Many know San Diego, CA, as the home to Sea World and the famous San Diego Zoo. However, the city is also the eight-largest in the United States and the second in California, and esteemed for its many beaches, parks, and sunny climate. This Southern Californian city with a population of almost 1,500,000 has a tame climate year round, and is near the water, making it ideal for water sports or relaxing by the beach.
San Diego also has many world class builders that specialize in remodeling and building custom homes. The professionals are experts in building and remodeling coastal and ocean-inspired homes, as well as luxurious estates and mansions that cater to California’s upper class.
Below is a curated list of the best San Diego general contracting firms. Several are veterans builders and family-owned for many generations. Many on this list have reaped dozens of awards, accreditations, and features in the press. Customers may have a hard time picking a builder with so many experts available, but the list below should help in picking out the builder that can meet one’s specific needs and wants.
15) McCullough Design Development
10531 4S Commons Drive Suite No. 700, San Diego, CA 92127
Originally called McCullough ~ Ames Dev, the firm was founded in 1997. McCullough Design Development homes has been servicing the Poway, San Diego area for about 22 years. They won the Street Dreams in October 2000 Heritage Estates . This can be attributed to the firm’s commitment to pursue elegance and grace with its architecture and its pursuit for perfection. The company also has a high-tech process with a CAD system and digital printing capabilities, so that it can produce the highest quality plans and give clients efficiency.
Founder Monty McCullough formed McCullough Design Development in 2008. A company that survived the recession, it has built a reputation as an honest and reliable builder. It attributes its success to its team of well-organized, honest, and transparent builders. McCullough has over 25 years of hands-on architecture, design and construction supervision experience, and has designed over 300 custom homes in the Poway area.
14) Integrity Restoration, Inc.
4901 Morena Blvd. Suite 502 San Diego, CA, 92117
Integrity Restoration, Inc., was founded in 1993, and has built over 5,000 projects in San Diego County. The company uses a technology-based feature that allows it to be customer-friendly, with online cloud-based access to view project progress, interact with a project manager, and even share progress photos with friends and family. Each of the company’s remodeling Project Managers has been with Integrity for over 20 years.
Integrity has been the recipient of multiple awards, including the 2014 Contractor Connection Performance Excellence Award. This prestigious award is given to only one contractor in the entire western division, which encompasses California, Alaska, Hawaii & Nevada. The firm is also popular among customers, having won the distinction “People Love Us On Yelp” in 2017 and 2018.
13) Vanberg Construction, Inc.
2521 B St. #102 San Diego CA 92102
Vanberg Construction, Inc. has been providing high end construction services to the residents of Southern California for over 30 years. Its specialty services include custom home creations and kitchen and bath remodeling. President Jeff Jertberg, who founded the company in 1988, is experienced in the industry, with a degree from San Diego State University.
Vanberg Construction was featured by Remodeling Magazine as a Big 50, and was selected as a BBB Torch Award finalist and a NARI Regional Contractor of the Year. It also received the Qualified Remodeler Magazine Master Design Award, the Professional Remodeler Best of the Best Design Award, and the San Diego Home/Gardens Kitchen of the Year award.
12) Classic Home Improvements
600 S. Andreasen Drive, Suite A, Escondido, CA 92029
Serving San Diego for more than two decades, Classic Home Improvement’s principal, Jack Crocker, has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, while his staff members have over 346 years of combined experience in construction, management, and design experience.
Classic Home Improvements began as a small remodeling company that focused on exterior renovations like decks, roofing, and exterior painting, when the recession first hit the area. Crocker’s background in the corporate world helped him create structure out of the firm’s many processes and procedures, effectively steering it through the recession.
The firm has been the recipient of multiple awards and accolades. Classic Home Improvements was Qualified Remodeler Magazine’s Top 500 Winner for 2014 and 2013, as well as Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50 Remodeler winner in 2016. Its principal builder was also the recipient of a NARI Committed to Excellence Award in 2013 and 2012.
11) J Walsh Construction
3065 Rosecrans Place, Ste. 206 San Diego, CA 92110
One of the milestones that 21-year-old firm J Walsh Construction is known for is winning the 2016 House of the Year Award by San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles for the major restoration and remodel of a historic San Diego landmark designed by the famous Irving Gill.
The firm has also been featured in numerous publications, including the 2018 MA+DS Modern Home Tour, LUXE Interior + Design 2017, San Diego Home & Garden 2016, and Coastal Homes 2015. It is also recognized for work on contemporary and traditional buildings, historic and period homes, development projects and site-specific construction.
