Santa Barbara — a captivating West Coast town full of gorgeous Mediterranean villas and red-tile roofs — is home to many styles of architecture, ranging from classic colonial to modern transitional. As the need for remodeling, renovating, and ground-up construction for these buildings is a certainty, we have assembled a list that compiles the top home builders available in the area. These firms were collated and ranked based on factors such as work quality, project portfolio, company history, accreditations and certifications, client testimonials and reviews, number of projects completed, and accolades received, taking into account the prestige and date of each.
13) Mark Trabucco Builder
Website | 805-698-9552 | 1482 E. Valley Rd. Suite #3, Santa Barbara, CA 93108
A staple of the Santa Barbara home building scene, Mark Trabucco Builder is an expert in constructing stunning mansion-type homes in the California region. The architecture prowess and design style of the firm are as praised as its innate integrity and work efficiency, with client testimonials hailing Mark Trabucco as one of the best contractors in the area.
Two decades in the field have shaped the company’s signature style, boasting a portfolio stacked with gorgeous classical and contemporary homes. Featured here is the Montecito Oceanfront Estate, a ground-up construction built adjacent to the sea. The property has appeared on the pages of Veranda Magazine, highlighted in a 10-page spread in its August 2016 issue.
12) Lynn Morris Contracting
Website | 805-560-9000 | 2644 Puesta Del Sol, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Unparalleled integrity and quality construction form the foundations of Lynn Morris Contracting. Client reviews praise the firm’s honesty and attention to detail in every project, values that were developed by founder Lynn Morris in his 34 years in the industry. The company maintains a fixed roster of elite specialists within its team, developing and honing an effective building style over the years and ensuring top tier service for every construction project.
Historical restoration is a major part of the company’s work. Casa del Herrero, a Spanish Colonial Revival home in Montecito, has been restored by the firm twice over the course of 20 years. Lynn Morris received the Santa Barbara Beautiful Award in two different decades and the Montecito Beautiful Award in 2004.
11) James Johnson Construction, Inc.
Website | 805-450-2049 | 3905 State St. Suite #7-311, Santa Barbara, CA 93105
Excellent craftsmanship is guaranteed with James Johnson Construction, as its track record shows a history of satisfied clients thanks to the firm’s exemplary homes. The company’s core values of quality, efficiency, integrity, and dependability has made it one of the top builders in the area. Smooth back and forth communication between contractor and clientele keeps homeowners updated on the status of the project being built. This practice goes a long way when it comes to the overall process, as clients can keep tabs and approve the project every step of the way.
Outstanding work in the firm’s portfolio includes Mediterranean homes, beach houses, and French Provincial Estates. The firm holds membership in the Santa Barbara Contractors Association (SBCA). It has received a number of accolades from third-party homeowners’ community sites, most of which are service-related.
10) Mitch Williams Construction
Website | 805-563-2884 | 2963 Grand Ave. Suite D, Los Olivos, CA
With more than three decades in the business, Mitch Williams Construction has grown into a formidable force in the Santa Barbara home building arena. The SBCA-accredited firm utilizes cutting edge techniques and contemporary design models in home building, producing construction output that catches the eye no matter how big or small. The company commits itself to every project and provides a home built to meet and exceed a client’s vision.
One of the company’s noteworthy projects is the remodeling of the Arroyo Quemada, a remarkable seaside home in California. The unconventional home is a thing of beauty, boasting a non-geometric structure with wooden exteriors, see-through wall segments, and mod interiors.
9) Lynch Construction
Website | 805-451-3459 | 209 Santa Cruz Blvd., Santa Barbara, CA 93109
Full-service construction is the forte of esteemed Santa Barbara-based builder Lynch Construction. Led by fourth generation Californian Brian Lynch and his son Cody Lynch, the firm prides itself on creating homes of distinction on the Central Coast for over 30 years.
The firm has been the recipient of the Santa Barbara Contractor’s Association’s Builder of the Year award for the restoration of the historic George Washington Smith estate in Montecito. The company builds new homes as well as restorations, remodels, and additions in both the private and public sectors.
8) Spieler Construction
Website | 805-687-4116 | 1027 Debra Dr. Santa Barbara, CA, 93110
Luxury residential and commercial construction has been the main trade of Spieler Construction since its 1963 inception. The family-owned firm is proud of its efforts in developing energy-efficient homes, improving the status of the environment, and helping the community in the process. In addition to standard services, the company also specializes in disaster recovery, aiding in the rebuilding and recovery of fire-, mudslide-, and flood-damaged homes. The firm serves the Santa Barbara and Ventura County areas.
Elegant homes with a crisp, contemporary aesthetic is a trademark of Spieler. The firm’s works have been featured in Architectural Digest and Custom Builder Magazine. Additionally, it holds a longstanding membership in the SBCA.
7) Santa Barbara Design and Build
Website | 805-453-0518 | 928 Carpinteria St., Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Effective, efficient, and experienced: these are three of the qualities that make Santa Barbara Design and Build a must-hire for potential Santa Barbara homeowners. A strong commitment to design and build propels the firm forward. The company displays a wide range of chic interior designs and exquisite home styles in its catalog, showcasing the creative talent and building prowess of its team. The business operates in Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Hope Ranch.
Santa Barbara Design and Build is a member of the SBCA and the AIA’s Santa Barbara chapter. Santa Barbara Food and Home Magazine included an article on the firm’s residential projects. The project featured is a Santa Barbara home in the suburbs, a lovely bungalow built on a teardown property.
