The distance between Corpus Christi, TX and Orangeburg, SC is about 1,222 miles, give or take a few depending on the route (and if you want to go through Atlanta).
Stephanie Jackson and her husband knew transplanting their lives more than 1,000 miles out of state from the Gulf Coast of Texas to the Midlands of South Carolina would require a unique design and construction company.
“Moving here was so hinged upon me finding a contractor and a company that I could work with,” Stephanie said. “It’s not like I’m from here. It’s not like I knew people that I could ask and say, ‘who have you worked with before,’ right? That was really a leap of faith.”
The Jacksons purchased 50 acres of land in Orangeburg. They fell in love with the property, but the house needed updating and personal touch so they could call it home.
So Stephanie started doing research. She found Phase One on Houzz and called a few other design companies. But, the decision was made when she got on the phone with Pam Crane.
“I talked to them and was like, ‘yeah, these are the ones.’ I just knew after talking to them one time on the phone,” Stephanie explained. “Pam was very upfront with me. It just felt like talking to a friend.”
Stephanie said the Phase One team walked her through the timeline it would take to update the home, costs, and what to expect.
After that first phone call, Stephanie asked Phase One to check out the home.
Then, it was time to start working.
Miles Apart But on the Same Page
Stephanie and her husband remained in Texas for the duration of the project.
Even though she wasn’t here to look at materials or give feedback in person, Stephanie worked closely with Jon Crane, who led the contracting work. Jon shared photo updates, texted Stephanie pictures of flooring and light fixtures, and gave her daily project recaps.
Jon also drew up designs for many spaces in the home, including the kitchen, which was one room of the house Stephanie had to change. But she had very few ideas on what to do with it.
“One of my biggest things was the kitchen. I hated it, but I had no idea where to start, nothing,” Stephanie said. “And the first drawing he [Jon] sent me back, it was perfect. There was nothing that needed to be changed.”
“He was able to set it up the only way it would have worked. And it was brilliant,” Stephanie noted.
This was the Jackson’s first time taking on a significant home renovation project. And Stephanie braced herself for major issues to come up. But she never had those moments.
“Everything was so smooth,” she explained.
“It Was Trust”
Trust was the most essential thing for Stephanie when she began searching for a design and contracting company.
“First and foremost, it was trust. I needed to know that they were going to do what they said when they said it, and it was going to be done on time.”
And working with a company to design and handle construction was ideal for Stephanie.
“So the one-stop-shop using Phase One and Azalea, that was huge,” she noted.
Working closely with Jon, Stephanie was able to bounce ideas off him and get candid feedback.
“He somehow was able to take everything that I was giving him and kind of pull parts out that were going to be true to the house and tell me, ‘yeah, that doesn’t go, that’s not that’s not gonna work,’” she said with a laugh.
Right on Time
The Jacksons bought their home in October 2021. The Phase One team let them know it would take around three months to complete the renovations.
The work kicked off in late December and early January 2022.
“And they were 99% done by March 28th, when I moved in,” Stephanie said.
Even with a few things added to the scope of work, Phase One still finished the project on time.
A Strong Connection
Stephanie thinks a key factor in the renovation’s success is her relationship with Pam, Jon, and the Phase One team.
“Immediately, it was like, these people are my friends. That was just the vibe,” Stephanie explained.
Phase One’s transparency and accuracy about cost also left an impression on the Jacksons.
“I got the build plan that went through room by room with estimates [and they were] almost spot on to the dollar,” Stephanie explained.
As the renovations were wrapping up, Stephanie said Jon withheld photos from her so that the final touches would be a surprise.
At that point, she’d only seen the house twice. When she arrived in Orangeburg, everything would be new to her eyes.
She wasn’t disappointed.
“Everything that we had talked about and dreamt about, you know, my dream kitchen was right there,” Stephanie said. “We’re just kind of walking around in awe being like, ‘this is what I had imagined in my head.’”
Stephanie and her husband are enjoying their renovated home. They’ve spent time fishing in their pond (a first for Stephanie) and learning to love life in South Carolina.
Moving out of state more than 1,000 miles and trying to renovate a house isn’t easy. Stephanie said she recommends that anyone looking to take on this kind of project should do their research and trust their gut. And when you find the right one, you’ll know.
“I just trusted them,” Stephanie added. “And I didn’t stress once.”