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The Best Custom Home Builders in Malibu, California

16 Min Read

According to Business Insider,  Malibu Colony Beach topped the 10 Most Expensive Los Angeles neighborhoods in 2018, with a median sale price of over $10 million. It was also included in 17 of the world’s “ultra-prime” markets by real-estate consultancy company Knight Frank. To put it more simply: Malibu Colony, with its numerous mansions and estates dotting the coastline, is one of the most expensive neighborhoods in California, and that makes it one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the world.

Neighborhoods that consist of movie stars and business moguls demonstrate a wide-range of idiosyncratic tastes. Traditional styles like Spanish villas, Colonial estates, and Italian Renaissance and Greek revival mansions are a common sight in the bluffs. Classic Malibu beach houses, distinguished by a sunroom or a teahouse, are also popular. Modern homes in Contemporary and Art Deco styles are also built in the area. If you can name an architectural style, you can probably find an example somewhere in Malibu.

If you are looking to build, buy, or remodel your own luxury home, this list has the best custom home builders for your project among the stars. Their portfolios are full of award-winning homes recognized in various media outlets and publications and have received glowing reviews from customers as well.

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.

14) Cornell Custom Homes Inc

5670 Schaefer Ave. Suite H, Chino, CA 91710

Cornell Custom Homes Inc. is one of Southern California’s premier custom home builders, specializing in large stately homes and expansive estates. Its luxurious homes are inspired by a myriad of styles, from Italian mansions to Mediterranean manors. The firm also takes inspiration from Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra design, which meets the tastes of an eclectic clientele that includes sports stars, affluent business owners, and inspirational speakers.

Its founder and president Toby Cornell is a third-generation builder. Toby learned a lot from his father Tom Cornell, a custom home builder himself. After he successfully fought Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia as a child, Toby developed his passion for building and construction. He built his first home in 1997, and he hasn’t stopped since.

13) Peter Melcher Construction

14975 Yerba Buena Road, Malibu, CA 90265

From a 450 square-foot house in Topanga Canyon to a 20,000 square-foot estate in Malibu, Peter Melcher Construction is adept in tackling all kinds and sizes of residential construction. The firm specializes in exceptional custom homes and extensive remodels in Malibu and the surrounding area. Its new homes can cost anywhere from around $450k to 5 million while whole home renovations cost from $175k to $1 million.

Ever since he was a young boy, Cape Cod native Peter Melcher has been interested in building. He grew up helping his dad maintain boats and cabins in a summer sailing camp in Pleasant Bay. 41 years of experience constructing projects from Miami to Malibu allow him to give the world-class project execution his exclusive clients expect.

12) Advanced Builders & Contractors

19528 Ventura Blvd. Suite #120, Tarzana, CA 91356-2917

Advanced Builders & Contractors contractors is a general contractor that builds custom homes in the Los Angeles area. The homes are prominently modern in style, boasting sleek geometric lines and clean, neutral tones. A member of the National Association of Home Builders and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the firm also specializes in whole house remodels and renovations.

For over 30 years, the firm’s work has been recognized in various publications in the region. Its kitchen and bathroom projects have been featured in Elle Decor, HouseBeautiful, Voyage LA, and even NBC News. Along with press recognition, the firm has also received glowing reviews from numerous clients. The Better Business Bureau gave it an A+ rating.

11) Avalon Construction Corporation

20645 Eaglepass Drive, Malibu, CA 90265

Avalon Construction advocates for green, sustainable building. Headed by Michael Torrey, the firm practices eco-friendly construction as they provide high-quality homes. Their residential projects are found in various upmarket neighborhoods in Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Los Angeles.

The firm has renovated notable homes throughout SoCal, including a home designed by famed architect Ralph Flewelling in 1929: the first occupants were the silent screen stars Wallace Beery and Gloria Swanson. They also breathed new life into a 1924 Park brick Tudor originally owned by oil magnate George Allan Hancock.

The modern custom home in Malibu pictured below takes in nature through an open floor plan framed by floor-to-ceiling windows and doors. The architectural space is geared towards Zen and uses eco-friendly LEED materials to achieve that effect. 14 noted artists provided art for the home for the fundraiser Free Arts for Abused Children. The home was featured on the TV show Million Dollar Listings with Madison Hildebrand.

10) Johnson-Hughes Inc.

21223 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265

Since its inception in 1976, Johnson-Hughes Inc. has made a name for itself as a builder of high-end homes in Malibu and the surrounding area. From impeccable Craftsman homes to intricate Spanish villas, its portfolio is brimming with a variety of houses in mixed materials and finishes such as teak, slate, copper, cement, steel, and stucco.

