rental properties cabin in the woods

Real Estate is Booming

Cache Valley has been experiencing a major boom in the real estate sector.  The value of land and properties are increasing.  With some good investing, a smart property owner could make some great income off of their properties.  This is especially true since Cache Valley’s tourist and business industries are growing.  A lot of people own land they could develop into profitable rental properties.

Types of Rental Properties You Could Invest In

1. Rural Areas

rental properties cabin in the woodsWith the great camping to be found in Logan canyon, first dam area, and other places, there are a lot of people in Cache Valley who own cabins and cottages.  People use them for family vacations, weekend getaways, or – in the case of my friend’s cabin back in our college days – party nights.  But you don’t go to your cabin every day, do you?  As you get busy, you may find yourself using these properties less and less.  You’re still paying property taxes on them while they sit there, so why not rent them out?  These cabins would make great vacation stops for people who want to see the rural beauty of Cache Valley without having to worry about tents, trailers, or expensive hotels.

And there’s no reason you couldn’t still use them for your own getaways when they aren’t booked.  So, it’s a double value – you have a place to get away from it all from time to time and you get to make some money on the side.

2. College Rentals

apartment rental for college students

This student is happy to have a good apartment

Cache Valley isn’t just a place to get away from the big city life.  We’re also the center of Utah State University (GO AGGIES!).  USU is an internationally famous campus with students coming in from all over the world.  If there’s one thing that out-of-state students need, it’s affordable housing.  And if there’s one thing that some of us might own, it’s land with apartments or unused houses on it.  For example, a local family purchased a plot of land with a small, two-bedroom apartment on it. They rented this property out for years, pulling in a little side income from the college students who lived there.

You could do the same.  A good rental apartment at a reasonable price is always preferable to student housing on campus – better quality living space, more privacy, and not right in the middle of all the mess of foot and vehicle traffic.  With a good rental property, you could be making a tidy sum of extra income for yourself.

3. Business/Commercial Rentals

Cache Valley used to be an agricultural center.  While there’s still some of that going on, most of the cities in the area have shifted focus to more business oriented land development.  As a lot of the old farmers retire, leaving their farms to people who don’t intend to continue the business, people are left with unused properties.  As new areas get rezoned for commercial use, owners of these properties, or savvy buyers, could get their hands on valuable land to rent out.

With a bit of development, you could turn old, unused farm properties in rezoned districts into commercial buildings you could rent to local businesses.  This would help you make some income off of the property and it would help expand the local economy.

Land Development

General ContractorThese are just some ideas on how you could turn land you own, or land you buy into profitable rental properties.  Before you start, though, you have to develop them some.  You can’t rent an empty lot; you’ve got to have a building there first.

Maybe you’re lucky and the property already has a building on it you could rent.  That’s good, but you’ll probably need to renovate it first.  If you’re going to rent properties, you have laws and regulations you need to follow and the building on your property might not meet the standards.  With a little bit of renovation, however, you could get it up to code.

That’s where we come in.   MW construction has been working as a general contractor for residential and commercial properties for years.  We’ve got a good system for getting the job done quickly, while minimizing the costs to you.  If you’ve got a property you’d like to develop, then get in touch with us.  We’ll help you get that property ready to work for you!

land development

Land Development

land development

Photo by

Commercial land development can be a critical point to starting or expanding your business.  You want your business to look right; it should be visually appealing, convey the right image to your customers, and be suitable for the area you’re starting in.  To accomplish these goals, there are a few things you need to consider.

Zoning Laws

Zoning laws regulate two things.  The first: zoning regulations determine the type of land use allowed in a given area.  The second: zoning laws dictate building regulations, such as maximum building size, safety regulations, and the like.  Before you even purchase any land, you should make sure that the zoning laws allow you to use it for that purpose.

There are many different types of zones.  Residential zones are reserved for homes, though some cities allow certain types of businesses to be run out of homes.  Commercial zones allow for businesses to be built. Industrial zones are used for manufacturing and allow higher noise levels to accommodate the machine use.  Agricultural zones are reserved for farming. Historical zones are meant to preserve certain areas of historical significance to the local area; you can run businesses in them, but there are restrictions to what changes can be made to the area, and you must leave buildings in the area as intact as possible.  Finally, some cities have aesthetic zones. These are will allow some businesses, but you have to conform to certain color schemes and architectural design choices.

construction planningDon’t assume that just because you’ve done land development before, you know how it all works.  Laws are subject to change and vary from place to place.  Especially here in Utah, the zoning laws can be very different from other places.

Make sure you know the details of the zone you’re building in.  If your project is for the wrong type of business for the area, you risk fines.  The city might even shut the project down.  Furthermore, knowing the details of the zone will help you plan around restrictions, turning them into strengths for your land development.


