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Planting Flowers that attract Bees on Cape Cod

 

Ready for some spring planting? You betcha! After such a long, cold winter, there’s a lot of “pent up demand” for some outside time. And there’s no better way to appreciate the outdoors than working in the garden. Sprucing up the yard is wonderfully and instantly gratifying. And planting flowers delivers all sorts of tangible and intangible rewards.

If planting flowers is on your list, why not consider flowers beneficial to birds, bees, and butterflies? Did you know that the Monarch Butterfly, which is increasingly rare, requires milkweeds to survive? And of course bees are the key to pollination, plant diversity, and healthy gardens. Here’s a list of beautiful flowers that will help keep your garden healthy and happy:

Flowers that attract Bees on Cape Cod

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Flowers that attract Bees on Cape Cod

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Granite, Marble or Quartz for your Cape Cod Kitchen?

 

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the kitchen counter is…really important! Lots of effort and energy is invested in every custom kitchen we design and build. One of the real challenges for our Customers is the myriad choices of fixtures, finishes, colors, and textures.

Of course our design team is great at moving folks from overwhelmed to over-the-top happy. One of the biggest decision points is countertop material. Kitchen islands are very popular, and they become the central gathering place of the home, with all the traffic and commotion that goes with it.

So a durable, handsome countertop material is crucial to the longevity of a working kitchen. So what’s the best material?

Quartz? Granite? Marble? Corian? Wood? Lots of choices, lots of questions. Here are some great resources to help you sort it all out. And don’t forget about the best resource: the design team at REEF Cape Cod’s Home Builder!

4 Things you didn't know about Quartz vs Granite

Granite Sealing

Granite vs Marble vs Quartz-The Countertops Battle Royale

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Update on Natural Gas Moratorium on Cape Cod

 

Natural gas is an increasingly popular fuel for heating and cooking. Most of the custom homes we design, permit, and build here on Cape Cod are serviced with natural gas. Until now.

National Grid, the gas utility on Cape Cod, announced in November 2014 that no new gas hookups would be allowed in outer-Cape towns for 5 to 7 years. Wow! Nobody saw this coming, and it caused some not-so-little-issues for many homeowners.

So what’s the status? What if I want to add a gas grill? Or a generator? What if my every house in my neighborhood has natural gas? Why can’t I have gas?

REEF Cape Cod’s Home Builder has developed some simple solutions to dealing with the gas situation. Call us for more information.

For a status report on the current situation, National Grid appeared at an information session a few weeks ago. Here are their answers to questions posed by homeowners and builders:

National Grid responses to Natural Gas Moratorium questions

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National Grid responses to Natural Gas Moratorium questions

Natural Gas

 

 

 

What is the jurisdiction of Conservation Commissions on Cape Cod?

 

What is a Coastal Resource Area? What defines a wetland? Why are wetlands important? What does the Conservation Commission do? What is their jurisdiction?

Many, if not most, of the custom homes we design, permit, and build are located near a wetland, or in a flood zone. Enjoying views of a marsh, bay, or ocean from the comfort of your own home is for some a primary reason for living on Cape Cod.

But how do you build a house near a marsh without endangering environmentally sensitive areas? Local Conservation Commissions play an important and powerful role ensuring that vital wetlands are protected for future generations.

Here’s a handy guide explaining the Wetland Protection Act and how Conservation Commissions help protect valuable resource areas:

 Guide to the Wetlands Protection Act

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  Guide to the Wetlands Protection Act

Easter Egg Fun on Cape Cod

 

Easter was always a special time for us growing up on Cape Cod. Days getting warmer…you could almost smell summer right around the corner. Easter egg hunts – both inside and outside – were the highlight!

There are a bunch of Easter celebrations on the Cape. There’s even a special Sunrise Service at Chatham Light.

Special traditions, like coloring eggs with Mom, offer great memories and wonderful opportunities for family fun. Here’s some creative and easy ways to color eggs, and a list of Easter celebrations on Cape Cod:

7 special ways to Celebrate Easter on Cape Cod

Easter Egg Hunt

How to make really cool Easter Eggs!

