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Built to weather the storm

"We did a lot that is not the norm in this region. I wanted to make sure that this home could stand up to any storm, and be protected from water damage."

Redfish Retreat at Beachside

When Angie and Richard Pratt were searching for their home away from home, they made a wish list that included everything they were looking for. They had looked around in the more congested areas such as Galveston, but the couple was looking for more of a getaway and less of a social scene.

An advertisement in the Houston Chronicle for a new gated community outside of Palacios, Texas, caught the attention of the couple from The Woodlands. They did not set high expectations for a community they hadn’t known of before, but the more they thought about it the more boxes Beachside checked off their list.


Angie is a retired educator, having put in many years teaching English at the high school and junior college levels. Richard, a petroleum engineer, had entered into the stage of his career where there was more time for play and less work and was looking for a nearby retreat where the two of them could enjoy the fruits of their professional labor. Palacios happened to be inside the two-hour travel time boundary they had set for themselves.

The couple booked a weekend at The Peaceful Pelican bed and breakfast and made plans to explore the quiet waterfront town.

“It was just perfect,” said Angie of the City by the Sea. “It had everything we were looking for.”

They were pleased to find excellent local restaurants, a beautiful park and seawall, a marina and even a neighborhood market/grocery store. The more they explored, the more boxes on their list they checked off.

“Beachside, itself, was impressive,” said Richard. “It being a well-maintained gated community, with a clubhouse is nice. The underground utilities were important to me, as well as the views around the property.”

As they were driving through the new development, they happened upon what they had been searching for. Right in the middle of the community’s shoreline was an incredible lot–two adjacent lots rather–with spectacular views of West Matagorda Bay.

“It offered exactly what we needed,” he said. “The position of the lot allowed for incredible views of sunrise and sunset, and it would accommodate the footprint of the home that we were looking to build.”

It was settled. The Pratts were joining the Beachside community in Palacios.


In the months that followed, Richard and Angie got to work on their dream home plans. The couple found a home design they wanted in South Carolina. They had taken it to a handful of builders in the region to work up preliminary plans.

Richard said his first meeting with the Lynn team “felt right.”

Though this would be their first time building a home, the Pratts knew exactly what they wanted. Working with the Lynn team, they planned every detail – from high-quality finishes to structural measures put in place to keep the waterfront home safe and dry.

The home that stands in Beachside today is platinum-rated for hurricane protection. It features a protective internal envelope with ZIP System® wall and roof sheathing, rain guard, as well as an internal dehumidifier and foam-cell insulation.

The structure includes a high roof pitch with a standing seam metal roof, rated with higher capacity windstorm clips. There is a third-level bunk room, with bunks built into the walls, requiring extra considerations on the framing plans.

Utilizing a Trex® composite decking system, the Pratts can enjoy their incredible views from a deck designed to withstand the elements and reduce the need for repair and paint year-over-year.

Finally, the home’s most prominent feature is the glazed shear wall facing the waterfront. To beef up the lateral load resistance, the home features 2×6 exterior walls. The 12×12 pilings the home rests on extend all the way up the outer walls, through the living room and up to the cathedral ceilings in the great room. The wall of impact-resistant windows allows ample natural light to permeate the space without sacrificing structural integrity.

The many technical features built into the home make it incredibly energy efficient. As the home is a part-time residence, the Pratts added a digital differential pressure water flow controller and pneumatic flow meter with a shutoff valve to sense water leaks. Variations in water flow when the home is not occupied trigger an automatic shutoff if consumption drastically increases above typical levels with a goal of preventing water damage.


Richard and Angie made certain that this home was fully customized and designed for their lifestyle. It includes an impressive stone fire pit on the ground level, as well as a lighted pier and boat dock.

Inside, the doorways are three feet wide and each of the home’s bedrooms includes its own handicap-accessible en suite. A large, heavy-duty elevator in the home provides easy access to the home for people and supplies alike.

“A home like this is not typical for this area,” said Richard. “We did a lot that is not the norm in this region. I wanted to make sure that it could stand up to any storm, and be protected from water damage. Some of the things we included were new to everybody. We all learned a lot in this process.”

“We wouldn’t change anything if we were to do it again,” added Angie. “There’s nothing like the feeling we have sitting on our back porch with a glass of wine and watching the sunset.”

It’s been nearly two years since Angie and Richard Pratt began moving furniture into their coastal getaway. Richard spends his free time chasing redfish in Matagorda Bay, Angie enjoys diving into a great book on the back deck. They are both thrilled to have the grandchildren over on the weekends – who love the bunk room.

“It’s phenomenal,” said Richard. “The Lynn team does things right. As a result, we now have the home we dreamed of.”

“We have a beautiful home,” he said. “Everything about it is ‘ours.’ When I’m not there, I’m thinking about being there.”

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