Wes Hanson Builders Inc.

When Wes Hanson Builders Inc. constructs a home, it tries to give customers something they can’t get anywhere else. “We try to make our homes one of a kind,” owner Tom Hanson says. “We set a precedent.”

Based in Crosslake, Minn., the family owned company designs and builds custom homes for clients in the Brainerd Lakes area. Hanson’s uncle, Wes Hanson, started the company in Bloomington, Minn., in 1986.

At the time, Hanson operated it with his wife, Marilyn Hanson, son Todd Hanson, and nephews Tom Hanson and Brad Mytling. In 2007, Wes Hanson sold the company to Todd and Tom Hanson, who continue to run the company to this day.

Today, “We tend to cover the whole realm of projects,” Designer Matt Schmidt says. “We try to fit the need of our clients and anyone that’s out there.”

The hard work has paid off for Wes Hanson Builders, as it has nurtured a loyal customer base and a strong rate of repeat business. “Eighty percent of our business is referrals,” Tom Hanson adds. “Once we build a home for somebody, they become part of our family.”

Built to Last

Each project for Wes Hanson Builders is different, Schmidt says. “When a client comes in, they usually have a specific vision,” he says, adding that a variety of design sources also influence the project.

“[We] can do everything from the very rustic to the very refined,” he says. “[But] we really want the main feature of people’s homes to be a warm, inviting feel.”

The locations also play a part in the types of homes that the company builds, Schmidt adds. For instance, “In the Brainerd Lakes area, there’s a lot of demand [for lake homes],” he says.

Many of these are second homes or retirement homes for their owners who are looking for residences that will last. “[They want a] house that’s going to stay in their family for generations,” Hanson says.

This reflects a current trend among homeowners who are moving away from features that will need to be maintained a few years down the road, Schmidt says. For instance, some of the firm’s clients have chosen composite siding, which is more durable than most wood varieties.

“You don’t have to re-stain [it] every five years,” he says. “They want the same features and amenities, but something that’s a little more hassle-free.”

On Its Own

Wes Hanson Builders usually does not use subcontractors, Hanson says. “To me, the way you control quality is by having your own employees do it,” he states.

Many of Hanson’s employees have been with the company since 1990. “We’ve built ourselves a good team of people,” he says. “They put their heart and soul into everything they do.”

Wes Hanson Builders also keeps its team safe through OSHA training classes and the employment of two safety directors who check its job sites regularly. “We make sure we build a good home and a safe home for our clients and our workmen,” he says.

Hanson sees a bright future for the company. “We’ve been expanding our demographics out further,” he says. “Our company [plans to] just keep going with it.”

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