Great Lake Story 2013: Pier View Cottages, South Haven
STUNNING SUNSETS, the sound of waves and kids on the beach, the feel of wind on shoreline walks — it’s easy to see quality of life on Lake Michigan. But quality of craftsmanship, like these glacier-made waters, goes deep beyond the surface of what’s seen.
Expertise from the ground up with strict insistence that each detail is done right from a project’s start to finish ensures an end product that turns out right, along with the quality of Great Lake life it was built to provide.
To ensure that expertise, Mike Schaap Builders functions as a team.
Testament to Teamwork
More than 35 veteran project managers, supervisors and craftsmen on staff and the most highly-regarded specialty contractors in West Michigan comprise Mike Schaap Builders. Surrounding ourselves with people in those areas who are the best at what they do — from carpentry and architecture to landscaping and interior design — enables our collective team to achieve an unrivaled level of excellence.
Building a personal partnership with homeowners from each project’s inception comes first.
At the forefront, and often in collaboration with an established architect partner, we work with homeowners through site conditions, site placement and site preparation needs. For Lake Michigan sites, this often includes performing soil borings 30 feet deep or more to gauge dune stability and precise bearing capacity, and a diligent review of home plans with select team members to uncover challenges and opportunities before construction begins.
Attention to Detail
One thing we know very clearly from talking to our subcontractors, suppliers and other industry people is that our very keen awareness of the details makes each project crafted by Mike Schaap Builders stand out in the end. It’s also a source of great inspiration and pride when our subs tell us we hold them to a higher standard, because we are constantly striving to push the bar higher.
As part of our impeccable framing process — before the first beam is set or any wall is built — we laser check all points of the foundation to ensure the whole subfloor system will be level.
We believe you have to begin well to end well. Depending on project size, a site superintendent or project manager tracks each fine detail and maintains daily communication about each project as they progress.
Case in point: As specialized builders of Great Lake homes, we have a refined perspective of shoreline weather; rain doesn’t just flow downward in Lake Michigan’s intense winds. To ensure a leak-free home, Mike Schaap Builders has developed its own progressive method of installing and flashing windows, and each member of our construction team is trained by this stringent standard. Regardless of brand, we use only high DPrated windows whose design pressure measurements for structural performance well exceed what’s deemed necessary for withstanding expected wind and weather conditions.
Of course, these qualities of craftsmanship don’t make first impressions. Walking up to a Pier View Cottage, what greets the eye are exterior details like a metal roof and carriage-style overhead doors; solid sawn cedar timbers and brackets; textured fiber cement siding in an inviting cottage shade with crisp white trim, and a beautiful stained wood front entry with seeded glass.
But that’s ok with us. Builders enjoy a stunning sunset, too.
Enjoy an expanded tour of the first custom-crafted Pier View Cottage, 872 Monroe in South Haven on Lake Michigan, in BLUE’s 2013 Winter edition. To learn more, visit mibluemag.com. For more details about Pier View Cottages, call (269)-673-7133.