Located on the northeastern shore of San Francisco Bay, Berkeley is directly east of the Golden Gate Bridge and adjacent to Oakland. Berkeley is an educational and residential community where various divinity schools including the Pacific School of Religion are located. In the University of California, several outstanding museums such as the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive can be seen. Over the years, Berkeley has become a major tourist destination, with numerous bookshops, internationally known restaurants, the Berkeley Rose Garden, Botanical Garden, and the University Art Museum.
Berkeley is ranked by Livability as #6 in the 100 best places to live, thanks to a rich and diverse environment that offers great shopping, art. museums, and food. Homes in this city carry median home values within the $1 million price bracket. Several buildings in Berkeley were designed by architect Bernard Maybeck, who settled there in the 1890s before accepting a teaching position in the engineering department at UC-Berkeley. Maybeck also designed a number of residences through the college town, including his own residence north of campus.
The kitchen remodelers on this list not only have the reputation for designing and building creative and beautiful kitchens; they also shine through the awards they have received, the publicity they have achieved, and the prestigious organizations with which they are affiliated.
13) Oliver Builders
Website | 510-527-5171 | 2806 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94702
With over 20 years of experience, Oliver Builders has a combination of excellent craftsmanship, precise time management, and clear communication. Oliver Builders was founded by Severin Oliver, a Bay Area native with a passion for construction. Specializing in stair building and finish carpentry, he has the ability to see both the full picture and the small details of a project.
Oliver Builders specializes in residential construction; building anything from extensive second story additions to fine woodwork and custom staircases. Usually, the firm’s projects exhibit the contemporary, modern, craftsman, and even the grand Tudor styles. Oliver Builders has A+ accreditation from the BBB and is a member of Build it Green. Furthermore, it is EPA Lead safe certified. Though all of the firm’s work is memorable and beautiful, one of its most notable projects is a farmhouse-style kitchen remodel that leans more on contemporary designs.
12) Berkeley Craftsmen
Website | 510-549-3076 |2530 Tenth St. Suite #2, Berkeley, CA 94710
Originally an ironworks company dating back to the early 1900s, Berkeley Craftsmen was bought by Ken Butler in 1943. Over the next four decades, the company grew, leaving its mark on many buildings in the Bay area, before Butler retired in 1985, giving his grandsons Mark and Michael Butler the company.
In 1995, the firm began remodeling homes, offices, and retail stores. With this partnership, the brothers combined their unique talents with carpentry and their creative problem-solving skills. Possessing different perspectives, the brothers successfully created a thoughtful and professional approach to construction.
Berkeley Craftsmen is a member of Build it Green and Green Business, focusing on re-using and recycling supplies and building materials by supporting strong recycling markets and by paying attention to ways of reducing materials for the landfills. By increasing the use and availability of environmentally-preferable products, the firm is able to eliminate or reduce toxins that threaten the health of the team and its clients.
11) Swan Building
Website | 510-410-1650 |86 Hillcrest Rd., Berkeley CA 94705
Opening in 1987, Swan Building has remained a small “hands-on” company that works on residential projects in the Berkeley and Oakland areas. These projects range from new home construction to kitchen and bath remodels and home additions. The firm is a Certified Green Building Professional, Lead safe EPA certified, and an Advanced CGBP Green home and remodeling professional.
Swan Building was founded by Stephen Swan who attended Art College in Bristol and Manchester, studying Fine Art and Design. In 1982, he moved from London to Berkeley with the intention of continuing his education in fine art. Soon, his career shifted to construction work and he began as an apprentice to his father and to many skilled craftsmen involved in the upkeep of their family’s old and rundown Georgian Townhouse. After five years of working in the building trade, he founded Swan Building. One of Swan Building’s most notable works is a modern kitchen remodel featuring a light color palette of whites and silvers.
10) Dream Maker Bath and Kitchen
Website | 925-266-3054 |1117 Bont Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Fred Chapman decided to become a franchise owner with Dream Maker Bath and Kitchen in 2005, following years of interest in the building and construction industry, and experience building underground tunnels in his father’s business. Independently owned, the company is a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and has an A+ accreditation with the BBB. Dream Maker Bath and Kitchen was included in Remodeling Magazine’s top 550 and won the Chrysalis Award for Excellence.
One of the company’s most notable projects is a kitchen remodel in the transitional style, that boasts brick sidings and wooden and brick flooring that highlight the room’s somewhat rustic feel.
9) Integrity Remodeling, Inc.
Website | 415-302-0829 | PO BOX 3508, Oakland 94609
Since 2001, Integrity Remodeling, Inc. has possessed a reputation for consistently delivering large and small projects within budget and on schedule. Integrity’s quality work has been featured in magazines such as Sunset Magazine and The Rockridge Kitchen Tour, in which one of its projects was featured as a Premier Kitchen. In addition, the firm also won the 2012 City of Piedmont Design Awards. Though Integrity has many eye-catching projects, its work on 49 Wildwood Gardens in Oakland is of its most memorable. Built with Kensington architect firm Sherman Architecture, the kitchen sports a classy modern style highlighted by white walls with gold and silver features.
