The biggest news in kitchen remodeling isn’t news at all: the American love affair with kitchen design marches on. Design professionals in 2018 report that the kitchen remains a homeowner’s favorite room to renovate. In typical Texas fashion, Houstonians have jumped onto that trend in a big way. Residents of the Bayou City are choosing new kitchen designs that are as vibrant as the younger crowd moving in.
Houstonians by the score are revamping their Tudor-style kitchens into bright, airy spaces. A series of separate rooms that interlock will no longer do. Dividing walls are coming down, replaced by wide open spaces where big Texas families can gather. The new kitchen concept is flowing and open — still functional, but with modern pizzazz. Fixtures such as cabinets and lighting are much more personal. Such layouts require a kitchen remodeler to be part designer and part builder.
All of the firms on this list fit that description. Each one captures a client’s idea and delivers a product that caters to the client’s taste and lifestyle. The kitchen remodelers are arranged in order by critical acclaim, industry awards, length of service to the Houston community, and creative expression.
15) Gryphon Builders
Website | 281.236.8043 | Houston, TX 77024
Based in Houston since 1999, Gryphon Builders is still owned and managed by the Griffin family. Founder Allen Griffin is a Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR), Certified Master Builder (CMB), Certified Aging-In-Place Specialist (CAPS), and Certified Green Professional (CGP) who has decades of home-building experience in Houston. In February 2012, Griffin was named Remodeler of the Month by the National Association of Home Builders. He has earned similar awards from the Greater Houston Builders Association. In 2010, the firm earned a Nation’s First Green Renovation award under federal green building standards.
For what he calls a “Charming Kitchen Makeover” in Houston, Griffin’s team swapped an outdated breakfast room with a modern seating area, then removed a banquet so they could custom build a kitchen bar. The color palette was updated with neutral gray on the walls, and bolder green, yellow, red, and black fabrics for wall treatments and furniture. In nearby Richmond, the team renovated a kitchen with professional-grade appliances to accommodate the couple’s frequent house parties. The finished product featured seeded glass front cabinets, open shelving in the refrigerator, and a backsplash running from the sink to the ceiling.
14) Incredible Renovations
Website | 713.532.2526 | 5814 Winsome Lane, Houston, TX 77057
Incredible Renovations is a full-service custom home builder and remodeler that specializes in large projects such as custom built homes, full home remodels, 2nd story additions and attic conversions. They provide service to all of Southwest Houston.
Incredible Renovations prides itself on having a reputation for stellar customer service, ethical business practices which fosters customer loyalty. This is a measure of success that few businesses achieve in a lifetime. The award winning company has received numerous accolades for its remodeling projects, including the Better Business Bureau Pinnacle award in 2018, 2017, and 2011. The BBB Pinnacle award is the Better Business Bureaus most prestigious award giving each year. Incredible Renovations has also received the Award of Excellence and Winner of Distinction from the BBB for the last 10 consecutive years.
Incredible Renovations was founded and is still operated by licensed structural engineer, Adam Bakir. P.E., GMB, GMR, CGP. Their team of professional engineers, architects, interior designers, and support staff listens, articulates conceptual ideas and deliver a completed project “On Time and On Budget”.
13) Ashwood Designs & Custom Builds
Website | 281.435.3696 | 2434 Robinhood Street, Houston, TX 77005
Just three years after it opened, Ashwood Designs & Custom Builds won its first TAB STAR Award for Best Custom Kitchen. Two years later, it won again. The firm does new construction but also specializes in remodeling. As a kid, founder Ross Huthmacher would accompany his father to construction sites. He developed a passion for design and building. Years later, after buying his first home, he started to remodel for a living. In 2011, he opened Ashwood Designs & Custom Homes.
The firm uses 3D design technology so clients can “see” what their remodel will look like before the project even starts. Huthmacher’s designs combine modern and contemporary styles with natural wood floors, stainless steel appliances, open shelving, and decorated tiles. A kitchen remodel for a Timbergrove home featured custom-made mosaic backsplash crafted out of stone, jewelry, and broken dishes. Ashwood Custom Homes serves Bellaire, Hedwig Village, Hunters Creek Village, Piney Point Village, Spring Valley, and West University Place.
