Spanning the snow-capped Cascade Mountains to fog-shrouded forested islands, Washington is an idyllic state in the Pacific Northwest. Urban life flourishes amidst lush forests, and dramatic coastlines are found around every corner. One of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, Seattle, provides nearly instant access to some of the most sublime natural environments on the planet. You can enjoy a hike among the flora and fauna of Mt. Rainer in the morning, then enjoy fine dining at the Space Needle in the afternoon.
Washington’s population is heavily clustered in the series of islands and coastal communities of Puget Sound. In New York, you ride the subway to work, but in the greater Seattle-Tacoma area, you ride the ferry. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area accounts for more than half of the state’s population; Seattle is the largest city. Homes, particularly in this city, vary widely in style. There is the geometric Seattle Box or FourSquare, but there’s also the Mid-century Modern. There are even Craftsman bungalows that were built in the early 1900s and have come to symbolize Seattle’s distinct charm. Many historic homes in the state are continuously renovated and remodeled.
If you are looking to buy and remodel a historic house, or update your existing home, or build a new home, Washington offers some of the best general contractors in the country. This list features award-winning contractors with press recognition, glowing reviews, high-end design, and excellent customer ratings.
15) Tenhulzen Residential
Website| 425.382.7286 | 13208 NE 20th Street Suite 300 Bellevue, WA 98005
Bellevue-based design-build remodeler Tenhulzen Residential wants to develop each remodeling project as if it were its own stage production, from the initial stages of concept and script to production and release. Treating the process as performance helps the team provide their best service to their clients.
Much like award-winning movies and stage shows, their productions in the remodeling industry have been recognized by several organizations. The National Association of Home Builders awarded them a 2017 SAFE for Remodeler Safety Program of the Year. In that same year, they won a Chrysalis Award for a bathroom renovation of a 1970’s Redmond home. The bathroom is striking: a European-inspired contemporary suite with grey tones illuminated by skylights, it has a dry sauna and cozily heated flooring.
14) ReNew Creations
Website| 360.253.2000 | 12717 NE 299th St, Battle Ground, WA 98604
ReNew Creations is a design-build remodeler and custom home builder based in Clark County. They specialize in additions and outbuilding construction and do kitchen and bathroom remodels too.
The firm is fairly new but they have received an impressive number of awards and recognition considering that they have only been in business for five years. The company received the Best Overall Project for the 2015 Remodeled Homes Tour and the NAHB Remodeler of the Month for March 2018. In 2017, they received the prestigious President’s Award for Remodeler of the Year. That same year, their Granny Apartment Addition–for a homeowner’s mother-in-law–was named “Favorite Project” by NAHB members. It features easy access to the main house, has its own living quarters with kitchenette, spacious bedroom, closet, and a fully accessible bathroom. The addition seamlessly ties into the original home but still provides independence with its front porch and own stairs.
Leader and principal, Dave Myllymaki, was initially focused on new custom home building, working for local and national builders. Then he started his own small business and continued new construction for 12 years. He took that considerable experience into remodeling, and now he is Chair of the Remodelers Council of Clark County.
13) Potter Construction
Website| 206.935.9696 | 5606 California Ave SW Seattle, WA 98136
A Five-time Chrysalis Award winner, Potter Construction has been serving the Seattle and Eastside area since 1979. This full-service remodeling company does everything from kitchen and bathroom updates to bigger projects such as home additions and whole house renovations.
Gary Potter started the business after serving in the US Marine Corps and earning his business degree from the University of Washington. He has chaired the MBA Remodelers Council and is a Certified Graduate Remodeler. With his leadership and a dedicated team of designers and builders, the firm has garnered five regional Chrysalis Awards for various projects over the years. One such project, a whole house remodel for a retired couple, won a regional Chrysalis Award in 2016 and an MBA Remodeling Excellence (REX) Award in 2015. The Ballard home renovation featured updates to a Craftsman home that made it safer and more functional for the needs of the elderly: the couple could continue to live in their beloved home even as they aged.
