Home Building

Newport Rebuild Brings Custom Details to Life

POSTED: October 4th 2013

When John Damon and John Harrington of The Damon Company were hired for the renovation of a 4,200-square foot home in Newport, R.I., they never expected to wind up doing a complete rebuild on that same house after it ended burning to the ground in December, 2005. Damon and Harrington immediately set about creating new plans – this time focusing on entirely new construction. While it might have been somewhat disheartening to start fresh, The Damon Company focused on an unseen benefit. “Certain pre-existing constraints from the original renovation could be circumvented in the rebuild,” said Damon, company president. “The overall design had more flexibility with the new construction Click here to read more.

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Restoring A Gem

POSTED: October 4th 2013

Now that buildable waterfront lots are almost unheard of on Cape Cod, the new trend is to buy a property and raze the existing house in order to build a dream home. But not all homeowners are interested in erasing the bit of history an existing structure provides. Even though it can be labor intensive and sometimes cost more in the long run, renovating an older home can be immensely satisfying as this homeowner discovered after hiring E.J. Jaxtimer Builder, Inc. to completely renovate both the house and property he bought on a private island facing Cotuit Bay. Photography by Dan Cutrona Construction: E.J. Jaxtimer “It was not a candidate for a tear down because it was so well const Click here to read more.

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A New Angle on Tradition

POSTED: October 4th 2013

This young couple had been escaping to the Cape for years and fell in love with the calm, cool waters and sandy beaches of Cape Cod Bay. When they decided to build a place of their own for their family, they had strong opinions of what they wanted in their new house, and the traditional Cape Cod look and feel was paramount in their wishes. With this in mind, they turned to Northside Design, in Yarmouth Port, and McPhee Associates of East Dennis, to design and build their new home. Photography by Roe Osborn Construction: McPhee Associates, Inc. Classic, but with a new angle The design they chose was the time-honored Cape-style, but with a slightly different approach. At one end of t Click here to read more.

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Building a Legacy One Home at a Time

POSTED: October 4th 2013

When Ralph Nixon, owner of Prestige Home Building of Chatham, was a very young boy he spent his summers on construction job sites with his Swedish grandfather and dreamed of building houses when he grew up. He planned to pursue a career as a civil engineer or architect, but his life took a different path and instead he had a successful career in the banking and mutual fund industry. After dabbling in home building with his own homes over the years, he decided to start a second career as a custom home builder when he retired from his career in finance. And he couldn’t be happier with his decision. Photography by Amber Jane Barricman Construction:Prestige Home Building of Chatham A ba Click here to read more.

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Uncommon Perspective

POSTED: October 4th 2013

When a high-end apartment’s surroundings are a lush oasis amidst concrete and brick facades, the residence’s interiors must fit the impressive environment. The homeowners, art-loving real estate veterans with grown children, had a vision for the space but needed a cohesive team to carry out the extensive renovation. The condo was originally two units that had been completely gutted to make one long, large apartment with enviable views of the Boston Public Gardens and Boston Common in the background. Photography by Susan Teare Construction: Sea-Dar Construction A true collaboration “There wasn’t a single finished surface in the space, but it was easy to see the possibilities, Click here to read more.

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A Pond Side Timber Frame

POSTED: October 4th 2013

It was all about location for the homeowners of this Harwich Port home. The Harvard couple had long ties to Cape Cod. He grew up in Falmouth and she summered every year on Pleasant Bay. As soon as they saw the pond-side one-acre estate just a short walk from Nantucket Sound, they knew they had found their own perfect piece of the Cape. The only problem was the existing house had been left to disrepair for too long and could not be salvaged. So they decided to tear it down and design their dream home and hired custom builder Rob McPhee of McPhee Associates of Cape Cod to build it. [caption id="attachment_559" align="alignnone" width="720"] The exterior of the home has a classic seaside fee Click here to read more.

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Rustic Remodel

POSTED: October 4th 2013

When the homeowners, a young couple who keep their main residence in Boston, bought this one-and-a-half story cottage on Nauset Beach, the realtor remarked that it was ‘a lot like going camping’. And indeed, like camping, the open-concept property which wasn’t well winterized and included only one bedroom, offered very little privacy. At the time, it was the perfect retreat for the couple and their two babies who didn’t need much but a quiet seasonal getaway. [caption id="attachment_551" align="alignnone" width="720"] The front of the home saw the greatest change to the exterior.[/caption] Careful planning; choosing carefully As both the children and the demand for overnight gue Click here to read more.

