Welcome to the Cape Cod Builder blog

Yarmouth, Harwich and Orleans Adopt Stretch Energy Code for 2019

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Wed, Jan 09, 2019

More towns on Cape Cod voted to become Green Communities in 2018, which means they have also approved adoption of the enhanced energy code know as the Stretch Energy Code. As of January 1, 2019, Yarmouth, Harwich, and Orleans will now be enforcing the Stretch Energy Code, which applies primarily to new residential construction in those towns.

what is the Stretch Energy Code? Basically it is an enhanced energy code that requires the highest level of energy code compliance for new residential construction and some major renovations. You can find more information here: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/building-energy-codes

Which towns have elected to participate in the Stretch Code Program?

On Cape Cod:  Wellfleet, Truro, Mashpee, Provincetown, Orleans, and Harwich, Yarmouth




How does it impact your project? That's easy, this program means that building a new home or undergoing a major renovation in these towns will cost you more money. Extensive building monitoring and testing is required, advanced insulation techniques must be used, and the total energy consumption of the home must be approved prior to issuing the building permit. This program also generally requires the highest efficiency heating and cooling equipment, can often limit the size and type of appliances to be used, and it may require green energy production such as solar or wind energy to offset the energy consumption in the home.




If you are considering building your new home on Cape Cod, please Contact Us today to see how we can help!




Tags: energy code

PV Solar Required on New Homes in California

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Fri, Dec 07, 2018

We see this as the new standard for home construction and will be coming to Massachusetts soon.  The requirement for solar ready roof areas on new homes has already been debated at length in Massachusetts and now that California has mandated solar installations, we are certain the rest of the country will quickly follow with similar regulations
To find out more about the regulation recently passed in California click here:

California Requires Solar Panels on New Homes

We here at REEF have had solar panels on our office since 2009 and we have been able to realize substantial savings on energy consumption year over year.


If you are considering designing and building your new custom home on Cape Cod, you can download our construction cost guide here: 2018 Construction Cost Guide

Tags: Green building

Brewster Adopts Accessory Dwelling Unit Bylaw

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Thu, Dec 06, 2018

This past Monday, Brewster residents approved a new Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) bylaw in an effort to meet the current housing needs in the town. An accessory unit is a great way to tackle the long standing housing shortage here on Cape Cod. The bylaw does have specific restrictions, such as size limitations, year round rental mandate, and requirements that the owner of the property occupy one of the units. Many towns here on Cape Cod currently have accessory dwelling unit bylaws, but they are generally limited to direct family members, or they are income restricted.

This new bylaw may be a great opportunity for homeowners to make a significant investment in their current Cape Cod home, and obtain strong returns on that investment while creating housing for a younger generation who want to live and work on Cape Cod, but have had a hard time finding a place to live. The ADU concept has been strongly supported by the Cape Cod Commission and also the Smarter Cape Partnership as a viable method to address the 20,000 unit housing shortage needed in Barnstable County

If you are interested in creating an accessory dwelling unit on your property, here's some information that might be helpful:

Brewster Adopts Accessory Dwelling unit Bylaw


4 foster carriage house


If you are considering a project for your Cape Cod Home, click here to download our Construction Cost Guide


4 foster carriage house-side






Buying Land on Cape Cod

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Fri, Nov 30, 2018

We are constantly receiving inquiries about land on Cape Cod, where to buy, what's buildable, etc.  Over the last few years, we have been pleasantly surprised to see how many great lots are available for building here on Cape Cod.  Each piece of property on Cape Cod is unique and often times will come with several layers of regulatory requirements that can increase construction costs, limit design, or extend a design and permitting timeline for several months.  So how do you know what you can build before you buy?    In response to this question we've just published an informative guide that will help many people better understand the opportunities and risks associated with buying land on beautiful Cape Cod.

Click Here to Download our Guide to Buying Land On Cape Cod

097-161006-COIR Photo_01.jpg

Once you have found your lot, you should know what the cost per square foot might be for your new Cape Cod Custom Home - click here to download our Construction Cost Guide

Cape Cod Custom Home

If you are considering building a custom timber-framed home - click here to find out more about building with the Timberpeg system

 Chatham, Custom Builder, Custom Home, Chatham Builder

 If you are considering an investment in a waterfront home or property in close proximity to a beach, or wetland, then you will definitely appreciate the information available in our Waterfront Property Guide

Click to download our Waterfront Property Guide

Putnam Ave land           



097-161006-COIR Photo_03.jpg

It's a great time to buy. Let REEF help you build your Cape Cod home.

Tags: cape cod, building a home, buying land, Cape Cod Builder|Cape Cod Custom Homes|beach house, waterfront, waterfront custom home

REEF to sponsor this year's Chatham Turkey Trot

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Mon, Nov 19, 2018

REEF is proud to sponsor this year's Chatham Turkey Trot!

This 5K run / walk is held annually in Chatham on Thanksgiving morning and follows a quaint and scenic route through Downtown Chatham and the surrounding waterfront areas. This exceptional event has grown dramatically since it's start in 2005, and donates the proceeds and food items to the Lower Cape Outreach Council. Over the last 5 years, the Chatham Turkey Trot has raised $150,000 and thousands of pounds of food items for those in need here on Cape Cod.

