For my #4 Favorite Design Feature from 2018 wasn’t from one of the homes we built but from a project that was close to my heart– A church renovation. Neil and I moved to Clayton in 1998 where we built our first home and started a family. After bouncing around to area churches we started attending Tippett’s Chapel FWB Church in 2004 and it has been our church home ever since.
I would say Tippett’s has played a key role in our family’s spiritual growth. We have raised our three boys there and all five of us have been baptized there. Our Tippett’s Family has supported us, prayed for us, celebrated with us, and grieved with us. So needless to say this project was close to my heart.
There is a great history associated with Tippett’s Chapel. The original church was created in 1900 with Rev. Ben Tippett as its first pastor. In the 1930’s a new church building was erected. Much of the building materials were given by members. Even the pastor, Rev. W.K. Jordan, cut the trees, took them to the sawmill to be sawed, dressed, and then used to build their new church building. This building is still being used today after being remodeled several times.
In 1963 the church wanted to add a parsonage in order to accommodate a full time pastor and found a piece of property about 5 miles up the road into Johnston County. The church building was moved in 1965 to where it stands today. (you can read the whole story here)
Due to our line of work, or as Pastor Eddie likes to call it our “spiritual gifts”, Neil and I are often consulted when any “building needs” arise. This past year, I was asked to participate in a Facility Enhancement Focus Group. The group’s first assignment was to attend church “as a guest” and make a list of any facility enhancements we would want to make if money or resources were no object. This was a great assignment for me but also challenging. Often when you become settled in a particular place or routine, it’s easy to get complacent and overlook things that may have bothered you originally. Things we might would notice if we visited someone else’s home or business but the same thing we might pass right by day after day and not even notice in our own homes (like this spackled area in my bathroom that needs a paint touch up that has been there for about two years that Neil seems to not notice anymore )
As I walked through the church grounds I made my list. It’s not in my nature to have a mindset that money/resources are no object so I automatically prioritized my list with items that would make the most impact for the least amount of hardship.
Top of my list: Renovate the church sanctuary by changing all the stained wood paneling and trim to a more up-to-date look with painted wainscoting. I remembered sitting in church back when we first started attending years ago and the dark stain bothered me. But as I grew to love the church and the people, the dark stain blended away over time. This new assignment gave me the opportunity to revisit the idea.
My next task was to create a plan of action, budget, and timeline. My first phone call was to our Trim Crew- Ayscue’s Trimwork. Jeff met me onsite and we made our list of materials and formulated a budget. Our goal was to minimize damage by keeping and using any of the trim that was there currently. Jeff felt we could keep the original door trim and chair rail while adding the interior panels and baseboard to create the wainscoting panels I was looking for. Second challenge was painting the dark stained wood that was left, so my next phone call was to our painter. He assured me he could cover the dark wood stain with an oil based paint but it would take several coats. Knowing we could paint and reuse some of the existing materials without removing and adding all new materials was a huge benefit to our budget but more importantly helped minimize additional issues that can arise from renovating an old building such as this.
My next step was to present my idea along with the budget to the focus group. The Renovation Idea got put at the top of the “Action Items” list and away we went.
As work got started, I started running into a few new challenges, but thankfully, that’s what I have Neil for- he swooped in and got it done! We even got our boys involved. Together, our team worked through those challenges and 7 days later we were in and out.
WOW, what a difference! What do you think??
All in all, we came in under my original budget with special thanks to Ayscue’s Trimwork and Guy C. Lee Building Materials for their generous contribution and thanks to Top Quality Painting for all their hard work in meeting our timeframe.
I realize it’s now 2019, but I still have 6 more Favorite Design Elements from 2018, stay tuned next week for #5- my favorite topic. . . . Lighting.