We had the opportunity to talk with Mike Yakovich of Better Built Inc, a Palm Springs based construction company that specializes in renovations, additions, and home building in the Coachella Valley. Mike and his team are responsible for building the exceptional Desert House No. 1, designed by architect Lance O’Donnell, that made big waves during last month’s Modernism Week.
The team here at 360modern had the privilege of touring this exceptional home, and we were beyond impressed with the high-quality craftsmanship, innovation, and attention to detail that went into the process of creating this modern masterpiece. Desert House No. 1, now for sale, is one of the first homes that has been completed in Desert Palisades, a new residential community in the Chino Canyon area of Palm Springs with some of the last great views available in the Coachella Valley.
Thank you for taking time to speak with us, Mike. Briefly describe how you got into building homes in the Coachella Valley region.
I was raised in Palm Springs, California in the Coachella Valley and grew up living inside many mid-century modern homes; and so my perspective of living life in modern architecture comes very natural to me. I grew up in this business with a unique combination of both building and design. My father was a building contractor, my mother was a salon owner and my grandmother owned the first high-fashion women’s apparel store in Palm Springs. I also had the good fortune of working with many great architects, designers and contractors early in my career. This helped to hone my craft.
Tell a little bit about your project that is currently on the market, Desert House No. 1
From the beginning of this project, it was the vision of BBI to collaborate with and bring in the top global vendors and providers of design, architecture, engineering, building materials and artists. We are pleased that our vision and collaboration did come to fruition in the final production of this house, surpassing all expectations. Overall, this 4 bedroom and 4 1/2 bath home is truly remarkable.
“Desert House No. 1″ launched the latest product lines in design, technology and energy-efficiency of the industry’s top global companies. We brought in a local architect, who understands desert living to feature an indoor-outdoor lifestyle. Our kitchen and bath team incorporated Miele’s newest appliances and 48” gas range. The bathrooms feature natural stone and Cambria used a beautiful and amazing format, while Brizo launched their newest line of bath fixtures and we incorporated new Steamist in the master shower. One-of-a-kind Terrazzo floors are featured throughout and were installed by Over The Top Terrazzo; Alvaro is the best in the business. This house features multi-slide glass walls by Western Windows and Doors to capture the 360° views. We installed walnut doors and door jambs with Emtek’s latest door hardware. Pentair used their latest water features, lights, and energy-efficient equipment on the swimming pool and spa. Just take a look at those nighttime photos…
Carlos Antonio Interior Designer, Kay Rogers of IKON LTD., and Veronica Fernandez of Top Shelv all did an amazing job with the interior and exterior furnishings and art work. The house takes advantage of passive cooling and heating. Helio Power installed new transparent solar panels on the house and Mitsubishi debuted their multi-position fan coils paired to high efficient hyper heat Variable Refrigerant Flow condensers.
Are there any specific building and design solutions you’ve had to utilize that are specific to the Palm Springs landscape when dealing with the site conditions of the desert terrain?
The exciting part of Palisades One is the environment in which the house sits. The idea behind this house is a minimal footprint on the property and in renaturalizing, the desert gets brought back to the house after construction. You are truly living in your environment here. It’s unlike any other community.
Another unique thing about The Palisades is that we had a lot of boulders and rocks to work with and incorporate into the project. This house allows you to dwell inside of your natural environment. This house has a 300° view of the valley, and a backdrop 60° view of the surrounding mountains.
What services does your company provide?
Better Built Inc (“BBI”) is a design build company. We have a 3,500 square foot design center with the finest in kitchen, bath and other building materials, located in the Uptown Design District of Palm Springs, California. We specialize in high end modern design and construction.
What are the benefits of working with a Build Design Firm?
At BBI, we collaborate with all the different creative forces, engineers and consultants of architecture and design. Ranging from residential architecture, residential kitchen and bath designers, interior designers, lighting consultants, colorists, landscape designers and so forth. We believe that the finer details of the house should be a thoughtful step at the beginning of the project; rather than an afterthought. It’s our job to understand the client’s lifestyle at the onset and custom create a dwelling to enhance the way they live. One example is that during the design and planning phase, we took into consideration the fact that sensitive art and furnishings would require placement in specific areas which avoid the impact of the desert’s continual sunshine and UV rays, and we incorporated this into the layout of the house.