J. Lawrence Homes/Smykal Renovations Win Gold for Lynwood Home

November 17, 2010

Chicagoland Real Estate Forum congratulates J. Lawrence Homes and Smykal Renovations for winning a Gold Key Award in the category of “Excellence in New Construction Production Single Family; 2,501 – 2,800 square feet” for a home in Lynwood’s Ambry Estates.

This home is in a neighborhood of tract houses built about 40 years ago. The homeowner was ready to re-side, re-roof and install all new windows. This was an opportunity to give them a whole new look. We wanted to do something that would give this home distinction in the neighborhood and remove it far from its tract housing origins. There was a budget (of course), so things had to be done tastefully and sparingly to get the most bang for the homeowner’s buck. We went the direction of a Craftsman elevation using Arts & Crafts/Bungalow elements.

All the mansard top chords of the trusses were trimmed off and new rafters were provided along with some new gable enhancements and trim details. The original one-story brick front was removed to make way for the new cobble stone wainscot. All cement siding was chosen; Random Staggered shingle siding in the gables with Random Straight shingle siding below on the front elevation, horizontal siding on the remainder.

There was some minor rework inside; converting the long living/dining area into an enclosed office with double French doors and sidelights, creating a cozier living/dining area. Crown molding and new four-and-a-quarter inch base molding were some of the final touches added, along with new lighting and windows.

The architect on this project was Balsamo Olson Group.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago Key Awards were created in 1972 to recognize excellence in housing design, architecture, interior merchandising, remodeling and landscaping. It has since evolved into one of the premier housing programs in the country.

For more information on the Key Awards, visit

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