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Best General Contractors in California

15 Min Read

There is perhaps no more important decision when building a custom home in California than picking a high-quality new home builder. The right general contractor will be able to follow an architect’s plans and keep your new home project on schedule and on budget. Embarking on a residential construction project can be a scary task, but the right CA home construction company can make the journey easy and stress-free. Knowing this, we researched hundreds of companies and created a list of the 10 best custom home builders throughout the Golden State.

Regardless of where your project is located in California, you will have access to a worthy builder. The new home builders on this list cover everything from Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego in Southern California to Northern California’s wine country, Bay Area, and Silicon Valley, including the urban areas of San Francisco and Sacramento. And while they are experienced in many other types of projects — from large home renovations and kitchen and bath remodels, to additions, general home improvement projects, and even commercial work — they have earned their reputations for their high-quality new home construction. Their impressive portfolios show off large traditional estates overlooking the Pacific Ocean and modern new homes in downtown LA. These home construction companies can help give you the floor plan and style you need using their knowledge of local zoning regulations, building codes, and the permit process combined with connections to the best subcontractors and artisans. When building a custom home in CA, consider hiring one of the 10 best custom home builders in the state.

About our methodology: We considered hundreds of professionals while making this list of the 10 best custom home builders in California. In addition to professional associations, we heavily weighed recognition the firm has received in the form of awards and press, any prestigious clientele they have worked with, whether or not they collaborate with other top industry professionals, including architects and interior designers, and what areas they work in, the more exclusive and high-end neighborhoods having greater influence. We also took into account the value of the projects they undertake, years in the business, customer reviews for quality and service, and range of services offered. We also took into account geographic location in order to give you a good sampling of the best companies across the state.

10) Jim Murphy & Associates

464 Kenwood Court, Ste. B Santa Rosa, CA 95407

Where they work: Northern California

Jim Murphy & Associates may work primarily in California’s wine country, but their reputation for building superior custom homes is known throughout California. Their range of expertise spans from enormous ranch homes with many accessory buildings to classic Napa Valley farmhouses and the reimagining of traditional agrarian structures. They have shown their ability to implement complex designs from top architectural firms such as Backen Gillam Kroeger Architects, work on difficult sites, and overcome tough construction problems. The work of Jim Murphy & Associates has earned many prestigious awards, including from Engineering News Record. They were named one of the best contractors by NorthBay biz Magazine’s readers and, significantly, was named 2011 Custom Builder of the Year by Custom Home. The company and their projects have also caught the attention of many publications.

Jim Murphy & Associates began in 1968 and has grown to include over 40 staff members who share the owner’s commitment to uncompromised quality and professionalism. Not only do they build new residential projects, but they offer remodeling services, commercial construction, and pre-construction services to Sonoma and Napa Counties. They work closely with the project team of designers, architects, and clients to ensure informed decisions are being made at every stop along the process, from material selections to the integration of sustainable design strategies.

9) Richard Holz, Inc.

520 S Sepulveda Blvd # 205, Los Angeles, CA 90049

Where they work: Southern California

Founded over 40 years ago by Richard Holz, a licensed architect, Richard Holz, Inc. has grown into one of the most respected construction companies in California. Focused on high-end, multi-million dollar new custom homes, designed by some of the area’s best architects, this general contracting company is known for their quality work, streamlined management systems, and attention to detail. They ensure that every aspect of a custom home build is done with precision and according to the architect’s plans. As a result, clients end up with beautifully built homes that will last for generations to come.  The company also completes selected renovation projects and under certain circumstances can be enlisted for design/build services. They have meticulously realized the designs of firms such as Appleton & Associates, Richard Manion Architecture, and Oppenheim Architecture, with grand results. The work of Richard Holz has been published nationally in shelter magazines such as Luxe Interiors + Design.

