Remodeling a kitchen inspires more creativity – and drama —  than perhaps any other home renovation project. And in keeping with the tradition of Southern hospitality, Queen City residents use their kitchens for entertaining as much as for down-home cooking. As Charlotte continues its decades-long climb up America’s social ladder, clients in the super cool cities and traditional suburbs aren’t holding back on wish lists, even if they stretch kitchen remodeling costs. And contractors have to keep pace.

The ones on this list do that and more. Each produces the highest quality designs in Charlotte, whether configuring windows and walls to allow a flood of natural light, or adding warmth with furniture details on custom cabinets. Most of them have also garnered professional accolades.

What distinguishes one from another is the creativity it takes to deliver an ace remodel that makes luxury home professionals, such as those at Better Homes and Gardens, take a second look. That’s why the number one spot here goes to a top-notch remodeler who got his start in his garage.  

Top Remodeling Contractors

15. Artisan Custom Homes

Featured Professionals: Jay Johnstone & John Shryock
Address: 21016 Catawba Avenue, Cornelius, NC 28031

Known for its impressive custom homebuilding arm, this Davidson-based residential general contractor also specializes in kitchen remodeling projects throughout Cornelius, Charlotte, Huntersville, Mooresville, Terrell, and Kannapolis. Principals Jay Johnstone and John Shryock combine their over 25 years of experience in construction and engineering to create intimate kitchen designs for exacting clientele.

Typically, an Artisan kitchen renovation will feature high price point amenities, such as wood kitchen cabinets crafted out of dark-stained American walnut and cherry wood, Sapele Mahogany, or Brazilian Cherry. Finishes are often glazed, and some have gold leaf to accent fine details. Cabinets are also flush inset and frameless and usually have undermount soft-closing doors. High-end appliances made by Wolf, Thermador, and Sub-Zero are usually fitted into hand-crafted, decorative carved wood or detailed columns.

The high-priced sinks are made of hammered copper, marble, or granite, and heavy gauge stainless steel. Many of Artisan’s kitchens follow a traditional gourmet layout with a main sink and pull-out cutting boards. Often, pendant lights hover over kitchen islands used for prepping and casual eating. Precise measurements are made between the sink, range and refrigerator to optimize the “work triangle” area.

14. J. Barwick Construction

Featured Professionals: Jason Barwick
Address: 5 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28280

Working out of Charlotte for more than 25 years, this company, founded by Jason Barwick, has been recognized for spectacular kitchen renovations throughout Newell, Davidson, Cornelius, Belmont, Cramerton, Lake Wylie, and Mount Holly, among other areas.

For clients who want a casual but luxurious kitchen, Barwick will add sleek, modern amenities, such as a breakfast bar and Sub-Zero refrigerators, walk-in pantries framed with custom wood molding, hardwood floors running from the kitchen into other living areas, and stained mahogany cabinets. Other Barwick clients want timeless beauty, which means Quartz countertops, strong moldings, heavy horizontal lines, open layouts that breezily blend eating and living areas, and counter-height islands made white-grey marble.

Also cherished are open shelves, polished silver finishes, chrome and nickel hardware, high coffered ceilings with complementary molding, arches of brick sculpted around the range, and appliances “hidden” behind furniture-like panels and built-ins. Floors and backsplashes are crafted out of natural stone and glass mosaics. And, following the minimalist trend, Barwick replaces upper cabinets with vertical storage spaces and built-in niches.

13. Henderson Building Group

Featured Professionals: Brooks Henderson
Address: P.O. Box 1409, Cornelius, NC 28031

This Lake Norman general contractor has earned just as much praise for its kitchen remodeling ideas as for its more than 200 signature home builds. Working throughout Lake Norman, Cornelius, Mooresville, Denver, Belmont, Charlotte, etc., Henderson Building Group has established an impressive portfolio of trendy and award-winning renovations. The company is owned and run by Brooks Henderson, who started out with Simonini Builders — a large, luxury homebuilder in Charlotte — before setting up his own shop in Cornelius in 2008.

Typical jobs by Henderson range from $75,000 to $5B. He is a Certified Green Professional, and clients praise his ability to maximize energy efficiency in his renovation projects. The team received a STARS Award in 2015 from the North Carolina Home Builders Association (NCHBA). Henderson was the 2017 president of the Lake Norman Home Builders Association (LNHBA). Typical of the company’s remodels is a Cornelius kitchen renovation with features that define simple sophistication: a stone fireplace, custom cabinets, granite countertops, pendulum lights, natural stone tile backsplash, and Thermador appliances.

