and Jane Aliota of Nashotah love their custom-built home
that is designed to suit their family. Staying on your
timetables during the construction process is important,
Jane said. Gas Light Homes of New Berlin built the Aliotas
But with the market values and
resulting prices of pre-built homes as high as theyve been over
the last few years, more and more people have been looking at the
option of building their own home these days in an effort to get
exactly what they want for their housing dollar.
We both reached the decision
that we really wanted what we wanted in a home, said Jane
Aliota. She and her husband have been in their custom-built home
in Nashotah since February of last year. We wanted people to
walk through our house and know it was our home.
The Aliotas and their three
children had been living in South Milwaukee for six years, in a
home with only one bathroom. Their new home has three bathrooms,
but Jane says made-to-order facilities arent the only benefit
to custom building.
Our niece is an interior
designer, so the kids could each have pretty much whatever they
wanted in their rooms as long as they ran it by her first, she
The Aliotas decided on a custom
home after looking around at existing homes in the area and having
nothing jump out at them.
Then, while visiting a relative in
Charlotte, N.C., they fell in love with his custom-built home.
We bought the plans from the
designer in Georgia but our builder wound up changing them around
once we decided what we wanted, she said.
Those changes turned a
2,300-square-foot plan into a 3,100-square-foot home a
phenomenon other custom-builders say is not uncommon.
The planning phase took longer
than the actual construction, said Bambi Voss, another
custom-built homeowner in Nashotah. We showed our concepts to
the builder and he pulled them all together in the final plans.
The Vosses have been in their
2,900-square-foot home since November of 1998.
Bambi and her husband, Jim, went
the custom route because although they wanted a Frank Lloyd
Wright Prairie-style exterior they wanted a very modern
interior for their home.
and Bambi Voss built their custom home in Nashotah. They
wanted a Frank Lloyd Wright exterior design with a
interior. Bambi is standing in the front yard with her
and Leerin. Gas Light Homes of New Berlin built the home.
We were looking and we just
couldnt find exactly the right model home, she said.
Because the Vosses had built their
previous home of 12 years in the Town of Vernon, they had some
idea what to expect from the whole process. Not so for first-time
home builders and owners Brandon and Andrea Bergman.
The Bergmans broke ground on their
Waukesha semi-custom home in December, which was something they
never planned to do when they started looking for their first
We were definitely not going to
build, said Brandon who, until recently, rented an apartment
with his wife on the East Side of Milwaukee. We were anxious to
get in somewhere right away and the construction time would be at
least five months.
Once the couple started looking,
however, they were amazed to find how little their housing dollar
Working on a budget of just under
$200,000, the Bergmans were really only able to find one location
they really liked. And that house, Brandon said, wouldve
required a lot of work.
The new trend is open spaces and
first floor bedrooms, said Brandon, who works in the real
estate business. We wouldve spent even more money just to
make that house the way we wanted it.
Brandon said for approximately the
same cost, they were able to choose from one of 35 different floor
plans and then customize those plans to suit their needs.
Were very excited to get in
there, he said.
The Aliotas could relate to that
excitement, but have some words of caution for first-time buyers.
Stay on your timetables, Jane
warned. Thats really important. And when the builder asks
for something, be sure to get it to them right away or you could
slow down the whole process.
Most of all, Jane said, its
important to be patient.
Be prepared that its going to
take more time than you anticipated, she said.
The Bergmans also have some helpful
advice for those considering a custom home.
Youve got to know going into
it that things are going to happen, said Brandon, who spent
considerable time doing research before settling on a builder. Thats
when you have to be able to put your trust in a builder with a