Things to Consider Before Building A Lake House - featured image

Building a Lake House

Updated 12/15/2023

Building a lake house is a dream for many. Living in a lakefront home is an idyllic experience, regardless if it’s a summer getaway or a year-round lake house.

Northern Michigan is the premier destination for vacationers, retirees, or anyone wanting to live in the beauty of nature that only life “up north” can offer. It is often said that “You are never farther than five miles from any body of water,” and it’s true! Northern Michigan is full of lakes, rivers, and ponds. Northern Michigan is the perfect place to build your lake house with its natural beauty and a wide variety of year-round activities.

But without proper planning and guidance, the dream could quickly become your worst nightmare. So before you begin construction, you should know all the details to build a custom home on waterfront property, especially in the Traverse City and Northern Michigan region.

Most likely, your dream home is planted in your mind, from the fantastic designer chef’s kitchen to a luxurious master bathroom with dual walk-in showers and a soaking tub with a skylight and panoramic sunset views from the private deck off of an elegant master bedroom.

You’ve got the perfect Northern Michigan lake house in mind, and now it’s time to get the ball rolling.

Building a custom waterfront home is not your average construction process. Consulting a reputable builder with extensive knowledge of waterfront custom homes should be your first step. A knowledgeable builder will have the ability to educate and guide you through the myriad of steps involved in building your lakefront home.

Lakeshore Custom Homes has years of experience building luxury homes on waterfront property in Northern Michigan’s Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Benzie regions. As a result, we can offer you unique insight into waterfront building in the area that few builders can.

Lakeshore Custom Homes can offer valuable expertise and guidance on the following:

  • Site selection. Will the property accommodate your design and house orientation?
  • Zoning restrictions. Waterfront zoning restrictions vary widely and can be confusing.
  • Can a building permit even be acquired for your particular lake property?
  • Construction costs. Lake property building costs tend to be higher than the average cost.
  • Will you need a special septic system? Will your drainage plan meet code?
  • Are you aware of seasonal and historic water levels?
  • Do you need an Elevation Certificate?
  • How deep is the water table? Will it affect having a basement or crawlspace?
  • Does your property contain any wetlands?
  • Are you located in a flood zone? Will you need flood insurance?
  • Does the soil drain quickly? Will you need special foundations or septic systems?
  • What type of landscaping will you need to manage erosion?
  • Will you need erosion control for your beach?
  • Special considerations for docks.
  • Which direction are the prevailing winds? How will they affect your enjoyment of your property?
  • Design consideration for privacy and noise control. Some lakes can be rather busy and noisy. We can assist in choosing the right windows and window treatments, insulation, landscaping, and other design features that less experienced builders might miss.
  • Sand Dunes require special consideration too. Critical Dunes are protected and need special care when building on or near them.
  • Roofing, siding, and windows must be appropriate for the unique challenges that Northern Michigan and lakefront weather present.
  • Help and advise on selecting appropriate materials and levels of quality for your waterfront projects.

All these items require special care and consideration to ensure that the process of building your dream home will be as smooth and painless as possible. Well-planned design and construction can reduce your long-term cost of ownership and lower maintenance costs too.

The good news is that Lakeshore Custom Homes is a skilled waterfront home builder and has years of experience building lake houses. We can guide you through the planning and construction process to help you avoid unexpected problems and get the home you want.

Good communication is the key to a great home building experience.

We take great pride in providing excellent communication with our clients. Building a home requires a great working relationship with your building team. We specialize in building lake homes, and our building process helps eliminate problems. There will likely be a few bumps in the road. Still, effective communication will make traveling the route from start to finish as smooth as possible.

Please view our portfolio to see examples of some of the finest homes in Northern Michigan.

Are you ready to make your lake house dream a reality? Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your home-building plans. We look forward to building a lake home just for you!