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A mid-sized metropolitan area in the heart of the Midwest, Fort Wayne has low living costs and quiet neighborhoods which makes it the perfect place to buy a home, start a family. With more than 200 years worth of history, Fort Wayne has a rich and fascinating past. And you can see that history in its bold architecture built by some of the greatest minds of the century like Eero Saarinen, a Finnish American architect, and industrial designer noted for his neo-futuristic style.
Fort Wayne is deeply rooted in its traditions, and its residents preserve the city’s history. The Chief Richardville House, the oldest Native American structure in the midwest, is a beautifully preserved example of the care Fort Wayne takes. As might be expected from a city that leans towards the traditional, the firms on this list usually build homes that carry a median price of $100,700 and exhibit colonial revival styles. Though the style has been around since 1876, the firms on this list maintain the style’s historic elements but include all the modern luxuries. Many of these firms operate in high-end neighborhoods like Asian Passage, Heron Preserve, The Cliffs, Deer Hollow, and Grey Oaks. In addition to building homes in affluent neighborhoods, the best firms in the list were featured in prominent magazines like Professional Builder and were given awards like Business Weekly’s Forty under 40 Award and the Reader’s Choice Award.
11) Mike Gepfert Homes
923 Northcrest Business Center Suite D9, Fort Wayne, IN 46805
Established in 1991, Mike Gepfert Homes is a general contracting firm with a membership in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Indiana Builders Association (IBA). It is also known for building custom homes and doing renovation and alteration projects. As a specialty service, the firm is also capable of waterfront property construction.
One great example of the firm’s work is Long Tall Sally which exhibits detail, creativity in design, and careful planning. The home is a Craftsman and mixes modern touches with retroelements. Its exterior is adorned with a red cement lap siding and accented with tan cement shakes and thin-veneer stone and brick. Black windows, soffits, fascia, and gutters complete the retro look. The interior also has impressive elements, and the most notable feature is the repurposed barn doors and tracks taken from a family farm to complement the craftsman style interior trim.
Its founder Mike Gepfert is a graduate of Ball State University and was a woodworking enthusiast and a recreational remodeler. Though he was interested in this field, he pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Plastics and Manufacturing Engineering and CAD Design. During these college years, Gepfert worked as a CAD designer in Hartford Concrete Products’ engineering department where he drafted and detailed above and below grade pre-cast concrete structures. After graduating, he worked as a CAD Designer for Fort Wayne Plastics before moving on to two other manufacturing companies. In these companies, he had the opportunity to hold numerous positions including engineer, quality control manager, plant manager, director of sales, and director of operations.
In late 2003, he joined a successful custom home builder to fulfill his college dreams of becoming an architect. By 2008, he was able to purchase the company upon the previous owner’s retirement.
10) Henney Builders
6736 Schlatter Road, Leo-Cedarville, IN 46765
For 40 years, Henney Builders has been known to build unique, beautiful custom homes built by some of the best Amish craftsmen. These custom homes exhibit Craftsman and traditional styles. In addition to building custom homes, the firm extends its services to building outdoor structures like pergolas, gazebos, guest houses, and pool houses. Along with these structures, the firm also has experience designing and installing custom cabinetry. Founder Floy Henney established the firm in 1976 and later worked with his brothers-in-law Harold Delagrange and Erv Miller. This trio built and remodeled numerous homes, and their custom cabinetry work kept increasing. So they founded Legacy Designs by Henney which focuses solely on cabinetry.
One of the firm’s notable projects is a Craftsman home that has a cross-gabled roof and countless windows. The home presents wonderful views, and its wide patio is great for family get-togethers and parties.
9) Colonial Homes
4328 Flagstaff Cove, Fort Wayne, IN 46815
Since founders Larry and Herb Delagrange established Colonial Homes in 1976, this firm has been building homes in Indiana and Northwest Ohio. The firm is known for its custom drafting services and its award-winning designs. The homes range from small, affordable cottages that feature snug and cozy interiors and picturesque garden views, to spacious open floor plan contemporaries with eye-catching interior designs, to multi-million dollar mansions that showcase imported building materials and ornate architecture. Doing custom builds for all styles of living, Colonial Homes is a family owned and operated custom builder that has 40 years worth of experience building spaces for family life, entertainment, social occasions, and work. In addition to building exceptional custom homes, this firm is also known for being one of the pioneers of the villa concept in the mid-1980s. It is a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Indiana Builders Association (IBA).
