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How to Build the Perfect Lake Home: An Interview with Jack Sweeney of Sweeney Brothers Construction

By Jack Sweeney

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Currently, we have evolved into an exterior contractor that focuses on architectural sheet metal installation, roofing, siding and painting.

What are some of the biggest decisions that a homeowner will need to make about the design of a new waterfront or lake home?

Oceanfront demands a higher level of exterior design as opposed to lakefront. We liken building a house on the ocean to that of a boat as wind driven elements (rain, snow, sand, etc.) wreak havoc on a home and will exploit every weakness that poor design has to offer. There are similar precautions that lakefront construction demands, but the exposure is not as extreme. With proper planning and design however, the functional needs of these properties can be employed with most any design style.

Can you briefly explain what an builder likes to know about the future homeowners to create the perfect house for them?

We like to know what spaces are needed for all members of the family and how would they like to take advantage of the site to secure the most desired views (balconies, windows, decks, etc.). The family's activity needs and the manner in which they want to take advantage of the views would assist in a fundamental floor plan from which architectural style and finish can be applied.

What are some of the misconceptions you've come across about lake homes?

The biggest misconception was more mindset and less about money. It hasn't occurred to some clients that their lakefront home could be equipped similarly to their primary residence; that they needn't be wanting for the same conveniences of home. Advances in design have provided solutions for residences that may need to retrofit systems (i.e., heating, a/c, etc.) as well as personal conveniences (appliances, electronics, etc.)

What are a few of the most in-demand features for waterfront homes in New Hampshire?

Long-lived exterior materials i.e., composite siding materials, synthetic and natural slate, copper, natural stone. Low maintenance. Web-based security and house climate/lighting controls.

What advice would you give a client who wants a lake home that combines progressive design and comfort?

Proper advice would be to do things correctly the first time as it costs far more to take corrective actions later for bad decisions at the start. Quality over quantity when it comes to square footage. We recommend long-lived exterior materials as they prove less costly over the life of the house. Proper HVAC system design, adequate insulation, and efficient glazing are the critical elements to personal comfort.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

Our website contains all of our contact information as well as a web-based Contact Us form.

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About The Author

Jack has over 25 years of experience in the Construction industry. He has enjoyed the...

Phone: 617-910-6965

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