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General Contractor & Home Remodeling "Since 1983" Serving The Bay Area 37 Years Skylights, Foundation Repair, Retaining Wall

Expert Home Remodeling & General Contractor Service in the San Francisco Bay Area

Mares Dow contractor

If your property could benefit from remodeling, or you have a structural problem that needs to be fixed, finding an experienced general contractor that can deliver dependable results on your project is absolutely essential. With more than three decades of successful trading behind us, we are an established building firm that has worked on jobs of all shapes and sizes. Our wide range of trade expertise and commitment to doing the very best job possible ensures we’re the preferred residential general contractors for many local homes.

Skylights, Commercial and Residential

We are proud of our reputation for top-grade work and friendly, professional customer service. The quality of our work is recognized by Velux skylights, who have identified us as their five-star skylight installer for the local area.


Retaining Wall Contractor, Repairing and Installing New Retaining Walls & Drainage

We design and build retaining walls with the proper drainage system. We install pressure treated post and lagging walls, soldier pile walls, Geo-Grid stacked block walls, concrete retaining walls, and Gabion cage walls.

Residential Home Siding -
James Hardie Siding

James Hardie is known for the reliability and beautiful design of its products and offers several styles that can suit any home. Whether you are looking for a classic lap or shingle siding, or you want to explore their Artisan Collection, as your siding contractor we can help you find the right product for you.

We Can Undertake Foundation Repair and French Drains on Any Property

Changes to building methods and materials mean that the approach needed to complete new work on a home built a century ago is very different to the requirements of a recently built residence. We have worked on properties of many different ages and types. This means we are well aware of the challenges and pitfalls which each type can present and are able to find appropriate solutions to them. We are also a certified Grip-Tite foundation systems repair specialist. No matter what type of building or remodeling project you have in mind, we have the right skill set to get the job done.

Commercial General Contractors Serving the San Francisco Bay Area

As well as homes and domestic properties, we are also able to work on most business premises, providing a responsive remodeling service that enables you to transform your workspace to better meet your business needs. To find out more about our wide range of services, or to discuss your project with us in more detail, you can call us at (925) 671-9500 (East Bay office) or (415) 447-6136 (San Francisco office).

Basement Remodel
Basement Waterproofing
Concrete Foundation
Custom Homes
Driveway Pavers
Dry Rot Repair

Finish Carpentry
Foundation Repair
French Drains
Front Porch
Garage Remodeling
General Contractor
Home Addition
Home Remodeling
Home Renovations
House Leveling

House Plans
Retaining Wall
Seismic Retrofit
Sun Tunnel Skylights
VELUX Skylights


East Bay

5016 Forni Drive,
Suite F
Concord, CA

San Francisco

1155 Ellis St.
Suite #4
San Francisco, CA

Schedule your ESTIMATE  Today! CALL US 925.671.9500 or 415.447.6136 for more information on Mares & Dow Construction


What people are saying

Mares & Dow installed a large Velux skylight for me in August 2017. The entire experience was wonderful and the skylight is beautiful, both functionally and aesthetically. Janet made sure the work was scheduled to be completed before a trip I had planned. Jimmy measured carefully when he quoted the work and even accommodated a last minute change on the location when he arrived to do the work. They protected my new floors and were careful to keep dust to a minimum. Archie came by to ensure that all was going smoothly. Freddy helped matched the stain on my nearly 70 year old tongue and grove ceiling that really took some effort and he even matched some a few small spots that a previous contractor had sanded and removed the original stain. EVERYONE was cheerful and knowledgeable. Now, my little mid century house has emerged into the light!

Norma B

Mares & Dow replaced two aging skylights in our bedroom and installed automatic blinds on four skylights. This was not an easy job, since our bedroom has very very high cathedral ceilings. In fact, one other skylight installer refused to do the job altogether, and a second made a bid that was almost twice as expensive as Mares & Dow. Janet Mares, who was our main contact for the job, was a pleasure to work with. Her son, Jimmy, who led the installation, was fearless climbing the ceiling, and he eally knew his stuff. We’re thrilled with our new and improved skylights, and we appreciate Mares & Dow’s solid, reasonably priced, work. Thanks guys!

Aaron R.

I’ve had Mares & Dow install 3 sun tunnels in my home and most recently, 2 skylights in my garage/art studio. I couldn’t be more satisfied with the quality of their work and professionalism! All my communications with their office and installers have been extremely pleasant. I would use them again (and again) and highly recommend them to anyone looking to install Velux skylights/sun tunnels in their home!