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Finally… A Family Paradise is Found.

POSTED: October 4th 2013

Some dreams-come-true start out small. For the homeowner of this breathtaking family compound, with a view of Cape Cod Bay, her wish had the innocence of a fairy tale. “I wanted to be able to see my grandchildren come down the stairs sleepy-eyed in the morning,” she says. From there, the dream grew. Now she not only looks forward to those precious moments, but also shares in all the youngsters’ delights: taking a dip in the pool or the ocean, a set or two of tennis, or just plucking blueberries from their dozens of bushes. DESIGN & BUILD BY Hutker Architects, Inc. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT Horiuchi & Solien PHOTOGRAPHYED BY Brian Vandenbrink “This was designed to be a san Click here to read more.

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It’s All in the Details

POSTED: October 4th 2013

Some houses are so perfect for their setting, they seem to have sprung up on their own. In reality, it can be a challenge to make a house feel like part of the landscape and architect Chris Hall is well known for his talent for doing just that. A Medfield family hired him not only to design their house, but also the surrounding landscape, so the outdoor living spaces would feel like extensions of their home. HOME & LANDSCAPE DESIGN Architect Chris Hall PHOTOGRAPHED BY Diane Anton Photography “The clients had seen several of my houses and really liked the way the houses met the landscape,” Hall says. “And they really wanted their spaces to feel proportionately correct and to Click here to read more.

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Gambrel Offers Classic Look and Easy Living

POSTED: October 4th 2013

Finding a neighborhood that perfectly meets their family’s needs is the goal for most homeowners. Luckily, Karen and John Parsons found just that place at their summer home in Harwich Port, just seconds from the beach, restaurants and shopping, and their four children could safely ride their bikes in a protected area.  Ten happy summers later, the house across the street, this one right on the beach, came up for sale and the Parsons decided to buy it.  The house itself wasn’t ideal, but the beachfront property was, so they opted to tear down the house and finally build their dream home. DESIGN & BUILD :McPhee Associates PHOTOGRAPHED BY :Roe Osborn “This couple was very inv Click here to read more.

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A New Lease on Life

POSTED: October 4th 2013

In the home’s original condition, it was immediately apparent that this Wellfleet residence was a product of the 1970s. Windows were tiny, and there were few of them; the first floor walls were made of poured concrete and the exterior was clad with T 1-11 siding, an inexpensive and unattractive plywood paneling. Built on a slab, the house had structural issues, virtually no storage capacity and the HVAC system was hugely inefficient. “There was nothing architecturally compelling about the house,” says Cambridge-based architect, Frank Shirley. In fact, the homeowners who’d used the place as a summer residence for 20 years actually referred to it as “unprepossessing.” Photogra Click here to read more.

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Coming Home to Quonochontaug

POSTED: October 4th 2013

Katherine Frost spent the summers of her childhood in the seasidecottage colony of Quonochontaug in Charlestown, R.I. Her parents owned a cottage there, as did her two uncles and her two aunts. And every August they would all convene, creating memories that last a lifetime. So it was hardly surprising when Katherine and her husband purchased a home in the area in 2005. Photography by: Aaron Usher Construction: Gardner Woodwrights Custom Home Building Appliances provided by: Gil's Appliances The location was perfect, but the house wasn’t But while the location was ideal, the antiquated cottage wasn’t. “It was an older Cape that had undergone a bad renovation,” she said. Af Click here to read more.

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Now, This is a Playhouse

POSTED: October 4th 2013

Buildable lots on Green Pond Harbor are impossible to come by. Quiet and tranquil, the small East Falmouth harbor is a throwback to a simpler era. Those who are lucky enough to live here, along with the marina’s boat owners, are an affable and modest bunch: grateful folks who appreciate the spot immensely. So when an idyllic, highly coveted harbor front parcel came up for sale, the current owners jumped at the opportunity to purchase it. It would be the homeowners’ third property in the neighborhood: their other two houses are located side-by-side, next door. The couple, who lives year-round in New York City, uses one house as a summer residence; the second one is a retreat for their Click here to read more.

