Arlington is known as one of the best places to live in America. Amenities like a healthy economy, a strong educational system, and a robust arts scene are the reasons for the city’s good economy. Zillow has reported continuous growth in Arlington’s median home prices. Right now Arlington has a median home price of $689,400, an amount that is predicted to spike within the next year. There is a range of housing options in Arlington, and the city is especially rich with historic homes like the Italianate style Harry W. Gray house.
Though the city has modernized, many of the custom home builders on this list are still capable of building homes that reflect the city’s heritage while adding a modern and personalized twist to their client’s home. Along with the contractors’ skill at designing beautiful and functional homes, their awards, magazine exposure, and associations, these contractors have also been ranked on the basis of their professionalism and their knowledge of the industry. These firms help their clients make informed and improved decisions.
If you are thinking about building a custom home, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work. On the other hand, if you want to learn more about the cost of building a custom home in Arlington, check out our cost guide article.
11) MK Development
1005 N. Glebe Rd. Suite #325, Arlington, VA 22201
Established in 2005, MK Development is a small design-build firm that provides its clients with turn-key commercial and residential projects. Most of the time, the firm’s portfolio has homes that exhibit various styles including the Craftsman, contemporary, modern, traditional, and prairie styles. One of these beautiful homes is a geothermal residence, the 4,400 square foot Lyon Park House. A sleek, modern styled home, it has five bedrooms and four and a half baths with the main floor having a gourmet kitchen open to an expansive dining and living area with a broad view of the interior courtyard. Apart from the home’s beautiful interior spaces, the residence also has an exterior design that makes use of a warm wood palette, natural stone, and polished concrete. Aside from its beautiful features, this house won a silver rating under Arlington County’s new Green Home Choice Program primarily due to its geothermal HVAC system, energy-efficient design, and other environmental elements like its green roof.
MK Development is a firm known for creating high-end homes that not only exhibit beauty but also boast function and practicality. High end, luxury projects like these are easily completed since the firm has architects, professionals, and engineers who use techniques that were developed while the firm also did commercial projects. Along with these techniques, the firm follows best practices from the National Association of Home Builders’ Green Building program by building green homes like Lyon Park House.
10) Crestwood Companies
Crestwood Companies is a third-generation home builder. Established in 1996, it has built many homes with the use of premium materials to help give its clients satisfactory results. As a contractor who has been in the industry for more than 28 years, principal David Bernstein is known to be a hands-on builder who directly oversees all construction while interacting with his clients through all phases of the project. To be able to pay special attention to each residence and still achieve high-quality results, the company focuses on building only a few homes per year. One great example of these projects is the Dorsett Home which was built in a New Traditional Craftsman style. A three-story home, this residence’s earthy color tones on its exterior are striking.
Building homes like this requires a work ethic that the firm readily provides its clients. Aside from the firm’s teamwork, David Bernstein also has the experience of building a lot of homes. So far, Bernstein has built custom homes in Gaithersburg Maryland’s The Kentlands and Arlington’s Lyon Village. Because of his accomplishments, David became a two-time winner of the Finest for Family Living—an awards program that considers exceptional performance in new home design and construction, value, energy conservation, and the environment.
9) Troutman & Company Inc.
2113 N Quebec St., Arlington, VA 22207
A firm that was once featured in Arlington Magazine, Troutman Homes is known for its renovations, additions, and ground-up construction for new homes. Ever since its establishment in 1984, the firm’s team regularly develops new plans that reflect industry market trends. Because of the firm’s persistent drive towards progress, half of its clients come from word-of-mouth marketing while other clients contacted the team after seeing them build unique and stunning homes.
Photo by Jamie Troutman
A number of these beautiful homes are designed in the traditional, craftsman, French Eclectic, contemporary, and colonial styles but one of the firm’s most eye-catching homes is a European style manor in Arlington’s Aurora Hills neighborhood. This manor has a mix of English and French provincial architecture with a design that was executed using various natural materials including white brick, copper, stone, and hardwoods. Homes like these are the perfect results of Troutman Custom Homes’ keen eye and taste for quality.
8) Sorensen Homes
12652 Lake Ridge Dr., Lake Ridge, VA 22192
Sorensen Homes was established by Les Sorensen, Sr. back in 1950. In its many decades of existence, the firm has been known as one that makes it a tradition to be accessible and responsive to its clients. Not only is the firm known to be service-centric, but Sorensen Homes also pays close attention to detail and puts a heavy emphasis on craftsmanship. All of that experience allows the firm to make recommendations to clients that they might not even be in a position to conceptualize. The team has built a wide range of home styles, with most of them exhibiting the modern farmhouse, the Victorian, or the Craftsman styles. One great example of these homes is a Dutch colonial home. Over 6,500 square feet wide, it has an open and flowing floor plan that boasts generous room sizes, high-end finishes with extensive trim work, and smart home technology.
