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Wirtz's Woodworks Tour of Custom Cabinetry & More

Area homeowners will have an opportunity to visit four award-winning remodeled Wauwatosa homes during the Wirtz's Woodworks Tour of Custom Cabinetry & More on Sun., Oct. 5, between noon – 4:00 p.m.

Produced by Jim Wirtz’s Woodworks, a Wauwatosa-based, award-winning family-owned and operated remodeling firm with over 30 years experience, the following homes will be part of the tour:

Kitchen/Bedroom Addition - 1850 N. 72nd St.: From North Ave., south on 72nd St. to home.
With an existing dark kitchen that lacked both natural and artificial light, the homeowner used light and bright to describe her remodeling desires.  Given the home’s age, closets and room size were an obstacle. By adding an eight-foot addition along the back of the house, the size of the master bedroom and kitchen were increased to better fit the homeowner’s lifestyle.  A small wall in the hallway separating the kitchen and master bedroom was opened, which enhanced traffic flow and allowed more light into an ordinarily dark space. In the bedroom, hardwood floors were carried into the room and another closet was built.  A skylight was added to maximize natural lighting along with recessed lights. In the kitchen, light and bright colors were the theme when selecting cabinetry, wall color, and trim.  The same wood floor was carried through the kitchen, which helped tie the whole house together.  A wall of windows was added to mimic the windows in the front of the house and maximize natural light.  Finishes were chosen that were period correct for the home’s age, such as Soapstone countertops, subway tile, cast iron sink, and chrome fixtures. While the goal was to have the home look like it had always belonged in this historic Wauwatosa neighborhood, no modern luxury was spared when it came to the custom cabinets, high efficiency windows and doors, state-of-the-art appliances, and overall attention to detail.  Jim Wirtz’s Woodworks craftsmen replicated all baseboards and window trim, while the deck is made from AZEK, a composite, extremely durable material that adds an aesthetic appeal to the outdoor area. The exterior was duplicated to match the characteristics found on the front of the home.

Tudor Kitchen - 8209 Richmond Ct.: From North Ave., south on 83rd St. to Richmond Ct. and east to home.
The Tudor-style home built in 1928 had a small, outdated kitchen that did not fit the home’s style and required more storage. The homeowner wanted a larger kitchen that combined the existing kitchen with the dining room, stainless steel appliances, and granite countertops. The Wirtz’s Woodworks craftsmen built a storage cabinet to hold dishes, keepsakes, and collectibles while providing practical storage, including 21 cubbies and drawers. The existing coved ceiling from the dining room was added to the kitchen, while the arched doorways were maintained. The floors are 2 ¼” oak with a natural finish, while custom maple raised panel cabinets were built and stained to maintain the home’s warmth. The renovation also includes Black Galaxy granite countertops, a glass tile backsplash, and a raised, curved snack bar that comfortably seats eight. Ample lighting was provided with recessed can lights, pendant lighting over the island, and LED lighting in the display cabinet.

Bungalow Kitchen - 6615 W. Lloyd St.: From North Ave., south on 68th St. and east on Lloyd St. to home.
A typical Milwaukee bungalow had an outdated kitchen, old appliances, and limited storage. The home’s new owners wanted the look of the kitchen to return to the original Craftsman style to enhance the home’s overall character. The project started with the gutting of the current space, including the soffits, a closet in the rear entry, and the doorway to the kitchen. A new maple floor was installed, while custom oak cabinets were made and stained a medium tone. The cabinet doors and hardware were reminiscent of the Craftsman style, while the island’s splayed side offers unique design detail. Classic Black Soapstone countertops added an old world feel, while white marble was used in the buffet cabinet and a three-inch end grain butcher block tops sits on the island cabinet. Wirtz’s Woodworks built a custom buffet cabinet to resemble period furniture, store dishware, and incorporate antique leaded glass that the homeowner had obtained. The leaded glass was used as door inserts on the buffet, while two other pieces were hung in the window above the kitchen sink. To increase storage capacity, a large pantry cabinet was built and placed near the refrigerator.

Prairie-Style Kitchen - 831 N. 66th St.: From State St., south on 68th St. to Cedar St. and east to home.
The redesign of this 1916 home centered on accommodating today’s family while maintaining the home’s historical charm, including the clean style of the Craftsman period. The existing kitchen had been modified nearly 40 years earlier, but the original layout of the two separate rooms, kitchen and back porch/eating area, had not been changed. An objective of the renovation was to combine the two rooms into a functional, updated space. The homeowners also desired open access to an outdoor patio, which would replace an unsightly deck. Challenges that were overcome included the back porch and eating area that were falling off the rear of the home and electrical and plumbing issues that were hidden behind walls and a dropped ceiling. The remodel includes complete replacement of floor framing to support the existing addition, reframing the steep and narrow stairwell, and adding a new closet, kitchen windows, interior doors, entrance doors, and patio door. A new stone patio, lighting, and decorative detailing were added, and the stucco surface was repaired. The renovated kitchen’s focal point is the quarter-sawn oak custom cabinetry, including a built-in china cabinet for special dishes and glassware. Golden granite countertops with a slate backsplash present an old-world feel, while storage is enhanced with a food pantry, utility closet, wine rack, appliance garage, message center, and cedar lined coat closet. The center work island features a double sink, dishwasher, and recycling drawer, with a round elevated table for meals and family activities, while red oak flooring and mission-style lighting were added to match the rest of the home.

An added attraction for visiting homes on the Wirtz's Woodworks Tour of Custom Cabinetry & More is an opportunity to win a GE Undercounter Beverage Center valued at $1,500, or one of two Kohler Moxie Showerheads, each valued at $200, with all prizes courtesy of Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery. Attendees can register to win at any of the homes.

Wirtz's Woodworks Tour of Custom Cabinetry & More admission is $5. Tickets can be purchased at the Wirtz’s Woodworks office,11923 W. Fairview Avenue in Milwaukee, from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. weekdays and at the door of the first project visited. All monies raised will support the March of Dimes and the Scleraderma Foundation.

A carpenter for nearly 40 years, Jim Wirtz founded his own company in 1997. The business specializes in the renovation/restoration of Milwaukee’s Bungalow style homes. The company’s craftsman use the on-site custom cabinet shop for building furniture, cabinets, moldings, and trim, with the ability to match any finish or architectural style. Services offered include custom cabinetry, custom trim and finishes, finish carpentry, kitchen and bathroom renovations, lower level build-outs, small additions, architectural repairs, historical restoration and repairs, and exterior repairs.

For more information on the Wirtz's Woodworks Tour of Custom Cabinetry & More, visit www.WirtzsWoodworks.com or call 414-302-0481.

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