Working as a remodeling consultant and designer for Stebnitz Builders, Jeff Auberger has jotted down endless creative ideas over the years for his dream home. He and his wife, Shelly, already owned a beautiful 30-acre property in Wisconsin, and finally in 2019 they were able to start construction on their unique vision. With sustainability in mind, Jeff decided on a modern pole barn design and knew that Stebnitz would be the ideal contractor for the project.
The firm is no stranger to unique and sophisticated builds, and as a third-generation owner of Stebnitz Builders in Elkhorn, Chris Stebnitz is a veteran in the residential construction industry. In fact, next year the firm will proudly celebrate 50 years of full-service residential remodeling and home design.“While we are extremely proud of the hundreds of projects we’ve completed and the relationships we’ve created with those homeowners, none of those could have been possible without the tremendous team we’ve had throughout those 50 years,” says Stebnitz. “There are so many people who helped us become the team we are today.The one constant that exists is the passion to understand the needs of our clients and the goals they have for their homes.”
The company is interwoven with the Walworth County community — sponsoring charity events, donating to organizations like Habitat for Humanity, United Way of Walworth County and establishing the Stebnitz Builders scholarship for high school students to continue their education in the skilled trades field.
Stebnitz Builders continues to receive recognitionfortheimpacttheyhaveon the industry and their community. They received the Guild Master Award in 2014 in recognition of their service excellence, and have recently been named a Fred Case Remodeling Entrepreneur of the Year Award finalist, which celebrates innovation in the industry, like unique building processes or use of materials and creative use of technology.
Tracy McHugh, a sales and brand manager at Stebnitz, has been named a Women in Construction Honoree by The Daily Reporter, for outstanding achievements by top women in the construction industry. McHugh and her team brought their combined expertise to complete the Aubergers’ vision of an ultra-efficient home with a rustic- meets-industrial vibe, and she states that the high efficiency and sleek look can be duplicated for any project.“The materials for this design were carefully selected and sourced for the Aubergers’ home, but these materials can be applied to any remodel project, not just a new home build like this,” says McHugh.
The Aubergers’ pole barn home totals 5,000 square feet, of which 2,500 square feet is living space, and its design perfectly captures the cozy but modern aesthetic Jeff and Shelly had in mind. However, the visual impact was a secondary factor for the homeowners, who had extensive experience with green building through the years and opted to build with low-maintenance, sustainable materials.Typically featuring laminated columns or perma-columns, a pole barn construction (also referred to as post frame) is a cost-effective and energy-efficient design. With columns spaced farther apart than traditional studs, the buildings have a larger wall cavity that provides more room for insulation, lowering heating and cooling costs.
The Aubergers decided to cover the exterior of their home with corrugated red, black and gray metal, which is maintenance free, increases efficiency and enhances the industrial look. Glass garage doors separate the living space from the three-season room,protecting the interior from outside changes in temperature. “The polished concrete floors feature in-floor heating, which saves energy,” says Jeff. “The home is also zoned on different thermostats for added efficiency.” Metal was used to add unique flair to the exterior of the fireplace, and the kitchen features a natural stone island and custom built-ins showcasing rift-sawn wood from central Wisconsin.
Modern, trendy features like the corrugated walls and black shower doors in the bathroom impress guests and add to the rich design elements — which were all carefully curated and executed by the pros at Stebnitz Builders to complete the Aubergers’ dream home. “Our team has always been focused on listening to our clients,” says Stebnitz.“We ensure a design that fits the lifestyle they choose in a manner that offers peace of mind and enjoyment throughout the lifespan of the project. This process allows our clients to relax and fully enjoy the experience of working with Stebnitz Builders.”