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Outdoor Living - Walkways

Posted by Matthew Teague on Thu, May 31, 2012

   Outdoor living spaces, and landscaping can make even an older home look inviting and unique.  Hardscaping such as walkways, and stone walls can serve to define areas of the yard, and are a great way to create flower beds, and walking paths that also serve to minimize lawn area, and are easy to maintain.  Building or renovating a custom home is much more than just picking lighting fixtures, and countertops. It is an opportunity to build a place that generations can enjoy, both inside and out.  On Cape Cod, some of the best times to share with family are cool evenings in the yard, enjoying a cookout, or just chatting about a great day at the beach.  Here is some inspiration for your next custom home project or renovation.


Here is the full slideshow from Freshome.com:http://freshome.com/2012/05/30/35-lovely-pathways-for-a-well-organized-home-and-garden/#

Tags: cape cod custom builder, landscaping, home improvements, cape cod new home

7 Upgrades that People Want in their Homes

Posted by Matthew Teague on Thu, May 03, 2012

    As Cape Cod's leading custom builder, we are constantly asked for suggestions on what is most popular in home design and construction.  Whether renovating or building new we have found some consistent trends.  Here is our list of most popular features:

  1. 1st floor master suite
  2. Open kitchen / dining / living spaces
  3. Additional flex space that can serve as bedroom or office area
  4. Energy efficient, yet cost effective heating and cooling systems
  5. Low maintenance exteriors

Recently the Wall Street Journal published the results of a Better Homes and Gardens survey about this same topic.  Here are their results:

  1. Separate laundry room
  2. Additional storage / walk-ins / closet built-ins
  3. Outdoor living spaces
  4. Additional bedroom with separate bath
  5. Everyday eating space in kitchen
  6. Home Office / Workspace
  7. Upgraded bathrooms

You can view the full article here:http://articles.marketwatch.com/2012-04-11/finance/31319268_1_laundry-space-new-space-storage-space

These are all things you definitley want to consider when planning your next new home or renovation or remodeling project. If you want to see how some of these concepts might fit into your future plans, click below to contact one of our design or construction experts at REEF

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

Bathroom Remodeling Trends

Posted by Matthew Teague on Tue, Feb 14, 2012

  Bathrooms are definitely one of the areas that our customers invest a lot of time and effort in designing.  The myriad of options available can make this a tough process, not to mention that manufacturers are constantly coming out with new and innovative products for the bathroom.  When planning your bathroom renovation, or the baths in your new home, take the time to get educated on the products and materials available. 

  There is a lot of good information in this article from the U-T San Diego newspaper regarding bathroom trends for 2012.  They cover everything from paint colors to digital showers... click here to see the full article.  2012 Bathroom Design Trends


If you have questions about your next bathroom project and need some advice, click here to ask one of the experts at REEF!

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Tags: remodeling, home improvements, bathrooms

Top 8 Reasons to Finish Your Cape Cod Basement

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Tue, Jan 31, 2012

Cape Cod Basement BathroomFinishing your Cape Cod basement is one of those easy to justify home decisions that will offer years of use and enjoyment.  Here are our top eight reasons for opting to finish your basement.

8. COMFORT - A well insulated basement is usually the coolest place in your home during the summer months and the warmest in the winter months and can help reduce heating and cooling costs throughout the rest of the house.

7. ENTERTAINMENT - From simple TV rooms to more luxurious rooms, a finished basement is a place where many people will congregrate.  Pool tables, game rooms and lots of space help make a finished basement perfect for entertaining.

6 .INCOME - Finished basement space may be able to be used to produce rental income thereby helping to offset the the cost associated with constructionCape Cod Basement Addition

5.FAMILY - Whether accomodating them for a meal or a month, many people need more space to house extended family.  They can also make great playrooms for the kids and grandkids.

4.SPACE - Large, spacious rooms and ample lighting can make basements very beautiful and inviting.

3. RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENT: According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs Value Report, your basement project typically returns about 70 percent of the original cost. In terms of space and quality of living, you also get a huge return on your investment: If you own a 2000 square foot home and finish your basement, you may get 1000 square feet of extra space. That’s a 50 percent increase in space.  As a result, that extra space increases the market value of your home substantially and makes your home more attractive to potential buyers. A finished basement can improve the marketability of your home. Cape Cod Basement - Bedroom

2.FLEXIBILITY - Unlike your main level, where often you only have a limited floor plan to choose from, the design of your basement allows a greater degree of design autonomy

1. VALUE - A finished basement offers the best value, per square foot of any other remodeling project


adapted from an article by http://www.upscaledownstairs.com

adapted from an article by http://www.integrityhomecontractors.com


If you are interested in finishing your basement, please contact our small project division by clicking below!