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A Perfect Seaside Retreat

POSTED: October 4th 2013

Jim and Regina Shakin knew their new home in Chatham would not always be strictly a seasonal residence. Eventually, in their retirement years, it would serve as their year-round home. So their mandate was clear when they decided to build on a spectacular lot overlooking Stage Harbor: Give us a home that is functional as a permanent residence but retains the summer charm of a vacation retreat. To achieve that goal, they turned to Polhemus Savery DaSilva Architects Builders of Chatham, a local company that has been designing remarkable homes since 1996. With an eye on creating the best of both worlds, project architect Sharon DaSilva produced a visually stunning property that features dazzl Click here to read more.

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A Classic Country Estate

POSTED: October 4th 2013

The house sits on the top of a small hill on Lower Cape Cod, its multitude of outsized windows allowing light to stream into every room from sunrise to sunset, providing a warm, cozy quality to the 6,000-square foot property. [caption id="attachment_504" align="alignnone" width="720"] The large six-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath house has over-scaled windows to make the home feel smaller and to afford views of the beautuful surrounding landscape.[/caption]  Let the light shine in “This is a real retreat for the homeowners,” Principal Designer John DaSilva explains. “One of the unique aspects is that the windows are over-scaled, and that makes the house feel smaller. It sort of con Click here to read more.

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Lasting Views

POSTED: October 4th 2013

Waquoit Bay is a tidal bay on the south shore of Cape Cod that’s known for its beaches and wildlife as well as kayaking and camping opportunities. For those in the know, it is also perfect for kiteboarding—its predominance of shallow water and strong southwesterly breezes are key for boarders looking to maximize speed on long back-and-forth passes without hitting too much deep water. [caption id="attachment_492" align="alignnone" width="720"] The home is located on a spit of land allowing water views on all three sides. The sunken spa is the perfect place to take it all in.[/caption] Location, location, location And this is exactly what drew Thomas J. O’Neill’s clients to Mashpe Click here to read more.

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Double Vision

POSTED: October 4th 2013

It was first described as a “paradise of all these parts” by Captain John Smith, who discovered “Quonahasset” in 1614. And it’s easy to see why any voyager would be enamored with Cohasset, a sea-view-laden locale on Massachusetts’ South Shore. Originally part of Hingham, it was incorporated as a separate town in 1770. Shipbuilding and mackerel fishing were prominent industries in the 1800s; then, in the early 20th century, wealthy Bostonians began discovering its charms and, over time, builtimpressive summer retreats. [caption id="attachment_474" align="alignnone" width="720"] A view of the home from the water.[/caption] Similar to the Bostonians before them, Patrick Ahear Click here to read more.

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Staying in Character

POSTED: October 4th 2013

The outdated 1940s house rested at an idyllic Chatham location on a bluff with sweeping views of Nantucket Sound, Hardings Beach, Monomoy Island and the Stage Harbor Lighthouse. But with low ceilings, petite windows, a restricted floor plan and limited second-story living space, those spectacular views were being hidden. Enter Tim Smith, owner of Minglewood Homes of Chatham. [caption id="attachment_464" align="alignnone" width="720"] The back of the home features an intricate roofline and several terraces and balconies overlooking Nantucket Sound.[/caption] It all adds up “The new homeowners wanted tall ceilings, an open floor plan and lots of light,” he said. “We ended up with ni Click here to read more.

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At Home in the Pinehills

POSTED: October 4th 2013

The home’s location is The Pinehills in Plymouth, but the feeling is of being on Martha’s Vineyard, where quaint gingerbread cottages evoke old-world charm and craftsmanship. “The design was inspired by those cottages on the Vineyard and Cape Cod,” says Glenn MacKenzie of MacKenzie Brothers Corp. of Marstons Mills. As custom builders with a flair for innovation, MacKenzie Brothers was selected two years ago from a pool of candidates to build HGTV’s Green Home, which is also in The Pinehills. They were rewarded for their creativity with the 2010 National Association of Home Builders Gold Award for “Best Built Green Home” and the 2010 NAHB Gold Award for “Best Single Click here to read more.

