team photo, design build team

I founded Byggmeister in August of 1983. Our first clients hired us not because of our experience (we didn’t have any) but because we were friendly, articulate, thorough, and easy to have around. That counted for a lot then.

People often ask what our name means. It’s Scandinavian for “Master Builder.” My wife is from Sweden, and I founded the company on the same day we got engaged—romance played a bigger role than marketing. But I’m still married and still in business, so it doesn’t seem to have hurt us too badly to have a name that no one can spell, pronounce, or remember.

We started off as remodelers, and have been remodelers ever since. We don’t do new construction. There are enough existing houses in the Boston area in need of fixing that we feel no need or desire to add to the inventory. New construction would feel like cheating.

In 2000, we started focusing on design-build, a process that enables us—indeed, forces us—to be accountable for every aspect of the project, from initial schematic plans through construction to warranty follow-up. That remains our current model: we strive to be the most accountable remodeling firm you will ever do business with.

Especially when it comes to "green": we're the only remodelers we know of who actually measure the environmental impacts of our work over time. We like to think we put the "count" back in "accountability."

Although in many ways we are much more knowledgeable and sophisticated than when we first started (it would be a big problem if we weren’t), we hope that the most important things haven’t changed a bit over the last three decades—that we’re still friendly, articulate, thorough, and easy to have around.

By Paul Eldrenkamp