Luxury homebuilder Tim Dewson has entered into his third decade as the owner and president of Wilmington, Delaware-based Dewson Construction, and his company’s multimillion-dollar dwellings have become mainstays throughout the Diamond State—as well as parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey’s Avalon/Stone Harbor region, and Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay area. Basically, when the high demand for the firm’s work first grew in northern Delaware, it didn’t take long to spread.
“I believe we deal with clients with very high expectations, and we’re used to meeting them; we bring that to the table,” Dewson says. “We’re there on nights, weekends, … whatever it takes to provide the client what they want, we’re there for them. We work at a different level. … I’m not sure other [builders] have the same mindset.” This level of dedication can leave customers spoiled, and it was actually some former clients’ inability to find another builder of Dewson Construction’s caliber that recently sent the company in a new direction: the south Delaware hotspot known as Rehoboth Beach in Sussex County.
“We’re there nights, weekends, … whatever it takes to provide the client what they want, we’re there for them.”
Tim Dewson, Owner & President
“We had been considering going down there,” says John McMahon, the company’s vice president and director of operations. “But we had one or two clients that really pushed us over the edge to … make a go of it.”
Home additions and renovations are vital components of Dewson Construction’s repertoire, but its new-construction jobs—particularly its beachside vacation homes—are what have garnered it the most attention. The number of such projects waned considerably in the wake of 2008’s economic free fall, but now, with 15 projects in development at any one time—most of them $2–$5 million homes on lots worth up to $3 million—Dewson believes the tide has changed again. “Our clients had a very high net worth in 2007, and, sure, it dipped 30–40 percent from 2009 to 2012,” he says, “but they feel [they’re] back in the comfort zone now and are of the age where they want to stop and smell the roses more.”
Such customers, McMahon says, sometimes end up suffering through stilted communication with homebuilders that don’t offer much access to their company owners. “Everything kind of filters down through a few layers,” he explains, but he notes that he or Dewson or both make a point of being directly involved with the homeowners and the crew of each Dewson Construction project.
The firm’s jobs are also made easier by having carpenters and other craftspeople on staff rather than depending on subcontractors for everything. “There’s a lot of moving parts, and all of that has to be coordinated very well,” McMahon says. “That’s where our managers really set the standard.”
Dewson Construction raises the bar in terms of technique, too, focusing on the most current heating and cooling elements, insulation products, windows, and other aspects of green, location-based building. “There are many different techniques used on these [Rehoboth] homes, from insulation standpoints to hurricane shutters to Stormwatch- [and] hurricane-rated glass,” McMahon says. “That’s probably one of the largest differences between the north and south Delaware markets. But in all markets, people are looking to build the most energy-efficient, value-oriented home they can nowadays.”
No matter which high-end locale they’re serving, Dewson and his company make sure to create homes to match. “John and I keep our focus on the higher-end market because that’s what we’re most advanced in,” he says. “The craftsmanship goes hand in hand with what we do.”
Coastal Estate Home
For this vacation home—located only 200 yards from the ocean in Henlopen Acres, Delaware—Dewson Construction worked closely with the architect and interior designer to achieve a unique design and atmosphere while upholding its own high standards of artisanship. The home’s copper roof accents and ash-stained floors combine to create
a true beach oasis.
Coastal Vacation Home
Natural light and ocean views abound in this Nantucket shingle-style vacation home located in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. The open-space kitchen, bar, dining, and living area features mahogany and ebony cabinetry, reclaimed-beam ceilings, and a pebblestone fireplace with driftwood and marble accents. Outside is a stunning entertainment area with a pool, a spa, a chef-ready cooking area, a fireplace, and a pool house.
Balancing an elegant, classy aesthetic with a warm and inviting atmosphere, this Nantucket-style oceanfront home in Bethany Beach, Delaware, features an exterior pocket-door system that seemingly disappears into the wall, opening the indoor living and dining areas to the outdoor screened porch. The curved stairway, leading from the pier level to the third floor, is uniquely crafted of bleached-oak spindles, a continuous mahogany rail system, and a plaster curved ceiling. The kitchen, dining, and two-story living areas offer a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean.