Local artisans breathe new life into outdated projects. by Brandon Hoops, photos by Keith Borgmeyer CRUZ CHAVEZ At age 22, Cruz Chavez walked away...
The Spillman home is all about the small stuff.
Photography by Anthony Jinson
Jeremy and Jessica Spillman know custom homes. As owner of Spillman Contracting, Jeremy has spent years building one-of-a-kind homes for customers, and, through this extensive experience, he has watched people’s indecision down to the smallest detail.
It came as a surprise to Jeremy, when building his family’s own dream home, that each decision would be a challenge.
Construction of the home, located in the Vineyards neighborhood, started in May 2015 and the Spillmans moved in three days before Christmas 2015.
Jeremy was always interested in building – he and his friends would price materials at the corner hardware store to build the best possible tree house with their allowances. “I was born with it in my DNA,” he says.
He credits his craft to his mother and his grandmother, who grew up during the Great Depression and would repurpose everything: an old picnic table on the side of the road became planter boxes for the backyard. They also fostered his entrepreneurial spirit. Jeremy would buy a bucket of gum and sell the pieces at school, and he ran his own lawn business.
That spirit, combined with his creativity, meant Jeremy couldn’t see himself doing anything but building custom homes.
The prospect of building the home where he, Jessica, and their children, Emma, Brooklynn, and Noah, would live until all the children graduated high school seemed easier than it turned out to be.
“I make a million decisions a day quickly,” Jeremy says. “But for some reason, on my own house, I over-analyzed everything.”
The more options you have, the more difficult it can be. “It’s challenging, making lots of decisions that you want to be perfect, because the end result is one of the largest investments you will ever make.”
Some of the easier decisions were putting the kids’ rooms downstairs, so they could grow into their own space as they became teenagers. The Spillmans also knew they wanted to entertain upstairs rather than in the basement, so putting three bedrooms downstairs opened up areas on the main floor to enjoy when hosting.
Dexter, the Spillmans’ dog, had a hand in one of their toughest decisions: the hardwood floor. They wanted a weathered look, but a durable product that would hold up against a large chocolate lab.
Jeremy says his favorite part of the home is the outdoor living space with a fireplace and TV. “It’s the perfect place to watch the Tigers and Cardinals,” he says.
And, despite some tough decisions on their own home, Jeremy still has a passion for custom homes. “I love the ability to customize,” he says. “I would make a terrible cookie-cutter production builder because I can’t stop making changes if I think it will make the end product better.”