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The Best Residential Contractors in San Francisco / Bay Area

November 3, 2017 28 Min Read


Throughout this website, we have explored the work of the Bay Area’s most prestigious residential architects and best interior designers. But behind every successful, world-class structure these architects design – are the builders that make it a reality. These builders have the knowledge, skills, and local networks to meticulously turn architectural drawings into physical buildings. Their superior craftsmanship, attention to detail, and mastery of the newest building technology, including green building techniques, have helped them rise to the top of their fields. Whether they are undertaking a small-scale kitchen remodel, a whole house renovation or a new construction project, the ten general contractors on this list are the best residential builders in the Bay Area today.About our methodology – We analyzed customer reviews, government building permit data, and the work history of hundreds of residential general contractors and home builders in San Francisco. We also considered what architects the company works with and any awards and recognition their work has received. We didn’t rely solely on one or two metrics to determine which builder was superior to another. For example, if one builder had a lot of positive customer reviews, but lacked a solid work history and permit data, then the reviews had less weight. We looked at all of these factors to determine what residential builders belonged at the top of the list.

Top Contractors

Stroub Construction

Steve Stroub

300 Main St., Sausalito, CA

About Stroub Construction

Stroub Construction has built custom homes and handled large-scale residential remodels since 1983. Their work has earned them recognition from Qualified Remodeler Magazine and Professional Builder Magazine. The construction company’s work has been featured in over 30 local and national publications, including Architectural Digest, Custom Home, and Sunset. Stroub Construction has been named by Custom Builder Magazine as one of their ‘Builders of the Month’.

Sausalito-based Stroub Construction is run by president Steve Stroub. Stroub began his company with his brother Robert, and one other partner. The company primarily focuses on new construction and remodels of residential properties in San Francisco and southern Marin County. They have earned a solid reputation for their outstanding workmanship and fair pricing.

Featured Projects

Stroub Construction conducted major remodeling on the stately abode at 3524 Jackson Street in Presidio Heights. Just prior to their work, this property was sold for $12.475 million, having been one of the most expensive listings in the city at the time. The company was trusted to remodel this 5,520 square-foot home to the highest standards, with fine detailing. This project included relocating the solarium and skylights, renovating the entire kitchen and three and a half bathrooms. Stroub Construction’s work on the newly purchased home is estimated to have increased the property’s value by more than $5 million.

And the company completely renovated a historic modern home in San Francisco. Originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright associate Aaron Greene, this home was in need of some updating and restoration. Work on this historic property demanded the highest level of detail and fine craftsmanship throughout. Custom touches included flamed Burlington slate floors, dyed beech paneling and cherry cabinets.

Plath & Company

Steve Plath

1575 Francisco Blvd East, San Rafael, CA 94901

About Plath & Company

For over 40 years, Plath & Company has built and renovated fine homes and historic structures of uncompromising quality and enduring value. The company has worked with many of the Bay Area’s premier architects, including Andrew Skurman, Sutro Architects, and Gast Architects. The company has been trusted to lead preservation work on a number of San Francisco landmarks and most recognizable historic buildings, earning four awards from the California Preservation Foundation.

Steve Plath, Founding Partner and President Emeritus, founded Plath & Company 40 years ago and continues to be involved in the company’s projects. The company excels in particular on historic renovations and remodels. They have completed over 200 historical residential renovations. Plath & Company is proud to be a LEED Platinum Builder. They have earned a reputation for straightforward teamwork, transparent business practices, and proactive problem-solving.

Featured Projects

Plath & Company renovated and restored San Francisco’s Bourn Mansion, one of the most recognizable residences in San Francisco. Having suffered from 40 years of neglect, Plath & Company restored the home to its original splendor, while seismically upgrading the structure and modernizing the plumbing, electrical, and heating systems. The team painstakingly dismantled, repaired, and reinstalled the home’s original woodwork and plaster. And stained glass windows, decorative wall coverings, painted ceilings, and the home’s unique Bruce Porter mural were all carefully restored or recreated.

In one of many collaborations with Sutro Architects, Plath & Company thoroughly updated a mid-Century Pacific Heights home built in 1969. When Plath & Company arrived on the job, the home still had its original kitchen and baths. In addition to giving the property a much needed modern renovation, all the home’s plumbing, heating, and electrical systems were brought up to code. And the structure was reinforced seismically and its original garage widened by digging into the property’s hillside. Plath & Company also built in a 3-paneled window in the master bedroom, giving panoramic views across San Francisco Bay.

