Hanson Bros. still specializes in single-family homes but also does remodeling and commercial building.

Plains Builder
October 2009
Member Feature: Hanson Bros., Inc.”

By Alison Streyle, Communication and Office Coordinator


Vern Hanson, president of Hanson Bros., Inc., got an early start in the construction industry at age ten, alongside his father.

“I have always enjoyed building things,” he says.

In 1949, Lyle and Dewey Hanson, Vern’s father and uncle, worked for their father’s company in Detroit Lakes, Minn. When they recognized the opportunities available to them in a faster-growing, larger city, they decided to branch off and move to the F-M area and start up a new company.

When Vern graduated high school he decided to continue his education in business at North Dakota State University. After two years, he made the decision to join the military. He came back two years later and went back to school for architectural drafting at Minnesota State Community & Technical College in Detroit Lakes. 

After finishing his degree in 1971, he went to work full time at Hanson Bros. and took on many of his father’s responsibilities. Hanson continued his way up the ladder and by 1976 he was the vice president. Nine years later his father retired and Hanson became the president. 

Hanson Bros. still specialized in single-family homes, as it did in 1949, but it also does some remodeling and commercial building. It has been known for building upper-end, luxury homes, but now has headed towards growth through broadening the price range of homes it builds.

“When my son, Mike, became involved with the business he felt we could bring the quality we were known for to a more modestly priced house,” Hanson says.

Paying close attention to detail and making sure customers are taken care of, even after they move in, has helped keep Hanson Bros. as their customers’ No. 1 choice.

“Not only do we have many repeat customers, but we have also built for the second generation of a family many times,” says Hanson.

He is also extremely proud of each and every employee within the company. His uncle used to tell him, “a company is only as good as the craftsmen they have doing the work,” and it has stayed with him over many years as a way to keep everyone at the top of the game.

Challenges come along in every industry that a company must face to survive. Today, government regulations are keeping Hanson on his toes. He has dealt with this obstacle by staying involved with the local HBA to keep the community’s voice strong with officials. He has also taken advantage of the educational opportunities as a way to stay on top of any passing legislation.

Regarding those looking into the industry, it helps to get involved and “rub shoulders” with peers. He found this to be one of the best ways to learn about running a business.

“You need to be interested in what you do instead of just doing it for a job.”

The best description that I can give would be that our house was not built by carpenters...it was built by craftsmen! read more

  - Jeff and Vicki Hoss

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