Santa Barbara is most renowned for its wide, sandy beaches; whether locals or tourists seek the perfect wave or sunset, there are many to pick from. Downtown, white stucco buildings with red-tile roofs in the Mediterranean style represent the city’s Spanish colonial origins. State Street also has upscale stores and eateries serving local wines and seasonal food.

If you’re looking at investing in a commercial or residential property in the area, looking for a trusted contractor is a must. In this list are some of Santa Barbara’s leading design-build firms. Our team chose each for their portfolio, affiliations, and press features.

Becker Studios

412 E Haley St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Becker Studios brings a unique approach to design and building with a one-stop shop that blends creativity with exceptional efficiency. Specializing in luxury design, construction, and development, the firm works closely with clients through every phase of acquiring, developing, building, and decorating. With a passion for each project, the Becker team demands perfection in every detail.

Designer and founder of Becker Construction and Becker Studios, Darrell Becker, graduated from Westmont College with a degree in business and economics. He was also the vice president of Eco Trend, a real estate development company in Ventura County. As a Montecito resident and former board member of the Montecito Association, Darrell offers experiential respect for the process and sequencing of construction. 

Becker Studios has had some of its works featured by HGTV, Santa Barbara Life & Style Magazine, Home & Lifestyle, and Forbes.

Clear Construction

525 Garden St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Clear Construction is a comprehensive general contracting company with a mission to bring clarity, transparency, and efficiency to the construction process. Its best-in-class customer service guides clients through each project phase, and its attention to detail promotes precise correspondence and the highest-quality craftsmanship. The firm launched in 2017 and specializes in designing, drafting, new construction, remodeling, and cabinetry, serving from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles.

Photo by Blake Bronstad

Leading Clear Construction as president is Bailey Hochhalter, who earned his bachelor’s degree in business and managerial economics from the University of California Santa Barbara and is in pursuit of a Master of Architecture from the Academy of Art University. Bailey ranked among Pacific Coast Business Times’ 40 Under 40. Under his watch, the studio holds affiliations with the Santa Barbara Contractors Association and has been featured by Los Angeles Times and Elle Decor.

Manifest Building

103 N. Nopal St. Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Manifest Building is a Santa Barbara-based full-service general contractor and design-build company. It is a member of the Santa Barbara Contractors Association and specializes in custom residential, commercial, and landscape construction and remodels. The company’s diverse and seasoned team of builders brings the experience necessary to make any dream a reality under budget and on time.

Leading the studio is Beau Lee Schmidt, a third-generation builder with20 years of experience that includes the assembly of a vast multitude of structures and styles. Beau’s experience in construction includes monumental residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects throughout Santa Barbara, including Alma del Pueblo, Panera Bread, Charles Schwab Bank, and many design-build custom homes. Beau founded Manifest Building in 2012 and is also one of the founders of EcoLawn, Santa Barbara’s premier synthetic grass and waterwise landscaping installer.

Castle Construction

22 W. Calle Laureles, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Castle Construction is a design-build firm specializing in kitchen, bath, and whole home remodeling. It offers design services and can take the client’s project from concept to completion. With 25 years of experience in the field, the studio sees no challenge as too big or too small, and it dedicates its utmost energy to every project it takes on.

With its boutique-style showroom to assist clients in their design and decision-making process, Castle Construction is Santa and Ventura’s partner with creative kitchen spaces. Castle Construction has been recognized by the Santa Barbara Contractors Association and is led by Jason M. Tapia. Because every job and customer is unique, Jason and the team customize each of its designs to fit the client’s needs exactly.

Santa Barbara Design & Build

730 Anacapa St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Santa Barbara Design & Build was born out of the need to seamlessly blend the vision of the architect and designer with the precise implementation of the builder. This creates a striking construction project promptly and in the most cost-effective way possible. Launched nearly two decades ago, the firm specializes in design-build, remodels, new construction, restorations, and rebuilds for homeowners in Santa Barbara, Montecito, and Hope Ranch.

Santa Barbara Design & Build has piqued the interest of the press for its works and has been featured by publications like Santa Barbara Food & Home. It runs under the leadership and ownership of Don Gragg and is a member of the Santa Barbara Contractors Association. Under Don’s watch, the studio exceeds its customers’ expectations at every step.

Toro Construction

3463 State St #365, Santa Barbara, CA 93105

Toro Construction is among Santa Barbara’s leading interior design companies equipped to help clients design and build any project. Launched in 2003, the studio specializes in building new residential and commercial construction. The firm’s skilled team is backed with the experience to assist clients from the beginning to the finishing touches. 

Tony Toro started his career as an electrical contractor, focused on helping local Santa Barbara residents with every electrical need. After many years, all of Tony’s satisfied clients started asking for remodeling assistance, and he saw the need to get his general contractor’s license to help. In 2017, Alex Arraiga partnered up with Toro Constriction, bringing his 25 years of industrial engineering background. Alex has brought a breadth of experience with fine custom artistry and excellent management skills and helped elevate the studio to the next level of professionalism.

The buildings that Toro Construction has built stand out with quality, and it can help clients design and build additions, bathroom remodeling, kitchen remodeling, and retrofitting. Since its launching nearly two decades ago, the firm has done many different projects in Santa Barbara and also serves Goleta and Montecito.


  • 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