Laura Chadbourne General Contractor

Gary Smith Carpentry

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On this sublime mountaintop property in Sweden, Maine, a young family was seeking a full-time retreat to accommodate their outdoorsy lifestyle, balancing an open, casual floor plan with home offices and taking advantage of the incredible view. A north-facing, steeply sloping site added to the challenge.


A narrow, linear footprint works with the slope, affording every room on each of the 3 stories an exceptional view. A grand window immediately opposite the front door is carefully positioned to provide a direct, eye-level view of Mt. Washington immediately upon entering. A shed roof slopes up to match the natural contours of the hill and capture the south light, sending it deep into the space. A screen porch reaches toward the view, allowing full breezes on 3 sides and views of the sun setting over the mountains to the west.

Renewable Materials

Many of the materials used in this home are made from recycled content, and are environmentally friendly.

Budget / Economy

Measures were taken to optimize the materials, structure and space within, with the specific goal of meeting the client's budget, which was moderately to significantly less than that of a typical custom home. The clients acted as General Contractors in order to further reduce costs.

Energy Efficient

This house uses strategies such as thermal mass, increased insulation, reduced thermal bridging, and higher-performing windows and doors to increase comfort, reduce the size of the mechanical system, and significantly reduce heating and cooling costs.

Renewable Power

This house employs renewable energy technology in order to reduce energy costs, reduce dependence on fossil fuels, and decrease its carbon footprint. These technologies include solar tubes for domestic hot water and heat, and photovoltaic panels for solar electric in the future. These panels will be located in an area on the southern face of the building, which has been intentionally left open for this purpose.