About


I am a professional home improvement contractor specializing in small to medium-sized remodeling projects, handyman services and custom carpentry. I also dabble in the arts and in making stick furniture. I started my business full time in 2008, after my wife and I had taken a year sabbatical to travel the US and abroad. My previous career was in non-profit management, in which I worked for almost 20 years. My natural inclinations and abilities in carpentry and home repair had been honed by owning four homes in the previous 13 years and completing innumerable remodeling and maintenance projects. In addition, my uncle was an excellent carpenter, who taught me many things, and my great-great grandfather built barns in Iowa, so maybe there is something in the blood.

I am a graduate of the University of Tennessee and a former Peace Corps Volunteer. I grew up in Nashville but have lived in the Knoxville area for most of the past 35 years, with short stints in Michigan, Kentucky, and Africa.

Grand Tetons

Susan and me in Grand Tetons

My wife, Susan, and I live on a 25 acre farm near Seymour, TN, between Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains. Our farm is a typical East Tn farm, rolling and mostly wooded, with some steep hills and a creek. Our goal is live as sustainably as possible and grow as much of our own food as we can. We have heritage breed chickens, guinea hens, and two standard donkeys, Josie and Flora, along with our cats, Iris and Homer. We have a large garden and a variety of berries and fruit trees. We plan to acquire bees soon and to start a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in a few years. Currently we sell eggs and occasional produce. So when I’m not working on other people’s houses, I’m working on our farm. There’s always plenty to do!

Josie and Flora

Josie and Flora

My goal is very simple–to do excellent work. To that end, I do all the work myself, although I sometimes have an assistant for jobs that require two hand. I do not employ subs.  On occasion, homeowners will assist with projects if they are so inclined.  I often work with homeowners to save materials (and money) and I will donate any reusable items to an appropriate charity. I believe in recycling and reusing materials if at all possible, rather than just throwing them away.

If you would like to receive an estimate on your project or have any questions, please contact me at (865) 805-7338 or at jsmongold@gmail.com.