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Austin is a fantastic place to live. US News & World Report’s Best Places to Live survey ranked Austin number one for two years in a row. The survey considered the quality of life index and the job market index to find out how satisfied residents are, and they found out the obvious: there is plenty of work and play in this sunny, warm city. The capital of Texas, Austin is a lot bigger than many Americans realize: the eleventh most populous city in the United States and the fourth most populous city in Texas, with residents at almost eight million. Perhaps because of all of these factors, this “Live Music Capital of the World” is the fastest growing metro area in the States.
Austin has a great reputation, more people are moving to Austin, and the demand for residences as well as renovations have increased as a result. Styles of homes in the city usually are classic, modern, or contemporary luxury homes. There are also smaller residences for the upper middle class.
Austin has an impressive roster of remodelers, with many award-winning veterans that service luxury projects. We came up with a list of the best remodelers, considering factors like the longevity of the remodeler, the awards and certifications achieved, and the quality of work we found in their portfolios. Below is the cream of the crop.
15) Top-Notch Renovations
13740 N Highway 183, Suite L5, Austin, TX 78750
After getting laid off from his information technology job, Robert Petty started a home business that evolved into doing renovations. Eventually Robert founded Top-Notch Renovations. The business met a growing demand for remodeling in NW Austin, and Top-Notch has thrived.
Top-Notch Renovations has won impressive awards like NARI Contractor of the Year (2013: Kitchen $40k – $80k, 2016: Bath over $100k, 2016: Kitchen $60k – $100k, 2017: Bath $50k – $75k and 2018: Bath over $100,000). They also made the Aggie 100 list (the fastest growing Aggie companies in the world) in 2017 and 2018. Those awards are all the more impressive when you consider that Top-Notch has only been around for about a decade and has only 4 employees, including the 2 owners. Top-Notch Renovations provides services in the NW Austin area and enjoys working with clients to make their home their own, no matter their job size.
14) Statewide Remodeling
2450 Esters Blvd. Suite 200, Grapevine, TX 75261
At 24 years old, Statewide Remodeling has completed more than 40,000 projects. It has also won the Consumers Choice Award and is on the Qualified Remodeling Top 500 list at #21. It was included in the Tarrant County Top 100 Privately owned companies and named by Inc Magazine as one of the fastest growing companies in the US. Statewide also took home Sam’s Club “Vendor of the Year” and the “Consumer’s Choice Award” among others.
The firm has grown to a point where it does over $50 million in annual sales, and the business has emerged as the largest remodeling company in Texas. It is also ranked #18 in size in the U.S. by Qualified Remodeling Magazine. It has now expanded with showrooms in Dallas, Plano, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.
Statewide Remodeling is known for classic, luxurious remodels, including beautiful decks, patios, and sunrooms, among others. Statewide designs tend toward the spacious, with an emphasis on visually striking accents and furniture.
13) Austin Impressions
7000 North Mopac Suite 200, Austin, TX 78731
Austin Impressions owner John Gehlken has over 20 years in entrepreneurial and corporate leadership, and he brings that experience to the firm. His business strategy involves combining in-house staff with strategic partners in architecture and design. John’s approach has paid off in the form of multiple awards. The firm participated in the NARI Home Tours from 2011-2014. It won the CotY Awards Winner 2014 Contractor of the Year, the CotY Awards 2014 Entire House, and the CotY Awards 2013 Best Residential Kitchen. Gehlken is also an active participant in the local remodeling industry and has served on the Board of Directors for NARI, Austin Chapter.
Some of the firm’s most interesting projects include vintage houses remodeled into spacious and modern homes to fit customers’ contemporary lifestyles.
12) Watermark & Company
2121 Lohmans Crossing, Suite 504-325, Lakeway, TX 78734
JC Gallagher, principal, is a military man who got into construction. He successfully transitioned into entrepreneurship, and now lives his passion for design and construction. His fellow principal, Louis Sanchez, is a family man and another Texas native who learned how to build homes in childhood, helping his dad build the family home. Louis earned a degree in Engineering from Texas Tech University. He brings that expertise to all aspects of the construction process, from design and procurement, to scheduling and daily operations.
