Last year Rolf and Derek Schroeder, father and son, went to consult with a local homeowner on plans for a remodel that involved removing a load-bearing wall 12 inches thick that “contained all the mechanicals,” Derek recalls. Other contractors the homeowners had consulted pretty much told them to forget it. “We had an open mind,” Derek says. “We said: We’re going to bring our engineer in and get structural beam calculations so we can open this up.”

Rolf Schroeder General Contractors (RSGC) built the project, which involved redesigning the kitchen and family room so that the owners could entertain, and connecting the now opened, expanded area to the adjacent outdoor living space.

For more than 30 years, RSGC has been thrilling homeowners in the suburban Philadelphia counties of Bucks and Montgomery with designs and finished construction that exceed expectations, a fact to which its long roster of recent awards attests. Derek—who has worked at the company part time on weekends and during summers since he was 14—came back to RSGC in 2008 after college to work full time. Since he already had ample construction experience, he became the office manager because his father felt that it was the best way for the younger Schroeder to understand the company’s numbers. Derek also designs, manages the marketing, does project management, and is a carpenter.


  • Last year the Schroeders revamped the company website with a CMS program, allowing new content to be easily added without paying a Web designer to do it.
  • Unlike some other companies that may present homeowners with a steadily escalating series of invoices for change orders as a large job progresses, RSGC “brings clients a detailed scope of work and specifies exactly what it includes and what it doesn’t include, so you know what you’re paying for,” Derek says. “That establishes trust up front.”
  • Derek says that clients regard his father as “the guy to hire. You should have no problem giving him a key when you go on vacation, and when you come back your job is going to be exactly what you hoped for or better.”

This year we again partnered with GuildQuality, an Atlanta-based customer-satisfaction polling company, to identify candidates for the Service Excellence Award. Based on the results of customer surveys, the award recognizes incoming Big50 winners who consistently deliver an exceptional customer experience.