December 1, 2023

Focused on High Performance: An Interview with Christi and Kurt Hissong of Proper Modern Home

December 1, 2023

Focused on High Performance: An Interview with Christi and Kurt Hissong of Proper Modern Home

Focused on High Performance: An Interview with Christi and Kurt Hissong of Proper Modern Home

image: Kelly Roy Photography

At BrightBuilt, we are lucky to get a chance to work with many different builders based across New England and beyond. We love building these relationships, and getting to know each outfit well enough to determine who might have the most impressive tool collection, who might have the cutest shop dogs, or who would be most likely to win in a local potato sack race (and of course practical things, like who would be the best fit for a given client).  

In this round of “meet a builder of BrightBuilt Homes,” we wanted to take a moment to chat with Christi and Kurt Hissong, owners of Proper Modern Home, of Kennebunk, ME. Having completed both modular and stick-built BrightBuilt Homes, among many other high-performance homes, Christi and Kurt have some great insights on both the high-performance world and off-site construction.

What is your history with building high-performance homes? How did you get started?

Kurt has been in the construction industry for over 30 years and I jumped into the family business just over a dozen years ago after a career in biotech. While we enjoy creating neighborhoods and building homes together, we are always looking to grow and improve as professionals. Several years ago, we dug deep into building science and quickly developed a passion for building better performing, comfortable, durable and healthy homes. We became PHIUS Certified Passive House Builders, have fully embraced our inner building science nerdiness, and now incorporate high-performance, passive house principles into all of our projects.

What brought you to BrightBuilt Home?

We met Jesse Thompson of Kaplan Thompson back in 2019 when we were looking for an architect for a custom home. Several months later, a BrightBuilt project came up in our area that needed a builder and Jesse introduced us to the BrightBuilt team. It was the start of a great relationship that we are grateful for!

In your mind, what are some of the primary benefits of off-site construction?

Off-site construction has the benefit of minimizing weather related issues for a large and critical part of the construction process.  We also appreciate that off-site construction can be a bit of a time saver in that you can be working on preparing the site while the home is simultaneously under construction in a controlled manufacturing facility.

What do you enjoy most about building?

We enjoy the collaboration that goes into taking a project from concept to completion.  Every person involved in a new construction project brings tremendous value and a unique perspective to the table — clients, architects and engineers, designers and trades, subcontractors and vendors — we love bringing the team together, developing a true understanding of the project goals and seeing the vision come to life!

What are your other interests you pursue when you are not on the job site?

When not on a job site, we enjoy spending time at our family camp on Great Moose Pond with our son and two dogs to swim, fish, kayak, paddle board and play board games.  We also love a good burger and fries, so it’s not uncommon to find us exploring all of the amazing restaurants Southern Maine has to offer.

Anything else you'd like to share?

Building a new home is an incredibly exciting and sometimes emotional process that can come with great joy and some challenges, too.  It’s not uncommon for new construction projects to take a year or longer to complete, so it’s important to surround yourself with a team who you like and trust to help you navigate through any difficulties that arise and to celebrate each stage that you are eagerly anticipating.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Christi and Kurt.  Looking forward to our projects with you this coming year!