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San Rafael is a small California city known for its coastal views and the traditional values that seem to emanate from its quaint geographical setting. Though it lacks the extravagance of the Golden Gate city’s larger metros, it is rife with nature and parks as well as streets rich with culture. People attracted to a quiet way of living will surely gravitate to this beautiful rural community.
To help out potential property owners, our editorial team has listed the top general contractors in the San Rafael area. These firms were extensively researched employing several key variables: company history, portfolio quality, reviews from former clients, accreditations, and industry affiliations. Most builders selected are residential contractors, save for a few that provide work on light commercial projects.
Blair Burke General Contractors
710 C Street, Suite 216, San Rafael, CA 94901
Blair Burke General Contractors Inc., also known as BBGC, has been a major player in the San Francisco Bay Area’s building scene for over 25 years. Owner Blair Burke has developed a time-tested process using cutting-edge technology and creative savvy. The acclaimed firm has worked with some of the top industry experts in construction and architecture, putting its name on the map as one of the best in the field. Its prominence has led to mainstream features in publications such as 7×7 Magazine, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The American Institute of Architects’s (AIA) San Francisco Home Tours.
The Harrison project features a contemporary residential remodel completed by the firm. Located in the Sausalito community, the two-story home’s structure and design were fully updated to meet modern living standards. A traditional great room was added after the removal of an existing fireplace, which was bolstered with steel beams to support the higher ceilings. The new addition serves as a lovely gathering space that provides scenic views of the bay. The interiors were infused with complex detailing and skylight fixtures to give the house a sleek, minimalist aesthetic. A sliding stainless steel front door and glass stairway dividers were also added to the property.
PO Box 150788, San Rafael, CA 94915
Burns Builders has built a reputation as a quality-focused practice known for its great craftsmanship and detail-oriented system. Led by principal Jon Burns, the firm specializes in luxury home construction and residential remodeling services. Those services include home improvement projects such as kitchen and bath remodels, custom ground-up builds, and consultations. The firm’s industry prominence can be attributed to a four-phase process that has been streamlined over its tenure.
The initial insight phase defines project goals and identifies client visions. Plans and designs are reviewed while discussing the timeline and budget. The second step involves the planning and preparation aspects of the job—subcontractor bids are requested for competitive prices and value, budgets and detail estimates are created, long-lead items determined. This second phase includes checking product availability and finalizing construction schedules. The third step is the execution, one focused on structure building and making the project flow as smoothly as possible. Seamless coordination with architects, subcontractors, and designers is a constant goal as well as fostering a comfortable work environment. The team is equipped with a collaborative mindset and a preemptive approach to any challenge, which guarantees great results. The last phase covers maintenance and follow-up services to keep the project in tip-top shape.
Floyd Construction Inc.
714 C Street #207, San Rafael, CA 94901
Founded in 1978, Floyd Construction is a multifaceted builder that provides standout services in Marin and the Greater Bay Area. Its core services include residential and commercial construction and remodeling and landscaping projects. Whether it’s small remodels or large build-outs, a hundred-percent effort is delivered to ensure optimal output and client satisfaction. Though building is the firm’s forte, strong relationships also play a key role in its operations. Fostering bonds with customers, employees, and subcontractors results in a well-oiled machine that produces excellence in all areas of the job. Two-thirds of the firm’s commissions come from repeat clients and referrals, proof of its solid connections.
Firm founder Joe Floyd has been a Marin County local since 1983. The veteran professional has a background in civil engineering—experience which complements his construction expertise perfectly. Floyd leads a roster of seasoned professionals dedicated to quality building and customer service. Project manager Jon Morales oversees the foremen—a team composed of like-minded individuals with strong building prowess and meticulous attention to detail. Efficient in the field and proficient in their craft, the crew produces a body of work that is both functional and stylish. Client reviews have praised their friendliness in the field.
Fontana Construction Inc
1945 E Francisco Blvd – Suite N, San Rafael, CA 94901
Fontana Construction, Inc. is a San Rafael firm with over 30 years of industry experience. It has been deemed as one of the best companies in Marin, Peninsula, and Sonoma Counties for its consistent output and reliable service. Among the luxury home builder’s services are general construction, remodeling, renovations, and custom home development. A great sample of its work is the featured Buena Vista Terrace residence, which reflects classic craftsmanship and modern elegance.
Founders Mike and Bonnie Fontana are two pioneers renowned for their excellence in building and management. They established the practice in 1986 as a home-based business focused on new construction work. Built on the cornerstone of integrity and customer service, the small company eventually grew and stands today as a trusted name in California’s building landscape.
Estimator Steven Fontana helms the studio’s operations as its president. Prior to his current role, he had worked in Fontana’s senior-level positions and he has a background in construction management and technology. Steven leads a roster of carpenters, superintendents, managers, and estimators with diverse backgrounds and skillsets. Open and honest collaboration between the staff and the homeowners ensures accurate projects are completed on-time and on-budget.
G Family Construction
615 B St. Unit 1B, San Rafael, CA 94901
G Family Construction is a family-owned business with a keen focus on high-quality building at cost-effective prices. Innovative techniques are integrated into its streamlined process that builds on time-tested methods by infusing them with modern industry trends. As a banner company, it operates with four departments that each specializes in different categories—design, construction, landscape, and electrical. This closely-knit team works as a unit to produce exceptional spaces with efficiency and precision. The featured living room area is a showcase of its work, a minimalist layout exudes contemporary charm through color contrasting and hand-picked accents.
