Building For Vacation

As I bask in the luminous sun and indulge in the tranquil waters of Ocean City, MD, I wish time would stand still. Watching my son play in the sand and enjoying the silence of my daughter taking her afternoon nap on the beach is truly priceless. Without a care in the world, it’s no wonder why families choose vacation homes in beautiful ocean towns as their destination to escape from the daily grind to relax and enjoy life with the people they love the most.

For most of us, the weekly oceanfront rental is an amazing get away. It allows us to leave the stressful work week and endless housework behind. We get to spend time with family, sit around all day on the beach and play games late into the night. While it’s a dream for many to own their own vacation home near the ocean, more and more families are making it a reality. As of late, there has been an upswing of families investing in oceanfront real estate in beach towns such as Rehoboth and Bethany Beach, DE and Ocean City, MD. All easily accessible within a two-to-three-hour drive from Annapolis, Baltimore and DC, beautiful open beaches offer relaxing days of fun in and on the water. There is also always a wide variety of delicious restaurants within walking distances and plenty of fun for all ages.

Oceanfront custom homes are becoming an increasingly higher demand. They range in style from traditional to coastal shingle-style to modern glass boxes with roof decks.  Open concept living to accommodate large families, balconies on every level, roof-top decks, and mudroom entrances with easy access to a beach are factors in every home. The common thread is to fit as many bedrooms as possible. Closets are small. Bedrooms typically fit one or two beds and maybe a dresser with very limited floor area. There can be as many as eight bedrooms. Only the master bedroom is generous. With summer nearing its end and school back in session, one would believe that little beach towns start closing doors for the winter. But it is quite the opposite. Construction is booming. Not letting the cold winter months or bad weather delay them, homebuilders are getting projects rolling, aiming to get custom homes built for the next beach season.

Typically, when looking to invest in a vacation home, most buyers would start with a real estate agent. Next, seeking an architect that can make their dreams a reality whether through the renovation of an existing home or designing a custom home. Then, they pursue a builder that can transform the drawings into a second home. It is a process that can be time consuming and burdensome for many. While many developers are creating speculative homes that work for the masses and are move in ready, they might innocently miss many of the elements desired by custom home buyers.

Recently architects and builders have begun to team up to streamline the process for busy families to design and build their dream vacation home in a quick and easy fashion. This process uses a single team point of contact that simplifies the communication, expedites meetings and improves the timeline. The best benefit? Time. The process can be much faster when the builder starts construction while design progresses. As a specific example, Purple Cherry Architects was hired with Ilex Construction on a $3.2 million project located at the Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, VA that was completed from beginning of design to end of construction in 10-months. Quite amazing.

In many waterfront areas, specifically ones close to the ocean, there is a complex level of zoning and code requirements that add challenges to the design and construction process. While a client may have a wish list for floor plans that check every box and meet a specific budget, this code layer can add complications that restrict some desires and increase costs. It is critical to understand these regulations up front if not before land purchase. There are also many misconceptions of the design-build process.

Simply put, design-build is a method of project delivery in which one combined entity – the design-build team – works under a single contract with the project owner to provide design and construction services. One entity, one contract, one unified flow of work from initial concept through completion. Over the past year, Marnie Custom Homes and Purple Cherry Architects (PCA) have partnered up to design-build 8 new custom homes in the Bethany Beach area in DE. With our designs and their extensive beach portfolio and client base, we have created an amazing team, and PCA is grateful to be a part of this incredible team. With the right design-build group, your stunning new vacation home is absolutely within reach.

Written by Doug Kuchta, project manager at PCA. 

Architecture & Interiors