Though the firm can complete custom homes with plans and designs from clients, Sorensen homes can also customize their own home plans.
7) Paradigm Building Group
11230 Waples Mill Rd. Suite #140, Fairfax, VA 22030
A Design/Build firm established in 2007, Paradigm Building Group is recognized for its reinvention of older communities with their Pop Top Additions and quality craftsmanship in their Custom Homes. The firm does about eight to ten projects a year, working directly with clients to Design and Build unique one of a kind homes that best fit their client’s lifestyle. Over time, Paradigm’s team and high-quality work has been awarded features in magazines including the Washington Business Journal, Custom Builder Magazine, Professional Builder, and Arlington Magazine.
Paradigm Building may be most recognized for its quality work, but the firm’s success also stems from its focus on each individual project. Its founder and owner Tim Winter also brings 20 years worth of building experience, a dedication to creating quality products, and a commitment to high-quality customer service. Because of these three aspects, Winter was able to work on a multitude of projects all over the Greater Washington DC metro area.
6) Alair Homes
3100 Clarendon Blvd. Suite #200, Arlington, VA 22201
Since the mid-90s, Alair Homes has been a familiar name in the DC metro area’s building and remodeling industry. Known as a firm that practices transparency, Alair Homes interacts with its clients through its own website where these clients have access to the same information the firm has. This includes actual costs, vendor information, and a detailed timeline for the project. Designs include the shotgun, traditional, modern, and Greek revival styles. One of the most notable homes is a Greek Revival residence. Built and modeled after a home the homeowners spotted in West Virginia, it is a 7,000 square foot home with several personal touches from the owners. Between what appears to be three-story columns, the rear elevation has nine French doors stacked on top of each other.
Currently, Chad Hackmann serves as president. Previously featured in Arlington Magazine, Hackmann is a contractor who has been building homes for over 20 years. Within those years, Hackmann was able to build up a wide national network and consistently interacts with builders from all over the country to keep up with the latest trends.
5) Arlington Designer Homes
4719 24th Rd., N Arlington, VA 22207
A small, family-owned custom home builder, Arlington Designer Homes has been crafting award-winning homes since 1986. During those years, the firm won many awards with some of the most recent ones coming from 2017 and 2018. During those years, the firm won the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA)’s Builder of the Year Award. In the next year, NVBIA named it as the Best Green Builder and granted it an Honorable Mention for Best Custom Home Builder. Alongside these awards, the firm also gained honors from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) which gave it multiple Gold Level Green Building certifications. Adding these awards to the firm’s credentials, it was able to gain more clients. So far, the firm has built more than 90 homes for Northern Virginia. The houses the firm creates are either affordable housing or multi-million dollar custom homes that can take on various styles. As of now, Arlington Designer Homes has built homes in the contemporary, McMansion, and colonial styles. One of these notable homes is a two-story, contemporary McMansion styled residence in Falls Church’s Nantucket neighborhood.
In addition to the firm’s experience in building various home styles, Arlington Designer Homes commits itself to green building initiatives. Its Energy Star certified green homes include several features that reduce harmful chemicals and allergens, improve air quality, cut energy costs, and lessen carbon output and environmental impact. Current president Andrew Moore is also another asset to the firm. According to many clients, Moore is easy to work with and is clear and straightforward about the project’s timeline and cost. He also has an attention to detail that helps him create high-quality homes.
4) Whitestone Custom Homes
P.O. Box 7638, Arlington, VA 22207
A firm that prides itself on its meticulous approach, Whitestone Custom Homes has a hands-on philosophy when it comes to building. Owner Herb Aman is consistently present at the worksite, working with his team and making sure that construction goes smoothly and on time. Being able to create homes with a collaborative work ethic, Whitestone Custom Homes was named as Sun Gazette’s Best of Arlington winner for the Custom Home Builder/Construction Company category. So far, the firm has built single-family homes that exhibit the contemporary, colonial revival, and French eclectic styles.
One example of the firm’s most notable projects is a Southern-style inspired home in Bellevue Forest. Featured in Sun Gazette Arlington, this home carries a design that combines classic features with forward design. This 7,000 square foot residence greets newcomers with a full-sized front porch and a large entry foyer with a tray ceiling and custom paneling. Aside from the welcoming entryway, the home’s master bedroom also includes vaulted ceilings in both the bedding and sitting areas. From this room, one has a splendid view of the National Cathedral. A home with considerable curb appeal, this residence has an elegance and openness that makes it the perfect home for entertaining guests and for daily living.
