Located just off the east of Berkeley, Orinda takes great pride in being one of the best places to live in California. In 2012, Forbes named it the second “friendliest” town in America and was a popular choice among professionals who commute to larger cities in the Bay Area, like Oakland and San Francisco.

With most residents owning their own homes, the area provides them with numerous restaurants, coffee shops, and parks. Orinda is also quite the popular choice for retirees, given its incredible rustic landscape and many parks and trails. This list showcases ten of the best general contractors in the area behind some of Orinda’s best homes and spaces. They were chosen based not only on merit but also on their excellent portfolios and backgrounds. 

Blueline Custom Builders

3381 Vincent Rd. Suite F, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Operating out of its office in Pleasant Hill, Blueline Custom Builders offers full computer design services and has a showroom where clients can better get an idea and glimpse of its expertise. It also has an on-site custom finishing department and can assist with every facet of the process, including the nitty-gritty details. It typically custom mixes stains, glazes, and paints to achieve a personalized touch for its projects. The firm’s team specializes in an extensive range of designs, from traditional and rustic to crisp contemporary. It can work on any design and is particularly noted for its great cabinetry and casework, as well as its excellent finishes. The firm is best known for its kitchens, bathrooms, and built-ins. 

For kitchen projects, in particular, the firm can both design and build your space. Its work is often distinguished for its traditional face-frame construction, half to full overlay, and euro boxes. It typically renders its work via 3D computer software. 

Diamond Construction

Diamond Construction can handle it all, from the smallest space facelift to an entire home renovation. The firm does not limit itself to any particular designs. It showcases expertise in various architectural themes, including the most intricate Mediterranean styles and contemporary craftsman designs. The firm offers its clients detailed budgeting, billing, and timelines analysis and maintains a strong hands-on approach. Now in its second generation of builders, Diamond Construction specializes in building custom homes and estates. Since the firm’s inception, it has worked on more than 500 residential and commercial projects. With more than three decades of industry experience to offer, the firm is led by its founder Keith Stone. He and his team continue to serve new and returning clients with these excellent services guaranteed to last for years to come. Their expertise is best embodied by the project featured here.

The grand project was completed in the heart of Orinda. It was designed and constructed in collaboration with Dennis Giacovelli and Thomas Bartlett. It primarily features a traditional design and challenged the firm with its large-scale remodel. The project overlooks the Brione hills and sits on a quaint hillside. Its team worked on several expansions, as well as updating the functionality of the home’s rooms. 

Douglah Designs

3535 Mount Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA 94549

Douglah Designs is an expert in the design-build approach. This means that it can keep the entire process in-house, lessening the homeowners’ challenge of looking for additional professionals and subcontractors. It specializes in luxury home remodeling and naturally has its in-house team of talented and experienced artisans. Aside from its whole house remodels, Douglah is also noted for its excellent home additions, kitchens, bathrooms, cabinetry, and facade improvements. The firm has been owned and operated by Leila Douglah since 1997 and extends its services throughout the Bay Area. It employs more than 30 professionals who also oversee the company’s showroom. In 2011, it was named Small Business of the Year by the Contra Costa Council. It has also been recognized for its green building efforts and is the proud recipient of the Environmental Award of Excellence for Local Business in 2015 by the City of Lafayette. 

The firm’s portfolio is an outstanding gallery of various home themes. These encompass diverse Mediterranean and European architecture, as well as several sleek and modern spaces. It begins its process with a complimentary consultation with one of its designers in its showrooms, allowing its team to get a comprehensive idea of a client’s needs and lifestyles. 

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. It has been in business since 1961 and has secured a solid reputation for its excellent services. It takes great pride in the multitude of accolades it won throughout the years and is the proud recipient of more than 20 national and regional design awards. The firm has completed all of its homes and spaces on time and within the agreed-upon budget, from completing whole house remodels, kitchen and bath renovations, and additions to finishing outdoor living spaces. It is a family-owned and operated business that uses hands-on processes. 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 featured project here entailed a whole house remodel completed in San Ramon. It was finished within a time frame of four-and-a-half months. The homeowners’ primary request to the firm for this particular project was that they needed a home that would meet their family’s needs immediately and for many years to come. This resulted in this wonderfully designed transitional home complete with various unique finishes. 

J.E.O. Construction

1984 Carolyn Dr., Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

J.E.O. Construction extends its services throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. It is a full-service general contractor specializing in residential home remodeling and is a family-owned and operated business that was founded in 2002. It adheres to the highest standards and can work on an extensive range of designs. The firm is particularly regarded for its stellar kitchens, bathrooms, and home additions. It has also taken on multiple large-scale home remodels and renovations. Additionally, its projects are noted for their great windows and doors, unique fixtures, and custom finishes. The space illustrated here best embodies the firm’s work.

