Interior shot of a home gym space with equipment, weights, balls. Room is surrounded by windows and well lit.

Learn how to create a quiet home gym or court from the custom builders at Gordon James

Maintaining an active lifestyle through exercise and sports is a great way to improve your mood and longevity. Trudging to the gym, especially during Minnesota winters, on the other hand can be less than ideal. Not only that, but even the nicest gyms can have dangerously high noise levels. Over the last several years, in-house fitness has become a booming industry. Today, home gyms and athletic courts are a must-have for people renovating or building a new home. Providing convenience, custom design and huge value for homeowners, a home gym is a great idea. But like all great ideas, it’s important to execute it the right way. Because gyms and athletic courts create a lot of noise, that means building with sound in mind. 

At Gordon James, we build home fitness and recreation facilities that are attractive, effective and quiet for your family and neighbors. Here’s how we do it.

Interior shot of a home gym. Closed space, no windows. Various equipment including weights, medicine balls and a standing bicycle.

 1. Build Quiet From the Ground Up with Acoustic Flooring

Whether you’re running on a treadmill, dribbling a basketball or playing a game of pickleball, the impact vibrations on the floor create a significant amount of noise. This doesn’t just impact your ear drums, but can irritate your family members and neighbors. It’s important to minimize this impact noise by using sound absorbing materials in your flooring. When building a new home, install mass-loaded vinyl between the subfloor and gym or court flooring. This will sharply mitigate the amount of vibrations caused by impact, and make your home gym or athletic court much quieter. If you’re renovating a space, particularly in the basement, as a home gym, acoustic mats can be installed over the existing flooring to achieve the same results. 

Interior shot of a home gym space with equipment, weights, balls. Room is surrounded by windows and well lit.


2. Add Acoustic Panels to Your Walls and Ceilings

Echo and reverberation are also major culprits of unwanted noise in home gyms and athletic courts. Hanging acoustic paneling on your walls and ceilings will greatly reduce noise by absorbing sound waves that would otherwise bounce around. If you have high ceilings, acoustic ceiling clouds add a strong aesthetic touch while providing the noise-minimizing functionality you need to keep the peace. If your custom home gym or court design includes natural light, it’s a good idea to install soundproof or double pane windows and skylights to prevent noise from escaping.

Interior shot of a living room featuring a sofa, a comfy chair, a table and lamp. Sound-proofing materials hang from the wall behind.

3. Build Outdoor Courts with Sound in Mind

A game of tennis in the summer is one of life’s greatest pleasures, so outdoor athletic courts are an excellent addition to your custom home design. To keep outdoor courts quiet, positioning is key. Build your court so that it is 50 yards away from nearby homes and set up so that gameplay is directed away from neighbors. If your housing association or neighborhood allows, stone or brick fencing provides a sophisticated and beautiful sound buffer. Sound absorbing curtains can also be installed over chain link to reduce reverberation. Large landscaping features can also create a gorgeous sound barrier. 

A shot of a traditional gym space with various weights and machines.Build a Quiet Home Gym with Gordon James

Building a new home is a chance to create a space that doesn’t just meet your needs, but satisfies your wants. At Gordon James, we love having the opportunity to transform your custom home design ideas into a reality. We partner with expert craftsmen, carpenters and suppliers to execute your new construction or renovation with the award-winning luxury home experience we’re known for. If you’re dreaming of a state-of-the-art home gym or athletic court, or have another custom amenity in mind, partner with builders you can trust. To learn more about building your home with Gordon James, contact us at, or call us at 763-469-3117.

A bright, modern bathroom with large tub renovated by Gordon James

Essential Elements of Elevated Guest, Primary and Main Floor Bathrooms

We pride ourselves on being the best home builders in the business. At Gordon James, we have spent a lot of time honing our craft. When building a new home, or working on custom renovations, one of the first things you should think about is what you want your bathroom aesthetic to evoke. Read on as we discuss a few essentials to elevate your bathroom to the next level.

