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in northwest Guilford County


Extreme remodeling


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Sights and treasures in our area published by


fall 2017

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Living in a home with history

On the trail, in the park


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Fall 2017

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Is that the same house? Homeowners can create treasures out of fixer-uppers, but be prepared for surprises and allow budgetary ‘wiggle room’ for significant home makeovers

by Joe Gamm and Patti Stokes Area builders think carefully when potential customers ask them to do major home remodeling. No matter how much they assess the structure beforehand, based on experience they know they are likely to uncover some hidden challenges as work progresses.

If the homeowner is fortunate and does their homework, they might find out, like Erin and Daniel Chicka did, that what appeared to others to be a lump of coal was actually a diamond in the rough. Before undertaking a major home makeover, you need to have vision, Erin Chicka said. Sometimes, a lot of vision.

The Chickas, who have three children, had been looking at property in the Oak Ridge area. In 2015, they found a somewhat rundown home on about three acres in the 8700 block of Dapple Grey Road. There was definitely potential, they thought. By the time they were done, that original house was entirely remodeled in some way or another, Chicka said. Some

Photo courtesy of Erin Chicka

The Chicka family removed a wall separating their now-modern kitchen from a living area.

changes were simple, like a coat of paint. Others required wall removal and redesigned floor plans.

“We liked the original character of the property,” Chicka said. “Beautiful, spacious lot, location and the potential of making a guest cottage.”

The couple was deliberate. They knew the home, which hadn’t been lived in for at least six years, was in need of repairs. It wasn’t on the real estate market. They also knew rehabilitation was the only option for the home because of the state it was in.

right also takes patience, she said.

“It was a mindset to wait to do it until you could do it right,” Chicka said. “Part of that is choosing the right house.” Before buying the house, the couple sat down with a contractor to come up

with a solid number they were willing to spend to complete their makeover.

“That number can be blown out of the water in a heartbeat,” Chicka said. “For

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Make your space

“To see the vision in here would have been hard for a lot of people,” Chicka said.

She credits her mother, who develops properties in Virginia, for helping her with that vision. But getting a major remodel done


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EXTREME REMODELING continued from page 7

example, one of the main beams in the kitchen floor needed some work. That could have been $1,500 to $20,000 – $20,000 would have blown our budget.”

The repair ended up “on the cheaper end,” she said. “But, you need to have wiggle room when you start tearing down walls.” The couple found a long-lasting vinyl siding material that resembles cedar shakes to replace the old, dated siding. The new siding is a product often used on the Carolina Coast, Chicka said, so the couple was confident it could stand up to all sorts of weather. Then there was the leaky roof, which had to be replaced. “With that came all new gutters,” Chicka said. “It gets the ball rolling.”

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Fall 2017

the time necessary to spend on remodeling jobs. “With a remodel, somebody has to be on the job every day,” he said. Mills at times may have 10 houses under construction. If he had a remodel job ongoing, he would only be able to do about half as many, he said.

While maintaining steady production of custom and spec homes, Disney Custom Homes, based in Oak Ridge, also takes on remodeling projects. One major project it took on over the summer was under its own roof, according to Mark Disney. For that job, Frances Disney, Mark’s father and the owner of the company, bought a neighbor’s property after he watched it begin to decay. The property is a 3,180-square-foot home on three acres overlooking a pond.

When remodeling a home you have to anticipate that one thing leads to another, she noted.

“He sees a diamond in the rough here,” Mark Disney said. “He wants to update it, try to help the value of it and in turn help the neighbors.”

Don Mills, of Don Mills Builders, said builders like him who focus mainly on new home construction often don’t have

Remodeling is really “tricky,” Disney noted. After he and his father looked at the structure and analyzed the expected cost to bring it up to a higher standard, they

The family moved into the home after much, but not all, of the renovation had been finished, but living in a home that is undergoing a major remodel may not be an option for some homeowners.

Although the house hadn’t been completely “let go,” routine maintenance had been neglected and it needed a lot of work, he said.

Photo courtesy of Erin Chicka

The deck from the Chicka family home stands as a pile of rubble beside their home as it is being remodeled.

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Photo by Joe Gamm/NWO

Mark Disney explains that he opened up walls alongside a kitchen and living area in a house Disney Custom Homes is remodeling.

originally considered spending only about $40,000, and focusing on the kitchen. But they soon reconciled themselves to the fact that in addition to kitchen upgrades the home needed more light, more open space and a modern master suite.

Walls were opened up to make rooms transition more smoothly. The kitchen was extended into what was once a hallway. Larger windows were installed in the master bedroom to take advantage of the view of the pond, Disney said. “The biggest hurdle we had to overcome with this house was the old, 1980s kind of closed-off feel,” he said. “It’s not a full gut, but when you get down to it, it’s all the bathrooms and the kitchen. So, all the important features are a full gut.”

