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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

Latest Home Design Trends from the Premier Luxury Home Builders in the Twin Cities, MN

Home design trends are always evolving. Some speak to us more than others, but it’s always beneficial to stay updated to see all of the new, creative ways designers are utilizing color, texture, and special features. You never know which trends will call out to you while you’re planning on building your custom home in the Twin Cities, MN. The luxury home builders at L. Cramer are here to help update you on some of the latest home trends we’ve been seeing. Keep reading to see if any of these elements speak to you!

 

Dynamic Accent Walls

If you really want to make a statement in a room, bold accent walls can be the perfect dynamic element. Whether a solid paint color or patterned wallpaper, an accent wall can set your space apart or signify an important area of the room.

 

Hidden Appliances

 Clean and sleek is a timeless style, particularly for busy rooms such as the kitchen. More homeowners are investing in storage or hiding places for their appliances, so they aren’t out in the open. This helps your kitchen look less cluttered while still giving you easy access to everything you need. The same techniques can be used for televisions. Many people are concealing their televisions behind wall mounted mirrors, cabinets, and pictures, giving the room a cozier look without sacrificing entertainment.

 

Bold Colors 

 The pendulum is beginning to swing away from calm neutrals and towards bold colors. Whether an entire space is booming with color or it’s used strategically to make a statement, you can instantly breathe a certain energy into a space through color alone.

 

Luxury Master Closets

 Walk-in closets aren’t uncommon, but more and more luxury home owners are taking their master closets to the next level. Your specific needs and tastes will determine what you include in luxury closet, but elements such as lounge chairs, countertops, and glass display cases for accessories are commonly included.

 

Statement Ceilings  

We mentioned how accent walls can make a statement, but how about a ceiling? Utilizing different colors or a pattern for your ceiling can give a space a unique, complete look.

 

Home Theaters

 Home theaters are perfect for entertaining and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Home theaters can be highly customized, comfortable, and serve as a beautiful, yet functional entertainment area. You don’t have to stop at a home theater; you can also include a recreation space tailored to your interests.

 

Brick & Stone 

Natural elements such as brick and stone are being embraced as dynamic and versatile design elements. They are great for both interior and exterior spaces. There are plenty of functional and design savvy uses for brick.

Whatever your tastes, the luxury home builders at L. Cramer want to bring your Twin Cities, MN, dream home to life. We work with you through the entire design and build process to ensure your luxury home has the functional elements you need and the fun additions you want. You’ve collected pictures, paint colors, and fabric swatches; now it’s time to put them to use. Your vision combined with our expertise as luxury home builders results in a stunning home you will enjoy for years to come. Looking for more inspiration? Look through our portfolio to see what we’ve done for others. Ready to embark on your custom home building journey? Contact us at (952) 935-8482 to get started today.

Fall Maintenance Checklist for Your Twin Cities, MN, Home From the Custom Home Builders at L. Cramer

Keeping your home in peak condition takes daily care but also seasonal maintenance. This is especially true for fall. Residents of the Twin Cities are well acquainted with the harsh Minnesota winters and need to take time to prepare their homes to ensure everything runs smoothly through the winter. The custom home builders at L. Cramer don’t just want to give you your dream home, but help you keep it looking wonderful throughout the year. We’ve assembled a checklist to help you get the most out of your home this fall and winter.

Fireplaces & Chimneys

Poorly maintained fireplaces and chimneys, at best, don’t work and, at worst, cause fires. It’s important to have your fireplaces and chimneys professionally inspected at least once a year and to test that the seal on your fireplace flue is tight.

Landscaping

Your landscaping is a beautiful addition to your home and fall is one of the best times to do some maintenance. After the leaves on your trees and shrubs turn is the best time to prune them as it encourages healthy growth and helps to keep stray limbs away from your roof or power lines. Also, fall is the best time to fertilize your lawn. To prepare for winter, your grass’ roots grow deeper, making them more receptive to fertilizing and reseeding. Taking these steps now will help your landscaping stand out come spring!