8) Ryan Associates

333 12th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Where they work: Bay Area, Northern California

For over 30 years, San Francisco-based Ryan Associates has gained a reputation for building extraordinary custom homes across the Bay Area. The employee-owned company, founded by Paul Ryan and Jim Friedman, loves solving the challenges related to building complex projects. Having created longstanding, trusted relationships with some of the best design professionals in the region, they have partnered on residential projects with countless top practices such as Aidlin Darling Design, Walker Warner Architects, Andrew Skurman, Zack de Vito Architecture, BAR Architects, and Sutro Architects. They excel at a range of project types, from modern urban estates to traditional coastal homes. And they have done major restoration projects on historic residences, such as a 1951 William Wurster home. In addition to their residential work, they build commercial and hospitality structures. Unsurprisingly, Ryan Associate’s finished homes have caught the eye of and been featured in prominent publications including Architectural Digest, Dwell, Modern Luxury Interiors, and California Home + Design.

7) Jungsten Construction

495 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Where they work: Bay Area, Northern California

Mill Valley’s Jungsten Construction has rightfully earned a name for themselves in the world of custom home building. Their innovative and sustainable homes across Northern California are built to the highest standards. Not surprising then that the general contracting firm was named by USA Architecture as one of the country’s Best 100 Custom Home Builders, was previously in Remodeling Magazine’s “Big 50”, earned an Honor Award from the International Interior Design Association, and a Merit Award for Remodeling from Custom Home. Their homes have been featured in California Homes, Metropolitan Home, Custom Home Magazine, Interiors, Better Homes & Gardens, Coastal Living, the San Francisco Chronicle, Marin Home Magazine, and Remodeling Magazine, to name just a few. Jungsten Construction collaborates with the best professionals, including those at the award-winning Feldman Architecture and Nicholas Budd Architects. Their ability to please even the most discerning clients is evident by the fact that in the past, architects have chosen them personally to build their own private residences.

Jungsten Construction was founded in 1987 by Jeff Jungsten, an Advanced Certified Green Building Professional who leads CJC’s extensive sustainability efforts. Today, their work spans from private rural retreats to grand entertaining homes. But regardless of the size project, the company executes it with a diverse team of experts. In addition to their progressive building approach, Jungsten Construction employs sustainable techniques to deliver unmatched quality and value to their clients. by using. Jeff Jungsten remains ones of the first points of contact for clients and oversees all aspects of his company’s business.

6) Winters-Schram Associates

11777 Mississippi Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Where they work: West Coast

Los Angeles’s Winters-Schram Associates has earned a reputation for their strategic approach, technical savvy, adherence to an aesthetic vision, and unparalleled craftsmanship in the world of custom home building. They have a keen ability to execute extreme design challenges and pay meticulous attention to detail. They have worked with top creative professionals, such as Steve Ehrlich, Alberto Kalach, and Belzberg Architects, on gorgeous, high-end projects throughout the West Coast. In addition to building new custom homes, the construction company also performs significant gut renovations over seven figures and some select commercial projects. Their work has received many awards, including from local AIA chapters Pasadena & Foothill, Los Angeles, and California, as well as the National AIA.

The top-tier company is run by principals Peter Winters and Jim Schram, who themselves are builders with over 30 years of experience. They continue to take a truly hands-on approach to all of the company’s projects and lead the collaborative efforts among each building team. Moreover, under their direction, Winters-Schram Associates is known for producing incredibly accurate budget forecasts, helping their clients prepare for the building process and avoiding unwelcome surprises along the way.

5) Fort Hill Construction

12711 Ventura Blvd. Ste #390, Studio City, CA 91604

Where they work: California, Boston, New York, and Mexico

Formally founded in 1971 as a small business on the East Coast, Fort Hill Construction is now based out of Los Angeles and has grown to be one of the most in-demand construction companies in the region. The family-run business takes on only a select number of projects annually, choosing from those done by some of the most acclaimed design professionals for A-list, creative clientele. Rather than focus on just one project type, their portfolio ranges from ground-up, new custom homes, to extensive historic restorations in important properties, from enormous estates to minimalistic, modern urban homes. They have rightfully earned their reputation for their ability to implement even those most challenging architectural designs and harness the opportunities provided by a site and idea. Fort Hill Construction’s quality craftsmanship on custom homes can be seen in the pages of Architectural Digest, Interior Design, Luxe, California Home, Instyle, Elle Decor, and W, along with many other national publications.

