Cost to Build a Custom Home in Wisconsin in 2023

Thinking of constructing a new home in Wisconsin? As seasoned builders, we understand that budgeting is a top priority for homeowners. The cost of building a custom home can differ substantially, depending on your preferred home design, materials, the size of the property, and its location.

In this article, we’ll provide a detailed breakdown of the expenses associated with building a home in Wisconsin in 2023. Furthermore, we’ll share essential tips on finding the perfect home builder to suit your needs and offer practical advice on cost-saving measures for your new home construction.

Building a home in Wisconsin can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it’s crucial to acknowledge the various factors that contribute to the overall cost. Keep in mind that these prices may fluctuate based on your home’s size and intricacy, so it’s essential to consult with a reputable home builder in Wisconsin for a precise estimate.

3 Types of New Home Construction in Wisconsin

There are three main types of home construction you will find in Wisconsin: production or spec homes, semi-custom homes, and custom homes.

Production or Spec Homes

Do you want a production builder who specializes in spec homes? Production builders generally have a set floor plan that they use for all of their homes, with only minor variations. This can be a great option if you’re looking for a quick and easy build with few surprises. However, keep in mind that you won’t have much input in the design, and you might have to compromise on some must-haves. Spec homes usually feature entry-level to mid-range finishes and are built on an “assembly line”, meaning build quality can sometimes be sacrificed for speed. Since spec homes are mass-produced with “cookie cutter” designs and finishes, spec homes are the most affordable option when it comes to new home construction.

Semi-Custom Homes

Semi-custom homes are a step up from production homes in terms of customization and quality. Builders usually provide a set of “standard” features included in the home’s price, allowing you to upgrade to higher-end materials or finishes for an additional cost. For example, you can choose your countertops, flooring, and cabinets, add a sunroom, finish a lower level, and incorporate a deck or a built-in fireplace. Semi-custom homes provide more flexibility than production homes but still come with predetermined floor plans and a limited number of customization options. This home type typically falls within a mid-level price range.

Custom Homes

For a truly unique home, consider a custom build. With a custom home, you’ll collaborate with a design-build firm to develop a one-of-a-kind floor plan tailored to your specific needs and preferences. You’ll also have complete control over the materials, finishes, and features used in your home. Custom homes are built on a “blank canvas,” allowing for limitless design possibilities. However, this level of customization comes at a cost – custom homes are generally the most expensive type of new home construction.

Now that you’re familiar with the different types of new homes available in Wisconsin, it’s time to explore the average cost to build each type of home in Wisconsin in 2023.

Home Building Costs In Wisconsin by Square Foot (sq ft)

At this point in 2023, the average costs for different types of homes in Wisconsin are as follows:

  • Spec homes with minor upgrades are falling in the $250-$275 per sq. ft price range.
  • Semi-custom homes are falling in the $275-$300 per sq. ft
  • Fully-custom homes are starting at $300 per sq. ft and fall within $300-$325 per sq. ft. Since these homes offer complete customization, this range can vary significantly based on your selections and the level of detail desired.
Home Type Cost Per Square Foot
Production Homes $250 – $275/SF
Semi-Custom Homes $275 – $300/SF
Custom Homes $300 – $325/SF

Spec Homes – Spec homes are generally more affordable because builders purchase large quantities of identical items in bulk. These homes often appear uniform, which also reduces labor costs, since there are no unique or challenging elements to incorporate into their construction.

Semi-Custom Homes – Semi-custom homes share similarities with spec homes, with upgrades being predominantly cosmetic or involving more expensive materials rather than changes in the floor plan.

Custom Homes – Fully customized homes require specialty materials and skilled labor to bring your unique design to life.

A Few Things To Note About Home Prices In Wisconsin

  • Pricing has changed dramatically in the last few years, due to material shortages, fuel surcharges, availability issues, and material/labor cost increases.
  • Market volatility typically causes bids to be valid for only 30 days. However, custom home builders will often lock in pricing on as many items as possible.
  • Home costs can vary dramatically based on location, as labor expenses differ from state to state and even city to city. A prime example is the difference between the cost of a home in Texas versus one in Wisconsin.
  • If you compare the price of a house from five years ago to the same home today, you would notice a substantial increase in cost.

Additional Costs Of Building A House In Wisconsin

While the cost per square foot is a good starting point when estimating the cost of a new home, there are numerous other factors that will influence the final price tag. These include the cost of land, foundation, finishes, fixtures, and more, all of which impact the total cost of your new home. There are also extra costs tied to the building process, such as inspections, permits, and impact fees. Let’s explore each of these costs in greater detail to help you better prepare for your home-building journey.

Permits & Fees

The permit process can be a bit daunting, but your builder should be able to guide you through it and handle most, if not all of the paperwork. In Wisconsin, each city or township requires permits for your overall build as well as for specific trades working on your home.

Permits are different per municipality.  Some are based on square footage; some are based on the cost of construction. In some smaller municipalities, they are fixed fees. These can vary greatly depending on your area, but they are not a large percentage of the home costs.

Labor & Construction Costs

Location will play a big role in labor, construction, and other building costs. To have skilled tradesmen on your job site, you need to be willing to pay the going rate for your area. One of the many benefits of working with a design-build custom home builder like Ware Design Build is that we have long-standing relationships with the best craftsmen in the area, so you can be confident you’re getting quality workmanship at a fair price.

This section also includes building permits, inspections, and other fees associated with constructing a new home. As mentioned earlier, your building partner should be able to handle all of this for you, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Land Cost (Build On Your Lot)

If you haven’t already acquired the land where you plan to build your new home, you’ll need to consider the cost of purchasing a lot. Land prices can vary significantly, depending on the location, size, and amenities of the property.

  • Do you already own land to build on?
  • Do you want a small lot in a subdivision?
  • Are you seeking a large, 20+ acre lot in the countryside?
  • Would you consider rezoning land if it’s not suitable for construction yet?

Additionally, you should factor in the expenses related to preparing your land for construction.

  • Will you need a well?
  • How about soil testing?
  • Are utilities required?

Each of these considerations will influence the overall cost of your land.

Location Cost

As previously mentioned, location plays a critical role in the overall cost of building a new home. Usually, the closer a property is to the city center, the more expensive it becomes, due to scarcity and high demand. On the other hand, building on the outskirts of town is typically more affordable, but it can be challenging to find the ideal lot.

Location can also have an effect on building costs. For instance, in rural areas, consider transportation expenses and the cost of running utilities to your property. If you’re constructing a home in a metropolitan area, you might encounter additional fees for waste removal and site access.

Square Footage (Size of Home)

The total square footage of your home directly influences the overall cost of construction. A larger home requires more materials and labor, resulting in a higher final price tag. The most costly things in a home are often the kitchen and bathroom. Adding a bedroom won’t significantly impact the cost; however, incorporating an additional bathroom can increase expenses due to the required high-end finishes.

Excavation, Foundation & Concrete Work

The excavation, foundation, and concrete work for your home are other significant costs to factor in during construction. This includes land excavation, pouring the foundation, and laying the concrete for your basement and floors.

The cost of this work depends on the size, complexity, and slope of your land, as well as the foundation type you select. A poured concrete foundation is typically more expensive than a block foundation, but it offers superior strength and durability. If your land is sloped, additional work may be necessary to level it off, leading to increased costs.

These are all things you will go through with your home-building team to determine the best course of action for your home and budget.

Mechanicals – Electricity, HVAC, Plumbing, Sewage, Etc.

The inner workings of your home, such as electrical, heating and cooling, plumbing, and sewage systems, are among the most critical and costly components of your build. These systems must comply with building codes and be installed correctly to ensure your family’s safety and comfort.

It’s crucial to work with experienced professionals when getting these systems installed. Many builders include the cost of these systems in their overall price and will find the cheapest option, regardless of quality. At Ware Design Build, we are committed to excellence and ensuring your home is built to the highest standards. We will work with you to find the highest quality vendors, building materials, and products suitable for your home and budget.

Exterior Costs – Roofing, Siding, Landscaping, Hardscapes, Trees, etc.

The exterior of your home needs to be able to withstand the elements and look good doing it. Roofing, siding, landscaping, hardscapes, and trees are all exterior costs that you need to take into consideration.

Roofing & Siding – Are you looking for a shingle, metal, or flat roof? What type of siding do you want? There are many options available, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Landscaping & Hardscapes – Are you envisioning a simple lawn or an intricate landscaping design with hardscapes? Hardscapes can include patios, decks, pergolas, gazebos, retaining walls, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, swimming pools, and more.  All of these things add cost to your build, but they also add value, beauty, and style.

