About Howell Custom Building Group

 

Founded in 1997 by husband and wife team, Steve 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. Steve and Susan work closely with Garrett Moynihan (Director of Preconstruction) and Scott Graham (Director of Construction) to ensure client satisfaction from project conception to completion. To learn more about our entire team, please visit the Team tab above.

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 25 years in business and 800+ 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.

Preconstruction Services Team Philosophy:
We believe that the best results occur when all team members (designers and builder) 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 preconstruction 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 local nonprofits, including Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity, The Womens Fund of Essex County, Uncommon Threads, and Bread and Roses Kitchen. 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


Professional Affiliations:

 

 

 
The Phius passive building certification standard is a rigorous energy standard that produces buildings that use 40-60 percent less energy than conventional structures. The Phius standard is climate-specific, cost-optimized, and includes third-party quality assurance.

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 have expertise in post and beam Timber Frame construction
  • We are a Certified Green Professional (CGP) with the National Association of Homebuilders
  • We are a Passive House (PHIUS) certified builder

Learn More

Our Team


Join Our Team

We are currently seeking a Senior Project Manager: experienced residential construction professional who oversees large scale projects throughout the design, construction, and post construction support phases. Minimum 10 years’ experience in high-end residential construction as a project manager.

If you believe you have the skills and qualities to benefit our team, please email us a cover letter and your resume!

Leadership & Support Team

Learn More

STEPHEN & SUSAN HOWELL

Owners/Founders

Learn More

SCOTT GRAHAM

Director of Construction, CSL, AIA MA

Learn More

GARRETT MOYNIHAN

Director of Preconstruction, CSL, CPHB

Learn More

KATHY CLARK

Office Manager

Learn More

MAURA SOUSA

Office Assistant

Project Management Team

Learn More

DON DAVIS

Senior Project Manager

READ BIO>

Learn More

BLAIRE TOWNSEND

VP, Project Management

READ BIO>

Learn More

JOSH WEST

Senior Project Manager

READ BIO>

Carpentry Team

Learn More

PETER ALLIA

Carpenter

READ BIO>

Learn More

KURT BAIER

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

READ BIO>

Learn More

EMILE BRYSON

Carpenter

READ BIO>

Learn More

STEVE DUMAS

Lead Carpenter

READ BIO>

Learn More

PATRICK HARRIGAN

Carpenter

READ BIO>

Learn More

BILL HOLDEN SR.

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

READ BIO>

Learn More

BRIAN HOLLENBECK

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

READ BIO>

Learn More

DEVON HURST

Carpenter

READ BIO>

Learn More

TIM KANE

Carpenter

READ BIO>

Learn More

BRAD POWERS

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

READ BIO>

Learn More

DAVID RAMIREZ

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

READ BIO>


Who will work on your Home?

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

STEPHEN & SUSAN HOWELL

Owners/Founders

Steve and Susan founded HCBG in 1997. Over 25 years they have evolved the company into a leader amongst the premier residential builders in the greater Boston area.

Steve’s 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. Steve’s exceptional eye for detail is reflected in the systems he’s developed throughout HCBG to ensure an unprecedented level of quality, creativity and accuracy.

Susan’s focus has been on building a recognizable company brand and strong relationships within the local community and construction industry. She began her career in publishing, as a marketing manager, later transitioning these skills to the family business. Susan is passionate about giving back to the community– she currently serves on the Grants Allocation Committee for the Essex County Women’s Fund, served for 7 years as an advisory board member for Uncommon Threads, a Lawrence MA nonprofit, and worked as an Admissions Associate at Phillips Academy Andover. Previously, she and Steve served together on the Board of Directors for Merrimack Valley Habitat for Humanity for 6 years, co-chairing two Builders Blitz’s, each time harnessing talent within the local community to build two homes in five days. Susan and Steve have received numerous recognitions for their community involvement.

steveh@howellcustombuild.com

susanh@howellcustombuild.com

See Video

See Video

PATRICK HARRIGAN

Carpenter

STEVE HOWELL

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.

 

steveh@howellcustombuild.com

See Video

SUSAN HOWELL

Marketing Director

 

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.