And with Andrew Skurman, the company remodeled a Presidio Heights home from top to bottom. This vintage, 1920’s corner residence was an impressive and grand structure but was in need of some serious care and upgrades. Substantial updates were carried out, including foundation upgrades, and new kitchen and bathrooms. Significantly, an extraordinary rooftop deck was installed, with access by way of a new staircase covered by a retractable skylight. The rooftop deck features a built-in kitchen and outstanding views.

Upscale Construction

Tony Kelly and Brad Hayes

2151 Union Street, Suite #1, San Francisco, CA 94123

About Upscale Construction

Upscale has grown into a standout Bay Area construction firm since its founding. The company has built solid working relationships with many of San Francisco’s top professionals, including architect Stanley Saitowitz, William Duff Architects, designer Kendall Wilkinson, and Stephen Sutro Architects. The company’s work has caught the attention of numerous industry publications, including California Home + Design and Luxe Interiors + Design.

Upscale Construction works on both traditional and contemporary residential projects with the goal of delivering high standards at competitive pricing. Founder and Principal Danny Bernardini has worked in construction for nearly 30 years. Today, he is joined at Upscale Construction by with Principals and Co-Owners Tony Kelly and Brad Hayes. The company has a close-knit work culture informed by the diverse backgrounds of their skilled craftsmen. They excel at a wide variety of projects, from modern residences to historic renovations.

Featured Projects

Upscale Construction worked with William Duff Architects and the top interior designer Kendall Wilkinson to remodel a 1920’s Pacific Heights home to delicately mix traditional and contemporary elements. In the remodeled home, the first-floor living room, dining room, and kitchen all revolved around a contemporary, 2-sided blackened steel fireplace. Other elements include a contemporary wood staircase with ornamental glass railings, reclaimed wood walls, veneer plaster treatments, and traditional plank floors. They also built a wall of wine storage and modern wet-bar in the ground floor family room, which also has timeworn brick walls, new concrete and steel, glass rails and a dramatic wood ceiling with sophisticated perimeter trough lighting. Upscale Construction’s work highlights impressive views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Palace of Fine Arts and blurs the line between indoor and outdoor living, including with paved decks framed by glass rails.

The company also worked with renowned architect Stanley Saitowitz to remodel a 1920s Pacific Heights home. To create a unique, contemporary/traditional space, they expertly mixed together a variety of materials, including reclaimed wood walls, exposed brick, a blackened-steel fireplace, and glass stair railings. The kitchen of this historic home was fully remodeled with dark wood cabinetry, white marble countertops, and a backlit backsplash. Other rooms in the house that required work by the company also included a gym, sauna, and movie screening room.

Saturn Construction

Dave Tricamo

1555 Yosemite Unit 16, San Francisco, CA 94124

About Saturn Construction

Saturn Construction is a full-service general contracting company that works on some of the best residential spaces in the Bay Area. The company has partnered with many of San Francisco’s most successful design firms, including Nick Noyes Architecture, Boor Bridges, Orlando-Diaz Ascuy Design Associates, ChrDUAER Architects, and Todd David Architecture. Their work has caught the eye of several design publications, including Dwell, Interiors, and California Home + Design.

Owned by Dave Tricamo, Saturn Construction works directly with clients from pre-construction to post-construction maintenance on residential remodels and new construction. In addition to their high-end residential projects, Saturn Construction also completes commercial projects throughout the city.

Featured Projects

Saturn Construction worked with Surface Design Inc. to renovate a three-story Victorian-era building into a modern home, bringing harmony to the living space for a family of four. The scope of this project included carving out two bedrooms for the children, renovating the outdated kitchen into a functional, high-end space, remodeling a powder room, and adding Venetian plaster accent walls and painting throughout. The company also waterproofed the home and renovated an amazing third-story roof deck. The team also installed an extensive wall unit built with FSC certified plywood and eco-friendly resin panels, lending a modern and playful feeling to the home, while also serving as to separate the home office and children’s play space.

And for the owners of a four-story Pacific Heights home, Saturn Construction worked with Orlando-Diaz Ascuy Design Associates to build add character and warmth to their home. The company replaced old carpeting with wenge flooring and resurfaced all of the existing hardwood throughout the home. Custom lighting was installed, including a recessed color-changing fixture above a living room alcove, new paint and fabric walls were put up, and stonework was refinished. The end result is a contemporary space with a blend of textures mixed together with the finest craftsmanship.

