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Portland, OR — “City of Roses” — has a cool, rainy climate ideal for two things: growing roses and appreciating the outdoors, even when you’re staying in. A city of nature lovers, Portland is one of the most environmentally conscious cities in the United States. It contains the second highest number of “green” buildings after Chicago, and it is known for its walkability, bicyclists, and grand public parks. The architecture reflects this awareness of nature, with residential contractors building modern homes that blend with the landscape in creative ways, celebrate local and natural beauty, and reduce environmental impact.
This is a list of the best Portland general contractors working on single-family houses. These companies build and remodel some of the nicest and most award-winning Portland homes and are committed to environmental sustainability. Creativity was another factor, as many of these companies are notable for coming up with innovative and artistic ways of integrating eco-friendly techniques into luxury home-building and remodeling projects.
14) Winsome Construction
117 NE 5th Street, Suite D, McMinnville, OR 97128
Winsome Construction is a family-run, Portland-based green builder, providing custom design and home remodel services throughout Portland, Salem, the Willamette Valley, and the north Oregon coast. The team is led by Shan and Wendy Stassens. Shan was raised in a family of craftsmen and has many years of experience in real estate, construction, and carpentry. Wendy is not only co-founder of Winsome Construction, she is also a real estate broker, a city councilor in McMinnville, and the vice chair of the Urban Renewal Advisory Committee. She attended the University of Virginia, where she studied environmental science, and she has taught environmental engineering at a university in Mexico.
One of Winsome Construction’s projects was a 2,400-square-foot home designed to match the style of the other historic homes in upscale West Linn. The house features 300 square feet of outdoor living spaces and wood decks, oak staircases and hardwood floors, and cedar ceilings. The kitchen has birch cabinets and quartz kitchen counters, while the living room contains a vintage gas stove with a reclaimed myrtlewood mantle. The home also includes a reading nook, a master bath with a Victorian soaker tub, and skylights letting in a great deal of natural light.
13) Method Homes
95 Yesler Way Suite 300, Seattle, WA 98104
Highlighted for its unique building approach and its artistic, eco-friendly custom houses, Method Homes is a general contractor in Portland run by Brian Abramson, co-founder and director of business operations. Although headquartered in Washington, the company’s service area extends around much of the western US and Canada. This includes Oregon, California, Montana, Wyoming, and many other states. Homes can be built to meet LEED, Energy Star, Living Building Challenge and Passive House standards.
The company constructs the homes off site, within its own custom facility. This speeds up the building process, reduces exposure to natural elements, and lessens the impact of the building process on the environment. When possible, the company uses local materials and energy-efficient appliances, such as dual flush toilets, low-flow fixtures, and locally harvested lumber. The company’s work has been featured on USA Today, Curbed, Architect Magazine, The Desert Sun and Architectural Record. Its custom houses, designed by acclaimed architects, look like the homes of the future — notable for their economy of space, ultra-modern style, and artistic edge, as well as for their blending of the indoors and outdoors.
12) H. Hudson Homes
9700 SW Capitol Highway, Portland, OR 97219
Hudson Homes is a home improvement contractor that specializes in sustainable and modern Portland homes. It was chosen for its upscale residences and for its focus on infill development, or repurposing vacant lots and underused urban spaces for new building projects. The company works in Portland and in upscale Lake Oswego and Bend. Owner George Hale has created hundreds of homes throughout Oregon. He started his real estate company in 1997. He graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communications and is a current member of the Entrepreneurs Organization.
Many of the company’s homes are large, spacious, and luxurious residences filled with floor-to-ceiling windows and skylights, spa-like bathrooms, and multi-layer outdoor decks overlooking scenic tree canopies. Still, a number of the company’s houses are impressive for what they’re able to achieve while taking up so little space. While small enough to be nestled in unexpected spaces, these homes feature things like modern, minimalist-style fireplaces and tall windows and skylights that let in natural light. They also tend to feature rich wood and decorative marble and include double vanities in the bathrooms.
11) Haggart Homes
1914 SW Willamette Falls Drive, Suite 280, West Linn, OR 97068
Haggart Homes, founded by Jeff Haggart in 1997, works on custom homes and remodel projects in Portland, Lake Oswego, West Linn, and southwest Washington. Their home projects range from $85,000 to $500k, and many of them feature spacious, well-lit rooms framed with tall windows, gourmet kitchens with artistic lighting fixtures and exquisite marble counters, stone fireplaces, and luxurious master bedrooms and baths. Several contain swimming pools, tennis courts, home theaters, or billiards rooms. Some even have stone-framed outdoor showers, entryways with elaborate water fountains, and decorative waterfalls connected to the pools.
