Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
MT. PLEASANT - Like many families stuck at home during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the Williamsons were bit by the home improvement bug this summer and took on several projects as they continue to turn their house into their dream home.
Courtney Williamson said the family has been slowly tackling construction one room at a time over the last several years. The remodels really kicked off in 2017 when the family redid one of their bathrooms and took down a wall that separated their dining room and kitchen area.
This summer, the family enlisted the help of several friends to redo their deck, something the family has had on their to-do list when they moved into the house 11 years ago.
'The existing deck, we completely tore down and started from scratch,” she said.
Williamson said family friend Mark Ledbetter, who works as a contractor, directed the group on how to build the deck and which materials to purchase. With his guidance, the group was able to complete the project in 10 days.
'It was old and rotting away. We didn't do a really good job of maintaining it,” Williamson said.
Following demolition of the previous deck, Ledbetter helped install more support beams before the group got to work constructing the rest of the deck.
'Once we got the materials, it went fast. We had the floor part done in a day,” she said.
With family and friends taking care of the labor of the project, the Williamsons only needed to pay for materials and completed the project with a price tag under $3,000.
'I would just feed the people that were here. We just paid for the materials for that,” she said.
The new deck is composite decking which will require less maintenance than the wood deck the family had before. Eventually, the family hopes to install a firepit and patio.
'We can actually sit out here and enjoy it and use it,” Williamson said.
In addition to their new deck, the family completed siding on the exterior of their house, another project the family had on the docket. When the pandemic hit, the family received the lowest estimate for the project since they had moved in at $9,000 to $10,000.
'They brought in scaffolding and all the materials got delivered to our garage. They went over the existing because it was just painted wood. It looks amazing now,” Williamson said.
Following their most recent projects, the family is looking to complete the basement and two more bedrooms before wrapping up their home improvement projects. Williamson said the project may begin as soon as next spring.
Williamson said the house as it stands now is nearly unrecognizable from when they moved in more than a decade ago. From remodeling bedrooms and bathrooms to taking out the house's original carpet, Williamson said it has been rewarding to transform their living space into their own vision.
'We're trying to make it our perfect little home,” she said.