• Blogs


SoNo Waterfront Custom Home Renovation


Waterfront Project Scope of Work:

The original home was of humble design and size but located directly on the water in a quaint beach community. The homeowners planned to live in the home with their four children and large groups of visiting friends and family during the summer and other vacation times. They wanted their new environment to be a comfortable and luxurious retreat for themselves and their children, with surroundings conducive to frequent entertaining and overnight guests. Because the home is in an area that experiences seasonal hurricanes, practical considerations in the planning were an important part of the process. As frequent travelers and connoisseurs of art, the couple wanted to express their eclectic tastes and interests throughout the home, with a focus on compelling architectural elements, unusual materials and interesting found objects. They wanted their home to evoke a classic Nantucket style suitable to its environment, with its own memorable character and detail.



  • Because of the home’s setting in a very tight-knit community, the remodeling process significantly affected neighbors. Keeping a clean and efficient job site and diligently communicating with the neighborhood’s private association was crucial to the project’s success. In order to accommodate the dumpster in the front yard needed for cleanup, the patio had to be ripped up and removed.
  • Neighborhood zoning restrictions had changed since the home was originally built in the 1950’s, so tearing down the original structure and building a whole new home would have necessitated a smaller footprint. In order to retain the home’s original footprint, the first level up to the ceiling had to be preserved, while the rest of the home was demolished and then built up.
  • Since salt water eats away at typical woods and metals, the home’s waterfront location presented a challenge when planning exterior materials. To address this while establishing the desired aesthetics, classic natural shingles were partnered with PVC synthetic trim.
  • Hurricane codes were mandated in an area frequented by significant storms. All windows were built to withstand hurricanes. In the area beneath the first floor designated as flood elevation, required vents were installed to allow water to flow through should flooding occur. Nothing mechanical was allowed below flood elevation.


Construction Features:

The first level was retained up to its ceiling but completely gutted and two additional levels were added. The first level was remodeled to include a foyer, a mudroom, a powder room, a kitchen, a wet bar and an expansive space with dining, living and family/sitting areas. The second level includes a master bedroom, master bathroom, master closet, two bedrooms, a hall bathroom and a laundry room. The third level includes a family room, a guest bedroom and bathroom. The exterior of the home was completely redesigned and built, including two decks and a cupola.


First Floor: Upon opening the front door, one is immediately engaged by the stunning view in a design that was carefully planned to capture the essence of relaxed and luxurious waterfront living.


A wall of hurricane windows provides protection from strong storms while framing the amazing views in classic Nantucket style. The expansive area, defined by a graceful coffered ceiling at top and antique oak parquet flooring imported from France underfoot, is alive with light and circulation. A large Ipe wood deck with a built-in fire pit and built-in masonry grill extends living and entertaining to the outdoors and enhances the joys of the waterfront lifestyle.


In the kitchen, delicate blue walls provide a calming backdrop for the cabinetry, each a custom piece of millwork made completely by hand at 1’ thick, with self-closing soft touch technology. The kitchen was outfitted with all new top-of-the-line appliances for enduring value in a home full of children and frequent guests. Substantial marble countertops provide ample space for prep, cooking and entertaining during large gatherings. Above the peninsula, a trio of gleaming bulbs brings a subtle illumination to the surroundings.


The wet bar features a backsplash crafted from a cement block with origins in Hong Kong, providing a reliable conversation starter and the allure of interesting material detail desired by the homeowners. Lighting was designed to bring a soft glow to the backsplash at night. This captivating effect is continued into the adjoining powder room, where the backsplash wall was built so that its other side is visible in the powder room.


Second Floor: The second level is where the family sleeps in a master bedroom and two bedrooms – one for the girls and one for the boys. The second level also includes a master bath with a steam shower and heated floors and a hall bath with laundry room. The master bedroom is equipped with a lavish master closet, with oak cabinetry custom built with meticulous detailing to meet the storage and dressing needs of the homeowners.


In one of the bedrooms, a pair of custom built bunk beds sleeps four and beckons with classic charm. Throughout the second floor, storage was built into the nooks and crannies below stairs and in hallways as an ingenious solution for a modern family in a home with a limited footprint.


Third Floor: At the top of the stairs on the third level, a remarkable pair of antique doors – imported from France for the project – graces the entry to the large family room. Originally from a church, the nine foot tall doors feature distressed oak on one side and antique mirrors on the other. The beamed ceiling is built with a reclaimed barn board, crowning the room with rustic appeal.


Custom built cabinetry holds entertainment systems and a small refrigerator. The room opens to an Ipe wood deck with stunning views of the water. The third floor guest bedroom delights visitors with oak beams and an open view to the cupola.


Exterior: The exterior of the home is a strategically planned marriage of desirable aesthetics and practical considerations. The home is finished with white cedar shingles, PVC synthetic trim, a 2” thick stone veneer on an exposed foundation, seawall, Ipe wood decking and an Ipe wood stair railing. While required for protection from strong storms, the placement and style of the hurricane windows were also designed to bring abundant light and circulation to the home.



The latest innovations in home technology allow the homeowners to control every function in their house with their mobile devices. Temperature, music, television, lighting and security systems can be accessed from anywhere, including the ability to view their home remotely from the home’s cameras when a storm threatens. The home abounds with refined design details, from the decision to leave a rough finish on the wood floors for a strong sense of character to the solid iron spindles on the stairway’s oak railings. Every piece of cabinetry and wainscoting was custom built, lending the home a solid and memorable essence of enduring beauty. It was a pleasure for Titus Built to build a home with such an extent of custom details and we wish our clients a lifetime of success, peace and happiness in their new home.

To view previous blogs on the waterfront renovation, please click here: Harbor View Waterfront Renovation …. Work in Progress

Press Release:

Titus Built, LLC of Redding, Connecticut, is proud to announce the company was awarded with “Best Residential Remodel $750,000-$1 million” in the  2012 HBRA of Connecticut HOBI Awards for this Coastal Haven Renovation:

Titus Built, LLC Wins 2012 Home Building Industry (“HOBI”) Award from the HBRA of Connecticut