Dean Herriges, MCR, CKBR  

Dean, President and co-owner with his brother Bob of Urban Herriges & Sons, Inc, was born in 1947. He grew up in a family business atmosphere. Dean is the 6th generation to take up the trade of skilled carpenter since the Herriges family settled in Wisconsin from Germany in 1846. Apprenticed to his grandfather’s business in 1966, he was surrounded by many family members who preceded him in the skilled trades.

Before the completion of his carpenter apprenticeship, Dean was lead carpenter of a three man crew. In 1972 he followed his father, Urban, to the Mukwonago area for career opportunities in the Design/Build Remodeling Industry. Urban retired in 1984. Dean and his brother, Robert, became the leaders of the family business, Urban Herriges & Sons, Inc. Dean’s career flourished with the new responsibility of designing and constructing residential remodeling projects.

Dean is an exceptional carpenter.  With nearly 50 years of hands on experience, he is also very familiar with the work of the many other tradespeople involved in residential construction. Although Dean’s primary role in the business is now focused on sales and customer satisfaction, he still goes to job sites whenever needed. His eye for detail and concern for workmanship and professionalism are invaluable. Having been involved in the design aspect of new construction, additions and remodeling since the Eighties, Dean knows when and how to include designers, architects and engineers in projects. All of this experience, along with extensive continuing education, has lead Dean to be certified by NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry) as both the first Master Certified Remodeler (MCR) in Wisconsin as well as a Certified Kitchen & Bath Remodeler. When Dean was first credentialed by NARI, he achieved the highest score in the nation on the Certified Remodeler exam that year. Dean also holds a State of Wisconsin Dwelling Contractor Qualifier certification issued by the Department of Safety and Professional Services.

Dean is deeply committed to building the reputation of the remodeling industry. To that end he has been heavily involved in both local and national efforts to bring high standards of professionalism, education, techniques and ethics to the remodeling industry. Since 2007 Dean has been a national officer of NARI, the largest network of remodeling professionals in the country and the only national trade group dedicated exclusively to the remodeling industry.  From 2012 to 2013, Dean served as the National President of NARI. As NARI National president he lead an association of over 6500 remodeling professionals. He has also served the Milwaukee chapter of NARI in a wide number of leadership positions including local President and Chair of the Education Committee.

As a young carpenter, Dean built a home for his new family in 1973. After selling that house some years later, Dean owned a beautiful old Victorian home for several years. In 1990 Dean and his wife, Reine, built their current home, Eagle Centre House Bed and Breakfast, a beautiful replica of an 1846 Greek Revival stagecoach inn. Along with his duties as host and handy man for the Bed & Breakfast, Dean enjoys history, model railroading, motorcycling, indulging his grand-kids and amateur (ham) radio.

Robert ‘Bob’ Herriges, CR

Vice President and co-owner with his brother Dean of Urban Herriges & Sons,  Bob was born in 1953. Always surrounded by family that thrived in the building industry, he was a natural to follow a building career. Bob was apprenticed as a mason to his grandfather’s business in 1970. With careful tutelage by six uncles he became familiar with all aspects of mason work. Looking to gain even more varied experience in masonry, Bob worked for a number of other construction companies in new home and remodeling construction. One of his favorite tutors was an “old time” stone mason who taught Bob the finest details of stone masonry. With many years in the industry, Bob has expertise in all aspects of residential masonry including stone, brick, block and poured concrete.

In 1982 Bob joined the family business with his father Urban and brother Dean. For many years, Bob lead our mason crew, handling all mason work called for within our client’s homes. All those years of being a principal of the family business gave Bob a strong interest in all aspects of the jobs he worked on.  Along with being a highly skilled mason with a keen eye for stonework, Bob knows the ins and outs of the carpentry, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and other trades that must all come together to make a successful build or remodel job.

As the remodeling industry has advanced, modern project management techniques have become critical to the success of the company. Seeing the need to bring together all aspects of project management under the watchful eye of an industry veteran, Bob stepped out of his role as lead mason and into his current position as project manager. Bob is the person that you will work with most closely once your project is designed and we are ready to start work.

