Produced by the marketing department of Oregon Home
Drive through any of Portland’s neighborhoods and WILLCO’s work is on display. You’ll find it in the glorious historic exterior restoration of The Governor Hotel, the award-winning bathroom remodel in a Laurelhurst neighborhood craftsman home, a Westmoreland dormer master suite addition and in the dual, seven-story Columbia River condominium paint job in Vancouver. That’s because WILLCO, founded nine years ago, is one of the go-to businesses when clients want top quality remodeling, painting and restoration.
Senior Residential Estimator Randy Heidebrecht with client Will Farnham.
// Photos by Adam Wickham
“Everywhere you go, you can’t drive a block without seeing our work. It’s amazing and humbling to know that we’ve been in every neighborhood in town,” says owner Primo Williams.
In part, that’s because WILLCO’s team knows what’s expected of its work, on every job, regardless of the size. Williams sets the tone, instilling his own attention to detail into every employee.
Above: From left to right, Andrew Buchanan, Travis Turner, Randy Heidebrecht, Aluna Schroeder, Cara Tucker, Pete Thomson, Primo Williams
Below: 1911 Laurelhurst Craftsman
What began as a summer painting gig for Williams grew into a passion for the business. “One board at a time, one job at a time, it grew into a career of building projects, completing notable painting projects, making quality careers for employees and making a good quality product at the same time,” says Williams.
“Our people are true craftsmen, and being able to keep people for long periods of time means we have a lot of consistency and efficiency in our work.”
Craftsmanship and an understanding of the home’s original architecture inform every decision made by WILLCO personnel, from the staff design team to the crew. Employees work with clients to understand their needs and goals, translating them into something that goes the extra mile.
These company standards served WILLCO especially well during the recent recession.
“A lot of the people who were hiring day labor and not doing good work went out of business. Quality contractors who had a stable business and workforce were able to make adjustments and persevere and handle business when it came back on,” said Williams.
Hiring and keeping top-flight craftsmen on staff is key to WILLCO’s success. His craftsmen infuse their work with their passion for their trade.
When Eric and Paula Benjaminson asked WILLCO to remodel the second story bathroom in their 1911 craftsman home in Portland’s leafy Laurelhurst neighborhood, they initially just wanted to replace the existing tub with a walk-in shower and add additional storage.
Above: Carpenter Robert Hubatch
Below: Designer Aluna Schroeder with Production Supervisor Andrew Buchanan
// Photos by Adam Wickham
What they got was a stunning new bathroom, nodding to the past but filled with modern fixtures, including a spacious walk-in shower with bench and glass walls, an additional sink and a floor to ceiling storage cabinet and additional storage under
“WILLCO saw to it that each aspect of our beautiful renovation showed the high quality of design and workmanship that makes each element look simultaneously glowingly new and so completely integrated into the character of our house as to give the impression that it had always been this way,” Paula Benjaminson says.
The couple was so pleased they retained WILLCO to do further renovations.
The Benjaminsons’ bathroom remodel won WILLCO the 2013 Oregon Remodelers Association Achievement Award for residential bath remodels in the $30,000 - $60,000 range. This year, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry selected WILLCO as Northwest Contractor of the Year for a kitchen design-addition for a southeast Portland bungalow. Featured in Oregon Home’s Spring/Summer 2013 issue, the remodel gave Epping’s kitchen modern amenities while maintaining the charm of the 100- year-old home.
WILLCO’s commitment to quality has really paid off as the economy has improved. Since 2009, WILLCO’s workload has doubled. And as the housing and construction market’s rebound inspires more property owners to upgrade, WILLCO’s craftsmen will be available to fulfill those dreams.