Learn About K & K Builders

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing David Karsjen from K & K Builders in State Center, Iowa. David brings extensive experience in both the home construction industry and his partnership with Amwood.

K & K BuildersHow did you get into the building industry?
At a young age, I started doing small construction jobs for extra money when my wife, Kim, and I were first married and had our first child. I worked for Fisher Controls in Marshalltown as a valve maker/machinist and made parts out of steel on a hand lathe. While working at the factory, I began stick building from the ground up doing all the aspects of the build. Following a layoff from the factory I decided to dive into home building full-time and never looked back. I promised Kim, I would build her a new home by the time we were 30. I needed help with the framing to get started. I was introduced to Amwood at that time and the rest is history.

How did you get started with Amwood and how long have you been with us?
K & K Builders signed up with Amwood in 1990 and has been a dedicated partner since.

Tell us a little about your business model? Do you build contract homes, spec homes, model homes, remodeling, etc.?
K & K Builders did it all, specializing in model homes, spec homes, custom homes, and remodeling. We redesigned and remodeled older homes to flip before flipping was a thing. Our strategy was to always be busy working on something. We dug foundations as early as January to ensure timely completion by March. It is good to have a spec home in the works when you are slow or when you are busy. We like the creative challenge of designing our own homes and have built eight new Amwood homes for ourselves through the years.

Where do you get your leads?
We are blessed with great leads and referrals from Amwood, as well as local acquaintances in the area. We got quite a few leads from the State Fair and local Home Shows. People filled out lead cards at these shows which meant that we didn’t have to do much marketing to stay busy.constructed home

What type of marketing has brought you the most success?
Our marketing success came from referrals. Other than that we did not do much marketing. If we were slow we would get creative and start projects to get us by. We did participate in the model home program. We managed our workload to avoid the need for employees and extra overhead.

What type of style of home do you build the most?
Big or small we took them all, building a variety of homes ranging from 800-900 sq. ft. to 4,000 sq. ft. and leaning towards country modern designs. Most of our homes feature open concepts, large kitchen islands, big walk-in showers, cultured stone accents, and elaborate fireplaces. Early on we were the walkout kings and pushed finishing the lower levels.

Total number of homes built with Amwood? Total in your career?constructed home
We have built more than 200 homes with Amwood, many years building 10 -12 homes as well as a number of conventional stick builds.

Tell us a little bit about your family
My wife, Kim, and I are both 68 years old. Kim is a retired licensed nurse and now assists with many aspects of the business. She is the other “K” in K & K Builders. We have one daughter and one son and are blessed with 6 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Both of our kids grew up involved in the family business and as the years go by we find they actually learned a few things. Today my daughter works in closed captioning for major sporting events and my son is a Journeyman lineman. As a family, we enjoy spending time together in an Amwood home we built on the lake 2 hours from our primary home.

Other interesting facts you would like to share?
Besides following the grandkids’ events, Kim really enjoys the creative design side of the business and my favorite is the construction side of building projects. I published my first novel a few years ago and am currently finishing my second book which is the first of a trilogy.