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50 Things to Consider when Designing and Building your Cape Cod Custom Home

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Wed, Jun 14, 2017

Here's a great list of things to consider when you are planning to build your new custom home on Cape Cod. After designing and building nearly 1,500 new home, renovation, and addition projects here on Cape Cod, we decided to put together a list of important considerations for those looking to build. This list will be helpful when selecting a piece of land or property for a new home project or renovation, and provides a list of questions to ask your prospective designer or builder.

 

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  1. Ask for references from your builder and designer, and follow up with them, ask about the overall experience
  2. Ask about your builder’s warranty program and manufacturer’s warranties
  3. Get your designer and builder out to your prospective home site BEFORE you decide to purchase the property
  4. Ask how long it will take to get the design, permitting and engineering done, and expect that timeline to increase for waterfront or other properties near wetlands or sensitive areas
  5. Set a realistic budget BEFORE you purchase land (Click here for REEF’s Construction Cost Guide)
  6. Make A Wants List & A Needs List, it will help set priorities for the design and budget
  7. Ask the builder or designer for a list of vendors they work with, and visit with them
  8. Ask how the interior and exterior finishes are selected
  9. How are changes handled, both before and during construction?
  10. Ask to see change order documents and other forms used during constructionDanCutronaPhotography-¬-2701.jpg
  11.  Ask about fees the designer or builder charges for their work
  12. Examine the cost estimate in detail and ask for clarification of each line item
  13. Mentally visualize your floor plan, or ask for a 3D rendering to better understand your new home
  14. Consider views, natural light, and window options
  15. Understand the property you are buying and review boundaries and set-backs with surveyor and builder
  16. Consider a walkout basement or drive under garage on sloping lots
  17. Start your budget planning with Landscaping, as most people defer landscaping to the end of the project when the budget may be exceeded
  18. Ask to walk the property with the builder prior to clearing and identify and save large trees if possible
  19. Research the property tax rate so you know what the real estate taxes will be for your new home
  20. Expect to pay more than you originally planned, and understand what is included with your contract
  21. Use the highest quality materials available within your budget, it will save money in the long run097-3D rendering.jpg
  22. Ask your builder what is not included or specifically excluded from your contract
  23. Plan for an outdoor living area, furniture, play areas etc.
  24. Use proven, energy efficient systems with a strong performance track record
  25. Examine the options for vaulted or cathedral ceilings to enhance the feel of important rooms
  26. Include a convenient location for laundry areas, preferably near bedrooms
  27. Ask about Universal Design or Aging in Place design for retirement homes
  28. Design a walk-in pantry area
  29. Consider multiple work / prep areas in the kitchen
  30. Choose low maintenance materialsNorthside_Bayview_Cape_front_left_web.jpg
  31. Create a light fixture and bath fixture list by room
  32. Set a budget for closet storage systems and shelving
  33. Include dimmers on light fixtures, both interior and exterior
  34. Do not put covered porches on the north-facing side of homes
  35. Consider additional exterior outlets on walls or roof lines for outdoor lighting
  36. Create a separate space for an office / hobby/ or other flex space, away from the main living areas
  37. Ask about the details, and take the time to read the manufacturers warranties and user guides for your selected products and finishes
  38. Design with tall ceilings wherever possible
  39. Use additional trim, moldings and details to dress up the home exterior
  40. Install spare conduits in a few locations in the home for future wiring, speakers etc.20160129_124030.jpg
  41. Review furniture layouts before your build, and inform your designer and builder of any special furniture pieces you might be considering
  42. Insulate with the highest grade material available, the long term cost savings are huge!
  43. Take time to study floor plans and elevation drawings, changes on paper are inexpensive, after building has started, changes are very expensive
  44. Ask your builder to provide a construction schedule and determine a completion date
  45. Visit local home shows to see new products
  46. Meet with the local building inspector do ask questions about house size, orientation or other restrictions
  47. Consider interior and exterior finishes that are timeless and tasteful, it will enhance the long term value of your new home
  48. Consider efficient use of spaces in the home, every square foot costs money and you want to get maximum use out of each space
  49. A well designed, efficient home may not have to be as big as you think!
  50. Design a house that will serve your needs in the short and long term - it will add value

If you are looking for a designer or builder for your new custom home on Cape Cod, Contact the team at REEF Builders today! 

"You've been coming to the Cape your whole life, Isn't it time you stayed?"

Tags: New Homes Cape Cod, Custom Homes, Design Trends, Designing and building a home on Cape Cod

Building A Waterfront Home Part III - 3D Design

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Thu, Jun 08, 2017

Welcome to Part III of our series on planning, designing and building a waterfront custom home on Cape Cod. Currently, this project is nearing the construction phase, and the final plans have been turned into a 3D rendering to allow our customer the ability to get a very accurate feel for the design both inside and out. An accurate, 3D rendering is a great way to view the house on the site, with accurate topography, finishes and furnishings, and allows the owner to see and feel what it will be like to live in their new home. When designing a waterfront custom home, maximizing the view is always the driving factor. However, important considerations such as interior and exterior finishes, interior layout and overall feel of the home are still incredibly important. Our 3D rendering capabilities are extremely helpful in assessing the overall design and confirming that we have met the owner's design intent.

