Great Lakes Builders, Inc.
870 Lively Blvd., Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Office: (773) 631-7676

Welcome to Great Lakes Builders

Great Lakes Builders is a contractor that specializes in protecting the value of existing properties through its “Structural Repair and Remediation” services and in adding value to existing properties through its “Structural Alterations” services. Collectively, these services are under Great Lakes Builders’ line of services called STRUCTURAL SOLUTIONS for residential, commercial and industrial properties.

Structural Renovation

Structural Renovation of Chicago's Historic Properties. To learn more about this renovation process please click below.

JLC Cover Article

"Repairing a Failed Structure" by Great Lakes Builders' Project Director Jake Lewandowski

Understanding Structural Issues

Martin Lewandowski, President Great Lakes Builders, Inc. presents “Understanding Structural Issues” to residential and commercial inspectors.

Please take a moment to view all of our projects below. Please choose a category to begin.

  • Residential
    Please view all of our residential projects here.
  • Commercial
    Please view all of our commercial projects here.
  • Industrial
    Please view all of our industrial projects here.
  • Institutional
    Please view all of our institutional projects here.
Great Lakes Builders is a family owned and operated company founded by Ben Lewandowski. Ben was a licensed Professional Engineer and established Great Lakes Builders in 1949 as a Contractor to provide construction services throughout the Chicagoland area. Under Ben’s management, Great Lakes Builders built industrial, commercial and residential properties and also specialized in the renovation of existing buildings.

In 1989, Ben’s son Martin took over the responsibilities of President of the company. This transition from father to son did not happen over night. Martin worked under the direction of Ben from an early age learning the various building trades leading to positions in Project and Construction Management. After working for Great Lakes Builders for 22 years, Martin became President of Great Lakes Builders. Martin is still taking the lead in Construction Management for the company and passes on his skills and experience in building by acting as mentor and trainer to Great Lakes Builders' valued employees.

A company operating successfully for over 60 years certainly speaks volumes for its ability to serve its clients well over time. What may be just as telling is the fact that the Lewandowski family’s building legacy dates back well before 1949. The Lewandowski family, including Ben’s father William and uncle Walter brought their building skills, honed in Europe, to the United States in the early 1900’s and began building homes, schools, churches and factories in Chicago neighborhoods such as Ukrainian Village, Wicker Park and Park Ridge. Many of the buildings they built then are in use and admired today, including some beautiful churches and schools such as Saint Paul of the Cross and Roosevelt grade school in Park Ridge, IL.
The tradition and life-blood of Great Lakes Builders will live on through the appreciation and respect that the Lewandowski family has for older architecturally significant buildings. Great Lakes Builders' ability to integrate old world craftsmanship with modern building materials and techniques enables Great Lakes Builders to provide their clients with the best of both worlds.
Today, Great Lakes Builders utilizes its years of experience to offer a unique blend of building services that focuses specifically on structural repair, remediation and alteration of residential, commercial and industrial properties called "STRUCTURAL SOLUTIONS".

Martin Lewandowski - President and Director of Field OperationsMartin Lewandowski

Martin worked for Great Lakes Builders for 22 years prior to becoming President in 1989. Martin has a wide range of experience and expertise in Construction Management ranging from design/build, renovation and structural remediation for commercial, industrial and residential buildings managing projects from initial concept to project completion.

JakePhotoJake Lewandowski
Director of Field Operations

Jake is a third-generation family member to join Great Lakes Builders and a father of 4 young children. Jake has worked in various positions with the company developing critical construction knowledge and skills leading to his current position as Director of Field Operations. Jake generously shares his construction knowledge through contributing articles to several national publications covering best building practices and process management pertaining to structural repairs and alterations. His most recent articles can be found on this website under the “In the News” tab.


Michael Lewandowski
Director of Business Operations

Michael joined Great Lakes Builders in 2002. Michael has an MBA from Illinois Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Great Lakes Builders, Michael held positions in Technical Education, Program Management and Business Development with companies ranging from start-ups to large fortune 500 corporations.

Celebrating over 60 Years in Business!

Great Lakes Builders, Inc. is a family owned and operated company founded in 1949 that specializes in structural repairs and alterations, essentially providing structural solutions from the “foundation to the rafters” for residential and commercial properties.

