According to Brownstoner in 2019, New Yorkers waste around $700 million a year renovating their apartments. The problem isn’t renovating itself, of course, it’s overspending on those renovations. Those excess dollars are usually thrown away on contractors who are either under-resourced or employ a poorly conceived building process. If you want to avoid the pain of contributing to this financial waste, ensuring that the contractor you’re going to work with is highly experienced and skilled is extremely important.
Featured on this list are the best design-build firms in Brooklyn. Our team has chosen and evaluated these firms based on their number of projects in the area, the awards and recognition they have received, their years in business, and the overall quality of their design-build projects in Brooklyn. These design-build firms have in-house architects and licensed contractors who will handle all aspects of the renovation or construction process. Many of these featured contractors have worked on the city’s older buildings and have delivered stunning results and numerous award-winning projects.
145 Hudson St. Suite #203, New York, NY 10013
Based in New York City, Agencie is a solutions-focused architecture and engineering firm that provides architecture, engineering, design-build, and construction management services throughout Hoboken, Manhattan, New York, Brooklyn, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Toronto, New Jersey, and Jersey City. Founded in 2007, the firm has designed and built more than 300 projects amounting to more than $500 million. The firm’s extensive expertise includes historic buildings, ground-up projects for private clients, commercial enterprises, and institutional organizations.
One of its design-build projects is a gut renovation and rehabilitation of a masonry townhouse in Brooklyn. Originally built in the 1860s, the building recently experienced a devastating fire, damaging the property. The home’s owners wanted to create a home that fits their modern lifestyle but wanted to preserve the history of the 150-year-old property. Agencie collaborated with the clients to recreate some of the original historic elements of the building. The completed project is this cozy home with a mix of modern and mid-century elements. This gorgeous residence was featured on Design Sponge.
119 West 24th St., New York, NY 10011
New York-based home renovation company Bolster has established a reputation for its data-driven and streamlined approach to design-build services. The firm’s mission is to eliminate risk from major home renovations through transparency and financial guarantee. With the firm’s skilled team of experts, clients are guaranteed to pay no unexpected costs and projects that are delivered two weeks early on average. Since 2012, the firm has completed over 1000 complex projects in New York and has been featured in various publications including Brownstoner, ArchDaily, New York Times, and more. What sets the firm apart from other design-build contractors is that Bolster provides a lifetime warranty for its projects, which is an industry-first.
In Downtown Brooklyn, Bolster renovated a two-bedroom condo. The project consisted of installing new hardwood flooring, re-doing one of the bathrooms, installing a Henry Built kitchen, and painting the entire apartment. Completed in about three months, the project was completed on time and on budget.
98 4th St. Suite #302, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Brooklyn-based Breuckelen Build is a general contracting firm that specializes in the high-end construction and renovation of residential and commercial spaces. As a design-build firm, Breuckelen offers full design and fabrication services as well as custom furniture, millwork, and landscape architecture. Gareth Kalber, the co-founder of the firm, is a passive house certified builder and licensed contractor in New York while co-founder Barrett Hamilton has been working in the construction industry for more than 20 years.
One of its projects in 2015 is a townhouse in Park Slope. The four-story, 3,400-square-foot project consisted of an interior gut renovation of a three-level family residence and garden-level apartment. A joint venture with interior designer Kira de Paola, the project features beautiful dark walnut hardwood flooring throughout, subway tiles in the bathroom, a classic clawfoot tub, a spacious walk-in closet, and skylights in different parts of the home.
150 West 25th St. Suite #600, New York, NY 10001
Creating distinguished spaces has been Cargo Workshop’s mission since its founding in 2015. A team of design and construction professionals, Cargo Workshop prides itself on its collaborative approach. The firm provides architectural and interior design, general contracting, and construction management services to Astoria, Bronx, Inwood, New York, Queens, Coney Island, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. Founders Dylan Gould and Javier Carcamo have years of experience in design services as principals of Cargo A.D., Inc., a boutique interior design firm. Today, Cargo Workshop focuses on residential apartment renovations, townhouse and brownstone renovations, boutique restaurants, and retail projects.
In Lincoln Place, Cargo provided interior and architectural design and general contracting services to a four-story townhouse. The project consisted of a total redesign of the property and the construction of two distinctive residences with the brownstone. The bottom duplex features an artistic, bohemian feel with its exposed joists, warm oak flooring, exposed brick, and artisanal concrete floor tiles in the bathroom.
Cobble Hill Design Build
32 33 St. Unit 2, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Cobble Hill Design Build offers a streamlined construction process for its home renovation projects. Founded by interior designer Agnese Purvinska and home improvement contractor Peter Maslow, Cobble Hill combines decades of design and contracting experience to provide clients with tailor-fit solutions and the highest possible value for their projects. Cobble Hill offers affordable outside registered architect services to provide necessary filing, permitting, and sign-offs for the Department of Buildings (DOB) Work Permits, which is almost always required for renovations.
