Step by Step


A five-acre site just outside a small town in southern Maine is the setting for this custom prefab home. The home started as a site-built project but, due to economic concerns, turned to the option of prefabrication. The manufacturing partner’s operation is uniquely structured to provide site- and client-specific designs while still achieving the typical 10 to 20 percent savings and quick construction time associated with prefab.

The gentle downward slope of the land toward the east, many tall pines, and the client’s desire for a direct connection to the land inspired this design. The architect chose to incorporate tall vertical windows and vertical siding to echo the surrounding trees. Stepping the home down the hill and capping each area with a flat roof creates a sense that the building is hugging the land. This stepping connects the living spaces to the landscape and allows clerestory windows at several levels to capture the morning sun and exhaust unwanted hot air during the summer. The south side of the home faces away from the main road, and the tall windows on this side let the winter sun pour in to supplement the heating system. Deep overhangs on the south side shelter the same windows from the summer sun. A lap pool on the southeast side not only provides a great place for the homeowners to cool off but also cools summer breezes entering the home. All these design decisions were meant to fit the site, satisfy the client’s desires, and simultaneously be environmentally sensitive.

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Architect: SPOT Architecture
Location: Southern Maine
Square Footage: 1,285

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