Homes in Richmond, Virginia reflect the city’s rich history. As one of the oldest cities in the country, many homes in Richmond reflect the way architecture is evolving in America. Italianate rowhouses, Greek Revival mansions, and Colonial Revival estates make for a housing market that is visually intricate and vibrant. Alongside these traditional homes are contemporary residences that are changing the residential landscape of the city.
If you are looking to build your own River City home, this list of the top seven custom home builders in the area will help you choose the right contractor. Our team selected this list out of a hundred contractors, then carefully ranked them based on their awards, their certifications, their portfolio, and their press features.
Website | 804-750-1166 | 8501 Patterson Avenue, Richmond, VA 23229
HomeKeepers is a general contractor and custom home builder in Richmond that specializes in home adaptation and creating homes with universal accessibility. In creating its homes, the firm evaluates a home’s current level of accessibility and develops a multi-faceted long-term plan for continued livability.
Their philosophy is informed by the firm’s principals who have the first-hand experience in creating homes focused on aging-in-place and universal accessibility. A. Lynn Ivey III served as Senior Vice President at Beth Sholom Life Care Community, where he oversaw and coordinated the design, finance, and construction of a new $12 million assisted living facility. John T. Robertson has been building homes for thirty years under the Robertson & Co. Custom Builders name and is a board member of Senior Connections. Both men are Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists and are dedicated to creating homes for every phase of life.
The firm’s custom homes range from stately manors to historic renovations. Traditional styles like New England and French Colonial are frequent entries in their portfolio. This beautiful home on Manakin Road is set against lush greenery and features a dedicated driveway. The brick exterior and wood interior make the large home feel warm and inviting. At the back of the home, a large covered deck provides outdoor space for entertaining.
6) James River Construction
Website | 804-419-6089 | 8728 Forest Hill Ave., Richmond, VA 23235
Established in 1995, James River Construction has served the Richmond metropolitan area and Central Virginia by building some of the area’s finest custom homes. A member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the Home Builders Association of Richmond, and Remodelers Advantage, this premier residential firm is also accomplished in renovation and remodeling. It recently won a Central Virginia – National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Contractor of the Year (COTY) Award for Residential Interior Remodel in 2018.
The company is spearheaded by second-generation builder and owner Ken Felts. As a Certified Green Professional of the NAHB, he puts a premium on sustainable techniques and energy efficient products in home building. He combines these modern innovations with classic architecture, such as Georgian, Southern Colonial, and Craftsman.
This stone and brick home is an example of the firm’s finest work. The luxurious house incorporates Tudor elements in its exterior as you can see in the gables and rounded archways. A hand laid stone archway leads to vaulted 20-foot ceilings and an open living space. Other high-end amenities of the home include a mini-home theater and a wine cellar—complete with separate air control, lighted display storage, and a tasting area.
5) VMAX Homes
Website | 804-426-1030 | 11175 Ridgefield Pkwy. Suite #105, Henrico, VA 23238
VMAX Homes is a luxury custom home builder based in Henrico. The firm provides both fully tailored homes and home plans for clients to build on their own lot. The firm’s superior homes are created in collaboration with talented local design and architecture firms. One such collaboration with Circle Design Studio won a 2016 Interior Design Excellence Award from the American Society of Interior Designers. The firm’s custom homes and renovations have been featured multiple times in Richmond Magazine.
The firm is led by a trio of established construction leaders in the Richmond building industry. President Vitas Reinikovas—a pharmacist with the soul of a builder—established the firm in 2005. Vice President Max Zagorodniy holds a master’s degree in engineering, with applied experience in construction, project management, and hotel engineering. He is responsible for most of the firm’s high-end projects and has appeared on HGTV’s ‘House Hunters.’ Joining him on the frontline of construction is Darius Reinikovas. He does all the firm’s custom woodwork and 3D planning.
