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Best Custom Home Builders & Design-Build Firms in San Diego

15 Min Read


San Diego has become one of the nation’s most desirable places to live. It offers year-round sunshine, a relaxed but economically and socially progressive atmosphere, great scenery, beautiful neighborhoods, and an abundance of professional opportunities. It follows that the city should have some of the world’s best design-build firms working to meet the high demand of luxury home building. From the city of San Diego to La Jolla, Del Mar, and Rancho Santa Fe, this list includes designer/builders who have worked on some of San Diego’s most beautiful and expensive homes in both the coastal and inland communities. Included are design-build firms and custom home builders that have won numerous awards from some of the most prestigious associations in the practice.

Top Home Builders & Design-Build Firms

Charco Design and Build

2136 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101

Armando Flores

About Charco Design & Build, Inc.

Charco Design & Build is an award-winning design-build firm founded by Armando Flores, after his 20 years of experience in the design and construction industry. Following his studies in architectural drafting and interior design, the San Diego native began his career at a prestigious Los Angeles design firm. He then moved back to San Diego to start his own company. He quickly became recognized for his talents, and his work has since been featured in numerous magazines and a television show. One of his kitchens is featured weekly on the local cooking show Sam the Cooking Guy. Flores’s philosophy is to capture and create the home of his client’s dreams, “despite the challenges of space, architecture, and budget.” Among his awards and accolades, he was featured in Luxe and San Diego’s Home and Garden Magazine. The Modern Luxury December 2016 issue named Armando Flores one of the influential insiders of San Diego, and he was an HGTV Faces of Design 2016 finalist.

Featured Projects

Accentuated by a live, succulent wall and generous use of glass, Charco Design and Build’s work on a multilevel La Jolla home was featured in the February 2017 issue of Ranch & Coast Magazine. The palatial, six-bedroom residence includes a beautiful state of the art design, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open to the stunning outdoor space, a freestanding soaking tub in the shower, a gorgeous fireplace, an LED enhanced fire pit, sauna, full outdoor kitchen, a cascading infinity pool and a spa surrounded by a vast, green manicured lawn.

Chaun Miller Design and Construction

13716 Ruette Le Parc, Unit C, Del Mar, CA 92014

Chaun Miller

About Chaun Miller Design and Construction

Chaun Miller is a third-generation general contractor who stands behind the quality of his work. He takes charge of his namesake construction firm in offering full-service design-build services. The firm takes projects from concept to completion and prides itself on the seamless system that makes the designing and building process as enjoyable as possible for their clients. The firm is dedicated not only to excellence in its work, but also to its impact on the environment. With an emphasis on sustainability, and environmentally friendly construction methods and materials, they have joined the important movement of incorporating green building principles and practices into their design work for the past decade — an effort that has made their work more valuable over time.

Featured Projects

Among the firm’s portfolio of homes is a Mid-century modern minimalist design with a large kitchen island that is a focal point in the open floor plan. The home features wood cabinetry and walls in the kitchen and along the stairwell, which add warmth to the space. A beautiful winding stairwell with a simple black rail spiral up to the second floor, and the many clean lines and natural tones offer elegance with ease.

Daley Custom Homes

83 Via de La Valle, Del Mar, California, CA 92014

Jeff Daley

About Daley Custom Homes

Under the leadership of Jeff Daley, a fifth-generation San Diegan raised in the construction industry, Daley Custom Homes offers a full-service luxury home building development and construction services to the San Diego area since 1928. He personally oversees each of their projects to ensure that his clients’ needs are met every step of the way. With the utmost attention to detail, Jeff Daley’s firm has successfully completed projects for happy clients of custom homes and large scale renovations, as well as celebrity estates. They place great value on exceptional craftsmanship with the highest level of design and customization in each home they build.

Featured Projects

Majestic views, a bright and airy living area with oversized windows, and sliding glass doors that fold away creating an indoor-outdoor living area are just two of the many exciting features of a Daley Custom Homes La Jolla creation. The home includes a neutral and crisp color palette, a beautiful master bedroom with a fireplace, and french doors that open into the courtyard. It also has a pool that has cascading water fountains.

Eco Minded Solutions

9466 Black Mountain Road #210, San Diego, CA 92126

Josh Rosenthal
Barry Thau
and David Milton

About Eco Minded Solutions

Eco Minded Solutions, led by the creative genius of Josh Rosenthal, Barry Thau, and David Milton, is an award-winning design-build firm known for environmental sustainability, innovation, and creative vision, balanced with practicality in their designs. They strive to create spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye and functional, but also environmentally safe. The firm is keenly aware and conscious of the impact their work will make on future generations, and they have been praised for the high quality of their design and build services that are changing the profession’s landscape. 

They have been featured in media outlets ranging from broadcast news KUSI to print publications such as San Diego Home & Garden Magazine, Del Mar Magazine, and Coastal Living Lifestyle Magazine.