A few of the house’s attractive older features remain, like the expensive casement windows facing the pond in the living room and the two masonry fireplaces. “We wanted to spend some money upgrading the kitchen,” Disney said. “As far as the rest of the house, we were really just looking at new floorings, new paint, that kind of thing. But when you get into this, the more you dig, the more you open up, the more you see.” For John and Adrienne Gramberg of Summerfield, there weren’t too many surprises with their home remodel. John, who is a construction project manager,

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had a pretty good idea what they would be facing if they bought the cottage-style three-level house on Hillsdale Lake. The house had had a few updates since it was built in the ‘70s, but would require many more. Rooms were small and isolated from each other, floors were uneven, the kitchen was tiny and there were so many trees surrounding the house that sunlight barely made it inside and a 2-inch layer of moss enveloped the roof. The yard was also so populated by trees that the lake view from the back of the house was largely blocked. And those were just some of the things they would want to change. Technically, the house had only two bedrooms. The basement on the lower level had been partitioned into two rooms (with no windows), which served as bedrooms for the former owners’ children. On the third level of the house two rooms had also been partitioned off, but there were no closets … and again, no windows.

In their 12 years of marriage John and Adrienne had already lived in 10 different homes (two were rental houses and the others they bought and sold). Adrienne, whom John describes as “laid back,” said she appreciates her husband’s ability to recognize a home’s potential, and in the past had just deferred to him when he

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Chris Cowles, Mortgage Loan Officer 336-457-0913 | | NMLS# 1048184






Branch Banking and Trust Company is a Member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender. Loans are subject to credit approval. Only deposit products are FDIC insured. © 2016, Branch Banking and Trust Company. All rights reserved.

Fall 2017


Living in a house with history comes with benefits – and costs by Patti Stokes

Myra Blackburn offers this piece of advice for anyone considering buying a historic home such as the one she and her husband Gary moved into 43 years ago: “Make sure you love it!” Before moving into the R.P. Larkins home on Oak Ridge Road in Oak Ridge, the Blackburns lived in a small house off Meadows Road, about two miles away.

How the couple came to own the R.P. Larkins house was a bit of a fluke. As it turns out, the former owners had planned to advertise the property for sale, but the Realtor wasn’t supposed to place the ad in the newspaper until the new house they were building was finished.

Photo by Patti Stokes/NWO

Gary and Myra Blackburn stand in the living room of the historic R.P. Larkins home, where they have lived for the last 43 years.

By mistake, the ad was placed in the Sunday newspaper about six months prematurely – and when the Blackburns checked the classifieds that day and saw a home listed in Oak Ridge, they called the Realtor immediately. “At that point in time it was hard to find homes for sale in Oak Ridge,” Gary said. “That’s why it was such an amazing thing to see the ad. You could go a year and not see a house for sale in Oak Ridge.”

Myra, who had grown up in Oak Ridge, knew she and Gary wanted to stay in the community but she wasn’t sure about this particular house. The next morning, as Myra prepared to leave for her teaching job, Gary made arrangements to look at the house.

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“When I came home from work, he said, ‘Come with me,’ and we drove past the house,” Myra said. “Then he said, ‘This is the house.’ And I said, ‘Are you kidding me? This house? Well, I don’t, know… we’ll have to crunch some numbers.’”

After Myra’s uncle, who knew something about houses, assessed it on Tuesday morning, he told the couple, “They don’t build them that way anymore.” Later that day they made an offer to purchase the house. For the next six months the former

Fall 2017

owners rented the house until their new home was completed.

Although it was built in 1933, the Blackburns said they didn’t think of it as historic until almost 20 years later, in the ‘90s, when they were both working at Oak Ridge Military Academy. One day they were going through an academy yearbook when they saw pictures of the original house built for R.P. Larkins, who served as a commandant at the academy for over 25 years. “This was a showplace when it was first built!” Myra said.

Soon afterward they began talking about restoring the house to its original appearance.

Although they loved the home's spaciousness, and the location was great, it had some issues – a lot of issues.

For one, the plumbing wasn’t stable and pipes would freeze and flood the house. And, there was no insulation in the house so it was cold in the winter.

Trying to keep paint on the exterior of the house was another challenge. “The wood was so impregnated with oil-based paint that we couldn’t keep latex paint on it,” Gary said. “One fall we painted and by January the paint was peeling off… that’s when we decided to put siding on it.” The house had an oil furnace when the Blackburns purchased it. “It did not heat the house very well and the oil was expensive,” Myra said.

Over the years the lead pipes have been completely replaced, as has most of the wiring in the house.

When asked how much they have spent on repairs, the couple was hardpressed to give an answer, but safely estimated it was in the “tens of thousands.”

In the last 10 to 12 years they’ve been able to tackle some of the more aesthetic projects – not counting air conditioning the

continued on page 22



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One simple step can improve the long-term health of your lawn Fertilizing as temperatures begin to fall is an easy way to ensure a healthier, more drought- and pestresistant lawn by Melinda Myers Doing just one thing this fall can result in a healthier lawn with minimal required care next year. Fertilization helps lawns recover from the stresses of summer and provides needed nutrients to grow deeper roots and a denser stand of grass – and that means fewer weeds and a healthier lawn that’s more resistant to drought, insects and diseases. Fertilize as the temperatures begin to


cool and lawns start spreading outward instead of growing upward. Leaving grass clippings on the lawn will help return nutrients, moisture and organic matter to the soil. Consider it free fertilizer applied every time you mow the lawn.

