skip to Main Content

Read & Resources

Footer Photo

Sign up for my monthly newsletter!

Each month you’ll get “The Twenty-Second, Twenty Second Read”, delivered on the 22nd written in easy to digest segments taking no longer than 20 seconds to read.  There’s a market update, home ownership insights as well as a recap of the most recent episode of the podcast Real Estate in the 608.

* indicates required

Guys I know

I make connections: people with houses, houses with buyers and often, people with people. Because I not only sell real estate, but own and manage a decent amount of it, I have a pretty in-depth figurative Rolodex. A lot of these guys have been guests on my podcast Real Estate in the 608. Their profiles will link to their episodes.  I always get multiple bids on larger projects or jobs I cannot estimate myself. That being said, I hope this is a good start and helpful.

If you’re here poaching my tradespeople, I’ll assume you already get my newsletter, if not sign up above. If you’ve already got a favorite real estate agent and it is not me, use their people. I don’t want this to get awkward.

For best results, share  with them how you got their name and keep me informed about your experience. This list is a living breathing things and times and priorities change. Because people and priorities change, it is important to keep a deep bench.  You never know when you plumber will think it too difficult to wear a  mask and talk-out a problem versus acting like a child.


Pino and Sons Remodeling

Cesar has helped us with some interior framing and taking out that wall everyone asks if it is load bearing. Decent guy, good to work with. Still a contractor and may be hard to nail down in the bust season.  Cesar’s Website

Chris Mikkelson, Handy Guy

Also my home inspector, Chris keeps his schedule full with handyman work. He is a better finish carpenter than I ever dream to be. He’ll always answer the phone but may not have the time to squeeze you in if the job is not in his wheelhouse. 608-712-0421 he’s been a guest on the podcast as well.

Skip Norlin, Norlin Builders

Former Dunning St. neighbor I’ve turned to Skip for medium sized jobs. He’s skilled with a bobcat, concrete work, masonry, doors, windows. Don’t ask too much of this two man and a truck operation and you’ll be pleased with the result. (608)219-0985

Ben Jones, Black Dog Construction

Ben Jones does great work but likely limits his work to what he enjoys. Decks, doors, windows, hates painting. You’d see a lot of his decks, and fences near his former homestead in the Schenk’s corners neighborhood. (608)658-0602

Jason and Brian

I think Jason is the boss but it’s hard to tell they move as one. Jason and Brian did the finish carpentry for a new-build project I was involved in and did a great job. They are easy to communicate with and did great work. Jason Wittwer can be reached by phone at (608)215-5327


Uselman Plumbing

Uselman comes to us from Rhonda’s house in Cottage Grove. They plumbed the house she lives in and the house she built.  They are more replace than repair kind of people, so super old stuff is not their wheelhouse, but you’ll like Dad Mark, Son Nick or any of their helpers.


Chris Otis Plumbing

This is your older faucet re-build guy.  Recommended for such by plumbing czar Regan at Howe Brothers plumbing. Also does the “easy stuff” like new water heaters, may even prefer it.


Dave’s Plumbing and Repair LLC

I’m rebuilding my team here. I had to make a cut and when I needed a new name I called Jesse Miller, son of my last landlord and now broker owner of Home Realty. His card says he’s half the price of the big guys. Jesse says he a good guy.


Jack the Plumber, Plumbing Pros

Not the young upstart he was when we first worked together, now with a fancy Plumbing Pros truck and website. We’ve known Jack for a long time and he’s a solid option. (608)669-7473

H.J. Pertzborn

I was surprised to find them as the low price leader when I needed a sewer lateral located. Don’t always assume big overhead means big prices. For something that can be quoted over the phone, always worth a call. They also earned big point for having Mona on their records and asking if the work was for her when I called. Website



Nic Sweatt Assurance Electrical Services

Nic does not shy away from the dirty work (the kind I have the most of).  He’s often the best bid on knob and tube removal which is an acquired skill and taste. Super quick with estimates and a great value for service changes as well. (608) 287-6391 You can also get to know him from his time on the podcast.

SNS Electric

This Fall River group is grounded (get it?) in the Schlachter brothers  Drue, Ray and Mike. They have helped us with big, small, easy and complicated jobs. Their success makes it hard to get a brother on the phone, so call Dawn at the office:  (920) 484-3641.

Reidle Electric, Jim Reidle

One man and a truck operation. Competitive, easy to work with. (608)206-1088

Tree People

Brad Littel, Brad Littel Tree Service

20 some years ago Brad let me borrow his bucket truck and I’m still grateful.  I find him very cost competitive on larger jobs, on par for smaller job.  He’s got a truck big enough for most any tree and can grind stumps as well.  Good for removal.  Not really an arborist type. (608) 575-9626

Eon Dinauer, My Tree Guy LLC

Eon’s worked for several of my clients with good result. Straight forward and friendly guy. (608) 358-7423

Gere Tree Care, Sean Gere

Sean may give you the history of the tree you’re having him work on as it relates to the rise of colonialism, but some people like that.

