Choosing Siding For Your Custom Home - featured image

Siding is also one of the first things you notice about a home; it can and should be beautiful! Choosing siding for your new home offers you many choices in materials, textures, and colors. The options are nearly limitless. With today’s materials, there are very few limitations. So what style do you have in mind: board and batten, shake shingles, clapboard, stucco, or perhaps a rustic log home look?

Beyond appearance, siding also serves a functional purpose being the outermost part of your home. It’s the first defense against rain, snow, and wind. This is especially important considering Northern Michigan’s harsh winters! Think of siding as armor for your house. It protects your insulation and the underlying structure of your walls from the elements, helps reduce noise, and can add to the structural integrity of your home. Siding also plays a role in retaining warmth in the winter and keeping the heat out in the summer.

Types of Siding For Your Home

Most homes will use a combination of materials to achieve your desired look. When deciding on siding options, you should consider aesthetics, energy efficiency, durability, and maintenance.


Brick is a classic choice. It is durable, low-maintenance, and holds up to extreme conditions. Often it is used as an accent material. Brick veneer is another option that gives the appearance of brick at a lower cost.


Stone siding gives a stunning appearance. Like brick, it is typically used as an accent. The styles and color options are available in either genuine or cultured. Weather and insect resistance is excellent, and insulation values vary.

Wood Siding

Real Cedar is a beautiful and smart choice for siding. Cedar is a durable wood that is naturally resistant to rot, decay, and insects and has good insulation properties. These natural properties mean whatever you build with it will last longer and require less maintenance. In addition, natural Cedar is beautiful, versatile, and is a sustainable building product.

Engineered Wood Siding

Engineered wood siding, like LP Smart Siding, is a composite material made from natural wood and enhanced to make it more robust, durable, and versatile than traditional wood. Like traditional wood, LP Smart Siding has an insulation R-value greater than conventional vinyl siding. Additional advantages include fire, water, and impact resistance, and it is safe from insect damage.

Fiber-Cement Siding

Fiber-cement siding offers the look of wood at a lower cost. However, it has a different insulation value than other materials can offer. It also requires more maintenance (painting and caulking) and can absorb moisture. Chipping and cracking are other long-term concerns.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is the least expensive option but also the least durable. In addition, it is more prone to wind damage than other materials. It is available in various styles, colors, and textures.

Final Thoughts

When choosing siding, you will want to consider the overall appearance of your home. What color roofing as well as trim? What about landscaping or lightscaping? All of these influence the overall look of your home, and small changes can have a dramatic effect.

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

Are you ready to make your dream home a reality? Let our experience guide you through selecting the right siding style and materials.
Call us today or use the Contact form to start planning your new home!

Choosing Windows For Your Custom Home - featured image

(Updated 2/12/2023)

Choosing windows is one of the most important decisions when designing your custom home. Windows play a critical role since they have such a significant impact on your home. Windows provide both aesthetic beauty and serve functional purposes. Attention to detail in the planning and design phases can reap substantial rewards in both cost savings and the long-term enjoyment of your new home.

Beautiful Views

Chances are that the location of your home has a beautiful view. Windows are much like a picture frame, accentuating the view and emphasizing architectural lines. From inside, windows and trim complement your view. From the outside, windows provide character and beauty to the overall look of your home.

Planning for Sunlight

Of course, windows allow natural light into your home. However, how light falls into a room can bring out other design details and provide a comfortable setting for your daily activities. Consider how you will use each room, the time of day (or night), where the sun is throughout the day, and how it varies according to seasons. These considerations also play into what additional artificial lighting you will need. These considerations help select the appropriate style and size of windows and locations within each room.

Another concern is UV light filtering. Constant exposure to sunlight can age and damage carpets, furniture, and most anything else that is exposed for long periods. Many windows are available with UV filtering that can reduce exposure and potential damage.

Durability and Weather

Northern Michigan has harsh winters, so durability is an important consideration. If your home is on the water, especially larger lakes like Crystal Lake, Glen Lake, and especially Lake Michigan, then additional protection from high winds and storms are another concern.

High winds, rain, and snowstorms can challenge ordinary windows. Andersen, Marvin, and Simonton brands offer coastal-grade windows that address these concerns. Impact-resistant glass, additional structural reinforcements, enhanced cladding, and weather sealing create a window that protects your home in the harshest of conditions and remains beautiful.

Winter weather also brings low temperatures. Double-paned windows (now commonplace) and triple-pane windows offer even more energy savings. In addition, ENERGY STAR® rated windows help reduce heating and cooling costs.

A well-designed window also helps reduce noise too. This can be especially nice during storms or if you have an active waterfront or family.


You’ll also want to consider convenience when selecting windows. How easily can you open and close the window? Is one style easier than another? What about cleaning? Will you want screens? You may wish to consider how a window style may work or appear with an awning.


A unique optional feature from Andersen is their VeriLock® Sensors. Integrated with a home security system, you can detect whether a window is open or closed and if it is locked. This is primarily a nice feature for those with summer or part-time homes. In addition, you can easily see the status from a smartphone app when leaving home or checking up remotely.

Recommended Window Brands

Lakeshore recommends Andersen, Marvin, Simonton, and Windsor windows. Each company offers various styles and finishes and has warranties that back up their quality for your peace of mind.

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

We have experience working with each of these brands, and we welcome an opportunity to discuss your custom home plans. So call us today or use the Contact form to start planning your new home!


Helpful Resources

Andersen YouTube Channel