Site Visit :: Billy & Sally’s DIY Project Begins w/ theSweeten

by Shera Nuss

A DIY project for an outdated Fort Greene home

“With Sweeten you get cut and dry options. It takes the uncertainty out of chasing down leads.”

–Billy F., Fort Greene resident

Today we’re excited to bring you our first site visit of 2013! Billy & Sally’s renovation started last May when the couple posted to Sweeten, a free service matching renovators with vetted general contractors, to help convert their newly purchased, but outdated flat in Fort Greene into an open and fully-updated home. The couple had purchased the apartment a month earlier with immediate intentions to renovate, and interestingly, they wanted to do the work themselves. Being practical, however, they opted to hire a contractor to carry out the initial structural, electrical & repair work, and would save the kitchen renovation and new hardwood floor installation for themselves. After reviewing and meeting their matches from theSweeten network, Billy & Sally chose to work with Jon Eklund of ecostruct llc on these initial project components.

Above is what the space was like when Billy & Sally purchased their apartment. The layout was anything but open with a partition breaking up the living and dining spaces, and a small galley kitchen that was practically fortressed by walls in the center of the home.

The couple wanted to open up their kitchen, dining and living areas to gain space & light, and ultimately create an accommodating area for both living and entertaining. Not only did they have an inspired vision in mind, but Billy even had his own proposals for the new space. He used google SketchUp to model his ideas and ulitmately choose the best configuration. After working out the logistics with the ecostruct team, Billy & Sally headed out for a vacation, and let the contractors get to work.

Week 2: Upon returning from their trip, the couple came home to find that the first phase of their renovation was nearly finished. Just as Billy’s model suggested, the non-load bearing walls were removed so that only a single column touches down on the spacious new plan. In the hallway, a former kitchen entry had been patched up to add more functional space to the kitchen.

Here, the scars on the floor left by the demolished walls show how compartmentalized the original space was.

Week 3:  ecostruct had made even more progress. We can already see the effects of opening up those walls –the space is definitely brighter, and the previously cramped kitchen can finally breathe!

At this point, Jon’s team just needed to finish up some of the electrical components and repair the ceiling before handing the baton over to Billy & Sally to finish the makeover.

“I give Jon at ecostruct the thumbs up and would certainly recommend him to others.  Likewise with Sweeten.”

We really wanted to save the big reveal for next week, but we’re so thrilled about the new space that we couldn’t help giving a sneak peek –stay tuned to take the full tour of this finished space! And in the meantime, to learn lots more about their process, check out Billy’s renovation blog.

Want to reconfigure your space? Post your project to Sweeten

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