Providence is the capital of Rhode Island state and one of its most populous cities. The city’s architecture features federal, Victorian, modern, and post-modern styles. Some of these structures date back decades; others are newly constructed.
For those interested in moving into one of Providence’s 25 beautiful neighborhoods, our editorial team has compiled a list of the best custom home builders in the area. Each firm is known for its ability to build homes that fit an individual or family’s lifestyle and needs. Many of these firms offer expert craftsmanship and a collaborative construction approach. On the other hand, if you want to learn more about the cost of building a custom home in Providence, check out our cost guide article.
Meridian Custom Homes
One Richmond Square, Suite 117C, Providence, RI 02906
Meridian Custom Homes has been serving Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and its nearby islands for over 25 years. Its owners—brothers Alex and Rod Mitchell—lead a team of professionals dedicated to providing a custom home building experience based on the needs and desires of each client. The firm offers services for in-house design, interior and exterior customization, artisanal craftsmanship, professional management, and fixed pricing.
The firm has eight featured projects and eight model homes for clients to view. Its style varies between traditional, craftsman, cape cod, and colonial. Among its custom build projects is this home in East Mantuck Farms in South Kingston, RI. The craftsman-designed home features soaring ceilings, transom windows, and quartz countertops. It is a single-family home with four bedrooms and three bathrooms—two full baths and one-half bath. The total liveable area is 3,050 square feet.
Hill & Harbor Design + Build
110 Main Street, Suite 305, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Hill & Harbor Design + Build (HHDB) located in East Greenwich, RI is paving new ways to the traditional design-build method. Their main goal is to improve the entire design-build process with complete transparency for the client. Most people are intimidated by a home project because they are not experts in the process and are unsure of where to begin. Hill & Harbor Design + Build has a trusted process that is easy for the client to understand and would work on any project regardless of the size. HHDB’s professional service includes real estate assessments, Architectural Design, Permitting, Construction, Interior Design, Furnishings, and everything in between. They are truly a “one-stop-shop” under one roof for everything to do with a home.
HHDB’s mission is to get clients from point A to point B with the least stress on their part. They do this with technology and a schedule driven business model that puts the client in the driver’s seat. Like Tesla, they put the project on autopilot for you. Clients can sit back, relax and enjoy the process while being in complete control of the investment in their home.
HHDB’s projects range from major renovations (what they call “Transformations”), additions to either historic or coastal homes, and new construction in these geographical areas. Forever Farmhouse (pictured) was a renovation and addition in historic Hill & Harbour district of East Greenwich. The level of detail is of the utmost importance and apparent as they utilize modern aspects while maintaining the home’s historic features. The project was a huge success as the new addition looks original to the existing structure.
1016 East Main Road, Unit 3C, Portsmouth, RI 02871
Oldport Homes delivers affordable, efficient, and low-maintenance custom homes in the Rhode Island and Coastal Massachusetts areas. The firm specializes in New England-style homes and remodeling. Its team of professionals is knowledgeable in stonework, interior carpentry, and energy-efficient construction. With Certified Green Professionals on staff, Oldport Homes can build a classically styled house that meets modern efficiency standards.
There are 21 completed projects in the firm’s portfolio with six more in progress. Its architectural style varies between traditional, craftsman, shingle, and cape cod. The firm worked on a shingle-style East Side home in Providence, RI. Its design makes it appear like a period house from 100 years ago. There are 10-foot ceilings, custom cabinets, and a kitchen and morning room. It is Energy Star rated.
Caldwell & Johnson
6500 Post Rd., North Kingstown, RI 02852
Caldwell & Johnson is a family-owned custom builder and remodeler dedicated to creating high-performance, energy-efficient, and sustainable homes. The firm has completed over 500 custom residential projects in Rhode Island. Among those projects is the Rhode Island Waterfront. Following the client’s request, only environmentally conscious materials were used to make it a net-zero electricity house. The house features high ceilings, large windows, and clean detailing to take advantage of the shoreline vies. Overhangs shade the large south-facing windows to prevent overheating during the summer. Operable sashes are used in place of screens to maintain uninterrupted views of the water while still encouraging ocean air circulation. The home was featured in three publications: Fine Homebuilding, May 2018; Rhode Island Monthly, February 2019; and Fine Homebuilding, Winter 2020. The home is also a recipient of the 2018 AIA Rhode Island Honor Award for residential projects.
