Some Insights Into Our History

It is very hard for people today to realize that that it was not that long ago that a builder built the entire house including the design, plumbing, electrical, framing, roofing, all of the woodwork, and most of the site work including the septic systems.  It is still that way today in many parts of this country but it takes many years of experience to understand how “to do it all“.  That experience makes the difference in the quality of our work.  Enjoy our history.


Our history begins back in 1976, when we started building authentic Post and Beam houses in New Hampshire. After having spent 5 years in the Boston, MA area doing historical restorations on houses, we fell in love with the old Post and beam construction techniques and started to replicate them in our house designs. We made our own hand shaved oak pegs (often nearly three feet long) and pushed the limits of our sawmills and their sawing carriages. Often we required 8 x 12 beams that were 22 feet long.  We designed and built all of the houses and all of the cabinets for each of them. Beam Masters was born and so was our mill-works in order to accommodate our trim and cabinetry efforts. Custom cabinetry was the norm in New England in those days.

  October 10, 1976
February 10, 1986


Continuous innovation and rapid transformation have been the themes throughout our history. By 1986 we were back in the historic area of Concord, Massachusetts were the harsh winters of the White Mountains of NH were not nearly so brutal and we could devote more of our energy to cabinetry. In those days, most of the cabinets were custom built and people almost always wanted something special in their homes. We had also developed more custom cabinet designs, trim and mill-work for a broader clientele.


By 1988 we were beginning to realize the benefits of Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) programs and the ability to link these programs to mill-work platforms. It was like pulling teeth to get give our drawing boards and transition over to the CAD programs but we had plenty of programming experience through the 70’s and 80’s to fall back on. Sure enough, it was the right decision for our future and we never picked up our drafting equipment again. Over the years we have relied heavily on our CAD programs to keep us up with the state of the art renderings of our designs.

  June 16, 1988
August 24, 1990 


By 1990 we had developed ties with several cabinet companies in the Concord and Lexington, areas as well as Marblehead, MA, where we got our beginnings in restorations. It did not take long to realize there was strength in numbers and better yet, greater strength in experience and ideas. We shared our knowledge and CAD abilities and we learned some great shortcuts in mill-work. Howard Cabinetry produced tremendous talent in wood working and custom cabinetry in the form of Daniel Howard, a Master of woodworking and the guitar (although his singing left a little to be desired). What a great time it was for us all!


In 1994, it became obvious that the East Coast of Florida provided a greater advantage to our health and well-being. We had no idea it would take so much to move all of those tools. We resurrected our tooling in Stuart, Florida and maintained our ties with the Boston Area craftsmen we had known so well. We were in for some big surprises in Florida. Custom cabinetry was not the norm as in New England. Suddenly we were witnessing the changes of our industry from hand built to boxes. Cheaper.. Yes but hardly better.

  June 18, 1994
September 30, 2000 


By the year 2000 we once again moved our operations to the center of Florida, Ocala. Ocala offered some great opportunities for the businesses including much cheaper restoration situations. Ocala was also the home of the horse racing industry and all of the specialty work that goes with it. There was plenty of Work going on with The Villages just to the south and the University of Florida just to the North and many miles of horse farms, country singers, noble eastern princes, and wealthy horse breeders in between. What a great, quiet, insulated location we had in the historic district. Except for all of the oak pollen. Achoooo!


November 24, 2010

The merging of two disciplines and 4 Art Forms made perfect sense to us.  Lets put the cabinet, trim and specialty work all under one roof.  Sally Fretwell Cabinets developed as part of Sally Fretwell “Coastal Designs”.   In Florida, the space and design efforts of Sally and the ability to construct and make the designs happen with our cabinet expertise made the merger a natural fit.  Sally Fretwell Cabinets had made perfect sense for those who require special considerations in their taste.  We are often asked to provide many solutions for both kitchens and baths in Sally’s work.

  November 24, 2010
  August 28, 2015


Well it took a while but the Oak Pollen and all of the other allergens that are so deleterious finally took their tole on us in Ocala. In August of 2015 we moved to New Port Richey, FL on the Gold Coast where we could once again fill our sinuses and respiratory tracts with salt air. Ahhhhh… We could breath once again and leave our windows open to salt humid breezes all winter, spring, and fall. With the move came the name changes and our business models. We decided to continue with our friends in the Ocala, Villages, Gainesville locations and add the surrounding areas of New Port Richey down to Largo and up to Brooksville and Hudson and across to West Chase and Trinity.

Sally Fretwell Cabinets