Contractors recommendations in Milwaukee WI

21 Replies

Hello, Just bought a duplex in Milwaukee, WI and looking for contractors recommendations (doors/Windows install, h/w floor refinishing). Also certified electrician for inspection prior to starting service, required by WE Energies (+1 year no service) and usual fees? Thank you in advance fir all your feedbacks. Lou

@Lou Lee perhaps join the free Facebook BREW CITY REI group to find solid contractor referrals. This is a group of local ACTIVE investors who share resources. If you go in the search box and type 'plumber', you will find a ton of solid can do this for almost any sub such as mudjacking, electric, etc. If you can't find one, the group usually chimes in with suggestions.

If you need specific referrals, message me. 

Thank you @Jorge Ruiz, @Michael Henry, @Rebecca Holmes, @Dawn Anastasi...really appreciate all your help and will reach out or go through your the information generously offered.

Another topic:

My duplex has h/w floor under cheap and stained carpet. I'm thinking of refinishing the h/w floor and maybe not putting carpet anymore...or skip refinishing and put better quality carpet to lower expenses? Still undecided. What are the pros and cons?

Thanks all again for your advice.


Originally posted by @Lou Lee :

My duplex has h/w floor under cheap and stained carpet. I'm thinking of refinishing the h/w floor and maybe not putting carpet anymore...or skip refinishing and put better quality carpet to lower expenses? Still undecided. What are the pros and cons?

Thanks all again for your advice.


 I have been staying away from carpet and moving toward vinyl plank. But if there are natural hardwoods, I refinish them.

Everyone, thank you so much for all your feedbacks! Very helpful. Apologize for not responding sooner, but been crazy busy just trying to get started with 2 hour away from property while still having a regular work! Challenging... As soon as the doors are replaced, I will be moving in and hopefully get the lower unit windows replaced mid November and rent ready. So that project will be costly If i replace ALL the windows (14) at once, around $200 piece W/O labor. ALL of them are hard to operate, mostly painted shut, worn out tracks, or missing/loose handes. I will likely replace some of them for now (broken, missing glass). For the others, I will try the white candle lubrication trick and see how it goes.  What are your experience with window replacement? Any ideas about reducing cost? As for flooring, I think I will keep the existing carpet (LR, BRs), clean them up, and install wood look like vinyl planks in the kitchen. Has someone installed LifeProof from HD? Easy DIY? Not cheap though... First, need to remove 2 layers of glue down vinyl tiles! Spots where stove and fridge used to sit are really nasty. Going to use a heatgun as it looks like it helps (YouTube). Wish I already have bigger pockets and money was no concern. Sigh.. Will be mostly a taker for quite some time so please forgive silly or already asked questions. Thank you all, always much appreciate! Lou

What zip code is the property in?

Milwaukee has a window replacement program where they will replace all old wood windows in certain lower income zip codes. City pays 90% of the cost.

If you have multiple layers of glued down flooring labor cost to remove it will eat you alive. Its often times best to just take a circular saw, set it to the depth of the floor thickness and cut the floor including the subfloor into squares and then remove them. Sometimes you have to go down to the joists, most of the time you can leave the original subfloor boards. I assume your duplex was built before they widespread application of construction adhesive, so most likly you wont have to go down all the way. 

It sounds invasive, but will actually be cheaper and go faster then trying to remove layers of glued down vinyl. After you lay down new OSB subflooring you will have a perfectly flat floor which will cut down on time for your floor installation and give you a much better end result.

Dawn's advice on flooring is great: LVP (luxury vinyl planks) are the way to go. Homedepot and Menards are okay, but you will find better products (and perhaps better prices) at a flooring store. If your subfloor is very uneven, rigid LVP will not work well, especially the type that clicks together and floats (not glued down). It requires a flat subfloor. 

There are planks that are more flexible and will shape to the subfloor and require glue down installation. Those will work better for slightly uneven floors. If your floor is really uneven go with conventional vinyl flooring which comes in a roll. Its cheap, installs easy and cleans very well - the only thing that kills it is moving appliances around: it will wrinkle and then tear if appliances are just pushed without care.

For windows, I would say if you are on a budget, don't replace windows that are painted shut. At least you won't be drafty! Most windows don't get opened ever anyway. The only windows that need to open are the ones in the bedrooms where you would install a window AC. Make sure those work. And if you have windows that have broken glass consider to just replace the glass. As long as you have good storm windows on the outside you might be okay until you have safed up some money.

@Lou Lee

PM me and I can forward you an email that has most of the information.  Otherwise just go on the city of Milwaukee website and you can eventually navigate your way to the requirements for the program.  I don't have the exact link

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