With 11,000 inland lakes and three of the five Great Lakes, Michigan’s homes are often beach houses and lake homes. Many residents call these their permanent residences, while some are second homes and vacation homes. While half of Michigan homes take on the Craftsman, Ranch, and Rambler styles, Colonial-style homes are also popular. In some neighborhoods, such as Gaylord, Swiss-style chalets are the top choice, distinguished by a lodge feel brought by natural wood with decorative detail.
Whether you are a Michigan native or a frequent visitor with a desire for your own summer home by the lake, a renovation or remodel is a possibility. This list features the top general contractors in the state, all of which can help you update and upgrade your home. This list features 15 general contractors offering a variety of services ranging from design-build, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, and basement build-outs to aging-in-place modifications. These contractors were selected by our team using a comprehensive set of criteria that includes awards, press, versatility in styles and services, number of projects, and overall good standing in the community.
15) Matthew G. Strickfaden and Associates, Inc.
Website | 248-550-5520 | 34665 Brittany Dr., Farmington Hills, MI 48335
Matthew G. Strickfaden and Associates is known for its contemporary and neoclassical Michigan homes. Established in 1983, the company builds and renovates upscale homes in Birmingham, Farmington, Franklin, Northville, and Orchard Lake. Its custom homes have been recognized with Home of the Year and Best Overall Home Awards by Hour Detroit. It also earned an M Award from the Masonry Institute of Michigan and is the sole firm to feature two homes on the American Institute of Architects’ Homes on the Lake Tour.
The firm takes customization to a new level with each home detail. From customized mailboxes and fireplaces to exercise rooms and wine cellars, the firm can take a plain feature or room and remodel it to suit any taste and lifestyle. Its luxurious homes feature diverse rooms such as garages converted into exotic showcases with car lifts and car turners, contemporary glass houses with statement architecture, and sunrooms meant to be enjoyed all year round.
14) Thompson Remodeling
Website | 616-942-1866 | 4820 Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Thompson Remodeling is a design-build residential remodeling firm that has been serving Grand Rapids for 38 years. Its origins can be traced to Pat and Sandie Thompson, who founded the firm in 1980. Their son, Ben Thompson, continues the couple’s legacy of excellent customer service and custom projects that exceed every client’s expectations.
Over the years, the firm’s kitchens, bathrooms, and historic renovations have earned awards from various leading organizations in the remodeling industry. Included in its list of accolades is a Qualified Remodeler Master Design Award for a family mudroom, a 2016 Professional Remodeler Design Gold Award for an innovative kitchen, and a 2016 Regional Contractor of the Year (COTY) Award from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) for a bathroom remodel. It is also a GuildQuality Guildmaster, an award that means it has maintained a client recommendation rate of 90% or greater.
This NARI-awarded sophisticated bathroom renovation features timeless details in an enlarged space. The once-cramped bathroom is now fit to be part of the grand master suite. Classic and modern aesthetics were combined through a smart selection of finishes and materials. Marble sinks top the double vanity, while a modern tub and an oversized shower give plenty of room for owners to enjoy a relaxing bath.
13) DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen
Website | 734-669-4000 | 2333 E Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen is one of the most accomplished contractors in this list. Within its ten years in business, it has completed over 750 remodeling projects within the Ann Arbor area and beyond. The kitchen and bath remodeler has also proved its high level of expertise in design, remodeling, and construction through three Chrysalis Awards and a regional COTY Award. Additionally, it has ranked among national lists, such as Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500 and Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50.
The firm is led by Lee Willwerth. His impressive career spans various industries, from automotive to software development and consulting to construction and remodeling. He oversees a full staff of designers and carpenters and also handles some projects himself. The firm does kitchen and bathroom remodeling, basements, laundry rooms, home offices, and other residential systems like stairs and closets.
One of the firm’s Chrysalis award-winning projects was designed by Willwerth himself. This artistic kitchen remodel involved removing an entire wall to open up the space. With quirky colored cabinets, clean modern lines, and exposed brick, the kitchen easily gives off an art gallery vibe combined with the look of a city loft.
