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The county seat of Pima and a city found in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, Tucson is the second largest populated city in Arizona behind Phoenix and the 33rd largest city in the United States. Located in the middle of the desert, the city usually has hot days but cold nights. With an average 11.8 inches (299.7 mm) of precipitation per year, the city is greener and experiences more rain than other deserts.
Tucson homes are structures usually built on rocky plains or at the bottom of the desert mountains and have styles that highlight and embrace the outdoors with large windows, and gardens with local plant life that require very little water. Tucson home styles are usually bungalows in the Mediterranean, Pueblo, and Sonoran styles.
The custom home builders featured in this article are firms that take note of the hot climate, and design homes with cooling and circulation in mind while also maintaining a sense of style that is simple but unique to Arizona. The following are the top 15 custom home builders in Tucson, Arizona.
15) Insight Homes
3561 E. Sunrise Dr., Suite 201, Tucson, AZ 85718
Offering unique and energy efficient custom homes, Insight Homes builds custom homes in Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana, Butterfly Mountain, Canyon Pass, and Dove Mountain, Arizona. Founded in 1980 by Mike Jones, a graduate of the University of Arizona with vast business experience, the firm has 38 years of experience, and boasts a reputation for constructing sound and long-lasting Tucson homes that are tailored to their clients’ lifestyles.
14) Wilson Builders LLC
1016 E Pennsylvania Street Suite 306, Tucson, AZ 85714
Established in 2006, Wilson Builders is a premier custom home builder with over two decades of experience using high-quality materials to build luxury custom homes in Tucson, Catalina Foothills, and the nearby areas. Building houses in a variety of styles (including eco-friendly homes) and prices ranging from $1 million to $2 million, Wilson Builders boasts the ability to build any kind of home on any kind of terrain. With over 20 years of experience, the firm responsibly uses environmentally-friendly resources for their projects.
Founder Todd Wilson is a graduate of Michigan Technological University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. To ensure each project is built on time and to the client’s exact standards, Todd Wilson is on-site everyday for active projects.
13) MM Stewart Construction
5131 South Melpomene Way, Tucson AZ 85747
MM Stewart Construction was founded by Mark Stewart in 1985 and has completed more than 185 projects in its 30 years of experience in remodeling and home building. The company’s projects are usually priced from $250,000 to $3 million and are the result of good working relationships with superintendents, architecture engineers, and site managers.
For residential home building, MM Stewart offers a full design and architectural reviews to help the house owner receive a hands-on experience of the building process. With an owner-pre-approved budget, the firm keeps all design costs low while providing superior engineering and value. In addition to residential construction, MM Stewart also offers commercial construction, remodeling, construction of equine stables, and insurance claims and repairs.
12) Caos Construction
7356 N La Cholla Blvd., Tucson, AZ 85741
Founded in 2012 by Brian Litz and Marc Soloway, Caos Construction has a reputation for making unique and high-quality residential architecture in the Marana, Oro Valley, and Tucson areas. To ensure a quick and smooth transition from designing to building, the firm has integrated architectural and interior design into their construction processes. Though they are always available on site, the firm also has a cloud-based project management application which allows clients real-time access to their custom home selections and coordinates with an itemized budget to help keep track of the building process.
Founder Brian Litz is a graduate of the University of Arizona. He is a licensed general contractor, an architect, and a real estate professional. For 21 years, he has done residential, corporate, and commercial architecture. Meanwhile, co-founder Marc Soloway, a University of Arizona graduate, is the founder of Soloway Designs, Architecture and Interiors, an award-winning, Arizona architecture and interior design firm serving international residential and commercial clients.
11) John Herder Building
PO Box 86416, Tucson, AZ 85754-6416
After over two decades in the industry, John Herder Building has built nearly 400 homes – each unique and crafted with the latest technology, products, and techniques. In the early 1920s, founder John Herder was known as one of the pioneers of the first Green Home 21 in Tucson. The home exhibited multiple green features, such as tiles made of recycled windshields, and a carpet made out of recycled soda bottles.
The company’s homes are known to possess the grace and elegance of timeless architecture, which blends rich textures and fine details that provide the home with a unique southwestern feel. With firm and homeowner coordinating with each other, John Herder builds a variety of home styles, including Western Ranch, Spanish Colonial, Contemporary, Rustic, and Industrial Urban. In addition to building custom homes, the firm also offers services including interior design, semi-custom homes, and oversized garage builds and adjustments.
Founder John Herder is a fourth generation builder who comes from a family that possesses generations of knowledge in the industry. The company has built multi-million dollar custom homes in Skyline Country Club, Ventana Canyon, the Foothills, Butterfly Mountain Estates, and Hacienda Del Sol, and has created several well-recognized landmarks, including St. Phillips Plaza at River & Campbell, and the Herder Building on Speedway.