12) Premier Remodeling
Website | 713.352.1602 | 901 Harvard Street, Houston, TX 77008
As the name implies, remodeling is this contractor’s specialty. Premier Remodeling is Houston based. It was founded in 2002 by Rob Hellyer, a former project controls engineer with Parsons Energy & Chemicals. Sixteen years later, the firm has blossomed into an industry leader in the Bayou City. That reputation comes largely from Hellyer, who is often quoted in the Houston press for expert opinions on various construction topics. He is also active in the homebuilding trade, currently serving as secretary of the GHBA.
In 2011, Hellyer received the Council Award for Demonstrating Remodeling Excellence (CADRE) for Outstanding Chair of the GHBA Remodelers Council. Notably, Hellyer has been the only builder to serve on the Houston Archaeological & Historical Commission as vice chair. He has won national recognition for his efforts to revise Houston’s historic preservation ordinances.
The firm’s reputation is also built on renovations that don’t drive up kitchen remodeling costs. Projects by Hellyer’s team have won two PRISM awards for Best Kitchen Under $100k, in 2011 and 2015. Premier Remodeling has CGR, CAPS, and CMB designations. It serves all Houston areas.
11) 329 Design
Website | 281.236.6040 | Houston, TX 77007
A hands-on approach to design is what the founder of this Crosby-based boutique firm promises her clients. Andrea Kralj Lagow is not only a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and a Registered Interior Designer (RID), but she is also a contractor who provides full-service remodeling in Houston, Bellaire, West University, River Oaks, The Heights, Rice Military, Meyerland, and Memorial.
Before opening 329 Design in 2009, Lagow received a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, Art and Technology from Texas State University. After graduation, she spent four years as an interior designer for three Houston interior design firms. In 2016, TAB named her Project Manager of the Year and the firm was a PRISM Finalist for three kitchen remodels. Lagow is a CGR, CAPS, and holds a certification from the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). For kitchen design, Lagow describes her style as “classic.” “I want a kitchen that stands the test of time and even twenty years later will look simple, clean and classic.”
10) The LaRocque Group
Website | 832.309.9295 | 700 Rockmead Street, Kingwood, TX 77429
The president and founder of The LaRocque Group got his start as a contractor when he served as lead construction manager for one of Houston’s premier luxury construction firms, McGuyer Homebuilders. In 2009, Kyle LaRocque opened his own company, which he hopes will create a new benchmark of excellence in the Houston remodeling industry.
Kitchen remodels are a specialty of LaRocque’s team. A project in Memorial showed the company’s skill at designing a layout that is both functional and aesthetically appealing. The unfashionable kitchen was cluttered with a peninsula cabinet. Once it was removed, LaRocque’s team built a custom island to provide needed storage and meal prepping space for a client who loves to cook. They added a wet bar, butler’s room, and breakfast nook that blended seamlessly into the main kitchen area. Topping it off was a wall of glass tile and hand-painted accent inlays on the floor.
The LaRocque Group has received numerous awards, including PRISM awards for remodeling. The group is an NAHB certified remodeler that serves — in addition to Houston— The Woodlands, Spring, Tomball, Kingwood, Conroe, and Magnolia.
9. Vick Construction & Remodeling, Inc.
Website | 713.384.3966 | 104 Industrial Boulevard, Sugar Land, TX 77478
The owner of Vick Construction & Remodeling comes from a family with more than six decades’ experience in Houston’s homebuilding industry. Kevin Vick grew up on construction sites, learning from his grandfather and father, who owned residential construction businesses. Vick spent eight years in the US Army, then earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and a Master of Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Vick opened this firm in 2010. He is a CGR, CAPS, and CGP, and he has served as vice president and president of the GHBA’s Remodelers Council. In 2017, he was honored with Remodeler of the Month for October. That same year, two of Vick Construction & Remodeling’s kitchen projects were finalists for STAR Awards.
He also won a PRISM award in 2017 for Best Kitchen Remodel under $50,000. The project, in Lakes on Eldridge, featured an oversized kitchen island with painted cabinets, a Dekton countertop, and a stainless steel apron sink. The firm serves neighborhoods in Memorial, River Oaks, Sugar Land, West Central, and The Heights.
