1st Place Photo by Deb and Don Womack of White Bear Lake, MN
—Sun Gazebo with Sliding Doors
We recently had the pleasure of chatting with Deb and Don Womack, first place winners of our 9th Annual Photo contest. We were curious about what inspired them to purchase the subject of their winning photo, a 14ft x 10ft Forever Redwood Sun Gazebo. We also wondered if they’d decided how to use their $10,000 1st Place Gift Certificate. 🏆
When the Womacks began researching outdoor structures to replace an old hot tub house, they were guided by three important considerations: a pre-existing concrete pad, the extremes of Minnesota weather, and, above all, their love for entertaining family outdoors.
Don’s web search eventually led him to Forever Redwood and the Sun Gazebo. Both he and Deb loved the design. By comparison, other structures they’d researched lacked character and style. When Don posed questions about the Sun Gazebo to Founder and CEO, Raul Hernandez, he was impressed by Raul’s knowledge and expertise. He also appreciated Forever Redwood’s commitment to restoration forestry.
But Don was also a bit skeptical. “I just could not imagine a company in California that would be able to be competitive with what I could get locally.” Quality control over a long distance was also a concern. But he and Deb decided to go for it.
When the shipment arrived and Don inspected it, he was able to relax. Sort of…
“As I opened the boxes, I was so impressed by the massive 14ft timbers, and that they do it in one cut. But that means it’s unbelievably heavy!” He’d planned to assemble the structure himself, and, while he was able to complete the foundation, he called in the Forever Redwood “cavalry” for the rest. “I highly recommend Forever Redwood’s White Glove Service because they do an excellent job.”
Forever Redwood’s willingness to customize played a huge part in bringing Deb and Don’s vision to life. In addition to accommodating the pre-existing concrete pad, the team reinforced the standard roof against Minnesota’s extreme winters. “Dealing with someone in California, you wonder if they really know the meaning of ‘severe snowstorms,’” Don chuckled. The roof was tested the very next winter when the area experienced record snowfall. The result? The Sun Gazebo sailed through without a hitch.
This past summer, Don wired the structure for electricity and installed a ceiling fan. Two custom screened panels keep the area cool and free of mosquitos, allowing the Womacks, their family, and especially their grandchildren to take full advantage of the all-too-brief Minnesota summers.
When people see it, they say it’s magical. – Deb Womack
Deb and Don enjoy quiet time together in the Sun Gazebo as well. “One of our favorite memories,” Deb said, “is when Don and I were able to sit out in the gazebo during a rainstorm, talking, listening to music, and reading as the storm passed. We were perfectly dry. It was one of those beautiful moments of enjoying the summer.”
And how do they plan to use their 1st prize gift certificate? They are still mulling over possibilities. But, not surprisingly, one of the main contenders is a long Redwood dining table, the perfect gathering place for family and friends.