In 2016, the company won a Street of Dreams award for a two-story residence with a stucco and stone exterior and a clay tile roof, designed to resemble a quaint Tuscan villa. At 6,200 square feet, the house includes an infinity-edge pool with waterfalls and a waterslide. A paver drive leads to an arched porte cochere, and a two-story barn houses an indoor sports court and loft. Much of the wood was reclaimed from a dilapidated barn. In the kitchen, a 60-inch Thermador range cooktop complements steam ovens, warming drawers and multiple refrigerators. The backyard includes a stone pizza oven, putting green, and golf simulator.
920 SE Caruthers Street, Portland, OR 97214
Willco, made up of master craftspeople and designers, works on residential remodeling projects throughout Portland and in upscale and trendy areas like Lake Oswego, Beaverton, and West Linn. Willco has received two 2013 Outstanding Remodeling Achievement awards — one for a bath $30,000 to $60,000 the other for a kitchen $80,000 to$120k — from the Oregon Remodelers Association. The company also received a 2013 Contractor of the Year award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for a kitchen addition-remodel.
The company is affiliated with the Portland Metropolitan Building Owners & Managers Association, the Oregon & Washington Community Association Managers, the Architectural Heritage Center, and NARI. Willco is also EPA Lead-Safe Certified, and its work has appeared in publications like Oregon Home and Northwest Renovation.
One of its award-winning projects was a 1910 bungalow with a small kitchen featuring outdated cabinetry. Without diminishing its historic charm, Willco widened the entryway and added energy-efficient wood windows to flood the room with light and provide views of the tree-filled backyard. The company also installed extra storage, knife and spice drawers, a pull-out pantry, and a walnut desktop. They used materials that matched the design of the original, but added stylish cork floors and subway tiles.
9) Elite Development Northwest
14750 NE Richard Lane, Newberg, OR 97007
Elite Development Northwest, with its artistic approach and female-led team, works with the topography of the land to integrate Oregon’s natural beauty into home design. The company, run by Natalie Long and Jamie Harris, offers services in new home building, remodeling, restoration, and design.
One of its houses received three honors through the 2013 Street of Dreams awards, including Best of Show, Best Landscaping, and Best Architectural Design. Elite Development likens the home to a cuvée (a blend, i.e., a wine produced from a mixture of different grape varieties) in its combination of rustic, refined, and artistic styles. It contains a lodge-style fireplace, a library framed by timber trusses, and an 11-foot-tall glass display room for a wine collection. It also features tall, glass doors connecting the living area to a waterfall in a covered outdoor area, equipped with furniture and heat. The house uses solar panels, LED lighting, foam insulation, and energy-efficient appliances and HVAC.
In 2010, another Elite Development Northwest house received eight different honors through Street of Dreams. This house, a European-influenced lodge, includes a home gym, a custom pool, and a home office. Made from repurposed trees obtained from its own property, the house occupies 11 acres, and every single window overlooks the scenic forest. The house also earned an Earth Advantage Gold certification.
8) IDS Remodeling
IDS Remodeling was selected for its experienced staff and award-winning remodels in the Portland area. The company was founded by Darcy DeGiovanni, who has a lifetime of experience in the building industry. Until 2004, he worked for the fire department, where he was involved in providing construction, carpentry, and cabinetry services. When he retired in 2005, he and his son, Aaron DeGiovanni, started their own business in remodeling.
IDS Remodeling offers remodel services for kitchens, bathrooms, basements, additions, and whole houses. They work throughout metropolitan Portland, in areas like Lake Oswego, trendy West Hills — close to downtown and filled with historic homes, and Laurelhurst — famous for its vintage houses. In 2011, NARI presented the company with two Contractor of the Year awards, one for historic restoration and the other for custom work. The company also earned a 2017 Contractor of the Year award for a residential kitchen $100k to $150k. The company is a member of the Oregon Remodelers Association and NARI.
