Collaboration is Key

KTC Construction shares advice on how to achieve your dream renovation goals


By Elizabeth Scinta
Photos by Kathryn Harrington


Starting a construction or design project on your home or outdoor space can feel both exciting and a bit daunting. However, with the right construction team, a team you can trust, revamping your home should be nothing short of gratifying. “Find a team you can work and collaborate with,” said Kiel Thomson, Owner of Kiel Thomson Company Construction. “Collaboration, whether it’s with the builder and the homeowner, or the designer and the architect, needs to be well thought out and have a plan put in place for success.”

Founder and CEO Kiel Thomson and
Director of Operations Dawn Marshall.

Thomson has worked in the construction industry since he was 14-years-old, learning the trade alongside his father in their woodshop. By age 18, he was out in the field as the lead carpenter and glazer, and in 2004, he opened his own construction company known as KTC Construction right here in Louisville. “I enjoy what I’m doing and I enjoy the challenges. I’ve owned a few other businesses throughout my career from the time I was in my early twenties. I have always liked working for myself, putting together my own team and creating my own path,” Thomson explained.

Thomson describes his team of 25 as family, noting a few of them left the businesses they owned to come and join his team. “When I started it, I had this idea of a bunch of builders coming together and pulling our knowledge and relationships to build a strong, successful company that’s going to be around for years. I think I have six or eight people that successfully operated their own businesses until they came on board with me,” said Thomson. When you hire a company to redo any part of your home, you want to know that they’re not doing it because they have to, but because they genuinely want to. “Our guys are not here just clocking the clock. They’re excited to get up and come to work,” Thomson continued.

Thomson described the jobs his team takes on as often “complicated” and “unique,” noting they’re not afraid of a challenge. The perfect example is a cozy cabin Thomson and his team built in Shelbyville, KY. The cabin was designed-in-house by KTC Construction designers Mike Cadden and Laura Whittle, with input from Thomson, explained Dawn Marshall, the Director of Operations for KTC Construction.

“Kiel and his crew worked directly with the excavators and foundation contractors to place, dig and pour the basement knowing that a soon-to-be-installed large stone fireplace and chimney would require quite a bit of support from below,” said Marshall. “The hearthstone is a unique piece measuring about five feet wide by two feet tall by three feet deep and weighs approximately 4,200 pounds. It was part of an old foundation wall at an old jail in Indiana. The stone chimney has pieces that were collected by the owners over the years with two millstones inset amongst the rocks.”

The cabin’s hardwood floors were made from reclaimed pine from the old Phillip Morris Factory in downtown Louisville. The mahogany windows and doors are custom-made from a company in New Jersey and the walls are painted with a nickel gap meaning there’s no drywall in the cabin at all, according to Marshall. The cabin sits on 100 acres of land nestled between hilly pastures, bubbling creeks and enchanting woods. It sounds like a fairy tale, right?

KTC Construction has seen an influx in the number of people wanting to redo or add to their outdoor spaces due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since it’s safer to be outside, customers are taking the opportunity to revamp areas that they might not have paid as much attention to before. A popular addition to outdoor spaces has included an outdoor kitchen, dining spaces and three-season rooms, according to Marshall. Thomson described it as “bringing the outdoors in and the indoors out.”

If you’ve been thinking about starting a construction project but haven’t been able to convince yourself to actually do it, I received some advice from the experts on what your next move should be. Marshall and Thomson recommend giving yourself time to find the construction team you fit with best and carefully planning with them about what you intend to do, including design and materials. “I think a lot of homeowners watch these home and garden shows on TV and think you can do a big project in a weekend and that’s not the case,” Thomson said. “It takes a lot of effort and planning, not to mention time, knowledge and skill.” Although this might sound like it’s delaying the project more, it’s going to benefit you in the long run.

“It’s almost a joke that people think it will always cost more. They estimate that it will be $5,000, and then assume it will be $9,000. That only happens because people don’t take the time to think their projects through before they start. It’s important to take the time to plan your projects from start to finish and to decide on materials first. Of course, things do arise, but if you take the time initially, you will have a lot more control over your costs and schedule than if you jump in too quickly,” Marshall explained. 

When it comes to your home, take the advice from the professionals at KTC Construction to save time and money and to ensure that together you can create the project of your dreams. Visit their website to learn more about their team and how to get started today.

Kiel Thomson Company Construction
925 Samuel Street
Louisville, KY 40204