When people think of New York, many often think about the hustle and bustle of a buzzing industrial city. People jump to images of the looming skyscrapers that dot the map or even the sprawling subways that line the underground. However, the state of New York has much more sights and sounds to offer beyond the image seen in movies. 

Upstate New York is home to lovely towns and booming industries that offer people a wide array of opportunities to thrive. Many consider the region one of the best places to live in the U.S. Its several tree-lined towns and cities offer residents lovely, expansive vistas and homes close to charming tourist spots and respectable educational institutions. 

If you’re looking to build your new home in the area, here are 20 of the best custom home builders in Upstate New York. This list was compiled based on the firm’s projects, the styles the firms are familiar with, their respective approaches, and the reputations they have in the business.


Capital Construction

81 South St., Ballston Spa, NY 12020

For 40 years now, Capital Construction has been building homes the right way from start to finish. To Capital Construction, this means building green right from the get-go. The company specializes in “healthy house” construction and is the only builder in the Northeast to have built a home that is certified a healthy home by the American Lung Association.

Capital Construction is also a Certified Green Professional and accredited with the American Lung Association Health House Program, The Green Building Initiative, Capital Region Builders and Remodelers Association, Energy Star, and it is part of the National Association of Home Builders, New York State Builders and Remodelers Association, Saratoga Builders Association, and the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce

Beyond green construction, Capital Construction is best acquainted with building homes in the ranch, contemporary, modern, and colonial styles. The Energy Efficient Retirement Home featured below is a great example of what the firm is capable of. Nestled in between uneven land is this gorgeous home, lined with large windows that provide 360 views of the woods beyond. Lining the house is classic wooden detailing mirroring the surrounding forest. The actual layout of the home does not fight against the natural, rolling landscape where it rests; it adapts to the landscape, tucking itself in corners and resting parts of it on the hills. The result is a gorgeous home that slots right into its green surroundings.


Timberbuilt

10821 Eagle Drive, North Collins, NY 14111

Living up to its unique name, Timberbuilt is best known for building award-winning timber frame homes in the sophisticated villages of Upstate New York. Its builders combine the timeless aesthetics of wood detailing with the industry’s most energy-efficient systems, creating functional yet visually stunning homes. Comfortable, architecturally distinct, and sustainable are the best ways to describe these gorgeous homes from Timberbuilt. 

Apart from its unique, earthy style, its portfolio is also filled with ranch, contemporary, modern, and colonial-style homes—some of which have even been featured in the pages of Timber Home Living, Style Guide, and Buffalo Spree

The Side Entry Olive, pictured below, is a great example of its work. It was custom-made for a big family moving to the outskirts of Western New York. Being a bit farther from everything else, the growing family needed enough space to keep everyone comfortable. The result is a gorgeous 4,000-square-foot home built with an eastern white pine frame and reclaimed barn wood flooring. There’s also a lot of elbow room inside, with three spacious bedrooms and more spaces to grow and make additions if need be. To top it all off, the family has gorgeous views of the surroundings from each room.


Natale Builders

9159 Main Street, Clarence NY 14031

Natale Builders is a well-established and trusted custom home builder with 52 years of experience in the business. It specializes in building luxury custom homes ranging in varying styles from ranch to contemporary, and they are all built in keeping with green standards. Natale Builders is known for creating charming homes, and it is also a leader in Energy Star and Green Build designs in the neighborhoods of Western NY.  Being 100% committed to Energy Star building, Natale Builders makes sure that every home they build is comfortable, healthy, reliable, and cost-effective. 

The firm has been recognized with the 2014 NAHB Project of the Year Award for Green Site Development and was featured on the pages of The Buffalo News and Niagra Frontier Publications. Among its beautiful work on custom homes is the residential project featured below. It’s a cozy home with beautiful masonry and detailing, giving it a remarkable and sturdy façade that is typical of Natale Builders’ residential projects.


Bella Home Builders, Inc.

228 Church Street, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Bella Home Builders, Inc. is a family-owned custom home company that has been designing and building homes in the Capital Region and surrounding communities for 33 years. Its practice is remarkable for its attention to detail and its commitment to building one-of-a-kind custom homes, typically in the ranch, contemporary, modern, and colonial styles, with characteristics unique to its clients’ needs. For its dedication to the craft, Bella Home Builders was an Award Winner of the Showcase of Homes by The Saratoga Builders Association Inc. and was recognized with the 2018 Best in Building Award by Capital Region Builders & Remodelers Association. 

