St. Petersburg is a popular place to settle down and raise a family, and it’s also a popular place to retire. Of course it is: this laidback community on the bay also has all of the amenities and excitement of modern city life, and it has one of the most beautiful beaches on the planet. Forbes recently recognized the Sunshine City as one of the top ten best outdoor cities, while the Pew Research Centre reported that it was the second most popular city for retirees.
Considering this reputation, it is not surprising that St. Petersburg neighborhoods are some of the best places in the nation to build a home. The homes are a mix of traditional European-inspired homes and mid-century modern marvels. Kenwood and downtown St. Petersburg sport historic homes that date back to the roaring ‘20s. In Allendale and the Bayway Isles, upscale Mediterranean Revivals and Florida Moderns line shaded brick lanes.
Talented local Florida contractors build these gorgeous homes, and we want to feature 15 of them. These custom home builders were chosen and ranked based on their accolades, press recognition, and stellar reviews.
15) Deslandes Design Build
Website | 727-456-4673 | 3446 N 1st Ave., St. Petersburg, FL 33713
Deslandes Design Build is a fairly new company, but it has proven that it has the skill and expertise to build alluring custom homes. This ten-year-old firm builds homes in St. Petersburg and beyond with its reliable team of professionals. That team is made up of in-house American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), certified interior designers, qualified craftsmen, and other connected associates.
This design-build firm has built gorgeous traditional and modern homes right by the waters of St. Petersburg. The firm loves to use sharp symmetry in both the linear exteriors of contemporary houses, as well as the updated interiors of Mediterranean homes. Estates are also prominent in the Deslandes Design portfolio.
14) Canopy Builders
Website | 727-560-0737 | 200 N Mirror Lake Dr., St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Canopy Builders is a custom home builder that creates authentic homes in the historic neighborhoods of St. Petersburg. Federal and Colonial styles are the firm’s specialties, and also they do updated brownstones and townhouses for multi-family homes. The firm works with a variety of materials and finishes to create, or replicate, the comfort and style of bygone eras, including authentic operable shutters, old Chicago brick, and reclaimed wood.
This 2,600 square-foot custom home in Euclid, near downtown St. Petersburg, expresses the firm’s distinct style. Traditional architecture and gas lanterns are signature elements of the firm, and they look gorgeous in contrast with the all-white exterior.
13) Sun Bay Builders
Website | 727-525-2405 | 1126 16th St. N, St. Petersburg, FL 33705
Sun Bay Builders has been a consistently strong force in the Tampa Bay custom home market since opening for business in 1987 – providing quality design, construction, and remodeling services time and again for local residents. The firm was founded by Michael Miano, CRC and is now being headed up by son Michael V. Miano, CGC. Combined, these two leaders have amassed over 55 years of experience in the construction industry.
Sun Bay has been recognized for its quality work on numerous occasions – including winning NARI’s Remodeler of the Year Award and CotY Awards for its renovations and remodels. Their custom residential projects range in styles from modern Craftsman all the way to Mediterranean; with one of their many strengths lying in the design of European-inspired homes with a modern flair. Sun Bay Builders utilizes many top current building methods, including natural finishes and organic materials, to bring these timeless designs into the twenty-first century with elegance.
12) Labram Homes
Website | 727-202-2140 | 2661 S 1st Ave., St. Petersburg, FL 33712
Father-daughter team Dale and Elisa Labram head Labram Homes, a custom home builder and renovator in the Sunshine City. Dale established the firm in 1986; Elisa joined her father later when she became a licensed residential contractor and an interior designer.
The firm is known for architecturally rich, innovative custom homes that showcase premium materials, artful appointments, and well-planned spaces. Conch cottages and classic Key West style homes are updated with modern finishes and details, while contemporary homes combine clean lines and dark palettes.
11) Bright Bay Builders
Website | 727-822-7463 | 109 N 43rd Ave., St. Petersburg, FL 33703
In 1991, two years after he graduated from the University of Florida, Paul Haggar started Bright Bay Builders. A second-generation homebuilder, Paul started working in construction before he even began his university degree. He manages an eight-person team of certified contractors and designers to bring custom homes and renovations to St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay.
The firm also collaborates with a network of local architects and craftsmen to build its custom homes. The firm is committed to efficient, environmentally-friendly construction technologies and techniques. The firm’s homes can be found in Snell Isle, South Tampa, Clearwater, southern Pinellas County, and the Pinellas beaches.
10) Devonshire Custom Homes
Website | 813-831-1984 | 3412 W Bay to Bay Blvd., Tampa, FL 33629
Devonshire Custom Homes is one of Florida’s leading homebuilders in the South Tampa, St. Petersburg market. The firm was founded in 2009 by Josh Layton. Josh leads the family-owned business along with his sister, Brooke. Building 20 high-end custom homes per year, the firm’s business often comes from referrals and repeat customers.
