The Hawkeye State is one of the safest places to live in America. It has low taxes, low utility rates, and a diversified economy that fends off the dramatic highs and lows of state economies more dependent on one or two industries. Rich Iowa corn fields were iconic even before the classic film Field of Dreams photographed them so beautifully. And while Iowa is technically landlocked, people outside of Iowa often forget that Chicago–as well as Indiana’s Lake Michigan south shore–is only a day’s journey away. Who wouldn’t want to live here?
Homes in Iowa reflect the tastes of this center of Americana: they are elegantly simple, charmingly quaint. Their styles are Colonial, French, and Traditional, and reflect the area’s deep roots in farming. One interesting aspect of the list below to note is the way in which several of the best contracting businesses responded to the Great Flood of 1993. Many of these firms found a new vocation rescuing homes damaged by that dramatic disaster.
You’ll feel at home in Iowa, and these fifteen general contractors can help you feel even more so: many retain an empathy inspired by the 1993 flood. These are the best builders in this most American of states.
14) Oakwood Builders Group
1500 Illinois Street, Des Moines, IA, 50314
Dan Schaefer is a second generation builder; Brett Bunkers holds an art degree and came from a family of businessmen and designers. These two childhood friends came together in 1995 and founded Oakwood Builders Group.
Today they tackle a variety of projects: they do modern takes on farmhouses and raches, and they work on custom home builds as well as whole home renovations. They also specialize in adding elegance to contemporary spaces by introducing traditional themes.
13) Ehrecke Construction Inc.
1021 North Pine Street Davenport, IA 52804
In 1980, in his spare time, Frank Ehrecke began remodeling homes in the Quad Cities area; it was a hobby he enjoyed, and it brought in some spare cash. Fast-forward to 2001: Frank’s son, Joe, finally made it formal and founded Ehrecke Construction, as the pastime had turned into a full-time family business. Now, this father and son pair handle everything from the whole house remodels to single bathroom renovations, with an experienced team of builders behind them.
For their long service to the area, the Quad Cities Home Builders Association and Remodelers Council recognized Frank’s excellent work – and the company he founded – with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
12) MD Eggers
1924 Fuller Rd West Des Moines, IA 50265
MD Eggers is known for award-winning historical restorations; they have over thirty years of experience executing them. A family-owned business based in West Des Moines, the firm’s services include custom home building, custom cabinetry, and personalized home furnishings. They pride themselves on their keen eye for detail and the intricate handiwork they produce is manifest in previous projects. One of their most notable works – the house pictured below – was the Bergian Mansion, the MD Eggers’ largest project to date. This home took their team over two years to complete: the number of custom-made and one-of-a-kind pieces was well into the thousands.
The house was 135 years old; the entire trim along the roof line had to be taken out and replaced with new versions of the exact pieces. They also had to boil and press over 5,000 shingles to recreate – and then match – the building’s original curves. Also, note the painstaking attention paid to the rich cedar siding and the building’s striking gables.
11) Cherry Ridge Construction
1425 9th Ave. Council Bluffs, IA 51501
Headquartered in Council Bluffs, Cherry Ridge Construction services the entire Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area together with the neighborhoods surrounding it. They specialize in residential and commercial custom building and remodeling. For their residential work, they have remodeled numerous kitchens and bathrooms, finished basements, performed home additions, and engendered man caves. The firm’s services include custom cabinetry, backsplash work, and custom countertops. Their homes can often be recognized by the firm’s signature woodwork.
The company is led by Chris Rochleau, a Certified Graduate Builder and Certified Graduate Remodeler. Chris is also a Certified Green Professional, and – through a partnership with Energy Star – the firm ensures that the homes they build are equipped with high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, insulation, and excellently filled air gaps.
10) Crown Point Builder
700 W US HWY 18 Garner, IA, 50438
Crown Point Builders was established in 1997 by husband-and-wife duo Paul and Lynne Breister. Together, they have built and remodeled over a hundred homes throughout North Iowa. Each project receives the benefit of the Breisters’ experience. With a masters degree in structural engineering, Paul brings over 30 years of building experience to the table; Lynne offers her extensive background in design.
