Defining Homes • Super (re)model

Remodeler Chris Sandlin says slow your roll before that redux

Wingren-Kitchen-5By Jonanna Widner

As a third-generation homebuilder and remodeler, it’s no surprise that Chris Sandlin opted out of a journalism career and instead chose the family business. He made the change in 2005 and with such a history of the industry in his blood already, Sandlin brings a fairly unique perspective to the market.

“I’m 30 years old, which is relatively young compared to others in my position,“ he says. “But I put a lot of time and energy into the right team of workers and sub-contractors to customers’ homes so the end result lives up to what the homeowners deserve. As a gay business owner, I’m happy in providing stellar home services to the community.”

Before moving forward with that remodel, Sandlin says to think before demolishing.

Wingren-Master-Bath-2Know when to remodel: “I commonly work with homeowners to determine whether it makes more sense to remodel or move. I approach each situation openly and honestly, and try my best to suggest what I think would be best, even if that means I don’t win the job.”

Remodel before selling: “This is usually the case with older homes that have not been remodeled recently. Homeowners accept my guidance for what sells. I have a good combination of experience in the homebuilding and real estate industry.

“There is a catch-22 here. If the house sells quickly, homeowners in won’t have time to experience the finished remodel project which tends to be the kitchen or master bath.”

“This can happen very easily. Most $250,000 homes do not need a $50,000 bathroom redo, nor does a $300,000 home need a $100,000 commercial grade kitchen. A wide variety of factors need to be considered, including how long they plan to stay in the home, what’s the budget, how it adds to the home’s value.“

Budget help: “When in the budgeting/planning phase with homeowners, research the values of nearby homes, especially with remodels. This has been helpful in concrete figures regarding their remodel, as well as experienced conjectures about how the remodel will affect the home’s future value.”

Don’t rush the details:  ”Too many homeowners want to rush into their project without a clear vision. Step back, assess the project and come up with a plan. With that, the end result will be everything the homeowner wants. Rushing into it without a plan will only result in more time, money and headaches.”

Going green: “This is an area I take pride in. As a certified green professional through the National Association of Homebuilders, I integrate green philosophies and I want to minimize waste factor and landfill component as much as possible.”

“I started making many green features as my standard a long time ago because I feel it’s the right way to build and remodel. I’m happy to see more homeowners interested in these options.”

DIY:  “I’m happy to help prepare homeowners for what they would encounter if doing it on their own. Sometimes it works out just fine, with small jobs that don’t require licensed tradesmen or city permits. When it comes to larger jobs, people need to know if they honestly have the time to do this in addition to the day job.”DH

Visit for more information.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition October 7, 2011.



















—  Kevin Thomas

Broken Mould

Queer punk pioneer Bob Mould turned an abusive childhood into a musical movement, but memoir targets hardcore fans

2.5 out of 5 stars
By Bob Mould (with Michael
Azerrad). 2001 (Little, Brown)
$25; 404 pp.

It all starts with “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” It continues with the itsy-bitsy spider, the ABCs and being a little teapot. From there, you embrace whatever your older siblings are listening to until you develop your own musical tastes. Maybe you started with records, moved on to the cassette tapes, CD and now, your iPod is full.

The point is, you’ve never been without your tunes.

But what about the people who make the music you love?

When Mould was born in 1960 in the northernmost end of New York, he entered a family wracked with grief: Just before he was born, Mould’s elder brother died of kidney cancer. He surmises that the timing of his birth resulted in his being a “golden child,” the family peacekeeper who sidestepped his father’s physical and psychological abuse.

“As a child,” he writes, “music was my escape.”

Mould’s father, surprisingly indulgent, bought his son guitars and young Bob taught himself to play chords and create songs. By the time he entered high school, Mould knew that he had to get out of New York and away from his family. He also knew he was gay, which would be a problem in his small hometown.

He applied for and entered college in Minnesota, where he started taking serious guitar lessons and drinking heavily. His frustrations led him to launch a punk rock band that made a notable impact on American indie music.

Named after a children’s game, Hüsker Dü performed nationally and internationally, but Mould muses that perhaps youth was against them. He seemed to have a love-hate relationship with his bandmates, and though he had become the band’s leader, there were resentments and accusations until the band finally split.

HUSKER DON’T | Bob Mould turned his youthful rage and homosexuality into a music career. (Photo by Noah Kalina)

But there were other bands and there were other loves than music, as Mould grew and learned to channel the rage inside him and the anger that volcanoed from it.

“I spent two years rebuilding and reinventing myself,” writes Mould. “Now that I’ve integrated who I am and what I do, I finally feel whole.”