12. Melton Interiors

Featured Professionals: Stephen Melton
Address: P.O. Box 1233, Monroe, NC 28111

Here’s another big-name Charlotte remodeler with humble beginnings. Wayne Melton had a passion for residential construction but lacked the funds to open a real showroom. He thus spent nine years working out of his garage before leasing a storefront in Union County in 1984. Today, his son, Stephen, continue his legacy of excellence in home remodeling after he passed away in 2004. Proofs to this are the award-winning display at the Union County Parade of Homes, and the two featured projects in Chalotte Magazine Home+Garden since 2017.

Melton’s kitchen remodels, particularly in Charlotte, often have custom built cabinets with fine carpentry details and custom islands with marble counters. The team also favors arched entryways with custom-made windows, recessed lighting, custom millwork in the entries, and gold leaf ceiling detail. Final touches include crystal chandeliers, granite countertops, coffered ceilings with oversized exposed beams, custom paneling, and high-end stainless steel appliances. The remodeler provides complementing wood stains on flooring, cabinets, and kitchen stools.

Melton designers will shy away from monochrome styles. Instead, they use pops of color to create focal points in creamy off-white or neutral palette designs, while exotic stones are used for dramatic backsplashes. Occasionally, extra thick and exotic marbles are used to make a dramatic statement as countertops to arched islands.  

11. DiFabion Remodelers

Featured Professionals: Mike DiFabion & Alison Roosenberg
Address1070 Van Buren Avenue D, Indian Trail, NC 28079

Much of this Indian Trail-based contractor’s impressive renovation work comes from high-end kitchen remodeling projects. Owner and founder Mike DiFabion employs a certified Kitchen and Bath Designer, Alison Roosenberg. She trained in design at Appalachian State University and Queens College, and then gained fashion and design experience at prestigious New York City firms.

DiFabion’s kitchen renovation expertise is revealed by its National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Contractor of the Year (CotY) Awards for several residential kitchen categories in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, and 2015. The November 2017 CotY awards did not break that pattern: One of the three awards given to DiFabion was for Best Kitchen $30,000 to $60,000. Those accolades are in addition to other awards DiFabion has collected in its 17-year history, including numerous People’s Choice awards.

Potential clients can expect their kitchen renovation to have a custom-built stone fireplace like the one installed at a Deerfield Creek kitchen, a custom-built stone arch over a professional range like that built into a Canyon Trail kitchen, or perhaps a stone-encased exhaust hood, such as the one made for clients in Quail Hollow.

10. DPS Construction

Featured Professionals: Steve Sebrell
Address: 4412-A Monroe Rd, Charlotte NC 28205

DPS Construction has been family owned and managed since it opened in Charlotte in 2007. Principal Steve Sebrell spent his early years as a carpenter, taking on diverse residential projects throughout Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. Sebrell keeps his remodeling company small on purpose. He takes a hands-on approach to every remodeling project that comes his way. This, in turn, may explain why they were one of Charlotte’s Fastest 50 Growing Companies named by the Charlotte Business Journal in 2016.

DPS services all of Mecklenburg County specializing in custom new builds, renovations, and additions ranging from kitchens & bathrooms up to whole house renovations. Their wide range of experience might explain the breathtaking kitchen remodels DPS is known for. For example, a South Charlotte kitchen project, costing up to $50,000, creates an elegant look with white shaker cabinets, Quartz countertops, a farmhouse sink, pendant lights, and a white-grey marble topped island with brown rattan seats. Also priced around $50,000 was a Cotswold kitchen renovation with more drama. French doors flank a brick fireplace that barely separates the kitchen from the living room. Tucked into one corner of the kitchen is a sitting area set before a window, with upholstered chairs.

9. Premier Renovations

Featured Professionals: Scott Evert
Address: 5931 McGregor Drive, Charlotte NC 28227

“A kitchen remodel is a big deal,” says Premier Renovations owner Scott Evert, on the company’s website. He should know. In the company’s more than 20-year existence, Evert has established an enviable following of high-end clients in the Charlotte neighborhoods of Myers Park, Ballantyne, Eastover, Matthews, Lake Norman, Lake Wylie, and SouthPark. Premier Renovations promises clients that it keeps subcontracting to a bare minimum, as Evert has personal expertise in every aspect of kitchen design.

One of Evert’s kitchen remodels was featured in SouthPark Magazine’s May 2016 issue. The clients, who had fallen in love with a 1985 Colonial home, admitted it needed a serious overhaul, which would have to start with the outdated kitchen. So Evert’s team ditched the Formica countertops and pine shaker cabinets to create a casual but elegant look. They installed white wood cabinets and Quartz countertops, and redid the hardwood floors. The banquette was built out to highlight a breakfast nook and was covered in faux vinyl leather. Last but not least was an oversized convex mirror which opened up the room.

