Rugs of custom-cut seagrass and linen slipcovers with gathered pleats represented luxury in Old Houston for generations. The Bayou City was still quite populous, but the pace of life was less hectic. High-end residential contractors built homes as big as castles for affluent clientele who favored a traditional home style. Within the past decade, however, Houston’s economy has surged. The city is home to more than two dozen Fortune 500 companies, which makes it a top job creator. Thus, Houston is attracting Millennials in search of employment opportunities and affordable neighborhoods. Contractors now build to suit clients who favor pops of color, geometric patterns, and new technology.
This is a list of the best contractors in Houston who have evolved their design-build techniques to suit changing tastes. Every firm here takes the client through the nuts and bolts of home construction and delivers the very best results. They are ranked by their industry recognitions, years of experience, and quality of craftsmanship. The No. 1 slot went to a contractor who outperformed the others in bringing home design into the spotlight.
14) Heavenly Homes
Website | 281.582.6596 | 12345 Kingsride Lane, Houston TX 77024
In less than 15 years, Rory Caton has built his firm into one of the top home builders in Houston. Caton received a Bachelor of Science in Construction Science from the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University.
Caton builds “Smart Homes” that integrate data from the homeowners’ cell phones and cable lines into one location to control home functions. This system promotes a voice communication network and improved security and lighting controls. Caton also builds homes that meet the “Bronze” and “Silver” ratings of the National Green Building Standard.
Since opening Heavenly Homes, Caton has been certified by the National Association of Home Building as a Green Professional and Graduate Master Builder. The firm serves Barker, Bellaire, Cypress, Houston, Jersey Village, Katy, and Tomball, among other areas. This general contractor in Houston has received four STAR Awards and two PRISM awards. In 2009, the Houston Business Journal named it the Top Green Home Builder in Houston.
13) Mission Custom Builders
Website | 832.698.4736 | 29700 White Elks Boulevard, Tomball, TX 77375
This relative newcomer to the Houston homebuilding community has been building in the Greater Houston Area for the past 14 years and recently started his own company 5 years ago, already winning awards for design and customer service! A native of St. Louis, Jason Penberthy received a business degree from Texas A&M University and worked briefly in international sales, until he decided the confines of an office were not for him.
Over the next 7 years, Penberthy worked under two highly respected custom homebuilders in Houston and had the honor of working with some of Houston’s top architects and contractors. He was quickly promoted to senior project manager and quality control supervisor. One of his builds earned the title of Greater Houston Builder’s Association Home of the Year, another received a PRISM award for Best Custom Home of the Year, and Penberthy himself was awarded Project Manager of the Year.
In 2013, he and his wife, Tammy, founded Mission Custom Builders. Mission Custom Builders are passionate about creating & recreating extraordinary homes and spaces in any architectural style by staying innovative, embraces design challenges and working hard for those that have trusted them. These qualities set them apart in their industry; as well as their attention to detail, quality craftsmanship and communication before, during and after the project’s completion. The firm’s projects can be found in Houston (Memorial, River Oaks, The Museum District), The Woodlands, Tomball, Champions, and Spring. They range in price from $750k to over $1.5MM. The firm is affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the Texas Association of Builders (TAB), and the GHBA.
12) Allegro Builders
Website | 713.880.8899 | 1001 Studewood #202, Houston, TX 77008
This Houston general contractor has won more than a dozen awards from TAB and GHBA. Allegro Builders specializes in concept-to-completion design, build, and even financing services. President and CEO Lambert Arceneaux founded the company in 1997, as he was building Craftsman-style homes in Houston Heights. Arceneaux later branched out into building Mediterranean, Transitional, Modern, and Contemporary-style homes throughout the greater Houston area.
Much of the press coverage on Arceneaux has praised the firm’s architectural designs for honoring the history of the neighborhoods where it builds. Arceneaux is also praised for assembling an eclectic team with top-notch credentials. Lead Designer Kimberly Terry, member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), holds a master’s in architecture from the University of Houston. Interior Designer Natasha LaFrancesca studied design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and the De Medici Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. Houston Heights Allegro Builders serves all Houston communities. Its TAB awards have been for Best Custom Home and Custom Home Builder of the Year.
