Tampa Bay is an unsung hero of the high-end real estate market. Between its swathes of waterfront property and among the sprawling mansions of Harbour Island and Davis Islands, Florida’s west coast plays host to out-of-towners with vacation estates, as well as born-and-bred Floridians looking for a picturesque lifestyle.
Much like these homeowners, some of the general contractors on our list of Tampa custom home builders can trace their family roots back five generations, while others were drawn to the Gulf for its myriad home designs. Outdoor living rooms, pools, and even equestrian stables may be pieces of what you have imagined for you and your family.
Not every construction company is suited to building your dream home; the licensed contractors we have selected are experts in home building and home remodeling projects, with specific experience working within the parameters of Tampa’s most prestigious neighborhoods and most unique styles. A few are also design-build residential contractors who can partner with you to make your new home a reality.
15) Marc Rutenberg Homes
Website | 727.787.7300 | 3001 Hawks Landing Boulevard, Palm Harbor, FL 34685
Marc Rutenberg established his eponymous firm in 1991, about 20 years after he began his career in construction. After obtaining a degree in biology from UC Berkeley, Rutenberg joined his late father, prominent Florida home builder Charles Rutenberg. The younger Rutenberg now personally manages home construction from design to buildout, with average budgets ranging from $600k to $2M.
“Our committed directions in turning the housing industry from frankly the dinosaur that it is to the possibilities of technology that can be implored is evolving in each new projects, both in our models and today in almost a third of all our client homes. As a small very custom design build company, we sit ahead of our industry as a uniquely skilled and experienced builder of tomorrows vision.” – Marc Rutenberg
Marc Rutenberg homes have earned several Aurora awards, Best in American Living awards, and other local and regional accolades for forward-thinking residential concepts and builds.
Marc Rutenberg excels at building ecologically conscious, luxury homes throughout Tampa Bay. Rutenberg’s Castaway III Model in East Lake is a high-end, Mediterranean-style home designed and built with sustainability in mind. Certified LEED Platinum and Florida Green Building Coalition Platinum, the 4,554-square-foot house generates more energy than it uses. Not short on luxury amenities, Castaway III features smart integrations to further maximize energy conservation, an LED light plan, and a pool surrounded by stone landscaping. The home was priced at $1.6M.
14) TriplePoint Design Build
Website | 727.302.9116 | 6400 1st Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33710
TriplePoint Design Build and company Founder Neal Fiske have been recognized with local, regional, and national awards for construction and design. The St. Petersburg-based firm is well-versed in designing and building homes, as well as in remodeling existing structures that make the most of Tampa Bay’s waterfront vistas.
Also CEO, Fiske is a hands-on leader who works directly with clients at every project site. With 35 years of design-build experience, Neal has built a fruitful network of subcontractors and wholesale suppliers, which allows TriplePoint Design Build to pass savings on to clients without sacrificing quality. A graduate of the Engineering and Architectural Design programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Fiske is also a member of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) and a recipient of multiple Contract of the Year awards. As a founding party to the NARI Tampa Bay Green Certification Program, Fiske was one of the first in the region to gain Green Certified Professional status.
13) Gray Family Homes
Website | 813.957.1640 | 17633 Gunn Highway, Suite 131, Odessa, FL 33556
Gray Family Homes is a design and build outfit staffed by professional designers and contractors. Since 1981 the firm has designed and built custom homes in some of Tampa’s most exclusive neighborhoods. Among their clientele are professional athletes, corporate executives, and former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco.
A member of the Tampa Bay Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Gray Family Homes builds just a handful of client-specific homes per year, collectively valued at several million dollars. Each residence averages between 4,500 square feet and 14,000 square feet of quality construction and high-end finishes.
Founders and owners Harry Gray and Brenda Gray have a cumulative 60 years of experience in contracting and real estate. Both are also fifth-generation Floridians. University of Florida graduates Melanie Gray Farrell and Brad Gray round out the family team, adding their interior design and construction skills
Among Gray Family Homes’ builds is the Breeders Cup Estate, just north of Tampa. The five bedroom, six-and-a-half bath home sits on two acres of land in the Steeplechase community. The gourmet kitchen with farmhouse finishes, a three-story elevator, and a five-car garage are among the estate’s luxurious features.
