In 2015, Bloomberg produced a report on the richest cities in the US and San Jose topped the list. The area’s median income sits comfortably in the six figures, at $110,040. San Jose includes much of Silicon Valley, home to the world’s tech giants, which continues to generate waves of revenue that might almost compete with the waves of the Pacific itself.
While the metro is booming because of Apple, NASA, and Intel, homes in this city are considered a haven from the busy work lives of its residents. Tech executives and small families alike are drawn to the rolling hills and valleys of San Jose and feature a wide variety of homes and residences that command premium prices.
To the south, postcard-perfect Victorian homes, Spanish stuccos and Craftsman bungalows from the 1920s and 1930s are found in the tree-lined streets of Willow Glen. In the southeast, stately million-dollar Tuscan homes are prominent in the high-end country clubs of Silver Creek. Almaden Meadows, on the far south side, has mid-century modern homes in a quiet, scenic neighborhood.
Whether you are looking to update and modernize an existing home or build a new home pair classic looks with state-of-the-art technology, there are contractors that are more than capable of making your dream home a real home. This list of 15 features award-winning custom home builders with press recognition, as well as high praise and reviews from clientele.
15) Bridgford Construction
Website | 408-626-7090 | 2380 S Bascom Ave Ste 100, Campbell, CA 95008
Bridgford Construction is a design-build firm that specializes in custom homes and whole house remodels. Founded in 2007 by Christopher Bridgford, the company has grown from a small handyman business to a full-sized construction firm capable of handling any project, and any size. The firm builds in the neighborhoods of San Jose, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, and the rest of Silicon Valley.
This ranch-style home in Sunnyvale is an example of the firm’s best. Its semi-open floor plan brings in a clean modern vibe accentuated by the white interior space. An outdoor living area blends well into the home, seamlessly bringing the outside indoors.
14) Steve Nazzal Construction
Website | 408-723-2176 | 1815 Cabana Drive, San Jose, CA 95125
Whether it’s a grand home in Willow Glen, contemporary home in Los Altos, or a sprawling estate in Los Gatos, Steve Nazzal Construction can build it. Since 1988, the firm has served the Bay Area as a luxury custom home builder and remodeler. Principal Steve Nazzal brings old world craftsmanship and timeless elegance to projects that make clients keen on building with him.
The company builds in a variety of European-inspired styles such as Tuscan villas and French cottages. It also uses various mixed materials and finishes like masonry, stone, and stucco. This beautiful Tuscan villa in Camino Del Cerro features traditional masonry in its exterior and terracotta roof tiles. Luxurious outdoor living space and receiving area is brought to life by classic Italian design with a brick fireplace as its centerpiece.
13) K.C. Customs Inc.
Website | 408-385-1914 | 132 Gilman Ave, Campbell, CA 95008
K.C. Customs Inc. is a general contractor focused on building and remodeling high-end residential homes in the Bay Area. The firm was founded by Kevin Capps in 2000. Since then, his firm has installed and built over $30 million worth of Bay Area, including residential and commercial projects. Kevin oversees the Project Development/ Pre-construction phase, Estimating, and Financial Management functions of the business.
The firm’s team of expert builders and architects have built and remodeled extraordinary homes throughout the Bay Area, particularly in Los Gatos, Saratoga, San Jose, and Palo Alto. The firm works with a variety of styles including modern contemporary, Craftsman, and Spanish Mission.
12) Flegel’s Construction Company
Website | 408-269-1101 | 5546 Amby Drive, San Jose, CA 95124
Flegel’s Construction Company is a residential contractor that has successfully completed hundreds of renovations, additions, and new homes. It prides itself as the most experienced Eichler home renovator in San Jose, Silicon Valley, and the Bay Area. Founder Scott Flegel works with a number of subcontractors and architects, such as Klopf Architecture, to build and renovate modern homes.
As a member of Built It Green, its custom homes and renovations often feature state-of-the-art technology and are more eco-friendly and greener than other homes. These projects have been featured in Dwell Magazine, Essential Home, and the 2018 Silicon Valley Modern Home Tour. This double gable Eichler home is a good example of the clean, contemporary, and open style the firm favors.
11) Rouse Homes
Website | 408-504-1305 | 7170 Wooded Lake Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Tom Rouse has been building luxury high-end custom homes in Silicon Valley since 1982. Tom’s daughter, Ann Rouse, has followed in his footsteps and is just as passionate about building. She is a licensed General Contractor and has been working alongside her father for the past six years.
The father-daughter team, along with an extensive network of subcontractors, have built homes and developments that range from a $16 million custom home in Palo Alto to a $22 million 8-parcel development in Lake Tahoe. One of their most recent builds is the Bryant. Located in the prestigious neighborhood of Old Palo Alto, this two-story French home with a basement has everything. Elevator, movie theater, antique hand-carved marble fireplace mantles and a beautiful set of curved staircases with a dome above, truly a masterpiece.
