Making Your Kitchen the Star of Your Home’s High Performance

The season of frenzied cooking and colossal meals is fast approaching - can your kitchen keep up? High performance home design considers the efficiency and functionality of every detail, including the layout and outfitting of the rooms we use most. A well-designed kitchen improves not only the aesthetics of the space, but also its comfort and usability. To everyone who has ever dealt with a sink too small to wash pans in, or had to banish a partner from the room so there would be enough space to open the oven door; we see you, and would never do you dirty like that.

March 6, 2024

Choose Your Own Adventure: Custom design in the BrightBuilt world

When you walk down the baking aisle at your local grocer, it can feel like a “Choose Your Own Adventure.” Maybe you love having freshly baked scones, but the last time you tried to make them from scratch, you put in salt when it should have been sugar. Good news for you, there are plenty of pre-mixed recipes that can get you started, if baking from scratch turns out to not really be your forte. You can, after all, still make them yours. Want them to be hot pink? You can do that! Maybe you’d like to use sustainably harvested, organic sugar? That’s an option! Or perhaps your grandmother’s lemon glaze can’t be beat and you’d like to incorporate that into the recipe. You can always put your own spin on the base, and you can rest easy knowing that the pre-mixed ingredients are a perfect blend to get you started.

January 12, 2024

How to Set up a Home Office You Didn’t Know You Had

It’s possible that working from home has been your modus operandi for some time now. Others may be recent converts because of our current world circumstances. Either way, we’ve collected a few ideas to make a home office productive and comfortable, and have some tips for how you may adapt it to a high-performance home.

July 14, 2023

7 Ways a Sidekick Can Save the Day

Not all heroes have Sidekicks, but those who do tend to have it a little easier. These allies take the daily, domestic stressors off a hero’s shoulders, so they can focus on other noble pursuits. Sidekicks protect their partner from elemental perils, keep the bad guys at bay or lock them away, and even harness the power of the sun to fuel various super gadgets. BrightBuilt Home has an entire fleet of Sidekicks to help you on your next mission, whether it be fighting crime or keeping a houseplant alive.

March 12, 2021

Office Space: A BrightBuilt homeowner talks about WFH in a BBH

WIth so many of us working from home these days, we wanted to reach out to some of our BrightBuilt Homeowners who have home offices, and see if they could share some snippets on their WFH experiences. Cristos and Emma completed their Mackworth in South Portland a few years ago, not long before welcoming the arrival of their adorable toddler. As he has been working from home during our current times, Cristos had some great insights on what it's been like for him.

June 19, 2020

From the Ground Up. Excited Homeowners Reflect on The Design Process and Look Forward to Moving In.

Our latest Little Diamond is coming together nicely, getting some final finishing touches (by the team at Island Carpentry) as it gets comfortable on its new site on the Kennebec River. The homeowners, Mike and Pattee, have been so excited to see their dream come together, so we asked if they might answer some questions, and share some reflections on their process to date (and perhaps a dose or two of that contagious, much-needed-right-now enthusiasm!).

May 8, 2020

Design Feature: The Torrey

Bigger isn’t always better, and the Torrey is evidence to back that up. Maybe you are ready for downsizing into your forever home, aging next to your children, or putting up a small structure at your family camp. Whatever is it, we’ve got a Torrey for it. The Torrey shows you how it’s possible to live in a smaller footprint while still having the comfort and amenities you may have experienced in larger homes. Besides, it’s dang cute!

March 12, 2020

The Cushy Cushin' - What's not to love.

For those of you from Maine, you might recognize Cushing as one of the islands off Portland in Casco Bay. Locals call it “Cushin’” which makes us think of “cushy,” which is an adjective that is defined as “undemanding, easy, or secure.” This is a perfect definition for the BrightBuilt Cushing. Narrower than our other designs at 24” wide, it manages to pack a big, precise punch. This house is great for narrow lots and if you are looking for first floor living, but with additional space to spread out when needed. The Cushing accurately replicates a farmhouse with a full second story. As designed, it is an incredibly efficient and comfortable space. Size: 1,975 sq ft Bedrooms: 3+ Bathrooms: 2.5

January 31, 2020

Features from our Latest Photo Shoot

We've been having some fun with drone photography lately, and are gaining an entirely new perspective on our designs and net-zero in general. We thought it would be fun to share some of these recent bird's eye views (and of course some pretty shots of the interiors, too!).