If you are considering designing and building a home on Cape Cod, contact us today to see what our design and construction team can do for you. Our team of designers and custom builders have a 30 year history of successful projects here on Cape Cod. As we always like to remind our customers, "You've been visiting the Cape your whole life, Isn't it time you stayed?"

 

Tags: Cape Cod Builder|Cape Cod Custom Homes|beach house, Cape Cod Builder, Home Design, waterfront homes, 3D Design

3-D Print your new Cape Cod Home?

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Tue, May 16, 2017

There are several great tools available to designers and homeowners to help envision what a new custom home, renovation, or addition might look like in 3-D. Readily available software like AutoCad, Revit, and Sketchup can all produce high quality renderings, but nothing beats a true architectural model. Recently, we had the opportunity to work with one of our customers and have their design printed to scale on a 3-D Printer. This exercise was extremely helpful to our customer by providing a clear look of how the spaces will feel and look, far better than any computer generated views of the home.

Here are some pictures of the model (printed to 3/16" =1' Scale) in actuality - the physical model is about 12"x12"x8" tall

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3D Printer Custom Home Cape Cod Builder

3D model Custom Home Cape Cod Builder

3D Model Custom Home Cape Cod

Tags: Home Design, Cape Cod Design Build, 3D Design

Brewster Retro Cottage

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Thu, May 11, 2017

Here are pics of our Brewster Retro Cottage that we recently completed. Although the exterior design of this custom home is fairly traditional, the interior really brings you back to the 1950's. REEF worked with this customer to incorporate a retr0-styled interior with authentic reproduction appliances, colorful and unique finishes such as vinyl flooring, which has now become very popular in new homes.  The "wood" flooring you see in the photos is actually a very high quality vinyl plank!  Everything in this house works well to provide the feeling of an old Cape Cod Cottage, with the covered porch on the front, screened porch in the rear, and we even installed simple wooden screen doors that provide the signature "slap" when they close!

 

If you are considering designing, building, or remodeling here on Cape Cod, let the team at REEF Builders design and build your next Custom Home project!

Here are some pics, compliments of our flooring team at Ideal Floor Covering!

 

Tags: Custom Homes, before and after, small homes, cottage, retro

Proposed Lumber Duties Will Harm Housing Affordability!

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Mon, May 01, 2017

Many have you may be following the ongoing lumber trade dispute between the US and Canada over the last few months. Today, the National Association of Home Builders issued a statement denouncing a proposed 20% tariff on all Canadian lumber imports. 95% of the lumber currently used in the United States is imported from Canada, and it is the essential building component used in all levels of residential construction. So regardless whether you are planning an addition, or renovation project, or a custom built home, plan on seeing the overall cost of your project increase this year as this trade dispute continues.

Here on Cape Cod, we have seen lumber prices steadily increasing since late 2016. It is unfortunate, that our government has not taken more aggressive action to curb this sort of situation. Housing, at all levels, from starter homes to elaborate custom homes, is a vital part of both the national and local economies. After watching regulations steadily increase over the last 7 years, it is disappointing to see this lumber dispute add additional unnecessary costs to the construction process. Lumber makes up approximately 7-10% of the overall cost of a new home, so a 20% increase in materials costs will add about $3,600 to an average home, and can easily add $10,000 to $20,000 to the cost of a larger custom home or renovation project.

Here's more info from the NAHB: Proposed Lumber Duties will Harm Housing

Let's hope we can get this resolved quickly!

If you are considering a new custom home, addition, or remodel on your Cape Cod property, Contact Us today!

Cape Custom Builder, Cape Cod Builder, Custom Homes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Construction Costs, lumber

Custom Home Size Restrictions Might be Coming to Truro!

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Thu, Apr 27, 2017

If you are considering building a new custom home in Truro, then you will definitely want to pay attention to the changes being proposed in the town right now. There are two proposals pending to restrict future home sizes in both the Seashore and Residential Districts within the town. These are most likely a reaction to the infamous Kline house which was the subject of several law suits over the last few years.

These new restrictions will definitely impact future design and home construction in the town of Truro if adopted.

 

Click below for more information

Proposed Zoning Restrictions- Truro

Here's a home we finished last year in Truro we'll see if it can be built again?

If you are considering designing and building your new custom hom in Truro or anywhere on Cape Cod, please Contact Us Today!

