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This southern gem is known for its varied topography, which includes mountains, river valleys, lakes, bayous, and most famously, the million-acre Ozark National Forest. Additionally, as home to some of the country’s most preserved historic sites, the state has a booming tourist industry–Arkansas welcomes millions of people every year. And, of course, its rich history and wide geographic spectrum make it an attractive place to settle as well.
Those looking to build a home in Arkansas will be happy to find out that there’s a long list of solid, dependable, and innovative residential general contractors in the area. Below are 15 of the very best. These firms build architecturally-stunning residences with the help of veteran craftsmen with loads of experience helping project owners bring their design ideas to life.
The list is based on the quality of the firms’ customer service, the experience of their principals, and the number of custom home projects that they completed over the years. The article also looked at the press features, award-winning collaborations, certificates, and industry affiliations that these firms have secured through their decades of services.
Bret Franks Construction
P.O. Box 242030, Little Rock, AR 72223
Recognized by At Home in Arkansas magazine in its Best Kitchen Remodelers and Home Builders rankings, Bret Franks Construction is a highly respected custom home builder based in Little Rock. Aside from its past publication features, the firm’s strong relationships with local vendors and homeowners have helped it secure its place as a preferred builder for Central Arkansas’s residential project owners.
Bret Franks manages the company’s everyday operations. As a Certified Graduate Builder and the principal of the NAHB-affiliated company, he has helped the firm deliver single-family residential spaces that adhere to the industry’s strictest standards with high-quality structures, architecturally stunning residences, and sustainable homes.
One of the company’s most notable works is a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Certified Green Home. The residence, located in Little Rock, is a great representation of the company’s sustainable practices. The builder used reclaimed bricks salvaged and repurposed from an old building in Newport; you can see the gorgeous, intriguing material in the garage’s siding.
Celtic Custom Homes
3075 N Market, Suite #1, Fayetteville, AR 72703
High-end residential projects dominate Celtic Custom Homes’s custom home portfolio. Led by renowned builder Lee Scarlett, the company has been delivering Tuscan, French, and Old World-inspired homes since 1994. Many of these residences not only won the commendation of their homeowners but have also been recognized by the industry’s most prestigious award-giving bodies. The company has a consistent record as a regular winner of the annual Parade of Homes.
The Builder/Architect Magazine, Citiscapes, At Home Arkansas, Building Arkansas, Vertical Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal, are just some of the impressive publications that have recognized the company’s work and trailblazing business practices, especially in the field of building high-quality and high-value residences.
The applause from the press and industry-affiliated institutions serve as a testament to the company’s accomplishments in the field, but the firm places high regard on what its clients actually think about their experience building their dream home. Many of its clients’ testimonials and reviews speak of the company’s faithfulness to the budget and the design. And everyone has something great to say about the quality of customer service the firm consistently delivers.
Conner Custom Homes
PO Box 6323, Springdale, AR 72766
Northwest Arkansas is home to many of the most stunning residential spaces in the region. One of the builders recognized for constructing these unforgettable homes is Conner Custom Homes. The firm is a family-owned and operated company that was established in 2001.
Jim Conner, Certified Graduate Builder and Certified Green Professional, leads the firm’s everyday business operations. He founded the company with the goal of delivering custom homes that represent its client’s most unique lifestyles. Conner’s years of experience as a craftsman didn’t go unnoticed. In 2007 he was voted the Arkansas Home Builder of the Year, a recognition awarded by the Building Arkansas Magazine. His vast knowledge of the field has helped him gain industry roles, and he served as the president of the Northwest Arkansas Home Builders Association HBA in 2009.
Through the years, the company has been an active participant in the Parade of Homes. Many of their elegant French-styled custom buildings have been showcased in this annual gathering of the best of the best when it comes to residential home building and remodeling.
11324 Arcade Dr. Suite #1, Little Rock, Arkansas 72212
A highly-collaborative Design-Build process defines Dillon Homes’s approach to home-building. The company is capable of constructing speculative homes as well as in building unique residences according to the specific design, functional, and lifestyle needs of its homeowners. While it is capable of delivering projects of a wide range of architectural standards, the company can also incorporate the latest building practices that promote energy-efficiency and home automation.
