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Wilmette Green New Home Construction Salvaged Wood Center Staircase

Top Design-Build Firm Honor for SSB

Thank you, Jack Cookson of BuildZoom. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

The Best Design Build Firms in Chicago

The traditional approach to construction has been to hire a designer on the one hand, and a contractor on the other, and then hope that they coordinate and cooperate smoothly. However, there is a growing trend, especially since the 1990’s, towards the integrated approach of design/build firms. This movement has not skipped over Chicagoland. This is no surprise: building a home or commercial property is complex to begin with, involving hundreds of decisions and many different professionals and tradesmen. Add to that the challenges and obstacles unique to building in the Chicago area. By offering clients the cohesive, streamlined process working with only one company from conception through construction, design/build firms in the Chicago area are an attractive option. The best firms have effective organization and communication and collaborate closely with their clients from start to finish to deliver a superb final product. Many firms that embrace this process also see it as an opportunity for heightened innovation and creativity.

For this list, we look at dozens of design/build firms throughout the greater Chicago area. We picked the ten best firms, with a range of expertise from custom homes and historical renovations, to large high-tech high schools and highly sustainable nature centers. You’ll find firms that have been practicing design/build long before it hit the mainstream and younger up-and-coming firms that have quickly made their mark on Chicago’s built environment.

#5 Scott Simpson Builders

(847) 291-2457 | Featured Principal: Amy Mangold

The award-winning Scott Simpson Builders has over 20 years of experience adding to Chicago’s built environment. The design-build firm is particularly dedicated to sustainable homes and built the First LEED Platinum certified home in Wilmette, the second LEED Platinum certified home in Illinois. In addition to their custom homes, Scott Simpson Builders is renowned for their historic renovations, winning eight historic preservation awards.

Scott Simpson Builders works throughout the city and in some of its most prestigious suburbs, including Evanston, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northbrook, Wilmette, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, and Kenilworth. The firm is dedicated to eco-friendly construction and make every effort to use earth-friendly materials and create long-lasting quality construction. Impressively, they recycle 97% of construction waste.

Architect Amy Mangold recently joined the Scott Simpson Builders’ team. A Chicago native, she was one of only six women who graduated her year with a Bachelor of Architecture from Illinois Institute of Technology. She brings an impressive and diverse background to her new firm. She previously worked at Solomon Cordwell Buenz on high-rise residential projects in Chicago and San Francisco before joining Michael Hershenson Architects to work on smaller-scale residential work. Later, she worked at Stuart Cohen & Julie Hacker Architects to focus on complex renovations of historic homes. And in 2008, Mangold founded her own practice, Mangold Architecture.

Featured Projects

Wilmette Green New Home Construction Reclaimed Pickle Barrel Wood Siding

Scott Simpson Builders created a highly sophisticated, environmentally-sensitive three-story home in Wilmette. The company’s creativity shines in this design, which includes exterior siding made from recycled pickle barrels, multiple fireplaces with locally sourced stone, and mantles created from trees removed for construction. The basement playroom and gym uses recycled grade school gymnasium flooring. The future-looking home is perfectly suited for its surroundings, with a blend of traditional and contemporary design elements, and plentiful outdoor spaces.

Northbrook Contemporary Farmhouse New Construction

The company also designed and built a beautiful farmhouse style four-bedroom, 2,900 square foot house in Northbrook. The interior and exterior of this home are made from beautiful, natural materials, including a reclaimed wood beam arch separating the family room from the light and airy country style kitchen. The exterior has copper gutters, wide-planked white siding, and a beautiful barn style wooden garage doors. And in the backyard is the first village-approved rain garden in Northbrook.

Kenilworth Historic Home Preservation

Lastly, Scott Simpsons Builders had the honor of restoring an original George Maher early 1900’s home. Their design for this historically significant home carefully respected its original architecture. They used the George Maher archives to replicate leaded glass windows, created a major interior staircase that tied the open interior together, and even preserved some original carpeting. Coffered ceilings, built in cabinets, and delicate woodwork throughout add to the home’s grandeur. An addition was added for a new family room, sleek walnut kitchen, master bedroom and bath, guest room, and children’s play area. A wine cellar was added to the lower level.