C: Craftsmanship

Cape Cod Home  /  Annual Home 2020 / ,

Writer: Brenna Collins / Photographer: Dan Cutrona 

M. Duffany Brothers

Michael and Christy Duffany began in 1983 with a vision to provide full-service, quality craftsmanship to the world of home building on Cape Cod, pioneering their business out of their home. Their son Tim’s fond childhood memories consist of workers beginning their days in the family kitchen. Brothers Todd and Tim are now both employees of the family company, with Todd working in the field on locations for the past 16 years, and Tim working behind-the-scenes for the past two. Today, M. Duffany Builders thrives with 30 employees, headquartered in Michael’s childhood home, which they renovated to bring back to its historical roots. “There is a lot of pride in this company. The quality is the primary drive for us, as most of our clients own a property they are going to have for a very long time,” Tim reflects.

M. Duffany Builders is a full-service firm, handling everything from the footings to the weather vane. “We do new builds, full renovations, additions, and baths. We also have about 75 homes that we watch seasonally. That has actually blossomed as a sidebar from building new homes, because when we do a big job, we typically keep an eye on the house after. When we work with someone, we are looking for a long-term relationship because we put so much into the project. It is an engaged collaboration with the owners and the architects to bring somebody’s dream to reality,” Michael says. Whether it be a mantle, compass rose, or a set of built-ins, M. Duffany often provides direct input to their clients to create special features. Their collaborations have brought endless visions to fruition, creating custom structures tailored to client’s lifestyles.  

In redesigning a 1930s Woods Hole waterfront home, M. Duffany, with architect Hickox Williams, transformed a summer home into a client’s dream home, with an open concept living space and a custom attic. Since the remodel, the company has done multiple projects with the homeowners and checks up on the home in the off-season, a testament to the trusted relationships built with clients. The home’s first floor was originally scattered with small bedrooms. Now, it is one dining and living room area looking through to the kitchen. The second floor was similarly reconfigured. Large doorways were added throughout the third floor, as well as an outside deck. 

On the top level, the expansive attic was thoughtfully crafted to maximize this additional space. Its custom-built arches transform and expand the area, functioning as eye-catching design features as well as weight bearing structures. “The homeowners had the vision to turn the attic into an office space, wanting to take advantage of the views and open this up into a nice living space. We came up with the arch in collaboration with the owners and architect so that it would carry the load and distribute it going down the house. Now, they can sit and spend time up there enjoying the water,” Michael reflects on the attic design. The wood used in the arches and throughout the space is a gorgeous combination of fir and antique yellow pine. In all, it took a few months to complete the arches, custom crafted by The Woodsmiths, Inc. of Falmouth. Each arch had to be built one piece at a time, specifically steamed into shape and laid out day by day, gradually becoming a complete structure.

Many other aspects in the home were also custom built from scratch, like the lit columns that act as bearing posts, as well as locally-sourced beams. A widow’s walk crowns the home, offering birds-eye, sweeping views. “There’s more to this house than meets the eye. The widow’s walk is on top of the house; we built a ladder-like staircase to go up through the deck, so it looks like it came off of a boat. The idea was to keep it nautical, so we built the ship ladder to get out to it. From there, you are 30 feet in the air looking over Buzzards Bay and over to Martha’s Vineyard. It is really special,” Michael adds. 

For the Duffanys, fine craftsmanship goes beyond the building and involves acting as a trusted team that clients can depend on for a lifetime. The company brings a refined skillset to the table from years of experience, united by a deep sense of pride. Like the widow’s walk in the Woods Hole summer home, M. Duffany Builders provides clients the chance to see the big picture of their home dreams.

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