Some people never really find what they were born to do. Fortunately, that was never a problem for me. As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved building projects with wood. It didn’t matter whether it was a wooden go-cart, a piece of furniture, or gifts for family and friends. In grade school and high school, you could always find me in a woodworking class. Once, while having dental work done, I missed school for three days but showed up anyway to my advanced woodworking class to finish a gossip bench for my sister. (I told the teacher to mark me absent, which he did.)
My first big project was remodeling an old house that I bought in the summer of 1984. The house was built in the late 1880’s and served as a salon for people going up and down the river beside my hometown in Indiana. Before I purchased the property, there had been additions made to it several times over the years. I remember being shocked by the lack of uniformity of the house when it was built…not one part of the house was level or square. Anyway, by the time I finished remodeling it, I decided that this is what I wanted to do with my life.
One day while framing a house I noticed a man across the street building a gazebo. Thinking that it looked like a lot of fun, I went over and learned everything I could from him about building gazebos. I told a framing colleague that I found what I’d be doing going forward. From that point on, I learned all about gazebos and decks and have never looked back (until this blog post). I guess then that it’s not too hard to imagine the evolution of a kid that builds wooden go-carts to an Atlanta custom deck builder after all.