Meet our November Builder of the Month, Larry of Wausau Homes Brainerd. Owner Larry Oaks has been a native of Brainerd since he was five years old and has been offering the highest quality in new home construction since the mid 1980’s. With extensive knowledge about building on lake lots, cabin re-builds, local codes and regulations, and unique home customization Larry and his wife Jennifer offer a wide variety of building options from the Wausau Homes Brainerd Design Studio.
Keep reading to get to know Larry on a more personal level with our Q&A.
How long have you been a Wausau Homes builders?
I have been a builder with Wausau Homes since 2013, and this January it will be eight years in the business.
How did you get into the home building business?
I started in construction in 1985 with a local builder. My first job was peeling logs in a field during the middle of July. From that job, the company moved me into framing and then into doing some finish trim work. I loved the finish side of carpentry and stuck with that for a while. In 1990, I went to work for a cabinet shop and built cabinets for 8 years, and while I was building cabinets, I started an irrigation company where I worked nights and weekends. After a couple seasons I left the cabinet business and went full time into irrigation. After 2 years in irrigation I expanded into lawn care and started the first Scott’s lawn care fertilizer business in Minnesota. I continued doing interior finish carpentry to pay the bills during the winter, but in 2004 I got my general contractors license and sold the summer businesses I had to start building full time.
Why did you choose to be a Wausau Homes builders?
After looking at the Wausau Homes business plan and seeing the potential, I knew right away that I wanted to be a Wausau Homes Builder.
When you're not building homes, what do you like to do?
I like hunting, fishing, and cooking.
What part of the custom home building process do you find the most rewarding?
I love the interaction with customers and seeing the excitement on their face when they see their finished home.
If you were building your dream home what is the one feature you would have to have?
I would like a big kitchen and a luxury master suite that looks out over Lake Superior.
What is one tip you would give to all custom home buyers?
I recommend asking lots of questions! Sometimes people hold back on questions because they think it is stupid to ask when in reality it’s not. It is my job as a builder to educate you in the building process and that starts with answering all your questions.
Are there any home building trends in your area that stand out?
Right now, the trends that I am seeing are people wanting screen porches and storm/safe room for slab homes.
What has been your most rewarding build to date and why?
This year I was asked to build a home for the son of my plumber. He was in a motorcycle accident last year and needed a home that had easy access on a single level. Of all the builders he works with he chose me, and I consider that an honor. Seeing the big smile on his son’s face as the crane was setting panels was all the thanks I needed. The hug was a bonus.
What events can interested home buyers find you at in the coming months?
I am hoping that our local home show will be back in the spring. In the meantime, stop by our design studio and we can answer any questions you may have about the custom home building process.