Berkeley isn’t just a hub for intellectual prowess; it’s a growing canvas for architectural artistry. This city demands construction professionals who understand both originality and history. The list below contains eight of the best general contractors in Berkeley. They were chosen based on their awards, experience, and portfolios. Meet these firms that exceed this dual expectation, each possessing a distinct flair for balancing the old and new, serving as the backbone behind some of Berkeley’s most iconic structures.
5677 Horton Ave., Emeryville, CA 94608
Founded in 1988, HDR Remodeling specializes in residential Design + Build remodeling services. With 35 years of experience, it serves homeowners across Berkeley, Alameda, Oakland, Piedmont, and the broader East Bay Area.
Under the leadership of Owners Chris Fellows and Kevin Mond, the company coordinates its skilled project managers and leads carpenters to deliver top-quality projects. Fellows holds several certifications, including a California Contractor’s License for General Building Contractor B and Class C-6 Cabinet and Finish Carpentry. Chris is also a Certified Remodeling Project Manager (CRPM) from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and holds certifications in LEAD R&R, C2 Asbestos Hazard Safety, and Window & Door Winteq Installation.
HDR Remodeling has received numerous awards, most recently including the 2023 Regional Contractor of the Year Award in the Residential Kitchens over $150,000 category and the 2021 Bay Area Remodeling Award for Entire House remodels priced between $750,000 and $1 million. The company is accredited by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), NARI, and NARI San Francisco Bay Area and participates in Rebuilding Together initiatives.
Gordon Reese Design Build
3021 Citrus Circle, #170, Walnut Creek, CA 94598
Founded in 1984, Gordon Reese Design Build is a National Award-Winning Design Build firm located in Walnut Creek, California. Specializing in kitchen, bath, whole-house remodeling, and additions, the company serves the 680 and 24 corridors. With almost 40 years in the industry, Gordon Reese Design Build provides great ideas, clear communication, and skilled execution.
The company is led by owner and founder Gordon B. Reese III, who holds the designations of Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR) and Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP). Under his leadership, the team ensures a seamless journey from concept to completion for all projects.
Recent accolades include the 2022 National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Bay Area Remodeling Awards, the 2021 NARI Contractor of the Year Award, and the 2020 NARI Kitchen Over $150,000 award. Gordon Reese Design Build is accredited by NARI and GuildQuality, with staff members certified as Universal Design Professionals and Kitchen and Bath Remodelers.
999 43rd St., Oakland, CA 94608
Founded in 2001, Building Lab is an award-winning residential design and construction firm based on a holistic approach to building and design. The firm is renowned for its modern architecture, precision in quality construction, and commitment to green building practices. Specializing in new construction, whole-house remodels, additions, and kitchen and bath renovations, Building Lab thrives on creative solutions tailored to specific client needs.
The company is steered by Stephen Shoup, the founder and owner, who holds a Master of Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley, and has also trained at The Architectural Association in London. Under his guidance, the talented team at Building Lab focuses on smart, sustainable solutions in design and construction.
Building Lab has garnered numerous accolades, including the 2022 Bay Area Remodeling Awards (BARA) for an entire house costing more than $1 million and the 2021 RD Architecture Awards in the category of Architectural Interiors. Its certifications and accreditations include the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), Build It Green, and Marin Builders Association.
2705 Webster St., #5755, Berkeley, CA 94705
Established in 2015, PROYECTO is a client-focused remodeling firm co-founded by Abe Wortman and Manuel Navarro. With a collective experience spanning nearly two decades, they sought to create a company that excels in transparent communication, budgeting, and design while forming collaborative partnerships with architects, designers, and vendors. Their core competencies lie in delivering impeccably managed construction services with a focus on quality.
Manuel Navarro serves as the president, bringing his 20-year experience in construction to the role. A licensed general contractor and journeyman carpenter, he excels in tackling unforeseen challenges during construction. Abe Wortman, the CEO, previously worked as a French chef and sommelier before entering the world of designer real estate. His role centers on guiding clients through the budgeting and design processes, ensuring that every project meets their goals.
