Northern Michigan Smart Homes - featured image

When planning a custom home in Northern Michigan, regardless if it is your primary residence, seasonal, or a weekend “up North” getaway retreat, Smart Homes or Home Automation can make your life a bit easier, more secure, comfortable, and give you peace of mind.

Weather, distance, busy lifestyles, and managing family schedules are all part of living in Northern Michigan. These can sometimes present unique challenges that a Smart Home system can help you manage. Being able to monitor your home’s temperature and environment, controlling lighting, and monitoring the security of your home from anywhere in the world can be convenient and a time saver.

A home automation system can even save help reduce energy costs and may even earn you a discount on your homeowner’s insurance.

Smart Home technology has become affordable and is much more sophisticated, all while being much easier to use!

When planning your new custom home you may wish to consider many of the new Smart Home features. Many of the features mentioned below can be installed individually but a system wide approach can yield more benefits.

Security

Basic home security systems monitor your home against burglars or intruders. Door and window sensors along with motion detectors are typical of most systems but with new technology, your home can be even more secure.

Fire, Smoke, Water, and More.
Protecting your home is more than just deterring thieves. Keeping your home and your family safe also includes monitoring for smoke and fire, carbon monoxide, water and flood detection, and radon gas too.

New smart style detectors can text or email you alerts when smoke or carbon monoxide is detected. Similarly some water sensors can also detect water leaks and automatically shut of the main water supply.  Temperature and humidity can also be monitored as well.

Doors, Deadbolts, and Locks
Have you ever wondered if you closed all the windows and locked every door when you were driving away from your home? Andersen Window and Door VeriLock® security sensors are an optional feature for windows and doors. These discreet sensors allow for remote monitoring with a smartphone app so you can be assured that everything is secure. The VeriLock® sensors work with many different security systems so you won’t have to have a multitude of apps to sort though.

If you shop online and dread having UPS leave your package on the porch, you can add a programable garage door keypad to allow the drive access to your garage. Even better is that you can assign a temporary passcode for each order so that you maintain security. No more sharing a code and having to deal with complex reprograming.  This is also helpful if you need to permit access for anyone else. You can even receive text alerts when the keycode has been used so you know when and who is at your home.

Entry doors can also have keyless PIN pad locks that allow you to set individual codes for each person and send a text message when it is used. This makes it easy to monitor who is coming and going, if your children have arrived home, etc. Individual doors can also have sensors that can track movement through your home.

Lighting
A home automation system can give you extra security and peace of mind by creating the illusion that your home is occupied while you are away from home. If you are at work, away on vacation, of if your house is a seasonal or getaway home, it will appear to be occupied thereby reducing the chance of intruders.

Being able to control lighting is convenient both while at home as well as remotely.  Outdoor lighting can enhance your security and deter burglars.

Lights can be programmed to turn on and off in a manner that looks natural. Window blinds and shades can be raised or lowered to enhance the “at home” appearance.

Of course being able to turn on lights before you arrive home after dark is both comforting and convenient.

Cameras
Many home security systems include cameras that allow you to see in live time what is happening at home. With monitoring from inside your home or remotely, they can give you peace of mind knowing who is at your door before opening it. Most cameras have motion detection and night vision and can record activity as well. Some can even alert share video with the police if an intrusion is detected.

Beyond basic home security, cameras can be great for monitoring pets, children, and babysitters. With an intercom or two-way speaker system, you can communicate with them while away from home. This can be especially calming to a nervous pet allowing you to remain in contact during your absence.

Comfort and Convenience

Thermostats
Beyond basic programable thermostat features, newer thermostats can monitor the health of your furnace including diagnostics. Some thermostat displays even have weather radar and forecasts.

Virtual Assistants or Smart Speakers like Amazon Echo (Alexa) or Google Home, allow you to control many of your home’s devices either while away or from the comfort of your favorite recliner. Adjust the lighting, temperature, music, or brew a cup of coffee with a voice command

Home Audio
It used to be when you set up a home audio system, you had wires connecting your audio components to your speakers. The wires often dictated where you could place your speakers. Today you can build a high-quality home audio system without wires. This allows much more freedom in speaker placement and you are not confined to just one room either. New audio systems also allow you to play different music in each room if you wish.

Irrigation for Lawn and Garden
With traditional lawn irrigation systems, they run on a set schedule. With a smart system, you can have a lush lawn and beautiful landscaping and garden by watering as need and not necessarily on a set schedule. Your lawn, flowers, and plants get the precise amount of water when they need it. No more watering your lawn while it is raining.

