Ask the Pros: Construction

Advice on designing the perfect home by the bay

What challenges do you face when building on the water and how do you overcome them?

Corrosion and weathering from driving wind and salt spray is one challenge. We use modern door and window systems, welded copper flashing, rot-resistant materials such as PVC, stone, and îpe, and other specialized water-resistant finish systems.

Another challenge is critical area, floodplain and buffer management. We retain and protect steep slopes, minimize runoff and build sustainably. Because we often build below the water table, we use extensive de-watering and waterproofing systems as well as large-scale sheeting and shoring.

Storm-water management and flood protection are another challenges. We carefully plan grading, drainage, and drywells, and use integrated flood vents where required. In every project, our success is achieved through the collaboration of homeowner, architect, and builder. —Bret Anderson, Pyramid Builders,   Annapolis, Maryland.

This Mediterranean-influenced home was constructed by Pyramid Builders on Whitehall Creek in Annapolis. Its European-style flat-tile roof, stucco walls and stone terrace and retaining walls create a timeless, rustic look.