Charles Clayton III is one of Central Florida’s leading custom builders.



Charles (Charlie) Clayton III, whose father developed much of Maitland in the 1960s and Winter Park’s Sevilla subdivision in the 1970s, has continued the family tradition as a homebuilder. “Homebuilding is in my blood,” he says. But Clayton’s legendary father, whose solid mid-century homes still make up much of such subdivisions as Dommerich Estates in Maitland, aimed for a somewhat different market.

The lavish custom homes that Clayton, 59, builds or remodels in Winter Park are the stuff of dreams — the sort people admire in slick magazine spreads. In 2018, one of his Winter Park projects won a Best in American Living Award from the National Association of Home Builders and three Aurora awards from the Southeast Building Conference.

“Our team has been fortunate enough to build second and third home projects for several families,” Clayton says. “The fact that the owners enjoyed the first experience with our team and then trusted us with their future home investments is an honor.”

Exterior of a modern home on New Smyrna Beach by Charles Clayton Construction.

Clayton graduated from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, in 1983 with a business administration degree, and has built homes since 1984. He has served in an array of leadership positions within his industry, including locally as president of the Greater Orlando Builders Association and is a founding member of the by-invitation-only Master Custom Builders Council. Both organizations have previously named him “Builder of the Year.”

His big projects begin with the right team: an architect, an interior designer and a landscape architect chosen with the help of the homeowner. Clayton describes his homes as a “three-dimensional gift to the owner.” 

Adds Clayton: “I always believed it was the American Dream to own a home, so seeing the dream fulfilled for families is the ultimate experience.”

Like his dad, Clayton is a generous supporter of Valencia College and funds scholarships for skills training programs in construction-related fields. “There’s a big need in our industry for trades,” Clayton says. “And Valencia is really stepping up to fill that need.” 

Charles Clayton Construction’s Via Gavennetto on  the  Winter Park Chain of Lakes.

Today, Clayton — a veteran of several major charitable building projects including House of Hope, a residential program for troubled teens — is part of a new team of all-stars assembled for a project of lesser scale but perhaps wider community impact.

He’s working in tandem with architect Jack Rogers on a project for their home church, All Saints Episcopal Church, in Winter Park. They’re restoring and refurbishing the circa-1925 Glennon House, previously the Fortnightly Inn, which houses the church’s Healing Ministry where Clayton and his wife, Lisa, are prayer ministers. 

In fact, Clayton’s life verse is Psalms 127:1: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.”