Houses in the California Bay Area are often pictured as sprawling Mediterranean ranches with white stucco walls and red-tiled roofs. This dates back to Spanish and Mexican influences on the area, ushering in the popularity of adobe material. As time progressed, Victorian tastes migrated to the area as well. This trend continued with the later popularity of Larkin-styled homes, which primarily featured redwood timber framing, adobe walls, and an attached veranda. Mission revivals and historic Queen Anne revivals also left their mark on the San Jose architectural scene in later years, but one of the area’s most iconic styles cane in the form of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Hailed as one of the most influential architects of the 19th century, Wright popularized hexagonal-designed houses patterned after the honeycomb of a bee. Further, he pioneered the Prairie style, which became the first indigenous American architecture style.
San Jose’s median home value stands around $1M, on the higher end of the nation’s scale, thanks to Silicon Valley’s tech wealth. However, the aforementioned are only a few of some of the most popular home styles throughout San Jose and this list is a showcase of those distinct themes courtesy of some of the area’s best general contractors.
All of the contractors on this list have been evaluated for accolades, association membership, customer service, and skill in construction. They are all capable of working in a diverse set of styles, and are able to evaluate pre-existing homes and work with clients to create homes that exceed owners’ expectations.
15. May Construction, Inc.
115 Phelan Ave Ste 3 95112 San Jose, CA
Established in 1977, May Construction utilizes a design-build process and specializes in kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, home additions, and whole house remodels. Led by Greg May, a Universal Design Certified Remodeler (UDCR), the firm has worked on multiple contemporary ranch-style homes and farmhouses. The team’s skilfull work often highlights the infusion of natural elements, like exposed wood beams, with sleek metal elements. The openness of the home featured below is emphasized by natural and ambient light. In addition, the kitchen, dining, and living areas are unified harmoniously through the use of complementary neutral tones.
As a UDCR, May and his team also offer aging-in-place services, as well as the option of offering suggestions that can be incorporated into a more universal design, perfect for clients seeking a house in which they can age gracefully.
14. Lerch Construction Company
923 Industrial Ave. Palo Alto CA 94303
Lerch Construction Company, established in 1973, is best known for its restoration work and elaborate craftsmanship. The firm has completed full-scale residential remodels and smaller commercial projects, as well as specialty work such as hockey rinks, wine cellars, home theaters, climbing walls, pools, and safe rooms.
Most of the homes completed by Lerch Construction Company feature English Tudor, Craftsman, French Country, and Spanish designs. The firm prides itself on its in-house custom shop, where the team works on numerous concrete molds, replica stone carvings, metalwork, unique doors, and hand-hewn lumber beams. The featured project above is a three-story Tudor-style home complete with English oak timbers, slate roof tiles, and carved rafters. A flat but hidden portion of the roof contains solar panels. The home also has an attached conservatory with a perfect view of the lot’s lovely English garden, fountain, and pool.
13. Radcon Builders
San Jose, CA 95120
With over 26 years of experience, Radcon Builders is an award-winning design-build firm specializing in kitchen remodeling, home additions, outdoor living projects, and historic restorations. The firm has worked on numerous restoration projects, all of which involve strict instructions to maintain original components in Tuscan, craftsman, and mission style homes. As seen in the example below, the firm’s work is often characterized by minimalist themes. The firm created luxurious custom countertops and cabinetry, and used white and blue exclusively to create a simple yet elegant feel.
Throughout its years in the industry, Radcon has been the recipient of various META Awards fromthe Silicon Valley Chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). These include the 2016 META AwardS for Residential Kitchen remodeling, Residential Addition, and Exterior Specialty.
12. Interiors for Modern Living
210 High Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Interiors for Modern Living focuses on lifestyle planning, design-build services, architectural design, construction management, and general contracting. Its team’s process emphasizes familiarization with each client’s lifestyle and passions to better ensure that their wants and needs are reflected in the project. The firm has worked on many mid-range and luxury residential projects involving contemporary- and Mediterranean-style homes.
As showcased in the photo above, the firm’s projects are often characterized by a use of neutral tones, ambient light, and crisp, minimalistic elements to create a calming, contemporary ambiance. Its team also likes to showcase its keen attention to detail through stucco finishes and custom woodwork.
11. Acton Construction
808 E. McGlincy Lane Campbell, CA 95008
Established in 1990, Acton Construction displays exemplary skills in home restoration projects. In particular, the team specializes in kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, and whole-house remodels. The firm extends its services to homeowner in the Menlo Park and Silicon Valley areas. Acton Construction is led by Stanley Acton, who became interested in building at a young age. This interest came in handy during his teenage years, when he decided to work as a remodeler’s apprentice to start saving for his college degree. He holds a degree in computer science, and worked for several years in Silicon Valley before finally deciding to pursue his childhood dream of home building.
