Overview

The San Antonio metropolitan area abounds with “master builders,” an ancient concept and the historical model for the city’s best design-build firms. The master builder of old was a craftsman who understood all the practical, technical, and artistic elements of that most important of human structures, the family home. Today, the best design-build firms strive for this same level of craftsmanship and responsibility. The firms on this list are all tapping into the master-builder spirit to create structures that are innovative, sustainable, and beautiful.

Top Home Builders & Design Build Firms

10
Rhino Design Build

Featured Principals:
Danny Garcia

Address:
3463 Magic Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229

Contact:
210-413-8789
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About Rhino Design Build

A busy and creative design-build firm specializing in remodels and additions, Rhino Design Build is on the leading edge of a rethinking of the American home with an emphasis on multi-generational living, a trend being thrust upon us by economic and demographic realities. The company also has experience retrofitting and remodeling homes to be more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Company head Danny Garcia has nearly 20 years of experience in the design and construction fields and has worked on many residential and commercial projects. Before starting Rhino Design Build in 2004, he worked for Tejas Architects for seven years. He won the San Antonio Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award and has been featured in several industry publications, including San Antonio Construction News.

“A typical first meeting with a client is usually at their dinner table. I take time out of my day to come out and sit down with the client and their family, listen to must-haves of what the potential project might look like.  I then take that design and put it into a 3D model, which helps give them a better idea of what the actual space could look like.” –  Danny Garcia

Featured Projects

Rhino seems to be in the business of keeping families together, all living under one roof, sharing expenses and good times. The design-build firm has converted unused attics and garages into comfortable living spaces, and built detached mother-in-law and father-in-law suites that match and enhance the main house while providing the dignity of independence. Rhino also has worked on second-story additions, guest houses, and complete remodels, helping make multi-generational living more comfortable, and helping aging family members stay at home. Rhino also has experience designing and building detached garage additions for vehicles and storage. Most of Rhino’s projects are in the popular and stylish Alamo Heights and Terrell Hills neighborhoods.

9
C Sostre Architecture

Featured Principals:
César Sostre-Odio

Address:
4122 Sleepy Hollow, San Antonio, TX 78230

Contact:
210-464-7119
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About C Sostre Architecture

The team at C Sostre follows the master-builder approach to design-build, providing clients with a creative vision and then crafting that vision into reality, from the first scribblings to the first turn of the key. The company was founded in 2010 by César Sostre-Odio, the firm’s lead architect and principal on all design-build projects. He has a master’s degree in architecture from Florida International University. Before starting his own company, Sostre worked for Wigodsky Architects & Associates, HMD Group Architects, SJP Architects, and DHR Architects. The family-owned firm has a wide range of experience, having worked on a variety of residential projects, including new-builds and major remodels, as well as restaurants, education buildings, government projects, and commercial work.

“Who best to build your project than the architect who designed it.” – César Sostre-Odio

Featured Projects

C Sostre Architecture’s project “Sleepy Hollow residence” was featured in a recent Modern Architecture + Design Society Modern Home Tour in San Antonio. The project involved Sostre completely remodeling his parents’ home. The wonderful design created a modern look in a home that had nothing modern about it before the remodel. The masterful, unforgettable interior features a striking, white wood staircase and loft-space above the open but cozy main living area, and three custom-designed fireplaces, including one outdoors. With the “House on Collen Drive,” C Sostre designed and built a cozy contemporary home on Canyon Lake outside of San Antonio. The home’s most striking feature is its steel, stone, and wood outdoor spaces overlooking the lake, supported by a rusted-metal lower level.

8
Urbano Design & Build

Featured Principals:
Lori Urbano

Address:
744 Broadway #103, San Antonio, TX 78209

Contact:
210-258-4444
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About Urbano Design & Build

Lori Urbano, founder and leader of Urbano Design & Build, grew up working with her father on construction projects in Laredo. Some 20 years ago she decided to go out on her own and worked on all kinds of small and large building projects in San Antonio and elsewhere. In 2009 she founded Urbano Design & Build, and she has since worked on more than 50 residential and commercial projects, including luxury homes and lofts in upscale and popular San Antonio neighborhoods, such as Alamo Heights, Terrell Hills, the Dominion, and others. Urbano has also had a role in designing several of the city’s favorite restaurants. The firm does everything from new construction to remodels and finish-outs.

