501 Life Magazine | Building business: ‘We pray over every job’
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Building business: ‘We pray over every job’

“Before” (below) and “after” (above) a kitchen renovation by Massanelli Construction. (Shannon LaDuke photo)

by Tanner Cangelosi

Tim and Annie Massanelli have quickly become good friends to our family. They are kind and extremely talented. Tim is a contractor and Annie has such a wonderful eye for design.

Tim and Annie were high school sweethearts and have been married for 13 years. At the time they were married, Tim was starting Massanelli Construction in Hot Springs and Annie was in Atlanta working as a physical therapist.

“We both love to work and continued our respective careers in Hot Springs,” Annie said.

Through years of praying and tears, Tim and Annie finally became parents through adoption. “With only a 12-hour notice, we became a family of three with August Lee! Hands down, it was one of my favorite days on earth. My friends and family made his nursery and collected anything we could ever need to welcome him home,” Annie said. “Then one year and 11 days later, we became a family of four with the addition of Carolyn Christine. What a day of celebration to welcome our sweet CC!”

Annie transitioned from working full time to staying at home to raise her children. “It was not an easy decision because I love working as a physical therapist. But when August was 5 months old, we knew it was time for me to stay home with him and to start trusting God more to grow Massanelli Construction.”

I had the privilege of sitting down with Annie to ask her a few questions about their family and business.

Tell 501 readers about the business:

In my eyes, Tim had always been very smart, loyal and hardworking. But when we started trusting God with Massanelli Construction, I saw Tim grow into a more successful, caring leader of our home and his business.  

Massanelli Construction started small. We both still remember writing the $3,000 check for a work trailer. We felt very proud to see it rolling through town as Tim drove from job to job. 

Today, MC does residential and commercial construction – from remodeling and new construction to the new winners circle at Oaklawn Park! One of my favorite things about Tim is how connected he stays to all aspects of his company. I see him meeting with home owners and executives, but I also see him swinging a hammer with his crew.  

What has been one of your most favorite renovations?

The Starks are good friends of ours and they asked Tim to do the renovation of their 1950s home to include a large en-suite master bath and a guest room with full bath.  

The home is beautiful! And has loads of heritage and charm from the 1950s. It feels as though it was designed to host fabulous dinner parties!

We wanted the changes to reflect its character, but also create a modern functional design.  

The original design had an interesting “foyer” leading to two bathrooms and the master bedroom. In our eyes, it was wasted space. We were able to incorporate the foyer/landing area into the master bath and move the entrance of the master into the living room.  Moving the entrance into the living room brought concerns that the design would not provide enough privacy, but Tim created a small hallway into the room.  It now feels likes a proper entrance into the master suite!” 

The homeowner, Lonnie Stark, was very pleased with the result. She describes the master bathroom as her “sanctuary.”

Where do you draw your inspiration for design?

When I do have the opportunity to work with clients on design or to design a home that we are flipping, I draw inspiration from everywhere. I love architecture, design shows, and mostly watching people interact within a space. I am a people watcher at heart! 

On a trip to New York for our 40th birthday (with my twin sister who shares the love of people and the space they occupy), we walked 24 miles in one day, taking in the beauty of neighborhoods and its people. 

To create a space that feels like home, I believe in understanding the feel of the home and understand how the client wants it to function.  

Also living in Hot Springs, provides a unique opportunity to draw from the city history and natural attractions. 

Three aspects of a completed renovation:

Watching the people move in and love their new space. We pray over every job. We pray for the owners, the crew and everyone involved. It is important to us that the people are taken care of.

The design. Neither of us are formally educated in design or construction. We’ve learned the hard way and also recruit those smarter than us to make sure we deliver a solid design.

Moving on. Each job is an education and we feel we are just getting started.

Tips for someone looking to do a renovation:

Research your design style and create a design board. It is easy to be distracted and pick too many styles for your design. Check out Pinterest, Houzz, HGTV…all of them!

Know your space and how you want to live in it. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the pretty and fun aspects of design, but at the end of the day, it is an investment that you are going to live in.

Take your time in the design process because once construction starts, your decisions need to happen quickly.