Must Have Design Features for Your Northern Michigan Custom Home - featured image

(Updated 3/22/2022)

Planning and designing your new custom home should include features and details that will make your home more livable as well as an extension of your personal style. The planning stage is the perfect time to ensure that your new home has all the features you truly desire. As your custom builder, Lakeshore Custom Homes can guide you through the entire custom home design process. Here are a few popular design trends and ideas to ponder as you create your wish list.


Living in Traverse City or Northern Michigan means four-season weather conditions. You’ll want your dream home to be accommodating regardless of the season. Suppose you plan to live year-round in Northern Michigan. In that case, consider an attached garage with a breezeway or an entrance that leads into a mudroom. This option is convenient for hanging damp clothes and shedding wet or muddy shoes before tracking in a mess to the rest of the house. Often this design consideration sets the stage for the rest of the floor plan.

Storm doors with a screen option allow summer breezes to flow through while offering protection in harsher weather. And, of course, having a closet or coat room nearby is very convenient to accommodate your seasonal wardrobe changes.

Open Floor Plans

Nothing beats an open floor plan to add the feel of spaciousness, no matter the size of the home. Popular designs include large windows to let in light and to appreciate the beauty of your setting. Often this area becomes the central feature of the house and sets the stage for the rest of your design ideas.


Lighting is often overlooked, and adding the required wiring and fixtures later can be a nuisance. Homeowners in Northern Michigan need to consider how seasonal changes in natural and ambient lighting will affect each room and plan accordingly.

Be sure to think about how trees and landscaping can change the available light with the change of seasons. Sometimes flipping the blueprint or changing the house’s orientation on the land can make a significant impact.

Custom Built-ins

Custom built-ins are a popular feature among luxury custom homes. These can include built-in bookcases, entertainment centers, and closet organizers. They provide additional storage space while creating a unique design element in the house.

Laundry Rooms

No one ever complained about having too big of a laundry room. However, with all our area’s outdoor recreation opportunities, you’ll likely need to accommodate extra laundry and storage for extra gear and clothing.


Like laundry, extra closet space for storing your wardrobe is super desirable. Walk-in closets are great as they can be designed to arrange easier access and provide better lighting making for a much more functional space. Consider finishing the interior with genuine cedar. Cedar naturally repels moths, and other insects, is low maintenance, and provides a natural fresh scent!

Spa-Like Bathrooms

Luxurious bathrooms that provide a spa-like experience are becoming more popular. Features can include heated floors, large soaking tubs, rain showers, steam rooms, and multiple showerheads.


Sometimes living in Northern Michigan means your closest grocery store might not be so convenient. However, having extra room to store staples can make country living more enjoyable. Walk-in pantries also give you more space to store kitchen gadgets that might otherwise take up counter space.

Wine Rooms and Wine Closets

Whether you prefer one of the Grand Traverse region’s wineries or perhaps something from another part of the world, climate-controlled wine storage is highly desirable. Besides protecting your investment, a well-designed wine room can accent your home beautifully. They can be designed to fit any size or shape, with features such as temperature control and custom lighting to showcase the wine collection.


There’s something special about a home bar. Perhaps you entertain frequently, and a bar makes a great place to congregate, or maybe you’ve always wanted a place where everybody knows your name. With Northern Michigan having so many great breweries, a built-in tap system is a perfect way to enjoy the local flavor.

Home Theater or Audio Room

Are you a film buff or an audiophile? If so, a dedicated home theater or audio room should be in your plans. Special design considerations such as dimensions, wall construction, insulation, floor and ceiling materials, wiring, lighting, seating, and other details make for an ideal acoustic environment. Perfect for relaxing and enjoying your favorite film or musical recording!

Home Office

Traverse City or Northern Michigan is a popular choice for those who can work remotely. Consider having additional electric outlets and a dedicated Internet router or network cable. Lighting is critical for reducing eye strain so consider both windows and lighting fixtures in your plans.