Trees – Do you have trees on your land that need to be removed? Do you need to add more trees for shade or privacy? Trees can be a big cost, but they are also a big asset for things like erosion control and windbreak.

Interior Costs – Windows, Flooring, Countertops, Cabinetry, Fixtures, etc.

The interior of your home is where you will spend the most time, so it’s essential to ensure it’s comfortable, stylish, and functional. The kitchen, flooring, paint, cabinetry, countertops, fixtures, and more all need to be considered when budgeting for your build.

Kitchen – The kitchen is the heart of the home and one of the most critical rooms to budget for. Do you want a chef’s kitchen with all the bells and whistles, or a more simple design? There are many factors to consider when designing your kitchen, including layout, appliances, cabinets, countertops, backsplash, and fixtures.

Windows & Doors – Windows & doors play a significant role in your home’s interior and can impact factors like heating and cooling costs, as well as overall style. Do you prefer a specific style or type of door? Living in Wisconsin, it’s essential to ensure your windows and doors can withstand harsh winters.

Flooring – Numerous flooring types are available, each with its own set of pros and cons. Do you want hardwood, tile, laminate, vinyl, or something else? Consider aspects like durability, cost, style, and maintenance when making your decision.

Cabinetry & Countertops – Cabinets and countertops are two of the most important features in your kitchen and bathroom. With various styles, materials, and colors available, decide what will work best for your space and budget.

Appliances – Determine the type and style of appliances you want. Do you want all stainless steel, or are you okay with a mix of finishes? Do you want top-of-the-line, or are you willing to sacrifice some features for a lower price?

Fixtures – Fixtures include items like door knobs, cabinet hardware, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and more. These are often overlooked when budgeting for a build, but they can add up quickly.

The materials and finishes you select within your home will drive the price up or down. If you choose high-end materials, like marble countertops or custom cabinets, you can expect to see a significant increase in your overall price tag. Similarly, if you go with more affordable options, like quartz countertops, prefabricated cabinets, and vinyl flooring, you can save a considerable amount of money. This principle applies to nearly every single element in your home.

It’s vital to work with your builder or design-build team to find the right balance of quality and affordability for your home.

Additional Costs To Consider

 There are a few additional costs you’ll need to consider when building your custom home in Wisconsin:

Architectural Design – Does your builder provide an in-house service, or do you need to pay separately for a plan?

Design Fees – Does your builder offer a designer or selection coordinator? These are two very different things and you need to base your decisions on your design needs.

Once your home is built, make sure you have budgeted for additional costs with your builder or an outside party. Other costs to consider include:

  • Landscaping
  • Outdoor Living – Outdoor Kitchen, Pool, Deck, Patio
  • Blinds/Drapes
  • Furniture & Decor
  • Moving Expenses
  • HOA Fees

Areas to Scale Back On to Cut Costs

If you’re looking to reduce costs, we recommend focusing on aspects that are easy to change, such as light fixtures, carpets, and cabinet hardware. Another option is to postpone finishing the lower level – this can be planned for and properly laid out but completed later on.

Additionally, consider some of the items mentioned above: do you need a metal roof? Could the layout be altered to make the foundation less expensive? We work closely with our clients to determine the best approach to accommodate their lifestyle and budget when building their new homes.

Tips For Building A House In Wisconsin

Now that you’re familiar with the costs and factors involved in building a custom home in Wisconsin, here are some tips to help make the process as smooth as possible:

Decide What You Want

This may seem like an obvious statement, but it’s important to sit down and really think about what you want out of your new home. Building a new home is a significant financial commitment, consider your ideal space and its features that would best suit you and your family.

Save For Your Budget

Once you have a clear idea of your dream home, it’s time to start saving. We always advise our clients to save for their dream home, rather than cutting corners and ending up with a house that doesn’t meet their needs and desires.

Develop A Plan

Building a new house is a big undertaking that occurs in carefully planned phases. Create a rough outline of your timeline, what you want in your home, and how you’re going to get there.

Work With A Design-Build Custom Home Builder

The single best way to ensure your dream home becomes a reality is to partner with an experienced design-build custom home builder. Design-build firms offer an all-in-one solution for their clients, handling everything from the design of your home to selecting materials and overseeing construction. You’ll have a partner in your corner from start to finish, making sure everything goes according to plan.

How To Choose The Right Home Builder For You

Now that you know the basics of what it will cost to build a custom home in Wisconsin, as well as some tips for making the process as smooth as possible, it’s time to find the right builder for you.

When selecting a building partner, what should you consider? Here are a few things we find important:

  1. A Good Fit – Are you comfortable with your building team? Make sure you have a good rapport and that they understand your needs and desires.
  2. Flexibility – How does your builder handle changes? Ensure they can adapt to unforeseen circumstances or modifications to your plan.
  3. Work Crews– Who does your builder have on the job site? Find out if they work with experienced and reliable crews.
  4. Vendors – Who does your builder work with? Research their suppliers and subcontractors to ensure they are reputable and provide quality materials.
  5. Allowances vs Actual Numbers – Are you signing a contract based on allowances with a risk of going over budget, or are you signing a contract based on your actual selections? Make sure you understand the terms and potential costs involved.

Start by searching online for terms like “Custom Home Builder Wisconsin” or “Custom Home Builder Near Me.” Once you have a list of potential builders, check out their websites and see if their work aligns with your preferences. Are the homes they’ve built consistent with your style? Do they have a process that makes sense to you?

Take the time to research and interview potential builders, read reviews, and ask for references. By doing your homework, you can find a builder that will help make your dream home a reality.

Questions To Ask Potential Home Building Partners

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential builders, reach out to each one and schedule a meeting. This is an important step in the process, as it will allow you to get to know the team and get a feel for their working style.

When meeting with potential builders, come prepared with questions. Doing so helps to get to know them and their process, and whether they are a suitable match for your needs. We recommend asking the following questions:

  • Why should I hire you?
  • What is your fee structure?
  • How do your fees compare to other builders?
  • What makes you different from other builders in this market?
  • What type of warranty do you provide, and what is your philosophy on warranty?
  • How long have you been building?
  • How many homes do you build per year?
  • How many homes will you have under construction at the time my home will be built?
  • How do you handle changes?
  • How many Change Orders would you consider average in building a home?
  • Do you supervise the building yourself, or do you have site supervisor?
  • Can I meet the person who will be running my job?

(For our answers to these questions, head over to our FAQ page)

After meeting with each builder, take some time to compare your notes and decide which one is the best fit for you. At the end of the day, you want to select a team that makes you feel comfortable and confident in their ability to build your dream home.

Benefits of Working With A Design-Build Firm

If you’re considering building a custom home, partnering with a design-build firm is the best way to make your vision a reality, without any surprises. Here are a few benefits of working with a design-build firm:

One Point of Contact – When you work with a design-build firm, you’ll have a single point of contact throughout the entire process. From start to finish, your project manager will be there to answer any questions and keep you updated on your home’s progress.

A Streamlined Process – Design-build firms offer an all-in-one solution for their clients, handling everything from the design of your home to selecting materials and overseeing construction. This streamlined process is much more efficient than working with separate contractors for each stage of the project.

Build to Suit – Design-build firms can build homes to suit any specific need or preference you may have. Whether you’re looking for a home with a specific type of layout or you have unique construction requirements, your design-build team will be able to create a home that’s perfect for you.

Flexibility – Design-build firms have the unique advantage of handling both the design and construction of your home, making them much more flexible than traditional builders. If you decide to make a change mid-construction, your team can easily accommodate it.

Budget Control – One of the most significant benefits of working with a design-build firm is their ability to help you control your budget. Since they’re involved in both the design and construction phases, they can monitor costs and ensure you stay within your budget. If unexpected costs come up, they’ll work with you and offer creative ways to save money without sacrificing quality.

Quality Control – Design-build firms have a vested interest in ensuring your home’s quality is top-notch. With a network of trusted subcontractors and tradespeople, they can guarantee that only the best materials and craftsmanship are used in your home.

Thinking About Building A Custom Home In Wisconsin? Claim Your Complimentary Consultation With Our Award Winning Team At Ware Design Build.

If you’re thinking about building a custom home in Wisconsin, we would love the opportunity to help bring your vision to life. At Ware Design Build, our team of experienced professionals are passionate about crafting unique, high-quality homes tailored to your specific needs and preferences. From the initial design phase to the finishing touches, we’ll work closely with you every step of the way to ensure your dream home becomes a reality.

Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation, and let’s start the exciting journey of creating your perfect custom home together. With Ware Design Build, you’re in capable hands as we turn your vision into a beautiful, comfortable living space for you and your family.



Excellence or Perfection?

A homebuilder’s goal is to create a well-built, attractive home that meets the needs and budget of the homeowners. There are over 100,000 components that go into a new, custom home and in the process of installation, something may inadvertently get scratched or damaged. There can also be imperfections or flaws in the materials. If something is scratched or damaged during the construction process, the builder has the right to bring the damaged item to a new quality standard (see fixed-price vs. cost-plus contract). That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t expect excellence.  Excellence differs from perfection:

  • Excellence is taking people and materials that are imperfect and executing a process to its very highest level
  • Excellence is a home that’s done on time
  • Excellence is what happens when something goes wrong and it’s quickly recognized and corrected (when you build a custom home, things will go wrong)
  • Excellence is when your builder acknowledges his mistake and promptly corrects it without pointing fingers
  • Excellence is clear communication
  • Excellence is a quality home built with straight walls, functioning doors, and overall good quality
  • Excellence is moving into your home and having your dishwasher, garbage disposal, and gas grill all operational on move-in day
  • Excellence is a phone call from your builder if something unexpected comes up and the schedule needs to be modified
  • Excellence is being asked by your builder on a regular basis “Is there anything else we can do for you?”
  • Excellence is having a homeowner so pleased that when the topic of homebuilding comes up, he says “Let me tell you about my builder”

Planning, designing, and building a new custom home can be an exciting and rewarding experience if you select a competent builder who is committed to excellence and you have a clear understanding of each other’s expectations.

Top Design Trends for Custom Homes in Wisconsin

As a custom home builder in Wisconsin, we are always on the lookout for the latest design trends to incorporate into our projects. We believe that custom home design is all about creating a unique and personal space that reflects the tastes and lifestyles of our clients. From modern design to sustainable materials and smart home technology, there are so many exciting trends to explore in the world of custom home design.

In this post, we will share the top design trends for custom homes in Wisconsin that are gaining popularity among homeowners and design professionals. Whether you are building your first custom home or looking to renovate and refresh your current space, we hope that this post will provide you with valuable insights and inspiration.

Modern Design: Sleek and Contemporary

Modern design is characterized by clean lines, minimalism, and a focus on functionality. This trend is gaining popularity in Wisconsin, where homeowners are looking to create a sleek and contemporary look in their custom homes. Modern design can be incorporated into a variety of styles, from minimalist and industrial to mid-century modern and contemporary. By using simple and natural materials, such as wood, glass, and concrete, and by incorporating geometric shapes and bold colors, modern design can create a sophisticated and timeless look in your custom home.

Modern home design is also known for its focus on functionality, which can make your custom home more efficient and comfortable. For example, by incorporating large windows and open floor plans, modern design can maximize natural light and ventilation, creating a brighter and more comfortable living environment. Overall, modern design is a popular and versatile trend in custom home design in Wisconsin and can provide a wide range of benefits and possibilities for custom homeowners.

Sustainable Materials: Creating a Green Home

More and more Wisconsin homeowners are looking for ways to incorporate sustainable materials and practices into their custom homes. This can include using recycled or locally-sourced materials, incorporating energy-efficient features, and designing the home to maximize natural light and ventilation. By using sustainable materials, you can not only create a healthier and more comfortable living environment but also reduce your impact on the environment and save on energy costs in the long run.

As the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources notes in its guide on sustainable building materials, “using sustainable materials in your home can provide a number of benefits, including improved indoor air quality, reduced energy costs, and a smaller environmental footprint.”

Open Floor Plans: Flexibility and Flow

Open floor plans, where the kitchen, living, and dining areas flow seamlessly together, are becoming increasingly popular in Wisconsin custom homes. This trend allows for more flexibility and socializing within the home, and can make the space feel larger and more open. By removing walls and barriers between these areas, you can create a more cohesive and inviting living space that is perfect for entertaining and family gatherings. Open floor plans can allow for better natural light and ventilation, creating a brighter and more comfortable living environment.

One of the key benefits of open floor plans is their flexibility and adaptability. With an open floor plan, you can easily rearrange furniture and change the layout of your living space to suit your changing needs and preferences. This can be especially useful for homeowners with growing families or changing lifestyles, as an open floor plan can accommodate a wide range of activities and uses.

Additionally, open floor plans can be great for entertaining, as they allow for easy movement and conversation between different areas of the home. By choosing an open floor plan for your custom home in Wisconsin, you can create a space that is flexible, versatile, and perfect for your unique needs and lifestyle.

Smart Home Technology: Convenience and Control

Another exciting trend in custom home design is the integration of smart home technology. With smart home technology, you can control and monitor your home’s systems and appliances from a single device, such as a smartphone or tablet. This can include everything from lighting and thermostats to security systems and entertainment systems. By using smart home technology, you can create a more convenient and efficient living environment that can save you time and energy.

For example, you can use a smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature in your home based on your schedule and preferences, or use a smart security system to monitor your home while you are away. With the rapid advancement of technology, the possibilities for smart home technology are virtually limitless, and custom homeowners in Wisconsin are starting to take advantage of these exciting new possibilities.

Outdoor Living Spaces: Extending Your Home’s Living Space

One of the biggest advantages of living in Wisconsin is the beautiful natural scenery. By designing your custom home with outdoor living spaces in mind, you can create a seamless transition between the indoors and outdoors and enjoy the best ofboth worlds.

Some popular outdoor living features for custom homes in Wisconsin include screened-in porches, outdoor fireplaces, built-in grills, swimming pools, hot tubs, and seating areas. These features can provide a comfortable and inviting space for entertaining and relaxation and can add value and enjoyment to your custom home. 

Creating Your Dream Custom Home in Wisconsin

The latest design trends for custom homes in Wisconsin are all about creating a unique and personal space that reflects your tastes and lifestyle. By incorporating modern design, sustainable materials, open floor plans, smart home technology, and outdoor living spaces, you can create a custom home that is stylish, functional, and comfortable.

At Ware Design Build, we are dedicated to helping Wisconsin homeowners create their dream custom homes. With years of experience and a passion for design, we can help you navigate the custom home-building process and create a space that is truly unique and personal. Our team is continuously learning about the latest design trends and technologies to better help you create a custom home that is cutting-edge and of the highest quality.

Thank you for reading our blog post on the latest design trends for custom homes in Wisconsin.

We hope that this post has provided you with valuable insights and inspiration for your own custom home design. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing about your plans for your dream custom home in Wisconsin.

Renovating Your Existing Home vs. Building a New Custom Home: Which Is Right for You?

Should I remodel my existing home or build a new custom home? This is a question we get asked often from homeowners looking to upgrade their living space. The answer, of course, is that it depends on your specific needs and situation.

How attached are you to your current home and location? How far off is your existing home from your dream? Are you in this situation because you need more square footage to accommodate a growing family? The important thing is to understand the difference between the two paths and determine what makes the most sense for you and your family.

There are numerous pros and cons to both a home renovation and building new. A lot of it will depend on the condition of your existing home, as well as your budget. At the end of the day, there is no wrong choice, however, there might be a better choice for your individual circumstances.

You may begin by considering renovating, only to discover that it isn’t feasible given the state of your existing home. On the other hand, you may start down the path of building new, but ultimately find that your current home can provide everything you need, it just needs a little TLC.

In this post, we will break down what to expect from both renovating your existing home and building a new home, the pros and drawbacks of each, and key considerations to take into account. By the end, you should have a much better understanding of which option is best for your specific circumstances.

Renovation and New Construction – An Overview

The first thing you need to do when deciding whether to renovate or build is to understand the difference between the two options. Renovation is defined as “the process of making changes or repairs to a property.” This can include anything from cosmetic changes to major structural changes. New construction, on the other hand, is defined as “the process of building a new home from the ground up.” This option gives you the opportunity to start with a blank slate and completely customize your new home to your exact specifications.

Usually, when people are contemplating whether to renovate their existing home or build a brand new home, this means they are planning to make major changes or additions to their property. Perhaps they want to add bedrooms or bathrooms, expand the kitchen or garage, or completely gut the home and start from scratch. In this case, it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons of both major renovations and new construction before making a decision.

Renovation Of Your Existing Home

If you decide to renovate your existing home, you’ll need to work with what you have. This means that you may have to make some compromises in terms of the layout and finishes. For example, if you’re renovating an older home, you may have to work around existing structural elements. You may also have to deal with hidden damage or repairs that need to be made.