3) Koncept D and B
701 W. Broad St., Ste 311, Falls Church, VA 22046
Formed by a family with a background in architecture, engineering, and construction, Koncept D and B has the advantage of possessing the ingrained desire to pay strict attention to details. Thanks to this, the firm is able to discover advanced and refined ways to provide clients with striking and heart-warming custom design solutions. Because of the team’s efforts, it was featured in magazines like the 2017 and 2018 issues of Northern Virginia. Throughout the years since its establishment, Koncept D and B was able to work with countless families in Northern Virginia and was able to create differently styled homes for a variety of clients. Some of these designs bear the prairie, Victorian, modern, colonial, mid-century modern, rustic, traditional, and farmhouse styles. One of its most notable custom homes is a small cottage style home that has contemporary aspects that still holds with traditional characteristics. Though the house was built on a narrow lot, the firm was able to make the interior feel wider by defining spaces in the ceiling without using walls and barriers. This made the entry feel wider and inviting. Aside from this custom home, the firm also did a renovation for a historic Victorian home that has a vibrant light blue facade—a palette that goes perfectly with the greenery and foliage in its lot.
These projects are expertly executed between the team’s work ethic and Ken Marzullo’s experience. Carrying a master’s degree in architecture, Marzullo has over 15 years of experience in the residential design and construction industry.
2) Joy Design + Build
1320 Old Chain Bridge Rd. Suite #430, McLean, VA 22101
A firm filled with craftsmen who hustle for their visionary ideas, Joy Design + Build is well-recognized for crafting the unique custom homes it has continued to build since 2004. Its team has a combined 145 years of real estate experience. With 25-year real estate agent John Joy as its president and CEO, the firm has the necessary experience to fulfill its client’s desires. Over time, Joy Design + Build has built over 100 custom homes in the McLean and North Arlington communities. Some of these residences exhibit designs in the contemporary, Mediterranean, French Country, and neoclassical cottage styles. One of its most notable projects is a two-story neoclassical cottage that sports a deep redwood shingle siding that contrasts beautifully with the house’s pristine white lining, completing its elegant and homey aesthetic.
These beautifully designed homes helped the firm gain several awards. Just some of these include honors from the Great American Living Awards (GALA). In 2015 and 2016, it won the award for Custom Homes Design and Architecture Award. In the following year, it won a merit award and was named the winner for the same category. Along with these honors, the firm was also featured in The Washington Post and Viva Tysons. The firm also has memberships with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA), and the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Virginia.
7900 Westpark Dr. Suite A180, McLean, VA 22102
BOWA is most recognized for its luxury renovation work, but it is also highly capable of building some of the most beautiful custom homes. This firm was founded in 1988 by college friends Larry Weinberg and Josh Baker who, by the end of their first year, hired four people, completed 27 contracts and earned $309,732 in revenue. Aside from doing projects that extend from renovating master suites and kitchens, to whole-house, and whole-condo remodels, BOWA has built homes in the classical/traditional, contemporary/modern, transitional, and rustic/timber frame styles. A great example of these custom homes is an American Vernacular residence in Arlington. The design subtly integrates the principles of universal design and aging-in-place. Custom wood featuring cherry, elm, oak, and hickory can be seen throughout the interior, especially in the staircases. The effect is an elegant, yet welcoming home. Outside is a wrap-around porch, and a pool with a pool house bearing an integrated outdoor living room and fireplace.
BOWA’s work has consistently been recognized with awards from industry and media. They were named the Designer’s Choice, by area designers and architects in a 2019 survey conducted by Home & Design Magazine, and Virginia Living Magazine recognized it as the third Best home Builder for the Best of Virginia awards. In 2019, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) also named it Contractor of the Year. Along with a plethora of awards, BOWA was also featured in numerous publications such as Bethesda Magazine, Home & Design, Arlington Magazine, The Washington Post, Qualified Remodeler, and Inc.
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This list takes a range of ranking criteria into consideration, including but not limited to: work history, customer satisfaction, awards and recognition, geographic area of work, cost, building permits, and clientele. We spent over 40 hours researching local contractors before calculating the final ranking for this post. If there is additional information about your business that could affect these rankings, please fill out this form and we will take it into consideration
Get Bids For Your Build
If you are thinking about building a custom home, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.