$500,000 to $750,000 Winner
After having lived in homes that were already built their whole lives, the Schallers decided to start from scratch and create the home of their dreams, and they turned to Jason Bekebrede to make those dreams a reality.
Homeowners: Michael and Karen Schaller
Winning Builder: Jason Bekebrede, Monticello Custom Homes & Remodeling, 835 E. Powell St., Springfield, 417-860-7873
Photographer: Randy Colwell
Michael and Karen Schaller had always owned houses that were built before they moved in. With their two daughters grown, the Schallers wanted to invest in a forever home that was traditional but featured custom elements just for them, says Jason Bekebrede, owner of Monticello Custom Homes and Remodeling.
“They wanted to move to more of a retirement house,” he says. “It’s not smaller than their previous home, but it’s all on one level, and it’s something more fitting to them. It was designed to be their dream house.”
The traditional home in Strafford features classic details: earth-toned colors, graceful arches and pillars, white cabinetry and rich wood floors. But its extra-special details make it extraordinary. Mike’s office features wrap-around cabinetry, custom built to match an antique desk from the early 1900s he found at Relics Antique Mall.
“Mike’s office is right off the front door, and it has glass doors, so you can see it right when you enter the home,” Bekebrede says. “It’s beautiful, and it makes a huge impact.”
Karen requested a special stone accent wall featuring shelving for votive candles in the dining room. Bekebrede guided the process, working to incorporate the shelves into the drywall. Masons worked with Bekebrede and Karen to ensure that the shelving was just right. For added richness in the home, a spacious master bath and shower featuring custom tile work made the space a retreat.
But all was designed to age in place, says Bekebrede. “We did a lot of things to make the house as energy efficient as possible, like adding foam insulation and adding a dehumidifier to keep humidity in the house between 40 and 55 percent,” he says. “But with the design of the house, we did three-foot doorways and tried to minimize the number of steps in from the garage. No matter if you’re 20 or 70, it’s more comfortable if your house temperature is regular and there are fewer stairs.”
Builders open up about which home upgrades were well worth the expense.
Worth the Cost
Homeowner Michael Schaller’s custom office was the splurge of the home, says builder Jason Bekebrede. He helped make Schaller's dream come to life. “It had a lot of woodwork, but Mike had always wanted a kind of shelf-wrapped office, so he was pretty dead-set on what he wanted. And this is what he wanted.”