Merrimac Lake Home

Case Study

Laurie and I asked the architect to design us a dream house for our new home. We entrusted the building of this dream to Holtz Builders and couldn’t be happier with that decision. I looked at the calendar from the day we poured the footings and 100 workdays later, we moved in. This was in the middle of a pandemic with slow deliveries, labor shortages, etc. but it did not stop the HBI team.
Bill & Laurie Ryan

Project Scope

Bill and Laurie Ryan asked their architect son, Jason, to design a stunning 3,427 square foot retirement home overlooking the scenic Wisconsin River in Merrimac, WI, and they wanted Holtz Builders to make their dream a reality within a tight timeline during a pandemic.

Bill, also an architect, is known for developing the initial concept prototype design for the Great Wolf Lodge resort in Wisconsin Dells and has designed more than 45 other waterpark resort projects. He is no stranger to design and construction and was a valuable asset in helping to coordinate materials for his own dream home. The plans were well-written and the details were thought out, so changes were minimal.

  • Type of Construction: New Residential Build
  • Size of the Project: 3,427 square feet
  • Duration of Project: 5 months

Project Details

There were many impressive custom features for this modern contemporary new residential build. Multiple roofing materials, including EPDM rubber roofing with a combination of metal standing seam, makes this an extremely durable choice and will withstand our harsh Wisconsin winters.

With an open floor plan, strong horizontal lines, over-sized casement windows, a prominent fireplace, custom built Amish cabinetry, and a wide use of natural materials, this new home complements its environment and blends the outdoor space with the indoor space. Nearly 900 square feet of composite decking on two levels with a steel powder-coated metal railing with horizontal aircraft cable for added living space.

The tongue and groove wood ceiling in the main great room harmonizes with the live edge window sills and the sliding barn door. The design depicts a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere to sit back and observe the wildlife on the river. Grand mahogany entrance and garage doors welcomes friends and family.

The Challenges

Road Bans and Long Lead Times

With such a tight schedule, things didn’t start as smoothly as we had hoped. The start of the construction schedule had to be delayed by two weeks due to a road ban. The short schedule did not allow time for manufactured wall panels, so we built them on site. Even though we were delayed by two weeks in getting the materials to the site, Holtz Builders took advantage of the extra time by ordering as many materials as possible to account for the long lead times.

Unsteady Market and Material Shortages

Market volatility and cost fluctuations were another challenge for this build. The long lead times meant subcontractors were waiting for materials on several occasions. Two windows were on back order for several weeks, mortar for masonry, siding materials, and Trex decking caused delays in the schedule, in addition to rain delays. Because the market was so volatile, it was difficult to know if the materials were going to be within budget. Our Superintendent took the lead to keep supervision costs down to alleviate some of the increases in material. Without a doubt, the most costly postponement was the steel roof. The walls were ready for paint before we had the steel panels for the roof.

Environmental Precautions

Being a shoreline property meant that we needed to comply with Department of Natural Resources regulations. Holtz Builders and the architect devised a grading and erosion control plan.  A temporary silt fence was constructed near the base of the property to capture any erosion to prevent any contamination into the river from the construction site. This was a challenge due to the steep slope, heavy equipment, and rainfall on exposed soil.

Our Solution

Holtz Builders coordinated closely with the homeowner, the architect, and the subcontractors to keep the project on schedule and in budget. The owner was able to store finished carpentry items and delivered what was needed for each day which allowed for a very safe and clean site. All blueprints and materials were reviewed and approved by the owner, architect, and Holtz Builders to ensure all decisions were appropriate.

To guarantee quality craftsmanship, the superintendent, project manager, and VP of construction operations for Holtz Builders conducted weekly walk-throughs. The homeowners absolutely love their new home and treasure the daily reminder of their son’s hard work and quality craftsmanship of Holtz Builders.

Built with the view in mind.

Ryan Lake House built by Holtz Builders