Community, news & events
Ian Haven, Preston Feather Building Centers, Harbor Springs
Preston Feather Building Centers is associated with some of the richest architectural history in our area, and recently a small, yet intimate piece of our company’s history surfaced after almost 100 years. Preston Arthur Feather was more than just a local contractor and entrepreneur; he was also an accomplished carpenter. In 1926, Preston Feather completed work on a home on the shores of Walloon Lake, Michigan. In the final stages of construction, he and his crew signed a small board and placed it in the wall of the original home as a sort of memento to a work of phenomenal craftsmanship.
As of late, the beautiful home has changed hands, now an intimate part of the lives of a new family. The home has been meticulously reconfigured, and re-appointed. The interior is spectacular due to the magnificent work done by Jim Matthews and his crew of Matthews Construction. To follow the 100 year old tradition, Jim and his crew crafted a new panel signed in the same manner as Preston Feather and his crew did in 1926. They now sit side by side in a frame to cement their legacy into the years to come.
Historic Bay View, a seasonal community in Bear Creek Township founded in 1875, is the site of more homes built by Preston Arthur Feather and his crew. Many current cottage owners represent the third and forth generations of their families. One of these families recently found a yardstick distributed by “Preston Feather & Sons” sometime after World War II. The yardstick still shows our current Petoskey address and phone number.
Our only hope is to continue to be a significant part of construction projects throughout Northern Lower Michigan. If you seek advice for a project, value excellent service, and enjoy business friendships for years to come, come see us at Preston Feather Building Centers. With four locations: Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Traverse City and Gaylord, you’re never far from one of our beautifully appointed showrooms. We’ve been helping folks build with confidence for nearly 100 years; here’s to 100 more.
~ courtesy CertainTeed Roofing Products and John Ritter, Building Material Salesperson Harbor Springs Michigan
Reroofing is a process you may not be familiar with until it becomes time to replace the roof on your own home. And even then, there’s a lot to learn about which products to use and what procedures best meet your individual roofing needs. Therefore, it’s vital to know that you can rely on the roofing
contractor you choose to give you good advice about those products and procedures that may be new to you. The key is to find the right roofing contractor for your job.
At CertainTeed, we suggest that you evaluate your roofer as carefully as you would a doctor or
lawyer. But what criteria can you use to decide if the contractor is a true professional who will stand behind his work? While there is not a single, clear-cut answer, there are a number of indicators that you can look for when going through the evaluation process.
Interview the Contractor
You cannot choose a professional roofer by looking at an estimate and comparing prices. Allow yourself an hour, more or less, to sit down with each contractor. You might be speaking with a salesperson or even the owner. Both of you need time to ask questions and explore the possibilities. You will be surprised at how many options you have.
Seven Questions to Ask Your Roofer
1. What is the full name and address of the company?
2. Does the company carry insurance?
3. Is the company a licensed or credentialed contractor?
4. How long has the company been in business?
5. Will the company provide referrals or references from previous jobs?
6. What is the company’s workmanship warranty?
7. What is the company’s track record for solving customer complaints?
In CertainTeed’s publication, Homeowners Guide: Choosing a Roofing Contractor, you will find suggested answers to these questions. By asking, then listening carefully to their answers, you will be better equipped to make an informed decision about your roofing contractor. We invite you view educational videos CertainTeed has produced to further assist you with your roofing project. Or stop in and speak to one of our Building Material Specialists in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Gaylord, and soon in Traverse City. They will help you select the best CertainTeed roofing shingle for your project.
~ Marci Gibson, Kitchen & Bath Designer, Preston Feather Building Centers, Harbor Springs
In late January, my fellow Harbor Springs Designer, Bonnie Hill, and I attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry (KBIS) show in Las Vegas. The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is North America’s premier annual event dedicated to the kitchen and bath industry.
Owned by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), KBIS is an inspiring, interactive platform that showcases the latest product innovations and trends from leading kitchen and bath brands. Each year kitchen and bath designers, dealers, architects, builders, and re-modelers from all over the world attend KBIS to not only discover the newest product innovations, but to also take advantage of the education and networking. As one of the newest designers at Preston Feather Building Centers, it was an honor to attend.