Featured Projects

Urbano Design-Build created a home with a soft-spoken exterior and an extroverted interior with “807 Old Austin” in Mahncke Park, a trendy and up-and-coming neighborhood with parks and a golf course that’s close to downtown San Antonio. The contemporary house has the look of a regular Southwestern subdivision home, with a white exterior and a red-tile roof. The interior is more dramatic, however, being wide open with a loft-like second floor looking down from above, hardwood floors, a marble floor-to-ceiling fireplace, and a large wood deck with views of the golf course. Urbano also created a delightful, sophisticated urban loft at 114 Camp Street in Southtown, where the upscale units list in the seven figures. The open, white and stainless steel space is divided by its uses, with a baby-blue bar drawing the eye, and a sleek, black stage by the big windows, creating the perfect spot for the living room. Over the whole of the incredibly tasteful and subdued space, the exposed shiny-steel ductwork hovers like a work of contemporary sculpture.

7
Adapt Architecture and Construction

Featured Principals:
Peter DeWitt
Morgan Penix

Address:
114 Aylesbury Hill Street, San Antonio, TX 78209

Contact:
210-844-1687
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About Adapt Architecture and Construction

Adapt Architecture and Construction specializes in residential, restaurant, office, renovation, and green building projects. The company is a partnership between architects Peter DeWitt and Morgan Penix. DeWitt, who also runs DeWitt Architects, received his bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and worked for SA Partnership Architects for four years before going out on his own. Penix has a master’s degree in architecture from Texas Tech University and worked for DeWitt Architects for 11 years before co-founding Adapt in 2013. The company is dedicated to the architect-as-builder ethos of design-build, bringing a combination of creativity and craftsmanship to each project, whether it’s an innovative new-build or a refreshing remodel. Among other honors, Adapt has received several Best of Houzz design awards.

Featured Projects

Adapt Architecture and Construction has built numerous stylish and interesting homes in various San Antonio neighborhoods and suburbs, including Terrell Hills, Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, and Live Oak, where the firm has worked on four memorable houses. The company built a home in the Terrell Hills neighborhood with a low, ranch-style profile, set back from the street amidst the trees and manicured bushes. The backyard features a wonderful patio area, and the open, neutral-colored interior features a cool, screened-in space off the main living room. Also by Adapt, the beautiful, curvy, and charming “Castano” project is a masterpiece of outdoor living space. It has a kind of throwback, Old Word, almost fairy-tale look to it, with a wavy facade and stately columns supporting the porch. The interiors feature dark wood floors and neutral colors, and in the wood-paneled study, there’s a industrial-chic, metal and leather desk and chair that clash wonderfully with the private-club atmosphere of the room. But it’s the backyard here that’s unforgettable: an indoor-outdoor covered patio beside a clear, natural-looking pool and surrounded by cool grass.

6
Ziga Architecture Studio

Featured Principals:
Felix Ziga

Awards:
AIA Future of Architecture Award in Universal Design

Address:
1218 E. Euclid Avenue #3, San Antonio, TX 78212

Contact:
210-201-3637
info@studioziga.com

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About Ziga Architecture Studio

Ziga Architecture Studio is a rising design-build firm specializing in thoughtful, sustainable design and historic preservation. Led by architect Felix Ziga, the studio designs and builds residential, commercial, and government projects, as well as additions, remodels, and finish-outs. Ziga has more than a decade of experience in the design and construction industries in Texas and elsewhere. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture, along with a certificate in historic preservation, from the University of Texas at San Antonio. The firm has won a Future of Architecture Award in Universal Design from American Institute of Architects (AIA), among other honors.

Featured Projects

For its “East Crockett Urban” project, Ziga is working on three “smart” townhomes in the up-and-coming downtown Jefferson Heights neighborhood with developer Millenial Development LLC. The three-bed, two-and-a-half-bath, 1,600-square-foot stylish townhomes are efficient and sustainable. The homes have an interesting contemporary look, and the two tall and narrow outer homes have shed-style roofs, similar to the matching garage structures in front, while the middle home has a pitched roof, creating an interesting look to this sophisticated addition to a revitalizing downtown neighborhood. The firm recently finished a wonderful home just outside San Antonio — a project for three close friends who wanted to live together and help each other in their old age — called the “Tierra De Dios-Fair Oaks Ranch Residence and Guest House.” On a 5.6-acre lot in a suburban subdivision, Ziga built a main house and a guest house with an emphasis on finely balancing the clients’ competing needs for “communal living” and privacy. The innovative home features an awesome lookout tower, shared patios, a community garden space, and sustainable details such as rainwater harvesting, passive solar heating, and grey-water irrigation.

