Daniel Hermanson is the kind of Minnesotan people think of when they are asked to imagine a Minnesotan. He was raised on a farm in Isanti, where he attended many a 4-H fair with some fine specimen of a domesticated animal in tow. He spent much of his youth helping his father fend off Midwestern weather’s relentless attacks against outbuildings. And like so many rural Minnesotans, Daniel couldn’t resist the allure of the Twin Cities.
Daniel wasn’t a moth drawn to the cities’ bright lights. It was the sea of houses surrounding them that caught his intrigue – each one an opportunity for a young man who knows how to save it from disrepair. He set right to work putting nails, drywall, paint, tiles and other implements of improvement wherever they needed to go. He also did all of that for $10 an hour, which is the kind of pay that compels many to meditate on three inspiring words.
“The American dream,” said Daniel, owner of Dandy General Contracting. “I had done pretty much every kind of home maintenance and repair project imaginable by 2018, and by that point, I learned how to do them better and more efficiently than anyone I had previously worked for. I always knew I wanted to own my own business. I finally made the leap because I was ready to make a name for myself as a general contractor – to stop being a cog in the machine, and to gather the resources I’ll need to raise a healthy family in the future. That’s my ‘why.’
“I focused on tiling during my first two years working for myself. I didn’t do routine grout-and-dash projects. I specialized in gorgeous Carrara marble shower walls, herringbone pattern floors, and other surfaces I could step back from and take pride in. I loved the design and installation phases equally, and soon realized I could explore my artistic side even more deeply by branching out into decks.
“Most people don’t consider decks as a vehicle for artistic expression. But when it’s done right, a deck should have even spacing, satisfying geometry, perfectly clean lines, and overall aesthetics that wouldn’t look out of place in a Renaissance painting. Over time I advanced from building square, cookie-cutter decks to multi-level masterpieces, complete with lighting and underdecking that effectively increase a home’s living space.
“Dandy General Contracting has doubled in size every year since 2019, with the exception of last year when we grew by 350%. I now have four companies I sub out work to in addition to nine of my own full-time guys. If they weren’t already a friend of mine when they joined me, then they were a friend of a friend who I knew I could count on. I’m especially grateful to have partnered with Adam Callies, who I met while studying at the University of St. Thomas. He helped us launch Adam’s Garage Guys, which provides garage construction and renovation services throughout the Twin Cities metro.
“Working alongside your friends doesn’t give you license to become complacent. Do you know what my guys call me? They call me ‘The Dictator’ – not because I was elected by the Roman Senate during a time of crisis, but because I insist on everything being done flawlessly. I never want to give our clients a reason to call us back to a job site, just like I don’t want them to be able to think of a single negative thing to say about our service to their friends and family. I’m a stickler right down to answering my phone. I can’t tell you how many times people have chosen Dandy just because I was the first out of a dozen contractors to answer their call.
“But I’m a softie to my team where it counts most. I pay them exceptionally well, because that’s the only way to create the quality of work which shines through in every finished project. Anyone who says there’s a better way to motivate your team members is either mistaken or lying.
“Dandy is a newer business in the grand scheme of things, but we’re proving that doing things the right way pays off. Our licensed, full-service general contracting company is now improving single-family, multi-family and commercial properties across the Twin Cities. Whether you need a deck, a load-bearing wall, exterior painting, finish carpentry, power washing, gutter cleaning, or a whole new addition to your home, we’re standing by to show you what a contractor who obsesses over details can do.”
Licensed. Insured. Free estimates! If you want a new deck that would look right at home in an art museum, please visit dandydecks.com. If you want a garage that will make your neighbors jealous, please visit adamsgarageguys.com. For anything else your home could possibly need, please visit dandymsp.com.
“Most people don’t consider decks as a vehicle for artistic expression. But when it’s done right, a deck should have even spacing, satisfying geometry, clean lines, and overall aesthetics that wouldn’t look out of place in a Renaissance painting.”