4B Construction is a dream that originated in the mind of a ten-year-old boy, and that boy is me: Stephen Badger. For as long as I can remember, and longer, building has been my passion. From the earliest childhood sketches on graph paper, I dreamed of owning my own construction business where “Better Built was Badger Built.”
My earliest memories of construction marry my values of craft, integrity and family. My father’s best friend, Jimmy, was a skilled carpenter, and I took every opportunity possible to help him when we was working on my childhood home. Jimmy was my earliest mentor and impressed upon my adolescent mind the values that I hold today: quality matters, craftsmanship can not be sacrificed, a client’s vision is valuable, integrity is integral. As a became old enough to truly wield a hammer with my mentor, I also began to listen to his stories of service. Jimmy spent time each summer building orphanages for children infected with HIV on the island of Haiti. He would share tales of happy smiles, and joyful hugs, frequently reminding me that work is only work when you are not experiencing the joy your art can bring to others.
With those values, I began to spend time myself, in high school and college, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, building homes for those in need. Once I graduated from the University of New Hampshire with degrees in Construction Management and Architecture, and Technical Theatre. I moved to Connecticut to continue my work with Habitat for Humanity of Fairfield County, this time as the Project Manager. During this time in addition to building homes, managing volunteers, and coordinating site work, I oversaw all site development. My fondest memories are working along side future homeowners, and I will never forget the look on their faces when the project was finished and I was able to hand them their first set of keys; their first true chance to own not just a house, but a home: as Habitat for Humanity says, I was able ” to give a hand up not a hand out.”
I continue to donate to Habitat for Humanity, and my personal goal is to develop my business to a point where I can partner with a local affiliate and begin making a custom kitchen table to be presented to each new homeowner at their house dedication. Why kitchen tables? Because the kitchen is the heart of the home: where family can gather and grow, share and dream of their own new futures.
Custom Design Construction Management
After my time with Habitat for Humanity, I sought to deepen my understanding of construction management and I went to work as a Project Manager for Constructure, located in Concord, Massachusetts. During my time there, I was the Project Manager for both new custom homes and designer renovations. When I relocated to Florida in 2015, to work on a major project through Constructure, I began operating under my own license in the state of Florida. In January of 2017, my dream became a reality: 4B Construction was born.
As I began to learn more about home construction in my youth, I simultaneously began building for my school’s theater department, leading to a secondary degree in technical design. This skill, though it may seem random, has facilitated out of the box design thinking and creative problem solving, both critical skills in custom home building and renovation. I enjoy finding unique solutions to space issues and incorporating innovative designs and products into my projects. One example is incorporating a commercial flight elevator into a custom home for a client with mobility issues in order to create a custom office that was also a elevator to move from floor to floor. By adding a glass floor and mahogany paneling, along with 45 feet of shelving, I was able to create beautiful access to an in-home office along with a amazing space to show his life history.
I have a passion for reclaimed wood and restoration projects, bringing back natural beauty in old, storied wood to create tables, desks, cabinetry, and sliding barn doors. I also utilize epoxy techniques to create statement pieces.
Living My Best Life- adventures, dogs and family
Over the four years living and working in Florida, life has been an adventure: an experience for me to learn, grow and connect. In addition to building my professional career, I met my better half. In 2019, after becoming engaged to my beautiful fiancé Tara, we decided that it was time for us, and our four dogs Princess, Chip, JoJo, and Walt to make the journey back North.
Returning to my roots, to the place where my passion for building began, and doing so with new knowledge and experience is something for which we are both very excited. Family has always been every important to me, and having the opportunity to return to my family, while building my own, makes the transition home even better.
I am so grateful for all of the support that Tara has offered to me and my business as it has developed over the last few years. In addition to supporting me behind the scenes, she enjoys stepping out into the shop to help me with custom projects, and she has even added her own flair to some gorgeous pieces. When Tara and I are not in the shop creating a new custom piece, we love to surround ourselves in natural beauty, and take our pups on hikes.