John G. Early

Contractor & Builder, Inc.

Martha's Vineyard, MA

Growing Our Business by Referral and Reputation

The Original Crew c. 1972

Launched in 1975 with a crew of up to eight skilled craftsmen, some of whom had been working together for years, our company began executing a wide variety of general carpentry and building projects including additions, major and minor renovations and guest houses. Like a pyramid that rises from a broad and firm base, the foundation of our business is the mutual respect and loyalty we enjoy with our customers. Over 35 years, the business has grown by word of mouth, happy client to new client.

While Martha's Vineyard still conjured images of weathered shingle capes and elegant sea captains' homes, by the mid 1980s, we were engaged in the first of many extremely challenging contemporary dwellings with cutting edge architecture that required creative building techniques. A few examples of early projects include:

  • A renovation/expansion of a West Tisbury farmhouse with parts dating from the 1700s for a family wishing to convert its unheated summer home into a year round residence, which required installing modern building systems and updating kitchen and baths while respecting and preserving antique paneling, plaster and flooring.
  • A new contemporary home on a challenging site hemmed in by wetlands and boundary lines, which featured eight floor levels, soaring cathedral ceilings and expanses of glass.
  • A contemporary 7,000 square foot home set on an exposed hilltop site overlooking a pond with a guest house buried into the hillside below and camouflaged by a turf roof. The main house design—single level with a flat roof, open plan, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass facing the pond and ocean and custom-designed elements and finishes throughout—dictated that it be constructed in an unconventional manner with the roof structure built above the foundations, followed by the floor system, with the interior and exterior walls as the last structural elements.

Since then our projects have ranged from custom outdoor showers to multi-home compounds, small renovations to new homes with the most sophisticated components and finishes. Thanks to our clients, some of whom have engaged us several times over the decades, our business continues to grow by referral and reputation.

View a selection of our recent projects here.

An Accidental Logo

logo If a logo works, it's because it captures the essence of a company,
  organization or person.

Our pyramid logo began as a joke. Back in the day, when John Early had the long hair that was fashionable in the 70s, he usually restrained it in a pony tail, but when it escaped, it stood out in a triangular shape reminiscent of the Sphinx and the crew began calling him "the Pharaoh." Beloved and deceased crew member Gordon "Gordo" Otis began scratching a pyramid in the wet foundation concrete at our job sites. Somewhere along the way other elements appeared: an eye from the dollar bill, the outline of the Island, a flag just because you have to have a flag. Eventually, a more artistic version of the logo began appearing on the doors of our trucks and the signs we use to identify the locations of our project sites.

We kept using the pyramid logo because it said something that felt right about the company:

  • We build for Martha's Vineyard
  • We build to last
  • We keep our eye on the details as well as the big picture
  • We build projects that require a sustained, coordinated team effort
  • We build projects that require sophisticated engineering, as well as creative solutions in the field
  • We don't take ourselves too seriously, as anyone knows who has been in the office when the Three Stooges clocks chime the hour.