Saturn Construction also worked with top area firm Boor Bridges Architecture to add living space off the back of a 1890’s home. This job required great technical skill. The construction company carved into the hillside and created a heated patio for entertaining and an outdoor shower and bathtub. They also cut skylights into the roof and added a new kitchen and bathroom.

Drömhus General Contracting

John Conomos

1164 Fulton St., San Francisco, CA 94117

About Drömhus General Contracting

Even with its comparatively short amount of time in the business, Drömhus General Contracting has worked with some of the area’s top professionals, including Jensen Architects, John Maniscalco Architecture, Sutro Architects, Ian Birchall and Associates, and Jay Jeffers Design. Their work has earned awards from AIA San Francisco, and been featured in Architectural Record, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cottages and Gardens, Wallpaper Magazine, and SF Gate.

The company’s name, Drömhus, is Swedish for “dream home” and represents the type of project the construction firm has become known for executing. Their homes are beautifully crafted and unique to each client. The company is known for its holistic approach to collaborating with designers, making the construction process seamless and true to architectural plans and vision. Their staff of about 30 diverse individuals comes from a mixed background of art, design, real estate, and architecture, allowing them to enhance the outcome of each home.

Featured Projects

DrömHus General Contractors worked with John Maniscalco Architecture to renovate and expand a mid-century modern Presidio Heights dwelling. With 4,300 square feet, 2 floors, and an expansive roof deck with sweeping views of The Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio Park, DrömHus General Contractors saw endless possibilities for architectural collaboration. Inside, the home features wide-open, column-free spaces, which required surgical insertion of new steel structural members. The company also built in a new basement, which required complicated excavation, shoring, and a new shotcrete foundation. They also procured and managed the installation of custom engineered, European old-growth oak flooring and the cantilevered, wood-clad steel stair. DrömHus General Contractors considers this one of our most imaginative of marquee projects.

And the construction firm worked with Jensen Architects to completely renovate a Victorian mansion built in 1889 overlooking Alamo Square Park. The 16-room home was outfitted with luxury finishes, including floor-to-ceiling windows, a statement central staircase, and a gorgeous roof deck with an outdoor kitchen. The kitchen mixes contemporary and traditional finishes and has an eat-in breakfast area. In the master suite, DrömHus General Contractors created an upscale, spa-like bathroom and large walk-in closet. The finished home was featured in Cottages & Gardens, Wallpaper Magazine, and SF Gate.

Nova Designs + Builds

John Schraeder

297 C Kansas Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

About Nova Designs + Builds

Nova Designs + Builds has worked on over 1,000 projects in San Francisco, ranging from remodels to custom home builds. The company’s work has been featured on,, and in Elle Decor. Earlier this year, we named Nova Designs + Builds as one of the best design/build firms in San Francisco.

John Schraeder founded Nova Designs + Builds, a full-service design and construction company in 1990, after gaining extensive practical experience working on conservation and renovation projects in New York City. The San Jose native and Principal Contractor was joined in Nova by Belgium architect Fabien Lannoye in 1999.

Schrader has always worked in the creative fields. After studying music composition and classical studies at West Valley College and San Jose State University, he pursued a career as a composer, professional musician and art-oriented entrepreneur. His unique experiences are reflected in his ability to manipulate the visual and built environment with light, color, and spatial planning.

Featured Projects

Nova Designs + Builds has received significant praise for their renovation of a 4,600 square-foot townhouse from 1938 in Pacific Heights. Their work returned this duplex to a single-family residence and took advantage of direct views to Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. The home features spacious, open living and a studio apartment/in-law suite.

The company also created a beautiful indoor/outdoor home at 2 Everson Street. Their design and careful craftsmanship of this family-home takes full advantage of its surroundings. The main living area is situated on the top floor and features reclaimed hardwood flooring, a free-standing fireplace, and a wall of picture windows. Nova built the top floor to cantilever above an exterior covered living room, with its own fireplace, outdoor kitchen, and stone grotto.

Nova Design + Builds also redesigned and carried out the renovations on what is (currently) the most expensive home for sale in the city – a $22 million four-story Pacific Heights home at 2476 Broadway.