Guest Bathroom

Make your guests feel right at home with a touch of class and comfort by installing smart toilets (heated seats, anyone?) and touchless fixtures. Motion sensing technology will make cleaning easier and give your bathroom a modern and luxurious feel. If you are considering remodeling your home, browse our portfolio to see how we can help, and look for additional inspiration. 

Main Floor Bathroom

Consider this bathroom the most utilitarian of the three. In addition to a focus on style, the main floor bathroom should be multi-purpose as well. This is a bathroom homeowners and guests will both use, so we need it to satisfy many needs. A linen closet is a crucial add for this type of bathroom, along with a linen basket to dispose of hand towels. To evoke a modern feel, consider adding a vanity mirror with built-in lighting and a shower with a glass enclosure. 

Primary Bathroom

Out of the three, this bathroom should be the most intimate. One of the top trends over the past few years is organic style. The primary bathroom should be inviting and warm, and organic style provides a unique blend of rustic and contemporary designs. Surfaces should be smooth, and in general, we suggest rounded shapes with a warm color palette. Materials should be natural, such as leather, wood, stone and concrete. Consider also adding heated floors to maximize coziness. Greenery would be an excellent complement to accentuate the warm, natural aesthetic; orchids, snake plants or plants that don’t need a lot of light to survive are ideal. Adjustable lighting features, such as dimmer lights for relaxation and brighter lights for cleaning, are a wonderful addition. 

You Dream. We Deliver.

With decades of experience, the custom home builders at Gordon James not only complete beautiful home renovations, but will provide thorough guidance throughout the process. Working with elite suppliers, architects and craftsmen, Gordon James partners with you from conception to completion to make sure your unique vision shines through. From small areas to full home renovation, we are a trusted resource for high-quality work that will transform your space. For more information contact us at, or call us at 763-469-3117.

The kitchen of a luxury lakeside home designed by Gordon James custom home builders of Minnesota featured for a blog titled

The Benefits of Custom Building


2020 Builder of the Year - Gordon James


Owning a home is a hallmark of the American dream. When finding a place to call home, there are two routes to take: building or buying. While buying an existing home can be a faster process, there are many downsides. In addition to inheriting an old home’s problems, you’ll also likely have to put additional work in to make the home yours, working within the parameters of what’s possible. Custom building avoids these issues while providing a plethora of benefits. The celebrated custom home builders at Gordon James have spent decades creating custom homes for our clients. If you haven't considered custom home building, we've got all the information you need. Here are some of the benefits those clients experience by working with Gordon James to craft their dream house. 


Custom Home Building Benefit 1: Make No Compromises on Style  

When working with Gordon James, you get to dictate the style, from the frame to the floors to the ceiling details. With each element seamlessly woven together by an experienced architect and manifested by skilled contractors and craftsmen, your home will be yours from the moment you move in. Every aspect of the home’s style, inside and out, is built to your specifications. Find the most gorgeous tiles on a trip to Italy? They can be incorporated into your custom home. Create a second floor coffee nook and east-facing balcony to start each morning or build a whimsical attic space with a winding staircase. Whatever elements you dream up can become a reality. 



Custom Home Building Benefit 2: Build the Functionality You Desire

When building a custom home, the entire space is crafted to you and your family’s needs, lifestyles, and interests. With every inch of the home designed for your use, odd corners and unusable spaces will become a thing of the past. People who do a lot of entertaining can have a home designed with entertainment in mind. If you are outdoorsy, your home can be outfitted with special mudrooms. With elements like rec rooms, built-in libraries, wine cellars, art studios and home gyms built into the design, you won’t have to worry about outfitting these areas after the fact or navigating tricky wiring or HVAC solutions.


Custom Home Building Benefit 3: Control the Lot and Location

Another amazing benefit of custom home building is the freedom to choose where you live. You won’t have to scour real estate sites searching for an existing home in the area or type of landscape you crave. Additionally, the way you’d like to use your land can inspire the design and construction of your custom home. Create a wooded courtyard, a wraparound veranda to maximize a great few, or ensure your home is positioned to get the light you desire. 



