2011 Ultimate Beach House, Week 1: Breaking Ground

March 21, 2011 | By | Comments (4)

Every new calendar year, Coastal Living breaks ground on what will be the year’s “Ultimate Beach House”—a seaside dwelling that we build from the ground up to showcase the best of coastal design (click here for photos of last year’s).

We recruit one distinguished architect, one topnotch interior designer, and a very talented developer/building team (plus a slew of fantastic building, supply, and décor sponsors) who spend months building the beach abode of our dreams—which will then appear in one of our fall issues. This year we’re lucky to have landed architect Steve Mouzon, interior designer Phoebe Howard, developer East Beach Company, LLC, and construction manager Simpson Builders, Inc to create our 2011 Ultimate Beach House in East Beach, Virginia. (Click here to meet the team.)

For the first time ever, every other Monday until the fall premier of the house, a member of the building team will post insider updates and exclusive behind-the-scene photos so that you can literally see what it takes to build our fabulous beach house from the ground up. Be sure to check in every other Monday and leave comments below—we’d love to hear what you think! Angela Smith of East Beach Company writes:

 “Construction on the 2011 Coastal Living House began soon after the 2010 holidays—despite the two feet of snow drifts that piled high on our building site. While fighting the unusually harsh Virginia weather (is it summer yet?), the first two floors were framed, showing off what will soon be stunning views of the Chesapeake Bay through living room windows. Simpson Builders Inc, the construction manager on this project, has been building beautifully detailed homes in East Beach since 2004. (Howard Simpson can be seen shoveling snow in the photo below).

 CL House HowardShovelingSnow4

CL House Rear Elevation Looking West 


"Now that it’s March, cherry trees are almost in full bloom, baby birds are singing and the Coastal Living Ultimate Beach House is looking more miraculous by the day. Since Mother Nature has finally graced us with warmer weather it seems there is nothing stopping the determined workers who are putting their hearts and souls (and nails and bolts) into this project. This week’s update: The major building framing is officially finished—from the four porches to the exterior sheathing to the interior walls in the 800 square foot third floor attic. The plumbers and electricians are hard at work performing rough-ins (the electrical and plumbing work’s basic lines).

Exterior elevation 3-4-11

First floor bay window 3-4-11 


"The above photo is of what will be the first floor bday window. Can’t you just picture it now? Sitting at the table, drinking your morning coffee and taking in all the serene coastal beauty. Sounds like a good way to start off any day!” –Angela Smith, East Beach Company, LLC


  1. Sally

    who gets to live in it???

    March 25, 2011 at 9:42 am
  2. Babbs

    I’m with Sally – who gets to live there? Me? Please?! I spent 10 years living by the Chesapeake and boy do I miss it. Whoever does get to live there will definitely have stunning views of that coast!

    March 30, 2011 at 11:42 am
  3. Cameron(House Sale)

    I would love to live here. Its near the beach and the house looks great. I hope time would come and I could visit that place.

    April 6, 2011 at 1:41 am
  4. Private island

    Wow can you build me one on my private island in Port Orange Florida.

    March 17, 2013 at 3:56 am

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