Caldwell & Johnson uses the traditional, colonial, modern, and contemporary architecture styles for its projects. Its pre-construction process begins with research on client ideas and project type, collaborating with designers and engineers, and establishing the scope of work and budget. The construction phase begins with determining a timeline before developing and completing a punch list.
55 John Clarke Road, Middletown, RI 02842
J2Construct, Inc. is led by principals with over 60 years of combined experience in project execution. The firm has executed over $100 million worth of construction projects in the last 10 years. It has self-perform capabilities and pre-construction services including design-assist and scope and budget development. J2Construct also provides project planning, construction management, and general contracting services to luxury residential and commercial clientele.
The firm collaborates with its clients and partner architects and engineers to create structures that fulfill a client’s goals and objectives. The firm focuses on the traditional, colonial, cape cod, modern, and contemporary architecture styles. The firm completed a 5,000-square-foot luxury residential new construction project in Watch Hill, RI. Over 30% of the construction is self-performed. The home is in a Cape Cod-style thanks to its symmetrical appearance and centered front entry. It has steep roofs and shingle siding.
Hebert Design Build
351 Liberty Lane, Suite R18, West Kingston, RI 02892
Hebert Design Build has developed a reputation for creating spaces that combine design, functionality, and beauty. The firm collaborates with clients to ensure its spaces are designed to accommodate unique needs. A home project the firm worked on is set on a peninsula surrounded by water on three sides. It was built on the foundation and steel frame of an existing structure. The project was completed in less than 12 months and includes a full-size elevator and a glass floor in the widow’s walk. The glass floor allows light to spill through the second floor to the living room below. Nearly the entire main floor is one open space and it offers a 180-degree water view.
The firm uses traditional, colonial, modern, and contemporary styles for its designs. Its design-build approach is a seamless integration of every aspect of the building process. The firm begins each project with a thorough consultation to make sure the team understands their client’s thoughts and vision. The firm then creates a design based on the consultation before its team of builders starts construction. Hebert Design Build uses this approach to ensure clear communication and oversight of integrity throughout the project. The firm services coastal and inland environments like Rhode Island and Connecticut. It offers services for custom home construction, whole house renovations, kitchen renovations, home additions, bathroom renovations, and custom cabinetry.
Care Free Homes, Inc.
239 Huttleston Avenue, Fairhaven, MA 02719
Care Free Homes, Inc. is a family-owned home improvement and construction company with over 43 years of experience. Its team provides quality workmanship, customer service, and product warranties to clients. The firm has a designated division for custom home building services, which is made of over 30 of the most skilled craftsmen and trades contractors in the New England custom home building industry. The firm encourages collaboration between its management team and a client’s designer to create each client’s home. Its process involves a design stage, an initial site visit, detailed job specifications, construction, and the final stages of completion.
The firm works on traditional and cape cod-styled homes for Southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, and Rhode Island. One of its projects is the Nonquitt House in South Dartmouth. The design features cedar shingles for the exterior and a simple summer cottage style for the interior. The ceilings, wainscot, and breakfast bar have white tongue and groove bed boards. There is a gas fireplace to provide warmth during the winter, fall, and spring seasons. It has an open concept design that connects the living room, dining area, kitchen, and sunroom.
Deslandes Construction, Inc.
126 Bellows Street, Warwick, RI 02888
Deslandes Construction is staffed by heavy equipment operators, experienced framers, finish carpenters, and skilled cabinet makers. Together, this team is able to complete a wide range of custom home build projects. The Narragansett Guest Home is one of the firm’s Cape Cod-style projects. The three-story home has 1,800 square feet, enough space to house eight guests, one full and one half bathrooms, a spacious kitchen, and living space. The walkway between the master suite and staircase is supported by steel beams and finished with exposed plank decking. A cathedral ceiling can be found in the living room. Deslandes Construction installed its custom-built bunk beds to provide private sleeping nooks equipped with light and bookshelves. A propane fire pit and outdoor shower can be found on the patio.
