Best of Boston Home 2009

The premier designers, contractors, shops, and more, in Boston and beyond.



Dave West hires only gentlemen: His crew members are forbidden to swear or take off their shirts, so you won’t have to spirit your kids away when they show up. Trained in architectural engineering, West can also give you design advice (if and when you want it) and use his design background to bond with your architect. (Trust us—this is important, especially when you’ve got a complex design that no one is quite sure how to build.) But what really sets Meadowview apart is its workers’ craftsmanship and attention to detail on each and every project, be it a kitchen redo or new home.

97 Tenney St. #7, Georgetown, 978-887-2587,

Cleaning Service

You hire a team to build or paint your house, so why hire just one person to clean it? Even for a small home, Mathew’s sends over an army of workers, each a specialist in a specific cleaning task. Using this approach, they make short work of an arduous job, and ensure their cleaning will to be up to “white glove” standards. P.S.: For those surprise visits from your mother-in-law, the team will jump into action on a few days’ notice.

Ipswich, 978-804-6249,


You may question Roy Spittle Associates’ motto, “There are no problems, only solutions,” when your lights go on the fritz, but you’ll be happy when his solution makes your problem vanish as if it never existed. Spittle has been in the business for more than 45 years, and his son, Tom, who now runs the company, specializes in designing electrical systems. With a staff of 25, they respond quickly in an emergency, but you still get that warm, family-owned feeling.

 5 Heritage Way, Gloucester, 978-283-2299,

Hardware Store

Who needs a big-box store when you can find practically the same inventory and more knowledgeable sales staff at Dawsons? This is the store that North Shore contractors go to when they need an obscure tool or that all-important widget. Dawsons also carries everything for the rest of us, including gardening supplies, propaneeven toys.

50 Enon St., Beverly, 978-927-1320


Hand John Filias a sketch on a napkin (or just take him into your backyard and point), then unleash this landscaper on your trees and shrubs. He has the vision and ability to transform vague ideas into feng shui–worthy designs, making him a one-stop shop for design and execution in earthwork, stone, and greenery.

Manchester-by-the-Sea, 978-768-3359,


He doesn’t have a website and it’s hard to get an appointment with him, but hunting down master stonemason Willie Lach will undoubtedly pay off. A local treasure on the North Shore with 35 years of experience repointing brick chimneys and setting stone walls, Lach is also profoundly steeped in local lore and, once he warms up, will regale you with amazing stories about the area’s colorful past.

Danvers, 978-774-4679

Painter, Exterior

A painter is only as good as his prep work, and McManus masterfully washes, caulks, and sands surfaces so they grab as much of the new application as possible. Then his paint goes on evenly, the mark of a true craftsman. The owner of a stately Colonial or a weather-beaten Cape will also appreciate McManus’s winning personality and his ability to guide clients in picking bold or unusual colors, if that’s what they desire.

3 Hugh Hill Ln., Beverly, 978-921-0132,

Painter, Interior

When you got your first apartment out of college, you thought painting was a simple task. But after tracking paint all over your hardwood floors (and splattering your cat), you realized—as we all do—there’s a reason people hire professionals. Painting requires patience and an obsessive attention to detail. Enter Scott Salah. His team painstakingly tapes off each room to make sure every line is straight, and dutifully covers every piece of furniture within a quarter-mile radius.

27A Walnut St., Peabody, 978-977-7467,


If you want the latest technology to heat and cool your home, call Brian Bilo. He won’t bring you a dog-eared brochure or try to sell you last year’s model. Instead, he’s a young and energetic expert who has thrown himself into learning about the most upscale and efficient brands. Plus, his mechanical room designs are so well drawn, you may want to frame them.

5 Greens Point Rd., Ipswich, 978-468-4389

The Boston Home team has curated a list of the best home design and home remodeling professionals in Boston, including home builders and contractors, interior designers, home accent décor, and more. Get the help you need with FindIt/Boston's guide to home renovation pros.