Accessory Dwelling Units


Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) are only just becoming realized as a viable way to create a second smaller dwelling on an existing property. The independent dwelling has its own bathroom and kitchen and can be established as an attached or detached unit. There are many benefits, especially in communities where affordable housing in limited. ADU’s also allow an increase in the community housing supply without further land development.

ADU’s can be a means to creating a close, but independent living space for a senior wishing to age in place. Many young adults need a respite while transitioning from school or a job. An ADU can also be a means of additional income for the homeowner.

Many towns have established their own ordinances for ADU’s which do have square footage limitations. Both permits and financing are often much easier to acquire. Accessory Dwelling Units are an affordable, practical way to create additional space.



Renovating with Efficiency

Perhaps you just want to freshen up your space, or maybe you have a rental that needs to be upgraded…This past summer I transformed an apartment that had gotten quite shabby with a renter of 16 years. I was able to turn it into a spectacular and charming space within a reasonable budget. The apartment became more valuable and therefore as a bonus, I was able to rent it for more money, which absorbed the cost of the renovation.

One must pay close attention to design priorities, color changes, details that give you more bang for your buck…For example I had a company refinish all of the wood floors; but instead of sanding and finishing, I discovered there was a process where the floors are cleaned, evened out with toner and coated. Spectacular results!… that make a lot of sense when you are dealing with an older house, where the floors are already thinner from being refinished in the past. The integrity of the antique look is maintained while creating a fresh, clean finish.

I did demo and put in an entirely new bathroom. The existing one could not be salvaged…but this resulted in a huge impact on the apartment! I was able to keep the existing kitchen cabinets, which were repainted in a beautiful soft sea green and finished with new hardware. All new appliances were purchased at great prices during sale events. The walls and much of the woodwork was repainted. By maintaining some of the existing trim colors we were able to avoid repainting all of the sash in this antique house…a big labor savings. Paint suppliers are genius at matching color these days.

The overall result of my efforts brought forth the perfect long term renter who is in love with her new home. A win, win situation. Upgrade your property and create a beautiful space for others to enjoy. An efficient renovation in your future? Springtime is on its way…Give me a call and we can have some fun being creative while enhancing your investment!




Making the Most of the View

A second floor master bedroom addition to bring the outside in. The space is utilitarian with a whole bank of custom cabinetry and built in desk. The views from the two banks of windows that meet in the corner are expansive and fill the room with the beauty of the outside!

Affordable Housing

Paul attended the two day workshop hosted by PS21 in Portsmouth this January.

It was an amazing community turnout for this event and encouraging to see such interest in the very important topic of affordable housing. We must not only keep the conversations going, but take action! Check out our blog on Dwelling Alternatives…our effort to move forward in this area of great need.



Dwelling Alternatives

Dwelling Alternatives 

Living Solutions for a Transitional World

A subsidiary of Classic Building & Design Co.; Dwelling Alternatives intends to meet the changing needs and challenges of having a space to call your own. There is a huge population looking for Affordable, Sustainable, and Versatile living solutions. First time homeowners, those looking to simplify their life, those retiring, and the many displaced by the economic depression. We put together this concept of  dwellings conceived and constructed within an entirely new model, with alternative financing opportunities. This world is in transition, so much needs to be overhauled, including the fact that no one should be indebted to the big banks for 30 years paying three times the original cost of their home.

Alternative, non traditional, and reclaimed materials will be utilized. The dwelling units will be put together like a puzzle in a controlled shop space, saving as much as 30% in the efficiency of labor and material use. Units can be easily added on for expansion, as the need and budget allow. The designs will be unique to each clients’ requirements with many options. The dwellings can be partially or entirely off the grid. The outside spacial use and connection with the interiors will be a strong component with variations on growing spaces.

Give us a call and come explore the potential of an entirely progressive concept in living.

Some examples of alternative modular homes….

The Design and Build Out of a New Restaurant

“Anju” A Noodle Bar, is a Korean restaurant that has recently opened in Kittery Foreside. Classic Building & Design Co. along with our associate Kevin Beane was responsible for the unique, fresh design and build out of the space. The space was conceived with the simplicity of the clean, simple flavors of the food in mind. The food and the space are a flavorful complement to one another.

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10 Principles of Smart growth

GrowSmart Maine put together these 10 guidelines to thoughtful development. We think they are worth highlighting.

1) Mix land uses.

2) Take advantage of compact building design.

3) Create a range of housing opportunities and choices.

4) Create walkable neighborhoods.

5) Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place.

6) Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental areas.

7) Stengthen and direct development towards existing communities.

8) Provide a variety of transportation choices.

9) Make development decisions predictable, fair and cost effective.

10) Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions.

If these guidelines inspire you…please be in touch with us. We are in the process of developing a design for homes of the future… for today. Homes with entirely usable interior spaces, to include the option of an attached greenhouse. Communities that nurture one another physically and spiritually. Sustainable in the use of energy, food development, and space. Homes offering areas that are communal and yet also thoughtfully take into account private realms. If you are considering building a home for the future now; join us and let’s be inspired together!