12) Kopke Remodeling & Design
Website | 833-695-6753 | 38200 Van Dyke Ave., Sterling Heights, MI 48312
Clients of Kopke Remodeling & Design benefit from four generations of building and business expertise paired with a technology-heavy design-build process. Current president David Kopke continued his forefathers’ entrepreneurial streak with this residential remodeling company. It offers an efficient design-build process that leverages the latest 3D design and virtual walk-through programs with cloud-based communication systems. Thanks to this practical but effective combination, the firm has ranked in Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500 from 2013 to 2015 and was part of Professional Remodeler’s Top Remodelers in America in 2014.
Since 1993, the firm has been serving Southeast Michigan with a vast set of remodeling services, from kitchen and bathroom remodeling to additions, basements, and sunrooms. 40% of the firm’s business comes from repeat customers—a testament to its values of mutual respect and trustworthiness with clients. From barrier-free bathrooms to a 1920s historic remodel, the firm is well-versed in all facets of remodeling thanks to its multi-talented team. Here, the firm transformed a Bloomfield home’s unused sunroom into a stylish pool house. It features a state-of-the-art bathroom, a convenient laundry room, and a beachy aesthetic throughout.
11) Sterling Development Corporation
Website | 248-203-2036 | 2204 Packard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104.
Sterling Development Corporation is a custom home builder and residential renovator that uses the latest innovations in the building industry to provide safer and more energy-efficient homes Michigan residents. From state-of-the-art insulation and structural roof to wall systems and home automation, the firm maximizes technology to its advantage and to the client’s. Other services of the firm include consulting, site planning, structural & architectural drawings, construction management, interior design, and maintenance/service. The Ann Arbor-based firm has served the Birmingham/Bloomfield area and surrounding cities and towns of Oakland County since 1993. It is headed by Todd Emerson, a graduate of Oakland University.
The firm’s collaboration with AMW Design Studio in this historic renovation project earned 1st Place in Detroit Home’s 2018 Design Awards. The 12-month renovation added 950 square feet to the back of the home on both levels. In the end, the 1950s Colonial was brought back to its original glory. Its roofline remained untouched, but the ceiling has been accentuated by tall architectural elements and crisp white walls.
10) MAC Custom Homes
Website | 231-935-4609 | 3434 Veterans Dr., Traverse City, MI 49684
Known for its refined cottages and lake houses in the greater Grand Traverse areas, MAC Custom Homes demonstrates precision and meticulous craftsmanship in each of its custom home and renovation projects. Founded by lifetime builder Mike Collings in 1995, the firm continues to flourish under current owner Joe Colegrove and his team of carpenters and designers. The company often partners with local firms and subcontractors to bring that signature Michigan look to every home.
The firm has received notable features in various media outlets. Local magazines, including Michigan Blue: Cottage Issue, Luxury Home, and Michigan Home Resource Guide have featured its tailored homes. It has also appeared on HGTV Online, and its authentic 1900s cottage on Leelanau Peninsula was immortalized in the award-winning Michigan Notable Book Historic Cottages of Glen Lake.
The company’s Craftsman, ranch, and colonial homes are often found along the shores of the state’s biggest lakes including Michigan Lake. This 1960s West Bay ranch home was updated with a wide open layout. The blue and aquamarine palette mirrors the surrounding water of the beach house and the homeowner’s love of beach glass.
9) MJ Whelan Construction
Website | 248-684-4649 | 620 North Milford Rd., Milford, MI 48381
For over 29 years, Michigan residents have entrusted their remodeling needs to MJ Whelan Construction—a general contractor and home builder based in Milford. With a diverse clientele of referrals and repeat customers, the firm has earned the title of Best Builder for nine years in a row in the Huron Valley People’s Choice Awards. Its custom homes, renovations, and additions have also won Detroit Home Design Awards in various categories such as Sustainable Design, Architecture, Home Theater, and Historic Renovation.
