Ed. Note: If you have negative comments about the reno please consider keeping it to yourself. Critiquing the renovations is not the point of these posts. It’s simply to show what some folks have done. If you like it, obviously, feel free to let them know but again – well let me be clear – don’t be a jerk. Thanks.

These renovations can be extensive – like a whole house gut or simply a 1/2 bath added, floor refinished or even smaller. It can be a whole series of posts or just one. If you’d like to share one of your projects please email princeofpetworth(at)gmail thanks and thanks for understanding!

before
before

Thanks to a reader for sharing:

“I didn’t want anything particularly high end. I was fine keeping the builder-grade vanity; it was functional and in reasonable shape and easy enough to replace later if I changed my mind. (I did replace the top, which was mottled with makeup stains, but I went about as cheap as I could go.) The misfit wooden toilet seat was, okay, odd, but I figured it was also something I could replace later, without the help of a contractor. (A year later I still haven’t bothered.) I did replace all the fixtures, because I was going to have to get new fixtures for the tub and I wanted them all to match, but mostly I focused my attention on picking out a tub that would be comfortable for bathing in while still working well as a shower and on finding tile that met my need for color. (That part was surprisingly difficult. Beige is very popular.)

I talked with three potential contractors about the project. One suggested adding a light fixture over the bathtub (previously the only fixture was the one over the vanity), and one suggested that the reduced footprint of the new tub meant there would be room to add inset shelves. I thought those were good ideas, so I took them, then went with the third contractor.

That contractor was not great. (I will not be sharing their name.) They were friendly and responsive, which is good, because for several weeks my nightly routine was to come home, inspect their progress, and write a detailed e-mail about what they’d done wrong and would need to rip out and redo. But eventually the cement board was correctly hung, the tile was correctly laid, the fixtures were hung level and in the correct places, the hot and cold water were connected in the correct order, the water damage was repaired, and I was at long last able to take a shower in my own bathroom.

I’m planning on staying put for a long time to come, so I wasn’t concerned about resale value. I just wanted something that would look pleasing to me, and despite the bumps along the way I’m pretty satisfied with the end result. Total cost including materials was around $8,500.”

after
​[New bathroom. The blue tile visible on the shower wall is the interior edging of the inset shelves. The backs of the shelves are white tile.]

More photos after the jump. (more…)

Ed. Note: We used to feature these renovations from PoPville back in the day but it’s been a while since I’ve found folks willing to share. A good time for me to say, which I sadly realize I have to say, if you have negative comments about the reno please consider keeping it to yourself. Critiquing the renovations is not the point of these posts. It’s simply to show what some folks have done. If you like it, obviously, feel free to let them know but again – well let me be clear – don’t be a jerk. Thanks. Sorry to have to preface with that. I really do love these features and am fortunate that 2 or 3 three more folks have also agreed to share their renovations. These renovations can be extensive – like a whole house gut or simply a 1/2 bath added, floor refinished or even smaller. It can be a whole series of posts or just one. If you’d like to share one of your projects please email princeofpetworth(at)gmail thanks and thanks for understanding!

You can read episode one from this series here.

BathroomLight

We did a lot of little things in the house as soon as we moved in. Obviously it’s wise to change the locks, which we did after settlement. The door knobs and locks on it were pretty worn though so it was a nice aesthetic change as well. The house address was also a junky piece of wood with paint chipping and the numbers were not pretty either. That was any easy update because we just bought the numbers at Home Depot and removed the piece of wood from the house. It was somewhat difficult to mount the numbers against the brick, but I just aligned them so I could screw it in to the mortar.

Doorstripping

One thing we thought that we would do was strip the paint on some of the doors and frames. Well, my partner started stripping one of the entryways and it was a lot more difficult than she imagined. We decided we would only do that one since it was a very time-consuming. There were multiple layers of paint and we wanted to even it out as much as we could, but we could have worked on it all year.

The bathroom light fixture was horrendous. Well, the whole bathroom is horrendous, but a light fixture is a lot easier, and cheaper to fix. Again we bought a simple light fixture at Home Depot and my partner installed it. I cannot do electrical so I am glad she can! The foyer had an old, flat light that looked kind of gross inside. We ordered a little chandelier on Wayfair.com. Now that was a lot more difficult to install, but it was worth it in the end!