In this kitchen, the firm’s team opted for a neutral color palette and installed unique brick backsplashes, as well as several great studio-like lights. It also worked on a large kitchen island coupled with quartz countertops.  

James D. Rogers, Builder

42 Donald Dr., Orinda, CA 94563

With more than three decades of experience, James D. Rogers focuses on an extensive range of architectural themes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. It is an outstanding builder and designer that has secured excellent relationships with some of the area’s best subcontractors and professionals, whom it partnered with for some of the area’s most beautiful homes. It takes on only a select number of projects at a time to make sure that all of its work receives the benefit of its team’s experience. This also allows its team to address any client concerns better throughout the entire process. At the firm’s helm is its founder and namesake, James Rogers. He holds a degree from the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts and first got a glimpse into the industry through his family’s construction business.

Completed in Orinda, the project shown here spans 3,000 square feet and is an excellent example of the company’s expertise. Initially, this project was a prefab construction that had gone astray. Upon assuming its completion, the firm’s team had to rework its framing, electrical, plumbing, and finishes. It features cedar, Shou Sugi Ban,  steel, and integral color stucco textures for its exteriors. It also opted for a recurring theme of straight lines. 

Jetton Construction

1117-A Virginia St., Berkeley, CA 94702 

Jetton Construction is an award-winning firm that has completed more than 500 projects since its founding in 1980. It draws inspiration from its decades of experience and cultivates an environment of constant growth and communication among its team members and clients. The company is also inclined towards contemporary designs and techniques. It collaborates with the area’s best and leading subcontractors and has secured excellent relationships with some of the Bay Area’s best artisans. Further, it assists its clients throughout the process by remaining engaged and attentive to the smallest details. It comes as no surprise that the firm is the proud recipient of many awards, especially from the prestigious American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The project showcased here best embodies the firm’s work. It was featured on the 2016 AIA East Bay Home Tour and challenged the firm with its extensive remodel. The firm’s team maintained a discrete exterior for this home while its interiors were transformed into various excellent contemporary spaces. It features a series of folding doors, which lead to a  back garden and separate suite. It also has an all-new outdoor pool and pond.

KW Builders

3381 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA 94549

KW Builders is a licensed, bonded, and insured residential construction company that operates out of Lafayette’s office. It has worked on the construction and remodeling of numerous homes in the East Bay Area and primarily specializes in traditional, contemporary, and craftsman style homes. It is known for its outstanding team of carpenters and collaborations with some of the area’s leading subcontractors. The firm is the brainchild of Jeff Wendt and Matt Kunz, who together draw inspiration from more than four decades of industry experience. They are both natives of Lamorinda and hold degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Under their leadership, the firm also provides its clients with accurate and realistic bids, allowing for excellent communication with homeowners. 

The firm’s team worked on an excellent skylight for this featured kitchen, coupled with great wooden beams. It also installed various unique fixtures and custom cabinetry. A grey neutral palette can also be observed, as well as clean granite countertops. 

MN Builders

2400 Union St., Oakland, CA 94607

MN Builders is an employee-owned business that extends its services throughout the Bay Area. Since its inception, it has taken on over 3,200 projects and specializes in both commercial and residential project types. It first started as a firm specializing in millwork in 1981, before expanding to include a complete range of services and becoming the firm it is today. This background, however, still influences its work. It is often noted for its great one-of-a-kind finishes, use of excellent materials, and eye-catching color palettes. The firm also strives to give back to its community and collaborates with numerous organizations and businesses, such as the Bay Area’s Children’s Theater and the Alameda County Community Food Bank. 

The project shown best encompasses the firm’s skill. This grand old house on the island challenged the firm’s team with its extensive transformation. It worked on all-new color palettes, finishes, and furnishings. The firm also took on various modern touches and themes. 


  • Jake Gustafson

    Jake has served as Senior Editor at General Contractors and brings a wealth of experience rooted in his passion for building. Holding a degree in Construction Engineering Management from Oregon State University, he actively engaged in industry-related activities, including membership in the Associated General Contractors of America student chapter and participation in the Associated Schools in Construction student competition. Previously, Jake served as a project engineer for a prominent general contractor in Portland, where he played a pivotal role in various aspects of construction projects, from pre-construction to subcontractor management. His expertise extends to working on innovative projects, such as North America's largest CLT commercial building. Expertise: Commercial Construction, Commercial Remodeling, Home Design and Build Key Highlights: Editor at General Contractors, Project Engineer for Portland-based general contractor, Field Engineer for the largest CLT commercial building in North America Education: Oregon State University, Degree in Construction Engineering Management