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Townhouse Renovation

Posted by Meredith L. in Kensington
Brief description

-Renovate 2 bathrooms, 1 kitchen
-Turn 1 kitchen into bath (existing plumbing risers)
-Move doorways on non-structural walls
-Probably rewire home (knob and tube from 1940s?)
-Replace casement windows
-Refinish floors in 2 rooms (sand, varnish)

Project details
  • Space

    Entire Unit

  • Services


  • Style


Before Conditions

Falling apart; Outdated; Not my style

Mostly original to 1941. House is brick, in very sound structural condition, with some plumbing (leaks) and electrical (knob and tube) issues. The layout is currently an owner duplex on garden and 1st floor, and tenant apartment on 2nd fl, but the garden level currently has a full vented bath, full kitchen, etc - all set up as a legal apartment. No work to be done on garden level.

Scope of work

Main issue is to combine the 1st and 2nd floors into one unit, which means opening the stairway that is currently a private entrance inside the vestibule (consists of framing a new 3' doorway in the structural wall and removing non-structural wall on one side of the stair), renovating the 2 existing leaky bathrooms (converting one full bath to a powder), and turning the 2nd fl kitchen into a master bath and closet. Minor wall demo and construction - no changes to general layout or load-bearing walls. New bath can use existing bath's plumbing risers. Style will be loosely 1940s, to match the rest of the house.

The firm I work for will be handling the DOB permits and drawing sets. Contractors will be provided with detailed plans, elevations, and schedules. I have done a lot of project management and I'm all about efficiency, so I know how helpful it is to the job to have everything decided and on-site before it's needed. I'm not a change-order gal - I like to let the GC do it right from the get-go.

We are filing with the DOB in the next two weeks and are ready to start as soon as we are approved. We will be living in the basement level, where no work is done. Work areas are currently empty.

Carlos, the foreman, was reliable in every way, particularly for solving problems intelligently and with an eye for design. He is worth his weight in gold. We made this old home new again, and for that I am deeply grateful to Sweeten, our general contractors Evros and Carlos, and all the rest.