Philadelphia is eclectic in every way, providing strong, fascinating contrasts in all aspects of life. It’s known as a foodie hub, and that’s due to its sophisticated fine-dining scene, but also because of the reputation of its famous food trucks. One of the oldest American cities, Philadelphia’s history is everywhere to be seen, but against the 300 year old, ivy-covered buildings you will find industrial warehouses covered with murals and mosaics. Philadelphia embraces a range of lifestyles, from cutting-edge artists and working-class natives to the affluent movers and shakers of the Fairmont and Chestnut Hills neighborhoods.
Philadelphia has a rich architectural history as well. Almost 60% of the population of Philadelphia lives in a row house, and many of those homes date back to the colonial era. And if you’re not living in a colonial row house, then you’re almost certainly living in a colonial home. Beautiful brick facades are everywhere, announcing Philadelphia’s roots that predate the founding of the Union.
Like Philadelphia, the firms on this list are eclectic, and have various styles and strengths. We chose firms that have won prestigious awards, and have been featured in local and national magazines. The best firm on this list, fittingly, is one that focuses on the preservation of old buildings and homes, and at the same time has transformed itself into a green builder. Like Philadelphia, it lives simultaneously in the past and the present.
15) Hallmark Remodelers
Website| 215-309-9516 | 2417 Welsh Rd., Philadelphia, PA 19114
Hallmark was founded by Al Portnoy who first started out as an apprentice for a local home remodeling contractor. After learning more about the trade, Portnoy worked as a general contractor and extended his career into building up Hallmark Remodelers.
The firm does home renovations and home improvements in the Greater Philadelphia area. Since its establishment in 1965, the firm has done 1228 bathroom remodels and 2122 kitchen remodels, and the firm held the 55th rank within Qualified Remodeler’s 2007 Top 500 list.
Along with its kitchen, bathroom, and basement remodels, the firm also does small projects like repairs for patio decks, flooring, and siding. These projects usually demand a traditional style but one of the firm’s most notable projects is a craftsman-style kitchen remodel. With an inviting and light color palette, the room is bathed in warm lighting that highlights the fine craftsmanship and natural materials.
14) Bella Brothers Construction
Website| 215-633-0333 | 1872 Hulmeville Road Bensalem, PA 19020
A premier home builder for Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery County, South Jersey, and the surrounding areas, Bella Brothers Construction specializes in residential construction, remodeling and restoration. These services include everything from the basement to the roof. The firm’s projects usually exhibit craftsman and traditional styles.
The firm was included in Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500 list from 2010 to 2017. Though the firm was established in 1995 by Thomas Denicolo, it already has four generations worth of experience helping it provide excellent service, beautiful craftsmanship, and exceptional professionalism. Its most notable project is a kitchen remodel in the craftsman style. Boasting a cool, rustic feel, the kitchen has a darker color palette that mixes well with the modern features and appliances.
13) Kradzinski Remodeling
Website| 215-442-1562 | 1240 Barness Dr., Warminster, PA 18974
25 years ago, Kradzinski Remodeling started as a small, family-run business. The firm focused on kitchen and bathroom projects that used only a limited number of subcontractors and were done one at a time. The firm team still doesn’t throw itself into numerous projects, perferring focus and accuracy to speed and quantity. And the approach has paid off: the firm won the Regional and National Contractor of the Year Awards in 2014 for a residential kitchen built under $40,000. In the next year, the firm claimed its place as Regional Contractor of the Year for building residential kitchens within the $100,000 to $150,000 price bracket.
Founder Dan Kradzinski helped bring in these prestigious awards. In addition to being a certified kitchen and bath remodeler and a master plumber, Kradzinski is also an active member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) which has recognized him multiple times.
12) Osborne Construction
Website| 917-586-2098 | 6351 McCallum St., Philadelphia, PA 19144
Osborne Construction is committed to the adaptive reuse of existing buildings. The firm built a reputation for delivering hand-crafted, highly efficient, commercial spaces in and around Philadelphia and New York. As a firm that builds high-quality homes, Osborne Construction has collaborated with many local architects and builders including Re-Vision Architecture, Brian Johnston Studios, C2 Architecture, Kohl Made, IV/VI Studio and Rohe Creative. In 2017, the firm’s team attended rigorous training sessions and wrote a difficult exam to become a certified as Passive House Builders.
The firm is a member of the Passive House Institute US and was featured in Domino Magazine, Philly Magazine Insider, and Sprudge. Some of its notable projects include a renovation of a mid-century modern Frank Weiss designed residence in Bala Cynwyd. They also performed the the historic restoration to a George Woodward commissioned residence by architect Robert R. McGoodwin in West Mt. Airy.
11) West Chester Design Build
Website| 610-594-2394 | 602 Jeffers Circle, Suite 110, Exton PA, 19341
Serving the Greater Philadelphia suburbs, West Chester Design Build is a US Veteran-owned company established in 2007. It’s an award-winning firm that provides high-quality architectural design, construction, and home renovations. It is a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and was awarded Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50 status in 2014. In addition, NARI has awarded the firm countless Contractor of The Year Awards.
