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The Best Residential General Contractor in Seattle

17 Min Read

Last updated on May 28th, 2024 at 09:39 am

Seattle is famous for its picturesque location. Its beautiful views of the Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountains are a great draw for locals and visitors alike. It is also known for its obsession with great coffee, craft beers, good wines, technological advancement, and music. But Seattle is famous for something else: the seemingly nonstop rain. The city gets approximately 37 inches of rain per year; not all at once in a deluge, but in a slow, steady, long-lasting drizzle. As most of us love the warm indoors when the outdoors are wet and slippery, it’s no surprise that Seattle’s homes are some of the coziest and most inviting.

In the city home to the tech boom, the home remodeling industry is also keenly aware of high-tech conveniences that can be incorporated into a great home design. From devices that remotely control your lighting, your thermostat, cameras, and even your crockpot, Seattle’s landscape of residential design and remodeling is innovative, smart, and savvy. Our list of 15 of Seattle’s best residential contractors are ranked for their ability to create the perfectly balanced home. One that is efficient, beautiful, designed and built well, but also one that feels warm and inviting no matter the weather.

If you are thinking about building a custom home, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.

15) Blue Sound Construction

10015 Lake City Way NE #301, Seattle, WA 98125

Blue Sound Construction was founded by Benjamin “Ben” Gebhardt, president, and Courtenay Kehn Gebhardt, principal, in 2006 to carry on his family’s 50-year legacy in the construction business. Their designs are always thoughtful, creative, and meaningful. Blue Sound Construction is where they say “We persevere in the belief that technical knowledge and craft in the service of good design can make something meaningful and profound.” They are artists who strive for that level of excellence in all they do and each customer they meet. Each space they design feels open, airy, and comfortable.

In one home they incorporated warm cedar for the stairs leading to the rooftop deck. And at the top of the stairs, the home’s pinnacle point, there is a sweeping view of Lake Washington framed by the Cascade Mountains. In another design, they painted a room dark charcoal, almost black. It is deep and moody, but thoughtful and precise. The door leading into the room is painted the most perfect cytrusy yellow, a sharp contrast that works beautifully.

14) Pacific West Construction

2220 North Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98103

Pacific West is a general contracting firm with a dedication to honesty and integrity since their founding 35 years ago. Led by Zach Hill, their projects are not complete until their clients are 100 percent satisfied, and their dedication has earned them an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

When Pacific West Construction was approached by the owner of a classic Buchan home who wanted to upgrade the dated master bathroom, a few things came to light. They learned their clients never used the soaking tub and they wanted extra storage space. The Pacific West solution was simple. By removing the tub and relocating the plumbing, they were able to access the attic entry. They designed a spacious walk-in closet in the attic, along with a beautiful and luxurious master shower. The shower includes a rain head, recessed niches accented by glass mosaic tiles, and a beautiful multi-colored stone floor. The same stone tiles are used in the bathroom floor, installed over a heat mat for heated floors.

13) Harjo Construction

5470 Shilshole Avenue NW, Suite 416, Seattle, WA 98107

Harjo Construction is where they say, “Homeownership is a living, changing dream, and we’re here to help make yours come true.” Owner Kurt Harjo, who had always dreamt of starting a business “to build beautiful things,” grew up in construction. His father was a commercial superintendent. Naturally, he was prepared for the construction world from a young age. As a youngster he loved building treehouses and having a home workshop. During college he followed in his dad’s footsteps and worked for a commercial construction company, and in 2010 he started Harjo Construction. Now the company has a Better Business Bureau A+ rating and is a Certified Sustainable Building advisor and a member of the EcoBuilding Guild.

Harjo Construction partnered with Lindsey Runyon Design to take a dated, suburban, McMansion style bathroom and turn it into a Moroccan escape. The space was poorly designed and badly constructed: from foam decorative crown molding throughout the ceiling, the bathtub being crowded into the vanity, to the awful tile installation. Harjo tore out the colossal built-in tub deck and installed a freestanding tub as well as a new vanity to make the space feel more airy and open. The wall tile pattern was custom-designed and installed piece-by-piece to be “modern Moroccan” with an Ombre transition effect from dark at the floor, to light at the top. All the trim and the light fixtures were hand-made in Morocco. The new archway over the shower completes the Moroccan effect. The flooring is marble tile, and the grout is infused with fiber-optic wires, creating a starry effect at night.

