Student Build

About the Program

Instructor Joe Kruser with Advanced Construction Class

The Student Build program began in 2007 as a collaboration between the South Central Wisconsin Builders Association (SCWBA), and the Janesville School District’s Craig and Parker Advanced Construction Classes. It is designed to be a working classroom and mini-apprenticeship for the participating students, exposing them to every aspect of the build from foundation to trim.  We are helping to promote and educate the next generation of area builders and subcontractors through this program.

How the Program Works

Each year a lot is purchased by the Association. A Builder Member in the Association steps up as the General Contractor to oversee the project.  Once the home and price are planned, set, and approved, the overseeing contractor as well as the Education Committee solicit donations and/or discounts as needed for completing the project.

Kids Installing SidingEach Student Build project spans the typical school year, beginning in early September and finishing in May.  In late May, we put the house on the market and host an open house in order to showcase the home to Association members, vendors, families of the students, and to the general public.  If possible, the home is also included in the SCWBA Parade of Homes in September of the following year.


Advantages for the Consumer purchasing a home from the program are:

  • Immediate equity resulting from the reduced cost to build the home.
  • Products & features normally not characteristic of a home within the price point.
  • An energy efficient home operating at minimal cost (most now are Energy Star Certified).
  • Full Builders Warranty offered by the Association and serviced by the overseeing Builder.
  • Implied product warranties offered by the manufacturers.
  • A home constructed to near perfection because of the scrutiny over each component.
  • Limited buyer choices (if purchased early enough).
  • Add-on features offered at material costs only with no labor costs (i.e. deck, storm doors, etc.).