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The easternmost state of the U.S., tucked between the Atlantic coast and the Appalachian Mountains, Maine is famous for its jagged, rocky coastline, heavily forested interior, and picturesque waterways. The state is also well-known for its seafood cuisine, especially lobster and clams. From the scenic Acadia National Park to the Farnsworth Art Museum, there are plenty of attractions in Maine.
Two of Maine’s most prominent tourist attractions are the Victoria Mansion in Portland—Maine’s largest city—and the Old Fort Western on the banks of the Kennebec River. A mid-19th-century Italian style villa, the Victoria Mansion is among one of the most luxuriously decorated mid-Victorian homes in the United States. Built in 1754, the Old Fort Western is the oldest stockaded fort in the U.S.
As a state in the New England region, Maine saw the early beginnings of America and Canada. Thus, the state is replete with English, French, and Native American influences. This historical and cultural eclecticism is especially prevalent in Maine’s architectural styles. European-style structures, such as Dutch barns and French farmhouses, exist alongside Colonial estates. Victorian-era and Greek Revival homes line the West End in Portland, while seaside cottages are common in Boothbay.
Preserving these residences and other historic gems are talented contractors, of whom the top 15 are listed here. These contractors specialize in historic restorations, green building, and custom remodeling.
14) M.R. Brewer
91 Bell St., Portland, ME, 04103
M.R. Brewer Inc. is a Portland-based custom builder that specializes in both Renovations and New Home Construction. It handles everything from installing a $50 cabinet door to completing multi-million-dollar renovations and new construction projects. The firm completes 12 to 15 renovations and 4-5 new homes per year.
Malcolm “Rusty” Brewer founded the company in 1987. Matthew and his brother Jeffrey are set to continue the Brewer legacy of providing high-quality craftsmanship. The two have been featured in MaineBiz and Bangor Daily News. The firm exhibited its creativity and expertise in this new construction of a rustic home in Casco. It provided all the millwork of the home—from the timber frames to its cabinets. A dramatic vaulted ceiling and a two-sided stone fireplace completed the look of the home.
13) Southern Maine Remodeling
108 Mussey Road, Scarborough, ME, 04074
Southern Maine Remodeling is a full-service remodeling company based in Scarborough that does residential and commercial renovations. While the firm tackles all renovations and remodels, it specializes particularly in kitchen remodels and home additions.
The company’s ever-growing team of designers, builders, and renovators complete top-notch projects under founder Travis Blake, who has been working in the remodeling industry since 1988. In 2012, Blake took his passion for the remodeling industry to the next level by establishing his own brand. Under Blake’s leadership, Southern Maine Remodeling not only emphasizes quality but also professionalism and cleanliness. Blake holds a Certified Remodeler certification with The National Association of Remodeling. His company has also placed in Qualified Remodeler’s Remodeling 550 and won Region 1 Contractor of the year for 2014 for whole house renovation.
12) Chase Construction
675 Post Road, Wells, ME 04090
Tracing their lineage to the very first settlers of Wells, the Littlefields, cousins Barry and Eric Chase are Chase Construction. Their history as citizens in the area, their integrity, and their professionalism make them a premier custom home builder in Southern Maine. With more than 30 years of experience in the industry, the cousins lead the firm with their impressive building expertise. Chase Construction provides custom home building and high-end renovations. With the Chase cousins at its helm, the firm has built and remodeled numerous homes of various styles, including Colonial, cottage, and modern. The firm thrives on it customer referrals and repeat business.
One of the firm’s most notable projects is the renovation of Seamark—a modern home designed by architect Edwin Koch. The 1960’s home is perched on a cliff on the southern coast of Maine. This project presented several challenges in terms of altering and renovating the building’s structure, but the firm successfully completed the project, and the project was featured in an article in Maine Home + Design.
11) JD Howell and Company
2101 Friendship Rd. Waldoboro, ME, 04572
A passionate advocate of green building, JD Howell and Company has built and renovated homes using sustainable methods and an environment-friendly approach. This midcoast Maine contractor’s projects can be found from Brunswick to Belfast.
Josh Howell found his passion for construction while working as a frame-to-finish carpenter for a decade in Nantucket. He worked on restoring 19th-century homes and mastered the style of hardy, weatherproof shingle-style construction. Additionally, he is passionate about efficient, green homes. In 2015, the Passive House Institute of the US (PHIUS) recognized him as a Certified Passive House Builder. PHIUS is an organization dedicated to creating buildings that meet the world’s most rigorous energy efficiency standards.
