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According to Zillow, New York State currently has a median home price of $301,900. New York not only provides locals and tourists with endless amenities and urban playgrounds; it is also a prime location where many contractors reside and wait for new clients looking to build their dream homes. Though New York is also a hub for world-class architects and remodelers, this list features the best custom home builders in the state of New York. These contractors were chosen not only because they showcased some of the most luxurious homes in the state, but also because most of them have years of experience to support a work ethic that exhibits precision, care, and attentiveness towards their clients all of which results in lasting relationships that bring in more customers.
The majority of the firms in this list have been featured in industry magazines like Luxe, Architectural Digest, Celebrated Living, Custom Homes Magazine, and Elle Decor. Some were also given awards like the Home Builders and Remodelers Association’s Home Building Industry Awards (or HOBI) which showcases the best products and services for new home construction, land development, remodeling, commercial construction, sales, marketing, and financing. Aside from magazine recognition and award wins, these firms also have memberships with organizations like the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the Long Island Builders Institute (LIBI), and the New York State Builders Association (NYSBA). Alongside these organizations, most firms also have memberships in the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) since the homes they build are often created to be sustainable and eco-friendly.
14) Napoleon Development
345 Hillside Ave. Suite D Williston Park, NY 11596
Napoleon Development has been in operation for more than 20 years. During this time, it has established itself as a firm that builds homes with the exceptional precision that goes along with the team’s standards for building the perfect home for its client. Most of these distinguished homes exhibit distinct styles such as neoclassical, shingle, French eclectic, farmhouse and the French country style, which can be seen in one of the firm’s most notable projects. The firm does not compromise its aesthetic details for any project. Some of these houses even have high-quality materials including stone imported from Israel, fixtures from Italy, handmade cabinetry, and windows and doors from lumber and cedar company Marvin.
Aside from building such beautiful homes that can contain diverse materials from all over the globe, Napoleon Development is one of the many firms that dedicates itself to sustainable building. Along with its homes, the firm’s construction methods and materials are known to exceed Energy Star ratings. These sustainable homes may also carry innovative designs like elevators, Smart home automation, and Luton technology that can accommodate any client’s needs. Currently, Ilan Yerushalmi serves as Napoleon Development’s president; the firm has memberships in the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Long Island Builders Institute (LIBI), and the New York State Builders Association (NYSBA).
13) Alexim Builders
33 Flying Point Rd. Suite #133, Southampton, NY 11968
A firm with over 25 years of experience, Alexim Builders generally creates homes that exhibit traditional, new traditional, or modern styles. One great example of its homes is this modern residence in East Hampton. Carrying a light-colored wood facade, this two-story home is a great addition to the forest it’s been fit into. To take advantage of beautiful mornings and twilight views, the builder and architect installed numerous wide windows that allow natural light to flood into the already airy and spacious rooms. During its years of building, Alexim Builders has been able to provide its clients with high-quality construction that also utilizes sustainable green methods whenever possible or when requested.
John Ania currently serves as the firm’s president. Aside from being swift and careful with gaining the requisite permits, Ania is known to create plans that are straight forward and easy to work with.
12) Stokkers and Company
70 Main St. Suite #202, Huntington, NY 11743
A builder that collaborates with respected architects from different parts of the nation, Stokkers and Company has been building a diverse set of luxury custom homes since company president Dale Stokkers established it in 1983. Most of these homes exhibit the French country, victorian, Queen Anne revival, shingle, Georgian, and rustic styles. One of the firm’s most notable homes carries a post-modern style. Located in Lloyd Harbor, this 10,000 square foot waterfront custom home’s most notable feature is its iconic and commanding brick and limestone facade—a dark color scheme that beautifully strikes against its surrounding greenery. Along with architecture firm Mojo Summer and Associates, Stokkers also perfectly aligned the house with the property so that the waterfront is captured in a stunning panorama of Huntington Bay and the Long Island Sound.
Aside from the firm’s association with exceptional architects and industry organizations like the NAHB and LIBI, Stokker is also recognized as the firm that built the first LEED-certified home in Long Island.