The landscaping of your property can account for 10% of its value.  If the land you’re developing has space for landscaping on it, you’ll want to make sure it looks appealing.  It also needs to be suitable to the needs of your customer. For that to work, you need to do some planning. You want to consider what your customers will expect from your business and design accordingly.  A well-maintained, visually appealing exterior will send a message to your customers about the way you run your business.

Use the space you have wisely.  As your business grows, you may need to move to another location, or expand on your current one.  If you plan on expanding, then try to think ahead to how your expansions might go.  Design areas to be expanded into.  If you might move, make sure you factor in the resell value of the land. In both cases, you want the land to be easy to modify for different purposes.

Plan Around the Topography

Good planning can save you a lot of money in operation costs over time.  Gravity is one of the most useful tools in design. Sewer and storm water drainage, for example, should always take advantage of gravity if the land allows.  The more you can rely on gravity to convey your waste water, the less you have to spend on pumps and the energy to power those pumps.

You can also use the topography to create focal points that grab the eye of prospective customers.  You can also use it to direct the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. With some good design decisions, you can minimize traffic problems, and solve accessibility problems for your customers.

Use a holistic approach.  You can’t just lay out the features of your land without consideration for how it all fits together.  Without a solid plan, you create a confusing mess that will make customers less likely to return to your business.  Instead, layout your land development plans with the whole in mind.

General ContractorBuilding!

After you’ve got the plan worked out, you’ll need to construct the business itself.  That’s where MW Construction comes in. We’re experts in managing construction projects.  When you’re ready to get started, get in touch with us and see how we can help you.

CAPSA charity

Cache Valley’s Great Community

Cache Valley is a great place.  It’s got a lot of resources.  You’ve got businesses, grocery chains, movie theaters, and other things normally associated with big cities.  While it has the resources of a city, it’s got a community that feels more like a small town.  The people know each other and are willing to help each other out in times of need.  We care.  That’s why we joined forces with several companies around Cache Valley to support CAPSA earlier this year.



CAPSACitizens Against Physical and Sexual Abuse is a domestic non-profit organization. They provide support and aid in the recovery of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the Cache County and Bear Lake area.  They provide free services to men, women and children who have suffered from abuse, no matter what kind or when it happened.  Sponsoring fundraising events and charity races, they raise money, while also providing shelter and living assistance to abuse survivors. They’ve been valued members of Cache Valley for years.

Our Sponsorship

We’ve been supporters of CAPSA for years.  We appreciate the work that they do and how much it helps people.  That’s why we took it a step further this year.  CAPSA has buildings they refer to as transitional houses.  These are buildings that serve as homes for abuse victims while they recover.  They provide a safe place to live and help ease victims back into the process of living on their own.  They use donations from community members to keep the rent on these houses low so victims can get used to paying for their own bills without the stress usually associated with financial concerns.

Funding Concerns

CAPSA Office, Cache Valley, UtahLast year, there was a growing concern for CAPSA funding. They feared that the funding previously provided by the Violence Against Women Act might not be renewed by congress. If this happened, it would be a major blow to their ability to help abuse victims.  That’s when we at MW Construction decided to put some extra effort into helping them out.

In January of this year, we completed construction on one of these transitional houses.  The planning, materials, and labor costs of the construction were all provided for free as a thank you to CAPSA for all their great work.  We hope the donation of our time and services will encourage others in Cache Valley to chip in, too.  The work CAPSA does is invaluable to many people and we want them to be able to continue their service to the community.

From everyone at MW Construction, we’d like to thank CAPSA for what they’ve done for Cache Valley and its residents.

commercial construction

commercial constructionCache Valley’s Three Seasons

There’s an old joke here in Cache Valley: the three seasons are winter, spring, and construction.

Here in Cache Valley, you’ve got construction going on all through summer and fall, but did you know that this attitude misses out on the best times for doing construction projects?


Winter Is The Best Time To Start

You heard me right; winter is the best month to start a construction project in Cache Valley.  It may seem counter-intuitive; after all, you can’t do construction in winter, right?  It’s too cold, the snow creates hazards, and so on and so forth.  The obvious reasons why you shouldn’t do construction in the winter are obvious.  The problem with obvious things, however, is that what is obvious isn’t always correct. I mean, have you ever read anything in the field of quantum theory?  So, here are 3 reasons why you should start a construction project in the winter.


1. The Start of Construction Projects Are Slow

construction planning            The very best reason why you should start in winter is that the start of construction projects are very slow.  There’s budget development, the design phase, and getting permits in order.  You must do these before you ever start to build.  This is why the joke is “winter, spring, and construction,” instead of just “winter and construction.”  People get started in the spring, but because everything takes so long to get started, they don’t actually start building in the summer.

