Local contractor receives prestigious award


Hopewell native and owner of Baxter Construction James Baxter was recently selected by Remodeling Magazine as a member of this year’s Big50, and was formally recognized at a gala dinner at the two-day Remodeling Leadership Conference in Baltimore, Md., back in May.

Remodeling Magazine has been recognizing 50 of the leading contractors and remodelers around the country for more than 25 years now. Baxter was one of the six remodelers chosen from New Jersey, and was selected out of thousands of applicants.

“There are only 2 or 3 percent of all remodeling companies in the country in the Big50, so it’s a nice group to be in with,” Baxter said.

The Big50 awardees are placed into seven categories according to their expertise, including Market Wise, Teamwork, Niches, Business Savvy, Fine Design, Sales & Marketing and Industry Impact. Baxter received his award for Market Wise, which is awarded to remodelers who have built their business around a keen understanding of their markets.

“We are very honored to receive this award,” Baxter said. “It recognizes our business as one that works tirelessly to exceed the expectations of our customers. I direct a lot of credit to my teams of talented craftsmen and administrators. They are just as responsible for the experience our customers receive and the success we have realized as I am. We are lucky to live and operate in communities that value quality and integrity as much as the investment required to build their vision.”

Remodeling Magazine also separated each of the winners by their business specialty, including full-service remodeling, insurance restoration, replacement/ specialty contractor, kitchen & bath remodeling and design/build remodeling. Since Baxter’s company focuses on perfecting each aspect of a person’s home that they wish to refurbish, Baxter fell into the full-service remodeling category.

As a part of the interviewing process, GuildQuality, a surveying company for the construction industry, interviewed 50 of Baxter’s most recent customers to conduct a customer service assessment, which is something that Baxter hopes to use in his company in future years.

“That’s something we want to move forward with down the road because we feel that the customers’ opinion about our company is very important,” he said. “We want to make sure they’re happy, we’ve responded to their needs, and that we’ve called back on time because that’s a big thing.”

Baxter has been successfully operating Baxter Construction for 30 years now, and services the greater Mercer County area, including Princeton, Hopewell Township and Borough and Pennington.

He’s dedicated to truly listening to the customer’s wants and needs, developing trust and mutual respect, and demonstrating impeccable craftsmanship and quality, which is why he stood out to Remodeling Magazine.

“We didn’t win by just volume of dollars,” Baxter said. “It was more customer satisfaction and developing your company in a tough economic time. That’s what was really cool about it.”

Baxter Construction also stuck out as a rarity in this year’s list of candidates because of Baxter’s sudden switch in business. He explained how Baxter Construction was just a referral business, but transformed into a more full-service company to service the public’s growing needs.

“We’re sort of moving with the trend and changing the way that we do things,” Baxter said. “You never know how the referral business is going to be.”

Baxter also works closely with the communities within Mercer County, since he’s supported community organizations through Baxter Construction’s volunteer efforts with the Historical Society of Princeton, Morven Museum & Garden, The Hopewell Board of Education, Hopewell Borough and The Sourland Mountain Preserve.

After being located in downtown Princeton on Nassau Street for 15 years, Baxter Construction relocated to Main Street on Hopewell Borough, where they have been for the last 15 years.

For more information about Baxter Construction,