Mason Lord (left) and Craig Marchessault (second from right) met in 1984 as apprentices at a National Trust for Historic Preservation workshop. They were drawn together by their mutual interest in period homes. They worked together informally for several years before deciding to join together and formalize a company in 1991. Though they are known for their historic expertise, the partners also build new homes and additions. Lord handles more of the sales side and Marchessault runs more jobs, but they both log in plenty of field work. They have a lead carpenter and mostly use subcontractors. The company pays subs promptly, Lord says, and works hard to establish long-lasting relationships.

To help pursue design/build work and to better serve their customers, last year the partners formed a partnership with a design professional. She works with them on a project- by-project basis. Having a designer working for them has increased efficiency. Lord and Marchessault also try to keep the production side running smoothly by scheduling only three jobs at a time and refusing to bid. “We underpromise and overdeliver,” Lord says.