Home Appliances

Most home appliances are now available with Smart Home Technology. Washers and dryers, refrigerators, stoves, and vacuum cleaners are all available with convenience and time saving features.

Why waste time waiting on laundry? Get text alerts when your wash is done. Same when your laundry is ready to come out of the dryer. How about an oven that can let you know how much longer until your roast is ready while you’re relaxing on the patio or dock?

Some refrigerators can send you suggested shopping lists. You can remotely control the temperature and get alerts if the temperature rises too warm.

Robotic vacuum cleaners like Roomba or Neato can keep your floors tidy while you’re away.

Are you ready to make your custom 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.

Choosing Siding For Your Custom Home - featured image

Siding also is one of the first things you notice about a home and 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 few limitations, 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 line of 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 the look you desire. When deciding on siding options, you should consider aesthetics along with energy efficiency, durability, and maintenance.

Brick

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 but with a lower cost.

Stone

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

Wood Siding

Real Cedar is a beautiful and smart choice for siding.  Cedar is a durable wood, 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. Real cedar is beautiful, versatile, and is a sustainable building product.

Engineered Wood Siding

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

Fiber-Cement Siding

Fiber-cement siding offers the look of wood at a lower cost. It however does not have the insulation value that other materials can offer. It also requires more maintenance (painting and caulking) and can absorb moisture. Chipping and cracking are another long-term concern.

Vinyl Siding

Vinyl siding is the least expensive option but also the least durable. It is more prone to wind damage than other materials. It is available in a wide range of styles, colors and textures.

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.

Let our experience guide you through the process of 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

One of the most important decisions when designing your custom home is choosing windows. Windows play a critical role since they have such a large impact on your home. Windows provide both aesthetic beauty and serve functional purposes. Attention to details 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 in that they accentuate the view and emphasize architectural lines. From inside, windows and trim compliments 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. The way light falls into a room can bring out other design details as well as 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 at through the day as well as how it varies according to seasons. These considerations also play into what additional artificial lighting you will need. All of these considerations can help select the appropriate style and size windows as well as 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 of time. 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 located on the water, especially larger lakes like Crystal Lake, Glen Lake, and especially Lake Michigan, then additional protection from high winds and storms is an additional 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 are used to 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. 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.

 Convenience

You’ll also want to consider convenience when selecting windows. How easy 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.

Security

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 especially a nice feature for those with summer or part-time homes. You can easily see the status from a smart-phone app either when leaving home or to check up remotely.

Recommended Window Brands

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

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

 

Helpful Resources

Andersen YouTube Channel

Shoreline Erosion Control - featured image

If you own a lake house, you are most likely well aware of  rising water levels in Michigan and the Great Lakes has been in the news as record high levels have caused beaches to erode and, in some cases, damaged homes and businesses.  In Leland, Michigan, historic Fishtown has experienced flooding due to seiches and high-water levels. Throughout Benzie and Leelanau counties, Lake Michigan beaches have eroded to a fraction of what they were just a few years ago.

The rising water levels are due to record snowpack and rainfall over the last few years. In contrast, not long ago we were experiencing record low water levels. Historically, the Great Lakes go through natural cycle of changes in water levels. This means that waterfront homeowners need to plan for both high and low water levels.

Wind, waves, and ice all play a role in erosion.  The shoreline itself also contributes to how well it can resist these forces. Native vegetation helps to buffer the impact of wave and wind erosion and the composition of the soil and underlying rock all contribute to how the shoreline is affected.

What can a homeowner do to protect their shoreline and property?

Adding a seawall may seem like a logical solution but alternatives should be considered whenever possible. Seawalls can actually create more erosion by redirecting wave forces downward and undercutting the wall, or by flanking and eroding the areas directly adjacent to the wall.  Of course, a property on Lake Michigan versus an inland lake will have different conditions to consider.

Often rock (rock armor or “rip rap”) can be used as an alternative to seawalls. A rock revetment absorbs wave energy better than seawalls and reduces the chance of undercutting and flanking. They also provide better access for wildlife to and from the water as compared to a seawall. Rock revetments are also long lasting and can last for years. It should be noted that seawalls and revetments require approval by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).

The Michigan Natural Shoreline Partnership recommends the following strategies for preventing shoreline erosion.

  • Site your house a minimum of 100 feet from the lake.
  • Limit turf grass especially at the lake edge. Keep as many trees, shrubs and native plants as possible.
  • Minimize impervious surfaces to help prevent storm water from running directly into the lake. This helps minimize washing away of sand.
  • Keep the native plants in the lake or only remove a limited amount for boating access or swimming. Plants in the water along the shore help protect the shoreline by absorbing wave energy.

