Modern Home Builders Issue 114 February 2022

Page 1



Issue 114


Dream homes on-demand As a small, tight-knit family business, Bloomingdale Homes believes in close relationships - with employees, customers and suppliers Focus on Michigan Availability and affordability are just two of the reasons that Michigan continues to attract homebuyers

Case study How VJS Construction Services navigated the challenges of Covid-19 to deliver a retirement community project

EDITOR’S LETTER Chairman - Andrew Schofield Managing Director - Joe Woolsgrove Editor - Libbie Hammond Assistant Editor - Will Daynes Staff Writers - Daniel Baksi, Danielle Champ, Jessica Olley Managing Art Editor - Fleur Daniels Art Editor - David Howard Advertising Designer - Paul Gillings Sales Director - Alasdair Gamble Business Development Director - Philip Monument Research Managers - Michelle Fontaine, Natalie Griffiths, Jo-Ann Jeffery, Ben Richell, Basil Sharpe Editorial Researchers Adam Blanch, Victoria Burke, Mark Cowles, Jeff Goldenberg, Dan Harrison, Melanie Joyce, James Page, Wendy Russell, Richard Saunders, Kieran Shukri Advertising Sales Johanna Bailey, Mike Berger, Jessica Eglington, James Fuller, Alex Hartley, Reid Lingle, Theresa McDonald, Sam Surrell, Theresa Stark, Gregory Waller Florida General Manager - Ryan Finn Boston General Manager - Joy Francesconi Custom Media Sales - Dan Bess

Hello and welcome to the February edition of Modern Home Builders. Over the past months we have been focusing on the activities of luxury homebuilders in Michigan at the magazine and in this issue Will Daynes speaks to Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at real estate information and listings site about the state. She noted that the market is picking up pace, and revealed that Ferndale, MI appeared in’s list of the top ten cities in the US for first-time buyers. Pointing out the area as more affordable, Danielle also noted that Ferndale is attractive because it sits within an economically healthy metro market, with a low unemployment rate of around 3.2 percent. Michigan has many reasons to attract new homeowners - take a look at the story on page 18. And for those who are looking at the more luxurious project, our Focus on Michigan Luxury Homebuilders continues, shining a spotlight on those businesses that are delivering exceptional levels of quality and service to their clients. From Infinity Homes & Co. in Novi to Lange Building Co. in Goodrich, the level of detail and finish from these companies continues to satisfy their customers – I am sure you will be impressed too!

Digital Sales - Mike Psimis

Libbie Hammond EDITOR

Subscriptions -

Administration - Rory Gallacher, Ibby Mundhir Accounts - Rachael Leftley

© 2022 Schofield Publishing Ltd Schofield Publishing - Corporate Head Office

ON THE COVER Our cover story this issue looks at the



activities of Bloomingdale Homes – one of our

Cringleford Business Centre, 10 Intwood Road,

Michigan -based success stories. Describing

Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, U.K.

the business as ‘a true custom homebuilder’,

T: (312) 854-0123 T: +44 (0)1603 274130

Issue 114


COO Eric Bloomingdale noted that over the course of 300 projects so far, it has never built the same home twice! The Bloomingdale

Finelight Media LLC 2240 West Woolbright Road, Suite 402

family remains determined to continue to

Boynton Beach, FL 33426

deliver exceptional homes well into the future

T: (561) 778-2396

and MHB looks forward to speaking to them

Please note: The opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers within this publication do not necessarily coincide with those of the editor and publisher. Every reasonable effort is made to ensure that the information published is accurate, and

again to gain further insights into its plans for growth and expansion.

Dream homes on-demand As a small, tight-knit family business, Bloomingdale Homes believes in close relationships - with employees, customers and suppliers

Focus on Michigan Availability and affordability are just two of the reasons that Michigan continues to attract homebuyers

Case study How VJS Construction Services navigated the challenges of Covid-19 to deliver a retirement community project

correct at time of writing, but no legal responsibility for loss occasioned by the use of such information can be accepted by the publisher. All rights reserved. The contents of the magazine are strictly copyright, the property of Schofield Publishing, and may not be copied, stored in a retrieval system, or reproduced without the prior written permission of the publisher.






4 ENVIRONMENT The trend to make homes more eco-friendly only continues to grow. MHB offers six achievable suggestions that can increase their green credentials



For all the predictions of color, maximalism and outdoor makeovers, 2021’s décor remained fairly muted. What other trends were hits or misses?

8 CASE STUDY How VJS Construction Services addressed




and dealt with the challenges of Covid-19 on a retirement community renovation and construction project

14 CELEBRITY HOMES This issue looks at East and West coast apartments – John Legend and Chrissy Teigen are selling their Nolita penthouses, and Justin Lin has his LA pad on the market

18 FOCUS ON MICHIGAN Will Daynes speaks to Danielle Hale, Chief


Economist at real estate information and listings site, to get some insight into the Michigan housing sector




News and information from the construction and home building industry
























Six ways to make your home more eco-friendly


ith the environment slowly

your home more environmentally friendly

the most useful inventions, they can be awful

deteriorating, it’s important

thanks to how long-lasting they are.

for the environment. They use up so much

that we all do our part to help wherever we can. This

Use a programmable thermostat

energy and produce a lot of CO2 – even the ones with better energy ratings. Opting to air

can be done in so many ways, and countless

Go green by installing a programmable

dry your clothes might take a while longer, but

ways to ensure that your home is as eco-

thermostat to monitor your heating system.

it costs literally nothing to make the switch

friendly as possible.

This can reduce the cost of your utility bills

and you’ll be able to say you’re doing your part

and will make your home much more eco-

to save the environment.

The team at www.onlinemortgageadvisor. have put together their top tips to

friendly at the same time.

Make the choice to turn off

help you make sure that your home is as eco-conscious as possible, and to advice you

Get window treatments

This one isn’t just to help the environment;

with switches you can make in order to move

Despite keeping your windows closed, heat

it will help you too. We live in a digital

towards a greener home.

and cold air can still creep in, and if you don’t

age which is fantastic in countless

have a huge tree in front of your house to

different ways, but it’s not too good for

Switch to a more sustainable heating source

protect it from the sun, your home can start

the environment. Every time we use an

to feel like an oven. Upgrading your curtains

electronic device, we’re using energy which

Making the switch to a renewable method for

and blinds is a great place to start to maintain

is likely generated from a not so renewable

your heating is a great place to start. Boilers

the temperature and make your house more

source. Additionally, our online lives can

can generally be fueled by three different

environmentally friendly.

also be damaging to our mental health and

types of fuel (gas, electric and biomass) and

wellbeing, so making the decision to turn

homeowners can decide which would be best

Air dry your clothes

everything off every once in a while with

for their home. Solar thermal is another way

While tumble dryers are up there with one of

help both the environment, and you. F

of switching over to a more environmentally friendly energy source and allow you to use energy from the sun to do things such as boil water which is a much cleaner alternative.

Swap out regular light bulbs for LED bulbs Investing in the correct energy-efficient light

Online Mortgage Advisor is a free mortgage broker matching service that matches people with someone specifically based upon their circumstances. Our website is an emporium of information about mortgages and related products, from bridging finance to secured loans, and we also do our bit to improve the mortgage industry with our own academy and training services for brokers.

bulbs makes a huge difference. Not only will you use less electricity, but you’ll also make MODERNHB.COM


In style



Green was the actual color of the year in 2021. Checkatrade uncovers the interior trends that shaped our homes last year



What the trendsetters forecasted

What homeowners actually did1

being discussed, research

Yellow, grey and neutral walls

Green walls

by Checkatrade uncovered

‘Illuminating Yellow’ and ‘Ultimate

Decorating was big in 2021, with

which of 2021’s most predicted

s 2022’s interior trends are

Gray’ were predicted by Pantone,

Checkatrade searches for professional

trends actually made into our homes – and

while Dulux suggested neutral ‘Brave

decorators jumping 13 percent last year2,

which were left behind – after examining


but when it came to colour searches for

thousands of searches from homeowners on

‘Sage Green’ and ‘Forest Green’ jumped by

Checkatrade and Google (in the UK).

23 percent on Google in 2021, bucking

Despite Dulux naming warm, natural

the trend predicted by interiors/home

neutral ‘Brave Ground’ as its color of the year

improvement brands.

in 2021, while Pantone suggested we’d be embracing ‘Illuminating Yellow’ and ‘Ultimate

Clashing prints and consistent wall

Wallpaper, prints and accent walls

Gray’, research1 undertaken by Checkatrade


Demand for Checkatrade’s wallpapering

reveals neither made it anywhere near our

‘Print on print’ was predicted by IKEA,

professionals rose by 30 percent last year3,

homes last year - instead, Google searches for

and accent walls were deemed a thing

and floral wallpaper and floral wall searches

Sage Green and Forest Green shot up by 23

of the past by Dennese Guadeloupe

have seen some of the highest volumes

per cent year-on-year - putting green in pole

Rojas of Interiors by Design.

of Google searches. However, accent walls

position for the leading shade of 2021.

have still been going strong with 21 percent

And despite predictions of consumers

growth year on year.

turning to maximalism in 2021, minimalist aesthetic remains the firm favorite. In fact,

Garages, loft conversation and

Inventive conversions

Google searches for maximalist interior design

basement extensions

It’s a match! Loft conversions and garage

ideas were 14 percent lower than those for

Classic conversions were all listed as

conversions saw a 35 percent increase in

minimalist décor.

ones to watch by Home Owners Alliance.

Checkatrade searches in 2021.

widespread disconnect between the

More seating areas

More sleeping areas

predictions made by designers and what

Designer Mark Cunningham expected

Britons favoured sleeping over seating, with

actually made it into our homes – suggesting

to see us embrace more seating areas.

a spike of interest in sofa beds and sleeper

Across the board there has been a

we should take this year’s trend predictions

chairs (11 percent increase according to

with a pinch of salt as we enter 2022.

