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Established in 1819, Memphis is the largest city in Tennessee and one of the nation’s largest inland river ports. Historically, Memphis played a crucial role in growing and trading cotton—known as “white gold”—and was the largest inland cotton market in the world. This past is reflected in its historical districts, but Memphis is increasingly becoming a hotspot for urban living.
For many years, farming shaped the local economy, and the majority of houses were in the colonial or farmhouse styles. Today, many residential homes maintain these aesthetics, while incorporating more modern designs and amenities. In this list, we’ve looked for the 15 best general contractors in the city, paying close attention to the quality of the homes they’ve built, the strength of their reputation and reviews, and recognition from respected organizations and publications.
15) Arc Con Construction
9628 Spring Meade Ln. Germantown TN, 38139
Arc Con Construction was founded in 1988 by Bud Hurley, a member of the Graduate Builder Institute (GBI). Even after three decades of being in the business, Bud still makes an effort to attend the National Home Builders Show every year to continue to expand his understanding of the latest trends and innovations.
Unlike many construction firms, Bud doesn’t rely on superintendents to manage all of his projects; he personally oversees every detail of each new home to elevate its level of quality. The firm specializes in many home styles including French, Ranch, and even contemporary from the $100k to $3.5 million price range. Brick facades, wood floors, and exposed wood beams give Arc Con Construction’s homes an air of elegance and grandeur.
14) Mike Murphy Builders
7895 Players Forest Drive, Suite 101, Memphis, TN 38119
Specializing in building custom homes, additions, and renovations, Mike Murphy Builders has been building in Germantown, Collierville, and Memphis for 40 years. Founder Mike Murphy is a graduate of Memphis University School and the University of Memphis. In 1976, he began his building career and in 1979 founded Mike Murphy Builders. Mike has an appreciation for fine architecture and detail and is a diligent planner.
This elegant two-story Maplewood residence merges the Colonial and French styles while maintaining a more sleek and modern feel with its pure white facade and bold, black double door entrance.
13) Lowell Hays Construction LLC
7339 Cornuta Lane, Germantown, TN, 38138
One of the top home builders in the Memphis and Nashville areas, Lowell Hays Construction has more than 20 years of experience building top-quality custom homes and completing high-impact remodels. The founder, Lowell Hays, began his career in his family’s fine jewelry business and continues to bring the same keen eye for design and attention to detail to his custom projects. With an aptitude for solving creative design problems, utilizing extensive home automation and technology, and incorporating green energy solutions, Lowell Hays Construction sets itself apart among custom home builders.
Their custom home work has spanned many styles, but the firm has a special expertise in farmhouse-style designs, with price ranges from $500k and upwards. A great example of their work is this corner-property dream home in Germantown, TN. Two stories high, the house combines beautiful, smooth masonry with exposed beams and woodwork that extends into the house.
In 2008, one of their contemporary residences in Germantown built with architect Brad Shapiro received the Excellence in Masonry award from the Masonry Institute of Tennessee. The home is described as a ‘total integration of natural and cut stone with wood’, creating a visual masterpiece that beautifully marries masonry with organic architecture.
12) Salvaggio Groups
2640 Faxon Avenue, Memphis, TN 38112
Established in 1994, Salvaggio Groups was founded by Charles Salvaggio and his son Tony Salvaggio. Well-versed in building custom homes, Salvaggio Groups is a member of the Memphis Area Home Builders Association (MAHB) and was featured in the 2014 July/August of Fix Magazine. In the same year, founders Charles and Tony Salvaggio were featured as the Faces of The Mid-South.
For more than 70 years, the Salvaggio family has been involved in constructing the finest homes in the Memphis, Germantown, and Oxford areas. Along with their experience, they are known throughout the mid-south for their advanced knowledge of the diverse building industry. The team prides themselves in the ability to build the most elaborate custom homes any architect can design.
One great example of their work is the Hudson Francis Manor located in The Cloisters of Hickory Withe, a residence that combines dark brick and wood in the exterior, resulting in a chic and elegant facade. In addition to custom homes, the firm is also skilled in specialty medical, historical renovations and general commercial construction and remodeling.
11) Collins Construction
985 Reddoch Cove, Memphis, TN 38119
Since Rick Collins founded Collins Construction in 1975, it has developed a trusted reputation throughout Memphis. Rick is a founder and board member of Southern Living’s Custom Builder Program, an exclusive collective of custom home builders selected for their extensive experience and knowledge, reputation in the marketplace, and commitment to their clients. He works closely with his son David, who is a project manager and business manager.