To improve the lawn’s ability to withstand and recover from wear and tear, apply a second round of fertilizer in late fall between Halloween and Thanksgiving, but before the ground freezes. Those growing warm-season grasses should make the last application in early October at least one month prior to the first killing frost. No need to purchase a winterizing fertilizer. Most soils have high to excessive levels of phosphorus and potassium.

Fall 2017

Have a soil test first if you suspect your lawn is deficient in these nutrients. You’ll save money and harm to the environment by using the right product.

Consider using a slow-release, organic nitrogen fertilizer that helps improve the soil, while providing needed nutrients. Research has discovered that as the microorganisms work on releasing the nutrients from its pellets they also make some of the phosphorus, which promotes root development, as well as potassium, which promotes hardiness and disease resistance, that is bound to the soil available to the grass plants.

Continue to mow high as long as the grass continues to grow, and then gradually reduce the mowing height for winter.

Just one or two additional fertilizer applications throughout the year can greatly increase your lawn’s health, vigor, wear resistance and ability to tolerate drought and pests.

Those growing warm-season grasses can begin fertilizing around Easter once the grass begins growing. Make additional applications around Memorial Day and the recommended fall date. Those growing cool-season grasses should wait until Memorial Day to start fertilizing in addition to the two fall applications. Add a mid-summer application of slow-release fertilizer for irrigated lawns. Gardening expert Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything” DVD series and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Visit her online at

Enchanted evenings begin in your BACKYARD ROOM

Cooler evenings with fewer bugs is a perfect chance to spend time in your Belgard outdoor room. From pavers to fireplaces, A.B. Seed offers a wide range of Belgard products to create your outdoor dreamscape - and it’s pet friendly, of course.

Let A.B. Seed & Their Teams of Licensed Contractors Assist You with Your Outdoor Dreamscape: Carolina Custom Landscaping Carolina Hardscape Chip Weavil, Inc. Clearwater Construction Group Davidson Landscape Dennis Mullane Dunlap Lawn Service J Kyle Morgan Enterprises Green Spirit Landscaping Hicks Landscaping

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2914 Sandy Ridge Rd, Colfax, NC (336) 393-0214 | Located in the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market

Like us on Facebook for special events, coupons and gardening information!

Looking to add on a new four-legged family member? Pick up the latest copy of Triad Happy Tails Magazine at any Guilford, Forsyth or Alamance County Harris Teeter and find your next best friend.

In the park, through the woods, or up a mountain 8329 Angel Pardue Road, a trail meanders around two athletic fields and swoops east to loop around Town Hall. Photo by Joe Gamm/NWO

Penny Isley likes taking walks on the trails around Stokesdale Town Park and says she does a loop three times. “It’s nice and smooth and a good walk,” she said. “Everybody is friendly.”

Area parks offer great opportunities for walking or jogging, and more trails are being introduced each year for those who want to venture a little more off the beaten path by Joe Gamm Northern and northwest Guilford residents who enjoy the outdoors may have a favorite spot to stroll along a paved trail or through the woods.

Others may prefer vigorous hikes up

the sides of mountainous ravines or a morning run.

No matter your preference, options in the area are plentiful and growing. For starters, Oak Ridge, Stokesdale and Summerfield have a variety of trails that wind through their community parks.

The trails at Oak Ridge Town Park, located across from Town Hall on Linville Road, circle around athletic fields and a pond. The largest “circular” loop in the park is about 1 1/3 miles. Adventurous walkers can take a half-mile unpaved loop through the woods on the east side of the park. In Stokesdale Town Park, located at

106th Homecoming Sunday, Oct. 1 • 10 am Special music and covered dish luncheon

Family Fall Festival

Sunday, Oct. 22 • 3- 6pm Fun, food and fellowship!

Sunny days were made for Summerfield Community Park on Centerfield Road, a 50-acre passive park which has a half-mile trail that leads around a fishing pond to a covered amphitheater; there, Movies in the Park, Music in the Park, and other community events are held. The park contains about ¾ mile of trail. Summerfield is also the northern terminus for the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway, which stretches from the heart of Greensboro northward. That trail is accessible at the Anna Long Wayside on U.S. 220 at the

southern end of Summerfield. In December 2016, the N.C. Department of Transportation informed the town it would provide $3.4 million to assist Summerfield in developing the A & Y Greenway going northward. That funding is to be available during the agency’s 2018-2027 project cycle. In addition, there are multiple Greensboro trails that are very accessible from Summerfield. They can be searched on Greensboro’s new mapping program, according to Madeleine Carey, Greensboro trails planner.

continued on page 30

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Fall 2017


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Have you noticed? We’ve all passed by these local sights, but how many of you have heard the stories behind them? Here are some things you may not know… Photos and descriptions by Joe Gamm/NWO

Green Door This massive rusty gate stands at the entrance to the former Green Door property on N.C. 150 in Summerfield, where an old Quonset hut-style building still exists. The hut was built after WWII as a skating rink called the Green Door. The building was little used when Lisa Waynick-Kim and Patsy Waynick bought it in 1993. The mother-daughter team primarily used the building for storage for Mumbo Jumbo, their furniture import, yard ornamentation and antique business. For several years afterward, large, unusual statues stood guard beside the doors; the impressive wrought-iron fence and gate which were installed at the front of the property are believed to have been at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt until they were taken down in 1976 during Egypt’s war with Israel.

