Welcome to the Cape Cod Builder blog

3D Interactive Design By REEF Builders

Posted by Matthew Teague on Tue, Feb 23, 2021

Here's an interactive walk through of one of our current projects in the design stages here on Cape Cod. We are experimenting with different virtual reality integrations to provide the customer the ability view the actual design in 3D. The next iteration of this concept will include complete VR integration where customers can look at different finishes or layouts in real time with the click of a button. REEF is currently leading the way in custom home design and VR integration on Cape Cod and will continue to invest in these cutting edge technologies to provide our customers with an immersive design experience!

The accuracy and authenticity of these 3D models will also allow the customer to set clear expectations for what the final building product will look and feel like. This is a fantastic tool for custom home projects or renovations and additions.


If you are considering building a new home on Cape Cod, or renovating your existing home, please take a moment to download our Construction Cost Guide




Tags: Construction Costs, 3D Design

2018 Construction Cost Guide for Cape Cod

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Tue, May 01, 2018

The 2018 Construction Cost Guide is here! See how all of the various economic, labor, building code and trade issues will impact your Cape Cod home project.


Click Here to download: 2018 Construction Cost Guide


Tags: Construction Costs, Building Costs, cost per square foot, new construction rates per square foot chatham ma, new construction rates per square foot harwich ma, provincetown, waterfront custom home

New Massachusetts Building Code Version Coming January 1

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Tue, Jul 18, 2017

The State of Massachusetts has confirmed that January 1, 2018 will be the definitive date for adoption of the 9th edition of the building code. This code update will consist of the 2015 versions of the International Code Council regulations, with some modifications specific to the State.

Here are some highlights of the major revisions:

Massachusetts 9th Edition Changes


Some of the major changes have to do with the wind loading requirements, which will basically eliminate the need for upgraded "hurricane windows" or other special high wind requirements except in areas of extreme exposure (oceanfront or waterfront homes). The 9th Version also provides additional guidance on flood zone construction, which could have significant impacts on projects within or near the Coastal "A" zones.


Here's a link to the latest press release from the Department of Public Safety outlining the release dates and new regulations that will be in effect as of January 1, 2018

9th Edition Building Code Release Dates


If you are thinking of building a new custom home on Cape Cod, or if you would like to remodel or renovate your existing Cape Cod home, these new regulations will definitely have an impact on your project!


If you want to know what your new home might cost - take a look our Construction Cost Guide

If you are considering building new or renovating a waterfront property - take a look at our Waterfront Property Guide

You've been visiting the Cape your whole life, isn't it time you stayed?





Tags: Construction Costs, massachusetts building code, waterfront property guide

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

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

hgtvcom kitchen 2015 resized 600

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

hgtv best kitchen 2015 resized 600

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

2017 Construction Cost Guide is Here!

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Tue, Mar 14, 2017

We have published our 2017 Construction cost guide! 2017 Will be a dynamic year in the construction business, with pending building code changes, lumber price increases, and a scarcity of skilled labor. We have continued to see a high demand for vacant lots this year as well, as the aging housing inventory on the Cape, and low supply of quality existing homes has prompted a boom in new construction.

Despite these pending changes, investments in expertly designed, and exceptionally crafted custom homes have a great long term potential return!

Here are some of the other trends we are seeing:

  • Smaller, more efficiently designed floor plans
  • Stronger demand for energy efficiency upgrades like solar, spray foam insulation etc.
  • Finished or partially finished basement areas, which provides additional living area at a lower unit cost
  • Highly detailed exteriors on smaller homes, with enhanced trim, window upgrades for both durability and style
  • Demand for homes with contemporary styling, both inside and out
  • Strong demand for waterfront or walk to water homes, with solid return on investment.
  • Continued stream of new and more stringent regulations that will continue to increase cost, but will provide for much more efficient homes in the future

REEF Builders provides complete design / build services for your Cape Cod home project. We offer expert architectural design and permitting services, along with complete construction services from start to finish. If you are considering building a new Custom Home, or planning an addition or renovation on your existing home. Contact REEF Today!

Click here to download our 2017 Construction Cost Guide!


Dennis Bayview Cape kitchen stove with view.jpg


Custom Home Cape Cod, Stairs



Tags: construction costs on cape cod, cape cod custom builder, Construction Costs

Top Challenges facing Builders in 2017

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Tue, Mar 07, 2017

We've seen it coming over the last few years, but now it's here. If you are thinking of building your new Cape Cod Home, there is no better time than right now. We are seeing major increases in materials prices and a serious skilled labor shortage not only on Cape Cod, but also nationally. When you combine these latest issues with the ever-increasing regulatory environment, it is easy to see why the cost of construction has gone up substantially over the last 5 years. However, with low inventory of existing homes on Cape Cod, and an aging housing stock in need of major repairs or upgrades, building a new home on Cape Cod is still a sound investment.