The company has completed over 100 large-scale construction projects in Central Arkansas since its founding in 2002. The value of these homes ranges from $250k to $1.5M. The success of the projects can be credited to its founders, Tony and Janet Dillon, and their combined experience in the industry. Tony is a former president of the LR Home Builders Association and currently serves as a member of the organization’s board. Janet, on the other hand, is a licensed Real Estate Broker and has been a long-time member of the LR City Planning Commission.
Many of the firm’s French, Tuscan, and Ranch homes are not just architecturally stunning but were built through innovative approaches that few can offer. To achieve the highest standards in home building, the firm makes use of detailed estimating software. That system allows the firm to record precise measurements for the home’s early architectural plans. Homeowners, in turn, can access a user-friendly construction management software so they can see the entire scope of the project, including schedule, budget, and other development-related figures.
GB Group Construction
885 W Henri De Tonti Blvd. Suite #2, Springdale, AR 72762
GB Group Construction was established on the foundation of integrity, trust, and credibility. These qualities came from a lesson that owner Jacob Tankersley learned during his early years. When his family decided to build their first family home, the contractor took off with the capital before the project was even completed. Instead of looking at the industry in a cynical light, the experience encouraged him to bring something better to the business. Today, he is one of the most trusted builders for complex and high-value custom home projects in the region.
The firm is a Certified Green Professional and an expert in LEED-accredited building methods; residential structures built by the firm were designed to adhere to the industry standards of energy-efficient homes. Building these sustainable spaces are at the heart of what the company does. The firm talks extensively with aspiring homeowners about mechanical and functional sustainability options, including effective insulation, choice of high-performance windows, and selections for efficient HVAC equipment.
French, Contemporary, Craftsman, and a combination of a variety of modern architectural styles represent the firm’s extensive custom homes portfolio. These residential spaces were built from a creative collaboration among the company’s team of designers, architects, and builders. The crew then partners with clients to deliver an ultimate result: a custom home residence that reflects the project owner’s individuality and represents their lifestyle.
Hennard Custom Homes
Little Rock, Arkansas
Hennard Custom Homes is a general contractor that serves Central Arkansas. Aside from building custom homes, the company is equipped with a team of designers who can deliver creative and personalized home plans to the most discerning clients. The company, supported by a multi-talented crew, also offers the designing and construction of exterior and outdoor details such as lighting, landscape design, custom pool construction, irrigation, and sprinkler systems.
Dustin Hennard, the firm’s principal, is an Arkansas native who grew up learning about the trade at a young age. As a teenager, he built homes with a team of skilled builders from whom he acquired the right skills and experience to be a true craftsman. In 2002, right after earning his degree in Surveying and Engineering, he completed his very first custom home. Eight years later Dustin founded the company and led it to where it is today, one of the region’s most trusted builders.
In 2017, the company was selected by At Home Arkansas’s readers as one of the top homebuilders in the state. The firm’s consistently impressive run as a custom home builder that can design and construct delicate and stunning architectures helped it secure its memberships with huge industry organizations like the Northwest Arkansas HBA and the NAHB.
Jon Callahan Construction
6706 Lumsden Rd., N Little Rock, AR 72118
Before Jon Callahan founded Jon Callahan Construction, he worked for his father’s company and learned everything he could as a builder. His father’s death was not the end of his training but the beginning of his own journey as an active player in the industry. Years after, Jon joined other companies that cater to the commercial construction market. In 2010, he finally pursued his ultimate goal and established his own company.
The firm is a licensed builder for both commercial and residential construction. Over the years the firm has established its reputation as a highly detailed custom home builder that provides an efficient, transparent, and customer-centric approach to building. Included in the company’s services is an online customer portal where clients can easily view their budget, development schedules, and even specific project notes all in one place. The firm also provides complete photo documentation of other structural details such as in-floor and in-wall mechanicals and utilities.
Aside from its expertise in constructing Farmhouse, Traditional, and Craftsman residences, the company’s efficient, transparent approach to construction makes it a preferred builder, especially for first-time homeowners who want to be an integral part of their home’s construction process. This focus on the needs of its clients has consistently secured the company’s place as At Home Arkansas magazine’s Local Favorite Homebuilder for a number of years.
