He may be only 26, but Ryan Fletcher has quickly become a game-changer in the New Canaan real estate market.

As sole proprietor of his construction company, Fletcher Development LLC, he is self-made, with a Marine Corps background building his company and reputation through word of mouth and unparalleled craftsmanship.

Growing up in the construction industry, Fletcher said he spent his days digging foundations and excavating for his family run site-work company from age 12.

“I grew up around it. I joke now that it was slave labor getting paid $6 per hour,” he said.

After earning a degree in construction management from Roger Williams University and serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Fletcher has returned to what he knows best: construction.

“There was a lot of risk involved,” he said. “But I said if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it 120 percent. I turned toward family and friends to invest in my first spec property in Ridgefield.”

Renovating from top to bottom, Fletcher said he sold his first property on Casa Torch Lane in Ridgefield to a couple from Canada.

Shortly after, Fletcher bought and renovated a second Ridgefield property that quickly sold.

Fast forward three years later and Fletcher Development has five full-time employees and seven properties under construction ranging from $2 million to $5 million.

Fletcher said his experience in the Marine Corps has helped to shape and perfect his “high performance construction” company.

“The Marine Corps taught me to deal with stress and managing a bunch of moving parts at one time. I’m able to work through things methodically and there is absolutely no chance of giving up,” he said.

With its quaint downtown shopping district, meandering stone wall-lined streets and some of the most pristine property in New England, New Canaan is a competitive real estate market to break into, but Fletcher said there is no town he would rather be in.

“New Canaan is a beautiful town, with so much opportunity. The homes in New Canaan can blow 70 percent of homes across the country out of the water,” he said.

Single-handedly operating his custom home building company, Fletcher has easily established himself in the New Canaan market by creating his own equity and finding his own investors.

He credits his perfectionist attitude to creating custom-built homes outfitted with the finest materials and systems.

With cathedral ceilings, ornamental beams and custom millwork, Fletcher has separated himself from most other builders in the area by specializing in what he calls a “transitional-style Colonial.”

“A lot of builders frame out a box attached to another box because they can make more of a profit,” he said. “I create houses that are different. The layout is different and much less formal than traditional homes.”

Constantly researching new building products and techniques and ways to make a home energy efficient, Fletcher said, allows him to stay on the cutting edge in a competitive market.

“We install specialized HVAC systems, a type of airtight house wrap, home automative electrical systems. When the customer moves into the home, everything is turnkey,” he said.

While Fletcher said he never builds the same house twice, they all are designed to be completely energy efficient and virtually maintenance free, with many of his homes being LEED certified.

His homes are built for the tech-savvy consumer, designed to be prewired and completely operational from the touch of an iPad, even while on vacation in Europe.

William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty Realtor Robert Blosio said Fletcher is quickly becoming one of New Canaan’s top builders.

“He is a very good listener,” Blosio said. “Ryan asked me my opinion on the plans of his houses and listens to many of my suggestions. Ryan has both a different style and a plan. He wants to build a product unlike other homes already being built and of the best quality, with unique details.”

No detail is left untouched, from radiant heated floors to the USB plugs in the closets.

Fletcher is known to add details such as a three-story spiral staircase or a room hidden behind a bookcase to his properties.

“We leave the lower level unfinished for the new homeowners to personalize,” he said. “We’ve done an indoor sports court, yoga studio and a custom train room on that lower level.”

For Emily and JP Hanson, purchasing a home designed by Fletcher was an easy decision.

“Last year, when we decided to move to Connecticut from NYC, the first house we saw was the house we bought. The home was being built by Fletcher Development and was so well-planned and beautiful that we couldn’t have asked for anything else,” Emily Hanson said. “Working with Fletcher Development on all the finishes and customizations has been smooth and timely. For example, we wanted to add a media room, a gym and an indoor sport court. Ryan heard what we had in mind and then took it up a level.”