The invention of a method for the synthesis of 1,3-diols from the corresponding alcohols is described, via controlled, radical-mediated C-H functionalization. The sequence described herein entails near quantitative conversion to the corresponding trifluoroethyl carbamate, followed by a variant of the Hofmann-Löffler-Freytag reaction, cyclization, and hydrolysis to provide the 1,3-diols. In addition to the 10 examples presented herein, the syntheses of four natural products are facilitated by this directed oxyfunctionalization. This methodology is demonstrated to be orthogonal to other known C-H oxidations. Finally, this sequence is efficient, practical, inexpensive, and scalable.