Mueller Nicholls Builders

Steve Nicholls; Rich Robb

2400 Union Street, Oakland, CA 94607

About Mueller Nicholls Builders

Established in 1981, Oakland-based Mueller Nicholls Builders is a leader in both the cabinet and construction industries. The company works with some of the Bay Area’s top architects, including Butler Armsden, Ana Williamson Architect, OXB Studio Architects, and Studio Urbis. MN Builders’ work has been featured in California Home + Design, Better Homes and Gardens, and Luxe Interiors + Designs.

The company was founded by Founder and CEO Steve Nicholls; Rich Robb is the General Manager of MN Construction. MN Builders specializes in mid-size to large, high-end partial and comprehensive remodels throughout the Bay Area. In its 35 years in business, the construction company has built relationships with the area’s best architects, designers, and subcontractors – connections they now use to deliver high-quality work at fair prices to their clients. They are known for their ability to help clients through all planning stages, including helping them assemble a top-rate team if necessary.

Featured Projects

Partnering with Butler Armsden Architects, MN Builders renovated a traditional Pacific Heights home into a functional and open space. When MN Builders started this project, the stately home was cluttered and had small, cut-off rooms surrounding an undersized and outdated kitchen. Their work involved the installation of steel moment frames and I-beams to replace the lower floor’s maze of rooms – resulting in an open concept kitchen and living area. Renovated access to the outdoors extended the livable space of this home, allowing its owners to easily transition to its newly renovated backyard.

And MN Builders also renovated a generously-sized apartment into a modern, high-end home with architects from Studio Urbis. The outdated flat was completely reworked to have an open and contemporary interior. MN Builders carefully installed elegant and deceptively simple details and finishes – metal, wood, concrete, plaster, and color throughout the new family space.

They also breathed new life into an outdated, bayside family-home in Marin County, working closely with OXB Architects. The home was transformed into a comfortable, contemporary space by opening up the kitchen and living room and providing better access to the outdoors. With the installation of window walls that completely fold out of the way, the family was given a fuller sense and direct sight lines to the water right outside their home. And in a nod to more traditional finishes, limestone tiles were be installed on vertical surfaces around the fireplace. MN Builders also modernized the entry and adjoining mudroom/bathroom with clean and simple details, as well as the front of the house facing onto the street.

Ethan Allen Construction

Ethan Allen

PO Box 65, Canyon, CA 94516

About Ethan Allen Construction

Ethan Allen Construction builds standout homes across the Bay Area. The company has worked with many renowned Bay Area architects, including John Malick & Associates, John Maniscalco Architecture, and Faulkner Architects. The company’s work has drawn the attention of AIA SF, California Home + Design, Dwell, Modern Luxury Interiors: California, and Mountain Living, among others.

The team at Ethan Allen Construction specializes in new custom home construction and remodels, both in dense urban areas and as vacation retreats in the woods.Founder Ethan Allen began his career as a Bay Area residential carpenter, taking the traditional approach of working one’s way through every facet of the building process. He brings over 25 years of experience building the highest quality homes, luxury cabins, and remodels to Ethan Allen Construction. Although the company has grown considerably since it was founded, Allen is dedicated to client satisfaction and still manages each job and has a presence on each job in order to deliver excellent results. Each project team is selected to ensure that client concerns, architectural vision, craftsmanship, and budget remain the focus.

Featured Projects

Ethan Allen Construction has worked with elite area firm John Maniscalco Architecture on numerous projects. One such project is the award-winning “Butterfly House” on Russian HIll. This project reimagined a four-story mid-century home for a young couple, turning it into a modern, indoor/outdoor masterpiece. The team’s work took advantage of the panoramic views the property offers by adding a glass-floor roof deck, wrap-around terraces, and outdoor access on every floor with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass pocket doors. They also reversed the typical home layout and reorganized the common, living spaces to the top level of the home. The open-plan interior construction has crisp, clean lines and includes a mix of douglas fir and soft gray concrete flooring. Other elements of this project include an underground wine cellar, multi-point doors converted to electric strike to allow for keyless entry and exit, a ceiling drop down television, and recessed electric blinds on all windows.