The firm specializes in rustic styles, with an emphasis on craftsman details, but also provides French, contemporary, and coastal styles. It also favors architectural details to enhance a home’s overall aesthetic. An example of this is this exquisite old world-inspired bar made of massive timber beams. 100-year-old reclaimed barn wood salvaged from the iconic Milford Shutter Shop also joins the massive bar structure in the award-winning basement renovation. A custom door with wrought iron details and glass pendant lighting with vintage Edison bulbs complete the vintage saloon look.
8) La Marco Homes
Website | 248-251-2371 | 777 S Eton St., Birmingham, MI 48009
Greg La Marco founded La Marco Homes in 2012 with the goal of bringing European design and American amenities in high-quality and durable luxury homes. His strong background in both business and home building proves to be a strong advantage for the firm that caters to selective clientele in the Bloomfield and Birmingham area. His business acumen stems from a double major in Accounting and Finance from Miami University and a Masters in Finance from the prestigious London Business School. He is a former developer in London, so much of the firm’s work is influenced by European design.
The 45-strong team of La Marco accomplishes its work in significantly less time than is normal for most homes in the high-end market. It also prioritizes designing a custom home or remodel based on the surrounding area and location. One of its bespoke homes earned 1st Place in the 2017 Detroit Home Design Awards and a Gold in the 2016 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Best in American Living Awards.
The firm specializes in luxury basement finishing. As a design-build firm, it offers turnkey solutions in remodeling, from design and contracting to interior design and full build-out. It even helps the client select finishes and hardware that would best complement a space. This example of a lower level project in Bloomfield features a walkout living area, stone fireplace, and a lush oak-beamed bar and wine room.
7) Alpha Design + Build
Website | 734-769-1900 | Suite 100, 6921 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103
For 30 years, Alpha Design + Build has built a reputation for exacting design and workmanship in remodeling. A member of the Remodeling Magazine Big 50 and Top 500 as well as Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500, it has proven its place as one of Michigan’s premier remodelers. It does kitchen and bathroom remodeling, basement finishes, and custom additions throughout Washtenaw County.
The firm boasts an expert and accomplished team equipped with NAHB certifications such as Graduate Master Builder, Certified Graduate Remodeler, Certified Restorer, and Certified Aging in Place Specialist. With these credentials, the firm assures that they can handle any type of remodeling and renovation for any lifestyle choice. The team is headed by founder and home building industry leader Allan Lutes. He currently serves as a National Director for the NAHB. He has also held high positions in the Michigan Association of Home Builders, HBA of Washtenaw County, and the Washtenaw Remodeler’s Council.
The unique tiling in this contemporary bathroom, inspired by the client’s collection of sea glass found on beach vacations, was one of the most challenging parts of the project. The firm rose to the occasion and managed to work the multiple colors, different thicknesses, and varying sizes into an elegant tile cascade. In the end, the project won a Qualified Remodeler Magazine Master Design Award.
6) Mike Schaap Builders, Inc.
Website | 616-399-9925 | 12969 Greenly St., Holland, MI 49424
Mike Schaap Builders is known for its distinct homes made with a balance of old-world craftsmanship and interesting architectural design. The firm is a custom home builder and renovator of estates and manors in lakeshore areas such as Macatawa, Holland, Douglas, Kalamazoo, and Portage. It is an esteemed member of the NAHB Premier Builders Group, a multiple Best in American Living Awardee, AIA Awardee, and annual Parade of Homes winner. It also has over 20 cover stories in Detroit Home, Cosmopolitan Home Grand Rapids, Great Lakes Design, and Professional Builder Magazine.
Aside from stunning custom homes, the firm is also exceptional in historic renovations, additions, and kitchen remodeling. It has won 2nd Place for Historic Renovation/Restoration in the 2016 Detroit Home Design Awards and a Silver Award for Residential Specialty Category in the 2015 Professional Remodeler Design Awards. Its experience in by-the-shore and historic home building gives it an edge in renovations involving water and storm damage and other weather-related issues.
