LES O'DELL For The Southern Jan 13, 2019

Take two unique backgrounds ... one, a landscape architect with a knack for designing and building patios, pergolas and outdoor kitchens. The other, a retired chiropractor with years of experience turning fixer-uppers into quality rental homes. Add in the family connection of a father and the man who married his daughter and the perfect team is the result – the Southern Illinois Home Team.

This Carterville-based company made up of former landscaper Justin Vancil and his father-in-law, John McConnaughy — widely known in the region as “Dr. John,” a chiropractor of 33 years — has offered home remodeling, repairs and custom woodworking services for four years.

Vancil says once the pair got to working together, the business grew quickly. “We’ve found a really good niche. There are guys around offering similar services, but hardly any businesses that provide the level of professionalism, reliability, creativity, quality and customer service that we do. That's what sets us apart. It’s really just taken off for us from word of mouth.”

He adds that it hasn’t hurt that people have known “Dr. John” throughout the area for many years. “It seems like he knows everybody from his 30-plus years in practice,” Vancil said. “One thing has led to another and now we typically stay scheduled out for several months. Plus, over the years, he has bought several houses in the area, fully gutted them and renovated them, so he has had a basis of carpentry and construction knowledge for a long time.”

Vancil, a talented woodworker, has a following of his own for custom furniture and other pieces he has created in his own shop.

“It’s always something different. We love the custom work – coming up with things that people can’t buy or make for themselves – building things that they want or need that they can’t get any other way,” he says.

Despite being busy and having a growing client list, Vancil says the pair has no intention of slowing down nor growing too big. “We want to stay small because we can be more attentive and particular to the details of a project,” he said. I want to sleep at night knowing that we’ve done the best work we possibly can,” he explains. “To me, the goal is not to expand into several crews running around with trucks. Rather, it’s to stay local and provide excellent customer service and excellent end results on every single project.”