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Three Custom Builders of New Period Homes

When it comes to new construction or renovation and restoration projects, good design is just the beginning. Finding trustworthy custom builders of new period homes is the difference between success and failure when it comes to bringing architects’ visions to life.

Builders often remain the unsung heroes of homes featured in the architecture magazines. Here, Period Homes shines a light on three custom home builders who consistently exceed architect’s and client’s expectations. [For information on submitting your company for consideration, please contact editor Nancy Berry at]

scott simpson builders

Scott Simpson Builders renovated this Tudor-style home in Northbrook, Ill., to correct a series of muddled renovations done throughout the 1970s and ’80s. The firm replaced the tired brick exterior with Lannon stone and cedar-shake siding, upgraded the plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems, and added new bathrooms and utility rooms. Photo: courtesy of Scott Simpson Builders

Scott Simpson Builders
1529 shermer road
northbrook, il 60062

Scott Simpson Builders, founded in 1994, is renowned as one of the Chicago North Shore’s leading new-construction, historical-renovation and LEED-certified design–build firms. Since their first addition project on Livingston Street in Evanston, the company has completed more than 80 projects in its region, all of them worthy of Simpson’s tagline: “We build wishes.”

Founding principal Scott Simpson grew up in Northbrook, Ill., and spent several years as a carpenter before taking the plunge with his own business. However, he credits his psychology degree from Loyola University with Scott Simpson Builders’ client-oriented approach. Each project is personally overseen by a company principal, who provides full-time, on-site construction supervision to a small and talented crew, which is well-versed in high-quality craftsmanship. The company also provides a three-year warranty on all work performed, around-the-clock emergency service and a 24-hour response to non-emergency warranty items.
“We are not your typical contractor,” says Simpson. “We are a small, family-owned company whose owners and workers have an unwavering commitment to client satisfaction.

“We build collaborative relationships among clients, design professionals, builders and supporting subcontractors and suppliers before and during every project to ensure that we exceed expectations—and deliver work on time and within budget.”
“Every new home we build is different,” adds Simpson, “just as every family living in those homes is different. We learn something from each client, and we strive to create an atmosphere of inspiration and creativity to build the best home we can.”

H.P. Broom Housewright, Inc.
162 ferry road
hadlyme, ct 06439

H.P. Broom Housewright, Inc., is a full-service contracting company with a twist. While it specializes in restoration, reconstruction and reproduction, its founder and president, Harry “Skip” Broom, has made it his personal mission since 1975 to dismantle, reconstruct, move and restore architecturally significant houses previously slated for demolition.

“Once,” he says, “I received a frantic phone call from the Tiverton, Rhode Island, Historical Society. The society was in the midst of a fight to rescue a beautiful 1790 Federal that was going to be leveled to make room for a strip mall.” Broom sent a crew of six to the rescue, and the house parts reside in the firm’s Connecticut warehouse – for now. Among the dozens of structures given a second chance are six reconstructed 18th-century homes in Lyme, Conn., from which Broom created the settlement “Stone Post Road.”

Whether restoring or reconstructing old houses, Broom believes in saving as much of the original fabric and floor plan as is practical. “Most people don’t want to live in a museum,” he says. “They do, however, want the warmth and charm of an old house with up-to-date mechanical systems, kitchens, bathrooms and family living spaces.”
Aside from restorations, Broom also specializes in new, American Gothic, Greek Revival, Victorian, Colonial and Shingle-style residences. The company has its own architectural millwork shop, where a full-time staff of master craftsmen produce antique molding profiles, mantels, wall paneling and kitchens.

Broom continues to work with, and learn from, architects and their clients. “Preserving and building houses with ties to the past is in my DNA,” he says. “I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

Griffiths Construction, Inc.
851 kimberton road
chester springs, pa 19425

Principals Robert Griffiths and Wayne Rowland of Griffiths Construction, Inc., bring over 35 years of experience working in the local building community to their firm’s largely historically inspired projects. Since 1992, they have assembled a team of highly qualified and experienced craftspeople, who count everything from residences to “engine rooms” on their resumes.
The firm prides itself on its service before, during and after the project, from the expedited processing of preconstruction requirements and permitting (owing to its solid reputation among local municipalities), to smooth handling of the numerous other decisions that so often stall construction. The firm’s service departments safeguard clients’ investment with continued maintenance and documentation assistance after final construction.
“It provides lifelong comfort for clients to know that their investment and family home is being taken care of properly,” says Griffiths. “We have a particular sensitivity to architectural details and understand that a successful project is a team effort. Throughout the process, we enjoy excellent relationships with clients and architects.”

Stein Wood Products - IMGP9678

Stein Wood Products

Provider of imported wood floors, decking, and siding products.