The high-tech city of Santa Clara is one of the fastest-growing communities in California. It’s nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley and is considered one of the top locations to live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Santa Clara is a safe, clean city that is also an excellent place to start a family or retire. It is no surprise that everyone wants to live here, given the pleasant climate and the variety of opportunities the city offers. 

Below you’ll find a list of the best design-build firms—the companies equipped to make your Santa Clara dream home a reality. Our team chose each one of these firms for its portfolio, awards, press features, and industry affiliations.

LEFF Construction Design/Build

6791 Sebastopol Avenue, Suite #140, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Established in 1978, LEFF Construction Design Build has long been a national name thanks to its award-winning, whole-home remodeling, and new home projects. From historic restorations that conserve existing materials to new home designs that achieve zero net energy, LEFF continues to incorporate sustainable principles with new technologies. This design-build process produces beautiful, functional homes that perfectly reflect their owner’s lifestyle, and they do so with minimal environmental impact and maximum value.

LEFF is at the forefront of the design-build field. The firm takes a one-stop-shop approach supported by its in-house architects, designers, estimators, project managers, and craftsmen working as a team from its LEFF Design Center location. This ensures that every client’s project team is focused on creating a superior client experience for them.

One of LEFF’s most recent awards is the 2022 Regional CotY Award in the Basement Over $250,000 category from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. The firm has also been named one of Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500.

Holly Construction, Inc.

73 Saint James Drive, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Holly Construction is a licensed general contractor that has been serving Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, and the North Bay for over three decades. It specializes in residential and specialty commercial services, offering design-build solutions for ground-up construction, remodeling, and additions. Whether the client wants an upscale home build, a remodel, an addition, a ground-up, or a new construction, the firm is equipped to collaborate with them to design the right solution for their budget. 

Janver Holly started Holly Construction in 1984. After graduate school, Janver’s lifelong love of construction was fully rekindled, and construction became his chosen career. Holly Construction was incorporated in 1999 and became Holly & Associates, Inc., General Building Contractors.

The firm was recognized in 2020 as Best of Sonoma County by the Press Democrat. The firm’s passion for excellence, communication, and timeliness has allowed the firm to provide the highest quality of service and artistry to its residential and commercial clientele.

Gateway Builders

1022 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, CA 95401

Gateway Builders is a full-service general contractor that has been building in Northern California for over 20 years. It is an extension of the family that founded Cobblestone Homes Corporation, which built home communities throughout Sonoma and Napa counties, including Vistara, Altair, Bella Vista, and Miramonte. The firm’s team has constructed many luxury homes and earned a reputation for impeccable artistry and superior customer service. 

Gateway Builders is run by Matt Watson. While working his way through college, Matt spent summers in Tahoe learning to build quality homes. After finishing school, he ended up staying in the mountains, where he built over 100 homes with a total value of over $70 million. Under Matt’s watch, the studio’s accomplished team remains dedicated to exemplary custom builds and customer service by leveraging a trusted network of award-winning architects, land developers, designers, builders, and support staff.

DRF Builders

3200 Dutton Avenue, Suite #216, Santa Rosa, CA 95407

Launched in 2009, DRF Builders is a full spectrum construction company capable of handling new construction, remodeling, and all related projects. It specializes in a variety of services, including fire damage, home remodels, renovations, new home additions, new construction, kitchens, and bathrooms for its clients in Sonoma, Marin, and Napa Counties.

Leading the team is owner Dana R. Faustine—he has been working in construction and building homes for over 17 years and specializes in custom work. His goal is to keep the firm’s customers informed on every step of the construction process and alert them to any challenges that arise. Dana enjoys providing creative ideas for clients to get the finished results they have in mind.

Carrington Construction Inc.

707 Hahman Drive, Suite #9130, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Carrington Construction provides design-build contractor services to Northern California. From historical restorations to the most modern green building practices, the studio knows how to serve Sonoma County. Carrington was founded in 2004 with the premise that honesty and integrity make happier customers.

Leading the firm is founder, principal, and CEO Troy Carrington; he brings more than two decades of experience to the team. Troy has an excellent eye for detail and the mindfulness and precision required for successful project management. 

The company has been privileged to work on various homes and buildings throughout Northern California. With such a diverse array of architecture in the area, its team has the experience of working with many different designs, materials, and building techniques.

Masterstouch Construction

182 Farmer’s Lane, Suite #100B, Santa Rosa, CA 95405

Masterstouch Construction is the collaborative effort of Jared Cake and Eric Rose. Jared holds a business administration degree from Azusa Pacific University; Eric earned his construction management degree from California State Polytechnic University and another in business management from Biola University. The company has been constructing in Sonoma County for over 25 years and has completed over 100 commercial and residential jobs.

Masterstouch’s team of experts has over 75 years of combined experience in the construction industry. The firm works directly with its dedicated team to make a quality and desirable product from concept to completion. Masterstouch does this by providing exceptional personal attention throughout the building process. This allows the team to deliver outstanding value to every project.

Kelly Cowan Designs

401 Mendocino Avenue, Suite #100b, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Launched in 2007, Kelly Cowan Designs is a design-build, custom home remodeling construction company based in Santa Rosa. Led by Kelly Marshall Cowan, the firm’s team of professionals consistently deliver custom home build, design, additions, landscape, and retail projects. For clients with a project that needs supervision from start to finish, it also offers project management, client communications, and problem-solving to get the job done.

Whether clients have been dreaming of a new home, a new bedroom, a covered back deck, or a beautiful patio, Kelly Cowan Designs is equipped to plan accordingly and make that vision a reality. With work all over Sonoma County—including Healdsburg, Petaluma, and Sebastopol—the firm provides quality custom home building and remodeling that Santa Rosa homeowners expect and deserve.

Walker & Associates Construction

52 Mission Circle, Suite #203, Santa Rosa, CA 95409

Stan Walker opened Stan Walker & Associates General Construction in 1986 and successfully ran his business for over 30 years in Sonoma County. As a design-build general contractor in Sonoma County, the firm works as the designer and the builder from the beginning and does so as a team. The firm provides unified project recommendations to fit the owner’s schedule and budget. Its services include design-build, new construction, remodels, and kitchen and bath construction. 

Any changes are addressed by the entire team, leading to collaborative problem-solving and innovation. While single-source contracting is the fundamental difference between design-build and the old ways, equally important is the culture of collaboration inherent in design-build.

SkyFarm Construction

4775 Sonoma Highway, Santa Rosa, CA 95409

Launched two decades ago, SkyFarm Construction’s work includes the remodeling and new construction of both residential and commercial buildings. It builds houses in the Napa and Sonoma Counties and surrounding areas and has worked with homeowners and designers to bring to life the buildings that its clients want.

Ean Coyle leads SkyFarm Construction; he has a degree in project management from Villanova University. Under his supervision and direction, the firm is proud to be affiliated with the North Coast Builders Exchange.

The company provides design-build services for home additions and construction projects in Windsor, Healdsburg, Sonoma, Marin, and Napa counties. Clients who choose to work with SkyFarm work directly with the studio’s home designer to customize every feature of their new home or addition. Once the plan is finalized, the team takes care of the construction process.


  • 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