Skyscrapers, a plethora of architectural styles, and iconic structures — these are just a few things that define the unique landscape of the Windy City. Chicago, Illinois is renowned for its bold and pioneering architecture. It proudly stands among top architectural cities in the world, full of buildings with storied and inspiring pasts. With the city’s beauty and rich culture, one would find it very hard to resist the allure of living in “Chicagoland.”

The city’s residential architecture flourished alongside its commercial counterpart. Chicago is peppered with bungalows from the North Side to the South Side; 80,000 Chicago bungalows encircle the city in a “Bungalow Belt,” easily comprising one-third of the city’s single-family housing stock. Other than the quaint bungalows, Chicago is also home to diverse home styles: two-flats, greystones, workers’ cottages, courtyard apartments, and stately mansions that occupy the elite neighborhoods of North Chicago. 

The best custom home builders of Chicago honor the city’s rich culture and current context in their designs while ultimately focusing on their client’s specific needs. This article lists the top 15 custom home builders, all capable of helping you build your dream home in Chicago. These firms have extensive portfolios with stunning award-winning homes, and have been evaluated on their accolades, customer service, and quality of work. Many of them are members of reputable builders organizations — most notably, the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (HBA of Greater Chicago), and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). On the other hand, if you want to learn more about the cost of building a custom home in Chicago, check out our other article.

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.


BGD&C 

875 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1314, Chicago, IL 60611

BGD&C prides itself on building exquisite luxury homes that are “distinctly Chicago.” The firm’s well-crafted homes are mostly situated in Lincoln Park and the historic Gold Coast District of Chicago—affluent neighborhoods which have contributed to BGD&C’s place on “Most Expensive” lists in previous years. The company caters to a high-end clientele, like the retired Chicago Cub and All-Star pitcher Kerry Wood.

Personalizing service for every client, as well as avoiding building spec homes, has helped BGD&C become the top custom home builder in Chicago. In 2018, the firm was honored with a spot on the BOND Custom Top 100, which is awarded to the top 100 luxury home design firms in North America. The firm was also awarded the Best in American Living Award from the NAHB and a Diamond Key Award from the HBA of Greater Chicago; it was also voted Best Builder on Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago. The firm has been featured on design magazines such as Best in American Living, Sophisticated Living, Modern Home Builder, Luxe, and Elle Decor.

In August 2018, a Lincoln Park mansion built by BGD&C was sold for $11.9 million—the highest paid home in Chicago in 2018 thus far. The 8,000 square-foot Mediterranean-style home features six bedrooms, a chef’s kitchen, a grill area, and a 39-foot terrace. Finished in 2013, the stunning home covers three oversized city lots.


Orren Pickell Building Group

444 Skokie Blvd, Suite 200, Wilmette, IL 60091

Orren Pickell Building Group is consistently listed among top custom builders in the country, accoladed for some of the most beautiful homes in the Windy City. Established in 1975, the business traces its roots back to Orren Pickell’s modest house-painting business, opened to help pay for college. Over 40 years later, Pickell’s humble enterprise has grown into an award-winning family-run building group with an extensive portfolio in custom building and remodeling. Lisa Pickell, Orren’s daughter, is the current president of the company, and was recently listed among the country’s Leading Women in Construction by Constructech Magazine.

The firm has received over 350 awards, including the Best Custom Builder award from Modern Luxury Interiors Chicago, multiple Key Awards from the HBA of Greater Chicago, and the prestigious Best in American Living Award from NAHB. The firm’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Luxe, K+BB, and HGTV.

Orren Pickell Building Group is behind the famous Bannockburn mansion, which was home to ex-Chicago Bull Kirk Hinrich. In 2018, he sold it to Olin Kreutz, an award-winning ex-NFL pro from the Chicago Bears. The lavish 9,270-square-foot mansion features a six-car garage with a sports court, a master suite with a sauna and exercise room, eight full baths, three half-baths, an in-home theater, a rec room, and a dance studio. Learn more about the company and their work at www.pickellbuilders.com.