Brothers David and Jon Grabham started the firm in 2001 to provide design-build and construction expertise in the San Rafael area. Both serve as co-owners and project managers: the responsibility of the principal designer is added task on David’s shoulders. The two leaders were inspired by their father James, a veteran craftsman known for his carpentry, his work ethic, and—above all—his integrity. Projects are overseen personally to ensure optimal quality and to observe safety standards. The team works closely with the homeowner to get a thorough understanding of their vision and deliver a product everyone can be thrilled with.
1000 4th St, San Rafael, CA 94901
Based in Marin County, Headlands Construction is a family-owned practice built on the principles of quality, integrity, and skill. These values serve as the pillars that prop up the general contracting company, all delivered in strict compliance with industry qualifications and standards. The local builder has a reputation as a reliable partner in any project, and its crew has a reputation for its solid work ethic and craftsmanship that consistently exceeds expectations. High caliber workmanship extends not only to the aesthetic value but to the long-lasting appeal of the structures and spaces. Its body of work reflects modern residential and commercial estates that range from quaint suburban homes to complex multi-story buildings.
The award-winning firm has a forte in design-build construction and whole home renovations. The firm was established in the 1960s, an era of transformative architecture that popularized thick foundations and bright colors. Projects are personalized to meet the client’s vision: no two projects are exactly alike. A certified team committed to providing top-notch customer service and a good working environment makes jobs easier, traits that have also earned commendations from homeowners in San Francisco and the Bay Area. These visually strong houses are backed by a comfortable layout to create smooth living conditions.
Plath & Co
1575 Francisco Blvd East, San Rafael, CA 94901
Plath & Company is an acclaimed residential and commercial builder based in San Rafael. Its full range of services includes custom home building, residential remodeling, historic restoration and renovation, specialty commercial, and pre-construction and home services. As a certified Platinum Builder of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) organization, it is a proponent of green and sustainable construction within California. Its work integrates environmentally-responsible practices that cause minimal landscape impact as well as energy-efficient methods that create better living conditions and smaller electric bills.
Steve Plath founded the firm in 1976 with a mission to construct quality structures the right way. Plath achieved regional prominence through proficiency in his craft and efficiency in the field, cementing his status as a trusted builder in the California domain. JB Ferrarone continues the legacy established by the founder as the current president of the firm. The Gettysburg College alum has a background in management and initially joined the local outfit as a project manager in 2006. He became a partner after five years and was appointed the highest leadership position in 2014. Together with a skilled team of industry specialists, Ferrarone runs the modern Plath company with a laser-focused commitment to fine craftsmanship and client service.
36 Professional Center Pkwy, San Rafael, CA 94903
Redhorse Constructors is a construction outfit that provides green building and design practices. The full-service practice has been operating in the territory’s residential and commercial markets since 1985 and has a deep, dynamic portfolio composed of modern and traditional spaces and impressive specialized art installations. David Warner, a UC Berkeley alumnus with backgrounds in conservation and natural resources, heads the firm. David is also the co-founder of the Human Needs Project, a collaboration of academic and industry leaders who are in partnership with local communities to address the lack of basic services common in underserved urban populations. HNP’s project in Kenya, the Kibera Town Center, provides basic services and empowerment services to over 800 people per day.
Redhorse Constructors’ core services include construction and remodels, development and infrastructure, planning and entitlements, and schematic design and budgeting. The streamlined process allows seamless project flow, a process mastered through years of efficient implementation. The firm delivers new construction and remodels with top-grade results, while infusing them with environmentally responsible technology for long-term sustainability. Assessment of land and structures for development are expertly completed by industry professionals with precision detail.
Clients are guided extensively through land-use planning and permits to give them a full understanding of the property at hand. Experienced engineers and architects handle the schematics to pinpoint cost-effective plans that bring optimal output. A small-projects division focused on post-construction services helps clients thoroughly maintain their legacy properties.
39 Aquinas Drive, San Rafael, CA 94901
Salamandra Associates is an accomplished builder with a strong resume in new home residential construction and waterfront home building. The firm started in 1988 as a commercial builder providing work for a select number of companies, which included United Airlines, Cambridge Sound Works, as well as several East Bay outfits. The firm eventually expanded its operations to serve a wider base in Marin County. Third-party sites have regularly featured this builder for their remarkable homes and stylish modern spaces.
Salamandra Associates is a member of the Marin Builders Association and Build It Green. Steve Salamandra, the firm’s principal is a seasoned professional with a solid industry skill set. He wears many hats for the firm, and has extensive expertise not only in construction, but also in business, real estate, and finance. His diverse resume has rendered him a well-rounded leader and one of the most vital cogs in the company’s gears. Steve’s Construction team includes a roster of like-minded experts that are skilled in producing finely crafted products. Homeowners who have worked with the team praise the crew’s quality work, integrity, and positive attitude. Reviews have also cited the economical pricing and prompt service provided by this company.
Sausalito Construction, Inc.
75 Pelican Way, San Rafael, CA 94901
Sausalito Construction, Inc. is a company that specializes in residential building and remodeling, with a focus on luxury homes and high-end commercial structures. The practice has operated in the Bay Area since 2001, particularly working on projects within Southern Marin County. Aside from construction, several key services offered include estimates, pricing, scheduling, and full-time management. The construction team currently has over 45 certified personnel across San Rafael—each with different skill sets, all dedicated to the same cause. The studio’s catalog of projects showcases a collection of styles that range from classic coastal homes to contemporary rustic manors. Local businesses like Margaret O’Leary and Farrow and Ball are also present in its portfolio, a testament to the versatility of the crew.
Gale Greisen and Don Scheiner—who serve as the main partners of the practice—are renowned professionals with decades of industry experience. Greisen and Scheiner are instrumental to the consistent annual revenue of over ten million dollars, which speaks not only to the quality of work provided but also to the connections they’ve established in the field.