A Bit About Bent Nail

Lee and Kadee Ruble

Lee and Kadee Ruble

Owners & Certified Home Inspectors

I started doing residential contracting part-time (way back, haha) in 1996.  I sat for (and passed) my West Virginia Contractors Exam in 1997 and from there things took off.   We remodeled bathrooms, kitchens and refreshed the look of houses with vinyl siding. The list goes on and on. Two of the most interesting projects that come to my mind are these.   The first project was a 1930’s WPA spec house.  The interior of the house was plaster and the customer wanted to insulate the house.  They had spoken with a number of companies and everyone wanted to blow in insulation.  Most of the time that only worked part of the time when doing this on an existing house as the insulation does not fill the wall cavity completely.  The idea I came up with was to strip the exterior of the house off, insulate it from the outside, and then re-sheet and put new siding on the house.  The other project was when I remodeled a house built in 1923.  This house has the original knob and tube wire still in when I started.  We completely gutted the house (electrical, plumbing, plaster, everything down to the studs) and rebuilt.  In 1923, a 2×4 was really 2” x 4”,  so you can only imagine the issues.  It was fun.

I did take a break from contracting and construction for a few years and pursued my other passion, IT.  I was able to work for a small book company called Amazon.com, for 14 years.  Then I worked in IT supporting higher education.    Even when I was working in IT, I would always find time for a construction project.  Whether it was putting hardwood floors throughout my house, remodeling a bathroom or basement.  These smaller projects were what kept me going and kept my passion alive.

In 2019 my family and I were afforded the opportunity to move to East Tennessee and we love it here.  Having spent a good amount of time in the Fountain City, Halls, and Powell areas growing up and visiting family, I always knew I wanted to live close to the mountains.  When we moved here and started doing work around the house, it rekindled the drive to get back into contracting and construction.  With the support of my family, we took a chance and started BentNail.

It has just been a roller coaster ride since it started, and in the best way since I love to ride roller coasters.  I have been able to help people with ideas and problems while doing what I truly enjoy.  Life is really good!  I’m not saying there are no frustrating days, there are.  But looking at things as a whole, it’s always a great day at Bent Nail!

-Lee Ruble
Owner of BentNail and Certified Home Inspector