Bruce Lenzen believes a fine home begins with the lot, which is why he spends a great deal of time choosing the perfect location for the homes he builds. Once a lot is purchased, he spends even more time walking the land, developing a vision for the home that will soon grace what is often waterfront or riverfront property. Lenzen is also known for hiring lifts so he can show his clients the views they will have from their still yet-to-be-built luxury home.
Based in Hudson, Wisconsin, Bruce Lenzen Design Build is an alliance of architectural design, interior design, and construction services. The five-person firm is known for its luxury homes built primarily in the St. Croix River Valley and on waterfront lots in the east and north metro.
Lenzen and his partner, Rich Cooke, build five to seven homes per year, ranging in price from $900,000 to $4 million. While Bruce Lenzen Design Build can accommodate any architectural taste, the firm is renowned for its modern prairie and arts-and-crafts styles that work in harmony with their natural surroundings.
“We deliver uniquely designed, customized, upscale or luxury level homes using cutting- edge architectural and interior design, and we have been very successful in doing so,” says Lenzen, whose father was a homebuilder in River Falls, Wisconsin.
Lenzen grew up in a family of 11 children, eight boys and three girls, and most of his brothers entered the construction trades. More than 30 years ago, Lenzen himself started his own construction firm at the age of 20, and at 24 he built his first home, which at that time was valued at $130,000.
Today, the firm’s design process typically takes about three to four months to complete. Lenzen provides all of the architectural services, while Ann Ludwig, with the All Design Group in Hudson, provides interior design work.
“It’s a team concept,” says Lenzen. “The team approach works for us. We have high client satisfaction because of the process we use. Creatively, Ann and I work together very well. She understands the client’s vision and my vision for the home. We are the artists that put the paint on the canvas.”
Ludwig has been working with Bruce Lenzen Design Build for seven years. “The synergy that Bruce and I have builds confidence and trust and with our clients. It also makes the process fun for everyone involved,” Ludwig says.
Once the design work is complete and selections have been made, Cooke, who manages the construction process, takes over, putting together the bid packages and setting up the construction schedules. “Different customers have different expectations,” says Cooke, who also grew up working in the construction industry and joined the company in 2007. “Our process can be modified based on what is important to the customer. Some customers want to expedite the building process so they complete their selections along the way, while others want a hard number before we break ground.”
Bruce Lenzen Design Build prides itself on working under the ideals of teamwork, communication, and attention to detail. The firm is often listed as a selling feature in advertising for existing-home sales, which reinforces the increased financial value that Lenzen homes enjoy in the marketplace.
Story by Fran Howard
Photography by Meghan Doll