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Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin and the fifth-largest city in the Midwestern United States. It is also home to several historical and cultural attractions, making it an excellent destination for tourists. And with a lower cost of living compared to other major metropolitan areas, Milwaukee is also a great place to settle down. The median home value in Milwaukee is $118,300, while the average home in Nashville, Tennessee costs around $262,400, and a house in Jacksonville, Florida is typically valued at $172,300.
Most homeowners in Milwaukee live in the city’s surrounding metro area and older lakefront neighborhoods. The majority of residences in the city are freestanding duplex and single-family houses. Meanwhile, luxury apartments and townhomes embellish the city’s waterfront. Generally, Milwaukee homes are of the Traditional and Transitional styles, which highlight the city’s classic and timeless aesthetic.
Custom home builders in Milwaukee use care and precision to ensure and enhance the appeal and value of the city’s homes. These builders work hard to help homeowners realize their visions. Here, we have compiled a list of the top 15 custom home builders in the city based on the quality of their work, client satisfaction, and industry awards and recognition.
15) Lakeside Development Company
1500 W Market St, Ste 200, Mequon, WI 53092
Since 1986, Lakeside Development Company has been constructing and remodeling homes across Southeastern Wisconsin and has built a brand that clients trust and industry veterans acclaim. From the Metropolitan Builders Association (MBA) and Ozaukee Realtors’ Association to Better Homes and Gardens, several industry organizations and publications have validated the firm’s building experience and expertise.
The firm handles primarily new home constructions, residential and commercial remodels, and commercial development. Its team of expert designers and builders are adept in a variety of building styles, including Traditional, Contemporary, Craftsman, Rustic, beach style, Farmhouse, and Victorian. Over the years, the firm has perfected its trade by staying abreast of the latest industry technology and techniques and emphasizing purpose and longevity in every construction project it undertakes.
14) Steeple Pointe Homes
2426 N Grandview Blvd, Suite D, Waukesha, WI 53188
A member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Steeple Pointe Homes is committed to providing Southeastern Wisconsin residents with safe, comfortable, and affordable housing. For more than 20 years, this premier home builder has developed extensive skills and experience in building and remodeling spaces of all shapes and sizes. The firm can construct Transitional, shabby chic, Cottage, Farmhouse, Craftsman, Contemporary, and Traditional homes, among other styles.
Steeple Pointe Homes keeps clients fully engaged in every stage of the construction process by maintaining regular, open communication and providing practical advice during decision-making. Moreover, the firm offers flexible accommodation and selection processes to easily align the homeowner’s desires with their budget. Steeple Homes provide exceptional value, quality, and craftsmanship, which is why the firm has gained so much recognition, such as a feature in the 2018 Parade of Homes.
13) Perthel Homes
N61 W13495 Cattail Ct, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
With more than 30 years in the building industry, Perthel Homes has developed significant expertise in the design and construction of Milwaukee homes. The firm has mastered creating spaces in several styles, including Craftsman, Transitional, Modern, Traditional, and Farmhouse. Many of the firm’s projects have received positive recognition and feedback from clients and industry experts, like the MBA and the NAHB. The firm has grown into one of the most prominent family-owned home building companies in the area.
Each Perthel home is carefully crafted from the ground up to maximize space and guarantee coordination and balance in the design. In addition to precise architecture, the firm ensures exacting standards, durable materials, and superior craftsmanship, all of which are evident in the firm’s award-winning home, the Bristlecone.
The Bristlecone nabbed several awards at the 2017 MBA Parade of Homes, including People’s Choice Awards for Overall Home, Best Landscaping, Best Room, and Best Interior Design. It is a two-story home that features a two-story foyer and great room with a winding staircase and an overlooking catwalk. Built-in Bosch appliances, granite countertops, a custom tiled backsplash, and expansive cabinetry give the kitchen a luxurious feel, while the spacious master suite touts a custom two-person tile shower and separate “throne” room. Additionally, the house has a game room and theater room, which is pre-wired with surround sound and a projector.
