California kitchens are often defined by white palettes, natural materials such as brick and wood, and lots of light. West Coast kitchens really are about as cool as you’d expect a Hollywood or a San Francisco kitchen to be. A focus on indoor-outdoor living is also predominant—you can usually find huge windows and sliding glass doors that open to a patio.
If you’re looking to build that quintessential Cali kitchen, choose from one of the top kitchen remodeling contractors in the Golden State. Our team has compiled the top 15 among thousands of contractors based on their honors, press coverage, the volume of work, and overall reputation in the building industry. Whether you are in the Bay Area or SoCal, these award-winners will create the kitchen perfect for your home and lifestyle.
Sea Pointe Construction
Website | 949-861-3400 | 576 Wald, Irvine, CA 92618
Sea Pointe Construction is a design-remodel firm that has been serving Orange County since 1986. More recently the firm joined the top ranks in remodeling, most notably Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500 and Remodeler Magazine’s Top 550. The firm and its projects have also been highlighted by The Wall Street Journal, Orange County Magazine, and Ladera Ranch Magazine.
The firm’s production team consists of four project managers and 15 in-house carpenters under the leadership of head project manager, Chris Jay. Chris is a Forty under 40 Awardee and was recently named Most Valuable Professional by Remodeler’s Advantage. Chris is backed by an accomplished design team populated by Certified Aging in Place Specialists and Certified Kitchen and Bath Designers. Sea Pointe’s team specializes in universal design and bespoke remodeling for kitchens, bathrooms, and whole homes.
Featured in Kitchen & Bath Design News, this kitchen in Corona Del Mar easily transforms into an indoor-outdoor amenity. The galley kitchen was converted into an open kitchen, complete with a dining area and breakfast nook. A bi-fold door opens up the space to Southern California views while an oversized peninsula provides more prep space, seating, and storage.
MAK Design + Build, Inc.
Website | 530-750-2209 | 430 F St. Suite B, Davis, CA 95616
MAK Design + Build has made the most out of its 14 years in the remodeling business. The firm has already earned 15 Contractor of the Year (COTY) awards and a city of Davis Environmental Recognition Award. The firm was also handpicked by American Honda Motors to be part of the project design team for the Honda Smart Home in UC Davis. Its mastery of green building and remodeling has made it one of the top choices for Sacramento residents.
The firm is run by husband-and-wife team Ellen Moriarty and Ken Kirsch. Ken has more than 30 years of experience in residential remodeling. He is a member of Remodeler’s Advantage and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. He is also a certified green building professional by Build It Green.
Kitchens from this firm are a mix of artful architecture and sustainable living. In this all-white kitchen, maple wood frames and accents the simple palette. The 2019 Regional NARI COTY Award Winner brought more function without dramatically changing the footprint. An engineered beam replaces a constricting support wall while open shelves and a butcher block island countertop give the space a sophisticated modern look.
Wilkinson Design + Construction, Inc.
Website | 415-785-7961 | 45 Mitchell Blvd. Suite 7A, San Rafael, CA 94903
In 1989 Wilkinson Design + Construction started in San Francisco as a small remodeling company. Armed with a degree in Architecture from UC Berkeley, Pav Wilkinson sought to provide a more personalized, design-driven remodeling experience to Bay Area residences. After 12 years in California, Pav and his wife Lynn moved to Cape Cod where they worked on its aging home market. The two helped establish the NARI Chapter of Cape Cod and worked on upscale second homes. After their success on the East coast, they returned to San Francisco to continue what they had started.
With its extensive experience in the east and west coast, the firm has developed a reputation for effectively incorporating contemporary style sensibilities into regional vernacular architecture. The firm has worked on numerous homes, from historic houses to more contemporary and modern residences, including green remodels. The firm also specializes in kitchens and bathrooms, earning NARI COTY Awards and NARI Remmies in this category.
This transitional kitchen is a great example of how the firm mixes materials and design elements to create a blend of the old and new. The horizontal and vertical graining of the cabinets complement the wood ceiling planks, giving the galley kitchen a feeling of spaciousness. The red wall boldly defines the dining space.
Website | 415-394-9300 | 1485 Bayshore Blvd., Suite #220, San Francisco, CA 94124
Named as Diamond Certified’s highest rated contractor for 12 consecutive years, Houseworks Design+Build’s topnotch service and high standards in construction place it among California’s top contractors. It specializes in updating sensitive older homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Its residential remodeling services include design-remodel and green building updates for kitchens, bathrooms, attics, basements, and whole homes.