 

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Tags: Building Permits, truro, regulations

Great Kitchen Ideas for your Cape Cod Home

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Wed, Apr 26, 2017

Been spending a lot of time inside? How’s your kitchen looking? Time for a little updating?  As we approach another Cape Cod Summer, many folks are taking a second look at the heart of their home…the kitchen.

Ready to get inspired?  Here are some great resources for thinking and planning for your 2015 kitchen overhaul. Modern; classic; warm hardware tones – who knew?

These photos and design sites for fresh new kitchen ideas are bound to get your juices flowing, and your kitchen plans going!

Modern Kitchen Ideas 2015 for your Cape Cod Home

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HGTV's Best Kitchens for Cape Cod

 Cape Cod Custom Kitchen by REEF Custom Builders DennisModern Custom Kitchen By REEF Builders TruroCape Cod Custom Kitchen by REEF Builders DennisCape Cod Kitchen Design by REEF Custom Builders Chatham

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Fresh Kitchen Design Trends for 2015

 

Tags: cape cod waterfront homes, renovation cape cod, construction costs on cape cod, coastal building, cape cod custom builder, cape cod custom homes, new home on cape cod, Construction Costs, Real Estate Investment, kitchen design, kitchen, Kitchens

Building a Waterfront Home Part II

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Mon, Apr 17, 2017

Over the last week we have made some good progress on what is probably the most important part of the work involved in building on this waterfront home site. Our design, engineering and environmental team was able to negotiate some sand replenishment and fencing down on the beach to protect the owner's investment in their new custom home. The first step was to demolish the old house at the site (always fun to watch)

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Demolition, Cape Cod Builder, waterfront, Custom

 

The sand replenishment plan has 2 phases, first, the construction of a very robust oak and green heart sand fence, set on large pilings dug several feet into the beach.

Waterfront Custom Home By REEF Builders, Brewster

Beach replenishment, Cape Cod, Cape cod builder

The 2nd phase involves using the excavated clean sand from the future foundation, and placing it behind the fence. As you can see from the photos, this operation involves some detailed coordination and several pieces of heavy equipment on both the home site and the beach below. As the excavator gathers the sand above from the foundation hole, it is cast down to the beach where smaller machines install it behind the fence. The theory here is that the fence will reduce wash out of the sand on the beach during winter storms, providing a stable building platform and high level of protection for the future home. Based on the sensitive nature of this site, permitting and planning for this phase alone has taken well over 6 months. Our team was able to get permission from the town board of selectmen to access the beach from a nearby landing. However, we are only allowed to access the beach for a very short time, so good coordination with the subcontractor team is critical.

Waterfront Custom Home, REEF, Cape Cod, Beach Replenishment

Waterfront Custom Home, Cape Cod Builder, Design, Waterfront, Beach house

The next steps will be to finalize the architectural details and begin home construction.

Tags: beach house, waterfront homes, waterview homes

Cape Cod Custom Homes Before and After

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Fri, Apr 07, 2017

Almost every day we get a call from folks interested in updating their Cape Cod home. Frequently they have owned the home for many years. Sometimes our Customers have purchased an older home with replacement in mind. Every case is different, which makes our job fun.

Whether you seek a seasonal escape big enough to accommodate family and friends, or have dreaming of a comfortable retirement home on Cape Cod, we can turn your tired cottage into a wonderfully inviting place to enjoy life.

We've put together some Before & After examples. These are great to get your creative juices flowing:  Before and After Home Transformation Examples

If you are considering a new custom home, renovation, remodeling project or addition, please contact REEF Builders today!

Here’s an example of a Before and After transformation:

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Cape Cod  Waterfront Custom Home Before and After

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Dunes View after

 

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Dennis Custom Home Before

Dennis Custom Home After

 

Before and After Home Transformation Examples

Tags: cape cod waterfront homes, cape cod home design, Cape Cod Builder|Cape Cod Custom Homes|beach house

Building a Waterfront Home - Part 1

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Wed, Mar 29, 2017

Building A Waterfront Home

REEF is starting another waterfront custom home project next week. We are planning a multi-part series on our blog over the next several months documenting the specific challenges and unique requirement of building on the ocean. This project is a great opportunity to look at the various phases of construction, and how the complex permitting, engineering and environmental management teams come together to create the final product.

We will begin next week with the erosion control, demolition and clearing phases at the site, tearing down the existing structure and preparing the site for the new home. Even more exciting is the fact that this project will also have a substantial beach and sand replenishment component, where we will go in and support the existing bank at the water's edge using a combination of sand and sand retention fencing.

Look for regular updates over the coming week and throughout the summer. Our design team, lead by Jim Hagerty and Sara Hamilton, has been working with our engineering and environmental consultants over the last year to bring this custom home project to this point. The architectural design is nearly complete, so we'll begin construction of the home in the early summer. Here's what we'll be starting with:

 

 If you are interested in building a waterfront home - click here to download our Waterfront Property Guide

 

Tags: cape cod waterfront homes, waterfront homes

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