“Fort Hill is the contractor of choice for many of LA’s elite. … Even the A-list is awed by the museum-quality work and ceaseless attention to detail delivered by this 50-year-old construction management and general contracting firm.” – The Franklin Report

Fort Hill Construction, which has been referred to by some as a “factory of perfectionism” offers full-service construction services to their clients. They even maintains a drafting/minor design division to accommodate smaller projects. And for existing clients, they offer continued services, from maintenance to repairs and small projects and renovations — all a sign of their commitment to maintaining the integrity of their high-end work.

4) All Coast Construction

5364 Sterling Center Dr, Westlake Village, CA 91361

Where they work: Southern California

Founded in 1994, All Coast Construction has grown to become one of the most highly-reputed and trustworthy custom home builders of high-end, Southern California homes. They are a sought-after choice for repeat collaboration by many of the world’s top designers, architects, and engineers, such as EYRC Architects with whom they recently completed a luxurious residential project. It makes sense that the work of All Coast Construction has been included in California Homes’ “The Essential Guide” and featured in top publications such as Luxe many times over.

“All Coast principal Michael Grosswendt gives clients the kind of confidence that only comes from a lifetime devotion to craftsmanship. A pet contractor of many finicky designers, the word is, “if a client doesn’t use them, we have no other recommendations.””- The Franklin Report

The 35 member team at All Coast Construction are known not only for their meticulous attention to detail and finely finished buildings, but for the care they take during a project to make it stress-free for clients, keep job sites clean and tidy, and for their displays of the utmost professionalism and respect. The company deliberately limits the number of projects they work on at a time in order to dedicate full attention to each home. And once a job is completed, homeowners can turn to the company’s Estate Maintenance division to provide all types of handyman service on their high-end homes. In addition to their ground-up construction projects, All Coast Construction also specializes in luxury renovation, tenant improvement, and home automation and mechanization.

3) Gallo Builders, Inc.

1278 Glenneyre St # 412, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Where they work: Orange County, Southern California (coastal)

Gallo Builders, based in Laguna Beach, has worked on some of the most luxurious new custom homes in the entire country. The full-service custom home builder has over 30 years of experience building high-end custom homes and earned an enviable reputation for their top-quality work. Their impressive portfolio covers homes of nearly all styles in many of the most exclusive and prestigious neighborhoods in Southern California. The general contracting company has worked with some of the most in-demand architects in the region, including completing multiple projects with McClean Design. They work has been featured widely, including in Luxe, View, Dream Homes International, Western Arts & Architecture, Riviera, and M magazine. They have been including multiple times on Luxe’s Gold List.

“Gallo Builders views each project as a work of art and takes pride in the details, innovative techniques, and unique perspectives that make each Gallo Builders’ home special.” – Gallo Builders, Inc.

2) Matarozzi/Pelsinger Builders

355 11th St # 200, San Francisco, CA 94103

Where they work: The Bay Area, Northern California, and Jackson, Wyoming

Founded in 1986 by Dan Matarozzi and Dan Pelsinger, the general contracting company of Matarozzi/Pelsinger Builders now specialize in all aspects of custom building, from historical renovations, remodels, and retrofitting to unique ground-up projects. Working with many of California’s best architects — including EYRC Architects, Aidlin Darling Designs, Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Kuth Ranieri Architects, IwamotoScott Architecture, and Klopf Architecture — they build some of the most architectural complex residential projects in the Bay Area, ranging from sleek urban mansions to modern seaside retreats. And they are known for their impressive sustainable buildings and use of green building techniques. Their high-quality work has earned them national recognition, including being named by USA Architecture as one of the Best 100 Custom Home Builders in the country and being included in Remodeling’s The Big 50. Their home’s have been published widely, including in Remodeling Magazine, Dwell, Inhabit, SF Gate, The New York Times, Travel and Leisure, AirchDaily, 7×7, and CurbedSF.

