Suzane Reatig Architecture, Northwest DC; 202-518-0260; reatig.com. Reatig’s modern designs include lots of glass and concrete. Her projects—she specializes in apartments and condos—were noted by one peer as “wonderfully quiet, spare, serene, and economical.” All three architects in the firm are LEED-accredited.
Treacy & Eagleburger Architects, Northwest DC; 202-362-5226; treacyeagleburger.com. Jane Treacy and Phil Eagleburger design renovations and additions in Washington as well as new vacation homes for their Washington clientele, often in New England. “We take a contemporary approach to plan layouts,” says Eagleburger. “But oftentimes they’re disguised in more traditional clothing.” Other architects praise the clearness and simplicity of their work.
Van Dusen Architects, Northwest DC; 202-332-3890; vandusenarchitects.com. This six-architect firm, in business since 1987, is led by Ben Van Dusen, who specializes in new homes and large renovations. Many of his projects include wood and stone. “We like to use natural materials in a modern context,” he says.
Top Design/Build Firms and General Contractors
Acadia Contractors, Bethesda; 301-320-6702. Highly recommended by architects, Paul Jeffs and his team have done high-end remodeling and additions for 26 years.
Accent General Contracting, Rockville; 301-294-9295; accentgc.com. In business 40 years, this firm takes on kitchens, additions, whole-house renovations, and other large projects, creating open spaces in traditional or modern styles.
Added Dimensions, Takoma Park; 301-270-0935; addeddimensionsinc.com. Engineer Richard Hazboun and lawyer Alan Kanner teamed up in 1997 to form this firm, which specializes in contemporary residential architecture, mostly in DC and Montgomery County. Recent projects include the complete renovation of a semicircular rowhouse on R Street, adding a five-story elevator tower to a another DC residence, and building a 550-square-foot glass deck for a home in Cleveland Park.
Anthony Wilder Design/Build, Cabin John; 301-907-0100; anthonywilder.com. Wilder’s 14-year-old firm does everything from whole-house renovations to interior design and landscaping. It has five staff architects and specializes in creative, whimsical architecture; one memorable project was an adult tree house.
Bethesda Contracting, Chevy Chase; 301-656-9020; bethesdacontracting.com. Brothers Mike and George Thiede started the company in 1986; Mike Jr. joined in 2006. They’ll take on remodeling projects of all sizes, and they offer green materials ranging from tile and cabinets to electrical fixtures.
Block Builders, Bethesda; 301-652-8566; blockbuilders.com. Anthony Paulos worked in construction for a decade before founding this ten-person firm, which works mostly on traditionally designed custom homes, major additions, and renovations. While the firm builds lots of new residences that are at least 6,000 square feet, it has also done projects as small as 1,500-square-foot guesthouses.
Bowa Builders, McLean; 703-734-9050; also in Middleburg; bowa.com. Bowa specializes in large renovations, custom houses, and condo remodeling, with a project minimum of $150,000. In business more than 20 years, Bowa recently launched a rebate program to minimize costs for green upgrades. The firm also has a division to work on small and midsize projects.
Brenneman & Pagenstecher, Kensington; 301-933-9305; brenpag.com. Architect Dean Brenneman and builder Peter Pagenstecher teamed up more than a decade ago to do high-end additions, renovations, and historic preservation, mostly in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Northwest DC, North Arlington, McLean, and Great Falls.
Case Design/Remodeling, Bethesda; 301-229-4600; casedesign.com. The country’s largest full-service remodeling company, Case has three offices in Washington and about 50 franchises across the country. The 48-year-old firm has staff architects and, in Washington, 30 Green Advantage–certified remodelers; it does everything from whole-house renovations to smaller projects out of its handyman division.
Commonwealth Home Remodelers, Vienna; 703-255-9861; commonwealthhome.com. Owned by aerospace engineer Kelvin Pierce and wife Susan, a LEED-accredited architect, this design/build firm does large remodeling projects, mostly in Fairfax County. It recently restored and merged two log cabins into one house that uses a geothermal heating system and harvests and treats rainwater for home use.
DeMarne & Day, Potomac; 301-299-6500. In business almost 60 years, this construction firm focuses on midsize to large remodeling in styles ranging from traditional to modern. The 30-person team works mostly in Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac, Northwest DC, Arlington, and McLean.
Gibson Builders, Northwest DC; 202-364-1555; gibsonbuilders.com. Primarily a custom-home builder, Jim Gibson’s firm also does renovations. Highly recommended by peers, it also has an office on the Eastern Shore. There’s a $500,000 project minimum.
Gilday Renovations, Silver Spring; 301-565-4600; gilday.com. Cousins Kevin and Thomas Gilday’s 30-person team includes architects, interior designers, and builders who work in both contemporary and traditional styles.
Glass Construction, Northwest DC; 202-362-6012; gcidc.com. Tom Glass works mostly in Georgetown and Cleveland Park and specializes in historic renovations in Federal-era, Georgian, and Italianate styles. He recently restored a 19th-century Georgetown rowhouse, in the process installing geothermal heating and cooling.
Hopkins & Porter Construction, Potomac; 301-840-9121; www.hopkinsandporter.com. Guy Hopkins Semmes and Michael Porter Denker founded Hopkins & Porter more than 30 years ago. The design/build firm has one architect on staff and offers handyman services for smaller jobs. It recently renovated a 100-year-old cabin in Potomac, adding a floor-to-ceiling glass wall overlooking the river.
Horizon Builders, Crofton; 301-261-6706; horizonbuildersinc.net. Our top vote getter, this construction firm does renovation and historic preservation in addition to new-home construction. Its sister company, Horizon Houseworks, handles handyman work.