Years later, praise and gratitude for a treasured home.

In 2009, the Hayward family moved into a James Craig Builders custom home on Okauchee Lake in Oconomowoc. After 12 wonderful years in this home, the Hayward’s decided to start a new chapter in their life and listed the home for sale.  As they observed the reactions of people viewing their home, the couple was reminded of how much they appreciated James Craig’s work. Here’s what they wrote after closing the sale.

“Hi Craig,

I hope you are healthy and off to a great start to 2021. I’m writing to thank you for the beautiful home you built for us on Okauchee Lake in 2009. We raised our three children and had many fun moments with friends and family.

Now that our children are grown and out of the house, we have sold our home and downsized to an urban setting that better suits our current lifestyle. 

During the sales process, many people commented on the quality and craftsmanship you put into the design and finished product. The home inspector for the eventual buyer reported to the real estate agent that our home was in the best condition of any home he had inspected in his career. That’s a real testament to your great people and contractors, as we always had a house full of kids, friends, family and dogs at the lake.

We treasure our time there and are happy we had you out to look at the lot. The family that bought our home has young children so the fun will continue!

Thank you again Craig to you and your great team.”

− Chris Hayward


The Hayward home was a Cottage-type custom build on a lot with some special features and challenges. It was narrow, with tight setbacks on both sides. The existing homes on either side were close to the lot lines, requiring the design team to match existing grades. The Haywards wanted to preserve several large trees and an old ice house that, years ago before refrigeration, was used to store blocks of ice carved from the bay in winter. 

We designed the home to maximize views of the bay by waterfalling the den, great room, kitchen and dining spaces. Even though the neighbors’ homes were close, once inside the home it felt very private. When completed, it fit the surrounding landscape like it had always been there.