Judging Pop Ups – 1340 Kenyon St, NW (Reader Request)

The reader writes:

“This might be the best pop-up ever. It used to be 2 stories and has been a rental for the ten years I’ve been on the block. The house was gutted and now has 4 units. The pop-up looks totally natural and blends nicely into the block, which is home to differing styles of houses. Next door, by the way, is a house deserving of a horses ass award. 1342 (the address reads 1324) has been under construction for at least 10 years. It’s ugly but I suppose it could be worse – at least it’s occupied.”

So this is a two parter – thumbs up or down for the pop up above first and second do you think the house to the right deserves a horses ass award nomination?

22 Comment

  • 1)the pop up fits the house and almost appears original to the house. thumbs up.

    2) next door house – wtf! i have seen this house in the same state for 6 years! even if it was finished i think it would be/is very ugly. i have not clue whats its even trying to be. please tear it down and start again, fail.

  • Yes, Horses Ass Award for sure. That mess has been piece mealed together for the past decade and such an eyesore.

  • Yeah, who lives in the one next door? Do they like the rats den under the house? It’s been an eyesore for over twelve years at least…

  • I pass those houses every day.

    House on the left: Thumbs WAY up! The pop-up looks completely natural and is very attractive. They have gotten so much done so quickly too.

    House on the right: U-G-L-Y. Definitely a horse’s ass award.

  • I lived on this block back in 2007 – wow!! What a nice looking renovation (and as much as I like bright colors on rowhouses, that atomic blue color was pretty awful).

    And while the house on the right looks a tad better than it did three years ago, it still sucks.

    • I was so impressed that awful blue/purple combo was gone I didn’t even realize that there was a pop-up! They are doing a great job. Also worth nothing that this unit was actually two units and it appears that it will now be one; at least there will only be one entry way now.

      House #2 is a disgrace. That block has some of the nicest houses and turd sits right in the middle of everything.

  • House on the right reminds me of a house in my town that has been under construction for like at least 30 years — he’s turning into an above ground bomb shelter.

    We sort of all joke about it, just one those quirky things the people do!

    • no it’s not quirky its dangerous! with that hole under the porch and the deck.. it’s not sound at all.

  • I agree that the first house is wonderful. It actually improves the house.
    The 2nd one is an eyesore for sure. What was the owner thinking? Floor tile on the exterior on the first floor? Odd windows, too tall – bad coloring – weird trim on the 2nd floor windows. This is why people need to hire an architect! I bet anything house #1 had a professional involved.

  • i agree that the renovation looks good. but would i pay for the place? no. why? because with the speed with which they renovated this place the quality must be horrible. also, the roof is a pure wood construction, the walls inside are all pure dry walls. this is one of those quick fix things that will probably fall apart in 6 years … which in the end will make the house next door a much better choice since it has weathered the last 6 years pretty well (if you ignore the way it looks).
    i have to say that the build quality of most of the places that were either newly build or renovated across the last 8 years is really bad. i have to get across a place yet that is solid.

    • “I have to get across a place yet that is solid.”

      Maybe because you think building a house with wood and drywall is somehow abnormal.

      • i know it might sounds odd to build houses that last more than the life span of those that live in them but if i look at houses that were build 100 years ago most walls were solid stone walls, a lot of those houses are still around, and they tend to be of higher resell value then anything that was build in the last 20 years. you usually have good sound insulation and heat/warmth insulation. dry walls are all about creating cheap living spaces … the material is cheap and the construction with them is cheap. but like so many things that are cheap they are cheap and fall apart faster and don’t offer as much “wall value” … unless all you ask of a wall is more or less the same you ask of a shower curtain.

        • The original roof on that house was made of wood and was framed with far inferior methods to what is used today. People need to understand that PROPER wood framing is far superior to brick. Brick has a TERRIBLE insulation value. It’s like a sponge as well. A wood framed home is usually far more energy efficient than a brick home. These brick row homes are not as sound as people think they are.

    • A quality home does not take 6 years to make. If it has taken 6 years and still under construction that leads me to believe there were periods of inactivity which signal money issues and hence cost-cutting measures.

      Drywall and wood roofs with shingles will both last over 20 years if constructed properly.

    • just b/c it was built fast doesnt mean it was poor construction. it probably means that the contractor had his ducks in a row and it got completed. there are too many houses that sit for long periods of time w/o any work done – i am afraid of those houses.

      • Also, every time I walk by that place I see a crew of about 8-10 guys working. Most places I see about 3-5 people.

  • yes! please do a horses ass award on that house! the back is just as bad as the front…how in the world can he have the right permits for that deck!? I HATE THAT HOUSE!

  • The pop-up’s alright. But even if it were the worst pop-up on the face of the planet, our attention would still be distracted by that God-awful house next door. Horse’s ass, nothing. That thing needs a separate category of ass to fit in.

  • The house on the left was amazing before it was completely gutted and the pop-up was added. From what I could see through the windows, it had great original woodwork. Call me weird, but I also liked the color scheme. The new pop-up isn’t terrible, but by completely gutting the place they’ve permanently taken the life out of what seemed to be a very livable and unique old house.

    And yes, I agree with everyone that the house to the right is terrible and the owner should be publicly flogged.

  • This house was not a rental. It was owned and occupied by two very nice gentlemen who took very good care of it inside and out. The house had beautiful, original details that the new owners ripped out so that they could add yet another generic set of condos to Columbia Heights. The gut job was absolutely criminal. The previous colors were vibrant, and it’s beyond me why anyone would prefer the drab mud that they replaced it with. Blech!

    The house next door should be torn down and will probably collapse eventually from shoddy construction.

    • The new colors look nicer and will bring 4 couples or small families to the area. This is a great thing.

  • The house on the right was a rental; the two gentlemen have not lived there for a few years. The shade of blue was something you either loved or hated; I hated. I never went inside, but the first floor woodwork looked beautiful from the street.

    The thing that bothers me most about the rehab is the big panel of utility meters facing the street. That always looks cheap to me.

    The horse’s ass house has improved slightly over the years, but nothing can be done to save it.

    And the street addresses are 1320 and 1324. I live at 1316, so I am pretty confident about this one.

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