Moreover, its high-quality work is consistently recognized in the annual Showcase of Homes and the Parade of Homes. In these, Bella Home Builders is a consistent winner of the prestigious Quality Workmanship Award and has also been recognized with the People’s Choice Award and the Realtor Choice Award. In the 2020 Showcase of Homes, Bella Home Builders proudly showcased the Park Grove pictured below. It’s a unique contemporary home that incorporates some ranch detailing to give it its distinct look inside and out.


Caruso Builders

19 Railroad Place, Suite 201,  Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Caruso Builders is an award-winning company of custom home builders, dedicated to making upstate living beautiful through its masterful blend of good design and function. Working with its team entails a collaborative process where the client is taken in as a part of the whole process to exact the vision they have for their dream home.

Featured below is the award-winning 23 Jenna Jo – Saratoga Springs project. This luxury home is the Award Winner of the 2021 Showcase of Homes by the Saratoga Builders Association, Inc. It also raked in the awards, including the Best Workmanship, Best Kitchen, Best Master Bathroom, Best Interior Decorating, and as evident from the picture featured below, it is also an Exterior Design Runner Up.  This home is a testament to Caruso Builders’ knack for elegance in design; even the littlest details like the choice of color or finish all add up to a beautiful modern home that adds to its surroundings.


Galarneau Builders

526 Maple Avenue, Saratoga Springs NY, 12866

For 41 years, Galarneau Builders has been building reliable luxury custom homes in the area. From getting the location right to breaking ground, clients can trust that Galarneau Builders will be there from start to finish. With the help of its Maple Avenue Realty and its in-house broker, it can even assist clients in finding the perfect lot. It specializes in building energy-efficient homes, typically in the ranch, contemporary, modern, and colonial styles, and provides options for clients whether or not they want to work with their own pre-made architectural plans or have the team draw up a custom design just for them.

One example of the firm’s work on custom homes is this striking Saratoga Springs Home. Built with consideration to the landscape of the lot, this beautiful colonial-style home adapts to the sloping green hillside with its layout. Windows that peer out into the grassy and tree-lined neighborhood also line the home, giving it a healthy dose of natural lighting that make the interiors shine.


Thomas Johnson Homes

6435 W Quaker, Orchard Park, NY 14127

Thomas Johnson Homes is one of Western New York’s premier custom home builders. For 35 years, the company, led by Thomas Johnson, has been encouraging client creativity and participation in creating custom homes that are truly tailored for them. The company is well equipped to build custom homes, creating approximately 10 to 15 custom homes each year in the Buffalo and Western New York areas, with projects ranging from $850,000 to $3 million in budget. 

This home in Orchard Park is one example of the company’s expertise in creating comfortable and lovely custom houses. Elegant wood detailing lines the interior of this cozy custom home, giving it a warm, welcoming atmosphere.


Beaver Mountain Log & Cedar Homes

1740 County Highway 48, Deposit, NY 13754

Beaver Mountain Log & Cedar Homes prides itself in making the finest custom log homes in the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic. Since its inception in 1982, the company has been making luxury log homes or timber frame homes that are unique to each client’s needs and aspirations. With its work in this specialization, the company is affiliated with the National Home Builders Association Business Council of NYS, the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, the Deposit Chamber of Commerce, the Hancock Chamber of Commerce, and the Wayne Pike Building Industry Association. 

Featured below is the Cubco Cedar home, a new red cedar home custom built to make room for large groups of skiers and snowmobilers looking to enjoy the Catskills in the winter. It boasts four bedrooms, a recreation area with additional bunks, and a kitchen with a large prep area and adjoining dining area. All these features combined provide the family with ample elbow room to enjoy their new dream home.


Buffalo Bungalow

549 Winspear, Elma, NY 14059

Buffalo Bungalow is a custom home builder best known for blending periods and styles to create a truly one-of-a-kind home for each client. Being a family-owned and operated business since 1995, Buffalo Bungalow knows what’s best when it comes to building the right home, custom-made for each family’s lifestyle. The team personally meets with each client and works with them closely to meet their specific criteria with the help of planners, designers, and builders that all operate under one roof. The company also offers families a wide array of options, making them a builder that gives people truly customizable choices.

Take, for instance, The Deville Project 5 featured below. It’s a stunning craftsman-style home that exudes a calm, peaceful atmosphere with its cobalt blue color scheme. It’s an open concept house, with a large great room complete with a custom fireplace and bookcases. Its gourmet kitchen is finished with granite and stainless appliances, and gives the family plenty of room to dine in. Accents of blue and grey contrasted by the dark wooden floors give this home its refreshing, contemporary look, with craftsman details lining the doors and trim of the house.