12) JFK Design Build
36055 Ravinia Park Blvd, Oconomowoc, WI 53066
Owned by Jeff Burg, JFK Design Build specializes in the design and construction of custom single-family homes, multi-family condominiums, and commercial buildings all over Southeastern Wisconsin. The firm’s work is driven by the philosophy of “practical luxury,” in which clients can decide what luxury means to them— whether it entails an expansive house with lavish features or a cozier home with finer amenities. This, as well as the firm’s commitment to exceptional craftsmanship, has helped JFK Design Build’s homes earn recognition from the MBA and Milwaukee Home and Fine Living. Jeff is the President of the LBA for 2019 and also won the 2018 builders choice award for the LBA.
Over the years, JFK Design Build has developed proficiency in building spaces of various styles. Among these are Contemporary, Transitional, Mediterranean, Midcentury, Rustic, Modern, and beach style homes, all of which have distinctive features. One of the firm’s most notable projects is a Contemporary home on a three-acre land full of mature pine trees in Delafield. The house is characterized by sharp corners and varied roof angles set against a simple stone and wood exterior, creating a look that is both Modern and Rustic.
11) PEA Builders
W195 S7548 Woodland Place, Muskego, WI 53150
As his first venture into sustainable building, Steve Homa started a deck building and remodeling business after graduating in 1991) Soon after, his passion for high-performance construction drove him to pursue home building in a new way. He built his first home in 1995 using structural insulated panels (SIPs) and insulated concrete forms. Homa saw how these materials outperformed traditional stick frame construction, which is why he continued his research and use of other alternative building methods. These methods became the foundation of Progressive Environmental Alternatives (PEA) Builders.
PEA Builders provides the Metropolitan Milwaukee Area with sustainable home building services. The firm’s distinguished work has been recognized by several industry organizations, such as the MBA and the Lakeland Builders Association (LBA), and in publications such as Milwaukee Home and Fine Living and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. One notable project is the Elmhurst, which is a sun-tempered home. In this building, high performance meets Rustic barn, with SIP walls covered with 100-year-old recycled barn boards and a stone veneered foundation insulated with polystyrene foundation foam. The home’s interior décor is an eclectic mix of modern and traditional materials, centered around a custom booth that the owners brought from their previous home. The radiant hydronic floors, air conditioning, and domestic hot water in the building are all powered by a geothermal and solar power system.
10) Korndoerfer Homes
7900 Durand Ave, Building 10, Sturtevant, WI 53177
From the first Korndoerfer home built in 1926 to the many homes that followed, the firm has maintained its commitment to using the finest materials and employing sustainable techniques. Korndoerfer Homes provides homeowners in Southeastern Wisconsin with custom home building and land development services while always striving for quality, value, and architectural character. The firm is a member of the Racine Kenosha Builders Association (RKBA), which has constantly recognized and awarded the firm’s projects for their quality and design.
One of the firm’s most impressive builds is the Summerhill in the Shadow Wood neighborhood in Mount Pleasant. The 2,622-square-foot home features an open-concept for cooking, dining, and lounging and includes three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, and a three-car garage. The house has a great room with a corner fireplace made of stacked stone, as well as a sunroom with three walls made entirely of windows. The main floor is finished with a flex room with double glass doors, a laundry room, a mudroom, and a master suite. The master suite boasts a spa-like bathroom that showcases a tile shower with a bench, vanities with quartz countertops, and a large walk-in closet. Upstairs, there are two bedrooms, a homework loft, and a full bath with a double-bowl sink.
9) Highland Builders
1221 Eder Ln, West Bend, WI 53095
Highland Builders was established by Todd Wolff and Shane Pionkowski in 2003 to provide the five-county Milwaukee area with premier custom homes, additions, and remodeling services. Rather than aim for high volume, Highland Builders focuses on crafting functional spaces that meet the structural and design requirements of its clients. The firm’s exacting attention to detail and consistent on-site construction oversight help create homes that are the result of the highest standards and practices.
The firm mostly works on Traditional, Transitional, Craftsman, Rustic, Contemporary, and Modern homes. Several of these homes have been recognized by Milwaukee Home and Fine Living and have won Design Awards under various categories, including Best New Custom Home Under $1 Million and Best Remodel/Addition Over $100k. One such building is a custom-designed, story-and-a-half Craftsman home with a raised porch accented with large stone piers and paneled columns. Its gables are accented with board and batten siding, and the standing seam metal roof is supported by large cedar brackets above the garage door.
