Perched on Piers

THE DRAWING BOARD-July 2011Drakes-Island

A summer cottage rises above a coastal dune

The homeowners purchased a summer cottage several years ago and want to build a new home on this oceanfront lot with spectacular views. The first hurdle was the Department of Environmental Protection. The lot is in a coastal dune, and DEP requirements included building the home on piers three feet above the highest grade. In addition, the footprint of the existing home could not be increased or moved closer to the water.

The floor plan needed to accommodate the homeowners, their extended family, and their dog. The design on this limited footprint needed to take advantage of any space available as well as the ocean views.

The house will have a standing-seam metal roof. The insulation is foam and dense-pack cellulose. The windows are shatter-resistant, and rolling storm shutters on the porch will protect items on the porch from the wind. The heat is in-floor radiant, and the finish floor is made from 3/4-inch thermally treated wood from Thermory. Thermo-treated wood has a very long lifetime, higher dimensional stability, and lower equilibrium moisture content than conventional hardwood flooring.

The exterior finish is cedar shingles prefinished with a gray stain. The shingles are installed over a rain screen to allow them to dry after a driving rain, extending the life of the shingles and finish. The trim is a poly product that is resistant to rot.

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