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Overview

It’s amid tough competition that design-build professionals, no matter their pedigree, set up shop in the breakneck Las Vegas home-building industry. Even during market downswings, one can find home price tags in the stratosphere. And extreme wealth isn’t the only thing the Vegas market has going for it. It’s also a magnet for the most passionate, driven, and dedicated artisans anywhere, many of whom have spent years dreaming of the chance to break ground in some of the most picturesque settings in the country. All of this would make ranking design build firms in Vegas pretty hard, and it was. The grading done here came down to levels of expertise: which firm took on the most challenging projects and which had the resources to offer clients a home build like no other. Still, the lines are blurred. Difference in firm size and revenue will seem like petty calculations when one compares them to the posh homes these pros consider a routine project. Although the firms have been ranked by “best-in-class” order, not one of them can do a bad job.

Top Custom Home Builders

Adapture

Principals:
Jason Strodl

Address:
817 S. Main Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101

About Adapture

Desert Companion’s annual issue in 2011 dubbed Jason Strodl as an “architect to watch.”
Strodl, AIA, is a University of California Los Angeles graduate who earned a master’s in architecture and urban design and served as an adjunct professor at the school for eight years. Before establishing his own firm, Strodl did an eight-month stint as project manager for architecture giant Gensler. He holds a B-2 general contracting license in Nevada, where his staff builds some of the most unique luxury homes in the Vegas metro area.
The firm employs a licensed interior designer, who also happens to be Strodl’s wife, Amy. The April 2016 issue of Architecture Las Vegas magazine featured Strodl among the seven architects it believes will shape the landscape of Las Vegas in the future.

Featured Projects

A $1.5M to $2M project was the “Joshua Tree House,” built for a client who wanted a modern ranch. Adapture complied by offering a 6,500-square-foot build that maintained the general style of the Foothill homes surrounding it. The spine of the house connected a master suite to a home office, and also to a kitchen and bedrooms for the kids. Floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors were put on both sides so the home’s interior and exterior could blend seamlessly.

Arx Engineering

Principals:
Ryan Briggs

Address:
3413 Carolina Moon Avenue, North Las Vegas, NV 89081

About Arx Engineering

Arx in Latin means “fortress” or “stronghold,” and it was not by accident that Ryan Briggs gave his structural design firm such a telling name. Briggs started the company in 2009 when many sectors of the US economy were tanking. Yet, he hasn’t had a bad year since then. This proves that the company lives up to its name. The list of services he provides ranges from decks and patio covers to trade show signage. With a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering from Brigham Young University, there is no doubt in his structural design expertise. Already licensed in California, Colorado, and Nevada, Briggs is planning to expand his licensing throughout the western regions. In 2006, 2009 and 2012, he’s been a member of the structural committee for Southern Nevada’s Building Official IBC Code amendment and adoption processes.

Featured Projects

A typical design-build project by Arx is known as the “Cougar Residence” in Vegas. The one-story home features a full 4,000 square feet of living space. The walls are tall, the ceilings vaulted, and there is an entry tower for a grand lobby. The front porch wraps around the home, and pocket sliding glass panels flood the kitchen and living rooms with natural light. The garage for the Schultz custom home, with 5,900 square feet of living space, was built to house an RV. The courtyard is gated and the living room’s full-height ceiling and oversized windows were designed to offer its owners panoramic views of the Las Vegas valley.

Blue Heron

Principals:
Tyler Jones
Steve Jones

Awards:
PCBC Gold Nugget Grand Awards,
PCBC Gold Nugget Awards of Merit,
Best in American Living Awards

Address:
Villa Barolo Avenue, Henderson, NV 89052

About Blue Heron

A typical build for this firm runs between $1.2M and $6M. This giant among luxury home companies was founded in 2003 by Tyler Jones, who’s lived in Nevada all his life and learned the building trade from his dad. During high school, Jones worked at architecture firms, and when he moved to Colorado, he studied architecture at the university there.
His passion has paid off. Blue Heron has been honored with more than 30 prestigious design build awards. It was even chosen by NAHB to serve as the architect design-build team for the International Builders Show in 2013 and 2015. Blue Heron is committed to green building and is a certified green professional. In 2013, Jones received NAHB Emerald Certification and LEED Platinum Certification.

Featured Projects

A New American Home design at the Marquis Seven Hills has a sunken living room outside by the pool that also offers a swim-up bar and fire pit. There’s also a rejuvenation room nearby. The master suite is designed as an indoor-outdoor retreat. The second floor has a loft and game room, and views of a galley-style great room. Another standard Blue Heron design is a $2M modern build in the Summerlin Ridges community. Standout features include a courtyard with views of the City of Lights’ Strip. The master bedroom has been covered in dark glass to reflect off the mountains and sky. Steel panels with oversized glass windows create a distinctively modern look.

