Eyes on the Prize: A Cozy Lodge Steps From the Bay
Though offering beautiful views and encompassing 8 acres, the Discovery Bay property was actually quite tight, with buildable area limited to a wedge between the water, a steep slope, and an easement for a shared road. That’s a challenge that Estes often deals with, but it also came with the added pressure of a deadline: When the homeowners bought the property, it came with existing, permitted plans; the permit had already been renewed several times, so if the new owners let it expire, they would be subject to a shoreline setback that would have forced the home’s footprint further up the hill, decreasing the buildable area even more.
The homeowners opted to keep the existing plans, rather than lose the location, and worked with the Estes Builders design team to make choices that fit with their taste while staying within the footprint and layout. They made decisions quickly to ensure Estes could start building and get through the first round of inspections before the permit expired.
Even then, challenges persisted. While excavating, the Estes team hit loose fill and bad dirt from what turned out to be old railroad tracks. An engineer was brought out and Estes secured one of the few contractors in the state that drives piles, resulting in 70 piles at 25 to 50 feet deep to ensure stability.
The hurdles required diligence on both the customers’ and Estes’ part, but the efforts paid off in meeting the inspection deadline as well as producing a beautiful house and ADU that’s just steps from the water.
Designed for having visitors and making memories, the custom home features an inviting lakefront-lodge style with peaked roof gables, stained wood window sills, cherry floors, cedar shiplap, a large covered deck, and stunning windows with sweeping views of the bay. The three levels include a walk-out basement with extra bedroom/bathroom, a second story with living room, kitchen, and en suite guest room, and a third-floor primary suite and office, with a balcony off of the bedroom.
A detached two-car garage has an ADU above with its own living quarters and deck.
Because construction was during COVID times, supply chain issues created additional obstacles for Estes Builders to navigate. But because of Estes’ fixed price guarantee, the homeowners did not have to shoulder the material price increases that inevitably cropped up across the industry during that time.
Throughout the process both the homeowners and the Estes Builders team overcame challenges by focusing on the mutual end goal: a beautiful dream home on the water. And as if to emphasize that the efforts were well worth it, an otter lounged in the bay while a minke whale swam to and fro on the day the buyers came to pick up their keys.