Regarded as the “Gateway to the San Gabriel Valley,” Alhambra is best known for its eclectic mix of exciting restaurants, markets, businesses, and events.

That rich blend is reflected in the people and, naturally, their homes. The residences in the area display a wide range of styles, from Spanish Colonials to modern and contemporary themes. This list contains five of the best custom home builders behind some of Alhambra’s most beautiful homes. These firms were chosen based on merit, history, and skill. Many are distinguished: they have won various awards, press publications, and their websites present beautiful galleries of luxurious projects.


HartmanBaldwin Design/Build

300 S Raymond Ave #18, Pasadena, CA 91105

HartmanBaldwin employs a design-build approach and is a fully integrated architecture, construction, and interior design firm. The firm specializes in historic restorations, home additions, and custom homes; it extends its services throughout Orange County and Los Angeles County. Given its expertise for landmark renovations, the firm is often the leading choice for projects that require a deep understanding of specific architectural styles. The firm has constructed and renovated some of the most beautiful homes in Southern California’s most historically significant neighborhoods. In 2018, it was ranked the 15th best remodeling company out of 550 firms nationwide by Remodeling Magazine. Composed of an award-winning team of architects, Certified Interior Designers, project managers, and artisans, the firm showcases a skill for a wide array of designs, including contemporary, Tudor, English, Mediterranean, and traditionally-inspired architecture. 

Its skill and craftsmanship are best showcased in the featured project above. For this Mediterranean home, the HartmanBaldwin team opted for clean stucco exteriors coupled with traditional terracotta tiled roofing. Wrought iron details may also be seen throughout the project, as well as a number of custom finishes. 


Chelsea Design + Construction

4529 Angeles Crest Hwy. Suite #103, La Canada, CA 91011

As its name suggests, Chelsea provides a complete and comprehensive range of design and construction services. The firm has worked around the area for the better part of two decades and has secured a solid reputation for exceptional craftsmanship and innovative design. The firm uses a design-build approach: its team will be there throughout the entire process, from conception through completion. That team consists of talented and experienced designers, project managers, draftsmen, artisans, craftsmen, and administrators. They take great pride in having their work recognized in various publications such as Better Homes and Gardens, Arroyo, and Beautiful Kitchens. Its designs depict a gallery of multiple themes and techniques, ranging from Spanish revivals and modern spaces. 

Located in Bel Air Estates, the project above is stately and elegant. It is a fine example of one of its aforementioned Spanish Revivals and carriage houses. This ten-bedroom home sits atop a tricky hillside lot and was completed through careful and highly meticulous planning. Some of its best features include archways, vaulted tongue-and-groove beamed ceilings, and rooms lined with built-in bookcases and window seats.


Tipping Custom Homes

911 S Primrose Ave. Suite P, Monrovia, CA 91016

Established in 2012, Tipping Custom Homes specializes in both custom home building and remodeling projects. The firm is respected for its excellent developments and exceptional luxury projects. Tipping uses what it calls its own five-step process—a collaborative model that allows its clients to describe their wants and needs. Through this method, the Tipping team can work on accurate renderings and precise scheduling and budget analyses that prevent them from overspending during the process. Given Tipping’s extensive background with working on extravagant custom homes, it is also no stranger to working in some of the area’s best and most affluent neighborhoods, often situated next to golf courses, exclusive shopping, and fine dining. 

Our editorial team loved this opulent Mediterranean project. It features a splendid entrance hall which leads into an open and spacious floor plan. The Tipping Custom team also made use of metallic accents and was tasked with several challenging spaces. 


Bade Construction

77 W Las Tunas Dr. Suite #202, Arcadia, CA 91007

The nearly 2,000 square foot, single-story home below is located in the north part of Alhambra, near the border of San Marino. It was initially built for an investor: it features three bedrooms, including a beautiful master suite, two and a half bathrooms, and was completed by Bade Construction in collaboration with the Saito Design Group. It was designed to be suitable for a young growing family or perhaps an older couple looking for the ideal place to settle down. This home went into escrow within a week of being on the market and sold for a significant amount above its original asking price. 

This home is only one out of the hundreds and hundreds of excellent and exceptional homes Bade Construction has built during the past five decades. The company is noted for its competitive pricing as well as the quality of its work. Bade maintains a highly hands-on approach and ensures that all of its projects are overseen by experienced, professional superintendents. Bade also works with top-of-the-line materials and makes use of the latest industry techniques. 


Smith Development

124 N 1st Ave., Arcadia, CA 91006

Smith Development is the brainchild of its founder and namesake Richard Smith, who has a multitude of construction projects coupled with decades of hands-on experience. He is experienced in every phase and aspect of the construction market and has worked on everything from storm drain infrastructure to the keys to the front door, and everything from a custom estate house to a custom-made warehouse. That range of experience reflects itself in the firm’s projects and services. The firm specializes in all stages and phases of development in residential, commercial, and industrial real estate for private, institutional, and corporate clients. Under Mr. Smith’s leadership, the firm has established an excellent reputation by completing more than 275 new homes in the San Gabriel Valley. The firm is regarded as one of the area’s premier custom home builders and prides itself on being featured in the Inc. 500

The beautiful custom home above was built in Arcadia in collaboration with the talented professionals of Steve Eide and Associates. It is a 12,808-square-foot custom home with five bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and a two-car garage. The home also features another detached 850-square-foot two-car garage and workshop. And it doesn’t end there—some other sweet and special features include a great room with breathtaking ceilings, a sunroom, a game room, a home gym, an elevator, a custom wet bar, and a gourmet kitchen. The home also features three fireplaces.