11) Phil Kouffman Builder
33 Cedar Trail, East Hampton, NY 11937
Knowledgeable, responsive, honest, straight-forward, accessible: these qualities are what Phil Kouffman Builder’s track record is most recognized for since its establishment in 1960. The firm currently builds some of the most exclusive modern and traditional homes in the Hampton’s prime locations. One of these beautiful homes is the Southampton Ultra-Modern home in Great Peconic Bay. Designed by Pablo Jendretzki, the 7,000 square foot, two-story home is uniquely positioned so that every room—especially the open concept kitchen and living room looking out at the infinity swimming pool’s deck and lounge—has a view of the waterfront. Over the course of half a century, Phil Kouffman Builder’s work has come from referrals, real estate brokers, and architects.
Because of all this success, the firm has been able to build relationships with several organizations, individuals, and businesses across the East End. In total, the firm currently has connections with 22 New York architects, one California architect, and another in Brazil. The firm was founded by the late Maurice H. Kouffman, best known for building some of East Hampton’s most historic landmarks like the East Hampton Cinema, East Hampton House, and 66 Newton Lane. Philipp D. Kouffman, current CEO and president combines constant client communication and properly handled project management, has helped the company’s growth in building high-end residential homes.
10) Cardel Development
2411 Main St., Bridgehampton, NY 11932
Pater Cardel has built fine homes for East Long Island for many years. Today, the firm has built nearly 70 of these beautiful homes. Even during the recession, this 17-year-old firm was able to grow thanks to its connections with high-end architects. With its reputation of building fine custom homes that stem from recognized designers and architects, Cardel Development was featured in Beach Magazine, Resortist, and Luxe where it was included in the 2016 Gold list. One example of the distinguishable homes that granted the firm its recognition is this beautiful modern country home in Bridgehampton South, lined with floor to ceiling windows that allow in as much light as the home’s surroundings can give.
Homes such as this are found mostly south of highway 27 between Southampton Village and Amagansett and carry home values between $4 million and $25 million. Aside from custom homes, Cardel Development also builds speculative homes.
10821 Eagle Dr., North Collins, NY 14111
A firm that combines timeless aesthetics with the industry’s most energy-efficient enclosure system, Timberbuilt has been known for building stunning and eco-friendly timber frame homes since George Klemens founded it in 1988. Comfortable and architecturally distinct, Timberbuilt usually builds homes in the prairie, ranch, and modern styles. One great example of these homes is the Marshall home, which received Timber Home Living’s 2013 and 2015 Reader’s Choice Awards. Exhibiting a modest footprint, this home includes multiple outdoor spaces and a large loft. Two large timber bents sit on posts to help flank the traffic flow moving from the entry to the master suite.
Like many of the other houses built, the firm also installed structural insulated panels (SIP) to air-seal and insulate the home’s walls and roof. Thanks to this insulation system, Timberbuilt homes tend to cut off heat loss by 60% while minimizing utility bills and carbon footprints.
150 East 58th St., Architects & Designers Building, New York, NY 10155
Grand homes and historic townhouses—these are the types of homes that have helped Xhema become one of the best luxury home builders in America. Established in 1999 and headed by Jim Xhema, Xhema has been featured in magazines like Architectural Digest, New York Spaces, W, and Luxury Home. It has an arsenal of various construction services and has fully-integrated, permanent staff that helped the firm build projects for the Hamptons, New Jersey, and even Connecticut. These homes generally exhibit elegant styles like the Tudor, neoclassical, and Georgian styles. One great example of these elegant homes is a Tudor residence in the countryside, with a panoramic view of the waterfront.
Xhema has two large working mills and one of the region’s finest finishing companies along with a plethora of craftsmen—plasterers, painters, carpenters, and stone masons—many of whom were trained by European masters. Period environments, meanwhile, are easily done by nine of the company’s house dealers, who can create magnificent views with just one reference photo. The firm also has specialists in drafting, engineering, and integrated computer control systems as permanent staff.
