Lowell Custom Homes
Best New Home Builder and Best Remodeler
Company President Scott Lowell founded his namesake business in 1981, with a simple philosophy: “to create a personal approach to home building with quality craftsmanship.” The company provides a range of exterior and interior services throughout all areas of the home. With 35 years of experience, the company has earned a reputation for building and maintaining relationships with their customers, which often span multiple generations. Listening to the homeowners is Lowell Custom Homes’ key strategy to bringing the customer’s vision to life.
Lowell’s team consists of an AIA architect, an interior designer and a project management staff. Over the years, Lowell Custom Homes has achieved a number of milestones, including membership to the Lakeland Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders in 2000. More recently, the business placed first in the 2014 Lakeland Builder Association Parade of Homes competition, under the category of “best elevation.”
Location: 401 Geneva National Ave. South, Lake Geneva, WI
lowellcustomhomes.com | 262-245-9030
Best New Home Builder
This family-owned company is behind a number of residential developments within McHenry, Poplar Grove and Richmond, Ill., as well as Williams Bay, Wis. At the company’s home base of McHenry, Gerstad Builders has built such housing communities as the Abbey Ridge Townhomes, Chesapeake Hills, Timber Trails, Waters Edge and Winding Creek, among others, all from the ground up. The business, which has roots stretching back to 1985, is built on “a foundation of quality, value, integrity and experience.”
Location: 2703 Bush Terrace, McHenry, IL
gerstadbuilders.com | 815-385-4495
Best Remodeler and Best New Home Builders
This Walworth County business has been serving area homebuilders for nearly half a century. Founder Stan Stebnitz established the business in 1972, initially with general carpentry work and occasional additions. Over time, their services expanded as Stan’s three sons — Dave, Gary and Dan — joined the company. Today, the Stebnitz family and their employees specialize in providing remodeling services throughout the interior and exteriors of homes. According to Dan Stebnitz, who serves as the production advisor and estimator, the company’s goal is to “always do what’s right, provide service like you expect to be served and never walk away from a project.”
Location: 204 Commerce Court, Suite No. 3, Elkhorn, WI
stebnitzbuilders.com | 262-723-7232
Innovative Home Concepts
This second-generation, family-owned and operated company provides a range of services, including decks, entry doors, gutters, gutter protection, roofing, siding, sunrooms and window replacement. President and Founder Rhett Whilborn has been in the home improvement business his entire professional life. His father, Terry Whilborn, established the business in 1974, and Rhett took the reins of the business in 1993 when Terry retired. Innovative Home Concepts’ “crown jewel” is the InnoMaxx window product, which is made of a composite cellular PVC.
Location: 4410 Illinois 176 Highway, Suite 1, Crystal Lake, IL
innovativehomeconcepts.com | 815-356-9020
Best Home Builders
With more than 500 projects in its portfolio, this company has carved out a niche by bringing to life a full range of homes, from small cottages to large estates. Engerman also offers services for a number of home renovation projects, such as decks, screened porches and lower-level build outs. The company has a total of three divisions: a design studio, contracting and property acquisition. Staffers within the latter scout out vacant properties poised for future residential development. In addition to its own in-house contractors, Engerman has in place a deep bench of subcontractors.
Location: W3411 Linton Road, Lake Geneva, WI
engermancontracting.com | 262-248-9210
Best Home Builders
This local homebuilder specializes in new home construction and luxury remodels. The company provides its clients with award-winning experience and expertise in building and design. Because of the deep well of knowledge within Jorndt Fahey, the company typically provides all of its services in-house, from the design through construction phases. Remodeling projects run the gamut, from room-specific overhauls in kitchens, great rooms, master suites, bathrooms and other areas to an entire home. Jorndt Fahey’s service area includes Delavan, Lake Geneva, Williams Bay and surrounding areas.
Location: 168 Elkhorn Road, Williams Bay, WI
jorndtfahey.com | 262-607-6121
Best Home Builders
Founder John Matustik’s namesake business, established more than 30 years ago, includes a team of architects, designers, subcontractors, suppliers and other leading professionals. According to the company’s website says the collective contributions results in creating livable, workable and flexible spaces that meet the needs and inspirations of our clients.” The company’s goal is to maintain custom, personalized service, while being the builder of choice for custom homes. Matustik serves the Greater Lake Geneva area, in addition to western Kenosha County and other portions of southern Wisconsin.
