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Building on Inspiration

Cataldo Custom Builders, Inc.

“Accomplishing the impossible still drives me after thirty years.”
~ Ralph Cataldo

“March 12th was the day when everything changed. We had a contracted deadline of June 15th, just three months away, and we made it,” Ralph Cataldo, President of Cataldo Custom Builders Inc. remembers. Life was moving at a normal pace for Cataldo, who was fortunate enough to be playing in a hockey tournament in Germany with two Cape-based teams. It was in an instant at 3am that everything shifted for Cataldo and the entire world. As the shutdown in Europe was announced, he rushed to purchase a plane ticket home. While also in the midst of building a clients’ dream home on Buzzards Bay, the world changed, but his team’s deadline remained the same. To start, the existing home was torn down to make way for a completely new custom design. This was to become the Devellis family’s dream getaway; a sanctuary for the unpredictable summer of 2020. Architect Denise Bonoli, landscape architect Greg Bilowz, interior designer Donna Burns, and builder Ralph Cataldo united with one common goal—for their clients to enjoy their completed home for the entirety of the summer season. 

“If not for the sacrifice of Jason Rebello, our staff in the office and the solid relationships we have with all of our subcontractors, there was no way this could have happened,” Cataldo says. The unforeseen changes the pandemic had on the building process were drastic, in terms of both supplies and labor. “Maintaining schedules was impossible. We had to wait for the anxiety and fear to calm down. That dramatically affected our schedule. We pivoted to working nights and weekends to keep people apart. Then we could open the doors with very few people. We set-up washing stations, found elusive sanitizer and paper towels, and made significant changes to the way we worked. We were trying to finish complex and highly-crafted interior finish work, while at the same time complete a built-in pool, outdoor kitchen area, a fire pit terrace, and extensive landscaping work. We all did our best,” Cataldo continues. Though on a tight schedule, Cataldo’s unwavering philosophy was to never oblige anyone to work. Team members communicated in advance, and whoever arrived each day was the team that worked on their various disciplines that day.

Fluctuating crews was one feat, and the supplies were a separate conquest. When states shut down labor and manufacturing, the project was impacted by delayed cabinet delivery, flooring delivery, and challenges in obtaining hardware and pressure treated lumber. The expected lead times increased, and thus made it more difficult to keep track of it all. “We had to be smart and order everything as soon as we could so it would arrive as quickly as possible. The only thing we could control was the order time, so that’s what we controlled, and that’s where we won the battle,” Cataldo adds. 

For the exterior, the landscaping was a substantial portion of the project. The team completed the pool, fire pit, automated screens for an outdoor kitchen area, bocce court, and a professional golf green with a bunker. The interior work was extensive as well. The home’s custom details are numerous, including a gourmet kitchen, intricate woodwork, built-ins, custom stonework, new hardwood floors and stairways throughout the home. The homeowners wanted a comfortable home with a spectacular Buzzards Bay sunset view, and that is exactly what they received.

“Everybody had to come through, and they all did. I had an aggressive schedule and everyone adhered to it. It was phenomenal teamwork. I can’t thank them enough for their trust in me: the homeowners, Jim and Paul Devellis, their project consultant Rich Lemanski, and our team, for giving us everything we needed to bring this project to completion. For me, I have been doing this for so long, I thought I had seen it all, but this year disproved that. It is still a great feeling to pull something like this off. We had four projects to complete, and all four families moved in for the summer,” Cataldo shares.

“The entire family was there for July 4th. The pool was working and the fire pit was lit. Everything was done. The Devellis family was one of the lucky ones that was able to use their home in 2020 and we are all very happy that our team came together for them,” he continues. 

“March 12th was the day when everything changed. We had a contracted deadline of June 15th, just three months away, and we made it,” Ralph Cataldo, President of Cataldo Custom Builders Inc. remembers. Life was moving at a normal pace for Cataldo, who was fortunate enough to be playing in a hockey tournament in Germany with two Cape-based teams. It was in an instant at 3am that everything shifted for Cataldo and the entire world. As the shutdown in Europe was announced, he rushed to purchase a plane ticket home. While also in the midst of building a clients’ dream home on Buzzards Bay, the world changed, but his team’s deadline remained the same. To start, the existing home was torn down to make way for a completely new custom design. This was to become the Devellis family’s dream getaway; a sanctuary for the unpredictable summer of 2020. Architect Denise Bonoli, landscape architect Greg Bilowz, interior designer Donna Burns, and builder Ralph Cataldo united with one common goal—for their clients to enjoy their completed home for the entirety of the summer season. 

“If not for the sacrifice of Jason Rebello, our staff in the office and the solid relationships we have with all of our subcontractors, there was no way this could have happened,” Cataldo says. The unforeseen changes the pandemic had on the building process were drastic, in terms of both supplies and labor. “Maintaining schedules was impossible. We had to wait for the anxiety and fear to calm down. That dramatically affected our schedule. We pivoted to working nights and weekends to keep people apart. Then we could open the doors with very few people. We set-up washing stations, found elusive sanitizer and paper towels, and made significant changes to the way we worked. We were trying to finish complex and highly-crafted interior finish work, while at the same time complete a built-in pool, outdoor kitchen area, a fire pit terrace, and extensive landscaping work. We all did our best,” Cataldo continues. Though on a tight schedule, Cataldo’s unwavering philosophy was to never oblige anyone to work. Team members communicated in advance, and whoever arrived each day was the team that worked on their various disciplines that day.

Fluctuating crews was one feat, and the supplies were a separate conquest. When states shut down labor and manufacturing, the project was impacted by delayed cabinet delivery, flooring delivery, and challenges in obtaining hardware and pressure treated lumber. The expected lead times increased, and thus made it more difficult to keep track of it all. “We had to be smart and order everything as soon as we could so it would arrive as quickly as possible. The only thing we could control was the order time, so that’s what we controlled, and that’s where we won the battle,” Cataldo adds. 

For the exterior, the landscaping was a substantial portion of the project. The team completed the pool, fire pit, automated screens for an outdoor kitchen area, bocce court, and a professional golf green with a bunker. The interior work was extensive as well. The home’s custom details are numerous, including a gourmet kitchen, intricate woodwork, built-ins, custom stonework, new hardwood floors and stairways throughout the home. The homeowners wanted a comfortable home with a spectacular Buzzards Bay sunset view, and that is exactly what they received.

“Everybody had to come through, and they all did. I had an aggressive schedule and everyone adhered to it. It was phenomenal teamwork. I can’t thank them enough for their trust in me: the homeowners, Jim and Paul Devellis, their project consultant Rich Lemanski, and our team, for giving us everything we needed to bring this project to completion. For me, I have been doing this for so long, I thought I had seen it all, but this year disproved that. It is still a great feeling to pull something like this off. We had four projects to complete, and all four families moved in for the summer,” Cataldo shares.

“The entire family was there for July 4th. The pool was working and the fire pit was lit. Everything was done. The Devellis family was one of the lucky ones that was able to use their home in 2020 and we are all very happy that our team came together for them,” he continues. 

Visit Cataldo online at cataldobuilders.com.



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