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Utterly Unique

POSTED: October 4th 2013

Perched on a bluff at harbor’s edge, it’s hard to imagine a more spectacular setting.  Yet the poorly built home original to this site in Chatham, Massachusetts, didn’t take advantage of the majestic views. The cramped residence, built in the 1940s, seemed, says architect John DaSilva, “To have been plunked down on the lot, without any thought at all.” [caption id="attachment_445" align="alignnone" width="720"] The footprint of the original home, which had to be closely adhered to, was perched up on a hill. The change to the grade allowed for a basement-level, window-filled playroom and garage.[/caption] The property’s new owners looked to DaSilva’s Chatham-based firm, P Click here to read more.

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A Family Homestead

POSTED: October 4th 2013

Built on land owned by their family for more than 400 years, the summer home of Ron and Jane Bogle is now a part of the neighboring family homestead. “Pagoo’s Cottage,” as the family has dubbed it, is named after the hermit crab in Holling C. Holling children’s book, Pagoo, a family favorite. ARCHITECT Greg Yalanis,AIA CONSTRUCTION BY Ross Construction STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING BY Port City Consulting KITCHEN APPLIANCES BY Gil's Appliances PHOTOGRAPHED BY Diane Anton Just down the road from “Pagoo’s Cottage” is Briggs Beach, the family beach where the Bogles have enjoyed summers for generations. Much as Ron’s parents enjoying watching him play in the water as a boy Click here to read more.

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The View Has It

POSTED: October 4th 2013

While the Cape has its fair share of large, stately houses dominating the landscape, many homeowners want to build a home sized to their property. This is especially true for one family and their North Falmouth home. [caption id="attachment_427" align="alignnone" width="720"] A front view of the home. Irregular rooflines were incorporated, reducing the visual impact of the expansive house.[/caption] “This is our first ocean home and we were looking to build a new home that belongs in this neighborhood, and looks like it has been here all along,” says the matriarch of the family.  “We took lots of time to properly site the house on the lot to take advantage of the views and the s Click here to read more.

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Sometimes Smaller is Better

POSTED: October 3rd 2013

For Dan Kinsella of Kinsella Building in Portsmouth, R.I., the key to success is a hands-on approach. When clients hire Kinsella to build their custom home, they soon learn that the guy at the top will be on the scene, making sure certain critical details aren’t missed or misunderstood, and monitoring progress from start to finish. A hands-on approach “When I started this business we had a lot more employees and I found out quickly that I was losing contact with my clients,” he says. “So we dialed back. Now I have only four employees. I get to work with a lot of great people. I also get to have my hands in the project. I’m on the job just about every day. I see everything that’ Click here to read more.

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Home Run – A Back Bay Brownstone Scores a Red Sox Inspired Makeover

POSTED: October 3rd 2013

When these Connecticut homeowners and avid Red Sox fans wanted a Boston home base for enjoying game nights with family and friends, they found an ideal location on the top floor of a handsome Back Bay brownstone. DESIGN & BUILD Woodmeister Master Builder INTERIOR DESIGN Suzanne Novik PHOTOGRAPHED BY   Gary Sloan Photography However,the existing structure, built with small door openings and awkward spaces, made the home feel cramped and failed to take full advantage of natural light. The clients enlisted Woodmeister Master Builders in Holden, Massachusetts to create the inviting space they envisioned. “They wanted a space that would work as well for the two of them as for wh Click here to read more.

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Rose Cottage

POSTED: October 3rd 2013

Some houses are just structures; others can seem almost human and beg to be described in terms like ‘friendly’ and ‘gracious.’ Such is the case with Rose Cottage, a large, rambling Shingle-style house built in the late 1800s for Joseph Story Fay, a wealthy Boston cotton broker who bought up a great deal of land in Woods Hole and Falmouth, including this two-acre parcel. The five-bedroom, six-bath house sits on a bluff around the corner from Nobska Light in Woods Hole and has the same sweeping views of Vineyard Sound. Describing her days here as “favorite childhood memories,” one frequent visitor during the 1960s wrote recently:  “It may sound strange, but it is as though the p Click here to read more.

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