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The Best Custom Home Builders in San Diego, California

16 Min Read

San Diego has become one of the most desirable places in America to settle down. Located on the Pacific coast of California, the city offers a warm climate, attractive beaches, and numerous parks. It has been rich in natural beauty for centuries, but more recently it has gradually become one of the more economically stable places to start a business and a family. For these reasons, and more, it’s a great place to own a home.

From Santa Barbara to Rancho Santa Fe, the Colonial home style is a common sight in Southern California, but it’s especially predominant in San Diego. But San Diego homes aren’t limited to the Colonial style, and a deep pool of professional home designers and home builders provides you plenty of opportunities to collaborate on the custom-built house that will reflect your personality and your needs.

We’ve handpicked the top 15 custom home builders in San Diego and surrounding areas. We looked for contractors who have worked on notable projects, who have won numerous awards, and we also considered the length of time they have been building. If you are looking to build the home of your dreams in San Diego, there is a contractor in this list that will suit your needs. On the other hand, we also have several other articles that explain the cost of building a custom home in San Diego.

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.

15) Bothwell Builders

1298 Prospect St. 2G, La Jolla, CA 92037

Bothwell Builders is a family owned business in San Diego founded on the commitment to quality design, attention to details, and making client needs a priority. Founders Matt Bothwell and Thayer Flynn are 3rd generation builders from San Diego. Twelve years in the industry has refined their skills,  and they’ve gone from small scale projects to projects amounting to $1M.

The firm has been awarded the 2018 Gold Nugget Award of Merit and the 2017 San Diego Architectural Foundation Orchid Award. Bothwell works on a diverse selection of styles including modern, contemporary, Craftsman, and Spanish. Featured below: a Spanish Mediterranean style home 13 miles outside San Diego. The home is valued at $4.6 million with a total of 5500  square feet.

14) Flagg Coastal Homes

1014 Ninth St., Coronado, CA 92118

Flagg Coastal Home was built to address the growing demand for nautically-inspired homes in the town of Coronado. Founder John O’Brien was inspired by the “coastal” homes abundant in New England and brought this home style to the surf-lapped coast of San Diego.

Flagg Coastal Homes have designed and built more than 54 beautiful homes across the San Diego coastal communities.. From $1 million to $3 million projects, Flagg Coastal Homes have built a solid reputation in home building through the outstanding quality of its work.

One of its projects in Coronado, California was featured as the National Home of the Year in the 2014 Coastal Living magazine. The home gives the homeowner a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. The picturesque coastal home was Flagg’s signature project in 2014. It includes bi-fold doors opening to covered porch overlooking the ocean, crown molding, vaulted ceilings, and a beautiful wrapped-around deck: a perfect way to enjoy a view of the ocean and the natural scenery of California. Specializing in waterfront homes, Flagg recently completed and sold a Bayfront home overlooking downtown San Diego

13) Daley Custom Homes

2683 via De La Valle Suite G-146, Del Mar, CA 92014

Daley Custom Homes has been one of the leading luxury home builders in the San Diego-Del Mar area since 1928. It is no surprise that the firm has been the contractor of choice for many who want to remodel or build the home of their dreams. Jeff Daley, a 5th generation San Diegan, grew up alongside the construction industry. His knowledge in home building was recognized by The San Diego Daily Transcript, which named him “Most Influential” in the industry.

The firm has completed and sold over $250 million worth of real estate, including celebrity estates. The firm offers custom homes ranging from $1 million to $5 million depending on the client’s need and requests. The firm’s portfolio highlights the variety of home styles Daley Custom provides, homes that are durable and pleasing to the eye as well.

An hour drive out of San Diego can take you to this project in Via Del Charro, Rancho Santa Fe. The home boasts a Mediterranean-Spanish inspired design. The intricate backyard ornamentation generates a gracious backdrop for dinner parties and gatherings.

