Curtis E. Schneck Inc.

For more than fifty years, Curtis E. Schneck, Inc. has been constructing quality, custom-built homes and commercial properties in the Lehigh Valley.

A 1951 graduate of Parkland High School, Schneck started working in construction when he was just 18 years old. “Right after I graduated high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life,” he said. “So I took a job with a local contractor and, by working with him, realized I was very interested in construction.” This led Schneck to enroll in classes at Penn State’s Allentown campus, where he studied building construction and design.  After graduating with his college diploma in 1958, he spent a few more years in the workforce before starting his own company in 1964.

“I built my first house in 1964,” said Schneck. “And in 1969, we moved into land development. Since then, over the years, we’ve completed five developments with all different sizes of homes.”

For many people, part of the appeal of a development designed by Schneck is his insistence on strict deed restrictions, which help to maintain the development’s overall look and feel. This includes prohibiting certain types of outdoor structures (like metal sheds or above ground pools) and limiting the use of outdoor recreational vehicles or the number of pets that an owner may have. “Ever since I started developing I’ve done that,” he explained. “And most people really embrace the idea.”

Today, as the average American’s life expectancy continues to rise and people are increasingly interested in living independently as they grow older, Schneck builds most of his new homes around the “Universal Design” principle. Also known as “Aging in Place”, this principle combines a clean aesthetic appeal with increased functionality, and is meant to help people adjust to changes in their lifestyle as they grow older. “Among other things, the Universal Design incorporates wider doorway, wider hallways and smooth ground-level entrances. Overall, it’s meant to make it easier for people to get around,” explained Schneck. “And most people that see it really like it. When we show people the spec house they are often amazed at how well it works and looks.”

Since energy efficiency is also a concern to many new buyers, Schneck often integrates “green” technology in many of his custom homes. “We have a house that is for sale right now that includes a higher-efficiency heat pump and hot water unit, as well as increased insulation in the attic. That home is 40% more energy efficient that a normal house,” said Schneck.  “This is quite a draw to people since they are often concerned about their costs going up.”

At the market’s peak in the early 2000s, Schneck was building approximately 16 homes per year. When that figure began to decline, the company expanded into other areas of construction. “Besides building new homes, we also do all kinds of renovations, such as kitchen and bathroom remodels, additions and in-law suites,” said Schneck. “In the current market, this kind of work allows homeowners to remain in their present house much longer, while also adding increased value for when they are ready to sell.”

A member of the Lehigh Valley Builders Association, the Pennsylvania Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders, Schneck’s exceptional quality of work has not gone unnoticed. Over the years, the Lehigh Valley Builders Association has twice named him the coveted title of “Builder of the Year”. In 2013, he was honored for “Best Architecturally Designed Home” and “Best Commercial Building Project” in the Lehigh Valley. The award winning home was a stunning private residence in New Tripoli that featured an expansive light-filled kitchen, a two-sided stone fireplace, second floor veranda and panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. The commercial award was for his construction of a modern McDonald’s in Schnecksville. That project included custom wood detailing with glass and ceramic tiles, energy efficient insulation and a stone veneer.  Most recently, the Lehigh Valley association chose one of Schneck’s homes as the “Best Universal Designed Home” at this year’s awards.

Since energy efficiency is also a concern to many new buyers, Schneck often integrates “green” technology in many of his custom homes.

At age 81, Schneck still puts in plenty of time with the company he started. “I still work seven or eight hours a day and am very involved in the business,” he said.  “But I do have family members, like my daughter and nephew, who have also taken on a lot of responsibilities.” His family’s assistance has the added bonus of allowing Schneck more time to donate to the community – something he has done for much of his life.

“I’m an officer at the Schnecksville Grange, and enjoy being heavily involved with my church,” he said. “In addition to that, I also work with Penn State and am vice president of the Upper Lehigh Historical Society.” It was in this capacity that Schneck helped move and restore the historic Schneck House, which dates back to the late 18th century.

In addition to the many private and commercial jobs they are currently working on, Schneck’s fifth development, known as Fairland Farms, is also currently underway in Parkland. “I’m extremely proud of all of the work we’ve done,” he said.  “But perhaps most particularly proud of the developments. In my mind, they all came out very well.”

For more information on Curtis E. Schneck, Inc., please visit their website at or call 610.767.5018.

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