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  • DEI Engineers

Spotlight on Heller Construction, Inc.

Heller Construction, Inc., has been in business for 35 years and has built a wide variety of custom homes in California and Nevada for dozens of satisfied clients. Some might say, “It’s about time,” as Bob and Patty Heller finally created their own custom home in 2020.

This is the second project they have collaborated on with DEI and designer Dale Munsterman, The Munsterman Group, and the results are stunning. We recently talked with Bob and Patty about these projects. Here are the high points of our conversation.

DEI: What makes this project (Heller home remodel) different from others you have done?

Heller: This project was a remodel of a 1980’s vacation home that we purchased 6½ years ago. We actually bought it for the property, so when it came time to make it our own, we took the home down to the studs and deconstructed the garage.

The majority of the homes we build are either timbered or modern in style. We were excited to create something unique to the area by incorporating modern and farmhouse elements.

The concept was to create a flowing family environment. The common areas allow everyone to interact while cooking and entertaining.

DEI: How did that influence your selection of a design and construction team?

Heller: We really enjoy working with Dale—he did the plans and was instrumental in helping evolve the design. A great designer helps to navigate problems and come up with options/ideas. For example, we used Dale’s hammer truss design in the upstairs great room which created a wonderful space.

After the plan was done, Brian at DEI did the structural engineering. Brian is great at helping with issues that come up during the construction. Remodels are an ever-changing landscape that need discussion and solutions. For example, in the kitchen, we changed the exposed glulams to exposed steel beams. Brian helped to orchestrate this in a couple of days. An engineer who works hand-in-hand with the builder is essential for a quality and satisfying project.

We had just finished collaborating with Brian and Dale on a 5,000-sq.-ft. custom timber home in Grass Valley, so we were confident in our ability to work well together.

We have now started on a custom lakefront home at Lake Tahoe. This project has many structural and design challenges. Our team of Heller, Munsterman and DEI are the right fit for this exceptional build. Stay tuned.

DEI: What sets DEI apart from other structural engineering firms?

Heller: Brian is open to discussion—he listens to what the desired outcome is and designs simple and elegant solutions. As for customer service, he always calls us right back and operates in a very professional manner

DEI: Are you seeing any new trends in design and/or construction?

Heller: In the custom home building world, we see a lot of modern design. Steel, glass, tile and clean lines. Traditional Tahoe-style architecture is still viable, and we are building that type of home as well. Building design is cyclical, changing every few years. That is the beauty of building in the Tahoe area because of the diversity in clients and their projects.

DEI: What’s next for Heller Construction?

Heller: Our upcoming projects are a mix of styles. We look ahead to continuing our tradition of quality construction and homeowner satisfaction.

Bob, Patty and their son Cody have been partners for 10 years. They say they are, “Looking toward to the future and we see a vibrant and viable Heller Construction. In the current climate, many people are transitioning to the Tahoe Truckee area. We look forward to helping to fulfill their dreams.”

You can find their work at

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