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Peterson shifts focus from land to buildings

Apparently, Doug Peterson never was a landscaper at heart.

Yes, Peterson of Ellsworth still does landscaping for a business he established four years ago. But it's become just one of his efforts in Peterson Construction Services.

"I'm trying to push the construction aspect," he said.

His business' new name better reflects its emphasis, he said. Services encompass new construction and remodeling, residential as well as commercial, from decks and porches to entire farm and industrial structures, finished to customers' needs.

The shift in focus was solidified by the winter of 2004-05, when he built a spec home, he said. A four-bedroom, three-bath house standing in the village's Southgate addition is more evidence of his new direction.

Peterson said he's taken on a dealership for Wedgcor Steel Buildings of Denver. The company is well-known for serving horse owners with buildings housing stables (one of their divisions is devoted to producing stanchions, horse stalls and box stalls), but provides facilities in the agricultural and commercial/retail sectors, too.

"They can accommodate a clear span of 200 feet," he said about a width without any support that's attractive for riding arenas. Yet, while they put up large distribution centers, they also assemble two-car garages.

They specialize in all-steel work, from framing to sheeting, the dealer said. That means little problem with expansion or contraction, plus there's a permanency so the project won't have to be redone. He explains the advantages of steel by referring to the negatives of wood.

"I ask my customers 'How'd you like to drive a car with a wood frame?'," he said of a question which helps convince them.

The builder said he was approached about being a dealer by the firm last year. He covers a territory including Pierce, Pepin and St. Croix counties, and just beyond.

Early at a job site, he gathers information to compile an estimate for a completely engineered building, he said. He learns the owner's wishes in all regards, down to door and window openings. He strives to avoid having "extras" surface later.

"It's more than just giving them a square foot price," he said.

His full service approach is based on a belief the more he can do, the better off the customer will be, he said. It's beneficial to be able to deal with one contractor instead of several.

Materials are shipped from a company plant, one of which is in North Dakota, Peterson said. Buildings can be built on concrete reinforced piers or concrete slabs. They're available fully insulated and to any stage of finishing wanted. Completion time depends on the size, among other factors, as does the number of workers he needs; for a large job, he brings in a crew of four-to-six, he said.

"It can be do-it-yourself, too," he said, likening the construction process to putting together a "giant erector set."

Peterson and wife Jodie have two sons, Blake, age eight, and Carter, three. In their spare time, the family enjoys camping.

For more information about the construction services, phone 273-6180 or (715) 307-1549.