 

susanh@howellcustombuild.com

See Video

PETER ALLIA

Carpenter

KURT BAIER

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

See Video

EMILE BRYSON

Carpenter

See Video

GEORGE CARROLL

Carpenter

KATHY CLARK

Office Manager

Kathy has been the “heartbeat” of HCBG since 2004, overseeing the office and managing accounts payables and receivables. Prior to HCBG, Kathy worked in accounting at Mast Industries. Her favorite activity at Howell? Reconciling accounts! Outside of work she’s passionate about off-roading excursions with family, vacationing in Aruba, and crocheting.

kathyc@howellcustombuild.com

DON DAVIS

Senior Project Manager

Don’s construction career has spanned over 30 years, beginning as a carpenter working for his father’s Maryland home building company. Eventually, Don started his own residential construction company in Massachusetts, where he oversaw all phases of construction with 15 employees. In 2015, Don moved into Project Management for outside companies, joining the Howell team in 2021. Don loves meeting and working with new people – whether it’s clients, vendors or co-workers. As a Senior Project Manager, Don oversees large scale projects, ensuring they are delivered on time, within budget and with the highest quality service and craftsmanship. In his free time Don enjoys golfing, hunting, and fishing.

STEVE DUMAS

Lead Carpenter

See Video

SCOTT GRAHAM

Director of Construction, CSL, AIA MA

Scott, a graduate of Wentworth Institute of Technology,  is a licensed architect (AIA) who joined HCBG in 2017 as a construction project manager. Prior to this he worked as an architect, doing commercial projects in health care and higher education. “This taught me to be extremely detail-oriented, while utilizing my imagination and creativity. In recent years, my passion for design transformed into a love for solving architectural construction problems, so I moved to a position on the construction side of the business with HCBG. My architectural background has proven invaluable as Director of Construction, and strengthened our relationship with the architects and designers with whom we work.” 

Scott leads the project management and carpentry teams, overseeing all aspects of projects under construction.  When not working, Scott enjoys spending time with his wife, young daughter, and extended family; boating on lake Winnipausake;  and running marathons for local charities.

 

scottg@howellcustombuild.com

See Video

BILL HOLDEN SR.

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

See Video

BRIAN HOLLENBECK

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

See Video

DEVON HURST

Carpenter

See Video

TIM KANE

Carpenter

GARRETT MOYNIHAN

Director of Preconstruction, CSL, CPHB

Garrett joined HCBG in 2020 after a successful 20 year industry career as a Property Services Regional Manager in high end residential construction, a sales representative for JB Sash Windows & Doors, and as a Carpenter on Cape Cod. At HCBG Garrett directs the process prior to construction, including sales, estimating, and designer collaborations. Garrett is a Phius certified builder (Passive House Institute US) and has his Construction Supervisors License. He graduated from the University of MA Amherst with a degree in Building and Construction Technology. 

“From the initial walkthrough with potential customers to handing over completed projects, I’ve always been passionate about the construction process. Here at Howell, we pride ourselves on our robust and collaborative processes. I grew up as a carpenter working for small builders and had always thought the building process could go smoother with better planning. Once I learned the HCBG Preconstruction process, I knew I’d found my place. In my role as Director of Preconstruction, I look forward to further developing our network of clients and design partners so we may continue producing rewarding projects with great people.”

Outside of work Garrett enjoys time with family, skiing, and golf.

 

BRAD POWERS

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

See Video

DAVID RAMIREZ

Site Supervisor/Lead Carpenter

MAURA SOUSA

Office Assistant

Maura joined HCBG in 2020 after a successful career in sales account management at radio station North Shore 104.9. At HCBG she is the client’s first contact, interviewing new clients about their projects to determine best next steps. She loves her versatile role here, helping keep the office organized, supporting employees and customers, and assisting with marketing projects. “The energy at HCBG is always positive, creative, and genuine”.  When not at the office, she loves spending time with family at their lake house in Maine, as well as cooking and running.

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.

 

blairet@howellcustombuild.com

See Video

JOSH WEST

Senior Project Manager

Josh joined HCBG in 2020 after 25 years in the construction industry both as the owner of a small construction business and as a project manager for other high end residential builders. Josh is not just a master of carpentry and project management, he is also an avid cook! He is a favorite around the office and on job sites, showing up with his freshly baked breads. When not baking, Josh also loves family time and golf. What does Josh enjoy most about HCBG? The holiday party… and, of course, the fine craftsmanship and beautiful projects we produce. 

See Video

Request a Consultation Today!

  • 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.