FAQs for Historic Renovation and Construction in Massachusetts


fawDo you only work on “historic” house renovations and additions?

No. There’s no question that we have more experience with historic houses, barns, and other buildings than most builders, but we’ve also worked on homes that were only a few years old and built large custom homes out of the ground. We specialize in Traditional construction styles, old and new, but in reality we like to work on interesting and challenging buildings regardless of their vintage!

What size projects do you do?

We’ve carried out projects as small as a few thousand dollars and as large as several million dollars. When choosing a project we look for clients with vision, great designs, and interesting buildings… if we’ve got those three things then size is truly irrelevant.

Can you help us with the design phase?

While we do not offer in-house design services, we have a network of architects with whom we work. Depending on project type, where it’s located, and sometimes old fashioned “chemistry” we can recommend an architect who can help you out. Furthermore, we often get involved in the design phase - working with our clients and their architect to help plan the project. We can provide insight into construction materials, methods, and costs that will help your project get off to a great start. Of course, some projects don’t require the services of an architect. For those, we can help prepare a scope of work and a list of suggested materials in advance of providing a cost estimate.

I'm interested in green or sustainable construction practices. How much experience do you have in this area?

We often joke that we’ve been doing "green" construction since before it was called green. Saving older homes and barns from demolition is – to our minds – the ultimate in eco-friendly building. That being said, we have extensive experience in the best practices for insulating old houses; we often use reclaimed materials and non-toxic plywood in our cabinetry. We have also successfully incorporated geothermal heating/cooling and solar electricity systems into some of our projects. Soon what we think of now as ‘green’ construction will just be called ‘construction’, since the best practices will become ubiquitous out of necessity in the future. For now, we do our best to stay current with the best solutions in the marketplace.

What types of barn projects have you done?

You name it. We’ve restored some classic old New England barns that the owners planned to keep using as barns.  We’ve converted historic barns into offices and homes. We’ve put swimming pools into barns. We’ve lifted, straightened, and brought back to life old barns that other builders said should be torn down. We’ve even built a magnificent new barn with a curved fieldstone foundation and a basketball court (see our Idea Book entry “Post Moves”). Barns are a blast… feel free to be in touch on yours.

I need help planning my kitchen renovation. Where do I turn?

We love doing kitchen renovations in old houses. Our cabinetmakers have produced some of the finest kitchen cabinets around. We can design and draw your kitchen in a style and look that complements the age and architectural style of your home.