Choosing a Kitchen Backsplash - featured image

When helping our clients plan their custom home in Northern Michigan, the kitchen is one of the most scrutinized rooms. After all, it is one of the most important rooms in the entire home and sees more use than any other. Details in the kitchen really do matter – aesthetically and functionally.

Kitchen backsplashes are meant to protect your walls from damage and enhance the beauty of your kitchen. The ideal backsplash will be easy to clean, and resistant to heat, water, and scratches.

Consider the following materials for your perfect kitchen design.

Ceramic or Glass Tile

This is an affordable and very versatile choice with and endless number of styles and patterns. The grout must be sealed for better durability and, so it won’t absorb water. It’s also easy to replace any sections that might get damaged.

Stainless Steel

Durable, affordable, heat resistant, and easy to clean, Stainless Steel has a lot to offer. It can be dented or scratched although it takes quite a bit to do so.


Natural or painted, brick is durable and heat resistant. It needs to be sealed and does require more frequent cleaning. Brick can add a charm or warmth in the right setting.


Popular for countertops, Granite is an easy choice to extend the same look throughout the kitchen. A natural beauty that’s easy to clean and tough. It’s porous so it will need to be sealed to prevent staining.


Like granite, marble has a wonderful natural beauty but also requires periodic re-sealing and falls on the pricier side.


Another popular countertop material, Quartz is most commonly used as a composite material. Natural quartz stone is mixed with resin to fashion a tough material that stands up to heat, stains, water and is more scratch resistant than most stone. Because it is a composite, it can be fashioned with shapes and curves that would otherwise be difficult or expensive in granite or marble.


Probably the most affordable material, it is sometimes overlooked. While it is not heat resistant, it does clean easily and is durable. It comes in a myriad of colors and patterns; some of today’s modern laminates can almost pass for real stone.

Whether you are building a new home or remodeling your existing house, Mason Construction is dedicated to quality construction with meticulous attention to detail. Contact us today to discuss your home building or remodeling needs.

The idea of custom construction can be overwhelming. From inception to creation, many steps are taken to ensure vision becomes reality. Your residential project is no different.

You are unique; your needs and desires stem from every aspect of your personality. Your family is unique. Your identity together sets the tone for your family’s legacy. Your home is unique. From location and layout, to brick and wood, your home is the extension of who you are and who your family is.

You are going to build a home where who you are meets where you are. Mason Construction brings the reality of you and your family’s identity through the process of making vision become reality. One crucial step in that process is structure and design.

The design of your home touches personally on every level. Your project may require the help of experienced engineers and architects. Here is a list of a few local firms that could help. All are reputable and could be an asset in planning your dream home.

Cornwell Architects, “Cornwell Architects is a second generation, practice-led business of architects focused on the goals of our clients and the growth of our community.  Over the past sixty-five years, the firm has earned a reputation as a comprehensive, multi-disciplined firm with successful projects located throughout Northern Michigan.

We provide every service your project needs – from planning, architecture, engineering, and program management, to construction assistance and environmental design.”

AAI, Inc., “AAI, Inc., has assembled a design team of expert consultants from various disciplines to provide the services that best meet the needs of each project.”

Cornerstone Architects, “Cornerstone Architects was established in 1989 by Tom Nemitz to provide creative design and full service architecture. With offices in Grand Rapids, Detroit and Traverse City, Michigan, Cornerstone has established a reputation of exceptional client service, design excellence, and results that work.”

N. J. White Associates, Architects – Our Mission

N.J. White & Associates, “Nicholas White has been providing high quality residential and resort architectural services since 1979. Our project scope ranges from small residential additions to large estate residences, commercial buildings and institutional projects.”

John Dziurman Architect Ltd., “John Dziurman Architects Ltd. Is comprised of skilled professionals trained and experienced in the art and science of architecture. Our knowledge, experience and vision will guide you through the entire planning, design and construction process—from helping you define what you need to do, exceeding your expectations with the products we provide, and ensuring that you receive value for your planning, design and construction costs.”

These teams solidify the vision of your project on paper, extending your personality and needs into the project itself.

Mason Construction will build your vision and bring it to life!

Energy efficient homes save homeowners money on their monthly utility bills, while improving the home’s overall comfort by reducing drafty spots and extreme temperatures. When considering your next home or remodel, here are 5 easy ways to go green and save up to hundreds of dollars each year on energy.