The firm’s founder Eli Israel grew up on the East Coast where he experienced all facets of the construction industry. At the University of Rhode Island, he studied landscape architecture with an emphasis on community planning. Today, his work is inspired by classic architecture and the colonial details of New England buildings.
8) Design Set Match
Website | 510-944-1707 |825 Page St. Suite #203, Berkeley, CA 94710
Design Set Match was established in 2010 by Alisa Hoffman. As President Designer, she is also active in several trade associations and participates in additional courses to maintain her certification status. She is a certified Associate Kitchen and Bath Designer (AKBD), a member of the National Kitchen Bath Association (NKBA), and is a Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP), and a Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP). In 2018, she also became the President of the San Francisco chapter of NARI.
The firm itself also has memberships with the Marin Builders Association (MBA), the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), the NARI San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, the North Bay NARI, and the Association for Women and Architecture + Design. In addition to the firm’s numerous affiliations, it is also an award-winning firm that has received awards from NARI and also boasts a Chrysalis award for Detached Outbuilding in 2012. Its most recent recognition was the 2017 Regional Contractor of the Year award. In 2014, the firm was featured in Kitchen and Bath Design News magazine, in which Alisa Hoffman gave her opinions about living large in small spaces. One of the firm’s most interesting projects is the El Cerrito modern eclectic kitchen, in which the kitchen was brightly lit with a light color palette painted over its fixtures.
7) Cerami Builders, Inc.
Website | 510-525-7251 |557 Santa Clara Ave., Berkeley, CA 94707
Established in 1985, Cerami Builders, Inc. has over 30 years of building experience in the San Francisco Bay Area. The firm was founded by Paul Cerami, a licensed general contractor who comes from a long line of tradesmen. Starting as a carpenter studying all aspects of home building, he soon recognized his passion for construction. This passion was the driving force that helped the firm win the 2007, 2008, and 2012 NARI awards. Caerami was also featured in publications including In-laws, Outlaws and Granny Flats, Broadband Home Magazine, and Fine Home Building Houses.
The firm’s remodels usually exhibit the modern, contemporary, and mission revival styles. One of its most notable projects is a remodel of a home built by historic architect Bernard Maybeck. This project involved removing a substandard addition and reconfiguring the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry room. Its kitchen was designed with dark marble countertops that greatly highlighted the redwood wrapping the room.
6) Altera Design and Remodeling
Website | 925-938-1100 |1079 Boulevard Way, Walnut Creek, CA 94595
Since 1986, Altera Design and Remodeling has been remodeling kitchens and bathrooms throughout Contra Costa and Alameda counties. With over 30 years of experience, Altera Design and Remodeling has an A+ accreditation with the BBB. It is also a member of NARI and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and boasts a Diamond Certification, the highest rating for quality and expertise. A certified kitchen, bath, and interior designer, founder Jim Vivrette has more than 30 years of remodeling experience. Known for his vision and creativity, Vivrette is an award-winning designer who has transformed thousands of homes.
Altera Design and remodeling has numerous awards from 2011 through 2017. Its most recent award was from the NKBA, which awarded Altera first and third place for a medium sized kitchen. In the same year, the company also won NARI’s National Contractor of the Year award as the regional winner for kitchens and baths. A notable project that highlights the firm’s craftsmanship is its kitchen remodel for a home in Walnut Creek. Built in 1926, the kitchen was updated to include the homeowners’ Mexican heritage. The new kitchen exhibited bright, vibrant colors and textures, and colorful hand-painted tiles. Stained glass panels on the two built-in refrigerators and wall cabinets were also custom made to match the tiles.
5) Custom Kitchens by John Wilkins, Inc.
Website | 510-843-3600 |6624 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94609
A premier design/build home remodeling company, Custom Kitchens by John Wilkins, Inc. specializes in kitchen and bathroom designs as well as whole home remodeling. Since 1950, this firm has possessed a long-standing reputation for its high standards that result in unique designs, fine quality craftsmanship, and excellent customer service. Throughout the years, the firm has kept its reputation as a premier leader in home remodeling and has been featured in magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Oakland Magazine, Sunset, and Architectural Digest. In addition to features in numerous magazines, it also has countless awards for its kitchen and bath remodels. Its most recent award was the 2016 NARI Remmies award for a residential bath priced over $100k, and also won the 2014 NARI regional Gold award for a residential kitchen priced over $150k.
A member of the NKBA and NARI, Custom Kitchens’ early designs included the first dishwashers, garbage disposals, microwaves, and built-in refrigerators on the market. Soon after, he pioneered the open floor plan, removing walls to unify kitchens and family rooms.
4) Alward Construction Company, Inc.
Website | 510-527-6498 |1035 Carleton St., Berkeley, CA 94710-2638
In the San Francisco Bay Area, Alward Construction Company, Inc. has a distinguished reputation among the area’s architects and is recognized as one of the best home remodeling and renovation contractors around. Since Keith Alward established it 35 years ago in 1979, the firm has seen more than 50% of the firm’s clients, including architects, coming back to them with a new project at hand. Today, Alward is a nationally recognized company known for making high-end homes that show off the firm’s craftsmanship, cost control, attention to detail, and client customer service.
