Rachel and Kevin
The Community of Bishops Bay
Q. Where did you move from, and how did you end up in The Community of Bishops Bay?
A. - We moved from very close by, in the town of Middleton / Spruce Hollow. We had a huge 1 acre yard on a hill where we spent a ton of time maintaining it. Kevin has just changed jobs and we were expecting our third child. With a growing family, we knew we needed to find a way to have more quality time with our kids. We always thought Bishops Bay was so far away and had small lots so we never considered it. But, one day I just decided to drive out to see what this place really was. I kept hearing about a neighborhood pool, golf community and a huge expansion plan so I needed to see it for myself. Driving out to the neighborhood, I instantly loved it. I realized there’s lots that cater to all needs and having access to the community pool, in a great school district while being closer to downtown Madison seemed perfect. I quickly had Kevin meet me out here and we were instantly hooked. We went through Dan’s model home as well as one other builder’s model home. We knew this was the place to be.
Q. How do you spend time around the area? Are you involved in the community?
A. We love taking bike rides through Pheasant Branch Conservancy which is right across the street from our neighborhood. We go every weekend! It’s amazing to take the kids through all the scenery, different parks and even bike to get ice cream. It’s one of a few times that we are truly free from our mobile devices and completely focused on the kids. We also love going swimming with the kids and enjoying all of the wonderful restaurants in Middleton and Waunakee.
Q. Could you explain what it is about the neighborhood that you enjoy… or what drew you to living in your particular neighborhood?
We love this community. There are walking trails, it’s near governor Nelson state park and pheasant branch conservancy. It’s unique in that you can actually bike to so many places and avoid major roads. It’s so close to downtown so we enjoy a quick date night there more often. There are a ton of professionals from all over the country. We love the variety of young families, retired families. Everyone is friendly and always offering to help. There’s an active social media community and tons of social events to stay connected.
Q. Were there any surprises of building a new home?
We loved building with Heffron homes. We had built in the past and grew up with families who have built many homes so we knew what we were getting into. Our goal with building our home was to have a very efficient space. We didn’t want wasted/dead space. We came with a concept that we liked and the team was great at working with us to tweak everything just to what we needed for our family. We were really impressed with the help from Jaclyn on designing our kitchen, helping to come up with practical work spaces in our office for crafting, homework, etc.
Heffron's designer, Jaclyn, also helped redesign our master bathroom into a really workable design. We were so surprised at the level of quality in the standard finishes. I think every person we worked with could tell you our most common question was “is that an up charge” and generally the answer was “no”. Our move in date was on my due date with your third child. We were so shocked that the team was able to get us into the home over 1.5 weeks earlier than planned. It was amazing to be able to get settled before the new baby.
Q. Are there particular features or design elements that you are happy were incorporated into your new home?
We decided late to have the lower level dry walled so that it was easy to finish later. That has been a fun project that we’ve been working on with the kids. They love helping us. We also added on a screen porch with a fireplace during the building process. The team made that so easy for us, even though I’m sure it wasn’t easy. We have a coffered ceiling in the family room that we love and a pot filler in the kitchen that is shockingly incredibly convenient. We also had to extend the front porch to wrap around the side due to the HOA. We absolutely love the front porch and how it turned out. I love the huge windows in our office, especially on summer days when I’m working from home.
Q. If you could offer advice about building, what would it be?
1. Tour a lot of homes to see what you like.
2. Think about how you will actually use the space—-even think about little things like how you cook, walking to the fridge and if the dishwasher is left open, how you’ll navigate around it.
3. Design it for yourself, not for what anyone else thinks you should have. That’s the biggest reason we felt our last home wasn’t a fit for our family. We had a huge dining room, no play room, tons of wasted foyer space, a walk out basement which can be great but in our case, it split up our ability to entertain guests. It just felt diss-jointed. Now the kids can play in their playroom right off the kitchen, we can see them outside in the backyard while we are inside cooking, we entertain all in one main space where we can still talk to guests while we are prepping.
Thank you, Rachel and Kevin, for letting us, and our readers, into your beautiful home. You've done an amazing job! Thank you for the opportunity to work with you.
~ The Staff at Heffron Homes
If you, or someone you know, is interested in building in The Community of Bishops Bay, click here to start the conversation. We have home sites available.