A dozen intriguing properties in Madison, Verona and Middleton highlight the ReModeled Homes Tour on Sunday, with projects ranging from a kitchen remodel to a total renovation of a four-story home plus garage addition.

(There were going to be 13 homes on the tour, but one on Sweetbriar Road was knocked out due to storm damage, after a tree fell on it.)

Sponsored by the Madison chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the self-guided tour is a bit of a steal, too, with one $10 ticket covering admission for an entire family.

"The beauty of the tour is that there are projects showcased for every budget," said Kathy Raab, executive director of NARI Madison. "The atmosphere is friendly, not high pressure, and the ... contractors really enjoy answering questions on how they overcame obstacles and worked as a team with the homeowners to achieve their dreams."

It's only one day, though, running from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Another difference between this tour and the annual Parade of (newly built) Homes that will start June 8 is that these homes aren't for sale. They're just homes of area people who've had a recent renovation done and then agreed to let their contractor show off the results.  

"The point is to highlight the remodeling industry," said local chapter spokeswoman Kim DiMaggio. "It's letting people know that there's another avenue, if you're not happy with something in your current home, to selling the house and moving."

Raab said about 150 to 200 people typically attend the tour, a number she felt made for a comfortable situation that gave participants plenty of time to wander around and ask questions.

Among this year's tour highlights cited by Raab, besides the four-story total home renovation at 1108 Grant St., was a top-floor apartment update in the Quarry Arts Building at 715 Hill St. and an addition to a historic 1920s-era home at 1038 E. Dayton St., all in Madison.

Tickets for the tour can be purchased through the group's website or at any of the tour locations on Sunday. Included with a ticket purchase is a 24-page tour guidebook with photos, project highlights and directions to each home.

On the mobile front, there are even free iPhone and Android apps for your smartphone or tablet for the tour. Just search for NARI.

A tour-site matrix on the NARI chapter website shows the wide scope and type of improvements in the tour at a glance, including energy-efficiency improvements, landscaping upgrades and a range of room remodelings for the kitchen, bath, great room, master bedroom, dining room, laundry, sunroom/deck, media room, guest room and basement.

According to the matrix, the most popular remodeling project this year is the kitchen -- every site had at least that -- with bathroom remodels and additions also pretty common. 

The total four-story home remodeling was done by Nimbus Construction, according to the guide.

The 11 other companies with projects in the tour are JG Development, Westring Construction, Time 2 Remodel, Architectural Building Arts, Sweeney Construction Co., Chad's Carpentry, TDS Custom Construction, Heartwood Construction, Associated Housewrights, Home Works Remodeling and RMK Construction.

Some of the homes, including the one 1910 Regent St. in Madison, also have some interesting historical back stories -- that one involving former famous residents, Dimaggio said -- and at every property the contractor and sometimes the homeowners will be on hand to share project details and answer questions from tour attendees. 

That about covers it for the Remodeling Tour. I did also want to mention one more interesting home tour that will take place this Sunday.

Historic Madison's 30th annual Alternative Parade of Homes will be held from 1-4 p.m. in the Lakeland-Elmside neighborhood on the city's Near East Side.

Tickets for that tour, featuring nine historic homes, also are $10, and are available at local retailers and on Sunday at three locations: Elmside Circle Park, Center Avenue and Elmside Boulevard.


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Karen Rivedal is the education beat reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.