Expert Advice

Marvin Windows and Doors

Bay View

Marvin Windows and Doors fill a cozy wooded getaway with light, air, and singular views.

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By Jennifer Van Allen

When Seth and Pam Roman found the perfect piece of waterfront for a second home, they put a premium on how it would connect them to the outdoors. They wanted to be at one with the woods and the water that would provide refuge from their workaday lives in Boston. They wanted to maximize their views of the sparkling cove on Casco Bay, to feel the salty sea breeze, and the embrace of the silvery birch trees — even when they were curled up on the living room sofa. And because their house would be less than 900 square feet — consisting of an open-concept kitchen/dining/living area topped with a sleeping loft — they wanted to borrow some of the expansiveness that lay beyond where they’d erect their walls. “It was a top priority that the house be bright, airy, and open,” Pam says.

Marvin Windows and Doors

To create that seamless connection with the landscape, Stuart Rice, of Freeport custom builder Peter B. Rice & Co., directed the Romans to Marvin Design Gallery by Eldredge Lumber in Portland. “Marvin has been our bread and butter for the past 10 years,” says Rice, who worked with the couple, and Thomas W. White, of Boston’s ACTWO Architects, to create a home with a 13-by-16-foot, bay-facing grid of glass. “We know they can provide us all the options for materials at a price point that makes sense. And if there’s a problem, someone at Marvin picks up the phone and is there to resolve it that day.”

Indeed, Marvin Windows and Doors consistently earns high marks from industry peers. In Builder magazine’s annual Brand Use Study, the company’s Marvin Integrity Window and Door lines won top honors for quality from builders, developers, and contractors.

The Romans liked the Integrity line too. They needed windows and doors they wouldn’t worry about when storms hit Maine and they were back in Boston. Integrity windows, made from Ultrex (a reinforced fiberglass that has a tensile strength that is greater than steel and eight times stronger than vinyl), provided them with peace of mind. In addition, Integrity offers a 20-year warranty on glass and 10-year warranty on all other components.

Energy efficiency was also important, given that nearly the entire south side of the Romans’ house would be covered in glass. The couple chose a LowE 3 glazing, which provides the lowest solar heat gain of the four glazing options Integrity offers. The glass reflects the heat back to its source, which keeps the house from getting too hot in the summer, when the sun is strongest. And on frigid winter days, because the heat is reflected back inside and the heat loss through the glass is slowed, the place still feels toasty.

Marvin offers a broad selection of popular “scenic” doors, spanning widths of up to 48 feet. However, through collaboration with Marvin Design Gallery by Eldredge Lumber sales consultant John Collins, the Romans determined that they could get the experience they craved with standard framing: specifically, a pair of 72-inch-wide sliding doors crowned with a glass trapezoid that follows the slope of the roofline. “We were able to achieve their goal of bringing the outside in and still stay within their budget,” says Collins, who has worked with Marvin products for more than 30 years.

The Romans especially appreciated the level of service that Collins provided. “He took the time to talk to us about what we wanted and figure out how to turn our dream into a reality,” Seth says. “It really felt like a relationship.”

And in the end, their home is the wooded waterfront refuge they’d envisioned. “As soon as you walk in, you get this picturesque view of Casco Bay,” Pam says — artfully divided by the glazing into a glorious, multi-paneled composition.

If you find the concept of bringing the outdoors in intriguing, start your research online at Marvin.com. Then visit Marvin Design Gallery by Eldredge Lumber to explore full-scale examples of Marvin and Integrity windows and doors. Ready to talk window specifications and ordering? The experts at Eldredge Lumber are prepared to help you select windows and doors to create the look you envision.

All images by Megan Burns, A.W. Hastings & Co.


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