Hands On
Homeowners who value honesty, quality and attention to detail find an exceptional partner in Mack & Roedel Construction Co.
by Pete Croatto

In 1997, Phil Mack, a commercial painter, and Glenn Roedel, a carpenter, met on a house project. They immediately hit it off. They found that they not only worked well together but also had complementary styles. Glenn was creative; Phil was more organized. Pretty soon, they were pooling their resources, and the work started rolling in. In short order, the pair built nine homes in the same neighborhood.

Really, Phil and Glenn did not form a business as much as ease into it.

Their back story doesn’t seem plausible considering the dazzling portfolio of their firm, Mack & Roedel Construction Co.: luxurious home theaters straight out of a glossy home-electronics magazine; elegant wine cellars that seem as if they should come with an in-home sommelier; and entire custom homes bearing no trace of so-called “McMansion” uniformity.

Although it seems as if this partnership should have been formed over a power lunch in a fancy restaurant or in a conference room on the 25th floor of a gleaming high rise, it was just two guys who loved their work, coming together.

Mack & Roedel Construction Co., which was officially founded in 2002, does most of its work in Bucks County, with an occasional foray into New Jersey. Beyond Glenn and Phil, the Doylestown-based company is surprisingly “lean and mean”: six full-time employees and a rotation of 50 subcontractors handling large-scale, high-end renovations and custom home projects. Relationships are important to both men, which is why they are involved in every client’s project.

“There isn’t any job we’ve done where we can’t go back to that customer’s house,” Glenn says. “We try to keep our business at that size so we don’t get so big [that we] lose that personal touch with the customers. If you get big and you have job foremen, you lose the connection with what the customers want.”

“There are never any gray areas between what we do and what we promise people,” adds Phil. “We could do a job on a handshake.”

And they have.

“You’re going to get one of us on the phone,” says Gavin Roedel, the company’s project manager and also Glenn’s son. “We’re a very hands-on company.” The personal touch and commitment to the community remain firmly intact—Phil, Glenn and Gavin all live in the Doylestown area, for example—and so does the enthusiasm.

“We all really, really like what we do,” says Glenn. “I get really excited, and people sense your enthusiasm.”

It’s easy to stay excited when one’s days are spent building bowling alleys, smoking rooms and other residential add-ons—even the occasional home-based chapel or Hindu temple.

Part of Mack & Roedel’s business lies in custom homes. The firm employs various building styles—contemporary, industrial, even rustic. Such diversity and willingness to try new things comes from experience.

“Some of the time we’ll develop the land, sell it, design the house and build the house,” Gavin explains. “No two projects are ever the same.”

If a homeowner wants to use their own designer—or design their future abode themselves—that is fine, too. Mack & Roedel prides itself on its flexibility. One of the greatest benefits of working so closely with clients comes from learning their personalities and getting to understand “a feel for their style and what they want to do,” Gavin adds. 

The firm’s founders credit him with updating their communications—“When Phil and I started, we were still using smoke signals to contact each other,” jokes Glenn—and navigating the details behind the various technological wrinkles today’s customers crave, such as smart locks and audio amenities. 

Whenever the founding partners decide it’s time to step aside, the plan is for the next generation—Gavin—to take the helm. “That’s the reason why I don’t just sit in an office,” he says. “In order to build a house, you have to learn how to build a house.”

Although the firm’s future is firmly secure, the two men who started it all don’t plan to retire anytime soon. They just enjoy it too much; it’s not uncommon for Phil and Glenn to spend entire days talking to each other about individual projects.

“It’s like one person running [the business] instead of two of us running it,” Phil says. “We really work around the client’s schedule. We’ve actually had meetings until 3 a.m., and we’ve had meetings that start at 5 a.m. We try to make it as easy as we can for them.”

Phil and Glenn cannot recall any client who has not been pleased. Today, the bulk of their work comes from word of mouth—meaning they stay plenty busy.

“We’ve had lots of great projects,” Phil says, to which Glenn responds, “We’ve had lots of great customers.”

Phil and Glenn typically handle no more than seven projects at a time, which is by choice. Anything more than that, they believe, would jeopardize the hands-on approach to serving a niche of clients who value honesty and appreciate exceptional quality—an approach that has served them so well for nearly 20 years.

As Phil says, “We’re very fortunate.”

Mack & Roedel Construction Co.
5910 Stover Mill Road
Doylestown, PA 18901

Photograph courtesy of Mack & Roedel