NAHB Remodeler of the Month, June 2013

Q: How did you start in the remodeling business?

A: I was working for a builder for four days a week, and I worked on Collier Construction projects on Fridays and Saturdays. We wanted to be in the business of building homes, but remodeling has always been, and will always be, a big part of our business. Remodeling is a good thing for home builders to do. It lets them see how things have been done in the past — what’s worked and what hasn’t.

Q: What did you do before becoming a remodeler?

A: I was a project superintendent for a custom home builder and remodeler. I fell in love with construction on a trip to Africa where I did some building for a mission agency. When I got back, I applied for jobs in the construction industry and was hired by a custom home builder.

Q: As you were growing up, what did you want to be?

A: I wanted to be a mission specialist on a NASA space shuttle. I even had the astronaut Cabbage Patch doll, which I still have. I was probably one of the only little boys who had a Cabbage Patch doll, but I wanted to be an astronaut very, very badly. I also thought by the time I got married, it would be possible to have a honeymoon on the moon.

Q: How has the remodeling industry changed since you’ve been involved?

A: We’ve seen a greater focus on historic renovation and remodeling that preserves the historical design of original projects. We see less and less of the complete gut and remodel mindset. We find our customers value those things, whether it’s flooring or beams or cabinets, and are willing to pay more to reuse or repurpose them.

Q: What does being part of NAHB mean?

A: Being a member of NAHB is important because it allows us to participate in a greater community of builders, rather than feeling like we’re out there all by ourselves. I know I can count on the NAHB to make valuable resources available to us, and it brings us into a community of businesses that are facing the same challenges we face.

Q: What is the best advice you have received?

A: “Never ever, ever panic.” In the construction industry, particularly in remodeling, things go wrong all the time. Fortunately, with a clear mind and calm response, most everything can be solved relatively easily without a big hassle.

Q: What is your favorite item in your office?

A: Our Nelson platform bench with a black leather cushion. It probably cost more than anyone would ever think you’d spend on a wooden bench, but I love its simple design and timeless aesthetic.

Industry Involvement

  • Vice president, HBA of Greater Chattanooga
  • Hamilton County Board of Zoning Appeals
  • President, Habitat for Humanity local chapter

Community Involvement

  • Rock Creek Trail Run Series to benefit Wild Trails
  • Chattanooga Arboretum & Nature Center — repair existing eagle enclosure and build a new Sandhill crane enclosure
  • Tennessee River Rescue — a cleanup program benefitting the Chattanooga Arboretum and Nature Center
  • Chattanooga Zoo — building a camel track