Location: 672 W. Main St., No. 533, Lake Geneva, WI
matustikbuilders.com | 888-840-9947
Geneva Cabinet Company
Best Interior Design
They might be one of many features within a home, but the designers at Geneva Cabinet Company say their expertise can put the perfect finishing touch in any room, including bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens. “The right cabinetry will support your daily activities and active lifestyle,” the company says on their website, and they would know. Geneva Cabinet Company offers visitors a glimpse of its products and services via a showroom and also has available on-site appointments.
Location: 201 Geneva National Ave. South, Lake Geneva, WI
genevacabinet.com | 262-245-9600
Paper Dolls Home Furnishings and Interiors
Best Interior Design
Since its founding in 1986, Paper Dolls has undergone a series of changes and evolutions. Today, under the ownership of Kristi Hugunin, it serves as a full-fledged home furnishings and accessories business, as well as a design center and floral department. The company’s retail store specializes in competitively priced fine furnishings and also features a rotating array of luxurious room settings. The goal of the designers at Paper Dolls is to create custom pieces that range from “inspiring” to “inviting.”
Location: 138 E. Geneva Square, Lake Geneva, WI
paperdollsinteriors.com | 262-248-6268
Heritage Beam & Board
Best Interior Design
Heritage Beam & Board is a boutique furniture company located just east of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, in a barn on Seth Hanson’s hobby farm. Started by Hanson and his longtime friend, Adam Krauklis, Heritage’s day-to-day operations are run by Seth and Adam’s wife, Emily Krauklis, along with other family and friends. Before becoming the nine-person company they are today, they began by selling their unique handcrafted furniture pieces at flea markets like Chicago’s Randolph Street Market and the Kane County Flea Market in Illinois.
Heritage has two locations. The first is Heritage South, a leased barn on Loveland Road in Elkhorn. The two-story structure includes a showroom downstairs and a meeting place for clients upstairs. The showroom floor serves to give clients ideas, but most of Heritage’s work—such as their tables, floors, fireplace mantles, countertops, and frames, are custom designed to fit each client’s specific needs.
Location: W2644 Loveland Rd., Elkhorn, WI
heritagebeamandboard.com | 262-757-8199
Best Interior Design
The business specializes in retail and professional interior design services and, through its store, offers a selection of home accessories and gifts. Founder Lynne Wickham began her namesake establishment in 1982 and, throughout her career, has managed and designed a number of projects, including churches, commercial bank buildings, condominiums, country clubs, doctor’s offices, lakefront homes, model homes, offices and residential estates.
Location: 67 N. Williams St., Crystal Lake, IL
wickhaminteriors.com | 815-455-6202
Brick & Mortar Home and Outdoor
Best Interior Design
This family-owned and operated business features a variety of unique and cutting-edge interior design pieces. The company’s website states, “Our vignettes are indeed timeless, as well as fashionable, to accentuate the look of any room in your home.” Local designers offer their take on a variety of decorative pieces, living room ensembles, and accent pieces designed to complete the look of homes. Brick & Mortar was established in 2009 with an interior focus. Four years later, the business evolved to include an outdoor component to its list of services.
Location: 222 Center St. and 832 Geneva St., Lake Geneva, WI
brickandmortarhome.com | 262-249-0530 or 262-249-0210
With over 30 years of industry experience, family owned and operated Adams Electric offers all-in-one electrical solutions for homes and business in Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Founded in 1988, the company is guided by hard work, integrity and exceptional standards, which have earned them the trust of the customers they serve. Adams Electric specializes in highly complex industrial, commercial, farm and residential applications and standby power generators. The team’s highly trained staff provides 24/7 emergency response and promises attentive support while maintaining the highest of safety standards for their customers.
Location: 801 N. Wisconsin St., Elkhorn, WI
adamspower.com | 262-723-6565
Peck & Weis: Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, Electric
Best Plumber and Best Electrician
This service provider has roots in the region stretching back six decades with more than half of them under the Peck & Weis moniker. The company’s mission statement is to “offer the highest quality products and service to ensure your home or business runs smoothly and safely.” Peck & Weis has on staff a factory-trained team of technicians and installers for its range of heating, ventilation and air conditioning services. Experts are also available to assist with indoor and outdoor lighting, generators and other electrical needs, as well as to address new plumbing and installations, repairs and routine maintenance for drains, sinks and water heaters.
