WRITER | JULIE FORD
PHOTOS | KRISTIAN WALKER PHOTOGRAPHY
A Lakefront Transformation in Caledonia
In a private, gated community of lakefront homes along Green Lake in Caledonia, an executive home underwent an unusually extensive remodel. The homeowners loved their existing location, so instead of building new somewhere else, they remodeled their existing home to fulfill their vision, completely changing the main level and refining the lower.
Empty nesters with three adult children and six grandchildren, they needed more space for their growing family. A larger kitchen and entryway, designated space for the grandchildren, and smarter bathroom placement; the list of needs was long, but the home’s location was perfect.
The 6,000-square-foot, three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath Transitional home received far more than a facelift from builder Gary Byker and project designer Janel Joppie of Homes by Gary Byker in Grandville. Together, they managed the entire project, from architectural plans to move in, including ordering custom furniture and hanging artwork on the walls.
“Once we met with Janel, she had just wonderful, over-the-top ideas. We were impressed with her knowledge and her approach to understanding what our needs were and what we wanted to use the house for,” explains the homeowner, noting that Homes by Gary Byker had come highly recommended by a family member. “And Gary and Janel were incredible to work with – if we were to buy or rehab another house, they would be the ones to do it.”
Construction began in March 2019 with the careful removal of windows, doors, cabinetry, and plumbing fixtures, all donated to Habitat for Humanity. By December, the project was complete. Changes to the exterior included new landscaping and expanded front and back porches, and the garage was pulled forward to add 13 feet to the middle of the home.
The former Traditional Craftsman facade is now Transitional style, accomplished by replacing the tapered single columns of the entry with double columns on the expanded porch. New steel siding was chosen for durability and zero maintenance.
“The other thing we were trying to accomplish was to make things as maintenance-free as possible,” says the homeowner. Joppie adds, “Steel siding has been around for a while; it’s maintenance-free and has a larger reveal to resemble 8-inch wood lap.”
The main level lakeside screened porch was expanded to 48 feet and has a pine ceiling, tile flooring, and three entertaining areas for dining, games, and gathering. “When the weather is nice, we can have the sliders fully open – it feels like part of the house and not a separate room,” says the homeowner. “Janel did a fantastic job of laying that out.”
The main level includes 70 feet of open and airy kitchen, dining, and great room areas with sweeping views of the lake through larger windows and higher ceilings than the previous design. Andersen Fibrex® composite windows were used throughout the home for their superior strength and resistance to fungal growth and peeling and their low maintenance and energy efficiency. Ceilings were also raised to bring in more light.
The flooring throughout the home, except for two bedrooms on the lower level and the grandkids’ room, is a luxury vinyl plank, chosen for its extreme toughness, realistic wood look, and timeless tone of light pine that includes combined tones of grey and taupe. It’s also heated.
Of the many favorite areas, the homeowner loves her butler’s pantry adjacent to the kitchen. “It’s just awesome! There’s a built-in steam oven, microwave, and a long counter with many outlets to leave small appliances out,” she says. “It’s a great workspace, so your kitchen isn’t a mess when you have people over.” It also has a sink with a round window and dual access from the mudroom or the kitchen.
“We realized our family area is the kitchen,” says the homeowner, adding that the home had already had a good-sized one before the remodel. “The new 10-foot booth table, in addition to the dining table, is wonderful for family gatherings, grandkids, and is a fantastic way to gather.” She also loves the custom-made double-sided hutch where large family meals can be served buffet-style. “To make the space not like a bowling alley, it’s a room separator, not a room divider – just enough to make it separate,” she says.
The dining area, a great room with floor-level hearth-fronted gas fireplace, the master suite, an office/devotional room with angled glass door to allow light to pour in, and the laundry room complete the main floor. The ingenious sliding drying racks and blower were not only designed by but also invented by Joppie and Byker.
Quartz Silestone® countertops were used throughout the home. “Granite is a lot more porous, and the quartz has Microban® in it,” says Joppie. “It’s easier to get a consistent quartz slab – granite could have a crack or vein and cause issues over time.”
The lower level has two bedrooms, and a snack area with a full-size refrigerator, microwave, and sink located where a full kitchen used to be. The grandkids’ rooms open to the lakeside patio. “The children’s area was designed and decorated for the grandkids,” says the homeowner. “It’s full of toys and a TV for the adults hanging in there; when it’s messy, it means the grandkids are having a blast!”
Homes by Gary Byker
4324 Canal Avenue
Grandville, MI 49418
(616) 292-5948 l BuildandDesign.net