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Many builders lay claim to mastery of construction.

What they rarely discuss is mastery of context.


Most professions

have ways of recognizing superior achievements, whether by advanced degrees, certifications, or awards. But in our sector of the building industry—unique residential and niche commercial projects—few definitive credentials exist. Builders proclaim their competence without independent verification, and many are driven by making sales, rather than achieving excellent outcomes. They jump into the job, and even if competent at construction, often find themselves in over their heads, because they fail to grasp how intricate the societal context has become for building anything and everything.

In just the past eight years, we’ve seen an exponential jump in the number of intersecting regulations, codes, and technological requirements related to environmental protection, health and safety, design, and engineering, with myriad players involved in coordination and approval processes. Those issues are compounded by the need to make informed, strategic choices with regard to budget, finance, feasibility and market appropriateness. The fallout from a failure to manage all of these moving parts can be dangerously detrimental to customers, triggering a cascade of unforeseen hassles with inspections, associations, and regulatory institutions; lost time and money; and in some cases, serious legal concerns.

To our mind, responding appropriately to the fast-evolving contextual framework is of paramount importance. We have the strategic skill set—the professional competencies—to navigate multiple complex variables, from administrative and governance to design, engineering, and construction. Routinely, we win complex variances, deal with twisted topography, comply with challenging codes, overcome resistance, and finesse ruffled feathers. The entire process involves intensive analysis and preplanning, the ability to ride herd on conflicting requirements and details, as well as reacting to challenges in real time. The work that results is aesthetic, comfortable, consonant with the surroundings, and free of aftershocks. But since no credentials exist for such building services capabilities, we won’t ask you to take our word for it. Instead, here are examples.



20th Century Elegance
21st Century Relevance


The owners of this classic 100-year-old East Harriet home asked MasterWerks to collaborate with their talented design team, based on their designer’s referral. We always enjoy the challenge of helping plan and execute sensitive, cost-effective updates, conserving charm while renewing relevance to how we live today.

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January 2024

Home Update on Your 2024 Horizon? Here’s Why It Should Top Your Resolution List.

Currently, MasterWerks is seeing an uptick in inquiries from clients about prospective projects. While that’s always a great feeling, we’ve been in business long enough to recognize an unusual pattern for this time of year.


Rationally, we can cite multiple forces behind the growing economic headwind. Recent reports claim that inflation is starting to slow, and market gurus are predicting that the Central Bank is likely to pivot towards interest rate cuts in 2024. Many homeowners who    ...Read More

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