The Enjoyable (yes, enjoyable!) Homebuilding Process

Photograph provided by Wausau Homes

Making the process of building a home from scratch stress free is not something all construction companies are capable of. There always seem to be unforeseen costs, and timelines are dependent on the weather as much as they are the craftsmen. But there is another option: a climate-controlled production process with firm pricing, an exact move-in date, and the ability to create timelines year-round without having to sacrifice home customization for customers with vision. They’re called panelized homes.

Professional carpenters work in a production facility to ensure that all home components are built with the highest precision, quality, and consistency. They don’t battle the typical outdoor elements, which ensures a stronger, tighter, higher-quality home with less waste and no cost overruns or time delays. The entire framework is constructed in a completely controlled environment, resulting in more measuring and fitting accuracy and, therefore, more efficiency, saving money in the long run.

In addition, once the foundation is dug, the actual install of the framework components normally takes no more than two to five days. Everything is up and under the roof faster. There is less damage from the elements, and the component construction can happen any season, allowing for year-round building and more ease of meeting estimated timeframes.

At first glance, one might think this leads to more cookie-cutter homes. The opposite is actually true. Carissa Manteufel, in the Mount Horeb Wausau Homes Design Center, explains, “We don’t build one-size-fits-all homes. Our first priority is working with you to create the perfect home design that fits your family. With over 150 starting-point house plans and 33 customizable exterior designs, we can really make the home fit the lifestyle of the individuals or family building the home.”

Options generally include different categories of floor plans, such as family, vacation, and resort. These categories make the process less overwhelming because attention has already been given to the details that make designs fit lifestyles. If you need help deciding what sort of flex spaces will work for you, the guidance is there. Wider hallways? Higher ceilings? It’s already been thought of and is easy to incorporate.

Companies that do panelized housing often work with local builders and train them in the building process. In 2016, long-time builder and Mount Horeb native Jim Sutter along with his daughter, Carissa Manteufel, partnered with Wausau Homes to bring this homebuilding experience to Mount Horeb and the Greater Madison area. Jim was extensively involved in area land developments as well as architectural review committees, and he had a family history of building barns and masonry. He has seen it all and knows how to customize efficiently.

“By taking this next step and partnering with Wausau Homes to open the Design Studio, we’re able to give customers a stress-free building experience different than anything out there today,” says Jim. Coordination with plumbers, electricians, insulating contractors, and drywallers makes final project completion a possibility in as little as three months.

The Design Studio features everything from cabinets and countertops to siding and shingles. Homebuyers can explore samples of cabinetry, trim, doors, faucets, and tile all in one location to help plan and customize every aspect of their new home.

With the latest 3-D design software, homebuyers can also see their plan come to life and virtually walk through every room of the home. The homebuyer knows exactly what their new home will look like, inside and out, right down to how their furniture will fit in each room before it’s ever built.

Once a floor plan and design are agreed upon, the plans will be sent to a team of certified engineers who use a 3-D home design software to make sure the house is structurally sound and order all of the materials necessary to complete the home. This system interfaces with computer-controlled components to accurately and efficiently cut materials to build roof trusses along with custom crafted floor and wall framework—all within a climate-controlled facility.

This streamlined building process allows homeowners to begin their new home project and move in in as few as 90 days, no matter what season. Homebuyers who decide to build in the winter, when demand is down, can often receive a discount on the overall cost of their new home.

“From capturing the excitement during groundbreaking, bringing family and friends together for a set day party and finishing with a housewarming celebration, we want to make the experience memorable,” says Carissa.

Kim Briske is the marketing coordinator at Wausau Homes.

Photographs provided by Wausau Homes.

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Wausau Homes Mount Horeb
1804 Springdale Street
Mt. Horeb, WI 53572