Jacksonville, the largest American metropolitan area in terms of landmass, sits on the Atlantic Ocean, making it a popular tourist destination. Because of the warm climate and comfortable weather, the city has gained a reputation as one of the best places to live—as well as one of the most ideal cities to retire—in the United States.
Jacksonville isn’t just a vacation haven; it’s also home to a bustling regional business center and a thriving construction industry. A quick drive around Jacksonville’s neighborhoods will display a wide range of residential, commercial, and historical works of art, each representing a rich variety of architectural styles that embody the taste, lifestyle, and heritage of its owners.
This list consists of the teams and firms responsible for creating, building, and constructing the most stunning homes and public spaces in the city. The ranking is based on the accomplishments, accolades, years of experience, and the levels of expertise that these firms have gained through the years.
15. Alpha Builders Group
9310 Old Kings Rd. S., Ste. 1103 Jacksonville, FL 32257
The Alpha Builders Group may be a newcomer to Florida’s construction industry, buthas easily made its way to the top, thanks to its motto of treating every customer as the team would want to be treated. Gene Shvetz, along with his family, has owned and operated the company since 2013. The firm works on custom homes, commercial construction, renovations and additions, as well as maintenance.
The company’s heritage has been incorporated into many of its projects, drawing on inspiration from European architecture, such as French, Italian, Victorian, and Tuscan styles.
Over the years, the firm’s impressive industry background and rich tradition of craftsmanship has elevated its status. Alpha Builder Group’s most notable accolade came in 2017 for the Villa Marina model home, winning the Parade of Homes and Excellence Gold Trophy.
14. Sandifer Custom Homes
4788 Hodges Blvd., Unit. 102, Jacksonville, FL 32224
Sandifer Custom Homes’s excellence comes from its detail-oriented approach to construction. The firm’s principal, Nick Sandifer, believes that seemingly insignificant details can make a monumental difference. This concept has guided him and his team to deliver the best results for every project that they work on.
The company’s passion and meticulous approach to building and remodeling homes has earned several important accolades, such as the Northeast Florida Builders’ Association (NEFBA) Remodeler Award and the Home Builders’ Association Parade of Homes Award.
As a custom home builder, Sandifer focuses on the design and specific needs of its clients. Most of the firm’s projects have mixed styles, from Colonial and Neoclassical to Ranch, Modern, and Craftsman.
13. New Leaf Construction
4348 Southpoint Blvd., Ste. 210, Jacksonville, FL 32216
Head and heart: this is a combination that has allowed New Leaf Construction to succeed among Jacksonville’s many successful contracting firms. The firm’s principal, Lee Arsenault, has attributed his abundant success and loyal networks to these two aspects in his approach to building.
The essence of these two concepts can easily be observed in the company’s affiliations, especially to non-profit organizations like Habitat for Humanity and MathCounts Foundation. New Leaf Construction is also an active member of the building industry’s National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the NEFBA.
The firm’s residential and commercial projects inspired by French, Colonial, and other western architectural styles have secured the company’s place in the golden list of awardees for the Parade of Homes, as well as Pinnacle Builder honors.
12. Sport Nobles Construction
4716 Palmer Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32210
Sport Nobles’ dream to be one of the best builders in the industry started at a very young age — just like how constructing a sturdy home starts with a strong foundation, piece by piece, he slowly but effectively built his professional career, from a passionate young man to an ambitious visionary.
Sport Nobles Construction was founded in 1998. The growth of both the company and its principal has been marked by several milestones, all showcasing the firm’s dedication to a personalized approach to residential and commercial design and construction.
Over the years, Sport Nobles Construction has been a recipient of various recognitions from NEFBA for kitchen, whole house, and bath remodeling projects. Aside from custom remodels, the firm’s works highlighting Victorian, Colonial, and Craftsman styles have awed clients from Jacksonville and the surrounding areas.
11. Cole Builders
472 First Coast Hwy., Ste. 6 Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
Among the top players in Jacksonville’s construction scene is Cole Builders, a company that believes in the sustainable future of energy-efficient and better-built homes. The firm is an Energy Star partner, and its principal, Dale Cole, is a certified General Contractor and an EPA Lead Paint Certified Renovator.
Cole Builders was established in 2000, and has completed over 150 residential and commercial projects to date. The firm’s reputation for delivering reliable performance and practical results can be attributed to Dale Cole’s focus on details, accuracy, and cost-efficiency.
Be it Bungalow, Ranch, American Foursquare, Farm House, or even Victorian styles, Cole Builders has proven its passion, expertise, and workmanship through every step of the building process.
