As a forward-thinking builder in Bonners Ferry, Idaho, Joel McIntosh could never find a community of like-minded people.
“Living in small-town Idaho, everyone’s building the way we’ve always built,” says McIntosh, custom homes builder and founder of McIntosh and Daughter. “When it came time to build my own house I wanted to know if there was a better way we should be doing things.”
Gaining an interest in building science and best practices, he went down the rabbit hole of high-performance home building. Air-tightness, triple-glazed windows, exceptional insulation—no builder in Northern Idaho seemed to match McIntosh’s interest.
It wasn’t until he joined the likes of Matt Risinger or Brek Goin—builders who took their business to social platforms—that he began to find his people.
SOCIAL MEDIA AS A COMMUNITY-BUILDING PLATFORM
Initially wanting to use social media for promoting himself in the area as a high-performance home builder, McIntosh quickly found out that Instagram isn’t working for his business. Rather, he found meaning in the connections he was able to make with like-minded builders.
“I always thought social media was a waste of time,” he says. “But Instagram has people nerding out about things like building science, and I finally understood the draw in finding a community.”
It’s exactly this community engagement that allowed McIntosh to gain recognition for his work far beyond the borders of Idaho. As a fresh user of Huber products, he posted about using some of their products and was swarmed with attention. Company representatives, builders who regularly use Huber products—McIntosh saw the passion and approachability that this “family” of people had.
Of course, no social media platform is without its faults. McIntosh loves the connections and discussions he gets to have with others, but acknowledges that the Internet can be bad for so many things as well.
"If I’m posting about something it’s because I whole-heartedly believe in it, and I’m hoping to create a conversation. Maybe someone might give me some pushback, and it makes you have to think about the question they’re posing. I’m not looking for high-fives in the comment section, I’m hoping to create a debate or have someone let me know if I’m doing something wrong." — Joel McIntosh, Founder, McIntosh and Daughter
In addition to making more online connections, McIntosh also won the award for “Best Unwarranted Use” in Huber Engineered Woods’ 5th Annual Best of Social Awards.
HUBER ENGINEERED WOODS’ BEST OF SOCIAL AWARDS 2021
Huber’s social awards aim to recognize and celebrate builders who have helped ignite a passion for better building online. The categories for the award range from “Weather Warrior” to “Community Builder” to many more categories created in response to the abundance of diverse Instagram content.
For McIntosh, this recognition comes from his use of Huber’s ZIP Tape to mend a $400 Yeti cooler (for a competition posed by the UnBuild It podcast).
“It’s neat that a company does something like that,” says McIntosh on Huber's awards program. “It’s not all about work and production, it’s this extra little thing to have some fun and show a bit of recognition to builders.”
MCINTOSH AND DAUGHTER
In his initial work as a builder, he maintained a company with a previous business partner, but often struggled to find responsible, respectful employees.
Once he broke off to start his own business, McIntosh and Daughter, he began hiring young talent to teach them according to best building science practices. Being a “curator of knowledge” of sorts, McIntosh wants to give somewhat-aimless young adults the opportunity to learn the trade, find a purpose, and offer something more to the industry.
“It adds more meaning to my day-to-day life if I can pass something on,” he says.
This speaks to the name of McIntosh’s business as well. Growing up, he’d always been asked if he would be a dentist like his father. The company name “McIntosh and Sons” is something that had always stuck in his head. When it came time to start his own business, “McIntosh and Daughter” came to mind.
Unlike his past, however, McIntosh had no intention of having his daughter take over the company, or even get into the trades—he just liked the name. She did spend time on the job sites, though, sweeping the floor or painting the inside of closets.
“I loved having her on the site,” he says, lamenting her passing away at the age of eight. “The name gives me pride, and I’m glad I named the company McIntosh and Daughter.”