About Howell Custom Building Group

 

Founded in 1997 by husband and wife team, Stephen and Susan Howell, their vision was to utilize their professional backgrounds in engineering, project management, residential construction, and marketing to create a consistently great new home construction and home remodeling experience for homeowners on the North Shore of Massachusetts.

Hear from clients what sets us apart from other home construction companies.

Why do 99% of our clients say they would recommend us to a friend, and over half hire us again for second, third, fourth and even fifth projects?

 

Company Knowledge:
With over 20 years in business and 700+ projects successfully completed, they can rely on us to do things right, minimize obstacles, and be here in the future to service our work.

Professional Project Management:
Exceptionally disciplined planning keeps projects on time and on budget, minimizing surprises and regrets for the homeowners and design partners we serve.

Design/Build Team Philosophy:
We believe that the best results occur when all team members collaborate at the project’s conception. We put the team together at the beginning of each project, and then work hand-in-hand with our partners as a design-build team to ensure spectacular results. We are happy to work with your architect/interior designer or introduce you to one of our design partners.

Estimating Accuracy & Value Engineering:
 We begin estimating project costs early in the design process so our clients can make choices prior to construction to tailor their project to their budget. Our proprietary construction cost estimating system allows for unprecedented estimating detail and accuracy so clients know the complete cost of their project up front. We average less than 1% variance between our final estimated and actual construction costs. Learn More

Committed Employees:
Our project managers and carpenters are long time company employees. When clients hire us, they know specifically who will work on their home and they can be confident that our craftsmanship and quality are consistent from project to project. We professionally train our employees so they are up-to-date on the latest construction materials and methods. Satisfied, knowledgeable employees produce better results for our clients. Learn more about Our Team.

Quality of our Work:
We do it right the first time. Our warranty costs average a mere $2 per $1000 of construction even though we proactively contact clients for warranty service at 6 months, 1 year and 2 year intervals.  Low warranty costs help lower our cost of doing business, which is passed on as savings to our clients.

We don’t put our clients at risk:
All of our employees are covered by general liability and worker’s compensation insurance. Additionally, we ONLY work with subcontractor’s who carry insurance for themselves and for their employees. So, if someone is hurt on the jobsite, the homeowner is not liable. All of our Project Managers and Lead Carpenters are licensed construction supervisors who maintain the safest possible jobsite. In addition, we are a certified Lead-Safe firm.

We give back to the local community:
We support several nonprofits, including Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity, Essex County Women’s Foundation, and Lowell House. Steve and Susan Howell served for 6 years on the Board of Directors for Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity, overseeing two Home Builders Blitz’s, when they pulled together industry colleagues to build two homes in one week  for deserving families in Lawrence, MA.


Award Winning Results.

We are a leader in our field, having been recognized year after year for the quality of our work as well as for our business practices. List of awards

 

Our Process

Our exceptionally disciplined project management approach ensures the smoothest possible progression of every project from design through construction.  Our transparency gives you better control over costs, while our thoroughness minimizes the surprises and risks that are inherent in any building project. Our process includes the following steps:

1. Phone Consultation

When you contact us for the first time, we will spend time with you on the phone learning more about you and your project to advise you on the best next steps and whether our services are the right fit for you.

3. Conceptual Budgeting

We will follow-up our initial site visit with a complimentary conceptual budget. This is not “a bid” — it is our best guess as to what price range your project will fall into based on your description of what you envision and similar projects we’ve built. It is a first step towards planning your project and determining whether your vision matches your budget so you can decide whether to move forward designing your project.

5. Preconstruction Services

These are the services we offer prior to construction to help you design and estimate your project. If you are already working with a designer, we will work hand in hand with them to develop pricing and provide value engineering alongside design development. Learn more

Warranty Services

We have a 2 year+ warranty follow-up program–double the industry standard! Learn More

2. Initial Site Visit

During the complimentary initial site visit, we will visit your home or the jobsite to learn more about the vision and budget for your project, determine the construction feasibility of the project, review plans if you are already working with a designer, and offer some budgetary guidelines to help you finetune your vision. Often, clients rely on us to put the design and build team together. Some in-house design services are available as well.

4. Phone Consultation

When you contact us for the first time, we will spend time with you on the phone learning more about you and your project to advise you on the best next steps and whether our services are the right fit for you.

6. Construction Services

At the end of the preconstruction and design process, you will have a complete set of construction drawings and a final price to build your project. Construction is ready to begin! Learn More

Specialized Expertise

We are a Certified Green Professional (CGP) with the National Association of Homebuilders
We have expertise in post and beam Timber Frame construction
Learn More

Our Team

 

STEVE HOWELL

Owner/President

Steve founded HCBG in 1997, following a career as a software engineer. His love of design and construction started as a high school and college student working on framing and finish carpentry crews building homes around New England.

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SUSAN HOWELL

Owner/Marketing

Susan is the clients’ first contact with the company, discussing their vision and introducing them to the company’s services and processes. Prior to founding HCBG with Steve, she enjoyed a marketing career in educational and interactive publishing.

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KURT BAIER

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

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PHILIP BATES

Senior Project Manager

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EMILE BRYSON

Carpenter

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GEORGE CARROLL

Carpenter

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SAM CHASE

Carpenter

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KATHY CLARK

Office Manager

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SCOTT GRAHAM

Project Manager

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BRIAN HEALY

Carpenter

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BILL HOLDEN SR.