12) Charter Bay Homes
Website | 813.357.9030 | 1802 N. Howard Avenue #4466, Tampa, FL 33677
Founder and owner of Charter Bay Home Builders Eric Stockland established the firm in 2009. Stockland gained experience at Nohl Crest Homes. As their chief operating officer, Stockland led dozens of staffers in the construction of about 150 luxury Tampa homes per year. Through this role and an earlier position as VP project manager of the North Division at US Home, Stockland primed himself for success as an owner.
Today, Charter Bay Home Builders is a Tampa general contractor focused on custom home build outs and full-home renovations. Experts at incorporating eco-friendly features into contemporary, waterfront properties and traditional farmhouses alike, the contractor is a NAHB Certified Green Building Professional and member of the Florida Green Building Coalition.
In Odessa, Charter Bay Home Builders built a 4,800-square-foot farmhouse and a companion 6,100-square-foot equestrian barn on a 5-acre estate. The four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home spans 6,000 square feet, including covered outdoor living spaces. The firm also builds homes in Hillsborough, Hernando, Davis Islands, and Pinellas.
11) Bright Bay Builders
Website | 727.822.7463 | 109 43rd Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33704
Paul A. Haggar was only two years out of a business administration program at the University of Florida when he established Bright Bay Builders in 1991. A second-generation contractor, Haggar was destined to succeed. More than 25 years since its founding, Bright Bay Builders is a National Green Building Certified builder, a member of the Tampa Builders Association, and a fixture in luxury residential construction throughout the Tampa Bay area. Many Bright Bay Builders clients have used their construction services multiple times, as the clients’ needs and families evolved over the decades. Loyal customers and ample referrals allow the firm to be selective in which projects they accept.
Haggar oversees a capable and experienced team of construction managers, including Tony Huber, Danny Leombruno, Matt Olsen, Bill Crady, and Scott Montjoy. All of Bright Bay Builders’ construction managers bring to the table decades of experience in building. Professionally trained interior designer Michelle Payne transforms homes with fine details and finishes, while office manager Alicia Sorenson oversees administrative operations from the firm’s St. Petersburg office.
10) Caroline Contractors
Website | 866.820.8786 | 18039 N Us Highway 41, Suite B, Lutz, FL 33556
Pasco County-based Caroline Contractors is a family-owned company, building custom homes, residential remodels and commercial projects in Tampa Bay. Todd Caroline, a graduate of the University of South Florida, founded the firm in 1996.
Caroline Contractors works closely with property owners and a design team for each project, providing valuable input from pre-construction through completion. Their attention to detail has fostered a relationship-based business model, with some exclusive partnerships, many repeat clients, and a broad referral base.
Caroline Contractors has attained Better Business Bureau Accreditation and an A+ rating by offering construction services under the American with Disabilities Act — including modification of floor plans for better wheelchair accessibility — and extensive post-disaster reconstruction.
Equally skilled at providing function and luxury, Caroline Contractors erected a 5,200-square-foot home for owners in an exclusive neighborhood. The Sanctuary Estate Home sprawls with an open floor plan set below 18-foot ceilings. Outside, the pool and courtyard extend the living space so residents and their guests can enjoy the Florida sun.
9) Blake Building
Website | 813.873.1950 | 305 S. MacDill Avenue, Tampa, FL 33609
Blake Building is a general contractor focused on building custom homes in Tampa neighborhoods all around the Tampa Bay area. Peter Bennett, a Tampa Bay Builders Association and American Institution of Architects member, founded the company in 2010 after leaving his former firm, Samter Homes. With Samter Homes, he developed hundreds of condominiums and single-family dwellings and wanted to focus on single-family homes. Bennett, an architectural graduate from Florida A&M University, is now president of Blake Building. He continues to contribute to Tampa Bay communities by building quality homes and is actively involved in local charities such as the Children’s Cancer Center.
Bennett leads the team with Rick Samuelsohn, director of construction, and Project Manager Olivia Fortney. Both are industry veterans. In under a decade in business, Blake Building has earned the Hyde Park Historic Preservation Award of Excellence, as well as the Grand and Merit awards for multi-family residences from the Tampa Bay Parade of Homes. A licensed contractor, Blake Building is also a member of the Florida Green Building Coalition.
