Fairfield construction company appears on DIY Network show

Fairfield-based J&MConstructon & Son takes viewers through the ideation, design and building process on a smart timber cabin June 1, 2021 on the DIY Network series "Building Off The Grid."

Fairfield-based J&MConstructon & Son takes viewers through the ideation, design and building process on a smart timber cabin June 1, 2021 on the DIY Network series “Building Off The Grid.”

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FAIRFIELD — J&M Construction and Son recently brought their talents to televisions nationwide when they appeared on the DIY Network series “Building Off The Grid.”

The series documents adventurers as they create homes in remote areas. This episode, which aired June 1, follows the construction crew through the ideation, design and building process from excavation to completion on a smart timber cabin in Ludlowe, Vermont.

While hesitant to go on the show at first, the experience turned out well and the project became a fun challenge for the Fairfield-based company’s president, Joe Theriault.

“I was very reluctant to do it at first,” said Theriault. “I just didn’t know how it was going to go. These guys were going to be around us with cameras.”

“As foreseen, they definitely had us delay to do retakes on things, but all in all they were a great team to work with. We met a lot of good friends and relationships and we enjoyed doing it. I’m glad we did it,” Theriault added.

For Theriault, one of the reasons they decided to participate in filming was the opportunity to show homeowners how to easily incorporate sustainable features and smart components into their house.

Knowing that people can often be intimidated by sustainable features, J&M Construction shows several smart options, the pros and cons and how to reach the best solution throughout the episode.

Theriault said they were able to incorporate the homeowners’ wish list into the basic cabin kit.

“For us, the homeowner’s appreciation and gratitude made this build worthwhile,” Theriault said. “There’s nothing better than the smile on a homeowner’s face when you hand them the keys to their dream getaway.”

In order to add in a second bedroom, the construction team had to move the staircase to the other side of the cabin. The replacement of the stairs freed up previously unusable space for the bedroom and a bonus utility area.

However, the real joy came from incorporating smart technology. J&M construction was able to incorporate an integrated system that is controlled similarly by a Google Home or Alexa.

The system controls every light in every room from the television to the toaster oven by speaking to it and telling it what to do. The house even features an electric shower and Tesla electric vehicle charging.

“Everything is powered by solar,” said Theriault. “That’s the unique part. We have a solar panel and Tesla batteries inside storing the power so everything is off the grid.”

While the entire construction was completed and the episode was filmed with enough time for the owners to enjoy snowboarding on the mountains, the project still came with its fair share of challenges.

Excavating the trees, dealing with the land resting on a hillside, installing the foundation, putting the driveway in, as well as getting the materials delivered were some of the challenges the construction crew faced. Theriault said getting the materials up there “was probably the most challenging part.”

However, once the crew was in the swing of things, the construction and production went smoothly despite the difference in construction style compared to homes in Fairfield.

“This has been one of our most favorite projects constructed by our J&M North division in Vermont, and we hope this episode encourages more DIYers to embrace technology and sustainability,” Theriault said.