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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

Tesla batteries power your Cape Cod home

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Tue, May 05, 2015

What good is solar power when the lines are down in a storm? No sun, no power. Right? But wait --> Tesla has announced a new residential battery pack that can store up to 8 hours of power for your home. The Tesla “Powerwall” is charged by your solar panels and/or windmill. If the power goes out, the Powerwall kicks in and provides electricity to the house. Very cool, even if you have a generator.

The battery has been developed for automobiles, and Tesla feels there is demand for emergency power in homes. Read all about it. And check out Tesla’s new $1Billion manufacturing facility in Nevada:

Tesla batteries power your Cape Cod home

solar panels on roof resized 600

Tesla batteries power your Cape Cod home

solar powered home diagram resized 600

Tags: Cape Cod Builder|Cape Cod Custom Homes|beach house, Cape Cod Real Estate, New Homes Cape Cod, jaxtimer, norris, encore, cape associates, minglewood

Heating your Cape Cod Home

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Wed, Jan 14, 2015

Wow. It’s cold! How’s your heating system? We all depend on one, and generally they are very reliable. But how does it really work? And what are the best steps to ensure that it keeps working?

It’s great to come home to a nice warm house. But how about those energy bills? How do you keep rising heating costs under control? What will deliver the most benefit for the least investment? Is that attic insulating project really important? How about the old windows?

What’s the difference between a boiler and a furnace? How do I prevent warm air from leaking out, and cold wind from blowing in? Here’s a short, easy-to-understand explanation of the basics of heating and cooling your Cape Cod home:

Home Heating Guide for Cape Cod Homes

Cape Cod Home heat signature

Home Heating Guide for Cape Cod Homes

Cape Cod Home Heating Technichian

 

 

Tags: Cape Cod Builder|Cape Cod Custom Homes|beach house, Cape Cod Real Estate, New Homes Cape Cod, jaxtimer, norris, encore, cape associates, minglewood, CapeCod home builder, home remodeler

The U.S. Housing Market and Cape Cod

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Fri, Jan 09, 2015

The housing market on Cape Cod has certainly been interesting to watch over the past decade…and even more exciting to work in every day! As the primary investment for most families, housing deserves a lot of attention. Especially after the housing bust of 2008-2009.

The recession has left many people wondering whether to invest in real estate again. Constantly we field questions about the market, home values, and future expectations. Our Realtor friends are put on the spot by both Buyers and Sellers: Should I sell now? Is this a good time to buy? Although none of us has a crystal ball, we are the go-to professionals for people who are not involved with the housing market every day.

Understanding recent history and knowing where we are now compared to 5 and 10 years ago is very helpful. There is lots of information to analyze, and little time to do it. The Wall Street Journal does a great job of presenting lots of information in an easy to read, graphical format. Have a look at the real numbers for housing since 2005, and you’ll gain some good insight into where we are headed:

The U.S. Housing Market in 10 Charts

WSJ US Housing Tracker resized 600

The U.S. Housing Market in 10 Charts

Tags: Cape Cod Builder|Cape Cod Custom Homes|beach house, Cape Cod Real Estate, New Homes Cape Cod, jaxtimer, norris, encore, cape associates, minglewood, CapeCod home builder, home remodeler

Most Popular Houzz.com Article in 2014 for Cape Cod readers

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Wed, Jan 07, 2015

Thousands of articles on countless home building and decorating ideas. Fixtures, finishes, gardens, galleries, fabrics and…everything else!

There is so much information. Nobody has time to read it all. The most popular articles obviously are more relevant to more people. So they’re a good bet for investing a few minutes to read.

So which article was the most popular? Here it is: the most popular Houzz.com article of 2014. It’s bound to have relevance for you!

Most Popular Houzz.com Article for 2014

While you're there, Check out REEF Builders and see why we earned Best of Houzz.com 2014:

REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder - Best of Houzz.com

Cape Cod view

Most Popular Houzz.com Article for 2014

Tags: Cape Cod Builder|Cape Cod Custom Homes|beach house, Cape Cod Real Estate, New Homes Cape Cod, jaxtimer, norris, encore, cape associates, minglewood

New Year's Celebrations on Cape Cod!