12) CRD Design Build
Website| 206.782.6959 | 3929 Stone Way N Seattle, WA 98103
Founded by Denny Conner in 1980 as Conner Remodeling and Design, this remodeler evolved into CRD Design Build in the 90’s to bridge the gap between architects and builders. They provided a more streamlined service to their clients and continued to grow as a result. Today, the firm specializes in kitchen, bathroom, basement and whole home remodels.
The firm was named the largest full-service Seattle-based remodeling company in Remodeling Magazine’s 2018 Remodeling 550 List and is a 2018 MBA Remodeling Excellence recipient. The award-winning project was a whole house remodel and addition in West Seattle that combined zen serenity and a rock-and-roll aesthetic. A new master suite addition was completed with a free-standing tub; meanwhile, the kitchen was enlarged and updated with a modern palette and generous windows. A gallery wall of prized Northwest concert posters serves as a focal point of the living space.
11) Renewal Remodels and Additions
Website| 425.503.2388 | 9725 SE 36th St, Mercer Island, WA
Renewal Remodels and Additions provide a wide array of services to Mercer Island. Founded by George Eide in 1996, this award-winning luxury remodeler has done everything from second story additions and whole house remodels to outdoor living spaces. They have also completed specialty projects, such as entertainment rooms and in-house dance studios. They work mostly on single-family homes, and the styles encompass Asian, European, and country influences.
One notable project is this 1968 Ranch home that was given a tranquil Asian-influenced update. They added a large deck with landscaping that included koi ponds made from river stone. The focal point of the outdoor space was a tea house in a heavily textured stucco finish. The project earned a 2014 MBA REX Award and a 2015 Chrysalis Award. In addition to their many awards from the same organizations, the firm was also given a Silver Best In American Living Award by the NAHB in 2013.
10) Reier Construction
Website| 253.305.0753 | 6124 Alameda Ave. West, University Place, WA 98467
Reier Construction LLC is a general contractor that provides creative design-build remodels and new construction. Since 1994, under the leadership of founder Tom Reier, it has served the suburbs of the Tacoma area and built in various house styles such as Craftsman, Mid-century Modern, and Contemporary.
Their whole house renovation of a 4,000-square-foot home in 2015 earned them a Pierce County Remodeling Excellence Award. With a focus on aging-in-place, the lodge-like rustic home now includes a 21-foot great room ceiling with exposed beams, a see-through stone fireplace, a media room, and an outdoor kitchen complete with gas stone fireplace and infrared heaters. Their other awards include multiple BIA Washington Excellence in Remodeling Awards and Pierce County MBA REX Awards.
9) R4 Construction LLC
Website| 253.301.9302 | PO Box 7968, Tacoma, WA 98417
R4 Construction of Tacoma specializes in historic home restoration. This design-build remodeler exercises the care and respect required for historic renovations. The company also does kitchen and bathroom remodels and house additions.
Headed by Steve Rork, the firm’s designers and builders have a passion for restoring old and historic homes in the North Tacoma area. Their high-quality craftsmanship has earned recognition from several building organizations. The MBA of Pierce County awarded them 12 awards in Remodeling Excellence over the past 5 years, and BIA Washington has given them several Excellence in Remodeling Awards.
One of their notable projects is a restoration of a 1903 foursquare in North Tacoma that earned a 2015 Chrysalis Award for Residential Historic Renovation. They reclaimed the original single-family home by refinishing the 110-year-old floor, and they opened up the interior by demolishing a bedroom that separated the kitchen and the dining area. This allowed for a refurbished kitchen that still stayed true to the design of the house.
8) Ventana Construction
Website| 206.932.3009 | 5958 California Ave SW Seattle, WA 98136
Ventana Construction is a Seattle-based professional remodeling company specializing in large-scale whole-house remodels, home additions, and custom homes. Clarence Higuera brings more than 30 years of construction to his firm. He works with his spouse, Anne, and together they are well-versed in the remodeling business, possessing professional certifications such as Certified Graduate Remodeler and Aging-in-Place Specialist.