The firm actively participates in the Tampa Bay Builders Association, the National Association of Home Builders, and South Tampa Chamber of Commerce. It also a member of the NAHB Builder 20 Club program. These are 20-member professional networking groups of builders, remodelers and other industry professionals from around the country.
One of the firm’s strengths is its first-class workmanship, completed with astonishing finishes. You can see that ability in the firm’s various styles that range from Key West coastal to a Mediterranean villa.
9) Aspen Ventures Group
Website | 727-888-3857 | 2100 N 9th St. Suite B, St. Petersburg, FL 33704
Aspen Ventures Group is made up of professionals dedicated to building and developing unique, notable projects in the Tampa Bay Area. It focuses on the development of large-scale, planned residential projects with a focus on urban infill communities. The firm also builds single-family luxury homes, townhouses, and condominiums.
Heading the group is chief developer James Landers. James gravitates towards design and puts an intentional focus on competitive innovation to bring out the best in the group’s homes. Under Aspen VG, Landers has completed over 35 major residential and commercial projects, from Tampa to Key West. These projects have a combined value of more than a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue.
Seaside estates, charming Craftsman houses, and modern townhouses are some of the firm’s specialties in custom home building. This modified Colonial home in Snell Isle is one example of the styles of homes the firm builds. The traditional is given a modern twist when it comes to the color palette, materials used, and a more open layout for the home.
8) Nelson Construction and Renovations
Website | 727-596-9006 | 1174 Court Street, Clearwater, FL 33756
From design-build custom homes to whole house renovations, Nelson Construction and Renovations has done just about everything in the Tampa Bay Area. Its renovations and historic restorations have brought home the prize at the NARI Contractor of the Year Awards in the past four years, while its bespoke homes have caught the attention of Belleair Living and Remodel Tampa Bay.
Principal and founder Greg Nelson has extensive experience in running large, 100-man crews, he has over 15 years of experience in the construction management of multi-million dollar commercial/residential projects, and he has over 23 years experience in the trades as well. He established the firm in 2006 and has since built around Clearwater, Dunedin, St. Petersburg, Tampa and beyond.
7) Soleil Design Build
Website | 813-839-9363 | 4321 W Bay to Bay Blvd., Tampa, FL 33629
Soleil Design Build brings European Mediterranean flair to custom homes and renovations in St. Petersburg and Tampa. The firm was founded by general contractor Karim Tahiri, whose childhood included colorful Casablanca and France. He manages the firm along with his wife Karyn Sbar, an architectural designer.
The firm specializes in custom homes, additions, and renovations. It also does landscaping under Soleil Green Landscaping. It builds homes in a variety of styles, including Mediterranean Revival, Florida Vernacular, Craftsman Style Bungalow, and Georgian Traditional. Its work has been featured in Southern Living, The Tampa Bay Times, The St. Petersburg Times, and The Tampa Bay Business Journal.
6) Modern Tampa Bay Homes
Website | 727-820-1480 | 147 S 2nd Ave. Suite #210, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
With a motto of ‘less but better,’ Modern Tampa Bay Homes is a custom home builder that strives for an elegant mix of simplicity and attention to detail. The firm goes against the grain of traditional style homes in St. Petersburg with its modern contemporary homes, defined by clean lines and simple palettes. The firm’s principal, Richard McGinniss, uses luxury materials like wood-look porcelain tile and employs modern building techniques in green building.
McGinniss hails from a commercial building background. He has designed and built everything from an $800 million Research Camp to luxury hotels for clients like Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt, and Marriott. He’s also built corporate headquarters for some of the most recognized companies in America including IBM, Aetna, and Bristol-Myers, custom homes for clients like David Murdock and, later in his career, developed some of the largest residential neighborhoods in the Southeast. He left the corporate world in 2013 and started this firm to build ultra-modern homes in St. Petersburg.
This modern home in Old Northeast is one of 15 homes the firm has already built in St. Petersburg and Tampa. With a small, screened porch, the home blends in perfectly with the older homes nearby. The outside walls are partly covered in tabby, a shell-flecked material that creates a softer look than the plain stucco used on many modern homes.
5) Jeffery M. Wolf
Website | 727-895-4858 | 2724 22nd St. N, St. Petersburg, FL 33713
Principal Jeffery Wolf came to St. Petersburg in 1974 after graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in building construction. In 1992, he established Jeffery M. Wolf General Contracting. Since then, the firm has built one-of-a-kind custom homes and intricate renovations in some of the most beautiful neighborhoods on Florida’s west coast. Today, Wolf serves on the Board of Directors of the Suncoast Chapter of NARI. He is a member of the Pacesetters, a Builder 20 Group organized and supported by the NAHB. The Pacesetters is composed of 20 award-winning luxury home builders, located throughout the US.
The firm’s homes can be found in and around St. Petersburg. Beach homes, Italianate villas, and Mediterranean manors are featured in its diverse portfolio. Seamless renovations, additions, and historic preservation are also specialties. The firm has won Aurora awards for green construction while its remodeling projects have won NARI CoTY Awards.
