consideration from homebuyers. Selecting the interior paint colors is part of the homeowners’ overall design concept, ensuring the ceilings and walls match other finishes in the home like cabinetry, countertops and flooring.

lemel-paintingBlog---01“This gives the homeowner the opportunity to match their wall colors to the design pallet they have envisioned,” says Todd DeLonge, construction manager for Lemel Homes. “There is a plethora of paint colors to choose from, so once they have other stuff hammered out, it is easier to choose paint.”

Among Lemel Homes’ clients, grays are most popular right now, and homeowners often adding a random accent color that “pops” on its own. Lemel Homes offers their clients the services of a color specialist, who can suggest accent wall and field colors to help homeowners achieve the feel and look they desire.

How it’s Done

lemel-paintingBlog---02From the builder’s standpoint, interior painting typically takes place once the drywall has been erected and has been sprayed for texture, such as a sand or orange peel finish. The painting subcontractor takes over from here, applying one coat of primer on all the walls and ceilings throughout the home.

Once the ceilings and walls have been primed, the finishing carpenters and other trades return to complete their work before the painting begins. According to DeLonge, this may seem out of order, but working in this manner eliminate the need for too many touchups later.

“If you prime everything, let it be and come back to paint it, it makes for a much nicer job,” DeLonge says. “It would be easier to paint right away, but it’s not worth it in the long run for the quality that you get.”

Prepping to Paint

lemel-paintingBlog---04Interior painting subcontractors do not have to deal with the elements like their outdoor colleagues, but special conditions must be put in place before painting begins. For example, DeLonge says the house must maintain a temperature of at least 45 degrees for interior painting. Also, the humidity level must be at a moderate level, and care must be taken to control humidity.”When it’s really hot in the summertime, humidity could be a problem, so you need to get the right amount of ventilation to get the humid air out,” DeLonge says. “But if humid air is getting in, you need to get the air conditioning up and running, and sometimes that isn’t installed in a home until the end of a project.”

The interior painting process typically takes two weeks to turn around. Painting subs also return to a home a few days before closing for any touchups that might be necessary.

Making Dreams a Reality


Meeting expectations means more to us than just delivering a home on time and within budget. For us at Lemel Homes, we make sure you – our client – is at ease with the process of custom home building every step of the way.

We take pride in providing you with personal service, from the moment you walk through our doors to the moment you step inside your new living space.

Our mission is to meet your expectations.

Lemel_Joe_Desk_sm Your personality will be on display in every detail, from the floor plan to the counter tops and light fixtures. And our quality construction will assure that your home will remain beautiful and comfortable for generations.

We help our clients determine their wants and needs by starting each project with a “target meeting” – the first step toward bringing their vision for their home to reality. This dedication to upfront planning and client satisfaction gives us the ability to meet every demand our clients have, no matter the size and scope of a project.

When it comes to building the home of your dreams, we are the custom home builder you want handling your project from start to finish. We’re only limited by your wildest imagination, so dream big and leave the rest to us.

After all, your favorite place on earth should be the place you call home.