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Story by Anthony Richards

Jeff and Debra Mims moved into their current home about a week before Christmas 10 years ago.

The house sits on about nine acres of land in Clanton and has been owned by the Mims family for the past nine decades.

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“I’ve been here back before all of this was dirt road (not built up),” Mims said. “Before we even built the house, I would sit in my golf cart and imagine the way I wanted it to look. I can envision things that a lot of people can’t.”

According to Mims, his family lived on the property in another house before deciding to build a new home after the kids moved out.

“We started out just wanting to add one bedroom onto the house,” Mims said. “Before we even got through with it, my wife wanted me to build a little guest house so that the family would have somewhere for the family to stay when they came.”

The guest house sits adjacent to the main house and has all the amenities, such as kitchen, bathroom, television and bed rooms, just on a smaller scale.

The majority of Mims’ home improvement projects have been constructed with family reasons on his mind, whether it is for the present or future generations to enjoy.

Jeff and Debra Mims
Jeff and Debra Mims

According to Mims, he built the underground pool in the backyard so that his youngest son could get married with the rock waterfall as the backdrop.

“We probably had 400 people here that day,” Mims said.

He owns Concrete Plus, which also sits on the property not far from his home.

He has been in the concrete business since 1994 and has been married to Debra for 39 years. The couple has two sons, two grandchildren and two nieces that they helped raise.

According to Mims, the couple wanted a log house, but changed their minds after talking to people and gathering opinions.

As you look at the house, it is hard to find something that Mims did not have an initial hand in building.

The metal roof on the guest house was shipped from California, and he stained the wood with motor oil and diesel fuel.

He received help from his friends in the construction of the stone structure that sits next to the pool and spits out a waterfall, and also closed up the screened-in porch.

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“People tell me that I have a big imagination because I’ve built this thing with no drawings,” Mims said. “It wasn’t a big deal because I’ve been building houses all my life.”

Inside of the house sits a staircase that leads upstairs. The kitchen looks out toward the front of the house, while the living room has a fireplace that is decorated above the mantel with a few of Mims’ trophy deer that have been killed during hunts.

He even constructed a chicken coop that sits down a hill behind his house.

“I can go down and watch the chickens peck,” Mims said. “I’ll talk to them, and I don’t have to worry about them talking back.”

The Mims family has hosted three weddings and a family reunion. Since it was built, the home has been a popular spot for family memories and good times to be had by all.

“A lot of folks may not be able to see all that you’ve done, but then there are others that understand how much work you’ve put into it,” Mims said. “I’m proud of the way it worked out.”