It was founded by Chris Payson who’s known for designing “Common Sense Spaces”. Unlike other architects and firms, West Chester Design Build focuses on spaces that are beautiful, yet practical. Though the firm has won numerous awards for design, Payson always focuses on practicality, and keeps a strict eye on project cost.
10) Bellweather Construction
Website| 215-724-1116 | 4613 Woodland Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19143
Established in 2002, Bellweather Construction is a member of Remodelers Advantage, NARI, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), the Association of Preservation Technologies, the Building Performance Institute, and the National Historic Preservation Trust. The firm also won the 40 under 40 Award from the Professional Remodeler Magazine. The design-build contractor assists clients with a professionally developed design process. A notable recent project is this Italianate twin kitchen featuring contemporary finishes and classic contrast color tones that blend well with the home’s existing architectural style.
Bellweather Construction was founded by Will Giesey. Since 2012, he has been the Chairman of the Gloucester City Historical Commission, and he also holds multiple certifications with the NARI.
9) Performance Kitchens and Homes
Website| 215-482-0700 | 4429 Main St., Manayunk, Philadelphia, PA 19127
Founded in 1974, Performance Kitchens and Homes has a carefully selected team that consists of talented senior kitchen designers, an expert cabinet maker, a creative director, an expediter, and a controller to make sure all aspects of a project are addressed. Before working for this company, one has to complete at least 50 kitchens that fit Performance Kitchens and Homes’s standards and have at least three years experience in product and cabinetry knowledge, and, have a familiarity with all aspects of home remodeling.
The firm’s founder, Brian Forman, personally trained his employees and spent 40 years collaborating with trade experts, and he has completed over 2,000 beautiful kitchen and addition projects. The firm is a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). It also earned the Crystal Cabinetry Design Award and was also included in the 2016 and 2017 Best of Philadelphia Happening list.
8) Janiczek Homes
Website| 484-580-8104 | P.O. Box 416, Wayne, PA 19087
An award-winning home builder, Janiczek Homes designs custom homes for the most discerning clients in Philadelphia. In the years after its establishment in 1984, Janiczek Homes developed close working relationships with a number of preferred subcontractors, suppliers, and service providers. It is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Delaware Valley Green Building Council (DVGBC), and the Greater Philadelphia Passive House Association. In 1999, the NAHB awarded the firm with numerous Pyramid, Pinnacle, and Judges awards, from the area’s “Best Residential Innovation” to “Best Custom Homes.” Supporting its awards, it was also featured in MainLine Today three times.
The firm’s founder and president, Mark Janiczek, was known for his attention to detail and had a reputation for making fine homes. An associate member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Janiczek was awarded multiple Pinnacle and Pyramid awards for his extraordinary residential projects. In 2003, he was named “One of the people to watch under 40” by Main Line Life. He is still active in the DVGBC and he is also the consultant site designer for the Finca Las Brisas sustainable development project in Costa Rica.
7) Myers Constructs, Inc.
Website| 215-438-6696 | PO Box 27490, Philadelphia, PA 19118
The team of Myers Constructs, Inc. identify themselves as members of a larger community of artisans and think of themselves as ‘makers’ and culture junkies. Their passion shows: Myers Constructs, Inc. won NARI’s Contractor of the Year awards from 2016 to 2018 and was named Best of Philly in 2015. It is a member of NARI, the NKBA, and has an EPA Lead RRP Certification. It was also featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer five times, and in the Philadelphia Row Home Magazine and Remodeling Magazine.
Established in 1997, Myers Constructs, Inc. was founded by Tamara Myers and Diane Menke who worked as sole proprietors in the carpentry and faux finishing trades respectively. The beach houses or cottages that they build usually carry traditional, modern, or old-world styles.
6) J. Schwartz
Website| 610-644-6700 | 7 East King St., Malvern, PA 19355
A national award-winning remodeling and home improvement contractor, and a fine home builder, J. Schwartz is a member of NARI, the Home Builders Association (HBA), and the NKBA. It is also an Energy Star partner and an EPA certified renovator. In addition to its many accreditations, the firm’s efforts were also recognized by Qualified Remodeler’s Magazine. From 2009 to 2015, it was also included in the Top 500 list. And for the fourth year in a row, it received the Pulse of the City News Award for excellence in customer satisfaction, asserting the team’s belief in the motto: “Responsive, Accessible, and Detail Oriented.”
Established in 2001, the firm was founded by Joe Schwartz, an architectural and civil engineer that’s been involved with construction since 1984. During those years he was able to lead a variety of crews, from framing to trim teams. He was also able to supervise field construction and he was able to run small to multi-million dollar residential projects. He also worked in the commercial sector, focusing on health care sites and office building projects ranging from $7 Million to $40 Million.
As expected, this experience and knowledge helped him become more involved in all aspects of residential construction and fine home-building. One of his most notable works is the Straw Bale Buildings, which showcases the latest in technologically advanced Green Building.