The firm’s attention to detail is hard to beat in its award-winning homes. In this luxurious kitchen remodel, the most notable design component is the extensive use of reclaimed wood. Hand hewn and rough sawn wood sourced from two different Indiana barns bring depth and texture to the space. Oak flooring from a tobacco barn showcases a vibrant color unique to the process of drying tobacco. Concrete countertops and bronze hardware keep the overall rustic design dynamic.
5) Meadowlark Builders
Website | 734-332-1500 | 3250 W Liberty Rd., Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Meadowlark Builders is a general contractor that effectively combines new age technology with classic architecture and craftsmanship. This combination is embodied by its founders: building science expert Doug Selby and master cabinet maker Kirk Brandon. The two joined forces in 2004 to establish the company. Prior to that, they collaborated in a woodworking company in the mid-90s, honing their appreciation for fine details, age-old techniques, and the art of remodeling. Today, the firm continues to develop its method by incorporating new building innovations and technology without losing its focus on special details. Its custom homes and renovations are filled with woodwork and cabinetry from its own custom woodshop along with green building provisions and amenities.
These moves in towards progressive building have earned the firm awards in the local and national remodeling industry. Some of these include USGBC LEED Certifications; Chrysalis Awards for green remodeling and homes renovations; Qualified Remodeler Master Design Awards; and Professional Remodeler Design Awards. The firm has even collaborated with celebrity Kristen Bell for a basement remodel.
This two-story addition made in collaboration with PLY Architecture makes this 1970s contemporary Dexter home pop against a lush forest. With floor-to-ceiling windows and an acute angle corner, the modern marvel opens up the home to dramatic views and sightlines. Structural insulated panels make the feature energy-efficient while the custom fireplace with a concrete hearth surround warms the room and returns the air to the furnace via a cold air return. This innovative space won Gold in the 2017 Qualified Remodeler Master Design Awards.
4) Lincorp Borchert
Website | 248-788-4950 | 7108 Winding Brook, Court West Bloomfield, MI 48322
In 1989, Ron Jedwab established Lincorp Construction following an apprenticeship with two home building companies and after working independently as a professional builder. With the success of the company, he acquired the Borchert Building Company in 2014. Lincorp’s design-remodel process and Borchert’s kitchen and bath expertise prove to be a stellar combination. The firm has earned high praise from building industry organizations. It was named Remodeler of the Month in July 2016 by the NAHB and was included in the Big 50 of Remodeling Magazine.
Today, Lincorp Borchert serves Southeast Michigan residents with well-appointed spaces and carefully executed remodels and renovations. Zen bathrooms, chef’s kitchens, and family basements fill this company’s portfolio. It also specializes in Aging-in-Place modifications or renovations. The firm’s team has an in-house Certified-Aging-in-Place-Specialist that can help the client in creating ADA compliant living spaces. Aside from the business, Lincorp Borchert also volunteers its construction services for non-profit organizations like Homes for our Troops and Help for Our Disabled Troops.
An example of the firm’s work is this modernized 90s kitchen. Frameless white cabinetry flanks the walls of the kitchen. Underside lighting illuminates the soft brick tile backsplash. The vibrant red of the large kitchen island creates an interesting focal point for the room.
3) Transitions Remodeling
Website | 248-289-5028 | 27260 Haggerty Rd. Suite A1, Farmington Hills, MI 48331
Award-winning design-build firm Transitions Remodeling offers design-build services, custom cabinetry, and universal design. It brings together an expert team of designers and master craftspeople to improve and modify a client’s home through all of life’s transitions. The firm has ranked in the Remodeling 550 list since 2016 and Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500 since 2017. Another notable aspect of the firm is its 5-year workmanship warranty on remodeling and renovation work — longer than most firms.