Evolutionary Home Builders

25 N River Ln, Geneva, IL 60134

As a third generation builder, Brandon Weiss’s passion is building healthy homes that are not defined by their price, size or location. He made it Evolutionary Home Builders’ mission to redefine what a home should be: healthy, durable, cost-efficient, and comfortable. The company has committed to using building science to ensure sustainable and environmentally-friendly outputs since its inception in 2005. The firm specializes in building passive houses, for which it has been nationally recognized by the government and media alike. 

Among its projects, “Chicagoland’s First Certified Passive House” in River Forest stands out for meeting the “strictest energy efficiency certification in the world.” It is the first certified passive house in Chicago, and the 28th passive house in the country. It received an award from the US Green Building Council, as well as from the U.S. Department of Energy. For the same project, Evolutionary Home Builders was also honored with an ICON Award of Excellence,  Home of the Year Award from Green Builder Magazine, Master Certified Green Professional of the Year and an Honorable Mention from NAHB in the Best in American Living Award category. The firm was featured on the GreenBuilt Home Tour and in Dwell magazine. 

The highly-accoladed home features a green roof, solar heating, solar hot water, and an energy recovery ventilator. It was built in partnership with Architect Tom Bassett-Dilley, who heads the Passive House Alliance in Chicago. Since the passive house was built with cost efficiency in mind, its estimated annual energy cost is pegged at only $1,052.


Riordan Signature Homes

4130 Ellington Ave, Western Springs, IL 60558 

Twenty-three years after arriving in the USA from Ireland, James Riordan turned his American dream into a reality when he founded Riordan Builders in 1971. In 1989, it was rebranded as Riordan Signature Homes by his sons, Jay and Dan, who continued their father’s legacy of hard work, high standards, and outstanding service. In 2014, Jay Riordan was a finalist in NBC’s American Dream Builders, a reality television show pitting top designers and home builders against each other in a high-stakes competition. 

Riordan Signature Homes’ portfolio is filled with Nantucket, Tuscan, Italianate, and Dutch style homes. The firm distinguishes its work by coupling old-world craftsmanship with modern innovations. Through this combination of old and new, the firm’s projects have won multiple coveted Key Awards from the HBA of Greater Chicago in the last decade. Among Riordan Signature Homes’ winning projects, the Dutch Colonial style home at 4123 Grove Avenue in Western Springs exudes old-world charm and elegance. This manor estate is proof of the firm’s specialty in traditional craftsmanship. It features high ceilings, custom millwork, and high-end finishings throughout. 


Goldberg General Contracting

3510 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60618

Goldberg General Contracting is an award-winning full-service general contractor providing luxury custom homes throughout Chicago and the North Shore suburbs. Founded by Jacob Goldberg, who serves on the board of directors of Landmarks Illinois, the firm is proud of its expertise in modern design and in historic renovation, as well as of its team of highly-skilled craftspeople. The firm’s homes have been featured in various publications, such as Luxe Interiors + Design, Building Design + Construction, The New York Times, and Elle Decor. It was also featured in Home and Garden Television’s “Before and After,” “New Spaces,” and “Building Character.” 

In the last decade, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) has awarded the firm 12 awards, and its restoration work has been honored by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The firm was also awarded National Custom Builder of the Year by Custom Home Magazine in 2010. Another example of the firm’s notable and award-winning projects is this ultra-modern home in Lincoln Park. It won a 2015 Distinguished Building Award from the AIA Chicago and a 2013 Custom Home of the Year National Award from Custom Home Magazine. The 10,000 square-foot residence features expansive windows, a custom-designed steel and glass staircase, and state-of-the-art smart home technology. 


