Our Big Move to Portland!

July 15, 2020

Whew! What a whirlwind the last two years have been.

For Jon’s 36th birthday, he asked if we could visit Oregon for a birthday present. Honestly, it was the first present he had ever asked for, and it was a present that forever changed our course. 

We started our Oregon journey-traveling back and forth between Arizona and Oregon. Looking for houses, finding our favorite neighborhoods, our favorite food joints, our kids favorite places to visit. Making sure our Arizona location could sustain the distance, us running it remotely from Oregon…Working on kinks as they would come up. 

During our visit in December of 2017, we found a house in Beaverton that could work. It was small, Pepto-Bismol pink, and we knew needed to be remodeled. We didn’t actually get to tour the house during the trip but put an offer in on it anyway.

Jon had been trying to find a house for us for years, so when he said- let’s offer less than asking, and an owner carry loan… I thought, “Sure. What does it matter? We won’t get it anyway”

Until we did!

Our offer was accepted, and we were owners of our first home in Beaverton, Oregon. For the kid’s spring break, we loaded up our truck with the dogs, kids, lots of snacks and our trailer full of tools and stuff for the house- and headed west. 

After three long days- we arrived at our new home. We walked in, and thought oh my gosh, what did we get ourselves into. 

The place was so dirty- 3D fingerprints could be seen on/in the walls, carpet from the 80’s- full of dirt, stuff and… more stuff; the appliances were green and yellow, the cabinets dirty brown, linoleum floor – all straight from the 70’s; spiders dropping from every few inches down from the ceiling…       Whew! It was crazy!

We camped in the back of our truck for two days while we gutted every inch of the interior and started to rebuild a comfortable space to live in. Over spring break, with the help of some Arizona friends, we completed a majority of the project. 

Fast forward: Three days back to Arizona, end of school celebrations, a mid-July road trip up to Oregon with more tools, new windows, doors, etc. to install, dogs, kids and snacks, and a trip back to Arizona, getting our Arizona house remodeled for Airbnb so we could keep it for when we needed to go back for work/family trips, buttoning up new shop manager, last minute policies and process improvements, 120 degree AZ summer weather- we were /finally/ ready to head east again for another + final 3 day trip. 

Wasn’t that a mouthful? It felt like that in real life too. SO much was crammed into a 5-month period, I honestly thought I was going to lose my mind. 

Moving to Beaverton, Oregon was a big change for me. I lived in Kingman my entire life- moved from my parents’ house, into our house that is now named “Surf 66” on Airbnb when I was 19. Everything is different- landscape, people, accessibility… but it is /so/ wonderful. 

The girls started a new school, and we slowly opened up a second cabinet shop location in the PDX area. 

Two years later, that’s where we are. The house is remodeled, and we are about to put it on the market- in hopes of finding a bigger place with a shop! I have a feeling the whirlwind is coming again… and it’ll be just as fierce as the first time!

Wish us luck 

  1. Delcie says:

    What an awesome job you did remodeling your first home. Even more impressive that you did that beautiful remodel while providing great service to your customers!! I love looking at all your work. I’m envious of the people who have benefited from your talent. When I’m ready to remodel my kitchen, I’m calling you. I also like that you are a family oriented business and faith based.
    Looking forward to more successful stories.
    I am a big fan!

  2. Jerm says:

    Great job Liz, you described it well in a short interesting article! Yes, the whirlwind tour of change has been experienced by some of us. Its a big step sometimes but then you realize what you really can do in a short amount of time and how exciting it can be after you finally get a little sleep!

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How long do you plan on staying in the home?

This question is crucial to deciding the quality and cost of goods for the project- more on this in a bit!

What type of Kitchen layout do you plan on using?

Sticking with the same layout is always the most economical option. However, if you want to change the layout- be aware of extra costs: electrical, plumbing, flooring, framing, drywall, paint, etc. Layout changes typically require a permit and possibly architectural drawings.

what is your budget?

Essential question! Even if you don't want to max out your budget, be prepared to discuss your allowance with the contractor. A reliable contractor will be able to work with your budget and your preferences to create the kitchen you really want. Realistic expectations and budgets are easier to work with up front- otherwise, cutting corners may end up costing you more in the long run, leaving you with an unfinished project.


01 considerations

02 choosing your builder

03 planning and design

are they qualified?

A qualified builder will guarantee a professionally finished product that will meet your budgeted expectations and time-frames.
BEWARE of hiring a builder without a contractor's license. Without it, you have little to no recourse if problems arise.

are they able?

The purpose of remodeling or building a home is to increase the value in the home itself as well as create a space for those who will live there to enjoy.
BEWARE of hiring someone who doesn't have the ability to make that happen or someone who doesn't care to make it happen.


01 considerations

02 choosing your builder

03 planning and design

Address resale issues.

If you're looking to resell or make a return on the remodel, design something with massive appeal- not something selective to just your taste.
To get ideas, think about scoping out remodels or houses for sale around your neighborhood- stay in competition with those upgrades to ensure maximum ROI.

Have you determined the scope?

How big of project can you afford; what is your time-frame for the construction period? This is when having a budget is helpful for a contractor. You may have certain desires for you space and the time-frame you wish to make it happen- but a limited budget. A qualified contractor will be able to take your ideas and the reality of building supplies, and create a crafty alternative that you'd love!

Have you thought outside the box?

Once the layout is agreed on... we get to the fun part! What kind of cabinets do you want? Builder grade cabinetry should be the lowest quality that you would put into any project. Upgrades vary and include all materials and quality of craftsmanship. You and your contractor will work together, and can discuss common upgrades.


01 considerations

02 choosing your builder

03 planning and design


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