That being said, there are some major advantages to renovating your existing home. One of the biggest benefits is that you won’t have to go through the hassle and expense of building a new home from scratch. You’ll also be able to keep your existing home’s character and charm, which is something that’s hard to replicate in a new construction home.

Benefits of Renovating Your Existing Home

There are a few key advantages to renovating your existing home instead of building a new one:

  • You can update your home without having to move: If you love your current home and location but you’re ready for a change, renovating is a great option. You can update your home to better suit your needs without having to deal with the hassle and expense of moving.
  • You can stay in the neighborhood you love: If you’re attached to your current neighborhood, renovating is a great way to stay put. You’ll be able to keep the same neighbors and school district, which can be a big plus if you have kids.
  • You can add value to your home: If you plan to sell your home in the future, renovating it can be a great way to increase its value. Even smaller scale renovations can make a big difference in the resale value of your home.
  • You can save money: Depending on the scope of your renovation, it may be less expensive to renovate your existing home than it would be to build a new one. This is especially true if you’re not making any major changes to the layout or structural elements of your home.
  • You can make your home more energy efficient: Older homes are often less energy efficient than newer ones. If you’re looking to save money on your energy bills, you can add better insulation, upgrade your windows and doors, and make other energy-saving improvements.
  • You can avoid the stress of building a new home: Building a new custom home can be a very stressful process. If you’re not up for the challenge, renovating your existing home may be a better option.

Considerations for Renovating Your Existing Home

There are also a few major things to keep in mind if you’re considering renovating your existing home:

  • You may not be able to make all the changes you want: If you’re planning to make major changes to your home, you may be limited to some extent by the existing structure.
  • You may have to deal with unforeseen problems: When you renovate an existing home, there’s always a chance you may run into unexpected surprises that can end up costing you more money.
  • Your home may be disrupted: If you’re planning to stay in your home during construction, you may have to deal with a lot of disruptions. The noise, dust, and workers coming in and out can make it difficult and stressful to live in your home during a renovation.
  • You may need to temporarily move out of your home: If you’re planning to do a major renovation and don’t want to deal with the disruptions, you may need to find a temporary place to stay during construction. This can add significant expense to your project.

The best place to start is to get in touch with a design-build firm or home renovation contractor and learn everything there is to know about the history of your house. Go into as much detail as possible about the structural integrity and identify any potential problem areas. If you find the foundation is damaged or the house’s frame is broken, it might not be worth your time or money to renovate. Depending on the type and extent of damage, as well as your plans for your renovation, removing the old house and rebuilding it may be a better option.

Also, ask yourself: what is the intended purpose of your home that motivates you to renovate it? Do you want a complete makeover without changing locations? Are you looking to increase your home’s livable space to accommodate your growing family? Do you want to make it more energy efficient or accessible? If you’re planning to sell the property after the work is completed, research comparable properties in the area to get an idea of how much value your renovations will add to the home. If you’re planning to stay in the house, make sure that your renovations will suit the needs of you and your family for years to come.

Building a New Custom Home

If you’re not happy with your existing home or you’re ready for a change of scenery, building a new custom home may be the right choice for you. When you make the decision to build a new custom home, you and your home-building partner will collaborate closely to design a home that perfectly suits your needs. You’ll have the opportunity to choose every detail, from the layout of the rooms to the type of finishes and fixtures that are incorporated. Every element of your new home will be designed specifically for your family, which means you won’t have to make any compromises.

One of the biggest advantages of building a new home is that you can start from scratch with a blank canvas. This means you won’t have to work around existing structural elements or deal with the potential problems that come with an older home. You’ll also have more control over the construction process and you can be sure that your new home will be built to the highest standards.

Benefits of Building a New Custom Home

There are a lot of decisions and planning that go into building a new custom home, but in the end, it will be worth it. Some of the major benefits of building a new home include:

  • You can get exactly what you want: When you build a new custom home, you can have everything you’ve ever wanted in a home. You’ll get to choose the layout, floor plan, finishes, fixtures, and everything else.
  • You can avoid many common problems: If you renovate your existing home, there’s always a chance that there could be hidden damage that you’re not aware of. Starting from scratch eliminates any hidden damage or repairs that may be needed. This includes things like drafty windows, outdated wiring, structural or foundation issues, and problematic plumbing.
  • You can choose a location that’s perfect for you: Building a new home means you can choose the perfect location for your family. You can find a location that’s close to good schools, parks, and other amenities that are important to you.
  • You have a wider range of design possibilities: You don’t have to try to fit your ideas into an existing layout or structure. Instead, you can design a home that’s specifically tailored to the way you want to live.
  • You can take advantage of new technology: When you build a new home, you can take advantage of all the latest building techniques and technologies. This can result in a more energy-efficient and sustainable home.
  • You can enjoy peace of mind: One of the biggest benefits of building a new home is that you’ll have peace of mind knowing that everything is new and covered by warranty. This means your upkeep and repairs should be minimal.

Considerations for Building a New Custom Home

Of course, building a new home is a big undertaking, so it’s important to be aware of all the potential challenges before you get started. Some things to keep in mind include:

  • It’s a big investment: Building a new home is a major investment, so you need to be sure you’re ready for the financial commitment.
  • It takes time: It’s important to be patient when you’re building a new home. The process can take several months, so you need to be prepared for the long haul.
  • You need to find the right team: Building a new home requires a team of experienced professionals, so you need to take the time to find the right builder, architect, and other contractors. Or, you can work with a design-build firm, who will take care of everything for you.
  • The process can be stressful: There’s no denying that the process of building a new home can be stressful. But if you work with a great team and stay organized, everything will go more smoothly.

Perhaps you’re building new because you want or need more space. Maybe you want to move to a different location and the perfect home doesn’t exist yet. Or maybe you’ve decided to tear down your existing home and start from scratch on your own lot. Whatever your reasons, building a new home can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Begin by consulting with a custom home builder and discussing the location in which you want to build, your budget, and your wish list.

  • What are the local building codes & regulations?
  • How will the land affect the construction of your home? What is the soil like?
  • Is there any neighborhood regulation, such as a requirement for a specific architectural style, roof type, or color scheme?
  • What are the availability and pricing of materials and contract labor?

Put together your team (architect, builder, and interior designer) to help you answer these questions. Each member has a unique set of talents, knowledge, and vision to contribute. They can assist you in creating a perfect future house that is ideal for you and your family. For an all-in-one solution that will make the build process much easier, consider working with a design-build firm.

Design-build firms offer a comprehensive approach to building your new home. Their in-house team of architects, designers, and construction managers will work together to create a custom home that meets your specific needs and budget. The design-build firm will handle all the details, from acquiring the necessary permits to overseeing the construction process. This turnkey solution takes the stress out of building a new home and allows you to enjoy the experience.

When planning and designing your home, consider your current and future needs. If you have young children, you may want to plan for a playroom or a first-floor bedroom. If you entertain often, you may want to design an open floor plan or a large kitchen. If you want to age in place, you may need to design for accessibility. And if you love the outdoors, you may want to include a patio, deck, or pool in your plans.

It’s time to get your creative juices flowing. If you have a specific vision, now is the time to bring it out. If you need some inspiration, look through home design magazines, tour model homes, or look online. Once you have an idea of what you want your home to look like, start planning the details with your team. The more specific you can be about your wants and needs, the better they can help you bring your vision to life. Finally, as this is a new house, prepare to make a lot of choices. Don’t be overwhelmed, though. Your design-build team will be there to help you through every step of the process.

A new house is more likely to take longer than a renovation because it requires more planning, coordination, and, of course, construction time. Complex renovations might take months, but new house building needs time for approvals and permits, site preparation, and all phases of construction.

Comparing Renovation to New Home Construction

As discussed, there are several key differences between renovating and building new, which hopefully will help you decide which option is right for you.

One of the most significant differences is the amount of control you’ll have over the final product. When you renovate, you’re limited to working within the existing footprint and framework of your home. This means that you might not be able to get everything on your wishlist, and you may have to compromise on your design.

On the other hand, when you build a new home, you have complete control over every aspect of the design and construction. You can choose the lot, the layout, the materials, and all the other details. This allows you to create a completely custom home that is perfect for your needs.

Another important consideration is the cost. It’s often cheaper to renovate than to build new, but this is not always the case. It depends on the scope of the project, the quality of materials, and the labor costs in your area.

Lastly, keep in mind that timelines differ for these two projects. A typical home renovation can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the scope of the project. A new custom home build will usually take longer, typically around six to twelve months. With a renovation, there will likely be no weather delays if all of the construction is completed indoors.