10) Lerch Construction
Website | 650-843-1144 | 923 Industrial Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94303
Even for a small company, Lerch Construction has done big things in the building industry. Started in 1973 by John Lerch with his brother Robert Lerch, this design-build firm has built custom new homes in the affluent Los Altos, Portola Valley, and San Jose neighborhoods. It also does luxury remodels of homes such as a home by Palo Alto’s ‘best-loved’ architect Birge Clark. A member of Build It Green, the firm uses progressive eco-friendly techniques and materials in all of its projects.
Italianate, Mediterranean, and Tudor styles are prominent in the firm’s projects. Craftsman homes and French cottages are also popular among its clients. This Craftsman style home in upscale Portola Valley features a 35-foot tall rotunda, massive hand-hewn trusses, and rafters from reclaimed timbers, travertine floors, and cast concrete counters. The exterior also features a sunken courtyard entry.
9) Sigura Construction
Website | 408-492-1379 | 1300 Memorex Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95050
Sigura Construction is a general contractor and design-build firm. that has built a reputation in doing high-quality custom homes and renovations in the Bay area. The firm is a Diamond Certified company, having passed the rigorous 12-step certification process that includes customer surveys by the American Rating Corporation. That certification has also helped make the firm one of the top-rated firms by customers in the Bay area.
The company is headed by its founder and principal, Ilan Sigura. Ilan began working in residential and commercial construction at the age of 16, learning from his contractor father. He earned a Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Israel, and then he earned a second degree in Computer Software from Montclair State University.
The firm specializes in new construction of residential and commercial buildings. As a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, it has additional specializations in whole house renovations, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, and additions.
8) Pacific Builders Inc.
Website | 408-354-0005 | 1035 Minnesota Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125
For 36 years, Pacific Builders Inc. has been crafting extraordinary custom homes, specializing in unique and complex designs, historic homes and high-end remodels. Pioneered by Anthony Yaconelli, the firm has completed over 100 residential projects in varying styles built by its fine team of architects, designers, and craftsmen. Its portfolio includes Adobe homes, French chateaus, Tuscan and Mediterranean villas, and Asian-inspired estates.
One of the firm’s notable projects is this modern Prairie home nestled in a 6-acre plot of a mountain landscape. The project required ingenuity and technical mastery which the firm successfully delivered. The architecture is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright: strong horizontal lines, dramatic eaves, and cantilevered roofs are prominent in its exterior cedar, and the oak in the interior brings warmth. The amazing feat was featured in the September 2016 issue of Dwell Magazine.
7) One Sky Homes
Website | 408-288-5372 | 2188 Glenkirk Drive, San Jose, CA 95124
One Sky Homes is a design-build firm that specializes in green building and passive houses in San Jose, the Silicon Valley, and the rest of the Bay Area. This award-winning firm has been recognized for both its custom homes and its renovations. It received a 2014 Housing Innovation – Grand Prize Award in the Custom Builder category from the US Department of Energy.
Allen Gilliland founded the firm in 2002. Allen is a Certified Passive House Designer. He graduated from the London School of Economics in 1974 and had careers in Management Consulting, Software, Restaurants, and Internet startups prior to the founding of the firm.
Its most notable project is the Cottle Net Zero Energy Home. The Cottle is the first Net Zero Energy new home in California and boasts all the modern style and luxury of a custom luxury Silicon Valley home plus a plethora of ground-breaking performance standards for indoor air quality, comfort, energy, and water efficiency. For its excellent design and structure, it received a special commendation by the California Energy Commission.
6) Starburst Construction
Website | 408-448-1328 | 1207 Redcliff Drive, San Jose, CA 95118
Starburst Construction is known throughout San Jose and the Silicon Valley as an award-winning custom home builder and renovator of homes and estates. Its Victorian homes, Craftsman houses, and remodeled energy efficient Eichlers have all won various awards from the industry. These include the NARI META Awards and NARI Gold Awards. The San Jose Mercury News has also dubbed them the “Best Builder in Silicon Valley” for 5 years including 2017.
Along with awards, various publications have recognized the superb craftsmanship in the firm’s residential projects. The firm and its projects have been featured in California Modern Home Magazine, Gentry Home Magazine, and the Eichler Network.
The firm’s principal, Phil Carey, showed interest in building and constructing at an early age by helping out his grandfather in family building projects. He officially started his career in the industry as a framer for new homes in Silicon Valley. He went on to build custom luxury homes after establishing the company in 1976.
5) De Mattei Construction
Website | 408-350-4200 | 1794 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95125
With over 2000 homes built in the span of 30 years, De Mattei Construction has proven to be one of the premier contractors in San Jose and the Silicon Valley area. Additionally, it has won a 2018 NARI Meta Award and Qualified Remodeler included the firm on their Top 500 Remodelers of the country. The Silicon Valley Journal has also featured De Mattei as one of their Top Residential Contractors.
