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As the most populous municipality in Massachusetts and home to world-famous universities and sports teams, Boston has no shortage of activity and excitement. Tourists and residents alike can enjoy Boston’s festivals, music scene, and historic sites.
With an excellent education system, high-paying jobs, high-quality hospitals, and an exciting city lifestyle, Boston is an attractive place to live. The demand for housing in Boston is so high that the average median home value is around $596k, and this is projected to rise by as much as 9.3% next year. As one of the oldest cities in the U.S., Boston boasts a wide selection of home styles, including Colonial, Federal, Italianate, and Gregorian. Homes in Boston can date back as far as the 18th century, and these homes are still remodeled to this day.
Building and renovating homes in Boston are talented home builders, of which the top 15 in the city are listed here. These firms were selected and ranked based on awards, publications, reviews, and the quality of their projects.
15) CP Berry Homes
10 Elm St, 2nd Floor, Danvers, MA 01923
Danvers-based CP Berry Homes is a custom home builder that has been serving the North Shore-Boston area for the past 35 years. The company was founded by Carlton Berry—an industry veteran of 50 years—under whose leadership the firm earned various awards, such as the Design Award from Professional Builder and several PRISM awards.
CP Berry Homes specializes in Farmhouse, Traditional, and Colonial homes. In the home featured here, the company created a classic farmhouse with a gabled roof and French windows. Fluted wooden panels cover the entire facade of the home in two progressing tones. This home fits perfectly in its suburban setting and illustrates that achieving great design does not require casting out traditional notions and familiar visual patterns.
14) CH Newton Builders
245 Washington St, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
For more than 60 years, CH Newton Builders has been building homes throughout Wellesley Hills and the Boston area. Founded by CH Newton, the firm is currently operated by fifth-generation Newtons.
The company’s projects have been featured in several publications, including Architectural Digest, Veranda Magazine, Ocean Home, and New England Home. Most of these projects are located in natural landscapes, like the contemporary home featured here that overlooks a Cape Cod harbor. This 8,200 square-foot residence has been featured in Architectural Digest and won Home of the Year Gold from the PRISM Awards. The home’s unique style is achieved through the combination of glass panels, slender window panes, and overlapping layers of different textures of cinnamon-toned wood.
100A Warren St. Boston, MA 02119
Placetailor is a construction company that creates bespoke Contemporary homes by combining the disciplines of architecture, design, and construction. Though run by a small team, the firm has gained local prominence through press features in various outlets, such as Architect Magazine, WCVB , and WBUR 90.9.
The company primarily constructs compact and highly-functional Contemporary homes. Most of the homes in the firm’s portfolio have a slender structure and occupy minimal space. The work featured here is an urban, minimalist loft on a hill. The home follows the orientation of the street through the incorporation of slanted lines and geometric frames. A posh and metropolitan appeal is achieved through the combination of Cedar and tawny colors.
12) Brookes + Hill Custom Builders
5 Militia Dr., Suite 17, Lexington, MA 02421
Brookes + Hill Custom Builders is a Lexington-based builder that constructs Modern and progressive homes throughout New England. David Brookes and Eric Hill founded the company in an effort to synthesize Brookes’ more than 25 years of industry experience and Eric Hill’s fluency in architecture and design. The company has found local success in the Boston area with accolades such as a feature in the Best of Boston Homes list by Boston Magazine and features in local publications such as Boston Home and New England Home.
The firm’s portfolio mostly consists of Modern and Contemporary homes with unconventional silhouettes and patterns. The project featured here is a Modern home whose primary material is wood. The sharpness of the home’s lines is softened by the windows. The home is impressive not only for its beauty, but also for the functionality of its layout.
11) JW Construction
12 Garfield Circle, Burlington, MA 01803
Though based in Burlington, JW Construction has conducted a number of projects in the Boston area. The firm offers new construction, remodeling, and historic preservation services. The company has been featured in various publications, including Boston Design and New England Home. JW Construction even had a full-length feature in Builder/Architect.
