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"Greg and his trusted team were a valuable resource throughout our building process. He was onsite everyday making sure all tasks were completed on time and completed correctly. He was very approachable and made any vision that my wife and I had come to life. Our building process would not have been as enjoyable as it was without Greg and his team."
- Chad Greenway
L. Cramer Designers & Builders is a BBB Accredited Home Builder in Edina, MN

Exterior Spaces to Connect your Twin Cities Custom-Built Interior to the Splendors of Summer

As residents in the Twin Cities, we can’t get enough of summer. After we endure the brutal, unrelenting, winter months of Minnesota—summer is payoff. Schools out, the days are long, and our outdoor spaces become utilized once again. Here a few features L. Cramer incorporates in our custom homes and remodeling projects to enhance the warmer season.

Decks & Patios

Decks and patios are both versatile transition spaces and essential architectural features. The process of design and site analysis will guide whether an upper deck is appropriate, a wrap around veranda is feasible, or an elaborate stone patio can be accessed on-grade through French doors. These spaces can vary between a small space to greet the day off an owner’s suite to an extensive area for large furniture groupings, tables, fire pits, or fireplaces.

Sunrooms

With large windows and comfortable furnishings, sunrooms enhance indoor comfort with the beauty and views of the outdoors. Usable year round, sunrooms offer a relaxing, separate space to provide a retreat. Whether you open up the windows to let in the warm summer breeze or keep everything closed in case of high humidity or allergy concerns, these light-filled spaces celebrate the interior/exterior connection.

Outdoor Kitchens

For the ultimate outdoor entertainment space, many L. Cramer custom-built and remodeled homes feature an outdoor kitchen. A variety of options include outdoor refrigeration, sinks, beverage storage, pizza ovens, and multi-burner grills and cooking equipment. Outdoor entertainment is one of the highlights of Minnesota summer evenings and weekends with family and friends—an outdoor kitchen maximizes the ease and enjoyment of flipping burgers and steaks, dishing up salads, and serving up pitchers of lemonade.

 Pergolas and Gazebos

Many L. Cramer custom-built homes and remodels also feature attached pergolas or stand alone gazebos to enhance outdoor spaces. These outdoor amenities also are opportunities for architectural expression and can accommodate large seating and entertaining areas. These types of exterior spaces can also provide some shelter from the hot sun while allowing enjoyment of an outside environment.

There are many ways to enhance the enjoyment and architecture of your L. Cramer home throughout the seasons. The Twin Cities custom home building team at L. Cramer would be happy to translate your dreams into the spaces you enjoy winter, spring, summer or fall.  Contact us at (952) 935-8482 to begin your home building or remodeling journey today.

Spring Checklist for Your Luxury Home in the Twin Cities, MN

You perform regular cleaning and maintenance to keep your custom home looking its best, but as the winter gives way to warmer weather, your custom built home needs a little extra attention for a successful transition. Courtesy of the L. Cramer luxury homebuilders, the following are a few items that should be on your spring home checklist this season.

Clean the Fireplace: Your fireplace is a beautiful and functional element of your custom-designed home. However, if you have a wood-burning fireplace, it needs regular cleaning, and spring is the perfect time to give it some extra care. An annual inspection is advised to look at the heating venting systems, the chimney, and the flue. This will ensure your fireplace remains in good condition to warm your home when cool weather returns.

Inspect the Exterior: The winter snow can both hide and cause a variety of issues around your luxury home. For example, the freeze/thaw cycle in Minnesota can impact the stone or paved paths on your property. If you see any cracks or damage that may make the paths unsafe or in need of repair, let your landscaper know. Also, the winter weather can cause damage to your roof that may not be obvious. Walking your property to check for damaged paths and doing a spot check of your roof helps you catch problems before they become bigger.

Wash the Windows: It’s common for dirt to build up on your windows over the winter months. Scheduling your window washer to clean away the grime allows your windows to function as energy efficiently as possible, plus, you will have a clear view of long-awaited blue skies and spring sunshine.

Spring HVAC Inspection: We highly recommend a spring HVAC inspection and cleaning to maximize your unit’s energy efficiency and useful life. The HVAC contractor will checking thermostats, major and minor components, clean the units, and ensure the settings are correct for warmer season ahead.

