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Nolan lake house

Lake House near Ann Arbor, Michigan


This project was inspired by the owners' family cottage on a lake in their home state of Louisiana.  During our pre-design envisioning process, we took cues from that old family cottage and began to define a unique lower level open space with walls that could disappear in the summer to become an indoor/outdoor space adjacent to a lakeside lawn, and be closed in the winter to become a work shop space.  A constant theme was to keep things simple and casual, yet well crafted and with architectural appeal.  We sought to nestle the home into a knob of ground rising up from the lake level to "marry" the home with the land, and for the interior we called for maximum natural light and expansive views of the lake - bringing the outside into the home.  We were also able to identify certain craftsman architectural elements that appealed to the owners and fit the design themes.  Ultimately M Services developed a written "program" describing these design requirements and delivered that document to the architect.

The architect did a wonderful job of interpreting the program, developing plans for efficient, highly functional spaces and creating a beautiful look and feel to the home.  We worked with the architect and subcontractors to develop construction specifications for an energy efficient home that provided maximum air flow in the summer and a tight, well insulated space in the winter.  And we specified materials and systems that were long lasting and required minimal maintenance.  All of this planning paid dividends during the construction phase: M Services, as general contractor, understood not only the plans but the thought behind the plans; subcontractors had a clear sense of the scope and requirements of their work; and the scheduling and decision making processes were aided by the significant forethought.

The end result was a beautiful home, blending with the land, blurring the lines between inside and out, casual and simple, yet evidencing attention to detail and craftsmanship throughout.  The project was completed on time (roughly) and under budget.  M Services has two common goals on every project: build a beautiful place and make the process enjoyable for the owners.  As evidenced in the Owners' Testimonial (below), these objectives were clearly met.



Size 4,100 square feet of interior space

875 square feet of covered porches and decks

  560 square foot garage
Cost Actual cost was 98.6% of budget
Timeline Pre-Planning Phase: March - April 2011
  Planning/Architectural Phase: April - August 2011


September 2011
  Ground Break: October 3, 2011
  Targeted Completion Date: June 8, 2012
  Actual Completion Date: June 15, 2012
  Ground Break to Completion: 8.5 months




Pre-Design, Planning & General Contractor M Services LLC
Architect Joseph Philips Architect LLC, Plymouth MI
Interior Design

Lifestyle Designs, Plymouth MI


Many excellent subcontractors

(contact us for further information)



Owners' Testimonial

"My wife and I cannot express enough how pleased we were with M Services.  We found the perfect lot for our family getaway cottage, and then M Services helped us define how we wanted to use the house so that it reflected our needs and expressed our own unique style.  M Services took a very unique analytical approach to helping us express how we wanted to use the cottage.  Ross took that information and melded utilitarian needs with our wishes.

"M Services was with us every step along the way, from concept to completion of the finished product.  They managed the building process flawlessly and did a good job of anticipating major decisions as the project developed and laid them out in an easy to understand timeline.  Costs were very well managed and M Services was excellent at making sure subcontractors delivered the agreed upon services.  There were no last minute surprises.

"Would we build again with M Services?  In a minute!"

                                                          The Nolan's


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