Christopher Homes

Principals:
Christopher Stuhmer

Awards:
Builder Hall of Fame for Design Excellence,
National Association of Homebuilders National sales & Marketing Award,
Builder Magazine Award

Address:
10161 West Park Run Drive, Suite 150, Las Vegas, NV 89145

About Christopher Homes

In the three decades since luxury home builder Christopher Stuhmer has owned this high-end, design-build firm, he has been honored with more than 150 awards. Stuhmer’s particular brand of home luxury is dotted throughout Las Vegas’s most exclusive communities, including MacDonald Highlands and Boulder Ridge.

Featured Projects

Recently, Stuhmer’s attention has been on the Vu, a prestigious townhouse area with hillside homes that offer unparalleled views of the Vegas skyline and mountains. Builder Magazine has called Stuhmer one of the best home builders in the country. In 2007, he was inducted into the Builder Hall of Fame for Design Excellence.
Boulder Ridge estates at the gated Summerlin community typically offer four bedrooms, four-and-a-half baths, and a three- to a four-car garage, and come in single- or two-story designs. Square footage ranges between 4,363 and 4,778. The kitchens are top-notch: maple veneer cabinets with the roll-out and adjustable shelves, granite slab tops, an island food prep center built to the owner’s specifications, an eating bar, and Sub-Zero/Wolf stainless steel cooktops, refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and warming drawers.

Hoogland Architecture

Principals:
Harry CJ Hoogland

Address:
8728 Spanish Ridge Avenue, Suite 100, Las Vegas, NV 89148

About Hoogland Architecture

Harry CJ Hoogland III, a member of AIA, specializes in architecture and design at his Las Vegas-based firm, where a typical job starts at a million dollars and many go much higher. Hoogland earned his bachelor’s in design and architecture at Arizona State University and his master’s, magna cum laude, at Rice University. He interned at design firms in Phoenix and Houston before serving as project manager for the Assemblage Studio in Las Vegas. Hoogland went on to spend almost two years as a project architect with Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto before starting his own company in March 2011. His approach to architecture is modern and can be described as “functionally poetic.” He currently holds a certificate from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Hoogland is also a LEED Accredited Professional.

Featured Projects

A 2013 custom build that Hoogland calls “Casa Sombra” (Shade House), was designed to shield the homeowners from the desert’s unforgiving blaze. To achieve this, the firm put large window openings on the exterior, which surrounds an internal courtyard featuring floor-to-ceiling glass. It also built a shade canopy that was fitted with a digitally generated light-filtering pattern to allow seamless lighting transitions between the exterior and interior areas.

JKL Development

Principals:
Jeff Lewis

Address:
12065 Cielo Amber Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89138

About JKL Development

A resident of Las Vegas for over two decades, JKL Development’s founder Jeff Lewis spent long years learning the home building trade before establishing this firm in 2008. Lewis earned two degrees in industrial design from Arizona State University. From there, he gained hands-on experience with two prominent construction companies in Vegas; the Pulte Group, where Lewis was a project manager, and then at Toll Brothers, where he served as assistant vice president from 2001 to 2008.
JKL is a full-service design-build general contractor that does most of its work in Las Vegas, Spring Valley, Summerlin, Summerlin South, and the Henderson/Green Valley communities. In addition to building custom homes, it also handles renovation, architecture and structural engineering, and structural modification projects. JKL’s work was featured on one of HGTV’s Kitchen Crashers episodes in 2015.

Featured Projects

Between 2015 and 2017, JKL completed several spectacular whole home remodels. For a 5,687-square-foot home in Evergreen Creek’s Red Rock country club community, the firm built a new patio cover and master deck, a climate-controlled wine room, and an elaborate cantilever steel stairway fitted with custom wood rails. Custom fabricated cabinets and the main bar were built into the kitchen, along with ceiling tray lights and Quartz marble tops. A Spanish Hills remodel, costing between $200k and $500k, required three new fireplaces, a new kitchen, and four remodeled baths with porcelain wood tile.

Meridias Realty Group

Principals:
Jeff Lewis

Address:
7235 Bermuda Rd., Ste B, Las Vegas, NV 89119

About Meridias Realty Group

Operating with a work philosophy that aims to build better than the status quo, Meridias Realty Group has built in the Las Vegas Market for over 30 years. The firm has dwelled in purchasing, renovation, and new construction of homes all over Sin City.
Michael Hutchings, founder and CEO, has been in the high-end real estate business since the late 1980s. He steered the family business to greater heights after his military service in 1988. Hutchings saw the potential of the market during the market’s infancy, which enabled him to position the company favorably during its boom. He introduced a new multimedia and marketing approach to develop the business. The firm used public relations, print media, television, and the internet to expand its horizons.

Featured Projects

The Meridias portfolio is filled with ranch-style homes, Craftsman homes, and Contemporary homes designed for Las Vegas. The home in the photo is a project built in Sunrise Mountain. The firm used red tile roofing, close-to-ground elevation, and neutral tones to create a classic atmosphere.

