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The Best Custom Home Builders in Pasadena, California

11 Min Read

Last updated on May 27th, 2024 at 01:18 pm

Pasadena is known for housing some of the most prestigious intellectual and cultural institutions, its year-round Mediterranean weather, and its wealth of iconic architectural structures. Pasadenans have also contributed to the gorgeous cityscape by investing in their real estate. Residential properties are mostly inspired by, but not limited to, the Spanish Revival, California Craftsman, and mid-century modern styles. One would find it very hard to resist the allure of living in Pasadena.

If you’re considering building a new or first home in Pasadena, look into our list of the best custom home builders in the area. These contractors have built some of Southern California’s most beautiful homes, and have been featured in design and industry publications. They have been evaluated based on their accolades, customer service, and quality of work.

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.

Smith Development

124 N First Ave. Suite #101, Arcadia, CA 91006

Richard Smith has been in the construction business since 1985. For over three decades, he has built a variety of structures — from storm drain infrastructures to luxury estate homes in Bradbury and Arcadia. Under his leadership, his company Smith Development has grown into one of the best building contractors in Pasadena, where it has built luxury homes in some of the area’s upscale neighborhoods.

An example of the firm’s best work is the sophisticated modern private estate on Glen Oaks Boulevard. It features grand windows that offer scenic views of the San Rafael Hills. The interior is kept subdued with white paint, contrasted nicely by the stone tiles and warm lighting. Smith Development also built an infinity-edge pool that overlooks the Pasadena Rose Bowl. 

Douglas Raub Design and Development

14066 Roblar Rd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 

Douglas Raub combines his love for homebuilding and background in marketing and communication in his role as President of Douglas Raub Design and Development.  The company is one of Southern California’s best luxury home builders. Its work has appeared on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” and on Showtime’s comedy-drama “Shameless.” 

The firm is known for its specialty in Tuscan-styled villas and French-inspired estates, but it is also capable of building contemporary homes tailored for sustainable living. Among its most notable works is a modern home that was built in collaboration with Griffin Enright Architects. The home stands out for its unique features: a curved ceiling with skylights, a sleek white waterfall countertop, and an expansive landscaped outdoor area. 

Tim Ryan Construction

125 E Santa Clara St. Suite #19, Arcadia, CA 91006

Tim Ryan founded his own construction company in 2000. Since then, it has undertaken remodeling and development work for residential and commercial clients. Its portfolio showcases its expertise in the colonial and contemporary styles, but it is also capable of building homes that follow a variety of styles and budgets. 

In Pasadena, Tim Ryan Construction constructed a new colonial home along the city’s Landmark Historic District. The two-story home features a great room and a formal dining area that leads to an outdoor patio and backyard. The firm also constructed six bedrooms and seven baths, including an opulent master suite with spa-like features. 

Chelsea Design + Construction

4529 Angeles Crest Hwy. Suite #103, La Canada, CA 91011

Founded in the 1980s, Chelsea Design + Construction is made up of a team of designers and builders with decades of combined industry experience in custom home building. Under founder Mark Snashall’s leadership, the firm has grown to become one of Los Angeles County’s leading design-builders. Aside from design-build services, it also offers remodeling and historic renovation.

Chelsea Design + Construction worked on a Spanish Colonial Revival home in Pasadena with James V. Coane & Associates. The home required extensive renovation and expansion to accommodate the homeowners’ need for more space. The firm was challenged to create new spaces that complement the existing 1920s architecture. With an understanding of old building methods, it added a bedroom and bath, a kitchen, and outdoor spaces with a fireplace and seating nooks. While this is a renovation project, it showcases the firm’s expertise in building timelessly-styled homes for its clients.

Mur-Sol Builders

119 E St. Joseph St., Arcadia, CA 91006

Mur-Sol Builders is a prolific full-service construction company that offers its services throughout Southern California. Based in Arcadia, it is an expert in building for discerning clients, often in SoCal’s upscale areas. The firm has completed hundreds of impressive projects since its establishment in 1999 by Jasen and Gosh Grohs.  

In 2016, Mur-Sol Builders built an elegant home in the city of Pasadena. The grand home features luxurious finishes, including a marble-clad fireplace, white shaker cabinets, and contemporary chandeliers. The firm also installed a sauna, a custom pool, and a mini-golf area for the clients.  

La Placa Construction

2120 Main St. Suite #230, Huntington Beach, CA 92648

Gaetano La Placa started La Placa Construction in 1984 with just a paintbrush and a hammer. Since then, his company has grown into one of the best family-owned luxury home builders in the Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego counties. It specializes in traditional home styles, including Mediterranian, Georgian Colonial, and craftsman homes. Its work has appeared in The Daily Breeze, California Home Magazine, and The Orange County Register.