Luxury Garages

Why build a dream home and then have an ordinary garage? Luxury garages are one of the hottest trends these days. Well-lit with fully finished walls and ceilings, epoxy floors, plenty of storage, extra electrical outlets, and extra room for all your toys and maybe even a convertible for cruising down M22. With creature comforts like this, your garage becomes a natural extension of your home. When designing your perfect garage, heating, and cooling, televisions, sound systems, wet bars, and bathrooms are often asked for features.

Secret Rooms

You may want a private space for a home office, a humidor, or a safe room. Either way, a secret room can be a unique addition to your home.

Outdoor Spaces

There has been a shift toward more open patio or deck areas to enjoy the outdoors that Northern Michigan offers. Outdoor living spaces have become increasingly popular. This can include outdoor kitchens, fire pits, swimming pools, and hot tubs. Homeowners can also add landscaping and features such as outdoor speakers, TV screens, and water features.

COVID-19 Home Building Trends

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed more focus on the home and amenities that can help make your time at home even more enjoyable.

With moviegoers deterred from attending theaters and theater closures, many new film releases are now being streamed. Subsequently, larger, more luxurious home theater rooms are in demand.

The same applies to home fitness rooms, as traditional gyms and fitness clubs face restrictions. The upside is that a home gym can save you travel time as well as time saved, not waiting for a machine to become available. Plus, a home gym no longer means working out alone or being isolated. Streaming fitness services like Peloton are popular. Planet Fitness is even streaming “Home Work-Ins,” and dozens of other services are available, including yoga, dance, and strength classes.

Working from home is now mainstream and upgrading your Internet and home networking are vital. You can add network cables throughout the house to facilitate additional WIFI routers. These can easily be added to new construction and will reduce clutter. More and more, Smart Home features are in demand.

With less time dining out, the kitchens, pantries, and dining areas have more focus. Larger pantries and more spacious kitchens make it easier for more cooks in the kitchen and dining spaces that are more open and flexible.

Touchless technology has experienced an increase in popularity due to the public’s desire to minimize the transmission of germs and viruses. Touchless bath and kitchen fixtures are also more popular, and more styles and options are available than ever before. Motion-activated faucets, touchless toilets, and automatic doors are a few examples.

With more family members at home at the same time, privacy is more valued, and bedrooms and dens can offer a needed quiet space or retreat. Simple additions like additional furniture, like a recliner and reading light, can add a more comfortable touch to these spaces.

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?
Contact us today
to make an appointment to discuss your home-building plans. We’ll be with you every step of the way to guide you to the perfect home.

Rustic Elegance – New Custom Home in Traverse City - featured image

(Updated 2/13/2023)

The homeowners weren’t aware of the term “Parkitecture.” It’s a unique term used to describe homes designed and built patterned after National Parks. “Parkitecture” homes are true to the manner of the environment, using materials that are rustic and natural, with interiors that utilize an abundance of natural timbers. This seems to be the perfect description of this three-story home built two miles west of Traverse City on the highest, most densely tree-covered hilltop, also known as Radio Hill. “From the top floor looking out, the trees are so close you feel as if you are in them,” share the homeowners.

The home, which appears smaller than it actually is, integrates linear elegance, rustic flavor, and European flair. The homeowner shares, “Most people come in and are surprised at how the space, totaling 5,000 square feet, is used.”

Builder Chris Mason of Lakeshore Custom Homes, describes the home as “rustic elegance.” Copper gutters, a custom-domed entry door, and log railings accented with iron detailing showcase the exterior elegance.

Attention to Details

After extensive travels in Europe and developing a fondness for the architectural interest of domed entrance doors, it became a must for this country dream home.

The homeowner and his father built the door that layers top and bottom Douglas fir over ¾-inch plywood. A heavy-duty door jamb was made to match. The rivets were purchased from a hardware store in Austria.

The challenge of this spectacular site, with its five acres of pines and hardwoods, was the driveway and maintaining as many as trees as possible. The drive takes a 90-degree turn at the bottom of the hill. To make the drive safe and user-friendly during the winter months when it is covered with ice and snow, a two track was added as a safety measure at the curve to prevent any slide-offs.

The owners give Mason credit as a master builder and master craftsman. They boast the fact he is on the building site every day and adapts easily to making the unexpected changes that are required in using unique building materials. For example, there were no specs for the rough-sawn cedar timbers and beams. Instead, the homeowners described what they wanted, and Mason was able to create, to a tee, what they described.