4) JL Builders
Website | 804-749-3110 | 10307 West Broad St. Suite #338, Glen Allen, VA 23060
Glen Allen-based JL Builders is a residential and commercial contractor that has one of the most expansive service areas on this list. It serves the whole of Central Virginia, from Henrico to Chesterfield, Hanover to Petersburg, and all areas in between. Its constructions services are just as expansive. The company’s projects include large single family and townhome planned communities, multifamily conversions and renovations, kitchen and bathroom renovations, commercial tenant up-fits, and residential remodeling projects.
For custom home building, the firm favors European traditional architecture. Tudor, Colonial, Queen Anne, and Gothic Revival are just some of the styles the firm can offer. Featured below is a high-end Tudor Colonial the firm built on Genito Road. Clients also get the benefit of quality service from start to finish. From selecting the land to going through revisions of plans to guiding clients through a construction loan process, JL Builders helps clients in every stage of the construction process.
3) Mako Builders, Inc.
Website | 804-272-8549 | 7677 Hill Dr., Richmond, VA 23225
Mako Builders started in 1975 when William “Rick” Kastelberg IV and his brother, Louis, wanted to start their own construction company with a focus on fine custom homes. After the firm’s first client in Goochland County, its success has continued. The firm provides personalized new construction and renovation throughout Virginia. The firm’s fine homes can be found in Goochland, western Henrico, Hanover, Chesterfield, and in the City of Richmond.
Mako concentrates on one to two custom homes a year, ranging from 2,000 to 25,000 square feet. Its team of 10 full-time carpenters, craftsmen, and laborers—led by William “Bill” Kastelburg V—have created estates and villas in traditional and modern styles. The team has also renovated homes, ranging from an addition of a 200-year-old home to a restoration of a Georgian home originally designed by the brilliant New York architect William Lawrence Bottomley.
The perfect balance of Colonial and Continental styles can be found in this Richmond estate created by renowned designer Bunny Williams and built in collaboration with 3North. The Georgian style home overlooks the James River and features old world interiors with modern integrated systems for energy efficiency. These innovations range from geothermal heat pumps to sophisticated lighting controls, automated shading, and photovoltaics. The home has been featured in Architectural Digest.
2) Mark Franko Custom Building
Website | 804-355-4917 | 2100 Tomlynn St., Richmond, VA 23230
From large design-build projects to small remodeling efforts, Mark Franko’s 30 years of experience in design, construction, and renovation makes this firm one of Richmond’s premier custom home builders. Its “longitudinal” approach enables the firm to create, update, and renovate a home. That approach fosters the firm’s relationships with clients, which often span decades and entail continuous personalized service.
The firm employs a variety of architectural styles for its custom homes. Its portfolio encompasses traditional and modern styles like Colonial Revival, Tudor, French Colonial, Farmhouse, and contemporary homes. The firm also provides historic renovations and small updates to kitchens and bathrooms.
The firm created this distinctive, innovative home featured in Richmond Magazine. From the pathway up to the house to the river rock in its fireplace, the home takes its cues from the nearby James River. And the way the home uses light is truly spectacular: the four-story glass tower with spiral staircase illuminates the home like a vertical lantern.
1) Lane Homes & Remodeling
Website | 804-784-0012 | 12536 Patterson Ave., Richmond, VA 23238
Lane Homes & Remodeling’s versatile portfolio and award-winning reputation have turned it into the contractor of choice for Richmond residents. The firm was voted favorite general contractor from 2014 to 2016 by readers of Richmond Magazine and it earned four NARI COTY Awards in 2018. Its skills in custom home building and whole house renovations can be seen in its varied portfolio of work.
The firm has been serving Richmond and the surrounding areas of Henrico, Hanover, Glen Allen, Goochland, Chesterfield, and Powhatan since 1984. Founder Ed Lane III served in the Seabees, the U.S. Naval Construction Battalion. He brought his building experience to residential construction and passed the leadership of the firm on to his son, Edward IV. He is a second-generation builder and has more than fifteen years of experience in residential design and construction, along with a degree in Business Management from Palm Beach Atlantic University in Florida.
From pool conservatories to marvelous movie theaters, the company creates bespoke homes with all the luxury amenities a client can dream up. The firm also uses locally sourced natural materials like wood, brick, and stone to bring that distinct old-world Virginia look to its homes.