One of its most notable projects is a Colonial Revival style home with an unobstructed view of a nearby lake. The residence’s exquisite craftsmanship with wooden pillars and colorful brick siding blends perfectly with the home’s natural surroundings.
8) Keystone Builders
12730 Coldwater Rd. Suite #101, Fort Wayne, IN 46845
From Northeast Indiana to Michigan, Keystone Builders has worked with a wide range of homeowners since its establishment in 1984. Building homes that are all unique, the firm limits itself to building ten to 12 homes a year to focus on the high-quality designs of its team. Usually, this firm builds Prairie and Victorian homes inspired by the architecture of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Over 50 of these homes can be seen near the lakes of Northeast Indiana and Southern Michigan, and harmonize perfectly with those surroundings. Owner and founder Mike Todoran is personally involved in the construction of these highly detailed homes. Thanks to this work ethic, past clients return and refer him to family and friends.
Take a look at this Queen Anne townhouse with a light color palette that seems to blend in with a clear blue sky. A three-story house, it has many wide windows and a spacious deck for spectacular views.
7) Woodmark Homes Inc
10319 Dawsons Creek Blvd. Suite D, Fort Wayne, IN 46845
For over 20 years, Woodwark Homes Inc. has been building custom homes in Fort Wayne. In addition to custom homes that usually come in the colonial revival, farmhouse, and French colonial rural styles, it also does commercial and remodeling projects like warehouses and workshops. Established in 2001, it is a member of the Indiana Builders Association and the Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne. Founder Steve McDaniel has over 30 years of experience in construction and project management. He is also a graduate of Purdue University where he studied building design and systems engineering and served the scholarship committee at the local Home Builders Association to help young students find financial assistance for college.
One of its most notable projects is a Lodge style home overlooking a wide lake. Created using hybrid timber frame design and conventional stick framing with modern engineered beams, this residence was built to resemble Western lodge houses. Some interior features were hand-hewn, ten-inch squared Douglas Fir beams crafted on site. The exterior also has three tiered overhangs with innovative guttered interiors which preemptively solve freezing problems.
6) Sauder Built
13601 Roth Road, Grabill, IN 46741
Formerly known as Mark L. Sauder General Contractor, Sauder Built has been constructing the finest custom homes in Fort Wayne for 30 years. In addition to doing residential new home construction and custom homes that usually exhibit the craftsman and colonial styles, the firm also does light commercial construction, remodeling, and lake homes.
Its founder Mark Sauder is a Granbill native and studied civil engineering for two years at Purdue University before founding the company. With experience in nearly every construction trade, he has 36 years of experience in the industry, and is considered by the local construction industry as an innovative designer and a true craftsman. Though the firm was established in 1978, the Sauder family has been an established name in the Grabill community since 1830.
5) Lynn Delagrange Inc.
113 Airport North Office Park, Fort Wayne, IN 46825
Founded in 1985, Lynn Delagrange Inc. is a licensed builder in Indiana and Ohio, but usually builds homes within a 60-mile radius of Fort Wayne. In addition to building single-family homes, the firm also extends its services to building lake and vacation homes, commercial offices and other light commercial buildings, remodeling or home additions, and multi-family residences. These residences usually come in styles like early New England period, ranch, cottage, lake homes, Craftsman, farmhouse, Cape Cod, prairie, eclectic, and the Mediterranean. A great example is the Cape Cod style lake house on Big Long Lake. To preserve the history and beauty of the site, the home was built with lumber harvested from an on-site red oak.
That red oak found itself in the flooring, mantels, and even a nook table. The lake house has private decks for the three bedrooms on the second floor and a wrap-around veranda on the main floor. There is also an oversized see-through fireplace that divides the multi-sided sunroom from the great room, while a full “lake bath” and a super-sized laundry room can be seen just a step inside the lakeside door. Over the wide garage, that allows for boat and lake toy storage, is another room large multi-purpose room.
