20 Jul See inside this luxurious Smith Lake home
Seth Hammer knows custom homes, and he relied on that expertise when building a family home on Smith Lake. As owner of Hammer-Bilt, he specializes in custom home design and construction, exclusively on the banks of the 21,000 acre lake.
As Hammer set out to build his family’s own four-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath house, he designed from the inside out. He knew he wanted a master bedroom on the main floor with an adjacent laundry room. His family also wanted an open-concept kitchen, living, and dining room space, but not so open that “when you’re cooking dinner, you feel like you’re cooking in the living room,” he says.
That combined living space is the 2,900-square-foot interior’s focal point. The 27-feet-deep living and dining space has windows on three sides. But as Hammer planned, he realized usable space was at a premium. He got creative with a room that cantilevers over the bluff, supported by a 50-feet-tall masonry fireplace. The structure created a covered deck below the living room.
Although the interiors led the design, the exterior space was just as important. “Every room where we could put a window in, there was a window,” Hammer says. Much of the nearby property is in a trust and will not be developed, which means the stunning views will be preserved.
The highlight of the outdoor living space is an outdoor bath, a feature Hammer had promised his wife. He built a retaining wall to create privacy, and as landscaping continues to grow in, seclusion increases. The space feels like a natural extension of the home. A claw-foot bathtub is positioned just outside of the master bathroom’s French doors. Steps away, an outdoor shower allows residents to clean up after a swim without giving up the allure of the outdoors.
The home’s lush views aren’t its only green features. Throughout the build, Hammer made decisions with the environment and health in mind. He selected low volatile organic compound paint and a floor finish that doesn’t put off VOC compounds. The house is insulated with spray foam, even in the garage. A commercial-grade, seam metal roof is an energy-efficient addition and was built to last 75 years.
Natural materials incorporated throughout the home complete the outside-comes-in feeling.
“That was something we really tried to carry out to the house: authentic materials to create that authentic feel.”
As of press time, the Hammer’s home was for sale. See more at lakehomes.com. Hammer also rents a Smith Lake cabin via heirloomcabin.com.
This story appears in Birmingham magazine’s July 2019 issue. Subscribe today!