Don’t miss this energy-efficient farmhouse on the Petoskey Area Home Tour September 15.

4267 Maitland Rd., Williamsburg

Chad Kotlarz, Livwell Homes, 231.264.9111

After medical school, Chad Kotlarz practiced natural medicine for 15 years—and then he decided to change his life-course and follow his passion for building and design. We met Chad last year as he was beginning the project of a lifetime: his own home on a spectacular bluff on East Grand Traverse Bay (this issue’s cover shot was taken from Chad’s beach). As tour-goers will see, Chad didn’t only want an aesthetically stunning home—he wanted much more. His home is also a showpiece for energy efficiency, technology and zero maintenance. To those ends, Chad did an incredible amount of research and product evaluation. As you’ll see, the payoff for all of this work is built into every inch of this home.

The exterior of this modern farmhouse-style home is clad in stacked limestone and Boral TrueExterior Siding, a sustainable product that has the warm look of wood but is virtually maintenance free. The roof is black, 24-gauge steel standing seam steel—and will last a lifetime. Chad hand cut each piece of steel to guarantee the perfect fit on the roof’s complicated pattern of peaks and gables. The bounty of black-framed windows and glass doors are imported from Europe and are not only head-turning handsome, they are also triple-glazed making them extremely energy efficient. All windows are recess mounted, further increasing thermal performance. The entire home (including floors) is built of Quad-Lock insulated concrete forms supported by a tight rebar grid. The upshot? A rock-solid structure with 14.5-inch-thick walls, 16.5-inch-thick floors and the highest possible energy-efficiency rating (R-38 walls with zero thermal-bridging).

Big-glass views of the water with careful attention to style and efficiency define the interior. Look down and you see that you are walking on (heated) poured-and-polished concrete floors embedded with handpicked stones. Look up at a cathedral ceiling supported by Douglas fir beams fastened with handsome exposed bolts. Warm yourself at a sleek-lined, custom-built gas fireplace that is fabricated so the glass front doesn’t get hot—no need for a protective screen. Notice the absence of can lights—and the magic of LED tape lighting.

The open kitchen is a cook’s dream with its massive 13-by-5-foot island, Italian laminate cabinetry, under-counter beverage center, AGA stove, built-in refrigerator and freezer that are each 30-inches wide, and an industrial-sized sink outfitted with sliding cutting and drain boards. The home’s cutting-edge features continue in the master bedroom (walk-through shower), soaring (no supporting posts, courtesy of the Quad-Deck construction) cantilevered decks and brilliant landscaping that is highlighted by a winding stone path to the beach that is wide enough for a golf cart.

Chad will be on-premises on tour day to explain more about this home’s efficiency, design and smart home features—and to offer information about his new company, LivWell Homes. From design to construction, this is a home not to miss.

Tickets to the Petoskey Area Home Tour are available on

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Photo(s) by Dave Speckman