MIDWEST CITY — Even as a student at Harrah High School, Stan Malaske had a strong hunch about what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.
Four custom homes constructed by Malaske's SWM & Sons Custom Homes — the company he founded in 1982 with his wife, Barbara — are among the 96 featured in the Parade of Homes Spring Festival.
The event continues Saturday and Sunday with new homes open free to the public from 1 to 6 p.m. Fifty-one builders are participating. Details about the houses, and maps, are available online at www.paradeofhomesok.com.
Malaske, who worked for a remodeler during his high school years, settled into the craft of stonework while attending vo-tech in Harrah.
As a young man he “saw a lot of houses bring built” and “always had ideas about how to improve them,” Malaske said. “So, I decided to plunge into home building.”
Malaske said he was always aware of the risks involved in the construction business, but he also knew he was “young enough to recover if I went broke.”
Even in the tough economic environment of the mid-1980s in Oklahoma, Malaske “built enough customs to make a living.”
The skills Malaske developed working with clients and on job sites, starting with his first finished home in 1982, are part of the ethic he shares with two of his sons, now partners in the company.
Chris and Nick Malaske both “spent some time in college,” but left because “they knew they wanted to join the business,” their father said. Malaske's third son, Daniel, works in the oil-and-gas industry.
Between Malaske, his sons, and 20-year associate Rick Sowder, Malaske said, SWM & Sons has a qualified builder in the field “all the time.”
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