And in Piedmont, Ethan Allen Construction teamed up with architects John Malick and Associates to remodel a two-story family home. Done in the French Provincial style, this project involved an overhaul of the outdated kitchen and joined together the family room, pantry, and downstairs wine cellar. The country style kitchen is graced with arches and inviting color. This is enhanced by the pantry’s oval design with an elliptical dome ceiling. An elegant spiral staircase was created for access to the home’s wine cellar.

FORMA Construction

Victor Mezhvinsky

Best in American Living Remodel of the Year Award

135 South Park, San Francisco, CA 94107

About FORMA Construction

Since 2008, FORMA Construction, formerly MT Development, has partnered with accomplished architects and designers to execute distinctive custom homes and remodeling projects across the Bay Area. These include renowned names such as Cass Calder Smith (CCS Architecture), Swatt Miers, Red Dot Studio, and Feldman Architecture. The firm takes on a limited number of luxury projects at a time to ensure that each client benefits from a responsive and hands-on management approach. As a result, it has built a reputation for superior craftsmanship, stunning custom designs, and collaborative communications.

FORMA Construction has received a myriad of awards and press recognition for its expertise and design-build prowess. These include winning the National Association of Home Builders’ Best in American Living Remodel of the Year in 2017 and 2018, the Luxe Red Award and has been featured in Interior Design, Cottages & Gardens, ELLE Decor and The San Francisco Chronicle, among others. The team is led by native San Franciscan Victor Mezhvinsky, who left a successful career in technology to become a builder and a developer.

Featured Projects

The firm touts a remarkable portfolio featuring a wide range of architectural styles, from traditional and classic to mountain rustic, contemporary, and modern. FORMA projects are expertly built to the exacting specifications of interior designers, architects, and clients alike.

One of the firm’s most monumental builds is the Glen Park Residence, which won the Best in American Living Platinum Remodel of the Year Award in 2017 and was selected for the San Francisco AIA Home Tour. FORMA partnered with Cass Calder Smith Architecture and Subject to Change to redesign an unremarkable outdated home into a modern work of art, adding new building systems, seismic retrofitting, incredible views, and a stand-out interior.

The newly-renovated home features a top floor that opens up on both ends with sweeping views of the city one way and kitchen views of the terraced yard to the other. Unlike the restrained white interior, the charred Cypress exterior is charcoal and meant to look iconic for its unique beauty and to distinguish the home from its neighbors.

Kevin Webb Construction

Kevin Webb

AIA Design Award

3298 Pierce Street, San Francisco, CA 94123

About Kevin Webb Construction

Kevin Webb Construction is a high-end contracting and general construction firm in San Francisco with over 30 years of experience ranging from renovations of historical residences to the construction of multi-unit buildings. The team is behind some award-winning work, including the conversion of a historic property into an AIA winning residence. Webb Construction works repeatedly with highly regarded architects and developers, such as BAR Architects, Charlie Barnett Associates, and Ogrydziak / Prillinger.

All of Kevin Webb Construction projects demonstrate attention to detail and exceptional craftsmanship. The talented professionals who comprise Webb Construction orchestrate and implement all phases of construction efficiently and with great care.

Founder Kevin Webb has 38 years of construction experience. He began as a carpenter in the early 1980’s working on large projects downtown. This experience led him to general contracting with a specialization in carefully crafted and well designed residential projects. His resume includes meticulous projects in sometimes challenging settings: from historical preservation projects in the Presidio to a custom residence for the largest landlord in San Francisco, to several multi-unit condominium projects in Pacific Heights and Russian Hill, (with record-setting sales prices). All of his projects are rooted in attention to every detail and a respect for the legacy of their settings.

Featured Projects

Kevin Webb Construction has teamed up with leading architects Ogrydziak/Prillinger on a number of residential projects throughout the Bay Area. One of their latest projects, 1945 Hyde received an AIA Design Award. Named “The Garage on Hyde”, this building offered excellent bones in a desirable residential area, with dramatic volumes. One of the city’s most exciting recent residential remodels, this project preserving the historic features of the building’s industrial past such as window design, street-level openings, and materiality, while inserting distinct, but quiet, new spatial blocks and finishes.

And the company collaborated with B.A.R. Architects on a 4,000 square foot home At the top of Edgehill Way in San Francisco. This home was built out as a contemporary homage to the Arts and Crafts aesthetic. Kevin Webb COnstruction’s exceptional carpentry skills are on display in their work on this project, particularly evident in the rustic sophistication of its interior and exterior spaces. Unique to this design is the use of vertical grain Hemlock, cladding the vast expanse of interior walls, ceiling, and exposed complex trusses.