12) Mulvey Builders

2120 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Del Mar, CA 92014

Mulvey Builders collaborate with the finest architects and designers to build a client’s dream home. The firm has been led by Douglas Mulvey and Kevin Mulvey since its inception in 1977.  The firm typically handles projects ranging from $20k to $1 million, and they tackle both homes remodel and custom home builds.

Their portfolio highlights the team’s versatility when it comes to home designs. They have built homes from contemporary to coastal, to modern, to Asian contemporary. Here you can see one of their Mediterranean homes in Santa Luz. The home offers a spacious yard for the pool area. It also has an outdoor fireplace where guests can gather during the soft San Diego evenings.

11) NAU Builders

7529 Draper Ave. Suite A, La Jolla, CA 92037

Since the years since he first opened his firm’s doors in 1985, Ron Nau has cracked the code on luxury home building in California. Prior to founding his own firm, Ron worked for Angel Construction, a jack-of-all-construction-trades company. He honed his skills during this time, working, but also meditated on ways to improve building practices when it came to luxury estates.

And thus, today NAU Builders offers clients a selection of services, from historic home remodels, to custom homes, and, of course, green building practices. The firm incorporates building techniques that will help sustain the environment, and that’s why it’s a LEED Green Associate, an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm, and a member of the US Green Building Council.

This stunning Tudor-cottage style home in Coronado, CA was featured in the July issue of San Diego Home/Garden magazine. The exterior beautifully displays exposed woodwork, a true Tudor trademark. An outdoor pool is accompanied by pergola arches. Playful colors give a fresh look to an otherwise traditional Tudor.

10) J Walsh Construction

3065 Rosecrans Place, Suite 206, San Diego, CA 92110

J Walsh Construction retains a team of experts who are working towards a better way of living for San Diegans. Surrounded by architectural design and construction as a child, Jon Walsh always had a fascination with building. He honed his skills by working with different European craftspeople. In 2005 he opened J Walsh Construction after moving to San Diego.

J Walsh Construction is known as a premier contractor in the area. In the February issue of LUXE Interior+Design magazine, they featured Jon Walsh as he talked about the trends in home building for 2017. J Walsh Construction handles small remodeling projects from $15k to custom high-end homes to $1.5 million.

This stunning home in La Jolla, CA features a sleek and modern design.  Situated toward the peak of Mt. Soledad, the featured luxury of this home is the stunning view it offers. J Walsh Construction included 15 skylights that provide generous amounts of sunlight, moonlight, and starlight.

9) Streamline Development

124 ½ East Cliff St. Unit C-4, Solana Beach, CA 92075

Paul Spadone has come a long way since his teenage years, which he spent restoring racing yachts. He has since mastered the nuts and bolts of home remodeling, and today Streamline Development is one of the leading firms in the Solana Beach area.

Streamline Development’s projects range from $50k to $2 million for custom homes. Streamline’s portfolio highlights outstanding works from simple home remodels to high-end custom homes, and include a wide variety of styles and amenities.

A contemporary home in La Jolla captures modern beach vibes with clean modern lines juxtaposed against a green landscape. The result: a pleasantly blurred line between indoor comfort and outdoor activity. This project was valued at $1.5 million.

8) Grunow Construction

1121 Torrey Pines Rd. La Jolla, CA 92037

Tom Grunow came from a family of home builders, and he can truly say he has a lifelong commitment to the industry. He certainly has been building show-stopper homes in California and doing so since 1975. With his team at Grunow Construction behind him, Tom is slowly rebuilding the neighborhood with durable, gorgeous homes.

Whether it’s a simple home remodel or a custom home, Grunow Construction treats each project with the same amount of professionalism. For the past several years, its projects were recognized and given awards such as Bathroom of the Year, Best Contractor of the Year, and a Construction Award. This custom home in La Jolla combines a Spanish Mediterranean home design and provides amenities and interior design that perfectly complements the exterior.

