Faces of Our Community: Leonard Unander Associates

Faces of Our Community 

Leonard Unander Associates 

"Family owned and operated,  recognized for our impeccable planning process, and strong sense of integrity, Leonard Unander Associates, Inc. is one of the most respected full service residential builders in Santa Barbara County. With our commitment to an unparalleled standard of quality and craftsmanship, we strive to provide a custom home building experience that exceeds our client’s expectations and turns their vision into reality."


Meet Leonard, founder of Leonard Unander & Associates: 


Q: How did you start your business? 

A: I formed Leonard Unander Associates in 1977 after working in the trades through high school and my early 20’s. My grandfather came to Santa Barbara from Sweden and worked as a carpenter on estates in Montecito, and my father was an architect and developer, so building came naturally.


Q: Why did you start your business? 

A: When I started in construction, builders were mostly talented craftsmen, but not great with organization and project management. I’ve always been a perfectionist, so attention to detail was very important to me. But I also had a vision for a company that was as professional as a law firm. I started LUA to blend that top-notch execution with a high level of professionalism and service.


Q: What makes you the most passionate about your work?

A: I’ve always seen our company as an agent for our clients, and it brings me a lot of satisfaction to work with them and their Teams through pre-construction, construction, all the way to moving in furniture and hanging art on the walls. I’ve also been joined by my sons, Leonard, and Clint, and my son-in-law Brandon Friggione. Their partnership over the last 15-20 years has brought the company to another level, and we have a lot of fun running the business and our projects together. We also have a great team of office staff, Superintendents, Project Engineers, carpenters and laborers, some of which have been with us for 20+ years.


Q: What is one of your favorite completed projects?

A: We recently completed a 12,000 sf ground-up rustic contemporary estate in Montecito that is really special. It was a true collaboration with LUA, the Owners, and the Design Team and the result is exceptional. Another favorite is an extensive restoration of an historic Monterey Colonial home that we completed several years ago.


Q: Where can we find you on a weekend or your day off?

A: My wife and I have 9 grandchildren in Santa Barbara, and we spend a lot of time together as a family. I have a horse in Santa Ynez and enjoy riding. Golf and surfing are other hobbies that I really enjoy.


Q: How long have you been in business? 

A: 44 years


Q: Connection to Santa Barbara, why do you work/live here? 

A: I was born and raised in Santa Barbara, I am a third generation Santa Barbara builder, and my three kids and nine grandchildren all live here. Santa Barbara will always be my home.



1328 De La Vina Street

Santa Barbara, CA


[email protected]


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One of the Santa Barbara region's most illustrious real estate leaders who has assembled a sales history that spans over three decades and includes the area’s most legendary estates.

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