The town of Harpswell, Maine boasts 216 miles of coastline, three major islands connected by bridges, and more than 200 smaller islands. One of these larger islands, Bailey Island, is where our clients would come year after year from New Jersey to visit their seasonal family cottage. With many fond memories of summers spent in Maine, they decided to purchase a home in Harpswell close to their family cottage and make it their full-time residence. The timing was right for the couple as retirement was in sight and their excelling son would soon be off to college.
The home purchased by our clients was situated in a neighborhood we knew well, as we had completed a house there the previous year. The neighborhood provides boat access with many properties on the peninsula featuring water views of coves fed by Casco Bay. The house, a classic four-square contemporary split-level with an octagonal center skylight, featured sweeping tidal views of a small cove. Though we were compelled by the uniqueness of the home's character, its roof structure had already failed. We explored saving the home, but with our clients’ program requirements, and a need for anticipating costs with limited variables, we decided to take advantage of the opportunities new construction presented.
Taking lessons from the existing structure on its site response, we worked with limited buildable square footage thanks to increased setbacks required by the neighborhood covenants and a bluff condition at the water’s edge.