7) Kean Development Company
5 Main St. Suite #3, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724
Since 1980, Kean Development Company has been serving Cold Spring Harbor, the Hamptons, New York, and Florida’s Palm Beach. With its wide reach, it has been recognized as one of the country’s premier luxury design/build firms whose work has been featured in several publications, such as Architectural Digest, Veranda, House, and NYTimes.com. Many of the eye-catching custom residences this firm builds exhibits the shingle, neoclassical, English Tudor, Tudor, and French styles. One of Kean Development Company’s stunning projects is “Olde Towne” which is minutes away from the ocean and quaint village of Southampton on Long Island’s East End. It has more than 40 acres of mature hedgerow and towering trees that envelope ten remarkable lots with shingle-style country manors.
Tower House, Summer House, and Twin Peaks meanwhile are wonderful examples of Kean Development Company’s devotion to creating pristine, high-end estates with luxurious amenities like pools, pool houses, tennis courts, and roof-top putting greens. Some of these homes can also have fabulous interior spaces like bowling alleys, chef kitchens, basketball courts, spa/gyms, elevators, and several master suites. Another great example of the firm’s expertise is a shingle style retreat set on a ridge overlooking one of the most picturesque harbors on Long Island. Though the home was recently built, it was featured in House and boasts a design that evokes the sense of a vintage, late 19th-century manor house. It has a mass of gabled ends, and a turret garbed in cedar shakes and anchored with stonework in the Richardson-Romanesque style.
Aside from this project, the firm’s ability is highlighted at Olde Towne where both the Tower and Summer houses stand. The Summer House, in particular, is a picturesque example of homes that can offer relaxation just at the sight of its exterior. In this case, the home’s facade makes the evening much grander as its stained gray facade starts to look like a charming blue at dusk.
6) Rockwell Developers
60 Cutter Mill Rd. Suite #610, Great Neck, NY 11021
A custom home builder that has been featured in Luxury Magazine, Rockwell Developers builds homes sized from 4,000 to 10,000 square feet or more. These homes are generally constructed in the Tudor, Georgian, Shingle, Mediterranean, transitional, and colonial styles. One great example of these houses is a French Eclectic home with a red brick facade that balances the lightness of its blue dutch gable roof. Projects like these—high quality, within budget, and energy-efficient—are only possible thanks to principal duo Jonathan Bijari and Danny Ostad—individuals who were previously industry rivals.
Bijari worked for a developer, building high-end commercial buildings in Brooklyn, where he learned the basics. He then started building his own homes around Brooklyn and Queens. Ostad, meanwhile, started building homes on Long Island’s North Shore in 2002. The two collaborated to form Rockwell Developers in 2010.
5) Taconic Builders
39 West 37th St. New York, NY 10018
A firm that has worked with numerous architects since 1986, Taconic Builders has created homes that were featured in several industry magazines, including House Beautiful, Veranda, Architectural Digest, Luxe, Home and Garden, and The Modern Estate. One of the many homes that brought the firm its recognition is the Westchester Wooded Contemporary House. Designed by architect firm Carol J W Kurth Architects, this home is a secluded wooden work of art in the middle of a quiet forest. Along with this home, the firm has also completed homes that exhibit the mid-century, modern, and farmhouse styles. Another great example of the firm’s work is the Southampton Beach House designed by Steven Harris Architects.
A home that seems to carry a simplistic design at first, this rectangular beach house is made of board-formed concrete that seems to hover above two piers; the first one is faceted and tapered to make as small a footprint as possible, and the second one is large enough to contain and seal the garage. Though the home has many amazing designs, its most notable feature is the twin 10-by 24-foot glass windows that drop down into the service space below and exposes the living area to the sea breeze. Aside from creating such beautiful homes, Taconic Builders focuses on green initiatives and has a history of responsible recycling and resource management.
412 West 127th St., New York, NY 10027
A full-service general contractor and construction management firm, Duce specializes in building and renovating high-end luxury homes and estates in New York City, Connecticut, and New Jersey. The New York Building Managers Association (NYMBA) named it 2016’s Vendor for the year. The firm has also been featured in several publications, including The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, and Classic Home. So far, the firm has built homes in the Tudor, colonial, modern, farmhouse, and prairie styles. Another one of its homes, meanwhile, was built in a Dutch Colonial style, and was painted with the warmth and brightness of light brown and emerald green colors mirroring the foliage and landscape around the home.