Among La Placa Constructions’ most notable work is a Mediterranean home for a client with refined tastes. The home welcomes its owners with grand iron-wrought double doors that are flanked by classic columns with custom detailing, hinting at the opulence to be found in the interior. The luxury home features a theater room, a resort-style pool, and an all-white walk-in closet accented by a classy chandelier. 

Wade Co Design

1308 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91106

Wade Co Design was founded in 1989 by Wade Robinson, who remains involved in the company as its president. He works closely with his team to complete design-build projects for clients in the residential, hospitality, and restaurant markets. The company excels across these sectors, and have even built homes for celebrity clients like Mel Gibson, Courtney Cox, and Anthony Kiedis. Its work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times, Eater, and The LA Weekly. 

The company has built homes that follow anything between modern and traditional aesthetics. The featured home stands out in its portfolio for Wade Co Design’s sleek use of architectural lines and natural materials. Nestled in a lush environment, the home blends in through the firm’s use of stone walls, concrete, and warm tones. It also welcomes nature into the interior through its oversized windows and sliding glass doors. 

Julie Laughton Design Build

247 A Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Julie Laughton is one of Southern California’s leading design-builders. Her company, Julie Laughton Design Build, is renowned for its expertise in general contracting. Its services have even extended to remodeling historic sites, such as the Friar’s Club in New York City, as well as the original Wallace Neff home in Pasadena. 

As a homebuilder, Laughton has amassed a portfolio that showcases her firm’s expertise in Art Deco, California bungalow, and the Spanish and Mediterranean styles. The quality of the company’s work has consistently been feature-worthy, and numerous projects have been featured in publications like Coast, Laguna Beach Magazine, and Modern Luxury Riviera.

To see more from this firm, you may visit their website here.

Saxony Design Build

120 S Ave. 64, Los Angeles, CA 90042

In 1989, Jeff Godbold founded Saxony Builders to offer full-service design and construction services to residential and hospitality clients. Potential clients will be happy to see that the firm is very diverse throughout its portfolio. It has built Tuscan villas, French Chateaus, and luxury Mission revival homes throughout Southern California. Its luxurious builds have not gone unnoticed, having figured prominently in magazines like Beautiful Kitchens & Baths, Designing for the Arts, and Designer Living.

In Pasadena, Saxony Design Build constructed an Italian villa in one of the city’s exclusive neighborhoods. The home exudes elegance through its stucco exterior and red clay roof tiles. Arched entryways welcome guests and homeowners into lounge spaces and formal dining areas. The home also features a landscaped lawn area and an outdoor pool for the homeowners. 

HartmanBaldwin Design/Build

300 S Raymond Ave. #18, Pasadena, CA 91105

Founded in 1984, HartmanBaldwin Design/Build integrates architecture, construction, and interior design to deliver fully-realized versions of its clients’ dream homes. The company is an expert in large scale remodels, historic restorations, and new construction of custom homes. It is headed by its founder, Bill Baldwin, whose resume boasts more than three decades of industry experience. Under his direction, the firm has built homes worthy of features from HGTV’s “Restore America,” Builder Magazine, and Qualified Remodeler Magazine. Most recently, the firm figured prominently in Architectural Digest for its stunning restoration of an Elmer Grey-designed Italianate villa for “Grey’s Anatomy” showrunner Shonda Rhimes.

Among its best work is the Warwick Residence in Pasadena. The contemporary home grabs attention through the bold contrasts of warm wood, textured concrete, and cool exterior wall panels. Its interior is equally bold and modern with eclectic finishing choices. HartmanBaldwin played with unique tile patterns, pops of colors, and strategically-placed lighting to create a unique vibe for the homeowners. 

Finton Construction

1199 E Walnut, Pasadena, CA 91106

Finton Construction is an award-winning high-end Pasadena-based custom home builder that caters to clients on national and international levels. The firm is helmed by John Finton, who is recognized as a leader in luxury development and green construction initiatives. He shares his passion for building eco-friendly homes as a spokesperson for Bank of America’s Building Green Effort program. His leadership has paved the way for features in publications like California Home + Design, Luxe, Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal, and Modern Luxury Interiors.

The company has built luxury homes that are remarkable for their timeless elegance. An example is the featured Mediterranean home, built in Pasadena in collaboration with Giannetti Architecture. The home exhibits strong Spanish and Italian influences, specifically the low-pitched tile roofs, arched windows and doorways, and an expansive outdoor space perfect for entertaining guests. Meanwhile, the interior is furnished with fine finishes: chevron hardwood flooring, vintage chandeliers, and a traditional open-hearth fireplace. 

How can I find a home builder near me?

Read our latest articles on the best custom home builders near Pasadena. If you don’t see your city below, just let us know – we are happy to create a tailored recommendation list just for you.

Custom Home Builders in Los Angeles

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Custom Home Builders in Santa Ana

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.