Google search trends). Maximalism rules

Minimalism prevails

“It’s been hard for any of us to predict the

Our love of bold color and patterns

Maximalism did see a 50 percent increase in

past year – and it turns out that our homes

was widely tipped for a comeback in

Google searches last year, but minimalism

aren’t exempt from this,’’ comments Mike


remains a firm favorite amongst the public

Fairman, CEO, Checkatrade. ‘’There’s no doubt

with searches 14 percent higher than those

that we’re all heavily influenced by trend

for maximalist décor.

forecasters, influencers and social media – but the nation’s cultural mood appears to be one

Outdoor makeovers

Indoor makeovers

which is resistant to making kneejerk changes

Outdoor entertainments spaces, home

It’s a miss. We stayed inside in 2021, with

– perhaps unsurprising after another year

gyms and hybrid home designs were

kitchen interior searches on Google seeing the

living through the unexpected.

noted a key focus by Houzz.

biggest growth since the start of the pandemic

“Homeowners have used 2021 to make wise investments in their homes which will

(+23 percent) and demand for Checkatrade kitchen fitters rising 35 percent year on year3.

stand the test of time, and which fit their own unique lifestyles. We’ll watch with interest to see whether this is a trend which plays out in 2022.” F 1 (sources: Google Trends, Google Ads Planner, Meltwater social listening) 2 & 3 Checkatrade data: 1 Jan 20 to 30 Nov 20 vs. 1 Jan

Checkatrade, founded in 1998, is the UK’s number one website for finding a tradesperson. Owned by Homeserve Plc, Checkatrade’s trade members have been through 12 checks each to verify their skill, reliability and trustworthiness. The site boasts over five million published customer reviews, making it easy to find the perfect trade or service anywhere in the UK.

21 to 30 Nov 21 For further sources, contact the editor.







excellence How VJS Construction Services kept a retirement project safe when Covid-19 hit. By Jenn Said




hile a significant number of projects were halted when Covid-19 hit, those that weren’t presented

contractors with entirely new hurdles to overcome. Jobsite safety took on a new meaning as contractors rushed to implement procedures for social distancing, temperature checks and other precautions designed to keep workers safe. As Covid-19 took hold, safety concerns were further heightened for VJS Construction Services, a Wisconsin-based contractor that had just begun phase two of a retirement community renovation and construction project. In addition to employee safety measures and considerations, VJS had to consider the health of seniors living near an active construction site.

Overcoming new safety challenges The first phase of the Saint John’s on the Lake project began in March of 2018 and consisted of building a new 23-story residential tower with underground parking, skilled nursing facilities, assisted and hybrid living, and independent living apartments. With this building complete, VJS set out to demolish an adjoining three-story health services building. Just a few weeks into the process, it became clear that Covid-19 would drastically impact the contractor’s plans. In addition to implementing its own safety protocols, VJS became an integral part of the Saint John’s on the Lake’s Covid-19 safety team. “It was critical to ensure that the protocols we developed aligned with the community’s requirements,” said Ben Bergles, senior project manager at VJS Construction Services. “It took a lot of out-of-the-box thinking and coordination between the Saint John’s team and ours, particularly to keep disruption to a minimum for the residents.” Complicating matters was the close proximity of the old health services building to the new 23-story residential tower. Before VJS could demo the old building, its residents had to be relocated to the new tower. “Relocating the residents was challenging on its own,” said Bergles. “Separating active residents from construction workers, particularly with considerations for healthy airflow, and keeping both as protected as



CASE STUDY possible from Covid-19 added another layer of

production units, labor hours and more are

complexity to the process.”

easily generated in the field.

Infection control measures were

“Data captured in the field is automatically

A connected construction software suite can replace multiple systems and disconnected sources of out-of-date information with one

implemented, including twice weekly

routed to accounting for approval,” said

source of data truth that can be easily shared

Covid-19 tests and daily health screenings

Bergles. “This reduced a process that would

in real time across executives, managers,

for workers. The teams also reconfigured the

take weeks down to minutes, and with all the

accounting professionals and the field. This

jobsite so that workers could access the areas

data on hand, accounting teams can process

ensures everyone stays up to date, whether in

under construction without entering parts of

invoices as they come in.”

the office or in the field. collect data from the field using smartphone

work between both buildings during the

The advantages of modern technology

tie-in,” said Bergles. “We installed temporary

Decision-makers today need access to

technologies such as wearables and RFID. This

barriers to prevent airflow between the two

real-time data to make important decisions

simplifies administrative tasks, giving field teams

buildings and did most of the demolition from

that keep both the business and its projects

more time to focus on the actual building.

the construction side of the partition so that

profitable. At the same time, the people

debris wouldn’t compromise air quality for the

managing work in the field need clear

project three and a half years ago, you don’t


communication from the office to execute

think of everything,” said Bergles. “Inputting

projects efficiently and effectively.

phase codes and adjusting where some of the

the building that were occupied by residents. “Many of our trade partners needed to

While Covid-19 made its mark, VJS Construction completed the project on

Modern software also makes it easier to

Through the speed and collaborative

apps, online portals, tablets and newer

“When you think of putting together a

hours or costs were charged to was necessary

schedule and without jeopardizing the health

benefits of the internet and cloud-based

through the project, and Viewpoint enabled

and safety of the construction crews or Saint

technology, real-time data collection and

us to do that very efficiently. It’s been nine

John’s on the Lake staff and residents.

analysis can give contractors an accurate

years now, and it’s served as a very succinct

understanding of exactly where projects

reporting tool. I can’t imagine where we would


be without it.” F

Data visibility keeps the project moving Bergles credits Trimble Viewpoint’s Vista ERP solution, with the company’s ability to track safety, job progress, invoices, subcontracts and digitally manage documentation over the project’s three-year span. Vista is part of the connected, cloud-based Trimble Construction One suite of solutions, which standardizes data and streamlines workflows across all phases and functions of contractors’ construction projects. “When we put together the project three and a half years ago, it was impossible to think of everything,” he said. “Throughout the project we had to input, update and adjust hours and codes. We wouldn’t have been able to do that efficiently without Trimble Construction One and Vista.” Data visibility across the company is critical for VJS Construction’s long-term success. The company migrated to Vista in 2012 to improve job cost accounting and access accurate reporting in real-time. “We integrated Vista to streamline our accounting functions, which was easy to implement because it’s very user friendly. Everyone latched on it to really quickly.” Today, VJS Construction has expanded

Jenn Said is a freelance writer who covers the construction industry.

access to data beyond the back office and into the field. Invoices, job progress reports, MODERNHB.COM


New service launch

Award winners

Homeowners of America (HOA), a

The Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) recently named Providence Homes, Jacksonville’s

property and casualty insurance

leader in energy-efficient construction, the 2021 Paul Joyal Pinnacle Builder of the Year.

provider and a subsidiary of Porch

This is the second time it has received the Pinnacle Award, which is presented to a member for

Group, Inc. (Porch) has launched its

doing a high percentage of business with FHBA members. Since the program creation in 2008,

service in Montana.

Providence Homes immediately rose to the challenge of getting 90 percent of its trade partners on

“The introduction of HOA in

board, and been at 100 percent trade partner participation for almost ten years now. This is important

Montana confirms our active scaling of

to the business as Sean Junker, President and COO of Providence Homes noted. “Their membership

HOA’s insurance services nationwide,”

is based on holding themselves to the highest standards of craftsmanship; these are the companies

said Matt Ehrlichman, Porch founder,

and people we want to align ourselves with to build the best homes possible for our customers. So to

chairman, and CEO. “As we continue

be recognized for this commitment to using the top partners available is truly an honor.”

to expand, we’re providing services for

Association members have access to events and training that help them stay atop the latest tools

the HOA agents and the customers of

and technology, a service that Junker sees as invaluable to maintaining quality and affordability

Montana for both insurance and as a

in an ever-evolving market. “We actually review the upcoming events and training in our monthly

partner of the home.”

partner meeting to

HOA’s sustained growth and comprehensive homeowners insurance product broadens Porch’s

keep everyone up to date,” he said. Another

national presence in the insurance

consideration for


companies being considered for the

Support and advice

Pinnacle Award is

Co-founder of Toll Brothers, Inc, Robert

the recruitment

I. Toll has chosen not to stand for

of subcontractors

re-election to the Board of Directors at

to join the

the company’s March 8, 2022 meeting


of stockholders. He will continue to serve the company as Chairman Emeritus and, in that role, will be invited to attend board meetings

Family-friendly community

and continue to provide support and

LGI Homes, Inc. has opened a brand-new section of homes at its popular community, The Orchards,

advice to the business.

located near Yuba City, California. Within this family-friendly community, LGI Homes offers five

Speaking about his decision, Robert

plans consisting of one- and two-story, single-family homes with up to five bedrooms and three

to step back from a formal Board role

full baths. Every home comes outfitted with LGI Homes’ CompleteHome™ package, which means

at Toll Brothers, my interest in the

homebuyers enjoy a full suite of

company remains strong. Since my

energy-efficient Whirlpool® kitchen

brother and I founded the company

appliances, granite countertops,

55 years ago, it has grown from a

designer wood cabinetry with

small Philadelphia homebuilder

crown molding, luxury vinyl-plank

to a branded national presence

flooring, a professionally landscaped

as America’s Luxury Home Builder.

front yard and more, all at no added

Along the way, we built a strong

cost. Additionally, every home at

organization of dedicated, motivated

The Orchards comes with sought-

associates with a culture devoted to

after energy-saving features such as

our customers. I look forward to the

double-pane Low-E vinyl windows,

continued growth of the company

a programmable thermostat and

and providing support and advice to

included solar panels.

management and the Board in the future.”


spacious floor plans ranging in size from 1,292 square feet to just over 2,200 square feet, with floor

I. Toll stated: “While I felt it was time


Ideally located north of Sacramento, just off Highway 70 near Yuba City, The Orchards is close to local schools, major employers, and great shopping and dining opportunities.


