Mt Pleasant News
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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 12, 2017
Fall Home Builders

Karl Braun is doing his part to fill the housing need

Sep 21, 2017
Photo by: Brooks Taylor Karl Braun, right, received help this summer constructing his quad from his son, Derek, left.

By Brooks Taylor, Mt. Pleasant News

 

Mt. Pleasant’s Karl Braun entered the construction business at age 14 and has never stopped.

His latest project is another quad-plex on South Main Street, immediately north of a quad he finished in 2016. Braun also owns a quad in New London, having purchased it five years ago.

Braun received his start in construction when he was hired by Gus Hagers. When Hagers retired, Braun had his own business at age 18 — when most of his classmates were beginning college.

“I really enjoyed working with Gus and when he retired, I knew I wanted to be in construction,” he said. His major helper is his son, Derek, who graduated from Mt. Pleasant Community High School this past spring and is now attending Southeastern Community College.

He had hoped to have his second quad built soon after the first one was completed, but a back injury sidelined him until this spring when he began work on it and hopes to have it finished by the end of the year.

Although Braun does most of the heavy lifting himself, he said he does receive help. Mike Barton does the concrete work, Jason Smith Plumbing, Heating and Cooling handles the HVAC work and Total Connection is his electrical contractor.

Each of the quads has a downstairs and upstairs two-bedroom apartment, measuring 925 square feet. They also have kitchen appliances and a washer and dryer in addition to a garage.

Flooring is roughly half tile, half carpet, Braun said.

He said he built the quads for several reasons. “Everybody says there is a housing shortage, and I could see that after purchasing the one in New London. When I purchased the one and built the other, the fertilizer plant was being built and the (natural gas) pipeline was being built.”

Braun also knew there was a need when his first quad in Mt. Pleasant was spoken before it was finished. “For the most part, I never have any trouble finding renters.”

As an added bonus, Braun also handles yard maintenance in the summer and snow removal in the winter.

Although he hopes to have the second one finished by winter, Braun quickly added that it is not a sure thing he will. “I have to do a couple of roofs this fall, but I am trying to get enough done so the electrician and plumber can begin working soon.”

Braun said he gave a year’s thought to building the units before breaking ground. “Since I had one in New London, I thought the same floor plan would work here.”

Besides his construction company, he also has a concrete form company, with the forms being used for foundations. He said he purchased it after the recession in 2008.

With the second quad nearly finished, Braun is mulling building more but admits he is undecided.

But don’t bet against him because it is in his blood. “I really enjoy construction, I just love it,” he said with a twinkle in his eye.

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