Early on, Bob Sorenson wondered if he could be successful as a custom builder. Today, he’s building homes like this one in Central Florida’s most prestigious zip codes.



Bob Sorenson didn’t think he could do it. No way. A manufacturer’s representative for a commercial mechanical equipment company, he was only dabbling as a homebuilder. And he had gotten married in 1988 and started a family — not an ideal time to make a major career change. 

“I never dreamed I would make a living from homebuilding,” Sorenson says. “Never.” But he was wrong. 

Sorenson earned his general contractor’s license in 1992, and built three homes for friends “as a hobby” while keeping his day job. His fledging side business began to ramp up when his wife, Jody, quit her job with the Orlando Utilities Commission to help run things.

She worked with her husband for about five years before he finally decided to jump in with both feet. That’s when Sorenson Construction, established in 1994, truly became official. 

“I was thinking the same as Bob back then,” says Jody. “Oh my gosh, how are we going to do this? We can’t make this work. But we did.”

Sorenson Construction now annually builds eight to 10 custom homes. Some are a comfortable 3,000 square feet, while several others have been 10 times that large. 

Although the company initially built homes across Central Florida, Sorenson Construction has focused lately on Windermere in southwest Orange County — where you’ll find some of the region’s most spectacular custom showplaces.

With homesites located just a few miles apart, proximity has maximized the efficiency of Sorenson’s projects. Despite building an impressive portfolio of one-of-a-kind mega-homes, the company at year’s end was continuing to operate with just six employees along with numerous subcontractors. 

“We’ve turned down work in other areas, like Winter Park,” Jody explains. “I know it won’t stay this way, because in the past we’ve built all over Central Florida. But for the moment, this seems to be working.”

In Windermere, Sorenson’s homes have all the attributes you’d expect in the region’s wealthiest enclave: open floorplans, seamless combinations of indoor and outdoor living, attention to detail and superior craftsmanship.

Additionally, remodeling/renovations and commercial construction — including retail, multifamily and recreational structures — have become part of the mix. Consequently, the Sorenson team is qualified to build everything from single-family homes to high-rise office complexes.

The company’s bread-and-butter business, however, is custom homes — an effort led by its founder and defined by his exacting standards. That attitude gives clients what Jody describes as a “gut feeling” about her husband’s personal integrity.

Jody handles accounting and scheduling and often works with homeowners on selecting design features to complement their personalities and lifestyles. Bob takes care of the rest. 

“Bob, himself, is still the person selling the home and meeting clients on homesites,” she says. “Buyers aren’t just dealing with a superintendent who they don’t know. Bob is still actively hands-on every day — and is at the forefront of making it a very personal experience for the client.”

Sorenson Construction, she adds, sells its next home based on the home it built previously because of what she describes as her husband’s open-book approach. “There’s nothing that’s not seen [by clients],” Jody adds. “They kind of have to buy into that concept; it’s a very big trust factor.”

Bob, who usually shies away from self-promotion, merely adds: “I would say personal touch, for sure.”

Not coincidentally, the company’s homes have come out on top in numerous awards competitions, such as the Parade of Homes, sponsored by the Greater Orlando Builders Association. 

Recently, Bob joined the highly selective Master Custom Builder Council, based in Winter Park, which welcomes only builders who enjoy stellar reputations for quality and run solid businesses. “It was a big step for us,” says Jody.

Another big step is on the horizon. The couple’s son, Bobby, 31, has joined the team to learn the ropes from his dad. Bobby, living in Fort Lauderdale with his wife and toddler daughter, had been in an entirely different industry, recruiting physicians at a headhunter firm. The family has now moved to Orlando.

“I’m very excited and proud that he wants to do it,” says Bob. “We had wanted him to see the world the way the real world is, without his parents. But I’m happy that he really does want to do this.” 

Similarly, the Sorensons’ lone daughter just might become part of the operation one of these days. With a college degree in civil engineering, Kailey, 24, works for an engineering firm in Orlando. 

“If the circle brings you back here, and that’s where you’re being led, we’d love to have her,” Jody says about Kailey. “Right now, she has to do the same thing her brother did and find herself.” 

For now, Bob surely calls the shots — about the business, anyway, if not about the couple’s primary passion, traveling. Aside from their work, the Sorensons are all about family and fun. 

They’ve taken at least one big trip each year — not counting pandemic-ridden 2020. The next adventure, Jody says, will likely be to Europe. Bob offers no resistance: “She does the planning; I usually just go.”