The photo here shows an extensive renovation/addition project the firm completed in collaboration with Kaplan Thompson Architects. A Dutch gambrel-style home was transformed into a more efficient, all-electric modern home.
10) MGM Builders
8 Turning Leaf Drive, Windham, ME, 04062
For three decades, MGM Builders has provided custom new homes and renovations in Southern Maine. Mike Manning became interested in building homes at a young age while learning the craft alongside his grandfather. He met his wife Anne, a designer, after serving in the US Coast Guard. The two built their first home in 1987, and the company was born.
The firm has built and renovated over 200 homes, ranging between farmhouses to Colonial Revivals. Its renovations include remodels, repairs, and expansive home additions.
9) Richard Moody and Sons
899 Post Road, Wells, ME, 04090
For 65 years, fourth-generation home builder Richard Moody and Sons has been building and renovating homes and commercial properties along the Maine and New Hampshire coasts.
The company traces its origins to Roy Moody in the 1930s. He built homes for his neighbors in a small seaside town in Wells. Roy passed the business on to his son Keith, and Keith entrusted the business to his son Richard. Richard now works with his sons, Jon, Josh, and Jason, who all have their specializations in the company.
The firm specializes in seaside construction and sustainable homes. A member of the US Green Building Society, the firm is an advocate for green building and remodeling. The firm recently built a LEED Gold-certified home in New Hampshire and continuously renovates homes to improve their energy efficiency.
8) Main Eco Homes
175 Portland Road, Route 302, Bridgton, ME, 04009
Main Eco Homes is a leader in green building and energy efficient homes throughout the state of Maine. The firm specializes in waterfront new construction, remodeling, additions, and local commercial construction.
The firm is the result of Justin McIver’s passion for responsible home construction and home ownership in Bridgton. Since 2005, he and the firm have built and renovated more energy efficient and environmentally friendly homes. For this, the Press Herald featured McIver in their 40 under 40 lists, while the U.S. Small Business Administration – Maine Chapter gave the firm the Small Business of the Year Award.
7) Woodhull of Maine
110 Exchange St, 2nd and 3rd Floors, Portland, ME, 04101
Woodhull of Maine is a construction company that specializes in building and renovating residences and commercial spaces. The company does its own millwork and provides design-build solutions in the Greater Portland area. Its residential remodels include beach houses, additions, and barn renovations.
The team is comprised of local artists, craftsmen, and builders led by Caleb Johnson, who is an American Institute of Architects Awardee and owner of Caleb Johnson Studio, of which the firm is a part.
Maine Home + Design, Portland Press Herald, and New England Home have featured the firm’s beautiful designs and innovative building techniques. This renovated kitchen reflects an old farmhouse kitchen design that was updated to have functionality and style. A deep teal island serves as the focal point, while a counter-to-ceiling bay window lets in natural sunlight.
6) Thomas and Lord
P.O. Box 1730, Kennebunkport, ME, 04046
Thomas and Lord is a name synonymous with fine homebuilding in Maine. This design-build firm builds shingle-style homes and renovates historic residences along the coasts of Kennebunkport.
In 2003, Kevin Lord and Kevin Thomas started Welcome Back Cottages after Lord completed several houses for Thomas. Soon, they changed the name of the firm to “Thomas and Lord” and worked hard to sustain the company—even surviving after the stock market crash in 2008.
The photo is a renovation of a 1760 Colonial home. The home was featured on the cover of Maine Home + Design. The firm transformed the space into a shored-up home that opened into a single great room with a cathedral ceiling and exposed original beams. Lord also installed an addition—a screened porch that blends seamlessly into the vintage home.
5) Sylvain + Sevigny
202 US Route 1 Suite 209, Falmouth, Maine 04105
Sylvain + Sevigny is a residential and commercial builder located in Portland, Maine. The company’s projects range from custom high-end homes and renovations to large-scale commercial additions. Its portfolio includes charming cottages, contemporary estates, and historic restorations. The company covers Boothbay to Kennebunk, with the majority of its projects situated in Cape Elizabeth.
The firm is pioneered by Josh Sevigny, who grew up in Saco with contractors on both sides of his family. He and his friend, Marc Sylvain, started the company in 2010. Josh deals with the business side, while Marc heads projects as foreman. On average, the pair and the rest of the team work on two to three new homes and three to four remodeling projects at a time.