The firm is credited for building five Sunset Idea Houses in Silicon Valley. Partnering with Sunset Magazine, it has showcased its skill and expertise through innovative design. It has also built traditional and modern style manors in Portola Valley, Palo Alto, and Los Gatos. The photo shown below is one of the firm’s most recent and striking builds.
4) Timeline Design + Build
Website | 408-741-3000 | 14401 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070
Timeline Design + Build is an award-winning firm based in Saratoga that specializes in custom homes and renovations. With multiple awards from NARI and the NKBA, and those awards coming consistently year after year, the firm has built a solid reputation as one of the top contractors in San Jose and the Silicon Valley area.
Matthew Harrigan founded the firm in 1990. He started his career when he was just 14 years old, building cabinets for customers in his parents’ garage. He studied civil engineering at Santa Clara University and Electrical Engineering at UC San Diego. Matthew has also served as former president of the San Jose Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). He works with top-notch designers and builders, including Kyle Le. Kyle is an interior designer and was recently awarded the prestigious NKBA 30 Under 30 Award in 2017.
With this expert team, the firm has worked on over 700 residential projects that include custom homes, renovations, and remodels. This custom prairie home in Los Altos boasts a contemporary dark wood and brick exterior. Its bathroom suite won Second Place in the Large Bath Category at the 2018 NKBA Northern California Chapter Design Competition.
3) EBCON Corporation/Hughes Construction
Website | 650-363-9333 | 506 Second Avenue, Redwood City, CA 94063
Ebcon Corporation|Hughes Construction, Inc. (EBHCI) is the product of a merger between two companies who both have solid reputations going back to 2002. The new company is led by Erik Bergstrom with Erik Hughes, former CEO of Hughes Construction, Inc, heading Business Development and new market explorations. The company specializes in high-end custom homes and luxury remodels in the Peninsula and Bay Area.
After the merger in 2016, the company earned awards, particularly in the remodeling industry, such as the NARI Meta Gold Award for Best Kitchen over $150k for 2017, NARI Regional Contractor of the Year 2017, Contractor of the Year- Best Basement 2015, Contractor of the Year Green Project Recognition 2015, and Contractor of the Year Image Achievement Award 2015.
Various magazines have recognized the firm’s work. This Southern-inspired custom build, featured in Luxe Magazine and Modern Vintage, is a classically proportioned Georgian-style home with clapboard siding and a cedar shake roof. The house stretches five bays wide and sports a classic gable over the front door.
2) Clarum Homes
Website | 650-322-7069 | 412 Olive Avenue, Palo Alto, California 94306
Clarum Homes is one of the pioneers in green building and passive housing in Northern California. Its custom homes and renovations are geared towards sustainable, green living. The firm and its work have been recognized by various media outlets such as Sunset Magazine, LA Times, ABC News, and USA Today. Additionally, it has earned awards and recognition from The Department of Energy and the US Green Building Council.
The firm’s principal, John Suppes, learned his trade from his late mother, Joanne. Joanne, in turn, studied architecture at Harvard University in the 1950s under Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus design movement. She was an advocate of passive design and building starting in the 60s and was also one of the first females to graduate from the Harvard architect school. That connection fueled John’s interest in building as a young construction worker until he founded his own firm in 1994.
This 2,800 square-foot passive house in Menlo Park is a perfect example of what the firm is capable of building. The two-story home features state-of-the-art high-efficiency framing, a heat recovery ventilator for climate control and exceptional ventilation, triple-pane windows, SIPS roofing and insulation, LED lighting and a rooftop solar power system.
1) Conrado Home Builders
Website | 408-867-2095 | 14363 Saratoga Ave, Ste 206, Saratoga, CA 95070
Known for its gorgeous manors and estates throughout the Silicon Valley and Bay area, Conrado Home Builders is a family-owned residential contractor that creates personalized homes that fit and match the lifestyles of its high-profile clientele. Its homes range from 2,200 square-foot jewel boxes to 16,000 square-foot luxury estates.
Paul Conrado established the firm as a mom-and-pop construction company in his basement in 1988. Three decades later, this success story has built over 80 custom homes and estates throughout the Silicon Valley and Peninsula. Today, Paul and his team of veteran builders stay on top of their game by learning and applying new building methods, working with innovative materials, exploring green design, and bringing increasingly energy efficient technologies to their residential projects.
The firm’s homes have been recognized in local, national, and international magazines such as Luxe Magazine, Dwell, and US Builders Review. Italy’s inspirational design magazine Case and Still featured the firm’s Saratoga hilltop Contemporary home. This 12,000 square-foot home offers fantastic outdoor living spaces complete with a custom exterior kitchen, corten steel fire pits, and large rooftop entertaining areas while its interior features a blend of European and Asian influences.