8. Andrew Roby

Featured Professionals: Travis Haston
Address: 2000 West Morehead Street, Charlotte, NC 28208

Anyone searching for the best Charlotte residential remodelers in any category will invariably run into this highly acclaimed firm, which has garnered high praise for more than four decades. It was started in 1950 by a Hungarian immigrant, Andrew (“Roby”) Robicsek, but is now run by his partner of 25 years, Glenn Haston. The Roby team specializes in trendy kitchen remodels in all Charlotte areas: Lake Wylie, Fort Mill, Pineville, Belmont, Matthews, Lake Norman, and Myers Park.

The firm is large and its credentials are impressive. In 2016, the Charlotte Business Journal handed the Roby team a Family Business Award, and in 2015, The Charlotte Observer awarded it Best Home Builder of the Year. That reputation was built in part on kitchen remodels, such as the one which brought two awards – the 2014 Home Builders Association (HBA) Excellence in Remodeling Award Gold in the $100k to $200k category and the LNHBA Best of the Lake Award. That remodel was in a Charlotte Bungalow, whose owner wanted a modest kitchen expansion. Roby added 150 square feet at the back of the house and installed double doors that fold back to give an airy feel. Shiplap siding walls added a minimalist but elegant aesthetic.

7. David Tyson & Associates

Featured Professionals: David Tyson
Address: 3718 Selwyn Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28209

Kitchen design and remodeling makes up a sizeable portion of the projects that this Charlotte-based Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler receives each year. David Tyson & Associates, in business since 1982, tells clients that the kitchen is the most difficult room to remodel because it requires a functional but elegant blend of many components. Tyson is also careful to not mislead them about the cost. According to his website, the national average for a kitchen remodel (as of 2015) was around $54,000, and while minor projects can be under $40,000, the majority of kitchen renovations climb up to $75,000 and even $100k.

Each year, Tyson’s team completes numerous kitchen remodels in Charlotte, Matthews, Myers Park, and Pineville. One remodel on Hermitage Court in Charlotte cost between $60,000 and $100k. Tyson was challenged to update the kitchen of a 1920s house while maintaining the home’s timeless aura. His design added a butler’s pantry with bi-hinge French doors leading into the dining room and flanked on each side by custom-made glass doors and wall-to-ceiling cabinets. Seagrass granite was used for some countertops, while Zimbabwe black granite was torched to give it a dimpled surface, then sculpted around a farmhouse sink.

6. Case Remodeling of Charlotte

Featured Professionals: Brad Little
Address: 3421-M St. Vardell Lane, Charlotte, NC 28217

Founder Brad Little opened this Charlotte remodeling company in 2005 after working as a licensed general contractor throughout both Carolinas. Before that, Little had studied at Appalachian State University, which awarded him an MBA. Since its founding, Case Remodeling of Charlotte has earned awards that companies twice its size can only dream of. Many of those rewards are for its spectacular kitchen remodeling projects.

In 2015, the Charlotte chapter of NARI handed Little the Best Residential Kitchen $60,000 to $100k. In 2017, the Southeast chapter gave a Case Kitchen Remodel an award in the over $150k category. A “Champagne Taste” kitchen remodel in Cornelius by Case installed gourmet appliances like Sub-Zero refrigerators and a 72-inch La Cornue Grand Palais range. Those specialty appliances required Case to create two zones within the kitchen. A Charlotte townhouse kitchen remodel was built around two load-bearing columns, a dropped header, dimmed lighting at multiple levels, and a bar height island allowing prep work and casual eating that steals the show.  

5. Tile Collection

Featured Professionals: Elaine Creasser & Matt Creasser
Address: 11200 Carolina Place Parkway, Pineville, NC 28134

This Pineville-based kitchen remodeler opened its doors in 1992. Its still owned by founder Elaine Creasser and her son, Matt, who have made a name as Charlotte’s leading natural stone fabricators. And it isn’t only the Creasser’s loyal clients who say so. The company has been named Best Tile Company in Charlotte Best Magazine by the home builders and vendors with whom it does business.

Clients in need of kitchen renovations are drawn to the company’s showroom, which offers a selection of over 80 different mosaics, porcelains, and natural stones. Attesting to the Creasser’s stone expertise is a 10,000-square-foot stone fabrication facility with state-of-the-art processing technology. The company can process and double polish natural stones, and then have one of its three general contractors fit them into a kitchen remodel project.

Tile Collection serves all Charlotte areas, but mostly Fort Mill, Indian Hook, Lake Wylie, Rock Hill, Myers Park, Matthews, and Weddington. For one Charlotte kitchen remodel, Tile Collection added two oversized islands topped with Solaris granite. Other features were custom stone mosaics over the range with a matching travertine backsplash.