If you remember with fondness the ‘80s, with its angry lyrics and mosh pits, then you’ll love this book. For most readers, though, See a Little Light is going to be a struggle. Mould spends a lot of time on a litany of clubs, recording studios, and locales he played some 30 years ago — which is fine if you were a fellow musician or a rabid, hardcore fan. This part of the book goes on… and on… and on, relentlessness and relatively esoteric in nature.

Admittedly, Mould shines when writing about his personal life but even so, he’s strangely dismissive and abrupt with former loves, bandmates, and even family. I enjoyed the occasional private tale; unfortunately there were not enough.

Overall, See a Little Light is great for Mould fanboys and those were heavy into the punk scene. For most readers, though, this book is way out of tune.

— Terri Schlichenmeyer

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 26, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens

Media O’Ds on (R-DE) — but why the relatively huge ‘ex-gay’ pass?

Christine O’Donnell chatter is everywhere. Bill Maher is rolling out new clips every week, with a younger incarnation of the U.S. Senate nominee talking about witchcraft (she played around) or evolution (Darwin didn’t even play a round). Elsewhere on the cable dial, folks like Rachel Maddow have gotten much mileage out of that old MTV clip with a twentysomething (R-DE) showing no love for self love. Other mainstream media pundits have made hay out of O’Donnell’s implications regarding the Vince Foster murder, her views on stem cell research, her belief that pornography equates adultery, and a whole host of the conservative Castle-wrecker’s views on other social issues. All are fair game. All have been picked apart.

But over the weekend, while stuck on a long-ish flight, yours truly took the opportunity to catch up on some of the dead tree media that’d been stacking up in my office to the point where A&E might consider the desk for a “Hoarders” episode. And while making my way through all of those weeklies and dailies and monthlies, I was first struck by just how much ink has been spilled on O’Donnell in the past few weeks. To say that the media has nationalized this one local election in a very small state would be like saying Lindsey Lohan has strayed just a tad from her squeaky clean Parent Trap image. In truth, O’D fears abound in both situations.

Though beyond just the sheer amount of coverage, the thing that struck me most in terms of this site’s LGBT interests: How shockingly little play the GOP nominee’s past “ex-gay” work has received in the mainstream media. It’s gotten Screen Shot 2010-09-27 At 7.52.17 Amsome mention, sure. But in commentary after commentary, I came across writers hitting the same exact touchstones. There was the onanism. There were the spellbinding witch comments. And the pornography mentions were hardcore. But the “ex-gay” views, so prominently fleshed out in the online media streams in which I more typically swim, don’t seem to rank even a quarter as highly in a large portion of the commentariat’s minds as do those sexual matters that seem more sweeping. This comparative shut out echoed a taped piece I had seen on NBC’s “Today” a few days after the Delaware primary, where the sole focus was on O’Donnell controversy, but where “gays can change” never ranked. The most logical presumption is that some in the mainstream channels of communication see the “ex-gay” stuff as a more limited, niche concern: A spark plug with gay readers, but less palatable for the ‘ros.

Screen Shot 2010-09-27 At 8.37.00 AmBut here’s the thing: Support for the “ex-gay” movement goes well beyond sexual orientation. To advocate for the modern “ex-gay” movement, the advocating voice must overlook the lock-solid opinion of all credible science and instead get in bed with far-right-created groups and personalities (links on O’Donnell’s SALT ministries sent readers to groups like NARTH and personalities like Paul Cameron) who hope to change the script to meet their convenience rather than to write the script from the world that is conveniently at hand. To get behind the “ex-gay” movement at the level that Christine did — which has been so wonderfully fleshed out on Maddow, online on sites like this one, in press releases from Wayne Besen’s Truth Wins Out, and in long form on sites like The Daily Beast — one has to aggressively push a uniquely dangerous form of deception and rejection. Standards that should be of interest, concern, or at least note to *anyone* looking into O’Donnell’s record.

One thing I’ve always tried to do here on G-A-Y is to break LGBT matters out of the confinements that have limited the conversation, and instead show how this fight is really a HUMAN RIGHTS situation. Christine O’Donnell’s candidacy provides a unique opportunity to do just that. The national spotlight couldn’t be brighter. Her past commitment to “false sexual identities” could not be more evident. Doesn’t this attempt to “change” both humans and scientific realities matter at least as much as whether or not the candidate has ever cast a spell? Because it certainly matters more to this writer. It likely matters more to Ellen Degeneres:



And it hopefully matters more to the Delaware public.

Good As You

—  John Wright