“Portland was green before green was hip,” says the personal finance website WalletHub, which ranked Portland among its top 10 green cities in the United States. But the news didn’t surprise the locals. Long before Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification and net-zero energy construction became common terms, environmentally conscious residents of The Beaver State put a high value on efforts to reduce their carbon footprints. With that in mind, custom home builders in Oregon increasingly looked for ingenious methods of constructing homes that do not annihilate natural resources.
As we searched for Oregon home builders at the top of their game, a passion for innovation was a must-have. Next, while we tried to look beyond numbers, volume in the housing market is clearly an indicator of quality and expertise. Finally, we considered who was doing the most exciting work and racking up the industry accolades to prove it. And that brought us straight to our top liner. The work of our #1 builder shows a supreme level of sophistication and is marked by his intuitive vision of homebuyers’ needs.
15) Riverdell Construction
Website | 541.944.6169 | 3262 Old Stage Road, Central Point, OR 97502
Riverdell Construction specializes in Energy Star-certified custom homes and green building, which have brought the company national recognition. Its founder and president, Matt Bryant, had no idea he would end up in the construction industry. He was an economics major at Oregon State University and used his Bachelor of Science to land corporate positions. He soon realized that he preferred working with his hands to sitting at a desk, so he pursued construction jobs and found them a good fit. In 1995, he opened this Central Point custom home contractor.
Riverdell Construction serves the areas of Jacksonville, Medford, Jackson County, Ashland, and Central Point. It made national headlines in 2015, when Bryant was asked by Jim Belushi to build the comedian’s dream home along the Rogue River in Southern Oregon. For the project, Bryant worked with a DIY network crew to build the timber-framed structure out of reclaimed materials used for the beams, siding, and roof. Throughout the process, Bryant and his team were filmed. They appeared on all six episodes of the DIY TV show Building Belushi.
Website | 503.407.8101 | 420 Ridgeway Road, Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Delahunt Homes is known for million-dollar lakefront residences and a relaxed but refined style of luxury that has been featured in the Street of Dreams for the past 26 years. Owner Todd Delahunt started learning the residential construction business in Portland around 1988. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and an MBA from the University of Portland. He opened this firm in 1992. Delahunt Homes builds in more than 40 Portland metro communities, including Beaver Creek, Cedar Hills, Oak Grove, Oregon City, and West Slope. The homes cost between $500k and $2M.
Delahunt has cultivated a loyal following for his one-of-a-kind NW Street of Dreams projects, which attract much local media coverage. A recent Delahunt project for the home show blended Hamptons-style elegance with rustic details, such as a brick exterior and cedar shingles. The 4,300-square-foot home, with four bedrooms and five bathrooms, was built for large-scale entertaining. The gourmet kitchen is equipped with Viking appliances and custom-built maple butcher blocks. The opulent foyer opens up to a first-floor layout with formal and casual dining areas.
13) Lifestyle Homes
Website | 541.728.0344 | PO Box 398, Bend, OR 97709
Based in Bend, and building in both Central Oregon and the Portland area, Lifestyle Homes represents the newest trends in homebuilding philosophy. It is firmly rooted in systems that produce high-performing, eco-friendly homes that blend into the homeowner’s natural environment. President Mike Arnett is a Certified Master Builder (CMB). He learned the trade from his father, who ran Bear Construction, a residential contractor in Portland. Arnett started out as a simple carpenter for his father and later became a construction supervisor. By 1991, he was ready to start his own firm.
Arnett’s designs range from classic Prairie to contemporary, Craftsman, and modern farmhouse. They are priced between $400k and over $2M. In terms of press coverage, Oregon Builder Magazine, Builder|Architect, Portland Business Journal, and The Oregonian have profiled Arnett as a leader of the green building movement. He is past president of the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Metropolitan Portland. The firm’s numerous awards include Best Single Family Home at $550k to $649k from Oregon Home Magazine. In 2008, Arnett was honored by the nonprofit Champions for Children for his work on renovating a shelter for abused teens.
