Testifying to the detail of Dvorak's vision, four men armed with orbital palm sanders spent three arduous weeks on the chapel's Douglas fir scissor trusses "just to lighten up the color a little," says Plummer, who worried that sand-blasting the trusses would damage the wood. Simultaneously, workers gutted the addition and framed it into three bedrooms, three baths and a kitchen. "The challenge was to make the bedrooms as large as possible," says architect Barbara Chambers, who worked with Dvorak for three months on various layout schemes. "With the living room so spacious, you didn't want to go upstairs and find tiny, cramped rooms."



In the final month, the pace quickened from speedy to blinding to meet the television show's abbreviated winter production schedule. Jeff Deehan installed vintage bathroom fixtures; Ming Seto, Steve Lo and King Lau ran wire through Douglas fir studs; Darin Collins put up 7,000 pounds of tile, including a style used in the New York City subways.

With crews elbow to elbow, hollering in English, Cantonese, German and Spanish over the construction din, the site became a polyglot version of the Marx Brothers' stateroom scene from A Night at the Opera. "This is a seven-month job that we had to finish in three and a half months, so we had up to 30 guys here at a time," says Plummer. Through it all, Plummer—who met Dvorak when they were both working for Ralph Lauren in New York City—remained affable and unflappable, regaling the crews with bad jokes and Elvis imitations when energy flagged.

For a chance to appear on the television show, many crews worked at lower-than-standard rates—but even so, overtime accumulated. At the wrap party, Richard Trethewey inaugurated the kitchen chalkboard by writing a facetious schedule for Dvorak and Bishop in the coming weeks: "Monday: Pay bills. Tuesday: Pay bills. Wednesday: Pay bills."

Still, the project came in almost exactly on budget. Renovating the church cost about $400,000, and the purchase price of the building was $440,000. Some $85,000 worth of donated goods and services will be taxed as income to Dvorak and Bishop, adding about $30,000 to their outlay. The couple's out-of-pocket total: about $870,000. "That's very close to what we originally estimated," Dvorak says, as cheerfully as a young man with a huge mortgage can. "From the work that I do, I know the stress that comes along with any project like this, so that never threw me." Realizing a personal, rather than corporate, vision had been Dvorak's dream for years—and he enjoyed the endeavor. "It was fun. I really loved the whole thing."?
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