Glass House in East Grand Rapids, Mich., Named ‘Remodel of the Year’ in National Home Design Competition

Contacts: Elizabeth Thompson
AVP, Media Relations
(202) 266-8495

Stephanie Pagan
Director, Media Relations
(202) 266-8254

“Glass House,” a lake home in East Grand Rapids, Mich., was named the Remodel of the Year in the 2020 Best in American Living™ Awards (BALA) by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The Best in American Living Awards are sponsored by Monogram Luxury Appliances.

The tightly formatted four-bedroom lake home sits on a relatively flat lakeside lot. Sitting just above water level, an all-glass south façade provided unforgettable summers—and extremely problematic winters. This post-and-beam mid-century modern home was destined to be razed.

With a high water table, a slab on grade floor, outdated single-pane picture frame windows and strong Michigan winters, the underutilized floor plan no longer worked for today’s lifestyle and turned into a summer retreat. A complete renovation and addition provided full-year functionality while preserving the aesthetic and tradition of the mid-century home.

A 1,149 square foot addition to the footprint allowed for an enlarged primary suite, relocation of bedroom number two into existing garage space, a revamped entertaining kitchen and butler kitchen and a new three-stall garage. All ceilings remained exposed by creating a new raised floor, with crawl space, to resolve water table issues and allow a new in-floor HVAC system.

“The home already had good exterior bones, and the renovation only elevated the design and finishes,” said the 2020 BALA judging panel. “The design team worked within the style of the original home and was successful with extending the indoors to the exterior. We were very impressed with the work completed on this home.”

The house was designed by JVisser Design and built by MVM Builders. REINVENT served as the developer. Rock Kauffman Design worked on the interior design elements, and Rooks Landscaping completed the landscape design. Professional photos were taken by Brian Kelly Photography.

In its 37th year, BALA recognizes outstanding achievement by builders and design professionals in all sectors of the residential housing industry including single-family production, custom, rental, affordable, interiors, remodeling and community. Award winners were announced during an online ceremony held Feb. 25, 2021.

Additional information about the 2020 BALA winners, including photographs of the projects, can be found at