Justin Kettler and Tim Loecker started flipping houses almost by accident. Together in 2002, the year they met and started dating, they renovated Kettler’s first home together. When a friend suggested they list the home, they had multiple offers on the first day.
“That was kind of the unintentional beginning,” Kettler said, noting that neither of them had envisioned that flipping houses would become part of their lives.
At the time, Kettler and Loecker had separate careers. Kettler worked in corporate finance and Loecker worked in public relations. Neither had any formal design training.
After the sale of their first home, they continued buying, flipping and selling homes. In 2012, they started working with contractor ,Hayes Signature Homes, to build houses from the ground up.
In 2016, they started their own firm, JT Design Eye, and Kettler left his corporate job to work for the company. In January 2020, Loecker left public relations after 20 years and joined the design company full-time.
“We have no formal training in architecture and design,” Loecker said. “We just have had a lifetime of interest and passion in it.”
They partner with architects, builders and designers to complete the homes. This 2020 build at 10409 Epping Lane is the fourth home Kettler and Loecker have built with Hayes Signature Homes. The couple has lived in every one of the homes they’ve designed and built from the ground up, incorporating the lessons they’ve learned from living in each home into the designs of the next.
“By living in what I call our ‘experiments,’ we are able to really make a home livable, good-looking, very functional and of course doing it to a budget of some sort,” Kettler said.
This home has five bedrooms, five bathrooms and two half-bathrooms in its 7,851 square feet. With two stories, the bedrooms are spread out throughout the house.
Kettler and Loecker said they wanted to make sure the master suite felt like an oasis and was separate from the main living spaces in the home. The master suite is on the first floor with a large bedroom that looks out to the backyard. There is a desk and seating area, a large bathroom and his-and-her closets. One of the closets attaches to a downstairs laundry room with lots of storage space.
While living in the house during the pandemic, Loecker and Kettler found that having a flex space, like the home’s indoor-outdoor cabana, was an invaluable part of the design. They converted what is normally used as an entertaining area into an at-home gym.
Kettler said they avoid creating rooms that only function for one purpose and prefer to create floor plans with flexible spaces that can adapt for multiple lifestyles.
The pool in the backyard is visible through the large windows in the family room, which connects to the kitchen. A wet bar at the opposite end of the kitchen can also function as a prep space and is attached to a breakfast nook. They designed what would typically function as a study to be a flexible space for a smaller living room, depending on preference.
In addition to the master suite, there’s another bedroom on the first floor with an en suite bathroom. The remaining three bedrooms and their en suite bathrooms are on the second floor, where there is a second laundry room and an additional living area with a dry bar.
The home sits on 0.65 acres and has a pool, living space and plenty of open area in the backyard.
As for Loecker and Kettler, they’re selling the home and starting another project that they plan to live in. They enjoy the process of building, living in and selling their homes, and they don’t plan to settle on one specific home any time soon.
10409 Epping is listed for $3,395,000 by Meridith Hayes of Compass Real Estate.
Updated at 10:10 on June 26, 2020: A previous version of this article stated that this home was the eighth collaboration between JT Design Eye and Hayes Signature Homes. That is incorrect, this home is the fourth project they have completed together.