March 15, 2019

New Year, New Designs

We're celebrating the new year by delivering you new designs! First up, we've converted one of our custom designs into a standard offering... Meet the new kid on the block, the Modern Farmhouse.

January 4, 2019

A BrightBuilt Home for (Almost) Every Apocalypse

Though we live in an increasingly polarized society, one of the few things that we can all agree on is that the world is becoming more and more perilous, our prospects are unsteady, and the future is impossible to predict. Between the real or imagined threats of climate change, nuclear war, and zombies, it’s sometimes difficult to see past the parade of horrifying news stories, devastating storms, and overzealous Second Coming preachers that batter us with their end-of- days prophecies. We don’t have to agree on how or when the world will end, but let’s be honest – we’re all wondering how we’ll get through it.

April 1, 2018

5 Reasons to Consider An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) on Your Property

A lot has been written lately about the rise of intergenerational households. In this country it is commonly presented as a growing problem, as it is caused at least in part by reduced retirement security and adult children who wait longer to leave the nest than in the past. As much of the rest of the world has demonstrated, however, there are plenty of reasons why it makes good sense to combine households. If you are in a position to join households with your in-laws, you will likely find that everyone benefits from the arrangement.

March 16, 2018

The Great Diamond: The coastal, iconic barn

The Great Diamond, with a 28x32’ footprint, is designed to fit on a small lot without sacrificing interior space. Reminiscent of Maine’s iconic barns, the Great Diamond blends comfortable spaces with an efficient form. Size: 1,800 – 2,400 square feet Bedrooms: 3 - 5 Bathrooms: 2.5 – 3.5 Number of finished floors: 2-4

More on the Frenchboro

We rolled out our new Frenchboro design a few weeks ago, and we were thrilled to see a very enthusiastic response. Some follow-up questions are answered below!

Ask BrightBuilt

Do you have one level houses? - Janis G.Thank you for this great question, Janis! We do indeed have 3 designs that are specifically one level, and another 4 that are primarily geared toward single-level living, with ground floor master suites. Some examples of these designs are shown in the images above, and to learn more about each of them, you may see more images and download plans via the links below.

Rolling out our NEW Ranch!

The Frenchboro has arrived. We've had numerous inquiries for a smaller 3 BR, 2 bath home, and well...we hear ya! We've been working hard to maximize on efficiency and affordability, while keeping the design fresh and contemporary.

A Custom Fit: Design Feature, the BrightBuilt Custom Home

The home featured above was designed for a couple who sought to build an energy-efficient "forever home" that was befitting their interests, their routines, and their desire to comfortably host family and friends visiting the area.

ADU, ADU, to You and You and You

The ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit) craze is gearing up to rightfully take over backyards, side yards, rural landscapes, and suburbia, with the aim to address housing needs in cities and for multi-generational households.

Our Story

In 2005, Keith Collins, a visionary entrepreneur (that's him on the left, below) hired Kaplan Thompson Architects (and that's Phil Kaplan there on the right, below) to help assemble a team to design and build him a revolutionary, forward-thinking moonshot of a project disguised as a barn, on his property in Rockport, Maine. It was to have ambitious goals of environmental responsibility, adaptability over time, replicability, attainability, and education potential inside what had to be a beautiful, liveable, timeless structure that looked like it had always been there.

A Custom Fit: Design Feature, the BrightBuilt Custom Home

If you love our designs, but have found that, due to your site, your needs, or just your spatial preferences, the designs in our portfolio don't quite work: fret not. At BrightBuilt, we can develop a fully customized house plan for you - from scratch - to be built off site and delivered to your (potentially-particular) site, and perfect for you, your needs, and your bottom line.

Crushing on the Cushing: Week One of this Month's Featured Design

The Cushing is our nod to the classic New England Farmhouse. With a generous open-concept first floor layout, a ground floor master suite, banks of sun-soaking windows, and room upstairs for 2 bedrooms, laundry, 1-2 baths, and a bonus room (which also could become another bedroom), this design packs a lot into its compact, classic form.

BrightBuilt Home Press Release

Have you been watching the latest developments on accessory dwelling units? You might be interested in an exciting new offering that we’re rolling out here at BrightBuilt Home. We are officially announcing our new In-Law Flat and Guesthouse, as a featured addition to our current zero energy homes portfolio. With this home, we aim to meet new demands for accessory housing, and help current homeowners expand their options for housing family members, creating rental income, and creating opportunities for aging in place.

The Torrey: Our New In-Law Flat & Guesthouse!

If you've been wishing for some added living space, we're cooking up the perfect solution for you!