Known as the birthplace of Silicon Valley, Palo Alto serves as a hub for tech-savvy businessmen and venture capitalists. It is home to numerous tech giants, such as Hewlett-Packard (HP), Skype, and Google. Despite its bustling economy, the city emanates a calm suburban feel. Its sunny climate, striking landscapes, walkable downtown area, and convenient location make Palo Alto a great place to live in. Homes that date back as early as the 1890s can be found around the city, usually craftsman, California colonial, or Eichler-styled. A wide selection of restaurants, stores, parks, museums, and entertainment spaces can also be found across the city, making it a picturesque city for those in the tech industry and for families as well.

Many consider relocating to the city for its abundance of job and business opportunities, proximity to the prominent Stanford University, or its overall charm. Listed here are the best design build firms in Palo Alto, California. These firms have helped many locals build, remodel, or preserve their homes. The firms were chosen based on their merits, portfolio, and experience.

Harrell Design + Build

944 Industrial Ave. Palo Alto, CA 94303

Harrell Design + Build is a full-service, Employee Owned, design-build residential remodeling company based in Palo Alto, California. For 38 years, the firm has been focused on providing Bay Area homeowners with innovative design, meticulous craftsmanship, and high-quality, personalized service. Iris Harrell founded the company in 1985; it all began with a single employee. Today, Harrell Design + Build employs nearly 50, including award-winning designers and accomplished craftspeople. 

Currently leading the firm is Lisa Sten, who has guided private, commercial, and public-sector clients with architectural designs and construction objectives. She holds an interior design degree from Paier College of Art in Hamden, and a B.A. from Boston College. She is recognized as a Certified Interior Designer (CID), a Universal Design Certified Professional (UDCP), and a Certified Green Building Professional (CGBP), and a Certified Remodeler (CR).

Next Stage Design + Build

2157 O’Toole Ave. #70, San Jose, CA 95131

Design-build, home addition, and a variety of space remodeling projects, including kitchen and bathroom, interior and exterior, and complete house remodeling are all services Next Stage Design + Build offers. Jim Kabel formed the firm in 2004 and initially called it Case Design/Remodeling of San Jose. The firm has an in-house team of project managers, lead carpenters, and creative designers, making it a one-stop shop for home solutions. The team’s expertise enabled it to develop award-winning spaces. Some of its awards include at least two platinum, four gold, and a Contractor of the Year (CotY) award from NARI. The firm is also committed to supporting the neighborhood, and it actively participates in Silicon Valley’s free neighborhood home repair initiative, Rebuild Together.

The firm’s portfolio is filled with stunning works, and the Modern-Industrial Kitchen is one of its notable ones in kitchen remodeling. The homeowners wanted to upgrade their builder-grade kitchen and expand it towards the unused dining area. To accommodate this change, the team knocked down the wall that divided the two. Then it added a walk-in pantry with barn doors, a custom-built wet bar, and a stylish granite island. Light-colored COREtec flooring was used to contrast the kitchen’s dark hues, while the Edison-style lighting completed the look.

Timeline Design + Build

14401 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA 95070

Award-winning firm Timeline Design + Build has produced homes in the San Francisco Peninsula that have improved the lives of homeowners and the community as well. With three decades of experience, the firm is known as an expert in design, construction, architecture, custom homes, and remodeling. Its team is led by Matthew Harrigan, former NARI president. The firm is dedicated to establishing strong connections with clients, suppliers, subcontractors, and local government. Its time-tested process has enabled it to win more than eight NKBA awards and to be featured in Home & Garden, South Bay Accent, and Punch.

One of the firm’s most notable projects, The Spanish Revival, is a 5,500-square-foot home with a California Mission Revival architectural style. The project highlights its Renaissance and Baroque influences through thick, rounded archways, stucco exteriors, clay roof tiles, genuine wood windows, and saltillo tiles. The team preserved and highlighted the property’s striking characteristics without removing its historical essence.

Hammerschmidt Construction, Inc.