This beautiful homage to Key West has the intercoastal waterway as a backyard. The home’s split-level plan minimizes the tall narrow profile that frequently appears on a narrow lot in flood zones of St. Pete. The pale palette and beachy style complement the area where the house is built.
4) Campagna Homes
Website | 727-944-3577 | 955 E MLK Dr. Unit F, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689
Campagna Homes is a family-owned company that has built custom homes and done renovations since 1952. Brothers Michael and Tim Campagna head this residential construction firm. They have built lasting relationships with the area’s most reputable craftsmen. Along with their team of experts, they build European-inspired homes and do extensive renovations and additions to older homes.
Many of the company’s homes have won awards from various organizations in the industry. It won a Parade of Homes Grand Award for the Villa Capri model home from 2006 to 2007, and another Grand Award for their Villa Sorrento project from 2008 to 2010. More recently, their Appian Way project, a two-story contemporary-modern home with a price range of $2 million to $3 million, was given the Aurora Award for Best Custom Home in 2016.
3) Taralon Homes
Website | 813-501-4955 | 3113 S Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa, FL 33629
Established by two colleagues with fantastic reputations in the home building industry, Taralon Homes is a veteran builder of luxurious manors and estates. Mike Bartoletta and Scott Kirchner were co-workers in Mike’s company, Hannah Bartoletta Homes, before starting the firm in 2011. Both men are no stranger to residential construction. Bartoletta has built over 1500 homes in and around Tampa Bay for 23 years while Kirchner has maximized his corporate finance, business operations, and management in the homebuilding industry in Indiana and Florida for 16 years.
The firm has won numerous awards for its designs, its custom homes, its principal, and its building practice. It is a consistent presence in the annual Tampa Bay Parade of Homes where its residences have been recognized for their beautiful design and craftsmanship. The Tampa Bay Business Journal also recognized the firm as Tampa Bay’s Top Custom Builder in 2015, 2017, and 2018. Additionally, BUILD named Kirchner CEO of the Year for Florida in 2017 for his excellence in leadership and service.
The firm often builds in South Tampa, St. Petersburg’s Snell Isle, Old Northeast, and the Beaches. Its lakefront estates and beachside manors in these areas are usually priced between $500k and $2M. In terms of style, its homes are often Mediterranean or Tuscan-inspired with some modern flairs. An example of this is its lakefront estate that recently won Best Custom Home in the 2018 Tampa Bay Parade of Homes.
2) Alvarez Homes
Website | 813-969-3033 | 3617 Hudson Ln., Tampa, FL 33618
Since 1983, Alvarez Homes has built more than 400 distinctive homes from Tampa to the beaches of Pinellas County. This award-winning custom home builder is known for its estates and manors in some of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Florida.
Bobby Alvarez founded the firm in 1983 with a small loan from his father. He put this to good use when his big break came: he and a friend were offered the opportunity to build an upscale restaurant and lounge. After learning about the building process and techniques, he soon moved on to custom homes and earned his first award in 1986 from the Builder’s Association of Greater Tampa’s Parade of Homes. His firm continues to earn such awards, such as the Best in American Living Award and multiple Aurora and Grand Aurora Awards.
French cottages, Italianate manors, and classic Key West homes are some of the most prominent projects in Alvarez’s portfolio. Each home it builds has a special feature or focal point where it executes its expertise in building techniques. Whether symmetrical brick layouts or intricate mosaic glass ceilings, the firm assures each home is tailored to its client’s distinct taste.
1) Halflants + Pichette
Website | 941-365-1820 | 1383 5th St., Sarasota, FL 34236
Known throughout Florida for its contemporary condominiums and homes by the bay, design-build firm Halflants + Pichette has made its name synonymous with luxury and modernity as well as tried and tested expertise. It has earned numerous awards for its expert designs and projects including multiple AIA Awards in the local, regional, and national level, the SRQ Home of the Year Platinum Award, and the AIA Tampa Firm of the Year in 2015.
Michael Halflants studied architecture in Brussels at the Institut Supérieure de St Luc and earned his master’s degree at the University of Florida. Partner John Pichette served in the Air Force for four years, and then completed an intensive five-year professional program at Andrews University in Michigan. In 2018, Halflants received the prestigious AIA Florida / Caribbean Medal of Honor for Design, the highest award for a design that AIA Florida can bestow upon an architect. The preceding year, John Pichette was recognized with the AIA Florida Builder of the Year Award.
The two partners have built distinct homes throughout the Tampa Bay area and the rest of Florida. One impressive example of their work is this multi-awarded ultra-modern home located right by the water. The architectural marvel in St. Petersburg boasts incredible elements such as a roof that extends 30 feet beyond the house and comes down to become a wing wall. These, along with concrete columns, all taper down towards the bay. The home earned two AIA Gulf Coast Design Awards in 2012 and 2014, as well as an AIA Tampa Bay Unbuilt Design Award in 2011.