During the three-day show, Bonnie and I spent hours on the exhibition floor taking in hundreds of displays from industry-related manufacturers from all over the world. My impressions of the top trends include the following four examples.
Natural reclaimed woods were highlighted many times during the show this year at KBIS. Recycled in a variety of ways, these vendors took a modern approach using a rustic material, covering appliances and applied for an accent wall.
New innovative ways to gain vanity storage was prominent at this year’s show. Hardware Resource uses an otherwise wasted space as an opportunity to add valuable storage in a small vanity. Kohler displays an option for power access and deep drawers to accommodate all of our bathroom necessities.
Faux wood products were very captivating items at KBIS 2015. From tile to laminate, there were many different ways to incorporate wood style into the home without compromising appearance. Faux wood porcelain tile is seen used as flooring, shower walls, and even accent walls. Formica plastic laminate also picked up on the trend and displayed their new salvaged wood laminate on a large plank table.
Many cabinetmakers displayed modern, simply-styled cabinetry derived from the European style. Masterbrand incorporated a fireplace to streamline their sleek cabinetry. BKBG took a different approach by using slate for the surface of their cabinetry creating a unique and contemporary impression.
These four trend highlights are just the beginning of many exciting design possibilities for 2015. At Preston Feather Building Centers, we can help you find the right look for your kitchen and bath projects whether you prefer rustic, traditional, cottage, or contemporary styling. Learn more about us at www.prestonfeather.com, or give me a call at 231-348-1346.
Vinyl siding just doesn’t get the respect it deserves, at least not when it comes to installation. Perhaps its very familiarity—It has been cladding American homes since the 1960s and is the most used product on new home exteriors, a ranking it has held for 20 years—has led contractors to give vinyl siding’s installation less consideration than it is due. It is so familiar that many people, recognizing the ease of installation, take on the task without the proper training.
Installing vinyl siding may not be a science, but there are proper installation techniques that installers should follow for optimal results. If it’s not installed properly, vinyl siding will cause problems for the homeowner. Here are 5 common mistakes and how to avoid them:
1. Nailing too tightly. Vinyl siding needs room to move. To accommodate that, installers should nail “loose” rather than drive the nails home. It is generally best leave 1/32 of an inch between the fastener head and the vinyl.
2. Leaving too much space between fasteners. Placing fasteners farther apart invites the wind to cause waviness in the material.
3. Overlapping too much. The industry standard calls for an overlap of 1 inch to 1.25 inches where two panels meet. Too much of an overlap restricts movement and can cause oil canning.
4. Creating visible seams. It’s an eyesore rather than a functional glitch, but applying panels so they begin and end evenly all the way up the wall—instead of staggering them in a zipper-like pattern—can draw too much attention to the straight seam. Some manufacturers are making 16- and 20-foot pieces; using them will reduce the number of seams. Longer lengths are not that much more expensive plus fewer seams make a more eye-appealing project.
5. Skimping on flashing. When the roof of a one-story garage meets the vinyl-clad wall of a two-story house, it creates the need for a piece of metal flashing. Flashing is typically fashioned in the field from aluminum and helps divert water that runs off of the roof. Water should run down on the outside of the vinyl and not behind it, where it can soak the sheathing. Metal flashing is also needed to keep water from penetrating the intersections of walls and windows, and of vinyl with brick or another cladding that might cover part of the same house. It is recommended that contractors conceal the transition from brick to vinyl with aluminum head flashing, which is installed under the vinyl and over the brick for a minimum of four inches at their meeting point.
Preston Feather Building Centers offers vinyl siding products from CertainTeed. We invite you to visit any one of our four locations throughout Northwest Lower Michigan and talk to one of our sales associates. They can help you choose the right siding for your project.
~ Eric Behan, Window & Door Specialist, Harbor Springs Design Showroom
How do you choose from among of the window material options? There are vinyl, fiberglass, vinyl clad and aluminum clad options available. What are the pros and cons of each material? In general vinyl windows are the least expensive going up to aluminum clad as the most expensive. I am going to explain the differences of the windows making it easier for you to make the right choice for your project.