Making the Final Decision

Ultimately, the decision to build a new house or remodel your existing house comes down to a few key factors. These include:

  • How much time and money you’re willing to invest
  • The current state of your existing home
  • How much change do you want or need
  • Your level of attachment to your current home and location

Your requirements, situation, and budget all will influence your final decision. If you’ve fallen in love with your existing home and community but are ready for an upgrade, a renovation might be the best option. If you’re looking for a complete location change, need more space, or can’t find a home that meets your needs, consider building a new custom home.

Not sure which option is best for you? We invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation with our team. We’ll help you assess your current situation, and your needs, and work with you to determine the best way to move forward.

8 Steps To Plan A Kitchen Remodel

Do you want to renovate your kitchen? If that’s the case, read on! This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to plan and create your new kitchen renovation. We’ll go over a number of topics in this post, including style, flooring, cabinets, countertops, and much more!

Designing and remodeling your kitchen is a process that takes time, effort, and patience. It’s not just about picking out the perfect cabinets or flooring— there are many other decisions to be made along the way. Here is a list of things you need to consider:

  1. Style: What overall style do you want for your kitchen? Traditional, contemporary, modern, farmhouse, rustic, etc.?
  2. Layout: How do you want your kitchen to be laid out? Peninsula, galley, L-shaped, U-shaped?
  3. Cabinets: Material and finish, paint color, style (modern or traditional), recessed or flat paneling, handle styles, etc.
  4. Flooring: Tile, hardwood, laminate? Keep the existing flooring or install new floors?
  5. Countertops: Choose material from quartz, marble, granite, quartzite, etc.
  6. Backsplash: Which type of backsplash will work best with your countertop material?
  7. Lighting: Perhaps the most critical element in any kitchen. Type of lighting, fixtures, and where to place it.
  8. Fixtures: Pulls, knobs, hinges, handles. Take note of brand, color, and finish. (chrome, gold, black, bronze, etc.)

Now that you have an idea of some of the things you need to think about and make decisions on, let’s dig into the 8 steps to planning a kitchen remodeling.

Choose A Kitchen Design Style That Suits Your Home

The first step is to choose the style of your kitchen. The style you choose should suit your personal taste while also complementing the overall style of your home. Let’s overview the most popular kitchen design styles so you can get a feel for what might work in your home.

Modern: Modern kitchen design typically features stainless steel appliances, aluminum, marble countertops, tempered glass, and flat-panel cabinets. The colors are usually stark (black, white, or gray), and the overall look is sleek and clean.

Traditional: Traditional kitchens are classic, timeless, and focus more on function than aesthetics. They usually feature raised or recessed cabinetry, natural flooring (tile, stained hardwood, or patterned stone), white or lighter-colored marble countertops, and classic stains/colors.

Farmhouse: Farmhouse kitchens are becoming increasingly popular. The key elements of a cozy farmhouse-style kitchen are open shelving, classic flooring, contrast countertops, and of course, an apron-front sink.

Contemporary: Contemporary kitchens often blend aspects of both modern and traditional styles to create an updated look. Clean lines, crisp color schemes, open floor plans, cutting-edge appliances, and natural materials are all common features of a contemporary kitchen.

Transitional: Transitional kitchen design is a thoughtful mix of traditional and contemporary aesthetics. The design, colors, and textures all work together to create a cohesive style that is both warm and modern.

Rustic: Rustic kitchens embrace nature-inspired elements like unstained wood beams and cabinets, stone countertops, rugged flooring, and organic materials. The overall look is earthy and cozy, with a focus on functionality.

Keep in mind these are just a few key elements of each style. As you begin your kitchen design journey, you’ll likely find that you’re drawn to elements of multiple styles. That’s perfectly ok! Use these styles as a starting point and then mix and match the elements that you love to create your own unique kitchen style. There are endless possibilities when it comes to designing your kitchen, so don’t be afraid to get creative!

Think About the Layout of Your Kitchen

The layout of your kitchen is important for both function and aesthetics. You want to make sure you have a layout that works well for the way you cook and use your kitchen. But you also want a layout that looks good and flows well with the rest of your home.

Some common kitchen layouts are:


The L-shaped kitchen is one of the most popular layouts because it is efficient and versatile. An L-shaped layout includes two runs of cabinets or appliances placed in a 90-degree configuration, creating two workable surfaces. This layout is often used in small to medium-sized kitchens because it makes the most of limited space. It can also be adapted to larger kitchens by adding an island or peninsula. An L-shaped layout is a great option for those who want an efficient and versatile kitchen.


Another kitchen layout is the u-shaped style. This type of kitchen features three walls of cabinetry and counter space, creating a generous work triangle that is well-suited for multiple cooks. The u-shaped layout also offers ample storage options, as well as the opportunity to incorporate a dining area or breakfast nook. Of course, the u-shaped kitchen is not without its challenges. This layout can feel cramped, particularly in smaller homes. In addition, it can be difficult to create an open and airy feel in a u-shaped kitchen. As a result, homeowners considering this layout should carefully weigh the pros and cons before making a final decision.

Galley Style:

The galley kitchen offers homeowners an incredibly efficient use of space. In a typical galley kitchen, two parallel rows of cabinets and countertops face each other, with a narrow walkway in between. This configuration allows for quick and easy movement between the different workstations, making meal preparation a breeze. Additionally, the close proximity of the cabinets and appliances makes it easy to reach everything you need while cooking. While the galley kitchen may not be suitable for large families or entertaining guests, it is perfect for those who want to make the most of their available space.

Open Concept:

The open concept kitchen is becoming increasingly popular in today’s homes. This layout removes the walls and barriers that traditionally separate the kitchen from the rest of the home, creating a more open and inviting space. An open-concept kitchen is ideal for those who enjoy entertaining or spending time with family while cooking. It is also a great option for those who want to create the illusion of a larger space. When planning an open concept kitchen, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Beams & low-bearing walls: In order to create an open-concept layout, you’ll need to remove any low-bearing walls that separate the kitchen from the living area. Condo residents need a special permit as well as approval from their building’s architect before considering any load-bearing wall removal. If you live in a single-family home, you’ll need to consult with a local design-build firm, builder, or general contractor to determine if the wall you want to remove is load-bearing.
  • Plumbing and electrical: Removing a wall can also affect the layout of your plumbing and electrical systems. Are there any outlets on the wall you want to remove? How will this affect your refrigerator, stove, or dishwasher placement? You’ll need to consult with a licensed professional to ensure that your kitchen’s plumbing and electrical can be safely rerouted.
  • Storage: When designing an open-concept kitchen and removing a wall, you also lose any storage that was contained in that space. If you’re short on kitchen storage, adding a spacious island with extra cabinet space or installing floating shelves is a must.
River Hills Residence

Cabinet Selection For The Right Look and Function

Cabinets are a key eye-catching element in any kitchen, and the right selection can make or break your design. When choosing cabinets, there are many different things to consider: material and finish, door style, hardware, and storage options. With so many choices & style combinations, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right cabinets for your kitchen:

Material and finish:

The first step in choosing cabinets is to decide on the right material and finish. Do you want wood cabinets? If so, what kind of wood – oak, maple, cherry? Would you prefer a painted finish or a natural stain? What about laminate or thermofoil? One benefit of wood cabinets is that they can be stained or painted to match any décor. Wood is also a classic material that will never go out of style. For a more modern look, laminate or thermofoil cabinets may be the way to go. These materials are available in a wide range of colors and finishes, making it easy to create the perfect look for your kitchen.

Door style: 

The next thing to consider is the door style. The most popular styles are flat door, raised door, and shaker-style cabinets. Flat doors have a clean, simple look that works well in any kitchen. Raised doors add a bit of dimension and can be used to create a more traditional or transitional look. Shaker-style cabinets are a timeless choice that work well in both traditional and contemporary kitchens.


When selecting cabinets, it’s important to think about storage. Are you looking for cabinets with lots of storage space, or do you prefer a more streamlined look? If you have a small kitchen, you’ll need to be especially mindful of your storage needs. Adding a spice rack, utensil drawer, or pull-out trash can be a great way to add extra storage to your kitchen.