8) Bear Homes
3809 23rd St, Kenosha, WI 53140
A family-run company spanning multiple generations, Bear Homes has built numerous custom, semi-custom, and move-in-ready single-family homes across Southeastern Wisconsin. The firm has high expectations for its team and high regard for its clients, as it ensures precision and professionalism in every home design, development, and construction project it undertakes.
Clients and industry experts alike laud Bear Homes for its knowledge, high industry standards, and, above all, the diligent follow-up that defines and distinguishes the firm’s customer service. The firm creates each home with careful consideration of architecture, materials, community amenities, and economics. As members of various industry associations, such as the NAHB, the Wisconsin Builders Association, and Focus on Energy, the firm can select the best and most appropriate designs and materials for specific client needs. Additionally, being affiliated with these organizations enables the firm to continuously learn and employ better and more sustainable building techniques.
7) Design Group Three
5050 N Port Washington Rd, Milwaukee, WI 53217
Whether it’s a small closet remodel, a major kitchen or bathroom renovation, or a new custom home construction, Design Group Three delivers a consistent level of quality, service, and detail to every project it undertakes. The designs created by the firm’s architects are skillfully realized by construction crews using proven systems and procedures; this ensures that every aspect of the building process meets industry standards and client expectations. According to former clients, what sets the firm apart are its innovative designs and meticulous communication.
Since 1989, Design Group Three has been cultivating a reputation in Southeastern Wisconsin and throughout the United States for its unique design solutions. The firm has shown expertise in creating spaces of various styles, including Traditional, Craftsman, Contemporary, Modern, Eclectic, Midcentury, and Rustic elements. The spaces created by the firm are highly acclaimed and have won several awards, including a Gold Award for Bathroom Remodeling and the Best Home Remodeler at the Wisconsin Remodeler Awards. These spaces have also been featured in various publications, such as Qualified Remodeler Magazine and Milwaukee Magazine.
6) Ruebl Builders
W358 S8401 State Road 59, Eagle, WI 53119
Ruebl Builders has been developing custom luxury homes in Southeastern Wisconsin since 1949, specializing in lake home constructions, teardowns, and large, country estates. All Ruebl homes are built to exacting standards and expectations and come with a five-year warranty. They are also constructed with sustainability in mind, as the firm commonly uses SIPs, engineered lumber, floor and roof trusses, and other similar materials in its projects. Whether it’s a cottage, Craftsman, Rustic, log, French Country, mountain, Modern, or a timber-frame custom home, every Ruebl project is given the same level of care and efficiency.
One reason clients prefer Ruebl Builders to other firms is its open-book accounting policy, which provides transparency across the board so that clients can easily make financial decisions. Additionally, many commend the firm’s designers, builders, and home automation consultants, who provide extensive design and product expertise and know exactly how to accommodate the client’s structural and functional requirements. This dedication to the best industry practices is evidenced by the firm’s affiliations with prominent industry organizations, such as the NAHB, the MBA, and the LBA.
5) Tim O’Brien Homes
N27 W24075 Paul Court, Pewaukee, WI 53072
Since 2007, Tim O’Brien Homes has been striving to improve the home building experience by concentrating on energy efficiency, innovative designs, green building practices, and renewable technologies. The firm primarily offers custom home building and home-and-lot packages in the Milwaukee and Madison areas and provides a five-year energy savings guarantee, a ten-year limited warranty, and green saving benefits that ensure value, longevity, and comfort.
The firm’s projects are reflections of its dedication to sustainable living. Tim O’Brien Homes’ building processes are based on the need to preserve natural resources while ensuring value and comfort. For every project, the firm’s team of knowledgeable and dedicated experts create smart floor plans and select eco-friendly features that have lower maintenance costs and help save money on utility bills. Tim O’Brien homes have earned various awards, including the MBA Builder of the Year Award and the Energy Star Leadership in Housing Award. One of the firm’s home was recognized as the First NAHB Certified Green Home in the state of Wisconsin.
4) Clark Design Build
124 W Freistadt Rd, Mequon, WI 53092
Over the past decade, Clark Design Build has developed strong relationships with the best craftspeople and suppliers in the state. This has allowed the firm to provide Milwaukee homeowners with high-quality construction services at a great value. Specializing in home building and remodeling, Clark Design Build is proficient in developing spaces of various styles. Its team of experts can integrate Transitional, Contemporary, Craftsman, Modern, and Traditional elements into harmonious designs while underscoring individuality and functionality.