8. Builders West
Website | 713.465.2233 | 8905 Friendship, Houston, TX 77080
The owner of this small design-build firm videotapes his carpenters’ work before drywall covers it. He then hands a copy to his clients so that any future renovations won’t damage a hidden pipe or wire. It’s that kind of attention to detail that has given Builders West a stellar reputation.
Owner Kurt Lobpries founded the firm in 1982 after receiving a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Design from the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. His team includes four project managers, as well as field supervisors and skilled carpenters.
Kitchen remodels by Builders West have been featured in the local press and magazines such as Real Estate Today, American Home Style & Gardening, Interior Design, Veranda, The Smart House, Southern Accents, LUXE Interiors & Design, and House Beautiful. Their work has also been published in AIA Houston Architectural Guide, 2nd Edition. Builders West mostly serves the Houston areas of River Oaks, Memorial Villages, West University, and Tanglewood.
7) On Point Custom Homes
Website | 713.600.2422 | 3939 Essex Lane, Houston, TX 77027
TAB’s Custom Builder of the Year for 2017 has an in-house team that performs luxury remodeling services throughout Houston. The firm opened in 2005. Owner John Leggett, originally from North Carolina, received an accounting degree from the University of North Carolina and moved to Houston to pursue a career in banking. His career path took a sharp turn when he built his first home and realized that construction had become his passion. Leggett was later assisted by Earl Correll, a childhood friend, who became a licensed general contractor and then pursued certification as CGP and GMB.
Kitchen remodeling ideas by On Point Custom Homes are routinely featured in the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Business Journal, Builder, Chron.com, and Voyage Houston. The team also won a National Pacesetter Award from Custom Home Magazine. It was also honored with more than 10 TAB awards in 2017. Kitchens by Leggett favor minimalist designs that create more space. The firm’s work attains an eclectic look by mixing hardwood floors, open shelving, bright upholstered stools, and neutral grey and white shades.
6) Midtown Cabinetry
Website | 281.962.4507 | 17306 Highway 3, Webster, TX 77598
Matt Hegemier spent more than 10 years designing and selling custom-made cabinetry for one of Houston’s most upscale interior design firms before venturing out on his own in 2013. He is a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and has served as president of the Texas Gulf Coast NKBA and as a representative to the National NKBA. Midtown Cabinetry designs were published in the May 2011 and December 2012 issues of Kitchen & Bath Design News.
A kitchen remodeling project in 2010 won Hegemier a NARI Award for Kitchen Remodeler of the Year in the $90,000-plus category. For a client in La Porte, Hegemier created a kitchen for large gatherings that featured three custom arched entries, dark-stained cabinets with intricate trim, and a stainless steel apron sink. More glamour was added to a Clear Lake kitchen, with a crystal chandelier and four Enkeboll solid cherry columns leading to custom-designed Wood-Mode furniture. Typical jobs by Midtown Cabinetry are between $5,000 and $100k.
5) Craftsmanship By John
Website | 713.984.8834 | 1418 Cedar Post Lane, Houston, TX 77055
John Gillette promises Houston homeowners that no matter how big his firm grows, it will never stray from the personal client experience on which it was founded in 1992. Craftsmanship By John started as a one-man operation, handling new builds and remodeling projects. Today, the firm works throughout greater Houston. It has received such awards as PRISM, STAR, Chrysalis, The Remodeler’s Big 50 for Fine Design, and Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500, with many accolades for unique kitchen renovations.
A 2017 PRISM award for Best Kitchen Remodel required the Craftsmanship By John team to design an open and modern kitchen with a New Orleans French aura. The finished product featured a climate-controlled wine room to accommodate 400 bottles, and an eating area with floor-to-ceiling windows. There was also a farmhouse apron sink, white marble countertops, marble tile backsplash, French doors opening up to an enclosed courtyard, and white furniture-like cabinets handmade by Gillette himself.
Gillette’s certifications are NAHB, CGR, CAPS GMB, ad GMR. He is a past president of the GHBA Remodelers Council.
4) Sneller Custom Homes
Website | 832.797.4320 | 17018 Seven Pines Drive, Spring, TX 77379
Several of this firm’s 30 PRISM awards are for its stunning kitchen remodeling ideas. Matt Sneller, a native of Austin, started his construction career right after graduating from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Development. Sneller spent years learning residential construction from one of Houston’s top volume builders. In 2011, he opened his own firm.
