California is a hotspot for construction, whether it’s for residential homes or commercial projects. The long and stressful process of construction can be less intimidating when clients find the right general contractor to work with.
We’ve carefully come up with a list of some of the best general contractors in California—we found the firms that can help clients turn their dream space into reality. These firms have proven their expertise through years of experience, awards, publication features, and past projects.
Timeline Design + Build
14401 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070
Timeline Design + Build was established in 1990. It is staffed by a talented team of architects, interior designers, and craftsmen who have years of experience building in Silicon Valley. The firm’s president is Matthew Harrigan; he earned his degree in civil engineering at Santa Clara University. He has extensive experience in interior design, architecture, and construction—he has been working in the industry since he was 16 years old.
The firm has won numerous awards, including the Judges’ Choice Kitchen Award and First Place for Powder Room and Small Bath from the National Kitchen + Bath Association (NKBA) in 2018. Then, in 2016, the firm won the Silver Award for Residential Interior for more than $100,000 and the Silver Award for Residential Kitchen for more than $120,000 from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). The firm’s work has been featured in Punch Magazine, South Bay Accent, and Remodeling Magazine.
Take a look at this award-winning residential addition project in Silicon Valley. A highlight is the modern kitchen which includes white cabinets, a marble backsplash, and a blue island that doubles as a breakfast bar. It’s a great example of what Timeline can do.
1889 Alcatraz Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94703
Since 1988, HDR Remodeling has been a full-service residential design-build remodeling firm offering its services in Berkeley, Alameda, Oakland, Piedmont, and the Greater East Bay area. The firm has experienced professionals who provide quality design, construction, and residential remodeling services on every project. HDR Remodeling has worked on high-end kitchen and bathroom remodels, bedroom and master suite remodels, whole house remodels, basement conversions, and backyard cottages.
The firm’s president is Chris Fellows, who has more than 25 years of construction experience. He obtained a degree in building and construction finishing, management, and inspection from Diablo Valley College. Under his effective leadership, HDR Remodeling became the NARI’s 2020 Regional Winner for a Residential Kitchen in the $100,001 to $150,000 category, and it won the 2019 Contractor of the Year Award as well. The firm has seen its work published in The San Francisco Business Times, Oakland Magazine, and Berkeley Times.
The HDR Remodeling project we decided to feature is this award-winning residential kitchen in San Francisco. The kitchen features a coastal look thanks to its patterned backsplash, blue island, hanging ceiling lights, and white cabinets with silver handles.
De Mattei Construction
1794 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126
De Mattei Construction was started in 1985 by Mark De Mattei and the firm has been fostering close client relationships ever since. For the past 38 years, the firm has been building clients’ dream homes in the Bay Area. The firm is now staffed by 75 professionals, and the firm has provided work on more than 2,000 homes.
In 2022, the firm received the Grand Award for Best Custom Home Over 8,000 square feet from the Gold Nugget Awards. Then, in 2021, it was the recipient of the Palo Alto Stanford Heritage Neighborhood Preservation Award for its project on a home at 352 Stanford Avenue. De Mattei Construction’s work has been featured in the Silicon Valley Business Journal, The Mercury News, and Qualified Remodeler.
This historical farmhouse in Palo Alto is a great example of De Mattei Construction’s work. The home features a white exterior with gray roofing, while the clean white look remains consistent with the home interior. A highlight of this project is the bathroom which includes a freestanding tub, a double vanity sink, and a separate shower area.
CairnsCraft Design & Remodel
4660 Voltaire Street, San Diego, CA 92107
Since 2001, CairnsCraft Design & Remodel has been a trusted contractor in San Diego. The firm offers a mixture of modern-day knowledge and old-world craftsmanship on every project it works on. CairnsCraft Design & Remodel promises to help clients every step of the way to bring their dream space into reality.
The firm’s president and founder is Charles Cairns, who has more than 21 years of construction experience. He finished a bachelor’s degree in science fisheries from Humboldt State University. He is also a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) I and II. Charles manages the firm with co-owner Marie Cairns who is also a CAPS I and II.
In 2019, the firm received the Bathroom of the Year award from San Diego Home and Garden Lifestyles. That same year, it was given the Reader’s Choice Award for Contractor or Construction from The Peninsula Beacon and the Best Home Remodeler in San Diego award from Best of Ranch & Coast magazine.
This award-winning bathroom in San Diego is a good example of what CairnsCraft Design and Remodel can do. The bathroom features an accent navy blue wall, a double vanity sink, spacious storage, and a shower area with corner seating.
