My father, Aaron Hageman, came to the Columbia Gorge in the early 1950’s to work as a driller’s helper on the various dam projects that were under way at that time.
When the construction jobs dried up in the gorge area, Dad got a job as tile setter’s apprentice and relocated to Eugene. While there, he also trained in laying carpet, and installing Formica counter tops, and also linoleum (vinyl) flooring.
He returned to The Dalles and worked for Oliver Floor Covering. To make extra money he did small remodel jobs, along the way, learning how buildings are put together.
In late 1962 he got his Oregon contractor’s license and went into business for himself. Dad built his first home with the help of two local carpenters, Jack Robertson and Verne Lousignont.
I started out as a 12 year old coming to the job site after school for a couple of days per week. My duties were to clean up the job site, hold the dumb end of the board, and to fetch whatever anyone needed. Dad sold that first home in The Dalles to the Cramers, and I think they’re still living there. For many years Dad and Jack worked together, building about 2 to 3 homes a season, until Jack had a stroke and was forced to retire.
If a house didn’t sell right away, our family would move into it while building the next one. It seemed like people would always buy the home that we were living in. Some years we moved 3 times.
I started working with Dad full time in late 1976. We worked as a team, just like he and Jack had done. Back then most builders didn’t hire subcontractors for all the different trades. A builder started by pouring the concrete foundation and finished with that last little bit of touch-up paint. There were only a few trades such as the electrical and plumbing that we did not do. As my experience grew, I started picking up side remodel jobs: tiling, Formica, laying carpet, building decks, installing windows, etc. I learned just as my Dad had done with hands-on experience.
I paid close attention to how every tradesman performed their jobs, including the plumbers and electricians. Everyone has their own tricks of the trade. I took note when working on old buildings, and how the old builders did their craft. I have learned from experience over my years that craftsmen from all over the globe have come to our gorge area and built the way that it’s done in their native land.
In the early 1980’s there was about 6 months of no work for Dad. I turned to supporting my family by doing remodel work. When the economy picked up, I was too busy with committed remodel work to come back to work for my father. So, I started my own company. With the dedicated work ethic I learned from my Dad, it didn’t take long for the remodel work to turn into new construction and commercial work.
In 1993 Dad and I started working together once again, and did so until he retired in 2001. At that time I took over the business. I am now training my son, Chad Aaron Hageman, to carry on the Hageman Builders, LLC name.
Since 1962, the Hageman family has built over 150 custom and speculation homes. In addition to homes we have built all types of commercial buildings, including: restaurants, doctor offices, apartments, and low-income housing, business offices, a bank, a fire station, and townhouses. We have built with a multitude of different of materials: wood, steel, concrete, concrete block, foam block, sim panels and cedar homes. We were one of the first builders in the gorge area to build Super Good Sense Homes, also known as energy efficient homes, and are still doing so to this day.
We have made a commitment to quality and pride ourselves on being on time, on budget, and exceeding the clients expectations. We provide free preliminary estimates, and you can count on it that we won’t be surprising you with unexpected costs at the end of the project.
Hageman Builders, LLC is licensed, bonded and insured. Our CCB #159621.