12) Timberline Bend
Website | 541.408.7800 |1655 NE Lytle Street, Bend, OR 97701
“True” green building is the goal for these Central Oregon custom home builders that is run by partners who have 40 years’ experience between them. James Fagan, SHP, did high-end new home construction for about two decades in San Francisco, where he worked with big-name architects like Mark Mack. After relocating to Oregon in the mid-1990s, Fagan met current partner Kristian Willman, who had owned a local roofing company and was project manager for a major Northwest housing developer. Sharing the same enthusiasm for building environmentally sustainable homes, the two formed this company in 2000.
Since then, Timberline Bend has added about 200 custom homes to its portfolio and garnered critical acclaim along the way. An example is the project “Constructed Desert Rain Home.” Offering net-zero energy and net-zero water features with solar power, rainwater catchment, and recycled materials throughout, the project won the 2014 Earth Advantage Green Home Builder of the Year Award for having the lowest energy performance score (EPS). Other honors for this team include Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA) awards for Green Builder Home of the Year and Best Architectural Design in the $700k to $800k category. Fagan and Willman work in Bend and the surrounding communities.
11) Winsome Construction
Website | 503.966.2738 | 117 NE 5th Street, Suite D, McMinnville, OR 97128
High performance and sustainable design are the focus for this Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) home builder. To date, Winsome Construction has completed over 25 insulated concrete form projects, and it ranks as one of the most experienced ICF builders in the state.
The firm is run by Shan and Wendy Stassens, who are husband and wife. Shan is from a carpenter family. His grandfather opened a construction firm in the 1940s and enjoyed several decades of success. Shan spent his childhood learning the trade before becoming a licensed contractor in 1990. Today, he is an active member of the HBA of Metropolitan Portland and the NAHB 20 Club. Wendy gained her sustainable design expertise from working with an internationally known green architect, Will McDonough, at the University of Virginia. Wendy later taught environmental engineering at the University of Mexico and was the sustainability coordinator for Ashforth Pacific, a diversified real estate operating company that owns, develops, and invests in commercial and multifamily assets on the East and West Coasts.
The $400k to $3M homes built by Winsome Construction are available in over 15 towns, including Dundee, McMinnville, Portland, Salem, and Pacific City. The firm’s net-zero and LEED Platinum certified homes received an Energy Star Builder Award and attracted much local press.
10) Hayden Homes
Website | 800.923.6607 | 2464 SW Glacier Place, Redmond, OR 97756
Thirty years of providing top quality and affordable homes in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington has made this construction company the largest privately owned and family-run homebuilder in the Pacific Northwest. Yet, its roots are in the Southeast. In the late 1980s, real estate developer and Virginia resident Robert Watson started building homes for middle-class families in his town. A few years later, Watson and his wife Virginia relocated their thriving business to Oregon and opened Hayden Homes in 1989, with the same mission of “building better communities.”
Today, Hayden Homes estimates that it has given $2.5B to local economies in Oregon, Idaho, and Washington, and it creates about 5,500 jobs each year. Charitable giving remains at the core of its business model. Working with several nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest, Hayden Homes has given over $13.3M to charitable organizations. It also continues to construct value-driven homes that have collected a long list of industry accolades. In 2017 alone, several of the company’s Oregon projects received five COBA Awards for Best Feature, Best Interior Finish, and Best Kitchen in homes priced between $335k and $410k.
9) Adair Homes
Website | 541.382.4068 | 3853 SW 21st Street, Redmond, OR 97756
As the Pacific Northwest’s largest on-your-site homebuilder, Adair Homes believes it has solved two problems facing most of the region’s homeowners: the exorbitant costs of land and of home-building. The company’s business model, known as the “Adair Home Building Concept,” intends to make custom built homes affordable. Under this concept, which was introduced in 1969, the company sold new builds without requiring customers to invest out of pocket. Instead, the new homeowners would acquire about $20,000 of equity on move-in day. The company also builds on the client’s site so homeowners do not have to join a subdivision. The niche market has allowed the firm to sell over 17,000 homes and open 14 branches in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.
Today, Adair Homes is run by President and CEO Byron Van Kley, a Michigan Technological University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. Most of its homes blend modern and contemporary styles. A signature build offers a 3,500-square-foot structure with cathedral ceilings, winding staircases, and master suites on the main level.
