A Home for Gathering

How the Jacksons Built Their Dream Space Two Times Over

Remodeling your home is no easy feat. The process can be overwhelming for some homeowners, especially when making major changes. Gay and Mark Jackson of Worthington Hills have remodeled twice with J.S. Brown & Co., each time with different goals in mind. Rather than moving to another house as their needs evolved, they remodeled their home not once, but twice, to fit the functionality and lifestyle of their family.

The Jackson home was first remodeled 20 years ago by J.S. Brown to allow for increased functionality in their kitchen. At the time, they were a young family, and space was not their main concern. 

“We pretty much knew what we wanted going in,” Gay said. 

Mark, the cook of the family, didn’t mind that the kitchen was small, but prioritized updating it with nicer appliances that could stand up to daily usage. For this remodel, they added tile flooring, new appliances, more storage space and a desk area for their children.

“We didn’t really do much structurally the first time around,” J.S. Brown Vice President Monica Lewis said. “It was more about upgrading it and making it nicer.” 

Twenty years later, kids grown and grandchildren added, Gay and Mark realized their home needed to accommodate larger gatherings. 

As many adults grow older, some choose to downsize, either by purchasing a smaller home or moving to a senior living community. Gay and Mark decided against those options. They wanted to stay in the current home and use this remodel to turn their home into one where they could be comfortable for the rest of their lives. 

“We decided we weren’t downsizing, we weren’t moving,” Gay said. “This needs to work for us forever.”

in 2023, they decided to remodel again to fit their new lifestyle. 

“It was more about space. We wanted a covered porch, a place where we could go and hang out and watch a game, and just a place that we could gather,” Gay said. “We added a large island and we have more flow for having parties.” 

While both remodels focused on the kitchen, the second remodel was very different. As two-time veterans of the remodeling process, the Jacksons recommend hiring a reliable company, like J.S. Brown, having patience and ensuring great communication with your contractor. 

“I was nervous because, you know, someone’s blowing out your house,” Gay said. “That’s why we decided to pick someone more established and who we’ve used before.” 

Delays can be a part of any home remodel so the Jacksons recommend going into any project with patience and knowing delays can, and probably will, happen. This is why communication with J.S. Brown was so important to them. Building a good rapport and communicating with your project manager is crucial in managing expectations. 

Technology plays a key role in today’s remodels for better communication as well. J.S. Brown uses an app as a hub, which serves as a central access point for collaboration between J.S. Brown, homeowners and contractors. 

“We do our estimates in it, we do our orders in it, we invoice clients through it. We can communicate with the homeowners, within our own team, and with our subcontractors that may be working with us on a job,” Lewis said. 

Before starting a remodeling project, creating and sticking to a budget is essential. J.S. Brown begins the remodel process by discussing design and functionality goals before establishing a budget and creating an initial estimate. Homeowners can expect ongoing consultation and collaboration with their project manager, which helps them stay on budget and keeps remodels on time. 

“There are always things that get cut or changed or modified to fit into the budget structure,” Lewis said. “We will walk through all of the design phases...and once we get a plan, we go into estimation and see how close the plan can fit in [the client's] budget.” 

Like the Jacksons, homeowners may find their needs evolve with time, but the key to lasting remodels, Lewis says, is to avoid trends and to take the home and clients' lifestyles into consideration. 

“If the homeowner loves their home, you want to design around their home,” Lewis said. 

Remodeling twice helped Gay and Mark’s home evolve as their needs changed. They have been able to enjoy the home they purchased long ago and spend more time in their new space with their growing family, all of whom love the fresh additions.

“It’s so radically different from what it was before,” Mark said of his home. “People get blown away by it."


“We decided we weren’t downsizing, we weren’t moving. This needs to work for us forever.”

"We wanted a covered porch...and just a place that we could gather."

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