Outdoor Water

To prevent frozen or burst pipes, make sure all of your outdoor water systems are drained. Fountains, sprinkler systems, hoses, or other water features should all be shut off and drained. If your system doesn’t have a drain valve, you can hire a professional to blow out the system using compressed air.

Gutters & Downspouts

While not the most glamorous part of your home, your gutters and downspouts are crucial to preventing ice dams and water damage in the winter. The beautiful falling leaves can clog your gutters and downspouts, causing them to backup. Once the leaves have finished falling, clear your gutters to get them ready for the winter snow.

Furnace

Don’t forget to schedule your annual fall HVAC maintenance to ensure your system runs smoothly throughout the winter.

By making sure these elements of your custom home are in order this fall, you can comfortably transition into winter. If you’re ready to create the perfect year-round sanctuary, contact the professional custom home builders at L. Cramer. We partner closely with you to design and build the luxury home of your dreams. Contact us at (952) 935-8482 to begin your custom home building journey today.

How to Select the Right Custom Home Builder for Your Twin Cities, MN Project

The time has come and you’re ready to begin your custom home building journey in the Twin Cities, MN. Choosing the right custom home builder is critical to your project going smoothly and achieving the dream home you desire. So how do you evaluate  and choose the right custom home builder?

 

Narrow your list to custom home builders in your desired area and price range.

 

Ask friends and colleagues for references, and if you are new to the area, contact the local Builders Association for a list of names. From here, you can interview custom home builder candidates.

 

Here are some potential questions:

 

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. What sets you and your homes apart?
  3. How do you manage costs and adhere to my budget?
  4. How do you form the team for the project architecture and interior design? Do you work with an in-house team or outside collaborations? Do you subcontract the work?
  5. How are allowances and specifications determined?
  6. How are changes handled?
  7. Who will oversee my project and what can I expect for communications during construction?
  8. Explain your fee structure. Do you offer a fixed contract fee or a cost-plus fee structure? What are your views on the metric of cost per square foot?
  9. What is your warranty and customer service program?

 

Establish Quality

 

This may sound obvious, but it can be difficult to determine a builder’s quality of work, especially if you’re not experienced in home construction. Ask your builder candidates to explain what quality means to them. What materials do they include, what suppliers do they use, what specifications comprise the quality of their work?

 

Ask for References and a List of Addresses

 

What are others saying about the builder? Are they satisfied or are they finding issues in their home? Was construction a pleasant process? Obtain a list of addresses. Drive by. Walk through.

 

See the Builder’s Portfolio

 

Some builders have a style they specialize in and this will be evident in their portfolio. In custom home construction, however, each home may be a unique reflection of the owners. Explain your preferences and ideas and see if the builder listens well. A successful custom project hinges on the ability of the builder and the team to translate your dream into your home.

Does it feel like the right fit?

 

Your custom home builder is your partner in this journey. After you ask questions, see homes, and get answers—ask yourself, do you like these people? The custom-building process should be an exciting and enjoyable experience. To make it so, you need to be sure you like the team. In addition to doing all the evaluation homework, don’t forget to factor in this important element.

 

You’ve collected ideas, clippings, and color swatches, refining your vision over the years. Taking the plunge and finding a custom home builder can seem overwhelming, but with careful evaluation, you will find a builder and partner on your home journey.

L. Cramer Wants to be Your Custom Home Builder

The professional custom home builders at L. Cramer have a long tradition of quality home building in the Twin Cities, MN. The proof is in our work, longevity, and long list of satisfied clients. We pride ourselves on strong and consistent communication with our clients and an open book policy. Our experience in building a variety of unique homes means allows us to bring your vision, whatever it may be, to life.

 

If you’re ready to begin your custom home building journey, contact L. Cramer at (952) 935-8482 today.

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.