Custom Home Cape Cod, Foundation

How do you protect yourself if you are planning a major renovation or custom home project for 2017?

  1. Work with established designers and builders who understand the marketplace and have the resources available to manage the labor issues
  2. Set a strategy for design and permitting that can allow for an expedited start of construction
  3. Pre-purchase materials if possible
  4. Thoroughly plan your project to ensure quick and accurate execution
  5. Minimize waste and use modern production techniques such as off site panelization of major components (walls, roofs etc)


Here's some recent information from the National Association of Homebuilders discussing these Challenges for 2017


If you are considering Building your custom home on Cape Cod, there is no better time than right now! Contact us today to see how we can help!


Custom Home,  Architectural Design, Cape Cod

Cape Cod Waterfront Custom Home








Tags: Construction Costs, Cape Cod custom home

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 sales@capecodbuilder.com

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




Tags: Construction Costs, Custom Homes, lumber

Another Building Code Change for 2017? How will it impact your project?

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Thu, Oct 13, 2016

     The State of Massachusetts is going to adopt a new building code starting in January 2017.  Since 2010, the building code has changed several times and many of those changes were dramatic and have resulted in significant increases in the cost of new homes, remodeling and additions throughout the state.  Designing and building on Cape Cod was further impacted by the adoption of the "Windborne Debris Zone" which required the use of impact resistant windows  and doors or storm shutters for all homes within 1 mile of the shore.

   The changes that are forthcoming with the 9th Edition of the Massachusetts Building Code (780 CMR) in 2017 are not quite as dramatic for new custom homes, and some of the changes serve to reduce the cost of design and construction. For instance, the "Windborne Debris Zone" will now be eliminated, and the geographical areas requiring impact resistant windows and doors will be substantially reduced.

There are some things that will add costs.  The 9th Edition will require more stringent design and construction methods for homes located in flood zones.  The new mapping available, allows officials to clearly determine a "Coastal A" flood zone, which is subject to wave action of 1.5-3'.  The code will now require design and construction of homes resistant to wave action in this zone, which can dramatically increase engineering and construction costs.   The State is also slated to adopt the "Existing Building Code" which will have substantial impacts on the design and costs associated with renovation and remodeling projects, as it provides different thresholds which can trigger other improvements not required in the past, such as insulation, mechanical systems, or structural systems, which were previously considered "grandfathered" or "non-conforming conditions.  2017 is the first year this Existing Buildng Code will come into play and we will wait and see where the true impacts are of these new regulations.

If you are considering designing or building a custom home on Cape Cod, this code change is something you will want to pay attention to these code changes as they will definitely impact the final cost and design of your new Cape Cod Home!


Here's a good summary of the pending code changes from the Board of Building Regulations and Standards: Summary of 9th Edition Building Code



Tags: Construction Costs, building code, massachusetts building code

Regulations add $84,671+ to the cost of new homes!

Posted by REEF Custom Homes on Wed, May 11, 2016

One of the biggest drivers of construction costs over the last 4 or five years has been new regulations and standards for construction.  The state of Massachusetts has undergone numerous code changes since  2010 and each change has only served to increase construction costs.  The regulatory changes started with the implementation of the high wind zones on the Cape and most recently the building industry has adopted the latest International Building and Energy Codes which totally change the way homes are built when compared to past codes.   When you combine the impact of these changes with material prices that have increased about 25% over the last 5 years, it is easy to figure out why any type of construction work is so expensive. 

The homes we are building now are much more airtight and have much better energy performance than in the past, but at what cost?  Air quality will continue to be an issue in the future, and controlled fresh air exchange will be the key to a healthy indoor environment.

So how do you build for a reasonable cost?  We strongly believe that the key is efficient design and use of spaces and a constant look to the future and new products and materials that can bring the cost back into the realm of possibility.   Partnering with a Design-Build firm such as REEF, will also be important, because of the access to real time cost data and daily interaction with the various regulatory agencies that enforce these new codes.

The National Association of Home Builders recently released a study that shows the specific impact of regulations on new homes.  Did you know that almost 25% of the cost of your new home is directly attributed to regulatory issues?  If you want to find out more, please below

Regulations Add $84,671 to the cost of your new home!



Tags: Construction Costs

Subscribe to Email Updates

Latest Posts