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

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BRIAN HOLLENBECK

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

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DEVON HURST

Carpenter

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TIM KANE

Carpenter

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BRAD POWERS

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

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STEVE PRITTIE

VP, Project Development

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DAVID RAMIREZ

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

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JOHN TAYLOR

Project Manager

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BLAIRE TOWNSEND

VP, Project Management

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Who will work on your Home?

  • THE PROJECT MANAGER
  • THE SUBCONTRACTORS
  • THE LEAD CARPENTER
  • POSSIBLE PROJECT PARTNERS
  • PRODUCTION CARPENTERS

STEVE HOWELL

Owner/President

Steve founded HCBG in 1997, following a career as a software engineer. His love of design and construction started as a high school and college student working on framing and finish carpentry crews building homes around New England. He then earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Cornell University and, in the years after college, honed his management skills at Hewlett-Packard, a company well known for its excellence in project management while inspiring individual innovation. During these years, Steve kept his interest in construction fresh by building a custom timber frame home for his family, and working on an antique home restoration on Cape Cod. His exceptional eye for detail is reflected in the systems he’s developed throughout the company to ensure an unprecedented level of quality, creativity and accuracy. Steve served on the Board of Directors for Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity for six years, overseeing the 2012 and 2014 Builders Blitz. Free time is spent biking, hiking and enjoying other outdoor pursuits.

SUSAN HOWELL

Owner/Marketing

Susan is the clients’ first contact with the company, discussing their vision and introducing them to the company’s services and processes. Prior to founding HCBG with Steve, she enjoyed a marketing career in educational and interactive publishing after earning a B.S. in Psychology at Cornell University. Susan is actively involved in the local community. For six years she served on the Board of Directors for Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity co-chairing the annual fundraising Gala and the 2012 and 2014 Builders Blitz. For four years, she worked with the admissions office at Phillips Academy in Andover after serving as President of their parents association. Susan currently serves on the Uncommon Threads advisory board and the Grants Allocation Committee for the Essex County Women’s Fund. When not at HCBG, Susan enjoys exercising, outdoor pursuits, traveling, and reading.

KURT BAIER

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

PHILIP BATES

Senior Project Manager

Philip joined HCBG in 2018 with extensive experience in the Boston area high end custom residential construction industry. Past positions included roles as a Project Manager at Windover Construction, VP of Sales for Charlie Allen Renovations, and President of The Classic Group, one of Boston’s largest and most recognized architecture and general Contracting firms until 2011. Philip grew up surrounded by the simple yet beautiful architecture of the small Village of Newfane, Vermont. His father, a master Horologist, worked in his shop attached to the house restoring antique clocks. Philip believes that well-built homes, like antique clocks, when beautifully designed, will last generations. Philip loves being part of the team that helps clients make thoughtful updates and repairs to their home.

EMILE BRYSON

Carpenter

GEORGE CARROLL

Carpenter

SAM CHASE

Carpenter

KATHY CLARK

Office Manager

SCOTT GRAHAM

Project Manager

BRIAN HEALY

Carpenter

BILL HOLDEN SR.

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

BRIAN HOLLENBECK

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

DEVON HURST

Carpenter

TIM KANE

Carpenter

BRAD POWERS

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

STEVE PRITTIE

VP, Project Development

Steve joined HCBG in 2017, after owning a high end residential design/build firm in Atlanta, Georgia for 20 years, where he supervised project managers and subcontractors and oversaw all design, engineering, and estimating. Steve’s first four years in New England were spent at Feinmann Inc. where he designed and supervised residential renovations and additions. Steve’s love of construction first developed building stage sets for a summer theatre company. He then graduated from Bowling Green University and taught elementary school at Trinity School in Georgia. While there, he oversaw a 3-year campus expansion project. Steve is a natural at sales and design, so at HCBG he directs all preconstruction services. In his free time, Steve enjoys playing basketball, running, cycling, cooking and volunteering for the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

DAVID RAMIREZ

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

JOHN TAYLOR

Project Manager

John has worked in the construction industry for 34 years, and has been managing projects for HCBG since 2005. After earning a B.S. from Kalamazoo College in  Kalamazoo, MI he was a carpenter, a Lead Carpenter, a business owner, and Cabinet Manufacturer’s Sales Rep. In his spare time, John is an avid cyclist who has annually participated in the Pan Mass Challenge for ten years. When not on his bike, John and his wife enjoy spending time with family, exploring new restaurants and working around their own home.

BLAIRE TOWNSEND

VP, Project Management

Blaire joined HCBG in 2013, with over 26 years’ experience at leading construction management and architectural design firms such as Casali Group, McMillan Company, and Shawmut Design & Construction. With a degree in Building Science from Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, and an MBA from Babson College, Blaire is an experienced and knowledgeable professional who understands the entire construction/design process and is committed to doing whatever it takes to satisfy our customers. Blaire enjoys spending free time with his son and daughter, and coaching his son’s baseball team. He is an avid golfer who enjoys traveling and fine dining — planning his vacations around restaurants.

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  • Howell Custom Building Group supports sustainability by encouraging our clients to donate reusable materials to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. All proceeds help fund the local Habitat affiliate. Click here for a list of acceptable items to donate and additional information.