Moraga is a suburb of Oakland that takes great pride in being one of the best places to live in California. A large portion of its population consists of retirees and young professionals. The city provides its residents with great restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. It’s also a living gallery of California’s most famous architectural vernaculars.

Our editorial team decided to feature five of the best general contractors in the area: we were impressed by their great backgrounds and portfolios. These firms were chosen for their skills and the awards that those skills have earned. These contractors are behind some of the best spaces in Moraga, and you’ll see that in their respective portfolios.

building Lab

999 43rd St., Oakland, CA 94608

building Lab is an award-winning firm that specializes in every phase of the residential remodeling process. The firm is best known for its expertise in modern architecture and for its commitment to high standards. The company also often infuses various green elements into its work, assuring homeowners of the high energy-efficiency and sustainability of the spaces it builds. The firm is led by its principal Stephen Shoup, an experienced professional who maintains a great hands-on approach to the firm’s projects. He holds an architecture degree from UC Berkeley and gained experience training with The Architectural Association in London. He established the firm in 2001 and anchored its approach on a holistic method, which emphasizes the importance of folding together the design and building processes. 

Aside from its extensive remodels, the firm has also been noticed for its strong home additions, new homes, and stellar kitchens and bathrooms. The project above best showcases the company’s work. This Mid-Century home was remodeled for a couple and their two boys. building Lab Inc. managed to create an open home that promotes a smooth flow of movement while still being a warm and inviting space by way of refined materials and details. An accent wall wrapped with warm walnut panels contrasts wonderfully with the brilliant white ceilings and perimeter walls.

Gayler Design Build

390 Diablo Rd. Suite #210, Danville, CA 94526

Operating out of its office in Danville, Gayler Design Build services the Tri-Valley and Lamorinda regions’ entirety. The firm has been in business since 1961 and has built a solid reputation based on its excellent services. It takes great pride in the multitude of accolades it has won throughout the years and is the proud recipient of over 20 national and regional design awards. The firm has completed all of its homes and spaces on time and within the agreed-upon budget. The firm provides whole-house remodels, bath renovations, and additions to finishing outdoor living spaces. It is a family-owned and operated business that employs a hands-on process. All of its work comes with a five-year written warranty rather than a standard one-year warranty, assuring clients of its work quality.

The project above challenged the firm with its extensive and complete historic remodel. It best showcases the company’s talent and expertise. Located in Pleasanton, the firm’s team improved this home’s functionality and added modern-day amenities. It also made sure to adhere to California’s stringent historical renovation standards. The photo above shows off its excellent kitchen, which features off-white ‘Frost’ perimeter cabinets, an oversized center island, and exquisite granite countertops. It also installed four crystal and bronze chandeliers and various forms of beam work.

MSK Design Build

37 Quail Court Suite #200, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

Founded in 2001, MSK Design Build specializes in comprehensive remodeling services and is well-respected for its stellar work. The firm is operated by an award-winning team of experienced professionals who together have completed numerous award-winning projects for the company. Some of its most notable awards include several Contractor of the Year distinctions from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. The firm begins its process with a detailed initial consultation, which allows the MSK team to get a clear idea of the client’s lifestyles and needs. These clients can actively oversee their new homes or spaces throughout the project duration via the firm’s very own software. That interactive application allows homeowners to keep track of material selections and schedules. 

The project above won the firm a 2019 NARI Contractor of The Year Home Remodel distinction. The home was completed within six months and challenged the firm with its extensive updates. Those updates included redesigning its existing garage to accommodate a music and TV room. It also added an all-new garage and laundry room and updated its roofline. The photo above depicts the project’s gutted-out kitchen. The firm’s team removed various walls to allow in a rich amount of ambient light.