The firm specializes in traditional, Craftsman, Cape Cod, colonial, modern, and contemporary architecture. Each project is supervised by a project foreman to ensure a smooth building process and keep timelines and budgets on track. Designs are based on a client’s personality and lifestyle needs. Client testimonials express satisfaction with the firm’s dedication, skill, and professionalism. Several clients have stated the firm made the building process much easier.
5 Richmond Square, Providence, RI 02906
Newport Renewables provides families, businesses, and communities with clean energy solutions for their projects. Its team of licensed general contractors, electrical contractors, and Renewable Energy Professionals are in charge of designing, building, and operating residential zero homes and commercial systems. Homes built by Newport Renewables are high-performance and solar-powered, which are healthier and more enduring than traditional homes. The firm’s efforts in the construction industry have been acknowledged with awards like the 2019 Rhode Island Monthly Design Award and the 2019 Solar Power World’s Top Contractor award.
The firm is experienced in modern, contemporary, and Cape Cod designs. The Bayview home in Portsmouth, RI is a 4,700 square foot, high-performance, and net-zero structure. It has solar panels and a backup propane generator. Newport Renewables built the structure on a reinforced concrete slab and pilings to put the entire living area above the flood plain. The home also has Schuco windows and doors, spray foam insulation for the interior, and four inches of rigid insulation for the exterior. Its design features western red cedar breakaway walls along the ground level, painted cedar clapboard, and Hardie “reveal” cement panels. The Bay can be seen from every room in the home. The custom eat-in kitchen has solid white oak shelving, metal accent wall panels, two gas fireplaces, felt accent walls, a leather tile floor bar area, and a large shower room.
Riverbend Timber Framing
9012 East US Hwy 223, Blissfield, MI 49228
Riverbend Timber Framing provides clients with three approaches to choose from for their projects. The Ready-to-Build approach allows clients to select one of the firm’s ready-to-build plans and modify it based on their needs. The Custom Design approach is a design-build approach where the client works with the firm’s in-house design team. The Bring Us Your Plans approach is where the firm builds based on the client’s completed floor plan. Throughout each project, the client is provided a client representative, an architect designer, and a project manager to guide them through each step.
The firm’s architecture styles include Craftsman, farmhouse, midcentury, and European. The firm provides service to numerous states like Rhode Island and Georgia. The Georgia Timber Home near Lookout Mountain is one of Riverbend Timber Framing’s projects in the area. The property has a front gate and a cottage-like front entry. Diffused light comes in from large windows and brightens the open layout, which includes a loft. The oak timbers from the interior extend out to the covered patio.
Sweenor Builders Inc.
12 High Street, Wakefield, RI 02879
Sweenor Builders works to ensure its clients can enjoy the process of custom home building and construction. Its portfolio features modern, contemporary, traditional, colonial, Cape Cod, and Craftsman projects like College Hill in Providence. The original structure was a historic home built in 1897, which had undergone several renovations and eventually resulted in its original interiors being covered up. Sweenor Builders Inc. renovated the structure and interior while leaving the period-correct exterior intact. The work included removing structural walls to open the floor plan and raise the sunken living room. The firm built a coffered ceiling around new structural beams while hiding a plenum chamber for modern heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and mechanicals.
The firm’s work has been acknowledged with numerous awards: the NAHB Best in American Living Award, the Green Home Remodel, Platinum; NAHB Best in American Living Award, Specialty Room, Gold; Rhode Island Monthly Design Award, Gold; and Rhode Island Monthly Design Award, Silver. Sweenor Builders Inc. uses a design-build approach that allows clients to work with the firm’s in-house architects, interior designers, and craftsmen.