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Thanks Fortune for covering Tom Cox’s ┬áStory!

FORTUNE — Thomas Cox, 70, is not a professional homebuilder. Nonetheless, Cox found himself working in construction in Maine for about six years during the 2000s. Those were some of the more rewarding years of his career, he says.

Cox’s inspiration to build homes hit him suddenly after spending decades watching them get destroyed. A former managing partner at a prominent Maine law firm, Cox worked for 25 years helping banks engineer foreclosures. When the savings and loans crisis hit the U.S. in the late 1980s, Cox worked with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation collecting faulty loans from members of his small Maine community.

“It was really difficult, dark work, but it needed to be done,” says Cox. “Taking people’s homes is extremely unpleasant. Shutting down their businesses when they are fighting like crazy to keep them open is worse.”


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