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Fall 2017

Bi-Rite dog If you’ve ever driven up to Hanging Rock and hiked the trails, you probably came back hungry. About the first really enticing place you’ll see on the way back is the hot dog stand at Bi-Rite, located at the intersection of U.S. 158 and N.C. 65 in Stokesdale. Don’t pass up the terrific hot dogs, homemade slaw and ice-cold root beer!

Reddy Kilowatt Reddy Kilowatt was a power company mascot for years. Duke Power used the mascot from 1935 until the 1980s. When an old water tower was taken down at the Belews Creek Power Station, the company preserved the tank and placed it near the shore of Belews Lake, which is used to cool the plant. That’s where it remains.

Bugler Boy There are three Bugler Boy memorials in the Summerfield area. This marker, placed alongside Oak Ridge Road by the Daughters of the American Revolution (at the site of the bugler’s death) sits just east of Eversfield Road. The memorials pay tribute to James Gillies, a 14-year-old who lent his horse to a farmer so the farmer could show American troops where the British were. When British soldiers came upon Gillies waiting on the side of the road with the farmer’s nag, they killed him.

October 14-15 & 21-22 • 1-5pm Admission is FREE Parade of Homes magazines are available at the Parade homes as well as area Harris Teeter and Lowe’s Home Improvement stores

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continued on page 24

Fall 2017


From the patio to the gutters,

we’ve got you covered!

Benefits of a leaf blower Depending on where you live and the number of trees near your home, leaves could be a big problem each fall. Leave behind the sore arms and hips that using a rake creates and consider investing in a leaf blower. These powerful tools speed up the leaf-cleaning process and allow you to perform it comfortably.

Window cleaning | Gutter cleaning Pressure washing

(336) 609-0677

A leaf blower is useful for more than just clearing areas of leaves. You can also gain big benefits in the winter by blowing vehicles and pathways free from freshly fallen snow and ridding areas of your property of dirt and light debris. You should know what to look for when choosing your blower and the benefits you can receive.

Choosing a model

Thinking about a new house?

Start your home search where the lots are. • Hilton’s Landing • Hartman Farm • Cedar Hollow Estates Lot prices $75,000 and up

Take a look at some of the pros and cons of these different types according to Consumer Reports:

• Gas: Great benefits a gas leaf blower offer are power and portability. Using fuel as a power source will generate more blowing force than blowers that use electricity. However, they are usually heavier than electric models, require more maintenance and are much noisier. If you will rely on a blower to perform big jobs often, then a gas model may be the way to go. • Battery powered: Great for smaller, less frequent jobs. A battery-powered blower will be less powerful than a gas engine but can be considerably lighter. These can make safe companions when

Ann Powell (336) 327-3473


When you begin researching leaf blowers, you may be overwhelmed with the numerous available options. You must choose from gas or electric, corded or cordless, and battery powered. The perfect model depends on how much you will rely on the tool.

Fall 2017

using them to clean gutters. Make sure you have a spare battery on hand as your operating time will be limited.

• Corded: Powerful corded blowers are available but lack the convenience of gas- or battery-operated models. If you choose to invest in a corded unit, be sure you have long extension cords and the time to properly store them before and after each job.

Other Uses

Don’t let the name fool you, a leaf blower has more useful functions than just cleaning up leaves.

• Use a leaf blower to quickly dry your car after washing. • Prevent fire hazards in your home by using a blower to rid your dryer’s exhaust of lint.

• With a little bubble solution and a leaf blower, create the most incredible bubble machine your children have ever seen.


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Welcome to Charles Place! A new home community coming soon to Stokesdale.

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continued from page 22 house, which they did only five years ago.

Of all the renovations they have undergone, Myra said stripping away the carpet and uncovering the beautiful red oak floors has been her favorite. Now retired, Myra said she taught three years longer than she had intended to teach to save money for home projects.

