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Rhode Island is a cozy little state, just 140 miles away from New York. People from the city who are tired of the fast-paced lifestyle often find themselves retreating to Rhode Island’s quaint communities. No one can resist the charming colonial homes and stunning seaside views found in The Ocean State’s neighborhoods; home to upscale communities filled with stunning vacation homes and Victorian houses untouched by time, Rhode Island has some of the most elegant communities in New England.
If you are looking to find a home in the coastal communities of Rhode Island, the 15 builders listed here are all capable of new construction and residential remodeling. These firms were chosen because of their creative portfolio, notable accolades, and expert craftsmanship.
1070 Kingstown Rd. Bldg. 9 Ste. #201, Wakefield, RI 02879
Founder Steve Lawrence started as a marine biologist but when he moved to Colorado with his wife, he discovered his passion for green building. Lawrence Builders was established when the couple moved back to Rhode Island. The New England seacoast served as the design inspiration for Lawrence as he created sustainable homes found statewide.
The Certified Green Professional has a variety of coastal homes that truly reflect the elegant coastal vibe of the Ocean State. The firm’s grasp of the traditional Rhode Island design was featured on HGTV’s D.I.Y. Network. The show followed Lawrence Builders as it remodeled a Narragansett home for the Riccitelli family. The result was a classic brick-lined beach home with an open floor plan perfect for a growing family. A neutral cream color was chosen by the matriarch to reflect its seaside setting. Lawrence worked closely with the family to give the home a personal touch.
1151 Stafford Rd., Tiverton, RI 02878
Messier Construction is a nationally acclaimed builder, recognized by Remodeling Magazine as one of the Top 50 builders in the Mid-Atlantic region. Founder Rick Messier ensures that everything the firm does is hands-on and personalized. These customized features can be found in the custom cabinetry installed in remodels, as well as the firm’s new construction homes. Its custom carpentry is not limited to cabinetry; Messier Construction also offers every kind of general repair services.
This Providence project showcases the firm’s skill in carpentry by merging contemporary themes into a farmhouse home. Large overlooking windows were installed to bring in natural light and highlight the home’s open floor plan. Like many farmhouse homes, it has a stunning large porch, which captures the stunning coastal view. The home’s wood exterior also gives a country charm to the contemporary style.
Jamie Aluzzo Builder Inc.
45 Second St., Westerly RI, 02891
Seasoned builder Jamie Aluzzo established Jamie Aluzzo Builder Inc. in 2010 with a refined set of skills honed by 30 years of experience. Besides his design experience, Aluzzo also has a trusted network of designers and architects in South County Rhode Island and Eastern Connecticut. Expect a diverse range of styles from this versatile firm that also has its own millwork shop that can construct personalized home accessories like custom moldings, trims, panels, and other furnishings. The firm’s coastal creations are generally quaint homes with familiar charm. One of the firm’s most notable accomplishments is being included in Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50 list after only four years in the business.
This Fenway project fits the bill for a stunning farmhouse-style home. It has all the traditional features of a farmhouse home, but what sets it apart is the unique custom wood detailing.
Meridian Custom Homes
One Richmond Sq. Suite #117C, Providence, RI 02906
Brothers Alex and Rod Mitchell have lived in New England all their lives and have created some of the finest homes in the region. Meridian Custom Homes is a testament to the brothers’ hard work and expertise. Established in 2003, Meridian builds homes that are specifically catered for Rhode Island residents. True enough, the firm’s creations have caught the attention of many local publications like Rhode Island Monthly Home Magazine and The Providence Journal.
The founders take pride in their firm’s excellent customer service and its collection of repeat customers is living proof of this. The style of this charming colonial is a familiar sight in New England, but Meridian gave it a custom English design tailored for the homeowner. During the design and construction phase, the homeowners were overseas, but they were so impressed with the end result that they hired Meridian to create a second home.
2623 E Main Rd., Portsmouth, Rhode Island 02871
Kinsella Building has been providing a variety of residential construction services to the Rhode Island community for 16 years. Whether it’s a small single-room renovation or a complex luxury home, Kinsella Building will deliver quality results with a customer-centered process. Founder Dan Kinsella personally supervises each project and cultivates open communication with the client throughout every stage of construction. Kinsella’s vast background in carpentry translates into his award-winning creations. For two consecutive years, the firm received a Gold Award for Best Residential Construction from Rhode Island Monthly.
