Fantasy Island

The builders featured in the 2006 edition of Builders' Own Homes were able to to mix business with personal, using industry knowledge to build the homes of their dreams.
By By Erin Hallstrom-Erickson | September 30, 2006

As members of the home-building industry, we are privy to the mountains of information, techniques and products available that will help us build bigger, better, more efficient homes. Who hasn't walked the aisles at the International Builders' Show or the Kitchen and Bath Show and thought "I want that! If only I were building my own home ..."

The builders featured in this issue were able to realize that dream. They mixed business with personal, using industry knowledge to build the homes of their dreams.

In this, our second edition of the Builders' Own Homes issue, we found five builders from sea to shining sea and a few places in between.

We interviewed, prodded, photographed and then prodded some more. The end result is a special issue filled with design ideas, insightful tips and builder-tested, wife-approved product selections sure to make any builder swoon.

Meet our five builders:

  • Loel Fenwick, owner of Tanglefoot Master Builders in Idaho. A former physician turned builder, Fenwick's 11,000-square-foot compound isn't just a home — it's also a retreat site big enough to host 100 attendees.
  • Steve Kendrick, president of Structures Building Company in South Carolina. Steve and his wife, Anne, live in I'on Village and couldn't stand the thought of moving to a different neighborhood when the family outgrew their house. Kendrick and his wife did what any builder would do — build a bigger, better house.
  • Stephen Gillis, president and owner of Gillis Homes outside of Boston. Gillis and his wife trudged through 30 inches of snow to determine the perfect spot for the family's 6,000-square-foot Arts-and-Crafts style home.
  • John Eilermann, CEO of Giant 400-ranked McBride Homes. A man's home is his castle, Eilermann believes, and he and his wife, Lisa, built a 7,000-square-foot Country French home in the middle of the Midwest.
  • Bruce Olson of Bruce Olson Construction. The company president crafted a paradise retreat on the Big Island of Hawaii. He ultimately sold the home to a celebrity, but not before enjoying a little piece of heaven on earth.

I hope you enjoy reading and learning from these builders as much as we did.

Sit back and enjoy what we have to offer.

Group Managing Editor, 630/288-8198,