8) Legend Homes
Website | 541.760.4742 | 9788 SW Nimbus Avenue, Beaverton, OR 97008
This home builder prides itself on its local roots and national reputation. The company was founded in 1965 and quickly distinguished itself with affordable, custom builds in Portland, Corvallis, and Wilsonville. Since then, it has built over 10,000 homes throughout Oregon, largely due to its cost-saving energy practices favored by most of the state’s environmentally conscious residents.
The firm is also known for its involvement in the local construction industry and legislation affecting the home building trade. Jim Chapman has been president since 1993. He has served on the Oregon Home Builders Association (OHBA) Board of Directors since 1998. He was a director of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) from 1998 to 2005. Chapman was chairman of the Land Use and Taxation Committee of the OHBA. He was a founding board member of the Tri-county Building Industry Services Board and the Metropolitan Codes Consolidation Task Force. In 2005, he was president of the HBA of Metropolitan Portland. In 2011, he was president of the OHBA. Chapman was named Builder of the Year by the Oregon Building Industry Association (OBIA) in 2001 and the HBA of Metropolitan Portland in 2005 and 2007. In November 2014, the HBA of Metropolitan Portland gave Chapman the Lifetime Achievement Award.
7) Cellar Ridge Construction
Website | 503.560.0617 | 109 NW 5th Street, McMinnville, OR 97128
This McMinnville home builder was established in 2006 with the purpose of becoming a market leader of green building and sustainable design in Oregon. Co-owner John Mead received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Oregon State University. His partner, Carson Benner, a former vice president of an international airline, brought senior management expertise to the team.
Cellar Ridge Construction works sustainable building technology into its entire process, including water conservation, indoor air quality measures, and environmentally responsible source materials. A Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) is assigned to every new home build. The firm works throughout Yamhill County and the Portland metropolitan area, primarily in the Willamette Valley. It has twice received LEED Platinum certification and has won Energy Star Home of the Year for the project “Passive House.” The company’s projects often make the pages of Builder Magazine, The Oregonian, Oregon Wine Press, and Roots to Roofs. Mead was recently profiled in Portrait of Portland for his expertise crafting European-style villas, with sustainable practices, in wine country.
6) Stone Bridge Homes
Website | 503.746.6215 | 4230 Galewood Street, Lake Oswego, OR 97035
This Lake Oswego-based firm focuses on blending classic architecture with energy-efficient assets. Founder and President Kelly Ritz, who studied environmental law in college, enjoyed a successful career in land acquisition and development until she opened this firm in 2006. Her mission is to continue leading the Earth Advantage building movement in Oregon.
In addition to custom designs, the firm also provides semi-custom plans. Stone Bridge Homes covers the areas of Bethany, Cedar Mill, Happy Valley, Portland, and West Linn. A signature build by the firm aims for a linear design that offers an airy feel. The team likes to combine modern luxury in contemporary farmhouse settings, such as adding pillars to covered front porches and gables on the façade. Ritz has amassed dozens of awards, including the HBA of Metropolitan Portland Builder of the Year and COBA Tour of Homes Best Architectural Design and Best of Show. In 2013, the firm was named to the Earth Advantage Hall of Fame. In 2017, Ritz was featured on the Know Your Builder video series produced by the HBA of Metropolitan Portland.
5) Renaissance Homes
Website | 503.636.5600 | 16771 Boones Ferry Road, Lake Oswego, OR 97035
The founder of this Lake Oswego contracting firm built his first house at age 20. The next year, he opened this firm. Ever since, Randy Sebastian, who was born and raised in Oregon City, has been committed to energy-efficient practices. In fact, his firm is the largest Oregon builder of single-family residences with Energy Star certification. His firm offers clients a design studio headed by award-winning interior designer Lynnette Sandgren, member of American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), who is a 20-year veteran of the field.
Sebastian and his team work mostly in the Portland metro area. The team is known for creating modern builds with an urban farmhouse flair, which have received much coverage in Portland Monthly and Oregon Home. Renaissance Homes is the recipient of numerous awards. It has won 40 Street of Dreams awards, including six for Best of Show, which is the most given to any contractor. In 2011, the firm was named Builder of The Year by HBA of Metropolitan Portland. It was ranked #55 on Builder Magazine’s list of the fastest growing home builders.