The firm is accredited by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). It has been featured in reputable platforms like dwell.com, CA Home Design, and HGTV, showcasing its contributions to the industry. Despite being a relatively young company, PROYECTO’s impact on the remodeling scene is undeniable, offering both original designs and quality craftsmanship.
1133 Ohio Ave., Richmond, CA 94804
Founded in 2006, Conscious Construction aims to disrupt the construction industry by prioritizing transparency, quality, and social and environmental responsibility. With a history spanning 17 years, the company collaborates with like-minded clients, architects, and design professionals to deliver high-quality projects that meet social and environmental needs. Its strength lies in a core team of dedicated, long-standing employees and carefully selected subcontractors who share the company’s values.
At the helm is President Jeff Sochet, a San Francisco Bay Area native with 25 years in the building industry. A Humboldt State University graduate and father of two, Jeff has built an exceptional team he has built and ensured high client satisfaction. Under his leadership, Conscious Construction is committed to expanding its role as a leader in green building practices.
The company holds certifications from the American Institute of Architects East Bay (AIA East Bay), the Environmental Protection Agency as a Lead Safe Certified Firm, and Build It Green. This commitment to certifications signifies its adherence to top-notch quality and environmental standards, showcasing it as a true innovator and socially responsible builder in the field.
Jack Stabb | General Building Contractor
6982 Exeter Dr., Oakland, CA 94611
With 43 years of experience in the construction industry, Jack Stabb | General Building Contractor stands as a pillar of reliability and quality in the Bay Area. Specializing in a wide range of projects, from high-end kitchen and bath remodels to historic home renovations and structural corrections, the company has built a reputation for delivering top-notch workmanship at fair prices. Servicing locations like Orinda, Piedmont, Montclair, and the Oakland-Berkeley Hills since 1980, Jack Stabb’s long-lasting relationships with satisfied clients have cemented him as a trusted general contractor in the region.
At the core of this organization is its namesake, Owner Jack Stabb. Jack is known for being hands-on, personally supervising his crews and actively participating in day-to-day construction. This approach ensures that projects are executed efficiently, with a focus on clear communication and owner advocacy. In summary, if you’re seeking a contractor who puts clients and quality above all else, Jack Stabb | General Building Contractor is a proven choice backed by decades of industry experience.
Smith & Son Construction
817 Arnold Dr., Suite 11 & 12, Martinez, CA 94553
Established in 2017, Smith & Son Construction has quickly become a leading force in the Bay Area’s construction and home remodeling industry. Specializing in a broad range of projects, the company understands the unique architectural demands of California’s diverse landscapes. The company’s services cover an extensive price range, making them accessible to various budgets. For instance, it offers whole home renovations starting from $100,000, kitchen remodeling beginning at $50,000, and even undertakes commercial projects up to $100 million. This flexibility in pricing reflects the company’s commitment to providing value and quality across different scales of construction.
CEO Lance Francis Smith steers the company’s vision and operations. His leadership is validated by the company’s accreditation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a testament to Smith & Son’s ethical business practices. Smith & Son Construction is a relatively young but highly competent contracting organization. Its comprehensive range of services and an understanding of regional specificities make it a trusted choice for anyone looking to transform or build their dream home or business facility in the Bay Area.
Heroes Design & Build
3300 Birdsall Ave., Oakland, CA 94619
Heroes Design & Build has been a trusted name in the Bay Area’s construction and renovation sector for 20 years. With a combined experience exceeding 60 years, the company is rooted in a family-owned tradition that values customer satisfaction above all else. Specializing in a comprehensive range of services from carpentry to plumbing, the team is well-equipped to handle large and small projects.
At the helm of the organization is Idaan Heroe, whose leadership underscores the company’s commitment to quality and reliability. The crew consists of skilled carpenters, electricians, plumbers, handymen, and foremen, ensuring every project meets the highest industry standards. This all-in-one approach streamlines the construction process and offers clients peace of mind, knowing their project is in capable hands.
The in-house expertise available at Heroes Design & Build has allowed the company to offer comprehensive solutions, making it a notable option for those seeking construction services in the region. The company has developed a reputation for delivering consistent quality with thousands of successful projects across the Bay Area.