We can tell you what it’s like to hire the Legacy Building Co., but we prefer to let our clients share their experiences.
Meet Karen who had us remodel her family’s kitchen last fall. Karen was especially fun to work with because she knew what she wanted and injected some design features of her own that made the project extra special. For instance, she wanted a window that was virtually flush with the countertop and had us design a fold-down stainless steel shelf on the exterior wall right outside the window so she can pass things out to the deck without opening the door. Now that’s cool!
Craig Jansma invested in The Legacy Building Company in 2016 and it showed. Angie’s List just honored Legacy with its 2016 Super Service Award, which is reserved for the top 5 percent of area contractors based on their online reviews. In November, The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) named Legacy its Minnesota Contractor of the Year (CotY) for whole house remodeling under $250,000. Legacy also received the 2016 Best of Minnetonka Award for Design-Build Contractors.
Jansma says the record year for awards bling simply reflects “a unique company reaching its stride.” In other words, expect the acclaimed Minnetonka crew to cover even more Twin Cities remodeling ground in 2017.
Unlike many General Contractors, Legacy keeps its own carpenters on payroll. These are the guys who proved themselves over the years and helped to build Legacy’s culture of mutual respect, hard work and good fun.
“They know, at the end of the day, they can depend on me absolutely. That’s why they are here. They trust me and I have never compromised that ever, ever,” Jansma explained.
With carpenters on payroll, Jansma ensures Legacy will have the manpower, talent and seamless communication for big, complex projects and the flexibility to respond to smaller projects from repeat customers in 2017.
Meanwhile, Legacy Building Co. established preferred relationships with two respected Twin Cities design firms, Pappas Design and Che Bella Interiors, last year to assist with space planning and selections. They are likely to play an even bigger role in 2017.
Jansma is a big proponent of “right sizing.” He operated a large specialty construction business in the past, pulled back during the recession and rebuilt as a general contractor doing both interior and exterior remodeling over the past several years. Today, he’s not interested in becoming one of the biggest contractors in the Twin Cities. But he is ready to take them on when homeowners are looking for creative solutions rather than a cookie-cutter contracting.
“I like how nimble the Legacy Building Company is. We are able to be much more creative. We will be competing more with the big players in our industry this year, Jansma predicted.
Jansma says he’s a happy man going into 2017. “Business was good in 2016. I only worked 45 to 55 hours a week and had time to enjoy my life. I plan to continue that in 2017 and not lose sight of how I got here.”
Jansma says his highest priority is to maintain Legacy’s unique culture as he adds staff. “I want to be very selective of the new staff I take on because that will affect the culture of the company. I don’t want to hire people who will not fit and I will not compromise on that. I will grow based on my ability to attract the right people to join our team, not based on a particular revenue goal,” he said.
Jansma reflected on how he impacts clients and crewmembers alike. “I look at life very differently than most people. I have this little company and I have the ability to affect a small group of people very well. That gives me substance as a human being,” he said. “It brings me joy.”
You might say there’s a lot of heart beneath the Legacy muscle.
Here’s what Karen Moeller, MD, said about her recent experience with The Legacy Building Co. team.
The winning project featured creative remodeling of all three levels of a Minnetonka home, plus new Marvin Windows and a reclaimed 1914 clay tile roof. The mid-level boasted two extraordinary heated penny floors assembled with nearly 100,000 hand-placed coins. The Star Tribune featured the penny floors on the front page of its Sunday Homes section here.
Legacy scored the remodeling industry win on its first entry into the annual CotY Awards. NARI members entered a total of 89 projects in 26 categories this year.
“Our mantra throughout the project was ‘to make it special.’ The award recognition is a great way to cap off the job,” Craig said.
Back in 2012, the Legacy Building Company’s Craig Jansma deadlifted 630 pounds with nothing but a belt for support. In the process, he set a Minnesota Powerlifting Federation record that stands to this day. This year, Craig again demonstrated his competitive grit by lifting a two-story sunroom-porch and deck. Granted, he had the assistance of six 30,000-pound hydraulic jacks and team members. But considering that several other contractors declined the job because of extreme site conditions, he considers it a Legacy personal best.
Bill, the happy homeowner, agrees, “I had solicited the help of many commercial and residential contractors. They were either prohibitively expensive or intimidated by the difficulty of the job. Craig embraced the challenge and came up with a cost-effective solution,” he said.
The original addition had failed because footings were set in unstable soil on the edge of a steep ravine. Some areas of the double-decker structure had heaved and sunken as much as four inches. “The footings were literally sliding down the embankment,” Craig recalls.
Legacy started by having its preferred soil engineer determine how deep they would need to go to reach solid ground. Next they devised a shoring strategy to temporarily support the structure with a pair of giant aluminum I-beams and wood timber cribbing while they installed new piers, posts and beams. Last, they needed a strategy to create reliable footings on the steep slope. They recruited specialists who installed series of 12-in.-dia. helical piers to support the new posts.
A specially equipped stand-behind Bobcat had to screw some of the fluted metal shafts as much as 17-feet into the soil to achieve the required torque (resistance).
Craig said the biggest obstacle was figuring out how to install the new piers without disturbing the originally footings on the 30 degree slope. They solved the problem by repositioning the beams and extending them a bit beyond the sides of the structure.
It could have cost nearly three times as much to demolish the deck and porches and rebuild so we are proud to have been able to save the original structure,” Craig said. Best of all, he didn’t tear a tendon like he did in the 2012 powerlifting competition.