Roofing Siding Gutters

Carl, Carl Cure Roofing

I’ve worked with Carl for 14 years. He is constantly one of the better prices and is super low-key and easy to deal with. He’s working up to digital proposals and still relies on carbon copies.  Maybe Carl Jr. will get that expedited. I almost always get better traction with Carl for repairs and smaller stuff. (608)333-6809

Miguel Salgado, Price Quality Gutters

That’s all you need to know. You’ll want to watch to marvel how quickly the job happens and how easily he scales the home navigates the roof edge. Texting can be great to smooth the language barrier. (608) 234-2992

Leon’s Roofing and Siding

Jason at Leon’s has helped us with Roofing and Siding, helping turn an old Ray Peterson home into the gem it is now on Corry St. Leon on the web.


Brian Olson, Dale’s Heating

Dale was his father. Super cool and accessible. Helps me talk through problems as often as he comes out. Was a great guest on the podcast.  Have really grown to appreciate him. (608)845-9353 Brian also joined us on the podcast.

Heating and Cooling Inc.

Gary seemed to lose interest in service calls a bit but was always a good number on swapping out old systems.  Good number to know but I have to keep everyone I use happy and not give all the easy work to one guy. (608)256-3950


Jeff Furst

Jeff is an independent agent. We learned all about that when he sat with us on the podcast. He’s at Thomas and Bradley and can hook you up with most any product or provider. (608)695-5050

Carlos Chacon American Family

Carlos keeps an office in Fitchburg and lives in the Jenifer St area. He’s just a decent guy and in Madison I would be remiss not to have an American Family contact to choose from. (608) 327-2220


Pappy Johnson, Johnson Bank

Before Johnson Bank, Pappy was a mortgage broker, the type more associated with buyers on the financial fringe and needing to identify specific programs or tactics for approval. I got my first FHA loan from him years ago. He is now better suited to work with buyers aiming for a conventional mortgage with 5% down or more. Johnson works well in downtown condos as well as with university and hospital folk when substantial income increases are on the horizon but not quite here yet.  (608)206-1118

Micha Peterson Monona Bank

If you like the idea of a local bank, a really local bank, Monona is for you. Micha is often at the Atwood Branch and it’s always great to see her when I’m in doing my banking. Knowing your dollars are staying local can be a great feeling. Monona Bank has for years been a supporter of my fave summer festival Atwoodfest.  (920)988-1689. Micha sat with us on the podcast to talk about home buying.

Fairway Mortgage

I took me a long time to come around to working with a national mortgage lender in lieu of a brick and mortar bank. It was Abbey Wentland at Fairway Mortgage that made me see the light.  She literally works harder, faster and smarter than most.  So many people go to credit unions based on their perceptions and ingrained preferences. Do not look past Fairway and Abbey.  They are taking steps there that will make your offer stronger and anticipating issues versus reacting to them.


Brother’s Main

One of the brothers is a certain siting at Atwoodfest and the other summer festivals, so is their banner and their money. When I buy new, that’s where I go.

Kirch Appliance

I said when I buy new I go to Brother’s Main. I don’t always buy new. When I want used or repair, I call Ted at Kirch.

Hardwood Floors

Madison Hardwood Floors

I’ve had owner Michael Bonebreak on the podcast.  We appreciate his work and feel it is at a great value.

Landscaping/Snow Removal

Early Morning Landscapes LLC

Sean Barr is not going to impress you with his shiny trucks or uniformed crew, but he is honest, decent, and often a very affordable option. He contracts for lawn care for a former landlord friend as well as lawn care and show removal for some of my church connections. (608)219-1836


Certa-Pro Painters

We had local manager Jessica Morreau on the podcast and she talks a good game. I do all my own painting so I have never had the need. If you don’t paint, she may be worth a call.


Juscha Robinson, Partner Pines and Bach Law Firm

Juscha is my go to for all Real Estate and Estate law. I honestly don’t generally have needs outside those two areas. She is super personable and accessible.  The firm’s roster is full of faces from Girl Scouts, Soccer and school concerts. Good, local people. You can get all her info at the Pines and Bach website.


The Boyd Brothers, Boyd Flooring

Brian and Brett have been my go-to’s for carpeting, vinyl tile as well as pre-finished hardwood for as long as I have been a landlord.  They offer “Apartment Grey” all the way up to plush, and toe-tickling, dense, carpeting in all sorts of styles and colors.

Brian’s Cell (608)575-1092