Custom Home Building Benefit 4: Ensure the Quality of Building Materials 

When buying an existing home, you have no control over the quality of the materials used to build it. With Gordon James, you not only get to choose the foundational materials, but the additional aesthetic and acoustic materials as well. This enables you to build privacy into your bedrooms, or create a perfectly soundproofed home theatre and more. If you’re concerned about environmental impact, you can dictate the use of green and sustainable materials in your homes, choose energy-efficient windows, and incorporate solar or wind power elements. 


Custom Home Building Benefit 5: Install Secure Smart Integration 

Incorporate smart features into your home designed for your preferences and needs. Security systems, automated window treatments, smart walls and more can be integrated seamlessly by Gordon James, without having to go through a renovation process. You won’t need to worry about reprogramming an existing system, either, which could leave you vulnerable to security issues. Incorporating these details into the ground-up design of your home enables you to enjoy seamless integration. 



Create Your Custom Home with Gordon James

Building a custom home gives you the keys to the ignition of your dreams. Controlling the design, details and customizations, each custom home is one of a kind. At Gordon James, we will consult with you throughout the process, from design to completion. We work with elite suppliers, architects and craftsmen, providing top quality materials and execution of your vision. To learn more about starting your custom build with Gordon James, contact us at, or call us at 763-469-3117.

The kitchen of a luxury home designed by Gordon James custom home builders of Minnesota

Things to Consider When Renovating Your Home

Whether you’re renovating one room, a whole floor, or the entire house, a home renovation is an exciting undertaking that will reignite your love for your space and boost the value of your home. Like with any major undertaking, you can’t jump into a home renovation without careful planning and consideration. At Gordon James, we have decades of experience in both custom home building and renovations. Knowing what an exciting and challenging experience a home renovation can be, we’d like to share our thoughts on what you should consider when renovating your home. 


  Architect designer Interior creative working hand drawing sketch plan blue print selection material color samples art tools Design Studio

1. Identify Your Goals

Before you contact Gordon James, take time to assess what is and isn’t working about your space, which areas you’re looking to renovate, and what your ideal outcome is. Know what styles and characteristics you’d like to see, what functionality you need, and why you’re choosing to renovate. Are you planning to stay in the home, or are you looking to increase its resale value? If selling is your end goal, you’ll need to consider the area you’re in and what sort of return on investment you can expect. You’ll also need to match up your goals with what’s possible for your budget and the setup of your home.


Homebuilders constructing a Gordon James luxury home. Construction of a Gordon James luxury home.

2. Think About Timing

When it comes to home renovations, timing is important. Make sure to consult your calendar for the year. Large renovations often take longer than expected to complete due to factors outside your control, such as obtaining building permits (see paragraph 4), construction materials shortages and more. Having a realistic and somewhat flexible timeline for your project will allow you to relax and enjoy the process. It will be well worth any wait time in the end. 



3. Balance Personal Taste with Investment Opportunities

If you are looking to upgrade your home with stylish additions, such as marble countertops or new flooring, you should always choose a look that you will enjoy for years to come. That said, another consideration when making these stylistic decisions is how the design will impact the potential resale value of your home in the future. For instance, opting to spend a bit more up front on premium materials, such as stone floors, will increase your home’s value. Even if you plan to live in your remodeled home indefinitely, it is wise to consider these potential investment opportunities, as long as you are still opting for designs that bring you joy. 


 Gordon James team with client in Orono

4. Get your Permits 

Building permits are a necessary part of the home renovation process. If you’re part of a homeowner’s association, you’ll need to consult with any guidelines they’ve set forth as well. 


Bring Your Dream Home to Life with Gordon James

With decades of experience, the custom home builders at Gordon James not only complete beautiful home renovations, but will provide thorough guidance throughout the process. Working with elite suppliers, architects and craftsmen, Gordon James will consult with you from conception to completion to make sure your unique vision shines through. The professionals at Gordon James are a trusted resource for high-quality work that will transform your space. For more information contact us at, or call us at 763-469-3117.


This Gordon James home features a chalet inspired living room. The stone fireplace and luxury furniture set create cozy cabin vibes perfect for fall.