Dior Builders

116 W. Northwest Hwy., Clock Tower Plaza, Palatine, IL 60067 

Dior Builders was founded in 1979, when Italian-born Peter Dilorio realized his entrepreneurial skills and experience remodeling a bank might allow him to own his own business. 39 years later, the family-run company has grown in size and in services, providing the Barrington and North Shore suburbs with exceptional custom-built homes and luxury estates. The firm incorporates state-of-the-art technology into every project to “future-proof” each home. Dior Builders’ modern residences have been recognized in various publications such as Traditional Home Magazine, LUXE Magazine, From House to Home, and The Chicago Tribune. The firm also holds multiple Gold Key Awards from the HBA of Greater Chicago.

One of the firm’s notable projects has been dubbed the “Healthy Home.” Built in Long Grove, this house is the first in the nation to meet the strict 2009 building standards from the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest. The manor features the latest in sustainable technology, with a special focus on air quality and water conservation. 


Environs Development

3060 N Lincoln Ave # 1, Chicago, IL 60657

With signature project features including innovative design and practical utility, Environs Development has proven itself to be one of Chicago’s premier luxury home general contractors. The firm has completed over 150 homes in Chicago’s higher-end neighborhoods, including Lincoln Park and Bucktown. The firm is guided by its principal and founder Ken Brinkman, who founded the firm in 1991 after obtaining a degree in Architectural studies from the University of Illinois, as well as an MBA from the University of Chicago. Brinkman ensures that the firm’s team of architects, designers, and contractors works together seamlessly in each project and fosters good relationships with each client. 

The firm saw great success in 2012, when it was honored with five Best in American Living Awards (BALA) at the 2012 International Home Builders Show.  Five luxury homes the firm built near the North Side of Chicago also received awards in the category “Best in the Region.”


BrightLeaf Homes

15 Spinning Wheel Rd. Suite 124 Hinsdale, IL 60521

Since the beginning of Scott Sanders’s home building career, he was already committed to realizing the sustainable potential of the homes he built. After a disheartening stint with one of the nation’s largest home builders, where Scott was exposed to poor building practices that affected both the environment and the client’s future home, Scott left to pursue his own business where he could be in control of everything, ensuring that both the finished product and the building process itself were up to a high standard. 

Today, BrightLeaf Homes, through the partnership between Scott and green builders Rick and Alex Thompson, is able to offer comprehensive services ranging from design, construction and remodeling, and real estate. With their combined skills, the trio was able to grow the number of homes they built and remodeled throughout the Chicagoland area. The firm’s staff has also grown to include expert real estate agents, project managers, interior designers, and an in-house architect. Through their collective hard work and the vision of Scott for a green building firm that responds to both the needs of clients and the environment, the firm has earned recognition, ranking #711 on Inc. 5000.


Highgate Builders

95 Revere Dr, Suite H, Northbrook, IL 60062

Highgate Builders is an award-winning practice whose mission is to design and build the best custom homes throughout Chicago, the North Shore, and its surrounding suburbs. The firm has over 25 years of experience in the home building industry, and under the leadership of founder and owner, Jon Kogan, the firm has won awards and gained recognition as a Luxe Gold List Honoree in 2018 and most recently, in 2021. 

One example of the firm’s work is this custom built stone and brick Tudor home located in the beautiful North Shore. The home’s height and structure are defined by a steeply pitched roof and overlapping gables. Exquisite brick and stonework grace the façade of the home, giving off a polished feel and quality that the interior also mirrors. Inside are large rooms outfitted with tasteful furnishings, from rich-toned wooden flooring to both deep and light painted walls that convey different moods for the diverse functions of the rooms. Overall, the home’s interior and exterior design and construction are harmonious, both conferring a sense of stateliness and majesty to the home. 


Scott Simpson Design + Build

1529 Shermer Rd, Northbrook, IL 60062

Scott Simpson Design + Build is an award-winning architecture and construction firm specializing in residential architecture and eco-conscious construction. The firm focuses on building custom new construction homes on the North Shore and in Chicago, with additional specialties in historic preservation. Founded by Scott Simpson in 1993, the firm has earned awards for both its custom homes and historic renovations. These accolades include “Make it Better” Best Green Builder Awards, as well as ten Historic Preservation Awards.

