Leaders of Gainsborough Waste: William Carl

Although he is most noted in the Houston community as a broker, developer and builder of high-end custom homes, what few people know is that William Carl is also a builder of dreams.

As the patriarch of the Carl family, William spent his life developing dreams into reality, including those of his two sons, Noble and Paul. He made it his mission to ensure that they had a chance to succeed, laying the foundation for what would one day become waste industry powerhouses Gainsborough Waste and Texas Outhouse.

Though William helped lay much of the groundwork for each business by building their sales base and connections with local business owners, he credits the companies’ success to the hard work and dedication of Noble and Paul.

“They both learned to work at an early age. A child that doesn’t learn how to work or have chores by the age of 12 is not going to have the enjoyment and love of a job well done. So those kids were both working when they were nine or 10 years old. I think that was the most interesting thing for both of them. They both enjoyed working and seeing a job well done. They wanted to do what’s right.”

As for his own success, William enjoyed a career as a broker, realtor and builder spanning several decades, instead of going into the family business of becoming a lawyer.

“I am the first person in my family in three or four generations not to be a lawyer. I worked in my father’s title company and law firm and didn’t find it all that exciting. I met all the developers, and they drove better cars than the lawyers.”

That was enough to convince him to start a career in real estate.

While most builders were going broke during the economic slump of the 1980s, William saw a need for high-end townhomes that were well-built and modeled after homes in which he himself wanted to live. Each one featured high ceilings, large dining rooms, master bedrooms with vaulted ceilings and his-and-hers bathrooms. This proved to be a blueprint for success for William; he would go on to eventually build more than 300 homes, all in upscale Houston neighborhoods. He welcomed the opportunity to negotiate long-term leases as well.

“I was always eager to lease a home to keep as an investment.”

Despite all of his success in the homebuilding business, William still lists his two sons as his greatest accomplishments. When he’s not spending time with his family or attending weekly Tuesday morning meetings with Noble and Paul at Texas Outhouse, William enjoys driving his horse-drawn carriage at the family place in Waller County, and going to his home on Galveston Island, his birthplace.