Featured Projects

Eco Minded Solutions is responsible for the design and construction of a stunning home in La Jolla with an abundance of comfort and luxury. The home features impressive views of its beautiful locale and showcases the usable space with a vast open floor plan, a neutral color palette, a unique transitional design, and a spacious view deck that adds the wow factor to this beautiful home.

Flagg Custom Homes

1014 Ninth Street, Coronado, CA 92118

John O’Brien
Mark Blore

Best of Houzz-Design 6 years straight,
Pacific Coast Builders Conference Gold Merit Award

About Flagg Coastal Homes

Flagg Coastal Homes is one of the leading custom home builders in the new California-coastal style found in San Diego and the surrounding areas. John O’Brien founded the firm in response to the high demand for upscale, nautically themed homes in the beautiful resort town of Coronado in San Diego county. 

With more than 40 beautiful homes designed and built, the firm is known for its unwavering commitment to outstanding quality and meticulous attention to detail during the design process. They have successfully designed and built award-winning homes, including a spectacular Bayview home overlooking the San Diego Bay.

Featured Projects

One of their creations, at 927 First Street, is a beautiful five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom home with panoramic views of the San Diego Bay. The spectacular design with picturesque perfection is adjacent to the Coronado Ferry Landing, as well as Boney’s Bayside Market. The home includes a guest house and was offered for sale for over $6M. A second design, “The Coastal Living Showhouse” in San Diego, was Flagg’s signature project for 2014. Built on the beautiful Coronado Island at Sunset Park, the house had over 5,000 visitors when it was open during a 10-week summer tour that raised over $100K for its nonprofit beneficiary, the Navy SEAL Foundation. The exquisite home takes every detail into account and includes french doors, crown molding, vaulted ceilings on the second floor, and large windows that blast the light in from the outside. A beautiful wraparound deck is perfect for enjoying the summer breeze and breathtaking views that are among the finest San Diego living has to offer. 

GDC Construction Inc.

1031 Silverado St., La Jolla, CA 92037

Pancho Dewhurst

La Jolla Village News Best Contractor

About GDC Construction, Inc.

GDC Construction has been building homes in San Diego for four generations. Led by Pancho Dewhurst, the firm provides full-service design and build firm handling the building process from pre-construction, design, and construction to post-construction. GDC operates with the four foundations of openness and transparency, financial clarity, working with the best, and offering a creative edge. 

The firm’s arsenal of awards and accolades include being the Best Contractor by La Jolla Village News two years in a row. It has also been featured in San Diego Home and Garden Magazine. 

Featured Projects

GDC Construction took on the challenge of building a modern luxury home to replace an aging, ranch-style structure in great need of revitalization. To rebuild the home, the firm began with demolishing 90 percent of the existing property. It maximized every inch of the land by adding a pool and a tennis court and incorporating original, custom woodworking to retain the feel of the old accented by the beauty of the new. The home includes stunning design features like rich wood floors, a gourmet outdoor kitchen, state-of-the-art technology, and much more. 

Jackson Design and Remodeling

4797 Mercury Street, San Diego, CA 92111

Todd Jackson

ASID Awards,
Master Design Awards,
Better Business Bureau Torch Award For Marketplace Ethics

About Jackson Design & Remodeling

Jackson Design & Remodeling has been designing and building their clients’ dream homes in the San Diego area for almost 30 years. Led by Todd Jackson, the firm’s President and CEO, operates with keen attention to detail and the ability to make even the wildest of their client’s dreams come true. These values helped the firm garnered numerous awards including 20 awards from ASID, over a dozen Master Design Awards, and multiple other awards. 

The firm also offers the Jackson Design & Remodeling showroom for their clients to visit for endless amounts of inspiration and a behind-the-scenes look at how they perform their magic. 

Featured Projects

The Jackson Design & Remodeling team was faced with the exciting challenge of creating an ultra-modern loft to fulfill their client’s love of city living coupled with a fun urban design. The answer was a chic, award-winning, two-story stunner with a flawless open floor plan, high ceilings, and countless windows flooding the home with natural light. The modern, minimalist design paired with high-end fixtures and perfect attention to detail strike just the right balance between understated sophistication and unexpected pizzazz. 

K-CO Construction Inc.

3670 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, CA 92117

Dave K Konstantin

About K-CO Construction Inc.

K-CO Construction is an award-winning, family-owned general contractor specializing in design-build services for custom homes and residential remodeling projects. The firm has built homeowner’s dreams in the greater San Diego community since 1995, but the team understands that in construction, sometimes things do not go as planned. They resolve problems by ensuring constant and open communication between all parties involved in the process. With this practice in mind, K-Co Construction has completed thousands of complicated projects successfully. 

Ethical business practices being a top priority, the firm is proud to be chosen by the Better Business Bureau as a finalist for the Torch Award for excellence in marketplace ethics.