From building custom homes with Asian influences and Craftsman charm to renovating historic Tudor homes and Admiral additions, the couple provides innovative solutions and a flexibility in a style that has made them popular among homeowners.
Their various projects have been recognized in publications such as the Seattle Times, the West Seattle Herald, and Professional Remodeler. Their awards include four Remodeling Excellence Awards from the Master Builders Association, a Professional Remodeler Design Award, and a 2010 Regional Chrysalis Award.
7) York Enterprises
Website| 253.752.3189 | 3517 South 13th Street, Tacoma, WA 98405
York Enterprises is a full-service general contractor that started in 1979 when Duke York took up remodeling as a second career. He was still working as a juvenile probation officer, and initially, he did all the work on the projects himself. In 1998, he hired his first employee. The company continued to grow and became quite the success story. In 2010, the firm was named ‘Company of the Year’ and by 2015, it was hailed as the Washington State Remodeler of the Year by the Building Industry Association of Washington.
The firm specializes in a variety of projects such as kitchen and bathroom remodels, additions, and design. They also offer custom home building and historic home renovations. This historic exterior renovation of a 125-year-old home was particularly challenging because it was based on just one historical photograph. York managed to pull off the renovation by removing siding and front porch rails that were not historically correct. They then painstakingly replicated the original scrollwork detail.
6) NipTuck Remodel
Website| 425.681.7668 | 11312 180th St SE Snohomish, WA 98296
NipTuck Remodel is an award-winning design-build remodeling company that offers whole-house interior design, kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and additions. April Bettinger started the company in 2010, following in the footsteps of her father who was a custom home builder in the 1970’s and 80’s. Her unique all-women team of designers and builders went on to build award-winning residential projects in the suburban and metro area in the Snohomish County area.
This Remodeling Big 50 member specializes in kitchen and bathroom remodels that exude luxury and elegance. The firm has received multiple awards for their kitchens and bathrooms including Design Awards from the National Kitchen and Bath Association of Puget Sound, as well as MBA Remodeling Excellence Awards.
This 2018 NKBA Design Award Winner is a remodeled large bathroom in a former Street of Dreams home. NipTuck removed the granite and carpet and replaced them with double shower heads, custom his and her niches, and a patterned tile that gave the bathroom a clean, elegant feel.
5) Irons Brothers Construction
Website| 206.306.7767 | 1510 NE 170th Street, Suite #2, Shoreline, WA 98155
Listing an admirable collection of award-winning projects and accomplishments, Irons Brothers Construction has made a name in the remodeling and renovation industry, and not only locally, but nationally. Serving the Seattle area since 1999, Irons Brothers has grown into a design-build center where homeowners and builders learn about the trade: proprietor Joseph Irons provides regular lectures and workshops.
The full-service company does everything in terms of remodeling and renovation: kitchen and bathroom remodeling, additions and exteriors, whole house remodels, universal design, as well as aging-in-place. With their vast network of trade partners and builders, the firm completes as many as 50 to 75 successful projects annually, with 10 – 20 projects in progress at a time. Even with such an impressive number of projects, the firm assures clients that quality and efficiency are not compromised.
Their projects have been recognized by many award-giving bodies and organizations, including the Master Builders Association Remodeling Excellence Awards and the BIA Washington Excellence in Remodeling Awards. Irons Brothers is a three-time state and local Remodeler of the Year.
4) Chermak Construction Inc.
Website| 425.776.1367 | 655 Edmonds Way, Edmonds, WA 98020
Edmonds-based Chermak Construction, Inc. has been serving the greater Seattle area for 37 years. They do full-service home remodeling, home repair, and light commercial/tenant improvements. Their portfolio has a broad range in scope and size, from kitchen and bathroom remodels to additions and outdoor living.
Howard Chermak founded the firm in 1980 to help finance his education at Western Washington State University. In 2017, he retired and his colleague Noah France purchased the company after more than 16 years as a successful contractor operating France Construction, LLC in Woodinville. The company has found success, having been hailed by Remodeling Magazine and Qualified Remodeler as one of the top remodelers in both the state and in the nation. Seattle Business Magazine included the firm in their list of “100 Best Companies to Work For.”