Remodeling industry leader Jeff Kann pioneered the firm in 2005. He has served various positions on the executive board of the NARI San Francisco Chapter and he is a recipient of the Remodeling Big50 Award. His background includes a corporate job specializing in customer relations with national-sized accounts for 20 years.
Technology and design come together in this Church Street remodel in San Francisco. The former 1980’s interior was revamped with warm browns and lively oranges. Natural textures also come into play along with natural light from the kitchen’s skylights. A focused bar area is a perfect focal point and amenity for entertaining guests.
Website | 650-363-9333 | 506 Second Ave., Redwood City, CA 94063
EBCHI is the product of a merger between two successful residential construction companies: EBCON Corporation and Hughes Construction. Each firm has a successful reputation going back to 2002. Since its union in 2016, the firm has emerged stronger in the California general contracting industry. The company is led by Erik Bergstrom along with Erik Hughes, the former CEO of Hughes Construction, Inc. Hughes heads Business Development and new market explorations.
This general contractor does residential remodels and custom homes throughout the Peninsula. Its portfolio is packed with total home renovations, kitchen and bath remodels, aging-in-place features, and custom bar and entertainment installations. Its ability to find a balance between function and form in all its projects has earned it awards such as a couple of regional NARI COTY Awards for basement and interior work. These projects have been featured in Luxe and Modern Vintage Home and Living.
The firm’s recent award-winner is an open kitchen concept with a great connection to the outdoors. Sliding doors, floor to ceiling windows, and a skylight above the cooking area all create a light, airy atmosphere. A waterfall countertop, rift cut white oak cabinetry, and a Calcutta marble backsplash grants the kitchen its elegance. This project won a 2019 Regional NARI COTY Award for Residential Kitchen.
Alward Construction Company
Website | 510-527-6498 | 1035 Carleton St., Berkeley, CA 94710
With 22 local awards, more than a dozen regional and national COTY Awards, and 11 Chrysalis Awards, Alward Construction Company is one of the most decorated companies on this list. Its stellar projects include historic renovations, a remodel of a Frank Lloyd Wright home, and many other residences throughout San Francisco. The firm can also point to accolades from national renovation publications such as Professional Remodeler and Qualified Remodeler.
The company was started in 1979 by Keith Alward who built his own studio and performed all its carpentry and masonry work. Growing up on a ranch, he learned the basics of building early on and developed a taste for quality hands-on work. Today, that passion still central in the company’s business operation, as is maintaining good relationships with clients.
The firm is well-versed in many styles common to California, such as Craftsman, ranch, and mid-century modern. This transitional kitchen is part of a mid-century modern home with ranch elements. The huge kitchen is made even larger with an expanse of windows looking out to forest views.
Gilmans Kitchens + Baths
Website | 415-550-8848 | 228 Bayshore Blvd., San Francisco, CA 94124
From a hardware store opened in 1954 to a window and door screen company in the 1970s to a kitchen and bath remodeler in The 1990s, Gilmans Kitchens + Baths is one of this list’s oldest contractors. The transformation over the years has equipped the firm to do any kind of remodeling and custom design. Today, it has over 60 employees located in four offices—San Francisco, San Rafael, San Mateo, and Mountain View.
Due to its rich history as a locally owned business, the firm has been named a Legacy Business by The city of San Francisco. It is one of the first to be recognized with such an honor. Other awards include NKBA Design Awards in 2016 and two 2019 Remmy Awards from the NARI of San Francisco Bay Area.
Senior Designer Cynthia Collins designed this sleek and modern kitchen. Different zones for multiple user experiences, window relocation, and custom large storage solutions are a few reasons why this kitchen won the 2019 Remmy Residential Kitchen $150,000+.
Website | 510-525-2804 | 1280 Sixth St., Berkeley, CA 94710
Established in Berkeley in 1980, award-winning contractor McCutcheon Construction has steadily become a pacesetter in green building, residential remodeling, and historic preservation. Its San Francisco projects have won regional and local NARI COTY Awards. The firm has also been named by Professional Magazine as a national leader in Sustainable Design and Construction while Remodeling Magazine has included it on its Top 550 national remodelers.
The firm’s high regard for sustainability stems from its founder, Michael McCutcheon. He is an American Institute of Architects – East Bay associate member, a Build It Green founding member, and a Remodelers Advantage Roundtable member. As an expert and leader, he shares his knowledge and experience through construction seminars and articles published in the San Jose Mercury News, the Piedmont Post, and the Berkeley Times.
