Home Schooled

John Tabor is remodeling his own house to inspire neighbors and learn more about new technology and products.

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When remodeler John Tabor, of Tabor Design Build, in Darnestown, Md., bought his house five years ago, like many of his clients, he knew he would eventually remodel it. He recently started an addition that will expand each floor of his three story house and is using the project to try out new technologies and products to help train his crews as well as to help him provide better information to his clients. Many of the new technologies involve green remodeling, something Tabor encourages clients to consider. He says he would rather test products on his own house before using them in a client’s home. And, since clients regularly ask Tabor for his opinion on particular products, this renovation will enable him to share his personal experience.

Attention Grabber

Tabor is also hoping that his remodeling project will inspire his neighbors to remodel their homes. The project has attracted neighbors’ attention, and if they stop by, Tabor takes them around the site. He is also promoting the project on a blog and on his company’s Facebook page and in its e-newsletter, and plans to hold parties and invite neighbors and potential clients when the project is complete.

Tabor expects the addition will take six months to complete and has one of his lead carpenters assigned to the job. Crews work on it in between client projects.

Tabor says it’s interesting to be on the “other side” of a remodeling project. The experience has reminded him that:

  • The planning stage of the project can be very long.
  • Things don’t always happen on schedule.
  • A remodeling project can do a lot of damage to a yard and lawn.
  • Crew arrival at 7 a.m. equates to an early morning.
  • Some trade contractors do not do well with occupied projects.
  • If a family is living in the house during the remodel (as Tabor’s is), it’s important to contain the project.
  • Putting a project off by a few months might mean you’ll never do the project at all.

—Nina Patel, senior editor, REMODELING.

To view additional progress photos and videos, including images of the geothermal drilling and a video of the endless-pool installation, visit Tabor Design/Build's blog.