New Shop, More Restoration

white leaf flourish

Can two Amish brothers working out of a cow stable build a construction business?

The Early Days

Brothers Leroy and Henry Stoltzfus, grew up in Lititz, PA. They were always experimenting with little ventures on the farm, whether building rabbit pens, bridges, doghouses, forts, or a treehouse. It was common to see a sign in the front yard announcing the next thing for sale — their wooden creations or the animals they had raised, such as rabbits, guinea pigs, and pigeons. As they grew older, they went with dad to Amish barn raisings.

In 2004, the brothers got their heads together and started a construction company.

Stable Hollow Construction's main shop

Timeline of Stable Hollow Construction

  • 2004 – The business began operating on the home farm in the cow stable, hence the name Stable Hollow Construction.
  • 2005 – As the business gained traction, they moved to another location for more space. Previously, Kreider Manufacturing repaired farm equipment and manufactured hay wagons here.
  • 2008 – Stable Hollow acquired MR Roofing in an effort to sustain the company workforce through the recession. The roofing business turned out to be an excellent complement to the niche they developed in barn restoration, because MR Roofing specialized in standing seam metal and cedar shake roofing. Both are commonly used in barn restoration.
  • 2009 – The brothers took the opportunity to buy the property after leasing for four years.
  • 2013 – Most barns getting restored need to have the foundations or stone walls repaired. Stable Hollow began doing their own masonry work, so they could directly control the workmanship and the project schedule. 2013 also marked the beginning of quite a few projects where barns were upcycled into wedding and event spaces.
Stable Hollow Construction's main shop

The Dream Shop

In 2017, Stable Hollow broke ground on an especially personal and exciting project. The restoration and expansion of their own business location. And the fun catch? It’s a small storage building built to store farm equipment. Up to this point, things were going well for the company, but they believed they could do even better. Improving their business facility seemed like the best place to begin.

The Reason for the Dream

Stable Hollow was anxious to restore more barns, but they didn’t have the necessary space to accommodate the additional supplies, equipment, and office space that would be needed. Besides, winter work days started miserably. Wasting time blowing heaters on frozen engines to get them started and pulling lumber out of frozen mud is not a construction worker’s ideal start on an 11° morning.

The brothers are passionate about giving employees a top-notch work experience. This includes proper safety training, leadership development, and a clean and upbeat crew. They had only one way forward — build a bigger, more efficient workspace.

The Challenges of the Dream

Like any construction endeavor, there were challenges to overcome and obstacles to circumnavigate. Gaining approval from the local authorities for the project proved to be a large undertaking. Till it was all done, Henry invested many hours to gain approval from many different agencies, some of whom were concerned about expanding a commercial enterprise in the middle of a farming community.

The Outcome of the Dream

The team applied their barn-restoration craftsmanship to their own building/shop. The existing building was restored and a 13,000 square-foot section was added for trucks, equipment, and materials. They expanded the parking area and built a recycling area where job site refuse gets sorted for recycling.

Stable Hollow Construction's main shop

After years of brainstorming, planning, and intense physical labor, a beautiful structure, five times the size of the original building, is proving to be the best thing they could have done. The business is more efficient and employees have a great work environment, which means that customers get more value.

Stable Hollow’s craftsmanship designed and built a structure that feels like a barn. It fits delightfully into the surrounding agricultural landscape. Locals were pleasantly surprised at how natural it feels.

Employees look forward to the start of their work day even in the winter. Instead of spending an hour getting equipment ready to roll in the mornings, they can be on the way to their job site within ten minutes. The new facility has boosted the morale of their team considerably. Crews are now excited about getting to the job after a smooth morning at the shop.

Henry said, “We used to struggle and struggle with building permits.” But since having gone through this project and several other personal projects, he views it completely differently. “It’s easy. I love this stuff, and it’s not that hard.” And the customers are the winners for having this proficiency within the Stable Hollow team.

And there is nothing like “walking a mile in your customer’s shoes” to serve them with open eyes. Through this project, they learned by experience the value of caring for the customer and their property. It’s a big deal to start tearing into someone’s property with a backhoe. It’s also a big deal to communicate regularly on schedule and what will be happening in the next few days. They are more conscious than ever about leaving their job sites clean and organized.

Looking Back on the Dream

When asked if they would build their own building again, Leroy and Henry both replied, “Yes, we would definitely build our own building again. We love what we do. We hired ourselves for the same reasons our customers hire us. Communicating schedule on a daily basis, clean job sites, clean crews. People with craftsmen hearts.”

The gain from the building project has been immeasurable. Stable Hollow is now serving their clients and employees even better.

Since 2016, the company has doubled their size. With the expanded facility, they are saving more barns than ever before and recycling much of the old material hauled from their work sites. Now, not only do they have space for an OSHA safety training room for their employees, they also provide safety training for other companies which inspire them to be the best they can be. “When you have to become something for other people, it makes you become something that you just naturally are.” –Henry Stoltzfus

Stable Hollow's shop

Stable Hollow Today

Currently owned and led by brothers Leroy and Henry, we operate multiple trained work crews consisting of carpenters, masons and roofers. In addition, we have our own design team to design your project and help you acquire stormwater and building permits. Our diversified team gives us the flexibility to handle any barn project, be it a day of maintenance or an eight-month restoration. “We love to build, preserve, and renovate these timeless landmarks of American history.”

The brothers are fueled by their purpose to “Express the gospel through the workplace by living out biblical values and sharing abundantly the resources we have been so blessed to be stewards of.” We are also energized by the mission to “Build the Future and Preserve the Past” and we will accomplish this mission by empowering others to honor God’s Kingdom through teamwork and together we will preserve historical structures, landmarks and assist our customers in getting the best roofs possible in order to keep their valuable structures and contents safe for the next generation.

We are guided by 5 common core values. Integrity, Relationships, Communication, Consistency and Appearance, “We try to make your project a pleasant experience. Your decision to allow a team of strangers onto your property for a few weeks is a big one.” say the brothers. “When a project is completed, we love to hear our clients say things like, ‘I would have them back if I had another project,’ or ‘I hate to see them leave,’ or ‘I will miss these guys. They always had a smile, they appreciated the business I gave them and have been an inspiration

In order for that to be your experience, we maintain clean, well-organized job sites. Our crews are respectful and hardworking. Equipment is well-kept. We strive to make your project enjoyable from beginning to the end.

For the Love of Heritage

To preserve the past is not to repeat history but to articulate and build the future upon it.

While we continue to build new barns and install the best roofs possible, we have become attached to the historic structures — barns, covered bridges, summer houses, grist mills — so prevalent in our part of the country. These landmarks need to be preserved. Focusing especially on bank barns needing a new purpose. We hope to inspire people to renovate and preserve them for the next generations.

Stable Hollow Construction — Building the Future, Preserving the Past

Inside the Stable Hollow Construction Office