Residence Redux: A home for the future
Cataldo recalls the deliberate and thoughtful process of continually tweaking the positioning and siting of the new house. Day after day for over six weeks, sometimes only adjusting by inches, Cataldo would spend hours at the site with the team assembled, imagining how small changes to the positioning of the house could reap big benefits. “You have to rotate it, you have to elevate it, and you have to study it because there is always a compromise somewhere. You usually can’t have it all! We could have gone up and achieved a slightly better view, but it would have meant another step across the entire back of the house, but instead the stone patio is flush with the lawn, no steps, and it’s perfect. We considered where the family could accommodate a tent in the back for major celebrations,” Cataldo recalls, as he illustrates the difference in approach this team brought to this project. Most homeowners will work with an architect to design a home that meets their needs and takes best advantage of the site upon which they will build. Then the builder steps in and constructs that vision, always looping back with the architect, the landscape architect, and the team for slight amendments. Cataldo understood the importance of getting this project just right. “You only have one chance to get it right; you’re not going to build a house of this size and feel good about having regrets because you didn’t think things through completely,” he says. “This is one of the best oceanfront sites I’ve not only ever worked on but have ever seen, and I’ve seen many.”
His commitment and passion becomes clear as he recalls the activity of the team to get things just right. “I’d call meetings with the engineers. I’d have them stake the corner of the house in relation to the corner of the patio. I’d have them put first floor elevations on a stake. I’d push dirt around with a machine so landscape architect Greg Bilowz could provide his final blessing. You have one chance and Charlie trusted me. We had a great team that took our time and maximized this opportunity,” Cataldo says.
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