The firm’s client list is also impressive. It includes various celebrities and industry leaders including filmmaker Michael Bay, musician, and producer David Foster, Disney executive Roy Disney, design engineer Sam Mann, and media mogul Philip Von Alvensleben.

9) Morrow and Morrow Corporation

426 Georgina Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90402

Building in the exclusive Brentwood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, and Santa Monica neighborhoods, Morrow and Morrow Corporation is a premier general contractor in Southern California. They have specialized in the construction and remodeling of private luxury residences for more than 25 years. Its homes tend to be on the traditional side, with Colonial, Spanish Mediterranean, and Italian influences, although contemporary and modern styles are also available.

The firm’s notable works include the renovation of director/producer Shawn Levy’s mid-century modern home and a makeover of a Paul Williams home built in the 1930s.

8) Gordon Gibson Construction

3000 31st Suite G, Santa Monica, CA 90405

Residential contractor Gordon Gibson Construction is known throughout Los Angeles as a premier builder of custom homes. Established in 1966, it has worked with industry-leading architects, interior designers, and subcontractors. It creates and renovates timeless residences in various styles and sizes, from family bungalows to Greek Revival mansions.

Gordon Gibson started in the industry as a young independent contractor. In 1966, he established the company, learning the business hands-on. While he provides the building and design insight, president Jason Maltas builds and fosters relationships with clients, taking them to step by step through the building process.

The firm’s notable collaboration with architect Philip Vertoch and actor-designers Kristoffer Winters and Jeremy Renner (of Avengers fame) is a renovation of a mansion in the affluent Holmby Hills. The house was built in 1959 for the Stuarts, the family that founded the Carnation evaporated milk brand. The Gibson team transformed it into a 10,005 square-foot 1920’s Art Deco palace with 14-foot ceilings and eleven bathrooms. According to Zillow, the property was bought in 2010 at $7 million, a far cry from the $24 million prices it sold for after the renovation.

7) R. Spector and Company

31324 Via Colinas Suite #104, Westlake Village, CA 91362

Known for both out-of-the-box and traditional style custom homes, R. Spector and Company is a high-end residential construction firm that has been building since 1982. Founder Rod Spector and his team of fourth generation builders practice traditional construction techniques and cultivate ‘pride of craft’ in all projects. They assure full attention to detail and high-quality personal service by limiting the number of new custom homes and high-end remodels they take on each year.

The firm’s most notable project is the impressive ‘Wing House’ in the remote hills of Malibu. This collaboration with architect David Hertz involved building a home using the wings and tail fins of a retired Boeing 747. Spector and his team achieved the amazing feat of positioning the wing structures to float on top of simple concrete walls that are cut into the hillsides. The multi-million dollar home gained worldwide attention when it was featured in the first episode of Netflix’s The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes.

6) Root Construction

17216 Saticoy St. #180, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Specializing in modern luxury homes and elaborate renovations, Root Construction is a full-service general contractor that styles itself as a direct and honest builder for its clients. Founder Matt Myers is not afraid of the unconventional and keeps his focus firmly on doing projects the right way. His down-to-earth approach and his 20 years of building experience have helped him to build and renovate unique spaces from Malibu to Bel-Air.

Some of the firm’s notable projects include the renovation of actress Sela Ward’s stylish Bel-Air home and the historic restoration of the storybook house of famed architect Frederick A. Hanson. The Hanson residence is listed as a historic-cultural monument by the Cultural Heritage Commission of the City of Los Angeles.

The firm built this Modernist home in Beverly Hills in collaboration with SPF Architects. Situated on Mulholland Drive, the geometric mid-century modern home is a series of separate living pods that flank a central spine. Teak plywood makes up the exterior, while floor-to-ceiling glass panels provide ample light into the home.

5) Roman James Design + Build

8383 Wilshire Blvd. 8th Floor, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Roman James Design + Build is known in the Greater Los Angeles area as the builder of opulent, contemporary mansions. Roman serves as the Managing Partner/General Contractor, and he personally oversees all architecture, design, and construction aspects of the firm’s projects.  The ambitious firm does spec-houses and major renovations in addition to a select number of custom homes from the ground up. These homes are coveted even by the most affluent.