If you’re looking to bring your luxury home to life this spring, contact the professional building team at L. Cramer.

If you would like to begin your custom home building or remodeling project, we will be happy to help craft your dream from conception to completion.

Call us today at (952) 935-8482.

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Designing the Kitchen in Your Twin Cities Luxury Home

The kitchen is the heart of your Twin Cities luxury home. It’s not just the prime location for meal preparation, but also for dining, entertaining, and quality time with the family. Designing your custom kitchen is exciting, but with all of the little details, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. The professionals at L. Cramer are here to help. When planning your dream kitchen, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. How Will I Use My Kitchen?

The heart of your home serves different purposes, so it’s important for your kitchen design to accommodate your lifestyle. Do you want seating at the island to allow kids to grab breakfast or snacks? Will you primarily be entertaining? Do you need extra elbow room for more than one cook? Do you want your kitchen to open to a family gathering spot, or do you prefer a separated kitchen? The answer to these questions and many other questions will help our team tailor the space to your needs.

  1. What are the Priorities?

You’ve assembled a list of elements you’d like to see in your custom kitchen. Have you been dreaming of a large walk-in pantry, or a professional grade stainless steel range with gas burners and a grill? Go through this wish list and identify items you have always dreamed of. When we know your priorities, we are able to help create the space that will enhance your every day.

  1. What’s My Style?

It can be difficult to pin down your individual style, especially when different elements from a variety of styles speak to you. Maybe you love the sleek look of modern kitchens, but you’re also drawn to the striking colors found in eclectic kitchens. While you can mix different style elements, finding the common thread amongst what appeals to you will help to form the rest of your kitchen’s design. L. Cramer and the team of architects, and designers, will synthesize your magazine clippings, Houzz ideabooks, and other inspirational materials to identify your unique style.

The answers to these 3 questions are a good place to start on your custom kitchen design. Are you ready to make your dream kitchen a reality? Contact Greg Jurvakainen at L. Cramer today at (952) 935-8482. From design to conception, the L. Cramer team will translate your vision until your Twin Cities luxury home is realized. View our portfolio to see what we can do for you!

 

 

Marrying Form & Function- Designing Your Dream Laundry Room for Your Custom Home in the Twin Cities

One of the best parts about building a custom home is working through the details of each space to ensure it works for your everyday life. For example, the laundry room. While it’s not a home’s most glamorous space, it is well used. When designing your dream laundry room, it’s important to consider the following.

Consider the Location

Some of our clients want to locate their laundry room on the main floor, allowing easy access from the main living spaces. Even if the bedrooms are upstairs and laundry baskets are carried up and down, this location works best for them. Sometimes, when it works in a plan, a well-placed laundry chute can be a handy feature. Other clients prefer to have the laundry room close to the owner’s suite, or in the owner’s closet, especially in a plan with one level living. In other cases, a two-story home with bedrooms up, for example, many of our clients prefer to place the laundry space upstairs between the bedrooms. There is no right or wrong, just preference and lifestyle.

Durable Materials

The laundry room is one of the hardest-working rooms in your Twin Cities custom home, which means it needs to be able to withstand everything you can throw at it. We recommend using the same types of materials found in bathrooms. Stone or quartz countertops make it easy to wipe up spills, and the smooth surfaces prevent clothes from snagging while folding. Also, durable materials will resist damage from bleach and detergents, so your laundry room stays stylish and functional for years to come.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun

Even though many first think of the great room or kitchen when they imagine building their custom home, the hardworking laundry room can also be a great space to use fun wallpaper, paint color, and interesting tile layout. Why not ensure your laundry room is a pleasant space to spend time in?

The professional team at L. Cramer can help you achieve the perfect blend of style and functionality for all the spaces in your custom home. To discuss your custom home, call us at (952) 935-8482 to schedule your consultation today.

Creative Uses for Brick in Your Twin Cities, MN Luxury Home

Brick, traditionally made from clay, is a timeless, natural material that can enhance our Twin Cities, MN custom home. It is durable, versatile, and can easily be incorporated into a variety of aesthetics. From rustic to modern—there are a variety of ways to incorporate brick into your luxury home.

Embrace Brick’s Authenticity: Reclaimed brick that varies in color and shows its age adds another dimension of character to a space. It can accent a modern design or bring authenticity to a rustic or retro space.

