As a third-generation woodworker, Jeff's interest in building began while he was still a young child.
Some of my earliest memories are of my father's woodshop, says Jeff of his childhood days in Chatham, which included learning how to do dovetail joinery and building some of the best forts in the neighborhood. My forts had skylights, were waterproof, and had screened windows, recalls Jeff.
Looking back, Jeff realizes that he gets the same sense of satisfaction from building today that he did as a child. In a nutshell, it's about passion, says Jeff. To me, that word encompasses everything that is important about building. When people are able to follow their dreams, it shows.
At college, I was the guy with all the handmade pine furniture in my dorm room, says Jeff, who at the time was planning on continuing his family's tradition of a career in sales. Upon graduation in 1982, Jeff returned to Williamsburg. I got the suits and went to personnel agencies but let's just say they saw right through me, says Jeff. I ended up accepting a job in restaurant management. One of my co-worker's husband was a framing contractor and when she approached me about doing some work with him in Kingsmill, I didn't hesitate to say yes. Since I worked evenings and my days were free, it fit right into my schedule.
After two weeks of framing, Jeff knew without a doubt that construction was for him. I enjoyed going to work, says Jeff of his day job. I loved being outdoors and seeing the tangible results at the end of each day.
It wasn't too long before Jeff gave his notice at the restaurant so he could work full-time on residential framing. It was the right decision, as it was something that Jeff did daily for the next seven years and which he continues to do to this day. I can't imagine building someone's home and not having solid framing experience, Jeff says. It starts with structure. You do a lousy job in the framing; you'll be snake bit somewhere down the line.
In 1990, with seven years of experience under Jeff's belt, J. H. Fisher Construction was born. I started the business with $1,000 and a whole lot of ambition and passion, Jeff recalls. I didn't have a five-year business plan, but after four years of doing anything from rot repair to custom cabinets and remodeling, natural progression led me into home building.
In 1994 I convinced a local bank to let me build a spec in Ford's Colony, says Jeff. That's when I realized that home building was for me. It allowed me to instill my creativity, my woodworking skills, and attention to details into something that I truly enjoy doing.
In short Jeff feels it's an honor to be given the trust to build a clients home.