Morris Builders remodels 125-year-old building, brings new energy to downtown Rockford

When Morris Builders decided to move their family-owned home remodeling business to downtown Rockford, they did it with style.

Owners Kirk and Joy Morris had been operating a six-person company out of 400 square feet they built above their garage on Bostwick Lake. As the company looks to add at least four employees in coming months, they purchased a 125-year-old building at 143 Courtland St. and completely revamped it from top to bottom.

The two-story building had a 900-square-foot two-bedroom apartment upstairs that Morris Builders gutted and rebuilt, with the addition of a laundry room and a second-story deck.

"We had a tenant before it was finished," says Kirk Morris. They also gutted and rebuilt the 1,000-square-foot main level into office and showroom spaces for the company.

"Remember the Tom Hanks movie called The Money Pit?" Morris asks. "The renovation started out to be all cosmetic, but it just kept growing and growing. It still fits its 125 years, but everything's new and fresh, except the original hardwood floors that we refinished."

Three offices and a kitchen/club room/working showroom area incorporate some of the finishes Morris Builders uses, including kitchen cabinets, granite countertops, quartz countertops, wood trims and ceramic tile, so clients can see them in a real installation. The showroom includes a gas fireplace and flat screen TV for reviewing design ideas. Outside, the building got new siding, and a unique wheelchair ramp made of a selection of the outdoor decking materials Morris Builders offers.

Morris' two children, Gavin and Aubrey, have joined the family business.

"This brings Morris Builders to the next level and makes us a true anchor in downtown Rockford," Morris says. "We're here for the long run, and it sets us up for our kids to eventually take over the business. It's just a start to all that we have to offer."

Source: Kirk Morris, Morris Builders
Writer: Deborah Johnson Wood, Development News Editor

Related Articles
Rockford's Morris Builders seeks carpenters, production manager for fulltime positions
Signup for Email Alerts