Easter Eggs

 

Homemade Easter Egg dyes

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7 special ways to Celebrate Easter on Cape Cod

80 Brilliant Bathroom Ideas for your Cape Cod Home

 

Are you counting down the days until you can safely turn on your outdoor shower? Me too! This time next week we should be out of freezing danger, and back to starting our days outside!

If you’re looking forward to adding some new energy to your old bathroom, there are myriad ways to create a fun, light and efficient space. I started going through these ideas…and had to stop! Over 80 different designer layouts and very creative ways to creat a wonderful must-have--> your bathroom!

Vintage charm; Mod; Dramatic tile; Rustic country; Wide stripes; Shower with a view (VERY cool)…

80 Beautiful Bathroom Ideas for your Cape Cod Home

Brilliant bathroom

80 Beautiful Bathroom Ideas for your Cape Cod Home

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Higher Interest Rates may be here soon for Cape Cod Homes

 

Real estate on Cape Cod and throughout the United States benefits from low interest rates. Many Buyers have been able to secure their first home, vacation home near the beach, or retirement home here on sunny Cape Cod with the help of historically low interest rates.

There is change in the wind:

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday moved to the verge of raising interest rates for the first time since the economy fell into recession more than seven years ago.

The Fed says any move is not imminent, but it’s wise to stay abreast of any pending changes. Here’s the New York Times article about the Fed meeting on Wednesday:

NY Times reports that Fed may increase interest rates soon

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NY Times reports that Fed may increase interest rates soon

How to prevent Frost Heaves at your Cape Cod Home

 

Pot Holes galore! This record-breaking snowfall and never-ending winter has wreaked havoc on our Cape Cod roads, sidewalks, and shallow footings. This might be "shut the barn door after the horse gets out" kind of information, but how do frost heaves work? And how can I protect my home from frost heave damage?

Frost heaves are thought to function due to the formation of an ice lens. Though the surface of the earth reflects the current temperature outside, the temperature of the soil rises the lower it gets underground. When the surface ground freezes, a frost line forms where the temperature in the earth departs from freezing temperatures. At the frost line, groundwater freezes, forming a thin sheet of ice called an ice lens. As water turns to ice, it expands. The expansion of the ice lens causes the surface soil to bulge upward, resulting in a frost heave.

Here is more information to better understand how frost heaves work, and how you can prevent them in the future:

How to prevent Frost Heaves at your Cape Cod Home

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How to prevent Frost Heaves at your Cape Cod Home

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How to prevent Frost Heaves at your Cape Cod Home

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Build a Raised-Bed Garden for your Cape Cod Home

 

The melt is happening! Yes! I saw some of my front lawn today!!

Boston may have ended the season just 2 inches shy of the all-time snowfall record, but I bet Cape Cod went well over the top. Just last week we got a foot of snow…AGH!

If this endless winter has you pining for warm weather, here’s some ideas to get your mind to thaw. Raised-bed gardens are a great way to enjoy fresh veggies and flowers without tearing up your whole lawn. They are easy to assemble, prepare, and plant, and it’s wonderful to get your hands into that warm summer earth.

Here are a few ideas for raised-bed gardens for your Cape Cod home. Let the thaw begin!

How to build a Raised Bed Garden for your Cape Cod Home

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How to build a Raised Bed Garden for your Cape Cod Home

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Do Wind Turbines work for your Cape Cod Home?

 

Energy costs are increasing, in some cases dramatically. Many of our Customers seek to include as many “green” components as possible in their new home design, including energy generation systems.

Solar power cells and electricity generating systems have come a long way in the past ten years. Frequently we incorporate these systems into our designs for custom homes. Solar systems have become stable, reliable, and truly cost effective.

So what about wind power? There’s been plenty of wind turbine development and installation happening. Hundreds of acres of industrial wind farms have been created. How about residential wind turbines? Can I put a wind turbine on my new home?

It’s not as simple as the wind-powered whirligig you may have watched in your Grandparents’ yard. Wind turbines need wind. Not just any wind, but the nicely flowing, smooth, laminar kind. That kind of wind cannot be found at 30 feet height. It can usually not be found at 60 feet. Sometimes you find it at 80 feet. More often than not it takes 100 feet of tower to get there…

Here’s some great information on the pros and cons of residential wind turbines:

Wind Turbines for your Cape Cod Home

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Wind Turbines for your Cape Cod Home

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