When only the best will do Custom home building isn’t just our job, it’s our passion. With attention to detail at every step of the way, we’ll strive to make your home building process smooth and stress-free. Plus, we back every new home with a 1-year warranty. We hope you’ll work with us to build your next home – you wont regret it! (336) 382-9085 •


Fall 2017

“We paid for it as we went along … and sometimes it was years between projects,” she said. At one point the couple considered moving and even had plans to build a house on Meadows Road. But then they learned Myra was expecting a baby and they decided to stay. Although they may have grown out of love with the house during the more trying years, they have grown to love it even more and plan on living in it as long as possible. “With the investment we’ve got in it now, we’re not going anywhere!” Gary said only a little jokingly. “Thank goodness for Jerry,” they said of Old School Home Repair/Improvement owner Jerry Potkay. “Craftsmen like him are hard to find!” The Blackburns found Potkay after calling him by mistake about 10 years ago (they had intended to call someone else

File photo

The R.P. Larkins house was built in 1933. who had been recommended to them). After he ended up coming to their home to look at a project, “He said, ‘I can do it,'” Myra said. “That was the beginning of our relationship with him. He was very honest, very reasonable and very capable.” In fact, his restoration projects at the Blackburns’ house have led other historic home owners to seek Potkay out. “We’ve had several projects that involved going clear down to the studs, seeing how it was built originally and then making the necessary adaptations to turn it into what we wanted to turn it into,” Gary said. “Trying to do things like they were done years ago is a challenge that Jerry loves. He does it beautifully.”

Most recently the Blackburns placed balustrades on one side of the house and awnings on two side windows, funded in part by a historic heritage grant they were awarded through Oak Ridge’s Historic Preservation Commission.

“You really have to take it as it comes,” Myra said of the challenges that come with living in a historic house. “If you look at every project that needs to be done, it is daunting. So, you take care of the necessary things first. Then you can work toward the cosmetic things.”

October is home styling month


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continued from page 19

That's quite a rooster! Although he has always maintained that it is for sale, Billy Kanoy’s giant fiberglass rooster has become a sort of Oak Ridge landmark along Oak Ridge Road (N.C. 150). The rooster, which Kanoy bought in Nebraska, stands guard over a pasture that once held alpacas, miniature donkeys and a herd of Belted Galloway cattle. The rooster was part of a set that included a fiberglass cow that matched Kanoy’s herd. He sold the cow statue, but the rooster remains perched on top of a trailer in the middle of Kanoy’s pasture.

Countryside coffee The coffee pot. Surely, you know where that is? It’s a landmark, according to Dr. Mervyn King, who bought it to set outside Countryside Village Retirement Community on U.S. 158 in Stokesdale when he started the first building in 1977. King said it was on top of a porch outside a restaurant that used to stand west of town. “When the railroad would come through, they would toot the whistle and the lady at the restaurant would have breakfast ready for (the railroad workers) when they stopped,” King said. “People knew where the coffee pot was. They still do, so it’s served its purpose.”


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with local goods, hand-dipped ice cream, coffee, smoothies and a garden center •

Local Artist Market Oct. 7, 10 am- 6 pm Rain date Oct. 8 Hannah’s Haven Silent Auction and Fish Fry Fundraiser Oct. 7, 10 am- 6 pm Community Yard Sale Oct. 14, 7am-TBD Spaces $10 Mistletoe Market Dec. 2, 10 am- 6 pm Ladies’ Night Dec. 7, 6 -9pm

341 Ram Loop Road, Stokesdale • (336) 949-4958 • Open Mon-Sat 10-6 & Sun 12-6


Fall 2017

Summerfield Veterans Memorial Unveiled on Veterans Day in 2012, this bronze bust of a WWII soldier in the Veterans Monument at Summerfield Community Park on Centerfield Road was years in the making. Post 7999 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars took about five years raising money for it. They sold “more hot dogs than they could count.” They also sold Brunswick stew and tirelessly asked for donations. They had to raise about $25,000 for the statue, which was created by Paul Nixon.

Jumping Bean Seven days a week, cars line up outside the tiny orange building that houses the Jumping Bean. Lisa and Kevin Murray opened the shop in 2012, and haven’t looked back. Customers come to the little shop in the Summerfield Square shopping center on U.S. 220, not only for coffee, but for a chance to talk with their barista for a few minutes before they once again get on their way.

Purgason’s Sure, Purgason’s Leather and Western Wear, at 4901 Auburn Road in Summerfield, has been the go-to place in the Triad area for cowboy boots and such, but what’s the deal with the horse? Well, like everything else we’ve featured, it has a story. Margot Donnell, whose sister owns the store, said a traveling salesman from parts unknown came through town on a Saturday afternoon about 20 years ago. He was pulling a flatbed trailer with a menagerie of fiberglass livestock – mostly exotics like an elephant and a zebra. But the owners of Purgason’s saw that quarter horse and decided to buy it. It’s stood outside the shop ever since.

Custom Millwork, Mouldings, Trim, Cabinets and More.

Downtown Stokesdale Maybe the most-often-photographed stretch of street in Stokesdale is the north side of U.S. 158 between Shilling and Newberry streets. The block is filled with a row of brick structures dating back to between 1908 and 1920, when Stokesdale was a thriving railroad town, according to Guilford County data. Back then, the Cape Fear and Yadkin Valley Railroad passed through town (which was known as Green Pond). Businesses continue to use the structures today.

Cardinal Millwork and Supply is locally owned and has been a quality supplier to the Triad building industry for the past 10 years.