A proud recipient of Remodeling Magazine’s Big50 Award, the firm has a fine eye for constructing traditional-style, colonial-style, and shingle-style homes. They have worked on remodeling multiple rooms, but work best with kitchen and bathroom renovations. To further supplement and expand their kitchen and bath work they formed a partnership with North Iowa Kitchens; together they have remodeled 150 kitchens and bathrooms.
9) Ramsey Creek Woodworks
1050 Hwy 1 Kalona, IA 52247
Known for their exquisite and intricate custom woodwork and cabinetry, Ramsey Creek Woodworks specializes in bringing to life elaborate Tuscan, Mediterranean, and French designs. From kitchens and bathrooms to luxurious libraries and unique spaces, the firm provides whole house remodeling services in addition to their new home construction work. They have also successfully delved into some commercial remodeling projects; they were recently recognized with a Chrysalis Award.
The firm offers a wide array of options when it comes to materials. From local to exotic wood choices, their design team assists each client when choosing the items that will make their new home. The team also showcases an excellent command of handicraft when it comes to smaller projects such as custom trim, moldings, and bookshelves.
8) Remodeling Contractors
PO Box 235 Johnston, IA 50131
Remodeling Contractors is a full-service remodeling and restoration firm with three decades of experience. Located in Johnston, the firm provides services throughout the greater Des Moines metropolitan area and its surrounding neighborhoods. They have worked on an extensive number of projects including kitchen and bathroom remodeling, basement finishes, home additions, theater rooms, and even do some home maintenance work. The company is led by Rollie Clarkson, an experienced builder and a key figure in the establishment of the Remodelers Council of Greater Des Moines. Clarkson is also a Certified Graduate Remodeler.
The firm often works with colonial and traditional themes. Their projects are often highlighted by their custom-made cabinetry, rich woodwork, and finely-crafted window panes, as you can see in some of their four-season-room addition work. For all of these excellent projects, they have been twice recognized by the Remodelers Council with a Remodeler of the Year award.
7) Unique Homes Iowa
4503 NE 50th St #200 Des Moines, IA 50317
Unique Homes is an award-winning, premier builder based in Central Iowa. With a service area extending throughout the Des Moines area, the firm is a family-owned business known for their grand, luxurious designs. From rich, warm interiors to elegant walls of glass to extravagant staircases, the firm specializes in Mediterranean, Tuscan, and French styles. They have worked on large properties, townhouses, and relatively small homes all without compromising the quality of their craftsmanship. Their excellent command of European architectural styles has brought them several awards. Last year, they were awarded the Best in Craftsmanship Award during the Home Builders Association’s (HBA) annual HomeShowExpo.
Established in 1991, the firm has also built sprawling ranch homes, quaint villas, and laidback shingle-style homes, all with a touch of contemporary style. They have also completed custom spaces such as home theaters, game rooms, and entertainment bars.
6) Kaufman Construction Design and Build
1848 Fuller Road, Suite 1 West Des Moines, IA 50265
Founded and led by Devan Kaufman, a Certified Graduate Remodeler, Kaufman Construction Design and Build specializes in remodeling kitchens, master suites, bathrooms, porches, exteriors, and basement finishes. They have taken on multiple whole house renovation projects throughout the Greater Des Moines area. Their excellent work led to a Big50 Award. From updated kitchens to extravagant living spaces, the firm boasts a portfolio filled with contemporary rooms and modern takes on classic themes. Take, for example, the exposed beams and long windows below: an elegant fusion of the traditional Tudor and Lodge styles.
To further supplement their remodeling and construction work, the firm established a division solely devoted to handyman services in 2004: KC Handyman. The division caters to smaller projects that require skill and craftsmanship but do not demand the same amount of attention and manpower that come with a whole house renovation.
5) Magee Construction Company
1705 Waterloo Rd Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Magee Construction Company is a full service design-build firm based in Cedar Falls and its surrounding communities. Magee specializes in whole house remodeling but is best known for their restorations. Magee is responsible for the reconstruction of some of the largest properties lost to fire and water damage in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area. Because of these efforts, they have been hailed throughout the years by the local Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier as the “Best of the Best.” They have also been honored with a Master Design Award from Qualified Remodeler for their superb craftsmanship.