1390 E Burnett Street, Suite A, Signal Hill, CA 90755
Zieba Builders was established in 1988 and has since become an award-winning luxury design-build firm in Coastal Southern California. The firm offers a variety of services—everything from whole home remodels to luxury custom builds. The firm uses premium materials and consistently exceeds client expectations via its impressive craftsmanship.
The firm is owned by Joe Zieba, who has more than 34 years of construction experience and previously worked as a civil engineer for the Department of Defense. Zieba is a member of the NKBA, CAPS, and a Certified Graduate Remodeler (CGR) by the NAHB. He finished his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Maryland.
Zieba Builders received the First Place Award for Best Large Bath and Best Medium Kitchen from the NKBA in 2018. From 2015 to 2017 and then in 2019, the firm was the recipient of the GuildMaster Award from GuildQuality. The firm’s striking projects have been featured in Long Beach Post and The Los Angeles Times.
This award-winning residential project in Long Beach is a great example of a typical Zieba Builders project. It includes a scenic ocean view, as well as three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious kitchen, and a laundry room.
999 43rd Street, Oakland, CA 94608
Founded in 2001, building Lab is an award-winning firm that specializes in highly-refined residential design and building. The firm offers expertise in modern architecture and is committed to green building practices. Clients will receive innovative solutions throughout the whole construction process.
The principal of the firm is Stephen Shoup, a qualified GreenPoint Rater and Advisor. He received his Master of Architecturedegree from the University of California Berkeley. Since 2001, he’s been leading the firm in projects such as whole house remodeling, new construction, custom cabinetry, and master planning and landscape.
In 2022, the firm was recognized at the Bay Area Remodeling Awards (BARA) for the Entire House in the more than $1 million category. In 2016, the firm received the Merit Award for Basement Remodel in the over $100,000 category from Remodeling Magazine. Additionally, Building Lab was featured in CA Home + Design, Berkeley Times, and Smaller Living.
A well-known project by Building Lab is this residence on Appleberry Drive completed in 2013. The whole house remodel centered on a simple and modest design. A highlight of this project is the kitchen, adjacent to the dining area. The kitchen includes an open layout with white cabinets, stainless steel appliances, and a dual-purpose counter.
908 Industrial Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94303
Greenberg Construction is a full-service design-build construction firm based in Palo Alto. Since 2013, the firm has been working on residential and commercial projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. The firm is led by founder and CEO, Maor Greenberg, who has a bachelor’s degree in structural engineering from the College of Management Israel and a CGP. The firm has been included in a number of publications, including Palo Alto Online, Almanac News, and Mountain View Voice.
This home in Fremont is just one of the successful projects provided by Greenberg Construction. The project involved a whole house remodel with the addition of a master bath and closet. The remodeled kitchen has a large island for gatherings and the living room now has a fireplace.
Charco Design & Build
11585 Sorrento Valley Road, Suite #104, San Diego, CA 92121
Charco Design & Build specializes in full residential remodels and custom homes. The firm is staffed by a team of experts with experience in architectural, construction, and interior design services. The firm was founded by Armando Flores in 2011 and offers more than 35 years of industry experience. Flores started his construction experience through architectural drafting and interior design at a firm in Los Angeles before working at Charco Design & Build.
The firm has received numerous awards, including the 2022 Best Home Remodeler from Best of Ranch & Coast, the 2021 San Diego Custom Home Builder Award, and the 2020 San Diego’s Favorite New Home Builder.
A notable project by Charco Design & Build is this modern home in Rancho Santa Fe. Completed in 2018, it features a boxy structure with white walls and wide windows. It has a spacious outdoor area for social occasions and a huge swimming pool that’s perfect for the California summer.
5352 Laurel Canyon Boulevard, Suite #200, Valley Village, CA 91607
Treeium is a general contracting firm that has been specializing in green home remodeling since 1991. The firm offers green solutions along with its remodeling services to create efficient and sustainable homes for its clients. The firm is led by CEO Moty Ginsburg, who graduated from the University of Beer-Sheva, Israel with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering.
This modern home remodel in West Hollywood is a great example of a Treeium project. The boxy structure provides floor-to-ceiling windows and perfectly frames the outdoor area and swimming pool strip.
1207 Redcliff Drive, San Jose, CA 95118
Since 1976, Starburst Construction has been providing design and construction services, particularly for custom homes, home additions, and remodels. The firm’s president is Phil Carey, who has more than 46 years of construction experience and obtained a degree in construction from San Jose City College. The impressive projects of Starburst Construction led it to be featured in California Modern Home Magazine, Gentry Home Magazine, and Mercury News Silicon Valley.
One of the notable projects by Starburst Construction is this home in San Mateo. The one-story home has a spacious outdoor area where the family can hang out or entertain guests. There’s also a pool area where special events can be held.