Talk about name recognition: Donnay Homes has been a Minnesota byword since 1941. As the state’s oldest, and one of its largest, privately-owned builders, the track record of delivering on its promise is long and strong. So, if it ain’t broke—well, how about fixing it?
That was the light-bulb moment behind Traditions by Donnay, the luxury-home division launched eight years ago and overseen by fourth-generation family member Chad Donnay. “We saw a demand,” he explains the birth of the new division, and justifies the genius behind it: “We felt that, with our expertise and knowledge, we could really excel in the luxury home market. I’ve worked in all aspects of the company—I’ve come to work with my dad since I was four!—but I really enjoy the luxury market: staying on top of trends, bringing them to the forefront and incorporating neat new things.”
True to the company’s hands-on philosophy, you’ll find him down on the jobsite, not in an ivory tower. “We’re constantly onsite, checking on progress, answering questions. With the Donnay family, it’s always 24/7. We work from scratch with our in-house designers to construct a client’s dream—work off their rough sketch or show them homes we’re working on to help them explore options. We sit down with them, figure out the vision, the price point. Then, we stay involved every step of the way.”
That’s exactly what drives repeat business. Some satisfied customers are on their fourth Donnay home. “Others tell us, ‘Hey, you built my parents’ home!’” Donnay doesn’t promote any one particular style; however, Chad reports, the Craftsman theme is top of the charts at the moment. Whatever the design, Donnay remains highly focused on details and on providing value for the dollar. “We maximize a customer’s budget. We have the buying power. The home we give them is much better than they had anticipated for, say, $1.5 million.”