Category Archives: Blog

Visualizing your floorplan — Lemel makes it a reality.

Most people interested in building their dream home – or even remodeling or adding to their existing home can get confused by a 2 dimensional flat sheet of paper, aka the floorplan. This is commonly referred to in the industry as “plan blindness.” Now you might be one of the gifted ones that can see beyond a flat sheet of paper; interpreting 3-D views of the walls, the flow of the rooms, views from the windows, and other features that almost appear to come alive. Joe Lemel is one of those people.

Beyond being a gifted visualizer, Joe could also be considered an expert guide. He helps his clients through the floorplan development process; be it 2D, virtual renderings and even literally walking through the footprint of the design on your lot.

In Joe Lemel’s 30-plus years of building custom homes and remodeling and expanding existing ones throughout southeast Wisconsin, it is a reality he has encountered countless times. Plan blindness, in Joe’s estimation, affects roughly 80 percent of his clients. Point is, it’s very much a natural occurrence at the early stage of the process.

Joe and his team pride themselves on making note of every detail of their buyers’ “needs and wants” lists and help them envision the final product in their mind’s eye… before shovel ever hits the ground.

Whether a client is building a new home, expanding their current home or opting to remodel, the questions Joe and the Lemel Homes team have remain the same: What motivated you to buy this property? What did you like about the location? What inherent attributes does the land provide: vistas, walk-outs, interesting topography?

Once that is determined, Joe makes sure the design optimizes what the location has to offer.

“If they bought the land before they met me, there’s a reason they bought it, so there is something they wanted me to see,” Joe says. “Something made them want to purchase it and put an offer on it. So, we’ll go out to the lot and have a conversation about what they’re attracted to and incorporate that into the final home footprint on the lot.”

Factoring the lay of the land, outlining key needs and deliverable wants for your home are all part of the “set goals” with your target: your dream home in mind. And that’s when the architect gets to work. With such a clear vision of what you want, it’s no wonder Joe is a visionary when it comes to floor plans. You’ll quickly see that… and more!

Lemel’s process is virtually the same for city lots, established neighborhoods or a country parcel; set the goals and optimize the floorplan to meet your expectations – eyes wide open.

Regardless of your current state of plan blindness, Joe and his team are ready to be your “visual” guides. Through the earliest stages of design through the final phase of construction; anything is possible… anywhere you want to live.

Skip the Sellers Market Hassle and Renovate with Lemel Homes

The experts are saying it’s a sellers market for homeowners thus far in 2018, the time is right for you to put your house up for sale and aim for the sky with your price.

But is it really the best time to sell?

We here at Lemel Homes believe it’s better to stay put and fix up your current home instead. Our vast experience with renovations and additions makes us the best choice to breathe new life into your current home. Don’t just take our word for it. Check out the “additions” and “renovations” pages of our website to see for yourself.

We understand how tempting it may be to jump into the real estate market with the robust numbers the Wisconsin Realtors Association produced in March. During the three-month period ending in February, home sales in Wisconsin were up 7.1 percent. In Washington County alone, 117 homes were sold through February, a 48 percent increase. Sheboygan County also jumped 32.8 percent with 81 homes sold.

Homes are selling at a higher price, too. Across the region, median home prices were up 6.1 percent over the winter, according to the association, which includes a 25 percent increase in Ozaukee County alone to $270,000.

If you still think it’s the right time to sell your home, consider the intangibles that arise from a sellers market. You’ll wind up competing with every other seller in your area hoping to make a quick buck, nonstop bidding wars when it’s time to find your next home, and the roller coaster of emotions that come with looking for your dream home just to have it purchased out from under you.

Instead, let Lemel Homes use your current home as a blank canvas for a renovation or addition project that comes straight from your imagination. No request is too grand for Lemel Homes, where we aim to deliver everything you desire where you want to live.

And if that 6.1 percent jump in sales prices is too good to ignore, Lemel Homes can build the custom home of your dreams wherever you want to be. Just pick the neighborhood and leave the rest to us.

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.”