HAVEN embodies the shared personal commitment of Erica Ell and Ned Gaston to the highest integrity in business practice and residential design and construction.

Collaboration came naturally for Ned and Erica when they joined forces in 2000. With Ned’s lifetime experience in the construction trades and Erica’s training in residential design and experience as a set designer and interiors photo stylist, they quickly found their shared design and building aesthetic and embarked on their first project - an Asian-inspired, modern craftsman retreat they call home on the banks of a rushing brook in Richmond VT. Just ahead of the green building momentum, the eco-conscious home they designed and built (featured in Vermont Magazine) became a jumping off point for their business, HAVEN design+building, and their shared enthusiasm for creating functional, rejuvenating living spaces for clients.


Beyond her pure love of the design process itself, Erica says, “It’s tremendously gratifying working so closely with clients to give form to their ideas and dreams. Creating healthy, uplifting living spaces that really WORK can so improve the quality of their daily lives. It gives me a lot of joy to be able to use my creative talents to help people in this way...”

Combining her training in residential design, specializing in kitchen and baths, and her creative work in interiors, Erica knows how to pull together her clients’ ideas and give highly functional form to her designs while developing their personal style. She can create the look, be it rustic charm; classic, tailored elegance; or warm modern style, all while optimizing functionality and comfort of the spaces. She is an experienced project manager and has the construction knowledge and skills to give complete continuity to each project from concept to fruition


Having an innate curiosity for how things work and a knack for fixing things, Ned began working for himself at the age of 14 as the neighborhood “handykid”. Starting as a carpenter’s helper at 17, he worked his way up thru the ranks to became job foreman with a commercial construction firm, before signing on with an established local builder, constructing custom homes, additions and interior renovations. When he went on to form his own construction business in the early 90s, Ned brought the hands-on knowledge of every aspect of the construction process: from site work and foundations to the complete building envelope, mechanical systems and fine-crafted finish work needed to bring each project to fruition.

A break from the trades to study at Boston Architectural College and a stint managing one of the area’s first architectural salvage businesses enhanced Ned’s skills and creativity when he re-established his own construction business in 2000. Ned’s lifelong ecological awareness and respect for nature is served well in HAVEN’s residential specialties: renovation and restoration, where re-use and revitalization of existing structures and materials is commonplace and environmentally friendly choices are gaining popularity with clients.

With over 30 years’ experience in all aspects of the construction process and his natural leadership ability, Ned seamlessly coordinates the talented crews necessary to create the quality work that clients rave about.


Dedicated to excellence, our highly skilled carpenters, craftsmen and tradespeople take pride in their work.

Clients experience our team to be accessible, professional, respectful, and friendly.


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