Settle in Seattle

Remodelling excellence

Personalized new homes in

Alure Home Improvements and

a highly desirable Seattle-

Renovo Home Partners have joined

area location, priced from

together to create a partnership.

the low $700,000s are being

Renovo is a new company with

launched by KB Home.

backing from Audax Private Equity and

Stafford Meadows, situated

was formed by the combination of its

in Auburn, is conveniently

partnership with Alure and two other

located near the Auburn

regional home remodeling businesses:

Sounder commuter train

Dreamstyle Remodeling, based in

station just east of Interstate

Albuquerque, NM, and Remodel USA,

5 and west of Highway

based in Washington D.C.

167, providing easy access

Alure’s President Sal Ferro indicated

to Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and the area’s major employment centers. Expanding further on

that the business is thrilled to be

the location, Ryan Kemp, President of KB Home’s Seattle division pointed out it is also close

partnering with Renovo and the

to popular shopping, dining and entertainment as well as outdoor recreation. “As with other

other industry leaders involved. “The

KB Home communities, Stafford Meadows provides home shoppers with the opportunity to

partnership will not only enable us to

purchase a new KB home that can be personalized to reflect their lifestyle and needs,” he said.

help build more homeowner dreams,

The new homes at Stafford Meadows showcase desirable design characteristics like spacious

but also to provide even more

kitchens, expansive bedroom suites and ample storage space. The community’s one- and

opportunities for our employees

two-story floor plans feature up to five bedrooms and three baths, and range in size from

who have helped make our success

approximately 1,800 to 2,700 square feet. The cul-de-sac community is walking distance to

possible,” he said. “Most importantly,

several area schools and will also feature future amenities like a park and plenty of open space.

we will proudly continue to deliver

The Stafford Meadows sales office and model home are open for private in-person tours by

the exceptional customer service

appointment, and walk-in visits are welcome.

to homeowners that has become synonymous with the Alure brand.” Founded in 1946 in East Meadow,

Preparing the next generation

New York Alure has consistently been a recognized thought leader

Klein Tools has formed a partnership with the Home Builders Institute (HBI). Through this

in the remodeling industry, as one of

partnership, Klein Tools will serve as the title electrical sponsor of the Home Builders Institute’s 55

the largest remodelers on the East

electrical programs nationwide, which prepare students with the skills, knowledge, and placement

Coast. Led by Sal, Alure has received

services they need for careers in the skilled trades, particularly in the electrical field.

numerous awards and industry

“The construction industry needs a staggering 740,000 new workers for each of the next three

recognition over the years and

years to meet the demand for housing,” said Ed Brady, President and CEO of HBI. “That’s a crisis, and

achieved national acclaim when it

industry leaders and advocates must work together to attract, train and retain new workers, as well

was selected to partner with ABC’s

as secure housing affordability and accessibility for all.”

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition as a

“For decades, Klein Tools has

project leader for eight renovations.

been in the pursuit of closing

Through its growing network of

the skills gap that exists in

brands, Renovo’s platform provides

the skilled trades professions,”

a full range of exceptional products,

remarked Mark Klein, co-

expert installation services, and

president of Klein Tools. “We

premier customer service experience

have long admired the work

to homeowners across the US.

that HBI does to address

Renovo Home Partners will leverage

these issues, and we believe

technology and peer expertise across

that together we can further

its businesses to increase efficiencies

expand our reach and work

and quality throughout the home

toward ultimately eliminating

improvement process - from customer

the skills gap.”

acquisition through installation.



Photo credit: Tina Gallo for Douglas Elliman

Sky high living

For February Modern Home Builders brings its readers ultra-luxurious penthouse apartments on the East and West coasts – one project belonging to Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, and the other being the home of Justin Lin – director of Fast & Furious 10


s busy as they are with television,

Nolita neighborhood with plans to combine

floors appear to be original, the windows

music, cooking, a new skincare

them into one huge residence on two floors,

are large and offer lots of daylight streaming

line, and raising two children,

plus over 3,300 square feet of rooftop terraces.

through the rooms with neighborhood views.

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen

Spending almost all their time in California,

A particularly interesting item is the bar with

hardly have time to oversee the restoration

John and Chrissy have decided to discontinue

lighted translucency in front of the bar stools. A

and combination of two contiguous New

the combo project and have put the two

touch of urban-style rusticity is seen in boards

York penthouses. So, they are selling the two

apartments on the market at $18 million. Still

on some walls and a large three-sided fireplace.

penthouse units they bought in Manhattan’s

keeping their four feet in the Big Apple part

A unique touch is the glass-front wine cellar

time, the couple plan to look

located under the stairwell. Skylights abound

for another New York home

throughout and the landscaped roof terrace,

that will be less work.

with its own irrigation system and grill, is an

The original purchase was a good idea and one that some celebrities and people with


entertain with a cookout. Listing agents are Noble Black, Jennifer

deep pockets often do - buy

Stillman, David Son and Corinne Cahlon, all of

two apartments in a trendy

Douglas Elliman, New York City.

neighborhood, join them and


end up with a mega residence


ideal place to just hang out in the sunshine or

that they feel matches their

From New York to LA

status in life. Joined together

Just as Fast & Furious 10 started to film, its

the finished penthouse would

Taiwanese-born American film director,

include a total of 6,164 square

Justin Lin, put his historic Downtown Los

feet with six bedrooms and

Angeles penthouse on the market, located

seven baths. The hardwood

in the thriving LA Arts District. Originally

CELEBRITY HOMES Photo credit: NeueFocus

constructed in 1925 as the West Coast

for the use of the

headquarters of Nabisco, it was converted to

space depending

a live/work community in 2007. For the last

on their lifestyle. The

few years, Lin has used the penthouse as an

building is extremely

office for his production company, Perfect

private with around-

Storm Entertainment, with residence above.

the-clock concierge,

It is now for sale at $7 million.

a swimming pool,

Large in scale and with 360-degree views from its rooftop terrace, Lin’s home spans three levels, including the 7th through 9th

and the tax-saving Mills Act. There has been

floors, has wide open volume with open

a recent resurgence for LA’s Downtown

savvy celebrities also have their eye on the

stairs working their way to the top level. The

and Arts District with a new Whole Foods,

neighborhood such as Johnny Depp who

same year the building was converted, it

new indie restaurants, three just-launched

owns several condos in the area.

was declared a Historic Cultural Monument.

breweries, art galleries, boutiques and

Currently offering two bedrooms and three

the revitalized Grand Central Market. The

and Tab Howard of the Alexander Group,

baths, much of the space can be utilized

members-only Soho Warehouse opened in

Compass, Los Angeles and Jimmy Lin of One

in different ways with creative vision. There

2019 with a hotel, gym and two restaurants

True Loan, Los Angeles.

is 4,300 square feet of interior space and

directed at LA’s creative crowd. A group of


The listing agents are Justin Alexander

an additional 3,600 square feet of outdoor terrace space that can be used for anything from entertaining, a half-basketball court, and even a hot tub. The second floor houses the main living spaces and kitchen, while the entire third floor is dedicated to the owner’s suite. Office or creative space can reside on its first floor. The fetching element, aside

For details of these houses and other celebrity homes, please visit:

from its industrial vibe, is that the space is so flexible the owner has multiple options MODERNHB.COM



rom its stunning natural landscape, and its four distinct seasons, to its


with a lot to be optimistic about. “It will come as no surprise that, to a certain

for a typical property remaining on the market before sale was 55 days. This is a reduction

hugely respected universities and

extent, everyone has been impacted by the

from the 64-day average seen in December

bustling cities – not to mention its

pandemic, which has caused significant,

2020, and an even greater one compared to

status as the leading auto-producing state

albeit short-lived, disruption. What we have

the 79-day average of December 2019.”

in the United States – the state of Michigan

seen since, however, is that the housing

has never struggled in retaining or attracting

market has bounced back very strongly, and

list of the top ten cities in the US for first-time

homebuyers to its many towns, communities

in Michigan this is absolutely no exception,”

homebuyers. There, taking pride of place, was

or suburbs. As we move through the

explains Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at real

the city of Ferndale, MI, which provides an

first quarter of 2022 – and hopefully find

estate information and listings site Realtor.

excellent example of the state’s housing-based

ourselves on the way out of the worst of the

com. “Looking at the data, we can see lots of

prosperity. Part of the Detroit metropolitan

Covid-19 pandemic – the current health of

evidence of the market continuing to pick up

area, Ferndale has gained a deserved

the homebuyers’ market in the Great Lake

pace in Michigan over the last few months. In

reputation for being one of the best places

State provides businesses and individuals

December 2021, for instance, the median time

to live in the state of Michigan. Offering its


In January 2022, produced its


A buyers’ market As the city of Ferndale proves, the state of Michigan remains a highly soughtafter location for both first time and seasoned homebuyers. By Will Daynes

market, with a low unemployment rate of around 3.2 percent.” It doesn’t take much time, therefore, to see that the availability and affordability of homes in Ferndale – and the wider Detroit-metro and Michigan areas – is proving a big draw to the region for homebuyers, and in turn is helping to drive continued economic activity. But what of the outlook for the rest of 2022, particularly for first-time homebuyers? “Buying one’s first home is always both an exciting step and a major challenge, regardless of the economic outlook at any time, but in 2022 there are likely to be certain factors that will be both a help and hindrance to first time homebuyers,” Danielle reveals. “Firstly, we expect inventory levels to pick up steam nationwide, having hit a low point in 2021, driven by pent-up demand from those who held off making sales or purchases during the pandemic. “At the same time, we believe that house prices are going to continue to rise, though at a slower pace than we saw in 2021, and that mortgage rates will also increase as the year progresses. The latter in particular can result in reduced buying power for those who take on a mortgage to purchase a house, so our advice for anyone looking to get onto the market in 2022 would be that doing so earlier than later is probably a smart move. The earlier an individual can find a house that they like, put an offer in, and hopefully be accepted, the sooner that they can lock in a mortgage rate and prevent it from going higher!” F

residents a sparse suburban environment and

approximately 64.4 active listings per 1000

a wealth of area amenities including shops,

households compared to the country-

parks, restaurants, coffee shops, and bars, the

wide average of 44.9, which means that

city has come to be called home by a growing

homebuyers have a potentially better shot at

number of young professionals.