4. Distinctive Design / Build / Remodel

Featured Professionals: Erin Dougherty & Vince Busby
Address: 338 S Sharon Amity Road #122, Charlotte, NC 28211

As of November 2017, thanks to the recent CotY awards, Distinctive Design / Build / Remodel is Charlotte’s most awarded remodeling company. And that is no surprise to many upscale clients in the most prestigious Charlotte metro communities. For over 20 years, many have turned to Principal Dougherty —  Certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler — and Co-owner Vince Busby for distinctive kitchen renovations.

One such remodel was a residential kitchen in Charlotte that fetched the CotY 2013 Award for best kitchen between $80,000 and $120k. Distinctive’s clients were recent empty-nesters who decided their 1930s home could finally use a kitchen makeover. To accommodate a high-powered wolf range the client had selected, Dougherty and Busby ramped up the home’s exhaust system and wrapped the soffit into furniture-like cabinets. The project’s true highlights were inset drawers and doors that were pewter-glazed, as well as exposed hinges for a rustic finish. A pull-out drawer next to the range keeps cooking ingredients within easy reach.

The following year, Distinctive Design was honored with a Chrysalis Award for a spectacular kitchen design on Lake Davidson in Mooresville. The project featured a dramatic corbel ceiling, a knotty alder cupboard with a Giallita leathered granite countertop, and custom cabinets framing an oversized refrigerator. Because the client did not like the look of upper cabinets, Distinctive maintained the kitchen’s storage space by creating vertical storage areas.

3. Metropolitan Builders

Featured Professionals: Dominick Ristaino
Address: 2103 S Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28203

Metropolitan Builders might just be the most decorated kitchen remodeler on this list. Their awards take up three pages on their website, from such notable institutions as NARI, Chrysalis, Janus, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Home Builders Association of Charlotte (HBAC), and Vinyl Siding Institute. Metropolitan also boasts more local and national press coverage than other contractors, with its kitchen renovations featured in Better Homes and Gardens, The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte Magazine, Kitchen and Bath Design News, Lake Norman Magazine, North Carolina Boating Lifestyle, Southern Living Magazine, Kitchen Trends, and others.

The company was founded in 1986 by Dominick Ristaino, who has been its president for over 31 years. Although Metropolitan Builders handles custom home builds and residential additions in Charlotte and surrounding areas, its kitchen remodeling business is large enough to require a separate “Design on South” showroom in the historic South End neighborhood. A kitchen remodel in Myers Park won a Chrysalis National Award. The remodel created a multi-functional room that combined traditional and modern architectural designs with renewable lyptus wood cabinets, as well as Quartz countertops fashioned from recycled materials.

2. DeRhodes Construction

Featured Professionals: Eddie DeRhodes
Address: 1125 East Morehead Street, Charlotte, NC 28204

Kitchen remodels by Eddie DeRhodes, founder of this Charlotte-based contractor, show his architectural training. DeRhodes holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He combines his formal schooling with decades of construction experience. Although he’s been in business less than 15 years, DeRhodes has won more regional and national remodeling awards than companies open for decades. Also distinctive is DeRhodes’ preference to stay local, serving Charlotte and few other communities. His award-winning kitchen remodels are inspired by Tuscan, farmhouse, and modern styles.

For smaller kitchens, DeRhodes likes to open the space with white and clean lines. A kitchen project, which took the 2008 CotY Award for kitchen over $100k, featured custom white wood cabinets and trim with exposed beams supporting white stucco ceilings. Finishing touches were a crystal chandelier, a stone mosaic floor, a dramatic wood arch built to cover the exhaust hood, and neutral mosaic tile backsplash running from the sink to the stove. Another design featured an arched window over a marble-topped island separating the kitchen from the living room. In 2011, a CotY award-winning DeRhodes remodel over $120k featured hardwood floors and an open floor plan, made even airier by custom-built inset white wood cabinets.  

1. Walker Woodworking

Featured Professionals: Travis Walker & Stacey Walker
Address: 840 Greenbrook Drive, Shelby, NC 28150

The Walker Woodworking team that drives this Shelby remodeler consists of Founder Travis Walker, his daughter and Vice President Stacey, and Designer Brandon Fitzmorris. Today, Walker employs 28 people – a far cry from the sole practitioner handyman service he established in the 1990s when he worked out of his family’s garage. The business just kept growing.

By 1999, Walker Woodworking incorporated, and Travis hired his first employee. Since then, the company has garnered high critical acclaim, numerous awards and accolades, and a loyal client base throughout North and South Carolina. The company does substantial home improvement business in Charlotte and the neighboring areas.

Press coverage has been equally impressive: Walker has been the subject of articles in The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post, and Good Housekeeping Magazine. Its kitchen remodels have also been featured in Lake Norman Magazine and at Homearama Cheval in 2015. Walker is especially proud to be an authorized dealer of a revolutionary kitchen product known as “The Galley Ideal Workstation.” The award-winning product functions as a sink and workstation that allows hosts to conveniently prepare, serve, entertain, and clean-up.