Building Your Custom Beachfront Home: Make it a Breeze!


Building your dream home is an exciting project…now let’s add a luxurious front row seat to panoramic ocean views. Now we’re talking!

Owning a home on the beach offers the luxury of your very own tranquil piece of paradise, allowing you a daily picturesque view of sea and sand fulfilled with crisp salt-air breezes, each and every day.

While building a home near the beach indeed has its rewards, there are certain conditions you’ll want to account for. If you’re contemplating the exciting venture of building a custom beachfront home, in areas such as California and Hawaii for example, there are a few things to you’ll want to consider and we’re listing out just a few of the common pieces of advice we like to offer clients looking to make this dream their reality.

Before You Purchase Beachfront Property

Building a custom home on the beach would clearly seem as though you have the ideal location element covered as far as prime real estate is concerned, but choosing the right location is paramount and working a with a contractor who knows the area will give you the ultimate advantage.

This idea especially rings true when building a home near the ocean. A reputable contractor will help you find lot with a solid foundation suitable for building, or even help to do some homework to make it so. Some factors that will be taken into consideration for example are, how close the property is to the water, the history of beach erosion, and other local variances.

After you have found the ideal location to build your beach house, your architect and or contractor will likely look into something called an elevation certificate. Some areas might have strict standards regarding floor elevation for a newly constructed home, and an increase in elevation may incur some added costs. A good contractor will be able to help you determine the total height allowed for your new home, which is extremely important as this can greatly impact the architectural design.

Close proximity to such a vast body of water inevitably equates to coastal areas being prone to flooding, so another important consideration when choosing beach property is flood zones. While it’s precautionary, it’s good to have an in-depth knowledge of this subject to account for the potential costs involved.

Below is a very basic breakdown, but the complexities of this subject will require some careful thought and discussion with your building team.

  • Zone V is closest to the water and carries the highest flood insurance rates. Building in this zone will commonly add about 15-30% to the total cost.
  • Zone A is considered a coastal flood hazard area, where the waves are no bigger than three feet. Typically, building a home in an A Zone will add 10-15% to the cost of construction.


Choosing the Right Builder For Your Home

Building a home near the beach has its own set of rules. You’ll want to do your homework to find a reputable construction builder who has experience designing and building in your coastal market.

Using a full-service home building company that offers in-house architecture and design (our firm does this!) gives you the ultimate advantage. With an operation like this you’ll gain a team of individuals who work holistically and are familiar with the unique practices of doing coastal construction and have strong working relationships with other trusted vendors and subcontractors.

Materials to Use in Your Home at the Beach

When it comes to building materials for your beach house, quality and durability is key! Materials that are exposed to the ocean air must be durable and able to withstand the harshness of the natural corrosive elements that inevitably surround the beach environment.

Everything from roofing material, to paint grade, wood choices must be tough enough to hold up against the salt-air, high humidity, and water reflective sunlight. Sacrificing quality on your home building materials will only cost you more money in the long run as you’ll likely have to replace them every few years to keep the home structurally sound.

Designing Your Dream House

Designing a beachfront home with an open floor plan is ideal to allow for efficient circulation when it comes to allowing ocean breezes and natural light to flow throughout the entire house. Consider adding ceiling fans to avoid the use of air conditioning. Terraces, decks, patios, and large windows are all potential features to consider as they can fully maximize your custom beach home, taking full advantage of the prime location you’ve rewarded yourself with.

Work with a professional interior designer to enhance your personal style and make the home a perfect representation of all that is you in this newly constructed space. Working closely with your architect and designer, you can also create a seamless flow from the style and decor inside to span seamlessly to a custom aerodynamic design outside.

Outdoor Living Space in Your Beach Home

This new dream home, in the ultimate oceanfront dream location presents the ultimate useable living space, outdoors.

Make use of your scenic ocean backdrop by creating an outdoor dwelling to spend time with family and friends, or that can even be used as a peaceful personal space. Provide a means to wash away sand and saltwater by installing an outdoor shower. Add to your checklist outdoor living elements such as the sitting areas, cozy fire pits and comfortable, durable furniture.

Love to cook and entertain outdoors, use the ocean as your perfect backdrop to a sunset dinner party with an outdoor kitchen and bar!

Imagine enjoying your evenings outside, grilling with friends and family, while basking in the glow of the sunset. Oh, heaven really can be a place on earth when you’ve considered all your options, hired the dream team of construction and design specialists, and built your custom dwelling (the right way) on the beach.


Smith Brothers is a unique team of construction craftsmen, architects, and interior designers. Since 1978, we stress the absolute highest levels of quality, performance, value and service in each and every project. Our award-winning design ideas, expertise, and collective experience allow us to provide the very best in what we do. For more information please contact us at 877-230-0333, (+01) 858-350-1445, or

Design-build team collaborating on project

What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Design-build Team?

Clients who have worked with us know that what we offer is different than the traditional design-bid-build project delivery method — in which…

Architect tool, journal and table

Working with Your Architect: What to Expect

As the age-old saying states, “your home is your castle,” so designing it to fit your lifestyle is essential Your home should provide a…

smith brothers beach home

Community Spotlight: Things to Know When Building in San Diego

You found the perfect lot for your dream home Now what Well, if you’re planning on building within the San Diego County area, you need to first…