The company also worked with Ogrydzkiak / Prillinger Architects and visual artist James Turrell on a cylindrical ‘skyspace home’ situated on a hilltop site at a vineyard in Sonoma. They carefully incorporated an existing water tower into the new home.

GGD, Inc.

Glenn Goodman

475 Gate 5 Road Suite 200, Sausalito, CA 94965

About GGD, Inc.

GGD, Inc. creates unique custom homes throughout the Bay Area. The company’s work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Luxe Interiors & Designs, Gentry Home, San Francisco Magazine, and on The company has built strong relationships with key tradesmen and design professionals, leading to their repeat collaborations with top area architects, including Butler Armsden and Suzanne Tucker of Tucker & Marks Inc.

GGD, Inc. Founder and President Glenn Goodman has over 42 years of experience in construction management and contracting. He takes an active role in every company project, overseeing each project’s advance construction requirements and monitoring the day-to-day construction. GGD, Inc. is committed to reducing the ecological impact of their build. To that end, they are active supporters of Save The Bay and Build It Green initiatives.

Before forming his own company in 2008, Goodman spent nine years as a project manager with the acclaimed Van Acker Construction, included at the top of this list. Throughout his career, he has served as CEO for a San Francisco engineering services and construction management firm, as well as Operations Manager and Vice President for four other construction management firms. While he was CEO of Geo Resource Consultants, the firm was awarded a 1997 Small Contractor of the Year Award from the U.S. Air Force and General Services Accounting Agency.

Featured Projects

GGD, Inc. has collaborated with the prestigious architects at Butler Armsden for numerous Bay Area projects. Together, they renovated a 1906 single-family hilltop home in Buena Vista Park, opening the home up to the far-reaching views of the outdoors. They also worked together on a top-to-bottom remodel of a house at 2841 Divisadero Street, changing the outdated space into an open, contemporary home. Work involved a complete reconfiguration the main-floor living area and kitchen and the addition of an office and a terrace deck. In the master bedroom, the team added a rolling skyline and en-suite bathroom that featured intricate glass tile work.

GGD, Inc. also rejuvenated and refinished a 1939 William Wurster designed home with gardens designed by Tommy Church. The work on this historic property was done in true to period materials and finishes with modern details. Details included interior veneer plaster throughout and pre-finished, German made, European Oak floors. The project scale also involved an expanded basement Den, Laundry and Wine Room. Each bedroom was given a full bath with traditional Tadelakt plaster walls and a fully remodeled guest suite was finished above the garage.

Peter Downey Construction

Peter Downey

Julia Morgan Award,
Residential Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Honorable Mention for Interior Design & Decoration

1224 Carleton St, Berkeley, CA 94702

About Peter Downey Construction

Founded in 1979, Peter Downey Construction specializes in premium residential building, including new construction and remodels. The company works with accomplished architecture firms, including BAR Architects, Richard Beard, and Butler Armsden. Their work has earned several prestigious awards, including a Julia Morgan Award and an award from Residential Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

Peter Downey Construction works across the Bay Area. Their work can be found in San Francisco’s most exclusive neighborhoods, as well as Marin, Piedmont, Berkeley, Montclair, Orinda, and the Oakland Hills. PDC has 35 years of experience revitalizing and updating historic homes, including Victorian, Craftsman, and Modern-era buildings. They maintain a network of artisans and skilled mechanics who can be relied upon to provide specialized skills of any kind to any degree necessary.

Featured Projects

Peter Downey Construction and BAR Architects renovated a landmark 1924 Pacific Heights Home. The historic G. Albert Lansburgh designed and built home was updated into a clean and contemporary residence that provided the perfect background to the owner’s extensive collection of modern art. This was achieved by making the interior composed of large, open, and naturally lit spaces, with a floorplan that provided considerably wall space to hang art. The home has a number of amenities and special features: a double-height entryway with a skylight, cantilevered stone staircase with a hammered bronze railing, wood burning fireplace, wine cellar, home office, sauna, gym, and a game room with a wet bar. Exterior modifications include all new windows, new stucco and paint, the addition of a 2-story bay window and cantilevered balconies on the north side. The finished home was recognized with a Julia Morgan Award, Honorable Mention for Interior Design & Decoration from the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

And working in close collaboration with Thayer Hopkins Architects, Peter Downey Construction remodeled a historic mansion in Presidio Heights. Located at 1 Maple Street, this 1928 mansion necessitated updates for modern amenities, while at the same time the owners wished to preserve its historic character. The construction company brought the home to a full historic articulation and detail befitting the original high English architecture. 21st-century amenities and fine finishes were included throughout the interior, such as Jerusalem gold limestone, scagliola marble, and classic, English plaster. The floorplan of the main living level was completely reconfigured to open the space up for formal entertaining and more open living. And in keeping with the original street facade, the rear elevation was redesigned amid new formal gardens.