5
CKC Custom Homes

Featured Principals:
Chuck Powell
Kristal Powell

Awards:
GSABA Best Product Design Awards,
GSABA Best Rural Product Awards,
GSABA Best Pool & Water Feature Awards

Address:
7902 Calle Rialto, Suite 200, San Antonio, TX 78257

Contact:
210-408-7613
sales@ckccustomhomes.com

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About CKC Custom Homes

Designers and builders of luxury custom homes in San Antonio since 2002, CKC Custom Homes is big enough to take your project from dream to real-life bricks and mortar, but their craftsman souls want to keep their “yearly volume low” so they can give each project the proper amount of time. Their new build projects start at $500k, but they also work on renovations and interior-design projects with smaller budgets. CKC Custom Homes has won numerous awards from the Greater San Antonio Builders Association (GSABA), including honors for Best Product Design, Best Rural Product, and Best Pool & Water Feature. Not only does CKC Custom Homes design and build their client’s homes, the company also offers interior design services, helping homeowners choose everything from furniture to drapes.

Featured Projects

CKC Custom Homes designs custom homes in many different styles, including Mediterranean, traditional, Tuscan, transitional, and, of course, modern. The company is particularly adept at the clean lines of the modern style, as with the gorgeous “Stone Oak Modern” in the Stone Oak neighborhood, an elegant, white, two-story modern home with a covered outdoor-living patio next to a pool with wood decking. The top level rooms all have an abundance of windows looking down on the pool. The luxurious interiors feature wood floors and subdued colors, as well as warm touches like heavy-timber accents on a recessed ceiling. Another CKC gem is the “Anaqua Mediterranean Splendor” in the high-end Anaqua Springs development, a sprawling villa with columns, high ceilings, wood floors, and a wonderful open plan that melds the kitchen, living room, and outside living area all into one.

4
Burdick Custom Homes

Featured Principals:
Arthur C. Burdick Jr.
Alexia A. Herber

Awards:
GSABA Best Product Design Awards,
GSABA Best Rural Product Awards,
GSABA Best Pool & Water Feature Awards

Address:
4710 Shavano Oak, Suite 102, San Antonio, TX 78249

Contact:
210-497-2200
info@burdickhomes.com

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About Burdick Custom Homes

If you want to build a luxury home in one of San Antonio’s ritzy neighborhoods (and why wouldn’t you), look no further than Burdick Custom Homes, a leading local design-build firm that will guide you through the process from dream to reality. President Arthur C. Burdick, Jr., graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and is a past president of the Greater San Antonio Builders Association (GSABA). Partner Alexia A. Herber has bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has worked in the industry for more than 25 years. The company has won numerous awards from the GSABA, including Best Product Design honors, and has also been featured many times on the group’s annual Parade of Homes.

Featured Projects

Burdick Custom Homes specializes in designing luxury dream-homes in San Antonio’s upscale neighborhoods. In the high-end Anaqua Springs Ranch, Burdick Custom Homes is currently working on 4,080-square-foot luxury home with a sprawling, ranch-style look on a leafy, one-acre lot. This $1.2M American dream-home has four bedrooms, four bathrooms, a study, a huge covered outdoor living area with a pool and spa, and a three-car garage. Inside there’s an inviting open floor plan, high ceilings, and stylish details. Among many other custom homes in San Antonio’s upscale neighborhoods, Burdick Custom Homes is also currently working on a contemporary stunner in The Dominion, one of San Antonio’s most exclusive and expensive neighborhoods, where multi-million-dollar homes are the norm. Burdick’s latest edition to the neighborhood will be a $1.3M, 4,627-square-foot home with five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and an open, indoor-outdoor plan with a pool and spa.

3
WC Design Build

Featured Principals:
Eli Woolsey,

Address:
144 Landa Street, Suite 851, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Contact:
830-317-1717
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About WC Design Build

Located in New Braunfels, just outside of San Antonio, WC Design Build has been building custom homes in Texas since 1980. For all its history, though, the company is an innovative leader in offering sustainable materials and green building options to its clients. A multigenerational family concern, WC Design Build’s president is Eli Woolsey, an industry veteran who has been swinging a hammer since he was 10 years old. Woolsey has a master’s degree in construction science and management and is an adjunct professor of the same subject at Texas State University. The company is dedicated to the design-build model, offering clients a single homebuilding guru to guide them through the process.