Location: 2506 Crest Drive, Lake Geneva, WI
peckandweis.com | 262-248-6836
Black Diamond Plumbing and Mechanical
Best Electrician and Best Plumber
Black Diamond Plumbing & Mechanical, Inc. is a family-operated company based in McHenry, Illinois, which supports their customers in their plumbing, electrical or HVAC needs. Founded in 1999, Rick Sperando and Scott Underwood have built the company’s continued success based on three simple principals: always answering the phone, doing what they say they will do and surrounding themselves with the best people. Servicing the greater Chicago suburbs, the team’s 50 professionals believe in going above the call of duty and will do whatever it takes to ensure their customer’s complete satisfaction. In addition to providing top-notch customer service, Black Diamond also focuses on giving back to the local community through participation in various organizations and events.
Location: 1400 Miller Pkwy, McHenry, IL
blackdiamondtoday.com | 866-627-3788
B&J Tree and Landscape Service
B & J Tree & Landscape is a locally owned and operated company that began in 1959 and initially specialized in the trimming, removal and planting of trees. Growing from there, the business has have expanded to include additional outdoor living needs for both residential and commercial properties. Their focus is landscape maintenance, as well as mowing, weeding, raking and general spring and fall cleanup. B & J can also handle fertilization, moving trees and disease control. The landscape design team is known for their ability to design and installing retaining walls, patios, planters, brick work and more. Not only does B&J Tree and Landscape Service work year-round, they even provide snow removal services during the winter season.
Location: W2795 Krueger Rd, Lake Geneva, WI
bandjlandscape.com | 262-248-3653
Lofy Landscaping LLC
For more than 15 years, Lofy Landscaping LLC, has been serving Walworth County with lawn maintenance, mowing, fertilizing, weeding and mulching, as well as plowing and snow removal. Started by Kevin Lofy, the company started as a means to help pay for college. After completing his education, he made the decision to continue working with his clients and focused on growing Lofy Landscaping simply because he enjoyed the work. The passion he has for his clients has allowed him to build long-lasting relationships—which he believes to be the most rewarding aspect of the business.
Location: 155 N Cranberry St., Elkhorn , WI
facebook.com/lofylandscapingllc | 262-745-7131
The Barn Nursery and Landscape Center
With more than 40 years of experience in Northwestern Illinois, the Barn Nursery is a full-service garden center and landscape company. A drive past the Cary-based location provides onlookers with an array of colors from the hundreds of thousands of annuals offered.
With 10 acres of plants in the garden center, there is something for everyone, including trees, shrubs, exotic plants, house plants, annuals, perennials, and more. In addition to these plants, the Barn Nursery also carry items such as bagged or bulk mulch and stone, as well as outdoor décor items like pots, wind chimes or even wild bird supplies. The Barn Nursery also provides landscaping items to transform outdoor areas.
The main goal of the Barn Nursery is to provide top quality materials and superior service. Whether it’s pools, patios or even fire pits, the professional landscape design team is always available to create something custom, functional and beautiful. Their services include planting and delivery for green goods, as well as bulk mulch delivery and spreading, sod stripping and clean up services that include full-service spring clean ups. If customers wish to create a more personalized layout, they are welcome to work with the team, request garden consultations and participate in design creation.
Location: 8109 S Rte 31, Cary, IL
barnnurserylandscape.com | 847-658-3883
Rock Solid Builders
Best Deck Builder
Rock Solid Builders, Inc., a McHenry County based premier deck builder, specializes in not only custom decks, but also pergolas, gazebos and screen rooms. The goal is to transform ordinary backyards into something extraordinary. In addition to outdoor projects, the company is also happy to bring the vision indoors for projects like transforming unused basement spaces into usable living areas.
Because they understand that investing in a home improvement project is an important decision, Rock Solid Builders makes a point of treating every customer like family. They walk customers through the entire project, from inception to completion, so that once done, the space can be enjoyed for years to come. Servicing McHenry County for more than a decade, the company can also travel over the state line for their Wisconsin clients, especially in the regions of Lake Geneva or Twin Lakes. The company is certified as a TrexPro® Platinum Contractor, the highest recognition level for demonstrated ability and expertise when it comes to building and designing outdoor living projects with Trex® products.
Location: 4131 W. Orleans St., McHenry, IL
rocksolidbuildersinc.com | 815.363.7133
Thank you to all of the businesses who provided their photographs to include in this feature.