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Philadelphia is a great place to build a home. The metropolitan area — sometimes referred to as the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metro area, but often simply as the Delaware Valley — is the seventh largest in the nation. It has some six million residents and is home to some of the nation’s wealthiest suburbs.
The area includes chic urban neighborhoods with historic row-houses and updated townhomes. In the suburbs you can find sprawling old-world mansions next door to brand new custom homes, and even oceanside beach homes for weekend getaways.
But whether you’re looking to renovate a row-house in Center City or want to build a family home in a Main Line suburb, you won’t get very far without a home builder who understands what you want and knows how to build it. A good place to start looking for your ideal artisan is among the 15 residential contractors listed below. They are the award-winners, the innovators, the artists, and the pioneers — the very best home builders that greater Philadelphia has to offer.
15) Kumas Homes
1528 Wharton Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146
Kumas Homes specializes in building beautiful, new high-end townhomes in South Philadelphia’s up-and-coming neighborhoods of Newbold and Point Breeze. The luxurious, eye-catching townhomes typically come with 10-year tax abatements, a one-year home warranty, and all kinds of custom finishes and stylish details. The energy-efficient, three-story townhomes are the creation of Frank Kumas, a master carpenter turned urban developer.
Kumas founded the home building company in 2013 after working on hundreds of renovation projects for the New Jersey Housing Authority. His townhomes are built by local workers, and Kumas has been a major factor in the revitalization of these South Philadelphia areas, which were “all but forgotten.” Now they are becoming sought-after neighborhoods, with many new homes, restaurants, bars, and other developments. Kumas’ exquisite, modern townhomes, with wood floors, sleek kitchens, and sunny patios, are aimed at young professionals and first-time homebuyers looking for a well-built, stylish, and affordable urban home right in the heart of Philadelphia.
14) Postgreen Homes
1732 N. Howard Street, Unit C, Philadelphia, PA 19122
Postgreen Homes is developing, designing, and building homes on the cutting-edge of the construction industry — using new materials, technology, and ideas to build “sustainable communities through conscious development.” The general contractor in Philadelphia builds affordable, energy-efficient, and stylish urban homes in neighborhoods such as East Kensington, South Kensington, Olde Kensington, Fishtown, and Francisville.
The company’s stated goal to bring modern design and sustainable homes to average people. Founded by Chad and Courtney Ludeman in 2009, the company has built several Leadership In Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum homes in Philadelphia. They use local, renewable, and recyclable materials; green roofs; rainwater collection; and other sustainable techniques. The company’s homes feature fiberglass triple-pane windows, hardwood floors, and 250 other custom options.
Postgreen Homes’ Folsom Powerhouse project won a 2017 Housing Award from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), as one of “the country’s best new homes.” The company’s work has been featured in Dwell, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Business Journal, and other publications.
13) Onion Flats
111 W. Norris Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122
The innovative design-build construction company Onion Flats was founded in 1997 by brothers Tim and Pat McDonald. More than 20 years later, Onion Flats is four firms in one: Onion Flats Architecture, Onion Flats Development, Onion Flats Construction, and G.R.A.S.S. — a division focused on green roofs and solar energy.
Intent on pushing “the boundaries of sustainable urban development,” the company has built several LEED and Passive House Certified projects in the Philadelphia neighborhoods of Fishtown and Northern Liberties. Onion Flats has also been involved in several unique adaptive reuse projects, including transforming an old soda bottling plant in Philadelphia into a mixed-use commercial and condo building.
Among many awards, the company has one for its one-of-a-kind, sustainable urban structures, Onion Flats received a Global Award of Excellence from the Urban Land Institute, a Big Vision Award from Philadelphia City Paper, and an AIA Honor Award for Design Excellence. The firm’s work has been featured in many magazines and books, including Dwell Magazine, Architectural Record, Green Building & Design, and Context Magazine.
12) McGinn Construction Co.
