An Architect’s Home From the Roof to Windows

Retired Architect Builds His Dream Lake Home & Shares His Product Tips

By David Baur, GCP Applied Technologies

Dan Meehan, an architect in Ohio, is building his dream retirement home on Lake Erie, complete with beautiful views of the water and surrounding nature. He designed his home on a lot that is no more than 45 feet wide. So he had to get creative to maximize those wonderful Lake Erie views.

“The joy of designing your own house as an architect is being able to customize your house to fit your lifestyle,” Dan said. “Our lifestyle has changed – we don’t need a lot of square footage, but we want to be able to relax and enjoy great views of Lake Erie, one of Cleveland’s great assets.”

Living on a Great Lake like Erie means living with extremes. Extreme beauty. Extremely captivating views of nature and the Cleveland skyline across the water. Also, extreme weather.

Turning Environmental Challenges Into Design Wins With The Right Products

Architect Dan Meehan had to pull out all of the stops so that his dream retirement home would maximize these wonderful Lake Erie views, while reliably withstanding Lake Erie gusts and horizontal blowing rain. Dan would drive by other projects observing mechanically fastened house wrap blowing in the wind. So, first on his mind was selecting a housewrap that would stand up to the wind and horizontal blowing rain during construction as well as protect his dream home long-term.

Dan’s answer: Vycor® enV-S™ fully-adhered weather resistive barrier from GCP Applied Technologies. “The only way to get full coverage consistently, was to use Vycor® enV-S™ membrane,” said Dan, alluding to the fact that the product is fully-adhered.

​The key, Dan said, is a whole, blended system that works great for energy efficiency and weather protection. Vycor®enV- S™ weather barrier utilizes the latest in residential building science to create an air-tight, yet “breathable” home, and achieve the highest product performance available. Unlike mechanically-attached housewraps, the Vycor® enV-S™ membrane seals to itself at overlaps, seals around fasteners, and forms a strong bond with the substrate. 

Next up, designing a waterproof roof.

Waterproof The Entire Roof

In the beginning of Dan’s architectural career, he used Grace Ice & Water Shield® roofing underlayment from GCP Applied Technologies on every residential project—two courses around the eves and a course up every valley. Those houses are still around 40 years later and doing great, noted Dan.

It wasn’t surprising then that he was all in with Grace Ice & Water Shield® underlayment for his dream home.

With the concern of ice dams, severely blowing winds and horizontal rain, Dan will cover the entire roof with Grace Ice & Water Shield® membrane. GCP Applied Technologies pioneered the self-adhered roofing underlayment category more than 35 years ago with its Grace Ice & Water Shield® product. It provides superior performance as it seals to itself at overlaps, seals to the roof deck and, most importantly, seals around the fasteners used to attach the shingles, which helps prevent water from leaking into your home.

Protected Windows With A View

Due to Dan’s desire to maximize the home’s lake views, the majority of the north side of the house is windows.  He chose both casement and double hung windows, many of them over-sized.  The living room, for instance, features windows that are much larger than the doors in most homes.  By grouping several of those in the living room wall, which is skewed toward the Cleveland skyline, guests will be able to enjoy all the bright lights of the city as night falls. 

“We were fortunate to find a lot with 180 degree views so that we can see from downtown to the east, all the way around to western sunsets,” Dan said.  “So despite the threat of severe weather, I wanted to incorporate as many windows as I could without compromising the integrity of the structure or creating maintenance problems.”

Throughout the whole house, Dan is installing both double-hung and casement windows. The double-hung windows are really the stars of Dan’s window show. They have a thick cross section and are huge—4-foot-4 wide by nine feet tall portals to the wonderful world of Lake Erie.

Proper selection and installation of flashing at the windows and doors is critical to the performance of a home’s weatherization system. If not properly selected and installed, wind-driven rain can leak and quickly cause rot and mold in your walls. GCP Applied Technologies’ Vycor® PRO self-adhered flashing will be used on Dan’s home to seal windows, doors, corners, and other non-roof detail areas. This flashing product is designed to form a watertight and airtight seal with building materials; thus protecting the home from water damage and air infiltration.

Dan turned a challenging lot layout into an opportunity to build a unique design that capitalizes on unbeatable views of Lake Erie. Now Dan and his wife will be able to enjoy the breathtaking lake view without worrying about weather damage!

To follow the construction of Dan’s dream home please visit –

David Baur is Product Manager at GCP Applied Technologies, formerly known as Grace Construction Products. He has step-by-step tips for homeowners, contractors and builders on building homes for extreme weather. For more tips and information please visit:

Lindsay is the the Director of Media Engagement for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and manages the brand’s media and social media department. She is also a licensed real estate professional. In 2017 & 2018, she was named a top 20 social influencer in the real estate industry in the annual Swanepoel 200 power rankings.

Lindsay lives in Livingston, NJ with her college sweetheart and now husband Joe and rwelcomed another Joe into her life as she became a mom in June 2016.

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