Hohnstreiter Construction and remodeling helps others in Texas and across the United States.
MANY BUSINESSES AND COMPANIES DEFINE corporate philanthropy by hosting fancy check presentations and other corporate contributions that often are done for press and public relations reasons, just as much as for philanthropy. For Hohnstreiter Construction and Remodeling, President and founder Shawn Hohnstreiter sets the example for his crews by helping everywhere where help is needed, from Texas to Hurricane Katrina-damaged areas – and anywhere in between.
“Many companies and builders talk about how large their marketing budgets are to manufacture their image,” Hohnstreiter says. “Our potential clients Google my name and they see the good works we have done and the company image is painted right there. They know I am a person with high moral ethics whom can be trusted, and that goes a long way when choosing a contractor.”
Hohnstreiter Construction and Remodeling was founded in 2004 and is a full-service general contractor that specializes in home remodeling, custom homes and project consulting. The firm manages multiple residential and commercial projects every year and develops project plans, researches new and innovative building materials, and implements efficient methods and solutions for quality craftsmanship. In the last decade, Hohnstreiter has completed hundreds of projects ranging from repairs to million-dollar renovations around the Austin, Texas, area, including whole-house remodels and additions, new construction, kitchen and bath remodels, decks and commercial remodeling.
The company’s mission is to build well-designed projects on time, establish a relationship built on trust, and to provide professional construction management.
Hohnstreiter moved to Austin in 1998 and began volunteering at Austin Habitat for Humanity during a 12-homes-12-week blitz build. Severe flooding prevented completion of any homes so he stayed around to help finish them. After months of volunteering and exhausting his savings, he took a staff position working as senior project manager where he managed every phase of homebuilding from groundbreaking to completion.
“Growing up, our family values were always about hard work and putting others first,” says Hohnstreiter, an Indiana native who briefly served in the U.S. Army before a medical discharge. “We were urged to help do the work of God and put our energy toward youth programs and churches. After the military, I have always volunteered with helping during natural disasters, because that just seems like the right thing to do.”
He served in this position for five years.
“I never planned on leaving Habitat for Humanity,” Hohnstreiter admits. “Then I started my own company, and instead of working at a nonprofit, it allows me to give back in even more ways and I have more flexibility with my time. The calls to help someone in need always seem to come at a time when my schedule can be adjusted, and having a successful business allows me to help out with multiple charities, instead of just one.”
After partnering Habitat for Humanity with Rodeo Austin, he scheduled and managed a complete home, start to finish, in just 64 hours during the fair and rodeo. It is still believed to be the fastest built home in the city. Hohnstreiter has continued to volunteer with Rodeo Austin, a 501(c)3 charity, for over a decade and currently serves as a board member and chairman of operations. Rodeo Austin’s mission is to Promote Youth Education and Preserve Western Heritage, contributing over $2.5 million to Texas youth annually, and it is one of many youth-focused charities that Hohnstreiter is involved with.
“With client referrals and my known charity involvement, often the job is sold before I even walk through the door,” Hohnstreiter says. “It eliminates the sales process because it is not just about being the low bidder – it is about taking care of the client and making sure the job is done right. In my book, giving back to others is far better than spending money on a marketing campaign.”
By far the largest emergency assistance Hohnstreiter has taken part in was New Orleans, just days after Hurricane Katrina hit. What started out as a short-term volunteer effort turned into 18 months of helping rebuild the city after the worst hurricane in U.S. history.
“It was very hard to have so much devastation around you, and initially you felt like you couldn’t do anything to help,” he admits. “We started by feeding emergency workers and residents, then as time went along, we got into the rebuilding efforts.”