About ERT Architects

The ERT Advantage

ERT Architects is an award-winning architecture firm offering an unparalleled combination of enthusiasm and expertise as well as an exemplary portfolio of successful work, including more than 700 Cape Cod and New England architectural and interior design projects. With 20 years of experience in both new home design and the renovation of existing homes, we pride ourselves not only on our guiding commitment to excellence, but also in providing our clients with incomparable customer service and communication.

While some other firms may fight innovation, ERTA incorporates advanced methods to our design process with the integration of high-tech project-support tools. The use of technology provides better overall client communication and accessibility, and a greater sense of accountability for our firm and the building professionals with whom we partner. We find that this modern approach to a timeless trade allows for a more seamless transition from idea to design to finished product.

In the design stage, clients work in conjunction with our principal architect, Erik Tolley, to manifest their visions via in-person meetings, telephone and email communications, the exchange of electronic drawings, and online collaboration tools. For example, Houzz allows users to browse millions of home interior and exterior photos and save those they like to an “Ideabook,” a personal collection of bookmarked photos which work to convey their interests and styles. Once created, these collections can be viewed simultaneously by both client and architect as a means to easily discuss ideas.

ERTA has an active online presence. We post project photos and progress reports regularly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Houzz. We also share news and detailed information on our projects in the ERTA News section of our website. Our clients love seeing their homes shared with our followers around the world. We also send out email newsletters which feature project updates and design inspiration.

So whether you are building the house of your dreams, or reimagining your current home, we welcome you to experience the ERTAdvantage.


ERT Architects takes pride in our effectively harmonized approach to architecture, interior design, and construction services. Our philosophy, ‘Inspired Design that Transcends Place and Time,’ is rooted in the belief that what we build today will not only endure, but also appeal to generations to come. The homes we design and build become heirlooms. We focus on not only building custom homes that stand the test of time, but also fostering lasting relationships with our clients.

At ERT Architects, we believe your home should reflect your personality, compliment your lifestyle, and provide you with comfort and functionality. We take the time to get to know you on a personal level so that we better understand your needs and how you live. Building or remodeling a home is not just about beauty and aesthetics; it’s about creating a space for you and your loved ones to enjoy life the way you want to live it. We take an active approach to learn your habits, daily routines, family dynamics, likes/dislikes, interests, and much more. Why? It’s simple. The better we understand you and your family’s needs, the more perfect a home we can create for you. We believe your home should be an extension of YOU.

OUR PRINCIPLES are guided by these core beliefs and practices:

Honor the tradition and contextual fabric of the area.

With more than 20 years of experience, we are truly coastal living experts. Whether establishing a home to enjoy after retirement, relocating for family or work, or building a seaside vacation retreat, ERTA understands that the decision to build or renovate a home on the Cape is an important one. Our experience with and knowledge of Cape Cod and New England designs sets us apart from our peers in the industry. Our expertise lies in honoring traditional Cape and Colonial style homes while marrying elements of the styles with innovative ideas and custom designs. We bring beautiful visions to life while preserving the integrity of the stunning natural surroundings of the area.

Take a holistic approach to architecture.

ERTA focuses on the small details while keeping the big picture in mind. When designing, we ask questions like, “How does what we do today affect our neighborhood, our town, our state, and our world tomorrow?” We not only think in terms of how your home will serve your family’s current needs, but we also anticipate the changing wishes of future generations and incorporate these into your home’s design.

Think globally, act locally.

ERTA’s team of design and construction professionals incorporate the most environmentally responsible practices into your home, without sacrificing your needs and wishes. We ensure that your home considers its impact on the local and global environment through the employment of responsible building and maintenance practices.

 Practice sustainable design.

In an age when renewable resources are endangered, energy is becoming more costly, and global economies are becoming increasingly volatile, ERTA is committed to the concept of creating sustainable, self-sufficient architecture. We also believe that our clients’ time is a resource that must be protected, and that an efficient design can make the difference between a home that you must continuously serve through perpetual maintenance and one that serves you through efficiently minimized maintenance requirements.

Be environmentally friendly and utilize renewable and/or recyclable resources whenever possible.

We consider many elements of sustainable green design, including the preservation of open spaces and conservation of water, as well as passive solar and geothermal design. These considerations guide our design suggestions while enabling you to honor a commitment to environmentally responsible living through the benefit of our experience and professional knowledge.

ERTA’s professionals dedicate themselves to ongoing education so that we remain actively informed of today’s most energy-efficient, renewable, and recyclable systems, methods, and materials. We understand the exciting and growing science behind ecologically responsible living.

Erik Robert Tolley, Principal

Erik Robert Tolley, Principal

A native and lifelong resident of Cape Cod, Erik received his undergraduate and graduate degrees, both in architecture, from Norwich University in Vermont, then returned to the Cape to establish ERTA in 2001.

As principal and lead architect for all of ERTA’s commissions, Erik works directly with clients through every phase of design and construction, as well as overseeing day-to-day management of the firm. Undertaking full responsibility through his direct accountability, accessibility, and commitment to ERTA’s clients’ satisfaction, from initial meeting through final walkthrough, is the foundation of Erik’s success.

“Success as an architect requires more than the experience-based knowledge of the science and art of architecture. Success can only be achieved if I understand exactly what my client envisions, and how to meet their needs in a cost-efficient and creative way. This demands understanding that can only come through truly getting to know the client and their family’s current needs, and to anticipate how those needs may change over time.” — Erik Robert Tolley, Cape Cod Architect

“Kathy and I thank you very much for the time and effort that you put in to making our concept come to life through the design you created. More importantly, we were pleased that you took the time to listen to the ideas that Kathy and I had envisioned and researched over many, many months. Being so attentive was a principal factor in the successful outcome.” — R. Sullivan, Dennis, MA

Erik resides in Yarmouthport with his wife and two sons and enjoys dedicating his spare time to his children’s sporting and school activities, as well as participating in his town’s government. Erik has served on and continues to dedicate his time to numerous town boards, commissions, and committees, and remains fully informed and aware of all the regulatory intricacies involved in designing and building on Cape Cod.

“We would like to express what a pleasure it has been to work with you all; Erik, Barbara, Mike and all your co-workers. Everyone has gently guided us through every stage of building; from design and permits to occupancy certificate. Our heartfelt thanks for an amazing experience.” — J. & S. Caruso, Lexington, MA

Erik takes pride in welcoming clients to his office as if welcoming friends to his home, extending his sincere hope that yours will be the next home designed and friendship built.




Bachelor of Architecture, cum laude


Master of Architecture


Massachusetts Licensed Architect #10730, 2001
NCARB Certification, #56,438
LEED AP, 2009


Town of Yarmouth Old Kings Highway Historic District Committee
Town of Yarmouth Conservation Commission
Town of Yarmouth Planning Board
Town of Yarmouth Community Preservation Committee
Town of Yarmouth Community Housing Committee
Town of Yarmouth Design Review Committee
Town of Yarmouth Affordable Housing Trust
Town of Yarmouth Board of Selectmen
Cape Cod Regional Technical High School Building Committee
Town of Yarmouth Department of Public Works Building Committee
Dennis Yarmouth Regional School District Building Committee

Check out a selection of magazine articles featuring ERT Architects past projects

Best of HOUZZ 2016, Service
Marvin Architects Challenge; top 3 nationwide 2013, top 25 nationwide 2015