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Cook Builders has developed a reputation as a top-quality builder in Northwest Indiana.

For more than 30 years, the company has served customers with expert residential craftsmanship and extraordinary customer service. Headquartered in Crown Point, Cook Builders (www.cookbuilders.com) today serves a marketplace of single-family home seekers looking to build dream homes, with a special focus on move-up buyers and retiring couples who want to move into a refined and custom residence. We recently spoke with Richard Cook about the company and its current projects.

Q: How did the company gets its start in residential construction?

A: I started as a remodeling contractor in 1974, and did residential and commercial remodeling for years before entering the custom home market. I learned a lot about construction in a hands-on environment, as well as a great deal about what people are looking for in a home that offers both comfort and convenience.

Q: What's keeping Cook Builders busy right now?

A: We are building in Lake Hills and Weston Ridge in St. John; Feather Rock, Pine Hill and Ellendale Farm in Crown Point; and High Point Prairie in Dyer. We also build on lots that homeowners own where they look to us to build their dream home for them.

Q: How would you describe the marketplace you serve?

A: We build for families who have moved several times and have decided that they want to have something that is more personally tailored to their styles and desires. We also build for couples who no longer need to provide for their children and want to move into their refined and custom dream home.

Q: I understand you have a home in the 2005 Parade of Homes at Feather Rock.

A: Yes, we're looking forward to that event. Our house is a beautiful two-story with traditional styling that has many special features and extra amenities. The home is already sold to a customer, and we spent a great deal of time talking with the family about the kind of residence it wants and needs. From the deep red brick exterior (with black accented door and black-toned interesting roof line) to the interior with gorgeous hardwood floors, lovely kitchen, French doors, unique built-ins, and spacious master bedroom suite with trey ceiling, we've tried to make this house a showcase. There is a sunroom off the kitchen with trapezoid windows, a three-car garage with side-load design -- well, we hope everyone will come see what Cook Builders can do.

Q: What motivates your company?

A: We like to make the process of building and living in a Cook Builders home as enjoyable as possible. We have been around for over 30 years, and we stand behind the homes that we build, starting at the design stage and extending well past the actual construction process.

Q: What's next for Cook Builders?

A: We are looking forward to the second and third phases of Lake Hills, continuing our work in Feather Rock, and pursuing new developments as they arise.

Q: What's the nicest thing anyone has ever said about your company?

A: We hear things like: "I have neighbors who have horror stories about their builders, and I didn't realize how lucky we were to have chosen you to build our dream home. You were so easy to work with, and we thank you for coming over for dinner in our beautiful new home." Comments like that let us know we're doing the right things.

Q: Any advice for people interested in building a custom home?

A: Finding the right home builder is probably the biggest decision that they will ever make, as a home is usually the largest investment that they will ever make. It's wise to spend ample time finding the perfect match, and asking a lot of questions.

Q: What makes your firm unique?

A: We like to differentiate ourselves by being there for our customers when they have questions, and serving their special design and lifestyle needs. The home-building process should be enjoyable, and we enjoy what we do.

Q: How can people reach Cook Builders?

A: More information about our company is online at www.cookbuilders.com. We welcome calls at (219) 322-3303.

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