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Do-Right Construction relishes small jobs

Jim Herman has been in the construction business since he first went to work for the neighborhood carpenter in the late 1970s.

He went on to get a degree in architectural drafting at M State in Detroit Lakes, but he always kept a hand in the construction business, and now has more than 30 years of experience.

“I don’t like sitting behind a desk,” he admits.

Now he and Catie Herman are holding an open house (4-6 p.m. Thursday, June 13) to celebrate the new location of their general contracting business, Do-Right Construction, located at 1632 Dan Street, near the intersection of Richwood Road and Tower Road.

The company handles all kinds of construction, from remodeling to building new homes.

“I’d say about 75 percent of what we do is remodeling and additions,” he said. “We’ve done a few new homes — we just finished up a new house on Munson Lake.”

Jim and Catie don’t have any employees, but use seven subcontractors on a regular basis to handle all aspects of a construction job.

“He has a nice breadth of experience, with his architectural and design background, he knows structurally how it goes together,” Catie said. “It really makes a difference.”

Catie, who has a communications and marketing degree from NDSU, handles business management and computer hardware and software needs for the company.

Along with design and construction duties, Jim handles estimates, a fine art that requires different formulas depending on whether the job is new construction or remodeling.

“It’s nothing you learn overnight,” he said. “I have a lot of years of experience.” He keeps accurate records of all jobs and always conducts a review afterwards. It’s extra work, but it helps him keep pricing in line, and it helps with the next estimating job.

Jim is happy to take small construction jobs, as well as large ones.

“From putting knobs on kitchen cabinets to building a brand new house, I’ve done both,” he said with a laugh. Smaller jobs sometimes work into bigger ones, as trust grows, and even a small job well done can lead to good word-of-mouth referrals, he said.

The company specializes in projects like drywall work, painting and staining, siding and roofing, home maintenance, window and door work, decks and porches, garages and sheds, and flooring and tile work.

Do-Right Construction is insured, licensed in Minnesota and North Dakota, and lead-certified by the EPA to work on houses built prior to 1979. Jim and Catie have both lived in Detroit Lakes since they were toddlers.

The company also offers a cabin care and security service, which serves lake home owners.

Under the program, Jim makes regular checks to make sure the home is locked up and secure. He checks on maintenance issues like water, plumbing and electricity. He checks fuel tanks to make sure they don’t run low, and does snow removal.