By Jason Zasky
Since 1993, Southern Electric of TN has been the go-to electric contractor for Giles, Marshall, and Lawrence counties. But since early 2021, the locally-owned company has been under new ownership, with the founder's daughter Tracy Bryan and three longtime employees purchasing the business and extending the service area into Maury, Williamson, and the surrounding areas.
"A lot of cities like Pulaski and Hohenwald don't have electricians," says office manager and co-owner Jaime Gore, explaining why the company has long done business in Giles and Lewis counties. "But we've branched out, and we now go as far as Dickson, Murfreesboro, and Mount Juliet," not to mention the likes of Franklin and Brentwood.
As to the type of calls received, it's a lot of what you'd expect from electricians that focus on residential and light commercial work.
"We get a lot of calls about outlets and switches not working. We also change out a lot of light fixtures and electrical panels and install a lot of chandeliers and ceiling fans," says Gore, whose husband George is another co-owner, as is lead residential technician Robert Adair. "We also do a lot of remodels and new construction," she adds.
That said, spring is a great time for homeowners to make improvements to outdoor living space, with deck lighting, dedicated pool or spa circuits, and motion detection security lighting among the most commonly-requested upgrades. Southern Electric can also help with generator installation and maintenance, not to mention parking lot lighting and storage unit lighting.
Of course, it's always a good time to be thinking about safety.
"If breakers are tripping, that needs to be checked. If outlets are loose or outlets/switches are hot to the touch, those need to be looked at," says Gore before reminding of the importance of equipping your home with properly installed, hardwired carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.
The four co-owners and all the electricians employed by Southern Electric want to help.
"We like working with people. If customers need help, we are willing to work with them," says Gore, before noting that Southern Electric offers financing plans, as well as discounts for teachers, senior citizens, veterans, firemen, and police officers.
Southern Electric also maintains ties with the community, sponsoring teams at local schools and sponsoring the annual golf tournament of the Tennessee Children's Home.
It's all in keeping with the family-oriented atmosphere at the company, not to mention the vibe of the company's hometown.
"I love the family atmosphere and the fact that there are so many local and family businesses in Spring Hill. It's also nice being in close proximity to everything you might need," offers Gore, who says she looks forward to the continued growth of Middle Tennessee counties in the coming years.
"We would like to see the business grow further," she concludes. "We want to be everyone's go-to electrical contractor."
For more info visit www.callsouthernelectrictoday.com
The team at Mid TN Fence can tell you business is booming in the fencing industry. It’s a trend seen nationwide. Some of it stems from increased housing construction and a growing desire by people for more privacy and security.
Since opening a little less than three years ago, the Columbia-based company has installed fencing all over Middle Tennessee.
“We started in 2020, right in the middle of COVID,” says Ashley Robinson. “And we’ve consistently grown. We had a vision for starting a company where we offer great customer service and tackle jobs in a timely manner.”
The company is owned by Kenneth Poag. Robinson handles administration and runs the office, Ryan Springer (who has extensive experience in the industry) handles sales, and a dedicated crew installs the fencing.
“A customer will call,” Robinson says, “and let me know what they’re thinking. I’ll send Ryan out to meet with them, and he’ll walk through and measure off the linear footage they need. Sometimes they know what they want right off the bat, whether it’s wood privacy fencing or vinyl, aluminum, three-board, or four-board. And if they don’t know, Ryan offers suggestions on what works best.”
Although they handle both commercial and residential fencing, Robinson says most of their work is residential.
“Many of the calls we get involve people wanting to keep their kids or pets in or other creatures out. They may want a privacy fence or a chain link fence, something their dogs can’t poke their heads through.”
The goal is to help customers determine the best fencing to meet their needs and make them aware of some of the factors involved.
“For example, maintenance is a factor,” Robinson explains. “When it comes to a wood privacy fence, it’s going to require more upkeep. In six months, you’re going to want to stain, treat, or paint it, and then you have to keep up with it. A lower maintenance fence would be aluminum or vinyl.”
For those considering adding fencing, Robinson suggests knowing your property lines beforehand. It’s the homeowner’s responsibility to know where fencing can and cannot go. Another thing to think about is how many gates you think you’ll need.
“How many gates do you want, and what are the needs for the gates? Is a vehicle going to be driving through it, or is it just a walk-through gate?
With the cost of fencing materials going up in recent years, once customers get an estimate, they’ll need to make a decision rather quickly.
“Pre-COVID, Ryan could give an estimate and say we’re going to honor this for 30 days,” Robinson explains. “You would have 30 days to think about it. But in today’s world, we can only allow five days because our prices fluctuate so much.”
Once a customer decides, Robinson locks in the price by ordering the materials immediately.