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Wed, Dec 31, 2014

Welcome 2015! The old year must end, regardless of how great it was. And First Night is here! Chatham and Sandwich have notable First Night celebrations, complete with parades, fireworks, and concerts.

There are myriad ways to ring in the New Year on Cape Cod. Visiting your favorite beach at midnight to toast the New Year is a favorite. How about a Polar Bear Plunge??

Here’s some ideas and links to New Year’s info to get you going.

The Team at REEF Cape Cod’s Home Builder wishes all a healthy and happy 2015!

First Night Chatham Cape Cod

Chatham Fireworks at Veterans Field resized 600

First Night Sandwich on Cape Cod

First Night Chatham fish resized 600

Cape Symphony New Year's Day Bash

Cape Cod Polar Plunge New Year's Day

Cape Cod New Year's Beach

Tags: Cape Cod Builder|Cape Cod Custom Homes|beach house, Cape Cod Real Estate, New Homes Cape Cod, New Year's Eve

Eastham - Market Update

Posted by Matthew Teague on Tue, Sep 04, 2012

 We get a monthly news letter from Bob Sheldon, a realtor in Eastham.  Looks like more good news for the Eastham Real Estate Market.  Sales have increased 39% since last year, and activity for land, homes and condominiums is strong.  If you have been waiting for the market stabilize, and are thinking about buying, building or renovating your home in Eastham.  Now is a great time to make your move!

Here is Bob's news letter: Bob Sheldon - September Update

Tags: Cape Cod Real Estate, New Homes Cape Cod, Eastham

New Home Designs

Posted by Matthew Teague on Tue, Jul 10, 2012

    REEF, Cape Cod's Home Builder is a design and construction firm, and as such, we are constantly looking at the design trends nationwide for new and fresh ideas.  Whether remodeling, or building new, a smart design that meets  your aesthetic,  lifestyle, and budget needs is always the ultimate goal. Here are some new designs that national production builders are using to spark new home sales.  Although some of these designs may not fit in your ideal Cape Cod neighborhood, many of the concepts and floor plans could be used in your next project.  Take a look !

http://www.housingzone.com/design/5-design-concepts-spark-new-home-sales

Cape Cod home by REEF

Tags: New Homes Cape Cod, House Design, design

Eleven Reasons You Can't Sell Your House

Posted by Matthew Teague on Fri, Jun 01, 2012

   Many of our customers have waited a lifetime to build their custom home on Cape Cod.  Given the slow real estate market over the last several years, many customers have postponed building or renovating their Cape Cod home, because they are waiting to sell their existing home off Cape.  Well, all signs are pointing to an improving real estate market, and prices are beginning to stabilize and even increase.  We found an interesting article that offers some advice to people interested in selling their existing home. In an emerging market, some of these tips might be helpful, and can mean the difference between a full price offer with a quick closing, and a low-ball offer with months of haggling over issues that could have been corrected early in the process.

Here is the article from Yahoo Finance: 11 Reason People Can't Sell Their Home

Tags: cape cod custom builder, New Homes Cape Cod, cape cod homes, home improvements

Good News for Existing Home Sales

Posted by Matthew Teague on Wed, May 23, 2012

     The National Association of Realtors announced that existing home sale prices were up 10% in April compared to last year.  This is the largest year over year gain since 2006.  A sure sign that things are really beginning to move in a positive direction. Building a custom home is always a challenging decision, and with many of our customers waiting to sell their primary residence to build their New Home on Cape Cod, this is great news.  REEF has seen demand for custom building increase steadily this year, and we are gearing up for a busy 2012-2013 season. 

 

Here is the complete article from housingzone.com: http://www.housingzone.com/industry-data-research/existing-home-sales-biggest-gain-prices-2006

 

If you are thinking of building your new home on Cape Cod, now is a great time to start the process.  Click below to contact one of our experts with your questions!

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Tags: cape cod custom builder, New Homes Cape Cod, cape cod

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