Add Texture and Detail: Brick may seem like a straightforward building material, but it can be very flexible in its uses. Consider using brick to add texture or movement to the outside of your luxury home. For example, use brick to create a pattern on the outside of your home, or include brick corner quoins to add depth to your home.

Use Archways to Give Spaces Significance: Brick can have a grandiose effect when used as an archway. Whether it be an actual arched doorway or an archway detail in a wall, the natural curve of the brickwork will create a focal point and help to distinguish a space as significant.

Temperature Control: Beyond its aesthetic potential, brick has special temperature controlling properties that Twin Cities, MN homeowners can appreciate. Throughout the day, the brick will absorb the sun’s heat. As the temperature drops at night, that heat will be released. This helps the brick naturally regulate the temperature in your home.

Thanks to its versatility and mix of form and function, brick has withstood the test of time and continues to be a favorite building material for homeowners. The design/build team at L. Cramer Builders + Remodelers can help you find the best ways to incorporate brick into your luxury home. To get started today, contact us at (952) 935-8482.

6 Tips for Keeping the Stainless-Steel Appliances in Your Twin Cities, MN Luxury Home Looking New

Stainless-steel appliances are a great addition to your luxury kitchen in the Twin Cities, MN. They’re sleek, stylish, and seamlessly fit in with any style, from contemporary to traditional. To keep your stainless-steel appliances looking their best, however, requires regular cleaning. The luxury home builders at L. Cramer want to help you get the most out of your custom-built kitchen. Here are a few of our favorite stainless-steel cleaning tips:

  1. Remember the Basics: When it comes to cleaning stainless-steel appliances, there are a lot of ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts,’ depending on the type of stainless-steel. Some cardinal rules include avoiding the use of abrasive cloths or sponges, never use cleaners containing chlorine or chloride, and always clean with the grain of your stainless-steel.
  2. Remove Knobs: Removing knobs or other attachments from your appliances will let you get into all of the nooks and crannies and achieve a more thorough clean. Dirt and grime like to build-up in those hard-to-reach areas. If left untreated, buildup can damage your appliances.
  3. Prevent Oxidization: Overtime, the stainless-steel appliances in your luxury home can oxidize, leaving behind an unsightly film that dims their shine. To fight this, we recommend using a mixture of pumice powder and water. Once you’ve mixed the two, apply the resulting paste to your appliances, making sure to follow the grain of the metal. When you’ve finished, rinse with warm water.
  4. Clean Handles Weekly: Your appliances’ handles are used the most, therefore they need to be cleaned the most frequently. We recommend using a microfiber cloth. This will leave a thorough, streak-free clean.
  5. Don’t Forget the Stove Hood: A stainless-steel stove hood is a great way to make a statement in any kitchen, however, they’re a prime location for dust and grease to accumulate. Unfortunately, the thick mixture of dust and grease can make them particularly difficult to clean. To maintain the appearance of your stove hood, it should be cleaned weekly with rubbing alcohol. Simply spray the rubbing alcohol on a cloth and wipe down the hood.
  6. Test Before Use: There are many DIY and retail solutions for keeping your stainless-steel appliances clean. Before using any of them, however, test clean a small area. This will reveal whether or not the cleaning solution will achieve your desired results and prevent overall damage of your appliances.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your stainless-steel appliances looking like new. Is it time to renovate your luxury home’s kitchen? Contact the expert designers and builders at L. Cramer at (952) 935-8482. Proudly serving residents of the Twin Cities, MN, we’ll help you bring your dream kitchen to life.

What to Consider When Choosing Hardwood Floors for Your Custom-Built Twin Cities Home

Hardwood flooring is a timeless addition to your home and it’s easy to see why— hardwoods are durable, versatile, and come in a variety of colors and styles. However, with that variety comes a difficult decision; which hardwood floors are right for your custom-built Twin Cities home? No doubt you’ve collected clippings of your favorite styles and colors or saved them on Houzz, but the experienced team at L. Cramer understand there’s much more to consider when determining the perfect hardwood flooring for your custom home. We are able to seamlessly combine style with function and can help guide you to the right hardwoods for your luxury home. When determining which hardwoods are best for your home and preferred style, we consider the following:

The Room: While your luxury home will have a consistent style and feel, individual rooms can have their own voice. For example, you may want an intricate design for the hardwood flooring in your dining room that makes a statement, while simple elegance may be more fitting for the bedroom.

