With the help of McPhee Associates, a modest ranch is transformed into a two-story gambrel to maximize water views and family time.
Photographs by Amber Jane Barricman
Childhood memories of summers well-spent on the Cape brought Christine and Paul to the area when they were searching for their second home in 2012. When a modest ranch popped on the market, Christine couldn’t join her husband for the showing, but he called her and told her it was the one. The property was on a cul-de-sac just a few roads away from Christine’s brother’s house and had water and marsh views out back. “We bought it before I saw what it looked like inside,” she says.
The interior wasn’t a top priority for Christine. “Once we identified the property it didn’t matter too much what it looked like. I wanted to be on the water and to see the channel and all the activity,” says Christine.
When she was finally able to step into the house with keys in hand, she realized there were some renovations in their future. “It definitely needed updates, and we did some,” she says. Christine and her husband worked with McPhee Associates to design a master suite over the garage right away, but the rest of the house stayed the same. “My husband wanted to renovate before moving in, but I wanted to live in it and see how we used the space first, and I’m so glad we did.”
Over the next couple of years, Christine and Paul’s visions evolved. When they were ready to start the process, they called McPhee Associates again, who also happened to be the original builders of the house. “My dad built the original house in the 1980s,” says Rob McPhee, President of McPhee Associates. “We’ve done a lot of projects where McPhee was the original builder, and some where we are even working with the same family a generation or two later. It’s great when homeowners want to go back to the original builder.”