How to Create a Cottage Feel with High Style

Sometimes thought of as a second home or a vacation retreat, a cottage-style home is quaint, cozy, and most importantly, charming. When you imagine a cottage-style custom home design you may imagine wooden beams, fireplaces, gable roofs, and bay windows. If the thought of a luxurious cottage-style home is what you envision for your next home, we have listed high-style elements to consider incorporating in the custom home design.



1. How High Can Your Ceilings Go?

Quaint, or cozy design elements that make your artisan home have the cottage-style feel do not mean that the spaces have to be small or closed off. One way to create more space in a high-style cottage home is to raise the ceilings. Raised ceilings add space, dimension, and even provide the opportunity to introduce other natural design elements, such as wooden beams.



2. Focus on Dimension

Throughout the artisan home, focus on incorporating dimensional design elements. Cottage-style custom home designs should incorporate many natural and warm elements to create the cozy feel, yet the main goal here is to beautifully feature those luxury home elements. To add dimension into the home’s design, try including rich, dark wood paired with light neutral walls. Dimension could also be incorporated with texture, such as a stucco wall with a custom-designed tiled fireplace or carpeted stairs next to wooden floors in the entryway.



3. Rustic - But Not Too Rustic

The cottage-style custom home design does not have to resemble a cabin. Throughout the artisan home, focus on the shapes of the windows, the style of doors, and even the trim. Small details like this allow the design to create a warm, yet contemporary home for your family to enjoy for years to come. Create your cottage-style artisan home with these elements in mind to create a timeless luxury home that will be an inviting, warm and cozy space for your family to enjoy for years to come.


Bring Your Dream Home to Life with Gordon James

Gordon James custom home builders create artisan homes that suit your style and incorporate contemporary elements. Our luxury homes are designed by architects to mirror each client’s personality and lifestyle. The Gordon James team orchestrates the intricate process through which a confluence of people, events, talents, and dreams will produce the perfect results – your dream home!  

For more information contact us at or call us at 763-469-3117 today!

This cabin themed kitchen features exposed wooden beams, hanging brass light fixtures above a central kitchen island. Black matte wooden frame and straw barstool seats surround the white marble kitchen island. The eggshell white subway backsplash paired with the white cupboards create a distinctly modern cabin vibe typical of Gordon James luxury homes in Minnetrista, Minnesota.

Style Trends for Finishing Touches on Your Custom Home

Building a custom home is an exciting process that enables you to make your dream house a reality. You get to work with designers, architects, craftsmen and more to make sure your space looks and feels luxurious and uniquely your own. With the right finishing touches, you can bring even more style and luxury to your new home. In this blog, the custom builders at Gordon James explore some of the latest style trends to complete your dream home. 


1. Embrace Minimalism 

Minimalism has been on the rise, and is a hallmark of today’s luxury design. Streamlining your home decor for an uncluttered and clean look adds sophistication to a home and highlights the architectural features you’ve included in your custom build. And minimalism doesn’t have to feel cold and sterile: by selecting your favorite pieces to showcase, you draw attention to your own personal flair while maintaining a clean aesthetic. In creating functional pieces of furniture, you’re able to further declutter your space. Consider smart furniture pieces like sleek speaker tables to reduce cords and clunky extras. 



2. Bring Nature Inside

During the last year, many people have embraced home gardening. Now, indoor plants have become a beloved and enduring style trend. Not only do plants bring color and style to your home, they improve air quality, mood, and productivity. Take advantage of natural light in your custom kitchen with herb gardens and small citrus trees. Add tranquility to living spaces with palms and ferns. In addition to plants, many people are bringing nature indoors with natural materials like reclaimed wood and bamboo, and large glass doors to marry indoor and outdoor spaces. 



3. Add Round Finishes

Another style trend that’s taking off is round finishes. Circles symbolize softness and harmony: with circular couches and tables, or round mirrors and framed art, curves add a sense of welcome to your space as well as provide an interesting visual juxtaposition against the sharper edges of your construction. 



4. Opt for Bold Bathrooms

Don’t overlook style when it comes to finishing the more private areas of your home. Bringing bold wallpaper into small lavatories will stun guests. Soaking tubs, serene colors, and darker colors are trending for master baths, offering serenity and luxury to your morning and evening routines. Look for natural bamboo bath mats and LED backlit vanities for an eco-friendly and sophisticated finish. 