5775 Lower York Road, Lahaska, PA 18931
General contractors focused on Bucks and Montgomery Counties, McGinn Construction is a high-end custom home builder with more than 35 years of experience and a varied portfolio of breathtaking homes. McGinn Construction also has experience renovating Colonial-era homes in the Delaware Valley. The firm, based in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, has won numerous awards from the Home Builders Association of Bucks and Montgomery counties, including for Best Custom Home over $2M and Best Residential Renovation.
McGinn built a wonderful home in the Bucks County town of New Hope, along the Delaware River. Overlooking the river from a lush and wooded lot, the contemporary home has an Asian-influenced design. It features amazing custom millwork and large windows from the floor to the ceilings. The home also includes a steel-paneled fireplace, bamboo privacy fencing, and a charming pool house and guest house made from the property’s original stone building. Another recent new-build, on a four-acre wooded lot in Yardley, has a traditional-transitional exterior and features exquisite stonework and woodwork, gleaming wood floors throughout, a huge gourmet kitchen, and many more luxurious details.
11) Vaughan and Sautter Builders
347 E. Conestoga Road, Wayne, PA 19087
Vaughan and Sautter Builders is a highly-respected, award-winning construction company that has been named one “America’s Best Builders” by Builder Magazine. The licensed contractor builds custom homes in Philadelphia’s Main Line suburbs and throughout Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties. The company is led by Chip Vaughan, a construction professional with more than 40 years of experience. Bill Sautter’s business acumen, leadership in Philadelphia civic life and love of homebuilding, add a valuable dimension to the Vaughan and Sautter collaboration.
They have won numerous awards for their custom homes and communities, including the Pacesetter Award from the NAHB and Custom Home Magazine, and Builder of the Year Awards from the Main Line Builders Association and from the Home Builders Association of Chester and Delaware Counties. Vaughan and Sautter Builders has also received national Platinum, Gold, and Silver Best in American Living awards from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and has participated in the Philadelphia Magazine Design Home. The firm builds custom homes in a variety of styles, in developments on the Main Line and surrounding counties.
10) Pinemar Inc.
7 West Athens Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
Pinemar President Kyle Lissack grew up walking construction job sites with his grandfather and stepfather in the Philadelphia neighborhoods of Society Hill and Rittenhouse Square, marveling at the old 18th and 19th-century homes. A graduate of Colby College in Maine, Lissack spent more than 10 years working in the technology industry before moving back to his hometown of Philadelphia and taking over Pinemar.
The company builds high-end custom homes throughout the Delaware Valley, including along the Main Line and in Chester County. The residential and home improvement contractor also works on large remodeling and historic-renovation projects. Pinemar is a member of the AIA, Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA), NAHB, National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), and the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.
Located in Ardmore, the company has a varied list of projects that includes the renovation of a historic five-story brownstone on Delancey Street in Philadelphia, the construction of a new Pennsylvania bank barn-style structure in Chester County using salvaged wood, and a charming white and blue summer house on Nantucket.
9) Sullivan Building & Design Group
2320 Trumbauersville Road, Quakertown, PA 18951
Sullivan Building & Design Group has been building innovative custom homes in greater Philadelphia for more than 35 years. Led by hands-on, father-and-son team Neil and Bradley Sullivan, the firm is based in Quakertown and works all over the Delaware Valley. The design-build company focuses on building new homes, as well as on remodeling projects and historic renovations. The Sullivan team uses local sustainable hardwoods and other environmentally friendly building materials, and it offers high-quality custom woodwork and millwork in its new home and remodeling projects.
Sullivan Building and Design Group has won many awards over the years, including Qualified Remodeler Magazine’s national Chrysalis Award for an Addition Over $350k, and regional awards for a Kitchen Remodel $50,000 to $75,000 and a Kitchen Over $100k. The firm has also received Qualified Remodeler’s prestigious Master Design Award, including a 2017 award for Bathroom Less than $50,000 and for Historic Renovation. The home improvement contractor is a member of NARI and NKBA, and its work has been featured in Bucks County Home & Garden, Philadelphia Magazine, Professional Builder, and Elite Decor.