7) Charco Design Build

11585 Sorrento Valley Rd. Suite 104, San Diego, CA 92121

Founder Armando Flores believes that everyone deserves the home of their dreams despite space, architecture, and budget constraints.  Equipped with 20 years of experience in home building, he founded Charco Design Build to deliver the better homes he knew he could build.

With a wide selection of home styles, Charco Design Build ensures top-notch quality and beauty. In recent years, Charco has been a recipient of awards and citations from Ranch & Coast magazine, San Diego Home/Garden magazine, and LUXE Interiors+Design magazine. Not only are his homes award-winning, one of Armando’s custom-built kitchens is featured regularly on “Sam the Cooking Guy,” a San Diego television staple.

Charco Design Build’s project brings the beach to this home in Rancho Santa Fe. This modern masterpiece was completed in 2018, a home projected at $500k. It features an all-white exterior, and a white, glass, and wood combination for the interior. Coastal inspired, soft colors were employed inside the home to add a distinctive texture. Glass sliding doors lead to a relaxing pool with an open view of nature.

6) Smith Brothers Construction

444 S Cedros Ave. Suite 170, Solana Beach, CA 92075

High-quality homes with a touch of elegance have set Smith Brothers Construction apart since its inception in 1978. Under the leadership of Jeff and Cheryl Smith, Smith Brothers Construction has become a premier design/build firm in California.

From interior designs to exterior designs, to construction, clients can expect a professional team to handle their needs. The firm’s projects and consistent quality of work have caught the eye of publications including Beautiful & Dutiful magazine, LUXE Interiors+Design, and San Diego Home/Garden to name a few.

This lovely Modern Colonial home in La Jolla, California looks grand, yet also exudes the simplicity of modern colonial homes. The home’s exterior features a pleasing combination of white and red exterior, a perfect complement to the spacious home inside. The plan was to create a home that suited California’s stunning landscapes while accommodating the daily needs of the homeowners, and the team at Smith Brothers succeeded.

5) Eco Minded Solutions

9466 Black Mountain Rd. Suite 210, San Diego, CA 92126

Eco-friendly homes without compromising the quality and grandiosity of homes: that was the goal of Josh Rosenthal, Barry Thau, and David Milton when they started Eco Minded Solutions. And the team succeeded. The firm has been featured in publications like San Diego Home/Garden and Del Mar Lifestyle. Television has also saluted their work, including HGTV, CNN iReport, and KUSI News to name a few.

In 2017 the Eco Minded team built this Mediterranean-inspired haven just 30 minutes outside San Diego. Its owners enjoy and share with their guests the outdoor activity with indoor pleasure the home is so elegantly designed to generate. The home is valued at $1.5 million.

4) Jackson Design and Remodeling

4797 Mercury St., San Diego, CA 92111

Over  29 years, Jackson Design and Remodeling (JDR) has been awarded over 140 awards, accreditations, and memberships. The firm was recently named as one of San Diego’s 100 Fastest Growing Privately Held Companies, and JDR is continuously proving that it is a contractor of choice for San Diegans. The company is led by Todd R. Jackson who has more than two decades of experience in home building and construction.

Luxury homes and comfortable living spaces are highlighted in their portfolio, which includes everything from modern homes to intricate Sicilian style homes. The firm offers a wide range of services from $5k up to $1 million. It has been serving San Diego since 1989, and the team definitely knows all the ins and outs of building in this area.

Gracious, elegant, and relaxing: these words describe the Sicilian-inspired home featured below. JDR allotted a place for recreational activities and a place where they can invite guests for small gatherings. The homeowner’s Sicilian roots were a priority when it came to designing, and the team executed the plan brilliantly. The outdoor kitchen, the wine tasting room, the greenhouse, the garden, and other amenities make for a generous, inviting, and warm home.

