Jyland Construction Management Co.

Bob Carlson

Every Home as Unique as Its Owner

A high-school job was all it took to light the fire. Bob Carlson’s dad steered his son to the builder for whom he did marketing to score the kid some grunt work—landscaping, general labor—over the summer vacation. For Bob, it was love at first site. After graduation, he stayed on as a project manager. “I loved the creative part of the business, and the construction challenges of a new project. Plus I enjoyed the people in the trade.”

His boss and mentor recognized the passion, says Bob, “was kind enough to provide a lot for me. I started to build a spec home in Minnetonka, but, as I was framing it, a couple walked in and bought it. ‘Hey, I can do this! ” he decided and proceeded to buy two more lots and put up signs saying Jyland Homes. That was in 1977, and the phone hasn’t stopped ringing since.

From his Wayzata headquarters, Bob specializes in luxury homes starting at $1 million, which affords him (and lucky clients) the creativity with which to flourish. Customers, who meet him via referrals, ads or open houses, bring him their dreams. With carte blanche to supply ideas, “I really enjoy the creative aspect that follows, and they, in turn, have more access to creative design that way.”

Ask him about style parameters, and the answer is “yes.” “I’ve never built the same home twice: everything from traditional, old-world to very contemporary design. The newest trend,” he notes, “is Warm Contemporary—lots of glass, warm and cozy, but very artful. A little eclectic….”

Next he assumes the role of marriage broker, connecting a homeowner with a trusted architect and interior designer from his experience and relationship portfolio who, Bob feels, will supply the right chemistry and balance—“ a ‘get it’ type of thing that helps the process and develops trust.”

Primary to Bob—and what sets Jyland apart—is his focus on the proper land. “I have a real-estate license and an inventory, which help clients find a good fit. I can spot potential that a client might not have imagined otherwise. And I’m known for the siting of a house. I take the time to work with the land and integrate the house with the site in a thoughtful placement, emphasizing the view, the contours and the sunlight. The owners might not fully appreciate it until it’s completed—then, they really enjoy it; they’re so pleased with the process.”

That’s the take-away. Press him on why folks are delighted with his work, and Bob reports, “The one word I hear first is ‘passion!’ I do the right thing, satisfy customers in a fresh, creative way.” His clients are quick to add accolades that include attention to detail, organization and the constant presence of the company owner—that’s Bob—on the jobsite. Which he loves. “My interest is not in volume of work, but the enjoyable and creative aspects of building distinctive homes in the finest locations.”


Story by Carla Waldemar
Photography by Meghan Doll