The Cook Bros. Blog

Vacation At Home


I think just about everyone is done with this winter weather. Who is tired of looking outside and seeing snow?! We want you to look out your window today and dream about ways that you could turn your yard into a summer retreat. Visit our blog that will get you thinking warm thoughts and dreaming about the future. Let’s have some fun.; (865) 851-7373

Stylish Outdoor Living


Wow! After getting hammered by 3 winter storms now in less than 2 weeks, and with another storm predicted soon, we are all dreaming of warmer weather. Can you smell the sun heating the asphalt? Can you feel it warming you next to a pool? Can you see comfy chairs by a custom stone, outdoor kitchen under a gorgeous pergola or gazebo? Whatever dreams you have of an outdoor living area by your East Tennessee home, Cook Bros. Construction can bring them into reality. Start planning now!

What Our Clients Have to Say

As a business owner, there is no stronger advertisement than the testimonial of a past client. We built a custom home for the Mainors, and in this video shot three months later, they discuss how they felt about the whole process from start to finish. Their comments start with what they called a “very realistic bid as opposed to a ballpark per square foot estimate” resulting in “no financial surprises.”

The Mainors also discuss the construction project they describe as “quick” and say, “Things what I would consider overkill are really just standard for Cook Bros. Construction,” like insulation and energy efficiency. They also refer to the project management as “unmatched.” In the end, the result, they say, is a beautiful home they are “very proud of.”

But don’t just take our word for it; hear what they have to say for themselves.

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Custom Home Project Update

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This is just one of 5 quality, custom dream homes currently being built by Cook Bros. Construction in Tellico Village in Loudon County, TN. This home is getting trusses this week. While it may look like it has a concrete slab foundation, it actually features a unique design by our builder, Ralph Cook, who builds homes on a crawl space but sets the foundation so that there are no steps at entrances.


Basement or Bonus? – Advice from Cook Bros. Construction


A very common question that we receive is whether it is best to do a partially finished basement or a bonus room to gain more living space when building a home. As with many custom home questions, there are a myriad of factors that come into play.

Generally, basement lots are cheaper than level lots, so that muddies the water a bit as far as cost. Generally if a level lot can be procured for marginally more than a basement lot then it is more cost-effective to do a bonus area upstairs. However, if you have a basement lot already or if the price difference between the two is fairly great, than finishing a portion of the basement can be more effective.

When it comes to value typically the added finished upstairs space (or above-grade in builder-speak) brings more value from an appraisal and sales price down the road than finishing a portion of the basement. However, if the basement has additional space that can be finished down the road then that can be a plus in the basement direction.

Really the key should be what works best for you and fits in with where you want to build your home. There are many variables involved, and all should be considered with a builder knowledgeable in your area and the value that different areas will bring you in resale vs. your cost on the front end.


Late Winter/Spring Home Tip:

As we move into Spring and the weather starts to warm we will be out in our yards working and hooking up hoses to pressure wash the debris of winter away and work in the yard. Even when it seems we are out of the woods with respect to freezing temperatures, be sure to not leave hoses connected to exterior hose bibbs. Even frost-proof hose bibbs will freeze and bust inside the housing if left connected to a hose.

DIY Projects Save Money

Custom home builds are large investments. Whenever someone builds a new home in Knoxville or the surrounding area, they don’t want to work with people who will low ball them on price but rather an accurate account of what they will be spending. But even high rollers like to cut costs when possible.

In this video, I discuss some do-it-yourself projects that will save you thousands on your next remodel or home build. If there are DIY projects, such as painting, that you enjoy and feel comfortable doing, make sure your builder will work with you, and you can get a better home within your budget.

A Home to Grow Up In


Home is where love resides, where memories are created, friends are always welcome, and families are forever. If you think of all the memories in your life, the ones in your home are probably the most precious. Your first dinner party there, your first Christmas there, and the pitter patter of your first little one’s feet. Fast forward 25 years to that little one’s family around you and the tiny feet of another as they make their way toward you. Your heart is as full as your home. Cook Bros. isn’t in the construction business; we are in the memory-making business.

A Deal to Make You Smile


Cook Bros. cares about families, ours, yours, and every one in between. They know how important it is to spend time together enjoying each other’s company. There aren’t many places inexpensive enough for big families and fun enough for all ages. But the zoo is! The Knoxville Zoo wants to us to appreciate the fresh cool air of the season and spend a day at the zoo. The animals aren’t hibernating, so why should you? They are offering a BOGO through the month of February, so bundle up and come on out! Click this link for more info:

Not All Roads Lead Home


We’re closing in on the end of January and nearing closer and closer to the peak building season in East Tennessee. Now is the time when we usually get inundated with folks who want to build their custom home and do so this year. From families who are just starting out to couples who are retiring, building a home for the first time can be overwhelming. The “not knowing where to start” is usually the toughest part. We meet with a lot of folks and most fall into one of two categories.

Category #1 People who start the process with selecting a builder they can trust.

End result key features:

  1. A lot/land selection that meets not only their location goals, but also their goals for the type of home they envision building.
  2. A home plan that is feasible and that fits in their budget.
  3. Having peace of mind knowing someone has their best interest in mind and is helping them gather the pieces from start to finish.

Category #2 People who wish they would have started the process with a builder they could trust.

End result key features:

  1. Purchasing a set or multiple sets of home plans that won’t work or need major modifications. (If you need a whole bunch of plans that folks have purchased and never built, we’ve got a whole collection to choose from.)
  2. A building site that won’t work for the home they want to build because of setbacks, restrictions, topography, etc. that they didn’t notice when purchasing the property. (Septic systems and creeks don’t’ mix.)
  3. Frustration at why we, nor anyone else, can build the home for $110.00 per square foot because on the internet it says this house can be built for $110.00 per square foot. (You know everything on the internet is the truth.)

When starting the process of building a home most people think lot selection first, purchasing a home plan second and lastly speaking with builders and selecting one. A lot of time, money and flat out frustration could be saved if they would reverse the process a bit. Speak with a builder and determine what size, style, amenities, etc. home you want, need and can afford before investing a lot of money on a lot or home plans. An experienced contractor can walk you through the various ballpark costs associated with the building process, potential downsides to property you are interested in and inherent pitfalls to watch out for. It’s the difference between taking a cruise and renting a rusty fishing boat with a broken compass to cruise the islands. You get the picture. If you are thinking of building a home, and want to retain your sanity through the process, you’d be best served interviewing and selecting a building “guide” sooner than later.

For tips on interviewing and selecting your custom home contractor stay tuned!


Happy Customers


“We purchased a newly built home from Cook Bros. Our home had been built for the 2014 Parade of Homes and we fell in love with the quality of construction and finish work. The detail in our home provided us with everything we were looking for but beyond that John and Ralph have been a pleasure to work with ensuring us at every turn that they will be available long after the close. I highly recommend them and their team to anyone considering the construction of a new home.” – @tomhollern, User

We at Cook Bros. Construction strive for perfection with every project we take on, from start to finish. Whether it is a big custom home or a small bathroom remodel and anything in between. Everyday we go to work and choose to make our customer’s experience the best that it can be. We appreciate Tom’s kind words; it was our pleasure to serve.

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