One of the firm’s notable projects is the award-winning transformation of this 100-year-old home. The firm successfully enlarged this Craftsman kitchen to accommodate three generations. The simple and practical rectangular layout is framed with honed Carrara marble countertops and Shaker-style cabinet doors. The kitchen earned a 2017 National NARI COTY Award.
Website | 855-833-8733 | 5352 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Suite #200, Valley Village, CA 91607
Treeium is an eco-remodeling company known for its modern residences up and down the California coast. 150 people in five offices enable it to serve in every part of the Golden State, from Los Angeles and parts of Orange County to San Diego, Sunnyvale, Lafayette, Riverside, and Irvine. The firm has earned top ranks on national remodeling lists, including Inc. 500, Qualified Remodeler’s Top 500, and Remodeling’s Top 500 and Big 50.
Argentine-born Moty Ginsburg is no stranger to the complexities of home remodeling projects. As owner and founder, he has spent the last three decades in management and construction, fusing remodeling and technology to get ahead in the industry. With this strategy, the firm produces one-of-a-kind home remodels integrated with sustainable and green amenities. It puts a premium on eco-conscious practices, knowing that a sustainable home carries more value and promotes better health for families.
Treeium kitchens vary in style and architecture. Treeium’s portfolio displays quite a few all-white kitchens, traditional spaces in wood and marble, and eco-friendly kitchens. The firm installed LED lighting, natural stone surfaces and sustainable, nontoxic flooring in this transitional kitchen in West Hollywood. Additionally, the bright green island makes it a beautiful focal point for the room.
Website | 805-884-8777 | 201 N Milpas St., Santa Barbara, CA 93103
Prolific awards and a diverse portfolio of remodeled historical villas and estates make Allen Construction a revered design-build-remodel firm within California’s building industry. It is one of only four firms in the nation presented with the 2018 Chrysalis Decade of Excellence Award, the highest award from the organization. The firm is also backed by a long list of other Chrysalis Awards, regional and national NARI COTY Awards, Master Design Awards, and awards from the Santa Barbara Contractors Association.
The firm’s kitchen projects, along with other small renovations and home maintenance needs, are tackled by its Care & Repair division. This division specializes in aesthetic and structural remodeling of kitchens and bathrooms, universal design upgrades, and the construction of accessory dwelling units.
The firm expertly executed the remodel of this Montecito home originally designed by renowned architect Thomas Ochsner. It gutted the kitchen and updated it with new hand-hewn, solid wood ceiling beams to match existing beams in the living room. The firm won a regional and national NARI COTY Award in 2017 for this remarkable project.
Custom Kitchens by John Wilkins
Website | 510-843-3600 | 6624 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, CA 94609
Family-owned since 1950, Custom Kitchens by John Wilkins has continued its long-standing reputation of groundbreaking and innovative designs in kitchen, bathroom, and whole house remodeling. It all started with John Wilkins, who recognized the change in homes and lifestyle in the 1950s and addressed it by pioneering the open floor plan in kitchens and living rooms. His designs also included the first dishwashers, garbage disposals, microwaves, built-in refrigerators, and proper ventilation. Today his son, Jerry Wilkins, continues the firm’s development of contemporary projects.
Over the years, the firm has earned coveted design awards for its kitchens and bathrooms. These include regional and local NARI COTY Awards, NKBA Awards, NARI Remmies, a Chrysalis Award, and a Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association Preservation Award. National magazines like Better Homes and Gardens, Sunset, and Architectural Digest have also featured their contemporary projects.
Featured on the cover of Alameda Magazine, this kitchen was part of a home built by an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1960s. The firm respected both the existing architecture and the couple’s modern entertainment wishes in remodeling it. 90 percent of the kitchen’s cabinets roll out to maximize function and space. The firm also installed a wide counter/bar that can be used as a buffet and dining table for entertaining.
Website | 510-845-6100 | 2952 Sacramento St., Berkeley, CA 94702
For 30 years, HDR Remodeling has re-imagined homes in Berkeley, Alameda, Oakland, Piedmont, and the greater East Bay Area. Its residential renovations e perfectly reflect the fluid California lifestyle. The firm has ranked among Remodeling Magazines’s Big 50 and has earned national and regional accolades from the NARI and Chrysalis Awards. The CBC, CNBC, Berkeley Times, and San Jose Mercury News have also highlighted the firm.
