We had hired a number of general contractors in the past, always with a certain level of dissatisfaction. This time we shopped around, interviewing over six different companies for the job, and hands down, Kris Thomson rose above the pack from the day we met him. Not only do he and his crew perform masterful work, but they were pleasant, courteous, tidy, respectful and fun to be around. When you have a crew of five workers banging around your house for five months, it helps when all the workers are kind and courteous. Kris certainly set the tone for his crew, and we didn’t meet a subcontractor of his that we didn’t like.
He always took the time to communicate with us and listen to our concerns. Any businessperson should aspire to his level of honesty and integrity. His estimates were always accurate, every penny was accounted for, and, because he knew that we had some basic construction skills, he even suggested that we perform certain tasks ourselves that could save us from spending money on him or one of his subcontractors. He even took the time to teach us how to do things we didn’t know.
Finally, his knowledge of old houses is unsurpassed. Ours was built in 1880, and with all of its quirks and lack of right angles, we know that it was in good hands throughout the entire renovation process. It’s obvious that he loves his work. Just make sure you have a lot of time for the response if you ask him about Victorian architecture because he might happily talk your ear off!
Roger Sorkin, Florence, MA
What really excites me about Kris Thomson is his knowledge, enthusiasm and flexibility around redesigning and renovating older homes. I call him in when my real estate clients are unsure about whether the older house they are considering is right for them. His architectural detective skills and his creative approach help my clients see the possibilities the house has to offer.
In addition to my real estate practice, I am also on the Northampton Historical Commission and have been involved in historic initiatives around Northampton/Florence/Leeds for several years and Kris’s volunteer spirit is unmatched. Much of the early Florence history and rediscovered Underground Railroad Network here in the city is because of Kris Thomson’s passion and flair for investigating the history of the built environment.
Craig Della Penna, Real Estate Broker Northampton MA
I have known Kris Thomson for over 25 years. His knowledge of old houses and his vision of how to bring them back to life in a sensitive and creative way is one of his many amazing skills. He can see what most people can’t, he can explain how a structure was built and when, he can quickly see what may need to be done and how to go about doing it.
Kris is the first person I call when I have a question about a building. He is responsive, knowledgeable, and a great problem solver. His ability to bring an endangered old house back to life and into the 21st century preserving it for today’s enjoyment is first rate. I can’t recommend him highly enough, he is the best carpenter-contractor I know!
Jessica Ryan Lapinski, Realtor Northampton MA
“There are ‘go to’ people in every trade, but in this certain brand of carpentry and project design there is no one quite like Kris. Forget about his big heart—having fronted endless time and resources in support of the fledgling David Ruggles Center; forget about his uncanny knack for dating the structures he works to restore, born from his sheer native curiosity; Kris figures out the best way to approach the needs of his clients and the building by which they hope to do right.”
Steve Strimer, Director of the David Ruggles Center
“Kris Thomson is an artist with a hammer and saw.
We bought an un-updated 1917 house with beautiful moldings, gorgeous windows, lots of charm and a lousy layout. We wanted a more open modern feeling without disrupting the charm of the old house. My husband and I had all kinds of ideas but nothing was really right. That’s when we brought in Kris. He tore down two walls, rebuilt the stairs and widened the doorway between the kitchen and the living room.
The result is amazing. By salvaging pieces of the original molding and perfectly matching all new material, the “renovations” are nearly invisible!
I can’t recommend Kris highly enough: he was punctual, clean, a master craftsman and a complete professional.”
Dr Lydia Knutson, Easthampton, Ma