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.
The Legacy Building Company enjoys designing and building remodeling features that are unique, memorable and add value to our clients’ homes. This penny floor is a great example. We installed the floor in a guest bedroom and office in a Minnetonka home and have the chiropractor bills to prove it!
The Star Tribune featured the penny floors project on the front of its Sunday Homes section on Nov. 20, 2016. Read the article here.
The floors incoporate 258 pennies per square foot (nearly 100,000 pennies total) that are glued in perfectly straight rows for even spacing and covered with self-leveling, two-part epoxy. The base is brown epoxy-painted self-leveling concrete over low voltage heating cable and hardboard that’s stapled 6-in. oc on the edges, 8-in. oc in the field with panel joints staggered 2-feet. Expanding foam was used around the perimeter to contain the epoxy while it set.
First, we separated pennies into two buckets, one for shiny new pennies and the other for darker old pennies that had oxidized. That made it easier to create a random field of light and dark coins as we adhered each coin with a dab of construction adhesive. All of the pennies in the office are oriented tails up. The bedroom floor is all heads. (We resisted the temptation to reverse one coin in each room).
The biggest challenge was to achieve a flush transition between the new penny floor and the hardwood flooring in the hall between the two rooms. The combination of the epoxy, pennies, paint, cement and hardboard over the plank subfloor worked out perfectly. If the hallway floor had been higher, we could have used thicker underlayment.
Why hide money under your mattress when you can enjoy it – and see it – every day. Some 75 percent of all transactions are electronic, and it costs 1.7 cents to make a penny (which is 97.5 percent zinc and only 2.5 percent copper). That’s why the US Mint has been lobbying to discontinue the penny. It’s a matter of time. When that happens Legacy penny floors will be truly priceless!
If you would like to see a penny floor, check out the floor at the Butcher & Boar restaurant in Minneapolis. That’s what inspired us to invest in the novel flooring technique.
Lori Kroneberger knew what she wanted when she set out to remodel the main bathroom in her 1952 Osseo home. The trouble was finding a contractor who shared her vision. Everyone wanted to gut the space to the studs and start over; she preferred to both preserve and improve on the past. Five years passed before she discovered The Legacy Building Company and made her dream come true.
The bathroom had had a poor facelift before Lori bought the home. The original pink ceramic wall tile was painted white and a cheap vanity screamed 1970’s. As Lori started to chip away the paint, the vintage pink tile seemed to be in great shape and worth restoring. She wasn’t interested in replacing it with tile that would look new.
Legacy chemically stripped the paint from the tile and installed a retro console sink. We refinished the original cast iron tub and installed a pressure-balanced shower control with scald protection. We also installed a ceiling fan and low-flow toilet and increased storage by converting the conflicted closet into a linen cabinet.
Listen to Lori explain her Legacy Building Company experience in her own words.
I recently heard the editor of Remodeling Magazine compare the experience of buying a remodeling project to that of buying a car. Crazy!
Before we purchase a $40,000 car or truck, we research brands and models (Sorry VW diesel), compare performance, safety, reliability and price, weigh options packages, and browse pictures and videos of exactly how our vehicle will turn out. Then, as we narrow the list, we even get to test the finalists in actual driving conditions to assess comfort, handing, ergonomics and ‘curb’ appeal before we secure financing and complete the transaction.
Now consider the experience buying a major remodeling project that often costs much more and has an even greater impact on our daily lives. Bottom line is that we commit to order something, sight unseen, that a group of independent tradesmen and suppliers will assemble over months in our home, probably while we are still living there. Oh, and no two projects (models) are exactly alike because options for floor plans, surfaces, materials and features are endless and must be fitted to our existing homes.
So how DO we gain the confidence to make sound remodeling decisions and end up with environments that suit our lifestyle, sense of style, practical needs and budget?
At the risk of oversimplifying, it’s about choosing the right general contractor, preferably somone who can oversee both the design and the build phases of the project for the best integration, accountability and budget control.
As the housing market recovered over the past few years, the number of “paper” contractors has grown. These are people who know sales and how to run a profitable business but have no personal, hands-on experience remodeling homes. They see themselves as remodeling businesses, not remodeling contractors. They rely exclusively on subcontractors.
When you choose The Legacy Building Company, you get a business owner who learned construction – and business – from the bottom up. While I don’t strap on the tool belt every day like when I started, my team and my clients can count on me to understand every aspect of the job and find solutions when something unexpected arises.
You also should consider a general contractor’s systems and communications tools. In my book, they’re a lot more important than a big office and fancy showroom that add a lot of overhead and a little convenience. The Legacy Building Company’s transparent, online JobSight platform encourages clear communication, orderly project flow and personal accountability. Remodeler who operate from their trucks and clipboard won’t have this valuable tool.
Although the Legacy Building Company can’t show you your finished project or let you take it for a spin up front, we don’t want you embark on your remodeling journey blind. So browse photos of Legacy projects on our website and Houzz page to develop a sense of what we do best. While you are there, read the online reviews that our clients post directly. Look for consensus on both the remodeling experience and the outcome. We also can provide renderings and drawings to help you visualize your own project before demolition begins.
The editor was right. Buying remodeling services is nothing like buying a car. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do your homework and make smart choices. From everyone on Legacy Building Company team, we would be happy to help.
Clear communication is as important to positive remodeling experiences as gifted designers, dedicated craftsmen and quality materials. In fact, as the glue that holds everything else together, it probably is the most important element.
Legacy Building Company is built on transparency and structure. Our clients enjoy easy online and mobile access to their projects’ detailed design and production calendars. If someone wants to know which crewmember will be on site next Tuesday or when the countertop was ordered, it’s all in the calendar and updated daily.
Our project management system also captures and stores comments and questions between clients and team members, and it records when someone completes a listed task. Customers and crew members agree this is more reliable than random emails, text messages and phone calls that can be buried, deleted or forgotten in the crush of daily life.
Legacy understands that remodeling projects are tough on families. No contractor can eliminate the stress, but Legacy works hard to avoid surprises and misunderstandings by keeping clients fully informed and heard through the design and construction process.
Our online project management tools help us deliver superior remodeling experiences and outstanding outcomes. If you prefer to save the drama for when you celebrate the completion of your next remodeling, contact me today.