Website | 713.309.6872 | 2233 Yale Street, Houston, TX 77008
This premium residential contractor opened its doors in 2004. Three years later, it was a finalist for Best Custom Home Over $200k in the TAB Star Awards. The following year, it took home four awards from the 2008 Houston Heights Showcase of Homes and five awards from the Home Builder’s Association (HBA) Parade of Homes, including Best Overall Custom Home. Since then the team, headed by president and founder David Gordon, has racked up a steady stream of accolades from Houston’s most prestigious building associations. A Houston native, Gordon was just 18 when he ran his first construction crew, building decks and patio covers. He received a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from the University of Houston.
The firm builds custom homes, priced between $1.2M and $5M, throughout greater Houston. They’re known for the contemporary farmhouse style, which blends country and contemporary with clean lines, and for integrated smart systems. In 2014 and 2015, Whitestone Builders won the GHBA PRISM awards for Best Home Design $500k to $1M. Gordon is former chair of the GHBA’s Custom Builders Council.
10) Matt Powers Custom Homes
Website | 713.787.6709 | 2450 Fondren, Suite 111, Houston, TX 77063
Custom home builder Matt Powers is proud of his “deep roots in The Woodlands,” where he’s built scores of homes. After receiving an MBA in Finance from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business, Powers worked as a construction superintendent for David Weekley Homes in Houston. He then spent four years as a construction manager at Phoenix-based Pulte Homes – the country’s fifth largest construction company. In 2001, he founded Matt Powers Custom Homes & Renovations, a full-service general contractor in Houston that handles new construction and remodel projects.
Powers is often featured in the local press, such as the Houston Business Journal, Houston Design Resources, and the Houston Chronicle. The Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA) honored Powers with an Emerald certification. The firm has won six National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) awards, the 2012 National Chrysalis Award, the 2012 Star Award from the Texas Association of Builders, and a 2012 Silver Award from Professional Remodeler Magazine. They also won a Dream Home Award for Best Custom Home in 2012 and won nine Best PRISM awards from the Greater Houston Builders Association. The firm serves all of Houston
9) Jonathan Custom Estate Homes
Website | 281.808.7683 | 9225 Katy Freeway, Houston, TX 77024
Thirty-nine years of custom home design and construction are just one of the things that sets Jonathan Casada apart from the rest. He’s a Certified Graduate Master Builder who learned the trade from his father and grandfather. The firm opened in 1993. Serious about his craft, Casada has even written a best-selling book about it: Building a Quality Custom Home: What You Need to Know. He builds in Houston’s affluent neighborhoods of Tanglewood, Bellaire, West University, and the various communities within Memorial Village. Prices range from $550k to $4.5M.
Awards have poured in, such as the GHBA’s Custom Builder of the Year and many PRISM awards. Casada is a Life Director with the Texas Association of Builders. A typical build by Casada in the $1.7M range will have between six and seven bathrooms, over 7,000 square feet of living space, an elevator, plantation shutters, detailed moldings, large game rooms, and oversized foyers. The homes are often on secluded lots. Styles vary from Craftsman, New Orleans French, Texas Country, Royal Oak Tuscan, and Floridian Mediterranean.
8) On Point Custom Homes
Website | 713-600-2422 | 3939 Essex Lane, Houston, TX 77027
Custom Builder of the Year by the Texas Association of Builders (TAB). The firm was founded by North Carolina native John Leggett, a successful investment banker in Houston. When Leggett purchased property behind a shopping center and built his first custom home, he knew that he had found his calling. He opened On Point Custom Homes in 2005.
Leggett later invited a childhood friend, Earl Correll, to join his team. Correll was a licensed general contractor who later became a Certified Green Professional (CGP) and Graduate Master Builder (GMB). When the duo started building homes together, some Houston professionals doubted their modern designs would attract a following. Twelve years later, On Point is a major home builder throughout the Houston metro area, serving especially the inner-loop communities.