10) Lathrem Homebuilders
4032 W Moore Rd, Tucson, AZ 85742
Established in 1997, Lathrem Homebuilders construct homes with a wide variety of styles, and also boast efficiency with the use of the most progressive building technology, techniques, and products.
Founder Charles Mathem is a graduate of the University of Arizona, where he studied real estate and finance. Before founding Lathrem Homebuilders, he worked as a subcontractor specializing in insulated concrete forms. In 1995, he founded Alternative Building Creations – a firm that introduced innovative products to the industry’s marketplace.
Lathrem Homebuilders has been the recipient of many awards, including the Parade of Homes award for Most Innovative Outdoor Living, and the award for Most Energy Efficient. Lathrem homes and remodeling projects, priced between $5,000 to $500,000, are seen in Tucson, Oro Valley, Marana, and the Catalina Foothills.
9) McCreary Custom Homes
7049 E. Tanque Verde Rd. #25, Tucson Arizona 85715
Founded by LJ McCreary, McCreary Custom Homes has been building luxury homes in the Tucson, Arizona area since 1988. The firm is one of the first certified custom home builders with the Southern Arizona Home Builders (SAHBA) and is also a member of the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB). For over 25 years, this firm has been building exquisite and unique homes even atop difficult, rocky terrains. The firm’s styles vary from the Mediterranean to chic and elegantly modern.
In addition to building luxury custom homes, McCreary Custom Homes offers home additions, kitchen and bathroom remodelings, and whole house renovations. To do all this, founder LJ McCreary uses top-tier architecture while frequently communicating with clients from beginning to end to ensure high-quality results.
2008 W. Revayah Place, Tucson, Arizona 85705
Having built nearly 100 high-end custom homes in Tucson’s premier communities, Kachina offers quality and attention to even the smallest details. Kachina’s homes in Oro Valley and Tucson, Arizona, range from 2,500 to 6,000 square feet and typically have a price value of $500,000 to $1 million.
One of Kachina’s prominent homes is the Hammer Residence, which has a 360-degree view and an extensive interior that boasts beautiful wood beams in its great room, and a front and backyard that has been meticulously designed to look and feel like a resort garden.
Kachina was established in 1985 by Michael Arnold who first started in the industry remodeling homes and making plans for new construction, all the while working as a firefighter and paramedic. During construction projects, Michael handles two homes at most, to ensure high-quality craftsmanship during the whole building process.
7) McMahon Design Build
6340 N Campbell Ave., #270, Tucson, Arizona 85718
An architectural and design firm that specializes in designing and constructing commercial and residential homes, McMahon Design Build has been in the industry for 20 years and is known for their distinctive, high-quality projects.
The firm was a featured architect and builder in the 2007 Street of Dream Homes and has been awarded first place by the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA) for Energy Efficient Home Design. In addition, the firm has also been featured in the 2013 issue of Tucson Lifestyle Home & Garden’s article ‘A Dramatic Display’ for the Mahoney Residence; a Stone Canyon home that boasts views of the Tortolita Mountains to the north, and the Pusch Ridge to the east. Though founder James McMahon is known to favor contemporary styles, the Stone Canyon home has a modern and rustic design.
With over 20 years of experience in architectural design, founder James E. McMahon makes some of the finest homes in Southern Arizona; not just by precisely following project designs from the beginning of the construction all the way to the end, but also by using the latest technologies for each design.
6) Hodges Construction
4590 N. Caminito de la Puerta, Tucson, AZ 85718-6411
One of the most respected custom home builders in Arizona, Hodges Construction is a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHBA), the Southern Arizona Home Builders (SAHBA), and is a Southern Arizona Chapter member. For 35 years, the firm has boasted unparalleled workmanship, innovative designs, and superior quality in its work. Its homes, usually built in Tucson and the surrounding areas, are set with high standards, which result in cutting-edge design and workmanship that surpasses traditional works.
Founded by Phillip T. Hodges in 1979, the company boasts a team of skilled craftsmen and highly-trained professionals, all of whom are involved in training and education of the latest methods, techniques, and products.
A full-service general contracting company, Hodges Construction handles both residential and commercial projects, while offering diverse services such as custom remodeling and repairs, landscape design and installation, green building practices, tenant improvements, custom water features, saunas and steam rooms, plan design, sunrooms, home additions, and concrete and masonry.
5) A.F. Sterling Homes
6340 North Campbell Ave., Suite 240, Tucson, AZ 85718
As Tucson’s largest home builder, A.F. Sterling Homes was founded by childhood friends Jon Fenton and Peter Aronoff, who are both graduates of the University of Arizona. The company is a member of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHBA). The firm boasts impressive five-time wins of the SAHBA Builder of the Year award, and in 2006, the firm was featured in a full-page article in Builder Magazine for its high JD index scores of overall customer satisfaction.
