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Lyon Construction, LLC offers new home builders virtual tours

June 8, 2011
The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - Imagine taking a walk through the home of your dreams without actually setting foot in the front door.

That's what Bruce Lyon of Lyon Construction, LLC is offering new home builders from the comfort of his new showroom in the Huron Centre in Houghton.

"It can be very difficult to decide on a house by looking at a plan book," he said. "To help eliminate unknowns, customers can now take virtual tours of house plans to get a feel for what you're looking for."

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Last year, Lyon Construction began a partnership with Blenker Building Systems' Envisions.Home At Last open panel construction system. The company, based in Amherst, Wis., offers a unique approach to building and designing homes in which the customer can virtually tour computer generated 3-dimensional home plans that are already set to build.

By visiting the company's website,, Bruce said he can walk customers through virtual tours of house plans on his 42-inch flat panel TV screen. Multiple single and two-story pre-engineered plans between 960 square feet up to 3,500 square feet are available for touring.

Cutting edge home plans and visualizations allow customers to personally design their dream home and install furniture to their liking.

"The whole idea is to give customers a feel for how the furniture would fit," he said. "Then we've got all the samples right here in our showroom."

At Lyon Construction's showroom, customers can browse materials for kitchen cabinets, siding, roofing, trim, countertops, stair railings, windows, doors, and more.

"Come in and we'll walk you through the process," Bruce said. "The interesting thing is we can take a drawing from a napkin and create a regular plan to scale and give you a virtual tour through that."

Lyon Construction custom designs houses with unlimited options and sizes, using its own plans, or the customer's, as a base. Plan books off the shelf or the Internet can also be used. Unlimited personalized changes to any of the plans are made to satisfy homeowner's unique requirements.

Blenker utilizes a partially panelized system that pre-builds floor systems and bare stud walls (exterior and interior) in the plant under climate-controlled conditions to exacting tolerances inside, under ideal conditions free from the weather. The 2-inch by 6-inch exterior walls on 16-inch centers have windows and doors installed.

Blenker builds their own energy heel trusses designed for 100 pounds or higher total load with roof pitches from 6:12 to 12:12. Everything else is custom built on site. Field framing mistakes are all but eliminated, ensuring consistently high quality.

"These houses are not, in any way, similar to manufactured modular housing," Bruce said. "Picture individual panels coming stacked up side-by-side on a truck. Local building inspectors consider these the same as an on-site stick-built house."

Unlike most conventional construction, a Blenker home is fully engineered before the first board is cut, eliminating the waste typically found on most construction sites.

"This system allows us to fully enclose a house to the weather in five days time," he said. "Usually, we can complete the house in 45 days from completion of the shell days or weeks quicker than a totally on-site built project."

Once the shell is erected, local subcontractors complete the job.

"We love using local electrical, mechanical, plumbing, heating, insulation, drywall, and painting subcontractors," Bruce said. "Not only do we help the local economy, but all local tradesmen are available for service and call backs if required."

All major aspects of the home are computer engineered and built by craftsman with the aid of automated systems and delivered to the site when promised. Blenker supplies all of the building components so customers won't experience frustrating and costly delays related to out-of-stock products, missed shipments, or sub-par materials.

"These plans are designed with great traffic patterns that make day-to-day living a pleasure," he said. "Everything works. You never have to worry about access around kitchen islands, or doors that bump into each other, or where to put towel bars, and so on."

Customers can chose from ranch-style or two-story homes, rustic cottages, lakefront plans, view plans and narrow lot plans. A number of handicapped accessible homes with no steps from the garage or front entry have been built in the area. These homes offer wheel-in tile showers and many types of grab bars to help manage daily living.

Lyon Construction has wonderful shell erect packages as well.

Once the shell is erected, home owners can do any portion of the rest of the work themselves or have Lyon Construction provide "turn-key" services, making the home completely ready for occupancy.

Bruce said roughly three out of 10 customers elect to build houses as concrete slab-on grade without basements.

"This saves considerable money because of the high cost of basements with current insulation requirements, and saves the cost of the wooden floor system in a house," he said.

Please visit Lyon Construction's beautiful showroom at the Huron Centre in Houghton in Suite No. 7. Beautiful individual house plan brochures are available for customers to take home and review. Usually a house can be priced out in just a day or two.

For more information, call Bruce Lyon at 482-5332, 281-1010 or email

Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Lyon Construction, LLC of Houghton. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.



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