Vinyl windows are everywhere these days. They are relatively inexpensive and there are many different manufacturers of this product. Vinyl windows are low maintenance, long lasting and very durable which are major benefits to these products. The problems with vinyl windows are that they look inexpensive, offer lower value on your investment and are very limited in color options. They tend to fade over time and the vinyl can expand and contract in climate changes. Because of so many options and variations from manufacturer to manufacturer, you really have to do your research to make sure you are getting a quality vinyl window. Photo courtesy of Jeld-Wen Windows & Doors.
Fiberglass windows are fairly new to the window market but they offer many benefits to consumers. They expand and contract at the same rate as glass. Fiberglass is very energy efficient, low maintenance and durable. The strength of fiberglass is much greater than vinyl. On the downside, they offer a very limited color selection and because they are newer to the market, there is uncertainty of the long term durability of the windows. The window can be painted but usually needed to be repainted every 3-5 years. Photo courtesy of Integrity from Marvin Windows & Doors.
$$$ Vinyl Clad
Vinyl Clad windows give you the option of having a wood interior giving you many options to
match wood species to the interior of your home. Because they have a vinyl exterior they offer low maintenance, but exterior colors have a very limited selection. Vinyl colors do tend to fade over time and the wood interior will lead to maintenance to keep the wood protected. Photo courtesy of Andersen Windows & Doors.
$$$$ Aluminum Clad
Aluminum clad windows offer homeowners the greatest selection of color options on both the interior and exterior of the home. The color palate for an aluminum clad window is virtually unlimited. The aluminum paint is baked on so they offer lifetime finishes or can be painted if desired. Aluminum clad windows have been around for years, a plus if you need to match existing windows. On the downside, because the interior is made of wood there is more maintenance required and if ignored, could lead to rotting over time. Photo courtesy of Marvin Windows & Doors
We hope this review of the four major window types will help your understanding of the differences between them. Any one of the four windows discussed above could fit the needs of your next project, whether replacing old windows or building a new structure. Just weigh the options, evaluate your budget and see what works best for your application.
To see examples of the windows we’ve discussed, come visit us at Preston Feather Building Centers and speak to our window and door specialists. Showrooms are located in Gaylord, Petoskey, Harbor Springs and Traverse City.
Stacy McKellip, Kitchen and Bath Designer, Preston Feather Building Centers, Gaylord
I’ve been doing kitchen design for several years in the Gaylord and Northern Michigan area. It’s a beautiful area known for its outdoor recreation, wooded seclusion, and abundant wildlife. The tree lined landscape attracts a number of people that build homes and remodel here who want to enjoy the views of the outdoors within their homes. I’ve observed everything from people building replica log homes with rustic furniture, to incorporating knotty wood cabinets in an otherwise contemporary interior. There are a number of common design trends that I’ve witnessed that are typical of this area.
Windows are the eye to the soul:
A big emphasis is placed on captivating the outdoors with strategically placed windows to showcase a winding river or an expanse of trees. Within a kitchen oversized windows are common, limiting the upper cabinet space available. This creates a need for more creative storage solutions in the base cabinets. High gloss countertop surfaces can create glare from the windows, however multidirectional lighting or ambient lighting can diffuse the glare.
“Rustic” wood species such as Hickory, Birch, and Alder have been most popular in kitchens and bathrooms alike. With their tendency for random knots, pin holes, and color variation, they are a favorite for those wanting a lot of “character” in their homes. Also very popular are cream colored cabinets that are intentionally distressed by the manufacturer to create a worn appearance.
Returning to the farm:
Farm sinks in various shades of white, biscuit, and almond have become increasingly popular. Also known as an apron sink, these sinks feature a deep exposed front that protrudes from the front of the cabinet. As a nice compliment to the farm sink, consider a faucet with a hand-pump style handle in oil-rubbed bronze.
Take it from the Earth:
Granite is always a hands-down favorite for those wanting a natural product for their countertops. Its variance in color, veining, and stone varieties make it a beautiful compliment to most knotty wood species used in adjacent cabinetry. Also gaining in popularity are butcherblock countertops for the entire countertop surface or limited to an island. We covered additional countertop considerations in our last article.
Whether the Northern Michigan design trends suit your lifestyle or if you prefer a more modern and contemporary interior; feel free to contact our offices in Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Gaylord and Traverse City, for a design that reflects you.