Because the lower level ash timbers didn’t have the manufacturer’s prefabricated stamp required by law to meet building requirements, the building inspector wouldn’t give his approval. An engineer’s approval was needed for them to pass inspection. “He told us the timbers would hold up three houses the same size,” shares the homeowner.

The respect for nature is also displayed in the home’s wood floor, constructed of simple-styled maple boards hand nailed with exposed square head nails, along with its pine and cedar walls and ceilings.

According to Mason, the finished product has an element of surprise and a grand flourish of style. “I have built rustic homes and elegant homes, but this is the first to combine elements of both styles. I have to say, it worked amazingly well.”

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?
Contact us today
to make an appointment to discuss your home-building plans. We’ll be with you every step of the way to guide you to the perfect home.

Contemporary Home on a Lake Michigan Critical Dune - featured image

(Updated 2/13/2023)

Featured in the Spring 2018 issue of Michigan Home and Lifestyle magazine.

Northern Michigan is home to some of the most spectacular coastlines. It’s easy to understand why so many people choose to live here. Sand dunes are one of the natural features that attract many to the area – there’s nothing that quite compares to the view of Lake Michigan from atop a dune.

What is a Critical Dune?

In 1989, the State of Michigan deemed the state’s dunes to be “unique and irreplaceable” and passed a law regulating development activities in a relatively small portion of the dune system regarded to be the most environmentally sensitive. These dunes are designated as “critical dunes.”

Located on a Lake Michigan critical dune near Frankfort, MI, this 1970s-era home spoke to the homeowners when they first saw it. Though the home didn’t fit their needs perfectly when they purchased it, they saw potential for all that the home could be.

They contacted Chris Mason of Lakeshore Custom Homes about their overall desire for the home, both short-and long-term, and a plan was set in place. Minor renovations were made to the home immediately to make it more comfortable, while the long-term renovation and expansion plans were drawn up.

“Our focus with any renovation is making the additions, or our contribution to the home, look like it was part of the home all along,” said Mason. And that is what they did.

The original 2,728 square-foot home had four bedrooms and three bathrooms, in addition to the living, dining, and kitchen spaces. The plans would make this home larger and more comfortable while ensuring that the design integrity remained intact and the dunes were not disturbed.

Designed to Preserve

While Mason said that the project went smoothly overall, the biggest challenge was working around the critical dune. The state of Michigan has a large number of natural areas and resources, many of which are protected by the government to help preserve the state’s unique natural ecosystems. Critical dunes are an example of one of those natural areas. There are many critical dunes located along Michigan’s lakeshores, and because this home is positioned on top of one, Mason had to go through the government’s regulations to make the changes that he and the homeowners had in mind.

“You can’t tell now from the outside, but between the main house and the addition, there’s a connector piece where a critical dune runs underneath,” Mason said.

Once they had determined the best approach to working with the dunes, the construction of the new portion of the home became the focus. The garage was torn down to the foundation and rebuilt, extending it from the street where it originally sat all the way to the existing home. This reconstruction included a new two-car garage with a living area above, taking the overall size of the home to 4,387 square feet.

Updates and Upgrades

Not only does the new space hold an upgraded master suite and bunkroom, it also contains a kitchenette with a library ladder and additional dining and living space. Every effort was made to insure this portion of the home would be comfortable. In-floor radiant heat and extra closed-cell foam insulation in the walls insure the space is extra cozy.

Attention was paid to every detail of this entire project, with custom built-ins throughout the home, including features such as the lockers in the mudroom, entry shelving, and bunk beds in the bunkroom.

In the main part of the home, the kitchen, dining, and living spaces were opened up to create the homeowner’s dream kitchen and open living area. The kitchen includes features such as a custom hood vent, quartz countertops, white oak doors and beams, a built-in butler’s pantry replete with a barn door, and a Thermador range.

The existing stone fireplace was a focal point on its own, and when walls were removed, the decision was made to modify it so that one side burns wood and one side contains a gas fireplace. This stunning feature of the home is really a standout now, giving it the attention it deserves.

