About me

I am a second generation designer turned home builder

Lincoln Logs was my favorite toy growing up. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed my race car tracks and Hot Wheels collection, but designing various style log homes was what kept me busy for hours. To this day I still have a log home on display in my office, which is a reminder of how my love for this work started.

At age 10 I started building Soap Box Derby cars alongside my father and grandfather. A short year later, at age 11, my father was busy, and my grandfather was spending winters in Florida so dad designed a soap box derby for me to build and said, "have at it, and let me know when you need help". I had so many ideas for what I wanted to build and my design and building juices began to really flow! I got to solely build my own Soap Box Derby car! I was fortunate and proud to not only win the local York County race, but also best design. Great fun! Looking back it's funny because at my age, most fathers were building cars for their sons and the sons were racing them. WhenI went to Akron for Nationals the York Derby Commissioner was skeptical that I wouldn't know the answers to the officials questions at inspection time. After my question and answer session, the official chuckled and said, "well, there is no doubt you built this car, good luck son." I continued to design and race my Soap Box Derby cars and helped my little brother build his cars; he had the same success! 

To the good stuff - After my father designed and built several homes he decided to pair up with a contractor and dive into the building business. This was a great opportunity for me because I was thrown into the grunt work on weekends and summers at the age of 14. I gave up my job of working on repairing and refurbishing vacuum cleaners to help my dad as part of the construction crew. 

After high school I was off to Penn State University to study mechanical engineering. Three years into it and not loving the engineering field, my father made me an offer to move to Lake Raystown and assist in his new business venture which was developing 100 acres he acquired with his partner. My father's partner was a gifted builder form the Lancaster area and took me under his wing, teaching me all aspects of building. After we put in approximately a mile of road, and built a new bridge at the entrance, it was time to build a home on the ridge that overlooked the lake. We: cleared the lot, dug footers, laid block, framed the home, cedar sided and cedar shingled it, poured concrete, ran plumbing, pulled electric wire, ran duct work for HVAC, installed windows and doors, hung plaster board, trimmed, painted, tiled floors and counter tops, installed the kitchen and vanities, built steel spiral stairs, built the deck, and finally landscaped the property. I was able to see a project through from beginning to end and continue to build upon my own skills as a builder and designer. What a learning experience it was. Believe it or not, it is still standing and looking great! Today it is owned and run by my little brother, Seth and his company, Shy Beaver Lakeview Estates.

After we built a second home, my father's partner wanted out so dad asked if I could build a home on my own. After hesitation I said, "sure." 4 years and 7 homes later I moved back to York, PA to build homes for my father and his partner.

In 1993 big life changes were happening for me. I found a girl, proposed, and desperately desired to run my own business. With her support I left my father's business and started my own business as a framing contractor. I needed a name for my new business, so I put our first names together- Brett and Kirstin, and so Bretstin was born. Our daughter, Joey, came along 2 years later. 

During my 10 years of framing I was able to substantially grow my business into 3 crews and was crazy busy. I not only ran the business, but was on site doing the work as well because it's what I love. By 2003 my life passion to design and build came true. My little brother and his wife asked me to build their home from start to finish. I was all in. After that there was no looking back and I have been fortunate enough to design and build ever since. Take a look at my Home Gallery to see the homes I have designed and built since 2003. I primarily build local but have ventured as far a Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. My passion for designing and building began when I was a little boy with my Lincoln Logs and has grown into a business that I am proud to run today. I get to design custom homes for families to call home - and that is just icing on the cake for why I do what I do! 

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