Custom home builders and designers emphasizing energy efficiency, green building, and use of local materials since 1982.

About UsAbout Us



Tom Lovdal

Tom Lovdal, owner of T.H. Lovdal & Co. Ltd., grew up on a dairy farm in Connecticut. Working side-by-side with his father and mother, he developed a love for nature and a respect for the environment. Tom completed an electrical engineering degree at Stevens Institute of Technology and went on to serve as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Northern Brazil and USAID contractor in Guinea Bissau. For more than 10 years he was a construction manager on large industrial projects throughout United States and Canada before settling in Southeast Ohio and starting his own residential building business in 1982. Tom was building the “Not so Big House” long before its popularity entered the mainstream.  He builds site appropriate homes using local hardwoods in floors, trim, cabinetry, storage and office spaces. As a life long volunteer, he has served as a member of the Harrisonville Volunteer Fire Department, board president of the River Valley Community School, board member of the Milestones Therapeutic Foster Care Network and has worked on numerous Habitat for Humanity projects. Currently he serves as a treasurer of the Sugar Bush Foundation, using Ohio University’s expertise to help improve the quality of life in Appalachia in a sustainable way.

The Process

When you think about the numerous decisions that go into building a house it’s easy to get overwhelmed. That’s why we incorporate proven step-by-step planning as part of the overall process of constructing a home uniquely designed for you and your family. We consult with you about your lifestyle, your hobbies, your pets, your work needs and all the special considerations that make the home just right for you. Once we have a good general idea of the type and size of your home, we help you select the building lot and site. Criteria for site election include solar orientation, access, and location of deciduous trees for summer shade, passive solar heating and lower cooling costs. We offer in house design, are able to work with you and your architect, or at times modify plans that you have seen in a magazine. We consider the design/ build concept a fluid process, allowing you to make modifications during the building process. We go to great lengths to design a home that works for you and your family, and in 30 years have never built the same house twice!

Green Building

The term “green building” is so overused today that it brings a new level of confusion to the marketplace! Inspired by some of the progressive thinkers during the first declaration of “American Energy Independence” in the late 1970s we have  incorporated three core points into our home building practice that collectively make a home “green”.   Homes should be energy efficient, should be sustainable, and be healthy to live in. Let’s take a closer look at these three areas.

Energy  Efficiency: Our  homes are currently built to Energy Star Version 3.0.  This means that they are well insulated, have high performance windows and doors, are air tight (they have been evaluated by HERS rater (Home Energy Rating System).   In addition, our homes have energy efficient heating and cooling equipment, lighting and appliances.  At a minimum, an Energy Star home is certified to use 15% less  energy than a comparable bench mark home. Our recent homes use considerably less energy,  some approaching Net Zero.

Sustainable: Quite simply, we want our homes to last for a long time. We follow basic Building Science principles and use reinforced concrete foundations with proper drainage,  efficient OVE framing, durable metal roofs, high quality windows, rain screen system behind the siding .  We use fiber-cement, stucco, brick or wood for long-lasting exteriors.

Healthy: The materials used in the interior of the house also fall under the concept of sustainable and are intended to last a long time.  In addition, most of these materials are “clean materials” and don’t emit toxic gases.  Among the materials we use are tile, wood floors, cork, no VOC paints and finishes.  Secondly, we install ERVs (Energy Recovery Ventilators) to assure that the air quality inside the home is as good as the air quality outside the home. 

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