Sin City is well known to be home to some of the most colorful establishments in the country. But what you might not know is that tucked away from the famous Strip, North Las Vegas is also home to some of the most luxurious custom-built residences in the country.
The cost of living is high in Las Vegas, and housing rates are a big part of the reason why: as with most things Vegas, residents tend to go big when it comes to housing. The upside is that if you’re thinking of building here, you’ll find plenty of skilled, innovative home builders that are more than capable of making your dream home even better than your conception. So many, in fact, that finding the right one for your needs can be a bit bewildering.
We’ve hand-picked 13 of the best. We considered builders’ backgrounds, the distinctions they’ve earned, and the kinds of projects they do. The rankings are important, but all of the firms on this list are capable of delivering the goods, and they all service the most exciting city in America.
13) Canyon Creek Custom Homes
Website | 702-521-5030 | 8820 Steven Chase Ct., Las Vegas, NV 89149
John McDonough established Canyon Creek Custom Homes to translate the grandeur and luxury of Las Vegas through homebuilding. McDonough has strong cultural memory: he has lived in the city 40 years and can tell you about all the building trends that have come, and gone, during that time period. Perhaps for that reason, Canyon Creek Custom Homes tend to build classic Mediterranean multi-level homes and palatial estates that complement Vegas’s desert landscape.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal featured Canyon Creek Custom Homes for a huge, 6,500 square feet, Santa Barbara-style home that includes seven bathrooms and five bedrooms. This style was a great choice for the location; the Spanish accents give color to the stark desert landscape of Nevada. The firm also incorporated picture windows into the home to update that style, and the windows capture the natural desert light, creating the impression that the home sits at the cusp of the desert.
12) Elegant Homes
Website | 702-341-7437 | 9225 W Flamingo Rd. Suite #170, Las Vegas, NV 89147
A tragic accident can mean the end of a career, but not for Ranny McKee. At the age of 25, McKee was living his life to the fullest when a motocross incident left him paralyzed. Everyone thought that it would be the end of his career, but seven months later, McKee was back on his feet and, not long after, started Elegant Homes. 25 years later, the firm has made more than 25 custom luxury homes for North Las Vegas and its surrounding areas. The firm specializes in wide-scale projects such as multi-level homes, mansions, and estates. Its most common styles include Mediterranean and Tuscan villas.
True to its name, Elegant Homes specializes in the kind of luxurious custom homes that catch the attention of household names in the sports and entertainment industries. NFL Player Steven Jackson is a happy client, and one of its projects was featured on MTV Cribs.
11) Domanico Custom Homes
Website | 702-241-8585 | 3230 S Buffalo Dr. Suite #105, Las Vegas, NV 89117
Despite being a New York native, Ernie Domanico always knew that his real home was Vegas. After he graduated from college, he bought a vacant lot in Sin City, and he knew it would be the best investment he ever made. And it was, but it didn’t turn out quite the way he expected. What was supposed to be a real estate investment became the location of his first custom home. That experience inspired him to get his own general contractor license and start Domanico Custom Homes in 1979. The firm has now built over a hundred homes across Las Vegas and has become a staple on the Nevada home building scene. Domanico Custom is a regular participant in the annual Parade of Homes, and it has also received the People’s Choice award and the Best Builder award.
The firm’s portfolio suggests that its projects are predominantly contemporary with rustic accents. Some of its designs have Victorian accents that add a touch of grandeur. Nevada’s most prestigious neighborhoods, including The Ridges, Southern Highlands, and MacDonald Highlands, regularly welcome these gorgeous builds into their communities.
10) Element Building Company
Website | 702-685-440 | 1671 W Horizon Ridge Pkwy. Suite #100, Henderson, NV 89012
Innovative construction science and green building techniques are two priorities of Element Building Company. Established in 2003, the LEED Platinum builders have revolutionized the Nevada building scene by making innovation the foundation of their business. The firm’s holistic building method applies smart energy-saving features to construct an efficient home. But efficiency isn’t everything; Element Building Company also makes sure that its homes are aesthetically pleasing. Its portfolio boasts traditional homes finished with modern execution.
Founder Josh Anderson was recently featured in The Las Vegas Review-Journal for his insights into green building. Anderson talked about his passion for creating green homes at an affordable price. He said that green building isn’t difficult, but it does take an investment of time. But time is a worthy investment: the home will last longer, and is far more efficient.