 

Are you ready to make your lake house dream a reality? Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your home building plans.

Lakehouse Foundations and Septic Systems - featured image

It is said that in Michigan, you are never more than six miles from a body of water. Michigan also has the longest freshwater coastline in the world. We are very fortunate to have such an abundance of water!  No wonder so many people dream of owning a waterfront home.

When you envision your perfect home on the water, you probably think of the beautiful views, the sunsets, boating and swimming, or the calming effect that water has on so many of us. But with all the idyllic charm comes the reality that building a custom waterfront home can be challenging due to the very nature of a waterfront property.

When building a waterfront home, two unique challenges are foundations and septic systems. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.

Water Tables, Foundations, and Basements

Having a home near water usually means a high water table. Many things determine your actual water table such as soil type, drainage, and of course distance from the body of water.

The water table will influence your foundation design and a full basement might not be an option. State and local building codes also play a role in determining the requirements for your homes’ foundation.

During the planning stage, a survey of the property can help determine the elevation of your basement and other key points in relationship to the water table and the base flood elevation for the surrounding properties. This will help determine whether a full basement is practical or if a crawls space is more appropriate. An Elevation Certificate can be issued by the surveyor and is an essential for obtaining flood insurance.

Water drainage also needs to be considered when planning your new home. Managing water away from the foundation can be facilitated in many ways including French drains, gutters and even landscaping and vegetation.

Based on your individual situation and house design, we will design and build a foundation that is appropriate for your conditions and will endure the unique natural forces that waterfront properties face. While this may sound daunting, rest assured that Lakeshore Custom Homes has years of experience building custom waterfront homes in unique settings.

Septic Systems for Waterfront Homes

A well designed and properly functioning septic system safeguards ground water and nearby lakes and streams from contamination. Obviously if you are investing in a waterfront home, you want to be assured that you will have safe drinking water and be able to enjoy your lake to its fullest while protecting your investment.

Factors that affect the design of a home septic system include:

  • Household size
  • Soil type
  • Site slope
  • Proximity to bodies of water

In most cases, a traditional septic system will be approved by your local health department, however in special circumstances, there are many other alternative design options. We are experienced working with the county health departments, and local building inspectors, and will advise you on design and placement of septic systems and wells.

Are you ready to make your lake house dream a reality? Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your home building plans.

Lake House Zoning Considerations - featured image

Before you can begin construction of your new lake house, you must apply for a building permit. The requirements for the building permit include submitting a site plan and having a land use permit. Both of which require complying with local zoning ordinances.

It should be noted that zoning ordinances vary by each township and their interpretation can be difficult. This is why it is important to fully research the ordinances and anticipate how they may apply to your situation. Also note that zoning may apply differently to existing structures versus new construction.

Building a waterfront or lakeshore home means paying special attention to specific zoning rules that govern bodies of water, streams and wetlands. This is important to understand before applying for site plan and building permits. Lakeshore Custom Homes has years of experience and we can guide you through this process and help you avoid costly mistakes.

Why Zoning?

Zoning ordinances are intended to regulate land use for the greater good of the community.

Local zoning ordinances define what use is allowable. Zoning laws also help assure that homes will be built in compliance with the Michigan State Construction Code and the Department of Public Health.

Zoning defines what are approved uses as well as describing non-buildable areas and non-conforming uses.

Understanding the zoning for a parcel of land is important especially before purchasing the land so that your intended use doesn’t conflict with the ordinance. You can petition for a variance but that can be challenging.

Examples of zoning that affects building a Lakehouse

  • Setbacks are common requirements to all new home construction, but bodies of water create special rules that need to be factored into your site design.
  • Townships, such as Frankfort, Empire, Leland, or Suttons Bay for example, with Lake Michigan frontage will also define the Waterfront Setback Datum.
  • Boat houses are usually regulated by zoning ordinances. For example, Glen Arbor township restricts the number of stories and height of boathouses but makes no setback restrictions regarding shoreline.
  • Docks, shoreline retaining walls, and dredging all fall under zoning ordinances as well.
  • Lake Access easement is another consideration when planning to build a lakefront home. Flood insurance requirements are outlined by most townships.
  • Lot coverage, or the amount of area that your home will occupy, is another definition that you need to be mindful of when planning your new home and any other structures. Sometimes lots, especially smaller ones, may not accommodate the floorplan that you have in mind.
  • Of special note to building in Northern Michigan are the Michigan Wetlands Protection Act, the Shorelands Protection and Management Act, and the Michigan Sand Dunes Protection and Management Act. We are well versed in complying with each of these and can advise you if your property is affected by these laws.