5. Be Industrious

Adding industrial elements to your interior design brings urban elegance to your custom home. Achieve a glamorous look with salvaged metals and distressed leather in your living spaces. Metal accessories and exposed piping are especially popular in kitchens and bathrooms. Copper lighting fixtures, polished concrete or wood flooring, and stone accents come together to create an elegant and sophisticated space. 


Bring Your Dream Home to Life with Gordon James

The custom home builders at Gordon James create luxury homes that suit your style. Our artisan homes are designed by architects with direct consultation with our clients to ensure that their unique personality and taste shines through. Working with Gordon James, you’ll be able to incorporate finishes into the design of your home so that your decor will fit seamlessly into your new dream house. With our team, your imagination will be untethered while we work together to bring your luxury home to life. For more information contact us at, or call us at 763-469-3117.

This chalet inspired living room features a stone hearth and gas fireplace, leather and upholstered sofas centered around an artisan barn wood coffee table. The cabin inspired interior design is typical of Gordon James lakeside properties.

Steps to Optimize Your Custom Home’s Footprint and Functionality

Envisioning your custom home or your home renovation is the first step. You may be considering textures, colors, and styles. Maybe you’re envisioning entertaining in a home with a design that’s modern, artesian, or country. As you’re dreaming of your custom home and looking for inspiration, you may also be wondering about some construction and design technicalities. For example, how do you optimize your home’s footprint and make it as functional as possible? You’ll need the help of experienced builders and designers who are educated on the most up-to-date, energy-efficient practices. In this article, renowned custom home builder, Gordon James, shares insight. 



1. Smart Temperature Control 

This is first on the list because heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems account for a huge percentage of a home’s energy expenditure. Especially in a climate like Minnesota’s where summers are very hot and winters are exceptionally cold, you’ll need a heating and cooling system that is as efficient as possible. The best way to keep the temperature in your home steady through changing conditions is to use a smart thermostat. It adjusts the temperature of a room automatically. As the seasons change, it’s tempting to overcompensate for the temperature outside by overusing your thermostat. That’s why sometimes we’re too warm inside our homes in winter, and snuggled up in blankets and sweats during the heat of the summer. With automatic temperature control, your home can more seamlessly account for the air outside. Your smart thermostat can be set to keep each room a different temperature, and account for factors that create excess heat, such as additional people or cooking.



2. Updated Windows

In the same vein as smart thermostats, energy-efficient windows have become a big deal in reducing a home’s energy footprint. They can save huge amounts of energy over time by helping to keep cool or hot air inside. According to, “Heat gain and heat loss through windows are responsible for 25 to 30 percent of residential heating and cooling energy use.” Updated windows have a newer, stronger seal that leaks less air around the frames. Energy-efficient windows come with a new material called low e-glass, which stands for “low emissivity glass”. This special material limits the amount of ultraviolet light that can pass through, allowing homes to stay cooler in summer and warmer in winter. There are even more perks to these energy-efficient windows than helping our environment. Since low e-glass windows work by limiting the passage of harmful light, your carpet and upholstery will be safer from the sun and keep more of their color over time. For home renovations, contact custom home builders who are familiar with the best window options for your area. 



3. Energy-Efficient Appliances 

Energy-efficient appliances continue to become more prominent as the understanding of their positive impact grows. For example, 80 percent of the energy needed to wash a load of laundry is used just to heat the water. This gives an idea of how small details make a huge difference in energy usage. The Environmental Protection Agency helps inform consumers on the most energy-efficient appliances by assigning it an ENERGY STAR rating. ENERGY STAR updates and publishes its criteria every year, and few appliances achieve the highest rating. Updating your home so that it uses only the most efficient dishwashers, washers, dryers, heating pumps, and more can save ten percent of your yearly energy usage. 