Photo by Natalie Slotnick.

The firm is known for designing and building custom homes that are earth-first and harmonious with the landscape. On a truly unique lot in the Glencoe Ravine, they created a 7,000 square foot residence with stunning proximity to nature and architecture that honors and follows the natural curve of the surroundings. An expansive first floor with a separate wing for guests provides each primary space and bedroom with ample privacy, natural light that travels across the spaces and a view to the ravines. Table land was maximized to include a large outdoor entertaining area and meticulous architectural gardens that play off the overall modern Tudor design of the home.


FDB Construction Company

564 W Randolph, 2nd Floor, Chicago IL 60661

FDB Construction Company is a full-service boutique design-build firm, with a portfolio filled with notable clientele and upscale projects. The company’s goal is to bring first-class service and sophistication to each of its projects. Their custom houses and luxurious renovations have been recognized by various media outfits, such as CBS, NBC News, Chicago Curbed, Chicago Magazine, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Luxury Home Quarterly. 

With over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, founder Robert Berg is capable of taking on various types of projects, ranging from luxury custom homes to airport renovations. His firm has completed projects  throughout Chicago and the Midwest. Some of these projects include a million-dollar renovation in the prestigious neighborhood of Hyde Park and the restoration of a Titanic survivor’s mansion.


Icon Building Group

468 Woodland Chase Ln., Vernon Hills, IL 60061

Charlie Murphy founded Icon Building Group ten years ago.  The company has built numerous communities throughout the Chicagoland area.  It also builds homes on lots it helps its customers acquire, or on a lot the customer already owns. The firm’s neighborhoods and its custom homes have been featured in various publications, such as Modern Home Builder, Chicago Tribune, Midwest Home Magazine, and Northwest Herald.  In addition, Icon Building Group has a remodeling division that focuses on all types of residential home updating and enhancement.

Icon Building Group is a big believer in giving back.  As such, the firm is active in the community, building homes for various charitable organizations.  The company built the St. Jude Dream Home in a community in Vernon Hills — a luxury home for which all proceeds were donated to benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Icon Building Group also built a million-dollar home in partnership with Jared Allen’s Homes for Wounded Warriors, with proceeds directed towards improving the quality of life for wounded veterans.


Sexton Development

49 Sherwood Terrace a100, Lake Bluff, IL 60044

Sexton Development, a residential general contractor, builds energy-efficient homes in the North Shore communities of Chicago and in Southern Wisconsin. The firm prides itself on retention of elegant architecture and design—despite the rigorous regulations surrounding green homes—and employs different styles, such as English Country and the classic Chicago Worker Cottage. Family-owned and operated for more than 80 years, the firm is now run by Drew Daniels, who was recently recognized by Professional Builder Magazine in its Forty Under 40 List. Forest & Bluff also named Drew 2014’s Custom Home Builder of the Year. His leadership and expertise led the firm to win a 2016 Crystal Key Award for Custom Home of the Year from the HBA of Greater Chicago.

Among the firm’s varied projects, the French-Country home featured here stands out. Its timeless design is complemented by its efficiency. The 4,470 square-foot home is the first LEED-certified single-family residence in Lake Bluff. Inside the elegant French manor are groundbreaking waterproofing systems and all-in-one thermal & vapor barrier insulation designs.


NEWLOOK Development

907 Ridge Road, Wilmette, IL 60091

NEWLOOK is a second generation, family-owned design-build + development business focusing on luxury residential and commercial in Chicago and its North Shore for over 30 years.  Recognized for custom, award-winning architecture, and focused on design-build project delivery, NEWLOOK strives to streamline the process with one point of contact, taking full responsibility and cost accountability while accelerating schedules and reducing costs. 

