Clay Street Builders was founded in 2012 by lifelong friends Dan Kaufmann and Scott O’Connell. With over 40 years of combined experience in the building industry, Clay Street was designed to meet the needs of homeowners looking for a more personal home building experience.  Dan and Scott had success contracting everything from total home builds and renovations to major commercial spaces, and after working on a few homes together, the partnership became permanent. Starting out with a few homes in the first year, Clay Street Builders now builds over thirty homes a year, handles several select renovations, and is expanding into commercial spaces as well.  The expansion continues but Clay Street still offers the personal service of Dan and Scott in every build.  

Clay Street Builders aims to provide the highest level of customer service every step of the way while building the best custom home for each family. We stand alone in our commitment to open communication, customer care, and quality products throughout the building process.  Developing the best home for each customer from the ground up is where our passion lies. We listen to every homeowner to design a home around their life and values, ensuring the home will reflect their wants and needs now and in the future. 

OUR TEAM

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Owner

Dan Kaufmann

Throughout his years at Virginia Tech, Dan Kaufmann spent his holidays and summer breaks learning and working in his father’s home building and renovation business. Dan’s extensive experience growing up in the building industry expanded further while working for several local builders.  As our fearless leader, Dan stays in the field offering guidance and insight for every home build despite leading the organization from the highest level.  Dan enjoys spending time with his wife and two children, especially when they make it out to the mountains camping. He enjoys golfing and whenever possible, just getting outdoors. 

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Owner

Scott O'Connell

Turning over the V-Twin in his custom Harley is one of Scott’s favorite sounds.  Unfortunately, it only happens once or twice a year as his “side project” turned into a full business.  Scott wears many hats to keep Clay Street running smoothly but still finds time to act as a personal Uber driver for his three children.  He has a background in commercial construction and leads our new commercial division as we expand.  When he can get time away from the office he enjoys competing in triathlons and taking his family out to their cabin for the weekend.   And at least once each fall you can catch him in Lane Stadium! 

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Project Manager

Frank Sanske

Hailing all the way from California, Frank considers himself a Powhatan native at this point.  He’s the most gifted craftsman among us, using his extensive knowledge to make sure every project is completed to the highest of standards.  Few companies have an all around knowledge like Frank, we are certainly lucky to have him.  We’re not sure if Frank has any hobbies that he does for himself because when he isn’t chasing his three children, you might catch him coaching little league or framing houses for Habitat for Humanity.  

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Business Manager

Matt O'Connell

Meet our Business Manager, Matt O’Connell. With his 20+ years of experience as VP of Marketing & Sales and the last 10 years as the VP of Employment Services for SOAR365, he helps keep Clay Street Builders running smoothly. When he’s not here, you can find him enjoying time being semi-retired; flying around Hanover in his favorite plane, a Cessna 172, or watching the Phillies play.

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Superintendent

Derek Rachels

Derek oversees the jobs in the field from the ground to the finishing touches. He is versatile and has over the years become quite the tradesman, wanting to have the necessary experience in many trades as well as knowing a good quality finished product. Although he is known for his drywall skills, Derek has also been seen framing houses with Frank, our Project Manager, concrete work, and even a full-time father to twins. 

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Project Manager

Cole Herrington

Cole brings with him 15 years of experience in residential construction management and has built more than 300 homes in his career. Prior to starting in the industry, he attended Virginia Wesleyan College, majoring in Business Management. While there, he was a four-year starter and captain of their golf team. In his spare time, you can find him spending time with his family, chasing the golf ball around, or camped out in front of his smoker working on his BBQ craft. 

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Project Manager

Fred Wolfrey

Fred has over 17 years of building experience with a combination commercial design build, municipal and government contracts, to residential production building. He takes pride in every job and focuses on the detail as if it is his own home. From the foundation to the roof, you name it, he can probably do it with his own two hands. When not at work, you can find Fred in the gym, or in the water with his spouse and chocolate lab, Tucker.