California is an ideal place to live in for those with a sense of adventure. From great waves for surfing and hiking trails to excellent cities and neighborhoods, the state is also noted for its various iconic landmarks and sunny days. This list showcases eight of its best design-build firms behind some of its stellar homes and commercial properties. These companies were chosen based on their unique skill sets, extensive backgrounds, and outstanding portfolios. 

Jackson Design & Remodeling

4797 Mercury St, San Diego, CA 92111

Founded in 1989, Jackson Design & Remodeling offers its clients a complete range of design and remodeling services. Working out of its office in San Diego, the firm has had the opportunity to complete projects in some of its best and most sought-after communities and neighborhoods of San Diego. Its list of services includes custom homes, whole home remodels, additions, outdoor living spaces, and kitchens. The firm has been recognized with countless accolades and distinctions over the years, including the coveted Big50 Award, and several Master Design, American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), Chrysalis, and Contractor of the Year (CotY) awards.

Showcased above is one of the firm’s best projects. Labeled in its portfolio as the “Seaside Allure Kitchen,” this project features a great white-on-white look and elements of blue, gray, and natural wood. Some other great details include its meticulous molding details, hand-scraped European Oak flooring, and quartz countertops.

Marrokal Design & Remodeling

9474 Kearny Villa Rd, #205, San Diego, CA 92126

As its name suggests, Marrokal Design & Remodeling specializes in both design and remodeling, offering its services throughout the San Diego metro area. It is highly regarded for its team’s excellent attention to detail and consistent ability to complete all of its projects on-time and within budget. The firm is led by Gary Marrokal, who started the firm over four decades ago, and Tom Capizzi, who joined Marrokal as co-owner in 2015. Together, they lead the company and maintain affiliations with organizations like Build It Green, which assures clients of the sustainability of their work.

The chosen project above is an excellent example of the firm’s talent and expertise. This space is one of the firm’s best outdoor living projects and was even distinguished with a Chrysalis Award. It features an all-new pool and spa, a covered patio, and a fire pit.

Custom Design & Construction

160 S Pacific Coast Hwy, El Segundo, CA 9024

Custom Design & Construction opened its doors in 1988 and has since worked throughout the South Bay area. It works out of its office in El Segundo and is noted for its excellent design-build process. The company also has its very own immersive design center, which allows clients to better visualize details of their new home. Since its establishment, the firm has won numerous prestigious awards including the California Remodeler of the Year distinctions. At the firm’s helm are the company’s founder and owner, Bill Simone alongside Beth Rubin, Director of Design, and Santos Mejia, Production Manager.

Depicted above is one of the firm’s best residential spaces. For primary suite, the firm’s team was challenged with having to work on the redesign of both its sleeping area and en suite bathroom. It opted for an elegant transitional style, reminiscent of a spa. It features an excellent color palette that matches its handmade metalwork, in addition to its various statement pieces and custom doors. 


1485 Bayshore Blvd, #157, Suite 220, San Francisco, CA 94124

Headquartered in San Francisco, Houseworks is a leading expert in the home remodeling process and is known for its personalized design-build packages. The firm is composed of a talented and experienced team of professionals who make use of innovative and state-of-the-art techniques. These processes cover architectural design and also come with comprehensive warranties. Featured below is one of the firm’s best projects. 

Located in Monterey Heights, this home was originally built in the 1920s and entailed having to work on a broken water line that once flooded the entire space. The project’s foyer was redesigned to have a more inviting feel and to connect all of the home’s most active areas: the kitchen and dining rooms. The firm’s team incorporated a wine station in its kitchen, in addition to new storage. Other great details include the home’s new fireplace, bathrooms, and cabinetry.

Timeline Design + Build

14401 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070

Timeline draws inspiration from over three decades of industry experience and specializes in the design-build process. The company is composed of a talented and experienced team of architects, designers, and construction professionals who assist clients from inception all the way through completion. Since its establishment, the firm has completed over 120 projects in the Silicon Valley area and has been distinguished with over 30 accolades. These include awards from the National Kitchen and Bath Authority and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. 

The firm begins its process with a comprehensive interview to better understand its client’s needs. It then proceeds to work on preliminary designs, as prepared by its in-house architects, before moving to conduct a feasibility study and estimate in order to come up with an accurate financial analysis for the project. Its process also covers both pre and post-construction to celebrate each client’s new home.

De Mattei Construction

1794 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126

More than 35 years ago, Mark De Mattei discovered his talent and love for creating dream homes for clients in Silicon Valley. After nearly 2,000 satisfied customers, many of whom have become De Mattei’s friends and supporters, De Mattei Construction has established itself as the Bay Area’s best bespoke home building and remodeling company. De Mattei develops more than just houses; it also fosters relationships. 

The award-winning De Mattei team, which today numbers over 75 people, celebrates its long history of professionalism, extensive building expertise, budget openness, exceptional project management, careful client interactions, and uncompromising quality. The project featured below is a modern masterpiece designed with Mauricio Melchor Architecture. It possesses clean lines and radiates modern elegance while seamlessly fitting into its serene natural setting. 

Building Lab

999 43rd St, Oakland, CA 94608

buildingLab is an award-winning design firm based in Oakland. It specializes in residential design and construction projects and is noted for its dedication to sustainability practices. The firm is the product of the vision of its founder and principal, Stephen Shoup. Under his leadership and supervision, the firm has become known for its new construction projects, whole house remodels, home additions, kitchens, and bathrooms. Its sustainability efforts, in particular, are seen across all of its work, particularly in its dedication to optimal value engineering, minimizing water and energy consumption, and use of environment-friendly materials. 

The showcased project is the firm’s work on the Appleberry Drive residence. Completed in 2013, this project features a five-foot tall fence, large picturesque windows, and a modern theme. Some of our editorial team’s favorite elements about this project are its connecting corridors, wood touches, walnut veneers, and custom details. 


1531 Pontius Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90025

Houck Construction is a full-service contracting and construction management firm. The firm specializes in luxury home building and remodeling and has worked in some of California’s most outstanding communities and neighborhoods. Since its inception, the firm has worked on over a thousand projects. Aside from its residential work, Houck is also respected for its commercial and multifamily projects. The firm is composed of a talented and excellent team of designers, project managers, engineers, carpenters, and builders. At the firm’s helm is its CEO and founder, David Houck. He has lived in the Los Angeles area for three decades and is well-versed in some of its most popular vernaculars. He has worked with renowned architects and designers, including Barton Phelps, William Hablinski, Michael Berman, and Frank Pennino.

The chosen project above best embodies the firm’s talent for kitchen projects. For this space, the firm’s team designed and installed a custom kitchen island that also doubles as a breakfast bar. It also opted for tiled walls, industrial finishes, and an overhead skylight.