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Building a Waterfront Home Part IV

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Tue, Nov 21, 2017


Since the last part of this series a lot has happened! We completed the design process and were able to obtain our final building permits through the town's building department. This process should take about 30 days, but with a large home, expect lots of questions from the building commissioner. Structural details and engineering had to be submitted and reviewed with our engineer and this process takes time. We began work in September, clearing the site and moving out excess soil that would have otherwise been in our way for construction.



Most of this soil will have to be brought back into the site for back fill, due to the limited area to work and the constraints inherent to construction in a conservation area. With the fill removed, we were able get to work on the basement footings and walls.

Photo Nov 09, 11 45 24 AM (1)

After the footings are installed, the next step is to form and place concrete in the lower level walkout basement walls, which will remain below grade once complete - you can see the form work in the next photo



Once the concrete has been poured in the lower walls and it has cured, the forms are removed and rigid foam insulation is placed against the walls to protect from frost from migrating through the foundation walls and heaving the soils below the house.

Here are some pictures with the foam insulation installed:



With the foam in place - the lower walls can now be back filled and we are ready to grade and compact the soils under the areas inside the footings to prepare for the flood slab. This is an important step in the process, as it saves time because it would be impossible to use heavy equipment inside the foundation after the walls are poured.




Next steps? This week we will be setting up the rest of the form work for the basement, installing the remaining reinforcing bars and pouring concrete in the walls! We will also start working on the foundation waterproofing system, drainage work and the plumbing that will go under the slab for the basement bathrooms.

If you are considering designing and building a waterfront new home, please consider our team here at REEF!

Here are some more useful links!

Construction Cost Guide for Cape Cod

Waterfront Property Guide

Interested in Post and Beam construction - check out our Timberpeg Page

Tags: beach house, waterfront custom home, foundations, excavation, waterfront

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)



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

Brewster Beach House

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Mon, Sep 19, 2016

We are so excited to share the photos of the waterfront custom home that REEF designed and built in Brewster!  This project had several challenges, limited space, conservation restrictions, but the results speak for themselves.  Simple, clean, tasteful design by Jim Hagerty, REEF's princpal designer and great execution by our entire contract team.  Starting with the demolition and foundation, right through the finishing details, our team gave 100% on this project and the results speak for themselves!.  If you are considering designing or building a custom home on Cape Cod, let REEF provide the design expertise, teamwork and craftsmanship  to turn your idea into reality!  You've been coming to the Cape your whole life, isn't it time you stayed?

Click here to see the gallery on Facebook: Brewster Beach House






Tags: custom home design, beach house, waterfront homes

Real Estate versus Stocks and Bonds

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Wed, Jan 20, 2016

Has the stock market gotten your attention yet? The recent downward nature of global stock markets have many people wondering if their investments are in the right place.

Advisors often speak of having a "blanced portfolio". Where does real estate fit in? You may own a house, but what about a second home? Or an investment property?

Here's some good insight into why real estate may be a great addition to your portfolio:

Why real estate may be a better investment than stocks


Real Estate versus Stocks and Bonds


Tags: cape cod homes, Cape Cod Home, Cape Cod Life, cape associates, Custom Homes, Building Costs, Cape Cod Builder, beach house, cape cod new home

REEF turns a 400SF cottage into a waterfront Cape Cod home

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Fri, Mar 01, 2013

Home Remodeling Magazine was so impressed with this REEF home, it became a feature article. We took a 400 square foot cottage built in 1942, and turned it into a wonderfully special summer home, right on the Barnstable Harbor beach. Years of effort finally resulted in the necessary permits, and quality construction of this idyllic Cape Cod retreat.

It’s worth a read:

“Persistence pays off.    Now, three years after they moved in, the retired couple can relax on their back porch with a cup of tea—as grandchildren happily frolic in the yard—and savor the view that stretches across Barnstable Harbor all the way to the dunes at Sandy Neck Beach.”

REEF creates a idyllic waterfront family cottage

Waterfront Cottage by REEF

Tags: Cape Cod Builder|Cape Cod Custom Homes|beach house, Cape Cod Builder, beach house

Mayflower Beach bungalow becomes charming Cape Cod home

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Thu, Feb 28, 2013

We're getting lots of requests for more project photos. Here's a bungalow near Mayflower Beach that we were asked to replace. Our design team created a 4 Bedroom home with 3 Full Baths and 1 Half Bath to fit on the small lot. The finish carpenters are on site now creating some beautiful toucehes to the interior. I'll post that work in the future.

Bungalow removal

preparing the site for Cape Cod charmer






We started this project in September, and it will be ready for occupancy in April.

2012.10.13 (1) resized 600

Cape cod charmer near Mayflower Beach

 The new home offers views of Cape Cod Bay from the updstairs deck and windows.

Beach House with views of Cape Cod Bay




Donovan Way front

We'll be done before May, ready for move-in and summer fun! Walk to the Beach and Gina's Restaurant!

Tags: Cape Cod Builder|Cape Cod Custom Homes|beach house, Cape Cod Builder, beach house

Cape Cod Event Calendar is busy all year long!

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Thu, Feb 14, 2013

Cape Cod in the winter? You may not know that the richness of life on Cape Cod and the Islands is celebrated with festivals all year long. We celebrate our clams, chowder and scallops, daffodils and strawberries, fine wines and culinary fare, extraordinary films and filmmakers, along with our seafaring heritage. February must be slow and quiet, right? Well it’s not as buys as July, but there’s plenty going on:

The Magnificent Splendor of Trees Exhibit, Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotuit; Van Gogh Through the Weaver's Eyes: An Exhibit of Woven Art, Cultural Center of Cape Cod, South Yarmouth; Presidents’ Holiday Antiques Show and Sale, a quality antique show featuring over 30 dealers, including fine and country furniture, Americana, quilts, stoneware, and more; Gershwin, By George!, Highfield Hall, Falmouth; Broadway and Beyond! A Salute to the Oscars, Orleans.

Here’s a great Cape and Islands Event Calendar to help you plan your year. You’ll be plenty busy!

Cape Cod Opera logo resized 600

Cape Cod Event Calendar

Tags: cape cod waterfront homes, Cape Cod Real Estate, beach house, Wellfleet Oyster Fest

3 Things you Must Have in Your Beach House!

Posted by Matthew Teague on Thu, Aug 16, 2012

    At REEF, Cape Cod's Home Builder, many of our projects are for second homes that are near or on any one of Cape Cod's fantastic beaches.  These Custom Homes, or Remodeling Projects, are meant to be a fun gathering place for friends and family throughout the summer months.  We came across an interesting article on Decoist.com that highlights the 3 "Must-Haves" for any beach house.  They are fairly simple concepts... but they do make sense:

  1. A Sand Room
  2. A wooden deck
  3. Plenty of outdoor storage

There are also several other great ideas in this article, so click below to take a look:


comfy beach house deck area with built in heaters resized 600

Tags: cape cod custom homes, Cape Cod Home, beach house

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