A Custom Fit

One of the most challenging aspects of a lakefront home can be unraveling all of the potential design and construction limitations that come with that highly desirable location.

July 01, 2004

 

It takes a lot of pre-planning to build a home that appears to fit so naturally onto a site, says architect Dominick Tringali. One of the most challenging aspects of a lakefront home can be unraveling all of the potential design and construction limitations that come with that highly desirable location.

"The number of deed restrictions imposed by local governing bodies on a lakefront home in our area can be daunting," says Tringali. These include architectural style, building height, lot coverage, setbacks and open-space requirements. "All of these must be taken into consideration from the initial design stages of the house."

 

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For example, obstructing a neighbor's view of the water certainly won't win a new homeowner any friends in the neighborhood, but in many cases, it is not permitted by the community itself. "There are very significant height restrictions when you build a home in this setting," says builder Dennis Yashinsky, "and it can often be very difficult to stay within them."

For this project, the height restriction was 35 feet - measured from building grade to the highest point on the roof. In addition, because there were existing homes on either side of it, the building envelope for this home's deep, but narrow site was restricted, because larger-than-normal, side- and front-yard setbacks, as well as a severe rear-yard (lake-side) setback, caused by a line-of-sight setback, says Tringali.

The purpose of a line-of-sight setback is to preserve the water views for existing homes when a new one is built. "This is determined by drawing an imaginary line connecting the rear decks of the adjoining homes," says Tringali. "The new one cannot exceed that line. This tells us how close to the lake we can set the home."

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