The firm’s project in the middle of historic Cobble Hill consisted of the gut renovation of a duplex apartment in a two coop townhouse. The project included a new kitchen, two bathrooms, a bedroom, a library room, and a laundry room. In addition to the full renovation of the home, mechanical systems were all upgraded as well. Completed in 2017, one of the units featured an open concept floor plan, exposed wood beams, and a beautiful fireplace with surrounding tile made by the client.
110 West 40th St. Suite #2100, New York, NY 10018
Crafted Interiors provides full-service custom design-build services throughout New York. Specializing in interior renovations, the firm provides a turnkey approach to its projects. With an experienced team of in-house architects, designers, and builders, the firm ensures successful projects with timeless results clients will love. Moreover, the firm’s understanding of older building renovations enables it to guide clients throughout the renovation process.
Among the firm’s best projects is a townhouse renovation in Brooklyn. Constructed in Boerum Hill in 1980 as a single-family home and subdivided into a multi-tenant townhouse, the historic home underwent a full renovation of the two-bedroom and two-bathroom owner-occupied unit. The unit features a transitional style with a fresh white kitchen, marble countertops, dark brown hardwood flooring, and a classic exposed brick fireplace. The home’s electrical, plumbing, and HVAC infrastructure were also modernized.
140 Broadway, 28th Floor, New York, NY 10005
Dixon Projects delivers award-winning construction and project management, architecture, and interior design services, specializing in renovations throughout the New York metropolitan area. As a one-stop-shop for all your design, renovation, and construction needs, Dixon has a highly-experienced team of architects, interior designers, and construction managers so clients can be involved as much or as little as they would like. Having completed over 1,000 projects in the area, many award-giving bodies have noticed the firm’s top-notch design and construction workmanship which earned Dixon multiple awards and recognitions throughout the years. In 2018, Dixon received numerous awards from the American Residential Design Awards including the Global Choice award, Design Details, Best Renovation, and Outdoor Living awards, among many others.
In 2016, the Dixon team performed a massive renovation that transformed an unlivable two-family home to a modern single-family retreat. By reconfiguring the home’s existing layout, Dixon was able to add six new bedrooms and four new baths, all without removing the home’s original character. The result was a perfect blend of the home’s old and new elements, from its exposed brick wall to its contemporary accents. The industrial-style brownstone also featured an open concept design, wood beams, high ceilings, custom cabinetry, and a luxurious outdoor space.
123 Melrose St. Suite #748, Brooklyn, NY 11206
Ecostruct has built a reputation for producing high-performance design and building solutions since its inception in 2009. Serving clients across the Tri-State area, Ecostruct has constructed numerous design-build projects, with a focus on sustainable and high-performance construction. Moreover, Ecostruct is a certified Passive House trade company and a LEED accredited firm, which ensures clients high-quality, sustainable, energy-efficient results. With offices in Brooklyn and Shelter Island, the firm has access to a wide array of sustainable resources from local artisans and manufacturers. Among the services that the firm offers are full-service design-build work, management and consultation, and high-performance construction and development services.
Ecostruct provided a near gut renovation of the first floor of a Brooklyn townhouse. The clients wanted unique elements for their home, which Ecostruct delivered by installing a custom stainless tambour door at the pantry area and choosing polished concrete flooring for the foyer. The team was also able to reclaim around 15 square feet of floor space from empty wall cavities, allowing space for a full-size cabinet and an extra deep Frankie stainless steel sink. Custom lacquered white and ebony cabinets and five-inch walnut flooring were installed throughout the home.
Gallery Kitchen and Bath
37-24 24th St. Suite #218, Long Island, NY, 11101
From kitchen and bathroom projects to complete interior renovations, Gallery Kitchen and Bath has provided all-inclusive design-build services for apartments, brownstones, and townhomes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and parts of Queens. The firm is known for its turnkey design, selection, and a build process that has been proven on all home types and has produced many highly satisfied clients. The company’s goal is to create beautiful spaces that are tailored to the client’s style and needs. Aaron Popowsky, the founder of Gallery Kitchen and Bath, has over 15 years in the home improvement industry. Popowsky believes that every brand’s success is a hallmark of integrity, communication, transparency, and exceptional customer experience, and these values have been a part of the company’s ethos since its founding.
In 2018, Gallery Kitchen and Bath performed a gut-renovation of a brownstone in Clinton Hill. Finished within 10 months, the 6,000-square-foot project consisted of new oak hardwood flooring throughout, a full-custom Miralis flat panel kitchen cabinets, marble ensuite bathroom with heated floors, soaking tub, and walk-in shower, a fully-integrated smart home system, central heating and air conditioning, restored marble fireplaces, a custom glass curtain wall, and new plumbing and electrical systems throughout.
Hatchet Design Build
628 Grand Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11238
Founded in 2015, Hatchet Design Build is comprised of an in-house design team, contractors, and a custom fabrication studio. The Brooklyn-based firm specializes in full-service design-build work throughout the Park Slope, Gowanus, Prospect Heights, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, and Greenpoint neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens, and recently throughout Manhattan in Soho, Tribeca, Upper West Side, and Upper East Side. Although the firm has been in business in less than a decade, Hatchet’s stunning projects have been recognized by prominent publications including the Brownstoner, Hunker, Domino, Dwell, Interior Design Magazine, Architectural Digest, and Dezeen among many others.
