By restoring a 1906 Craftsman-style home in Jackson, Antioch resident Erin Allard has built the foundation for a career that combines hard work, creative ideas and a vision to provide quality residential housing.

The Deer Valley High School and Mills College graduate recently completed an extensive renovation of a two-story home and has created a recipe contest to determine who will ultimately win the two-story property. The home has an estimated value of $389,000.

The unusual contest, accessible online at homerecipecontest.com, requires entrants to pay $100 and submit their favorite dessert recipe. A team of judges, including professional pastry chefs and food bloggers, will select the winner based on a specific set of criteria, including uniqueness and precise directions for the dessert. Judges won’t prepare each recipe, but rather assign points for the criteria. The deadline for contest entries is Aug. 7.

“My judges will come from all over the country,” Allard said. “We won’t be tasting the recipes, but rather evaluating the merit of the recipe as it is described.” 

For the home update at 415 Pitt St. in Jackson, Allard did much of the work herself, but teamed with a contractor and a crew of others who sanded, painted and enhanced the two-story home in Amador County. The eight-month project on the house, in one of Jackson’s first neighborhoods, was completed in in April.

“I created something that really blows people away,” said Allard proudly. “I was able to put together a team of the right contractors who could deliver what I had in mind for the final result. I had a picture in my mind of what I wanted. I researched Craftsman homes, but didn’t limit myself to using only original materials, so I could have a beautiful product that’s also practical.” 

Along the way, she learned about restoration and the many skills required to update and enhance a home that’s over a century old. From sanding and painting, to electrical work and installing new windows, plus adding updated appliances, she gained a firm foundation in home renovation, something she intends to apply to another project. 

While majoring in economics at Mills College, in Oakland, Allard learned about corporate social responsibility and how it can positively impact a community. Her company, Rockford Investments, was established “with the goals of increasing housing supply and renovation,” she said.

“My focus is on finding a 3-10 unit apartment building in the Bay Area that needs renovation,” she added. “I’d like to use the skills I learned on the single-family remodel to improve housing for more families.”

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