12) Ambrose Construction

1423 S Hinds Street, Seattle, WA 98144-6619

Led by its President Brad Wageman, Ambrose Construction — a licensed general contractor in Seattle — was founded in 2007. They create unbelievably beautiful homes, whether for a home renovation project or a brand new home build or addition. With a Better Business Bureau A+ rating, they pay close attention to detail and perfect their designs using the most modern building and design techniques and practices. They have been featured in PNW Magazine, Seattle Magazine, and Dezeen.

Their Laurelhurst Renovation and Addition introduced a truly outstanding design. In the kitchen are white, shaker-style cabinets; a lovely, white marble-designed tile backsplash; and a partial stainless steel countertop that shares the attention with the remainder of the kitchen’s marble countertop. The space is completed by two fun, round puffy light fixtures hanging over the kitchen island that look like the perfect conversation pieces. The soft white and grey theme is carried throughout the rest of the home and in the bathroom with a similarly styled counter and cabinetry.

11) DME Construction, Inc.

410 Bellevue Way SE, Suite 205, Bellevue, WA 98004

DME Construction is a full-service home construction and remodel firm serving the Pacific Northwest, founded by President David Michael Elwell in 1994. They take on projects from small renovations to large-scale home constructions, and they believe that every DME home has an opportunity to tell a story. No matter the scope or scale of your home renovation needs, they are ready to help — as they uphold the highest standard for quality.

In a Beaux Arts renovation project, they coupled clean white and soft grey tones with the grainy texture of natural wood. This texture runs along the floors throughout the house and makes up part of the kitchen island. It is also found in the beams in the vaulted ceiling of the dining room and in the ceiling of the living room. This carefully chosen construction and design element grounds the home in nature.

10) Seattle Remodeling Co.

16723 Larch Way, Lynnwood, WA 98037-8111

Seattle Remodeling is a residential contractor that has been building and remodeling homes in the Seattle metro area for 25 years. It is owned by President Sean Brandel, whose career in construction began as a laborer working alongside his dad. Throughout his career, he filled many different roles, learning the trade from the ground up. The company is a member of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, the Remodeler’s Council, the National Association of Home Builders, and a Built Green. They have also been featured on the Remodeled Homes Tour. They serve the Seattle metro area, including Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville, Bothell, Shoreline, Lynnwood, Edmonds, Mukilteo, Everett, Monroe, and Marysville. They have a Better Business Bureau A+ rating.

Their Windermere kitchen remodel took a lackluster kitchen that felt too old and outdated for its great footprint and completely turned it around. The new space is a bright, white modern design with marble countertops and white cabinetry. There are two large windows above the sink and skylights that add extra natural sunlight to the space.

9) Thomas Jacobson Construction, Inc.

1367 31st Avenue South, Seattle, WA 98144

Thomas Jacobson Construction is a general contractor in Seattle that services the greater metro area and focuses on design-driven projects. They have also been using green building practices throughout their building and remodeling projects since inception, including certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum home building. Led by the owner, Thomas Jacobson, they have been in business for 21 years, with a Better Business Bureau A+ rating.

One of their green home designs was featured on the NW EcoBuilding Guild 2012 Home Tour. The home is in the Ravenna neighborhood. It is a ‘50s era single story that was torn down and its materials diverted (recycled) to build a sustainably-built modern four bedroom home with more space. TJC used rigid insulation, giving the home an airtight R-value of 33 — much higher than it requires — a green roof, and triple-glazed windows complete the energy efficient home. The company also built a “New Zero” home (generating the energy a family needs to live in it) in the Bellevue area of Washington.

8) Pathway Design & Construction

2450 6th Ave S., Suite 302, Seattle, WA 98134

Guildmaster Award winner for Service Excellence, Pathway Design and Construction offers full-service remodeling and construction in the Seattle area. They pride themselves on being “A Seattle-based remodeler creating well designed, eco-friendly and energy efficient living spaces.” They specialize in Better Living Design and Aging in Place to accommodate their clients’ changing lifestyle and life stage needs.

Led by President Paul Kocharhook and his brother, Seattle University graduate Mike Kocharhook, the company has 25 years of experience in the home remodeling field. They were recipients of the Remodeling Excellence (REX) Award in June 2017 from the Master Builders Association for a waterfront “weekend getaway” home on Lake Washington, and received the Big50 award by Remodeling Magazine for exceptional service in 2015. Paul is a Master Certified Green Professional with a Healthy Homes for Building Professionals Certification, who often speaks at conferences across the country. The home improvement contractor also remains active with the Master Builders Association and the American Lung Association Master Home Environmentalist (MHE), where he serves as a volunteer.