The firm has in-house designers that work on a wide variety of home types and architectural styles across many neighborhoods including the Club Walk towers, Chickasaw garden, the Cloister, Belmeade, and River Oaks. Many of its custom homes and renovation projects have been featured in publications such as Southern Living, at Home Magazine, Mid-South Magazine, Builder Magazine.
10) Savage Construction
Websites 8337 Cordova Road Suite 101, Cordova, TN 38016
Savage Construction is led by David Savage who started the company in 1983. Savage specializes in commercial and upscale residential construction between $75k to $5M. Over the last four years, the firm has completed over 40 projects including everything from home renovations to their specialty in commercial projects for dental and medical offices. Each of these projects display the Savage Construction commitment to excellence and always expanding their expertise in the field of construction in the Mid South.
One of their notable projects includes a residence in Rocky Hills, Cordova. This home features the clean symmetry and grandeur of a French Chateau, with special attention paid to the intricate details. Check out their website to learn more about them.
9) ELM Group
1779 Kirby Parkway Ste 128, Memphis, TN 38138
Best Home Builder according to Memphis Most, ELM Group is a general contracting company specializing in custom residential, commercial, industrial, and structural concrete construction. With over 35 years of experience, ELM Group LLC merges good building practices—specifically their ‘solid build’ principle which uses a concrete core—and emerging technologies to craft wonderful homes typical for professionals with families.
One of their recent works is a residence featured in The Commercial Appeal. This home is a good example of the firm’s ‘solid build’ principle in practice. The concrete exterior is designed in the Craftsman style and requires much less maintenance while offering better resilience against damaging winds and falling debris. Another notable feature is the house’s synthetic slate roof. Made from recycled plastic, it has high resistance against hail impact and high-velocity winds. In addition to these safety features, ELM Group LLC can also prewire their homes with smart-tech. Through smartphone apps, homeowners can control their HVAC systems and other aspects of the home.
8) Southern Serenity Homes
290 Pierce Rd., Oakland, TN 38060
Founded by Greg Bridgers in 2006, Southern Serenity Homes is known not only for building stylish and energy-efficient homes at every price level, but they are also known for their clever and sophisticated innovations in kitchen and bath designs. In addition to constructing more than 4,250 high-quality custom homes, Southern Serenity Homes stands out in their commitment to their community.
In 2008, the firm started building their first St. Jude Dream Home, which is entered as a prize in a giveaway raffle and is used to help children in the St. Jude hospital. They continued to participate in the giveaway through 2016 and were awarded the St. Jude National Home Builder of the year for two years for their continued dedication.
The company builds homes in many neighborhoods across the mid-south, including Cotton Bend, The Cloisters, Canterbury Manor, Aston Park, Ainsley Manor, Janson Farms, The Cedars, Windsor Park, and Winstead Farms.
7) Johnny Williams Construction Co.
Germantown, TN 38139
Johnny Williams Construction Co. has been around since the early 2000s, but they already have over 30 years of combined experience in home renovations and custom home construction. A firm that runs on referrals, their projects usually have a price range of $10K to $1 M.
Since its founding, the firm has participated in many Vesta Homes Shows, and in 2008 it won the “Special Feature” award for building the only certified green home. Known as the Bordeaux Residence, it was decorated by Millenium Home Furnishings and was featured in VIP Memphis Magazine.
More recently, the company had another home featured in Memphis Magazine. This Lexington Home in Chapel Woods Cove was inspired by the English country homes in Cotswolds and features an opulent 25-foot long foyer flanked by a study room and a spacious dining area. The family room has lofty 12-foot ceilings and a welcoming fireplace with bookshelves on either side and shiplap rising to the beams.
6) Keith Allen Custom Builder
P.O. Box 383318, Germantown, TN 38183
Keith Allen Custom Builder is a member of many prominent industry organizations: the Home Builders Association of Tennessee, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the Memphis Area Home Builders Association, and the NAHB 20 Clubs (a group of home builders and remodelers that discuss and develop real-world solutions). Though they are mainly custom home builders, they also offer remodeling services in East Memphis, Germantown, Collierville, and Fayette County.
The firm’s president, Keith Allen, has over three decades of experience and a passion for doing things the right way. He makes sure that the firm works to ensure their client’s custom home, renovation or addition withstands time and reflects the client’s taste and style. He was also previously the chairman of the National Home Builders Association Professional Builders Council as well as the West Tennessee Home Builders Association.
5) Walker-Collinsworth Custom Builders
West Poplar Ave. Suite 104 Collierville, TN 38107
Established in 2006, Walker-Collinsworth Custom Builders builds homes in and around Memphis, focusing primarily on Collierville, Germantown, Lakeland, and Rossville. While they are best known for their custom homes, they also build semi-custom homes in the price range of $750k to more than $1.5 M.
