April 2013 Newsletter

What’s going on at Michael F. Simon Builders?

Spring is in the air! There is nothing better than the first sight of green grass after the last of the snow melts. There is no doubt we are all eager to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather in the company of friends. And what better place to do that than your own home!
Chances are you’ve spent the last few months indoors thinking of ways to improve your living space – an updated kitchen or a bigger dining room to entertain in; a spa-like retreat in your master bedroom; or maybe like our most recent remodel customers, making better use of space you already have. Whatever the need, whatever the size or complexity of the project, you can trust Michael F. Simon Builders to get the job done right using the highest standards in the industry. We not only pride ourselves on the quality of our homes, but also on the quality of the relationships we keep.
Best regards,

Featured Project: Finishing a Lower Level

Last month we shared a kitchen remodel that we had recently completed. That was only half of the project though. The other half was finishing off the lower level to include a new bedroom with egress window and window well, full wet bar, new sitting room, new laundry room, bathroom, family room and a remodeled stairway.

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The first task was to remove the existing walls and bring natural light in to the lower level. Three small windows were removed and replaced with larger, energy efficient windows and Bilco Scapewell surrounds. These new windows bring in a lot of light as well as acting as egress windows, allowing for a legal bedroom to be added downstairs.

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There were a few challenges that we faced, including the existing locations of the mechanical equipment and the existing fireplace, as well as the existing staircase not meeting code. The design of the lower level was given careful thought to maximize the living space and have the rooms flow together. The staircase that met the building code 30 years ago when the home was built, did not meet current building codes, so it was completely rebuilt with the correct rise and run measurements. This was especially critical, as headroom at the bottom of the staircase became an issue. Looking closely at the pictures, you can see we kept the ceiling as high as possible and created drops where necessary to keep the headroom at the maximum possible height.

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Then the existing shell of the lower level was sealed off by spraying closed-cell spray foam in the boxsill areas, and new R-13 Fiberglass batts were placed in the newly framed walls. The existing wood burning fireplace was converted to gas and given a stone face. These additional steps go a long way in making the lower level functional, cozy, and comfortable as it appears.

The new laundry room is now neat and orderly thanks to a fully customized cabinet system. Special features include a folding hide-a-way ironing center, laundry basket shelves, two 18″ deep pantries, Lazy Susan and a space for drip dry pole. The drawers were even upgraded and are soft-closing drawer glides. Now doing the laundry will be fun and exciting. Ok, maybe that’s a stretch, but the space does look great! A wet bar was also incorporated into the new sitting room. Complete with a sink, microwave and refrigerator, this will definitely come in handy while entertaining guests!

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Finishing off the lower level meant we eliminated most of the space used for storage. We took every opportunity to add built in storage wherever possible. A door was made to create access underneath the staircase from the lower level hallway and on the stairway landing; an access door was created to allow storage space underneath the first floor staircase.

We have now remodeled the main floor kitchen and finished off the lower level of this home. This home is absolutely gorgeous! We are proud to have been part of the owner’s plans in overhauling their home.

Lots Available on Woodland Drive, Waunakee

Are you, or someone you know looking for a great place to build a home in Waunakee? Simon Builders now has five lots available with a building contract. Located on Woodland Drive, these lots offer private nature park-like settings with full walkouts to the backyards. A private backyard offers mature woods and backs up to a 36 acre conservancy park.

Living here, you will have all of the amenities of living “in town” along with the added bonus of a natural sanctuary right out your back door.


Lot 273

19,733 sq ft

.45 acre


Lot 274

24,172 sq ft

.55 acre


Lot 275

23,162 sq ft

.53 acre


Lot 276

17,511 sq ft

.40 acre


Lot 277

15,065 sq ft

.35 acre


For more information or to set up a showing, please contact Phil Simon at Michael F. Simon Builders, Inc. at 608-849-5916.