1574 Country Club Dr. Los Altos, CA 94024

Hammerschmidt Construction, Inc. is renowned for serving Silicon Valley in regard to design-build, green build, custom home, and remodeling needs. The firm’s portfolio includes a diverse assortment of architectural styles, the majority of which are modern, contemporary, and transitional. It was established in 1996 and is supervised by CEO John Hammerschmidt, a Certified Green Building Professional (CGBP) and Kitchen and Bath Remodeler (CKBR). Its team can handle projects of all sizes, whether small bathroom remodels or whole house renovations. The firm’s creative design maximizes the function and enhances the home’s beauty and value. These designs have won numerous NARI awards—including one platinum, four gold, and one silver—and have been featured in Remodeling Magazine and Qualified Remodeling Magazine.

A 1960’s ranch house was transformed into an upscale, transitional home by the Hammerschmidt Construction team. Several interior walls were removed to create an open floor plan and rearrange the space for improved functionality. The new layout made the interior seem larger while enhancing the homeowner’s day-to-day tasks. An entryway and foyer with a vaulted ceiling were created in the middle of the home to give it more curb appeal. The roof was then reframed with a second peak above the new entrance to give it an attractive profile. Before the new roof was built, insulated sheeting was installed to increase energy efficiency and comfort.

Greenberg Construction

904 Industrial Ave. Palo Alto, CA 94303

Greenberg Construction is one of the leading design-build firms in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles area. It generally works on residential construction and architecture but also serves the commercial industry. The firm is known for its technology-forward approach that utilizes the latest building techniques. Its process is backed up by the firm’s core values: safety, quality, timely service, trust, teamwork, and anticipation of needs. This created high-quality and cost-effective homes. Its motivated and focused team provides transparency and peace of mind to clients, thus, producing successful partnerships with them. This contributed to the firm’s recognition as part of the Best of the Best California Contractors by the US Building News.

The firm was created in 2013 by Maor Greenberg, a green building professional, as an extension of the Greenberg Group. He is also the CEO and co-founder of VRchitects, a full-service architectural and interior design firm. He studied at the College of Management Academic Studies in Israel and finished with a degree in structural engineering. The companies he handles are accredited by NARI, NKBA, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), the Building Industry Association (BIA) Bay Area, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Ammirato Construction

1330 White Oaks Rd. Campbell, CA 95008

Ammirato Construction is a highly esteemed design-build firm serving the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. It has produced exceptionally constructed homes often designed with modern, contemporary, mid-century, craftsman, and transitional influences. The unrelenting attention to detail serves as the hallmark of the firm’s projects. It is backed up by the team’s passion for honesty and meticulous craftsmanship. The firm employs a personalized approach in homes and customer service, which is modified depending on the client’s needs. Through President John Ammiranto’s guidance, the projects developed won the Judges Choice Award and platinum award for Entire House $250,000 to $500,000 category from NARI’s Meta awards.

The Ammirato team did an impressive remodeling job for a long-neglected home in Los Gatos, showcasing their engineering and design skills. An extensive gut down to the studs was made to develop a new remarkable mid-century modern home. Every element was changed and renewed. The team relocated the kitchen space, designed a new entryway, and installed a 20-foot modern fireplace made of composite tiles. The outdoor living space, roof, three bathrooms, and exterior were also revamped. The homeowner commended the team for keeping the project within budget and delivering it within schedule.

Clarum Homes

412 Olive Ave. Palo Alto, CA 94306

Clarum Homes is known as a leading builder and developer of passive homes in Palo Alto and the surrounding areas. Aside from sustainable home designing, it also offers general contracting, design-build, and high-performance renovation services. The firm’s high standard for quality and innovation has pushed its team to strive and work harder, producing energy-efficient homes that exceed client expectations. Its dedication also helped develop exceptional communication and listening skills, enhancing the overall client experience.

John Suppes owns and operates Clarum Homes. He established the firm in 1998 to build healthier homes through green practices and eco-friendly materials. The sustainable home designs he and his team produced over the years have been featured in numerous publications, including SF Examiner, ConcreteDesignBlog, and SoCal Green Real Estate Blog. Its efforts were also recognized by the USGBC, and the firm was named Outstanding Production Builder. The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) gave the firm the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award.