Charlie Crovo takes pride in the fact Dunhill Builders’ clients have recommended his company to their kids.
WHEN DELIVERING LUXURY homes on the exclusive Cape Cod and the Islands in Massachusetts, a dedication to quality and customer service is a must if any company to survive. Dunhill Builders has mastered this concept over the course of two decades, and today, the company is building for multiple generations of Cape Cod families, according to Charlie Crovo, owner and president of Dunhill Builders.
“We stand behind our work,” Crovo says. “We’ve been doing this for so long in the same location, we’re doing this for sons and daughters of our clients, which is a nice compliment.”
Crovo launched Dunhill Builders in 1996, but his roots on Cape Cod date back to his childhood. He grew up in the building industry on the Cape, where he worked as a roofer during high school. He left for college to receive his general contracting license from Wentworth College, then moved to Martha’s Vineyard to work for an established framer and general contractor.
Crovo’s boss at the time broke his leg, and he asked Crovo to work as his assistant. This opportunity gave Crovo the chance to learn how to manage a project and run an efficient job from cradle to grave.
In 1996, Crovo moved back to Cape Cod and built his first spec house. The Osterville, Massachusetts, home sold quickly, and Crovo moved onto another spec project, this one over-looking Lewis Bay in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. This project helped Crovo learn to properly build on water and abutting environmental conservation areas.
Along with residential projects, Dunhill Builders also is adept at construction of commercial properties. Crovo has managed the construction of an office plaza with a gas station and restaurant in downtown Osterville. Dunhill Builders also completed The Residences at 615 Main Street in July 2005, a 13-unit condominium project with a restaurant that was part of the rejuvenation of Hyannis, Massachusetts’ Main Street District.
Today, Crovo says 95 percent of Dunhill Builders’ revenues stem from higher-end residential homes on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard areas.
“We’ve been here quite a while – 20 years,” Crovo says. “And it’s all because word-of-mouth and the quality of our wellbuilt and constructed houses, and we stand behind them.”
Changing with the Times
These days, Dunhill Builders finds itself adding more energy-efficient and sustainable design elements and materials to the company’s luxury homes. For example, Crovo says closed-cell insulation is now the efficient choice over fiber-glass insulation. Dunhill Builders also has been tasked with delivering numerous Passive Houses and zero-net loss homes.
While energy efficiency and green building has hit the residential construction market nationwide, builders along the Eastern Seaboard also must consider hurricanes and the weather conditions they bring with them almost annually. Crovo says insurance companies on Cape Cod are demanding homeowners have hurricane brackets, tiedowns and shatterproof glass to better withstand the elements found in this region.
“People would put plywood sheets over their windows to protect their homes,” Crovo says. “We’re actually using Andersen 400 Impact Protection windows, which use all tempered glass.”
Aside from protecting their homes from the elements, homeowners on Cape Cod also are changing how they want their
homes laid out on the inside. Crovo says Dunhill Builders has catered to more open floorplans recently, which is new to the area in his experience.
Making a Splash
Dunhill Builders recently delivered a Gambrel house, a custom luxury single-family residence in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. According to Dunhill Builders, the home is settled into a beautiful landscape and has unbeatable views from every room.
One of the most luxurious and challenging features of this project was the pool installed beneath the garage. The garage itself extended over the pool, so Dunhill Builders had to create a structure strong enough to support cars as well as add safety barriers within the back wall, in case a car ever crashed through the back wall.
The bigger concern for Crovo and his team was the sheer amount of water required for the pool and the amount of moisture it would create, which could prove damaging if not treated properly.
“One of the things that is an enemy of the home is water and moisture, so how do you combat that?” Crovo says.
Dunhill Builders installed a special de-humidification system typically found in hotels with indoor pools. The system takes the humidity out of the air and uses the energy to heat the pool.
“I had done some hotel work with pools, so I had some expertise with that,” Crovo says.