We supply: • • • • • • • • • • •

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Fall 2017

7620 W. Market Street Greensboro, NC 27409 Office: 336-665-9811 Fax: 336-668-2548


Let us introduce you to these local Realtors: Pssst... Realtors, introduce yourselves to potential clients in this spotlight directory, appearing next time in our spring 2018 edition!

Bobbie was phenomenal to work with! She identified exactly what needed to be done to sell our house quickly. She worked hand-in-hand with us, our tenant and the management company, ensuring all parties’ needs were respected. With a take-charge attitude and professionalism, she found us an offer within 3 months and closed within 5 months of listing. Bobbie succeeded in what two other agents never did ... selling our house! Thank you, Bobbie! –Joseph & Heather Merrell

Bobbie Gardner

CRS, GRI, EcoBroker, Relocation Specialist (336) 382-5939


(336) 644-7035, ext. 10 •

Honest. Knowledgeable. Hardworking.  Understands the importance of communication.  Resident of Summerfield.  Just a few reasons to call me for your real estate needs. New Homes of Greensboro is a boutique real estate firm and puts quality over quantity.

Bethany Chavis

Broker, Realtor New Homes of Greensboro Realty, LLC (336) 455-1373 mobile

I would rather have my clients speak about our team... ‘Patsy exceeded our expectations and is a phenomenal realtor and skilled negotiator; she fiercely yet kindly advocated for us throughout the entire process. Her team was patient, informative, professional, responsive, authentic and kind. We honestly can’t think of an area that needs improvement. My husband and I are so grateful to Patsy, Bethany, and the team; we highly recommend them!’ - Kristen

Patsy Arriaga

Broker, Realtor, bilingual, BA in Economics from Tufts University Patsy Arriaga & Associates (336) 501-1886 •

Attention, Realtors Throughout the year, we offer many opportunities to promote yourself and your listings

Real Estate Showcase ads are a cost-effective way to promote your listings year-round in our classifieds section. For more info: (336) 644-7035, ext. 10

Don’t be absent when our readers search this annual directory for real estate services! For more info: (336) 644-7035, ext. 10

Serving buyers and sellers in the Triad area has been my passion for over 24 years! I began as an elementary teacher, and am mother of two wonderful children who graduated from Guilford County schools. My husband and I have lived in the Greensboro area for over 30 years. It’s a special place to call home and I enjoy helping others find their special place to live in our community. Give me a call – I would enjoy the opportunity to earn your business now or in the future!

If you are looking for a real estate agent, simply ask yourself: ‘Do I want someone who... 1) is a “full-time” real estate broker; 2) will work hard for me and put my interests first; 3) is thorough and will walk me through the entire process step by step; 4) is on time, honest and accountable; and 5) will provide me with professional, positive and satisfying results?’ If so, then feel free to contact me whether you are buying or selling. Then sit back and relax!

Sue Hutchinson

Gil Vaughan Buyer & Seller Representation

CRS, ABR, GRI, SMS, Broker


(336) 314-3441 •

(336) 337-4780 •

Experience... Integrity... Compassion... these are just a few words that describe the cornerstones of business for KERBAPPEALS REAL ESTATE. As a Realtor® in the Triad since 2005, customer service is my #1 priority. If buying and/or selling a home is your priority, please give me a call. I promise to work with you – and for you – every step of the way!

THE BOBBIE MAYNARD TEAM – A team of Realtors/ Brokers with 75 years of combined experience. Our agents focus on and live in NW Guilford County. We are dedicated to making your real estate dreams come true. Our team also specializes in working with relocation companies to market your home for sale. Whether buying your first home, moving up or downsizing, we have an agent to fulfill your needs. We will put our years of experience to work for you!

Gail Kerber

, CDPE, ABR, SPS, SLS Realtor®/Broker/Owner

KERBAPPEALS REAL ESTATE (336) 327-1165 cell

Appearing in the Northwest Observer’s third issue each month, this section serves as a guide to what’s happening in our local real estate market.

To learn about the front cover package or other display advertising: (336) 644-7035, ext. 10

Bobbie Maynard, Broker/Realtor CRS, GRI, CSP, Green • (336) 215-8017

Even John admits this house was the “craziest” home project he had considered thus far.

EXTREME REMODELING continued from page 9

would come home and say “We’re moving (again).”

“As for aesthetics, it was in the worst condition of any house we had bought,” he said. “Everything (on the inside) was just dated and had to be ‘touched.’ And then

But when he first talked of buying the house on Hillsdale Lake, she shook her head and said, “Uh-uh.”

on the outside… the roof had to be replaced, the cupola didn’t have any windows so there was no light coming in… etc., etc.”

Still, John had a vision and he began to make his case. Since discovering the neighborhood about two years earlier, he had been knocking on doors asking homeowners to let him know if they ever wanted to sell their home. With two young children, the quality of the area’s public schools (Summerfield Elementary and Northern Middle and High School) was a big attraction. And so was the 28-acre lake, which would offer the couple and their two sons a unique opportunity to spend family time out on the lake, not to mention the beautiful view they would enjoy from their back yard.



