From Chevron shiplap fireplace walls to reclaimed wood mantels, Tampa-based builder Joe McKinnon creates stunning one-of-a-kind fireplaces in every style, with Touchstone® electric fireplaces as the centerpiece. Joe transformed his passion for tinkering into a successful career in custom carpentry—even scoring screen time on HGTV’s 100 Day Dream Home.
Joe McKinnon started McKinnon Building Services LLC in March 2018 after leaving his corporate job to pursue his love for carpentry. The self-taught builder specializes in cosmetic carpentry and previously worked on custom fireplaces, pantries, doors, cabinets and countertops. Since his humble beginnings in 2018, he has amassed thousands of followers on his Facebook page and continues to book back-to-back projects.
Joe McKinnon on HGTV's 100 Day Dream Home
His most beloved accomplishment to-date was when the hosts of HGTV’s 100 Day Dream Home, Brian and Mika Kleinschmidt, personally messaged him about appearing on their show last year.
“It was extremely cool, actually. It was the coolest thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “I worked at an insurance company for 15 years and then I was a manager at a gas company and then I started some handyman business and three years later I’m on HGTV. It was wild.”
Some of his projects on the show included a secret door disguised as a bookcase, a beauty salon, a shiplap wall and a pantry.
McKinnon Building Services custom fireplace featuring the Touchstone® Sideline Electric Fireplace
However, he currently receives the most requests for custom fireplaces. Tampa’s fireplace craze all started when a photo of McKinnon’s first fireplace project gained 1,200 likes on Facebook. The customer of his first fireplace installation bought a Touchstone fireplace, and ever since then, McKinnon has used Touchstone’s fireplaces for his projects.
Touchstone’s electric fireplaces are known for their easy installation, variety of sizes and stunning flame displays. McKinnon said he always has a positive experience with Touchstone, lauding the company for its quality products and excellent customer service.
Touchstone Sideline® 72 Electric Fireplace with gray stone and build-in cabinets
“I know how to frame it [a Touchstone fireplace],” he said. “It looks good and the price is good.”
Framing a Touchstone fireplace to match the vibe of a room is one of the most creative parts of McKinnon’s job. So far, he has built fireplaces with stacked stone, brick on the bottom and shiplap on top, marble tile, shelves, cabinets and bookcases.
“The fun part is making each one unique,” he said. “Some people want farmhouse, some people want modern… I’ve done so many different variations.”
When choosing what fireplace model to use, he considers the size and style of the room. McKinnon thinks the Touchstone Sideline and the Sideline Elite are perfect for larger rooms with a modern flair because the two models are wide and rectangular. On the other hand, he says the square-shaped Forte Electric Fireplace fits better in smaller spaces with an old-school appearance. A quick tip from McKinnon: the Sideline Elite looks particularly clean and sophisticated when paired with stone.
“I like to challenge myself on each one,” he said when reflecting on his diverse list of projects.
Are you In the Tampa, Florida area and looking to spice up your living space? Contact McKinnon Building Services for a custom fireplace build.
Image credits: McKinnon Building Services and HGTV Network 100 Day Dream Home