Owner Philip Anderson established the HDR in 1987 as Honey Do Repair, a handyman company. His past work for big companies like IBM (Chicago), Procter & Gamble (Cincinnati), and Clorox (Oakland) enable him to direct and steer the company to success. At his side is general manager Chris Fellows, who has over 20 years of construction experience. The two lead a qualified staff of skilled project managers and lead carpenters who can bring any project to life.
The company favors the use of colors to brighten up a kitchen. Its portfolio features traditional and contemporary spaces accented with bright reds, blues, and yellows. This 2016 Remmies award-winning kitchen took out the choppy layout in favor of an enlarged space fit for a Berkeley family. The geometric backsplash and weathered blue island add dimension and texture to this transitional kitchen.
Website | 510-845-3506 | 1117-A Virginia St., Berkeley, CA 94702
Established in Mendocino in 1980, Jetton Construction has grown from a sole proprietorship to an award-winning Bay Area construction firm. Throughout the years, it has developed extensive knowledge and deep understanding of all facets of construction. The firm has completed more than than 400 significant projects ranging from whole house renovations, kitchen and bathroom remodels, to custom homes.
The firm is exceptionally good at restoration and remodeling. Its historical rehabilitation efforts have earned Preservation Awards from the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association while its renovations and custom homes have participated in the AIA East Bay Home Tours. Other homes from the firm have graced the pages of Elle Decor, Gentry Home Magazine, Diablo Magazine, New York Times, Fine Homebuilding, and San Francisco Magazine.
Kitchens from this firm often utilize sustainable materials and wide open layouts that transition to the outdoors. This kitchen in a renovated home in Claremont Canyon features a series of folding doors that open the house to the back garden. The indoor-outdoor kitchen is finished with striking woodwork with subtle lines and grooves for a modern aesthetic.
Jackson Design and Remodeling
Website | 858-348-5879 | 4797 Mercury St., San Diego, CA 92111
Todd Jackson has been a remodeler for most of his life, having entered the business at 20 and earning his license as a general contractor at 23. In 1989, he decided to launch his own design-remodeling company in San Diego. Over the course of 30 years, his use and development of innovative remodeling methods grew the firm, making it one of the premier remodelers in the state.
Jackson Design and Remodeling showcases an array of accolades for design and construction. It has earned multiple national and regional COTY NARI Awards, Master Design Awards, NKBA Design Awards, ASID Awards, and Chrysalis Awards. Todd has also earned his share of the awards spotlight. He was a finalist for the prestigious National Fred Case Entrepreneur of the Year Award, as well as the San Diego Business Journal‘s “Most Admired CEO” Award. Additionally, local and national magazines like the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego Magazine, Modern Luxury San Diego, Wall Street Journal, and Coastal San Diego Homes have featured the firm.
JDR’s kitchens range from traditional to contemporary with emphasis on natural materials and light. Thoughtful architectural planning and striking structural changes are ubiquitous in the firm’s portfolio. The firm also specializes in universal design for its whole home renovations, bathroom remodels, and additions. Featured here is the firm’s 2019 Regional NARI COTY Award Winner. Original wood ceilings were paired with exotic wood floors. The horizontal porcelain tile in a shade subtle gray makes the kitchen island a remarkable focal point.
Case Design / Remodeling
Website | 408-323-5300 | 2157 O’Toole Ave. Suite #70, San Jose, CA 95131
With an impressive list of awards, an expert design and building team, and a portfolio of extraordinary projects, Case Design/Remodeling has proved it deserves the top spot on this list of California kitchen remodelers. The firm’s clever designs and engineering is evident in its more the 40 META Awards from the NARI – Silicon Valley, along with regional and local, COTY Awards, and NKBA Design Awards. It has been a Diamond-certified company for seven consecutive years and is one of the Top 500 U.S. Remodelers featured in Qualified Remodeler.
Founder Jim Kabel is a NARI Certified Remodeler. He is also a Big 50 Member of the Remodeling Magazine and a Market Leader Award of Professional Remodeler. He is part of a leadership team of seasoned business and remodeling professionals with over 100 years of combined experience. The rest of the firm’s team is populated with NARI Certified Lead Contractors, Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodelers, and Universal Design Certified Professionals.
Its latest award-winning piece is a whole house remodel in the Santa Cruz foothills. The remodeling process in this 2019 Regional 2019 NARI CotY Awardee was centered on swapping the kitchen and dining room. The firm got rid of the abnormally-shaped original kitchen, awkward curved cabinetry, and a load-bearing wall. The firm then opted for matching hickory cabinets and flooring complemented by a tri-color twist tile backsplash, transforming the Craftsman-styled home into a more modern residence.