Laura Maddox can empathize with her clients when they go through the joys and heartaches of building their own homes. After all, as president of Southern Magnolia Homes, LLC in Knoxville, Laura was her own first customer in the summer of 2000.
“Building my own home was a lot of hard work” Maddox recalls, “but a lot of pride came from it. Turning raw material into something beautiful was very rewarding”
Maddox came from a building background. Her father Jim Lovingood, has 30 years experience in the remodeling business and is a draftsman by trade. Maddox grew up watching her father turn 1940’s government box homes into fashionably remodeled homes, using his skills in multiple areas, including electrical, plumbing and framing. “My father was very skilled with tools and had an eye for detail,” Laura says. “He could turn a piece of lumber into a fine piece of furniture and could do just about anything in a remodeling job. I grew up watching his hard work.” Lovingood now works with Maddox at Southern Magnolia Homes.
At the age of 24, Maddox, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, was licensed by the state in residential real estate sales, and during that time developed an eye for the local real estate market.
“There was a saturation of ‘Knox Boxes’ in the area,” Maddox says, using a local real estate slang term for a common box-shaped floor plan widely used in the area. “There’s nothing wrong with ‘Knox Boxes’. They’re practical and cost-effective but they don’t have a lot of character and they have flooded the market. “It made me think about what type of house I would want to build.”
As fate would have it, Maddox was at a point in her life when she needed a larger home for herself. When it came to the question of buying an existing home or building her own, Maddox took the plunge into being her own contractor.
The experience proved invaluable and ultimately led to her course work as a general contractor through American Contracting Services in the fall of 2001. Southern Magnolia Homes opened its doors in February of 2002.