UpstairsClosetBefore
before

Lastly, we removed all the closet doors and in some cases the closet completely. The closet in the master bedroom had those sliding doors and I hate those because they always come off the tracks! My partner removed those and we actually used one of the closet doors to make a coat rack for the foyer. Anyhow, then we bought closet organizers from Home Depot (yes we spend a lot of time and money there). We installed that one evening and it wasn’t too difficult. We will put doors back on the closet eventually, but I just try to keep my closet organized for now! There were also mirror closets in the back room of the house and the room in the basement. We removed the doors and shelves in the back office so right now it’s just a nook. Not sure if we’re going to keep it like that or what because we haven’t finished that room. My partner removed the closet in the basement, but kept the shelves because we turned that room into a home gym. If anyone is interested in doing that we bought some weights, bar, and bench on Craigslist for about $75! All these little updates are much more affordable than many of our other projects, but they make a difference.

UpstairsClosetAfter
after

Ed. Note: We used to feature these renovations from PoPville back in the day but it’s been a while since I’ve found folks willing to share. A good time for me to say, which I sadly realize I have to say, if you have negative comments about the reno please consider keeping it to yourself. Critiquing the renovations is not the point of these posts. It’s simply to show what some folks have done. If you like it, obviously, feel free to let them know but again – well let me be clear – don’t be a jerk. Thanks. Sorry to have to preface with that. I really do love these features and am fortunate that 2 or 3 three more folks have also agreed to share their renovations. These renovations can be extensive – like a whole house gut or simply a 1/2 bath added, floor refinished or even smaller. It can be a whole series of posts or just one. If you’d like to share one of your projects please email princeofpetworth(at)gmail thanks and thanks for understanding!

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“We gutted the entire floor down to the studs and redid all aesthetic features. The footprint of the kitchen was kept the same because of space constraints and the money associated with moving any of the plumbing/electrical. We also replaced the back door and window. I know a topic that has come up on Popville has been the permitting process. I obtained the permits for the door and window replacement myself using the Homeowner’s center at DCRA which I cannot speak more highly of. The head of the center when I used it was the gentleman who started it. He walked me through the process and even let me leave paperwork for him to consider so I could leave and make a meeting. He called me the next day before opening hours to let me know my permits were ready to be picked up. I encourage anyone needing a permit to explore the Homeowner’s center.”

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Kitchen before

Ed. Note: We used to feature these renovations from PoPville back in the day but it’s been a while since I’ve found folks willing to share. A good time for me to say, which I sadly realize I have to say, if you have negative comments about the reno please consider keeping it to yourself. Critiquing the renovations is not the point of these posts. It’s simply to show what some folks have done. If you like it, obviously, feel free to let them know but again – well let me be clear – don’t be a jerk. Thanks. Sorry to have to preface with that. I really do love these features and am fortunate that 2 or 3 three more folks have also agreed to share their renovations. These renovations can be extensive – like a whole house gut or simply a 1/2 bath added, floor refinished or even smaller. It can be a whole series of posts or just one. If you’d like to share one of your projects please email princeofpetworth(at)gmail thanks and thanks for understanding!

LRCeiling

My name is Taylor, username ParkViewRes and I bought this house with my partner in September 2014. We were actually looking for a fixer upper because we wanted a house that we could make our own. We went to see the house the day it hit the market because our realtor said it would probably go quick. There wasn’t even a for sale sign in front of it yet. They ended up getting 11 offers on the house in less than 24 hours! We were really lucky considering this was the first and only house we put an offer on.

The owners were selling the house “as is” so we knew what we were getting. However, they did fix a leak in the roof and some minor issues with the electrical box. So “as is” doesn’t always mean they won’t fix anything and it doesn’t hurt to ask! We closed in early September, but did not move in until October so we could do a few things before moving all our stuff in.