Luxus Design-Build

Address:
1879 Whitney Mesa Dr., Henderson, NV 89014

About Luxus Design-Build

Michael Gardner, founder and owner of studio g ARCHITECTURE and Luxus design-Build, has extensive experience in architecture and construction all over the Las Vegas area. Prior to his ventures in the local construction industry, he was working on the largest architectural firm in Orange County. Gardner graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo and is registered in multiple states from Hawaii to Texas.
His presence has directed Luxus Design-Build to become a leading name in homebuilding. The firm is known for providing all-in-one design services that are excellent and innovative.

Featured Projects

Luxus Design-Build builds on the values of design excellence, innovation, and sustainability. Residential projects handled by Gardner and the Luxus team are stylish and well-detailed. The modern home displayed in the photo is a chic home with neutral and dark colors. Like a truly modern home, minimal design and luxurious furniture can be found throughout. Clean windows, large shelves, and eccentric detailings make the home feel unique and outstanding.

Merlin Contracting

Principals:
Bart Jones
Steve Jones

Awards:
NAHB Excellence in Home Design Award

Address:
6408 Arville Street, Las Vegas, 89118

About Merlin Contracting

The price tag on custom homes in this firm’s portfolio starts at $1M and go up to $25M. That says almost as much about Merlin’s designs as do the more than 300 newspapers and 70 magazine articles written about them in publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Merlin’s principals are two brothers, Bart and Steve Jones, whose family came to Las Vegas in the early 1930s. In the 1970s, Steve began learning the custom home construction trade from a local builder, until he secured a general contractor’s license and started his own company in 1989. About ten years later, brother Bart returned to Vegas after spending close to 20 years managing agricultural businesses in the tropics. Bart joined the company and later became CFO. The firm has built sprawling estates for the owners of several Las Vegas casinos.

Featured Projects

A Tournament Hills build features an 11,537-square-foot structure boasting the architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright. Merlin contracted with 25 stonemasons to set 2,000 tons of mortar and quartz stone into making the towering walls that are more than two feet thick. Every window and door was hand-made. The installation of the interior’s millwork was so meticulous that not one nail is visible.

Pinnacle Homes

Principals:
Frank Wyatt
Danny Martter

Address:
9225 W. Flamingo Road #190, Las Vegas, NV 89147

About Pinnacle Homes

The energy-efficient custom homes his firm builds in the Mojave desert are better for the environment, says Frank Wyatt, founder and president of Pinnacle Homes. Wyatt’s been a luxury home builder for 25 years. He founded the firm in 1992, 18 years after earning a degree in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The next year, co-owner Danny Martter came on board. Martter had owned a concrete contracting firm that worked on complex high-rise structures from Nevada to Florida. Over the past decade, the two have become known for a design technique that merges energy efficiency and aesthetics. By insulating a roof’s underside and exterior wall frames, and using a sealed HVAC duct system, energy gets trapped in the home rather than seeping into the attic. This cocoon-like design not only helps the environment, it also lowers a homeowner’s utility costs. In 2016, Wyatt was president of the Southern Nevada Home Builders Association

Featured Projects

Pinnacle is known for its two-story estates in Northwestern Las Vegas’s gated communities. A typical design at the Villaggio Estates has four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths in 5,640 square feet of space that also includes an oversized media room, home office, bonus room with covered deck, and two covered patios. A floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace is built into a great room that features a soaring volume ceiling. Coffered ceilings and dramatic crown molding run throughout the kitchen and formal dining rooms, which are connected by a wet bar/butler’s pantry.

Sun West Custom Homes

Principals:
Cynthia Coletti

Awards:
Southern Nevada Home Builders Association Silver Nugget Awards

Address:
6675 S Cimarron Road #100, Las Vegas, NV 89113

About Sun West Custom Homes

Sun West Custom Homes had humble beginnings in Florida when Cynthia Coletti began designing homes in 1978. Cynthia later moved to Las Vegas. Her son, Daniel, learned his mom’s trade and blossomed into the award-winning designer he is today. He’s also the president of Sun West Custom Homes, which has created dramatic mansions and chateaus for millionaires who live in Nevada, Colorado, and Florida. The firm’s builds also reach into Southern California. The executive team for every home build includes a project manager, interior designer, project coordinator, and on-site superintendent. Sun West received the 2019 and 2020 New Ameican Homes awards, which honor top achievements in the local industry. Sun West’s builds are often featured in local and national business journals and publications such as the Los Angeles Times.

Featured Projects

In his more elaborate structures that Coletti crushes his competition. For example, not many builders could savor hefty residential listings in the still-sluggish homebuilding market of 2012. But Sun West did. A 10.7k-square-foot mountaintop home the firm built in Las Vegas was priced at $13.9M, the most expensive real estate listing in the state. Described as a “luxury dreamscape,” the home features colossal walls made of glass with hewn stone. It offers almost no end to views of the Strip. Seventeen cars can fit in the garage. The massive pool measures 2,700 square feet. There are separate rooms for two dogs, and the home is protected behind four security gates. The LA Times said that if F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jay Gatsby owned a home in Vegas, this would be it.