One of the firm’s notable renovations is the Cape Elizabeth Lighthouse and Keeper’s Cottage. The owner of 1828 historic “Gingerbread Keeper’s House” hired the firm to renovate the cottage and repaint the 75-foot-tall cast-iron lighthouse.
4) Spang Builders
10 Granite Heights Rd., Kennebunkport, ME, 04046
Spang Builders is a full-service general contractor that provides residential building services in Kennebunkport and the surrounding areas. It specializes in custom home building and home renovations, such as kitchen and bathroom remodeling and additions.
Tim Spang founded the firm in 1984. Spang grew up in Kennebunkport at the family farm and motel/campground resort known as The Beachwood. From the age of 12, SPang worked for the company construction crew during the summer months and weekends. As building became second nature to him, he used this experience to establish his own company.
The company’s projects have been featured in various home and lifestyle magazines, such as Maine Home + Magazine, Design New England, and Builder/Architect Magazine. Downeast Magazine also recognized the company in their Reader’s Choice Best of Maine list in 2015. Additionally, the firm has been recently nominated for HGTV’s Faces of Design 2018.
3) Flying Point Construction
28 Elm Street, Topsham, ME, 04086
When it comes to historic renovations and residential remodeling, Flying Point Construction is the premier general contractor of Midcoast and Southern Maine. This firm has an impressive portfolio that includes two award-winning historic home renovations recognized by the Maine Preservation Foundation in 2014 and 2018. Other awards include several Maine Homes Design Awards.
Husband and wife Paul and Mary Moutal founded the firm 35 years ago. The two partner with local Maine builders in providing high-quality craftsmanship and reliable services. The firm’s homes have also been featured in various issues of Maine Home + Design as well as in the Chicago Tribune.
The firm successfully renovated a 1960s Colonial home on the Falmouth Foreside waters despite the challenges the location posed. With floor-to-ceiling double-hung windows and a 15-foot high cathedral ceiling, the house opens up nicely within as well as into the ocean.
2) Houses and Barns by Libby
17 Post Road, Freeport, ME, 04032
Most of Maine knows Houses and Barns by Libby for its classic timber frame homes and creative barn renovations and restorations throughout Cumberland County. Founded by John Libby more than four decades ago, this design-build firm found a niche in the building industry by focusing on the quaint houses and barns the state is known for.
Many publications have featured the firm’s work, including Maine Home + Design Maine, Timber Framing Journal, Maine Boats Homes & Harbors, and TriTown Weekly. Moreover, Down East Magazine named the firm Best Builder in their 2012 Best of Maine list.
One of the firm’s most notable works is a complete residential renovation for famed Dutch anthropologist Harald Prins and his wife, author Bunny McBride. The firm transformed an old gambrel-roof house into a Dutch-inspired riverside sanctuary in North Bath. The firm retained the shallow Rumford fireplace and salvaged vintage hand-hewn beams. The gabled detailing and curving roofline with a bottom flare, known as a Dutch kick, pays homage to Prins’ heritage.
1) Knickerbocker Group
1 Pleasant Street, Suite 3, Portland, ME, 04101
Knickerbocker Group offers comprehensive architecture, interior design, woodworking and construction management services for residential buildings and commercial spaces. Started as Boothbay Home Builders in 1978 by Stephen Malcom, what was once a small carpentry company is now an in-house team of 50 employees, working with 1,000-1,500 subs and vendors throughout the state of Maine. The success of the firm can be seen in its awards, DownEast Magazine’s Best of Maine 2018 and a Reader’s Choice Award from Maine Homes by DownEast in 2018.
The firm covers a wide range of services, from architecture and interior design to construction management, caretaking, and even includes real estate and land use planning for landowners, homeowners, as well as institutions, businesses, and communities. A member of Maine Preservation and a Greater Portland Landmarks partner, the firm also works on extensive and intricate renovations and preservations of historic homes and buildings. Knickerbocker Group’s portfolio demonstrates projects such as a classic coastal cottage on Capitol Island to the world-renowned Boothbay Harbor Country Club.
Knickerbocker Group’s work has graced the covers and feature articles of several publications, including DownEast Magazine, Maine Home + Design, Country Living, Zest Magazine, Coastal Living, among others. Whale’s Watch, featured above, is a classic shingle-style home near the sandy shores of Cape Elizabeth. The living room and turret room offer a bay of windows, which connects the space with the ocean’s rocky shore and brings in the fresh salt air.
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