Maximum Exposure

Maine Homes by Down East


Maximum Exposure

Hammond Lumber EBS

By Jennifer Van Allen

Marvin Windows and Doors bring panoramic views to a secluded waterside retreat

In 2016, a prominent entrepreneur in midcoast Maine came upon a private refuge from her very public life. When she walked into the ruddy-hued, cedar-clad Cape tucked on a bluff overlooking a harbor, she knew she’d come home. 

Nestled in the woods off a winding road, the 3,000-square-foot house offered cozy seclusion, just steps from a cove that spills into the Atlantic. With its westerly orientation on the water’s edge, it was perfectly situated to capture expansive views of the sun dipping behind Mt. Battie.

Ideal as the location was, the house had considerable room for improvement. It didn’t take advantage of its close proximity to the woods and the water, or its gaping panoramas of the harbor. It needed an extensive overhaul in order to allow in more light and magnify its exposure to its breathtaking surroundings, says architect Chris Grotton of Rockport’s Phi Builders + Architects, the firm responsible for the design and construction of the project.

Because of the home’s prime spot on the waterfront, achieving that goal was not a simple proposition. Only a limited amount of square footage could be added to the dwelling. So the Phi team looked to the windows to create the spaciousness the homeowner craved.

On the first floor, windows and doors played a prominent role in creating a more expansive interior that embraced the home’s lush setting. Phi took down the walls that divided the kitchen and dining room. Just outside, the team built a 500-square foot bluestone patio beneath a canopy of firs, oaks, and birches, where the homeowner can dine and entertain while basking in the scents of pine and salt water. To connect the new indoor and outdoor spaces, Phi added a 16-foot-wide Marvin Ultimate Bi-Fold Door with panels that can be opened one at a time, allowing the homeowner to customize the room’s natural air conditioning. “The bi-fold door really unified that whole space and created this indoor-outdoor relationship,” Grotton says.

On the second floor, where natural light had previously only trickled in through skylights on the steeply pitched roof, windows helped alleviate the cramped, dark feeling of the original configuration. Phi built two shed dormers fitted with Marvin Ultimate Push-Out Casements and Ultimate Push-Out Awnings, and an Ultimate Casement Picture Window, creating brighter, more comfortable living spaces and ushering in coveted sunset views. “The windows were everything in reinventing the upstairs,” Grotton says. “The views are pretty spectacular.”

Throughout the house, the abundance of natural light that the new windows afforded helped accentuate the texture, character, and sophistication that the homeowner wanted from the interior design, says Marcy van der Kieft, president of Margo Moore Interiors in Camden. The light plays off the mellow golds, the touches of black and brown, and “it helped create the ambiance,” van der Kieft says.

Given how integral they were to the design, Grotton and the homeowner appreciated being able to see and feel the windows and doors, and learn how they functioned, at the Marvin Design Center in Camden. With help from Marvin sales manager Caleb Shepard,who has been working with Marvin products for nearly 25 years, and collaborating with Phi for 15 years, they picked out the bi-fold door for the dining area, along with more than 30 Ultimate Casement and Ultimate Double-Hung Next Generation windows with wood interiors and aluminum-clad exteriors in an ebony hue that gives the home a fresh update, while staying true to its original character.

In addition to his guidance at the store, Shepard visited the home multiple times to help the Phi team determine which new windows would best match the existing ones, and ensure that the dimensions and specifications were just right.

That expertise and support is something that professionals like Grotton depend on. “You’re dealing with so many different specialties on a project, like plumbing and lighting, it’s challenging to be a master of all those trades,” he says. “It’s a huge benefit to have someone you trust, who really understands what you’re hoping to achieve, helping you make decisions.”

If you want to learn more about bringing the outdoors in, start your research online at Then visit Marvin Design Center in Camden to explore full-scale examples of Marvin and Integrity windows and doors. Ready to talk window specifications and ordering? The experts at Hammond Lumber | EBS Building Supplies are prepared to help you select windows and doors to create the look you envision. Hammond Lumber | EBS Building Supplies —the result of Hammond Lumber’s acquisition of EBS Building Supplies in July 2018— offer dedicated Marvin show spaces and sales professionals throughout their 21 locations in Maine.