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    1337 Williamson St.

    Madison, WI 53703

    608-770-4020 (cell)





    Bathroom and Kitchen Remodel on a Budget Part One

    A rental unit in the iconic Williamson St. neighborhood gets an economical face lift. 

    The leading character in this story is a 115 year old, three-story, two-flat home located on Willy St. It has a storied history that can be traced back through historical society documents to its birthplace around the capitol in downtown Madison. By horse and carriage, it was transported, along with the neighboring house, 1.3 miles to its final resting place.

    The home was purchased in the fall of 2008 during the mortgage crises. Lehman Brothers fell about 10 days after the deed was signed. But, the price was right and it will always attract renters, so on with the story.

    There was no driveway or parking, the shingles were starting to buckle and disintegrate, lead based paint was falling off the soffits, gutters and trim. Both porches, front and side, were in tough shape; one still is. Over the last 4-5 years my handy parents and I have given the house a total interior and exterior paint job, new roof, put in a driveway and parking lot and replaced floorboards in the porch. We’ve updated the upstairs bathroom and redone floors throughout, moved doorways and added ceiling fans as a final touch. Total investments so far have been around $20,000-25,000 in labor and materials.

    On the plus side, all the windows in the house were replaced about 6 years ago and 18” of fresh insulation was put in the attic. Project Home’s visited the little old lady who owned this home before us and even dropped in wall insulation and foamed the basement foundation. I’m very thankful for the work Project Home’s has done and continue to volunteer for their annual Paint-a-Thon.

    Now, the current project, slated to begin in two days time, is a complete lower-unit bathroom and kitchen tear-out and remodel. The kitchen and bathroom have been designed by my mom and much of the building and carpentry will be handled by my dad. I’ll be assisting with the finishing work and will give each room a complete new paint job. We are a good team, and together will bring this house into the 21st century.

    Gross! but accurate picture of what the lower-unit kitchen and bath look like:

    The plans were done digitally by Home Depot and all the cabinets and fixtures were found with the help of Google and local hardware stores. The space was not easy to work with, but my mom found a way, and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

    Again, I'm so sorry to have posted these before photos. I am not responsible for the condition of these rooms. But, after the remodel and new tenants, we will see a huge improvement. Part Two.

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