Fun fact: they have some handy tips and checklists available online for homeowners.

7) J.A.S. Design Build

3600 Wallingford Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98103

J.A.S. Design Build was established by owners Joe Schneider and Kim Clements as a group of craftsmen, architects, designers and project managers who are inspired by making beautiful spaces. They are an all-inclusive company with a Better Business Bureau A+ rating. They specialize in kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, new homes, additions, and whole-house repairs. They were featured in a 2017 Seattle Met Magazine article entitled, “How to Activate an Entryway,” in which they revamped a home’s foyer to be both attractive and functional.

J.A.S. Design Build was also featured in Seattle Magazine for their remodel of a new home purchased by twin sisters looking to downsize and live together comfortably. The company created an open floor plan with a kitchen island that is the focal point of the kitchen, living, and dining space. This modern living concept accommodates their love of cooking and entertaining. The open space also includes exposed beams and an eskew wood stove pipe that adds charm and character to the cozy design that benefits from a neutral pallet of organic materials.

6) Model Remodel

1111 W Nickerson Street, Seattle, WA 98119

Model Remodel, headed by Jason Legat, received the 2017 Building Industry Association of Washington Honorable Mention for a bath $40,000 to $75,000, and the 2016 Built Green Hammer Award — Judges Choice — for Columbia City Backyard Cottage. They were also recipients of the 2016 Rex Award for a Major Remodel Excellence in a Kitchen of $50,000 to $90,000 for their Adorable Green Lake Adu and the 2016 Green Building Slam Award.

Their Contemporary Whole House Remodel was completed in 2017 and received Built Green 3-Star certification. Designed by CAST Architecture and Built by Model Remodel, the home was taken down to the foundation and rebuilt as a contemporary dwelling. Goals included: increasing the amount of natural light, giving the living spaces more height and creating a separate dwelling area in the basement. Pops of color inside and out give it character and reflect the personalities of the couple that lives there. It is a shining example of the craftsmanship necessary to pull off a clean, modern design.

Their Grand Capitol Hill (not pictured) remodel includes a beaming color palette of varying textures and colors. They used warm grey paint in the living room that’s accentuated by a black marble fireplace with an elegant mantel. They added rich, dark wood flooring throughout the house, as well as bright white trim to the windows and to large doorway that leads to the elegant piano room. The kitchen opens up to the rest of the space with beautiful glass light pendants, and a clever colorful backsplash adds pops of interest to the lovely, open, airy space.

5) Neil Kelly Corporation

5959 Corson Avenue S, Suite B, Seattle, WA 98108

Neil Kelly Corporation is a nationally recognized firm that has been serving the Northwest United States, specifically the greater Seattle area, since 1947. It all began in 1947 when Neil B. Kelly started the home remodeling company with just $100. He vowed a commitment to quality and client satisfaction, a promise he kept for four decades. He built a nationally recognized business with a solid reputation for award-winning design, cutting edge practices, excellent craftsmanship, and community engagement.

Now, after 70 years, the company is still inspired by Neil’s vision, and they continue to carry out his dream one project at a time. They say that behind every Neil Kelly success story is the work of an outstanding project manager. Their many awards include the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s top award for Universal Design in 2017, and awards in five categories of NARI’s 2016 Contractor Of The Year Design Competition. The company was featured in an article titled, “Makeovers Made Easy,” in the Fall 2016 issue of Cascade Magazine, among countless other accolades and awards.

In one of their whole-house remodels, the ceiling steals the show. It is vaulted,  with wood beam accents and reclaimed wood planks spanning the entire length of the ceiling. The natural wood envelops the house like a blanket. The warm accents ground the visitor, and the wood pattern creates an inviting atmosphere that also benefits from large windows and a brick fireplace.  

4) Hammer & Hand

1501 E Madison Street #250, Seattle, WA 98122

Hammer & Hand is a general contracting company established by Sam Hagerman in 1995. Among their many awards and accolades, Hammer & Hand licensed contractors were recipients of the 2014 and 2016 Green Home of the Year Award, Green Builder Magazine, for “Best Energy Efficiency”. They received the 2016 PHIUS Passive House Projects Honorable Mention and the 2015 Housing Innovation Award from the U.S. Department of Energy.  They were also honored with the First Place Award in the Single Family category, PHIUS Passive Projects Competition; and the 2014 Beyond Green Merit Award, National Institute of Building Sciences; among many other awards and accolades.  