With great faith in her husband and the results she had seen many times over,

Helping you create your own personal paradise

Adrienne relented and agreed to move forward.

Before finalizing their purchase, though, they would need to have the Health Department inspect the septic system and approve the house for three bedrooms. The department approved it, and they bought the house. Now the real work began. The couple’s mission was to maximize living space, but they had to do so without expanding the house’s footprint.

One of the kitchen walls immediately came down (and along with it, some cabinets), and the kitchen was expanded and updated with a granite-covered island, new appliances and a relocated window over the new sink. A room just inside the front of the house that had been used as an office was converted to a dining room and a small room off it became a pantry.

Almost all of the doors and trim molding were replaced and popcorn ceilings throughout the house were scraped, sanded, and re-painted (except for the master

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Fall 2017

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bedroom closet and laundry room – “to pay homage to the original house,” John laughs, then admits they just got worn out from all the scraping and sanding and left those two ceilings as they were).

“The house naturally didn’t have much storage, so anywhere we could fit storage we did,” Adrienne said. That meant moving old cabinets into new spaces and building new cabinets – and closets – into any nook and cranny available. All the duct work in the house was replaced, and a new heating and air conditioning system installed.

Of course, all the walls in the house were re-painted – John, whom Adrienne credits for much of the home’s interior décor, chose a light gray throughout to give the feel of the house being more open and more smoothly transition from one room to another.

A cupola at the top of the house was rebuilt to allow light to stream through. Although the two boys’ bedrooms on the third floor are separated by a wall, there is no ceiling above their rooms, which allows a view through the cupola from each room.

“They can lie in bed at night and see through to the sky,” Adrienne said. “That’s really cool.” Dormer windows were also added to the two upstairs bedrooms, inviting even more light inside and providing the necessary egress.

Built-in closet space with drawers and platform beds in the boys’ bedrooms – and elsewhere through the house – were designed to maximize floor space.

The flooring in the house was replaced with engineered hardwood floors. Just as with the paint, the floor material is the same throughout the house to make for a smoother transition from one room to another. Engineered hardwood floors also allow more flexibility when applied because they can be installed above, on or below grade – that was especially useful in the Grambergs' home because of the variation of subfloors. The large window in the main-level living area remains, but much of the rest of the room has a totally new look and feel, and removing some of the trees in

the back yard has opened the room up to a beautiful view of the lake.

The bathroom on the home's lower level had previously been remodeled and the Grambergs have since remodeled the bathrooms on the middle and upper levels. The existing porch off the front of the house has been converted into a foyer. The house lacked character, as it was a perfect square with a “Pizza Hut” shaped roof. John specifically chose gabled roof lines on the porch addition and the dormers to bring character to the house and give it that “cottage feel.”

And that room on the lower level of the house that was once partitioned off and used as two kids’ bedrooms? It now serves as a large, open family theater room, located right next to a small living room with fireplace that overlooks the lake. Oh, and there’s a double-size Murphy bed tucked into the wall under the largescreen TV that pulls out so the room can also serve as a guest bedroom.

After tripling their original investment in the house, the Grambergs have a home they absolutely love and are prepared to settle in for the long term. But ask them if they’re done, and they say "Not yet." There are plans to expand the master bedroom onto a portion of the back deck, and to add a great room onto the side of the house. And, a few more trees will eventually be taken down in the back yard. Still, the little cottage on the lake that was once described as “the Pizza Hut house (due to its roof design)” has evolved into a beautiful, modern home with an abundance of natural light, and they look forward to creating many family memories there. As for advice to others who may be contemplating an extreme home makeover, there will always be challenges, Chicka warned. Take them one at a time and just keep moving along, she advises. And work with a designer, architect and contractor to be sure you achieve the look you’re after. “We absolutely love our home,” she said. “We love our land and setting as much as our home. We hope to have many, many years here.”

Join us

every Sunday 8:15am | Worship in Sanctuary 9am | Worship in Family Life Center 10 am | Discipleship classes for all ages 11:15 am | Worship in Sanctuary

Welcome. Grow. Love.

All are welcome! Oak Ridge United Methodist Church welcomes and grows disciples for Jesus Christ who worship God and love others. Look for discipleship opportunities and fellowship events on our Facebook page, Twitter, website, church bulletin and in The Ridgerunner, our monthly newsletter.

(336) 643-4690 2424 Oak Ridge Road, Oak Ridge Fall 2017



continued from page 15 “It’s fantastic because you can search by trail name or based on your own address,” Carey said. “Most people don’t keep track of trail names. Hopefully they know their own address.” The program is also mobile friendly and can assist in finding official parking areas for trails, she said.

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail goes through Summerfield and Oak Ridge, which is about the midway point for the 1,175-mile path that stretches from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. The trail remains under development and much of it uses streets and roads.

