Revolutionizing the home renovation industry may be AnotherStory

Posted On February 15, 2023

“Build a better mouse trap, and the world will beat a path to your door.” It’s a phrase commonly attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson and, while his exact words were a little different, the point holds: Everybody’s looking for the next big thing – if it works.

The world may be soon beating a path to Ben Strout’s door in Birmingham.

Strout, an architect and contractor, doesn’t build mouse traps. He and his company, AnotherStory, renovate houses, and they’ve found a better way to do it.

“AnotherStory is really an answer to an age-old question that people didn’t even know they were asking: How do you l add a second story onto somebody’s house?” he said. “We’ve done it the unsafe way forever, which is you rip the roof off and frame back as fast as possible. Now we’ve come up with a better way.”

Our guest in the latest episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston,” Strout’s process utilizes a patent-pending device he calls the householder jack. This allows AnotherStory to construct the second story without first taking off the existing roof.

This eliminates the risk involved with rushing to frame the second story before a rainy day hits while there’s no roof on the house. It also eliminates the need for the homeowners to find someplace else to live while the job’s being done. They can live in their home throughout the project.

A tinkerer who has “lots of little ideas all the time,” Strout said his idea seemed so logical to him that he was surprised no one had thought of it before. After some trial and error, they’ve perfected the process and are now creating a certification process for contractors before taking it nationwide.

“We want to be the hub for the designs and the implementation of this system nationally,” Strout said. “I see it becoming ubiquitous. Honestly, one of the things I see happening is once insurance companies see how much safer this is, it will be mandated.”

This interview was part of our partnership with Business Alabama. See its story on Another Story at

Categories: Blog, Entrepreneurship, Podcast, Real Estate, What's Working with Cam Marston