One of Hatchet’s impressive projects is the six-story Park Slope Brownstone. Featured in Brownstoner in April 2019, the design-build project features a light, cloud-like environment, which Zach Rockhill, founder of the firm, envisioned for the project. To achieve the bright and heavenly look, the home’s interior was painted white—from its molding, window, and door casings to its elaborate period woodwork, which is the home’s most striking asset. New mechanical systems were also installed, as were several new bathrooms, two new kitchens, all on top of new chevron-patterned white oak floors. The front parlor’s massive burled walnut doors were left as natural wood, giving tribute to the 19th-century Victorian brownstone’s history.
Jeffrey McMahon Design + Build
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Jeffrey McMahon Design + Build is an award-winning design-build firm that offers full home renovation, new construction, and full-service general contracting work throughout New York City, Philadelphia, and second home locations such as the Hudson Valley. Jeffrey McMahon, founder of the firm, discovered his interest in building and contracting when he was just 15 years old working as a carpenter. After receiving his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, McMahon taught color theory and design at various colleges and got involved in renovating a Washington Square townhouse. His work focuses on sustainability, employing passive house construction techniques and using reclaimed materials. Throughout the years, the firm’s excellent design-build projects have caught the eye of notable publications like the New York Times, Hidden City Philadelphia, and Brownstoner. The firm also received two Sullivan Showcase awards for the Best Residential Green Building and Most Interesting Residential categories.
Completed in 2017, Jeffrey McMahon Design + Build renovated the Bergen Street Green Condo in downtown Brooklyn. The project’s facade consisted of triple glazed windows, solar panels, double insulation, and LED lighting for the entire project. For its interiors, custom concrete sinks and countertops were used as well as heart pine floors made from the beams of the old Domino Sugar Factory. This project cost over $2 million and was featured in Curbed and 6 Sq Ft.
KBR Design & Build
838 6th Ave. 5th Floor, New York, NY 10001
KBR Design & Build prides itself on its extensive background in kitchen and bathroom remodeling and complete renovation projects. From simple renovations and total apartment renovations to complete commercial construction, KBR provides unmatched expertise and guaranteed fixed prices and schedules on all projects. Moreover, KBR uses environmentally responsible products and practices to lessen its carbon footprint and to increase project sustainability. The firm is also a member of multiple associations such as the Better Business Bureau, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, and the National Kitchen and Bath Association.
In 2016, KBR renovated an apartment at 29 Tiffany Place. The complete renovation included the reconfiguration of the kitchen and bathroom, the installation of new frameless doors, and exposing the ceiling. Moreover, the firm installed soundproofing between ceiling joists, installed HVAC units, and sanded and stained the existing hardwood floor.
141 Beard St., Building 12B, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Established in 2002, MADE is an innovative combination of a design studio, a fabrication workshop, and a contracting team under one roof. The firm specializes in design-build services, focusing on residential homes and custom retail boutiques throughout New York and the surrounding area. Ben Bischoff, the company’s principal, is a registered architect and contractor in New York. He holds a Master’s Degree from the Yale School of Architecture and has worked as a designer at Steven Haris Architects and Deborah Berke and Partners prior to founding MADE. The firm’s exceptional projects have been featured in many publications including Architectural Digest, Dwell, Elle Décor, House & Garden, Interior Design, New York Magazine, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and World of Interiors, among many others.
One of these projects is the Prospect Place Townhouse. This transitional home’s interior features dark hardwood flooring contrasted with light-colored built-in cabinets. One of the most interesting features of this property is its exterior accordion glass walls which provides an indoor-outdoor experience.
67 35th St., C409 Brooklyn, NY 11232
Established in 2001, MontesBuild has provided design-build, pre-construction, and general contracting services throughout Brooklyn. Nicholas Moons, founder of MontesBuild, graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a Bachelors of Architecture and a minor in Architecture History. Currently, he is a member of the American Institute of Architects and a licensed architect and general contractor in New York City. His extensive background in both architecture and general contracting allows the firm to develop customer-focused design solutions.
The firm’s Park Slope townhouse project features a transitional design. The home’s all-white cabinets and countertops enhance the sense of space and make the unit look and feel bigger. The home’s light hardwood flooring also brightens up the living space. To maximize the space, visually striking built-in shelves line the hallways for extra storage.
45 Seabring St. Brooklyn, NY 11231
Pulatani Builders is a collaboration between New York’s top designers, project managers, tradespeople, and project development professionals delivering quality design-build services throughout the five boroughs. The team handles all phases of the design and construction process, from the initial planning to the building process. In its over two decades in the construction industry, Pulatani Builders has been recognized by various publications such as the New York Times and Brownstoner.
Among the firm’s notable projects is a Brooklyn brownstone renovation. The project features gorgeous multi-tone hardwood flooring, a classic subway backsplash, a clawfoot tub, and a few antique pieces that perfectly blend with the home’s modern elements. The home’s striking black and white exterior also complements the overall design of the property.