JC and Louis have produced impressive work, and that work has been repeatedly recognized. Watermark & Company has been awarded the 2017 NARI Contractor Of The Year Award for Basements over $100k. Other recent honors include winning the 2013 NARI CotY Award for Best Room Addition under $100k the 2012 NARI National CotY Award for Best Home Theater & Media Rooms under $150k, and the 2012 NARI Regional CotY Award for Best Home Theater & Media Rooms under $150k.
11) Soledad Builders, Inc
1004 Mo-Pac Circle #201, Austin, Texas 78746
Soledad Builders, Inc has worked with some of the best architects and designers in Austin to complete visually-appealing projects, and the company has completed more than 100. In 2016, the firm earned the NARI Contractor of the Year awards for a Residential Kitchen $100k to $150k and a Residential Exterior over $200k.
The firm also has many impressive associations. Principal Kelly Molak is a Director at Large for Austin NARI, and the marketing director for CBUSA (Custom Builders USA) Austin. Soledad Builders, LLC gives back to the Austin and surrounding community by supporting local schools, youth sports teams, and organizations like Community First! Village, the Hill Country Conservancy, and David’s Legacy. Soledad’s co-builder, Marc, is a native of Texas, and has been building since 1989. He has a degree in construction management from UTSA. Kelly’s experience in residential land development, vertical construction, commercial finish-out and building materials, adds to the depth of her experience.
10) Corias Homes
11701 FM-2244 (8,403.68 mi), Austin, Texas 78738
Corias Homes, a veteran luxury home builder and remodeler with four decades of experience, produces projects that look like palaces. This female-owned, environmentally-friendly firm is unique in every way.
Corias won several Star Awards in 2013 for Best New Custom Home, Best Kitchen for a home $3-4 million, Best Master Bathroom for a home over $2 million, and Best Specialty Room for a home $2-3.5, million. The company also won Max Awards in 2010, including Best Kitchen Remodel Under $25k Winner, and the Best Whole-House Remodel under $150k Silver Award. The firm was a Parade of Homes Winner from 2003 to 2006, and it has been featured in the Austin Biz Journal.
9) Audino Construction
7701 Grovedale Trail, Austin, Texas 78729
The multi-award winning Audino Construction began 36 years ago and has been making waves in the building industry of Austin ever since. According to Remodeling article which featured Audino Construction, the company overcomes stereotypes about award-winning companies being expensive.
And Audino’s track record for winning awards backs that assertion. Some of its more recent awards are the 2010 HBA MAX Silver Award: Best Kitchen Remodel, 2009 TAB Star Award: Best Kitchen over $100k, TAB Star Award: Best Bath over $50k and a HBA MAX Award: Best Master Bath Remodel, also awarded during the same year. It also won many NARI awards in 2008, winning in categories for Residential Kitchen $60k – $100k, Residential Interior Specialty, and Residential Bath over $60k.
8) Avenue B Development
904 West Ave Suite 102, Austin, Texas 78701
Avenue B Development is a young, innovative firm. They’ve been around for just a decade, and their youth has permitted them to explore new approaches to the construction business. The principals, Jeffrey and Katie Bullard, prefer renovating lived-in historical homes over building new residences. Katie told the Statesman that she felt far more comfortable in the historic homes of Virginia than she did in the impressive new builds of Houston. Jeffrey is the prime contractor; Katie is the principal designer. Jeffrey has served as Chairman of the Board of Austin NARI and as its President.
Avenue B Development has collected numerous Austin NARI Contractor of the Year Awards (Best Historic Renovation, Best Addition, Best Kitchen) in 2016. It also won the NARI COTY Award for Historic Renovation. The year before, in 2015, Avenue B also won an Austin NARI COTY Award for Historic Renovation. They were also a National Winner for the Chrysalis Award, and a NARI Regional COTY Award for Historic Renovation. The firm also appeared in many media publications, including a feature in Curbed Austin.
7) Katz Builders Inc
7901 Southwest Pkwy, #12 Austin, TX
One of the veteran remodelers in Austin at 34 years old, Katz Builders has repeatedly proved their building prowess. They’ve won the Builder & Remodeler of the Year from the Texas Association of Builders, the Distinguished Excellence Award from the Home Builders Association, and the Pacesetter Customer Service Award from the National Association of Home Builders. The firm is also a Certified Graduate Master Builder and an Aging in Place Specialist.