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Tags: renovation cape cod, construction costs on cape cod, Cape Cod Home, home improvements, Cape Cod Builder, renovations

Cape Cod Kitchen Renovation

Posted by REEF Cape Cod's Home Builder on Tue, Jan 10, 2012


Top Five Cape Cod Kitchen Renovation Must-Haves

If you have a kitchen remodeling project in your future and are looking to get the most out of your new space..., we have five features you won’t want to exclude from your home renovation. Compiled by a team of expert home remodeling contractors in Raleigh, NC, our Top Five list is sure to send chefs of all abilities into a joyous tizzy thinking about these sizzling kitchen remodeling must-haves.

Must-Have #5 – Undercounter SinkIsland in Cape Cod Kitchen

A kitchen remodeling upgrade that has come to be expected with most home remodeling projects these days.  Undercounter sinks come standard with most natrual stone (granite) and engineered stome (quartz)countertops.  Though integrated sinks in solid surface products like Corian and cultured marble are used often, they don't hold quite the same interest with buyers when it comes to a remodeling upgrade.


Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #4 – French Door Refrigerator

French Door Refridgerator

Appliances always compete with upgraded countertops, as the most appealing part of a kitchen remodeling project, and of course, the refrigerator is the King Pin. As the appliance that will be used the most frequently and by the most people, the refrigerator must be functional and flawless to win your renovation a home remodeling award. A fridge can easily lure or deter potential buyers, and something about seeing those shiny side-by-side handles covering an expansive and easy-to-access chiller seems to call for extra dollars from buyers. A home improvement upgrade that doesn’t even need a kitchen renovation project to be implemented, French Door refrigerators are an easy and must-have upgrade that simply cannot be excluded if you are undertaking a kitchen remodel.

Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #3 – Custom Tile BacksplashCustom Tile Backsplash
Whether it’s natural stone, colorful or decorative patterns, your kitchen backsplash is a blank canvas that offers an opportunity for you to flex your artistic muscles and bring color, life and remodeling design to your space. Don’t let the opportunity to introduce interest to your kitchen remodeling project pass you by by overlooking your backsplash; instead, get creative and bring life to the most functional space in the house! Showing attention to this artful area will grab buyers’ interest and is sure to wow your guests…and you won’t get the most out of your kitchen remodeling project from buyers if you exclude an upgraded tile backsplash from your list.

 Kitchen Remodeling Must-Have #2 – A Free-Standing Island

Cape Cod Kitchen Freestanding Island
Adding a free-standing island not only brings functional work and eating space to your project; it also means you’ve got a roomy kitchen that can accommodate a large fixture, which is a second great reason for potential buyers to love your kitchen. If you’ve ever turned on HGTV and watched shows featuring the best of kitchen remodeling projects, you’re sure to notice the award-winning remodels all include free standing islands (complete with pendant lighting & often a built-in cooktop…see above and note how our list has come full circle). It will offer additional storage and workspace, give the kids a comfortable and casual spot to pull up and enjoy their snacks, and help define your kitchen area if you’re lucky enough to have an open floor plan.

Kitchen Remodeling  Must-Have #1 – Quartz Countertops
Natural Stone Countertops are a popular choice of material when remodeling. Now, the latest and definitely greatest product on the market is engineered Quartz, which incorporates natural material with manmade products and results in the strongest and most durable countertop material on the market. With more variation in a slab than Corian but less than most granite products, engineered Quartz is a clean, contemporary and easy-to-look-at product that is winning over kitchen remodelers across the country. It is far less fragile than granite and won’t chip or fleck, and won’t scratch, stain or scar the way Corian or other solid surface countertops will. It’s practically indestructible and, for hearty cooks  everywhere, is the remodeling material of choice.

--Engaging our Services

adapted from GreyHouse Inc.  http://www.greyhouseinc.com/news/1/24/

Tags: Cape Cod Kitchen, renovation cape cod, Cape Cod Home, renovation, home improvements, kitchen, renovations, remodels, remodel, addition

Remodeling Trends for 2012

Posted by Matthew Teague on Tue, Jan 03, 2012

 Now that the new year is finally here... you might want to include some of these ideas into your remodeling project. 


Tags: remodeling, home improvements, cape cod

Heating and Cooling Efficiency

Posted by Matthew Teague on Wed, Dec 07, 2011
Given the green construction trends, and building codes requiring higher energy efficiency, many customers consider a complete heating system upgrade as part of a major renovation or remodeling project.  The Energy Star program provides a lot of good information and tips to improve your existing system, without a substantial cost... Click here to find out more. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac

Tags: new homes, renovation, remodeling, home improvements, green construction

Kitchen Remodeling, Renovation

Posted by Matthew Teague on Tue, Dec 06, 2011
Most customers spend a lot of time and effort on getting their kitchen exactly right.  But with the myriad of kitchen cabinets, countertops, plumbing fixtures and appliances on the market, the process can be overwhelming. We have found a team approach works best, coordinating the kitchen supplier, appliances sales team, and plumbing fixture supplier all together. Here is a link to the kitchen expert we rely on to make this happen.  http://atlantickitchenandbath.com/

Tags: renovation, remodeling, home improvements, custom home, kitchen

Great Winterization Tips, Remodeling, Renovation

Posted by Matthew Teague on Fri, Nov 25, 2011

At this time of year it is critical to properly winterize your home. Damage from frozen hose spigots, outdoor showers, and ice dams can cause thousand s of dollars of damage.  Often times, homeowners don't even realize the damage has happed, or leaks can go unnoticed for several months.  Here are some tips from NARI which might be helpful. 

