California is home to a diverse selection of architectural styles. In Santa Monica, many homeowners prefer modern and Spanish styles, but contractors are not limited; all are free to customize according to their own preferences. With a median home value of $1.7M, as reported by Zillow, the area is neither cheap nor exorbitantly expensive—so customizing your own house may hover around the same price as buying one already built.
Finding the right contractor for your dream home may seem overwhelming, as different firms offer similar services. To help you, we’ve listed the top 15 custom builders in Santa Monica and the surrounding cities. We have noted each firm’s specialization, the variety of home styles it offers, and awards it has won. These firms have been evaluated based on customer service and craftsmanship, as well as awards and association memberships. Whether it’s a minor home construction or a ground-up custom home, there’s a contractor on this list for you!
15) BAR Design and Construction
Website | 818-266-3646 | 19044 Citronia St., Northridge, CA 91324
Since BAR Design and Construction opened its doors in 1996, founder Asher Alfasi has been focused on delivering world-class craftsmanship to every client. Today, the firm graces Los Angeles with its high-end custom homes. BAR Design + Construction’s talented team seamlessly brings ideas that start on paper to reality.
Clients can take a look at the firm’s online portfolio to see the end results of the skill and effort of the team. These beautiful homes exude elegance and warmth; a perfect example is this luxurious traditional estate in Los Angeles. This historic estate is as beautifully crafted in its exteriors as in its interiors. Although located a few miles away from Santa Monica, this is still a representation of the firm’s capabilities in building homes.
14) Avalon Construction Group
Website | 310-456-0399 | 20645 Eaglepass Dr., Malibu, CA 90265
Avalon Construction Group is a Malibu-based firm that has been building prime custom homes since 1987. After Michael Torrey founded Avalon, his interest and passion for architecture and design deepened. He worked with renowned architects and designers and soon incorporated his own insights into the firm’s projects.
“Cozy” is the perfect way to describe this colonial ranch home in Santa Monica Mountains. Avalon Construction used warm colors for its walnut floors, accented by handcrafted built-in cabinets and shelves, which exude an intimate vibe. But nothing compares to the true heart of this home: a stone fireplace where families can gather. The wrap-around porch is also perfect for viewing the scenic mountain views of the area.
Avalon is an eco-friendly builder, whose aim is to build homes that are not only beneficial for the environment but also lower the cost of living. Aside from delivering exquisitely-built luxury homes, the firm also takes the pressure off of its clients by ensuring the smooth process of its planning stage, construction, and even obtaining permits.
13) RT Abbott Construction
Website | 805-581-9043 | 543 Country Club Dr. Suite #205, Simi Valley, CA 93065
Working with RT Abbott Construction means working with a proficient team ready to tackle any home construction challenge or issue. Delivering projects that are consistently on time, within budget, and of exceptional quality has allowed the firm to build a great reputation among clients and architects. Under Roy Abbott’s influence, the team has reached numerous milestones in the industry.
Looking through the firm’s portfolio is a great way of viewing its expertise in project design and construction. For example, this Spanish-inspired home in Santa Monica blends beautifully with California’s palm trees. It features an open floor concept, which makes the area spacious with abundant room for natural light.
12) R. Spector & Company
Website | 818-874-3135 | 31324 Via Colinas Suite #104, Westlake Village, CA 91362
Spector & Company is a fourth generation-owned firm serving Los Angeles County with traditional construction techniques. In this day and age of modern technology, traditional construction might seem a bit out of place—but not for R. Spector. Focusing on a few projects at a time allows the firm to create stunning homes of the highest quality. These custom homes are finely crafted for homeowners to enjoy for many years to come. In 2016, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognized the firm with a Special Acknowledgment for Residential Architecture Award.
Take a look at this intricately designed and constructed home in Santa Monica, which resembles a sailing yacht. It is called the Meridian House, designed by Thane Roberts Architects. In the construction of the property, seven factors were considered—nature, self, family, community, solar system, galaxy, and spirit—to stay faithful to the meridian concept of enhancing the owner’s way of living.
11) Pandro Sokolow Construction
Website | 310-264-3862 | 2809 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405
Pandro Sokolow Construction is one of California’s leading custom home builders, offering clients endless custom home possibilities. The firm has built houses of various styles, from modern to Spanish. Its architects, designers, and craftspeople keep open communication with clients to ensure project success.