getting into the market here,” Danielle notes.’s criteria for its list included

“What we see is that this is particularly true

active listings per 1000 households, housing

for younger buyers, as the listing price to

affordability specific to incomes of 25-to-34-

income ratio for younger households is 2.8 in

year-olds, forecasted 2022 home sales and price

Ferndale, compared with 5.0 throughout the

growth, job opportunities, and unemployment

US, meaning it is less of a stretch for those

rates. As Danielle goes on to reveal, Ferndale

on lower incomes – which younger people

ticked virtually all of these boxes.

tend to be on – to buy a house. What also

“Looking at the inventory metrics that we use, for starters, Ferndale boasts

makes Ferndale especially attractive is that

Danielle Hale – Chief Economist

it sits within an economically healthy metro MODERNHB.COM




excellent culture With a closely-knit team, ERT Group prides itself on building exceptional homes through a dynamic company culture and design-build expertise





ver 50 years ago, Eugene R. Thomas built his first home with his own hands. With that, he brought to life ERT Group (ERT), a ‘dirt to doorknob’ homebuilder and developer that has grown in size and reputation to achieve the acclaim it enjoys today. As a family-owned company, we spoke with Bradley Thomasma, third-generation CEO and grandson of Eugene R. Thomas, along with Ariana

Vespa, Head of Sales, to discover the secret to its longevity and homebuilding success. “My dad is a wily veteran and the anchor of our business,” Bradley begins. “He partnered with Eugene R. Thomas (the ‘ERT’) some 35 years back and carried on my grandfather’s legacy through the booms and busts of the past half century. When I joined, I wanted to bring fresh ideas, young legs and new energy to the business, along with a scalable vision.”



ERT GROUP The company has since established itself as

that is easy and personal for homebuyers.

a quick responder to the trends in the home-

“We’re creating an online sales portal that

specification or timeline,” says Bradley.

building market place. Its vertical integration

allows buyers to choose from predesigned

planning is huge; it’s a reiterative process.

of builder-developer, along with the forced

home plans, styles and selections that range

We allow for upgrades to fit lifestyle and

catalyst that has been Covid-19, has changed

from traditional to contemporary, and we’re

preference, but we take the headaches and

the company’s sales process to bring high-

allowing for some limited home selections

angsty decision-making away from buyers.

end design to repeatable homes in a way

that do not impact construction in regards to

Everything we offer is of the highest quality,

“In this environment, sourcing and

and our homebuyers know that from touring our houses, or learning about our company

From investment banking to legal practice, our team has a unique set backgrounds and a bevy of experiences which contribute to our culture and company success. Apart from my dad, who’s 35 years of experience and wisdom is vital to our operations, everyone here is incredibly talented, committed and under 35

through other references,” Bradley stipulates.

Adapting to change During the pandemic, Michigan was one of the few states that deemed residential construction a non-essential business. Consequently, ERT more-or-less came to a halt. However, the company was fortunate and prepared enough to keep its employees: “We realized the need to eliminate our own supply-side risk by streamlining our sales and selections process so that materials could be ordered at the start of construction, or even before, “Bradley shares.

Bradley Thomasma and Tom Thomasma

“Additionally,” Ariana continues, “we realized the need to retool our sales arsenal to allow buyers the ability to make design and selection decisions from the safety of their own home. We saw a spike in buyers looking to move to secondary markets (and out of high-priced cities with limited space and access to outdoors), and those who were looking for homes remotely. From this, we saw an opportunity to provide a service to these buyers with an intuitive design interface.” As a result, the company witnessed a massive tailwind of cost increases and time delays, which meant that it needed to “sharpen our pencils from a costing and

Brian Neeper Architecture P.C. ERT Group and Brian Neeper Architecture have partnered to create home designs for distinctive new communities in Michigan that focus on instilling a deep sense of pride in home ownership. ERT Group is willing to push forward a design first approach with an emphasis on new ideas for adding function to everyday living, with style. This collaboration results in an evolving product line of homes that aim to lead innovation yet respect time honored best practices. Brian Neeper Architecture is a full-service architecture firm with a design studio in downtown Birmingham, Michigan. The firm enjoys an emphasis on custom home design along with renovations, additions and architectural interiors. Each custom design is created through a process that focuses on listening to client’s needs and an appropriate design response to the natural site conditions. The resulting architecture is largely inspired by a creative emphasis on originality while respecting architectural traditions and context. Timeless architectural qualities such as compositional balance, proportion and fine detailing are thoughtfully considered for each project. Brian Neeper’s goal is to create distinctive designs that delight the senses, provide spaces for inspired living, and bring an imaginative spirit to life. 630 N. Old Woodward Birmingham, Michigan, 248 259-1784,



ERT GROUP sourcing perspective, as well as begin to

happy to discuss. “We completed a couple of

think about the integration of technology

really beautiful homes for some wonderful

into our company to serve buyers

clients recently. Each home was custom-

accustomed to making purchases online,”

designed by ERT and started as a spec. The

Bradley notes.

homebuyers who purchased the homes, loved the homes and designs, but had

Distinguished catalogue

some particular requests. These included

Not only does its technology innovation and

glamour items, like terraced-landscaping,

flexibility make ERT Group a stand-out name,

heated tile floors and an outdoor fireplace,

but equally so is the diversity and depth of

and functional items, like a utility sink in

knowledge embedded in the team. “From

the garage and specially-located electrical

investment banking to legal practice, our

outlets. We paired executing our designs with

team has a unique set backgrounds and a

creating a bespoke experience for our buyers.

bevy of experiences which contribute to our

We brought them into the conversation and

culture and company success. Apart from

were able to incorporate their requests, meet

my dad, whose 35 years of experience and

their needs and put together a beautiful end-

wisdom is vital to our operations, everyone

product that matched our initial vision.”

here is incredibly talented, committed and under 35,” expresses Bradley. “Tackling an old-school industry with new

detailed example of an ERT development in Metro Detroit. “We put our sticks in the

school thought, and a team that is young

ground in 2018. I had been working with my

and willing to push the envelope in an

dad, and I said to him that I was not going

innovative way is what knits together ERT’s

to build anything that was a generic, new

strong and personal company culture. We

construction commodity product or that

always start with the philosophy that we

resembled that early-2000s ‘McMansion’, and

care about the people we work with and

that I wanted to do something architecturally

for. These include our trades, vendors and

distinct and character-driven. We made

co-workers as well as our homebuyers and

the decision build what we called ‘right-

clients. We’re a company founded on hard

sized luxury’ homes, ranging from 1700

work, and a commitment to quality. It’s a

to 2500-square-feet. No one was building

way of operating that puts people first,”

ranches, or single-story homes, but we saw

Ariana says.

the shift in downsizing trend among empty-

“Internally, we maintain a company culture that follows a creed of moxie and levity. We do this with constant communication within our company, as well as through support for each other. We hold weekly meetings to discuss challenges, ideas and issues in addition to coordinating events that allow us to break free from the ‘work mentality’, and develop empathy and connection for each other on a level that transcends the job. We’re a family business, and we encourage the people at ERT to live a healthy, balanced, engaged lifestyle that prioritizes family, which in turn contributes to a healthy, supportive culture where everyone is personally invested in the business because they know the business is invested in them, their growth and wellbeing,” Ariana informs us. Bringing this melting pot of expertise together, the company has curated a distinguished catalogue of home building projects over the years, which Ariana is


Bradley then continued to provide a


nesters and the price-stretched demographic of the millennials and thought these homes

would nicely target both buyers. One trait

as a builder because we got to see how we

about us that is particularly unique is we have

impacted someone else and how what we

the capabilities to build out the concepts

built was being used and appreciated.”

of our own designs. My dad has decades

Now, as the company looks forward,

of experience in design and is incredibly

Bradley is excited to continue the legacy his

talented. So, we are able to pencil out many

grandfather began all those years ago. Most

of our own concepts and designs and then

of all, he is determined to keep growing,

work with architects that we vet to add

thriving, building beautiful homes, and

finishing touches. In this case, we partnered

having fun, regardless of possible challenges.

with highly-regarded custom architect, Brian

“The key to executing here, of course, is doing

Neeper, a local to the Metro Detroit region,

so at a price-point that’s attainable to the

to create unique home plans consistent in

upcoming younger demographic, and that’s

modern farmhouse style, a complement

a springboard for a different conversation

to the surrounding natural environment of

altogether, but needless to say, there are

the neighborhood. To this day, I don’t know

changes that need to be made from a

another builder, at least in Michigan, that has

regulatory and policy perspective.

gone out to develop a community that has

“Beyond this broad brushstroke, we have

this kind of continuous design while building

some internal compasses pointed at areas

all individual homes in line with that style.”

that we think will have significant market growth in the coming years. Mainly, we think

Future development

that single family rental is here to stay but

Ariana continues with this topic and shares

there’s a lack of transitional product serving

exchanges with customers that have been

those younger folks looking to have a home

deeply rewarding for the team, in terms of

within close proximity to a vibrant town or

witnessing the end use of ERT’s finished

community, and that’s exactly the market we

product. “Bradley and I recently visited home

want to see flourish,” he concludes. F

buyers in one of our communities and were able to catch up with them, check in and see how they were living, and enjoying their home. One homebuyer in particular invited us in and took us on a tour of her home. She explained how she utilized the space, and it

