For Leith Finnegan, starting his own restoration company in the area was a no-brainer. He grew up in Greater Gainesville working at his father’s restoration franchise, and in 2009, he founded his own company. Maven Construction Group is a licensed general contractor specializing in residential and commercial disaster restoration. The business is family-owned and run by husband and wife team Leith and Ashley Finnegan.
In addition to Leith’s nearly 20 years in the construction and renovation industry, Ashley brings her own impressive background in marketing to the partnership, creating both a successful business and a strong family.
“I thought I was doing a pretty good job at marketing until Ashley got involved, but she has taken it to a whole new level,” Leith said with a hearty laugh. Ashley remarked that although working together as a husband and wife poses some challenges, respecting the other’s expertise and “staying in your own lane” ultimately ensures that their partnership continues to be a successful one.
Maven specializes in disaster restoration and reconstruction including tree damaged properties.
Ashley, who is also a licensed contractor, graduated from the University of Florida. She says her return to the area and role with Maven Construction Group has sparked a greater appreciation for the community as a whole. It has allowed her to venture out beyond her collegiate experience and forge new friendships and professional partnerships through the Junior League, United Way and other charitable organizations. Her professional involvements include the Builder’s Association and the Gainesville Alachua County Association of Realtors. She will serve as president of her BNI chapter for the 2017/2018 term and was honored to assistant chair the massively successful “Tour of Kitchens” for the Junior League.
Maven’s primary focus is on disaster relief and reconstruction. The expert contractors can repair everything from a minor leak in a residential bathroom to the full flooding of a commercial building. They respond quickly to storms, floods and falling trees. If clients call Maven first, the company will handle cleanup, restoration, reconstruction and insurance claims from beginning to end.
While Maven primarily repairs damage from water and mold, they also handle fire and storm destruction.
“I had a water pipe leaking inside my wall, with accompanying mold and rot,” said former client Warren Bernard. “Maven took over after the plumber was done. What I got from them was straight talk and prompt work that was very well done. Every interaction was positive.”
As a self-funded company, Maven significantly reduces repair and construction time on its projects. While most reconstruction companies go through insurance companies or have clients pay out of pocket, Maven begins work immediately. They also relieve the client of the stress of dealing with insurance, as they go to the insurance companies themselves for reimbursement after the work is completed. This expedited process offers great benefits to their clients. With the project completed more quickly, the home or business owner is less likely to be displaced for long periods of time.
Maven believes in putting the customer first, which explains the tremendous growth of their business over the past eight years.
As Leith stated, “Even if the work is done well, if the projects drags … you are left with an unhappy client in the end. Our model is different than anything else in town and was put in place for the best interest of our clients.”
Another former client, Bill Bechel said, “Maven was incredibly responsive when my roof was leaking during a rainstorm. They were out within 15 minutes of my initial call. Leith and his team kept me informed the whole time while explaining the water drying (and) remediation process and what they did to prevent further damage. The quality of work on the repairs was excellent. In addition, they were diligent in working with my insurance (company) to make sure all the damages were covered.”
Custom home by Maven Construction Group
The insider view of all the things that can go wrong in a home is part of Maven’s inspiration to expand into custom home building.* Due to his background in restoration work, Leith has a unique perspective on the entire construction process. Through the course of his restoration efforts, he is constantly repairing, trouble-shooting and addressing all manner of complications that could have been prevented by proper planning and design at the onset of construction.
Restoration experience has afforded the entire Maven team the opportunity to consider how things should be constructed in the initial phases. In Leith’s words, “It’s not just how your home looks on day one, but rather how it stands the test of time well into year five, 10 or 20. That’s the true test of quality craftsmanship.”
This custom home is a true testament to Maven’s singular brand: unique architecture and locally sourced materials.
As Leith points out, during construction a homeowner faces one of two options — invest up-front on things like quality foundation work and site preparation or be prepared for potentially massive maintenance issues to arise in the future. According to Leith, addressing issues like water run-off and initial site preparation may not be as exciting as selecting custom décor finishes, but they are essential to the home’s long-term viability. When they work on custom homes, Maven Construction Group believes you should do it right the first time and save the homeowner future headache and heartache.
“While the relief work still comprises the bulk of our business, we are excited to venture out a bit as well. Like I told Ashley … I would build anything from a dog house to a skyscraper, if given the chance,” said Leith.
Currently, Leith and Ashley Finnegan are reaping the rewards of their labors, having just completed construction on a gorgeous custom home of their own. Nestled in the bucolic community of Prairie Breeze, the new home is a true testament to Maven Construction Group’s singular brand — a unique amalgamation of architectural styles and locally sourced materials coupled with careful attention to details.
Leith and Ashley at their home in Prarie Breeze
There, the couple enjoys working from home and raising their two young sons. While the company maintains a large warehouse and office space in town, the flexibility of a home office affords meaningful moments as a family. As Ashley said, “Being able to start the day with breakfast together as a family is something truly special. Of course, this doesn’t happen every day, but it is something we strive towards. After all, what else is more important than time well-spent with family? If we lack that, all of our hard work would be futile.”
When asked what may be on the horizon for Maven, Ashley confided that they would love to start offering a behind-the-scenes look of their projects on their newly launched YouTube Channel.
For most people, their home is their refuge. Coming home at the end of the day to a flood, tree through the roof or ongoing construction can be distressing to say the least. While you hope you’ll never have to worry about a fire or storm, living in Florida means the next hurricane or tropical storm is just around the corner. Should disaster strike, Maven is ready to help. Leith and Ashley Finnegan plan to keep their family and their business in Gainesville for a long time and continue to grow as leaders in North Central Florida.
Maven Construction Group
Although the couple hopes you never experience disaster, you’ll know you’re in good hands with Maven if you ever need the help. To learn more visit MavenRestoration.com or call (352) 240-6705.
* Want to see an example? Maven Construction Group built last edition’s featured custom home. Check it out at homemagazinegainesville.com/built-on-a-legacy