Sneller Custom Homes builds luxury homes but also specializes in large scale remodels, many of which include extensive kitchen renovations. For one remodel in The Woodlands, Sneller’s team jazzed up a dated kitchen with a porcelain waterfall island countertop, and open shelving made from reclaimed wood. Soft gray cabinets created a subtle backdrop, while real antique hardwood floors added warmth. Simple cream-colored subway tiles laid in a herringbone pattern added a timeless touch to the space.
Another recent Sneller remodeling project was a modern-themed kitchen blending robust colors with a neutral backdrop. Stainless steel Thermador appliances and black custom cabinets created a modern look, neutral enough to delight anyone’s taste. The curved kitchen island covered in bright red glass tile is the standout finish. Sneller Custom Homes serves the northwest Houston area including Spring, Cypress, Tomball, and The Woodlands, as well as Memorial, West University, and Lake Conroe.
3) Keechi Creek Builders
Website | 281.914.4951 | 21175 TX-249 #328, Houston, TX 77070
The design services that this Houston-based general contractor brings to kitchen renovation projects include AutoCAD & 3D renderings, green building, and aging in place and accessibility. The firm is run by founder Brandon Lynch, who has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Texas A&M University. Lynch worked for high-end luxury home builders in Houston for six years, managing projects that run into the tens of millions. In 2007, he opened Keechi Creek Builders.
The team’s kitchen remodeling projects have led to prestigious awards, such as PRISM and STAR awards in 2017 for Best Remodel. Brandon was also named Greater Houston Builders Association’s Builder of the Year for 2015. One winning kitchen design fulfilled the client’s request to swap their kitchen’s deep brown palette for a “bright and beautiful” room. Keechi Creek Builders tore down walls and structures that crowded the kitchen. White cabinets and white tiled bricks as backsplash allowed natural light from a bay window over the sink to penetrate the room. The result was a fresher-looking, more spacious kitchen. Keechi Creek Builders works throughout north and northwest Houston, The Woodlands, and the Heights.
2) McVaugh Custom Homes
Website | 713.545.4599 | 11241 Richmond Avenue, Houston, TX 77082
This custom home builder has won national awards for new construction, but it also stands out for breathtaking kitchen remodels. In 2016, McVaugh Custom Homes received a PRISM Award for Best Kitchen at the Royal Oaks Courtyard Villas. The project produced a modern kitchen with contemporary tones. It boasted an open layout made sleek with European-style, flat-panel cabinets in high-gloss lacquer, and gray metallic pendant lights. Contrast came from medium-toned wood lining the ceilings, with slightly darker wood panels on the floors.
Color palettes for kitchens by this team are subdued, while stylish cabinetry becomes the focal point. The sleek fixtures and airy floor plans are favored by clients who appreciate a minimalist kitchen design that can be dressed up with a few elegant wall paintings. McVaugh Custom Homes is owned by President Jim McVaugh and his wife, Pam. It opened in 1989 and does kitchen remodeling projects throughout Houston. The firm has garnered substantial industry recognition with national, regional, and local awards, including the NAHB’s America’s Best Builder and Pacesetter Award for Innovation.
1) Greymark Construction Company
Website | 713.722.7226 | 1207 Bingham St, Houston, TX 77007
Leslie King has been a kitchen remodeler in Houston for 22 years. Her firm, Greymark Construction Company, has devoted a full page on its website to the awards it’s won. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gave the group its highest honor, the Pinnacle Award, in 2016. They also received awards from the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) for Texas Remodeler of the Year in 2015 and Grand Remodeler prizes each year from 2010 to 2015, except for 2014.
In 2014, King was named president of the Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA). She has also served as director of TAB, director of the NAHB, and president of the Remodelers Council of the GHBA. Other accolades are the Chrysalis Award for Best Universal Design, Remodeling Magazine’s Best Whole House Remodel Award, and TAB STAR awards for Best Kitchen in various categories.
For kitchen remodeling ideas, King’s team likes to expand a room’s square footage by removing walls and reconfiguring structures to avoid a cramped atmosphere. Greymark Construction Company takes on home improvement — and specifically kitchen remodeling — projects throughout Houston’s Inner Loop and 1-10 West Corridor.