Specializing in Structural Repairs and Alterations Since 1949
                      Residential ● Commercial ● Industrial
                      "From the Foundation to the Rafters"

Structural Repairs

  • 156 Beam ColumnFoundation repair and replacement
  • Sagging floor and bowed wall repair
  • Beam, column and footing repair and replacement
  • Shoring and jacking
  • Roof rafter repair and reinforcement
  • Lintel replacement
  • Repairs to structural concrete
  • Porch and balcony repair and replacement
  • Fire, storm, insect and impact damage repairs
  • Code violation remediation

Structural Alterations

  • Adaptive reuse, conversions, expansions and modifications to buildings
  • Interior and exterior wall removal/replacement
  • Structural reinforcing for green roof tops
  • Facade design/build
  • Basements/attics transformed into "SuperSpaces"

From replacing foundations to reinforcing roof trusses and rafters, Great Lakes Builders has the resources to implement your project from concept to completion with an in-house staff skilled in the following trades:

Masonry • Carpentry • Concrete • Steel

Great Lakes Builders offers property owners and managers the benefit of over 60 years of experience they can rely on and trust.  Read More About Us

We believe that our longevity is attributed to the combination of our:

  • Strong work ethic and integrity
  • Adherence to safety procedures with employees participating in accredited training programs
  • Commitment to quality in materials, workmanship and total customer satisfaction
  • Focus on our core competencies leading to excellence in our field of expertise
  • Solid established relationships with our suppliers, customers and community
  • Fully licensed and insured

Let Great Lakes Builders help protect the structural integrity of your property investment.

To set up a meeting to discuss your property and our services, call or e-mail us today.

  1. To view presentations: Click on the PowerPoint (PPT) presentation icon below each project.
  2. To page thru presentation: Use "Page Down" and "Page Up" keys on your keyboard.
  3. For full screen viewing: Select the "Browse" pull-down menu and choose "Full Screen".
  4. To end slide show: Right click your mouse and select "End Show" or move your mouse to the lower left side of screen and click on the triangle in the corner of your screen
Strip Mall Remediation

Structural remediation of 125 ft. canopy, including:

  • Installed steel beams and columns under canopy
  • Set columns in steel reinforced concrete footings
  • Removed roof over canopy
  • Installed new framing for roofing system to securely attach canopy to building''s superstructure
  • Installed new modified bitumen roof
  • Wrapped steel columns with brick
  • Wrapped beam line with EIFS stucco
Strip Mall Canopy Remediation
Foundation Replacement

Replaced deteriorating bowed foundation with new steel reinforced foundation, including:

  • Shored existing floors and walls of house
  • Removed old deteriorated foundation and footings
  • Installed new steel reinforced footings
  • Installed new steel reinforced concrete block walls
  • Attached new foundation to house''s superstructure
  • Removed shoring
  • Installed new siding
200 fdn replace1
Foundation Replacement
Beam and Column Replacement

Replaced deteriorated wood beams and columns with steel, including:

  • Shored floor joists over basement
  • Removed old wooden beams and columns
  • Jacked flooring to level position
  • Installed beams and columns
  • Set columns in steel reinforced concrete footings
  • Removed shoring and jacking equipment
Beam and Column Replacement
Basement Dig-out for Club Expansion

Doubled usable space at a club in Bucktown via a basement dig-out, converting non-usable space in low clearance basement into space for bar and overall club expansion. Work included:

  • Dug out basement
  • Installed new drainage system
  • Poured new 10" double steel reinforced structural concrete slab
  • Poured new steel reinforced structural concrete retaining walls along basement perimeter
Basement Dig-out

What People Are Saying

I have worked with many contractors over the years. I have never encountered a company like Great Lakes Builders. They are simply extraordinary on every level. Great Lakes Builders are consummate professionals from their business approach to keeping a safe and clean work site. Choosing a good contractor for a structural repair is daunting. In our project, Great Lakes Builders literally held up the building and lifted it in places to solve some tricky structural defects. They replaced failing wood beams and columns with new steel ones...


Elizabeth Chandler
Evanston, IL



What can I say? Great Lakes Builders saved our 100-year old Victorian house by shoring it up and replacing the termite-damaged beams, posts and other framing! The termite damage was so extensive that we were moments away from complete structural failure of the property. The workers were professional, courteous, punctual, and FAST! Great Lakes Builders finished the job two full weeks before the promised start time. We were very impressed...


Dennis Everson
Chicago, IL



We were referred to Great Lakes Builders for an important structural project with a very strict timetable. We had to have a contractor that we could rely on to complete the work correctly, in a professional manner, with a concern for safety, on time and within budget. We found this in Great Lakes Builders. After using them for structural repairs on two of the buildings we manage, we feel confident in recommending Great Lakes Builders.


Kelly D. Hales
Post Oak Property Management
Chicago, IL