Winner: Restoring an Old Gem to Former Glory: After

Who: Jim W.
Where: Lake Mills, WI

The physical labor was the hardest part. I did all of this myself, from demolition to completion. The satisfaction I received from restoring an old gem to its former glory is the part I liked the most. Plus, I got to know many of the neighbors in town as I worked over the years on the house. In addition to painting the house in authentic Victorian paint colors, I made the stained-glass windows for the staircase, the front door, and other first floor windows that incorporate the color scheme. The barn was painted to match the house. I also added the period landscaping. I saved money by recycling as many materials as I could, completing all the work myself, and making many of the missing parts. The front sidewalk was built using bricks given to me after a local house in town was torn down.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself.
Cost: $10,000–$25,000

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