Lakeshore Custom Homes pays attention to all the details that make for an extraordinary home. Our attention to these details helps make your home building experience less stressful and more enjoyable.

Call us today to begin your home building journey. We’ll be with you every step of the way to guide you to the perfect home.

Lake Home Site Selection Tips - featured image

A home on the lake is dream for many. In your mind you envision the perfect spot, the perfect lake or stream, summer days filled with rest, relaxation, beautiful sunrises or sunsets. A place to retreat from the stresses of daily life. The last thing that you want is a poorly chosen or planned home site.

Lakeshore Custom Homes specializes in waterfront custom homes and we have plenty of experience to help assist you in building the perfect waterfront home that you’ll enjoy for years to come. Let our experience guide you to the perfect new home in Northern Michigan.

When looking for the perfect waterfront property, consider the following major factors:

View
A big part of owning a waterfront home is the satisfaction of an amazing view of the water! Does the property have an adequate view of the water?

Sun
Where will the sun rise and set?  Consider how the sun will fall throughout the day. This can help you determine the orientation of your home. You will want to consider how this will affect the ideal location of decks, awnings, the size and placement of windows, landscaping, etc.

Water
How will you access your lake or other body of water? How accessible is it? Will you need stairs? Is your lake an “All Access” lake or are motorboats prohibited? Will you need retention walls or other erosion control? What is the historic high-water mark and how might that affect things in the future? How do the seasons affect the water levels? Are there any dams that control the water level? (Lake Leelanau and Lower Herring lake are both managed by dams.)

What’s the water table like? Will you need a sump pump or special septic system? Is a public sewer service available?

Is your beach area swimmable? Is the bottom sandy or rocky?

Wind
What’s the prevailing wind like? Will breezes affect your enjoyment of your property? Will you want a wind break or landscaping to manage it?

Trees and Landscaping
Do any trees affect the view of the lake? Will this change over time? Will tree roots pose a threat to septic systems or the house foundation in the future? What landscaping might you wish to add? Do you want additional privacy, wind protection, possibly add trees or shrubs to manage snow drifts in the winter?

Lake or Homeowner Associations
Associations may sometime add additional restriction beyond local zoning ordinances. Will the association rules conflict with your personal enjoyment of the water and your home? Associations, while sometimes restrictive, are often useful in maintaining lakes and implementing improvements by allowing members to combine resources.

Privacy and Noise
A busy lake with lot of boat traffic may not offer the privacy you desire. Noise may be a problem as well. Lake Michigan’s beaches are public property (up to the high-water mark) and you’ll likely have people strolling the beaches. Private lakes offer more control over the beaches, but you still may have boaters to deal with.

Are you ready to make your lake house dream a reality?

Contact us today to make an appointment to discuss your home building plans.

Choosing the Right Roofing Material For Your Northern Michigan Custom Home - featured image

When building a custom home in Northern Michigan, you’re faced with selecting from many roofing options. Style matters but so does selecting the right roofing materials that will protect your investment.

Beyond materials alone, the proper usage of the material along with appropriate design is critical. We always discuss with our clients the different options in both design and materials so that you can rest easy knowing you made the right choice.

Our climate presents challenges and selecting materials that can hold up to and protect your home from harsh winters, heat, direct sunlight, and moisture is an important decision. Luckily there are many options for a roof that is both attractive and protective.

Roofing Materials for Northern Michigan

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most popular choice due to lower initial cost and are available in a wide array of colors. Asphalt shingles are versatile and work well with complicated rooflines. In the extreme weather conditions that Northern Michigan poses, the average lifespan of asphalt shingles is 15-20 years.  Some manufacturers offer premium grades that can extend the lifespan.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs not only come in a variety of colors, but also a variety of appearances. Metal roofs often look like other materials. While standing ridge roofs are common, you can also choose from shake, shingles, slate, or even classic Mediterranean tile.

Metal roofs are a popular choice in Northern Michigan. They tend to be better at shedding snow, leaves, and pine needles than traditional asphalt or fiberglass shingles.

Metal roofs are actually lighter in weight than many other materials. This means there is less total weight on your roofing trusses. This is beneficial considering Northern Michigan’s snowfall. Of course, all of our homes are built to withstand heavy snow loads. Snow shields help prevent large sections of snow from falling like an avalanche and are strategically placed to protect walkways and doorways.

Metal roofs are also energy efficient and can help reduce heating and cooling costs. Another big plus in Northern Michigan!

Metal roofs do have a few downsides. They can be noisier in rainstorms although insulation helps make this less noticeable. While their initial cost is higher, the long-term or total cost of ownership is often lower than other roofing choices.

