IMG_3689.jpg

I'm Steve Thomas.

I'm best known as host of PBS's "This Old House", Discovery's "Renovation Nation" and the History Channel's "Save Our History". But my roots are on the job site. My dad used to buy, renovate and sell homes to make a little money and house his growing family.

I learned early that you can build and transform homes with tools, knowledge and the willingness to put your hands to work.

I've always loved renovation and building. Every morning when I get to the job site I strap on the tool belt and say "Let's get to work! Let's make it all happen!"

 
 

 

Our Core Values

 

Simplicity 

Simplicity is the principle that things work best when kept as elemental as possible. When your project is in the architectural drawings phase, we look hard for what’s missing, but even harder for what’s superfluous. A good architect or designer will develop a design’s inner logic. We help you and your design professional put more of your dollars into the project, not the process. With electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, we look for the most robust options, avoiding  the overly complicated. Machines break and the fewer you have in your house, the fewer you’ll have to fix.

 

Steve_thomas.jpg
 

Integrity

Integrity of materials You could specify a concrete floor or a marble floor. Both materials have integrity, but the concrete is less expensive. On the other hand, a cheap, poorly made vinyl floor makes the whole project feel, well, cheap and poorly made. 

Integrity of Craftsmanship A well-executed, complex window trim detail with crown molding, frieze board, and back band will be relatively costly, while a well-executed, very simple square edge trim detail will be much less so. It’s the high level of craftsmanship that gives both approaches integrity.

Integrity in the Overall Build In general it means doing the right thing even when no one will ever see it—building for the long term. Our family home in Salem, Massachusetts, was a first period colonial from the 1700s that I constantly renovated, restored, and updated over 27 years. I remember stripping off the lath and plaster in the living room to reveal perfect timber frame joinery, executed and assembled with skill and respect, which had been hidden for some 200 years. Whoever put that frame together understood the notion of integrity in building.

 

 Photo Credit: Douglas Merriam

Photo Credit: Douglas Merriam

 

Sustainability

Sustainability became an overused term a few years ago, when “green building” was all the rage, and then it somehow acquired the undeserved reputation of being expensive and effete. In fact, sustainable building techniques are based on hard building science and are used to build and renovate buildings that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient.

Big technological advances have been made in insulation, windows, sealing the envelope of the house, lighting, and heating and cooling equipment. Plus, we now understand the thermo- and vapor-dynamics of wall, basement, and attic spaces. We know how to build and renovate homes that are extremely efficient, very comfortable, healthy, and built to last the generations. I believe that since we have the knowledge and techniques to build sustainably, we are obliged to do so. 

At Steve Thomas Builders, building and renovation is not just a job, it’s a passion.