Welcome to the Cape Cod Builder blog

Welcome to REEF's New Website!

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Mon, Nov 06, 2017

The REEF team is proud to present our new website! We have gone with a more visual format for the site, so we can better show our design and building capabilities, and we still offer our great informational guides and blog. Let us know what you think!

Click here to check it out! www.capecodbuilder.com

reef-logo
IMG_3738-1620x1080

Tags: cape cod waterfront homes, Custom Homes, Cape Cod Builder, custom builder, REEF builders

Hurricane Safe Rooms

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Fri, Sep 08, 2017

Over the last 10 years, we have seen the intensity and frequency of major weather events increase. In response to these increased risks, we have seen building codes change, specifically with regard to structural design and wind resistance. However, given the increasing intensity of weather events, you may want to consider designing a Hurricane Safe Room as part of your custom home or renovation project.

IMG_20170417_103106.jpg

Hurricane safe rooms are designed as hardened structures or rooms that meet FEMA design guidelines and provide life safety protection in extreme wind events such as a hurricane or tornado.

IMG_8028.jpg

 

These rooms are generally small, and constructed of concrete, or concrete block and reinforced to resist the highest levels of wind and structural loading that one may expect in a major weather event. Often times, these rooms are located in a basement area, except in documented flood zones.

Here's a link to some Frequently Asked Questions about Hurricane Rooms from Fema's Website with some great information.

FEMA also provides a basic design guideline that shows how a basic room might be constructed

Hurricane Safe Room Design

 

If you are considering a new custom home or renovation  project on Cape Cod, let the team at REEF Builders design and build your Cape Cod Home. 

If you want to know what your Cape Cod home project  might cost click here to download our Construction Cost Guide

 

 

 

Tags: Custom Homes, Hurricane, hurricane safe room

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.

 

IMG_9267.jpg

 

  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

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

Lumber Prices on the Rise

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Tue, Feb 28, 2017

If you are considering designing and building a custom home over the next year, you should take some time to understand some of the major cost components and how they can impact the overall cost of construction. Over the last few years, most construction cost increases have been driven by substantial regulatory change, and an overall shortage of labor vs. demand. Lumber, which accounts for 10-20% of the overall cost of a custom home has remained fairly steady over the last year or two. We did just get news from our team at Shepley Wood Products that lumber prices are expected to increase over the next year, namely due to lumber agreements between the US and Canada. Here's an explaination:

Softwood Lumber Agreement Information

With the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) between the US and Canada coming to a close and the possibility of a duty being imposed on Canadian lumber imports , we as consumers can expect to see price increases on both Canadian and domestic timber over the next few months. Speculators typically try to create panic in the market place about sharp price escalation to drive impulse purchasing and some mills have already imposed price increases out of knee jerk reaction. However, historically, sharp rises like this have been short lived and adjust quickly as the United States and Canada find compromise in the name of doing business.

 

We recognize how disruptive economic change like the end of the SLA can be to business, so in an effort to reduce its impact, Shepley Wood Products is making the following commitments.

  • We will buy right and leverage our average inventory value to ensure our prices are always better than market. Well planned purchasing allows us to take the edge off of sharp market changes.
  • We will buy enough inventory to keep your projects well supplied
  • We will not over buy inventory, allowing us to more quickly lower prices as the market corrects
  • We will not drop our price hold commitment below 30 Days
  • We will always be forthcoming about market conditions and make sure you have the most recent and accurate information.

Click Here for More Information

 

Bottom Line: IF you are considering designing and building your custom home or retirement home, or even a major renovation project here on Cape Cod expect to pay more over the next year as lumber prices increase in reaction to this news about the Softwood Lumber Agreement.