ERT Group Services: Home builders

was an extremely special experience for us MODERNHB.COM



Building with

the end in mind At 96 years old, Uniland Corporation remains family-owned and maintains the same level of passion and excitement for the homebuilding industry as it did when it was first brought to life in 1926

W 26

ith only four years to go

capabilities: completing third party general

we started opening up our business conduit

until its centennial, Uniland

contracting, new developments and the

to start earning the ability for joint venture

Corporation (Uniland) prides

renovation of multi-family communities.

partners, which successfully carried us through

itself on being an innovative

Joint success serves as the glue that has kept

the early 80s,” he says.

residential developer, says company’s Chief

the company operating for so long. “The idea

Operating Officer Aaron Rosenhaus and

is that I don’t succeed unless my colleagues

declined, Uniland seized the opportunity to

fourth-generation Rosenhaus to lead the firm.

succeed, and vice versa. So, we listen to the

pivot towards land and single-family housing

In fact, it was Rosenhaus’ great grandfather

needs of the project team members and set

development. “We would buy raw land,

who established the company in the city of

expectations early on to understand each

develop the lots, and then sell about two-thirds

Detroit. Aaron, who now works with his father

project’s unique goals,” Aaron says. “When

to other home builders, and build out the

and a supportive team, discusses Uniland’s

my grandfather came back from the second

remaining third ourselves.

best practices, and shares a few projects

World War, that’s really when this core value

that exemplify the full extent to which its

began to shine. It was under his leadership that


In the mid-80s, when the office market

“Then, when the recession hit, we found opportunity to pivot our focus towards the


best long-term value for the property and specifically the building owner.” A recent example of this is demonstrated at Uniland’s newest development, Philadelphia Haus located on West Philadelphia Street, Detroit, which started out as a dilapidated 120-year-old apartment building. Uniland re-designed the entire interior floorplan of multi-family industry, making key investments

restoration, renovation, or even developing

the building to greatly increase unit square

to grow Uniland property management,

existing structures – there are unique creative

footages, create open floor plans, add tons of

ownership and construction services,”

opportunities for us to refine our skills.

storage, and provide spaces that best meet the

Aaron says.

“We have to consider the space in which we are given to work with, for example,

needs of today’s modern tenant. “Uniland does not just build for today, we

Creative approach

when redeveloping an existing property, you

build with the future in mind. We made sure

Fast forward to 2011, when Aaron joined the

might be confined by the parameters of the

to design the building’s utility systems with

Uniland team, he continued to build upon his

physical structure, but that actually allows

the ability to easily convert it to condos by

family’s legacy by maintaining a clear vision

the opportunity for us to explore new ways

providing shut-offs, so the building can be

of the end product for each project and is a

to improve the activation of each space -

individually metered with minor adjustment

master at finding creative solutions to improve

maximizing functionality and providing a

required,” he explains.

tenant experience. “Whether we’re the sole

high-quality curated product for the intended

developers, or doing third-party development,

user - the tenant(s), all while creating the

Another example in downtown Detroit is Cathedral Towers Apartments, where, again, the MODERNHB.COM


UNILAND CORPORATION company’s ingenuity and innovation come to the forefront. “We were the construction manager at Cathedral Towers Apartments and discovered 34 granite kitchen countertops were cut too small for the project. So instead of all that material going to a landfill, Uniland redesigned the kitchens of a nearby Uniland development, Philadelphia Haus, to fit the salvaged granite that otherwise would have been thrown away. Uniland was able to minimize the impact at the Cathedral Tower Apartments renovation project while lowering a material cost for Philadelphia Haus and in turn reallocate those savings into additional value-add for Philadelphia Haus. “This is another fantastic trait of Uniland - once we’ve set our budgets, that target is concrete. So, if we come under, those additional funds are reinvested into that project, for again, a better tenant experience,” he explains.

Shared successes A major component to Uniland’s success is no secret at all: it’s the people. Across its in-house network, the business boasts a strong, transparent and supportive culture that is crucial to creating its beautiful residential environments. “I mentioned earlier the idea of joint success; this, I think, is what attracts many of our long-term employees. But it’s not just an idea, it’s about demonstrating that across our company, our supply chain, and through our relationships with our clients and partners. “We also place a massive importance on accountability, both downstream and upstream, and that’s critical to building long-term, reliable relationships with both clients, our team, and business partners.” In fact, Uniland’s company culture spurs one of the proudest data points Aaron is able to share. “Once an employee stays with us beyond that 18-to-24-month mark, we almost have zero turnover, which is remarkable in today’s age; not only in the construction industry, but in the general labor market. “When we’ve found an individual that we feel will become vital to our business, we work to make sure they feel valued and enjoy being part of our team. We put in the extra effort to maintain and really hold those relationships close to us. But in order to do that, we have to follow through on our actions by supporting and encouraging each other. “I’ll give you an example of where this really shone through: we had a project for a senior affordable housing community, in which we were contracted to renovate 60 kitchens in 60 days.



So, we’d enter an apartment unit, rip out the

“So, when final payment came, there was no

client, partner, and supply-chain perspective. He

countertops and cabinets, install new ones,

hesitation in sharing that profit with the entire

is incredibly optimistic that the company will

hook up the plumbing, and get out of there.

team. Our work is not always as easy as that,

continue to thrive in the legacy laid down by his

but when there is an opportunity to reward our

forefathers for many more years to come. F

“We scheduled this job for one kitchen per day, and we made a deal with our employees

staff for the fantastic work they do, we are not

that if we could beat that schedule but

afraid to get in the trenches alongside them,

maintain our quality, we would share in the

and then gladly share the fruits of their labor;

increased profit margins on this project, and

that’s really what we try to do every single day.”

I’m very proud to say that our crew – with no

Overall, Aaron emphasizes how proud he

elevator access in the building – were able to

is of the relationships that have been part of

renovate 60 kitchens in about 51 days.

Uniland’s journey, both from an employee,

Uniland Corporation Services: Residential builders

Crown Windows Proud Partners For over two decades, Crown Windows has proudly partnered with Uniland on projects throughout the country. As a fellow family-owned business, its team celebrates Uniland’s 96 years of quality family-leadership and business operations. Its ongoing dedication to providing unparalleled service makes it a leader in its field. As community builders for nearly a century, Uniland values quality, and Crown Windows has dedicated itself to providing the best windows for each Uniland project. Its team is focused on ensuring long-term reliability that meets the highest energy standards in the industry. Crown Windows and Uniland continue to build a reputation of quality workmanship on all of their projects by providing windows with high performance vinyl, superior thermal reinforcements, and foam filled frames that reduce the thermal transfer of heat and cold. Congratulations to Uniland on 96 years of quality, expertise, and success.




Custom design With no limits on creativity, Mike Miller Building is proud to be a residential builder that collaborates with architects, designers, and their customers to bring together their customers dream home








ike Miller was the sole

with Andy Gerecke. This partnership was

Another unique trait that has made Mike

employee of his business back

instrumental in our company growing to

Miller a highly successful residential builder

in November of 2002 when he

where we are today. Andy and I started in the

is the size of the company. “We think it is

brought together his building

building business around the same time, and

extremely important not to grow larger than

firm of the same name. “I grew the company

even worked for the same company early in

we already are. The key elements to our

from a one man show to where it is today,

our careers,” Mike declares.

success are to ensure that Andy and I are involved personally in every single home,

where we currently employ seven amazing individuals, and, depending on the year, we

Custom approach

and that we are the point of contact for our

build 15-to-20 homes per annum,” he shares

Taking into account the company’s journey,

customers. When our customers are looking

with us.

we want to know what Mike has engraved

for a custom builder to make a very large

“I was in the building business for ten years

into his business to create a name that stands

financial investment, particularly one that is

prior to starting Mike Miller Building Company.

out from its competition. To this, he responds

going to support the future of their family,

I had a very good skill set working with other

with a simple answer: custom approach.

they want to be able to communicate with

good companies, and a great background

“Anything and everything that our customers

the decision makers, and be able to solve the

to get started. It was definitely challenging

would like to do in their home, they can and

issues that may arise. The way in which we are

in my first few years of building, knowing

we’ll make it happen for them. We don’t limit

set up enables us to do that and continue to

that I was not going to have profitable years,

our customers to what types of modifications

build homes.

nonetheless I knew I needed to push through

they are allowed, and we do not limit when

in order to get to where I wanted to be.

they can and can’t do them,” he says.

“On the other hand, we have to be so cautious of how we balance our work and the

“From then on, the company continued to hit the ground running. Starting off with one home the first year, we then slowly increased to three homes a year, and for a while we were delivering about five homes a year. 2014, or thereabouts, was the tipping point for us, and we started to significantly increase the quantity of homes that we were building, and its steadily grown to where we are now, right where I’ve always wanted us to be. It was about this same time that I partnered



The beauty in what we do is that we never build the same home twice. So, when we sit down with the architects, designers, and our customers, we start with a blank canvas, and end up with a home that our customers fall in love with, and cherish for a lifetime, there is always something very special about that process

Lake Michigan Credit Union Mark Orr and Lake Michigan Credit Union are proud to partner with Mike Miller of Mike Miller Building Company. Mike’s clients often finance their beautiful custom-built homes through LMCU’s fixed-rate loan options. As Michigan’s #1 construction lender* with one of the best draw teams in the state, we believe in always doing what is right for our members, which is why so many turn to us when they are financing their homes. Mark’s 21 years of mortgage lending experience, excellent customer service, and commitment to doing things the right way have resulted in him being a trusted name in lending and awarded 2020 Banker of the Year by the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan. Contact Mark Orr today at or (734) 462-5429 and finance your new home with LMCU’s 5% down,** one-time close construction loan. *Marketrac, December 2021. ** For well-qualified borrowers. LMCU NMLS# 442967. Equal Housing Lender.




size of our company. If we had to continue

they do occur, our simple philosophy is what

a collaboration between AZD Architects,

with this approach and communicating with

would we do if this were our personal home?