Slate or Concrete Tile Roofing

Slate and concrete tile makes for a gorgeous roof but, is considerably heavier than metal or asphalt shingle roofing. This means that the extra reinforcement is necessary to accommodate the added weight of our Northern Michigan snowfalls. Durability is excellent but costs tend to run higher than other choices.

Roof Care and Maintenance

No matter what material you choose, all roofs need care and maintenance. Cleaning gutters, removing any tree branches or debris, and inspecting flashing should be done annually to prevent problems.

Factors that affect roofing material choices and longevity include:

  • Roof pitch; steeper pitches tend to shed rain, snow and debris better prolonging the lifespan of the roofing material. Complicated pitches and gables can add to material and labor costs as well.
  • Surrounding environmental factors like the amount of direct sunlight or shade, nearby trees that can shed leaves or pine needles or other debris. Mold, moss, and algae can affect the integrity of your roof as well.
  • A well-designed roof includes proper insulation and ventilation so that icicles and ice dams are mitigated.

Lakeshore Custom Homes will consult with you and help you make an educated decision. We can guide you through the multitude of choices and help you choose the best options based on your home design, site selection, budget, as well as local factors.  We are committed to providing the best quality construction so you can enjoy your custom home.

Things to Consider Before Building A Lake House - featured image

Building a Lake House

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. With its natural beauty and huge variety of year-round activities, Northern Michigan is the perfect place to build your lake house.

But without proper planning and guidance, the dream could easily become your worst nightmare. Before you begin construction, you should be aware of all the important details that go into building a custom home on waterfront property, especially in the Traverse City and Northern Michigan region.

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

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

Building a lake house is not your average construction process. Consulting a reputable builder with an 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 the Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Benzie region of Northern Michigan.  We can offer you unique insight to waterfront building in the region that few builders can.

Lakeshore Custom Homes can offer valuable expertise and guidance on:

  • Site selection. Will the property accommodate your design and house orientation?
  • Zoning restrictions. Waterfront zoning restrictions vary widely and can be confusing.
  • 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 easily? 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.
  • What are the prevailing wind conditions like? 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 need to be appropriate for the unique challenges that Northern Michigan and lakefront weather presents.

All these items require special care and consideration in order 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 has years of experience building lake houses and we can guide you through the planning and construction process to help you avoid unexpected problems and get home you really 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. There will likely be a few bumps in the road and effective communication will make traveling the route from start to finish as smooth as possible.

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!

8 Northern Michigan Waterfront Home Must Haves - featured image

Northern Michigan is known for its scenic rivers, beautiful lakes and pristine beaches. Places like Glen Arbor and Glen Lake, Empire, Sutton’s Bay, Leland, Frankfort, Traverse City, Crystal Lake, and the Old Mission Peninsula, have become destinations for those looking for the ultimate waterfront home lifestyle.

Some people look to this area for the peace and serenity that water can provide, while others are eager for the recreational opportunities that abound on both water and land.

Here are a few ideas that can enhance your waterfront living experience to your new home or a home remodeling project.

Picture Windows

No better way to bring the outdoors to the indoors and enjoy the scenery.

Decks and Patios

Enjoy the outdoors with the comforts of home close by.

Fire Pits

A campfire on the beach is fun but sometimes relaxing around a fire in your own backyard is more relaxing. Consider a gas firepit as an option for easy cleanup and never having to worry about wet firewood.

Outdoor Kitchens

From a simple grill to a full feature outdoor kitchen, nothing compares to an outdoor cookout or backyard BBQ.

Walkways to the Water

Take your time and make your path to the water’s edge a bit more relaxed. Winding pathways can also help control erosion. Maybe even add a bench along the way to take a break and relax. Don’t forget light-scaping the path for enhancing the mood and for easy navigation at night.

Docks

An essential even if you’re a landlubber. Today there are many options for dock materials and designs. Non-slip surfaces, motorized boat lifts, canopies, hammocks, slides, lighting, the options are endless. You might never come back inside!

Private Garden

Create your own sanctuary. Relax in the tranquility of a space landscaped with your favorite shrubs, bushes, flowers and trees. A fountain or water feature can be a nice touch too! Add a few benches, a pergola or a gazebo and this can become a quiet gathering space.

Sauna

Winter is reason to stay indoors when Northern Michigan has so many places to ski, snowshoe, or hike. A cozy sauna is a great way to warm up after an invigorating day on the trails.

 

Lakeshore Custom Homes can help you plan and design your dream home. Contact us to set up a design consultation. If you can dream it, we can build it. Let us turn your dream into reality!