This award-winning Pond Home displays the firm’s ingenuity. Since the home is prone to floods, it was built on raised piers so water can pass below. A contemporary interpretation was given to a traditional barn design. Its design composition was made to be both durable and aesthetically-pleasing.
Kirby Perkins Construction
126 Bellows St., Warwick, RI 02888
Jeff Kirby’s summers were spent restoring historic houses in his neighborhood. This inspired him to establish Kirby Perkins Construction right after college.
Its major project was a $38 million historic restoration for the iconic Captain Samuel Sears waterfront home, along with 68 custom residences. This sealed the firm’s reputation as a dependable builder that delivers quality complex projects. More than 30 years later, the firm has constructed 500 homes across New England. The firm is also a staple in the pages of Fine Homebuilding Magazine.
Newport is known for its opulent colonial homes; Kirby Perkins Construction reconstructed one of the city’s most beautiful homes. The goal of the remodel was to preserve the home’s original architectural structure. Kirby Perkins Construction went beyond that by updating the interiors to modern standards. In addition, a patio and an outdoor porch were built so homeowners can enjoy the gorgeous harbor.
126 Bellows St., Warwick, RI 02888
The Deslandes family is one of the oldest families in the Rhode Island construction industry. For over 50 years, Deslandes Construction has created award-winning homes, many of which have been featured by Rhode Island Monthly. President James Deslandes credits the firm’s success to its nurturing work environment. A testament to this culture is the ten-year average employee tenure of its team. Today, the firm’s staff has a combined 200 years of experience.
The vast construction knowledge that Deslandes Construction has accrued throughout the years can be seen in its portfolio. The firm is capable of executing an array of styles like farmhouse, ranch, and contemporary. An example of its modern creations is this contemporary Pawtuxet custom home. The three-story home’s wood exterior gives a rustic vibe to the modern facade. Moreover, there are outdoor porches found on both the second and third floors, which are also accessible from the backyard.
386 Dry Bridge Rd., North Kingstown, RI 02852
Gardner Woodwrights creates homes that are reflections of traditional home styles in New England. The firm’s portfolio consists of traditional colonial homes, Victorian oceanfront estates, and historic restoration projects that look good as new. Founder Randy Gardner works with some of the best designers and architects in the state to make sure that his projects maintain the stellar Gardner Woodrights standards.
Many trade publications feature the firm’s picturesque homes because of the intricate woodwork that goes into the exteriors, like this Quonochontaug cottage home featured in Southern New England Home Magazine. The homeowners wanted to preserve the original facade but they knew that the house was not structurally livable. Gardner Woodrights created a new custom home with an antiquated finish that perfectly captures its old charm. The home’s design was inspired by the traditional beach cottages with which many New England residents are familiar.
Modern Design and Construction
242 West Exchange St., Providence, Rhode Island 02903
In 1932, Modern Design and Construction was established to accommodate the growing demand for retail stores. As years passed, the company expanded its services to corporate and high-end residential projects. Fine architectural woodworking is the defining quality of every Modern Design and Construction project. Its upscale residential projects, no matter the size, always exude elegance and are reminiscent of European heritage houses. Providence Business News, New England Home, and This Old House are some of the notable publications that took notice of the firm’s elegant homes.
The firm’s portfolio consists of a collection of country and city homes. Both types have colonial or Victorian elements found in the exterior and interior. These houses are nothing short of elegant, and additionally maintain the signature coastal look of New England homes. This Newport country home’s gambrel roofing and columned entrance can be compared to a lofty estate, but the fish weather vane gives it a fun coastal accent.
9 Warren Ave., Tiverton, RI 02878
Initially, a group of subcontractors, Westall Deane and Gilbert Pires established Highland Builders to construct homes for larger contractors. As their clientele grew, Deane and Pires decided to incorporate Highland Builders in 1993. The firm slowly expanded and has made many of Rhode Island’s award-winning homes. Some of its accolades include Gold Awards for Residential New Construction from Rhode Island Monthly in 2015 and 2018 and a 2014 Grand Award for Best Custom Home from Builder Magazine.