10. Heritage Homes
2451 3rd St. South Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Heritage Homes has established a reputation as one of Jacksonville’s finest luxury home builders. Established in 1992, the company is a seasoned entry in Jacksonville Business Journal’s awardees for Best Remodeling Companies and Best Custom Home Builders.
The true credit, however, should be given to its principal, Scott Ulm, and his experience as both a licensed General Contractor and a true-born builder. Ulm worked his way through college in the construction industry, gaining valuable expertise in the field before completing his degree from the University of Florida College of Design, Construction, & Planning.
Heritage Homes delivers homes that celebrate the elegant simplicity and fine sophistication of Contemporary, Victorian, Neo-eclectic, and American styles.
9. Bee Tree Homes
11190 St Johns Industrial Pkwy N, Jacksonville, FL 32246
Establishing BeeTree Homes was a lifelong dream for the firm’s principals and founders, Katrina and Chuck Hosea. Together, they have elevated the status of their firm to be one of Florida’s top design/build firms and one of Jacksonville’s multi-awarded building companies.
Katrina Hosea started the company in 2003. She is an interior designer but became a general contractor in 2003 so that she could manage her client’s projects. Katrina found a niche in the remodeling industry that was un-tapped, A design-build firm that facilitates everything from design and selections to construction management. In 2007, Chuck left corporate life to join her business. Together along with three of their children, have grown the business to be a leader in the remodeling industry. Katrina was past president and Vice President of the NEFBA Remodelers Council.
Katrina, as an experienced and talented designer, has expertise in translating the firm’s clients’ ideas into beautiful Modern and Contemporary masterpieces. Her background in both traditional and current architectural movements makes Bee Tree a competitive player in both the design and building arenas.
8. Jeffrey E. Schaefer Master Builder, Inc.
1414 Plainfield Avenue Orange Park, FL 32073
Custom homes, home remodels, commercial projects, and historical restorations: Jeffrey E. Schaefer’s wide project scope makes him one of the most distinguished AIA-certified builders in Florida. His firm, Jeffrey E. Schaefer Master Builder, Inc., has over 40 combined years of experience.
While the firm has been completing upscale custom home buildings for over 30 years, its most notable accomplishments are renovations. The firm worked on the Hippodrome Theater in Gainesville and has extensive experience renovating historic homes in Jacksonville’s Riverside and Springfield areas.
Many of Schaefer’s works have been featured in different publications like Florida Times Union, Clay Today, Builder’s Magazine. The firm relies on a keen knowledge of architectures inspired by traditional European styles. Additionally, Jeffrey E. Schaefer Master Builder, Inc. is an advocate of the industry’s Green Building movement and is an active member of the Florida Green Builders Association.
7. Carlton Construction
4615 U.S. Hwy., 17, Suite 1, Fleming Island, FL 32003
Customer satisfaction is at the core of Carlton Construction’s business philosophy. The firm prides itself on its comprehensive and detail-oriented process in order to satisfy the most demanding clients. Staying true to this mission has helped the firm land publication features in the Jacksonville Business Journal, The Arts & Business Magazine of Northeast Florida, and Southern Living Magazine.
The firm was founded by Matt Carlton, a graduate of M.E. Rinker School of Building Construction and a seasoned real estate project manager. Under his leadership, Carlton Construction has won recognitions such as the “Clay Builder of the Year” in both 2006 and 2011 by the Clay Builders Council.
The firm’s most notable works have showcased the minimalist elegance of Modern and Contemporary architectural styles, as well as the sophistication of French and Spanish styles.
6. ShayCore Enterprises
11235 St. Johns Industrial Pkwy, Suite 4, Jacksonville, FL 32246
ShayCore Enterprise was founded in 2008 by two passionate leaders in the construction industry. As the company grew bigger, and the Jacksonville market picked up its pace in 2010, a third principal came onboard to create a three-man team of expert builders, craftsmen, and business professionals.
ShayCore Enterprises’ youngest principal, William P. Kilgannon, has been featured in various publications, such as the Jacksonville Business Journal for “Top 40 Under 40”, and Buzz Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30”.
Many organizations within the industry believed in the potential of ShayCore, awarding the firm with several accolades as one of the fastest growing companies in both Florida and the United States. The firm has also been a finalist in Florida Trend’s “Companies to Watch” in 2012.
5. Breaking Ground Contracting
4218 Highway Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32254
Since Breaking Ground Contracting was founded in 1997, it has been an advocate for sustainable construction and environmentally-conscious building methods. As a green leader in the industry, the firm’s philosophy is not just a slogan, but also a description of its workmanship and professional ethics.
