Choice of building materials is critical in a coastal environment.

By Lacey N. Howard
November 18, 2003

"A home on the coast should be inviting and comfortable," says architect Barry Coyle. This three-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bath house features several common areas for relaxing, including a second-floor sitting area, a tower room, and a media room.

The plan successfully blends large and small spaces―from the great room's two-story height to its window seat. "I wanted to have volume but at the same time intimate little spots," says Barry. Most rooms boast expansive windows or French doors to admit views and natural light. "Every place in the house references the marsh," he says.

Building Notes
Because of the harsh weather conditions along the coast, Barry and local builders Terry Stover and Bill Gross of Tri-City Land Development Inc. chose aesthetically pleasing building products proven to withstand the elements. Fiber-cement siding "is the ideal product for the historical lap look, but without the maintenance of wood," Bill says. Windows and exterior doors were also chosen for their durability. "This aluminum-clad product will hold up over time," Barry says. "We wanted to minimize the upkeep on the house."

For interiors, the designers chose reclaimed items to convey a warm, lived-in feeling. "We used materials that you'd find in some of the area's historic homes," Barry says. Old brick fashions the fireplace while antique heart pine forms floors, staircase elements, and columns. "You just can't get that look with new bricks or flooring," Bill says.