Tongue and groove cedar siding was added to the exterior, and the entrance doors are custom handmade white oak, measuring 2 ½” thick (compared to the normal door width of ¾”). Ironwood was used for the decking, with cable railing to finish it.

The home is a beautiful cohesive blending of the old and new portions of the structure. The large glass windows give the homeowners a panoramic hilltop view of Lake Michigan, and the space is bright and airy.

Of the whole project, Mason says, “Through this entire process, we became very good friends with these homeowners, and we want them to love their new home. I’m in this business because I enjoy the long-term relationships I build with my clients. Making people happy is what it’s all about.”

Read the Critical Dunes Area Program guide from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) for more information about critical dunes.


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?
Contact us today
to make an appointment to discuss your home-building plans. We’ll be with you every step of the way to guide you to the perfect home.

Delightful Open Kitchen Shelving Ideas - featured image

(Updated 2/16/2023)

Open shelving in kitchens often stirs up one of two reactions: You either like or dislike them. We think the open shelving we did for the owners of a Lake Michigan home turned out quite extraordinary. However, we can’t take all the credit as the homeowner beautifully organized the shelves. The result is visually appealing, as you can see. The combination of warm white cabinets and shelves with natural wood countertops gives the kitchen an organic, cottage-like feel. The entire space exudes warmth and hospitality.

The reasons to like open shelving are apparent. Open shelves provide an opportunity for one to display dishes and collectibles. They are a significant design element that can make a room look and feel bigger. Some may say that open shelves give the room a European flair. They can be functional by eliminating the need to open and close doors, as everything is clearly within sight and reach.

People who like open shelves may find the necessity of keeping them tidy as an incentive rather than a deterrent. People who do not like the idea of open shelves usually loathe the thought, feeling that the necessity to keep them organized and clean is the source of their disdain. The visual effect of open shelves may also be seen as clutter rather than art to them. Many open kitchen shelving ideas are out there; you might like them.

What side of the open kitchen shelving debate do you fall on?

Lakeshore Custom Homes is all about improving your quality of life. We genuinely care about people and our community. We have integrity. We specialize in building quality custom homes and home remodeling projects. If you are looking for a reputable custom home builder, please get in touch with me at Lakeshore Custom Homes (231) 642-0724.

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?
Contact us today
to make an appointment to discuss your home-building plans. We’ll be with you every step of the way to guide you to the perfect home.

Winter’s Pleasures - featured image

As a custom home builder for Northern Michigan, Lakeshore Custom Homes clients often embrace cottage style and lake living. Our minds often relish in the visions of summer and beach activities. However, with winter just around the corner, we would like to offer a different perspective, including soft fluffy snow, crystal ice-topped lakes, warm companionship, and winter recreational activities.

Traverse City and its surrounding communities have so much to offer the outdoor enthusiast during winter. Consider snowmobiling, skiing/snowboarding, cross-country skiing, tubing, tobogganing, and snowshoeing. Traverse City True North is an excellent resource and a great place to start when making outdoor recreational plans. You can even download a mobile app called Experience 231 that offers locals access to over 300 year-round outdoor activities.

Winter is also a time to savor the comforts of home. Home is where family and friends can gather around the warmth of a fire, snuggle up in blankets, and sip on warm drinks. Home is where the candles are lit. It may be time to dust off your favorite board games or learn a new game, cribbage, backgammon, or chess. It’s fun to play the oldies but goodies like checkers, Monopoly, and Life. During the summer months, you may not make reading a priority. Winter is an excellent time to visit our local Traverse City District Library or bookstores. We have a great selection of bookstores, such as Horizon Books, Brilliant Books, and The Bookie Joint, the city’s premier used bookstore. Why not indulge in a new book, something fictional just for fun or non-fictional for personal growth?

Get into the kitchen to try out new recipes. Did you know that Oryana, Fustini’s and Northwestern Michigan College offer cooking classes? So why not take a class, put on a new apron, and utilize your home kitchen to create a fabulous new dinner for your family and friends during the holidays?

Whatever activity fills your senses ~ do that!

Lakeshore Custom Homes is all about improving your quality of life. We genuinely care about people and our community. We have integrity. We specialize in building quality custom homes and home remodeling projects.

