Archive for February, 2010

The homes built on two lots in Beachtown are long, narrow and tall. 

This house is clearly no exception.   In addition, this house features about 70 windows and an extremely wide open floor plan on the first living floor.

To keep this house rigid and meet the Texas Windstorm requirements, this house has been reinforced with steel.   Lots of steel. 

Ten strategically placed steel portals (encasing doors and windows) ensures this house feels no sway in heavy winds. 

These portals are no longer visible from the exterior and will soon be covered up with sheet rock, so I am including interior pictures so you can see for yourself, the steel backbone of this home.

10 - First story portal around back storage room door


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Great article about Beachtown Galveston in the February issue of the Islander Magazine

Islander Magazine Feb 2010 Article on Beachtown - Page 1 

 The article highlights how Beachtown has put Galveston and Texas beaches on the radar of vacationers and those looking for the perfect place to locate their coastal home.  Why?

  • 800 acre nature preserve home to over 500 bird species
  • The only accreting beach on Galveston island, where beaches grown (rather than erode) three to seven feet per year.
  • New Urban design by world-renowned master planning and design firm of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co. (DPZ) – designers of Seaside and Rosemary Beach in Florida.
  • Inviting walkways, bike trails, parks, and green passageways.
  • Beautiful dune cross overs that are architectural icons.
  • Minutes away from Galveston’s Historic District, the Strand, 1894 Opera House, Cruise Terminal, and the University of Texas Medical Branch.
  • Homes built to the “Fortified…for Safer Living (R) program

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Front view of 810 Shiraz Passage

Plenty of porch space for admiring the views of the ocean, surrounding nature preserves, and the bay!


Other than actually walking the house, the best way to understand the interior flow of the house is to check out the floor plans. Check out the new layouts just posted on the “floor plans” tab. Like many homes in Beachtown, the design of this home is considered more Coastal Vernacular than Victorian.

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810 Shiraz Passage Facade

Excellent progress on the build


Visited the house on Feb. 18th to review progress and to approve some on-the-fly construction decisions.   

I am pleased to say that despite some unusual weather challenges this winter, Hank Gregory Builders are making excellent progress. We are on schedule to be at complete dried-in status by the end of the month.  As is always the case, Hank and his framing crew leader walked me around the home and pointed out numerous construction upgrades and features that will ensure this home is as maintenance free as possible.  They pointed out a number of additional steel supports they added for additional strength even above the stiff requirements of the engineering plans.  They also showed me a drainage system they devised to ensure that water would not get trapped between the decorative louvre walls and the walls enclosing the stairwells.  This system was more than just drilling some holes in the hardiplank.  It includes some metal pans behind the louvre system that protects both the stairwell walls and the decorative wooden louvres.   

Drainage system for louvres

Drainage system for decorative louvres outside of stairwells eliminates trapped water between louvre and wall.


This type of knowledge only comes from years hands-on experience – and Hank has plenty — with over 30+ years building on the island.    Including the rebuild of Murdocks Pier.   

The additional steel and drainage system are exactly the kind of extra details that will ensure that this home’s owners can spend their time relaxing rather than addressing maintenance issues.

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Beach erosion is a consistent and concerning problem for most of the Gulf Coast, including Galveston Island.   Just do a “google” search and you will quickly come across studies and articles documenting erosion rates across most of the island of between 3 and 10 feet per year.          

the beach in front of Beachtown Galveston is growing...not eroding.


In 2008, IKE made this situation even worse.  The beaches in front of the seawall were simply washed away.  See before and after photos on the USGS website.           

In early 2009, the Texas General Land Office decided to reclaim some of the sand that was lost.  Over 4,000 cubic yards were mined offshore and moved onshore.  Nearly two miles of beach in front of the seawall were restored. It was truly an impressive effort.          

Of course, if you are a frequent visitor to the island and the beaches, you are probably asking yourself “what happened to all that sand?”          

Much of that reclaimed sand has disappeared yet again.          

Well…I’ve got a hunch that it ended up back on the east end of the island, as the beaches in front of the Beachtown community are now exceeding their pre-IKE widths.  Not to mention that the beautiful Beachtown dunes are also largely restored.          

Simply put, rather than erosion, the beaches on the east end of the island and specifically in front of Beachtown, Galveston continue to grow.   This was one of the key selling points when we were considering  Beachtown vs. Beachside and Point West.   See the excellent Beach Growth Chart on Beachtown Galveston website.          

Sand washed away under the foundation

The beaches in front of other Galveston coastal communities are eroding. IKE didn't help. The high waters from IKE washed out the sand from under the foundation of this home on the west side of the island. The foundation remains are piled to the right of the home.


The geotubes on the west side beaches were no match for IKE.  They were simply torn apart leaving the homes exposed.  As the picture above and this YouTube video highlight, beachfront homes in Beachside actually had the sand completely washed away from under their foundations.  Not good!          

The growing beaches on the east end of the island is just one reason why Beachtown is clearly the best place to build / live on the island.          

Stay tuned for more reasons in future postings.          

To learn more about this under construction home, select the contact tab at the top of the page and complete/submit the form.

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If you answered yes to the question above, then we might have the home of your dreams.

We are currently in the process of building a 4 bedroom / 3.5 bath home that is for sale. In just a couple of weeks, we will be completely dried in.

The earlier you buy, the more you can influence the end product and finishing touches.

For more information, click on the contact tab at the top of the page and complete / submit the form.

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