Its modern and mid-century styles have been featured in Voyage Houston, Houston Chronicle, Builder, Chron.com, and the Houston Business Journal. In 2009, Custom Home Magazine honored Leggett’s team with its National Pacesetter Award. In 2017, the firm won more than 10 awards from TAB.
7) Keechi Creek Builders
Website | 281.914.4951 | 21175 TX-249 #328, Houston, TX 77070
This specialty building firm in northwest Houston was named after the creek near which founder Brandon Lynch grew up in Texas. Lynch received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Business from Texas A&M University. After graduation, Lynch did construction management for two Houston firms, Royce Builders and Partners in Building.
Keechi Creek Builders was founded in 2007. The team works throughout greater Houston. It handles building and remodeling in addition to architectural and engineering floor plans. A typical new build by Lynch offers between 8,000 and 10,000 square feet of combined living and outdoor space. The homes are automated and can be controlled through a smartphone. Special features include saunas and elevators, mahogany stained trim, and custom finishes.
The team has been honored with numerous awards from national, local, and industry organizations. In 2015, the firm won PRISM awards from the GHBA for Best Custom Home Design and Best Custom Home Front Elevation. It was also named Custom Builder of the Year. Work by these licensed contractors has been profiled by Texas Builder Magazine. In 2015, Lynch was recognized on the Top 40 Under 40 by Professional Remodeler Magazine.
6) Hann Builders
Website | 832.435.7792 | 5210 Spruce Street, Bellaire, TX 77401
This Bellaire-based contractor is just as committed to superb bathroom remodeling projects as he is to spectacular new homes he builds. Stephen Hann founded Hann Builders in 1993 and still serves as its president. He studied at Trinity University in San Antonio, where he received degrees in construction management and business administration. After graduation, he joined a large custom builder in Houston, Carmichael & Dame, and was later promoted to director of operations.
When he first opened Hann Builders, the company focused on high-end new builds in Montgomery and Fort Bend counties. It has since expanded its business and now performs remodeling projections in more than a dozen communities in the Houston metro area.
Bathroom remodels have been a special focus, and the firm has received numerous awards in the Best Bathroom Remodel category from the GHBA. Hann is an active and founding member of the Custom Builders Council and the NAHB Builder 20 Clubs. He is a frequent speaker at NAHB conventions in Houston and Dallas. He is a CGR, GMB, and GMR.
5) Sims Luxury Builder
Website | 281.612.7523 | 4665 Sweetwater Boulevard, Sugar Land, TX 77479
This Sugar Land-based firm was founded under the name “Christopher Sims Custom Homes.” Since 1988, Founder and President Christopher Sims has provided Houston residents with a first-rate home building experience. Sims Luxury Builders create homes that range from 3,500-square-foot garden cottages to 20,000-square-foot sprawling estates, with Tuscan, English Manor, French Chateau, Spanish Revival, and Contemporary styles. Prices start at around $1M but go up to $15M.
Sims helped found the National Custom Builders Council. His firm has received numerous industry accolades since 1996, notably for Custom Home of the Year from PRISM and STAR. It has also been named to LUXE Magazine’s Gold List. Press coverage has been extensive, with features in LUXE, Houston Lifestyles & Homes, Fort Bend Lifestyles & Homes, Houston Custom Home Builders, Professional Builder, and the Houston Business Journal.
In 2010, the TV show 60 Minutes did a feature on a Mediterranean home built by Sims on a lake in Sugar Land. Sims Luxury Builder serves the greater Houston area, including Tanglewood, the Memorial Villages, River Oaks, Fort Bend County, and The Woodlands.
4) Frankel Building Group
Website | 713.623.4646 | 5701 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX 77057
In 2016, this award-winning Houston general contractor received federal recognition for its green building expertise. Frankel Building Group was named a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Homes Power Builder by the US Green Building Council. In 2017, the Houston Business Journal praised the contractor’s 60 custom builds in The Woodlands and Bellaire that withstood Hurricane Harvey.
