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Like other New England states, New Hampshire charms residents and travelers with its Old World feel and natural scenery, which features an abundance of lakes and mountains to explore. Combine this relaxed environment with no sales tax, great job options, and relatively affordable property taxes, and the Granite State is undeniably a great place to live. Some of its cities have even ranked as the happiest and best places to live in the U.S.
If you’re considering building a new or first home in New Hampshire, take a look at our list of the best custom home builders in the area. These contractors have built some of the area’s award-winning homes, which have been featured in several design and industry publications. Most of the firms are certified green contractors and are members of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and its local counterparts. The firms were evaluated based on their accolades, customer service, and quality of work.
6 Blackjack Crossing, Walpole, NH 03608
Bensonwood is a leading contractor for sustainably designed custom homes in the U.S. It was founded by Tedd Benson, an internationally recognized authority on green building. He frequently appears as a respected resource speaker at national and global conferences, including the annual Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. In 2015, he was dubbed the “Future of Green” by New Hampshire Magazine for his innovative views on homebuilding.
Photo by Jamie Salomon
Under Benson’s leadership, the company specializes in custom prefabricated, timber frame, and passive homes. The firm has also catered to clients in the commercial and educational sectors and has received awards from WoodWorks Wood Design, the American Institute of Architects (AIA), and Engineering News-Record. The company’s projects have also been featured in prestigious publications, including Architect Magazine, Builder Magazine, and Forbes.
In 2016, the firm completed a modern timber frame home in Sunapee, New Hampshire. The lake fronting house was designed to offer picturesque views of Lake Sunapee, while blending in with the woodlands. The house was also built to Passive House standards to reduce its ecological footprint. Inside the home, Bensonwood implemented several contemporary accents, including custom millwork and the expert combination of white oak finishes, long-span beams, and expansive windows.
396 NH-49, Campton, NH 03223
Builder of some of the finest homes in New Hampshire, Cargill Construction specializes in the construction of custom luxury homes and renovations. It was founded in 1971 by Bill Cargill, who began his career in construction shortly after finishing the remodel of his Massachusetts home. Under his leadership, the company received several awards, including the 2016 Best New Construction award from the New Hampshire Home Builders Association (NHHBA). The firm has also appeared in New Hampshire Home Magazine and Lake Realty.
Cargill Construction built the featured 5,200-square-foot retirement home by one of New Hampshire’s lakes. The house stands out in the woodlands with its cedar shake sidings and green window trims. Inside, the home exudes a luxurious feel, with a white coffered ceiling in the kitchen and dining areas. White shaker cabinets and interior wall cladding were also utilized, complementing the warm-toned hardwood flooring in the main common areas.
CM Ragusa Builders
89 Ledge Rd., Seabrook, NH 03874
Three years after finishing his degree in Environmental Science, Chris Ragusa founded CM Ragusa Builders in 2000. Today, the company operates as one of the prime builders of luxury homes in the Northeast. It currently builds in Maine, Massachusetts, and its home state of New Hampshire, where it has received accolades and recognition from industry organizations and publications. The company was honored to receive the Best Custom Home Builder and Builder Renovator distinctions from North Shore Magazine in 2016, as well as a Prism award from the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston in 2015.
Among its award-winning projects is a coastal vacation home in New Hampshire. The Shingle-style home, located in Little Boar, was built in collaboration with TMS Architects. It features an open floor plan, which is ideal for entertaining guests. CM Ragusa Builders included elegant touches, including a cathedral ceiling over the great room, built-in flower boxes on the deck, and a bluestone patio that complements the stained glass windows.
Cobb Hill Construction
206 N State St., Concord, NH 03301
Cobb Hill Construction is an award-winning builder that caters to clients in the healthcare, commercial, and residential industries. Its home building department has earned a reputation for excellence in new construction and remodeling across New Hampshire. Specializing in the design-build method, the company employs expert craftspeople who are capable of building modern and traditional homes. The firm has received prominent awards from the Association of Builders and Contractors, including a Merit Award for a Residential Building Over $1M.
In Auburn, New Hampshire, Cobb Hill Construction built a five-bedroom Adirondack-style home. Sitting adjacent to the secluded Audubon lands, the home was designed to reflect and complement its surrounding landscape. With cedar shingles, clapboard siding, and a stone facade, the exterior blends with the natural historic stone that was maintained in the property. The firm installed a custom cherry-colored, raised-panel door and a viewing tower that offers a panorama of the expansive lot.
Cormack Construction Management
46 E Madison Rd., Madison, NH 03849
Serving clients in the Lakes Region and White Mountains of New Hampshire, Cormack Construction Management is an award-winning custom home builder and remodeler. It is headed by president Gordon Cormack, who is a construction veteran with a Graduate Master Builder designation from the NAHB. He is also a Certified Green Professional and a Certified ‘Aging-in-Place’ Specialist, which allows the firm to build for clients with specific needs.
For its excellence in design and construction, Cormack Construction Management has received awards from the AIA New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Association of Home Builders. One of its most notable projects is a two-level mid-century modern house built in 2015. To help the clients live sustainably in their new home, the firm implemented green elements into the house. The company installed solar panels, modern LED lighting, and expansive windows to welcome natural light during the day. The home is also a visual treat, thanks to the company’s expert use of wood, brick masonry, and a balcony with a glass railing.
The Great Room
407 The Hill, Portsmouth, NH 03801
The Great Room specializes in designing and building custom homes and renovations along the coasts of New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts. It was founded in 1993 by Paul Demars, who leads the firm with the intention of building thoughtfully designed homes that meet the needs of the company’s clientele. The firm’s projects have appeared on HGTV and in publications such as Accent Magazine, Down East Magazine, and Better Homes and Gardens.
Among its best projects is a lake fronting boathouse in the Adirondack style. The Great Room included several windows, providing homeowners great views of the lake. The custom stonework and green trim on the exterior allow the home to blend with its natural environment. Inside, homeowners can enjoy the floor-to-ceiling fireplace in the living room.
Hayward & Company
153 Pease Rd., Meredith, NH 03253
Headed by couple Mike and Julie Hayward, Hayward & Company is an expert design-build company that specializes in building custom timber frame, log, and hybrid post and beam homes in the Lakes Region. It has consistently participated in the area’s Parade of Homes, in which it has won several awards. The firm has also received recognition from the NHHBA, having won Gold Awards from the association’s annual Cornerstone Awards.
One of Hayward & Company’s award-winning works is this featured 6,000-square-foot timber frame home built in the Lake Winnipesaukee area. The custom home was designed for welcoming guests, with a spacious kitchen and dining room with views of the lake. Its exterior is fully custom—built with a combination of poplar bark, western red cedar, and stonework. It features an expansive deck, custom cabinetry, and a home automation system. This project also received a 5+ Star Energy rating for its sustainable features. For more information on Hayward & Company, you can check out their website here.
32 Artisan Ct., Unit 4, Gilford, NH 03249
Founded in 1993 by Tim Long, Meridian Construction enjoys the distinction of being one of the prime builders of estate homes in New Hampshire. Combining the expertise of local craftsmen and building professionals with Long’s personal attention to every project has allowed the firm to establish a satisfied client base in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts. The firm also offers its services to clients in the commercial sector.
In Bedford, the company built an 8,000-square-foot, French chateau-inspired home, which was designed to fit in with the luxurious neighborhood. The home features custom millwork and stonework throughout. Meridian Construction also installed classic finishes, including marble kitchen islands, chandeliers, and classic fireplaces.
13 Alden Ave., Greenland, NH 03840
Despite being the youngest firm on this list, Mighty Roots has already established itself as one of the Granite State’s best design-builders. Founded more than a decade ago, the company has successfully expanded its operations to nearby Maine. It has built more than 200 projects in the last ten years and even received a Design Award in the Excellence in Small Home Design category from New Hampshire Home Magazine in 2019.
In Stratham, Mighty Roots was challenged to build its first mid-century modern custom home. Dominated by gray and warm wood tones, the home’s exterior stands out in its lush environment. Inside, the home is furnished with light wood flooring, custom wood cabinetry, and modern lighting. The main room follows an open layout, with the kitchen, dining, and great room sharing space.
3 Alpine Ct., Sunapee, NH 03782
Northcape Design-Build has a 40-year history of building classic New England homes in the Lake Sunapee area of New Hampshire. Known for its exceptionally crafted custom homes, the company has earned several Cornerstone Awards from the NHHBA for its residential new construction and remodeling projects and has appeared on Remodeling Magazine’s BIG 50 Remodeler of the Year list. The firm also prides itself on having several NAHB certifications, including Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist, Certified Green Professional, and Certified Graduate Remodeler.
