Expert Advice

Eco-friendly home

Lean and Green

Home Building

Architect Harry Hepburn shares eco-friendly design ideas for the budget-conscious homeowner. Photo by Trent Bell As a college student studying in England, Harry Hepburn marveled at the ways in which pioneers of the high-tech architecture movement, such as Norman Foster and Richard Rogers, incorporated energy efficiency into their modern steel-and-glass buildings. Post-graduation, Hepburn was eager […]

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Brunswick carriage barn

Restoring a Buckled Barn

Partner Post: Maine Preservation

In a monthly column, the experts at Maine Preservation answer your questions about maintaining antique and vintage homes. My 2 ½-story carriage barn, built in the 1890s, has walls that are bulging outward on the upper floor, just below the roof line. I am told that the building is “balloon-framed.” What does that mean and can […]

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Portland living room

Get Off the Hot Seat

Green Living

Six years ago, Ross and Christine Endicott stopped selling furniture containing toxic chemicals; now the state is following their lead. In August, Maine became the first state in the nation to ban the use of flame-retardant chemicals in residential upholstered furniture. By wide margins in both the House and Senate, state legislators rejected chemical-industry lobbyists’ […]

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Is an In-Law Unit Right for Your Property?

Partner Post: Houzz

They can alleviate suburban sprawl, add rental income for homeowners, create affordable housing, and much more. Most urban and suburban lots are governed by zoning ordinances, laws that (among other things) restrict the number of dwellings allowed on a given lot. A dwelling is technically defined as a place for habitation that contains cooking, sleeping, […]

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Leak-Proof Your Chimney

Partner Post: Maine Preservation

In a monthly column, Christopher W. Closs, an expert with Maine Preservation, answers your questions about maintaining antique and vintage homes. Q: How can I prevent water from getting into my house through the chimney? – Peggy Gierhan, Auburn A: Historically, when fireplaces were used on a daily basis for cooking, rain was absorbed into […]

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Pink Offices

Rethinking Pink

Sponsored Content: Penelope Daborn Limited

For a room of your own, or a shared space, today’s rosy shades are just right. In 1918, the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department published an article stating, “The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls.” The rationale: pink was “a more decided and stronger color,” while “delicate and dainty” blue […]

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Home with Marvin Windows

Take the Pain Out of Replacing Your Windows

Advertisement: EBS Building Supplies

As the autumn chill arrives, it’s a reminder that there are many reasons to replace your windows and doors, and energy efficiency is often at the top of the list. While the investment can be significant, your family will feel the added warmth and comfort now, plus you’ll reap the financial benefits in years to […]

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Task lights

Tips (and Task Lights) for Aging Eyes

Sponsored Content: Fogg Lighting

In a regular column, Sanford Fogg, of Fogg Lighting in Portland, offers his best advice on illuminating your home. Q: As I get older, I’m finding it harder to see when I read or do other simple tasks in my home, even with my glasses on. Can you suggest some lighting improvements that might help? […]

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Modern Maine Kitchen

5 Trends with Staying Power


Brass, navy, marble, and more — interior designer Heidi Lachapelle explains how to incorporate today’s top décor elements into your home. Two years ago, designer Heidi Lachapelle’s quest for a matte brass faucet for her kitchen island took her to a specialty robinetterie store in Montreal. To her dismay, the only available model at the […]

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Safford House, Portland, Maine

10 Steps to a Tighter Home

Partner Post: Maine Preservation

In a monthly column, Christopher W. Closs, an expert with Maine Preservation, answers your questions about maintaining antique and vintage homes. Q: What are some practical ways to make my 1911 home more energy efficient? – B. Randall, Portland As the temperature drops and the threat of higher energy prices looms large, this is an […]

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