8) Javic Homes
Website | 813.870.2838 | 4263 Henderson Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33629
Javic Homes isn’t just a family business; it’s named after the founder’s children. Owner and President Jon Solomon combined “Jacob” and “Victoria” to name his custom home building company when he established Javic Homes in 2004. Today, Javic Homes builds luxury spreads throughout Tampa and Hillsborough counties.
Solomon moved to Tampa in 1990, while the rest of the leadership team is a mix of transplants and Florida natives. Adam Salhanick, director of operations, hails from South Tampa — a hotspot for Javic Homes construction — and is a University of Tampa graduate.
Everyone on the team is knowledgeable of southwest Florida’s many design trends, and it shows. Javic Homes is a member of the Southern Living Custom Building Program, an exclusive and prestigious partnership between the region’s best builders and Southern Living magazine. A Tampa Tribune Best Home Builder of the year, Javic Homes also earned Best Feature recognition from the Tampa Bay Parade of Homes for the exterior layout of a model home on the Manatee river.
7) JS Perry & Co
Website | 727.441.4499 | 1055 Charles Street, Clearwater, FL 33755
Stephen Perry grew up in a family of real estate brokers, seeing from an early age the ins and outs of homeownership and sales. Visiting building sites, Perry began learning the trades hands-on with working crews. Even before attending Virginia Commonwealth University and the Boston Architectural Center, Perry was familiar with the fine points of building a custom home. In 1988, all of that experience coalesced into JS Perry & Co, a multi-award winning general contractor in Tampa Bay.
Remodeling Today has tapped JS Perry & Co several times for the general contractor’s expert advice. Among the firm’s projects across Snug Isle, Belleair, and other affluent Tampa neighborhoods, several have earned accolades. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry recognized the firm with Contractor of the Year awards for historical restorations, whole home remodels, and residential additions.
Outside of residential projects, the firm also takes on commercial builds, including hotel conversions. Look for JS Perry & Co homes in waterfront communities in Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, and Dunedin.
6) Nelson Construction & Renovations
Website | 727.596.9006 | 1174 Court Street, Clearwater, FL 33756
Throughout Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Pinellas, and Hillsborough, you will find luxury custom homes built by Nelson Construction and Renovations. Homeowners team with the design-build company’s design specialist and architect for a client-specific, ground-up builds. Known for impeccable quality and customer service, this firm is Better Business Bureau Accredited with an A+ rating.
Founded in 2006, Nelson Construction and Renovations is a family-owned business, led by company President Greg Nelson, Business Manager Dominique Nelson, and Project Manager Derrick Enders. Greg’s experience in leading large crews, critical path management, and on-site carpentry have helped make his company a huge success. The licensed contractor has earned a first place Contractor of the Year award for residential interiors, as well as for historical renovations. Nelson Construction and Renovation homes have garnered multiple features in Remodel Tampa Bay magazine.
Nelson Construction and Renovations goes beyond custom home construction. The company also performs full home remodels, bathroom and kitchen remodels, and home additions, and they build outdoor kitchens and patios.
5) Jeffery M. Wolf General Contractor, Inc.
Website | 727.895.4858 | 2724 22nd Street N, St. Petersburg, FL 33556
Jeffery M. Wolf General Contractor builds custom homes with budgets up to and beyond $4M. Wolf also takes on remodel projects valued at $100k and above. When Wolf established his own business in 1992, he had been a certified contractor in Florida for 20 years.
A member of the National Association of Home Builders, Wolf also specializes in green building. He and his team source sustainable materials and implement energy-saving infrastructure, so that even their most luxurious builds can be enduring and environmentally conscious.
Jeffery M. Wolf General Contractor collaborated with E+D Architecture and Design to build the Pass-A-Grille Intercoastal Home. Bay Magazine and AIA Tampa recognized the split-level residence, which recalls the historic homes of St. Pete Beach and imbues it with modern resilience. The concrete-reinforced structure can stand up to the surrounding flood zone. Large windows overlook the intercoastal waterway. In Treasure Island, Wolf built a nearly net zero home utilizing LED lighting plans, photovoltaic panels, and clerestory windows that maximize natural light.