Featured Projects

WC Design Build has an eclectic portfolio of custom-home projects, from a “contemporary traditional” with its elegantly curved ceiling covered with the same rich, dark wood as the floor, to the “classic hill country” home, a wonderful update to a regional style, all dark wood and stonework, featuring an outdoor kitchen and a classic porch. For all of its custom home projects WC Design Build encourages clients to use walls built of concrete and insulating foam, a green technique that makes the home more efficient and durable. The company also offers its clients metal roofs, rainwater harvesting, Xeriscape landscaping, solar water heaters, and wind-power systems.

2
Lake|Flato

Featured Principals:
Ted Flato
David Lake

Awards:
Global Award for Sustainable Architecture,
AIA Firm of the Year,
AIA San Antonio Design Award

Address:
311 Third Street #200, San Antonio, TX 78205

Contact:
210-227-3335
marketing@lakeflato.com

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About Lake|Flato

Lake|Flato has been pioneering sustainable design, leading urban revitalization, and creating innovative, beautiful homes in San Antonio since 1984. These days they are revolutionizing homebuilding with their visionary take on the design-build concept: the modular “Porch House.” Principals Ted Flato and David Lake are both both AIA fellows, and the 89-person firm has won numerous awards, including the Global Award for Sustainable Architecture and AIA’s Firm of the Year award. Architect Magazine has placed the firm in the Top 10 of its annual Top 50 list, and Fast Company has called it one the Top 10 most innovative architecture firms in the world. In addition to designing unique residences, Lake Flato has played an active role in many urban renewal projects in San Antonio and nearby Austin.

Featured Projects

Custom-designed, tough and stylish prefabricated structures, the Porch House is assembled on site and can typically be constructed in less time and for less money than a more conventionally built home. The firm designed and built a charming example of the porch house concept on a ranch outside of San Antonio, combining pre-fab modules to create a living room, master bedroom, and guest room. These aren’t the prefab houses you’re thinking of; these are stylish, metal and wood, regionally appropriate buildings with big windows and wonderful indoor-outdoor details, and the metal exteriors make them seem both historic and futuristic at the same time. The firm took the concept another step forward with “The Prow,” a Porch House in rural Texas that’s completely off the grid. The interiors of the long rusted-steel building, which was made in San Antonio and assembled on site, are covered in blonde-colored pine, and a long covered porch and other outdoor spaces take advantage of the awesome views. The house uses 100 percent solar power and features cisterns to collect rainwater. The Prow recently won a design award from AIA San Antonio.

1
Dado Group

Featured Principals:
Clay Hefty
Kristin Wiese Hefty

Awards:
Remodeling Magazine Grand Award,
Remodeling Magazine Merit Award

Address:
311 Sixth Street, San Antonio, TX 7821

Contact:
210-828-4599
info@dado-group.com

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About Dado Group

The Dado Group is an innovative design-build firm in San Antonio that has been active in the residential sector, along with designing and constructing a varied list of commercial projects. Partner and project architect Kristin Wiese Hefty received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Texas at Austin. She also served internships at Leeser Architecture and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates in New York, and she worked for San Antonio’s Lake|Flato for five years before starting her own firm with her husband, Clay Hefty. A partner and construction manager for the firm, Hefty graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree in information systems and quantitative business analysis. The firm has received awards from Remodeling Magazine, the San Antonio Business Journal and Centro San Antonio, and has been featured in Texas Architect, Texas Monthly, Urban Home Magazine, Esquire, New York Times.

Featured Projects

The Dado Group designed, and built in collaboration with David Mills Custom Homes, “the Smith House,” a wonderful brick-and-wood home in a historic neighborhood in New Braunfels, a riverine community just outside of San Antonio. The 5,556-square-foot, L-shaped, two-story house is divided into different wings and levels, and it has an interesting and inspiring look while still fitting into the long-established neighborhood. The home features a dramatic, glass-enclosed entryway with a steel staircase and is constructed of old bricks and wood, with sleek metal roofs and overhangs. Inside, the contemporary and warm main living area features high ceilings, exposed heavy-wood rafters, muted skylights, wood floors, and a central brick fireplace. The Dado Group is also expert at creating brand new works of residential art from older homes in some of San Antonio’s best neighborhoods. Witness the “Stanford Midcentury Addition/Remodel,” a complete contemporary revival of a tired old space in Olmos Park. The new house is now a sleek and elegant showplace, featuring an open interior with large windows all along the west wall to let in the natural light, a new, black-steel and glass family room with a 20 x 24-foot glass wall, concrete floor, and warm, slat-wood ceilings.

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