Our philosophy is captured in a single sentence that we use all the time on the job: “We’ll do whatever you want us to do.” We’re here to serve you, to help you understand your options, and to follow your lead. It’s that simple.

Our job is to help your realize your vision. We see the homes we build not only as technical challenges, but as the physical expression of our clients’ aspirations. Every person has a different vision of what that home might look or feel like. Our job is to realize it.

Our commitment to quality. Quality is easy to specify and difficult to achieve. It’s a combination of thoughtful preparation and time-tested materials in addition to skilled workmanship. Quality requires patience. There are no short cuts.

Our team has seen virtually no turnover over the last ten years. When we find people who work to Ripley Beckman standards and share our values, we keep them. That enables us to offer a high level of efficiency and quality to our customers.

When you hire a contractor, you’re not simply embarking on a construction project. You’re inviting a group of strangers into your home. At Ripley Beckman we repay this trust by assembling a team that combines superb technical skills with strength of character. Whether it’s Ripley Beckman employees or the employees of our subs, you can count on their honesty and respect in addition to high-quality workmanship.

    Doug Zink

    Founder and Carpenter

    After 20 years as a contractor in Charlottesville, Doug is most proud of the long-term relationships he’s built with clients and his ability to work through the technical challenges of fine homebuilding. “We focus mainly on additions and renovations, in older homes with clients who love their homes and want to shape their environments to their lives. Our clients have big ideas and we love to help them realize them,” he says.

      Chris Sigrist

      Center of the Universe and Carpenter

      Chris learned how to build a house from Shenandoah Valley carpenters who were also electricians, plumbers, masons, and plasterers. “I was there, learning it all,” he says of himself at age 16. As Project Manager, he sees every job through from working up the initial estimate to walking through the completed punch list with the client. “I enjoy dealing with architects and people in the trades. But the main thing I enjoy is working with the homeowners, building relationships with them—seeing their job go from demo to the end of the work and seeing their reaction to it all,” he says.

        James Loving


        James has been with Ripley Beckman for nineteen years. Along with his technical skills as a carpenter, he brings a sense of enjoyment to the jobsite, which is grounded in the relationship he builds with our clients.

          David Butcher


          David brings his curiosity about making and fixing things of all kinds to the jobsite. This varied experience is an asset in many types of problem-solving. He has been a carpenter with Ripley Beckman for the past six years.

            Tristan Stapleton


            We met Tristan in 2020, when he decided to make the move from education to building. In his Project Independence application, Tristan said that his goal is a career that fosters continuous learning and concrete results. A decade of teaching gives him a unique perspective on learning building and project management skills now and passing these on to others, as he gains experience.

              Noah Buddendeck


              We met Noah when he was about five years old and were happy to reconnect in 2020 when he filled out the Project Independence application. In his application, Noah said he aspires to gain the skills and experience that will make him a sought-after craftsman, wherever he goes. He plans in the future to take these skills on the road, traveling from jobsite to jobsite in a van or camper that, of course, he renovates and upfits himself.

                Brent Isaacs


                We met Brent in 2015, when we were referred to him by his mom, whom we had initially intended to hire. Instead, we became Brent’s first client. In many ways, Brent is our first Project Independence participant. He’s the first young person we hired with the intention of providing the kind of experiences he needs to run his own company. Brent has gone from providing us basic bookkeeping services to providing full bookkeeping services including payroll, and we are now one of several clients.

                  Website & Photography

                  Interior design photography for the most recent projects in our portfolio are the work of Melody Robbins of Melody Robbins Photography. Our website was built by Christa Albano of Albano Designs.  Writer Charles Feigenoff distilled Doug and Chris’ vision for the company into the content on the site. Many of the more informal images of our Keswick job scattered throughout the site are by Hunter Sheldon of Hunter and Sarah Photography. Project management on the creative side is by Kitter Bishop who also updates the website.