It takes vision to be able to look at a house, know it’s not what you want, then buy it anyway.
That’s exactly what Joey Balsitis, Jr., Owner and CEO of Balsitis Contracting in Lake Geneva, did. It might seem strange that someone who owns a contracting company would choose to remodel, rather than build his own creation from scratch. But he had his reasons: Like everything in real estate, it’s location, location, location. Balsitis is a resident of Williams Bay. “It’s a great place to be and a great place to raise a family,” he shares. It also happens to be close to the office where he and his staff run an established and growing company.
“I knew before even looking at different properties that my wife and I would be remodeling to make it our own,” says Balsitis. The lot they chose is decent sized, and originally housed a 1900s cottage of about 1,200 square feet. “There was no centralized heating and cooling system and it had dated oak cabinets. Every room was closed off,” he added. And there was an array of color on the walls, including pink, gray, blue, and black. No real flow from room-to-room. He estimates it had last been renovated over two decades ago.
“It’s a great place to be and a great place to raise a family.”
It’s pretty obvious that for a builder of dream homes, the look and feel of this particular building just wouldn’t work. “There were three extremely small bedrooms, only one bathroom,” he recalls. For parking, there was a single, detached garage, unable to accommodate the several vehicles owned by the family.
So, in spring of ’21, they began work on the main part of the house. “We took the house down to the studs and even rearranged the floor plan,” he says. Almost doubling the size, the home went from three small bedrooms and one bath to two larger bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms. “Not a single thing from the original house remained, other than the exterior walls,” says Balsitis.
Although this was already a major improvement, they’re not done yet. Balsitis is currently working on a second phase that will add a master suite and office to the back of the house. The larger revamped house provides his family room to grow.
The Balsitis family enlisted KCF Designs to help with the project, and they couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome. “Everything was selected with great attention to detail. From backsplash to flooring,” Balsitis explains. Now, there’s built-in cabinetry to hold electronics, as well as an electric fireplace. A beamed family room adds a custom touch to complete their cozy lake home feel.
In four years, Balsitis Contracting has completed a vast array of full custom-built homes, renovations and additions. They’re known for their work around Lake Geneva, but their influence can be felt from the North Shore of Chicago up to Milwaukee. As a Wisconsin native, Joey Balsitis has his pulse on the Upper Midwest. Balsitis Contracting has their own in-house carpentry crew, project manager, and coordinators. They have solid relationships with their subcontractors and vendors. Their work is high-end, so they make sure to work with companies that meet that expectation. These partners are hand-picked, offering some of the best-of-the-best designs in the country.
“Our team spends countless hours reviewing, finalizing and detailing to ensure it is everything our clients want in a dream home.”
“When we founded Balsitis Contracting, we immediately decided we would conduct all of our business with total transparency,” Balsitis says. That includes an online portal with photos and videos of each project’s progress. Likewise, all invoices are shared. Before a project is started, there is a lengthy, 160-point questionnaire that helps the company understand very clearly what their client wants. To top it all off, the firm is a member of the Lakeland Builders Association, The Wisconsin Builders Association, and the National Association of Home Builders.
Not All Work
If there’s one word to describe the Balsitis family, it’s active. Joey’s wife Chloe is a nurse and volunteer EMS for Williams Bay, so between her, Joey, and their two-year-old son Hank, life is busy. When not at work or school, the family enjoys the outdoors, including all that lake-living offers. Walks and spending time on the beach are some of their favorite activities. Having a great home to return to is the icing on the cake.
Written by: Chrysta Smith
Photography by: Aliza Baran