Helping to build Lansing
Wayne Domann grew up on a farm thinking he'd always be a farmer.
But a couple of harsh droughts in the early 1980s, coupled with the need to provide for his family, sent him into "the city" to supplement his income in the housing construction business. The hourly wages helped, but eventually he took another big step and decided to strike out on his own.
Now, nearly 14 years later, Domann Homes LLC has built about 100 homes, the vast majority of them in Lansing.
The house he and his wife, Janice, occupy is on Highview Court - and Domann admits it's his favorite among all of the houses he's built. The view there overlooks areas in Woodland Hills, Domann's "office" for most of the past seven years.
"Our phases are right out here. I can actually stand right here by these doors and kind of see who's here and who's not. When you look down there sometimes and see how many people are on your jobs, it's amazing how many people little family-owned businesses will keep in work.
"If you can look down there and see 20 people you know are on your job in a day - that's just a lot of people," he said.
Domann earned a reputation early as being a good finishing carpenter - and Domann Homes prides itself on its finish work.
"I've got it on my signs: Specializing in trim work," he said. "I think when you walk in, you can see it. Unfortunately with a lot of people : it just doesn't strike them that what's in the finish work is just as important as what you're looking at overall."
Domann, 57, said one of the biggest changes he's seen over the course of his years in the business is the cost of housing.
"Year before last, we put a house up on a lot here in The Maples - in Phase III - that was an identical plan to one we put up when we started in '92. In '92, it was $119,900, and that house was $219,900. Over those 10 or 11 years, it had increased $100,000," he said.
Housing demand and worker and material costs are driving the increase, he said, noting that his profit margin has remained steady since Domann Homes began.
Name: Wayne Domann
Address: 814 Highview Court
Family: Wife Janice and children Jamie, Jennie and Ben
How long have you lived in Lansing and what brought you here? Since 1985, brought by construction business
What do you like most about Lansing? It's a small town but close to Kansas City, and it has a good housing industry.
What do you do for fun? I try to play golf and I deer hunt.
What would surprise people about you? Most people wouldn't know I was raised on a farm and farmed full time in the '80s.
What's the best advice you ever received? Hard work never hurt anyone.