9) RW Bugbee and Associates
Website | 702-388-9133 | 8635 W Sahara Ave. Suite #550, Las Vegas, NV 89117
Robert Bugbee is one of Las Vegas’s experts in the homebuilding industry. His C.V. includes being the city’s planning commissioner and a stint as a successful real-estate agent. In both roles, Bugbee noticed that there was a lack of affordable entry homes in Nevada. In 1977, he established RW Bugbee and Associates with his son.
His son Scott has since taken over the legacy his father gave him, and refit the firm to cater to a more prestigious clientele. Today the firm is known for bringing contemporary designs to Vegas’s finest CEOs and casino owners. Most of its projects employ contemporary architecture finished with minimalist furnishing. These architecturally sound homes have garnered awards from prestigious organizations, including a citation award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
The press loves the firm’s modern designs. The Las Vegas Review-Journal and Architecture Magazine have both run features recognizing its innovative architecture. And the firm’s finished builds have gained attention because they are found in the middle of a literal oasis, and are designed to highlight that fact. The homes are visually pleasing, with distinctive facades, accented by strong geometric lines.
8) American West Homes
Website | 702-736-6434 | 250 Pilot Rd. Suite #140, Las Vegas, NV 89119
Established by Larry Canarelli, American West Homes is one of the biggest speculative builders in southern Nevada. California native Canarelli advocates for affordable, large homes. This is why American West Homes develops homes that are traditional, yet innovative and functional. Canarelli’s efforts to bring more economical housing market to Las Vegas has been recognized by National Mortgage Professional Magazine who named him on their annual 100 Most Influential Mortgage Professionals Under 40 list. American West’s reputation is not limited to Nevada; they have won more than 200 national awards.
The firm’s portfolio has a variety of traditional designs with Tuscan or Spanish twists. American West Homes aim to build homes that maintain the classic elegance of the traditional residence, and they are warm, family-friendly, and functional.
7) Raftery Homes
Website | 702-242-4475 | 3030 South Durango Dr., Las Vegas, NV 89117
Raftery Homes is the product of Jack Raftery’s 30 years of building experience. Raftery’s projects were never typical custom homes, and he’s imparted that idiosyncratic vision to his firm, whose works consist of mansions, tree houses, modern cabins, and contemporary estates. The firm has claimed numerous awards, including a Best in American Living award for its custom homes, kitchens, and bathrooms. Raftery Homes has also been featured in national publications like The Wall Street Journal and it’s a regular in the annual Street of Dreams.
The firm’s timeless homes are often accented by stone, and play with strong geometric lines. This modern cabin changes what you thought you knew about cabins. It’s a contemporary home, with open space created through wood paneling, and it includes a generous porch, a wine room, and an outdoor nook complete with fireplace.
Website | 702-629-7222 | 817 S Main St., Las Vegas, NV 89101
AIA member Jason Strodl founded Adapture as an architect-centered design-build company. Recognized by Architecture Las Vegas magazine as a new architect to watch, Strodl goes outside the design box by turning multi-level homes into modern glass homes. The concept of the glass home is hardly new, but applying it to multi-level homes is quite ambitious. Adapture pulls it off using industrial materials that give a more stylized character to the space. This brilliant variation on an old idea has brought the firm awards, and the kind of awards custom home builders are not used to even being considered for. These awards include an Architecture Single Residence Nevada Award from The International Property Awards.
The firm’s projects have stunning geometric lines that are clearly planned and scaled by an architect rather than a contractor. The Desert House pictured is an example of Strodl’s building process as an architect and home builder. This home is divided into two levels with the lower level aiming to accommodate guests while the upper level was crafted with the family in mind. The rectangular facade and steel panels gave the homes its architectural credentials.
5) Christopher Homes
Website | 702-360-3200 | 10161 Park Run Dr. Suite #150, Las Vegas, NV 89145
Christopher Homes was established by J. Christopher Stuhmer to compete with builders of luxury communities across North Las Vegas. Throughout its 30 year tenure, the firm has produced 1700 luxury homes and commercial properties. Stuhmer made sure his firm created luxurious estates that perfectly complement Sin City’s celebrated extravagance. Many publications, like Luxury Magazine and Desert Companion Magazine, have consulted Stuhmer regarding luxury building. And his communities have been cited as some of the most prestigious neighborhoods in the area. The firm has received many accolades from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) including National Custom Home Builder of the Year and the NAHB Excellence in Home Design Award.