Since then, Acton has led his team into remodeling award-winning designs. The firm’s work, generally elegant and contemporary, has graced the pages of several publications, such as Qualified Remodeler and US Builders’ Review, which both listed Acton Construction in annual lists of the nation’s leading firms. As a way of sharing its success with others, the firm sponsors several local schools and supports organizations such as the Preservation Action Council of San Jose.
10. Sigura Construction
1300 Memorex Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95050
Sigura Construction is a family-owned business with over 22 years of experience. It is headed by Ilan Sigura, who began working in the industry as a teenager and, after obtaining degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Computer Software, eventually moved to California to establish his own firm.
Now a trailblazer in the commercial, residential, and multi-housing building industry, the firm works with interior and exterior remodels and repairs, renovating properties with fire or water damage, and ground-up custom constructions. Sigura Construction has been awarded the prestigious Diamond Certified Award. As seen in its portfolio, the firm specializes in contemporary, colonial, and shingle-style designs.
9. Heartwood Residential
PO Box 2304 Los Gatos, CA 95031
Like heartwood from a tree, this company seeks to produce “beautiful, long-lasting workmanship for your home.” Heartwood Residential is run by Nick and Michelle Yegge. Nick, a fourth-generation builder, started gaining experience in construction during summer vacations from school. He worked for a high-end custom home builder doing framing work, where he observed the importance of communication, planning, and systematic approaches to building projects. Michelle joined the company as a project coordinator, office manager, and manager of the design and materials selection. They operate in areas like Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, and Los Altos.
Heartwood Residential specializes in kitchen and bath remodels and provide everything from layout and floor plan design to custom or modular cabinetry, kitchen lighting selection, countertops, and tilework. The company supports sustainable building methods and the use of eco-friendly materials, recycling, and resource preservation. In 2017, Heartwood earned two Meta Gold Award for Kitchen Remodels. One is for a kitchen remodel over $100,000 that features semi-custom Omega cabinetry, a marble mosaic backsplash, quartz counter tops, and an office nook.
8. Harrell Remodeling, Inc.
944 Industrial Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94303
Named by Sunset Magazine as the “Best the West has to offer,” Harrell Remodeling was founded in 1985 and prides itself on being one of the first companies to form a team of design-build professionals sharing one vision. The firm is led by Ciro Giammona, who started as an estimator for the firm in 1996. His rich experience and successful understanding of the company’s design and construction process led him to be promoted to General Manager in 2006, company president in 2011, and finally to CEO in 2014.
A proud Certified Remodeler and Certified Green Building Professional, Giammona has driven his team to build many whimsical contemporary homes and lavish Mediterranean houses. The firm’s work has been published in Qualified Remodeler after having earned a Gold Master Design Award a kitchen project. The chosen photo above is one of the firm’s signature unique and contemporary whole-house remodels. Here, the team utilized bright and retro colors throughout the entire house. With a slight touch of art deco themes, the project included several one-of-a-kind pieces that blended well with the chosen color scheme.
7. De Mattei Construction, Inc.
1794 The Alameda San Jose, CA 95125
In 1985, Mark De Mattei discovered his talent for building, and decided to establish a firm of his own. Nearly three decades and over 2,000 remodeled homes later, he and his team have established a reputation as one of the Bay Area’s premier custom home builders and remodelers. Now composed of over 75 skilled designers and engineers, the firm takes pride in its rich history and its wide range of services. It has taken on a vast number of projects involving architectural design, interior design assistance, and whole house remodeling work. In addition to its full range building services, the firm also accepts general contracting work and welcomes working with an existing project team.
A widely industry recognized firm, De Mattei has had the honor of being published in Qualified Remodeler, Silicon Valley Business Journal, and the San Francisco Business Times. In the featured home above, the firm has used soft, neutral tones and vintage accents to create a luxurious feel in this master bathroom.
6. Starburst Construction Company, Inc.
1207 Redcliff Drive, San Jose, CA 95118
Established in 1976, Starburst Construction prides itself on its team of award-winning master craftsmen. The firm services the peninsula and surrounding San Francisco Bay area, and specializes in a wide range of styles, including Victorian and Eichler. The firm has received much recognition over the years, and has been featured in several publications, including California Modern Home Magazine and Gentry Home Magazine. It has also been presented with multiple META Awards by NARI.
The project featured above was a contemporary whole-house remodel of a bungalow. Its owners needed an upgrade, and the firm managed to transform it from a three-bedroom, one-bath into a four-bedroom and 2.5-bath home. Every aspect of the house was upgraded; every detail, from cabinetry to woodworking, was customized to the homeowners’ style. The result is a beautifully-styled home with stucco finishes and elegant cedar plank accents.