In a typical year, the firm only does ten to 15 single family homes, completes numerous home remodeling and addition projects, and they construct one or two light commercial building projects. That limit allows them to maintain the necessary personal services for completing such projects. Though the firm is capable of building all kinds of projects, it specializes in new lake homes and remodeling. Its founder, Lynn Delagrange, designs approximately 50% of the firm’s residential projects and has a good working relationship with many of the architects in the area.
4) Timberlin Homes
11623 Coldwater Rd. Suite #102, Fort Wayne, IN 46845
A custom home builder established in 2005, Timberlin Homes is known to create residences that have comfortable interiors and custom elements that complement the home’s natural surroundings. The firm has expertise in a wide range of styles including farmhouse, New England coastal, classic European, lake residences, and Craftsman. In addition to building homes with various styles, the firm also builds Green homes and is a certified lead-safe firm.
The firm’s founder Barclay Allen has been building such homes in North East Indiana for 25 years. Allen is also a certified green builder and is one of the few local builders who earned Graduate Master Builder and Certified Graduate Builder designations. Furthering his education, he also obtained the Certified Aging in Place designation in 2011.
3) RW Robrock Design Build
6215 Constitution Dr. Suite A, Fort Wayne, IN 46804
Over 20 years ago, RW Robrock Design Build used to be called Hakes and Robrock Builders. But even with a change to its name, the firm still held on to the same mission of building custom homes with pride. Since then, the company has built and renovated hundreds of upscale custom homes and commercial spaces throughout Northeast Indiana. Some of these upscale builds were featured in Northern Indiana Lakes, Today’s Home Matters, and Home Living. Regardless of the size or scope of the project, the firm is well-known for high-quality craftsmanship and the long-standing relationships that the team formed throughout the years. These relationships were most likely formed from home and business owners that return for renovations or second homes.
The firm is also a member of the Indiana Builders Association (IBA), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and the Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne (HBAFW). Its founder Rodney Robrock majored in architectural engineering while doing construction jobs. After graduating, he worked as a draftsman and traveled the country with the purpose of overseeing construction projects.
2) Granite Ridge builders
1020 Woodland Plaza Run, Fort Wayne, IN 46825
Granite Ridge Builders has been around since 1985 as a custom home builder, and they have evolved and adapted constantly since then. It serves Indiana, Southern Michigan, and Northwest Ohio, providing clients with the most up-to-date selections. It is a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the Indiana Builders Association (IBA). From 2013 to 2018, the firm held ranks in Professional Builder.
The firm was also voted by Reader’s Choice Awards as Fort Wayne’s No. 1 Custom Home Builder. The firm kept this ranking for six years in a row. One of the firm’s most notable projects is a three-story lakeside home with wide balconies on the second and third floors, and wide windows that open up a spectacular view of the lake.
1) Hamed Homes
10808 La Cabreah Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46845
Hamed Homes is an establishment born out of a simple vision that thrived because of a strong entrepreneurial spirit and keen attention to detail. The firm has been around since 1978, specializing in designing and building custom homes. It is also a member of the Home Builders Association of Fort Wayne and gained the 2017 Reader’s Choice award for Best Home Builders from Fort Wayne Newspapers. To ensure that the homes it builds to keep quality standards, the firm selects a finite number of custom homes to build each year.
In addition to this admirable focus on quality, the firm’s president Al W. Hamed also possesses an astute sense for business and exemplary professionalism. Thanks to these qualities, he won Business Weekly’s 2017 Forty under 40 awards. Coupled with years of established construction and business practices, Hamed has a visionary mindset. For 40 years, these qualities have led the firm to create unique custom homes that can be seen in high-end addresses like Asian Passage, Heron Preserve, The Cliffs, Deer Hollow, and Grey Oaks.
A great example of the firm’s work is a home in The Cliffs built in 2015. A 5,416 square foot home, the estate sits atop a partially wooded lot and boasts four individual garages. The estate is adorned with various unique designs like stone accent walls, solid wood trim accents, crown moldings, beamed ceilings, and handcrafted built-in shelving.
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