10) Kitchen Expo
7458 La Jolla Blvd., La Jolla, CA 92037
A veteran builder of 34 years, Kitchen Expo’s founder Rick Fahmie has been working in the construction industry since he was 12. Fahmie is known for working outside the box- making creative trends instead of following them. One of the things that Kitchen Expo is known for is being the first company to bring high-gloss finishes and exotic veneers to San Diego 25 years ago.
Kitchen Expo has been featured in FINE Magazine, and has also been put in the spotlight by HGTV’s America’s 10 Most Amazing Kitchens. Kitchen Expo’s National Awards include Qualified Remodelers’ Overall Home Re-Design, Best Kitchen, and Best Master Bath.
9) Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel
2878 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 160 San Diego, CA 92108
A 43-year veteran San Diego builder, Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel is a four-generation, family-run business. Current President and CEO Gregg Cantor began working for the firm in 1977. Like many principal builders, he learned from the ground up. Gregg started doing job site clean-up and hauling and then a carpenter’s assistant in 1978. After his studies at Grossmont College and San Diego State University, Gregg became an assistant superintendent and gained experience in kitchen and bathroom projects, advancing to additions, second stories, and whole homes. He rapidly was promoted to superintendent and eventually head of production. In 1990, Gregg’s grandfather Murray retired and he became President. Gregg Cantor has managed thousands of homes remodeling and construction projects. Gregg is very proud of his daughter Rachel Cantor, Director of Design, who is the 4th generation at Murray Lampert, joining the company in 2014 after getting her degree in architecture at Miami of Ohio. Before joining the family business, Rachel worked as a designer at SFA Architects in Cincinnati.
Murray Lampert was the winner of Remodeling Magazine Big 50, San Diego BBB Torch Award in 2014 and 2008 and Guildmaster in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Currently, Gregg Cantor is active in media and is co-host, known as “The Resident Expert” of The Approved Home Pro Show on ABC 10 TV in San Diego. His firm has been featured in Remodeling Magazine, MSN and Reader’s Digest websites. Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel was the winner of the San Diego BBB Torch Award in 2014 and 2008.
8) Streamline Development
124 1/2 East Cliff Street, Unit C-4 Solana Beach, CA 92075
One of San Diego’s younger firms at seven years old, Streamline Development has been nonetheless impressive in its work. The firm has been featured in San Diego magazine, San Diego Union Tribune, and the Del Mar Times. It won the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Design Excellence Award in 2012 for Residential Bath Design. It also received the Design Excellence Award in 2011 for a Complete Remodel of Residential Space Under 3500sf. Streamline Development was also named Builder of the Year in 2010 by the National Association of Custom Home Builders (NACHB).
Streamline’s notable projects have been given much recognition; most recently by Home Magazine of the Union Tribune, which wrote a cover story on its latest project in Cardiff by the Sea. Streamline was also given a first place award by ASI for its project on the oceanfront in Bird Rock La Jolla. Several magazine stories also featured it, including San Diego magazine.
7) Marrokal Design & Remodeling
9474 Kearny Villa Rd #205, San Diego, California
CEO Gary Marrokal started Marrokal Design & Remodeling 35 years ago, and credits his parent’s advice for the success of his company. “My mom and dad were not business people, but they taught me in business to do the right thing,” Marrokal has been quoted as saying. Marrokal Design & Remodeling has worked on variety of high-end remodels and additions, from spacious private home theaters, to airy, oceanside French kitchens with crystal chandeliers.
Many customers of the firm have returned and helped the company grow and earn highly-regarded accolades like Remodeler of the Year 2011. Marrokal has also been the recipient of the NARI CotY 2013 Award for Entire House, the NARI CotY 2012 Awards for Residential Interior and 2011 Residential Exterior, and several Chrysalis Design Awards (Residential Interior <$250,000, Bath $40,000-$60,000, Residential Historic Renovation, and Outdoor Living). It has also has been featured in publications like La Jolla Light, Pro Remodeler, and Market Wired.
6) Hill Construction Company
4626 Albuquerque St., 2nd Floor, San Diego, CA 92109
The Hill family, principles of The Hill Construction Company, have resided in San Diego since 1909. Peter Hill founded the company in 1975, and has since constructed and remodeled houses in La Jolla, Mission Hills, and Rancho Santa Fe. His son, Ryan, inherited his dad’s passion for construction and worked for the company during summers. Ryan then graduated with a degree in Construction Management and became head of his father’s firm.
The high-end projects of Hill Construction Company have earned the firm accolades, including a spot on the Luxe Gold List in 2017 and 2018, Orchid Nominee for Architecture in 2016, Metro Movers, Merit Award Gold Nugget Awards (Best Custom Home, Best Rehab Project) in 2015, and Best in American Living Silver Award in the same year. Hill Construction Company has also appeared in a long line-up of publications. Just some of these include Luxe Interiors and Design, California Homes, San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles, Dwell website, and Kitchen Trends.
