Pete Charest of Connecticut Post & Beam is the senior partner, which is determined by his gray hair. He is also the owner of Country Road Hardware, another Connecticut-based company that designs and manufactures the “T-REX” Connectors and other barn-related products.
Although Connecticut Post & Beam is a new company, don’t let that scare you. Combined, Pete and Greg have been building for over 60 years.
Pete is a lifelong Connecticut resident and attended Bullard Havens Technical School in Bridgeport, CT. He started his career as a machinist and quickly moved into first line supervision, working for DuPont in the Bio-Medical Division, but without the opportunity to change things was very frustrating for him. With his wife Arlene’s encouragement and their combined enthusiasm, Better Barns was started and over the past 35 years has became one of the most highly respected small modular barn companies in New England and beyond. Better Barns has been featured in such magazines as Today’s Homeowner, Popular Mechanics and Fine Homebuilding, to name a few.
Pete sold Better Barns in 2008; he had thought it was time to retire, but didn’t like it out in the pasture. HE’S BA-A-A-CK and has come up with a totally new method of constructing post and beam frames. He is eager to get you started with your own Post and Beam barn kit in CT, or anywhere else in the world.
Greg Butkus of Connecticut Post & Beam is the junior partner, which is determined by his age.
Greg was born and raised in Woodbury, CT, beginning his career in construction before he even had whiskers! As a teen he worked for Better Barns summers and weekends while attending Nonnewaug High School. After graduation, Greg moved into a fulltime position with Better Barns. He quickly moved into a foreman’s position because of his ability to work with customers and get the job done. His wife, Sharla, can testify that he puts in long hours and works very hard.
Greg always wanted to be his own boss and like Pete, moved on when Better Barns was sold in 2008. He started his own business and continued to develop new skills; he uses the latest CAD software to design post and beam frames to a customer’s satisfaction. Greg not only designs them; he builds them as well, from horse barns to custom post and beam homes. You might say, “he makes money the old fashioned way – by earning it.” When you are ready, he looks forward to getting you set up with your Post & Beam barn kit.
Another New England native, Laurie Sharp lives happily in Southwest Florida now where she can remain warm year ‘round. She is the oldest of Pete and Arlene’s many creative and energetic children, one of two who are involved in their businesses.
Her career began late, after her own children were grown, contributing to company development by providing traditional and Internet marketing, as well as training and administrative support wherever she worked. Laurie also shares a love of building and an appreciation of wood, with its clean lines and simple functionality.
As a partner, she brings to Connecticut Post & Beam organizational skills and a great smile.