Founded by two cousins, Sublime Homes is gaining traction as a custom builder in northwest Indiana and Chicagoland.
GROWING UP, Michael Graniczny – son of a homebuilder – always knew he’d end up in some sector of the homebuilding industry.
His cousin, Brandon Raimondi, says Graniczny can spot a construction flaw or potential flaw faster than anyone he has seen.
“He has an ultrasensitive eye to construction problems,” Raimondi says. “He’s one of those people who can walk into a construction site and point out 10 problems immediately.”
That’s why Graniczny is so hands-on for each home project undertaken by Sublime Homes, which the cousins founded in 2011.
Over the past five years, the business has built a reputation as a builder with an attention to detail, quality workmanship and stylish designs built to suit the buyer.
The company now serves buyers in the northwest Indiana and Chicagoland areas, with a select number of custom builds annually. Currently, the team is working on four custom homes. With eight base models, buyers can choose to work from a model as a starting point or they can start from scratch, building their dream home with Sublime Homes.
Eye for Design
Breakthroughs for the company included a greater focus on Indiana neighborhoods, with price points around $600,000 and up. One of the most important distinguishers was bringing on the talents of another family member, Graniczny’s sister Jacklyn Graniczny, an interior designer who has experience with luxury projects in Chicago and San Francisco.
“I had a background in higher-end work,” she says. “I wanted to bring that into their homebuilding business. Those elements of design and luxury helped us build a brand and establish a name for our company.
"We’re a little different than everyone else," she adds.
Every element of a home, she says, is a reflection of a commitment to build the best, whether that means custom cabinetry by local craftspeople or a show-stopping custom staircase.
“People appreciate the detail we put into our work,” she says. “When you walk into one of our models versus the competition, you can see it. We take pride in what we build. Everything has to be higher quality.
Buyers can expect a higher tier of materials and craftsmanship – high-end granites, quartzite and marble, and quality millwork – with each home built by Sublime Homes.
“We go above and beyond with every product we use in our homes,” Jacklyn says.
Her input starts with initial client meetings, where sites like Houzz have opened up the world of design possibilities to homebuyers everywhere. Having someone who can make those desires a reality on staff helps set Sublime apart, Michael says.
“We get a lot of sales because people know we have a professional designer on board,” he says.
“It takes away some of the stress of making selections, too,” he adds.
The customer experience is one where buyers feel supported from the beginning through the end: long-term relationships that have created a steady flow of referral business, Jacklyn says.
“When people come in, we can start with base plans and we go over their lifestyle – how they entertain and how the plan needs to be customized,” she says. “It starts from the first conversation, trying to find what people need and what they don’t want. We always try to be proactive with the selection process. "
Those efforts all add up to a seamless build process.
The company also uses BuilderTREND software to keep clients apprised of their homes’ progress through every step of the process.
Tailoring to Trends
The Sublime Homes models speak to what many buyers are seeking in a home design, too, Jacklyn says.
“Transitional craftsman is still pretty popular,” she says. “People like grand-looking facades and elevations that give a sense of luxury.”
This year, the team is building another of its model homes, the Collette – a two-story, four-bedroom home with a first-floor plan that combines a family room and state-of-the-art kitchen, with dedicated dining areas. That model is available as large as 4,300 square feet.
But contemporary looks are taking hold as well, Jacklyn says.
“Some are asking for modern farmhouses and clean lines, so it can vary,” she says. “There are still a lot of people who want open-concept and really big houses.”
Sublime Homes is able to meet those changing needs and is preparing to break ground on its first modern prairie style home, a design with lines that evoke a Frank Lloyd Wright feel with low roof lines and clean shapes inside and out.
While individual homes provide an opportunity for the company to shine, the team also has taken advantage of a chance to build a neighborhood with the quality homes they aim to create.
“We have our own subdivision, which gives us more control and allows us to complete our vision and bring it to life,” Michael says.
Rose Garden – a wooded section of St. John, Indiana – offers close proximity to schools and the convenience of shopping and dining nearby, but buyers can be assured they’re also getting Sublime Home’s quality construction. So far, the team has built about a dozen homes there and has just opened 11 more lots, with hopes to open another 30 in 2017.
“It’s a hidden spot in town, surrounded by trees and an older subdivision,” Michael says. “Some people call it St. John’s best-kept secret.”
Rather than creating a series of cookie-cutter designs and squeezing every inch of green space, Raimondi says the idea is to create distinctive, upscale properties that range from $500,000 to $1.5 million.
“It’s diverse designs,” he says. “Each home has its own identity. We don’t ever want to be pigeonholed as a track or production builder. We put the product before our money. We would sacrifice a little bit of profit to make a beautiful product.”