and the homeowners who were very much

all our customers while building 30 or 40

How would we want it handled? This eliminates

involved in the entire process. They knew

homes a year, we wouldn’t have enough time

the business aspect and it almost always makes

exactly what they wanted, but they just didn’t

to build their homes. This is why we have

the situation quickly curable by implementing

know how to put everything together.

found that sweet spot that allows us to be on

the personal perspective, which makes for a

hand and get the job done, this is very crucial

pretty easy decision,” explains Mike.

to how we have become a ‘brand’ in the custom home industry.”

uniqueness of the land is that there is a road between the home and the lake itself. On

build the same home twice. So, when we sit

the lake side of the property, we faced a lot

down with the architects, designers, and our

of limitations as to what we could do, if there

Family culture

customers, we start with a blank canvas, and

wasn’t anything on the land prior to the

One piece of information that is consistently

end up with a home that our customers fall

build, we couldn’t do anything. Fortunately,

shared with its customers is that, on projects

in love with, and cherish for a lifetime, there

there was a very old weathered boat house.

of this size, mistakes are going to happen.

is always something very special about that

Following several meetings with the city, we

However, for Mike and Andy, finding a solution

process. Whether the home is 2000-square-

were able to construct a lake house on the

for challenges and unexpected errors comes

feet, or 12,000-square-feet, it is always very

lake side of the road, with the main house as

down to how the team would handle the

cool to be an intricate part of the process that

the backdrop. The challenges that we needed

situation if the house were their own. “When

brings their home together.”

to overcome to achieve that were abundant,

you have over 250,000 parts and pieces


“The beauty in what we do is that we never

“The land itself was a very rare find. The

An example that Mike is proud to share with

going together on a new home, and over 250

us in which his company’s best practices are

individuals involved in the building of a new

demonstrated is known as the Walled Lake

home, mistakes are almost guaranteed. When

Estate project in Michigan. “This contract was


but we had great channels with the city, and we were able to make it happen.” From what Mike has shared with us, the culture upon which his company is built

and then, following that, as long as everyone

attention to is that it was one of the first

gets their job done, we encourage flexibility.

builders in the Detroit market to employ

“We really want them to enjoy what they’re

women to work in the field as superintendents

doing, and moreover, we really want them

on its projects. “This is anything but common

to feel like they are a part of something.

in our industry, but is an initiative that we are

Wherever they are on the hierarchy or not,

incredibly supportive of,” Mike declares. “We

we want them to feel that they are just as

are also proud to be a supporter of the group

important as everyone else and that they are

Professional Women in Building, which is

an integral part of the business, because that

doing some fantastic work in its own right.”

is important to us.” This approach, he continues to describe,

As far as the future of the company is concerned, Mike is content with the size

is what kept the business going through

of the company today, and is happy to see

the past two years and the impact of the

his business remain around its current size.

pandemic. “When things started turning

However, he is determined to refine its skills

upside down, everyone was looking at

by improving every operation utilized to bring

everyone else with uncertainty. Andy and

together the perfect home. “What I’d really

I took it upon ourselves to nurture the

like to see is us continue to get better and

company. This included our employees, our

better, which has been our push for the last 24

suppliers and sub-contractors, supplying

months. We want to continue to be experts

them with all the critical information they

at this craft, and whatever can be tweaked

needed in those very uncertain times. This was

or adjusted, that’s what we’re going to do.

instrumental to maintaining trust and security

Combining this approach, with the aspects

across all of our networks. It also proved highly

that make us particularly exceptional, I see this

beneficial as when the pandemic began

business being around for a very, very long

to settle a bit, we noticed that many firms

time,” Mike concludes. F

were struggling to get people back on site, or secure projects, but for us, they gravitated to us. I feel this happned because we always make people feel comfortable working with us,” Mike expresses.

Mike Miller Building Services: Home builders

A further highly unique characteristic of the business which is certainly worth drawing seems to play a vital role in the efficiency and effectiveness of getting the job done; to which he agrees. “However, it’s simpler than it seems. Although it is difficult to find good people, through the years we have organically attracted talented and hardworking people, and I think that comes down to the fact that Andy and I run a very loose ship. What I mean by this is, we’re not a business that checks the time clock, and we’re not one to find out how long someone was out at lunch or on break. We are 100 percent family first; if someone has a personal issue they need to tend to, or a doctor’s appointment, children’s sports, those will always take priority. That’s always number one for us, MODERNHB.COM






Dream homes on-demand From designing and building brand-new dream homes to remodeling existing ones, Bloomingdale Homes delivers custom properties as unique as its clients


aving started off as a small firm

“At Bloomingdale Homes, we are

performing remodel additions,

completely different to most builders

Michigan-based company

because we are a true custom homebuilder,”

Bloomingdale Homes transitioned,

explains COO Eric Bloomingdale, one of the

early on in its journey, into the construction

core Bloomingdale family members leading

of new homes. Since then, three generations

the business. “For us, that means we deal with

of builders later, the business is 95 percent

people wanting to construct a dream home

focused on the delivery of stylish, custom

and so, over the course of 300 projects so far,

properties, and renowned for the work it

we have never built the same home twice.”


One benefit of always starting afresh and MODERNHB.COM



not using construction templates is that

The long-standing relationships

the past are really paying off and we are now

Bloomingdale can remain flexible throughout

Bloomingdale has forged with its customers,

all working together as a team to achieve the

the building process, making decisions quickly

as well as its suppliers and subcontractors,

best results.”

and whenever required. This adaptability also

have been particularly important to the

enables customers to carefully shape every

business during the last two years in light

Family values

detail of their home-in-progress.

of the challenges posed by the Covid-19

Among its latest projects, Bloomingdale has

pandemic. Even with labor shortages and

delivered entire builds complete with wine

to achieve their visions,” Co-Founder

supply chain issues dominating proceedings,

cellars and exotic hardwood floors. Focusing

John Bloomingdale declares. “Ultimately,

the trust Bloomingdale has built up with its

mainly on the Birmingham area of Michigan,

customization and unique, strong, structural

support network enabled the firm not only

the company is seeing no shortage in

builds are what have helped us gain a

to confront the difficulties of the Covid crisis,

demand for its expertise and services.

reputation across the industry. For instance,

but to overcome them.

“We work very closely with our customers

we recently sold a property in Birmingham,

“Even with the pandemic in the

“After spending a long time working in Rochester, we have been doing a lot of work

Michigan, that was already framed in, the

background, there is a building boom

in Birmingham in the last two or three years

roof was on, the windows were in, but

taking place in Michigan,” Eric says. “Great

and that has been more on the spec home

the customer wanted to add a full extra

subcontractors are picking and choosing

side of things than regular customer builds,”

bathroom in their master suite, so we

the best builders to work with and because

reports Project Manager and Co-Builder,

crunched the numbers and let them know

we have always treated our subcontractors

Lindsey Rusin. “We have a lot of people from

the cost. We were the only people who had

right, they are helping us get our work done

out of state moving to Michigan right now,

done that for the client. Everyone else he had

quicker than others. The same goes for

which is fueling the housing boom and

asked just said no upfront.”

suppliers. Our relationship building efforts in

stoking demand for our homes. At present,

DOBI Real Estate The VS Group of DOBI Real Estate in Birmingham, Michigan is the premier real estate group working with Bloomingdale Homes in the creation of remarkable luxury homes in Southeastern Michigan. Team leader, Vic Simjanoski, has perfected his approach to buying and selling luxury homes over his five years in the business. Vic has developed a team of agents, all with unique backgrounds and real estate experience, to service clients in the transaction of their next home or new construction. Under Vic’s mentorship, his team members are able to navigate the luxury home sector with the direct support of DOBI Real Estate. DOBI has developed an industry-changing approach to real estate by employing a team that works with their agents on listings, deal flow support, marketing, content creation and, social media influence. When DOBI Real Estate launched in the summer of 2018, the vision was to offer Realtors the services needed to enable growth in their business. The collective culture and workspace have much to do with that. Realtors at DOBI recognize the direct collaboration between other agents, managing brokers, agent success staff, and the marketing team directly affect the growth of their business. The staff at DOBI consider agents their clients. The VS Group utilizes this kind of support to leverage their marketing in the Birmingham area and, gaining the most attention to their listings through the social media influence DOBI has in the area. You can see why The VS Group’s mantra is ‘Above & Beyond’ with the support of the brokerage and the unmatched influence The VS Group has in the community. With each transaction, Vic exceeds his clients’ needs and expectations by treating their needs and wants as his own when searching for the perfect property or helping them secure the best deal.




create a great grow space for cultivating

Ultimately, the most important thing is that the next generation of this company is enthusiastic and ready to take it forward. I have children, Bruce has children, my sister has children, so if we keep the business healthy, they will all have a chance to lead Bloomingdale - if they want to take on that opportunity - in the future

plants or food.” Throughout all this time, and across the entirety of its portfolio, Bloomingdale has been united by its shared values and a company culture reflective of its roots as a family organization. With the Bloomingdale brothers such an active force in the shaping of the business, both now and in the past, their presence is visible in every area of the company. “Everything we do is about family,” company Treasurer Bruce Bloomingdale states. “Our lumber yard, for example, has

we are finishing up probably four or five

been established in Rochester for 100

“Even with our spec homes, customers can

years and they know us very well. Our dad

works in varying states of progress - whether

come right along and make them their own,”

is very good friends with the owner, Todd

that is waiting on permits or tearing down

Eric remarks. “We will give clients a model or

Upton, and the people that come to do

old lots.”

mold, but they really get to take it over and

our foundations, framing and contracts

change every detail until they are satisfied.

are people we have known for many years.