5) Lars Remodeling
5925 Kearny Villa Road San Diego CA 92123
For over two decades, Lars Remodeling has served San Diego residences with its premium remodeling services. It is the only Design-Build firm in San Diego that sells appliances & plumbing fixtures direct to buyers. Among its awards are the 2017 Pulse of the City Award, a place on the 2016 Top Remodeling Companies 550 List, and being named one of America’s Top Remodelers by Professional Remodelers in 2013. Lars Remodeling has multiple accreditations including GuildQuality Guildmaster, Member NKBA, Top 500 Remodelers, American Society of Interior Designers, and ASID San Diego Chapter.
President Jason Larson, who wanted to be a home remodeler since he was five years old, opened Lars Remodeling at the young age of 22. Larson is dedicated to staying up-to-date with remodeling trends so that his firm can offer the best services to clients.
4) Wardell Builders
649 Valley Avenue, Suite A, Solana Beach, CA 92075
This almost 40-year-old firm is another recipient of numerous awards and accolades. What makes it stand out as well are its beautiful, out-of-the-box designs. These designs can also be innovative, combining various styles such as Japanese farmhouse, country winery home, and art deco. Wardell Builders also creates scenic coastal homes, evoking a calming ambiance. The firm is also a member of the US Green Building Council, showing their commitment to create and remodel environment-friendly homes.
Wardell’s work has been featured in publications such as LUXE, California Homes, Residential Design & Build, and Architectural Digest. Some of the company’s recent awards are the 2016 San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles Baths of the Year, Ducharme Residence March 2016, San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles Baths of the Year in 2015, and Malin Residence March 2015.
3) Kaminskiy Design & Remodeling
12396 World Trade Dr. Suite 108, San Diego, CA 92128
One of the best-known firms in San Diego, Kaminskiy Design & Remodeling has been voted Best Home Remodeler, Best Contractor, Best Kitchen and Bath Remodeler and Best Local Construction Company by the San Diego Union Tribune for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. It has also been featured on TV in shows such as Spotlight in San Diego, KUSI News San Diego, and CW 6 News San Diego.
President and CEO Sergei Kaminskiy grew up wanting to grow a successful building business. He worked for a remodeling company after finishing high school, and then, after marrying, he and his wife began a small handyman business. This business would eventually grow into a full-service design and remodeling company. Famous for their exquisite luxury remodels, one of Kaminskiy’s notable projects is a transitional white kitchen. From an originally dark and narrow space, Kaminskiy Design & Remodeling transformed te kitchen into an ocean-themed white space, full of light and with white wall cabinets and interior accessories that make the kitchen functional.
2) Charco DESIGN & BUILD, Inc.
11585 Sorrento Valley Road, Suite 104, San Diego, CA 92121
Charco DESIGN & BUILD, Inc. is a veteran building company, having been in business for 52 years and the recipient of multiple awards. The company garnered the San Diego Daily Transcript Winner Top influentials in 2013-2014, 2015 Finalist SDUT Best, 2014, 2015, and 2016 SD Home & Garden Face of Remodeling, 2017 Ranch & Coast Magazine Best, 2016 LUXE Magazine Gold List, and the 2016 Finalist HGTV Face of Design. Publications such as Ranch Coast Magazine, Face of San Diego, and San Diego Magazine have also written about Charco.
Renowned principal Armando Flores is the owner of Charco DESIGN & BUILD, bringing with him 20 years of experience in design and construction. He is a native of San Diego, having studied architectural drafting and interior design before he began his career in Los Angeles. Returning to San Diego, he became Vice President and COO of his father-in-law’s company Charco Construction, one of the most established firms in the area, before starting his own firm. A prominent figure in the media, one of Flores’ kitchens can be seen weekly on hit local cooking show, “Sam the Cooking Guy.” The San Diego Daily Transcript also nominated Flores as one of the most influential people in the city.
1) Jackson Design & Remodeling
Website4797 Mercury Street, San Diego CA 92111
Jackson Design & Remodeling has been serving the San Diego area for nearly three decades. A multi-awarded firm that has been featured in many prominent media outfits, Jackson is a six-time winner of the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Ethics. It is also a winner of the Master Design Awards, the National Kitchen and Bath (NKBA) Design Awards, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Awards, the Chrysalis Awards, and the CotY (Contractor of the Year) Awards.
Jackson Design & Remodeling has also been featured by HGTV, published online by Remodeling.hw.net, San Diego magazine, San Diego Business Journal, and in home publications such as Dream Kitchens & Baths, Architectural Digest online, and Dream Kitchens and Baths.
President and CEO Todd Jackson encourages customers and interested parties to meet the firm’s team in person at the company’s free Design and Remodeling seminars.