Design Line Construction

Andrew McHale

Builder Merit Awards,
Remodeling Grand Award

60 Dorman Avenue San Francisco, CA 94124

About Design Line Construction

Design Line Construction is a preeminent builder known for beautifully crafted and forward-thinking homes. Their work earned them a number of awards, including Builder’s Choice & Custom Home Merit Awards, Custom Home of the Year at the Builder’s Choice Custom Home Design Awards, and the 2015 Remodeling Grand Award in Whole-house Remodeling. A recent home of theirs also received an AIA California Merit Award. The company works with some of the best professionals in the city, including Feldman Architecture, Sutro Architects, Jay Jeffers, and John Maniscalco Architecture.

Design Line Construction was founded in 1998 by Andrew McHale. Since then, the company has established a reputation as an efficient, progressive, and transparent general contractor. Design Line Construction embraces technological advancements that benefit their work and that encourage accountability. Their work can be seen around the San Francisco Bay Area, North Bay, Wine Country, and Peninsula.

McHale began his career in England, where he completed a City and Gilded Apprenticeship followed by accreditations in construction, drafting, and engineering. He then relocated to New York, working in the field on high-end residences in Manhattan, Westchester County, and Connecticut.

Featured Projects

In Cole Valley, Design Line Construction worked with John Maniscalco Architecture on a total remodel of a 1946 four-story hillside home. The nearly 6,000 square foot home was stripped down to the studs and the basement and garage were completely excavated. All floors within the home are linked by an elevator and gorgeous wood-and-bronze cantilevered staircases. An acclimated walnut wine cellar and billiards room were added on the entertainment level and the upstairs floors were outfitted with high-end finishes. White oak floors, custom cabinets, Italian stone slab walls, and heath tile fill the main living areas, while a glass and steel catwalk links the two of the upstairs bedrooms, overlooking the dining room, which has two-story vaulted ceilings. Walls of glass doors fold away to open the main floor to the Zen garden, which features an outdoor fireplace, grill and seating areas, and stone walls with built-in climbing holds.

And their work on an unconventional 4,500 square foot modern home, done in collaboration with Feldman Architecture, was recognized with the Grand Prize at the 2015 Remodeling Design Awards, earned a Merit Award from Builder & Custom Home, and was featured in AIA SF Home Tours. To turn this formerly traditional townhouse into a playful modern family-home, the team opened up the home and added eclectic finishes and details. The main floor has a great room with combined dining, living, and kitchen spaces, including a two-story tall kitchen. The great room flows effortlessly onto an outdoor deck and large backyard, opened up by a wall of folding glass doors. A metal-screened stair leads from the street level to a catwalk that surrounds an atrium. The catwalk leads to private bedrooms and another stair that runs diagonally across the atrium, leading to a floating office and roof deck.

Forde Mazzola Assoc. Inc

Charles Mazzola and David Forde

665 3rd St Suite 430 San Francisco, CA

About Forde Mazzola Assoc. Inc

Forde Mazzola Associates Inc. is a general contractor with over 25 years of experience in high-end residential building in San Francisco and the Bay Area. The company excels with a range of aesthetics and styles, evidenced by their work repeat work with high-profile San Francisco architects and firms, such as Andrew Skurman and Butler Armsden. Forde Mazzola projects have drawn attention from SF Luxe, Home World Design, and Architectural Digest, among other industry publications.

Forde Mazzola Assoc. Inc was founded by Charles Mazzola and David Forde. Since then, they have completed over 150 residential construction projects. The pair is committed to excellence and delivering the highest level of service to their clients. They are known for high-end remodels of condominium units and single-family homes. In addition to their work on individual residential projects, Forde Massola Assoc. Inc also conducts renovation work on large apartment buildings and hotels.