Recently, Northcape Design-Build completed a first-floor master suite addition to the Summer Ferncrest home, which the firm originally built a few years ago. On top of that, homeowners now have access to the lake, outdoor and indoor fireplaces, and a viewing deck. The home also features an indoor golf simulator custom-built to the client’s specifications.
Old Hampshire Designs, Inc.
263 Main St., New London, NH 03257
Jay Tucker started Old Hampshire Designs, Inc. in 1984 after years of work experience as a designer and production coordinator for Timberpeg. Under his leadership, the company has become one of New Hampshire’s leaders in energy-efficient design and green building. The firm has also earned several industry awards, including Cornerstone Awards from the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of New Hampshire and Excellence in Architecture Design Awards from the AIA.
Among Old Hampshire Designs, Inc.’s award-winning projects is the featured Clearview Lake home that was built in collaboration with Bonin Architects & Associates. The contemporary home stands out beautifully in the lush environment with its white and gray motif. The company used white wall cladding, which is complemented well by the white French doors and windows. Inside, the home is elegantly styled with white shaker cabinets, natural hardwood flooring, and brick masonry accents.
1 Winter St. Plaza, Rochester, NH 03885
Serving the Seacoast area of New Hampshire, Oxland Builders is a full-service custom home builder and remodeler that was established in 2003 by Brad Sawler. Over the last six years, it has gained a solid footing in the custom home building space through its founder’s expertise in design-building. Due to its excellent customer service, the firm has obtained several repeat customers.
Oxland Builders’s portfolio highlights the firm’s specialty in building homes in the Cape Cod, Transitional, and Contemporary styles. The featured home is a great example of the firm’s work. Built for a big family, the home prioritizes space and function. The Cape Cod-style home features a transitional U-shaped kitchen with a granite top island that’s big enough to entertain guests. The vaulted ceiling also makes the room seem more spacious, especially with the natural light coming in from the windows.
132A North Rd., Deerfield, NH 03037
A New Hampshire leader in green building, Ridgeview Construction is an award-winning company that is committed to sustainable development practices. The firm offers a holistic approach to the home building and remodeling processes to minimize its projects’ impacts on the environment. Its custom builds are known for their efficiency, healthiness, and aesthetic. The firm’s projects have received a Gold Cornerstone Award from the NHHBA and have been featured in Granite State Builder Magazine and on television shows, including “Building New Hampshire” and “Green Screen.”
Beyond custom home building, Ridgeview Construction is also known for building some of New Hampshire’s first Net Zero and Passive Homes. The firm is also a Certified Green Professional by the NAHB. By building houses to Passive Homes standards, the company delivers projects that consume up to 90% less energy than most homes that are built to code standards.
12 Runnymede Dr., North Hampton, NH 03862
Started in 1989 by Richard and Terry Southwick, Southwick Construction specializes in design-build construction. It prides itself on building one-of-a-kind homes, which are usually European-inspired homes, New England classic-style homes, and modern classic-style homes. The company is an active member of the NAHB and its state-level counterpart (the NHHBA).
By working on select few projects every year, Southwick Construction is able to deliver exceptional projects to clients, who are happy to leave rave reviews online. Among its most notable works is a Rye residence that features a modern farmhouse style that was designed to blend in with the existing neighborhood homes in the coastal town of Rye, NH. The home features Marvin gray clad windows, wide beveled siding , and rebuilt existing stone walls respecting the old farmhouse style with a fully modern interior. The first floor has an open concept layout and includes access to a pool and multiple outdoor entertaining areas.
Wood & Clay
104B Lily Pond Rd., Gilford, NH 03249
Gilford-based custom homebuilder Wood & Clay specializes in architecturally unique, high-end home building and remodeling. It has been serving the Lakes Region of New Hampshire since its founding in 1979. Since then, the family-owned homebuilding business has grown into one of the best builders in the area. It employs a team with more than 150 years of combined industry experience, which is currently lead by husband and wife duo, Shannon Robinson-Beland and Kevin Beland. With them at the helm, the company has received multiple accolades, including the Home of the Year Award from New Hampshire Home Magazine.
Throughout its four-decade history, Wood & Clay has successfully built and remodeled boathouses, cottages, and lake homes throughout the Granite State. Among its best projects is the featured Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home. High-end finishes, including a western cedar ceiling and black walnut flooring, were intentionally chosen during the building process to bring the forest feel inside the home. The firm also included a 12-foot sliding glass door that opens into a spacious deck, part of which is under an eave built out of red cedar wood.
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