6) Caputo Construction
Website | 310-337-9337 | 8939 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Suite #110-702, Los Angeles, CA 90045\
Established in 2004, Caputo Construction is a firm of choice for clientele looking for a reliable builder. Its team’s background in the architectural and construction fields lends a lot of expertise to its pool of talent. The company takes its time mapping out its plans as well as managing construction for every project, completing homes within the set schedule without any surprise costs for the client.
Caputo’s trophy case is filled with awards, including SBCA’s Builder of the Year in 2010 and several design awards from the AIA. Santa Barbara Seasons has also featured the company’s projects. The estate pictured is a unique residence built atop the hills of Montecito. The 4,500 square-foot home has glass and metal walls with interiors exposed to the outdoors, thus cooling the home naturally without air conditioning. Its “cool roof” is Energy-star certified and boasts heating units powered by solar panels.
5) Giffin and Crane
Website | 805-966-6401 | 224 South Milpas St. Suite B, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Green building is a major part of Giffin and Crane’s construction process. Its team consciously builds structures using environmentally-friendly and sustainable resources and implements these methods through every aspect of the construction. The enterprise runs on a five-step process that proves effective for the firm’s operations, with excellent construction at the forefront of said process. Coupled with an organized staff of builders and specialists, Giffin and Crane has a lot of outstanding qualities that validates its place among Santa Barbara homebuilders’ cream of the crop.
It holds membership in a number of esteemed associations such as the SBCA, AIA’s Santa Barbara chapter, the Home Builders Association of the Central Coast, and Santa Barbara Beautiful. Giffin and Crane’s accolades include a 2018 Custom Home Pacesetter Award and an AIA 2016 Design Award in the Santa Barbara Architectural Heritage Category. The company has also received several recognitions from third-party client community sites in the design and service departments.
4) DD Ford Construction
Website | 805-965-4055 | 303 Palm Ave., Santa Barbara, CA 93101
A crew of talented builders and craftspeople serve as the cornerstone of DD Ford Construction. Four divisions compose the company’s corporate structure: new homes and major renovations, remodels, maintenance, and finish carpentry. These departments are assigned to specific aspects of the process but collectively work together to produce a seamless workflow. Additionally, the company’s innovative designs and strong client rapport makes it a well-rounded construction firm
The business was recognized by the SBCA in 2018, receiving a Builder of the Year Awards in the Best Residential Construction Over $5M category. In the same year, Ford received a Chrysalis Regional Award for Best Historic Renovation. The firm is consistently included on Remodeling Magazine’s Remodeling 550 list, consecutively ranking in the list from 2015 to 2018.
3) Leonard Unander Associates, Inc.
Website | 805-682-5685 | 1328 De La Vina St. Suite A, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Strict attention to detail is one of the strongest qualities of Leonard Unander Associates, a family-owned and -operated business known for its outstanding residential structures. The company is committed to constructing clients’ visions and delivering quality homes in a timely manner. Additionally, the firm is a proponent for green building and builds construction homes with energy savings and resource efficiency in mind.
The company has received multiple awards from the SBCA.m In addition, projects by Leonard Unander have graced the pages of multiple magazines including Food and Home Santa Barbara, Pacific Houses, Architectural Digest, and Inside the Santa Ynez Valley Magazine. It is a Built Green Santa Barbara member and supports the non-profit organization Habitat for Humanity.
2) Young Construction
Website | 805-963-6787 | 9 Ashley Ave., Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Longevity in the business is a badge of honor, one that equates high proficiency in the craft, and one that Young Construction proudly displays as an emblem on its sleeve. One of the award-winning company’s goals is to provide the absolute best to its clients. The firm is laser-focused on delivering lovely homes, utilizing innovative solutions and cost-effective methods to meet set goals. The company’s perfect synthesis of function and trend turns every home into a thing of aesthetic beauty.
The firm has received a number of honors in the last three decades. The most recent ones include an award for Residential Remodel Construction ($500,000- $1,200,000) from the SBCA, and a Commercial Property Award from Santa Barbara Beautiful, both won in 2014. Publications that have featured Young’s projects include Santa Barbara Seasons, Luxe Interior + Design, Architectural Digest, and Santa Barbara Magazine. Young Construction is an advocate for green building and holds membership in the U.S. Green Building Council and Built Green Santa Barbara.
1) Allen Construction
Website | 805-884-8777 | 201 N. Milpas St., Santa Barbara, CA 93103
As one of Southern California’s green building leaders since 1983, Allen Construction boasts a large number of energy-efficient projects on its resume. The company stays at the top of its game by constantly evolving and developing environment-friendly techniques to keep up with the industry. The company does projects of different scopes, from small renovations to major remodeling.
Among the firm’s many prestigious awards is a Chrysalis Award for a Decade of Excellence in 2018. Several honors have been given by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), including a pair of Contractor of the Year (CotY) Awards. One was awarded in 2018 for a Whole House Remodel over $1 million, and another in 2017 for an Entire House over $1 million. A few of the publications that have featured Allen include Architectural Digest, Food and Home Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Life and Style Magazine, and Qualified Remodeler.
Allen Construction has worked on many remodeling projects, such as the Spanish/Mediterranean home pictured here. The firm also specializes in historic renovations and has also completed numerous new home projects in Tuscan, Contemporary and Prairie styles.