David Bieker’s interest in homebuilding began when he was just a boy sketching dream home ideas at the kitchen table while doing his homework, his early passion for architecture and design soon morphed into a love of homebuilding.
“My mother, who was an interior designer, decided to start building custom homes in the late 1970s. My father, who had an engineering degree from the University of Minnesota, later joined her and they built custom homes in Indiana for 20 years. I spent my high school and college years working in the family business, learning the many aspects of the construction process, and watching my mother layout and design the homes. That’s when I fell in love with custom home building,” says Bieker, president and general manager of Denali Custom Homes, based in Deephaven.
Bieker earned his Bachelor of Science degree with a minor in Supervisory Management in 1988 from Purdue University. To gain valuable business experience he spent the next 10 years working in sales and marketing, primarily with major corporations involved in the hospitality, healthcare, and research industries.
In 1998, however, the year he founded Denali Homes, Bieker realized that his true passion was matching design and construction to the vision and ideals of homeowners. Today, the artisan homebuilder employs five, including an MBA graduate with a construction industry background who is in charge of Denali’s information systems, process, and accounting, three project managers with more than 20 years of experience each in custom homebuilding, and a quality assurance manager who ensures Denali’s new homes perform at the highest level, while keeping the company current on new building science.
A craftsman, visionary, and uncompromising perfectionist, Bieker believes that custom home building is an art, much different than volume builders that duplicate or modify plans over and over “We develop a one-of-a-kind product and offer a one-of-a-kind experience,” he says. “Our team works very hard to understand our clients’ personalities, needs, and how they live in order to create a completely unique home. Like a piece of art, we get one chance to do it right”.
Bieker likes to become involved with each project from the earliest moment of site selection. “We like to believe that you don’t hire a custom builder, you instead partner with the builder at the start and rely on the firm’s knowledge of design, construction, and the industry to navigate the process. This includes selecting your site, choosing an architect for design, and matching you with the right interior designer that will create an environment for you to thrive,” he says.
Denali works closely with outside architects to create unique home styles that represent the personality and desires of its clients. “We are fortunate to have many talented architects in the region and we feel it is in the best interest of our clients to explore all possibilities rather than be restrained by one in house home designer employed by a builder. Bieker’s travels throughout the U.S. and passion for design led him to pioneer the concept of modern mountain and rustic contemporary styles now becoming popular in the Twin Cities lake region. He loves being on the cutting edge of trends but is quick to note that he builds a lot of transitional East Coast styled homes that fit well in the lake region and fulfill current trends and requests for bright spaces, white kitchens, and reclaimed wood flooring.
Denali Homes completes 6 to 10 homes each year in the $500,000 to $5 million range, primarily in the west metro lake region. It has also worked on several east side projects along the St Croix and as far north as Brainerd’s Whitefish Chain of Lakes. Bieker say’s “We go where people want a unique home and personal building experience, no two projects are ever alike, and that’s important to us.”
Denali has recently installed a cloud-based process management system to provide and share information with everyone involved in the project. This state of the art and effective communication tool lets homeowners connect to their project and the Denali team at any time, day or night. Denali has created a process over the last 18 years that allows them to build homes in the 4,000 to 6,000 square foot range in an average of 8-10 months with a very high level of customization and detail. Homes in the 10,000 plus square foot range are often completed in 12 months, including landscaping and pools.
By Fran Howard
Photography by Meghan Doll