7) L. Evans Design Group
4600 Alder Street, West Linn, OR 97068
Chosen for its awards and media recognitions, L. Evans Design Group offers remodeling services for kitchens, bathrooms, additions, and whole houses. This construction company also offers aging-in-place remodels, and services in universal design. The company is co-run by Linda and Mark Evans. Linda has a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, and her work has been featured in The Oregonian, Better Homes and Gardens, Oregon Home Magazine, and on HGTV. Mark grew up in the building industry and has many years of experience managing and advising general contractors.
The company has received numerous awards, including multiple Chrysalis awards, NARI awards, and Outstanding Remodeling Achievement awards. Three of these include awards for whole houses $250k to $500k, and two were awards for whole houses over $500k. Many of their projects feature spacious interiors with floor-to-ceiling windows letting in natural light, sophisticated light fixtures, spa-like baths, and decorative tile. L. Evans Design Group is affiliated with the Oregon Remodelers Association, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), and NARI. It is an EPA Lead-Safe certified company.
6) Neil Kelly
804 N Alberta Street, Portland, OR 97217
Selected for its history of high-quality work in the building industry, Neil Kelly has been serving the Northwest since 1947. This team of licensed contractors is operated today by Neil Kelly’s son, Tom Kelly, who has chaired the Portland Development Commission. He was also honored with a Volunteers of America of Oregon DePriest award and the Fred Case Award for Entrepreneur of the Year.
The company currently works on custom houses and design-build projects in Portland, Lake Oswego, Eugene, Bend, and Seattle. As a certified B-Corp, striving to make meaningful contributions to the environment, it also offers services in solar energy, uses formaldehyde-free cabinets, and works with LEED-credentialed designers. The company has multiple Contractor of the Year awards from NARI. It was one of only four home remodeling firms nationwide to receive a 2014 Energy Star Housing Innovation award, recognizing forward-thinking contractors who deliver extraordinary energy efficiency while ensuring superior comfort, health, and durability in new and existing homes.
5) Green Hammer
721 NW 9th Avenue, Suite 195, Portland, OR 97209
This company was chosen for its eco-friendly building initiatives, as well as for its accomplished leader. Stephen Aiguier founded Green Hammer in 2002. Today, it is a full-service design-build company and Certified B Corporation building sustainable, custom homes and green buildings. Its team of architects, building science experts, project engineers, and construction professionals work together through a Unified Design-Build process to efficiently deliver healthy, inspiring buildings.
Aiguier, a building-science expert and early Certified Passive House Consultant, annually teaches the Sustainable Homes Professional course through Portland-based Earth Advantage Institute. The six-module course is comprehensive, interactive, experience-driven education program for residential and multifamily building and design professionals looking to take their work to the next level of quality. Stephen co-founded Urban Timberworks, which salvages urban trees in Portland and transforms them into artistic furniture. (The company has since been sold to a long-time employee.)
Stephen also co-founded the Build Local Alliance, which connects forest stewards, builders, and architects in metropolitan Portland. Stephen currently sits on the board of the nonprofit Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center. In 2011, he was selected as one of the “40 Under 40” in Portland Business Journal. Green Hammer has received several awards, including numerous Forest Stewardship Council awards, a 2015 Better Bricks award, and 2014 Earth Advantage LEED for Homes Builder of the Year award.
Well known for its dozens of green remodels and home additions, Green Hammer has also built energy-efficient modern, custom homes throughout Portland and Southern Oregon. The Hill House, in Southern Oregon’s Rogue River Valley, is a 3,200-square-foot net-zero energy home built to Passive House standards with a rooftop sky observation deck, library, and home gym. It includes solar panels and energy-saving triple-pane windows, ventilation, and insulation. Multi-level decks, made with reclaimed cedar from a deconstructed timber frame bridge, overlook scenic oak forests.
4) Tiny Heirloom
19700 SW 118th Avenue, Tualatin, OR 97062
You might recognize this company from its show, Tiny Luxury, on HGTV. Selected for its innovation and rapid success, Tiny Heirloom is a family-run business started in 2014 and operated by “20-somethings” Zach and Hannah Francis; Jason and Brianna Francis; and Tyson and Michelle Spiess. Their work began when photos of their first tiny but luxury Craftsman-style home, The Genesis, went viral throughout social media.
Capitalizing on the tiny homes movement, the company builds homes that are smaller in size, but greater in quality. The homes, built in a 16,000-square-foot workspace and ranging from 100 to 400 square feet in size, sell at around $120k. They also build high-end prefab homes and alternative dwelling units anywhere around 1000 square feet. Each is unique in style and in materials used, with an emphasis on eco-friendly methods and design. Tiny Heirloom uses 100 percent recycled material for metal roofs and works to set houses up for solar power. Despite their size, the homes contain artistic touches like exterior rock-climbing walls and the sophisticated features of traditional mansions.
