Technical colleges within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system have specialized statutory authority to acquire, develop, construct and sell residential properties pursuant to Minn. Stat. 136F.36.

Campus Resources for Carpentry Program

  • Process: System procedure 6.7.4 outlines the real estate requirements for such carpentry projects.
  • The Carpentry Handbook outlines the basic legal and practical issues regarding real estate and MnSCU carpentry program procedures, including forms, contracts and checklists. The handbook is designed to give basic guidance, but it does not provide an exhaustive list of the legal and practical issues that can arise in a carpentry project. The handbook will be updated annually to reflect law changes and to incorporate best practices from other carpentry programs.
  • Mechanics Liens and Lien Waivers: This document contains details about mechanics liens and a sample lien waiver form.

Unique Provisions

  • All technical colleges are required to obtain written approval from the Vice Chancellor - Chief Financial Officer prior to any acquisition, construction, or sale of carpentry program real estate.
  • Technical colleges are exempt from residential contractor or remodeler licensing requirements. Minn. Stat. 326.84, subd 3(9).
  • Technical colleges may opt-out of residential construction warranties. Specifically, on any work completed by our carpentry students in construction, additions and remodeling projects, the college may opt-out of the standard statutory residential warranty provisions found in Minn. Stat. 327A.

Having a House Built by Carpentry Students

  • Projects are varied. Examples include:
    • Constructing houses on blocks on campus. (Auctioned at end of academic year)
    • Constructing a residence on an owner's lot, and acting as either a general contractor or carpentry subcontractor
    • Remodeling an existing residence
    • Buying residential lots and constructing a spec home for sale at the end of the school year
    • Constructing garages or outbuildings
  • Cost structure. The carpentry programs at the campuses are designed to give carpentry students the opportunity to "learn on the job", and the fee structure reflects the learning emphasis. All carpentry programs are obligated to charge a service fee, which is generally used to purchase new equipment for the program and offer financial assistance to students in need. The fee structures are as follows:
    • Service fee = a percentage of the total cost of materials used in the project
    • Flat fee
    • Change order charges at the discretion of the campuses
  • Carpentry programs advertise in the early spring for carpentry projects for next fall's students. Contact the campus nearest to you for specific details on when the next project is advertised.
  • Risks involved. Because these are carpentry students, who are learning on the job, the projects typically span an academic year (Sept - April or May). Mistakes happen, however, the instructors are typically on the site at all times the students are.