John was raised in Reno until 1971 and then split his time between constructions jobs in Reno and living around the farms in Fallon. His first major construction job was with Bigotti Brothers Construction. Then in 1977, John joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Following his honorable discharge, John began a successful custom farming business which spanned from 1979 to 1988 while still working on various construction sites in between farming contracts. In 1989 he began building spec homes in Glenshire, Truckee which expanded to starting his own construction company in 1993 (NV Lic #35058). Lightner construction specialized in residential and small commercial remodels and renovations.
In 1996, John began performing home inspections while still working in construction, but went full time performing inspections in 1999. In 2008, John started Lightner Inspections and hit the ground running.