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Retirement Dream in the Hilltowns

Ashfield, MA


Challenge: The location was great – a fabulous view of distant mountains to the north, with connections to trails for an active new retiree.  But how to make this steeply sloping site fully accessible, and the existing former cottage energy efficient at the same time?


Anticipating his retirement, this client searched for a home where he could maintain his active lifestyle (hiking, snow-shoeing, working outdoors) and age in place.  He found a perfect site with great views, but the existing house needed a lot of work.  So did the site: water coursed across the property, pooling in some places and eroding others. When he heard Mary describe the deep energy retrofit Quigley Builders completed for the old farmhouse at the Bullitt Reservation [link to project page], he was impressed by the focus on energy, attention to detail, and overall quality of work. He knew he’d found his builder.

Mary assembled a team that included landscape architect Sue Reed and Kraus-Fitch Architects.  They spent months redesigning the building, moving the driveway and garage for better sight lines, and achieving the accessibility the client would need in later years.  Mary collaborated with the Conservation Commission to identify wetland constraints, with the Board of Health on the design of a new septic system and to locate a new well, and with the Highway Department to redirect drainage that was running onto the site from the road.

Much of the house had to be rebuilt; materials from the deconstructed garage and 1950s addition were reused on site.  The new garage required raising the grade two feet, but the careful grading plan makes it appear as if it was always there.  The result is a fully accessible, energy efficient, and stunningly beautiful home positioned to take full advantage of views over Ashfield’s Apple Valley. 



Architect | Kraus-Fitch Architects, Amherst, MA
Electrician | Poissant Electric, Ashfield MA
Energy Certification | Center for EcoTechnology, Florence MA
Excavation, Grading & Stone Walls | Harris & Gray, Ashfield MA
Fireplace Installation | Friends of the Sun, Brattleboro
HVAC | Girard Heating and Air Conditioning, Westfield
Insulation | Hanrahan & Sons, Northfield; Cellu-Spray, Greenfield
Interior Decor | Barbara Jo Metcalfe Interiors, Northampton
Landscape Architect | Sue Reed, Shelburne
Masonry | Barry & Tim Nye, Ashfield; Ashfield Stone
Metal Roof | Doug Deane, Conway
Metalwork | Morrell Metalsmiths, Colrain; Custom Metal Fabrication, Leeds
Painting | Novak Painting,  Conway
Photovoltaics | Northeast Solar, Hatfield
Recycling & Waste Management | xx
Sprinkler system | Hampshire Fire Protection LLC, Westhampton
Stone patio & walk | Whirlwind Fine Garden Design, Amherst
Tilework | Jacquay-Wilson Tile, ?? product or installer?
Well | Lynde Well Drilling, Guilford, VT


Link to DER page on 475:  


Additional information