8) Dewson Construction
7 S. Lincoln Street, Wilmington, DE 19805
Dewson Construction builds custom homes throughout Pennsylvania, including on the Main Line, West Chester, Chadds Ford, and Avondale, as well as in Delaware and the Chesapeake Bay area. The Wilmington construction company was founded in 1993 by President Tim Dewson and Director of Operations John McMahon. The home improvement and new-home contractor works with local architects throughout the region on gorgeous, high-end mansions that are built to last for generations.
The Delaware Valley general contractor has been named to Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50 list of the top contractors in the nation, and to the magazine’s list of the top 550 home improvement businesses in the country. The company has also received numerous Construction Excellence Awards from the Delaware Contractors Association, Regal Awards from the Home Builders Association of Delaware, and a Conservation Area Award from the North American Land Trust. Their work has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Curbed Philly, USA Today, and Modern Builder and Design Magazine, among other publications.
7) Weiss & Associates Home Builder
110 Louella Avenue, Wayne, PA 19087
Weiss & Associates was the featured builder in Philadelphia Magazine’s 2017 Design Home. The contractor builds move-in-ready luxury homes along Philadelphia’s Main Line. Weiss & Associates has built upscale homes in some of the best communities in Chester, Montgomery, Delaware, and Bucks counties.
A recent home Weiss built in Wynnewood is typical of the company’s upmarket style and craftsmanship. The home incorporates the steep roofs and rounded exterior sections typical of the area’s traditional home. The inside features more contemporary elements in glass, stainless steel, stone, and polished concrete. The company is led by Mark Weiss, a construction industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience building homes.
A graduate of George Washington University, Weiss has built nearly 500 homes and developed more than 1,000 lots in the Mid-Atlantic region. Weiss & Associates has won numerous awards for its work, including a PBA Pyramid Award for Best Single Family Home of the Year 2,200 to 2,800 Square Feet. The firm’s work has been featured in the Main Line Times, Philadelphia Magazine, and the Philadelphia Design Guide.
6) Pohlig Custom Homes
274 Lancaster Avenue, Suite 100, Malvern, PA 19355
Brothers Todd and Don Pohlig founded Pohlig Custom Homes in 1974, and ever since, they’ve been building top-tier homes along Philadelphia’s Main Line. As a member of the NAHB Builders 20 Club and as a NAHB Green Certified Professional, the award-winning firm is one of the Delaware Valley’s top high-end custom home builders. The construction company also develops subdivisions, including upscale 55-plus communities. Todd Pohlig has a degree in civil engineering from Villanova University, and Don Pohlig has always been a carpenter and builder.
The firm has received the America’s Best Custom Builder Award from the NAHB and Builder Magazine, and an award for Best Custom Home of the Year over $1M from the HBA of Bucks & Montgomery Counties and the HBA Chester & Delaware Counties. The Malvern, Pennsylvania, residential contractor has also received an award for Best New Residential Architecture over 5,000 square feet from the ICAA’s Philadelphia Chapter. The company’s work has been featured in Main Line Today, Architectural Digest, Philadelphia Business Journal, Coastal Living, and other publications.
5) Masada Custom Builders Inc.
316 South 7th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
Philadelphia general contractor Masada Custom Builders specializes in “high-end construction in tight urban environments.” Founded in 1990 by Isaac Ohayon and Naomi Alter-Ohayon, the residential contractor builds custom homes in the upscale Rittenhouse, Society Hill, and Logan Square neighborhoods of Philadelphia, as well as in the Main Line suburbs, Delaware, and New Jersey. The firm is known for high-quality finishes and artistic carpentry — skills that were passed down to Isaac Ohayon by his father, a carpenter for the King of Morocco.
One of Masada Custom Builders’ best projects transformed a disused 1884 church in Center City into a spectacular 10,000-square-foot urban palace. While the Lombard Street home has a classical, historical exterior, inside it’s a sleek and open, tri-level contemporary showplace with marble and hardwood floors. It also has a glass-and-metal staircase, high-polish custom woodwork throughout, and large skylights in the center of the ceiling that flood the interior space with natural light. The home won a Grand Jury Award from the Preservation Alliance Society of Greater Philadelphia in 2009.
