February 19, 2016

Client Testimonials

Throughout the years we have been fortunate to work with several wonderful people.

Here are a few testimonials.


Over the last 15 years, I have had the wonderful opportunity of working closely with Don McBride. I have been a client, partner, co-developer, and most importantly, a friend of Don’s. Working with Don, I have enjoyed developing more than ten properties in the Carmel area. Our collaborations have included a wide range of activities, including new construction, significant remodels of both historical and non-historical properties, feasibility studies of real estate opportunities, and the development of design protocols for the Carmel area. One of our most recent and successful projects has been the renovation of Carmel’s most iconic residential structure – the Butterfly House located on 350 feet of prime oceanfront in the Carmel Point area.testimonial-walter

Don McBride is the quintessential builder in Carmel. There is no one that has a better understanding and real design sense for building or remodeling the classic Carmel Cottage. Don will go down in Carmel history as one of the most creative and talented builders in Carmel, rivaling Comstock and Murphy. He simply knows how to turn a dream into reality. Moreover, beyond a truly wonderful design sense, Don also knows how to complete
projects on a timely and cost-effective basis.

Don’s new partnership with Kevin Bell, forming Bell-McBride Builders, is a real “win-win” situation. Combining Don’s knowledge and sense of design as a builder along with Kevin’s incredible skill set has created one of the strongest teams available to a potential homeowner in the Monterey Bay area. Both Don and Kevin know what it takes to run a successful project, from initial planning to final commissioning. Moreover, they have the ability to work any size project – from the classic traditional cottage to a large contemporary perched on the oceanfront. Most importantly, working with Don and Kevin is just plain fun. I look forward to developing more projects in the future with them.

Joe Walter
Carmel, CA


This is a letter telling anyone interested in using Don McBride for either building or remodeling a home about the experience my wife and I had with Don and his crew.

The 1st home we saw that Don had redone was for sale in Carmel and he had done such a creative job using many old architectural pieces we decided if we ever wanted to do a remodel we would use Don. When we bought an older home we called Don to take a look and make suggestions as to how to proceed and what the costs would be. We liked his ideas and the project started about one week later. We were able to make some minor changes while the construction was taking place. It was a pleasure working with Don’s crew who always showed up promptly and were sure to clean up their workplaces at the end of each day.

All in all Don and the crew did an excellent job which was finished on time and the cost was exactly what the estimate called for. In my experience with other people who have done remodeling projects no one has been happy….I can say we are very happy with the way all turned out and I think Don is a genius in his field.

Very sincerely,
Andrew Horning
Carmel, CA


Denise and I want to thank you for the time you generously spent with us today at Le Coq. It was really a treat for us  to spend time in a new home looking at it from the designer/builder perspective. Even with a good portion of the house still under cover of construction, we could clearly see your vision becoming a reality. The attention to detail, the use of antique accenting and the touches of local artisans all combine to create a new home worthy of such a beautiful setting. We have seen many homes in Carmel and would very much like to make Le Coq our own.

We are submitting an offer through our agent Myrle MacLaughlin and hope that you look at it favorably. We based our offer on recent sales in Carmel within the Golden Rectangle (with two sales nearby on Dolores). We have also taken into account the numerous enhancements you have made to Le Coq in making it such a warm and unique home. The price per square foot range of the five most recent sales in between $635 and $1,344. Our offer equates to $1,375 per square foot.pic-testimonial-lecoq1

While we hope to consummate a transaction with you, the main purpose of this note is the thank you and to compliment you and your partners on your fine work in creating Le Coq. We appreciate your enthusiasm for both your work and your life in Carmel — it’s infectious!

Jeffrey and Denise Dickinson
San Francisco, CA


I first met Don thirty years ago while managing my bank’s problem load department and foreclosed properties. I hired Don as a consultant to complete several single family homes and two large multifamily properties.I was so impressed with the quality of his work, his work ethic and his ability to work with others that, upon leaving the bank, we formed a partnership to develop and remodel properties in the Carmel area. Over time we developed a 5 unit PUD in Seaside and many luxurious homes in Carmel. Don has a special eye for detail that I have yet to find in other builders. He is able to take tired, old properties and turn them into dream homes. Don’s meticulous attention to detail, his ability to meet his client’s needs, wants and desires, all the while paying very close attention to costs is second to none.

Sheldon Satnick


When I think of Don McBride I recall some of the most pleasant (and profitable) years of our lives. It all started in 1995 when my wife and I decided to fulfill our desire to move to Carmel by the Sea. After some negotiations we ended up buying a small two bedroom two and ½ bath 1400 square foot cottage one block off the beach. The house also came with an approved set of plans to add a second story.

What followed next was what could only be described as a gift from God. I got a call from Don McBride saying he had tried to buy the same house however we had beat him out of it! What I originally thought was going to be an angry confrontation turned out to be the beginning of a friendship that has lasted eighteen years. We hired Don to be our builder but he was much more than that as together we built a masterpiece and a lasting work of art on Bay View Avenue. Don and has been a true friend, mentor, and trusted advisor which is a tribute to his character quality of wanting the best for his clients. We also have been thrilled to have known his lovely wife Connie and wondered why Don was able to marry way above his pay grade!

Alas Barbi and I decided to move in 2007 when our family business was relocated to Southern California but a part of our hearts will always remain in Carmel and the little dream house Don helped us create. Thanks Don McBride for the memories!

David Krome
Carlsbad, CA

When we purchased our home in Carmel-by-the-Sea, we interviewed several architects, builders and contractors. We carefully scrutinized the various examples of style and detail of homes built or remodeled in Carmel. When we viewed finished homes, we both determined products by Don McBride fit our dreams. We hired him above all others. We worked closely with him during the transition of our little run down cottage into a lovely livable home.pic-testimonials-couple4His sense of style, creativity and whimsy pleased us and created the right home for us. After that positive experience, we worked with Don on several other homes. Finding the right home is one of Don’s talents as well as his impressive imagination and artistry. 

Karen Sharp
Carmel, CA


Dear Don,

I have just come from the Carmel Tour where I saw your “Gem Amongst Carmel’s Jewels”. The moment that I walked into the property on Lincoln 2NW of 12th, I knew that it was a Don McBride remodel. I loved everything about it; your homes speak of your uniqueness, creativity and individuality. So many remodeled homes in Carmel look alike, and some are too masculine. Yours is unisex, peaceful, comfortable, and colorful in a subtle way. And,   of course, there is your trademark port-hole in the bathroom. The ceilings are so rich and warm.

Don, it was so good seeing you again when we met on the Carmel Tour recently. You probably know that my partner Lee Martin passed away 3 years ago of pancreatic cancer. I am now partnering with Jeannie Fromm, and we are Top Producers at Alan Pinel Realtors. We would love to represent you in the marketing of your new homes on the Point and would be happy to interview for that enviable position.pic-testimonial-sharp

I am sending you our most recent mail-out which is one way we maintain contact with our former clients and referrals. Our marketing strategies are somewhat unique, creative and different which we feel may resonate with you. I will be calling you in another week to check with you and to see if we can get together and discuss our marketing styles and your real estate business needs.

Imogene Speiser
Alain Pinel Realtors



We sincerely look forward to turning your dream projects into a reality as well.

– Bell McBride Builders