Design-Build General Contractor | Iowa / Midwest

Design-Builder | Construction Manager | General Contractor

Carl A. Nelson & Company is a trustworthy and experienced industrial, institutional and commercial construction company serving Iowa, the Midwest and the United States from locations in Burlington and Cedar Falls, Iowa. 

Our pledge to clients on every project is to live up to our core values of: Fairness and Honesty, Quality Workmanship and Service Second to None. This commitment to customer service is why approximately 80% of our business annually comes from repeat and referred clients.

Contact us today for a consultation about your project needs.

Our Experience

Our team of engineers and construction managers has extensive experience in numerous construction markets, and today serves the design-build construction, construction management (agency and at-risk) and general contracting needs of clients in a range of market sectors. To learn more about the work we do, and to see project examples from our portfolio, choose one of the options below:

Our Services

We are capable of delivering a full range of services to clients, including master planning, pre-construction, design, construction and maintenance. Choose an option from the list below to learn more:

Needs Assessment & Master Planning

Pre-Construction Services

Code Study, BIM & Design-Assist

Self-Performed Construction

Nelson Plant Services


In business since 1913, Carl A. Nelson & Company — you can call us CANCO — is a design-build, construction management and general contracting company. Founded and still operating in Burlington, Iowa, we also have an office in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Our offices work as one to better serve our customers' needs.

CANCO is an industrial, institutional and commercial construction company, working in several construction market segments.

We are an employee-owned company, and with approximately 120 direct-hire employees in the field and the office, we have the people and the processes to deliver quality on your next construction project. Our project superintendents average more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry, while our project managers — degreed engineers, construction managers, industrial technologists and one of our two staff architects — average more than 20 years of industry experience.

At CANCO, working safely is at the forefront of everything we do. And while every company has the capacity to improve, we are justifiably proud of our safety program, and of a safety history that includes twice in recent years exceeding 1 million man hours without a lost day accident.

Learn more about what sets us apart from the competition, where we work and why more than 80 percent of our business is from repeat clients, by visiting the About Us section of the website.

Our Story | Safety First | Where We Work | Leadership Team


Stories in our news section are taken from the pages of our wibi newsletter, breaking project-related news, coverage of company events, and more. Click below for some recent headlines, or visit the news section to see what else we've been up to.

Here are some recent headlines. Discover more in our CANCO News section.

Brindza joins CANCO as new project superintendent
Brindza joins CANCO as new project superintendent

CANCO's newest field supervisor got his start at age 6, helping his father on drywall jobs, and has spent nearly 20 years in project leadership roles.


Annual CANCO challenge puts high-schoolers' skills to the test
Annual CANCO challenge puts high-schoolers' skills to the test

Construction trades students from five SE Iowa high schools were given the task to frame and drywall adjoining metal stud walls with window, door openings.


Ribbon cut on CANCO truck scale, semi parking project
Ribbon cut on CANCO truck scale, semi parking project

Company representatives took part in a ceremonial opening of a new front entry at Climax Molybdenum in Fort Madison, Iowa.


wibi Newsletter

Based on an acronym that represents shorthand for our quality assurance efforts, the wibi newsletter is mailed to clients in the industrial, healthcare and education markets, as well as published online in an e-edition. It features our projects, articles on topics helpful to clients — Decoding the Code focuses on code-related issues that can affect project budgets and long-term costs of ownership; and Building Value, which aims to help facility owners achieve value in their plans, projects and upkeep — and spotlights on our people and our safety program.

Visit our wibi page to see current and back issues of the newsletter.

Experience (is) the Carl A. Nelson & Company difference

Thank you for visiting our website. It's here 24/7 to help demonstrate the value of choosing Carl A. Nelson & Company for your organization's next construction project. To take advantage of the CANCO pledge to deliver Fairness & Honesty, Quality Workmanship and Service Second to None, contact us today.

Design-Build, Construction Management and General Contractor | Offices in Burlington and Cedar Falls, Iowa