Bethany Beach, DE
9,000 square feet
Dewson Construction worked at the client’s primary home before being selected to complete this Nantucket-style home on the Delaware shore. “This home is one of the best examples of our exterior and interior finish work,” Dewson says.
An intricate circular four-story staircase is the architectural focal point of the home. Made of reclaimed oak and incorporating a mahogany rail system and wavy spindles in bleached oak, the elegant stairway looks as if it’s floating as it ascends through the light-filled home.
The residence’s main gathering room overlooks the ocean and is enhanced by a coffered ceiling of bleached oak that matches the staircase railing. And the space extends into a screened exterior porch area via exterior pocket doors that slide directly into the wall on either side. There’s also a hot tub on the third floor, and an outside shower off the master bath allows the owners to privately shower outside while viewing the ocean through a porthole.
The biggest challenge was constructing the large home on a small lot on the ocean, Dewson says. Because of the environmental sensitivities of the area, the firm had to coordinate work with federal agencies, be considerate in its storage of materials, and physically control traffic in and out of the project.
Pennsylvania Farm House
Chester County, PA
4,500 square feet
Hanging near the front door of this Pennsylvania Farm House, a gas lantern burns perpetually, inviting family and friends warmly into the estate. It’s in keeping with the rest of the home’s design, which borrows much of its aesthetic from the architecture of 1800s Pennsylvania.
“This home is special to us because it’s a totally different style and very authentic,” Dewson says. Designed by acclaimed firm Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd., the stone-sided home is comfortable and informal but still elegant.
One notable feature is a large screened porch, supported by stone columns and covered by reclaimed barn beams supporting a copper roof. Other rustic yet fine elements in the space include reclaimed brickwork above the doorways and a two-story stone fireplace with a raised granite-curbstone hearth. The porch floor is concrete terrazzo with sea shell accents, a nod to the owner’s concrete business and his wife’s love of the ocean.
“The beautiful, open kitchen is by Paradise Custom Kitchens in Lancaster and includes an acid-etched granite island and marble countertops,” Dewson says. All the trim work inside and out was completed by Dewson’s stable of artisans, who worked largely with reclaimed materials to create a comfortable and sustainably sound home.
Chesapeake City, MD
4,000 square feet
A builder’s own home can sometimes be his or her best sales tool, and such is the case with this shingle-style residence on the Bohemia River. The home makes use of reclaimed materials, extensive millwork, and distinctive interior brickwork to put Dewson Construction’s talents on display.
“That’s our personal home,” Dewson says. “That home has brought a lot of clients to us. Each room is different, so it offers tons of ideas of what you can do.”
The home’s open floor plan includes a rear side built almost entirely of windowing, allowing views of the Chesapeake Bay from almost every room. And inside, those views are counter-balanced by a unique stone and brick wall, which runs through the middle of the home and separates more formal areas in the front from the casual, rustic areas in the back. The stone and brick wall is supported by the home’s foundation and a system of structural steel, and it includes a 14-foot-wide, three-foot-deep brick barrel arch that separates the eating area from the kitchen.
The home’s extensive brickwork also includes five masonry fireplaces, each of a different style and one with a granite curbstone hearth eight feet long. ABQ
Update: Since its appearance in American Builders Quarterly, Dewson Construction has not stopped talking with current and past clients about the article. The firm is happy to report that addition and renovation projects have increased, but it also continues to help clients create full custom dream homes. No matter the size of the work, Dewson Construction uses its top artisans to create one-of-a-kind projects. The company’s growth in the down economy is due to an incredible staff working in four distinct markets (Delaware and Southern Pennsylvania, the Delaware beaches, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Jersey Shore). Dewson’s relationship with architects, engineers, and designers is one of its greatest accomplishments, and articles such as this only strengthen that bond. The firm thanks American Builders Quarterly, its clients, and its staff for putting Dewson Construction at the top of its field and allowing the business to celebrate its 20th Anniversary in 2013.