Munkel Construction's roots date to the early 1940s, when a skilled builder named Walter Munkel began erecting barns in Lime Springs, Iowa. All six of Walter's sons -- Irvin, Stanley, Donald, Lawrence, Eugene, and Harold -- inherited their father's love of building and eventually joined the family business. It was his fourth son, Lawrence, who, fresh from service in World War II, deided to move 35 miles southeast to Decorah, where he worked as a foreman for a local construction firm before founding Munkel Construction in 1954 with little more than a cement mixer, a table saw, a jointer, and a sturdy set of hand tools.

Over the next three decades, Lawrence designed and bulit more than 100 homes in and around Decorah, where he became well known for the high quality and cutting-edge creativity of his work. He was the first area builder to use two-by-six walls (now the industry standard), and the first to employ nail guns. Both his sons -- Steve and Ken -- honed their building skills under his watchful eye, and Steve, his younger son, took over the firm upon Lawrence's retirement in 1983.

Since that time, Steve has designed and built more than 100 homes in Decorah and its environs, continuing Lawrence's tradition of merging the latest building trends with qulaity craftsmanship. "My dad always stressed quality in his work, and he passed that philosphy on to me," says Steve. "There's no greater joy than working with a client to create something that will endure the test of time."