Shortly after visiting St. Augustine for the first-time, David Gregory knew he needed to live in this historic Northern Florida city. From the soothing sound of four different rivers to the awe-inspiring old world charm of the Bridge of Lions, historic St. Augustine always felt like his home. So, when the opportunity to purchase a home in the city presented itself, David didn’t hesitate to say yes to his longtime dream.
Not all dreams come prepackaged however; sometimes assembly is required.
“It was the worst house on the nicest street,” David recalled. “For years people in the neighborhood wondered what was going to happen with ‘that house.’ Many began to think; will anyone improve it?”
Luckily for his future neighbors, that person was David, a resourceful self-taught carpenter who could easily moonlight on “Extreme Home Makeovers.” Always a handyman of sorts, David has made items ranging from jewelry boxes, beds and even a deck. He’s always sharpening his craft by watching DIY videos and reading books about construction procedures.
After purchasing the house, David began peeling back the façade, stripping it down to the concrete and foundation. Underneath it all, he found severely damaged wood that had become a smorgasbord for termites and carpenter ants. To make matters even worse, the roof over his head had seen better days and what he thought was initially salvageable was beyond repair. For many homebuyers, this would be the start of buyer’s remorse. Not David, he was determined to breathe new life into his crumbling dream home.
“When I set my mind to something I can achieve it,” David boasted. “Throughout your life there are going to be challenges you’ll run into, but it’s important to overcome them by finding help. Whether it’s through watching a video or talking to an expert in the field, advice is out there.”
David took his own advice and reached out to his friend who was a general contractor for a consultation and feedback. He also did extensive reading on Florida’s building code. This advanced pre-planning helped the renovation process run smoothly allowing David to work on his house during weeknights and over the weekends.
Having an advanced understanding of the Florida building code, David passed the final inspection with flying colors. Even the inspector was impressed, amazed that the work had been done by David himself.
David deploys this common-sense approach to his work at SYKES as well, where he is a program process lead for the Microsoft account. In this capacity, he works directly with account managers and client services directors to analyze quality of service data and make improvements.
To date, the largest project David has built is his home in St. Augustine. His renovation transformed a decaying 1950s-era home to an updated classic with fresh 2017 upgrades. To David, the gratification of
At work, David feels a similar pride when he helps come up with a process or new policy that works to improve performance.
“There’s a gratification in knowing something you helped implement actually has worked the way you planned and intended,” David said proudly. “It works and you see the performance improvements.”
David’s skills were put to nature’s test in September 2017 when powerful Hurricane Irma hit the sunshine state with devastating wind and rain. David lost power for seven days, but the house itself was unscathed, at least in part due to David’s foresight. “The house did not suffer any direct damage thanks to installing a hurricane resistant roof and hurricane impact windows.”
Finally, renovation was complete. On December 30, David moved in with his girlfriend Afton and their daughter Rayelee. In the future, when his daughter is old enough, David looks forward to sharing the history of the house he built for her and the family.