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  • Writer's pictureRicci Lumber

*Contractor Spotlight*

Updated: May 6

Joe Terravecchia

Terravecchia Building & Restoration

How did you get started in the industry?

I grew up in Chester NH in a wonderful old house that my parents purchased from a retired cabinet maker. He left all of his power and hand tools in a beautiful old shop on the property, and I discovered my love of working with wood there. I somehow escaped that apprenticeship with 1950’s era power tools with all my fingers and started working summers with a framing crew during high school in the late 70’s.


How did you start your business?

After graduating from UNH in 1983 I worked a short stint as an outreach counselor with a Dover youth program and then traveled and climbed in the Rockies and in Alaska before settling down in the NH Seacoast. I started my business in 1988 and we focused on old home repairs and the business grew quickly as we developed a reputation for fine work at a fair price.


What is your favorite aspect of the job?

Firstly, and most importantly it comes down to the people that I interact with on a daily basis.

My crew of eight carpenters are consummate professionals and bring a level of craftsmanship and an attention to detail that I’m very proud of. The same can be said for a long list of subcontractors, architects, and suppliers, many of whom I’ve been working with for two or more decades.

Secondly, I’ve had the pleasure of working and becoming friends with many wonderful clients over the last 36 years. Just in the last month, my wife Karin and I had dinner with my second customer from 1988 and another who’s house we renovated in 2001.

Lastly, I love old houses and it’s satisfying to play a part in their preservation and thoughtful renovation.


What was your first job when you started your company?

My first customer was WW2 veteran and retired UNH professor Gerry Smith. (His son Smitty worked at Ricci lumber). We completed repairs and painted the exterior of his 1750 home and barn at the junction of Back River Rd and route 4.


How did you grow/do you currently grow your business?

In the beginning, I dropped off postcards at homes that looked in need of repairs. That gave me my first handful of projects and from there it was mainly word of mouth. We bent over backward to exceed client expectations…  and still do.

The company is at just the right size now to allow us to take on

large, whole house restoration/renovations that are our bread and butter, while remaining very responsive to client needs.


What are your future goals for your company?

We’ve gotten spoiled over the last 10 years. Virtually all of our work consists of  6-18 month long historic, whole-house projects within a one square mile of Market Square. The only notable exception was a new home that we built on the other side of the N Mill pond from Ricci Lumber during Covid.  

We’ll continue focusing on a single project at a time. Everyone is happier that way.


Is there anything else you would like to add?

My lifelong passions have been mountaineering and rock & ice climbing.

If I’m not working or with my family, I’m most likely climbing.


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