With the help of a diverse team of passionate workers and LEED-certified professionals, Breaking Ground Contracting makes sure to incorporate sustainable methods from the most specific to the most general aspects of the building processes, from consulting, estimating, and acquiring materials to project management and even training and education.
Many of the firm’s projects have been recognized by highly-esteemed award-giving bodies such as the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). One of the firm’s most fulfilling recognitions was the Excellence in Construction “Green Project of the Year” Award.
While the firm’s vision of a more sustainable future have made it a big player in the industry’s green revolution, much of the company’s success can be attributed to its award-winning principal, Mary Tappouni. Her work and advocacy has made her a favorite of top publications like Construction Executive Magazine, Jacksonville Business Journal, Action News Jax, and Florida Times Union.
4. Browdy & Browdy, Inc.
6944 St. Augustine Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32217
Browdy & Browdy, Inc. has built a solid reputation over its long history, developing award-winning luxury custom homes for Florida’s most sophisticated clients since 1975. The firm’s current principal, Richard Browdy, joined the company two years later.
Browdy has been awarded many accolades throughout his career, such as the Northeast Florida Builder’s Association’s distinguished Builder of the Year in 2001. As another testament of Browdy’s mastery in his craft, the state’s Governor appointed him to the Florida Building Commission.
The firm’s careful choice of tradespeople, skilled artisans, and master craftsmen has allowed it to maintain its reputation as one of Jacksonville’s top general contractors. For over four decades, the firm has been responsible for the city’s most beautiful architectural wonders, celebrating French, Spanish, Modern, and Contemporary styles.
3. Aurora Builders
2902 Isabella Blvd., Ste. 20, Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
For every design and construction project, Aurora Builders has one ultimate goal: to build a home that genuinely reflects its client’s unique lifestyle. The firm’s principal, Michael Lenahen believes in the importance of creating a home that embodies its owner’s individuality — this philosophy has guided the company since its founding in 1997.
While Aurora Builders is well-versed in traditional methods of architecture and construction, the firm recognizes the role of the latest and advanced methods in construction, deploying energy efficient and sound building techniques in every step of the building process. The firm’s excellence in the field has not gone unnoticed; for several years, it has been a recipient of NEFBA’s First Coast Remodelers Awards. Additionally, the company has gained the Aurora Awards as the first-place winner of the Best Custom Home.
Most of the company’s architectural achievements are a mixture of both the traditional and modern versions of Spanish, French, Tuscan, Contemporary and Caribbean designs.
2. Starr Custom Homes
4330 Springmoor Dr. E, Jacksonville, FL 32225
Starr Custom Homes is a leading firm in the industry, promoting the role of technology as a crucial player in all of its designing and building processes. This emphasis on how technology can elevate the design and customization experience in constructing a client’s dream house has pushed the firm to the top of the Florida construction scene. Well-known publications like the Jacksonville Magazine, Home, Florida Home Buyer, and Reality Builder Connection have featured many of the firm’s DreamDesign® concepts and finished projects.
From 2011 until 2014, Starr Custom Homes was named the Top Custom Homebuilder by the Jacksonville Business Journal. In 2018, the same publication recognized the firm in the 2018 Upscale Homebuilders award. NEFBA’s 2011 First Coast Remodelers Awards also included the company on its gold list.
The firm’s principal, Shawn Starr, founded the company in 2009. He designed the company’s step-by-step approach from the perspective of an aspiring homeowner. Just like his clients, Starr understood the most delicate and personal stages of creating a unique and beautiful dream home. Whether it’s Spanish, Modern, Contemporary, Shingle, or French-inspired architecture, Starr promises one thing: to transform his clients’ most beautiful ideas into reality.
1. Morales Construction Company
6950 Philips Hwy., Ste. 15, Jacksonville, FL 32216
Experience is the maker of perfection — this is what makes Morales Construction Company Jacksonville’s most outstanding firm. Ricardo Morales Jr. founded the company in 1978. Under the leadership of its president, Ricardo Morales III, and his 30-year experience, the company has perfected its craft in both construction and architecture, with works featured in leading magazines and publications like Florida Architecture, Building Edge Magazine, The Southern Cottage, and Jacksonville Business Journal.
In 2007, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognized the firm’s exceptional talent through the Craftsmanship Award. In 2003 and 2004, the Jacksonville Business Journal ranked the firm as second and first, respectively, on its Custom Home Builders list.
The firm generally handles projects with home values exceeding $3 million. This wealth in resource and skilled labor force allow the firm to create Neoclassical, Victorian, Spanish, and Colonial architectural masterpieces — with exceptional results that highly sophisticated clients deserve.