Numerous clients vouch for the boutique builder’s excellent attention to detail, quality of design, and customer service. As members of the NARI and the MBA, the firm upholds professionalism and industry standards by ensuring that its residential building projects are handled using precise skills and techniques and with great care. As a result, the firm’s projects have been featured in the Milwaukee Journal and M Magazine Northshore Edition.
3) Aspen Homes
325 Oakton Ave, Ste 202, Pewaukee, WI 53072
For the past 29 years, Aspen Homes has built hundreds of homes throughout Wisconsin. Whether it’s selecting the perfect countertop or finding a special lighting fixture, the Aspen team is dedicated to building clients’ custom homes to suit their individual personalities and lifestyles. The firm’s extensive portfolio features spaces of Eclectic, Traditional, Contemporary, Craftsman, Modern, Transitional, and Rustic styles.
The Kacey exemplifies the firm’s creativity and building expertise. Rustic stonework, decorative brackets, and Cedar shakes flavor this home’s exterior with Old World French styling, while the interior is characterized by a Modern open-plan layout. The core of the home is comprised of a great room with expansive windows and an intricate fireplace; a kitchen with a granite island and a spacious pantry; and a roomy dining area perfect for a sit-down meal. Just past the dining area is a secluded master bedroom suite with a bathroom, a walk-in closet, and personal laundry facilities. Meanwhile, the upper level includes three bedrooms, a loft, a large bathroom, and an additional laundry area.
2) Joseph Douglas Homes
N50 W13740 Overview Dr, Suite D, Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
Joseph Douglas Homes has provided Southeastern Wisconsin homeowners with award-winning building and remodeling services since 1998. The firm can build a space according to one of its own or a client’s plans, as well as design a one-of-a-kind home from the ground up. In addition, the firm can remodel kitchens and baths, build additions, and finish basements.
All homes by Joseph Douglas are not only built to Energy Star standards but are also certified by an independent entity, which sees to it that every Joseph Douglas home conforms to the highest energy efficiency standards. The firm ensures sustainable practices as well as the use of energy efficient equipment, such as high-efficiency furnaces, direct vent fireplaces, power-vented hot water heaters, and more.
In the Sussex subdivision, Joseph Douglas Homes built an award-winning split-bedroom ranch called the Bristol. With many custom features, the 3,809-square-foot French country residence has an impressive roof line and a grand porch. The home features a luxurious master suite that has plenty of space for a sitting area, a king-size bed, and two walk-in closets. Furthermore, a private bath houses a double vanity, a big shower, and a separate water closet.
At the other end of the first floor is another bedroom with a private bath, as well as a laundry room, a guest powder room, and a mudroom. Meanwhile, the lower level houses a bar, a theater area, and a billiards room, making it the perfect place to hang out and relax. This same level is completed by a third bedroom with a full bathroom and an exercise room.
1) Belman Homes
1407 E Sunset Dr, Waukesha, WI 53189
For more than 35 years, Belman Homes has served the Waukesha and surrounding Milwaukee communities as land developers, realtors, and home and green home building experts. Founded by Don Belman and joined by his son, David, the firm quickly built a reputation for constructing and selling outstanding single-family homes and condominiums. The firm’s projects have been acclaimed by distinguished industry associations, such as the NARI and the MBA, and have won prestigious awards, such as the MBA Builder of the Year Award.
One of the firm’s most prominent builds is a 4,667-square-foot home with five bedrooms, three and a half baths, a three-and-a-half car garage, and smart home features. The house touts a full-view screened-in porch and bright windows set against a beautiful hand-split stone exterior. Meanwhile, the interior features a grand foyer with a barrel vault ceiling, which leads into a 13-foot-tall great room. Similarly, the first floor houses a lofty master suite with tall ceilings, a spacious wardrobe closet, and an impressive bath with a freestanding Kohler VibrAcoustic tub and a digital shower system.
Located on the second level are four spacious bedrooms, twin computer workstations, and a compartment bath that accommodates two people at the same time. A hidden room can also be accessed through the double staircase and features an indoor tree fort, swings, and play areas. On the other hand, a finished lower level features a rich bar accented with stone, columns, glass, and custom cabinetry. Found on the same level are a large activity room, a fifth bedroom, and a full bathroom.
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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
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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.