The firm’s high standards in building and construction are evident in its founder, team, and network of contractors. The firm’s handpicked team of lead carpenters has over 25 years of experience each. President and CEO Barb Baker is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist. She has served as President of Professional Women in Building for the SE Michigan HBA. A Distinguished New Constructor Awardee, she is also an active member of the Executive Board of the National Association of Women in Construction. The firm’s team has a combined experience of more than 150 years, ensuring precision and accuracy in its well-crafted homes and renovations.
The firm works in Plymouth, Milford, Brighton, Birmingham, Northville, and beyond. While it can work any part of a home, it specializes in kitchens and bathrooms. This bright new open kitchen in Northville flaunts an elongated layout that transitions seamlessly into the living room. Two peninsulas provide additional seating and prep area. Granite countertops, a farmhouse sink, and gorgeous pendant lighting finish the soft and relaxing aesthetic of this kitchen.
2) MainStreet Design Build
Website | 248-644-6330 | 555 S Old Woodward, Birmingham, MI 48009
MainStreet Design Build is a full service, luxury design-build-remodel firm that caters to homeowners in Oakland County. With almost 30 years in the business, the firm continues to do right by owner Steve Ramaekers’s vision of a fruitful collaboration with a client every time a project comes in. Ramaekers had been working in the home remodeling industry for 12 years prior to establishing MainStreet. He is an NAHB Certified Remodeler and is a member and adviser in top peer groups such as the Remodeling Big 50 and Remodelers Advantage. His wife and co-owner Christine Ramaekers is a Certified Kitchen Designer by the National Kitchen and Bath Association.
The firm’s proficiency is displayed through its numerous remodeling projects in Birmingham, Bloomfield, Royal Oak, Pleasant Ridge, Troy and other select areas of metro Detroit. These range from historic renovations and exterior remodeling to kitchen and bathroom redesigns. It has demonstrated masterful restoration in historic treasures such as the Peabody Mansion. Additionally, other works have earned awards such as Detroit Home Design Awards in various categories and a regional design award in the Sub-Zero Wolf Kitchen Design Contest. It has also been seen on the pages of Detroit Home, Cottages and Bungalows, and American Farmhouse Style.
Featured here is the firm’s award-winning kitchen in a 1915 Birmingham home. The luxe space is centered on a gourmet Wolf cooking area. A walk-in pantry is highlighted with opaque glass doors and quartz countertops. While the overall look is sleek and modern, traditional touches like crystal chandeliers and an updated glass version of subway tile ground the design with the rest of the 100-year-old home.
1) Rochman Design Build
Website | 734-761-6936 | 2204 Packard St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Since its establishment in 1989, Rochman Design Build has made itself known for its award-winning innovation, creativity, and professionalism. Gary Rochman, owner and lead designer, was first to introduce Ann Arbor to the design-build concept. He is personally involved in the firm’s projects that are often mid- to large-size residential remodeling and home additions. These promote smooth transitions and establishes the trust between him, the firm, and the client in every construction endeavor.
The firm has a list of accolades that continue to grow every year. It has earned national design awards from Professional Remodeler and Qualified Remodeler. The firm is also a national and regional NARI COTY Awardee. Since 2016, it has been honored with a Guildmaster with Distinction Award for service excellence by GuildQuality. This shows that the firm consistently delivers superior customer care without sacrificing the quality of its construction. For all its achievements, national and local magazines have featured the firm such as Remodeling Magazine, Our House Magazine, Upscale Remodeling, Unwind Magazine, and Ann Arbor News.
One of the firm’s most unique and notable projects is an expanded ranch home. A second-floor addition gave it two bedrooms, a bathroom, a sitting room, and provides a desired front entry. The show-stopping entrance is a light-filled foyer with a soaring ceiling. A crisp bamboo monolithic element acts as a horizontal divider of spaces while rising only halfway to the ceiling above. The new staircase links the vertical spaces while allowing open views to pass through. The one-of-a-kind space won a 2017 NARI COTY Regional Award for Residential Addition.