An early storm blasted northern and western parts of Maine at the end of October, creating trouble for much of the state. Coastal areas escaped the brunt of the storm, but as winter threatens to set in for real, builders are pushing to get their projects closed in — and looking forward to a season of inside work. (For examples from the job site, see Slideshow: "Buttoning Up").

On Portland's Eastern Promenade, carpenters were re-sheathing the exterior of a classic turn-of-the-century three-decker perched on the bluff overlooking Portland's sun-drenched, but chilly harbor. Portland contractor Mike Monaghan has started a complete gut-rehab of the property, which sat abandoned for years but is now slated for a radical makeover as three high-end condominiums.

At the top of nearby Munjoy Hill, crews were completing the dry-in of a new four-story multi-unit condominium dubbed "118 on Munjoy Hill." After decades of neglect, the Munjoy Hill neighborhood is now buzzing with building and remodeling activity.

In Greenwood, Maine, Passive House builder Jesper Kruse had his current superinsulated ski lodge addition mostly under roof. Kruse's crew was wrapping the building's I-joist exterior with a Mento Plus permeable air-barrier drainage plane fabric, while Kruse himself worked on the roof eaves at the connection to the main house.

And in Blue Hill, Maine, Chris Corson's crew was applying a few final touches to the exterior of EcoCor's latest custom panelized Passive House, and starting to install the home's Air Pohoda ERV system. Once the building's air-source heat pump is in, the homeowners plan to tackle interior finishes themselves.