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Located just off the east of Berkeley, Orinda takes great pride in being one of the best places to live in California. In 2012, Forbes named it the second “friendliest” town in America. It has been a popular choice for professionals who commute to Oakland and San Francisco. The area provides its residents numerous restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Orinda is also a popular choice for retirees, given its incredible rustic landscape and many parks and trails.
This list contains ten of the best custom home builders in Orinda. They were chosen based on their various experiences and extensive portfolios. Several of these companies are also the proud recipient of awards and the firms behind some of the area’s most beautiful custom homes.
Bay Vista Development
1850 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Suite #401, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Bay Vista Development offers clients excellent management skills on custom home build-outs and remodels. The firm uses an open and hands-on approach, which emphasizes the importance of transparency, close communication with its clients, and collaboration. The company also employs the latest software and techniques. That technology package includes an application that allows for sophisticated project management and control. Don Clark leads the firm, an experienced professional who has been in the real estate investment and development business for over 30 years. He has been involved in a number of great projects, including the Spanish Bay Resort at Pebble Beach, the Little Nell Hotel in Aspen, University Circle in Palo Alto, 75/101 Federal Street in Boston, and Fox Plaza in Los Angeles.
The project above was completed in March 2017 and spans over 6,000 square feet. The company used the finest materials for this project and opted for a traditional style. It features stone exteriors, an infinity-edge pool, and breathtaking views of the surrounding hillsides.
3800 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Suite #200, Lafayette, CA 94549
Branagh Development is a premier development and construction firm that has been in business since 1917. It is noted not only for its great custom homes but also its urban and commercial projects. It has had the honor of working on some of the best communities and neighborhoods in the East Bay, particularly Alamo, Danville, Lafayette, Moraga, Oakland, Orinda, Pleasanton, and Walnut Creek. The company begins its process with an initial consultation wherein its team gets a feel for the client’s lifestyle and needs. The firm then proceeds to comprehensive planning—submitting contracts, assembling a team, working on a preliminary design, and then selecting the theme that would fit its client’s visions. Since 1986, this firm has produced over 150 beautiful homes. As a testament to its client satisfaction rate, the firm works almost solely with referral clientele.
Spanning 3,900 square feet, the project featured here contains four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms, and it’s all framed by a timeless Spanish-Californian design. The firm’s team worked on various updates to this traditional hacienda-style home providing glass walls and several outdoor living spaces. Our editorial team loved this project’s excellent custom wood trims, hand-finished walnut floors, and wrought-iron chandeliers.
33 Quail Court Suite #300, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Creation7 is committed to the design and development of luxury homes and high-end interior fit-outs. It is regarded as one of the area’s leading contractor and project management companies and extends its services throughout Northern California. It has also taken on several projects in Seattle. The firm is capable of taking on projects regardless of scale and aspect. The Creation 7 team is experienced in all forms of construction: everything from civil engineering infrastructure to complex buildings. The firm’s portfolio has been noted for its great luxury homes, apartments, and penthouses. Additionally, Creation7 is known for its accurate and comprehensive budget analyses—careful financial planning that assures its clients that it never overspends.
Located in Orinda, the project above best showcases the firm’s talent for contemporary architecture. The firm opted for a recurring theme of straight lines and an inviting color palette. Large glass windows and entryways can also be observed.
James D. Rogers, Builder
42 Donald Dr., Orinda, CA 94563
With more than three decades of experience, James D. Rogers focuses on an extensive range of architectural themes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. It is an outstanding builder and designer that has secured excellent relationships with some of the area’s best subcontractors. The firm has partnered with these professionals on some of the area’s most beautiful homes. The firm only takes on a select number of projects at a time to make sure that all of its work receives the benefit of its team’s experience. This approach also allows its team to address any client concerns throughout the entire process. At the firm’s helm is its founder and namesake, James Rogers. He holds a degree from the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts and first got a glimpse into the industry through his family’s construction business.
The project above spans over 3,000 square feet and was completed in the heart of Orinda. The project challenged the firm with tearing down the entirety of an old structure and reworking everything from the ground up. The design features a blend of Mediterranean and Mexican architecture, a fusion that reflects the owner’s Spanish heritage and Nicaraguan childhood. Some distinct features include handmade roof tiles, aging copper flashings, and high, large-beamed ceilings.
1117-A Virginia St., Berkeley, CA 94702
Jetton Construction is an award-winning firm that has completed over 500 projects since it was founded in 1980. The firm draws inspiration from decades of experience. It cultivates an environment of constant growth and communication among its team members and clients with an inclination towards contemporary designs and techniques. It collaborates with the area’s leading subcontractors and has built relationships with some of the Bay Area’s best artisans. Further, it assists its clients throughout the process, remaining engaged and attentive to the most minor details. It comes as no surprise that the firm is the proud recipient of many awards, especially from the prestigious American Institute of Architects (AIA).