“Our commitment to the highest standards of craftsmanship is matched by our desire to employ the most efficient contemporary building technologies. As such, we have taken a leadership role in the Bay Area Green Building movement.” – Matarozzi/Pelsinger Builders

Matarozzi/Pelsinger Builders’ projects have won numerous awards, among them an AIA 2017 Housing Award, CH+D Awards, and AIA SF Mert Awards, a James Beard Award, and they even have the distinction of having worked on a COTE Top 10 award-winning project – given annually by the AIA National for the most sustainable projects. And it was their commitment to sustainable custom building that earned the founders a 2010 Custom Home Pacesetter Award, acknowledging their innovation and leadership to green building.

1) Wardell Builders Inc.

649 Valley Avenue, Suite A, Solana Beach, CA 92075

Where they work: Southern California

Solana Beach-based Wardell Builders is one of the most respected residential general contracting firms in all of southern California. Working with elite clientele around the San Diego area, including in the upscale coastal towns of La Jolla and Del Mar, Wardell has won a range of both national and local awards, from the National Custom Home Builder Award to the BIA Award for Customer Satisfaction. Other awards for the home builder include multiple ‘Homes of the Year’ from San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles. In 2004, Custom Home named Wardell Builders as the Custom Builder of the Year and USA Architecture has included them on their list of the Best 100 Custom Home Builders in the country. Understandably, their quality work has caught the attention of many publications and been included in LUXE, California Homes, Residential Design & Build, Architectural Digest, Decor & Style, House Beautiful, Better Homes & Gardens, Ranch & Coast Magazine, Custom Home, Riviera Interiors, and more.

The San Diego company is made up of a team of dedicated professionals who have been building custom homes for decades. They stand out for their attention to detail, quality results, clear communication, and on-track progress. And since many of their projects are on difficult sites, they are experts at overcoming complicated building challenges and working with local municipalities to acquire all necessary permits and permissions. And Wardell Builders is committed to sustainability and research the various ways they can implement eco-friendly components into each new home. They have taken the initiative to become LEED certified and surpass government requirements. Warren Builders are members of, or associated with, the AIA, BBB, US Green Building Council, the National Association of Home Builders, and the ASID.

How can I find a contractor or home builder near me?

Read our latest articles on the best residential contractors and home builders in and near California. If you don’t see your city or project type below, just let us know – we are happy to create a tailored recommendation list just for you.

Residential general contractors in San Diego

Residential general contractors in Silicon Valley

Custom home builders in California

About Our Rankings

This list takes a range of ranking criteria into consideration, including but not limited to: work history, customer satisfaction, awards and recognition, geographic area of work, cost, building permits, and clientele. We spent over 40 hours researching local contractors before calculating the final ranking for this post. If there is additional information about your business that could affect these rankings, please fill out this form and we will take it into consideration

Get Bids For Your Build

If you are thinking about building a custom home, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.


  • Jake Gustafson

    Jake has served as a brings a wealth of experience rooted in his passion for building. Holding a degree in Construction Engineering Management from Oregon State University, he actively engaged in industry-related activities, including membership in the Associated General Contractors of America student chapter and participation in the Associated Schools in Construction student competition. Previously, Jake served as a project engineer for a prominent general contractor in Portland, where he played a pivotal role in various aspects of construction projects, from pre-construction to subcontractor management. His expertise extends to working on innovative projects, such as North America's largest CLT commercial building. Expertise: Commercial Construction, Commercial Remodeling, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Editor at HomeBuilderDigest, Project Engineer for Portland-based general contractor, Field Engineer for the largest CLT commercial building in North America Education: Oregon State University - Degree in Construction Engineering Management