Featured Projects

Forde Mazzola conducted work on a full-floor high-end apartment at 2000 Washington No. 4, which is currently offered for sale at $7.5 million. The construction company collaborated with the city’s most recognized professionals such as architect Andrew Skurman and Suzanne Tucker of Tucker & Marks. The finished result of this completely remodeled 1922 apartment was featured in Architectural Digest, California Homes, Robb Report, and other publications. The apartment reflects an old European ambiance with modern amenities, seamlessly weaved together through luxurious details and the finest craftsmanship.

Working again with top-area architect Andrew Skurman, Forde Mazzola remodeled a Beaux Arts condominium in Nob Hill. The historic home still contained an abundance of original 1914 architectural features. Forde Mazzola’s work painstakingly preserved and restored these historical details, while simultaneously upgrading the home. Details include the installation of reclaimed oak, inlaid marble flooring, a gold-foiled ceiling, and lacquered walls.

And the construction company remodeled a kitchen for a San Francisco couple to be open and airy. Designed for a beach-style aesthetic, work on this u-shaped kitchen included adding white shaker cabinets and a subway tile backsplash and all new stainless steel appliances. Work on this project also involved the creation of a large, walk-in pantry. Materials on this job include ceramic tile flooring and a live-edge wood bar top, giving warmth to the open kitchen. For a personal touch, Forde Massola sourced the wood for the bar from the client’s backyard.

Van Acker Construction Associates

Gary Van Acker

American Architecture Award

1060 Redwood Hwy Frontage Rd., Mill Valley, CA 94941

About Van Acker Construction Associates

Van Acker Construction Associates delivers the highest level of general contracting and construction management services to their clientele. The company frequently collaborates with visionary, engineers, designers, and architects, including the renowned Olle Lundberg and Walker Warner Architects, to build phenomenal homes. Their work has been featured in many industry publications, including Luxe Interiors + Design and has won several prestigious awards.

Van Acker Construction Associates, founded in 1987, represents the intersection of design development and execution. Led by President Gary Van Acker, the team successfully takes on ambitious and complex projects. Acker has brought together a diverse team of highly skilled individuals to form his construction company. This unique collection of workers strives to maintain the traditions and standards of craftsmanship Van Acker has become recognized for as a leader, while integrating progressive building concepts, technologies, and tools. The company is known for its flexible process and ability to work on residential projects of any range and scale.

Featured Projects

Van Acker teamed up with Walker Warner Architects to build a modern family compound perched on an idyllic hilltop site. Named the Foothills Modern, this residence is composed of four structures—the main house, guest house, pool house, and caretaker’s residence. Each building is weaved together into a cohesive plan through striking horizontal lines, flat roofs, and bold overhanging eaves. Van Acker built wide-open interior spaces with floor-to-ceiling glass and steel-mullioned windows.

And the company completed the ambitious and challenging complete renovation of a historic Telegraph Hill home, as designed by Architect Olle Lundberg. Originally built in 1936 on a cliff’s edge, work on this home exhibits Van Acker’s extreme attention to detail and technical abilities. Van Acker Construction oversaw excavation of the basement and re-anchored the home into the cliffside. The builder’s dropped the home six feet, allowing for the creation of a functional basement and extension of the main floor. A stunning, four-story glass-walled staircase allows natural light to permeate the home; its floating treads and an adjacent lightwall make the stairs appear to float in space. The renovation was featured in the Luxe Interiors + Design and earned several awards, including Remodeling Design Awards and an ASLA-NCC Honor Award.


  • Alex Mericle

    Alex Mericle is the Chief Editor at San Francisco Architects with five years of experience in the construction space. Alex has always had a strong interest in residential and commercial construction and architecture, and he has built up technical experience with building permit data, subcontractor operations, and materials procurement over the years. On top of his experience at San Francisco Architects, he has prior experience at BuildZoom. His analytical skillset, honed through a degree in Business Analytics from Creighton University and from his work experience, allows him to transform complex construction data into actionable insights and useful, captivating content. Expertise: Residential and Commercial Construction, Building Permit Data, Home Design and Build, Architecture, Subcontractor Operations, Material Procurement Key Highlights: Over 5 years of experience writing and editing in the construction space, Chief Editor at San Francisco Architects, Previous experience at BuildZoom Education: Creighton University, Degree in Business Analytics

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