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We spend a significant amount of time working on the finer details of our projects.  The end results are rewarding not just for ourselves, but also the end-users and owners of the buildings.  However, these details are not always just for looks.  Homes and commercial buildings today are implementing more and more building systems to help with life safety, building comfort, and overall sustainability.  All of these systems live behind the beautiful finishes and details that we create in our buildings.  Some of these details can require an immense amount of coordination to pull off well and each building will require different approaches to achieve the desired result.

In most of our custom homes, the goal is to heat or cool a space with little to no attention drawn to the ducts, pipes, and registers required for building.  Sometimes it is not as simple as just running a pipe or duct within a floor or ceiling space due to conflicts with the building structure.

In larger commercial building projects, we’ll use complex three-dimensional models of the building to help coordinate all of the required systems.  This allows us to spot potential conflicts ahead of construction and reduce problems in the field. The above images illustrate the coordination model produced during the design process to identify and eliminate conflicts between structural members and elements of the heating, air conditioning, fire protection, and plumbing systems.  The below photo shows how those pieces fit together in the field after installation.

Radiant heating systems, like those pictured above, are an extremely efficient way to heat a space, but these systems require some specialized details for flooring installation as well as finding a proper location for the required equipment. Establishing areas where those loops occur and making sure that we plan for the right amount of heating coil is especially important to ensure a comfortable space.

Coordinating the location of piping for plumbing fixtures can be especially difficult in some instances.  Due to structural beams and the required slope for pipes to properly drain, we’re sometimes limited in the ways that we can conceal the pipes. The result is a great looking bathroom shown below.

Photo by Rob Karosis

In larger buildings with bathrooms, showers and kitchen equipment in various places, these systems can become increasingly complex.

Pipes and ducts are not the only system components that can be hard to hide.  Electrical wiring can be a challenge as well whether it is due to larger wire sizes or an increased number of wires coming into one space.

While we often focus on eye-catching design, it’s these hidden, functional features that make a custom home or commercial space safe and comfortable. Taking great care to plan elements like pipes, ducts, wiring, and plumbing can make all the difference, and we’re just as committed to getting these details just right as we are to designing a beautiful space.

Considering a custom home of your own? Get in touch with us for a consultation.

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Many of our projects begin with a totally clean slate — bringing a client’s vision to life by designing a brand new and completely custom home. But starting from scratch isn’t always necessary. When the location of a home is just right, or an existing home is rich with historic details, a client may choose to renovate instead. Over the years, we’ve had several opportunities to renovate historic homes in stunning locations — blending classic New England charm with the style and needs of a modern family.

Read on to learn more about some of our favorite exterior renovations…

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A few months ago, we shared the beginning stages of a sustainable Maine home in progress with you. This homeowner desired to implement practical, sustainable elements within a traditional, Cape Cod style home. In our last post, we walked you through our process from laying the foundation to completing the basic structure of the home. Today, we’ll give you a detailed look inside so you can see how we’ve insulated the house for maximum efficiency.

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When you read the words “Maine home,” we bet there’s plenty that comes to mind: rolling hills, peaceful views, and classic New England style. Sustainability and efficiency, however, are probably not at the top of that list. In the past, prioritizing sustainability would dictate the overall design of a home, meaning styles like a classic Cape house would be out of the question. Today, however, it’s easier than ever to incorporate green features into traditional architecture… of course, having years of experience with both like we do doesn’t hurt either.

In this series of blog posts, we’ll be documenting the progress of a Maine home that features both classic design elements and a forward-thinking approach for both the current homeowner and the generations to come. We hope you enjoy following along!

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A beach cottage offers an escape from reality. It’s a place for quality time spent with loved ones, fun in the sun, and relaxation. Of course, the design of such a place should enhance the experience, creating a soothing sanctuary away from the demands of everyday life. That’s exactly what we did when we transformed the master bathroom of a 1950s beach cottage into an open, contemporary, and all-around luxurious retreat.

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All great homes begin with a vision. When we begin working with a new client, one of our first and most important steps in the process is to translate their ideas and wishes into a visual rendering. This allows everyone involved to really get a sense of what the proposed design will look like, make any necessary adjustments, and decide on a design that’s just right before moving forward.

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As summer creeps into New England, many of us are daydreaming about that picture perfect beach escape. An oceanfront home is the embodiment of luxury and relaxation, and we have the privilege to be working on a stunning one this summer. Though the project is still very much in progress, the shape it’s taken so far has us inspired for many summers to come. Take a look behind the scenes to get into that summer state of mind…

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Family vacations are all about having fun and creating memories that will last a lifetime. So when our clients approached us to build the ultimate Family Playhouse in Maine’s back woods, fun was our number one priority! Take a look behind the scenes at our progress so far…

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View our before pictures prior to the renovation below. The homeowners of this seaside cottage felt that the existing spaces were too small and separated from one another to suit their large extended family. See the project page and photos from after the TMS renovation here.

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View our before pictures prior to the renovation below. Originally built in 1915, was extensively renovated inside and out. The beautiful ocean views were greatly enhanced by opening up spaces on the first floor and adding large sliding doors. See the project page and photos from after the TMS renovation here.

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