Flooring Considerations For Your Kitchen Remodel

The type of flooring you choose for your kitchen is a very important decision. If you’re after a dramatic kitchen transformation, consider installing new flooring. The most popular kitchen flooring options we install at Ware Design Build are hardwood, laminate, natural stone, and tile. When considering flooring options for your new kitchen, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Durability: The kitchen is a high-traffic area, so it’s important to choose a flooring material that can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Hardwood, laminate, stone, and tile are all good choices for durable kitchen flooring.
  • Water resistance: Kitchens are prone to spills, so it’s important to choose a flooring material that can withstand spills and splashes.
  • Ease of maintenance: You’ll want to choose a flooring material that is easy to clean and maintain. Hardwood and tile floors can be swept and mopped, but they may require more upkeep than laminate or vinyl floors.
  • Cost: Finally, you’ll need to consider cost when choosing kitchen flooring. Hardwood, stone, and tile floors are more expensive than laminate or vinyl, but they can also add more value to your home.

Next, let’s take a look at each of the most popular kitchen flooring options in more detail:

Hardwood Flooring:

Hardwood floors are a popular choice for many homeowners due to their beauty and durability. However, hardwood floors can also be a bit more expensive than other options such as laminate or tile. If you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider other flooring options for your kitchen remodel. But if you can swing it, hardwood floors are definitely worth the investment. Not only will they add value to your home, but they’ll also give your kitchen an elegant and timeless look that will never go out of style.

Laminate Floors:

Laminate flooring is made from a composite of wood and plastic, which makes it very durable. It is also resistant to staining and fading, making it an ideal choice for busy kitchens. In addition, laminate flooring is available in a wide range of colors and styles, so you can easily find a look that fits your personal taste. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance option that will still give your kitchen a high-end look, laminate flooring may be the perfect choice for your next remodel.

Ceramic Tile Flooring:

Ceramic tile is a popular choice for many homeowners because it is durable and easy to maintain. Tile floors are also very stylish, and they can give your kitchen an upscale look. Another advantage of ceramic tile is that it’s relatively affordable compared to other flooring materials. This makes it a good option for budget-minded homeowners who are remodeling their kitchens. If you’re looking for an affordable flooring option that will stand up to spills and heavy foot traffic, ceramic tile is a great choice.

Natural Stone Flooring:

If you’re looking for something that is durable, timeless, and will add some extra glamour to your kitchen, then natural stone is a great option. There are many different types of natural stone flooring to choose from, some of the most popular options being: marble, slate, and travertine. Natural stone flooring is a great choice for your kitchen remodel because it can withstand everyday wear and tear, as well as spills and messes. It also lasts for years, so you won’t have to worry about replacing it anytime soon. Plus, natural stone flooring adds a touch of luxury to any kitchen. It can really elevate the look of your space and make it feel more elegant and sophisticated.

Countertop Decisions:

There are a few types of countertop materials that you should consider when selecting your countertops, but by far, the most popular those days to go with transitional or modern style cabinets is quartz. Quartz is a manufactured material that is formed when sand and other minerals are fused together with heat and pressure. It is a very hard surface that is non-porous, so it doesn’t require sealing and is resistant to scratches and staining. Quartz comes in many colors and designs, so you can find one that will perfectly match your cabinets and décor.

Another popular countertop material for kitchens is granite. Granite is a natural stone that is quarried from the earth. It has a unique appearance because each piece of granite is different, with its own mix of colors and markings. Granite is also very hard and durable, but it does require periodic sealing to protect it from staining.

In addition to granite and quartz, there are other natural stone options such as marble, limestone, and quartzite. For more information on kitchen countertop selections, visit our blog post about the best kitchen countertop material.

Upland Ridge New Berlin

Kitchen Backsplash: One of the finest details

The backsplash is the strip of material that goes between the countertops and the cabinets. Its purpose is both functional and aesthetic, as it protects your walls from spills and splatters, while also adding a bit of style to your kitchen. There are many different materials and styles to choose from, so consider your budget, the look you’re going for, and how much upkeep you’re willing to do.

Tile is a popular choice for kitchen backsplashes because it’s durable and easy to clean. You can choose from a variety of colors and textures, and there are many different patterns to choose from. Subway tile is a classic choice that will never go out of style, or you could opt for something more unique, like mosaic tile. If you don’t want to tile the entire backsplash, you can use tile as an accent and use a different material for the main part of the backsplash.

We’ve also installed kitchen backsplash made of glass, stone, metal, and wood. The most important thing to consider when choosing the design of your backsplash is how it will compliment the look of your countertops, cabinets, and floor. At the end of the day, a backsplash is a great way to add style and personality to your kitchen, no matter which material you choose.

Delafield Remodel 3

Choosing The Perfect Kitchen Lighting

One of the most important aspects of any kitchen remodeling project is choosing the perfect lighting. There are a few things to consider when making this decision.

The first thing to think about is the amount of light you need. Consider how much natural light the kitchen currently gets and whether you want to add more artificial light. If you want to maximize natural light, choose light fixtures that won’t block any windows or doors.

The second thing to think about is style. Do you want a traditional or contemporary look? There are a variety of options to choose from when it comes to kitchen lighting, so you can find the perfect style to match your remodel.

Finally, you’ll need to think about function. Make sure the lights are placed in areas where they will be most useful. For instance, if you do a lot of cooking, you’ll want to place lights above the stove and sink.

When choosing kitchen lighting, keep these things in mind and you can’t go wrong!

Delafield Remodel 3

Hardware: Adding The Finishing Touches To Your Remodeled Kitchen

After you’ve selected your cabinets, countertops, backsplash, and lighting, it’s time to add the finishing touches to your kitchen with hardware.

Hardware is the term used to describe all of the small details in a kitchen, such as cabinet pulls, knobs, hinges, handles, and more. These details might seem small, but they can actually have a big impact on the overall look of your kitchen.

When choosing hardware, it’s important to think about both style and function. For instance, if you have small children, you might want to choose cabinet pulls that are easy for them to grip. Or, if you want a more modern look, you might opt for sleek, stainless steel hardware.

Whatever style you choose, make sure the hardware is durable and easy to clean. After all, it’s going to be used a lot!

These are just a few things to keep in mind when selecting hardware for your kitchen. With so many options available, you’re sure to find the perfect style to match your new kitchen.

Ready To Get Started On Your Kitchen Remodel Journey? Schedule A Complimentary Consultation With Our Award-Winning Team Today.

This was our guide on the 8 steps to plan a kitchen remodeling. We hope this guide will be useful to you as it gives you a baseline of things to think about before starting your kitchen remodeling project. Of course, the most important thing is to have fun with it and enjoy the process! The finished product will be all the more satisfying if you do.

If you have any questions or would like for us to be involved, we would love to hear from you! Our team of experts are ready to help you plan your kitchen remodel from start to finish. We’ll work with you to come up with a design that fits your lifestyle and budget, and we’ll be there every step of the way to ensure that your vision becomes a reality.

To get started on your kitchen remodeling project in the Milwaukee area, we invite you to schedule a complimentary consultation today. Thank you for reading and we look forward to hearing from you soon!


10 Outdoor Tech Features to Enhance Your Home’s Outdoor Space

Adding smart technology to your home’s outdoor space can add a lot of convenience and fun. From adding speakers for music enjoyment to installing a TV for outdoor entertainment, there are many ways to enhance your outdoor living space. Here are ten of our top outdoor tech features for outdoor living spaces to get you started:

Outdoor TV’s

There’s nothing like spending a lazy summer day in your backyard, soaking up the sun and enjoying the fresh air. With outdoor TVs, you can turn your backyard into your own private oasis. Whether you’re watching the big game or your favorite movie, outdoor TVs are the perfect way to enjoy your backyard living space.

Outdoor televisions are designed to withstand any type of weather or climate, so you don’t have to worry about rain or sun damage. We do however recommend investing in a cover for added protection when it’s not in use. Also, an anti-glare outdoor TV, to ensure you’ll be able to see the screen clearly, even in direct sunlight.

Your outdoor TV will be just as smart as the one inside your house. You can connect it to your home’s Wi-Fi network and stream all your favorite shows and movies. Take advantage of the fresh air while catching up on the news; stream a workout video while you get some sun; or make any night a family movie night.

Outdoor Theater Systems / Projectors

If you’re looking for a truly unique outdoor entertainment experience, then an outdoor theater system is for you. An outdoor theater system will transform your backyard into your own private movie theater. You can set up a projector and screen, or even use your home’s exterior as the screen.

Some homeowners we work with are installing remote-controlled screens that attach to the side of their homes. Simply push a button and the screen will unfurl. These screens fit seamlessly into your home’s design and are practically unnoticeable when not in use.

Whether you’re watching a classic film or the latest blockbuster, an outdoor theater system will take your family movie nights to the next level. And with surround sound, you’ll feel like you’re right in the middle of the action.