4) Pacwest Builders
Website | 541.389.2089 | 170 SW Scalehouse Loop, Bend, OR 97702
Based in Bend, Pacwest Builders has been redefining luxury for the Pacific Northwest’s residential construction market since 2005. Spencer Williams is a licensed architect and University of Oregon graduate. He founded the firm and makes the design decisions that have put this team on top. Partner Steve Van Sant provides over 35 years of experience with erecting large luxury communities, such as Eagle Crest, Sunrise Village, and Caldera Springs.
Homes by Pacwest Builders, which cost up to $5M, can be found in Deschutes River Woods, Tumalo, Powell Butte, and Crosswater. Most show the firm’s skill at taking on challenges, such as building a home into the hillside at North Rim. Another typical build is a Black Butte estate that has sound-insulated walls and a full thickness, stone-faced fireplace. Special luxury features on this home come from wrought iron grillwork on two stone fireplaces, bead board details on the ceiling, and hand-scraped hickory floors. Pacwest Builders has won awards in all categories from COBA Tour of Homes, including Best of Show and Best Architectural Design.
3) Everett Homes
Website | 503.726.7060 | 3330 NW Yeon Avenue, Portland, OR 97210
Everett Homes is a high-profile developer who is leading the modern building design and Accessory Dwelling Unit movement in Oregon. Founders Wally and Vic Remmers are father-and-son partners. The firm is run by Vic, a former Oregon State University basketball player. Vic learned the construction trade from his father, a successful builder in the area. After receiving his business degree from Oregon State University, Vic handled real estate transactions for Arbor Custom Homes. He opened Everett Homes in 2009, after hand-picking local building experts to join his team.
The firm is known for cutting-edge duplexes and Irvington-style structures in Lake Oswego, Portland, Raleigh Hills, West Haven, and West Slope. Prices are between $600k and $1.5M. Every home is certified by Earth Advantage, the majority of which are at the Platinum level. The firm’s innovative home designs often appear in Green Home Builder Magazine. In 2017, the custom home builder in Oregon was inducted into the Earth Advantage Hall of Fame for exceptional design and development. In 2017, Vic, who is a member of the Oregon HBA, was honored in Professional Builder Magazine’s 40 Under 40.
2) Hammer and Hand
Website | 503.232.2447 | 1020 SE Harrison Street, Portland, OR 97214
Passive house and high performance construction are what motivate this high-profile “company of carpenters.” Since 1994, Hammer and Hand have been widely recognized for using cutting-edge technology and building science to erect new zero-energy, certified green builds. Technology had been a passion of founder and president Sam Hagerman ever since he studied construction technology at Reed College. When Hagerman started to assemble the Hammer and Hand team, he made knowledge of energy consumption processes a job requirement. Today, he employs CPHC personnel who are experts on energy-efficient construction. Hagerman is a current member and past president of the Passive House Alliance United States (PHAUS).
This firm is known for structures like “Madrona House,” which has a rooftop solar system to provide most of the home’s energy. This and many other of the firm’s projects have been covered in Green Builder Magazine, Gray Magazine, and Curbed. Hammer and Hand’s substantial achievements have won the Earth Advantage Green Home Builder of the Year and the Beyond Green Merit Award from the National Institute of Building Sciences. In 2016, the firm’s “Madrona House” received an award from the US Department of Energy.
1) Westlake Development Group
Website | 503.327.8351 | 9206 SE Idleman Road, Happy Valley, OR 97086
These top-performing custom home builders in Oregon have spent over three decades perfecting luxurious home designs and heading efforts to change how homes are built. Oregon native Gerald Rowlett opened this firm in 1999. He landed in construction by accident. After high school, he took a job with a roofing company and then moved on to a position with a local remodeling firm. After he married, Rowlett purchased a small plot of land and built his own house — an experience he realized he could never tire of.
Services by Westlake Development Group are limited to new home construction that is energy efficient and green. It has also developed expertise in steep slope construction. Home prices range between $600k and $20M. The firm serves 24 communities, including Damascus, Happy Valley, Johnson City, Portland, and Battle Ground. Rowlett’s innovative designs have achieved national recognition. He was featured on the ABC TV show Made in America and in The Wall Street Journal. Industry accolades include many Excellence Awards from HBA of Metropolitan Portland. In 2012, Rowlett founded the nonprofit Building a Better America Council, to encourage homebuilders to use products made in America.