Belmonte Builders

1743 Route 9, Clifton Park, NY 12065

For 44 years, Belmonte Builders has been building homes with the highest quality of excellence thanks to the team’s attention to even the finest detail and its innovative use of quality products. The Belmonte team collaborates closely with the customer to truly personalize the final product to their tastes. This hard work has earned them a great reputation for excellence, vouched for by the many positive reviews it has received from past clients. The firm’s reputation for excellence is reflected in its portfolio as well, as Belmonte Builders was the one that created the Albany region’s first LEED Gold Certified house.

Pictured here is another one of its excellent works on custom homes. Featured as part of the 2018 Parade of Homes, The Chesapeake in Alexandria is a 3,212-square-foot home, packed with 4 stylish bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms. This home boasts a modern open floor plan that can entertain large family get-togethers comfortably.  A two-story great room opens up to the kitchen which includes a spacious walk-in pantry that provides additional storage, as well as to a lovely dining room where the family can enjoy meals together. A bonus room on the second floor overlooks the great room and is shared by two additional bedrooms. Meanwhile, the cherry on top, the large master-on-the-main boasts an elegant transom window, a walk-in closet, and a large master bath.


Heartland Homes Const. Inc

525 N Forest Road, Williamsville, NY 14221

With its mission to affect positive change in its community, Heartland Homes strongly advocates for sustainability in its craft. With each client, the team provides information and systems that inspire a commitment to more sustainable living for the sake of a greener future. Founded in 1992, the company has been building lovely custom homes in the area, typically in colonial, modern, ranch, and contemporary styles. The firm is member of the National Association of Home Builders, a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, and it’s an NAHB Certified Green Builder.

The company is all about creating homes that are designed to complement the residents’ lifestyle, and Heartland Homes delivered on this goal with this home that is tailor-fit to the client’s desires. The Emily Court project is a standard contemporary home that Heartland Homes tweaked based on the homeowner’s unique modern design ideas that they wanted, resulting in this gorgeous home.

To see more of their work, you can check out their website here.


Regency Builders, LLC.

4899 Meyer Road, Pendleton, NY 14120

Named as one of the Top Ten Homebuilders in Western New York back in 2016 and 2017, Regency Builders is one of the area’s premier builders. With its commitment to building truly unique, high-quality, luxury custom homes throughout WNY,  the firm provides clients with their dream home with as little stress as possible. With 40 years of experience in the business, the firm has developed a great eye for detail and adapted to latest innovative tech, materials, and building practices. 

Regency’s portfolio is riddled with stunning custom homes in the European, ranch, contemporary, modern, and colonial styles. Its Hemingway project pictured below is a great example. It’s a breathtaking colonial-style home with expansive shared living space, perfect for entertaining guests. The interior mimics the façade’s light cream finish, giving the entire place a dreamy atmosphere that is relaxing to be in.


Golden Homes by Bahman, Inc.

8650 Golden Road Court, East Amherst, NY 14051

Founded in 1987,  Golden Homes by Bahman has been constructing a variety of homes in Western New York and Greater Buffalo, ranging from $199,000 to $600,000 in value. Whether the client is looking to make a new, custom primary residence, a cozy vacation home, or well-crafted investment property, Golden Homes will be able to handle the project and do so at a competitive price. Its seasoned team is experienced in all manner of custom home building, and has expertise in construction, design, decorating, remodeling, and restoration, making Golden Homes an affordable one-stop-shop for custom home needs.

Apart from its rich expertise, Golden Homes is also affiliated with Niagara Frontier Builders’ Association and the National Home Builders’ Association which allows the team to have a wider and deeper scope of the home building industry.  This expertise shines through in its red-brick residential project featured here.


Hanifin Home Builders, Inc.

420 Kenwood Avenue, Delmar, NY 12054

Hanifin Home Builders has more than 30 years of experience building lovely houses in the Capital District. It is a trusted builder in the neighborhoods of Upstate New York, with many past clients calling upon them for their new additions. Clients are drawn to the company’s commitment to making their dream house into a home they can feel comfortable in. The team assists the clients in decision-making and offers several plans in all shapes and sizes to have every detail aligned with the client’s unique requirements.