One segment of the MST, at the north edge of Oak Ridge, touches the trailhead for the Cascades Preserve on Goodwill Church Road. There in horse country, a quick walk over a ridge separates hikers from civilization and puts them in bottoms, where deer graze and frogs

croak. In all, about 1.5 miles of trails in the preserve loop through the hills and along streambeds. Madison resident Mike Linville said he loves the Cascades Preserve and hopes it will someday be an official part of the MST. He also hikes all the local trails and makes it up to Hanging Rock as often as he can.

Oak Ridge has invited and welcomed the MST through its town, Mayor Pro Tem George McClellan said. The town even established a campsite (available by appointment) in Oak Ridge Town Park for the trail’s users.

Photo by Joe Gamm/NWO

Alexis Moore (left) and her mother, Michelle Moore, walk the trails at Oak Ridge Town Park for the scenery. “We love the nature and beauty,” Michelle Moore said.

Oak Ridge has great services for hikers to stop, rest, and stock up on food and products they need, Linville said.

Here is a little secret I’m letting out of the bag. There are charming trails just outside Stokesdale, at Belews Lake. Not right on the lake, but at Knight Brown Nature Preserve. Three loops of trails there cover about 2.7 miles and take walkers up and down ravines and across

small streams. It’s worth a look.

Farther out, some locals’ favorite trails are at Hanging Rock State Park. The trails there provide a variety of challenges, so check before you begin. Hanging Rock Trail is terrific, but loners prefer a little less-traveled trail. For a warm-up, take the Loop Trail along Moore’s Wall. It leads to the lookout tower atop Moore’s Knob, which is a terrific site for an early lunch. You packed your lunch, right? (A recommendation is to avoid the east side of the Loop Trail, which is shorter than the west side, but has multiple tall stone steps.) For even more privacy, try the Cook’s Wall Trail. A 1.6-mile hike up there leads

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Fall 2017

to a mountaintop grassland/forest. It’s beautiful and unique and has the same great views as some more popular trails. A simpler walk starting at Hanging Rock is Indian Creek. This trail leads past Window Falls and Hidden Falls. It gets more challenging the farther you go. It has a second trailhead on the north end at Dan River, but to get to that trailhead in a vehicle, you must drive down a couple of miles of gravel road.

Whether you stay closer to home or venture just a little farther out, there are lots of opportunities to get on the trail, so get out your walking shoes and enjoy the outdoors. 

BEK Paint Company

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Interior & exterior painting Stained door refinishing Carpentry • Deck staining Wallpaper removal Pressure washing Mildew removal

for making this publication possible BANK BB&T................................................................................ 9 BUILDING & REMODELING Builders MD.............................................................. 16-17 Cardinal Millwork & Supply............................................25 Disney Custom Homes..................................................... 6 Don Mills Builders............................................................. 5 Greater Greensboro Builders Association....................... 19 Gunter Custom Homes.................................................... 3 Naylor Custom Homes...................................................22

HOME PRODUCTS & SERVICES A.B. Seed ...................................................................... 13 A Shade Better................................................................11 BEK Paint Company.......................................................30 Boone Decorative Fabrics............................................... 10 CastleWorks Window Cleaning....................................... 20 Dove Medical Supply...................................................... 14 Eanes Heating and Air Conditioning................................ 2 Edgefield Plant & Stone Center .....................................30 Furniture Medic................................................................ 7 Golden Antiques & Treasures......................................... 24 Hedgecock Builders Supply............................................ 18 HHH Hearth Home & Patio............................................. 7 Mainland Stoneworks..................................................... 32 New Garden Landscaping & Nursery............................. 12 Paradise Pools & Spas.................................................... 28 Precision Door Service...................................................... 8 Priba Furniture & Interiors.............................................. 23 Triad Dog Fence............................................................. 15

CHURCHES Oak Ridge United Methodist Church............................. 29 Union Grove Baptist Church........................................... 15 PUBLISHER PS Communications......................................................... 4 REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS & SERVICES Ann Powell, Allen Tate................................................... 20 Bethany Chavis, New Homes of Greensboro.................. 26 Bobbie Gardner, Keller Williams..................................... 26 Bobbie Maynard, Allen Tate........................................... 27 Gail Kerber, KERBAPPEALS Real Estate......................... 27 Gil Vaughan, Keller Williams.......................................... 27 Jason Smith, Smith Marketing........................................ 21 Johnnye & Jake Letterman, BHHS Yost & Little................ 4 Patsy Arriaga, New Homes of Greensboro..................... 26 Sue Hutchinson, ReMax................................................. 27

The community gathering place where over 12,500 of your neighbors are connected /NorthwestObserver  Breaking news  Event photos  Crime alerts  Community updates  High school sports coverage

...and much more

Fall 2017



VISIT OUR SHOWROOM residential & commercial 920 Old Winston Road, Kernersville, NC 27284 336-773-0714 |

At Home | Fall 2017  

Featuring a slice of life in the northwest Guilford County, NC area, from local history to practical home-related topics and more.

At Home | Fall 2017  

Featuring a slice of life in the northwest Guilford County, NC area, from local history to practical home-related topics and more.