Audio Systems

Outdoor entertaining is not complete without music. A great sound system is an absolute must! Stream your favorite tunes wirelessly from your phone or tablet, and create the perfect ambiance for any occasion. For a truly unique audio experience, try using outdoor rock speakers. These speaker systems blend in with your landscaping and provide high-quality sound that will have you feeling like you’re at a concert in your own backyard.

You can choose from standalone speakers or create a more immersive experience with surround sound. In addition, these setups are 100% weatherproof, so you don’t have to worry about rain or snow damage.

With your new outdoor speaker system, the perfect soundtrack will be just a few taps away, no matter if you’re just hanging in the backyard or hosting a party.

Smart Fridge 

A fridge is a necessity for any outdoor entertaining space. If you don’t have the space or budget for a full outdoor kitchen, an outdoor fridge can still be a great addition to your backyard. Instead of running back and forth to the house every time you need a drink or snack, you can just head straight to your outdoor fridge.

Many of today’s outdoor fridges are even equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, so you can control them from your phone. With a smart fridge, you can keep track of what’s inside and get alerts when you’re running low on supplies, or when something inside is about to expire. Also, if you need to free up some space in your indoor fridge, an outdoor fridge is a great place to store extra food and drinks.

Entertain your guests with ease and keep your backyard party going all night long with a new outdoor fridge.

Automatic Pool Covers

For most homeowners, installing a backyard pool is the ultimate dream. But with a pool comes responsibility. Pool safety is always a top priority, and one of the best ways to keep your pool safe is to install an automatic pool cover.

An automatic pool cover is a motorized cover that automatically opens and closes. Simply tap on your smartphone or remote control and sit back and relax while the cover does all the work. When you’re finished using the pool, pull out your phone again and close it up for the night.

With an automatic pool cover, you’ll never have to worry about any children or pets accidentally falling in. They’re also great for keeping your pool clean, as they prevent leaves and debris from getting into the water.

In addition to safety, an automatic pool cover also saves you money on heating and chemicals, as the cover helps to keep the water warm and reduces evaporation. With an automatic pool cover, you can enjoy your backyard pool worry-free.

Automatic Roller Shades

Another great way to enjoy your outdoor living space is to install automatic roller shades. With the push of a button, you can block out the sun’s harsh rays, lower the temperature, and create instant privacy. Automatic roller shades can also help reduce your energy bills by keeping your home cooler in the summer. And when you’re not using them, they can roll up and out of the way, so you can enjoy your view.

From simple, manual systems to fully automated solutions, there’s an outdoor shade system to fit any need. Roller shades with automatic settings are also perfect for bad weather, as you can roll them down to keep your patio or deck protected from the wind and rain. They come in a variety of colors and styles, so you’ll be sure to find an option to match your home’s exterior.

Whether you’re looking for sun protection, privacy, or both, automatic roller shades are a great addition to any home.

Remote-Controlled Fireplaces

A fire pit is a perfect addition to any backyard living space for those cool summer nights.  But if you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, then a remote-controlled fireplace is the way to go.

With the push of a button, you can enjoy the ambiance of a real fire, without any of the hassles. Just pull out your smartphone or remote control to turn the fire pit on or off. You can also control the temperature, adjust the flame height, and even set a timer to keep your guests comfortable all night long.

Remote-controlled fireplaces come in a variety of styles, from traditional wood-burning models to modern, gas-powered versions. And with the wide range of sizes and designs available, you’re sure to find one that fits your space perfectly.

If you’re tired of waiting for the wood to burn, or dealing with smoky clothes, a remote-start backyard fire is the perfect solution for your seating area.

Smart Landscape Lighting Features

When it comes to making your backyard a safe and inviting space, smart outdoor lighting is a must-have. Not only do they provide the perfect ambiance for entertaining or relaxing, but they can also help to deter criminals. LED floodlights are a great option for providing ample light coverage, and you can even set them on timers so that they turn on and off automatically.

If you have steps or other hazards in your backyard, motion-activated lights can be a lifesaver. Smart lights are also ideal for deck lighting, as you can create a custom lighting scheme that’s perfect for any occasion. And with the ability to control your lights from your smartphone or tablet, you can easily change the mood of your space without ever having to leave your seat.

For added security, consider installing cameras that connect to your smart lights. That way, you can keep an eye on your property day and night. With the right lighting, your backyard can be both beautiful and safe.

Smart Water Features

If you’re looking for a unique way to spruce up your backyard, consider adding a remote-controlled water feature. Water features can add a soothing ambiance to any space. From simple birdbaths to elaborate fountains, there are plenty of options to choose from.

With smart water features, you can turn them on or off, change the flow rate, and even set a schedule, all from your smartphone or voice control. So if you’re looking for a way to add a little bit of luxury to your backyard, consider adding a remote-controlled water feature. You won’t be disappointed.

Other Heating Options

Living in Wisconsin, we know a thing or two about the cold. And when the temperatures start to drop, the last thing you want is to be stuck inside. But with a little bit of planning, you can keep the party going on cold summer nights and extend your outdoor season well into the fall and even winter.

One way to do that is by investing in a good patio heater.  Patio heaters come in a variety of styles and can run on either propane or natural gas. If you have a large patio or deck, you may want to consider a standing patio heater. For homeowners with pergolas or gazebos, you can install a ceiling-mounted patio heater that will provide heat without taking up any floor space.

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution, consider radiant floor heating. This type of heating is invisible and can be installed under any type of flooring, from concrete to wood. With radiant floor heating, your feet will be warm and cozy all night long.

All of these options come equipped with smart technology that allows you to control the temperature, set timers, and even schedule heating times from your smartphone or tablet. Extend your outdoor season and keep your guests comfortable with one of these amazing heating options.

In Conclusion

There you have it! These are just a few of the many outdoor tech features that can enhance your home’s outdoor space. Whether you’re looking for ways to improve your home’s security, save money on energy bills, or just add a little bit of luxury to your backyard, outdoor tech can help. If you have any questions about adding outdoor smart technology features to your home, we’d be happy to help.

What are some of your favorite outdoor tech features? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to check out our other blog posts for more great ideas. Thanks for reading!

11 Benefits Of Building A Custom Home

Your new house is more than just another property. It’s a symbol of your journey through life. It shows off your style, your taste, and your values. It’s a place where you’ll raise a family, entertain friends, and create a lifetime of memories.

When it comes time to start thinking about building your own home, there are a lot of things to consider. But one of the most important decisions you’ll make is whether to build a custom home or buy a pre-existing one. The following 11 benefits will help you understand the perks of building a custom home and why it’s the best way to get the house of your dreams.

  1. A Unique and Personal Space

    When you build a custom home, it is your vision. You have the opportunity to design every detail – from the layout to the finishes, and everything in between. This means that your home will be a reflection of your unique personal style and needs. Maybe you want a gourmet kitchen or a big backyard deck. Perhaps you want a home theater or a fitness room. Do you love natural light? How about having skylights installed in every room! Whatever you can dream up, you can make it happen when you build a custom home.

  2. Flexible Floor Plans

    When you work with a custom home builder, you are not limited to a handful of floor plans like you would be if you worked with a production builder. You can take an existing floor plan and customize it to better suit your needs, or you can start with a blank canvas and design a brand-new floor plan that is perfect for the way you want to live. This flexibility means that you can get exactly the home you want, without having to make any compromises. You have the freedom to get creative with the layout and design of each individual room. The possibilities are endless when you choose to design your own floor plan.

  3. Tailored to Your Lifestyle

    Building a custom home means you have the opportunity to design a space that is tailored specifically to your lifestyle. When working with an architect or interior designer, you can ensure that you’re crafting a home that is literally the “home of your dreams.” Maybe you work from home and need a dedicated home office space. Or, perhaps you want a mudroom to help keep your home clean and organized. If you have children, you can choose child-friendly features such as a game room or a backyard sports court. And if you love to entertain, you can include an outdoor kitchen or a basement that’s perfect for game nights. No matter how you want to live, a custom-built home can be designed to make it happen.

  4. Higher-Quality Materials and Workmanship

    When you build a custom home, you get to choose all the materials used in the construction. In other words, you can select higher-quality materials than you get with a pre-made home, which uses lower-quality materials to cut costs. With a custom home, you can choose eco-friendly materials, durable materials, and beautiful finishes that will make your home not only better for the environment but more comfortable and longer-lasting. A reputable builder works directly with trusted suppliers and vendors to get the best materials for your home. You’ll rest assured knowing your dream home is constructed with the best products, materials, and brands on the market.