In business since 1987, A.F. Sterling has built over 4,000 custom and semi-custom homes in the Tucson area’s custom lots and small subdivisions. The firm is a locally-owned and operated home builder that creates custom, state-of-the-art residences that are structurally sound and designed with great attention to detail. A.F. Sterling Homes currently have four active communities; with their first community being Rancho Palomino near Fort Lowell and Swan roads.
4) Process Design Build LLC
P.O. Box 36625, Tucson, AZ 85740
Established in 2003, Process Design Build LLC is a member of the Southern Arizona Home Builders (SAHBA), the SAHBA Green Build Council, and the National Association of Home Builder (NAHBA). The company won the NAHB’s prestigious silver award for 2012 Best in America Living – Single Family One-of-a-Kind Custom Home. With a reputation as one of the most prominent custom home builders in Tucson, the firm won this award due to its work on the Meier residence, which is located at Canyon pass on Dove mountain, and boasts a modern desert design and overlooks the north course of the gallery. The modern home screams ‘luxurious’ with its state-of-the-art geothermal operating system, which uses natural properties to heat and cool the house.
Founded by Bill Updike and Marc Soloway, the firm stands on extensive knowledge and experience in construction, from extensive remodels to high-end custom homes. Process Design Build constructs luxury homes in Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley, and the surrounding areas.
3) Milestone Homes
3615 N Prince Village Pl, Tucson, AZ
A custom home building team with trustworthy expertise in a wide variety of styles and vast knowledge of building materials, Milestone Homes is a three-time winner of the SAHBA Custom home Builder of The Year award. A member of the US Green Building Council and certified LEED-AP, the firm is environmentally conscious and builds and designs green homes while integrating green elements and preserving native vegetation. Founder Eric Freedberg, a former CPA, has a master’s degree in real estate development and uses his knowledge in management, finance, and construction to lead his firm.
Building homes in Tucson, Milestone collaborates with many highly-skilled tradesmen and artisans to consistently deliver innovative and quality workmanship. With its vast experience, Milestone has built over 120 homes in the Tucson area. High-ranking Tucson architects like Robinette Architecture have also worked with the firm, who noted:
“Eric Freedberg has worked hard to build a team whose focus is client satisfaction. His Team deals with everyone involved in his projects with integrity, enthusiasm and in our clients’ best interest at all times. His team of superintendents works hard to bring to life the vision of the Architect and the dream of the Owner.”
2) Pure Build Homes
863 W Calle de Los Higos, Tucson, AZ 85745
A winner of the 2004 Sonora Institute’s Best Appropriate Regional Architecture, and the 2002 City of Tucson’s Energy Efficiency Award, Pure Build Homes is a firm that builds unique luxury homes in Tucson and Southern Arizona. In an episode of Netflix’s The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, a modernist desert residence with rammed earth walls built by Pure Build Homes was featured.
Specializing in design and construction of hand-crafted masonry and structures, Pure Build’s designs use a combination of materials to achieve each client’s vision. The firm uses regional materials, energy-efficient techniques, and authentic details, like their praised, rammed earth walls, which blend with various architectural styles, are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, sound buffering, and long-lasting, as well as metal, rigged wood windows, tile roofs, adobe, custom cabinetry and rustic beamed ceilings.
Previously known as Rammed Earth Development, Inc., Pure Build Homes was established by Tom Wuelpern and Jeff Scheffman in 1994. Wuelpern earned a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of Michigan, before going for a master’s degree in environmental planning at ASU. This is where he learned of rammed earth and started using it in his projects. After earning his master’s, he moved to Tucson where he learned about adobe and rammed earth being used to moderate temperature, and expanded his knowledge on alternative and traditional building materials.
1) Jeff Willmeng Homes
2478 East River Road, Tucson, AZ 85718
Jeff Willmeng Homes was founded in 1978 by Jeff Willmeng, a graduate of the University of Arizona and an active member of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association (SAHBA). Willmeng serves on the custom builder council and is a highly recognized figure in the industry.
Jeff Willmeng Homes has been designing and building high-end custom homes in Tucson for more than 30 years and is known for building unique, one-of-a-kind homes.
The firm has been featured in Luxe Magazine for a modern style home built with architect Kevin Howard in Arizona. Sheathed with Egyptian limestone, the design boasts a mix of the German Bauhaus’ sleek modernism and Frank Lloyd Wright’s organic textures. Another of their custom luxury homes – a Mediterranean-style residence found in Oro Valley – carries a Portuguese-inspired design and was built alongside architect Kevin Howard. A single-level masonry residence with a guest house and an unobstructed view of the Catalina Mountains, it is priced just under $3 million.
With its long and successful history of building, the firm now works with many of the area’s finest architects, engineers, interior designers, and craftsmen. Combining experience, company stability, and company relationships, Jeff Willmeng Homes is the choice luxury custom home builder in the Tucson metropolitan area.
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