Winterize your home to avoid unnecessary damage
Clean gutters, well-ventilated attic will alleviate ice damage.
Des Plaines, Illinois, December 6, 2010—Homes react to weather changes, too, and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry has tips that can help homeowners protect their homes this winter and prevent minor trouble spots from becoming major repairs.  
“Wintertime in cooler regions presents a unique set of issues in the home that are not apparent during the summer,” says Bob Didier, project manager at Irwin Contracting Inc., in Hauppauge, N.Y., and vice chair of NARI’s marketing & communications committee . “Homeowners should inspect and repair both interior and exterior areas of their homes to minimize damage.”
Exterior winter maintenance
Didier recommends clearing leaves, sticks and other debris from gutters, so melting snow and ice can flow freely. Blockages in gutters and drain spouts can result in ice damming, or internal water problems causing water to drip from the ceiling and walls. Blockages also run the risk of damage to exterior painted surfaces and the development of dangerous ice patches on walkways underneath overhangs. Drain spouts should face away from your home—ideally, projecting water five feet away from the home’s foundation.
“Safety is an important issue for you and others walking near your property during the winter months,” Didier says. “Trim trees and remove dead branches that can become weak from ice and snow build-up—possibly damaging your home or car, or injuring passersby.” He also suggests repairs to faulty steps and handrails in front of your home to avoid injury.
Inspect your home for cracks or holes in outside walls and foundations. Use caulking to protect water pipes and make sure that skylights and other roof openings have proper weather stripping to prevent snow melt from seeping in.
Interior winter maintenance
Check your water pipes for cracks and leaks and have them repaired immediately. Wrap exposed pipes with heating tape to keep them from freezing. “The temperature inside the walls, where pipes are located, is substantially colder and can fall victim to freezing,” Didier explains. “Even if you want to keep your heat bill low when you’re not at home, it’s best to keep your thermostat at a minimum of 65 degrees to avoid freezing.”
Install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system as an added protection against freezing pipes. The valve helps lessens pressure caused by freezing pipes and reduces chance of pipes bursting. “If you’re concerned about your pipes freezing, learn how to shut the water off and know where your pipes are located,” Didier says. “If your pipes freeze, time is of the essence—the faster you can shut off the water or direct your plumber to the problem, the more chance you have to prevent pipes from bursting.”
Make sure your attics, basements and crawl spaces are adequately insulated and well-ventilated. Look for signs of moisture or surface discoloration. Under-insulating results in escaped heat that melts ice and snow on the roof. Water then refreezes, causing more snow and ice to build up resulting in a collapsed roof or ice damming.
“Ideally, the attic should be five to ten degrees warmer than the outside air,” Didier says. “Well-insulated basements and crawl spaces will help keep the heat from melting snow.” Insulation also helps protect pipes from freezing as well.
Check to see that your smoke and fire alarms are working properly and service your heating systems annually. “Residential fires increase in the winter, so it is important to protect your family with working alarm systems and heating systems,” Didier says.
Keep the heat in
In addition to protecting your home, NARI is offering tips to maximize heat this winter:
  • Decrease drafts in the home by testing windows and doors for air leaks and sealing them with caulk or weather stripping.
  • Install storm windows or plastic sheeting over single-pane windows or if a homeowner is considering a replacement, try specially coated double-pane windows designed to reflect heat back into the room.
  • Clean or replace the air filter to maximize the efficiency of the heating system. Clean out ducts, warm-air registers, baseboard heaters and radiators too.
  • Insulate ducts running through attics, crawl spaces and garages. Check for separation, holes and leaks and seal them.
  • Seal the fireplace by keeping dampers closed when the fireplace is not in use. Or install a glass door to fit inside the opening when buring out the fire.
Homeowners may consider repairing minor damages themselves, but they should first check to see if any products installed in the home are covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. This may be the case in relatively new homes or those that have undergone recent renovations. Many manufacturers will not honor warranties if amateur repairs have been attempted. For repairs that are beyond the homeowner’s skill level, a NARI contractor should be consulted.

Tags: remodeling, home improvements, renovations

Holiday Home Improvements

Posted by Matthew Teague on Tue, Nov 22, 2011
Well it is that time of year again, so we figured it might be a good time to give a little advice about home improvements for the holiday season... take a look at this info from  On The House http://www.onthehouse.com/wp/20041123

Tags: home improvements, holidays, holiday decorating

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