When one North Shore family decided they loved their Winnetka location so much that they would rather renovate than move, they turned to Lake Bluff ’s Lynch Construction Corp. to turn their current house into their forever home.
“We have worked with this family over the past several years,” explains Jeff Lynch, owner and founder of Lynch Construction. Lynch Construction is a full-service firm specializing in residential construction, home remodeling, historic renovation, home maintenance, and cabinetry design. “These clients were service customers, who we had helped with a number of home maintenance projects. I know we won the competitive bid for this major renovation on their house because of our working relationship.”
The initial project scope: to install new floors on the first floor, add a new kitchen and family room, and remodel the master suite and addition for the master bath in a home built in the 1950s.
“While working with architect Paul Konstant and designer Soucie Horner, the project crept in scope and doubled in size,” Jeff explains, detailing the shoring up the structure of the house, installing new plumbing and electrical throughout, adding a third floor, and addressing its primary challenge—water issues caused by its proximity to a floodplain.
“When Jeff is working with an architect or homeowner, they look to him for his expertise on difficult issues,” says Jeff ’s wife, Joan, who handles the business operations for Lynch Construction. “Jeff knows how to look at existing conditions and make things work, and make them happen seamlessly. This is where we shine. We never want anyone to walk into one of our projects and say ‘nice addition.’ Our goal is to make it look like the renovation was original to the home’s design.”
No design elements were sacrificed for functionality on this project, a house that incorporated a number of high-end finishes. A perfect example of this would be the state-of-the-art pergola off the family room.
“Maximizing the home’s entertaining space was very important to this family,” adds Jeff. “They were interested in having a pergola that would be functional for more than just one season in Chicago. After a great deal of research, we landed on a structure that exceeded the clients’ expectations. It gave the homeowner the aesthetic they wanted and the flexibility they were seeking. Using a remote control, the homeowners can seal its roof, enclose it with screens, turn on heaters, and switch on LED lights and surround sound. It took some back and forth to get the piece delivered and to work the way it should, but the results were worth it.”
This attention to detail is also seen in the exquisite carpentry of the cabinets installed in the kitchen, butler’s pantry, mudroom, and throughout the house. “Our cabinet shop can create almost anything,” says Joan. “If a homeowner doesn’t see something they like online or in a catalog, we can build it for them.”
The homeowners were so pleased with the initial renovations to their first floor that they retained Jeff and the team to rework the bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry room on the second floor, and then to remove the roof and add two more bedrooms and a bathroom to a third floor.
“As the project unfolded, the homeowners were determined to repair all of the house’s other issues,” Jeff explains. “Things didn’t happen in the order they would have had we started the project knowing everything we were going to do. But we were lucky that the family wasn’t living in the home while the work was underway.”
While Lynch had managed the water and flooding issues during construction, when the project was nearly finished, the homeowner decided to have the basement water problems fully resolved.
“All of the construction and decorating was near complete when we got the call to get the water problem fixed once and for all,” says Joan with a laugh. “It was early spring, and we literally had to pump water and sand out of the basement windows so we didn’t disturb any of the work we had just finished on the upper levels. It was a challenge.”
The best part of this project, in addition to creating a beautiful home its owners absolutely love in a location they’re committed to, the family was able to move back in just before the pandemic.
“The homeowners say that the renovation was a lifesaver in more ways than one,” notes Joan, mentioning that the family was also able to have their swimming pool finished in time for them to enjoy the summer.
“This has been a very trying time for all businesses,” Joan adds. “We’ve been fortunate, that people are investing in their living spaces because this is where they are spending all of their time. We’ve been able to continue working and we’ve implemented all of the necessary protocols to keep our homeowners and team members safe. We’re hopeful that this next year will be good for all of us.”
Lynch Construction Corp., 100 N. Skokie Highway, Lake Bluff, Illinois, 847-295-1825, lynchconstruction.biz.