The majority of the homes in the company’s portfolio are French and Colonial. However, the work featured here is an English manor with an L-shape layout, which makes the home appear larger than it already is. The home’s base features a continuous wall tapestry and a wooden upper portion. French windows and brick chimneys add detail as well as volume to the home’s overall design.
10) Merz Construction
168 Bingham Rd, Carlisle, MA 01741
For more than 30 years, Merz Construction has been providing high-end custom home building services in Carlisle but has conducted a significant number of projects in Boston. The company is headed by Jonathan Merz—an industry veteran of more than three decades.
Contemporary and French home styles dominate Merz’s portfolio. The work featured here is a riverfront home with unusual semi-circles and curves. Floor-to-ceiling windows are used to let in as much natural light as possible. This home also uses a minimal dark tone on the metal frames, which emphasizes the home’s Modern look. Somehow, this look blends perfectly with the serene, natural environment.
9) Stack + Co.
555 East 2nd St, Boston, MA 02127
Stack + Co. was born in 2008 out of the founders’ belief that a holistic and integrated approach to design and construction delivers high quality and efficient buildings that celebrate our client’s vision and improves the process of building. We believe that architecture and construction should happen collaboratively to produce a better building and a better experience. Our work is rooted in thoughtful design and a highly informed and technology-leveraged construction management approach. Stack’s versatile and experienced architecture and construction staff work together to provide distinct architecture, integrated architecture and construction, and conventional construction management.
The Firm is known for its forward-thinking design aesthetic and symbiotic construction philosophy for residential projects across New England. Stack + Co.’s work has been celebrated in Architectural Record, Dwell, Design New England, Boston Home, and Green Building & Design and the Firm was awarded the “Best of Boston Home, Custom Home Design/Build” from Boston Home in 2019, New England Home magazine’s “Rising Stars” in 2019, and “Best Design Build Firm” by Boston Architects in 2018.
8) F.H. Perry Builder
90 Elm St, Hopkinton, MA 01748
Based in Hopkinton, F.H. Perry Builder has built and remodeled luxury custom homes in greater Boston for more than 40 years. The company is one of Massachusetts’ most well-respected home builders and custom remodelers, earning national and local awards from industry associations as well as being featured in numerous publications. The firm is owned and led by the founder’s daughter, Allison Perry Iantosca, under whose leadership the firm was hailed as one of Commonwealth Institute’s Top 100 Women-Led Businesses for three consecutive years.
The firm builds in a wide selection of home styles—from Contemporary to Greek Revival. The project featured here is an L-shaped Greek Revival with minimal styling. A gabled roof and slight indentations are used to highlight the center of the space. A pyramidic roof and a porch connected to the pool add life to the home. The home’s careful attention to detail channels elegance and style.
7) Kistler and Knapp Builders
916 Main St, Acton, MA 01720
Acton-based Kistler and Knapp Builders has more than 35 years of building experience in the Acton and greater Boston areas. Since the retirement of founders Dennis Kistler and David Knapp, Douglas Stevenson and Renée West have continued the firm’s operations. The firm has been featured in multiple national publications, including US Builder’s Review and Architectural Digest.
The firm specializes in French and Contemporary home styles. The project featured here is a Contemporary home primarily made of wood. Large windows overlook the pool, and there is a veranda on the upper left side of the home. With a progressive yet familiar style, the home exudes confidence and comfort.
6) Fallon Custom Homes & Renovations
171 Reservoir St, Needham, MA 02494
Since 1984, Fallon Custom Homes & Renovations has been providing custom construction in the Boston area. The firm is led by Peter Fallon—an industry veteran of more than 40 years. The company has been featured in various media outlets, including “Chronicle” on Channel 5 in Boston, The Boston Globe, and Trends Magazine.
The company focuses on Cape Cod and Traditional home styles—often utilizing simple layouts and straightforward facades. The work featured here is a Traditional home characterized by the combination of a shingle silhouette and Cape Cod elements, such as the low elevation and gabled roof. The home combines neutral colors with gray roofing on a wooden ensemble.