Since 2009, the firm has received more than 65 awards, including eight Houston’s Best PRISM awards for Best Custom Home Design, a Texas STAR Award in 2011 for Custom Builder of the Year, and two PRISM Grand awards for Best Custom Builder.
Frankel Building Group’s homes, which are priced between $1M and $10M, can be found throughout the Houston area. The firm has been owned by the Frankel family for almost three decades. Chairman and Founder Jim Frankel heads a team of about 20 professionals. He is past president of the GHBA and a former member of that association’s board of directors. He also helped found the Custom Builders Council and is a delegate to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
Website | 713.545.4599 | 11241 Richmond Avenue, Houston, TX 77082
In 2017, McVaugh Custom Homes became the only Texas contractor to win the National Association of Home Builders’ Gold Award, for Best Architectural Design. Owner Jim McVaugh was credited with applying more than 25 years of experience building million-dollar estates to single family units priced between $400k and $800k. The Royal Oaks Courtyard Villas is also the first Texas neighborhood to earn 100 percent LEED Certification.
McVaugh, born in California and raised in San Antonio, TX, worked as an accountant and asset manager for 10 years before plunging full time into construction. He opened the firm in 1992. Eight years later, the firm had more than tripled in size.
McVaugh Custom Homes serves the entire Houston metro area. Its awards include the NAHB’s America’s Best Builder in 2005, 11 PRISM awards, 9 STAR awards, Interior Design Magazine’s Developer of the Year in 2017, and the National Custom Builders Pacesetter Award for Innovation in 2003. McVaugh is often featured in the Houston Business Journal, Style Magazine, Builder and Developer, Voyage Houston, and Custom Home Magazine.
2) Stone Acorn Builders
Website | 713.322.7369 | 4660 Beechnut Street, Houston, TX 77005
When purchasing her home, Houston lawyer Sarah Lavine-Kass did not receive the kind of customer-centered attention she believes all clients deserve. That was part of the reason she founded Stone Acorn Builders in 1999. In 2001, her brother Benjamin came on board. Benjamin later became a Certified Graduate Builder and Graduate Master Builder.
Homes built by this sister-brother duo range in price from $800k to $6M and appear in the most upper crust of Houston metro neighborhoods, such as West University Place, Bellaire, and South Side Place. Characteristic of the homes is intricate trim and limestone skirting. Traditional Southern-themed homes often have porches in the front and rear.
The team has been recognized by many professional organizations and has received numerous awards for breathtaking home design, such as Southern Living Magazine’s Custom Builder of the Year in 2014, 2015, and 2016. This pair enjoys a stellar reputation. Proving that their work is of the highest quality, they are among the 100 builders in the United States selected to participate in the exclusive Southern Living Custom Builder Program.
1) Jauregui Architecture Interiors Construction
Website | 281.362.1708 | 25317 IH-45 North, The Woodlands, TX 77380
Few professionals in any field enjoy the industry recognition that the founder of this firm has earned. Luis Jauregui, AIA fellow (FAIA), had been studying architecture in his native Mexico when the university went on strike and he transferred to Texas A&M University. He opened Jauregui Architecture Interiors Construction in 1980 and quickly rose to the top ranks of the Texas homebuilding industry. His team of architects, designers, project builders, and project coordinators has built more than 300 luxury custom homes and 45 speculative homes. Prices for each build run into the millions.
In 2016, Jauregui Architecture Interiors Construction was the NAHB’s National Custom Builder of the Year and TAB’s Texas Custom Builder of the Year. Since 1993, it’s won over 100 national, state, and local awards, including eight STAR awards for Best Custom Home and close to 20 Best Custom Builder awards.
Jauregui was honored as a 2017 Outstanding Alumni Texas A&M College of Architecture and served as 2017 President of Austin AIA, is a founding member of the national AIA’s Knowledge Community Custom Residential Architects Network (CRAN) and a founding member of Austin’s AIA CRAN committee. He has served as president of the Home Builders Association in Austin and as director of national, state, and local homebuilders associations, and is an avid advocate on the merits of Design-Build to both architects and builders throughout the country.