Washington, DC

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!


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. Read More



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!”


Lots more photos after the jump. Read More



“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?”




“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.”





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. Read More


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.”



Ed. Note: If you have a renovation you’d be willing to share please email princeofpetworth(at)gmail and try to include as many details as possible, including cost, contractors, tips, and of course before and after photos.

Thanks to a reader for sending this small bathroom reno:

“I wanted to share with you a bathroom renovation in Columbia Heights. What seemed like a simple update (re-tiling, new vanity, lights, toilet) ended up taking a month to complete. This was my first renovation, so I made a lot of mistakes along the way. For example, I ordered 3 different trim sets (this is the word for tub filler, shower handle, and shower head. Did not know that!), before I realized I had to order from the same company that makes the rough in valve (the thing in the wall). Dealing with the plumbing was also an ordeal. In the end, I’m very happy with the way it turned out. The after pictures courtesy of Doug.”


A couple more after shots after the jump. Read More


Photo by PoPville flickr user ekelly80

“Dear PoPville,

My fiance and I are looking to get the exterior of our house repainted this spring, but are unsure of who to hire. Does anyone on Popville have any recommendations they can share? Also, and this might be a silly question, but does anyone know if we would have to get the city to approve a color change or are we free to do what we’d like? We are located in the Atlas area. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!”


“Dear PoPville,

Do I need a permit to pave my backyard to make it a patio/driveway? I assume that I do, but I’m not sure where to start with this process. I have a row-house in Northeast DC. Thanks in advance for your help!”



From a press release:

“The Phyllis Wheatley Young Women’s Christian Association, Inc. (Phyllis Wheatley YWCA) is excited to announce the renovation of its property located in the Shaw neighborhood (corner of Ninth Street and Rhode Island Avenue Northwest), which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Eager to renew the illustrious legacy and ensure a thoughtful and self-sustaining model for the building, the renovation will include 84 private living quarters and onsite support services for low-income working women and women with special needs. Additional amenities will include updated laundry facilities, green outdoor space, as well as social and professional development programs. Read More


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