5) Howell Custom Build
360 Merrimack St, Building 5, Lawrence, MA 01843
Boston Magazine’s Best of Boston Home 2018 winner, Howell Custom Build, is a home builder in Lawrence that has been serving the greater Boston area since 1997. The firm is a husband-and-wife business founded by Steve Howell and Susan Howell, who serves as the company’s Marketing Director.
Most of the homes in the company’s portfolio feature Contemporary, Pacific Lodge, and French styles. The PRISM Gold-winning work featured here is a massive Pacific Lodge with hazelnut timber. The home is an intricate connection of patios and porches. The natural wall tapestry matches the Cedar of the home’s upper portion and the mocha-colored veranda. This combination of different shades and materials creates depth in the home’s overall structure.
4) S+H Construction
26 New St, Cambridge, MA 02138
S+H Construction is a Cambridge-based construction firm that has been serving the greater Boston and Eastern Massachusetts areas for more than 40 years. The firm is led by Sarah Lawson—one of the only two female principals on this list. Lawson started off as S+H’s project manager for nine years before purchasing the company from the founders. Lawson has a master’s degree from Columbia University and operated her own construction firm prior to joining S+H Construction. S+H Construction has been featured in Boston Magazine, Northshore Magazine, Boston Globe, and Boston Commons.
The company integrates modern and international designs with more traditional home styles, such as Victorian and Craftsman. In the work featured here, the company coordinated with Hecht and Associates Architects—an organization that has worked frequently with Harvard University and MIT. At first glance, the home may seem like a Traditional Bungalow, but the house also features Modern elements. For instance, the courtyard blurs the transition between the interior and exterior of the home.
3) Sanford Custom Builders
580 Harrison Ave, Suite 4W, Boston, MA 02118
For 37 years, Sanford Custom Builders has been providing custom homes in Boston. After receiving his degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Vermont, Marc Kaplan started working for Sanford Custom Builders as President to further his father’s mission. The company has been featured in several publications, including Boston Design Guide, New England Home, Boston Common, A Tale of Two Styles, New Old House, and Wellesley Weston Magazine.
The company focuses on French, Traditional, and Bungalow homes. The homes in the firm’s portfolio are simple and classic. The work featured here is a Traditional home with Provencal and Tudor elements. The home’s symmetrical structure is paired with French windows and a Tudor-style overhang. The imperial red tones and fluted detail on the facade complete the classic look of the home.
2) Carpenter & MacNeille
106 Western Ave, Essex, MA 01929
Rob MacNeille has been serving the North Shore-Boston area since 1996. The company has been awarded with the Design Excellence Award from the American Society of Interior Designers and the Bulfinch Award from the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art. These recognitions from various design elements show the holistic nature of the company. The company has also been featured in Northshore Boston Magazine’s summer 2018 issue and other local publications in the recent years.
The company firm mostly constructs Craftsman, Colonial, and Traditional homes. The work featured here is a Craftsman home with an ocean view. The style of the home was inspired by 20th century Cape Ann and coastal New England homes, as well as Asian, Shaker, and other styles. The home has been featured in Northshore Home, New Old House, and Design New England.
580 Harrison Ave, Suite 4W, Boston, MA 02118
Sea-Dar is a premier custom home builder in Boston. The firm is responsible for numerous award-winning projects in residential and institutional construction. Sea-Dar has served Harvard University, the First Church of Cambridge, and Boston College. The firm’s residential projects have earned several awards, including Best of Boston Homes, the Boston Society of Architects Award, and multiple PRISM awards.
The firm is fluent in Contemporary and Modern home styles. One of the firm’s award-winning project, called “Shifting Sands,” is a Modern home divided into two major buildings. The home’s facade features different layers of paneling and unusually curved roofing. The home is a combination of cherry-colored panels and pecan tones, which create a progressive and unique feel.
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