BREWSTER - Chad Kremer is quick to acknowledge that he has gotten help along the well in strengthening his construction business.
Kremer, who launched Chad Kremer Construction in the fall of 2016, is grateful to others in the building trade who given him both experience and positive word of mouth. Kremer stays busy with his construction business year-round and said his volume of work has continued to grow.
Kremer, who was raised in Fulda, didn’t necessarily plan on entering his current line of work - at least not right away. He attended college at Winona State University for elementary education, and then returned to southwest Minnesota and taught fourth grade for five years at Prairie Elementary in Worthington.
It was during that time at Prairie when he first got involved in home construction.
“I started working with Dave Neyens on my summer breaks,” Kremer remembered. “I did that when came to town to teach - I think 2001 was my first year.
“It was just the building aspect of it that appealed to me - building something from the ground up and when you’re done with it, you stand back and think, ‘Wow, I built this.’”
Kremer continued to work part-time for Neyens while turning down more than one full-time employment offer from him along the way. Finally, at the end of his fifth school year as a teacher, he decided to make the switch and go full-time with the Wilmont builder.
When Neyens died in September 2016, Kremer quickly resolved to head out on his own.
“He was a great guy, and he was an inspiration and a good teacher,” Kremer said of Neyens. “Without him, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today.”
It wasn’t long before Kremer got another big career boost.
“Dave had been hired for a big job for another great guy, Jason Krohn; it was a big remodel job,” Kremer remembered. “Most guys would have gone out and found a completely new crew (after Neyens’ death), but being the great guy that Jason is, he stuck with us, which was amazing.
“I was full-time on my own and worried about finding work, but Jason approached me. I was nervous, a scared chicken … but he had faith in me.”
Kremer soon advanced from doing “a bunch of small stuff” to far more work.
“Just from Jason’s word of mouth and then other peoples’, I built a couple more shops and after that built a Gambrel-style barn up near Slayton,” he said. “We did other bigger buildings, too, for Independent Ag in Slayton.”
Currently, Kremer and his team are working on a new home on Lake Corabelle near Iona. There are other projects, too, but the focus is usually on getting one project completed and then moving on. The intention is to be a “one-stop shop,” meaning that labor typically includes everything from cement work, framing, roofing, tile work, mudding, texturing and sheetrocking.
Chad Kremer Construction does both residential and light commercial projects. It had “three to four” full-time employees as of last summer, and Kremer currently has two full-timers assisting with hopes of hiring more. His office is located within his Brewster home.
“Over the years, we’ve grown and we’re busy,” Kremer said. “In wintertime, it does slow down a little bit because we’re trying to finish things up and get caught up for the summer. I could not do the great work we do without the great employees I have.”
There was definitely catching up to be done this past winter thanks to an extremely wet summer season.
“We dug a hole for a house and then it started to rain,” Kremer remembered. “We fought the mud all year, so we’ve tried to play catch-up in the winter.”
Kremer is married to wife Katie, who teaches second grade at Prairie Elementary. They have two young children, Annabelle and John, as well as a third child due in May.
“We’ve started redoing our house now, and there’s been a push to get it done before the baby arrives,” he said. “Katie has put her foot down that it gets done.”
If history is any indication, it will indeed get done - and done well.