In 1995, Alward joined NARI. Soon after, it started winning awards, until it had a collection of 22 awards from projects in the Bay Area. These awards included 12 regional Contractor of The Year awards, eight national Contractor of the Year awards, seven Chrysalis awards, two Professional Remodeler awards, and one Qualified Remodeler award. One of the firm’s Chrysalis awards is a National Award for a kitchen remodel priced $75k to $100k. Named the Samorjai, this kitchen was designed by architect Howard Lasseter.
To top off all these awards, Remodeling Magazine also selected the company as one of the top 50 remodeling contractors in the country. Qualified Remodeler Magazine meanwhile included it in the top 500 remodeling contractors in the nation. Alward has also been featured in The New York Times and on HGTV.
3) McCutcheon Construction, Inc.
Website | 510-558-8030 |1280 Sixth St., Berkeley, CA 94710
Established in 1980, McCutcheon Construction, Inc.’s business grew as a result of personal recommendations from past clients. Since its establishment, the company has been known to create fine homes and remodels that set a high standard for homebuilders throughout the Bay Area. In 2017, the San Francisco Bay Area named the company as the National Contractor of the Year for a kitchen priced over $150k, and in 2018, it won the same award for building an entire house priced over $1m. In addition to these prestigious awards, the firm was also featured in the 2014 issues of Berkeley Times and Remodeling Magazine, which named McCutcheon Construction the #1 Full-Service Remodeler in the SF Bay Area. In 2015, it was also featured in Luxe Magazine, in which it was named the Leading Homebuilder in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in Professional Remodeler Magazine, in which it was named the leader in the Sustainable Design and Construction category in the Western Region.
In addition to holding a personal commitment to its clients and the community, McCutcheon Construction also focuses on “Healthy Building”, whereby the processes, design features, and selected materials protect the health of the clients and their families. In addition to healthy building, the firm also implements green and healthy practices in every phase of design and construction as a certified Green Building Professional. Due to this, the company collaborates with clients, architects, and designers to create strong spaces that are beautiful, energy efficient, and sensitive to the environment.
2) HDR Remodeling
Website | 510-845-6100 |2952 Sacramento St., Berkeley, CA 94702
Established more than 30 years ago as a handyman company called Honey Do Repair, the company grew into a full-service remodeling and construction firm. In 1988, HDR Remodeling was founded by Philip Anderson, who graduated from John Caroll University and worked for IBM, Procter and Gamble, and Clorox before establishing HDR Remodeling. Today, its beautiful, high-quality homes can be seen in Berkeley, Alameda, Oakland, Piedmont, and the Greater East Bay area.
In 2012 the firm was featured in The Mercury News, in which the magazine discussed the rising number of remodeling projects and mentioned the firm. Thanks to its team’s work, the company has collected various awards from 2008 to 2018. In 2017 and 2018, the firm won NARI’s Bay Area Remodeling Awards for kitchen remodels. In 2016, it was included in Remodeling Magazine’s 550. The Golden Gate Business Association also included it in the Top 50 LGBT-owned businesses in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Business Times.
Among the firm’s many beautiful projects is a kitchen remodel in Berkeley that won the 2016 Remmies award. The homeowners had lived in the house for 15 years but disliked the choppy layout. The remodel involved removing the wall between the kitchen and the living room to enlarge the kitchen. The room also featured windows that allowed natural light to peek into the room and unique pop of design with the backsplash set behind the stove and range hood. This remodels resulted in an upgraded kitchen with extra storage and an in-kitchen dining and study area that is adult and kid-friendly.
1) Jetton Construction
Website | 510-845-3506 |1117-A Virginia St., Berkeley, CA 94702
Established in 1976, Jetton Construction specializes in projects of all sizes; from small kitchen remodels to vintage barn restorations, water towers, and even a 250-foot suspension bridge. Its founder, Bill Jetton, is a part of the Bay Area Construction Brigade and joined the construction of housing and a hydroelectric system for a coffee and dairy collective in Nicaragua. After completing more than 400 projects, the firm possesses extensive knowledge and a deep understanding of all aspects of construction.
Jetton Construction’s work has been featured in industry publications including Elle Decor, New York Times Magazine, San Francisco Magazine, and Fine Homebuilding. It was recently included in the 2017 issue of AIA East Bay Home Tours, in which its Summit House was featured. This house was designed by the architect homeowner who was inspired by an experience in Scandinavia and Japan.
Jetton has been the recipient of multiple awards, such as the 2015 Excellent Modern Update Award given by the City of Piedmont for its Littlewood Drive Project. The firm is a member of the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association (BAHA) and supports many community organizations, such as the Earth Island Institute, Habitat for Humanity, and Berkeley Community Fund. With a reputation for consistently producing outstanding and diverse projects, the firm works with many notable architects such as Bernard Maybeck, Julia Morgan, John Hudson Thomas, and William Wurster.