The interest and passion for construction started early in Pandro Sokolow’s life. In 1994, Pandro Sokolow Construction came to life to serve Santa Monica with the finest home remodeling and custom home building. As a Santa Monica native, Sokolow enjoys taking part in the development of the city. Growing up in this area also gave him a better understanding of the neighborhoods, especially the architectural styles and building processes appropriate for this area.
Spanish and Moroccan styles inspired this home in Mar Vista. Everything about this home suggests a beautiful Spanish sunset: the way its smooth stucco facade was constructed, the distinct roof tiles, and warm hues thrown here and there.
10) Gordon Gibson Construction
Website | 310-396-9310 | 3000 31st St. Suite G, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Jason Maltas and Gordon Gibson are seasoned builders sharing the same passion for construction and thoughtful design. Since Gibson launched the firm in 1966, the team has continued to build relationships with industry-leading architects and designers. Because of the firm’s organized approach and outstanding work ethic, it has remained one of the leading luxury custom home builders in Southern California.
Nestled in the hills of Bel-Air, Stradella is a bold 14,000-square-foot contemporary home built to maximize the use of this hillside lot. It features breathtaking views and a welcoming design with an interior flowing seamlessly into the exterior, ideal for entertaining. Natural finishes including travertine and white oak mix with an elevated color palette to bring a softness to this modern build.
9) Jones Builders Group
Website | 310-456-6655 | 21323 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu, CA 90265
Jones Builders Group is a Malibu-based builder serving Malibu, Santa Monica, Palisades, and nearby metros with prime homes. Under the attentive leadership of Nathan Jones and David Charvet, Jones Builders Group has experienced tremendous success. The firm’s residential and commercial projects have been recognized by magazines including Malibu Magazine, LA Time, Malibu Surfside News, and The Wall Street Journal. Charvet has also been featured on Entertainment Tonight’s “Inside Glass Houses of Hollywood Stars” segment.
Does this hotel-like mansion look familiar? It’s none other than Gigi Hadid’s Mediterranean-inspired childhood home. The mansion, although situated in Malibu, is a clear representation of the phenomenal work that Jones Builders Group is capable of completing.
8) Handcrafted Construction
Website | 310-386-0807 | 5408 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230
Damon Allred, despite being raised as a builder, took a different path early in his life. However, after settling down in Culver City, he found his passion for home building. In 2006, he opened Handcrafted Construction to serve Culver and nearby cities with noteworthy homes. Working with Handcrafted Construction means working with a skilled team who takes each construction comprehensively.
The firm’s admirable homes have been featured in New American Luxury and Architecture & Design. Aside from aesthetically pleasing homes, Handcrafted Construction builds homes that will benefit clients and the environment in the long run. This is made possible by going green and using sustainable materials as well as energy-saving HVAC systems.
7) Bonomo Development
Website | 805-407-0578 | 1523 Linda Ct., Simi Valley, CA 93065
Under the careful eye and outstanding leadership of Tony Bonomo and Nick Bonomo, Bonomo Development has become a successful General Contractor serving Greater Los Angeles. The firm has been doing exceptional work since it was established in 1993. Bonomo Development specializes in Contemporary homes. This home in Santa Monica showcases the firm’s capabilities in these types of structures. The project is situated in a neighborhood where contemporary style mingles with mid-century ranch and traditionally-styled houses.
The firm carefully planned the execution of the construction, as well as the materials to be used in this home. To pass Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, the firm used sustainable materials that contribute to energy efficiency. The art of illusion played a big role in this project. To make the small space appear bigger, the firm decided on a design that gave the small home a larger appearance.
6) Fischer Construction
Website | 310-204-4200 | 3272 Motor Ave. Suite G, Los Angeles, CA 90034
Fischer Construction is a builder serving Los Angeles and Santa Monica with premium custom homes since 1984. Founder Joel Fischer makes each home construction a memorable experience for both the firm and the client. Fischer Construction builds homes that are beautiful and can be enjoyed in the years to come. Viewers of the firm’s portfolio will be mesmerized by the character each home possesses. The firm delivers, from simple houses to hotel-like homes. One of the prominent projects in its portfolio is a modern new construction that boasts a timeless and upscale feel. Clean lines accompanied by neutral tones bring out the elegance of this home style.
The excellence of the team and its success has been recognized well by press features. Publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Luxe Magazine, Dwell Magazine, Builder/Architect, and California Homes have praised the construction prowess that the firm displays in all of its projects.