4. Taralon Homes
Website | 813.501.4955 | 3113 S. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33629
Mike Bartoletta is the former president and co-owner of Bartoletta Homes. In his more than 20-year career, Bartoletta has built over 1500 Tampa Bay homes, many in high-end neighborhoods like Cheval, Hunters Green, and Tampa Palms. He has also twice served as the president of the Tampa Bay Builders Association. In 2011, Bartoletta teamed with fellow founding partner Scott Kirchner to establish Taralon Homes. Before Kirchner came to Florida and served as CEO and COO of Bartoletta Homes, he and his family operated a construction business in his native Indiana.
Tampa Bay Business Journal twice listed Taralon Homes in their annual ranking of the best Custom Home Builders in Tampa Bay. In 2017, the publication also heralded Taralon Homes as one of the largest private companies in the region, the same year the firm won the Best Custom Home $600,000+ Award from the Tampa Bay Parade of Homes. They also won the Best Custom Home Award from the Tampa Bay Parade of Homes for both the $1.5 million and $2 + million categories in 2018.
Taralon Homes primarily builds residences in the most exclusive communities of South Tampa and St. Petersburg.
3) MGB Fine Custom Homes
Website | 941.366.7280 | 205 N Orange Avenue, Suite 102, Sarasota, FL 34236
Steve Ellis and Grant Castilow are the co-founders of MGB Fine Custom Homes, a Sarasota home improvement contractor and standout custom home builder in South Tampa Bay enclaves like Longboat Key in Manatee County.
In just over 10 years, MGB Fine Custom Homes has earned more accolades than we can list here. Here are a few of their standout awards. In 2017, BUILD Magazine voted the company Best Luxury Home Builder 2017 in the Southeast, and it also heralded the firm for excellence in sustainable design in the region. The custom home builder has also ranked among the Inc 500 and the Top 50 Florida Companies to Watch, while Natural Awakenings Magazine voted the MGB Fine Custom Homes team Best Builder six years in a row.
If you are concerned about the high costs of energy — to the environment or your wallet — MGB Fine Custom Homes is knowledgeable in eco-friendly luxury. Both Ellis and Castilow are LEED AP certified, which means they’ve proven their fluency in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating systems.
2) Ramos Design Build
Website | 813.259.1111 | 1001 S MacDill Avenue, Tampa, FL 33629
A typical residential project for Ramos Design Build ranges from $1M to $5M in construction value. The National Home Builders Association member has been involved in thousands of custom homes, residential additions, historic restorations, and commercial structures. Ramos Design Build can also design and construct specific home elements via their full-service, custom cabinetry and woodworking services.
After earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and a Master of Business Administration from Emory University, James Ramos didn’t immediately get into the family business. He spent 20 years at the helm of billion-dollar company brands, like General Mills and Unilever, before tapping into the construction industry. The Ramos family has worked in commercial and residential construction in the Southeast since 1956.
Among Ramos Design Build’s accolades are a Gold award for Best Home Builder of South Tampa and seven Aurora awards from the Florida Home Builders Association and the Southeast Building Conference. The company’s work peppers the landscapes of St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Sarasota, and Tampa.
1) Alvarez Homes
Website | 813.969.3033 | 3617 Hudson Lane, Suite 101, Tampa, FL 33618
The Alvarez family of design and construction companies began with Alvarez Homes in 1983, when Bobby Alvarez put the family name on the business. Alvarez Homes has racked up awards from the Southeast Builders Conference and the NAHB, as well as Best of Show awards in four of Tampa’s Street of Dreams residential showcases. Building on that success, Bobby created Alvarez New Concepts to push the boundary where luxury meets eco-consciousness.
Bobby also called on his brother-in-law, Freddy Socias, to bring to the table his own extensive construction and management experience. The family affair has since grown to include Freddy’s brother, Alex Socias, and Brian Alvarez, lead in operations and business information, respectively.
When partnered with either of the sister companies, the homeowner’s wishes come first. The team starts with an idea board of your magazine clippings and Pinterest favorites. They then see the project through to the installation of the fine finishes that will accentuate your home’s best features. Through this process, the Alvarez family of companies have built over 450 luxury properties in the Tampa Bay area.