We often get asked how we got started in this industry, well let us tell you. Carla and I are native Mississippians. Both being from Ocean Springs and Pascagoula, we could not imagine living anywhere or raising our children other than the coast. We have been married for twenty amazingly blessed years and have four children and five grandchildren. So, our lives have always been full of children and we love every crazy minute of it! We share the same philosophy of living everyday being thankful for the life that we have and live to make others as happy as us. We always like to find the positive in every moment, even the challenges in life can have meaning. And we did just that in August of 2005 when a little lady called Katrina stormed into our lives. See, we had a successful Coffee House in Old Town Bay Saint Louis approaching its fourth year of existence. We renovated homes on the side and sold them because it was fun. Our children were young and loved having that coffee house in their small town and bringing friends to it. Unfortunately, hurricane Katrina wiped that away along with everything else on the Mississippi Gulf Coast including our home. We did not have one piece of the business or the house left. It was devastating, our whole lives just wiped away in a night. But instead of staying down, we chose to get up. We were thankful that we were all alive and together. We knew that although it was a very difficult experience, that we could still make it through. As days and months went by, people came back, outside contractors coming in to help in the recovery, mission groups volunteering to help…..it was a time of coming together in our communities. And if it is one thing the South has, it is that we help others in time of need. We always take care of our neighbors-even if they are neighbors in different towns. Because everyone is your neighbor in the South.
We started to notice others complaining about being taken advantage of, contractors overcharging for everything. We hated to see that happening. Our first real experience in the construction business was completing a remodel for a single mom who had been taken advantage of badly by a shady contractor. We successfully completed her project and made what, at the time, felt like a great profit for the job. And just like that, we were in the construction business. In those first few months remodels and renovations came very easy, basically if a house in our area was still standing it probably needed some work, and everyone was looking for someone to do it.
After realizing it was going to be quite some time before the Olde Town Bay Saint Louis area had even the most basic infrastructure, like a road or any sort of utilities, we decided to pursue the construction opportunities and forget about getting the coffee house up and running or rebuilt. This turned out to be one of our greatest decisions in business ever.
It was only a few months into this endeavor that we started getting lots of calls about building new homes, and of course that was the direction we really wanted to go. We quickly began getting all the necessary licenses and insurances in place to go after this new found opportunity. With both of us coming from a business background as opposed to coming up through the trade side of the industry, we definitely approached the entire process of building a home from a different perspective. Thornhill Construction was created out of necessity, certainly a necessity for our financial needs after being smashed by Hurricane Katrina, but more importantly the outcry of necessity that the local market had begun to recognize. The need for new homes was in massive demand along the entire coast.
Our niche market and type of home just seemed to happen. Early on we were drawn to building what we called “Classic Coastal Cottages’ ‘, and sort of began to have a certain look to the homes we were able to be a part of. That “look and feel” began to take on the personality of an actual brand in a sense. We built on that image for several years with marketing campaigns that went out all over the coast and into Louisiana, “The Coast is Calling…” was born. Obviously, being situated in an area that is more than 50% zoned some sort of flood zone we have excelled in building elevated homes. The elevated coastal home in general has proven to be our speciality niche, and we are laser focused on building the best experience possible for everyone that is required to build an elevated foundation home.
Another unique challenge that presented itself early on in the process of growing the Thornhill Construction brand of home building was the need for a duplicatable system, along with quality individuals to actually do the hands-on building of each unique home. By applying our business background and not being willing to accept the normal excuses and setbacks that seemingly were the norm in home building, we set out to build a team that did things a bit differently and did not accept no for an answer, and certainly didn’t take well to the attitude of “this is how its always been done, or how we’ve always done it”. We quickly learned that building a staff of well trained and well selected sub-contractors would take some time and effort. Over the years we have built a dynamite group of guys that work well together, constantly working to create a better and more effective process. And in the last few years with the demand for even more custom and sometimes even a higher level of customization we have doubled our efforts on creating a process for assisting clients with the entire process of the build from start to finish.
Thornhill Construction has grown to a full service design build firm that offers the ability to take a potential client from the early stages of maybe just slightly considering moving the Mississippi Gulf Coast to helping arrange a moving company to get you here. We have close relationships with realtors to assist in finding the perfect piece of property for your build, and the right banking contacts to make the necessary financial arrangements to make it happen. Another major part of the service side of what we offer is the design phase of the project. We offer a drafting service that utilizes the latest technology to be able to show clients 3D renderings during the initial drafting process. This helps in the visualization of the home early on. Once those plans are complete we have an engineer that reviews the plan and advises on particular foundation requirements and structural needs. We also have on-staff design and product selection coordinators that will assist clients with selecting all the particular items that makes a house your custom home, no matter the size and scope of the house, it is your dream home and we treat each and every one of our clients and their projects in that manner.
We have been richly blessed over the years, having the opportunity to be a part of hundreds of custom builds, getting to see people’s visions come to life over and over has never gotten old to us. Whether we are building an ultra modern home like the famous “BeeHive” on the Waveland Beach Front, a “Classic Coastal Cottage” to a “Fisherman’s Dream Camp” on the Jourdan River, or a more traditional beachfront DREAM home- we are looking forward to a continued future of making families dreams come true by building the most unique homes in the most enjoyable, efficient manner imaginable. Call us today, THE COAST IS INDEED CALLING