If you are looking for a reputable builder, please get in touch with me at Lakeshore Custom Homes (231) 642-0724.

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?
Contact us today
to make an appointment to discuss your home-building plans. We’ll be with you every step of the way to guide you to the perfect home.

Cottage Style Eye Candy - featured image

(Updated 2/16/2023)

Being part of the Glen Lake Cottage renovation has been a fulfilling experience for me as a contractor. Having the opportunity to renovate a home filled with memories dating back to 1927 brings a smile to my face.

The Glen Lake Cottage project was the epitome of preserving the vintage while infusing the modern. In addition, it was a project where I could combine all of my trade skills, from building and remodeling to finish carpentry.

What started as a summertime vacation spot for guests of the Glen Eden Resort in 1927 soon became a summertime sanctuary for the White-Schilling family in 1940. The dwelling boasted components that many would consider a cottage lover’s dream.

Beadboard CabinetsA primary endeavor I was given working on this home was to preserve and refresh the existing beadboard cabinets, replicate them, adding additional beadboard cabinets in the same room. Attention to detail was of utmost importance as the room needed to look uniform. This required excellent finish carpentry skills.

Beadboard cabinets have a history in and of themselves. Beadboard originated as an inexpensive millwork sheathing made from scraps commonly used in seasonal homes, beach houses, and cottages dating back from the 1800s. The ridges between the planks are known as “beads”; thus, the name beadboard was derived. The rustic elegance that beadboard provides today still makes many people swoon. It’s one of those building materials that just never goes out of style.

Overall, the completed project would be described by many as being “cottage eye candy .” However, the beadboard work was just one aspect of the overall transformation at Glen Lake. As a team, we literally raised the roof with over-the-top, artful combinations of vintage and modern elements.

If you are interested in installing the beauty of beadboard or creating a vintage, modern milieu in your home or cottage, please contact us at Lakeshore Custom Homes by calling today at (231) 642-0724.


Chris Mason

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?
Contact us today
to make an appointment to discuss your home-building plans. We’ll be with you every step of the way to guide you to the perfect home.

Spring Cleaning and New Beginning. Remodel or Build New? - featured image

It is something we can’t avoid, that itch to start fresh each Spring! For some, it involves cleaning, changing decorations based on the holidays, recycling furniture, and replacing linens with items lighter and more seasonal. That said, sometimes the Spring resurfaces that desire for MAJOR change…Remodel to create more space, redesign existing space, add a seasonal room, OR build new to accomplish your desired changes.

With home prices depressed and the resale market slow in the last several years, many homeowners with life changes or structural needs have chosen to remodel their existing homes to freshen up and redesign their living space. Home equity loan rates have been desirable, offering homeowners significant equity assurance when borrowing a home they intended to remain in for many years. Sometimes, the option to refinance for remodeling purposes has allowed homeowners to reduce their interest rate while keeping their payment the same, even following remodeling costs. Further, studies have shown over time that investments in kitchens, bathrooms and even outdoor living spaces in northern Michigan add value that will remain for many years and through resale.

As the housing market begins to rebound, deciding to remodel or build new becomes more challenging. However, as housing prices creep upward, gaining on the pre-2008 values, some homeowners may be hopeful that a “For Sale” sign will result in their ability to start fresh, recouping their investment and walking away with funds for a new beginning.

So, how do you decide whether to remodel or build? Factors to consider include:

1. Where are you in your family life? Just beginning to have children, in the middle of the teen years, empty nester, new grandparents, assisting aging parents in a different community?

If you are beginning family life, assessing “room to grow” and flexible spaces will be pivotal to your decision to remodel or rebuild. A walk-out lower level in your home could be divided into two bedrooms as your family grows. Large, unfinished spaces are fabulous gathering places for healthy teen activities in your home. Further, they could even be made into efficiency apartments for aging parents who may need seasonal or occasional assistance from family members.

2. Where does employment factor into the location of your home? For example, do you work from home, commute on public transit, or drive your car alone at night?