The sheer number of awards they have received speaks volumes regarding their talent and craftsmanship, but the work they’ve done dazzles just as well. They bring finely honed craftsmanship and environmentally responsible construction techniques to transform clients’ homes. In their Council Crest ranch house remodel, they created an open, spacious kitchen with dark cabinetry, classic white subway tile backsplash, and delicate gold hardware that ties beautifully in with the bits of gold visible in the light fixtures. The design colors of black, white, and gold work perfectly with a black-and=white spotted wallpaper at the stairwell leading to the second floor.

3) Prestige Residential Construction

7914 Seward Park Avenue S, Seattle, WA 98118

Prestige Residential Construction was the winner of two National Kitchen & Bath (NKBA) Design Awards for their Madison Park Extensive Remodel project: the 2016 President’s Award and The Honorary Award Most Innovative Material Combination. They also received 1st place whole house more than $400k at the 15th Annual Northwest Design Awards. They company also received four BALA Awards: BALA Gold – One of a Kind Custom Home, the 2014 Best in American Living Platinum Award for Entire Home Remodel over $250,001, the Pacific Northwest Regional Winner, and Remodel of the Year — among many other accolades and awards.

The Prestige team benefits from the values and philosophy of its founder, Jeff Santerre, who has been building the excellent brand since 1981. He is meticulous about delivering the highest quality designs and makeovers, no matter the size and scope of their work.

For a custom contemporary waterfront home in Laurelhurst, a smart balance of organic materials was used for construction. These materials include colored, board-formed concrete, blackened structural-architectural steel, Marley limestone and a varied palette of white oak, Douglas fir, IPE and walnut woods. The residence was specifically engineered to create generous spaces that open to the lake perspective and blur the distinction between inside and outside.

2) Ventana Construction

5958 California Avenue SW, Seattle, WA 98136

Ventana Construction is an award-winning Seattle general contractor that has served the area for over a decade. They are recipients of the Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50 Award in 2015; REX Award winner for the years 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013; as well as the Professional Remodeler Design Award in 2012. They were also awarded the 2010 Chrysalis Award, and in 2009 they were voted a Top 500 Remodeler. They are a Certified Graduate Remodeler and hold Certified Aging-in-Place designations from the NAHB. They have been featured in the Seattle Times, the West Seattle Herald, and Seattle Homes and Lifestyles, among other publications.

Ventana Construction built a beautiful custom home on the water in West Seattle, complete with 4,100 square feet of spacious living. The home includes a beautiful mid-century modern kitchen, tall ceilings with recessed lighting, a gorgeous white tile fireplace, and an open floor plan with radiant heat and solar panels. It is a designer’s dream. For a main floor remodel, they chose a moody, dark color scheme with black and wood beam accents that give the space an elegant and timeless feel.

1) Dyna Contracting

1537 NW Ballard Way, Seattle, WA 98107

In 1999 Ren Chandler founded award-winning Dyna Contracting as a Certified Passive House Builder and a Seattle Area Built Green Member. As members of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, Dyna Contracting provides design, remodeling and home building services to residential and commercial clients throughout the greater Seattle area.  The company has a strong sense of environmental responsibility, which oftentimes means advocating for energy efficient homes built with sustainable materials as often as possible.

The firm also houses Dyna Metal, a custom fabrication shop, allowing them to design, engineer, and build railings, stairs, fireplace surrounds, furniture, and other one-of-a-kind pieces that add individuality and a unique quality to their designs. The firm was featured in the Seattle Times for their Blueridge Residence and a floating home remodel. They have also been featured in Dwell Magazine, have received three 2010 REX (Remodeling Excellence) Awards and the 2008 Gold Nugget Award, and were listed among Seattle’s Top 50 Remodelers, among other awards and accolades.

Their Bryant remodel, which is a home made almost entirely of windows, is simply stunning. It was designed with its spectacular views in mind — and features a painting studio and wine cellar. It was the winner of REX and Gold Nugget Awards.

About Our Rankings

This list takes a range of ranking criteria into consideration, including but not limited to: work history, customer satisfaction, awards and recognition, geographic area of work, cost, building permits, and clientele. We spent over 40 hours researching local contractors before calculating the final ranking for this post. If there is additional information about your business that could affect these rankings, please fill out this form and we will take it into consideration

Get Bids For Your Build

If you are thinking about building a custom home, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.