Tag Archives: cape cod renovation

Before and After Bliss: Home Renovation Inspiration

At C.J. Riley Builder, we love helping Cape Codders transform their homes. So when we’re not out literally renovating, we’re prowling the internet for before-and-after home renovation inspo. Check out one of our recent renovation projects, and a few online finds we love, below.

This kitchen renovation featured on ArchitecturalDigest.com was one for the books. The space was so cramped and dingy that even its well-meaning lighting fixture seemed obtrusive.

Opening up the space was the first step in the room’s transformation. Clean lines – the waterfall edge on the counter, streamlined cabinetry without handles – add a contemporary feel to the new kitchen. Love the on-trend blue accent cabinets, and the unexpected pops of black used in the pendant lights and stools.

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This kitchen transformation we found on CountryLiving.com is so satisfying. Even the high-end appliances (is that an Aga?!) couldn’t save the room from feeling dark and dated.

Although the size of the kitchen remains unchanged, a fresh palette of creamy hues lightens the look considerably. Open shelving used in lieu of upper cabinets make the space feel larger and add texture, as does the shiplap paneling.

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before and after kitchen

In yet another kitchen remodel before-and-after story, also on ArchitecturalDigest.com, what was 1970s ski-chalet style run amok is now all about timeless style.

The loft space above is now open to the kitchen, adding airy appeal. New windows and a nearly white-on-white palette make the formerly dingy room feel fresh. Touches of natural wood add rustic flair, perfect for a slope-side home.

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It isn’t just before-and-kitchen remodeling ideas that fire up our creative energies.

While this master bedroom, another ArchitecturalDigest.com find, was okay before, the after photo proves how much of a difference even small changes can make.

The odd cabinetry behind the sofa has been replaced with oversized windows. Hello, sunshine! With the swinging doors leading to the patio, which chew up a lot of floor space, swapped out for another window, there is now enough room for a sitting area. Shiplap paneling and woven blinds add dimension.

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Another example of small changes making a major difference is our own renovation of Designers Walk, an Osterville retail space that had seen better days.

The overall footprint remained unchanged, but with the tired carpet replaced with fresh hardwood flooring that we laid out in a chevron pattern, a soothing palette of white and gray, and dramatic hanging light fixtures, this “walk” is now worthy of its “designers” moniker.

before and after home

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Ready to write your own before and after story? We’re here to help. Get in touch today to discuss how our expert team can bring your vision to life.

6 Signs Your Shingles Need Replacing

When it comes to your Cape Cod home, we at C.J. Riley Builder consider preventative maintenance just as important as cosmetic projects. One maintenance project that can also give your exterior a face-lift is replacing your home’s roof and siding. If your siding and roof shingles are looking worn, they may need to be replaced. Don’t wait until a major problem, like a leaking roof, creates an emergency: keep an eye out for these signs that your home is due for new shingles.

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Curling and Cracking

If cracks are beginning to show in your siding, or the siding is curling, it needs replacing. Keep in mind that installing new siding in four-inch rows, often referred to as a “Nantucket Course,” rather than the traditional five-inch, can help prevent this kind of curling in the future.

Bald Spots

Take a close look at your roofing shingles: if you see “bald spots” where granules are missing, this is indicative of shingle breakdown. In addition, if you notice granules washing off your shingles during heavy rains, this is another sign that your roof is at the end of its lifespan.

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Unfortunately, mold loves shingles, especially the cedar shingles that are so popular on Cape Cod. Over time, mold will consume ingredients found in shingles, leading to leaks. If your shingles have a blackened look to them, mold is probably the culprit. Consider replacing your painted shingles with “dipped” alternatives to keep them looking fresh and save yourself the job of repainting in the future.


Lichen also loves shingles. If your roof is covered in lichen, it’s time to replace. The same goes for moss growth, which can cause big problems if left unchecked. If ignored, moss can thicken until it crowds out and warps your shingles, at which point you’ll need to hastily replace them.


This one may be obvious, but heavy rains wear away at roof shingles over time, and if you experience a leak, it’s definitely time for a roof upgrade. At first, your roof may leak only during heavy rain and wind, but it will only weaken from there, and that can lead to much more water damage.

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Finally, if you have an older home, your shingles are working on borrowed time. If your roof, for example, is 20 years old or more, it was likely built with shingles that have limited durability compared to modern alternatives. In recent years, architectural shingles have become the industry standard. These shingles are traditionally constructed with a fiberglass base, ceramic-coated granules, and water-resistant asphalt. Also called dimensional or laminated shingles, these newer alternatives combine a sleek look with a longer lifespan for your roof.

Replacing your shingles can transform your home, and at C.J. Riley Builder, our experienced team is always ready to upgrade your space with expert care.

All photos are from our projects.