Portrait of a Builder: David Fenton

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2014 edition of Luxury Showcase, the magazine of William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty.

David Fenton, Founder and CEO of Twin Oaks Construction in Westchester County, New York, is proof positive that if you do what you love success will follow. His childhood passion for building never waned, even during his years working as a police officer by night and as a carpenter renovating houses in Memphis, Tennessee by day.

28 Garden Road in Scarsdale, New York

He then moved into project management for the New York City development company that was building the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. This led to his becoming a partner in the development of The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Spa and Residences in Jupiter, Florida, and The Ritz-Carlton Golf Community at Creighton Farms in Aldie, Virginia — both high-end residential club communities with award-winning Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses.

Today, he applies this experience to creating custom homes in Westchester County, New York, a community where dealing with historical preservation mandates and strict building restrictions is all in a day’s work.

Fenton takes pride in making each home unique, and there’s no limit to how far he will go to create the distinctive home he imagines. He has travelled to stone quarries in Turkey and throughout the northeastern United States to personally choose the vein of rock to be blasted for the exterior cladding of buildings. Of course, he doesn’t always need to travel that far to find the right materials. He’s also been known to carefully tag black walnut, red and white oak trees right on the property on which he is building, and these are then milled for use in interior finishes.

“Having learned what it takes to put a house together with my own hands, I understand how important every detail is to the person who will live there,” Fenton says. “I have also come to appreciate the huge difference personal attention makes in the building process. I consider myself a craftsman and artisan first, and a builder second. I believe that the difference between ‘good’ and ‘great’ is in the attention to detail.”

Another trait Fenton brings to his business is a commitment to environmentally sound construction practices. Sustainable development is one of the key tenets of his company. From the earliest stages of the building process, Twin Oaks works with the client as well as architects and engineers to enhance each project’s design as well as its sustainability. Notably, the company has completed the only LEED accredited historical restoration and addition to a 1907 Dutch Colonial in Scarsdale.

Fenton’s focus on the wellness of the planet also extends to maintaining the wellness of the individual. He meticulously plans details like lighting, soundproofing and air/water filtration to soothe body and mind. Layouts, cabinetry and even landscaping subtly promote a healthy lifestyle. This is in keeping with his philosophy: “An exceptional home is simply a frame for an exceptional life,” he says.

To achieve his vision for each home, Fenton works with a team comprised of master carpenters, architects, engineers and masons, collectively representing over 100 years of experience in high-end residential construction.

One of his latest projects is a 1926 Tudor home in the sought-after Grange Estate area of Scarsdale. “We’ve preserved the best original architectural features and enhanced it with all of the custom modern amenities,” he says. The result is a 14,000 square-foot English Manor home with such distinctive elements as a grand staircase that was reportedly taken from a battleship frigate used in the War of 1812, 14-foot vaulted cathedral ceilings, large double casement windows and historically correct moldings, as well as an expansive media room with theater seating, 5,000-bottle wine room and infinity pool with cabana. It is a home that, as with many of Fenton’s projects, marries traditional craftsmanship with contemporary ideals.


28 Garden Road in Scarsdale, New York (Web ID: 4400289) is offered at $8,725,000 USD. For more information, please visit  28GardenRoad.com or contact Dawn Knief or Mary Katchis with Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty at +1 914 393 1159 or  dawn.knief@juliabfee.com or mary.katchis@juliabfee.com.

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