A range of different home styles is found in the firm’s portfolio. From a contemporary barn-style retreat house to a traditional field house, the firm’s skilled team can produce any kind of quality project thanks to its experience with a diverse range of contractors.
This award-winning Twin Oaks residence is inspired by the surrounding oak trees of the home. Designed to look like a modern treehouse, the logged exterior and green door was designed to blend with its green surrounding. The bohemian architecture was paired with colorful furnishing that gives a quirky, modern look.
2273 Montauk Hwy., Bridgehampton, NY 11932
Hobbs, Inc. is the oldest firm in this list and in most of its service areas. Founder Ted Hobbs established the firm in 1954 when his work was only recognized through word of mouth. Five years later, the firm started undertaking more complex projects; one of its works was cataloged by the Smithsonian Institution. The firm was known for its quality commercial projects, but in 1990 Architectural Digest took notice of its residential projects, and Hobbs soon became a prominent residential contractor in Rhode Island, New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
The firm’s Hampton projects can be found in the pages of Luxe Magazine, Hampton Cottages and Gardens magazine, and Architectural Digest. The firm has also won a number of awards from the Home Building Industry Awards; its most recent distinction is a 2018 Best Vacation Home award.
Horan Building Company
174 Bellevue Ave., Newport, RI 02840
Mark Horan calls himself a “life-long master craftsman” because, at a young age, he had already constructed homes in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. From landscaping to carpentry, Horan had a fruitful start in home building, and he proved these skills in establishing Horan Building Company in 1992. Horan Building is known all over Rhode Island; it has made 170 homes in Aquidneck Island and was also named the Best Construction Services Company by Newport Life Magazine.
Besides constructing custom homes, the firm also provides rental properties and ready-made homes. These are found in Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth.
Many locals seek out the firm for its stunning summer homes. Horan gives modern innovations to traditional New England homes. The Boston Design Guide featured a Newport shingle cottage style home with modern metal railings. It’s a family-friendly alternative because it makes these large overlooking porches safer for children.
12 High St., Wakefield, RI 02879
Award-winning Sweenor Builders is a luxury custom home builder primarily serving the coastal neighborhoods of Rhode Island. Most of its creations are found in Rhode Island’s best beach towns like Narragansett, South Kingstown, Misquamicut, and Jamestown. Since its projects are found in prestigious neighborhoods, Sweenor Builders is often found in the pages of well-known publications. The firm also has received its share of notable accolades, and Build Magazine recently hailed it as the Best Home Design and Construction firm in Rhode Island.
Photo by Nat Rea Photography
Founder Jeff Sweenor’s goal is to create rewarding client experiences and quality homes that will last for generations. His commitment to craftsmanship was translated in his winning Idea House entry for 2018 Best In American Living Awards (BALA). The Idea House shows how a small home can live large. It is functional, elegant, and blends seamlessly with the surrounding tight-knit neighborhood. In 2019, Sweenor and his team renovated a one-story 1949 ranch home into a two-story shingle-style Dutch colonial to better fit the needs of a modern family and blend easily with Rhode Island’s coastal neighborhoods.
Davitt Design Build
4 Frank Ave., West Kingston, RI 02892
Known for remodeling some of the most beautiful homes in Rhode Island, Davitt Design Build also constructs stunning coastal luxury homes in New England. The firm pioneered the design-build approach in New England during the ’80s and, now, it has innovated the concept with the Davitt Process. The Davitt Process is refined, simple and very effective. Davitt takes the time to inform their clients every step of the way, offering sound advice and eliminating the confusion and frustration that is often associated with traditional custom home building. The client has complete control over the budget because every section of the home is priced as it is drawn.
Besides its budget-friendly approach, the firm has received more awards than most design-build firms. It has an impressive 30 Chrysalis awards, 18 Regional NARI award, and six Master Design Awards from Qualified Remodeler. The firm’s coastal homes set the standard for elegance and sustainability. This gorgeous home in Narragansett Bay has a simple colonial exterior with fun features like an outdoor pool deck and a full home gym with a yoga studio.
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