Lautz-Lassig Custom Builders
Crafting Dreams into Reality since 1984
Innovation and unparalleled craftsmanship equal a leading custom home construction success story
Known for innovation, integrity, and craftsmanship in custom home construction throughout the Coulee Region, the story of Lautz-Lassig Custom Builders began over a decade ago, and the company’s history goes back much further. It all began in 1984 when John Lautz founded a building company, which soon became reputed for its quality work and innovative approach. In 2014, Kraig Lassig brought his own expertise, solidifying a longstanding partnership and merging their talents to create Lautz-Lassig Custom Builders.
Lassig details the evolution of the partnership, which goes back to 1988 when he was working for Al Bushek, another construction firm in the area. He recounts, “For 25 years, we worked side by side. If they needed help with a roof, we’d help them, and if we needed help with stuff they’d help. If anyone ran out of work, we’d help each other out.”
Not long after branching out on his own in 2010, Lassig says he was approached by John Lautz about the possibility of a merger. “We did some trial runs, and in 2015, we purchased the tools, and then he signed over the one share of stock, because we had been working together forever. I had a lot of clients, and he had a lot of clients, that’s why he wanted to keep the Lautz and Lassig and put them together.” Today John and his wife Nancy are enjoying more time with their grandchildren, while Lassig, along with his wife Teri, continue to uphold the top-notch reputation the company has built over the years.
Exceeding Client Expectations and Building Lasting Relationships
Working 12 months of the year, Lassig admits that sometimes the cold Wisconsin winter is actually a benefit. “If you’re in a muddy area, the mud can be a pain and when it snows, it’s not too bad,” he says. “If we get it framed up and we are not quite ready to heat everything, we will put some two-inch foam underneath the floor system and heat the basement until we are ready to heat the whole house.” Due to the fact that Lautz-Lassig Custom Builders is a year-round operation, they are able to build 2 large luxury homes, along with a major remodel each year.
The company also tackles smaller projects for clients as they arise. “I call them honey-do lists,” remarks Lassig. “If we build you a house, and two years down the road, you want a screen door put on, well, that goes on our list, and we would take care of you. We fit in stuff like that.”
The longevity of each project and the company’s commitment to customer service creates an opportunity to form lasting relationships with clients, as Lassig acknowledges, “We are blessed that every person we build for is pretty much a good friend of ours now. We have a good relationship with most of our clients.”
Current Projects and Unique Homes
Lautz-Lassig Custom Builders are currently working on the construction of 11,000 and 9,500-square-foot house projects, each valued at approximately $2.5 million, alongside a complete farmhouse remodel. Lassig reveals that COVID has created a shift in their construction focus, noting that with his team of 13 individuals, each substantial project is expected to span a year.
“Before COVID, we could build smaller houses, and we could knock maybe two or three out a year plus our other stuff,” he acknowledges. “But unfortunately, people aren’t taking out loans. So, now we’re building mainly for people that don’t need the loans, and the houses are getting bigger.”
However, this also means that the company has had the opportunity to build some incredibly unique and innovative houses. One example is a Swiss Chateau-style house, with customized windows that were imported from Poland. Another notable project is one that is currently in the works, which includes a living room that is 40 feet wide and 27 feet tall in the middle, spanning an impressive three stories.
“We have a couple of nice ones going right now, one will have a golf simulator in it, and a 10 by 10 wine room. The top of the ceiling is going to be concave, and we’re going to make it look like a wine barrel,” Lassig describes. With a glass door, he adds that maintaining the ideal temperature in this wine room will not be an issue.
“Our houses test out about 42% better than your average new house energy ratings. We use a lot of foam. So, we’ll foam that whole room. There’ll be no loss of cooling and heat in the walls, it’ll just be through the door.”
An Award Winning Company
Participation in the Wisconsin Home Builders Parade of Homes in 2016 earned Lautz-Lassig Custom Builders a People’s Choice Award. Lassig highlights, “The house had some unique features. They had a wiener dog, and they had a never-ending water bowl. It would fill itself up, there was a floating device in it. It had the blinds that go up in the attic, hidden blinds that come down and they’re all remote. In 2016 some of what we put in there was fairly new.”
In 2022, the company was honored with the Wisconsin Home Builder Association’s Badger Craftsman Award, in the New Builds in the $500,000 to $750,000 category. “That house is a true timber frame, and it was a really unique design,” relays Lassig.
“Anything over 12 feet high, you have to have an engineer design the wall, it’s called a tall wall package. But on the timber frame, it was a lean roof and the walls on one side were 20 feet tall. So, we were able to use structurally insulated panels that have plywood on each side and foam sprayed in the middle. It creates a panel that’s very strong that can go that high.”
Valued Partnerships and Collaborations
Lautz-Lassig Custom Builders attributes its success to a strong reliance on trusted brands like Andersen, Marvin, and Weather Shield for window and door products. “I’ve developed a good relationship with the Weather Shield window guy, his name is John. He always answers my questions, he picks up the phone,” Lassig conveys.
“There’s a new type of door that Weather Shield has called Next Gen. You can get it any size and of course, they’re very pricey, but you can go 50 feet wide, and basically, you can take your pinky and turn a handle, it’ll raise up a little bit and you can move it. All the other companies are trying to copy it.”
LP SmartSide is the dominant siding company for high-end homes and another valued supplier for Lautz-Lassig. “You can get the board and batten look, which is very popular right now, and you can get the accent stone to compliment the front for curb appeal,” he explains. Lassig also mentions Milwaukee Tools, and Menard’s brand, MasterForce Tools, as crucial to getting the job done.
Local collaborations with companies like Wisconsin Building Supply are invaluable to the day-to-day operations of the business and provide ongoing support during the pandemic. “They worked with us on a lot of things, and if there’s any issues they go out of their way to try to help and fix it. We buy our windows and most of our other materials through them. We have never had a problem working with that company,” Lassig says.
He also points out the importance of the relationship with County Materials, and other suppliers including Builders Flooring, and Beyers Cabinets, emphasizing the significance of long-term relationships in the construction industry.
Looking to the Future
In conclusion, Lassig shares his ongoing commitment to honesty, integrity, and the pursuit of constructing beautiful homes at fair prices. His dedication to quality workmanship, transparent client relationships, and active involvement in the building community reflect a genuine passion for the industry.
As a company that consistently goes above and beyond, transforming unique ideas into reality, Lautz-Lassig Custom Builders will continue bringing the spirit of creativity and problem-solving to every project. As a final thought, Lassig asserts, “The sky’s the limit. If you can think it, and we think we can do it, we will try.”
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AT A GLANCE
Lautz-Lassig Custom Builder
What: An award-winning custom home building company, with decades of experience.
Where: West Salem, Wisconsin
Overhead Door Company – www.overheaddoor7riversregion.com
Locally owned distributor of door and access systems for residential, commercial, and industrial needs. Our mission is to deliver outstanding products and service to the community with a team committed to core values: People First, Uncompromising Character, The Golden Rule, Self-Discipline, and Accountability.