Chamber selects Chain O’ Lakes Litho
By Angie Landsverk
Andrea Jenson took her time finding the right builder for a remodeling project at her business.
It paid off for the owner of Chain O’ Lakes Litho.
“I know I did the right thing, because people say, ‘When did you paint the building?’” Jenson said. “That makes me extremely happy.”
The project, which was completed last fall, was among those chosen for the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Facelift awards.
When the chamber held its annual awards program on Jan. 26, at Waupaca Ale House, chamber President Terri Schulz announced Chain O’ Lakes Litho’s project as the 2015 Grand Facelift Award winner.
“Keeping the integrity of the building was very important to Andrea, and I believe she did just that. With her creative mind and thorough research, she found siding that looks like the original wood siding and was able to maintain the color,” Schulz said.
Of the outside remodeling project, Schulz also said, “Plus she was able to insulate the building, which along with new windows and a door, will help with her heating and cooling costs. She did an outstanding job, and we congratulate her on it.”
Chain O’ Lakes Litho is located on Oborn Street.
Constructed in 1958, the building was a lumberyard and a potato warehouse in the past, Jenson said.
“As you can imagine, the building was cold. It was never built to be what it is (today),” she said. “There wasn’t a lot of insulation in the walls. Winters were cold and drafty.”
Jenson began working at Chain O’ Lakes Litho in 1991, after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point with a degree in graphic design.
She worked for Al and Sandra Clark for seven years before purchasing the business from them and taking it over on Jan. 2, 1998.
Jenson was 28 years old at the time and said she was fortunate the Clarks mentored her.
In addition, Jenson’s father had always owned his business, so she said he was a good role model for her.
Jenson said there were three different colors on the building when she bought it.
“About a year and a half after I bought it, I saved money to paint the whole building,” she said.
Jenson chose red for its color.
A couple years ago, the building needed a fresh coat of paint.
Jenson thought about that, as well as the need for more insulation in the building.
“I didn’t want to lose the character of the building,” she said. “I stumbled upon cedar siding.”
She chose cedar siding for the front of the building and metal for its other three sides.
“It took about a year to find a builder,” Jenson said.
Someone recommended an Amish builder from Marion to her, because of Jenson’s desire to find someone comfortable working with old buildings.
“They didn’t stop working, except for lunch,” Jenson said. “There were four of them. They paired off in teams. It was kind of amazing to watch. I took over 200 pictures.”
The project included insulation, new siding, the replacement of the windows and a new screen door and new front door.
“Out of the whole entire project, there wasn’t one thing I wanted to change,” Jenson said.
An unplanned interior project ended up taking place.
There was a drop ceiling in the building’s work room and office area.
“I was on my way to a Packers game one day. I got a phone call from a girl who works here,” Jenson said. “She said, ‘I just wanted to warn you. The ceiling fell down.’”
Everyone was OK.
The drop ceiling had covered the windows, and after it fell, those single-pane windows were replaced with thermal pane windows.
Jenson loves old items, and her builder cut part of an old door, which had been on the back of the building, and repurposed it in the office area for beams and trim by the windows.
“The whole project went really well,” she said. “I’m really glad I did it.”
The project was completed over the course of nine days.
Jenson was surprised and happy to hear it was chosen as the 2015 Grand Facelift Award winner.
“I guess that makes it more worthwhile that I did it,” she said.
In addition to Chain O’ Lakes Litho, the 2015 recipients of Facelift awards were Chain O’ Lakes Bar & Grill for its new party room, Farmers State Bank for its interior remodel, Foundations For Living for its new warming shelter, Full Service Insurance Agency for its new awning and remodeled office and signage, Subway for its new building, Sunny Day Child Care & Preschool for its addition and Winemakers Daughter for the remodeling of the old True Value Store in Manawa.