The water mill Karoxbostel project shows how honorary members achieved to renovate a building applying high standards. Non-professionals are trained and qualified which allows them to identify themselves with the project. This identification is not limited to the pure renovation tasks but also includes the entire project with the cultural, social and environmental projects which the association initiates. Thanks to the efforts of lots of honorary helpers and the open access to the object during the renovation phase the approach for the renovation needed to be unorthodox. For example, the normally required full damage assessment before the start of the renovation work would have demotivated the engaged helpers. However, a project of this magnitude could only be managed with highly engaged helpers. For instance, these engaged helpers completed, one by one, all necessary renovation tasks in close cooperation with the full-time monument conservators. Each task was adequately appreciated and celebrated after its completion being the perceived prerequisite for the next renovation phase. In applying this constructive and target-oriented way of implementing the small steps the numerous helpers were encouraged to help and keep their motivation over many years. This was the way to realize the renovation of the entire ›Denkmalensemble Wassermühle Karoxbostel‹ project with great enthusiasm.