However, if you start in the winter, you’ll be using those months the crew can’t be on site to get all the bureaucratic and design details done.  While everybody else is sitting on their hands, you’ll be taking care of all the things that slow down the project.  As soon as spring comes, you’ll be able to start on the construction.  This will mean less time pressure for the construction crew because the coming winter never looms so strongly.  With less pressure from time limits, there is less stress on site.  Less stress means less mistakes, and that means less money spent fixing them.  It saves you time and money.


2. Deal With Construction Hiccups

Since your crew will have less pressure and less stress, there will be less mistakes.  That doesn’t mean there won’t be hiccups, though.  Every construction project will run into delays; that’s just the way life works.  If you’re able to start the building at the start of spring, there will be more time to deal with these hiccups.  The crew can smooth out the humps and bumps along the way instead of having to clean them in a rush at the last minute.  This will also reduce the errors made on site.

Haste makes waste, as they say.  No rush means no fuss.


3. Observe Adverse Conditions

Because you’re planning your construction in winter, you’ll be seeing the space you’re building in during the worst weather. This gives you the opportunity to see how your building will handle those conditions.  You can inspect how it handles freeze-thaw cycles, rain, snow, and storms.  These observations allow you to better plan for drainage, and wind shielding.  If you wait until spring to start, you’ll be seeing the area while it’s hot and dry.  This means you won’t know about any drainage or storm issues until next spring, well after you’ve already got most, if not all of the building constructed.  You’ll be stuck with costly reconstruction projects to fix any errors you could have caught if you’d begun your planning when you could see potential weather-related issues.


Don’t Waste Your Winter

If you’ve got a construction project you’d like to start, now is the best time.  Just because the crew can’t be on site during the winter, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do.  If you start now, you can take care of all those pesky legal and design issues.  You’ll be ready to start building as soon as spring hits and have it done while everybody else is rushing to complete it before the snowfall.  If you’ve got a project you want started, get in touch with us today.  We’ll help you get the most out of your money.

commercial construction

What’s the Difference?

Perhaps you’ve wondered about this question.  Maybe you’ve never thought about it.  Either way, the difference between residential and commercial construction is a good question.  The answer is a lot more than you’d think.


Defining Commercial and Residential Construction

residential construction            Commercial construction is building for commercial purposes. Stores, offices, and schools are all examples of commercial construction.

Residential construction focuses on buildings people will live in.  Homes, apartments, and housing complexes are all forms of residential construction.

This is the difference between the two at the core.  There’s a lot more to it, however; each type of construction has very different methods and specialties.   There is a lot of crossover between the skills, but a specialist in residential cannot simply do commercial if he’s never done it before.  Allow us to break it down.


Construction Materials

commercial construction            While every construction project will use different materials, the types of materials used are different.  In residential construction, the house is usually constructed around a timber frame.  Because residential buildings are smaller, they need less reinforcement.  Timber suffices for the structural needs and is more cost effective.

A commercial building tends to be much larger, however, so it needs more support.  A timber frame would collapse under the weight of a commercial building.  For this reason, commercial construction prefers steel frames.  It’s stronger and supports large buildings better.  It is also more malleable than timber, allowing tall buildings to sway just a little bit, which makes them better able to stand up to high winds.

These are not hard and fast rules, per say. Depending on the style of residential home, sometimes steel is preferable, or even necessary to use, while very small commercial buildings can make use of a timber frame



This is a big one.  It may seem obvious, but the differences in costs can be surprisingly large, even for buildings of similar size.  Commercial construction is always more expensive.  Steel is more expensive than timber, obviously, but there are other factors as well.  Commercial construction tends to be run on a tight schedule, so the workers need to be more skilled in order to meet those deadlines.  That makes their work more expensive.  The two types of construction also have different permits and regulations required of them and this significantly changes the costs.

And speaking of regulations . . .


Permits and Regulations

Compared to residential construction, commercial regulations are much more strict.  The materials, building methods, electrical and plumbing systems, and even how they can be designed are all very strictly regulated.  These regulations also vary significantly between states, or even between towns.  Commercial contractors have to know the regulations very well if they want their company to succeed.

While residential buildings still have to follow building codes, the regulations are simpler.  The buildings are smaller and simpler in design (usually), so there are far less factors to consider in building them.


What does MW Do?

MW Construction handles both residential and commercial.  We have experts in both types on staff, but our particular specialty is in managing teams.  We minimize the number of subcontractors on a project to avoid confusion, but the ones we do hire are always the best.  Our management experience allows us to find the best combination of teams as well as keep everyone on the same page.  This allows us to minimize construction times on all projects.  You’ll have your building done faster and of better quality than any of our competitors could hope to offer.  They’ll last longer and be of better quality.

So, if you’re looking for a contractor, whether residential or commercial, look no further than MW Construction.  Get in touch and find out how we can help you today.