The company has multiple Chrysalis Awards including 3 national awards: the 2017 Bath Remodel, the 2012 Best Residential Insurance Restoration, and the 2010 Best Bath Remodel. It also has a long list of state and county ‘Excellence in Remodeling’ Awards. This sleek and modern bathroom suite won a BIAW 2014 Excellence in Remodeling Award. The ebony stained millwork and cabinetry, architectural glass double doors, heated floors, and improved lighting make you feel like you are in a luxury hotel.
3) Hanson-Carlen Construction
Website| 253.301.9302 | 112 S Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99201-4013
Hanson-Carlen Construction is a family-owned design-build company that has served Spokane for over 40 years. Their current owners, third generation builders David and Tom Hanson, come from a line of Midwest custom home builders. When their grandfather moved to Spokane the family established the company, and the tradition of construction continued. Today, David takes care of management and sales; Tom is the cabinet builder/artisan of the company.
The firm combines the thoughtful design of a registered architect bundled with “old world craftsmen” employees to create and renovate residential projects. They apply this process to all kinds of projects, even kitchen and bathroom renovations, additions, as well as whole house remodels. Additionally, they have updated and restored historic homes in the area, most of which are part of the Historic Register. One such project is the restoration of the porch of a house that was owned by John Chester Ralston, Spokane’s City Engineer, in the 1900’s.
These and many other works of the company have been recognized through national and regional awards, as well as in magazines. SPOKANE Coeur d’Alene Living and the Designer’s Notebook of Qualified Remodelers have featured their works, while the Spokane Journal of Business did a feature on their unique design process. Their most notable project, a modern European bathroom remodel, won a 2012 National Chrysalis Award and Qualified Remodeler Gold Master Design Award.
2) Model Remodel
Website| 206.282.2150 | 1111 W Nickerson St, Seattle, WA 98119
With more the 40 awards to date, a passion for green remodeling, and knack for restoring historic homes, Model Remodel is making waves in the home renovation industry in Seattle.
It owes its name to the founder and President, Jason Legat, who used to balance a career in modeling with work as a remodeling contractor on Whidbey Island. Model Remodel is now a 25+ person design-build team with a wide range of styles. Scandinavian design, contemporary living spaces, and even 70’s geometric designs turned modern are part of their colorful portfolio. Along with these diverse styles, the firm also builds environmentally responsible homes using Built Green certification in the Seattle area.
Their wide array of projects, innovative building techniques, and progressive steps towards sustainable housing has earned them awards in various categories in the state and the region. Recently they won two prestigious 2018 regional Chrysalis Awards, a 2018 Built Green Hammer Award, and a 2014 Historic Seattle Award.
Photo: Cindy Apple Photography
The basement remodel pictured above was completed in 2016 in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. From an unfinished, 6-foot-tall basement to an industrial, farmhouse suite—this house lift and remodel was an incredible transformation.
1) Sockeye Homes
Website| 253.737.4456 | 14638 SE 229th Pl. Kent WA 98042
Regarded as the top remodeler in the state of Washington with a record-breaking nine state awards in a single year, this 11-year-old company offers upscale renovations and high-end remodels of homes as well as custom new home building. They offer fixed price package construction alongside custom construction. They are leaders in the green home movement, building sustainable and energy-efficient homes throughout the Puget Sound region.
The firm’s president, Tod Sakai, developed his building expertise through a previous position as a general manager for Armstrong Homes. After establishing a vast network and completing over 1,500 homes in 13 years, he started his own business, Sockeye Homes. He has led the company to numerous awards for quality and excellence at the local and state level, including BIAW’s Excellence in Remodeling Awards and the Remodeling Excellence Awards from MBA of King and Snohomish Counties as well as the MBA of Pierce County. In 2017, he was named Remodeler of the Year in Washington State by the BIAW.
This whole house rebuild in Renton features pops of bold color in the interior and neutral earth tones on the exterior. Oversized disappearing sliding doors and European accents breathe new life into the once dreary home. It even has provisions for an elevator so the homeowners can age in place.