We are expecting prices to change 3-5% over the next few months, and we are already seeing prices move 1% or so this month.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at [email protected]

Once we get more information, we'll issue a new Construction Cost Guide for spring of 2017

170125.jpg

 

 

Tags: Construction Costs, Custom Homes, lumber

What we did on our Summer Vacation

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Wed, Aug 24, 2016

Here's a few fun links of various project that we have been working on this summer.  We have several jobs finishing up, and are starting our next round of custom home projects for the 2016-2017 building season!  Our design team has also been very busy with new custom home  projects as we approach the fall.  

Click below to see what we've been up to!

 

REEF's Summer Vacation

 

 

If you are considering designing and building your Cape Cod Custom Home - REEF has the experience and team to make your dreams a reality! 

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

 

 

Tags: Custom Homes, Summer

Custom Waterfront Home in Brewster

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Tue, Jul 12, 2016

Our team did a great job finishing this new Custom Home on the water in Brewster.  We were able to move the customers in early so they could enjoy the 4th of July weekend in their new home.  It takes a great team of people to consistently execute our projects with a high level quality and craftsmanship.  It takes and exceptional team to bring those projects in on time (or a little ahead of schedule in this case!) and on budget!  Thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make this happen!!

20160708_202913.jpg20160708_203040.jpg20160708_201647.jpg

Tags: cape cod style, Custom Homes, waterfront homes

Finishing up - Chatham Waterfront Home

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Thu, Jun 30, 2016

It is great when a plan comes together! This time of year is very exciting for our team here at REEF.  We get to see all of our hard work and effort come together in the beautiful homes that we get the privilege of building here on Cape Cod!  Here are some pictures of a new custom home we are finishing up in Chatham. This is a waterfront home, with very tight restrictions due to our proximity to the water.  Our team of designers, engineers, and contractors really came together to produce fun, open, and tastefully designed  home that meets the owner's spacial needs while still taking advantage of the sweeping views.  Enjoy!

IMG_5949.jpg

IMG_5930.jpg

20160520_142654.jpg

IMG_5952.jpg

IMG_5925.jpg

 

IMG_5923.jpg

IMG_5920.jpg

Tags: Custom Homes, waterfront homes, chatham

What's new at REEF?

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Wed, May 25, 2016

 REEF Builders offers complete design build services for custom homes throughout Cape Cod.  More importantly, REEF has an incredibly talented design team consisting of Jim Hagerty, who is also a principal and vice president,  Sara Hamiliton, assistant designer, and Cameron Savela, our draftsman.  Most of the time, they are working through important details and issues related to zoning, building code and other regulatory issues as they pursue permits for our projects, but occassionally, they do get a chance to show off their talents.

Contemporary_Custom_Waterfront__2.jpg

Here's a little project our team of expert designers is working on right now. This is a custom contemporary home designed to complement the dunes of the outer cape and capture the stunning sunsets across Cape Cod Bay!

Contemporary_Custom_Waterfront__1.jpg

We employ advanced software in all of our design development to allow our customers to better understand how their vision will fit into the landscape, which you can see in this video

If you are considering designing and building your custom home on Cape Cod, come see what our team can do for you!

Tags: Custom Homes, custom home design, waterfront homes

The Classic "Cape"

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Wed, Apr 06, 2016

The Cape Cod home's iconic and timeless design grew out of necessity, efficiency, and the harsh New England winters that greeted colonists as they arrived from Europe. The typical balanced front facade, centered on a large fireplace that provided necessary heat for cooking and warmth have been commonplace  features for centuries in our area.  Take a ride down Rout 6A and you will see several examples, many of which were built in the late 1600's and early 1700's.

Even today, as we design and build custom homes for our customers on Cape Cod, we still use the same proportions, and design details in many of our new homes, especially in the Old King's Highway Historic District. Many home designs you see all over the country are simple modifications of the classic Cape Cod design, with different dormers, window sizes or even slightly enhanced roof lines and trim.   If you are interested int he actuall history and evolution of this design - Below is an article from Yankee Magazine  with more information.

  The Cape Cod HouseDennis_Bayview_Cape_front_tight.jpg

 

Tags: cape cod homes, Custom Homes

Latest Posts