The firm’s portfolio displays beautifully restored homes and spaces which employ a rich selection of themes, including Mediterranean, contemporary, colonial, and ranch styles.
4) AIM Kitchen & Bath
2624 Beaver Avenue Des Moines, IA 50310
AIM Kitchen and Bath prides itself on their traditional, classic, and Colonial spaces which have been featured by several publications. These include Signature Kitchens & Baths, Welcome Home Des Moines, and BUILD Des Moines. With in-house installers and master plumbers on their payroll, AIM focuses on residential kitchen and bathroom remodeling. They provide service throughout Central Iowa and have three decades in the business. They also run a multipurpose showroom located in Beaverdale where clients can see the wide array of high-quality options they have from fine custom cabinetry to flooring.
A member of the national SEN Design Group and the HBA of Greater Des Moines, AIM’s extensive showroom also features their signature granite and quartz countertops.
3910 SE Capitol Circle Grimes, IA 50111
Led by Scott Cierzan, Firstcall has been providing services to the Des Moines area since 1989. Initially, the firm focused on new home construction and only operated a small remodeling and renovation division. Then a disastrous flood hit the area in 1993. Firstcall responded to the needs of the community, expanding their renovation division so that it could meet the new demand created by the calamity.
Ultimately they decided that this was not just a short-term change; they realigned their focus altogether; they now specialize in remodeling and renovation work. Their disaster restoration projects have earned them quite the reputation: Firstcall has been recognized three times as Remodeler of the Year by the HBA of Greater Des Moines. They have also have had the honor of being a part of Qualified Remodeler Magazine’s annual Top 500 remodelers list on several occasions and been awarded Remodeling Magazine’s prestigious Big50 Award.
2) K and V Homes
2105 SE 37th Street, Suite D Grimes, IA 50111
With over 21 years in the industry, K and V Homes was the brainchild of Colin King and Dean Vogel, two high school classmates who first worked as framers. They constructed homes for other firms until they finally decided to set up shop on their own. Together, they have 50 years of experience in residential construction. The two now lead an award-winning firm. Both are Graduate Master Builders, and they have been recognized by several award-giving bodies throughout their years in the industry.
They most recently won multiple distinctions at the annual HomeShowExpo; they took home the Best of Show, Best Craftsmanship, Best Kitchen, and Best Master Suite awards. The firm’s work has also been featured by several publications. They were on the cover of Builder/Architect, and their more recent magazine features include BUILD Des Moines, Welcome Home Des Moines, and dsm. With an extensive range of services from whole house remodeling down to special four-season room remodeling, the firm specializes in transitional, Colonial, contemporary, and Lodge styles.
1) Silent Rivers Design+Build
9205 Swanson Blvd Clive, IA 50325
Silent Rivers Design Build is an award-winning firm led by Chaden Halfhill, an artist with a nationally-recognized portfolio featuring exquisite sculptures, designs, and photography. He established the company in 1993 after coming across like-minded artisans who shared his love for building and art. They would work on remodeling projects during the day; at night they focused on art. Eventually, as their team grew, they incorporated these two aspects of their lives. Their first projects mostly involved outdoor spaces. Later on, they learned how to bridge the connections between outdoor and interior environments, completing organic house remodels.
With a portfolio showcasing an array of modern farmhouses, luxurious mid-century homes, and extravagant contemporary spaces, the firm has had the honor of winning a Chrysalis Award and graced the pages of Professional Remodeler and Qualified Remodeler. They are also the proud recipient of numerous Contractor of The Year Awards. In addition to the elegance that comes with their designs, they also ensure that each project they take on follows a sustainable framework. To further these efforts in green building and energy efficiency, Halfhill co-founded the Center on Sustainable Communities.
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This list takes a range of ranking criteria into consideration, including but not limited to: work history, customer satisfaction, awards and recognition, geographic area of work, cost, building permits, and clientele. We spent over 40 hours researching local contractors before calculating the final ranking for this post. If there is additional information about your business that could affect these rankings, please fill out this form and we will take it into consideration
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