Life+Spaces Picks Best of the Home Shows


Our favorites from the St. Joseph Valley Panorama of Homes & Builders Showcase and Elkhart County Parade of Homes Plus

There’s something about walking through another person’s home that can be downright intriguing. It’s fun to see their floor plan, interior design and the paint colors they chose. New homes are even more fun to see. Everything still smells fresh and inviting. 
Thanks to our local Home Builders Associations, we can tour dozens of brand new, custom built homes each year. Our staff toured homes in both the St. Joseph Valley Panorama of Homes & Builders Showcase and Elkhart County’s Parade of Homes Plus and selected our favorites from each association based on the following criteria:

        Curb Appeal


        Floor Plan/Overall Square Footage

        Functionality of Kitchen   

        Amenities/”Wow” Factors

        Quality of Construction

        Interior Design   

        Outdoor Functionality

        Energy Efficiency




Quick Facts

Address:  50870 Summit Ridge Trail, South Bend
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3.5
Square Feet: 4,614 (includes finished basement)
Home Design: Plans, Plans, Plans (Roberta Alfrey)
Asking Price: $599,000

Signature Homes
1212 South Walnut Street, South Bend IN
(574) 236-8914


Summit Ridge Trail, South Bend
Signature Homes

There’s a lot more to this stunning home than initially meets the eye. Tucked near the rear of the Portage Woods development in Northern St. Joseph County, Indiana, the surprisingly spacious open-concept floor plan is both elegant and functional.

In fact, Signature Homes builder Craig Taelman said his biggest success in the home was connecting the master bedroom to the laundry room.

“Also, the 10-foot ceilings in the basement really added to the impact of the home.  You have a spectacular view to the lake in the back and the tall ceilings really accentuate the feeling of nature,” he explained.

Aside from the secluded feeling provided by huge picture windows, Taelman’s intricate attention to detail elsewhere in the home goes a long way.

Coffered ceilings in the great room, tray ceilings (with accent lighting!) in the dining room, rounded corners on each wall and a mini kitchen in the basement compliment the home’s personality. 

One of the home’s best attributes is the quality of materials and expertise used to build it, Taelman stressed.

“We’re a very high quality builder with a very reasonable price point,” he said.  “Most of our jobs are done on a cost-plus basis.  As a result, we’re a very good value for the product we put out.”  

Signature Homes sold this home shortly after the 2010 Panorama of Homes & Builders Showcase. 


Laidig Concrete

Legacy Contractors

TW Gordy Framing

G & E Plumbing

Premier Painting

Drywall Finishers:
Herb’s Drywall Finishing

Trim Labor:
JRM Construction

Michiana Insulation

Floor Covering:
Joer’s Floor Carpet Center

Hardwood Flooring:
Hardwood Flooring Products

Mason/Brick Labor:
Feitz Masonry

Heating & Cooling:
Ellis Heating

Interior Decorating & Design:
Whims & Wishes Decorating

PM Carpentry & Roofing

Drywall Hanging:
Linn Drywall Hanging

Kitchen & Bath Gallery
Circle Granite
Circle Lumber
Rose Brick & Materials

Quick Facts

Address:  55885 Little Creek Lane, Middlebury
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3.5
Square Feet: 3,572 (includes finished basement)
Home Design: Interface Architecture and Design
Asking Price: $450,000

Town & Country Builders
541 Roske Drive, Suite B, Elkhart IN
(574) 293-5274

Cedar Creek, Middlebury
Town & Country Builders


Vern Heacock admits he’s well known for the large, custom homes he’s been building in this area for more than 30 years. But for this year’s home show, he wanted to take a different approach.

“I wanted to choose a home that might be a little more in the mainstream of custom homes, a little smaller and definitely on the cutting edge of ‘green,’” said Heacock, President of Town & Country Builders.
Aside from high efficiency appliances and Energy Star certification, Town & Country’s beautiful home in Middlebury’s Cedar Creek neighborhood features a geothermal heating system and a gas-powered instant hot water system (rather than a large tank that’s kept hot all the time).

He also wanted to keep the home’s footprint smaller in order to make it affordable.

Heacock said he’s most proud of the home’s overall flow and comfort of flow.  The open floor plan in the beautiful ranch-style home gives way to a great room with 12-foot coffered ceilings and easy access to other rooms, yet there’s still a strong definition of space.

Putting 10-foot ceilings in the nearby breakfast area allowed him to install the windows higher, thus giving the room a bigger feel.  Unique arches, angles and trim work also add to the functionality and flow of the clean, fresh space.  

“I’m also excited about the little architectural details that make up the home,” he added.

We would be remiss not to mention the sharp color choices and interior decorating style. Town & Country has its own design consultant, Anne Weaver, on staff to meet with each homeowner and guide them through the decorating process. 

“It’s a unique feature most builders around here don’t offer,” said Heacock.  “We’re pretty proud of that.”

At press time, Town & Country’s home was still on the market.



CMS Concrete

Concrete Work:

Well Drilling:
Bohs Well Drilling

Framing Suppliers:
Big C Lumber (frame)
Bookholder Lumber (floor & trusses)

Sharrick Heating

Rich’s Plumbing

Burt Electric

Johnson Drywall

Security/Sound System:
Media Solutions

Jared’s Excavating

Parcels Sprinkling

Mason/Brick Labor:
Rose Brick & Materials
Overholt Masonry

Exterior Siding:
Siding World

Finish Floor & Tiling:
Garber’s Decoration & Design

Design Kitchens & Baths

Garage Door:
Hostetler Door

Slagel & Sons Insulation

Interior Doors & Trim:
Miller Door & Trim

Other Building Supplies:
Miller’s Building Supply

Leatherman Supply

Hearth & Home

Interface Architect

Plumbing Fixtures:
Mid City Supply

Lighting Fixtures:
Wabash Supply Electric


Gilmore Drive, South Bend
Century Builders, Inc.


Quick Facts

Address:  18230 Gilmore Drive, South Bend
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3 full, 2 half
Square Feet: 4,533 (includes finished basement)
Home Design: Jim Sieradski, Century Builders, Inc.

Century Builders, Inc.
229 Red Coach Drive, Mishawaka IN
(574) 277-4171



Water Front Drive, South Bend
Stacy Custom Homes


Quick Facts

Address:  68462 Water Front Drive, Edwardsburg
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
Square Feet: 3,861 (includes finished basement)
Home Design: Helman Sechrist Architecture

Stacy Custom Homes
51716 Trail Ridge Drive, Granger IN
(574) 679-9433



Baldwin Drive, South Bend
Nugent Builders


Quick Facts

Address: 18235 Baldwin Drive, South Bend
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3.5
Square Feet: 3,850 (includes finished basement)
Home Design: Spalding Design Group

Nugent Builders
14770 Lindy Drive, Granger IN
(574) 277-5512




Copperfield Ridge, Granger
Troyer Custom Built Homes


Quick Facts

Address:  51597 Copperfield Ridge, Granger
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3.5
Square Feet: 4,313 (includes finished basement)
Home Design: John & Donna Troyer and Plans, Plans, Plans (Roberta Alfrey)
Troyer Custom Built Homes
11544 Wokingham Drive, Mish. IN
(574) 993-0829



Laurelwood Court, Wakarusa
Team Construction Co., Inc.


Quick Facts

Address:  204 Laurelwood Court, Wakarusa
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3.5
Square Feet: 3,550 (includes finished basement)
Home Design: Team Construction Co., Inc.

Team Construction Co., Inc.
1849 W. Lincoln Avenue Goshen IN
(574) 533-3100