From The Sperry Gardens

We’ve spent the past four months remodeling my office at home. It was pretty much a tear-down-and-start-over because the old, flat roof had just about given out. Squirrels in the ceiling were the last straw. (They’re safe and happy in the trees now.)

Please indulge me, but I’d like to thank those who have contributed. Perhaps you have heard me talk about this over the course of the spring and summer. I’ll start with the last parts first, and I’ll show you some of the highlights. I’m proud of my advertisers, and when I tell you how good they are, I’m going to show you that I have put my remodeling money where my mouth has been for all of these years. If you’d like to look at a large photo, click on any of the thumbnails.

Bob Streiff with Precision Pavers brought a team of 12 to put the walk down the hill and through the landscape. Complicating matters was the fact that they had to match up with our courtyard and walks that were installed almost 25 years ago. Those cobblestone driveway pavers haven’t been made for many, many years. Bob searched his "back lot" and came up with a wonderful solution (he always does!). So, that said, I defy you to tell where one stops and the other starts. I am, yet again, a happy customer of

Now, as to the steps. Rick Poland with Future Fence sent his deck-building specialists, headed up by Oscar, to our site. Oscar is almost finished with his work as of today, Thursday. What you see are the steps to my office, also to my beloved little "Santa barn" (my workshop – I do make Santas). The best news is that this is all vinyl, so nothing will ever rot, chip or fade. And, you could drive a truck up these steps. It would be bumpy, but the truck would fare worse than the steps. In case you’re wondering, it’s

Thanks, too, to Statewide Remodeling for the superior job on my siding. It, too, is vinyl and made to last a lifetime. They matched up the new installation with siding on the rest of our house, and, again, you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. It’s great to deal with specialists. Thanks, Guy and your team.

Lentz Landscape Lighting is about to get a call to illuminate the eastern redcedar just outside my windows. Half of it is already lighted from the rest of the back yard. I want all of it to show into my office. I’ve spent 30 years looking at it grow as I’ve typed everything that I’ve written. That was before the remodel. I want to see it all the time now!

It’s going to rain again, and I need to get gutters. Again, a sponsor will be getting the call. Gutter Helmet will be installing both the guttering and the gutter protection system. You see Gutter Helmet on our living room in my photo. It was installed six years ago, and it has faithfully kept the magnolia’s leaves out of our guttering. Great product!

Thanks to Hutchins Plumbing and Air Conditioning for the several trips to get things set up for me. They have sponsored my radio program for three years, and I think my wife and I have seen and used every facet of their business. They’re terrific. Thanks, Danny and all your guys.


Once the carpet went down and the last paint was spread, in came the dream of my lifetime – quarter-sawn solid oak furniture delivered by Pete and Bob Lepsis and Mason Phelps of The Amish Furniture Showcase of Frisco and Farmers Branch. As an avid woodworker, I can honestly say that this is the finest furniture I have ever touched, and every bit of it was made in the U.S.A.! You see it beneath the quarter-sawn southern red pine ceiling (see later), and you also see Pete and Mason bringing the heaviest piece down our driveway.

I’ll have landscaping to do, and I’ve solicited the help of the Covingtons landscape team member Nate Principe. What a career this talented young man has ahead of him! I’ll be buying plants and products from Covingtons, North Haven Gardens, Shades of Green, Bruce Miller, Creative Water Gardens and Dickson Brothers as I finish out the exterior over the next couple of months.

Frank Boyd of Boyd On A Wire did our electronics wiring, and Adam and Steve of Richland Service got all the lighting in place.  Thanks, guys.  Preston, thanks for great carpeting perfectly installed.

And, finally, saving the best to the last: you see our remodeling crew Tom Wright of McKinney (standing) and his team J.B. Sullivan (away) and B.J. Wright (near) as we four sorted and matched planks of 400-year-old southern red pine salvaged from the P. Lorillard Tobacco Warehouse in Jersey City, N.J. These were the boards that would become my ceiling. To these guys, thanks beyond belief. They have remodeled our entire house over the past four years, and I can’t say enough good about them and Terri Cooper, our decorator. I was emotional as I stood in the old office and asked for their help back in late winter. Thanks, friends. I am so grateful.

Job done. Now it’s my turn to move back in.

That part’s going to be fun!

Posted by Neil Sperry
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