One of the more common design trends encountered by Bloomingdale of late has


essentials like balconies and swimming pools.

sites and we have about ten or eleven in the

“We don’t steer clear of creative ideas and

Everyone we bring on board for our projects

been the customer’s desire for space. As a

we believe that, for our clients, the world is

is proud to be working on Bloomingdale

result, basements are being built two feet

their oyster. For instance, if it’s in a customer’s

homes because they know we will treat

deeper than in the past and rooms larger.

budget and they want to turn their basement

them well and run our site smoothly.”

These adjustments are accompanied by

into a green room, we can make that happen.

a rising demand for outdoor luxury living

We can fix the water, adjust the lighting and


Bruce’s nephew, Connor Bloomingdale, is living proof of the family connection at

Bloomingdale. As a third-generation employee, the company has been part of his life since he was a teenager. “I have been working summers at Bloomingdale since I was 14 and I just started working full-time here two and a half years ago,” Connor states. “The biggest thing for me is when people walk up to us in Rochester and say, ‘Oh, you guys built that house on this street. That’s a Bloomingdale house. We like those.’ People know our work and now,

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down in Birmingham, we are starting to hear the same thing. Our work leaves an impression, and even in areas where we are just performing remodels, every house is different.”

Exciting projects for the future As a small, tight-knit family business, Bloomingdale not only benefits from close relationships within the organization, but also from a clear and united approach when it comes to the longterm future of the firm. First and foremost though, as we enter 2022, the company hopes to stay focused on its spec projects, continuing to build throughout the winter. “We always build during the winter,” John points out. “It’s a bit more challenging, but we have a couple of properties we are working on that are at the higher end of the scale and are set to reach around $4 million each. They are large, unique homes and we are very excited about moving forward with those, so we are just going to continue to build for the next two to three months and make sure they are ready for the market in the spring.” In the longer-term, Bloomingdale hopes to build upon its strong foundation, inducting the next generation of leaders like Connor and Lindsay into the business, and expanding its delivery footprint to allow more customers the opportunity to live in the home of their dreams.

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“As we’ve mentioned, we have a number

neighborhood and custom market, we see a

bed, seven bathroom property that is going

of new, multi-million-dollar homes coming

lot of future for spec homes,” Eric notes. “1230

to be amazing. It has a walkout basement

up, and whilst we are still active in the

Latham in Birmingham, for example, is a five

and backs up against the Rouge River, which makes you feel as if you are living on a trail up in North Michigan.

Next generation “Elsewhere, we are looking at new business ventures and bringing builders together to really expand on what we do,” he adds. “We want to grow our business and increase our volume. We have strong investment portfolios and I also just got my real estate license, so I am eager to get started in that area. “Ultimately, the most important thing is that the next generation of this company is enthusiastic and ready to take it forward. I have children, Bruce has children, my sister has children, so if we keep the business healthy, they will all have a chance to lead Bloomingdale - if they want to take on that opportunity - in the future.” Connor, the most recent of the new generation to forge a significant position for himself at Bloomingdale, is as optimistic about the future as Eric suggests. “2022 is looking exciting because, after a year and a half of Covid, companies are beginning to get their feet back under themselves and start work again,” he asserts. “They are going to be more efficient and the areas we are building in are becoming ever-more profitable. The quality and



individual nature of our homes remains undiminished too. One of the houses we just built on a lake is absolutely beautiful and there are features on-site there that I have never seen before. If this kind of property is a sign of things to come, then the future of this company could be sensational to say the least.” F

Bloomingdale Homes Services: Custom home builder

Dillman & Upton Bloomingdale Homes continues to be major contributor in reshaping the neighborhoods of Downtown Rochester, Michigan. As the company remodels and builds new homes, its talented architects, quality process and dedicated workforce ensure an excellent end-product for the community. As a top customer for Dillman & Upton over the last 15 years, Bloomingdale Homes has been great to work with and has helped the company be successful. Dillman & Upton is excited to see the next generation of Bloomingdale Homes keeping the company vibrant and growing into the future. Dillman & Upton is proud to be a partner with Bloomingdale Homes. It truly appreciates the relationship and wishes them tremendous ongoing success!




Making housing dreams a reality




Twenty-one years since its founding, Infinity Homes & Co. remains dedicated to providing affordable and attainable housing to communities across South-East Michigan





s one of the largest privately held

great team of about 40 employees. In the

success. “Over the years, we have developed a

homebuilding firms in South-East

beginning it was mostly about finding our

company culture that firmly believes in making

Michigan, Infinity Homes & Co.

feet; we focused on infill jobs, and built one

home ownership attainable for everybody. We

(Infinity Homes) specializes in

house at a time before selling it. Before long

try to maintain our affordability – as it’s really

high-quality single and multi-family housing.

the company started growing; it went from

important to us that the homes be accessible

The company’s dedicated founder and

one house to two houses, and so on. That’s

to a range of customers,” affirms Rino.

President, Rino Soave, started the business just

just how you grow a business.

after leaving high-school, with the vision of

“We started off pretty small, and fortunately

providing housing to everyone, at a stable and

for us we were in a good position when the

We have really been successful on the

affordable price point. Through a dedication

recession hit. We did a marketing campaign

basis that we are able to build and develop

to the best craftsmanship, investment in

that basically offered customers a brand-

communities in areas where you have good

people, and commitment to achieving

new house at a foreclosure price, so that also

access to any major freeway throughout

unparalleled customer service, Infinity Homes

helped us grow quite a bit at a time when a

Southeastern Michigan, as we want our

continues to thrive 21 years later.

majority of companies in our industry were in

homes to be well-connected, as well as of a

contraction or survival.”

high standard. Think shopping at Saks Fifth

“I started Infinity Homes just out of high school, in the year 2000. Since then we have

Avenue, but with Target Pricing.

grown to be one of the top privately-held

Affordable quality

home builders in the state of Michigan; right

On the advent of its 21st year, Infinity Homes

houses in the middle 200 range, where you

now we have about 13 active developments

has completed on over 2700 units across

still have good access to express ways round

around the South-East region,” asserts Rino.

the Michigan region. Since finding its niche

South East Michigan, a modest to good school

in the production building, and building for

district, and access to shopping malls and

rent sector, the company has seen enduring

outlets,” he adds.

From there, the company grew organically, as Rino explains: “Infinity Homes now has a


“We build affordably, and ensure our customers a high-quality home at the end.


“We have been really successful in selling


families through home ownership. “Right now

understand that property is a really important

community-driven, as the company has

Infinity Homes’ developments are

the average cost of a new home nationwide is

asset, and so we do everything we can to

always been motivated by a desire to generate

just approaching $400,000, and we are proud

remain accessible.

financial stability for working and middle class

to say we are at least $100,000 under that. We

“While it is getting more challenging to maintain affordability, given how much inflation has impacted the broader industry the last year, we have found different ways to keep our price point where it is. Sometimes that involves getting creative with things like land choices. It’s those sorts of decisions that make or break a business, really,” states Rino. This strong-held belief is a major element of Infinity Homes’ culture, which stems primarily from Rino’s personal experiences and values, as he reveals: “A lot of the company culture is derived from myself and my experiences; I started off in the business very young, and I have learnt everything along the way. This business certainly wasn’t just handed to me. It is important that I lead by example; my employees see me, and they know the hours I do and the work I put in every day.”

Talented team This resolve has created a respectful, mutually beneficial, and extremely dedicated working culture for Infinity Homes. “We look for people who are driven, motivated and willing to put in the work; everyone here is really determined to excel in their career. It’s a tough business, and very often there is a unique and high element of risk involved, not found in a lot of other industries. “When you are dealing with the retail world, you have to be really dedicated to customer



service, because it’s a very emotional purchase for any would-be buyer, and a lot goes into it.

never had to deal with before. “We had a run of sales after the lockdowns

months where we had record sales. But other complications kept cropping up; for example,

It’s the biggest investment most people are

last year, and at certain points it was great;

wait times on materials were much longer, and

ever going to make in their lives, so we have

we had a period of about four or five

inflation skyrocketed, so prices did too.

to make sure each and every home is up to that standard. “I’m always looking to find and bring onboard talented people; I have a lot of people who have worked here for a long time that started off at entry level positions, and through hard work and dedication, have propelled themselves to rise rising through the ranks. As with most things in life, it’s about what you want to make of it, and what you are willing to put into it to get there. One person, who I love to use as an example, started off in an entry level position as a receptionist in our office not knowing much about the industry at the time. She is now a key player within our business. Another individual, who started as an entry level construction laborer six years ago, is now a construction manager, and he now oversees $15 million worth of construction. That stuff is really important to me, as I get to see how these people, and their families, benefit from what Infinity Homes has become,” discusses Rino. This sense of community, and shared ambition, helped fortify Infinity Homes, as the homebuilding market was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. As Rino details: “There’s no denying that it has been a challenging time. I think a lot of companies within our industry will probably agree with me that you deal with so many different obstacles today that you MODERNHB.COM



“We were able to be successful through adaptability – it’s important to adjust your expectations according to the variable changes. I think keeping up with the increase in materials was the most challenging part; one comparison I took was between what we were paying for a lumber package in July 2020 compared to a few months ago. The price has actually gone up nearly five times, which obviously is a massive challenge for us.”

Projects for 2022 Also supporting the company through uncertain times was its strong network of industry partnerships, as Rino confirms: “We have a great trade base, including a lot of suppliers I have worked with since my earlier days, when we first started off. There is a level of comfort and accountability on both sides, so each side knows what each is responsible for. This is more important now than ever given the lack of skilled labor that is the backbone of our industry. We are one industry, despite some recent attempts and some progress made to automate construction such as 3D printing, were the methods of home building are archaic and are solely revolve around manual labor.”



