Purcell Construction: All in the family

Third generation construction company offers residential, commercial and historical renovations

By Amy Jo Martin, amartin@tidewaterreview.com

Tidewater Review

4:00 PM EST, February 25, 2014


MECHANICSVILLE – For Hunter Purcell, Jr. home repair is in his blood.

Starting at the age of 13, Purcell worked with both his father and grandfather in the construction business before opening Purcell Construction in Mechanicsville in 1996.

Purcell Construction, located at 5237 Swamp Drive, offers the following services to residents between Gloucester and Goochland:

•Residential, historical, and commercial additions and renovations (interior/exterior)

•Log homes and custom woodwork

•Hardwood flooring and custom beams

•Decks, porches, pavilions

•Barns and wood fencing

•Siding, roofing, and replacement windows

•Handicap ramps

•Special needs renovations

•Bath and kitchen tile and backsplashes

Home repair is also a tradition he would like to pass on to his son, an aspiring professional soccer player.

Like his son, Purcell played semi and professional sports, namely football, in California and Montana before taking over the family trade. While there, he also studied business management.

"When my dad passed away in 1988, I got back into [construction]," said Purcell. "It's like swimming. It all comes back to you."

Purcell admittedly never got completely out of the business. In fact, he usually spent weekends repairing homes.

As the company's owner, manager, and one of the repairmen, the most enjoyable jobs for Purcell has been restoring historical buildings, such as St. Paul's Baptist Church in King William, the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site in Richmond, and the Evelynton, Shirley, and Berkley plantations in Charles City.

"In a lot of historic buildings, such as St. Paul's, there are no foundations, only bricks," said Purcell. "We often have to dig on the side of the buildings and create a sturdy concrete foundation. We want these historical buildings to stand for a long time."

Purcell also enjoys the little surprises that come up with the historic properties.

"I was working on an 1862 stilted home in Highland Springs where we had to remove the top of the home, including the rafters," said Purcell. "While working on the home, we found old Richmond papers from the 1800s that listed the grocery prices, such as a dozen eggs, at two cents. That was really interesting."

One important part of owning a small family business, with only seven employees, is the direct customer service and one-on-one interaction with the clients, Purcell said.

"You really get to know people and become part of their lives by doing this job, and that is the best part," he said.

Purcell Construction is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

For more information on Purcell Construction, call 804-972-2215 or visit: http://www.purcellconstruction.biz.

Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.