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Published April 13, 2009, 12:00 AM

Q-and-A with Dave Anderson: A year to remember

This is Dave Anderson’s 25th year in business, and the anniversary isn’t the only reason he won’t forget 2009.

By: Jon Knutson, INFORUM

This is Dave Anderson’s 25th year in business, and the anniversary isn’t the only reason he won’t forget 2009.

Anderson – proprietor of Moorhead’s Dave Anderson Construction, a custom builder and remodeler – will long remember the Red River’s record flooding this spring.

He successfully fought rising floodwaters in the Red’s first crest to protect his home in Oakport Township north of Moorhead.

As a builder, he likely will land work repairing flood-damaged homes.

For more information, go to www.daveanderson


Anderson was the Home Builders Association of Fargo Moorhead’s Builder of the Year in 2002 and served as the group’s president in 2005.

Q: What was it like for local builders and tradespeople after the big flood of 1997?

A: There was a huge concentration in Grand Forks (N.D.) because there was so much damage up there.

One of the biggest problems was that electricians and some others were really hard to find in Fargo-Moorhead.

There wasn’t a lot of work generated in Fargo-Moorhead after the 1997 flood.

Did you go to Grand Forks yourself?

No, I didn’t. At the time, I had my regular work that was coming in the springtime, and I didn’t have the capacity to take on any more work up there.

What type of flood-related home renovation do you expect in the Fargo-Moorhead area this year?

I think most of it would be basement work. I don’t know how many people that had damage had finished basements, and I don’t know how many will return them back to finished basements.

That’s the big question.

When water gets into the basement, what needs to be done?

Anything that comes into contact with that water should be removed.

What can’t be removed has to be cleaned.

The sooner, the better.

How many employees do you have?

Generally, I’ve have one or two year-round and an extra one in the summer. The last year, I’ve been going solo because the economy has been slower.

(Anderson will hire help if more work comes in this spring.)

I’m a general contractor, so I sub out electrical, plumbing, concrete work, painting, all that stuff – more of a construction management type situation.

I’ve stayed busy most of the winter. But things really slowed down before the flooding.

We’re still waiting for the spring (when business normally picks up).

I imagine you won’t see much increase in business until after the second crest …

People will wait to see if they get water in their basement again.

Do you anticipate out-of-town companies coming to Fargo-Moorhead to make flood-related home repairs?

Probably some.

But I think there are enough local guys that aren’t that busy that can handle it.

How has your business changed in the past 25 years?

There’s a lot more specialization.

When I first started in the business, we did everything. Now you’ve got framers, all they do is framing. You’ve got insulators, all they do is insulate. You’ve got more specialties.

But in remodeling, you almost need to have a broader array of skills. On a smaller project, you can’t have all these different guys in.

You need guys capable of doing everything. There are still guys capable of doing everything, but they’re getting to be fewer and fewer.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530