From Tuscan to modern, Christopher Homes can design a variety of homes that are perfect for the sophisticated homeowner. Its high-end creations are palatial mansions that are always finished with tropical outdoor landscaping. Take for example this modern Spanish villa: the palm trees and water fountains create a sense of elevated decadence.
4) Sun West Custom Homes
Website | 702-363-8060 | 6675 S. Cimarron Rd. Suite #100, Las Vegas, NV 89113
Cynthia Coletti established Sun West Custom Homes to bring a female perspective to a male-dominated industry. After making a name in Florida and Colorado, the firm decided to expand its services to Nevada with Cynthia’s son heading the operations. Daniel Coletti has since built many award-winning homes and the firm’s works can be found in some of Nevada’s most prestigious neighborhoods. It’s also worth mentioning that the firm’s best creations are its wide-scale estates. That is why its projects are consistent winners at the Silver Nugget awards and the Green Builder awards.
The firm is currently working on the annual New American Home for NAHB. Traditionally, NAHB selects a different architect and builder for this project, but this time Sun West will handle both design and construction. This home will be a modern black and white home that has angular roofing and overlooking windows that showcase the breathtaking community of Ascaya. The New American Home will be showcased at the International Builders Showcase in February 2019.
3) Blue Heron Design Build
Website | 702-531-3000 | 1320 Villa Barolo Ave., Henderson, NV 89052
Tyler Jones was exposed to the building industry at a very young age. When Tyler was growing up, he worked side by side with his father at construction sites. Working with architects when he was in high school eventually led to a career in design. His passion for construction and architecture inspired him to establish Blue Heron Design Build in 2004. The firm is a premier custom home builder that aims to integrate the environment into the homes it constructs. This building process can be reflected in the firm’s communities with a consistent style. The Bluffs, for example, is a gated community with Mediterranean homes designed to complement the surrounding mountains. The firm’s sophisticated design process has led to over 30 awards including Best Luxury Home Builder.
The firm’s rigorous building process pays particular attention to the areas of site selection and architecture. This modern home is a perfect example of how the firm blends the home and its site. The open floor plan of the home complements the exotic greenery and the distant mountainside, and the home emerges out of the landscape.
2) Chateau Development
Website | 702-645-9919 | 4955 South Durango Suite #218, Las Vegas, NV 89113
Established in 1989, Chateau Development is one of the best known-luxury firms operating in Nevada. It has made a name for building upscale homes that have a variety of styles. Its creations range from meticulously detailed Mediterranean villas to simple yet grand modern mansions. These homes have garnered the attention of local and national publications alike, including Architectural Digest, Mansion Global magazine, and The Las Vegas Review-Journal.
For over a quarter of a century, the firm’s founder Bob Bero made sure that Chateau Development has worked with the best in the building industry. The Dream Homes by Scott Living program is a good example: the program aims to bring award-winning expertise to every Las Vegas homeowner. The designs made by the Dream Homes program include modern and contemporary homes that create panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Chateau will bring to life any kind of dream development that the homeowner can conceive.
1) Merlin Custom Home Builders
Website | 702-257-8102 | 6408 S Arville St., Las Vegas, NV 89118
Merlin Custom Home Builders was established by NAHB National Custom Home Builder of the Year Steven Jones. As a third generation builder, Jones wanted to share his family’s legacy of home building with other families. That spirit of generosity has gained firm contacts and supply sources. The firm is also a member of the NAHB Builder 20 Club, a prestige organization of national builders that collects and shares knowledge for the betterment of the industry and the community. And this unselfish approach has only helped the company. Merlin Custom Home Builders is the only firm to have received the National Custom Home Builder of the Year award five times.
The firm is widely regarded as the best custom home and remodeling firm in Nevada. The firm use of natural materials lend a classic, rustic feel to the firm’s builds, but the firm also often deploys industrial materials to finish the home with a modernist edge. This modern rectangular home shows how the firm can blend contemporary trends with traditional rustic techniques. Adobe bricks are usually associated with Spanish style homes but, in this particular case, they gave an exotic flavor to this modern home, a look that perfectly complements its stark location.