5) Sullivan Building and Design Group
Website| 215-804-1100 | 2320 Trumbauersville Rd., Quakertown, PA 18951
Sullivan Building and Design Group is a full-service design-build firm that focuses on a truly hands-on approach where the team works with the homeowner from the conceptual stages to the end product. For the past 35 years, Sullivan Building and Design Group has created unique new homes, renovations and custom woodwork. These works have earned them places in NARI and the NKBA. In addition, the firm also collected numerous awards from 2012 to 2017. Its most recent award came in 2017 from Master Design Awards.
Well into its second generation of providing the finest quality of design and construction services in the region, Sullivan Building and Design Group was featured in countless magazines, some of which are Qualified Remodeler, Bucks County Home and Garden, Professional Remodeler Magazine, and Elle Decor.
4) E.B. Mahoney Builders
Website| 610-527-6584 | 718 West Lancaster Ave. Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Established in 1926, E.B. Mahoney Builders defined a home building standard on the Main Line and surrounding communities. For the past 90 years, the phrase “Mahoney-built” has signified a home crafted to high standards of quality and integrity. E.B. Mahoney Builders is a member of the Home Builders Association of Bucks and Montgomery Counties, the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA), the Main Line Builders Association (MLBA), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and the NAHB Builder 20.
In addition to its many affiliations, it won the Pyramid Awards for Best Custom Home and Best Residential Renovation. It’s also a five-time winner of the MLBA’s the Builder of The Year Award, a 16-time winner of the Best Single-Family/Custom Home Award, and the seven-time winner of the Best Residential Renovations Award. Along with these awards, it also won the Best of Mainline in 2016.
The Luxury of Home Magazine featured the firm that same year. According to principal Edwin Mahoney, you can quickly recognize the firm’s projects when you see their timeless design and extraordinary details. Jeremiah Mahoney formed the company in 1926 and his uncompromising work ethic still guides the firm.
3) Phillip Johnson Construction
Website | 215-790-0725 | 728 Pine Street, Philadelphia PA 19106-4005
For over 30 years, Phillip Johnson Construction has been rebuilding historic Philadelphia with some of the finest carpenters and craftsmen on the East Coast. The firm has an EPA LEAD Certification, and in 2016, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia won the Grand Jury Award for Preservation and the 2002 American Architecture Awards. Countless magazines and national periodicals have featured the firm, including The Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine. The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture in 2004 also highlighted their achievements.
The firm has expert experience in all aspects of historic reconstruction. It has done historic structural restoration for organizations like The Athenaeum of Philadelphia and The Archdiocese of Philadelphia. From modest renovations to multi-million dollar total restorations, Phillip Johnson Construction always produces homes and buildings that are well known their beauty and craftsmanship.
2) Ferrarini Kitchens
Website| 215-242-3014 | 110 S 20th St #202a, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Since 2008, Ferrarini and Co. has been a leader in residential kitchen and interior spaces. One of the most respected American firms, Ferrarini and Co. is renowned for its world-class design, bespoke materials, and premier customer service. This service was so renowned that Gordon Ramsey hired the team to remodel a Philadelphia row house.
Affiliated with the NKBA, Ferrarini and Co. won the NKBA 2018 National Design Award and the Chrysalis best kitchen remodel award. One of its projects was also featured in Philadelphia Magazine’s list of the Top 10 Bathrooms to Swoon over. Furthermore, it was featured in Architectural Digest, People Magazine, Food and Wine, the Weekend, Delish Magazine, Home Magazine, and Stylight Magazine.
Donna and Matthew Ferrarini founded the firm. Donna does interior design and manages the showroom, and keeps focused on material selection and detailed designs which bring refined tastes to the team’s projects. Co-founder Matthew Ferrarini, meanwhile, is known as a naturally creative, award-winning designer and construction expert who has found national recognition. In 2013, the NKBA awarded him with the 30 under 30. And right after his national debut, Matthew was awarded the Chrysalis “Best Kitchen Remodel” and featured in Philadelphia Magazine as the 2016 “Top 10 Bathroom Designs.” As a world-class firm, it also branched out to New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Website | 215-483-8338 | 86 West Johnson Street, Philadelphia, PA 19144
This Philadelphia firm was established by John Hanson in 1986 and specializes in fine renovations, sustainable building practices, and historic preservation for older homes and historic structures. Hanson’s raison de être: to link historic preservation to green building. To this firm, historic structures are the greenest homes. By reusing existing materials and implementing energy efficient technology, the firm was able to reduce waste and create valuable homes like the Wallingford Passive House. In 2013, Hanson received certification to build passive homes: a building standard that is truly energy efficient, comfortable, affordable, and ecological all at the same time.
Not surprisingly, Hanson ended up collecting many awards for preservation in the years 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016, and 2017. Along with these preservation awards, Hanson also gained AIA’s 2011 Philadelphia Award of Excellence.
In addition to countless awards, the firm is also a member of many organizations involved in the preservation of buildings like the Association of Preservation Technology and the Philadelphia Preservation Alliance. They maintain green affiliations as well, including Greater Philadelphia Passive House Association. Along with these affiliations and awards, the firm has also been featured in many publications. Its most recent feature was from Dwell Magazine in 2018, which focused on the Wallingford Passive House project.