The mid-century project above features various modern details and finishes. It was completed in collaboration with several great firms and embodies the firm’s talent. Inside, it showcases restored interior wood finishes and an open floor plan.
3419 Regatta Blvd., Richmond, CA 94804
Kasten Builders services the entire Bay Area. Its business is rooted in effective communication, quality control, and teamwork. It offers a complete range of custom home building and remodeling services and is experienced in every aspect and stage of the entire process. This experienced team assists its clients from start to finish and has the skills, materials, and methods necessary to execute any project, regardless of complexity. Denny Kasten leads the firm and serves as its president. He holds a degree in Architecture from Lawrence Institute of Technology in Southfield, Michigan, and first gained experience working with general contractors during his time as a student. Under his leadership, the firm has extended its reach across some of the best neighborhoods in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa, as well as the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Featured here is a sprawling Mid-century Modern home created by Kasten Builders in collaboration with Klopf Architecture. The expansive layout holds complete interior and exterior upgrades including a new cool roof, high efficiency forced air, prefinished hard panelized siding, and a rain screen system. The natural color palette and organic finishes give this home a warm and inviting atmosphere.
391 Livorna Heights Rd., Alamo, CA 94507
ONY Homes offers its clients a complete and comprehensive range of custom home building and residential development services. It is particularly respected for its expertise in traditional and modern style spaces. Mark Cherno leads this talented team; under his leadership, the company has secured solid relationships with some of the area’s best builders and subcontractors. The firm makes use of a hands-on approach, allowing for a high degree of client participation. Doing so ensures that their needs and lifestyles are incorporated into their new homes. The company’s skill is best embodied in the project below.
The firm’s team opted for large windows that bring in a rich amount of light into this home. The firm also worked on several patios, a slanting roof, and employed a recurring theme of straight lines that emphasized various contemporary touches.
Pacific Crest Builders
2109 E St., Concord, CA 94520
Pacific Crest Builders provides comprehensive building and development services. The firm has the experience and capacity to take on any project from basic kitchen and bathroom remodels to large-scale renovations and custom homes. The firm provides detailed budget analyses, ensuring that none of its projects exceed the budget. The firm’s work has also been noted for its efficiency, which the firm achieves through various green building techniques. These sustainable solutions are paired with the firm’s turn-key methods, which cover everything from site development to construction. The firm is licensed, insured, and bonded; it is also a Certified Green Building Professional. The firm has been in business since 1998 and was founded by Jeff Randolph, a Build It Green Certified Green Building Professional, a Green Point Rater-Advisor, and a member of the US Green Building Council.
The project above is a vacation home, which sits just doors away from some of Santa Cruz’s most famous surfing spots. The firm was tasked with designing, developing, constructing, landscaping, then decorating the entire project. The home features four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The Pacific team opted for a blend of craftsman and bungalow architecture and beautifully framed the site’s gorgeous views of the area.
W.B. Elmer & Company
17 Keith Dr., Orinda, CA 94563
W.B. Elmer & Company is an award-winning firm that draws inspiration from over four decades of industry experience. The firm is well-known for its comprehensive range of services, project management, and accurate cost estimates. Since its inception, the firm has worked on hundreds of both commercial and residential projects with contracts totaling over 100 million dollars.. The firm assists its clients with everything, from start to finish, and has had the opportunity to work on numerous ground-up construction, remodels, additions, refurbishing, tenant improvements, historical restoration, and seismic and structural upgrades. In addition to all these, the company infuses various sustainability practices into its work, assuring homeowners of the high efficiency of its work.
The project above is located in Orinda and best showcases the company’s expertise. It features wood-paneled finishes, a contemporary theme, and large windows. It also offers its homeowners wonderful views of the surrounding area.
696 San Ramon Valley Blvd #241, Danville, CA 94526
Drawing inspiration from over two decades of industry experience, Wehrli Construction services the Bay Area and Central California. The firm works on a wide range of project varieties as well as architectural themes. The firm employs a highly hands-on process, with homeowners included in every phase, especially the bidding process. Some of the firm’s projects can be found in Alamo, Diablo, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda, Blackhawk, Walnut Creek, Sunol, and of course, San Ramon. Wehrli is also well-known for its great major remodels. The firm hires only the most talented specialists, from master plumbers to top-level electricians.
In the project above, the firm’s team opted for a classic contemporary theme. It installed terracotta roofs and coupled them with large glass windows. Our team especially loved the stucco exteriors and warm color palette.