Myla L.

Being a new homeowner, i really did my research before having someone come out and give me a quote on a skylight. You never know what to believe when you read yelp reviews. So, i went ahead and had Jimmy from mares and dow come out and give me an estimate. He was right on time, came out and measured and was very professional while he was here. Janet called me a few days later and sent me over an estimate. I went them them and couldn’t be happier. It arrived in the time frame she had told me, and they were out that week. The workers came out on time, and were very friendly and professional. Dennis ( one of the owners) came out as well and checked on the job. The went above and beyond with their work. The skylight looks beautiful! Night and day from the old one. If you are wanting a skylight, i strongly reccomend going with mare and dow

Chris W.

We had Mares & Dow install a Velux skylight in our new master bathroom. The space was small and dark, so Mares & Dow suggested a big skylight to add in lots of natural light. They built in a double crown molding to beautifully frame the skylight, and now the space is open and airy with wonderful natural light. We can open the skylight during warm months to let in fresh air. It was a superb addition to our bathroom renovation and a great suggestion from Mares & Dow. They did a fantastic job and were great to work with! Thanks guys!

Jennifer S.

Dennis and Archie are excellent at communication so I was always kept up to date on the project’s progress.  The pricing was reasonable, but best of all I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of the job.  They’re trustworthy, keep you in the loop, and finish the job on time and on budget.

After looking at four other contractors, these guys came out tops.

Skimonke Y.

I found Mares & Dow on Velux’s website as their 5 stars vendor.  So I email them to give me an estimate.  They sent over a young guy called Jimmy(the owner’s son). Jimmy came up to my 2 story tall roof easily and came back in 10 minutes and told me that the office would send over the quotation in a few days.  I was not sure if he really got what I wanted as he made the job looked so easy.  I have contacted 2 other vendors just to give me a quotation and everyone of them told me that my project was huge and difficult and I have a hard time getting quotation from them. One vendor brought over a Velux rep and complained that my roof was too steep and the rep wasn’t happy about it.  The other vendor, Mark Spiller, cannot even submit a quotation.  He gave me a rough number and asked me to commit to the project before he asked a 3rd party over to get an estimate. What’s worse is his rough number is for an acrylic skylight just like my old ones.  I told him that I wanted to upgrade to Velux skylights for the new installation and he wrote me a long email explaining and “educating” me that my old skylight were huge and there was no way I could have a Velux skylight unless I asked a constructor to re-build my roof, also saying he was being nice to me and spent his time to “educate” me even he knew he couldn’t do the project.  So when Jimmy said he would submit a quotation without further questions or ask a Velux rep over, I was surprised.  I worked with Janet (the owner’s wife) back and forth for several different Velux options and she was patient and submitted a few different quotations based on different models.  The installation went over their estimate time frame but was smooth. Jimmy and his teammate, Robert , are professional, polite and considered. There are a few scratches on my hardwood floor but I believed that they have done what they could do. They have covered the area well. It is just my hardwood floor is too delicate and with the heavy scaffolding, it isn’t avoidable. In conclusion, I am happy with them so far. They are very knowledgeable on Velux products.  For big projects, they are the team to call and for simple and small projects or repair, maybe Mark Spiller.


It was a such great experience in dealing with Mares & Dow Construction for the replacement of our Velux Skylight, in our home in San Francisco! From our first e-mail, to a timely schedule to confirm all measurements and verify skylight type to the installation process. All happened like an “orchestra”.  All our questions and concerns were addressed, regarding ordering, price, payment and installation. We were told ahead of what to expect of the entire process. We are very pleased with the results and with a superb quality of service.

Walber J.

I bought an old rotting, foreclosed duplex with a store in North Oakland that needed to be half gutted and made residential. It had some period details and a lot of potential. I made my offer through HUD’s 203K loan program so had to get several estimates. I chose Mares & Down because I had a good feeling when I met them that they knew how to manage my project to get it approved by the city, and because their bid came in at a really fair bid.

I didn’t have money for detail drawings or spec sheets and people told me that I would have problems. I am THRILLED to say, that in fact I got phenomenal quality. When a judgment call had to be made while I was away, we agreed more than 90% of the time. They didn’t skimp on any materials – always using the right kind of glue, screws, wood, wires, etc. They also accommodated me doing some of the work and didn’t make me feel in the way. They even let me borrow some tools. The workers on their team were great and answered questions I had on how to do some things. This combined with the consulting I got from owners, Archie, Dennis, Janet, made it possible for me to do work I didn’t have any previous experience with.