Energy Audits – The very first step to making your home more energy efficient is to hire a professional to perform an assessment of your home’s energy performance. Energy audits identify where your home may be leaking hot and cool air and show you the most cost-effective ways to reduce energy waste in your home.

Insulation – Installing or adding insulation to a home’s walls, floors and attic is typically one of the most cost-effective ways to improve your home’s energy performance.

Air Sealing – Like insulation, air and duct sealing provides a great bang for the buck with respect to its low costs and big energy savings. Air sealing simply involves finding where hot and cool air may be seeping out of holes in walls, ceiling or duct work and sealing them with caulk and weather-stripping.

Upgrade Appliances and Electronics – Most home appliances and electronics use electricity. Thanks to advances in technology, most appliances and electronics now have a high efficiency counterpart. When in the market for a new home or remodel, look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label, which indicates that an appliance performs the same type of function for less energy.

Space Heating and Cooling – The energy to heat and cool homes typically accounts for more than half of all energy consumption. Like your home’s appliances, Energy Star has also created high efficiency air conditioners, water heaters and furnaces that can keep your home at optimal temperatures while using significantly less amount of energy.

The team here at Mason Construction would love to help you evaluate the best ways to “Go Green” on your next remodel project or new home. We have built LEED certified homes, and we stay current on the best practices for energy efficient home building. If you have any questions about energy savings and quality home construction or remodeling in northern Michigan. Please give Chris Mason a call at 231-642-0724.

Do you have “the list”? You know, the “honey do” list. This is the list of things that need to be done around your house, but you never seem to get to any of them. You may be able to handle some of the smaller projects – paint touch up, or changing a door knob – but what about the bigger projects that you know will create a mess? Or the projects that you fear…you know….the ones that involve moving plumbing, or wiring, taking down walls, or putting up walls.

Here are some questions to ask yourself before you start any home improvement project… How much time will it take? Do I have the right equipment? How much will it cost? Do I have to turn off the main water supply? Is this a load baring wall.

What appears to be a job that you can handle can soon turn into a job that is out of control. Hiring a professional licensed contractor to handle your project can be the difference between “honey do” and “honey don’t touch me!” Professional licensed contractors know the building codes. They have experienced craftsmen to make sure all aspects of the job are completed properly. At Mason Construction, we pride ourselves on finishing a job on time and on budget.

If you’re looking for a reliable and well tested contractor in the Grand Traverse, Benzie or Leelanau county area, then give us a try. There is no job too big or too small. We leave you to spend time with your family, and keep “Honey” smiling.

Call me at (231) 642-0724

Sincerely, Chris Mason

Oh the many adventures of being a contractor. Time and time again the good guys are coming behind the bad guys fixing poorly built structures and attending to leaks that all could have been prevented had the previous builder took an extra five minutes.

My advice as a homeowner is instead of going through the painstaking process of having to get things re-done on your house. Start your new remodeling project by digging deeper into the track record and client history of the builder you’re considering hiring. Calling on your contractor’s client references is a very good start. I would also encourage you to have them show you some step by step processes of any similar job that they have done. Check these pictures out. Is the jobsite clean in the pictures? If not, that trashed yard is going to be your house next. What kinds of materials are being used? In what ways are they preventing water from entering the home? I also recommend getting bids from several different builders that you have been referred. Really check out the differences in the ways they answer these questions, and the references they provide.

Flashing done right!

Doing your due diligence can save thousands of dollars in frustration, real structural problems, and even lawsuits. A good contractor will have no problem letting you peer deeply into their past work history, and should be okay with you calling on some past clients, and of course they better be licensed and insured.

If you’re looking for a reliable and well tested contractor in the Grand Traverse, Benzie or Leelanau county area, then give us a try. There is no job to big or small; we make sure each client is satisfied along the road to successful relationships and beautiful homes. Call me at (231) 642-0724

Sincerely, Chris Mason

Our New Website has arrived! Welcome and please let us know what you think. You can leave us a comment at the bottom of this post, we would greatly appreciate it.

Change can be good. It is our hope to use this website as a tool, not just a splashy brochure. Each of our clients are important to us. We would like to continue to educate and share with you information that can help with your home projects and maintenance. Look for a weekly update from us, which will cover all area’s of home construction and upkeep. We will also include a look at current projects that Mason Construction Inc is currently working on. We thank you for your coming to our website and hope that it can be used by you as a rescource in the coming months.

Sincerely, Chris Mason