3) Wardell Builders

649 Valley Ave. Suite A, Solana Beach, CA 92075

Homes should represent homeowners and the lifestyle they choose to live, and Wardell Builders builds distinct homes that do just that. Terry Wardell has found his true passion in home building. Together with his team, he has had the opportunity to construct some of the most challenging yet gratifying homes in Southern California. The stellar work done by Wardell Builders have brought the firm dozens of awards from numerous associations including the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Building Industry Association (BIA). Publications such as San Diego Home/Garden magazine, Lifestyles magazine, Ranch & Coast magazine, and Tuscan Style magazine featured Wardell Builders in recent years.  

This Craftsman-style home in La Jolla Cove exudes a warm, cozy atmosphere. A cobblestone fireplace welcomes you. Accordion doors gently guide you to the spacious backyard, where you can enjoy the natural scenery and relax in the rustic outdoor gazebo constructed with willow and cedar.

2) GDC Construction

1031 Silverado St., La Jolla, CA 92037

GDC Construction has been gracefully transforming the surf-lapped beaches of San Diego since 1999. In 2008, Pancho Dewhurst was given the opportunity to lead GDC’s professional team. Pancho grew up side-by-side with his family’s construction business. His interest in home building grew, and he honed this talent. He graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in Fine Arts, then he traveled to Florence, Italy where his passion for home building and design came to fruition.

GDC offers a wide selection of services from small scale remodels to high-end custom homes. Typical projects range from $100k to $5 million. GDC’s portfolio repeatedly showcases both sharp expertise and playful creativity when it comes to a wide variety of home designs.

Featured is this stunning home in La Jolla. Behind a simple façade is a grand custom-built home, complete with cutting-edge amenities, and the building is composed of native materials. A stunning pool and a spacious tennis court make for a space that encourages both robust activity and much-needed relaxation.

1) Hill Construction Company

4626 Albuquerque St. 2nd Flr, San Diego, CA 92109

Ryan Hill visited his father’s job sites at an early age. As he got older, he spent summers working in the field, and eventually graduated with a degree in Construction Management. Now Hill Construction Company is a family-owned company located in San Diego.  It has become a premier luxury home builder in Southern California with a taste for high-end projects ranging from $500k to $2 million.

Since 1975, the firm has been crafting exquisite homes that adopt the use of modern technologies while encouraging an active outdoor lifestyle. And not only are these homes aesthetically pleasing, but they’re also award-winning. For seven consecutive years, it has received awards for its outstanding performance. Publications such as LUXE Interior+Design magazine, Interiors magazine, Dwell magazine, California Homes, The Luxury of Home magazine, and SD Metro magazine, among others, have featured this firm’s stellar works.

Located 13 miles from San Diego’s metropolitan heart is this gorgeous build in La Jolla. The Spanish-Mediterranean home features cutting-edge appliances such as a WiFi oven and an automated, temperature controlled dispensing system. Finally, the terrace features La Cantina doors that open to a beautiful panoramic view of everything from Point Loma to Torrey Pines.

How can I find a home builder or contractor near me?

Read our latest articles on the best home builders and general contractors in and around San Diego. 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 Chula Vista

Custom home builders in California

Residential general contractors in San Diego

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.


  • Jake Gustafson

    Jake has served as a brings a wealth of experience rooted in his passion for building. Holding a degree in Construction Engineering Management from Oregon State University, he actively engaged in industry-related activities, including membership in the Associated General Contractors of America student chapter and participation in the Associated Schools in Construction student competition. Previously, Jake served as a project engineer for a prominent general contractor in Portland, where he played a pivotal role in various aspects of construction projects, from pre-construction to subcontractor management. His expertise extends to working on innovative projects, such as North America's largest CLT commercial building. Expertise: Commercial Construction, Commercial Remodeling, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Editor at HomeBuilderDigest, Project Engineer for Portland-based general contractor, Field Engineer for the largest CLT commercial building in North America Education: Oregon State University - Degree in Construction Engineering Management