Today NEWLOOK is run by Michael Freiburger an award-winning designer and innovator who brings a rare and valuable holistic approach to the profession. Combining construction experience with a degree in Civil Engineering and a Master of Architecture, Michael has led projects across almost all construction types.  In 2018, Michael was included in Professional Builder Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Class, which lists the next generation of outstanding building professionals.   

Within the last four years alone the family-run business has been awarded multiple historic preservation awards and more than a dozen Key Awards, including four consecutive Crystal Key Awards from the HBAGC.  At the International Builders Show 2019 in Las Vegas, NEWLOOK was honored with two Best in American Living Awards (BALA) for a stunning Michigan Avenue Penthouse and West Town single family home with a pool on the roof. One of the firm’s recent North Shore successes is a property built in Glencoe.  Affectionately known as the Modern-Day Castle, the property is an updated take on a traditional manor estate, featuring three levels, with five bedrooms, a custom kitchen, a multi-sided fireplace, a private courtyard, custom iron railings and wine cellar fit for a king.


Cesario Builders

17 W 601 14th St, Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois 60181

Cesario Builders, in operation for over four decades, has earned a reputation as one Chicago’s premier custom home builders with a focus on green building. The company was established by Anthony Cesario, who learned carpentry from his Italian father. Today, he holds several certifications from NAHB, and even served as president of the Illinois Home Builders Association from 1984-1986. 

The firm is an NAHB Certified Green Home Builder and a certified partner of the national Energy Star Builder program. These certifications ensure that the firm’s custom homes have a low environmental impact and are cost-efficient, comfortable, and durable. Cesario Builders is also a member of NAHB and its Elite Builder 20 Club. Through Cesario Builders’ dedication to building sustainable and elegant homes, a project on 20 Tuscan Court in Oak Brook, IL won the Silver Key Award for Excellence in New Construction from HBAGC in 2011. At 5,836 square feet, the home is currently valued by Zillow at $1.9 million.


Bloomfield Development Company, LLC

2964 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657 

James Schueller was practicing as a real estate attorney when he began developing a few properties on the side. In 2003, he founded Bloomfield Development Company with his wife and an artisan custom cabinetry maker, Erik Walek. The combination of Schueller’s acumen for real estate and Walek’s specialization in custom cabinetry has earned the firm great success and a reputation for quality service and designs. 

The company concentrates on building custom homes priced between $500K and $3M in the affluent suburbs of Chicago’s North Shore. In 2012, the firm was honored by the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA) with an ALA Design Merit Award for a jewel box addition built in a Highland Park home. In 2016, the company gained national attention when two of its properties were featured on Flipping Out, a television show on Bravo TV hosted by Jeff Lewis. Schueller collaborated with Lewis and Walter E. Smithe in decorating the properties at 3716 and 3643 Lakewood Avenue.


MK Construction & Builders, Inc.

2000 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60647

When Marcin Kawa founded MK Construction & Builders, Inc. in 2004, it was with the goal of offering outstanding residential construction services to his growing Chicago clientele. Today, the firm has over a decade of experience in new home construction and remodeling, and now specializes in designing modern and contemporary homes that are attuned with the urban aesthetic and landscape of Chicago. 

The MK team is fluent in the language of construction, offering comprehensive services from concept all the way to completion. The team’s skill begins with blueprints and extends to the very particular hand-selection of upscale finishes and amenities. One example of the firm’s work is this gorgeous North Park residence. The 5,600 square-foot home faces the street, granting the homeowners a gorgeous view through the massive panel of windows that make up the home’s façade. Inside, you will find brightly-lit rooms, a master bath that leads to a large walk-in closet, wooden-panelled staircases, and an open concept living room and kitchen.


How can I find a home builder near me?

Read our latest articles on the best home builders near Chicago. If you don’t see your city below, just let us know – we are happy to create a tailored recommendation list just for you.

Custom home builders in Illinois


About Our Rankings

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.