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!

The idea of custom construction can be overwhelming. From inception to creation, many steps are taken to ensure vision becomes reality. Your residential project is no different.

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 who your family is.

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

The design of your home touches 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 located throughout Northern Michigan.

We provide every service your project needs – from planning, architecture, engineering, and program management, to construction assistance and environmental design.”
http://www.cornwell-architects.com/

AAI, Inc., “AAI, Inc., has assembled a design team of expert consultants from various disciplines to provide the services that best meet the needs of each project.”
http://aaiarchitects.com/

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.”
http://www.cornerstone-arch.com

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.”
http://www.nickwhite.com/

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.”
http://www.dziurmanarchitects.com/

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!

Energy efficient homes save homeowners money on their monthly utility bills, while improving the home’s overall comfort by reducing drafty spots and extreme temperatures. When considering your next home or remodel, here are 5 easy ways to go green and save up to hundreds of dollars each year on energy.

Energy Audits – The very first step to making your home more energy efficient is to hire a professional to perform an assessment of 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 in your home.

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

Air Sealing – Like insulation, air and duct sealing provides a great bang for the buck with respect to its low costs and big energy savings. Air sealing simply involves finding where hot and cool air may be seeping out of holes in walls, ceiling or duct work and sealing them with caulk and weather-stripping.

Upgrade Appliances and Electronics – Most home appliances and electronics use electricity. Thanks to advances in technology, 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, which indicates that an appliance performs the same type of function for less energy.

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 that can keep your home at optimal temperatures while using significantly less amount of energy.

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 we 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. Please give Chris Mason a call at 231-642-0724.

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 baring wall.

What appears to be a job that you can handle can soon turn into a job that is out of control. Hiring a professional licensed 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. They have experienced craftsmen to make sure all aspects of the job are completed properly. 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, then give us a try. There is no job too big or too small. We leave you to spend time with your family, and keep “Honey” smiling.

Call me at (231) 642-0724

Sincerely, Chris Mason

Oh the many adventures of being a contractor. Time and time again the good guys are coming behind the bad guys fixing poorly built structures and attending to leaks that all could have been prevented had the previous builder took an extra five minutes.

My advice as a homeowner is instead of going through the painstaking process of having to get things re-done on your house. Start your new remodeling project by digging deeper into the track record and client history of the builder you’re considering hiring. Calling on your contractor’s client references is a very good start. I would also encourage you to have them show you some step by step processes of any similar job that they have done. Check these pictures out. Is the jobsite clean in the pictures? If not, that trashed yard is going to be your house next. What kinds of materials are being used? In what ways are they preventing water from entering the home? I also recommend getting bids from several different builders that you have been referred. Really check out the differences in the ways they answer these questions, and the references they provide.

Flashing done right!

Doing your due diligence can save thousands of dollars in frustration, real structural problems, and even lawsuits. A good contractor will have no problem letting you peer deeply into their past work history, and should be okay with you calling on some past clients, and of course they better be licensed and insured.

If you’re looking for a reliable and well tested contractor in the Grand Traverse, Benzie or Leelanau county area, then give us a try. There is no job to big or small; we make sure each client is satisfied along the road to successful relationships and beautiful homes. Call me at (231) 642-0724

Sincerely, Chris Mason