Principal Joel Katz is actually a Certified Public Accountant, a skill he has used to take care of the firm’s finances. He also made history in Austin as the first custom home builder to be certified as “Graduate Master Builder” by the National Association of Home Builders.
His other individual recognitions include being “2005 J.B. Sandlin Builder of the Year,” as presented by the Texas Association of Builders for great service and leadership contribution to the building industry at the local, state, and national levels. Yet another accolade: the “2002 Turnquist – Tungedhat Award,” given by Austin Habitat for Humanity for Board commitment beyond the scope of responsibility. He is also the current Senior Life Director for the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
6) Twelve Stones Designs, LLC
5114 Balcones Wood Dr. Ste 307-289, Austin, TX 78759
An award-winning firm, Twelve Stones Designs specializes in kitchens and baths. It contracts with design-build firms and homeowners, provides superior custom kitchen and bathroom designs, and their material selection for both remodels and new construction projects is fantastic.
Founder Christy Bowen created Twelve Stones Designs in the fall of 2009, using her technical skills, creative talents, and design expertise to form partnerships with some of Austin’s top design and build firms. Christy’s work has been featured in a veritable laundry list of trade publications, including Austin/San Antonio’s Urban Home Magazine, Professional Remodeler, MODERN Builder & Design, Kitchen & Bath Design News, Symmetry Magazine, and Design+Build Trifecta. The firm has knowledge and experience to share on topics like the evolution of transitional design as well as what went into a remarkable house remodel.
Twelve Stones Designs has great relationships with other firms. They collaborated with another builder in this list, Realty Restoration, LLC (#3 on this list) on the project that garnered an award and was featured in the media. The project was featured in Austin NARI’s 13th Annual Tour of Remodeled Homes and won the coveted “People’s Choice” Award at the Austin NARI Evening of Excellence in November of 2015 along with several local and regional NARI Contractor of the Year awards. Austin Magazine’s Urban Home featured this impressive project in their issue that month. It won the prestigious Austin NARI Tour of Remodeled Homes 13th Annual Judges’ Choice Award at the Austin NARI Evening of Excellence in November 2015.
5) CG & S Design-Build
402 Corral Lane, Austin TX 78745
A 61-year-old firm, CG&S Design-Build has a long track record and is one of Austin’s top remodelers. The firm has been named the NARI 2013 Region 5 South Central Contractor of the Year for residential projects completed in Austin, Texas. The firm also took home the 2016 Award Addition under $250k, and it was the 2014 National Winner of the Best Kitchen Remodel, and the Best Whole House Remodel, among others. It has also been featured by websites like PR News Wire, Custom Home Online, Statesman.com, and Architect Magazine.
CG&S is now led by Dolores Guerrero-David, its President. Original owners Clarence and Stella sold it to their children in the 90s, and Billy Guerrero became President and Head of Sales, while Dolores became General Manager. Her husband Stewart Davis joined the team as architect in 1994 and set up CG&S’ design studio. Stewart’s role was more technical at the start, but that changed as the firm’s projects began to require more deliberate design. The company then moved towards the design-build process as the best way to complete its projects. It was then re-branded into CG&S Design-Build. Billy stepped down from CG&S in summer 2018 after more than 40 years of service, and passed the majority ownership to Dolores.
4) RRS Design + Build, LLC
1921 Lohmans Crossing Rd, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78756
RRS Design + Build, LLC took flight in Austin when Randy, the son of a prominent builder from Tyler, Texas moved back to Central Texas from the San Francisco Bay area. Randy has made his livelihood in the building industry over the past 25 years, performing nearly every construction task required on a project. His experience completing high end remodels in the San Francisco Bay area fuels Randy’s expectations for high quality work and unique design applications.
In the last several years since RRS Design + Build relocated to Austin, it has collected many impressive remodeling awards. Some of its most recent and notable awards include winning the National Association of Home Builders Best In American Living Award for Best Remodeled Project under $250K, Best Remodeled Addition and Best Kitchen Remodel at the 2018 Texas Association of Builders Star Awards. It also won Best Remodeled Addition over $250k at the 2018 NARI National-Regional category, and the Best Whole Home Remodel 250K-500K in the 2017 Texas Association of Builders Star Awards.
