Residential Contractors

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The Press and Standard

January 19, 2007


A Lodge construction business that is four-generations strong is still building new houses, now with design accolades from two popular magazines.

Ponds and Sons Construction in Lodge has been building houses in and around Colleton County for more than 50 years. The business was started by Joe Ponds, who retired and passed down his construction company to his sons. Now, father-and-son duo Tony and Willis ponds have expanded and are building new homes on Brays Island, an exclusive and gated residential community near Beaufort.

But Willis' entry into his dad's business was somewhat of a fluke: Tony, 47, was seriously injured in 2000 while working on a project. His son, 18-year-old Willis, offered to manage the construction phase. It was his first time managing a big job.

"I found out that I was good at it," Willis Ponds said. "You're supposed to do something you're good at, and that you enjoy. And I enjoy this."

Willis became a part of his family's business, and attended Trident Technical College in Charleston. His ability to renovate historic homes is already turning heads: two homes that he renovated were featured in Southern Living Magazine. A third historic house on Derry's Plantation in Ridgeland that Willis renovated was recently featured in the Period Homes magazine.

Tony, a licensed contractor, said the company's specialty is building custom homes, but they also renovate older houses. They are currently working on the renovation of a house on Round O Road; the house was built in 1912. They also building new three new houses on Brays Island, one of which is a $1-million house that will likely take 18 months to complete.

"We do whatever it takes to build whatever people want," Tony Ponds said.

Tony is the father of 10 children, seven sons and three daughters. So he likely won't have to worry about keeping the business in the family.

"People find out about us through word of mouth," he said. "Business is doing well. My oldest son is 27, and he's in the construction business, too. We're looking to expand."

According to Willis, expanding the family's business won't be a problem. His 3-year-old son, Henry, says he is going to build houses. "We're all doing something that we love," Willis Ponds said.