The front of the home in Central Wisconsin built by Royalty Custom Homes.
Building a family’s forever home might seem like a daunting task for some builders, but for Royalty Custom Homes, it was a challenge that they couldn’t wait to take on.
When their team started working on this project, they knew it would be big; a big home for a big family with expansive windows and patio doors. Plus, it was all built on a gigantic rock.
We spoke with Royalty Custom Homes team member Amanda McLellan about her experience helping this family with seven children create their forever home.
The Royalty Custom Homes Team!
Amanda’s role at Royalty Custom Homes is to work directly with clients, helping them manage both their expectations and their budget as she guides them through the many decisions that come with building a new home. Sam McLellan manages day-to-day activity on the job site including sub-contractors and vendors. Bill Shnowske, the company’s president, works on the office side of things making sure numbers align as the customer anticipates and overseeing projects from a big picture perspective.
Amanda calls this project one of her favorites. It’s a secluded, Central Wisconsin oasis where they can watch their family grow even more.
House on the Rock
The home's backyard area with a unique rock path.
Move over Frank Lloyd Wright, there’s a new “House on the Rock” in Wisconsin. The people who built this home own 40 acres of land. Amanda says her customers walked the property many times and chose a specific location with a large boulder they wanted to use as a focal point in the backyard.
“They picked this spot saying, ‘Build the back of our house facing this rock because it’s what we want to see every day,’” Amanda explains.
What the Royalty team didn’t fully realize at the time was how much more rock was below the surface.
“Their entire property is very rocky, the rockiest we’ve ever built on and brought utilities to in Central Wisconsin. So, there were certainly unknowns when we started digging,” Amanda says. “There were a lot of large wrecking balls involved to break that rock up. It was an iceberg of a rock hidden underneath the surface.”
To save on time and budget, a decision was eventually made to have the house’s foundation sit a few feet higher than originally planned. It was a small compromise for a family that had a very specific vision in mind for their home.
Built to Please
Kitchen to the butler's pantry.
These customers had experience with the home-building process, which meant they also had plenty of thoughts about how to make this “forever home” work for them. Amanda says she worked closely with the wife and mother of the family throughout the project.
“I love everything about this home, it was really fun to partner with our customer on it. She had built other homes previously and decided she was going to do exactly what she wanted this time. She very intentionally looked at the way the family was living life in their old home and decided she wanted to do it right.”
The home includes unique features like a full butler pantry, a secret door from the home office to the master bathroom for Dad, and a homework room that will someday become a crafting area for the grandkids.
There’s also a special space for Mom, a window-filled sunroom giving her a getaway without completely isolating her from everyone else.
A window filled sunroom allows for plenty of natural light to come into the home.
“She wanted to feel the sun coming in and feel connected to nature without being outside,” Amanda says. “Yet, she didn’t want to be separated from the rest of the house either. So, we put some large Pella windows on the interior walls of that room. She can still see everything in the kitchen and dining room while being in her space.”
Light Fixture with a Pella window in the background.
Royalty Custom Homes used Pella’s popular Imprevia® fiberglass windows on this project. The customers originally had a different brand of windows in mind, but Amanda says those products didn’t have the specifications required to get the job done.
“Thankfully, there was a comparable product from Pella that did fit the bill,” Amanda says. “Our Pella rep, Andy Bauer, had talked to us a lot about Impervia® windows, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to put them in a home yet, and I knew it would meet their needs.”
“Usually, the strength and durability of the Impervia® line are important selling points,” explains Bauer, a trade sales representative for Pella Windows & Doors of Wisconsin. “With this customer, they also really liked the look, which gives the impression of a painted wood window."
“The windows have a really warm and homey look,” adds Amanda. “When I showed the homeowners, they fell in love with them instantly.”
A Home that Welcomes Nature
A large kitchen and dining area with Pella windows and large sliding patio doors.
The amount of glass from windows and patio doors in this home plays an important role in creating the living experience the family desired.
“The natural light coming into this house through the Pella windows is astounding,” says Amanda. “I absolutely love how much of the outside feels like it’s inside. And, since it’s very private where they are, they don’t need blinds or shades covering the windows.”
Amanda expects this family will spend a lot of time on their backyard patio, and two sets of large Pella sliding patio doors (shown above and below) will serve as entryways to that gathering place.
“They are eight feet tall. They’re just huge!” Amanda exclaims. “But, unlike some patio doors, these are also very sturdy and they look excellent.”
The patio door in the home's master bedroom.
“We used our vinyl 350 Series for the patio doors because of the smooth seam and sliding panel being on the interior,” Bauer says. "Due to its larger size, it brings more natural light into the rooms."
Connecting the house to the land that surrounds it was an important part of the project, because the feeling of being home requires more than walls and windows. This is a place where many memories will be made and a lot of love will be shared.
“They have a big clearing of a meadow on the property,” Amanda says. “That’s where their daughter will be getting married this fall.”
Working Together as a Team
Another view of the home.
Amanda points out the significance of good communication among builders, designers, homeowners, and various contractors when completing a very large and personal project such as this. Andy Bauer says he loves working alongside Royalty Custom Homes thanks in part to a shared commitment to excellence.
“Bill, Sam and Amanda are very fun and easy going people to work with, not to mention, their values of quality and dedication to their customers line up really well with my values on how to take care of customers,” Bauer says. “I also like stopping by to see Abby, their dog.”
Amanda agrees that the working relationship between Royalty Custom Homes and Pella Windows and Doors of Wisconsin has been an ideal match. She recalls a situation in which a window broke during transport to the job site.
“It was already resolved before we even knew there was an issue,” Amanda says. “Andy has helped us manage our projects very well and we are very satisfied.”
If you’re interested in working with Pella Windows and Doors of Wisconsin on an upcoming project, or have questions about any of our product lines, contact a sales rep soon. Pella has the flexibility to customize windows and doors for practically any application. Call us today at 800-242-1008.