3) Realty Restoration, LLC
P.O. Box 10001 Austin, TX 78766
Realty Restoration has been featured in Modern Builder & Design Magazine. According to them, if “there is a challenging restoration project in the Austin, Texas area that might scare off contractors,” this firm will tackle that difficult project head on. With three decades of experience, principal David Davison has the skills required to shape and breathe life into these complex projects. He served as 2011 President for the Austin Chapter of NARI, and he was the Board of Directors Liaison for the 2010 Tour of Remodeled Homes which highlighted one of Realty Restorations premier projects.
The firm has a long list of construction distinctions and awards, including a number as the National NARI Contractor of the Year. There was the CoTY Residential Bath Remodel $50k to $75k / Farhills (Master Bath), the 2016 CotY Residential Bath Remodel Under $25k / Farhills (Powder Bath). There were also Regional NARI Contractor of the Year Awards like the 2016 CotY Residential Bath $50k to $75k / Farhills Dr. (Master Bath), the 2016 CotY Residential Bath Under $25k / Farhills Dr. (Powder Bath), the 2016 CotY Residential Entire House over $1 million / Two Coves Dr., and the 2016 CotY Residential Kitchen $100k to $150k. There was also the 2016 CotY Residential Bath $75k to $100k.
The firm’s projects have appeared in Qualified Remodeler and Symmetry Magazine. The former has described one of Realty’s kitchen projects as flowing “so seamlessly with the rest of the home one would never guess the complex design considerations and craftsmanship that went into it.”
2) Risher Martin
4524 Burnet Road, Austin, Texas 78756
Risher Martin is one of Austin’s best remodelers. The firm has put together beautiful, luxurious remodels that cater to clients’ needs. Some of Risher Martin’s recent awards include the 2018 and 2017 Texas Custom Builder of the Year, the 2016 Fred Case Remodeling Entrepreneur of the Year, the 2015 and 2012 Austin Custom Builder of the Year. They’ve also been named on the 2015 Top 500 Remodelers List.
Principals Chris Risher and Jeremy Martin have both the experience and the education necessary to be competitive in this business. Chris has a degree from The University of Texas. After graduating, he went into home building. Chris has gone from managing on-site construction of hundreds of homes, to planning large scale master planned communities. He now focuses on his love for old houses and fine craftsmanship. He is a former president of NARI and a former board member of the Real Estate Council of Austin.
1) David Wilkes Builders
50 Bee Caves Road, Suite 4B, Austin, TX 78746
David Wilkes Builders locates its identity as a firm in its bespoke creations, which ensure that each project is personalized, not something created in an assembly line. You can see this care in their finished projects. Their beautiful portfolio includes luxurious living rooms done in the Mediterranean style, but extends to modern, elegant kitchens, and corridors done in the client’s colorful, eclectic style, as seen below.
Builder David Wilkes tops our Austin list, due to the number and quality of the awards his firm has accumulated. The multi-awarded builder has received the 2015 Texas Association of Builders Remodeler of the Year award (for the second time), the 2015 Home Builders Association (HBA) Remodeler of the Year, the 2014 Regional Contractor of the Year (COTY) Residential Kitchen; under $40k, and the 2014 NARI Regional COTY Residential Addition; $100k – $250k, among others.
Since its founding in 2009, the firm has been profiled in dozens of publications. In 2015 alone it was featured in Southern Living, Home World Design, BILD, Texas Home Builder, Custom Builder, and Austin Home.
Principal David Wilkes has a rich background in construction, and he has been practicing for 25 years. He is a graduate of Wolverhampton University’s School of Engineering and the Built Environment, one of the United Kingdom’s most prestigious building programs. Catherine Wilkes, who handles administrative operations, has been in the remodeling business since childhood. She also holds an MBA and is LEED AP certified. She earned those LEED AP credentials to support Austin’s growing demand for environmentally friendly builds. Wilkes loves traditional styles of building, and has found ways to invigorate them with the latest in contemporary techniques.
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