Bob works directly with our clients making sure they are advised of what to expect, when to expect it and how quickly things can be accomplished. Bob stays in touch with clients, suppliers, contractors, inspectors and a host of other people keeping everyone in the loop and organized. He coordinates work schedules and supply deliveries to make sure the people and materials are available to ensure jobs are completed on time. Each project schedule is tracked on bar chart called a Gantt chart. This is provided to each client so they can track the progress of their project.  Bob is frequently at job sites, making sure that crews are being properly supervised and that the quality of work meets his high standards.  Needless to say, Bob is not only a world class mason, but a juggler of the highest order! Of course, all foundation and mason work for the family business is still subject to Bob’s exacting standards.

In 1995 Bob completed the testing to become a Certified Remodeler recognized by NARI. Beyond the remodeling industry, Bob enjoys photography and for many years he and his wife, Lou Ann were competitive ball room dancers. Bob has a love for nearly all things Disney and his three granddaughters are happy to accompany him and Lou Ann on trips to Disney World.

Joseph Herriges, CLC

Joe often found himself working with Dean (his father), Urban (Grandfather) or Bob (Uncle) on job sites as soon as he was old enough to work safely. Along with hauling materials and cleaning up sites, Joe was soon working with both the carpenter and masonry crews building a repertoire of skills. After a brief stint working in the commercial roofing industry, Joe became the seventh generation of Herriges to join the family business as a carpenter apprentice. Throughout his apprenticeship, Joe worked with many skilled carpenters and was soon leading a carpentry crew.

As Joe was developing his skills in carpentry, he was still working with Bob on masonry projects too. After passing his apprenticeship, Joe earned his Certified Lead Carpenter credentials from NARI. With certification and more education and hands on experience, Joe took more and more responsibility for the overall quality of jobs far beyond his expertise in carpentry. His interest and study began to turn to the design side of the business and today Joe  teams with his sister Julie on the designs for our projects. Given his extensive experience with both design and the hands on aspects of building, Joe works well with architects and engineers. Joe works with these specialists to find effective ways  to create spaces that go beyond the usual constraints of existing walls and other structural impediments to our clients’ needs.

Although we work with several great carpentry crews, Joe is frequently hands-on at job sites. Sometimes, there is nothing better than having a person who worked through the design of a project detail also be the one to make that detail a reality. “Making wood dance” is the way that Joe describes the part of carpentry where he brings the materials, techniques and design ideas together in a final piece of work that is long lasting and a pleasure to use and look at. Joe also recognizes those in other trades who get their their materials to ‘dance’ rather than simply forcing things into place. Joe knows the advantage of using licensed and bonded painters, electricians, plumbers and other craftspeople whose final work results in solid, attractive and quality work.

Along with his work in the remodeling side of the design/build business, in 1994 Joe built his current home from the ground up. In 2002 Joe built a wonderful little cabin as a family retreat near Black River Falls, WI . In 2010, Joe’s home was in the path of a tornado. Joe and his family were thankfully uninjured, but the house sustained major damage. Despite needing major restoration before being livable, the structural integrity of the house remained substantially intact. Seeing how well modern construction materials and techniques held up under these forces affirmed Joe’s belief that quality is vital not just in places that are visible to homeowners, but in those places that only craftspeople see while constructing a home.

Away from work, Joe likes hunting, spending time relaxing ‘up north’, working on and riding motorcycles and reading both general interest and scholarly books about history, science, theology and just about anything else that grabs his attention. Joe lives in Eagle, WI with his wife, his daughter and his two sons.

Julie Herriges AAS, WRID,  CKBR,

Growing up surrounded by family in the building trades, Julie had plenty of work opportunities available. There is always a need for a young person willing to haul materials, run errands, clean up job sites and lend a hand where ever needed. For Julie, that job site experience lead to an interest in how additions and remodeling projects were designed.  In 1992 the company was using computer assisted design (CAD). As Julie began to learn how the CAD software worked she started to find that she had a knack for design.

Julie started to learn the techniques of design from Dean, and another talented designer, Dave Lau. Dave had been working for the family business since 1987. Before entering the remodeling industry, Dave taught industrial arts. Julie essentially became Dave’s student. As a sharp student blessed with a skilled teacher, Julie followed in the footsteps of many others in the Herriges family and found her niche in the design/build industry.

Julie earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree  in Architectural Technology from Milwaukee Area Technical College in 1997.  That year she also tested for and received her credentials as a Licensed Wisconsin Registered Interior Designer. In 2003 Julie became a NARI Certified Kitchen and Bath Remodeler. Julie continues to further her design education each year with study and seminars aimed at expanding both the technical and creative aspects of her craft.