They rented this house to students the entire time they owned it as far as I can tell. Therefore, it had a few weird things going on. There’s a pocket door that divides the dining and living room. I actually went to paint the pocket door today, but the little bit of white paint we have left was no longer good! The pocket door and tin ceiling are two of my favorite things about this house. When you walk in the front door there is an entryway to the living room on the right. They sealed it by putting up drywall and adding a door to it. I still cannot believe it, but I never took a photo of it! However, I do have photos of my partner removing it. The annoying thing was that they had done some electrical inside the drywall so there would be a light outlet inside the living room since it was being used as a bedroom. We had an electrician come out and take that out since the wire running across the entry way looked rather bad and it’s probably a safety hazard. He also fixed the light outlet in the hall so it controls the living room along with the downstairs and upstairs halls.

The laundry room in the basement had a coin-operated washer and dryer. I mean we could have just used the same quarter over and over, but we replaced it. Bonus: the laundry coin machine had about $4 in quarters in it! We sold the coin operated washer and dryer on Craigslist in a day for $150! They even unhooked, removed, and unloaded them. (more…)

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Before

Thanks to Justin for sending these great photos. If you have a recent renovation you wouldn’t mind sharing – please send and email with some before and after pics and a few details about the project to PrinceofPetworth(at)Gmail Thanks.

Justin writes:

“the inspiration for the paint colors came mostly from the door, as we found the one we wanted then tried to figure out the best palette for it. after that we worked with the existing brickwork pattern of the two stripes and added in the 3 masonry stars to mimic the DC flag. the fence was actually done before the paint, as you can see from the before photos it was somewhat of a safety hazard. the same company installed the fence, installed all 3 new exterior doors, and painted the house (the fence stain was done by me). they’ve also installed skylights and chandeliers for us as well, and highly recommend them to anyone: Optima Designs out of Bethesda. all of the landscaping was done by us…still working on doing something to replace the “grass” we have, but that’s a fall project!”

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After

Lots more photos after the jump. (more…)

GutterFasciaThing-WiderView

“Dear PoPville,

What’s This Called, Does It Need To Be Repaired, and Who Would Repair It?

I have a feeling that this gutter-type thing (fascia??) at the front of my mansard roof probably needs to be repaired.

Is this in fact a fascia, and if not, what’s it called?

Does it need to be repaired? If so, who would I get to repair it — a roofer? A gutter-repair company?”

RoofGutterMaybeFascia-FromFront

bannister_repair

“Dear PoPville,

Looking for recommendations for repairing an old, wobbly wooden banister. Ours looks like it has the original railing, which was previously cut and repaired in sections, but it definitely requires some additional attention or else we might take a tumble down to the first floor. It would be great to get a recommendation from someone who had to deal with this issue when renovating their house.”

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before

Ed. Note: If you have any renovation projects you’d be willing to share (bathrooms, kitchens, landscaping, anything at all) please send a few before and after photos with a bit of detail like cost, products used etc. via email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail(dot)com

Thanks to a reader for sharing his small bathroom renovation completed last week:

“The total cost of the project was about 11k but that included much more than a typical small bathroom renovation…It included replacing all of the galvanized plumbing, adding a skylight, moving a door opening, removing a closet, moving a radiator, rearranging and replacing the vanity, toilet and tub, and tiling. The layout before was terrible, so all the fixtures needed to be moved. One of the bedrooms had a closet that cut into the bathroom space, so that had to be removed and repaired in order to make the bathroom into a more usable rectangular shape (unfortunately someone lost a closet in their bedroom, but it had to be done to have a decent bathroom layout). It took about a month to complete.”

More renovated photos after the jump. (more…)

glass_garage
Photo via Clopay garage doors

“Dear PoPville,

I’m thinking of renovating my house and changing the standard garage door to something more modern, with a full wall of glass (like the photo above).

Problem is that I live on a very busy street – lots of pedestrian traffic and nearby schools – with no separation between the sidewalk and the garage door. This would literally be a big glass window/wall a few steps from the sidewalk with no metal bars on it.

My girlfriend is convinced that this is going to be a target for graffiti artists/vandals, thieves, angry kids with rocks, etc. I’m sorta worried about that but want to give the city the benefit of the doubt.

Is this a huge mistake? Am I asking for trouble (and expensive repairs every few months)? Would love to hear if anyone else has dealt with similar issues.”