The only female member of Bend’s Discovery West Builders Guild, Lynnanne Likens of Visionary Homes, likes a plan. Be it a house plan, a plan for the order of construction or the finished plan after a project has all come together. She is also good at looking after people whether it be in her first career as a registered nurse or in her current career putting a roof over a family’s head.
How it all Began
Likens did not take the usual route to becoming a builder. She was working as an R.N. in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit when she and her husband at the time built a home for their family in the late 1990s. Following that project, they started building custom and speculative homes throughout Central Oregon as Visionary Homes. When the two parted, she took over the company.
These days, she prefers to build speculative rather than custom homes. “I put so much thought into it,” she said. “I have a whole vision, and I know where to spend money and where it should be saved.”
While Likens works with an architect to choose a project, she looks for homes that have good flow and are classic in design. Once a lot is purchased and plans are in hand, though not necessarily in that order, Likens divides the work into three phases: the first phase includes ground breaking, foundation construction and framing; the second phase encompasses rough-ins for electrical plumbing and drywall; and the third consists of all the finishes. She relies on a set group of subcontractors whom she trusts and respects. That feeling is mutual according to Bibo Fowler, an electrician who has worked with Likens on numerous projects. “Her personality and expectations of quality meet mine,” he said. “She always has the customer in mind.”
While her builds are often geared toward family living, she has noticed several highly requested features. “In Bend, people want room for their toys and belongings so garages and closets are important. They want to have open areas but also opportunities for privacy, which have become particularly important since the start of the pandemic. And everyone wants a little bit of yard.”
A Timeless Design
As the interior designer on her projects, Likens’ goal is to pull in trends but maintain a timeless design. To achieve this feat, she concentrates the use of currently fashionable decor in such areas as light fixtures or wallpaper that could be easily replaced in the future.
Pete and Allison Stein bought one of Visionary Homes’ Tetherow properties in 2021. The Steins saw the house before it was completely finished and were immediately taken by the flow of the rooms, the smart use of space and the quality of construction.
“It has a custom feel even though it was a spec,” said Allison Stein. “Everyone who comes in here notices the doors and the textures, like around the fireplace and the wood floor. My daughter visits and wants our fixtures. There are different colors and textures, but they all go together. It takes a certain eye, which I never could have done. How could anybody not like it?”
Likens prefers to have no more than three projects going at once, but all in different stages. One could be in planning, another could be in stage two of construction, while the third could have just been listed. Visionary Homes stays involved with the home even after it has been sold. Either Likens or her superintendent, Hugh Clevenger, are available for several months following the sale. “We’re not done just because the homeowners have the keys,” she said.
Discovery West Neighborhood
Likens is now concentrating her vision on Bend’s Discovery West neighborhood located west of Northwest Crossing. She has already built several homes there. “I want to stay in one neighborhood,” she said. “I can get to know it and know what the people who live there want and value.” While Discovery West is currently developing phases three and four, there are at least 10 more phases to go before the neighborhood is completed. That schedule leaves time for Likens to further get to know the area and bring her Visionary eye to the homes in Discovery West.
More about Lynnanne Likens of Visionary Homes.