As Julie entered the design side of remodeling, she found she enjoyed helping clients translate their ideas into practical and build-able designs as much as she enjoyed the technical challenges of creating spaces. To facilitate conversations with clients, the company purchased sophisticated software called ArchiCAD. ArchiCAD allows clients to ‘walk-through’ a virtual model of their project.  Julie has done extensive training in the various updates to the ArchiCAD software over the years allowing her to get the most out of the technology. Julie combines these high tech tools with a consultative approach to working with clients.

Today, Julie teams with her brother Joe on designing our client’s projects. Being able to model various materials, colors and floor plans for clients in 3D gives Julie the ability to show clients how they can balance function and form in bringing their ideas to life. One of the keys to Julie’s approach helps client learn what aspects of the design are ‘must haves’ and what areas can be adjusted around those ‘must haves’ to allow the project to fit into the space, time frame and budget available. Being able to see in a virtual space how a change to cabinets, appliances or even window placements will impact the final result of a project is a fantastic tool for taking some of the uncertainty out of the design process. Reducing uncertainty makes it much easier for clients to feel comfortable about making changes and finalizing decisions with certainty and confidence.

Julie’s interest in kitchen design is accompanied by an  interest in cooking. Having seen many chefs demonstrate various brands and types of kitchen appliances, Julie took many of those techniques and recipes home with her to add to her already excellent cooking skills. Julie enjoys well written stories as an escape from the technical minutiae of building codes and design standards that fill her work days. Recently, while helping her daughter with orchestra class, Julie rediscovered the pleasures of playing the cello which she had not done since high school. An adult cello may soon find a place next to her daughter’s school cello.

Lisa Herriges, Secretary/Treasurer of Urban Herriges & Sons, Inc.

Lisa, the youngest of Dean’s children, has been with the family business since 1987. Like her brother and sister, Lisa was occasionally ‘volunteered’ to work on clean up of job sites, toting equipment and (once she had a driver’s license) running errands.  One of the duties that Lisa started working at early on was helping out in the office. Filing, answering the phone, organizing mail and such was Lisa’s introduction to the ins and outs of running a the family business.

One of the problems that many craftsman owned and operated businesses encounter is not enough focus on proper business administration and management. Outstanding design, craftsmanship and materials are vital, but phones must be answered, suppliers must be paid on time, insurance must be kept current along with hundreds of other details that allow the designers and builders to do their work without distraction. When Lisa first came into the office, some of this work was being handled by Lisa’s Grandmother, Dorothy (Urban’s Wife), and the balance was being done by Dean. Grandma was ready to retire and spend more time with Urban. The business was growing and Dean wanted to spend more time outside of the office. Lisa was encouraged to start learning business administration through on the job training.

Along with craftsmanship and work ethic, one of the values passed down from earlier Herriges builders was the advantage of running an organized business. This became more important but also more time consuming as the remodeling industry saw regulation and businesses of all kinds were expected to adhere to higher standards all around.  Lisa’s start in the office coincided with the growth of personal computers. The computer provided an excellent tool to better keep up with the demands of proper business administration. Lisa worked with Dean to find ways to use the personal computer to simplify record keeping, accounting and human resource tasks.

Of course not all of the tasks in the office are automated. This is where Lisa really found another set of unique skills that she contributes to the business. Lisa is truly a people person.  Making the administrative and bookkeeping task more efficient allowed Lisa to spend time interacting with clients, potential clients, suppliers and employees. Being the primary person who stayed in the office, Lisa was usually the first person who callers and visitors encountered. Between the satisfaction of navigating the intricacies of business and the pleasure of working with so many interesting people, Lisa had found her place in the family business.

Today, Lisa is the Secretary and Treasurer of Urban Herriges & Sons, Inc. She is the office manger and is responsible for payroll, accounting, human resources, insurance and the myriad other areas of the business that must be attended to on a daily basis. Lisa is still the primary person that callers and visitors talk with. With over twenty five years in the remodeling business, Lisa often knows the the answer to many of the questions that people might have. Of course, if she is unable to provide an answer, she knows who to put someone in touch with.

After many years of wishing to pursue a more formal business education but not finding the time, Lisa completed a Technical Diploma in Business Management at MATC. She was delighted that as she learned the ‘best practices’ in various areas of business she recognized those as the way that things are done in her office. Lisa is continuing her business education with the goal of eventually earning a bachelor’s degree.