As it continues to be a market leader in

the market leader in Michigan; keeping

year, Rino and his team prepare for numerous

As Infinity Homes prepares for its 22nd

the entry level and step-up housing niche of

to our core, foundational principles and,

new developments, and investment in the

South-East Michigan, Infinity Homes gears

with that vision in mind we will find new

build-to-rent sector. “We have several new

up for longer-term investment, and further

ways of adapting to the market we are in,”

projects opening up next year. There were

expansion. “In the future, I want to continue

says Rino.

two that were supposed to start earlier, but

focusing on what we do best, because there

were delayed, and so we are hoping to market

is always room to improve and a business

dedicated to creating genuine value for its

those in the Spring. We are also going to be

should never feel complacent.

customers as well as the business itself, and

starting our second and third phases on a

“Unfortunately, we have grown to the point

It is clear that Infinity Homes is a company

that dedication will no doubt take it far. As

number of developments in the new year, so

that I don’t get to interact with customers as

Rino concludes: “On a more personal note,

we probably have about four of those that we

regularly as I would like, but I have ensured

I take a lot of pride in the fact that we have

are going to be adding onto the workload.

that when it comes to my team, they always

been able to offer our customers happy

offer our customers transparency in our

homes in the end, especially over the last

the build-to-rent segment, which currently

dealings whether they like the answer

18 months. What really drives and motivates

is a fast growing segment of our business.

or not. We pride ourselves on honesty

our business is the ability to give people

We currently have about 300 units on in our

and transparency, and that has to remain

that sense of security and shelter.” F

inventory that we basically have built and now


“In addition, we will be investing further in

manage and own, so I’m excited to see where that development takes us,” he comments.

“We will also continue to provide a great product at an affordable price; it sounds simple, but it’s actually quite difficult to

Security and shelter

achieve in our industry, so we are really

With an acute understanding of trends within

dedicated to that. In addition, I would like to

the housing market, the future for Infinity

continue to grow our business, and remain

Infinity Homes & Co. Services: Entry level and step-up housing developer

Homes certainly looks bright. Ruminating on the year ahead, Rino observes: “I think 2022 will be a strong year for us, but because of some of the headwinds that on the horizon, such as rising interest rates, continued rising prices, and the continued lack of skilled labor, you always have to be cautiously optimistic. It’s great to be confident, but you have always got to brace yourself for downside risk, because that’s how a lot of people got in trouble a couple of years ago. Someone once told me when times are good it’s hard to imagine them going bad, and when they are bad it’s hard to imagine them going good again. “The industry has had a pretty good run here, especially in the last ten years or so. Coming out of the recession, up until 2013, consumers were able to buy at pricing opportunities that may not resurface again for an indefinite period of time, and it was an awesome time to purchase. Things started to stabilize around five years ago in 2015, so I am fairly optimistic about this year. There is no question that rates are going to go up, and that is going to have an impact on the market, especially with us because, to some degree, our buyers are a little bit more rate sensitive compared to someone who is purchasing a house for $500,000. That being said, I am sure we are up to the challenge.” MODERNHB.COM



Personal touch

Since 1995, Lange Building Co. has been building homes worthy of the American Dream. As it celebrates 25 years in business, the company continues to offer unparalleled service, with a personal touch


s a service-orientated company,

known for its attention to detail, and stunning

I often assist my rough and finish carpentry

Lange Building Co. strives to

portfolio of homes.

crews to assure the project is executed to my

exceed customer expectations of the building and remodelling


“I am the owner and operator of the Lange

standard of excellence. I am usually onsite

Building Company. I only take on a select

to answer any questions that my customers

process time and again. As owner and

number of projects each year, and I personally

or trades may have. Being available to

President of the company, Chris Lange takes

oversee each one,” asserts Chris. “I have an

make changes on the fly, and provide clear

a hands-on approach that is as unique as the

extensive background in finish carpentry that

interpretations of the plans, ensures that the

homes he produces. A testament to Chris’

provides me with an exceptional attention to

possibility of re-work and do overs is minimal,”

hard work and expertise, Lange Building Co. is

detail. I am a hands-on general contractor, and

he reveals.



Having worked in the finish carpentry

additions, unique finished lower-level projects,

included the removal of our customer’s

business for years, Chris established Lange

and upscale kitchen and bath renovation

existing home, and the construction of a new

Building Co. in 1995. The company has

projects,” Chris confirms.

‘Super Custom Home’ on the same site.”

extended reach to emerge as one of the

Team collaboration

Building continues to grow, with an emphasis

leading high-end designers of bespoke

The company started to see rapid growth as

on the company’s ability to combine personal

homes and renovations in the Midwest. “We

the result of a major project in 2014, as Chris

taste with the latest trends. One recent project

specialize in high-end custom home building

details: “One of our key milestones was the

that highlights Lange Building’s unique ability

and renovation projects. We also do larger

completion of a $6 million project. The project

to create bespoke spaces that ooze with

since converted into an LLC and used its

Now celebrating 25 years of success, Lange



LANGE BUILDING CO. contemporary style is the ‘New York Loft’, as Chris states: “The ‘New York Style Loft’ was an idea that stemmed from my customer’s former residence in New York City. My customer wanted to create a space in the lower-level walk-out area of their home that had the ‘New York City feel.’ They hired Young and Young Architects of Bloomfield Hills, MI to execute the necessary plans and elevations to create this space. Young and Young set Project Architect, Chris Harrington and Designer, Megan Run sat on the task to collaborate with me and the customer to create the space they had imagined.

Trends and tastes “As you enter the new space the Statue of Liberty mural to your right grabs your attention. The staircase has been replaced with black powdercoated steel stairs, which are clad with hardwood steps by Northern Staircase, and a wood-capped steel handrail replaces the original closed wall stairwell. A cityscape mural by Matt Finish Murals runs the length of the wall in both directions. “At the bottom of the stairs, you can head towards the entertainment center or into the service area of the radius bar, which has a radius overhead trellis detail. The trellis, posts and beams are made of reclaimed barn lumber, locally sourced from Reclaimed Michigan. The bar countertops are concrete, formed and cast on site by Line Studio Detroit, and the vertical face of the bar is made of weathered corrugated steel panels. “The entertainment center cabinetry, by Aria Cabinetry, is clad in black metal with a large screen tv mounted over a linear gas fireplace from Bourlier’s Fireplace Inc. A pair of Rustica Barn Doors lead into a mirrored work-out room and the other two barn doors close off the mechanical rooms. The ceiling is blacked-out with the exception of a white painted slatted detail that runs the length of the room, to give the ceiling an interesting contrast of color and texture. “Around the back side of the stairs is a full bath with a subway tiled shower and a floating vanity with LED backlighting above and below. Near the bar, a subway exit sign leads you to the custom built-in cabinetry, which flanks both sides of the door that heads onto the patio area and overlooks the lake. With the help of the owners, the architect, the designer and all the trades that collaborated with me on this job, we created a space that exceeded the customer’s expectations.” The ‘New York Loft’ concept was drawn from contemporary trends in interior design and



colored by the client’s own interests and

limestone window surrounds, quoin corners

desires. This level of service is standard with

and a bullnose belt detail - all custom made to

stylish homes under its belt, it is no surprise that

Lange, as Chris discusses: “We encourage our

match the existing home,” he elaborates.

Lange Building Co. has continued to see success

customers to engage with current trends in

These projects are centered on the client’s

With such a vast portfolio of ambitious and

despite the turbulence of the last few years.

the housing market, but also to implement their

needs, as Chris asserts: “The attention to

Stepping confidently into 2022, the company

own ideas, to create a space that is relevant to

detail on this project was paramount as

seeks out exciting new projects, as it continues

current styles and unique to their own tastes.

the customer is a GM Engineer and former

to create high-end, high-quality homes.

“We also promote energy efficient designs

plant manager for many of GM’s truck

“The last couple of years have been difficult

and construction methods, as an investment

plants. Working for a person that deals in

for everyone on multiple levels. We are not out

in our planet that also allows the client to

thousandths of an inch is an opportunity to

of the woods yet, but I believe if we all work

mitigate future energy costs. A tight building

put to test my own level of commitment to

together, we can make the world a better

envelope, high efficiency insulation such as

precision and excellence.”

place to live. At Lange Building Co., we will

closed cell foam and high-quality windows

The incredibly high level of quality achieved

continue to provide high quality products

and doors, such as Marvin or Pella and

on all Lange Building Co. projects would not

to our valued customers, by treating each

Anderson, are recommended to create a

be possible without the company’s network

project as if it were our own personal home,”

comfortable home that is energy efficient.”

of efficient and knowledgeable suppliers, as

concludes Chris. F

Chris confirms: “With supplier and contractor

Customer relationships

relationships spanning more than 30 years,

Another project that is emblematic of Lange’s

Lange Building Co. has built solid partnerships

ambitious designs and stylish flair is the ‘Man-

with trusted vendors and contractors. These

Cave’, a site which Chris personally oversaw

relationships have created a smooth pathway

in order to ensure the highest level of detail,

to our shared goal of creating the best

accuracy and quality. “The ‘Man Cave Project’ is

possible product.”

Lange Building Co. Services: Custom home builder

a 1750-sq-ft car garage, otherwise known as the ‘Summer Party Room’,” explains Chris. “The building was connected to the existing home with a 30-foot-long open-air breezeway that created a large courtyard, which we then paved in exposed aggregate concrete. The connection allowed this large new structure to fit in with the existing home that already had an auxiliary garage attached with a portico. The interior and exterior finishes of the ‘Man Cave’ matched the high-end appointments of the customer’s home. “The exterior walls were two by eight, which allowed for optimum insulation as the building was heated with a radiant tube heater and prepped for future installations of Mini-Split A/C units. Three large ceiling fans keep the air circulating for summer and winter use. Linear LED lighting fills the space with plenty of bright light for any technical work, while the lighted ceiling fans and wall sconces can be used for a softer lighting atmosphere. “There is a sitting area with a bay window, large screen tv and sound system, a full bath with tiled shower and a wash tub outside the bath to take care of any dirty working hands. The sitting area was also mechanically prepped for a future kitchen if desired. The exterior finish was brick, to match the existing home, which was built 20 years prior to this addition. The front elevation included MODERNHB.COM




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