If you work from home, having a dedicated space that separates work from personal life can help create a healthy balance in your family. Redesigning a bedroom, den, or large closet can offer a small office-like environment with minimal cost. If you commute a long distance to your place of work, remodeling may not be appropriate if you anticipate a career position with your company. You may be better served economically and logistically by building closer to your employment.

3. Does your current neighborhood, village, city, or state offer the climate of social, cultural, and weather conditions that satisfy you?

Are you happy with the lifestyle your current community allows you to lead in your current residence? Do you escape from urban settings every weekend to find the woods, or do you visit the town twice each weekend just for nightlife? If so, remodeling may not create the sanctuary you desire if you always have to leave it to enrich your life with activities you are passionate about. That said, if you love living away from it all and currently reside in a remote area, remodeling offers you a chance to create the “nest” you’ve always craved.

4. Physical practicalities. Are you able to navigate your current floor plan, have any health issues, or are there structural items that need significant attention before you can invest in the design and decorating? How tolerant are you of disorder should you decide to remodel, OR do you have somewhere you could move temporarily until remodeling is complete?

Does your current floor plan and condition of your house lend itself readily to remodeling, or are there infrastructure or accommodations that need to be made that might cause expenses to exceed return even before you get to the fun stuff of new paint, furniture, and decorations? If you need a new roof, cracks in the foundation repaired or rewiring before you can begin to redesign the space for pleasure, perhaps leaving the heavy lifting to a new owner who loves the current layout would be your best option to achieve the next dream home you have in mind. Assessing your tolerance for disorder, contractors in and out, as well as noise and some disruption in your family routine, will also be a pivotal factor in determining if you are a candidate to live in/with remodeling or if building new would be best for you.

No matter where you are in the process of considering refreshing your living space, Lakeshore Custom Homes is here to provide advice, support, and resources, and the professional standard of building you’ve always heard is our reputation. So give us a call, review our portfolio and let us help you realize that new beginning you’re dreaming of this Spring.

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?
Contact us today
to make an appointment to discuss your home-building plans. We’ll be with you every step of the way to guide you to the perfect home.

From Concept to Print; from Print to Construction - featured image

(Updated 2/12/2023)

The idea of custom construction can be overwhelming. From inception to creation, many steps are taken to ensure the vision becomes a reality. Your residential project is the same.

You are unique; your needs and desires stem from every aspect of your personality. Your family is unique. Your identity together sets the tone for your family’s legacy. Your home is unique. From location and layout to brick and wood, your home is the extension of who you are and your family.

You are going to build a home that meets who you are. Lakeshore Custom Homes helps bring the reality of your and your family’s identity by making your vision a reality. One crucial step in that process is structure and design.

The design of your home touches you personally on every level. Your project may require the help of experienced engineers and architects. Here is a list of a few local firms that could help. All are reputable and could be an asset in planning your dream home.

Cornwell Architects, “Cornwell Architects is a second-generation, practice-led business of architects focused on the goals of our clients and the growth of our community.” Over the past sixty-five years, the firm has earned a reputation as a comprehensive, multi-disciplined firm with successful projects throughout Northern Michigan.

We provide every service your project needs – from planning, architecture, engineering, and program management, to construction assistance and environmental design.”

Cornerstone Architects, “Cornerstone Architects was established in 1989 by Tom Nemitz to provide creative design and full-service architecture. With offices in Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Traverse City, Michigan, Cornerstone has established a reputation of exceptional client service, design excellence, and results that work.”

N. J. White Associates, Architects – Our Mission

N.J. White & Associates, “Nicholas White has been providing high-quality residential and resort architectural services since 1979. Our project scope ranges from small residential additions to large estate residences, commercial buildings, and institutional projects.”

John Dziurman Architect Ltd., “John Dziurman Architects Ltd. Is comprised of skilled professionals trained and experienced in the art and science of architecture. Our knowledge, experience and vision will guide you through the entire planning, design and construction process—from helping you define what you need to do, exceeding your expectations with the products we provide, and ensuring that you receive value for your planning, design and construction costs.”

These teams solidify the vision of your project on paper, extending your personality and needs into the project itself.

Lakeshore Custom Homes will build your vision and bring it to life!