In one home construction, the company worked with architect Lavelle Walker to help a couple recreate a historic Antebellum house in the Greek Revival style. Walker was determined to remain authentic to the original building in every way and went as far as traveling across the Mississippi to source the appropriate materials including reclaimed bricks and wood. The home’s layout was historically accurate but incorporated 21st-century amenities and functionalities, particularly in the kitchen. This story of an architect’s passion and dedication to his craft was featured in a 2017 issue of At Home Magazine,
Walker-Collinsworth Custom Builders works with other renowned architecture firms, including Looney Ricks Kiss, one of the nation’s most respected interior design firms. Together, they were selected to be the exclusive builder for Lakeland’s future Lake District Community and for Collierville’s Provenance neighborhood.
4) Ken Garland Custom Homes
5050 Poplar Ave., Suite 2402, Memphis, TN 38157
Established by founder Ken Garland Sr. in 1965, this firm is one of the few home builders in the Memphis area with a general contractor’s license to build homes exceeding $1 M. Many of their homes exceed the $1 M marker and can cost up to $10 million. A member of the Guild Masters, Ken Garland Custom Homes is certified by the NAHB as a Green Home Building professional.
As one of the premier custom home builders and remodeling contractors in the Memphis area, the firm has an excellent reputation with appraisers, architects, decorators, engineers, inspectors, tradespeople, and homeowners. Thanks to their use of quality materials and seamless partnerships with subcontractors, many homeowners become repeat-clients. Ken Garland Jr. is also actively involved in all of the projects and is now the local president for the Memphis Area Association of Home Builders.
Ken Garland Homes builds homes in Caylors Woods, The Cloisters, Forest Hills, Grove Park, Nottoway, Normandy Park, River Oaks, Riveredge, Southwind, The Laurels and The Enclave.
3) The Dave Moore Companies
PO Box 1683, Collierville, TN 38027
Founded in 1986, The Dave Moore Companies is a firm that has established itself as one of the most trusted companies in the area. With more than 30 years of experience building, renovating and remodeling homes, it is a certified member of the NAHB and the West Tennessee Home Builders Association. In 2013 and 2014, the firm entered their homes in the Vesta Home Show, winning the People’s Choice Award in both years. In 2017, they showcased The Abbey, a custom home inspired by an English country cottage that emphasizes outdoor living. As an accomplished builder and contractor, the firm has also won first place awards for Quality Craftsmanship from the Memphis Area Home Builders Association for projects between $250k and $450k
The firm’s founder, Dave Moore, has the reputation of a builder who pays close attention to the details. With a combination of creative insight, impeccable workmanship, exceptional service, and good communication, Dave Moore’s expertise is frequently sought by local award-winning planners and designers.
2) RKA Construction
81 Tillman St, Memphis, TN 38111
RKA construction may have been recently founded in 2011, but they already have completed many projects in upscale neighborhoods like Chickasaw Gardens, Harbor Town, Collierville, and Fayette County. In their less than 10 years in business, they have also been featured numerous times in outlets like Memphis Magazine, At Home, Architectural Digest, and The Memphis Daily News. Many of these features highlight RKA Construction’s ability to transform a traditional or standard home into a great home that suits modern lifestyles.
They have the media attention of a larger company, but RKA was a company that started out small and continues to focus on a handful of high-end remodels and custom homes. Founder Ryan Anderson has experience working on larger infrastructure projects, but realized that his passion has always been in building high-quality homes.
1) Archer Custom Builders
431 South Main, Suite 301, Memphis, TN 38103
Unlike most of the builders on this list, Archer Custom Builders works on commercial properties and multi-family buildings in addition to custom homes. It is perhaps their broad experience in complex non-residential construction such as historic renovations or restaurant build-outs that enable the firm to create some of the most impressive homes in the Memphis area.
Since its founding in 2001, Archer Custom Builders has created custom homes in a range of styles, from modern cottages to lofty lake houses. One of their most memorable projects is the contemporary-chic home named the Waddell Residence, created in collaboration with the nationally recognized architect firm Looney Ricks Kiss Architects. Described as a ‘livable work of art,’ this home marries steel, wood, stucco, and concrete into an architectural showpiece that overlooks the Mississippi River. The residence was featured in an episode of Southern Homes and Lifestyles and is just one building among over a half-dozen projects that have been recognized through awards or magazine features. Archer Custom Builders’ experience with highly technical construction makes them a great choice for, particularly ambitious or complex custom homes.
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