Duce has been creating such homes for three decades, since company president Rory McCreesh founded the firm. After McCreesh started his career as a carpenter in 1985, he was able to develop strong relationships with several major architectural and design firms in and around New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
3) John Hummel and Associates
20 West 22nd St. Suite #1505, New York, NY 10010
Over John Hummel and Associates’ three decades of experience, it has been able to build homes in the Hamptons, New York City, and Connecticut. These homes are usually constructed in the colonial, prairie, Tudor, farmhouse, and modern styles. One of its most notable projects, built in a modern shingle style, was given AIA’s 2019 Housing Award. “The Georgica Cove” was designed by architecture firm Bates Masi + Architects and is found in East Hampton, where it sits on a cove overlooking the ocean. The house was built for a couple who were alone for the majority of their time, but who still enjoy busy weekends with their children, grandchildren, and friends.
The house has three areas—the personal, guest, and public areas. All three are arranged around the courtyard to create visual and physical connections between the structures. Cedar shingles were scaled up to the size of boards to cover the roof and sidewalls, while oak floors and millwork carpet the spaces. A limestone plinth was also filled with sand to elevate the house above the floodplain while still creating dry wells to accept the stormwater runoff.
John Hummel and Associates has built many more eye-catching projects, gaining the firm features in magazines like Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, Town and Country, Hampton Cottages and Gardens, Bazaar, and Veranda. The firm is currently handled by company president and founder John Hummel. After completing a construction management degree in Delhi, Hummel began to dedicate his time to his clients; 30 years later, this dedication has resulted in his reputation as one of the regional leaders in building high-end custom homes.
2) Legacy Construction Northeast
10 New King St. Suite #208, White Plains, NY 10604
From speculative homes to residential custom construction in Connecticut, Westchester, the Hamptons in New York and Nantucket, Legacy Construction Northeast is a 14-year-old firm is known to produce high-quality work that leads to long-term trust and loyalty, as well as long-lasting relationships with clients and architects. Though it has only been around for 14 years, it carries over 50 years of construction management experience from founders and partners, Chris and Tom Yaroscak. The firm has gained much recognition thanks to the pair’s experience. It has been featured in magazines like Luxe, AtHome, Outdoor Home, and Westchester Home. Its homes have also received several HOBI awards from the Home Builders and Remodelers Association (HBRA), the 2014 and 2015 Best Architecture Design Awards, and the American Institute of Architects (AIA)’s Design Awards from 2000 to 2014. In 2018, the firm also won the AIA Westchester and Hudson Valley Design Honor for the Treetop Lodge, a home designed by Carol Kurth Architecture.
Another one of these award-winning homes is the Sterling Residence, which was designed by architecture firm Carol Kurth Architects. By interconnecting buildings and vernacular barn forms, the team was able to create a collection of smaller structures that gave the impression of a tiny village. Cedar shakes, copper, vertical barn siding, indigenous stone, and solid walnut were meshed with the stone wall spine bisecting the house. Aside from being an award-winning home, the Sterling Residence has also been featured in many other publications and T.V. production pieces. Along with this project is the Art House, a modern home that won the 2014 AIA Top Design Award.
1) Hobbs Inc
450 Lexington Ave., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10017
A firm that doesn’t shy from working with renowned architects, designers, craftsmen, and suppliers in the industry, Hobbs Inc. is known for making the most beautiful homes in the New York area. In its 65 years of building, Hobbs Inc. has associated itself with industry organizations like the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the Association of General Contractors (AGC), and the Home Builders and Remodelers Association (HBRA) of Fairfield County and Connecticut. Hobbs Inc. has constructed numerous eye-catching projects, featured in magazines like Luxe, AtHome, Architectural Digest, Hamptons Cottage and Garden, and Custom Home Magazine. The firm has also been recognized with awards like the Home Builders and Remodelers Association’s 2015, 2017 and 2018 HOBI Awards.
Another great example of the firm’s ability is the Modern Waterfront in Rye. Designed by architecture firm David Wallance Architect, it’s a hillside home that overlooks the Long Island Sound. The home takes advantage of the location set before an area where sunrises and sunsets are clear and oriented the home’s living and dining rooms towards the garden in a way that makes the house appear flooded by light. The home’s rear facade is framed by windows sized proportionately to the bright, sloping ceiling shading the balconies.
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