Check it out, we won a City of Geneva 2014 Historic Preservation Award for our work on Hamilton Street in Geneva!




Hey friends,

We were featured in the Geneva Republican. Article is here or pasted below:

When Joe McMahon learned the pope had resigned, he envisioned a greeting card.

The front would have a drawing of the pontiff. The inside would include two words: I quit.

The amateur cartoonist was in the process of putting his vision on paper late last month. As is his process, he printed photographs of the pope – including one of him looking out his Vatican window – to use as a drawing guide.

“I do it because, first of all, it’s an expression,” McMahon said of his artwork. “Second of all, I think it’s funny.”

But the Geneva resident also has found a charitable use for his artistry. For six years, he has produced and funded the Joman Calendar to benefit Lazarus House, a St. Charles organization that serves the homeless and those at risk of homelessness.

The 12-month calendar features his one-frame cartoons and includes a donation envelope for Lazarus House. Last year the calendars raised $3,400, he said.

The McMahon became involved with the St. Charles nonprofit when his company, Geneva-based McMahon Builders, did work for the shelter. The calendar was his idea, he said, noting it has grown from 100 to 300 copies.

“This almost forces me to draw,” he said.

McMahon draws inspiration from a variety of sources, including current events and instances from his own life. For example, he said, an empty nest cartoon was inspired by robins that built a nest in lattice work at his home. The mother and father continued to visit the nest even after their babies had left, he said.

McMahon’s love of comics stem from his childhood days in New Jersey. He would collect glass soda bottles – the small Coke bottles netted him two cents and the large bottles got him a nickel – so he could buy Mad Magazine, Batman comics and Superman comics, he said.

“I liked the stories the best,” he said.

Even now, stories seem to be his priority. McMahon, who couldn’t take an art class in high school because it was overcrowded, doesn’t consider himself a good artist. His goal is to put items in a picture that will lead readers to the idea he is trying to portray, he said.

“It’s me saying something that is more meaningful than if I kept silent,” McMahon said. “It’s an expression of my thoughts.”

Christmas gifts don’t get any better than this!
Now you can put a smile on a friend’s face, brighten their wall and benefit Lazarus House all at the same time.  That’s right.  The “Joman Calendar” is back!
This coveted calendar makes a perfect gift.  For the past few years, yours truly has created a 12-month masterpiece, all for the benefit of our neighbors who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.  People who have seen past calendars are just waiting for the new one to come out.  You won’t want to miss it.
McMahon Builders absorbs the entire cost of the calendar; 100% of your donation goes to Lazarus House.
Order a calendar for your friends, but you’ll also want to get one for yourself.  Only 200 copies of the 2013 edition are available.  To guarantee receipt in time for Christmas gift, place your order soon!
To order, leave us a comment below or email us (joe at mcmahonbuilders dot com)   Lazarus House thanks you for your support, as will your friends.
We are doing some work at a client’s house and all the grandchildren are in attendance.
So I figured what better then a fort and a membership drive. I put a sign on the “fort” for advertising. I have seen the potential members milling about, but no applications thus far.

Hey readers!

We have another bathroom remodel to show you. Here’s the bathroom before. The blue fixtures are almost hip again, but this owner was ready to get rid of ’em!

So we set out to remodel just about everything: remove the blue tub, replace the toilet & sink, take out the carpet, put up some new wallpaper, and paint all the trim a bright white. Here’s some in-progress pics of the wallpaper:

And here is the final product: a true boudoir bathroom, fit for a queen!

No more tub!

Our work here is done!

Signing off,

From my bat cave to yours!


Hey readers!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer. We sure are: Nobody ever accused this group of not knowing how to have a good time!!

Anyway, we’re just decking checking back in with you to update you on the finished porch! Here’s the new rail system, platform and steps:

The new metal, glass and rail system:

And finally, the view from the top:

Bring on the Labor Day parties! We think we hear an ice cold brewski calling our name…

We’re out!

Hey readers! Hopefully everyone is enjoying the steamy weather we’ve been having in the Chicago ‘burbs. Summer is officially here and that only means one thing: deck season!

We’re working on a deck that had seen some better days. Here’s some before pictures:

You can get a good idea of the deterioration from this picture:

One big problem with the deck was that the posts were not sealed well, and you can see in this picture that water had gotten in near the posts and it cracked once it froze in the winter.

The original wood was cedar, which had become a maintenance problem since it would no longer hold paint.

Now here are some pictures of our progress! Here is the new deck, made with a composite (PVC) decking material called Timbertech. The color is consistent through to the core of the material, so it should only require an occasional scrubbing to keep looking new! (Color is Sandbridge, if you care)

And the new stairs in progress:

The new landing:

The new railing system being installed:

And now the railings are almost done!

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer on their own sturdy, low maintenance deck! (If not, call us and we’ll hook ya up)

We were assigned the task of balancing a particular area of an open dining room. On one end of the wall was a build out which housed the heat and electric. You can see that build out on the left in the “before” picture below:

We proposed to duplicate the look on the other end of the wall. And duplicate we did!

Because we’re crafty, we made this usable space. Because we’re tricky, it is hard to detect by the naked eye! It’s a cabinet!

Now area is a nice fit for the buffet.

Hope everyone is enjoying the spring weather!

Hey readers!

We’re back reporting on yet another bathroom remodel! This is a sleek one.

Here’s the “new” tub – its actually an old cast iron tub that we had refinished!

The new Corian shower walls and new shower faucets:

Here’s the new toilet. the vanity pictured was also refinished (the same people who refinished the tub!) to match the new toilet. The counter and faucet are new!

And finally – a shot of the new flooring. Its a ceramic wood grain.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6 other subscribers