5) Forest Construction
Website | 805-386-8000 | 3365 Somis Rd., Somis, CA 93066
Forest Construction was founded by John Forest Rice in 1949. It started as a builder of restaurants, churches, and houses. When John passed away, the business had a hiatus until his sons, Jim and Joe reopened it in 1976. Today, Jim Rice and son-in-law, Ernesto Sepulveda lead a team of skilled craftspeople who are well-versed in the different facets of construction. While Jim is still involved, Ernesto runs the day to day operations as well as overseeing all design and construction. This allows the team to easily work with challenging projects from remodeling to custom construction. As one of Qualified Remodeler Magazine Top 500 Builders, Forest Construction continues to let its clients enjoy it’s classic and meticulously built homes. Although traditional and transitional are common home styles seen in its portfolio, the firm is not limited to this.
Taken from its custom homes portfolio is this Mediterranean-inspired home. The elegance of an authentic Mediterranean home can be felt through its detailed structure. Stucco walls, a low-pitched tile roof, grilled windows, and an open floor plan with a high ceiling lets the homeowners fully appreciate the classy freedom this style gives.
4) Martins Construction
Website | 818-518-6002 | 1666 Courtney Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
Martins Construction is a Los Angeles-based firm offering custom homes and home remodeling. For more than 23 years, the firm has been helping transform the neighborhood. Under the leadership of Robert Martins, the firm has built a trusted reputation for exceptionally building homes and remodeling spaces throughout the region.
Respected industry associations like the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and the Building Industry Association of South California have recognized the contribution that Martins Construction has made in the housing community. In addition, the firm was named one of Qualified Remodelers Magazine’s annual Top 500 firms, which is proof of the unmatched service it provides to clients. The firm enjoys the distinct characteristics that each project entails, whether the project involves simple or complex construction.
3) SOWA Development
Website | 855-713-1088 | 2629 33rd St., Santa Monica, CA 90405
After working with some of the nation’s largest home developers in the state, Stan Sowa saw an opportunity to embark on his own construction journey in 2007. SOWA Development is a Licensed General Contractor in the state of California. This means that the firm is capable of doing work in all areas of the state, from the metro to the bay area.
The firm’s portfolio is a diverse collection of custom made homes and home remodels. Take a look at the East Coast transitional Cape Cod custom home in Sunset Park. The team planned the details and floorplan of this 3,486-square-foot home to provide maximum comfort and use. The firm’s excellence in design and construction has been praised by industry pillar publications like Architectural Digest, GA Houses, Angeles, and Designers West.
2) Shawn Nelson Builders
Website | 310-802-1932 | 124 Center St., 1st Floor, El Segundo, CA 90245
Recognized by the California Home, Luxe Magazine, Coast, Architectural Digest, Ocean Home, Montecito Journal, and more, Shawn Nelson Builders and its works are truly captivating. Since it was established in 2003, Shawn Nelson Builders’ success has been unceasing. Shawn Nelson’s background in construction consists of work experiences as a Project Engineer and Project Manager for other builders. These stepping stones led to heading a team of professionals to transform Los Angeles County, one custom home at a time. Clients generally either know what they want or have no clue at all. Shawn Nelson Builders’ well-trained team knows this struggle very well and tries to ease any struggles as much as possible.
Shawn Nelson Builders has graced the coasts of Santa Monica to Manhattan Beach with head-turner homes. One of the firm’s gems can be found on La Mesa Drive. The Italian-Spanish characteristics of this Mediterranean home radiate luxury in every corner. Stucco exteriors, low-pitched tile roofs, the heavy use of wood beams, and high ceilings remain faithful and are well represented in this home.
1) Kavin Construction
Website | 310-340-1020 | 3814 Willat Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90232
From a small carpentry and lumber shop, Kavin Construction has evolved into Los Angeles County’s best custom home builder. Serving Santa Monica and surrounding cities in the county, the team has a firm grasp of what it takes to build custom homes in the area. Kavin Construction offers both home remodeling and custom home building with a unique design palette.
Although a career in construction had never crossed Michael Kavin’s mind, everything changed when he worked for Anawalt lumber company while attending university. He opened Kavin Construction in 1975. Industry-renowned publications like Architectural Digest, The Telegraph, Sunset, House Beautiful, InStyle, and West Los Angeles Living have featured the firm and its works. This milestone is a success the whole team shares. Visit its portfolio and see the firm’s varied capabilities.