Martin Building Group
3785 E Chatsworth Rd., Fayetteville, AR 72703
It was in 1995 when Martin Building Group built its first custom home located in the northwestern part of the state. For principal Jeff Martin, it was his company’s first success as a true home builder. It was also an important step on the way to reaching the firm’s ultimate goal: to be one of the most recognized residential contractors in the region.
The firm is an active member of the Northwest Arkansas HBA and the NAHB. Its contributions to the industry are not just centered on building structurally sound residences but are also focused on sustainable construction. Its affiliations as a Certified Green Professional and a Green Certified firm allow it to promote eco-friendly residential spaces. And, as an Energy Star partner, the company is equipped with the methods and training to build energy-efficient homes.
The company builds homes of a variety of designs, sizes, and values. It recognizes that building a home is a huge financial investment: it helps aspiring homeowners make informed decisions while ensuring a highly-personalized approach to designing dream homes. Many of these living spaces celebrate French architectural styles, so dominant elements often include hipped roofs, extended eaves, and brick wall tapestry on its sidings.
Parkinson Building Group
25616 AR-10, Roland, AR 72135
Parkinson Building Group offers a worry-free approach to custom home building by planning the most complex details as soon as the project’s plans begin. That early planning includes presenting a transparent cost proposal that helps align the client’s expectations, especially when it comes to the resources required. The firm’s True Cost Proposal identifies and breaks down specific details about what it will take to complete a highly-customized home.
For over two decades, Bill Parkinson has been leading the company’s advanced approach to building. As a member of the NAHB and the Northwest Arkansas HBA, its building methods and business practices have been constantly celebrated. Its residential homes have been featured multiple times by the region’s biggest publications, including the At Home in Arkansas magazine, the French Country, and the Little Rock Soiree.
As a pride of Little Rock, Parkinson’s residential spaces reflect the locality’s preference for aesthetically magnificent buildings inspired by French and European architectures. Its projects are a combination of modern functionalities and classic elegance. You can visit their website here.
7000 Crystal Hill Rd. Suite #1, N Little Rock, AR 72118
What started out as a small firm that catered to the Greater Little Rock area in 2002 has grown and expanded to serve a number of cities in Central Arkansas. The success of Renaissance Homes as a custom home builder can be attributed to several factors, but the most valuable one is its stellar approach to customer service.
According to Brandon Tedder, the firm’s founder, many of his new design ideas come from customers. He feels strongly that listening to the people who hired them has helped the company expand its own creative powers. This client-focused approach has not gone unrecognized. The company is currently a highly-recommended member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and a respected affiliate of the NAHB and the HBA.
The firm’s impressive portfolio of custom homes showcases a broad knowledge of French, Ranch, Farmhouse, and Tuscan architecture. Many of the firm’s residential structures are not only aesthetically impressive; with its knowledge of building green, accessible residences for the elderly and aging household, Renaissance can construct functional, sustainable homes that respond beautifully to the demands of their homeowners.
Richard Harp Homes
17200 Chenal Pkwy. Suite #300, Little Rock, Arkansas 72223
Richard Harp, the firm’s principal, founded the company in 1994. With his extensive background in residential construction and an in-depth understanding of the housing market, he has solidified the firm’s reputation as one of the most reliable builders in the region.
Aside from being a Certified Graduate Builder, Richard Harp is a Certified Green Professional that has the training to incorporate sustainable and energy-efficient methods to homebuilding. Under his leadership, the company has gained the attention of several industry publications. These include the At Home in Arkansas, Arkansas Life, Traditional Home, and the About You magazines. The firm is an active member of the HBA of Greater Little Rock as well.
Many of the company’s high-value custom homes can be found in the Little Rock city limits. Whether for remodels, new home construction, or luxury home designs, the firm’s ultimate goal is to provide an intimate, personalized experience in home-building. Most of the firm’s architectural masterpieces inspired by French and Tuscan styles sprung out from creative collaborations with the region’s most talented architects and draftsmen.