I upgraded to gas fireplaces and a new kitchen half way through the project. They found me quality cabinets for HALF AS MUCH as anywhere I tried. My time-line was 6 months, my actual was 6 months and 20 days. I had 10% contingency in my budget. Including my upgrades, I pretty much stayed in that range. Plus they got it ready enough for me to move in half way through construction which saved me a lot of rent.

Rob C.

Mares and Dow replaced 15 existing skylights on our tile roofed home. Replacement was tricky as sizes had changed slightly since their installation 25 years earlier. Jimmy and Vincent’s workmanship was expert and they took on these issues and resolved them completely. The original skylights never looked as good as the replacements. This can partly be attributed to the care they showed in finishing off the interior wells. In addition, the work ethic they displayed while here was impressive. Each day they arrived at the time they had given us, went right to work and always cleaned up before leaving for the day. We have never been as favorably impressed with a contractor as we were with Mares and Dow. They are the best! We are so happy we hired them!

Martha Lockwara

We had a skylight installed during the rainy season and things could not have gone better. From the initial phone contact with Janet to the cleaning up by Jimmy and his crew, the process was stress free. The people in this organization are courteous, knowledgeable, responsive, and skilled in their tasks. I could not recommend them more highly.

Floy Dawson

Jimmy installed a skylight in our kitchen. They were tidy and even painted some trim. We are very happy with the service and the work that was performed. I highly recommend Mares & Dow and will use them again if occasion arises.

Michelle Schrader

We had two skylights installed in our home. The crew was on time, very professional, and very hard-working. The skylights are beautiful! We could not be happier!

Romy Gongora

Excellent family company. Professional, helpful, great customer service. I highly recommend them.

Judith Bley

I have used Mares and Dow in two of our house skylight projects. Once in 2018 and again in 2019. Both times their skylight evaluation technician came and measured and made a recommendation. That process was easy and professional. The installation, when the skylight was manufactured, was equally professional, rapid and well done. I would recommend Mares and Dow to anyone with skylights that need to be replaced with new state-of-the-art UV and infra-red resistant skylights. They look just like glass but they work perfectly.

Colin Glassey

Would recommend for anyone looking to replace existing skylights.

Dean Turner

Excellent communication. Great professional and experienced crew. A project well done. Thanks to the entire Mares & Dow team.

Stephen X

We needed 18 skylights and a new roof. Mares & Dow worked with my roofer and my general contractor to organize and coordinate. The skylights were delayed due to a manufacturing issue (no fault of M&D) and M &D managed the rescheduling. Once the skylights were here they were installed efficiently and professionally (18 ft off the ground!) – they took extra precautions to protect our floor and walls and paid extra attention to paint and touch ups. I would definitely use them again.

Amy P

Mares & Dow: Jimmy, Robert & Ray spent 3 days installing 2 big Velux skylights in my den and one in my bedroom here in Marin. I really can’t say enough about what a great job they did. My guests say, “it looks like they have always been there”. The guys were on time every day, very professional, had all their equipment, brought their lunches so they could max out their time on the project. Some crews I had in the past had to run off to Home Depot 2+ times a day cause they forgot to get this or that. Not these guys. Again, very professional, the best thing as well is that they beat the estimates for 2 other smaller 5 star Velux installers, granted they were a much smaller than Mares & Dow but still. If you want to go with guys high quality team that have been and probably will be around for a long time, these are your guys.

Janet Mares was really nice to work with. She was SO patient with me, I was debating how best to do this, cost ,etc and going back an forth with her for about 8 months, really! She didn’t seem to mind, very calm and helpful, responsive. She verbally under-quoted me on adding the blackout blind and she stood by her original verbal quote which was lower than the actual price. Thanks Janet :-).

Top notch operation. I gave them 5 yelp stars, just like Velux did.

Kert G.


East Bay
5016 Forni Drive, Suite F
Concord, CA 94520

San Francisco
1155 Ellis St. Suite #4
San Francisco, CA 94109
5_Star_specialist_mares_dow_commercial_skylights (1)
Wasco Skylights - Velux Group
GripTite Certified repair specialist

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