The firm’s impressive portfolio includes luxurious manors situated in California neighborhoods filled with homes designed by renowned architects. These include a Beverly Hills spec mansion bought by Minecraft creator Markus Peerson and a Hollywood Hills estate bought by “The Biggest Loser” creator Reinout Oerlemans. Both homes sold for a record-breaking $70 million each or in excess of $3,150 per square foot.

The firm’s most expensive project to date is an over-the-top 38,000 square-foot mansion in Bel-Air priced at $250 million. The home is built in a contemporary style, with stark geometry and huge plate-glass windows. Included in the hefty price tag are $30 million worth of collectible automobiles, a decommissioned helicopter from the 1980s show “Airwolf,” and over 100 pieces of art.

4) Tellus Design + Build

2020 Placentia Ave. Suite B1, Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Tellus Design + Build is a full-service general contractor that performs both residential and commercial construction. This fairly young company, established in 2005, is Orange County’s first “Green” design and build firm. It has accommodated home styles like traditional, Contemporary, Modern, Mediterranean, Transitional, “Green,” and every combination in between, for its homes built in Orange County and Los Angeles.

Under the leadership of Jesse Fowler, the firm has been featured on HGTV and the Discovery Channel. It has also built a sculpture designed by artist Maria Elena Gonzales for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Under the guidance of Gonzales, the firm built one of the larger-scale pieces in the exhibition, converting a to-scale replica of a 700 square-foot Federal affordable housing floor plan into rolling waves.

3) CMF Home Builders

9903 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite #626, Beverly Hills, CA 90212

CMF Home Builders is a recognized luxury home builder servicing wealthy neighborhoods Malibu, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, and West Hollywood. It works with some of Los Angeles’ finest architects and designers, such as Marc Whipple and Thomas Schoos, to create some of the most magnificent residences in California. These homes often defined by clean, smooth lines and masterful integration of state-of-the-art technology.

The firm was founded by Barry Chase over 40 years ago. He provides his clients with a pre-project package that gives a complete overview, including a Critical Path Timeline showing start and finish dates, and budget-conscious cost analysis. He and his team of artisans and craftsmen assurer not only excellent quality but transparency in all of their projects.

One of the firm’s notable projects is this 10,000 square foot home in Beverly Hills, featured in Architect Magazine. Dubbed the ‘X House,’ this state-of-the-art modern contemporary mansion features a large center-pivot front door, ribbon windows to the north and south, and overhead skylights. It also features a photography studio and a gallery space as requested by the homeowner.

2) Tyler Development Corporation

1932 Cotner Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90025

Tyler Development Corporation is a general contractor that designs and constructs elaborate manors and estates for an extraordinary clientele list that includes some of the nation’s leading architects, designers, business executives, and celebrities. Its reputation as a premier residential contractor in Western and Southern California is backed by its stunning portfolio of more than 275 high-end, custom homes.

Ron Udall founded the firm in 1980 after gaining experience as a partner in construction management, overseeing the completion of a number of housing developments in Southern California. Since then the firm, and its highly-skilled team of builder and designers, have built homes across Los Angeles, from Montecito to Beverly Hills. These projects have been recognized in various regional and national luxury publications. These include Los Angeles Magazine, Home & Living Trends, Luxe, Robb Report, and Architectural Digest.

The firm built this French chateau in Los Angeles for supermodel Gisele Bündchen and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Featured in Architectural Digest, the home is a gorgeous manor with old-world European flair constructed from different types of limestone. While the home exudes romantic grace, it is also a green home, with gray-water technology for irrigation and environmentally friendly construction materials used throughout.

1) Scott Halley & Associates, Inc.

28990 PCH C222 Malibu, CA 90265

For 34 years design-build firm Scott Halley & Associates, Inc. has built a reputable career building high-end custom homes and remodels from the west end of Los Angeles to the northernmost tip of Malibu. Its projects range in size from 500 square-foot jewel box homes to 12,000 square-foot manors with budgets reaching up to $5 million.

The firm traces its beginnings to 1971 when Scott Halley first operated “Stop and Shop,” an import/export company in downtown LA.  At that time he wanted to purchase land and build his own 3,000 square-foot home in Malibu. His interest in residential construction grew, and in 1984, he incorporated his company as a General Contractor.

The firm’s dreamy homes and estates are the beloved homes of celebrities, including Michael Landon and Patrick Dempsey. These homes and other projects have been featured in Architectural Digest, Forbes, Homes and Land, and Martha Stewart Living. The firm also won a 2016 Gold Nugget Award for Best on the Boards Custom Home for its Paradise Cove home design.


Update: This list was updated in February to reflect additional information that became available.

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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.