Rucker Fine Homes
4190 Hwy. 71 North, Alma, AR 72921
Completing projects on time and within budget is Rucker Fine Homes’s priority, especially when it comes to building highly-personalized homes. Since its founding in 1996, the firm has stayed true to its promise of constructing custom homes through a process that balances the financial and conceptual needs of construction. Guided by this quality of business practice and customer service, the firm is a trusted affiliate of several industry organizations, including the NAHB and Greater Fort Smith HBA.
Emily Rucker, the founder of the firm, joined the company as a house flipper. She honed her skills converting houses into dream residences for three years, then she finally made the decision to become a full-time builder of custom homes. In 2006, her achievements landed her the role of President for the Arkansas HBA. She was also named as one of the top ten women in business by the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal.
As a certified green builder and professional, the company can build homes according to the industry’s eco-friendly standards. They have also been the recipient of the “Best of the Best” award in the home-builder category from Rucker Fine Homes three years in a row. Additionally, its background as a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) helps it construct comfortable, accessible living spaces for aging homeowners. Aside from building functional and practical homes for every type of homeowner, the company is well-versed in the different housing architectures. A look at its portfolio reveals French, Craftsman, and Farmhouse residences.
The House Jack Built
1 Country Club Circle, Maumelle, AR 72113
For the last 50 years, The House Jack Built has completed more than 2000 projects throughout Arkansas, many of which are home construction projects from repeat clients. Even during the earliest stages of the firm’s operations, the firm was able to hone its skills in designing energy-efficient homes and sustainable residential spaces.
As a builder of custom homes, the firm’s principal Jack Wilson understands that every customer is unique. This emphasis guides the company to cater to the aesthetic and functional demands of its clients, regardless of the project’s size and level of complexity. Following this philosophy, the company has earned many awards that serve as a testament to its excellence as a builder and a service provider.
Aside from the Building Arkansas Magazine’s Builder of the Year award in 2005, the firm was selected as a featured general contractor for an episode of ABC’s The Extreme Home Makeover in 2008. For the firm’s decades of services, a Lifetime Achievement Award and a Presidential Award were also presented in 2010 and 2008, respectively.
The Stitt Group
1301 South 8th St., Rogers, AR 72756
Constructing energy-efficient, holistically green, and affordable homes are at the heart of Stitt Group’s approach to building. The company believes that as a home builder, it can deliver “better homes” or residential spaces that promote a happier and healthier life for its homeowners. To do so, the firm defies the traditional approach to construction by designing and building energy-efficient, eco-friendly homes.
The company was one of the few general contractors that first offered energy-efficient homes and it traces its roots to the 1970s. This focus on environmentally-responsible building was a response to the continuing energy crisis. The firm’s president, Orlo Stitt, developed this advocacy after researching cold climate passive solar greenhouses. He thought that similar methods could be applied to homebuilding, and the early foundations of the firm were established. His approach to construction has won the firm special awards from the NAHB and the EPA Energy-Star, earning the Silver recognition in the Moderate Climate: Custom Home category and the Longstanding, Continuous Commitment (20 years) categories, respectively.
As a builder of sustainable single-family residences, the firm is a Certified Green Professional and is an accredited Energy Star Partner. As a general contractor of custom homes that champions stellar customer services for the region’s most environmentally-conscious clients, the company has consistently secured its membership with the BBB.
Tim McMahon Building Company
2355 E Golden Oaks Dr., Fayetteville, AR 72703
Tim McMahon has been an active player in the industry and has completed projects for many clients in Fayetteville and its surrounding areas since 1992. The company attributes its success to its focus on client-centered business practices. From day one, the firm makes sure that it has everything that the client needs for a transparent development process, realistic budget goals, and most importantly, faithfulness to a given timeline.
Be it for a remodel, restoration, or custom home construction, the company can handle all of its client’s functional and aesthetic needs. Many testimonials commend the firm’s attention to detail, professionalism, its excellent attitude, and its work ethic. Under the leadership of Tim McMahon, the firm’s ideal business practices and the quality that it has consistently offered have been recognized by the industry’s biggest organizations.
Many of its French-inspired homes have characteristically rustic and modern roof styles, brick wall tapestry siding, stucco finishes, and massive arched windows. The Fayetteville Chamber Builder of the Year Awards, the Parade of Homes Award, and the Citispaces Best of Northwest Arkansas have all recognized these efforts with any number of awards and recognitions.
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