5. Hammerschmidt Construction, Inc.
1574 Country Club Drive Los Altos, CA 94024
Hammerschmidt Construction is a full-service design-build firm with over two decades of experience. The firm extends its services throughout Silicon Valley’s neighboring cities, and prides itself on being one of the first Certified Green Builders in the area. The firm is led by John Hammerschmidt, a third generation builder who, prior to assuming leadership, sold irrigation systems to Napa wineries, and managed two construction firms and two landscaping firms. He was also board member of Silicon Valley’s NARI Chapter, and spent a term as its Vice President of Education. The firm has worked on numerous whole-house remodeling projects; its portfolio provides an in-depth look into projects such as an upscale transitional whole-house remodel for a 1960s ranch house, and a modern whole house remodel of a two-story 1930s mountain cabin.
The firm’s outstanding work has been awarded numerous industry accolades, including several META Awards from NARI, as well as a Big50 Award from Remodeling Magazine. It has also graced the pages of Qualified Remodeler various times as a part of its annual Top 500 list, and Remodeling Magazine as one of its leading 550 remodelers throughout the country.
4. EBCON Corporation/Hughes Construction, Inc.
506 Second Avenue Redwood City, CA 94063
EBCON Corporation’s humble beginnings in 2002 involved a garage office and one client. After success involving an expansion and a private warehouse, EBCON merged with Hughes Construction in 2016 to form a larger workforce with even better customer service. Now sometimes referred to as EBHCI, the alliance of these two firms has resulted in new services, now including an in-house design team and dedicated maintenance department. The firm specializes in interior and exterior remodeling, as well as bathroom and kitchen remodels. The firm generally works in contemporary, tansitional, shingle-style, and Cape Cod styles, occasionally incorporating farmhouse and bungalow elements, but really just depends on the architects and owner’s preferences.
For its superb work and efforts, EBCON Corporation/Hughes Construction has been recognized with several industry awards including a Regional Contractor of The Year (CoTY) Award for Best Residential Interior and Best Basement. EBHCI has also been featured in LUXE Magazine.
3. Talmadge Construction Inc.
8070 Soquel Drive Aptos, CA 95003
Since establishment in 1984, Talmadge Construction has approached each of its projects with the same determination and standards. The firm is led by co-founder Jeff Talmadge, a proud Certified Remodeler and a member of the Remodelers Executive Roundtable, a national remodeling industry association created for the improvement of construction and remodeling practices. Talmadge has led his team in crafting elegantly made homes with colonial, contemporary, and traditional themes. As seen in the home featured below, the firm prides itself on sleek countertops and custom finishes, along with excellent woodwork.
Throughout its years in the industry, the firm has had the honor of receiving a Big50 Award, a GuildMaster Award for Service Excellence, and a CoTY Award. Talmadge Construction has also been featured in Remodeling Magazine.
2. Case Design/Remodeling
2157 O’Toole Avenue Suite 70 San Jose, CA 95131
Case Design/Remodeling is an award-winning firm, made up of a team of expert designers and craftsmen. Led by founders Jim and Debbie Kabel, the firm provides kitchen and bathroom remodels, home additions, interior remodeling, and exterior remodeling. In 2015, Jim was awarded a Market Leader Award from Professional Remodeler in addition to being named a prestigious Big50 member by Remodeling Magazine in 2005. Under his leadership, the firm has had the honor of winning several of its own accolades.
The firm is the proud recipient of over 44 NARI awards, including a CoTY Regional Award for Best Exterior Remodel, a META Platinum Award for Best Kitchen Remodel, and a META Platinum Award for Best Whole House Remodel. The firm was also recently featured in Qualified Remodeler and again on Remodeling Magazine’s Top 550 list. The photo shown features a transitional-style kitchen remodeled in San Jose.
1. Timeline Design+Build
14401 Big Basin Way Saratoga, CA
Founded in 1990, Timeline Design+Build was established by Matthew Harrigan, who began his building career constructing cabinets in his parent’s garage as a teenager. He pursued degrees in Civil and Electrical Engineering, and earned the title of Certified Interior Designer, in addition to becoming a California licensed General Building Contractor. A former president of San Jose’s NARI chapter, Harrigan has led his team to build numerous award-winning designs. The firm’s work has been featured in Design/Build Business, Kitchen & Bath Business, Remodeling Magazine, and on the Eichler News Network. Further, Timeline Design+Build is also the recipient of multiple NARI awards, some of which include Best Residential Kitchen, Best Interiors, Best Residential Bath, and Best Entire House Remodel.
Custom Home in Los Altos constructed on a hillside with a walk out basement. The house is a prairie style inspired contemporary design with custom shingle siding, metal roof, and stacked stone. A centrally located light tower allows natural light to cascade into the main level and basement all day long. The home was carefully sited to take advantage of the hillside while blending seamlessly into the neighborhood. d.