  5. Energy-Efficient Designs

    A custom home builder should always be up-to-date on the latest energy-efficient building practices and materials. This means that your custom home will be designed to minimize energy waste and keep utility bills low. You can choose to add extra features including solar panels, tankless water heaters, or energy-efficient appliances/windows to make your home even more eco-friendly. In addition, many custom home builders are now constructing “smart homes” that can be controlled via a smartphone or other device. This technology can help you save even more on energy costs by allowing you to control your home’s temperature, lighting, and security system remotely.

  6. Increased Home Value

    Custom homes are typically valued higher than pre-made homes, due to the higher quality materials, energy efficiency, and unique design. This means that if you decide to sell your home, you will likely get a higher return on investment than you would with a pre-made home. A custom-built home also typically sells faster than a pre-existing home, meaning you won’t have to wait as long to find a buyer.

  7. Lot Choice and Privacy

    When you build a custom home, you’ll also be choosing the perfect lot for your home. This means you can pick a location that’s close to schools, parks, shopping, and other amenities that are important to you. And, if you want a little extra privacy, you can find a lot that’s tucked away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Whether you want to live on a quiet cul-de-sac or in a wooded setting, you’ll have the flexibility to find the perfect location for your future forever home and make it truly your own.

  8. Budget Flexibility

    One of the biggest benefits of custom-built homes is that they offer budget control. You’ll work with your builder to create a home that fits your budget, so you can get the special features and amenities that are important to you without overspending. This is in contrast to production homes, which often come with a set price tag that doesn’t allow for much customization. Plus, when you work with a design-build firm, you’ll benefit from upfront pricing, so there are no surprise costs along the way.

  9. Improved Quality Control

    The quality of your finished product will be much higher than it would be with a production home or semi-custom home. That’s because custom homes are built to order, so the builder can pay close attention to detail and ensure that everything is done right. In contrast, production homes are built on an “assembly line,” so the quality control is not as rigorous. This can lead to problems with the finished product, such as poor craftsmanship, shoddy materials, and subpar construction. If you want to be sure that your home is built with the highest level of quality, a custom home is the way to go. You’ll be involved in every step of the process, so you can be confident that your home is being built the way you want it.

  10. A Personalized Homebuilding Experience

    When you build a custom home, you’ll have a much more personal experience than you would if you bought a pre-made home. You’ll work directly with your custom building partner to select every aspect of your home. This means you’ll have a say in every detail of your home and the opportunity to make it truly unique. You won’t have to settle for a home that was designed for someone else’s dream – you can create a space that’s perfect for the way YOU want to live.

  11. A Deeper Sense of Satisfaction

    At the end of the day, there’s simply no substitute for a home that’s been built just for you. When you walk through the front door of your new custom home, you’ll know that it was designed and built with your specific needs, wants, and tastes in mind. This can give you a deeper sense of satisfaction and pride of ownership than you would have with a production home. You’ll also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your home is one of a kind and built to last.

The Bottom Line
Building a custom home offers many benefits over buying a production or existing homes. You’ll have more control over the design of your home, the quality of materials used, and the budget. Plus, you’ll enjoy a more personalized homebuilding experience and a deeper sense of satisfaction when it’s all done. If you’re considering building a new home, working with a custom builder or a design-build firm is a great way to get exactly what you want.

Do you have a specific vision for your forever home? Are you looking for a home builder in Southeastern Wisconsin you can trust to turn that vision into reality? Reach out to us today to learn more about our custom home building process. We’ll work with you every step of the way to ensure you end up with a home that’s perfect for you and your family. Contact Ware Design Build today to get started.

What is Your Design Style?

When we say transitional, what do you think that means? We are going to break down some common design styles to help you get started.

Here are some elements you typically see in each style:


  • Wrought iron vertical spindles
  • Ornate chandeliers
  • Open foyers
  • Loft spaces


  • Bright whites
  • Glossy surfaces
  • Crystal chandeliers
  • Chrome fixtures
  • Wall treatments


  • A combination of traditional and modern-the best of both worlds!
  • Focus on luxury and comfort
  • Mostly neutral colors, dark colors used as accents only
  • Symmetry and clean lines


  • A front porch or wrap-around porch whenever possible
  • Steep roof
  • Horizontal siding/shutters
  • Farm-inspired lighting
  • Horizontal lines
  • Farmhouse sinks
  • Shiplap/wainscotting
  • Floating shelves


  • Clean, streamline
  • Minimalist
  • Polished surfaces
  • Geometric shapes

Do any of these sound like your style? Are you having a hard time selecting your style? Our designers are here to help assist you! That is one of the many reasons why a design-build firm is an excellent way to build your home. We will spot patterns in your preferences and help assist you to determine the style home that will best suite your needs!

How Can We Build in Function?

When we say we build each home from a blank slate, we mean it. This means building in function to fit your lifestyle and needs. Not sure what that means? Here are some of the kinds of items that others have found useful. Let this list be a start for your project, think about how you use your spaces and how we can customize your home for you.

Building function into your kitchen cabinets – how do you cook or bake? Do you like clutter-free countertops and a place for everything within your cabinetry? We work direct with a custom cabinet company to make the most out of your space. We can add things like in-cabinet knife blocks, KitchenAid Stand Mixer lifts, spice drawers, custom utensil dividers, K-Cup holders, the possibilities are endless.

How about your laundry room? This is a chore no one seems to like, but if the space is functional, laundry does not seem so bad. We have incorporated built-in ironing boards, clothes rack drying systems, laundry chutes, sinks, and folding stations. Some clients would like to take this a step further and create a command center. Would this be useful to you? You can have a pet shower/boot washing station, folding space, desk space, mudroom combination in order to keep the mess contained and away from the main living space. This is a great area to store an extra refrigerator or freezer too!

Another big request is multi-purpose rooms. Maybe it is an office and guest bedroom. How do we create a space for both? Using built-ins can help! We can install a murphy bed, built-in shelves, even a built-in desk space. Or, built-in bunk beds for kids! This can be a fun room!

Slide the divider to view the bed functionality.
Architecture and Interior Design services provided by Deep River Partners.

Sometimes function for a family is not what is in the home, but what they have access to. Right now lots of live/work/play developments are popping up. Condos are being built over shops and restaurants so that you can walk out of your building and have all you need. Ware Design Build also specializes in condo build-outs, making that condo space just what you need, while keeping your amazing location.

Reach out today and let us know how we can make an existing space functional through our remodel services or how we can create a new home to suit your needs.

How you can have the Ultimate Home Office

These days, a lot of people are working from home. Some just a day or two a week, others every day.

If you recently made the switch to working at home, you’ll need a home office that can help your productivity. After all, just because you’re working at home doesn’t mean you won’t have to deal with distractions.

If you’re thinking about renovating your home to include the Ultimate Home Office, there are a few things you should consider. Depending on your situation, you may not be able to get everything on this list, but it will help you prioritize what’s most important to you.

Distraction-Free Area
At home, there are plenty of distractions, including kids, TV, the kitchen, and household chores, to name just a few.

You can minimize these distractions by locating your office as far away from the action as possible. Think about your basement, bonus room, or even your garage.

If you have a space in your home that doesn’t get used much, it could be turned into an office. Or, if you have the land, you could build a separate garage with an upstairs office suite.

Having your home office in the furthest corners of your home will re-create the feeling of “going to work,” but without the commute.

Nearby Bathroom
The flip side of sequestering your home office from the rest of the home is it can make bathroom breaks more of a distraction than they need to be.

So be sure to choose a room that’s close to a bathroom. Or if you’re building an addition to accommodate your home office, be sure to include one in your plans. This will help ensure you stay productive by replicating the office experience as much as possible.

Natural Light
The drawback of working in a basement or attic office with no windows is that you may not see the sun all day. Natural light can make you feel more energetic and productive, so it’s important that your office has windows, skylights, or both.

This also allows you to have a couple plants in your office, which can boost your indoor air quality and help you feel calmer.

Sound Design
If your office is in the main structure of your home, noise could become an issue. You need a quiet space to work, especially if you have kids and other family members coming in and out of the house all day.

The good news is you can soundproof your home office. We can install special insulation and acoustic panels to minimize sound transmission in and out of your office.

Break Room
Now we’re talking serious home office luxury. A break room, complete with a small kitchen, can do wonders for maximizing your productivity.

While you’re working, you need a place to stretch your legs and grab a cup of coffee, have your lunch, or just give yourself a mental break. Having a dedicated break room depends on your available space, but it’s well worth it.

If you think you’ll be working from home for the foreseeable future, even if it’s just a day or two a week, a well-designed home office is well worth the investment. Contact us and we’ll help you get started.