Featured Projects

K-Co Construction was presented with a logistical challenge when it came across a family that wanted to demolish a cottage one-and-a-half blocks from the ocean and build their dream home of a two-story villa with a guest apartment atop a detached garage. Despite the challenges, K-Co successfully followed Coastal Commission requirements of leaving 50 percent of the existing walls in place and built the entire second floor and guest quarters exactly as their client had imagined.

McCullough Design Development

10531 4S Commons Drive, Suite 700, San Diego, CA 92127

Lori McCullough

About McCullough Design Development

Founded by lead designer, Monty McCullough, who holds over three decades of experience in the architectural field, McCullough Design Development has established itself as one of San Diego’s finest luxury custom estate builders.

Priding itself on authenticity in design and uniquely unifying drafting services, planning and engineering departments, cost schedules, budgeting, and construction management under one roof has allowed the firm to successfully build over 200 homes in the greater San Diego area. McCullough’s highly-skilled team dedicates the utmost attention and care to each project providing ease and understanding to the client through every step of the design-build process.

For the firm, each project receives the utmost level of care and attention, given the client’s specific requests and requirements, their home site and layout, location, and budget. With the firm’s professionalism and love of design and construction, they have successfully designed and built over 150 custom homes in the greater San Diego area.

Featured Projects

The Modern Farmhouse featured in the photo is one of the firm’s most recent accomplishments in custom estates. The 4,675 square foot homestead showcases the incomparable quality of craftsmanship and attention to detail that McCullough implements into every home. The great room, which consists of the living room, dining area, and kitchen, is a signature feature for the firm. This open layout design seamlessly blends into an expansive outdoor veranda, perfectly translating the Southern California dream of indoor-outdoor recreation into a reality. Located in Del Mar Mesa is a brand new single-level estate called West Rim, which demonstrates the fusion of traditional and contemporary elements evoking a sense of community and togetherness while maintaining its modern, transitional feel.

Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel

2878 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 160 San Diego, CA 92108

About Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel

Established in 1975, Murray Lampert is a design-build and remodeling company serving the San Diego community. The firm has been providing top quality service for four generations, and it shows in the firm’s work. President and CEO Gregg Cantor began working in the industry in 1977 and built a longstanding reputation in the local community for integrity. Gregg’s daughter Rachel Cantor joined the firm in 2014, after obtaining her degree in architecture from Miami of Ohio.

Featured Projects

Murray Lampert has a strong portfolio of remodeled and custom homes in varying styles. The Coronado whole remodel in the photo is a testament to the firm’s great eye for function and design. The firm filled the home with custom details in the hard surfaces, cabinetry, stonework, and masonry that reflect the owner’s profession as a retired Navy Captain.

The company is very proud of its creative architect Micah Winkelstein, Senior interior Designer Rachel Bancroft and the design team.

Nicholls Design Build

1022 C Ave., Coronado, CA 92118

About Nicolls Design Build

Coronado-based Nicolls Design Build is a much-adored local business offering commercial and residential works all over the area. The firm’s reputation was centered around its premium-quality service and cost-effective construction solutions. Kraig Nicolls, company president, puts a great emphasis on workmanship and customer satisfaction. He has led the team in completing multiple projects from modest residential projects to commercial establishments and restaurants. The firm is capable of remodeling and ground-up construction alike.

Featured Projects

The firm’s dedication to craftsmanship is evident in its portfolio. The project displayed in the photo is a humble California Spanish Colonial-style home. The home is straightforward yet elegant, as achieved with a neutral palette and classic detailing. 

Smith Brothers

444 S Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075

Jeff Smith

About Smith Brothers

Since 1978, Smith Brothers has provided award-winning design, architecture, and construction throughout San Diego County. The firm specializes in building custom homes, from inception to completion. Under the leadership of Jeff Smith, over the years they have developed a leading business for the purpose of intermingling exceptional design and construction for the benefit of their customers. Their ultimate goal is to make every project come to life through a collaborative and transparent process that respects all involved. This philosophy allows their loyal clients to make informed and beautiful decisions that will enrich their homes and their lives for many years to come.

Featured Projects

Inspired by a modern allure with a touch of traditional warmth, the Smith Brother’s design of a two-story residence feels like a minimalist’s haven. The home opens with large glass doors into an interior flooded with sunlight, and natural tones that bring the outdoors in. Just outside the large windows on the ground floor is a stunning outdoor living area, complete with a fireplace, a pool, and a large outdoor seating area that’s sure to wow and entertain.

Smith Brothers also paid homage to the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright with their zen-inspired Craftsman Contemporary. It is a true gem in the Del Mar area of San Diego. The features are carefully chosen to beckon to an earlier time while offering many modern luxuries. The entry features a Zen garden feel, complete with a bridge leading to the large front doors. The interior is rich with wood details, and there is a multi-level pool in the entertainer’s backyard.