Board Width: The board width of your hardwoods affects their style as much as the color and grain pattern. Wider boards give the room a rustic feel while parquet floors impart a more formal, traditional feel.

Wood Species: Each wood species varies in color, grain pattern, and hardness rating. Choosing the right species depends on your personal style and how durable the wood needs to be. The durability of hardwood is determined using the Janka Hardness Test. Hardness ratings range from 950 to 3692, with standard hardwoods falling in the 1200 range. For more durable hardwoods, exotic species such as Brazilian Cherry or Tiete Rosewood offer a unique selection with rich color. Many of our clients choose durable white oak in either a rift sawn cut or with natural knots.

Texture: A hardwood floor’s texture can set the feel for an entire room. For a more modern, contemporary feel, sleek and shiny textures are common. However, you can choose new hardwood floors that are distressed for a rustic or antique feel. There are many choices to consider, and we help you sort through all your options.

 Finish:  The hardwood floors in your custom home can be unfinished or pre-finished. Pre-finished flooring has the finish applied offsite and includes a top coat to help protect the floor against wear and tear. Unfinished hardwoods allow for a wider range of stain colors which allows for customization to achieve the perfect color to compliment your interior.

When it comes to choosing the right hardwoods for your custom-built Twin Cities home, there’s more than meets the eye. Our experienced team can help guide you to the best hardwoods that meet your personal style and functionality. If you’re ready to bring your dream home to life, contact the experts at L. Cramer today at (952) 935-8482.

From Dream to Reality- How L. Cramer Brings Your Custom Home Vision to Life in the Twin Cities

You’ve been planning your dream home for quite some time, collecting tear sheets, saving design ideas on Houzz or Pinterest, and keeping notes on the latest design trends. Now, you’re ready to take the next step.

L. Cramer Builders + Remodelers is your partner in building your custom luxury home. From the design stage all the way through building, we will work with you to refine your vision and make it reality.

How do we do it?

It starts with the design

We take your messy file full of design ideas and use insights from your collection to create your custom home. We also define the scope and budget for your project. Throughout the design process, we work with you to ensure you are astounded by your finished home.

Next, we manage the construction from the ground up

L. Cramer has been building custom homes in the Twin Cities since 1978. In that time, we have formed and maintained relationships with talented local architects, subcontractors, and suppliers. We work with them to develop and implement groundbreaking designs and unique craftsmanship, delivering results that are both stunning and unique.

No detail is too small

If you work with us, we’ll build you a custom home tailored to your unique style and personality. We achieve this by placing great emphasis on detail. From original, hand crafted wood work to one-of-a-kind architectural elements, every aspect of your home receives individual attention. We believe that even the smallest details are important to the overall feel of your home.

Our dedication to quality craftsmanship and building standards has earned L. Cramer national recognition, but our clients’ 100% satisfaction is what we truly strive for.

From start to finish, L. Cramer is your custom design/build partner. For more information on how we can help make your Twin Cities dream home a reality, contact us today at (952) 935-8482.

Together We Can Find Your Style for your Custom Build Twin Cities Home

kitchen remodel

Welcome to the L. Cramer Builders + Remodelers blog! Our team has been building and remodeling luxury custom homes in the Twin Cities since 1978, and every home is as unique the clients for whom we custom build.

When we meet with new clients, they typically have been dreaming about their future custom home for quite some time.  They may have a file folder full of random, unorganized tear sheets and are not quite sure how to present their collection of images.

We welcome these messy file folders—in fact—it is one of the best ways to communicate a lot of ideas for your effectively.  There are so many resources available now to collect ideas:  Facebook, Pinterest, Houzz, many magazines, coffee table books (to name just a few), and they all serve a purpose.  We find a great deal of order within these seemingly random pictures and ideas.

Our job is to extrapolate the common threads that may run throughout your favorites. Things that may seem unrelated are often within the same family. If our client knows they like it, yet they do not know why—we can often decipher nuances that resonate and incorporate them into their custom build home.

We welcome the display of inspiration in all its forms. Bring us a messy file, and we will form a team and get to work. Allow us to discover your dream and translate your wish list into the place you call home in the Twin Cities.