Tricia Jo Webster
Anyone who’s started a do-it-yourself home renovation knows it takes longer and costs more than originally anticipated. Josh Robeson learned these lessons the hard way when he purchased his first home in 2001.
“I bought it as-is, really cheap, and started gutting it as soon as I got it,” Josh said.
His positions as an Avionics Mission Systems Specialist and Technician with the Washington Air National Guard didn’t leave many weekends free, but Josh worked on his place as time and money allowed. Somewhere between knocking down walls and swinging hammers, Josh met and fell in love with Natasha. The two married in 2005, and Natasha moved into a home that was clearly a work in progress.
Josh kept at it, replacing old windows with vinyl, putting in new insulation, updating plumbing, even knocking down a wall to expand the kitchen. During the renovation process he made time for his growing family – the couple now have two little ones under the age of 3, and found time to volunteer in the community. Josh also had a responsibility to his country, and was often sent to work in regions as far-off as Turkey, Germany and Australia.
This April Josh’s dad, Don Robeson, submitted a nomination to the “Where Does Your Home Hurt” contest at the Spokane Home Builders Association’s Premier Home Improvement Show. Don hoped his son might end up with a new bathroom. Josh had no idea his dad had nominated him. And no one had any inkling of just how big this project would become.
In an effort to give back to the community and offer assistance to a deserving family in need, the Spokane Remodelers Council and KXLY News 4’s Extreme Team selected Josh and Natasha Robeson’s home.
Katherine Morgan, Marketing and Events Director at the SHBA, said the plan was “to find a room that needed a makeover and would make a difference” to the people using that room. “We chose a family that seemed to make a difference in everyone else’s life.”
Backed by big-hearted volunteers and generous community donations (click here for complete list), Isaiah Clow of Spokane’s Clow Construction, Inc. took the lead on this project.
“We got great support from the community. There are a lot of people giving, so it’s a really great opportunity,” Clow said.
The original plan was to do the bathroom. But how could they stop there when the kitchen wasn’t finished and the walkway out front had fallen victim to errant tree roots?
Josh had done a lot before the makeover team visited, but the crew realized there was still much to be done – too much for one hard-working guy to accomplish on his own. Over 40 local businesses donated job materials and labor to the makeover, allowing crews to expand the original scope of work.
The young Robesons moved in with Josh’s parents for the week, and had absolutely no idea what they would return to.
On Monday a massive volunteer construction crew began buzzing around the Robeson’s property – sun-up to well beyond sundown – working tirelessly to transform the young family’s home. From brand new exterior siding and new interior floor coverings to upgraded kitchen cabinets and loads of painting and finish work, crews had more than their fair share of work cut out for them. By Thursday afternoon, it all paid off.
“Their jaws are going to drop!” Clow said.
When the family came home Thursday evening they almost didn’t recognize the place.
“We are really overwhelmed by the whole thing, and of course, very appreciative,” Josh said, jaw dropping.
(For photos of the project click here)
Tricia Jo Webster and her husband own and operate a residential remodeling business based in Spokane Valley. She can be reached at Tricia@RightWayRemodelSpokane.com