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.