Tranquility by the sea
Architect: Mark Schwartz & Associates
MODERN NORTH FORK HOME FEATURING BIG GLASS
You can’t blame custom homebuilders Fred and John Seifert for being fussy about building materials.
The brothers own and operate Seifert Construction, a third-generation eastern Long Island-based homebuilder specializing in second and third homes valued up to $10 million. They deliver about 10 projects a year.
No two Seifert homes are alike. Yet they all share a common characteristic: A relentless insistence on quality. As Fred puts it, “We focus on high detail. We put the best products in our homes because our customers expect the best.”
A recent project–a new 6,000 square foot modern-style, second-home project in Orient, N.Y.—came with an unusual request. The owner stipulated the Seiferts use LaCantina Doors, a California window and glass door manufacturer widely specified in the western U.S. but scarcely known on eastern Long Island. The owner was attracted to LaCantina’s sophisticated European styling and quality reputation.
“This project is designed by architect John Berg, AIA LEED AP, a specialist in modern home design in eastern Long Island, including the Hamptons,” says John Seifert. “A modern home is a challenge to build. Getting a crisp, clean minimalist look just right isn’t easy.”
That starts with the doors and windows.
The architect made provision for 46 glass doors and windows. One door assembly, for example, is 9 feet high by 30 feet long. Big glass is a striking aesthetic but “… creates structural issues for steel and other framing elements. There are no trim or casings on either the windows or doors. Everything must be dead-on perfect level and plumb,” Fred Seifert says. “It’s very demanding. You have to know what you’re doing.”
After discussing it over with the architect, the brothers agreed to consider the owners’ request with a caveat: Let them meet with LaCantina Doors representatives at the annual International Builders’ Show. “We spent a lot of time with LaCantina Doors going over the nuts and bolts of their doors and windows. We were impressed,” John says.
The coming weeks of the 14-month project validated the initial impression. John remembers the first door system installation: “Each door weighed several hundred pounds. The LaCantina roller system and framing is an engineering marvel. We’ve installed glass doors from other companies half that size that were a struggle.”
The LaCantina doors and windows wow the brothers in other respects. “All the frames are very, very thin and, now, after several months, they’re staying true. Nothing is bowing,” John reports. Fred likes the product’s strength. “We get pelted with high winds and rain. Windows really have to perform. I’m very happy with their performance.”
The LaCantina discovery couldn’t have come at a better time. “There’s a trend now in the East End towards modern homes with big glass with small frames. LaCantina is not for every home and, to their credit, they don’t try to be. They do an exceptionally nice job for this market,” Fred says. “I’m recommending them to architects,” John agrees.
REAL ESTATE EXPERTS DISCUSS DEVELOPMENT WEST OF THE SHINNECOCK CANAL
East, West, home’s best? As our panel of housing hotshots debates, if you’re talking about West of the canal, it depends entirely on what you’re looking for.
Seifert Construction has been awarded the 2017 Builder of the Year by Versatex Trimboard at the International Builders Show in Orlando, Florida. This award recognizes Seifert Construction’s commitment to being the premier builder of multi-million dollar homes and their use of the Versatex products for over 13 years.
Can smarter materials and better engineering mitigate the risk of living near the sea? Fortunately, architect John Berg had been adamant, even before Sandy hit, that their project meets the highest standards of resiliency. “We knew we had to build a rock-solid house,” says Berg, who met the Bombara’s through the contractors at Seifert Construction.
Fred Seifert, who, with his brother, John, owns Seifert Construction, a top local builder of high-end homes. “What I see are a lot of younger people, mid-40s to 50s, who are building weekend homes…. I think five years ago, it was rare to find a home on the North Fork over a million dollars. While it’s not the norm, there’s quite a few now.”
“Some of the homes in the neighborhood took weeks or months to get back in shape,” he said. “But all we had to do was power wash the salt and seaweed away. Forty-eight hours after the storm, this house looked like nothing had ever happened. The trim was one of the elements we were especially proud of, and now we could see that it had been worth the effort. It was like a proof of longevity. ”