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?
Contact us today
to make an appointment to discuss your home-building plans. We’ll be with you every step of the way to guide you to the perfect home.

5 Ways to Go Green On Your Next Home or Remodel - featured image

(Updated 2/12/2023)

Energy-efficient homes save homeowners money on their monthly utility bills while improving their overall comfort by reducing drafty spots and extreme temperatures.

When we build new homes, we follow green building practices to ensure an efficient home design that will help reduce energy usage. As a result, green homes are both cost-efficient and sustainable.

When considering your next home or remodel, here are five easy ways to go green, reduce your energy bills, and save up to hundreds of dollars each year.

How to Make Your Home More Energy-Efficient

Energy Audits

The first step to making your home more energy efficient is hiring a professional to assess your home’s energy performance. Energy audits identify where your home may be leaking hot and cool air and show you the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste and increase energy efficiency in your home. Some utility companies offer this as a free service.


Installing or adding insulation to a home’s walls, floors, and attic is typically one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy loss and improve your home’s energy performance.

Many types of insulation are available, including fiberglass batts, cellulose, spray foam, blown-in fiberglass, rigid foam board, and mineral wool. The type of insulation used will depend on where it needs to be installed, its thickness, and whether it needs to be sealed.

Air Sealing

Like insulation, air and duct sealing provide an excellent bang for the buck for its low costs and significant energy savings. Air sealing involves finding where hot and cool air may be seeping out of holes in walls, ceilings, or ductwork and sealing them with caulk and weatherstripping to stop the air leaks. This also helps to improve comfort by eliminating drafts.

The best way to seal leaks is by using a combination of caulking and weather stripping. Caulk fills gaps between materials and seals around doors, windows, vents, pipes, electrical outlets, etc. Weatherstripping is used to seal cracks and crevices.

Upgrade Appliances and Electronics

Most home appliances and electronics use electricity. Thanks to technological advances, most appliances and electronics now have a high-efficiency counterpart. When in the market for a new home or remodel, look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label, indicating that an appliance performs the same function for less energy.

Simple things like changing to LED lights can reduce energy costs. Smart thermostats are an easy upgrade as well.

Tankless water heaters may also be an option, especially in larger homes or areas that don’t consume large amounts of hot water.

See our in-depth article on Smart Home Technology for more information.

Space Heating and Cooling

The energy to heat and cool homes typically accounts for more than half of all energy consumption. Like your home’s appliances, Energy Star has also created high-efficiency air conditioners, water heaters, and furnaces to keep your home at optimal temperatures while using significantly less energy.

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

The team here at Lakeshore Custom Homes would love to help you evaluate the best ways to “Go Green” on your next remodel project or new home. We have built LEED-certified homes and stay current on the best practices for energy-efficient home building. If you have any questions about energy savings and quality home construction or remodeling in northern Michigan, don’t hesitate to contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your home-building plans.

When Honey Do’s Become Honey Don’ts - featured image

Do you have “the list”? You know, the “honey do” list. This is the list of things that need to be done around your house, but you never seem to get to any of them. You may be able to handle some of the smaller projects – paint touch-up or changing a door knob – but what about the bigger projects that you know will create a mess? Or the projects that you fear, you know, the ones that involve moving plumbing, or wiring, taking down walls, or putting up walls.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start any home improvement project. How much time will it take? Do I have the right equipment? How much will it cost? Do I have to turn off the main water supply? Is this a load-bearing wall?

What appears to be a job you can handle can soon turn into a job that is out of control. Hiring a licensed professional contractor to handle your project can be the difference between “honey do” and “honey don’t touch me!” Professional licensed contractors know the building codes. In addition, they have experienced craftsmen to ensure all aspects of the job are correctly completed. At Lakeshore Custom Homes, we pride ourselves on finishing a job on time and on budget.

If you’re looking for a reliable and well-tested contractor in the Grand Traverse, Benzie, or Leelanau county area, give us a try. There is no job too big or too small. But, then, we leave you to spend time with your family and keep “Honey” smiling.

Call me at (231) 642-0724.

Sincerely, Chris Mason

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?
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to make an appointment to discuss your home-building plans. We’ll be with you every step of the way to guide you to the perfect home.