November-December 2015 | REMARKABLE RENOVATION




In the wake of Bart Harrison’s personal tragedy, McCarthy & Son exhibited creativity and craftsmanship that allowed him to return home

Written By: Nick Brandi | Photographer: GRANT L. GURSKY and KELSEY MCCARTHY

When a fire swept through the Ocean City condo he’d owned in Caine Woods for more than 20 years, Bart Harrison was devastated. Though he’d immediately hired a contractor to restore the premises, Harrison was left dissatisfied with their progress. At the same time, Bart noticed that McCarthy & Son had been working year-round across the street, so one day he decided to approach them.

“After speaking with us, Bart was satisfied that we understood his needs and could deliver the kind of quality results he was looking for,” recalled Kevin McCarthy, the company’s founder. “We were pretty busy then, but we were able to begin work shortly after we’d met, in late 2014.” 

First, McCarthy attended to the first-floor unit’s structural needs. “We began by spray-foaming the ceiling and outside walls with sound-back insulation, then added sound channel to hang the fire-rated drywall on,” Kevin said. “The result is not only a more fire-safe premises than Bart had known previously but also an incredibly quiet, energy-efficient space, all of which gave him a lot of peace of mind.” McCarthy then installed an energy-efficient heat pump and water heater, complemented by highly rated UL and DP windows and doors, for extra energy efficiency and wind resistance — a real plus in an era of especially violent Mid-Atlantic storms.

After 35 years in the industry, Kevin McCarthy is as much a designer as he is a builder/contractor. He proceeded to deck out the kitchen with beautiful Mid-Continental Shaker-style cabinetry, which expresses the quintessential look of a seaside Eastern Shore home. The granite-topped kitchen eating area with matching Shaker-style wainscoting, meanwhile, was personally handcrafted by Kevin and his crew, whose work has been featured previously in the likes of Better Homes & Gardens and whose ecstatic clients range from New England to Virginia and beyond.

He parlayed this classic style with stunning high-grade granite for the kitchen countertops and the master-bath vanity. Opulent travertine marble graces not only the floors of both spaces but also forms the eye-catching backsplash boasted in the kitchen. The master bath also features the timeless elegance of mortarless stacked stone over the tub. Porcelain bowl sinks set halfway down in the granite complete the master bath’s look.

Kevin chose Santa Fe-style bypass doors throughout the premises, echoing the rustic yet tasteful aesthetic sensibilities of its owner. Adams Casing moldings frame the home’s windows and doorways, and crown moldings display class throughout. And with finishing touches that include not only state-of-the-art Samsung stainless steel appliances (Kevin’s pick for best value for the dollar) but also brushed-nickel faucets and fixtures, there’s no mystery as to why Bart Harrison views McCarthy & Son Contracting as the silver lining to the otherwise dark cloud of his 2014 fire.

In addition to floor-to-ceiling restoration work, McCarthy & Son offers the same exceptional craftsmanship for room additions, hardscaping (Kevin’s been a stonemason for more than three decades) and even light-commercial building, as exemplified by Ristorante Antipasti on 33rd St. in Ocean City.

See more of McCarthy & Son’s work at


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