My husband and I are looking to turn our already renovated basement into a rental unit. Although the basement is renovated, we would need to make a few adjustments like taking out an interior staircase and adding in plumbing/electrical for a kitchen area. Most of the general contractors we have talked to though said they wouldn’t take on a “small” job such as this, and they only work on jobs in the $50-$100K area. I’m wondering if anyone has worked with a good general contractor they can recommend, or know of any that would take on a job of this size.”
Thanks to a reader for sending. From Keegan Theatre’s website:
“A New Keegan Theatre is on the way.
Keegan has always been about people. The community of actors, directors and designers who define us. The many donors who have sustained us over the years. And the audiences whose growth has been a constant vote of confidence. We are truly in good company!
Now these folks and the broader Washington community are helping us renovate and purchase the theater we call home. Several large donors have put the project in motion. But relying on just a few wouldn’t be The Keegan Way. That’s why we’re inviting our thousands of friends and supporters to be the heart of our vision.
Thanks to generous donations, we are halfway to our $4 million dollar goal to fully modernize the Church Street Theater.”
I am planning to renovate my kitchen soon but I am on a tight budget. I will be replacing all appliances and cabinets. I have a pretty good idea of what I want. I wanted to get help from popville readers who went through this process.
1- Did you get an architect to do the drawing before hiring a contractor?
2- If you didn’t have a drawing, was it easy for your contractor to understand exactly what you wanted, how did you communicate what you wanted?
3- Do I need a permit?
4- Did you work with any contractor you like to recommend?”
This is the first house I’ve seen getting a gut renovation where the developers keep they awning. It used to have hot pink sections and as you can see they painted the whole awning white which I think looks a bit better. But to be honest I’m wondering why they decided to keep it. If you were buying a newly renovated house would you want them to keep the awning or get rid of it?
“The United States Capitol Dome, symbol of American democracy and world-renowned architectural icon, was constructed of cast iron more than 150 years ago. The Dome has not undergone a complete restoration since 1959-1960 and due to age and weather is now plagued by more than 1,000 cracks and deficiencies.
For approximately two years residents and visitors will see a scaffold system surrounding the entire Dome from the base of the Statue of Freedom down to the top of the Dome skirt (base of Dome). Scaffold towers and scaffold bridging will also be constructed on the west side of the U.S. Capitol Building to help move materials to the work areas.
At the interior of the Capitol Rotunda, a white canopy system in the shape of a doughnut will be installed to protect the public. The configuration allows the Apotheosis of Washington, in the eye of the Rotunda, to be seen throughout the restoration process. A covered walkway through the Rotunda is required as the canopy system is installed at the beginning of the project, as well as at the end of the project.”
Back in August there was a good discussion on whether or not to paint brick houses.
My recently (and expensively) learned advice is – if your house is painted, you really have to check the paint. Even if it looks alright, it only takes a minor flaw to cause trouble – in this case, water seepage through the brick resulting in a damp basement.
My house was painted before I bought it, probably about 10 years ago. The paint still looked good – no flaking, crumbling etc. There was no indication of dampness in the basement apt. No damp feel, no smell, no mold, no damp or warped floor or baseboards etc. But when the tenants moved and took down a large mirror we found a faint discoloration on the wall – 2 vertical stripes the width of the insulation.
I tore out the wall and found the insulation slightly damp and 4 studs showing water stains on the side that touches the exterior brick wall. After 2 contractors spent a good hour examining every possibility, we climbed out on the roof and saw that there were just enough wear in the paint high up by the roof line that a heavy rain was causing water to “slip” in between the paint and the brick wall. Then the paint at the bottom of the wall had been acting like an envelope, trapping the water and letting it seep through the mortar.
Lucky we found it in time to avoid real damage – but big lesson learned about painted brick! Again – the flaws in the paint at the top of the wall were only visible from the roof and even then seemed very insignificant.”
We’ve occasionally debated painting brick in the past but for today – let’s just talk about this specific house. It’s a row house that is being developed into condos just south of the Petworth metro. It’s a complete renovation and was starting to look really good. I really dig the windows. Now for the record, I’m normally pro-paint but one day I walked passed here and noticed it had been painted gray. Side note: Has “flipper yellow” become “flipper gray”? Anyway, you can see how the original brick looked below. So what do you think – should they have kept the original brick or painted it gray or painted it another color?
“As you will see in the before photos, the kitchen was very outdated when we purchased the home. Lots of 1970′s appliances in scooby-doo brown and a lot of pink laminate countertop!
We found an awesome contractor that worked with us to take out the wall that separated the old galley kitchen from the dining room to create one large open room. We also closed off the “nook” part of the kitchen and turned it into a half bathroom (access is through the sunroom). We had all electric and plumbing updated throughout the house and lots of extra outlets were added.
Although, there’s actually less kitchen space now, the layout and new energy efficient appliances have made life in our DC home much more enjoyable!
Things I absolutely love about the new kitchen:
- The openness makes it easy to entertain. We can cook in the kitchen while holding a conversation with our guest in the dining room
- Subway tile. I love the clean look of the subway tile, especially the tiles that go all the way to the ceiling.
- Vintage style lights. They match the antique light fixtures throughout the rest of the house.
- Our island provides extra storage and is not a permanent fixture.
- Double ovens. I really didn’t think I would need two ovens, but I’m so happy my husband talked me into this. We can cook a pie and a roast at the same time!”
Ed. Note: If you have a renovation you’d be willing to share please send some before and after photos to princeofpetworth(at)gmail(dot)com.
More photos including before shots after the jump. (more…)
On the topic of adding a front basement entrance, does anyone have experience adding one to their townhouse? Approximately how much did it cost? Is there anything you wish you knew before you started? Have you had problems with flooding? Any contractors you would recommend? Thanks!”
My personal favorite additions (aside from this being so much more open than before):
- outlets with USB plugs
- the bookshelf above the new bedroom door
- pocket door solution to the bedroom
- extra storage shelf built in bedroom on back side of the bookshelf
Ed. Note: If you have a renovation you’d be willing to share please send some before and after photos to princeofpetworth(at)gmail(dot)com. Before photo after the jump. (more…)