When it comes to building, Hanifin Home Builders’ projects can typically be found in well-established neighborhoods, with the team going as far as to study the neighboring houses of the new homes to create a final product that slots right into its surroundings, yet remains distinctly the client’s. This mark of craftsmanship and dedication can be seen in the lovely work the team put in building the gorgeous red brick colonial home featured below. This proud, stately home stands out with its classic façade, yet still looks as if it had always been there with the way it blends in with the rest of the property.


CMK Builders, Inc.

1663 County Line Road, Alden, NY 14004  

CMK Builders is an experienced custom home building company that has built hundreds of new homes in the Greater Buffalo and Western New York areas.  Clients can opt to build on their own lot or they could choose from the building lots that CMK Builders offer throughout WNY.

Throughout the construction process, CMK Builders focuses on the client’s individual needs during every stage of the home building process, making sure that from initial consultation to designing the unique layout of the floor plan, each detail is up to standard. This keen attention to detail can be seen in this beautiful colonial home. Plenty of the firm’s projects show an affinity for classic details and this is evident in the construction of this stately stone New York home.


Sunset Custom Homes, Inc.

3172 South Park Avenue, Lackawanna, NY 14218  

Sunset Custom Homes is a well-known and experienced custom home builder that has been making homes fit clients’ budgets and needs since 1992. The company has designed several homes that serve as templates; lients can choose from those styles if they wish to. They also have the option to put their unique twist on the blueprints and adjust them to their needs. Alternatively, clients can also collaborate with the builder to come up with an entirely new and unique custom home just for them.

Being an experienced and reliable home building company, Sunset Custom Homes is accredited with the National Association of Home Builders, the Buffalo Niagara Builders Association, the Southtowns Builders Association Inc., the NYS Builders Association, and it is a Better Business Bureau A+ business. Pictured below is an example of the company’s style in full display. The 1740 Ridge Lewiston is a lovely contemporary home with plenty of room for the whole family inside this one-story house.


Morgan Homes of Western New York, Inc.

5520 Strickler Road, Clarence, NY 14031 

Morgan Homes of Western New York Inc. is an award-winning home builder with a reputation for crafting the most distinctive custom homes in the Greater Buffalo-Niagara region. It offers a variety of premier custom home building services, all delivered with the necessary expertise and flexibility needed to address any construction challenges.

The firm builds typically in the ranch, contemporary, modern, and colonial styles. One example is the breathtaking home featured below. From the lovely masonry to the very fine details like the shingle roof and the choice of accents, this home lives up to the Morgan Homes promise of building a home of distinction. It has a regal structure, with the home blending in comfortably with the tree-lined neighborhood that surrounds it.


MARAND Builders and Renovators, LLC.

6848 Mallory Road, Holland Patent, NY 13354  

MARAND Builders and Renovators, LLC brings together decades of experience with the innovative strategies and technologies of the 21st century. As a full-service builder, the team promises to be there for their clients from the ground up. Regardless of the budget or size of the project, MARAND makes sure to provide a service and final product that is streamlined to provide the homeowner’s needs. They even offer the installation of home entertainment systems, WiFi, and HVAC controls to make comfort as accessible as possible.

Speaking of comfort, pictured below is the firm’s work on the Luxurious Log Camp. This breathtaking Adirondack timber-frame home fully embraces the forest that surrounds it with every raw detail found inside and out of the home. The result is a warm, luxurious house that has stunning vistas of the woods beyond.


Tesmer Builders, Inc.

8898 Transit Road, East Amherst, NY 14051

Tesmer Builders is one of Western New York’s premier custom home builders. Since 1951, it’s been handcrafting the most distinctive, luxury custom homes in the area, all built to be utterly unique as they are all centered around the customers’ unique needs and design goals.

As a family-owned and operated business that’s been in the game for 70 years, Tesmer Builders guarantees that each home will be an extension of the client’s lifestyle, resulting in a home that they will cherish with their family in the years to come. One example is the contemporary home pictured below that offers just enough space for the entire family.


Carina Construction Services of Ithaca, Inc.

730 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, NY 14850  

Carina Construction Services of Ithaca has been building green homes since 2003. As an Energy Star partner, these planet-friendly homes built by the team is tested by an NYSERDA-approved independent Energy Auditor, ensuring that everything is up to standard.

Carina Construction’s homes are certified to reduce energy consumption, have better insulation and air sealing, and maintain indoor air quality. Homes built with the team are made of renewable and sustainable products, and 90% of the construction waste generated during the building process gets recycled. The cherry on top of it all is the fact that all of these greener options are available at an affordable price when working with Carina Construction, and that price comes without sacrificing quality and design. The 2-story house featured below is a great example.

Photo credit: Immersion Factory LLC