by Jennie Zeitler, Staff Writer
Brian Czech spent two summers after high school doing “grunt construction” before picking up his own jobs. He enjoyed working on his own, and in 2001, became licensed as a residential contractor.
In the past 12 years, he and his crews have done a wide variety of jobs, both residential and commercial. He has built houses, reroofed a variety of buildings, put on additions and remodeled inside and out.
He does roofing, garages, flooring, complete home contracting, decks, framing, trimwork, additions, siding, dirt/skidwork and much more.
“The curved barn roof we did two years ago was quite a challenge,” he said. “The main roof was round with a smaller round roof going to it. The valleys were hard to do.”
Czech’s easiest jobs include reshingling a ranch house or a detached garage.
Czech does not do electrical work, plumbing, taping or mudding; those aspects of jobs are subcontracted out.
“I pride myself on quality, with prices that are competitive and fair,” he said.
He has found that word of mouth is the best advertisement.
“It’s a snowball effect of doing decent work for people,” he said. “It’s about meeting that person who will refer me to other people.”
Czech has found that different aspects of the work matter to different people.
“Some people don’t care as much how good the roof is, but they ask previous clients, ‘How well did he clean up?’” Czech said. “We take a lot of pride in what the job looks like afterward.”
It’s as much about the work atmosphere as it is about the work for Czech.
“I get many compliments on my guys — up on the roof singing while they’re working,” he said. “It’s their professionalism, and being polite and courteous. Work is a fun environment. There’s a lot of joking around, even on a hot day.”
Although about 90 percent of Czech’s work is done on residential buildings, he has also completed jobs at a dental clinic in St. Cloud, Pizza Ranch in Monticello and Emblom-Brenny Funeral Home in Little Falls. He has installed steel siding on several barns.
Royalton Lumber owner Paul Kapsner has worked with Czech since right out of high school.
“We’ve worked with him since he got into the business, working with other contractors and when he started his own business,” Kapsner said. “He does excellent work no matter what the job is.”
Czech uses Malarky roofing products and is a certified Malarky master roofer.
“He’s our biggest roofing contractor,” Kapsner said. “He’s one of the people who use a wide variety of Malarky products the most.”
Royalton Lumber sent Czech to Malarky corporate headquarters in Portland, Ore., where he toured the plant.
Czech keeps busy all year, in part doing dirt work with his skid loader.
“I’m a grownup playing in the dirt — and getting paid to do it,” he said. “I use it when backfilling a house or installing rock in a basement before pouring concrete.”
He also uses the skid loader to do snow removal in winter. Sometimes it can be used on roofing jobs since it has tracks, but that depends on the yard.
Czech’s current crew includes Alex Yourczek, who has been working with him since 2006. Derek Kaiser has been with him since 2012, while Wyatt Anderson worked for the summer.
For Kaiser, the job “is a good workout.”
Approximately an equal number of jobs come to Czech from Morrison and Benton counties. A few jobs take him further than the 25-mile radius he usually works.
“I would rather stay close to home, and not do travelling or use motels,” he said.
One thing keeping him close to him is the desire to spend time with family. Czech and his wife, Jane, live near Royalton. His daughters, Taryn and Mataya, divide their time between Czech and their mom’s home in Rice.
“I know this is a time in my life where I’m working more,” he said. “Eventually things will slow down and I can hang out with my kids more, fish more, play golf more.”
Czech offers advice to people looking for contractors or roofers.
“Ask for referrals from friends,” he said. “Make sure they’re licensed and check out their references. Ask their material suppliers. Go to previous jobs to look at the work and talk to the owner.”
Czech cautions people to beware of stormchasers following such things as hail damage.
“In 2008, I got a phone call from Pensacola, Fla. from someone wanting to ‘help’ me do my jobs,” he said. “Don’t get pressured into hiring anyone or signing a contract, especially if they won’t give you a price.”
Czech thoroughly enjoys what he does.
“I will probably make it a life job,” he said. “It give me freedom to meet people. I can’t go anywhere without running into someone I know.”
For more information, call (320) 232-9013 or visit www.brianczechconstruction.com.