Please join us this Thursday, November 22nd at 8:00am in downtown Chatham and bring a non-perishable food item to support this great cause!


Chatham Turkey Trot


 If you are considering building a new Custom Home here on Cape Cod, or if you are planning a major renovation, please download our Construction Cost Guide Here!

Dreaming of a waterfront home here on Cape Cod? Click here to download our Waterfront Property Guide

REEF Builders Featured by www.insideclimatenews.org

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Fri, Oct 26, 2018

REEF Builders' Barnstable Harbor Project was recently featured by Inside Climate News in their series Finding Middle Ground which focuses on how Americans across the country a dealing with climate change impacts in their area. As builders, we are constantly looking for ways to better adapt to the sensitive environment here on Cape Cod. We are firm believers in a common sense approach to regulatory requirements and despite concerns voiced by some, we know that building, better, safer, more environmentally conscious homes makes sense here on Cape Cod. If you are considering building or remodeling a new home here on Cape Cod, please contact us today to see what REEF can do for you.

Here's a Link to the Article: They Know Seas Are Rising, but They’re Not Abandoning Their Beloved Cape Cod

We would like to thank Meera Subramanian for choosing to work with us on this project - you can find more about Meera's work here: http://meerasub.org/

We would also like to thank Robert Scott Button for his exceptional photography on this project. You can see more of Robert's work here: @robertscottbutton








Tags: FEMA flood zones

Tired of the Stock Market? - try Investing in Real Estate on Cape Cod

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Thu, Oct 25, 2018

  Investing in the stock market can be risky!  Especially when you consider what is going on globally. If you are waking up today and seeing the impacts of an overvalued stock  market, you might want to find another way to diversify your portfolio. A great investment to consider is Real Estate, especially on Cape Cod.  Market demand is high, for both existing homes and new construction, and with the Baby Boomers swiftly moving into retirement, we are seeing a steady stream of home buyers in the Cape Cod area.  We have also seen high demand for waterfront and water view custom homes in almost every town on Cape Cod.

When compared to the stock market, Real Estate provides a much more consistent and predictable return on investment.  If you are considering investing in Real Estate, or Building, Renovating, or Buying a home on Cape Cod, give us a call to find out how REEF can help!



Tags: Real Estate Investment

Follow the Build Part 4

Posted by Matthew Teague on Mon, Oct 15, 2018

Tune in for Part 4 of our Follow the build series as we discuss building our Barnstable Harbor Project in a FEMA flood zone

CWNF_FTB_101518_millway from Cape Wide News LLC on Vimeo.

Building in a Flood Zone on Cape Cod

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Thu, Oct 11, 2018

Every week we get phone calls about building a new home or renovating existing homes here on Cape Cod. More often than not, we discover that many of these project sites are located within documented FEMA Flood zones. Why is this important?

Any construction within a FEMA A, AE, AO or V flood zones require special design and construction considerations that can either limit or dramatically change a homeowners' concept what their new home or renovated home may look like.

If you want to know if your home is in a FEMA Flood Zone - Click Here to enter your address and find out!

Here's a great diagram from FEMA:


FEMA Flood Zone Diagram

Any properties located within these zones (with the exception of the "X" zone) must be designed and built to flood resistant construction standards which generally means that any new home or addition in these areas must be raised up above the flood plain, and foundation areas must be designed to allow flood waters to pass through the foundation without damage.

Renovations and additions are especially tricky as the size (monetary value) of the project may require the entire existing structure to be raised up above the flood plain before the renovation or addition work can begin. The requirement to raise the home up is determined by the "Substantial Improvement" regulation defined below:

Any reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement of a structure, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the "start of construction" of the improvement. This term includes structures which have incurred "substantial damage," regardless of the actual repair work performed. The term does not, however, include either:

  1. Any project for improvement of a structure to correct existing violations of state or local health, sanitary, or safety code specifications which have been identified by the local code enforcement official and which are the minimum necessary to assure safe living conditions or
  2. Any alterations of a "historic structure," provided that the alteration will not preclude the structure's continued designation as a "historic structure."

Floodplain management requirements for new construction apply to substantial improvements. Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage does not apply to substantial improvements unless a structure is substantially damaged due to flooding.

Here's a good example of a home after a substantial improvement in a flood zone:


FEMA Substatial Improvement


If you are considering building a new home or considering a major renovation or addition to your Cape Cod home, and you think that you may be in a FEMA flood zone, please contact us today to see how we can help!
There are many ways to design and build your new Cape Cod Home and still have it look great!  - here's an example!
FEMA Flood Zone Cape Cod


Follow the Build Part III

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Tue, Sep 25, 2018

Episode III of our Follow the Build series where we discuss the framing process of a new custom home on Cape Cod. In this episode we discuss the value of our planning process and why we chose to panelize the framing of many of our projects. Given the challenging labor market on Cape Cod, along with the stringent code requirements for wind and flood zone design, panelized framing provides the ability to build an extremely high quality and dimensionally accurate structural frame while saving time and days on the site.




If you are considering designing and building your new custom home here on Cape Cod, click here to find current costs per square foot

Looking for waterfront property on Cape Cod? Clock here to download our waterfront property guide



Tags: Cape Cod custom home, design build, custom waterfront homes, custom building

Subscribe to Email Updates

Latest Posts