McNabb, a businessman who made his fortune in auto convention flooring, has found balance in his life with competitive horseback riding, safari trips, and starting a second family late in life with his wife, Mary.
The family lives on the outskirts of Traverse City on 350 wooded acres where Doug and Mary keep a stable of horses, and the family enjoys a private lake. The house is a blend of Africa (trophies of a lion and cape buffalo) and backwoods Michigan (several saddles mounted on sawhorses
and handsome bunk beds constructed with rustic logs).
The first thing a visitor notices is the sweet whoosh of a 20-foot waterfall that flows over black granite subtly placed behind a stairway. And could this be? The water runs into a pond at the base of the stairway. Its stocked with koi that the youngsters
feed at night.
McNabb said he saw a similar waterfall and pond in the lobby of a Chicago hotel and thought it was the perfect answer for the empty space behind his stairway.
Dennis Coburn, the general contractor for the house that was finished in November, said the 20-foot waterfall is too expensive for the vast majority of budgets, but a smaller six-foot waterfall and fish pond could be had for under $10,000. And the electricity to run it would cost only about $1 a day. Even existing homes could accommodate a waterfall and pond by using the existing empty space underneath the stairway.
Coburn, president of Dennis Coburn Construction, said he took a number of waterproofing precautions; putting a liner over the frame, mudding the wall, and waterproofing it again for good measure. The shape and surface of the waterfall is up to the homeownerIts subject to your creativity. You could go with the granite as they did, or use ceramic tile.
Its a pretty neat system, and it gives the home a totally different feel.
Kind of wild, really.