One home, built for a Portland couple, contains a platform used as bed, a dining area, stairs, and family room. The house has vaulted ceilings, a clawfoot bathtub, skylights, and a button-operated, rotating chandelier reminiscent of a five-star hotel. The cooking area features white marble counters and decorative subway tile behind the stove. It even features a living wall, where plants bloom across floor-to-ceiling shelves.
3) Metke Remodeling & Luxury Homes
17428 SW Boones Ferry Road, Lake Oswego, OR 97035
This company is recognized for its upscale and award-winning Portland houses, started in 1989 as a custom woodworking shop. Company president Jeff Metke has a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from Washington State University. Teresa Metke, the company’s vice president, studied business at Washington State University and interior design at Marylhurst.
The company has earned more than 20 awards for remodeling excellence, primarily from NARI and from the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland, from whom the company gleaned awards for two whole-house remodels valued at $1,000k and above. It also received honors from the Oregon Home Builders Association and Northwest Home and Remodeling Magazine. The company’s work has been featured in fifteen publications, including Oregon Home, The Oregonian, Portrait of Portland, and the Portland Tribune.
One of its 2017 remodels, a 1960s ranch, was transformed into an open-plan first floor with a semi-floating staircase made of wood, metal, and glass. It features a master bedroom, a home office, and a full guest suite. The basement has its own bed, bath, laundry, and entertaining space. Lake-facing and energy-efficient windows and doors flood the home with natural sunlight, and the covered deck has radiant heater for year-round use.
2) BC Custom Construction, Inc.
410 High Street, Oregon City, OR 97045
BC Custom Construction has received over 50 awards for its residential building and remodeling projects in metropolitan Portland. The company is run by president Bill Winkenbach, who has 35 years of experience building more than 1,200 Southern California homes. Now an Oregon resident, his company specializes in award-winning luxury homes and remodels in Portland, with an emphasis on fire and flood restoration and special needs designs.
The company’s awards include 16 Building Excellence Awards, multiple Street of Dreams Awards between 1999 and 2017, and a Golden Hammer award. Many of their awards recognize work done on houses priced around $750k. In 2011, BC Custom Construction received a Building Excellence Award for best home priced over $1M.
One of its many Street of Dreams award-winning projects, The Barclay, is a 3,670-square-foot home with three bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths, a great room, an outdoor entertainment area, and a covered fire pit. It is a mid-century style home with organic and natural materials, but it includes modern touches like heated floors in the master bath, a freestanding tub and dual showers, and a vanity framed with locally sourced tile. At the center of the home is an open-air atrium that illuminates the home with sunlight, and the rest of the home contains retractable walls, numerous windows, and skylights.
1) Hammer & Hand
1020 Southeast Harrison Street, Portland, OR 97214
Hammer & Hand is highlighted for its recognized success in eco-friendly building, and for its remarkable homes built in coordination with acclaimed architects. The company focuses on Passive House construction, adhering to the world’s most stringent building energy standards. Sam Hagerman and Daniel Thomas, both graduates of Reed College, started the company in 1995. Since then, it has earned 17 awards, including multiple Green Home of the Year awards, a 2015 Housing Innovation award from the US Department of Energy, and a 2014 Beyond Green Merit award through the National Institute of Building Sciences.
Its houses are modern, yet as impressive and serene as five-star retreats. They are artfully blended with the lifestyles of the owners, as well as with the Oregon landscape, and each one is created in partnership with some of the most celebrated architectural firms today: the renowned and “sacred geometer” David Yarbrough; multiple award-winning Rockefeller Partners; and acclaimed Scott Edwards Architecture, to name a few.
The company holds numerous certifications, from Earth Advantage Remodeler to Energy Trust of Oregon Trade Ally and LEED-Accredited Professional, and many more. Since its origin, it opened a new Seattle branch located in the Bullitt Center, the “greenest office building in the world.” The company is affiliated with American Institute of Architects in Portland, the Architectural Heritage Center, and the Master Builders Association, among many others. Its work has appeared in publications like Curbed, Proud Green Home, The Portland Tribune, and The Oregonian.
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