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The Best Design-Build Firms in Sonoma, California

August 29, 2019 9 Min Read

Remodeling apartment and condominium interiors is not an easy task. Various challenges always seem to come up in the process of updating the interior of multi-unit dwellings, including the hassle of coordinating with the building management, keeping up with the latest design trends, and other fundamental difficulties in putting together a well-developed interior. 

The firms on this list have the core competencies to complete these often frustrating, confusing tasks. To construct this list, our team compiled a number of firms within the Bay Area. We then considered each firm’s overall work quality, the awards each firm has accumulated, any press features about the firm, and the work history of each firm; the result is this ranked list of five fantastic contractors.

The Design Build Company

3554 Round Barn Blvd. Suite #205, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

The Design-Build Company was only recently established in 2018. Though the company is a new face in the design and construction industry, its team supports it with over 80 years worth of custom home building experience. Another strength of this company lies in its founder and CEO, Rob Auger. For well over a decade, Auger has gathered experience in high-end general contracting, high-end new construction, and development work. Thanks to these skills and the experience of the design team, the company was able to successfully design and execute high end custom homes like the sleek Wikiup House—A modern contemporary styled home which required the firm’s talent for architecture, interior design, and construction.

Project by Design-Build-Company

Just some of the styles the firm is known for building are the modern, contemporary, farmhouse and Craftsman styles. Homes like these were built with the talent of a diverse team. Some of these members came from companies that built high end multimillion-dollar Estates, semi-custom residential and upscale commercial projects. Aside from building residential homes, the firm also has experience building semi-custom commercial structures which require orderly execution and the capability to manage schedules. The skill and workmanship exhibited from these projects result in reviews from clientele that usually boast experiencing The Design Build Company’s organizational skills, high involvement throughout the process, and transparency. Along with these work ethics, the team also is said to have great chemistry that makes the clients experience fun and exciting.

Jon Ballard Construction

665 Joaquin Dr., Sonoma, CA 95476

Specializing in remodeling and additions, Jon Ballard Construction has been serving the Sonoma and Napa counties with its highly-recommended architects and engineers. For over two decades, this firm has designed and built a plethora of commercial structures and homes. Just some of these projects have been recognized by industry publications such as Sonoma Magazine, California Home + Design, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Wine Spectator Magazine. Two of the firm’s most notable works is a historic barn in Sonoma and an addition for a contemporary house, which has an open design allowing for more natural light to stream in through glass doors and skylights.

Project by Jon-Ballard-Construction

In addition to contemporary-styled homes, the firm has also built ranch and barn-styled residences. Structures like these usually come from repeat clients who have witnessed the team’s well-rounded craftsmanship. Leading this team is firm owner Jon Ballard who has done new construction and remodeling work for over 25 years.

Arrowtown Construction, Inc.

17180 Park Ave., Sonoma, CA 95476

Arrowtown Construction has been doing construction projects for 10 years. Though it has only been around for a decade, this firm has a team of craftsmen who possess over 20 years of experience building in the Sonoma and Napa areas. Known for crafting single-family homes, Arrowtown Construction’s work mostly leans toward the farmhouse, modern, and contemporary styles. One of the firm’s most notable projects is a contemporary home called the Sleepy Hollow Estate, which is distinguished by the wide floor plan that allows for spaces to entertain guests and an open design that caters to California’s sunny climate and Sonoma’s vineyard views.

Project by Arrowtown-Construction-Inc.

Elaborate homes like this were built and expertly executed thanks to the firm’s head general contractor—Clayt Bertlesman, who, during his early twenties, flipped houses with his father and brother. At that time, he learned every facet of home building and found efficient ways to create a quality finish in each aspect. Before the firm was founded, Bertlesman also spent time in New Zealand where he built elaborate luxury custom homes that emphasized green sustainability concepts.

Reiter Fine Home Building

9212 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood, CA 95452

Reiter Fine Home Building prefers using reclaimed architectural elements from around the world and blending it with eco-friendly building materials. Because of this unique combination of materials, the firm is able to create authentic and elaborately-designed estates. One of these notable estates is a Mediterranean-style Sonoma Valley home called Montevigna which houses materials that come from France, Italy, Mexico, and even Canada. Inspired by the solid, stone houses seen in Italy and Southern France, this residence incorporates a blend of French and Italian materials along with stone quarried from the building site. The exterior meanwhile showcases a loggia with an Italian-styled roof featuring wood slats from recycled wine barrels. One of the oldest items in the house is the solid oak door carried in from a Parisian home built during Napoleon’s time.

Project by Reiter Fine Home Building

Making such elaborate projects, the firm has been featured in numerous publications including Valley of the Moon, C Home, Sonoma Index-Tribune, Home and Architecture Trends, Sonoma Magazine, Ideas and Trends, Press Democrat, and Kitchen Trends. Currently, the firm is guided by Jon Reiter. A contractor possessing a unique blend of design sensibility and contracting knowledge, Reiter has built about 20 high-end homes in the Sonoma Valley. All this was done within 15 years. Reiter also frequently visits Europe to source materials (windows, gates, sinks, stone, and ancient wooden doors) carrying different histories that lend new homes their own bit of historical flare.

Upscale Construction

2151 Union St. Suite #1, San Francisco, CA 94123

Upscale Construction maintains its name through its work. Known for building single-family homes and distinctive estates, the firm has been featured in industry publications such as architecture and interior design website Home Adore and Luxe, in which a modern getaway in Sonoma was featured. Anchored on two levels into a vineyard ridge, this contemporary home is surrounded by scenic views and has many notable features. Photovoltaic solar panels were placed on the main roof, engineered wood products were used for framing, reclaimed lumber sidings were placed as exterior elevations, stained concrete floors were carpeted over radiant heating throughout the interior, and a fireplace was embedded between a boarded wall in the living room. Projects like these show the team’s skill as craftsmen carrying rigorous training and creative thinking, the senior management service of a larger company, and the competitive cost and personal accountability of a newly-founded builder.

Project by Upscale-Construction

Upscale Construction has three principals—Tony Kelly, Brad Hayes, and Danny Bernardini. With these principals, the firm became mindful of green building and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Build It Green.

LEFF Construction Design Build

6791 Sebastopol Ave. Suite #140, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Based in Sebastopol, California, LEFF Construction Design Build was founded in 1978 and has completed hundreds of projects in Sonoma County, garnering numerous national and regional awards over the decades.  In the town of Sonoma, LEFF designed and built an open yet intimate custom home for a family that often entertained family and colleagues for their gourmet-food products company. The rural property is surrounded by trees and vineyards; an open floor plan was designed to allow for natural light to flood the gathering spaces where guests could wine and dine, or visit together outdoors. To further enhance the expansiveness of the interior, skylights and large sliding doors were installed, bringing in more light, blue sky and the country view.

To maintain a sense of history within the new structure, an old barn that had existed on this family property for over 100 years was deconstructed and the wood harvested for use in the new construction. The recycled and repurposed wood and barn fixtures were used to create several new interior barn doors. Another notable feature of this home is the waterproof deck built above the garage which allows access from the master bedroom suite and via an exterior spiral staircase leading to the backyard.

Project by LEFF-Construction-Design-Build

Homes such as these helped LEFF Construction Design Build gain recognition from industry publications such as Qualified Remodeler and Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50 list. The firm has received numerous remodeling awards, including Qualified Remodeler’s 2017 Master Design Award for Universal Design. In the same year, NARI also awarded LEFF two first-place Regional Awards for a home remodel over $1 million, and another award for a whole home remodel priced at $750,000 to $1 million.