4) McCoubrey/Overholser Building Construction
6839 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119
McCoubrey/Overholser Building Construction is a general contractor in Philadelphia that builds custom homes and works on historic renovation, commercial, and institutional projects all over the Delaware Valley. Located in Philadelphia’s Mt. Airy neighborhood, the residential contractor is led by President John McCoubrey, Secretary Treasurer Charlie Overholser, and Senior Site Supervisor Peter McCoubrey.
The company has a strong background in green building, as well as experience with geothermal and solar systems, green roofs, and spray foam insulation. The team at McCoubrey/Overholser are also experts in historic preservation, including the adaptive reuse of Philadelphia’s old commercial and residential buildings.
McCoubrey/Overholser has received Merit awards from AIA Philadelphia, a Grand Jury Award from the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, and an Historic Preservation Award from the Township of Lower Merion. The licensed contractor’s work has been featured in several books, including 100 of the World’s Best Houses; The New American Dream: Living Well in Small Homes; and Tudor Style: Tudor Revival Houses in America from 1890 to Present.
3) E.B. Mahoney Builders
718 W. Lancaster Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
A general contractor in the greater Philadelphia area, E.B. Mahoney Builders is a member of the the NAHB’s Builder 20 Club, also known as the “Highenders.” Led by Edwin B. Mahoney, the firm goes back three generations in the Delaware Valley, to 1926. A graduate of Villanova University, Mahoney is a Builder Board Member of the Institute of Classical Architecture and Art (ICAA) Philadelphia. The home building company also works on retail and commercial projects, as well as renovations and additions. The firm builds high-end custom homes throughout the Delaware Valley, including in Center City and along Philly’s Main Line.
E.B. Mahoney Builders is a five-time winner of the Builder of the Year Award from the Main Line Builders Association, a 16-time winner of the group’s Best Custom Home Award, and a seven-time winner of the Best Residential Renovation Award. The company is also a member of the Home Builders Association of Bucks & Montgomery Counties. One of the company’s homes was recently featured in the Philadelphia section of Luxe Interiors + Design’s third edition of The Luxury of Home.
2) C. Raymond Davis & Sons Inc.
2124 Kimberton Road, Kimberton, PA 19442
Raymond Davis & Sons has been building memorable and lasting structures in the Delaware Valley since 1928. A family-owned construction company, the firm is now led by a third generation of Davises — President and CEO Kyle Davis, a graduate of King’s College in New York. The design-build firm works on high-quality residential and commercial projects throughout the greater Philadelphia area, building custom homes, schools, churches, retirement communities and other commercial projects.
Based in Kimberton, the company is recognized by the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) as an Accredited Quality Contractor and is a member of the ABC’s Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey chapters. The home design and building company is an affiliate of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Philadelphia chapter and the AIA’s Bucks County chapter. Over the years the company has won many awards from the ABC, including national Awards of Excellence for Best Residential Project. C. Raymond Davis & Sons has also received an award from the Home Builders Association of Chester & Delaware Counties for Custom Home of the Year $1M to $1.5M, and a Best in American Living Award from the national NAHB.
1) Janiczek Homes
619 Rear Conestoga Road, Villanova, PA 19085
Founded in 1984 by President Mark Janiczek, Philadelphia metropolitan area contractor Janiczek Homes is an award-winning contractor with a reputation for building one-of-a-kind custom homes throughout the Delaware Valley, including along Philly’s Main Line. The residential contractor is an associate member of the AIA’s Philadelphia Chapter and a member of the NAHB-affiliated Pennsylvania Builders Association (PBA).
Janiczek Homes has won numerous Pyramid, Pinnacle, and Judge’s Awards from the PBA, including for Best Custom Home and Best Residential Innovation. Janiczek is also a member of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council and has worked on several high-profile green-building projects, including the “eco-conscious preservation” of the historic Willows Cottage in Villanova, and the sustainable development Finca Las Brisas in Costa Rica.
Janiczek has also built eco-friendly homes nearby, including a contemporary solar home in Bryn Mawr with recycled-paper siding and an amazing, black metal-and-wood staircase. The licensed contractor’s work has been featured in Main Line Today Magazine and other publications.
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