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Get remodeling tips from Dana Tyson, her son

January 22, 2019

People who visit the 13th annual Spring Katy Home & Garden can take home some tips on how to transform an older home from someone who’s been there and done that.

Sunny 99.1 morning show host Dana Tyson and her home builder son Bobby Tyson will talk about their do-it-yourself project to restore a 1922 historic Eastwood home. Visit https://tinyurl.com/y92yzgtm to learn more.

They are featured speakers at the show which will be Jan. 26-27 at the Merrell Center & Robinson Pavilion, 6301 S Stadium Lane in Katy. Their presentation will be at 1 p.m. both days.

How to get started? “First of all I had a vision for that house,” said Dana. “I knew the house would be beautiful.” She said she started with light fixtures and then looked for furniture even before the house was restored.

Bobby, who’s been building homes for six years, said his mother sent him a barrage of text messages every night about what she wanted or liked. She eventually put together a binder with all her favorites.

They were lucky, said Bobby, that the home had “very good bones.” “Some old homes can be difficult to make functional for daily living.”

And, they worked in increments. They got a nice wrought iron fence and then replaced the roof. After they got the outside looking pristine, they were able to convince her husband, who originally wanted to tear down the house, that it could be nice. The exterior upgrades took a month-and-half and then the house sat for a year. “I was paralyzed with fear,” said Bobby. “I didn’t want to mess up the interior.”

They recycled the pristine shiplap that they found throughout the house. “Recycle all that you can,” said Bobby, who added that it’s not bad to put in more modern materials and it can save a homeowner money.

A lot of people talk about how great it is to restore old homes, continued Bobby, as if it’s a duty that they take seriously. “To restore old homes using original material can be expensive. For ordinary people, it may not sense to do it. Don’t feel bad if you need to put in more modern materials.”

His suggestions for saving money include do the labor yourself, make sacrifices in materials and finishes and exercise self-control. For example, Dana said windows were important to her but she didn’t care about high-end kitchen cabinets. “The ceiling fans are first class,” she said, but for exterior and interior light fixtures they went to Amazon.

Bobby said, “I’m the realist on the ground facilitating these things. Mom was the idea person with energy and visions. For her it’s always fun and fun. I was defeated at times. It was very frustrating and difficult for me. My advice is to break it into individual projects. Don’t try to do it all at once if you’re not confident or have to stretch the budget.”

But he added that not completing any project makes it hard to keep the momentum going. And sometimes it pays to have help. They hired Janusz Design when it came to integrating air conditioning in the house.

Homeowners invest a lot of time and money in contractors, said Bobby. “Be prudent, get referrals.” He suggests looking at projects completed by contractors, asking questions and visiting Google for basic information. “With a little intuition and the right questions, you can get a pretty decent idea if it’s the right guy or not.”

The Tyson home was featured in the Eastwood Historic Home Tour. Visit https://tinyurl.com/yas52zhh for details and photos.

The Katy show also will offer chalk painting with Vintage Back Roads at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and at noon on Sunday.

Madeline Banks in Home Design will focus on using the new “living coral” color plus how to customize a new kitchen/bath on any budget. Her program will begin at 2 p.m. both days.

More than 250 exhibits will be part of the show, which will be open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27. Show visitors can tour a full-scale farmhouse kitchen built from reclaimed wood and visit food trucks for lunch.

Visit www.katyhomeandgardenshow.com for more information. Tickets are $9 for adults. Kids are age 12 are admitted free. Parking is free.

karen.zurawski@chron.com

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