Turn to the Experts at Gordon James

When building your custom home or doing home renovations, turn to the experts at Gordon James. Our experienced builders and designers are educated on the most up-to-date construction materials and design ideas that keep your home energy efficient. The next step in seeing your vision realized is reaching out. Whether you already know what you want your custom home to look like or you’re starting with a blank slate, we’re here to help. We can meet you wherever you are on your path to owning a beautiful custom home. Project structure, meeting deadlines, and detailed responsive follow-ups are the foundation of Gordon James’ personal and professional approach. Contact us to talk about your project. We love meeting new clients.

This rustic modern living room of a Gordon James luxury home in Minnetrista, Minnesota features bold artisan furniture.

3 Design Ideas for a Modern Home

When planning your custom home design or remodel, it can be difficult to balance lasting design elements with what is trending right now. Gordon James knows how to create timeless, modern designs that look as good tomorrow as they will in 20 years. Read on to review three elements to keep in mind to help give your custom home a modern element, while still establishing style that will stand the test of time.


Incorporate Outdoor Living Spaces

Expand the interior living space of the home by adding cozy outdoor spaces. Outdoor spaces are now more functional than ever before with TVs, fireplaces, kitchens, pools, and saunas. Patios, decks, or screened in rooms add living space to the home without extending the square footage. Blended living spaces are particularly becoming a must-have in modern, luxury homes. A blended living space is created by separating two areas with a large window from floor to ceiling that, once removed, creates a seamless space. No door is needed to move from one living space to the other.



Include Natural Light

Natural light invites a warm and energetic energy into every room. No matter what specific style of luxury home you’re renovating or custom building, natural light can give your home an open air feel. Adding natural light to your most frequently used living spaces creates an aesthetically pleasing warm glow that can boost the mood. When designing the home office, consider adding natural light into this room as well to boost productivity. Natural lighting can be easily created by incorporating large and numerous windows.



Focus on Functionality

When you imagine building a luxury modern home, you may picture a home that has tall windows, sleek design, and beautiful views. Another important element to a modern home that will stand the test of time is functionality. Design your custom home with this one question in mind: will I spend time in this room? Modern homes are filled with spaces that are comfortable, inviting and functional. Gone are the days where homes were filled with rooms that only served the purpose of being “pretty” or “for show”. At Gordon James, it is our goal to build a home that serves your needs and keeps your family comfortable for many years to come. Design your home with that in mind by focusing on what truly matters in each and every room.


Add Modern Elements to Your Next Luxury Home with Gordon James

Gordon James is here to add modern elements to allow home renovation or custom home design to meet all of your needs. Our luxury homes are designed by architects to mirror each client’s personality and lifestyle. The Gordon James team orchestrates the intricate process through which a confluence of people, events, talents, and dreams will produce the perfect results – your dream home!

For more information contact us at or call us at 763-469-3117 today!


Exquisite Minnetonka custom home built by Minnetonka Custom Home Builder Gordon James.

What You Need to Know About Building a Lakefront Home

What do you see when you picture yourself in your lakefront home? Maybe you envision waking up to serene lake views, enjoying the morning sun while gentle waves lap at the edge of your property. You may have imagined the water reflecting the stars at night as family and friends gather around an outdoor fireplace. Do you have in mind various lake activities like fishing, boating, swimming, and wake surfing? Whatever your vision for your lakefront home, there are a couple of things to note before you get started. Gordon James provides some helpful information that will give you a glimpse into what this process entails. 

Lakehome in Orono, mn by Gordon James 

Lakefront Homes are Extraordinary

It can be hard to choose the right lot based just on its appearance. For example, it’s not always obvious that the property is on a wetland or inadequate soil. This can be a challenge when building your lake home. Also, the regulations that govern the building of lakefront home aren’t typical regulations. The lake is a valuable part of the area’s natural environment and is home to many different types of wildlife. The local government establishes regulations that represent the interests of the lake itself. There are dozens of laws for lakefront properties, including laws that dictate how high you can build your custom home and whether or not you can add on additions like sunrooms. The “allowable hard cover” dictates how much of your property you’re permitted to use for building. That includes your home, the driveway, and any decks or outdoor spaces. It can be tricky. You’ll need builders who have experience with building lakefront custom homes. You need a builder like Gordon James.


