F.E. Trainer Construction, Inc.
Shaping Lives with Exquisite Homes
According to Knoxville native Fred Trainer, “The nice thing about being a builder is when you’re done, you get to enjoy a beautiful, tangible accomplishment.”
Cityview readers must agree: they have voted F.E. Trainer Construction Inc. at 1185 Keowee Avenue Southwest as one of the best builders and remodelers in the area.
“Homes have such impacts on families,” Trainer says. “A home done well not only has to fit the lot and the size of the family, it can have a positive impact on how the family lives. I believe it was Winston Churchill who said, ‘We shape our dwellings and afterwards our dwellings shape us.’ I enjoy the great accomplishment of changing somebody’s living environment. We’re strictly custom home builders, so we’re never building the same house twice. We’re building unique homes or doing remodels.
“I grew up here, graduated from Bearden High School and went to Georgia Tech to get my undergraduate degree. Then I stayed in Atlanta for five more years selling building supplies. I came back here to get my MBA from UT and immediately started my business in 1998.
“Knoxville’s my home and a big part of who I am. Knoxville is an unusually healthy and caring community—whether it’s the Emerald Youth Foundation, Thrive Lonsdale, or Young Life. I look and see that Knoxville is a generous community.
“Being named the best makes me feel proud,” Trainer adds. “We’ve been doing this for 20 years and have made a lot of people happy. We are far from perfect, but we are good at what we do. When people pick us, we feel like they’ve made a good choice and want to make sure they feel that way at the end of the job. I also enjoy the coworkers and camaraderie. When a coworker comes up to you and says ‘This is fun. I love working here,’ that’s very gratifying.” F.E. Trainer Construction Inc. employs about 25 people full-time.
“We’ve done some really neat things,” Trainer says. “We’ve built many beautiful lake front homes, but we’ve also done some really awesome backyard transformations that involved putting in a swimming pool where you wouldn’t think one could go and building retaining walls. Working on historic homes is particularly fun for me—a home that has some meaning in the community. We’ve done houses on Cherokee Boulevard and several on Scenic Drive and Sherwood Drive that I get to drive by all the time. You’re able to go work on the home and make it more livable and increase its lifespan. I enjoy that a lot. My wife and I are actually doing that to a house of ours right now.
Trainer notes that part of his company’s success is the fact they know their limits.
“We don’t just keep on taking on more and more work,” he explains. “We want to do a great job for each customer, so people have to wait on us because of that. A lot of what we do is just face to face communication, so we have to be sure we have time for everyone.”
What is he most proud of?
“I’m proudest of our client relationships, our longevity and the people we’ve got working here on this team.”