It’s All About the Views 

When taking all of these details into account, it’s important to maintain the original intent of the home. It can be challenging to pay attention to the details of various zoning laws while still creating your dream home. Part of what makes a lakefront custom home so exceptional are the views. Homeowners want to see the tranquil lake from as many rooms as possible. Ideally, the master bedroom, living room, kitchen, and dining area are strategically planned to take advantage of the waterfront. Septic placement, erosion history, flood plains and high water marks all need to be taken into account during the custom home design process. The key to balancing all of these elements is having an experienced team. 


You Need Experienced Lakefront Home Builders

You’ll want a team with a strong background in building lakefront custom homes. Building on the waterfront calls for unique expertise. Experienced home builders will know how to balance all of these intricate components with efficiency. In addition to getting the process right, great builders bring the intangibles to the table as well. They’ll possess an openness to understand your vision, a willingness to make design modifications, and the wisdom to get it done right. 


The First Step is Contacting Gordon James 

The journey might seem complex, but Gordon James makes it easy. The very first step in seeing your dream realized is reaching out. Whether you already know what you want your lakefront home to look like or you’re starting with a blank slate, we’re here to help. We can meet you wherever you are on your path to owning a beautiful custom lakefront home. Project structure, meeting deadlines, and detailed responsive follow-ups are the foundation of Gordon James’ personal and professional approach. Contact us to talk about your project. We love meeting new clients. 

A Gordon James luxury home under construction in Medina, Minnesota.

4 Steps to Building A Custom Home

Building your custom home can be overwhelming, exciting, and exhausting - all at the same time. Here are the 4 steps to building your custom home in Orono or Wayzata: 

Step 1: Set Your Budget and Find Inspiration 

The first steps towards building your custom home are budgeting and gathering inspiration so you’re prepared for your project. Before anything else, set your budget so you can decide how and where to build your custom home. This step helps you narrow down lots that are in your desired price range as well as designers and builders. 

Once you’ve set a budget you can move onto the fun part - finding inspiration for your home. Remember to consider your family, lifestyle, and personalities as you consider floor plans and color palettes. 


Step 2: Find the Right Lot

The lot on which your dream home is built is nearly as important as your home itself, and it’s the first step to making your dream home a reality. While planning for your dream home is an exciting process, it’s important to be deliberate as you make decisions prior to building. Here are some things to consider as you search for the perfect lot in Orono, Minnesota: location, budget, size, and style. For more tips and guidance on finding the right lot read our blog here


Step 3: Purchase Your Lot

When you purchase a lot it’s important to remember that both the builder and developer will work with you to ensure you’re fully satisfied. After you’ve chosen a lot you will fill out a lot hold agreement which applies for thirty days and often requires a $5,000 refundable deposit, so you have ample time to meet with your builder and developer. 

After this time period, the builder and developer will put together a purchase agreement with a closing date and sale price. Once you have closed on your dream lot, it’s time for the best part - building your custom home in Orono or Wayzata! 


Step 4: Partner with a Custom Builder 

You need to trust this professional with a very large part of your life, so asking them questions will not only lay out the limitations/possibilities before you but will also begin the process of building trust between you and your design team. From every professional you consult, you should ask for their licensing, experience, and rates, and if they’re properly prepared, they should have this information readily available, no negotiation needed. For more tips on choosing the right builders for your custom home in Orono or Wayzata read our blog here

From our award-winning team of professionals to exciting and truly extraordinary custom home designs, Gordon James is here to make your dream home a beautiful reality! By connecting with each of our clients, and understanding the vision they see for their home, we can create a dream home for the homeowner. 

Build Your Custom Home with Gordon James 

We’ve been building homes in Orono and Wayzata for years. After you discover the perfect city for your family, partner with the professionals at Gordon James to start designing and planning your dream home. Our dream homes are designed by architects to mirror each client’s personality and lifestyle needs while fitting into the neighborhood of their choice. The Gordon James team orchestrates the intricate process through which a confluence of people, events, talents, and dreams will produce the perfect results – your dream home!

For more information, contact us at or call us at 763-479-3117 today.