Design Build Row House Renovation in Washington, DC
These clients gave Four Brothers a call after they purchased a 100-plus year old row house in the Logan Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. Like many homes from the same era, the bones were strong, but the inside was a mess. Years of neglect and do-it-yourself improvements left the home broken into many unusable rooms, with a hodgepodge of finishes throughout. In short, much of the interior needed to be gutted, the floor plan at each level redesigned, and the systems upgraded throughout. After a short interview process, we jumped right into the planning and design phase.
Design and Layout
Although the whole house needed attention, our plan was to phase the full remodel. We decided to start with the first floor and systems (plumbing, electrical, HVAC), but developed a comprehensive plan so as to avoid do-overs when we moved to the floors above. There were several things that were important to the homeowners: They wanted an open floor plan, needed lots of light, and wished for a tasteful mix of classic and contemporary finishes. Our design team quickly established that it would be necessary to gut the entire first floor, raze and rebuild the rear addition and significantly reconfigure the floor plan. The only items to remain in their existing locations were the staircase and exterior walls. Our designers were thrilled for the opportunity to work with this completely blank slate, and quickly developed a number of layout options. After several rounds of revisions (directed by feedback from the clients), the new layout was finalized. It included an open front room with a new fireplace, a galley kitchen in the new addition that doubles as an eating area and entrance to the back yard. Partition walls were all but eliminated to achieve an open feeling and skylights were added in the kitchen. To further enhance the natural light, the entire back of the new addition was designed as a retractable, glass Nanawall.
Style and Finishes
For the kitchen, we selected white Shaker style cabinetry, dark Caesarstone countertops a subway tile back splash and a large farmhouse sink. The paint colors are light and cheerful, and a stained oak floor provides consistency and ties the first level together as a continuous space. New lighting (recessed and accent) was installed in all the rooms, and vintage pendants hanging from the coffered kitchen ceiling give a nod to the classic style of the era from when the home was built. The finishing touch was the custom cabinetry piece we built and installed in place of the stair railing. This doubles as functional storage space and a decorative element that gives the home a “wow” factor as soon as you enter the front door.
Construction and Final Product
The transition between our design and production teams was smooth, and construction started promptly, on schedule. As we sometimes find in older homes in the area, the walls and floor were full of hazardous asbestos insulation. This requires the services of a licensed remediation company, who extracts the insulation, disposes of it according to regulations, and cleans the construction site so that work can continue. Another notable aspect of the construction phase was all the structural work necessary to reconfigure the floor plan. LVL beams were installed in place of walls that had previously been load-bearing, and a steel beam was installed to strengthen the sagging brick wall at the entrance to the addition. All in all, construction went smoothly and we finished on time and on schedule. The homeowners were thrilled with both the process and final product, and we hope to be working with them in the coming months to complete the third floor renovation.
What the Customer Said
“We hired Four Brothers to renovate the entire first floor of our home including a complete rebuild of the kitchen. From the thorough design process to delivery of the final product – Four Brothers overwhelmingly exceeded our expectations. The entire team, especially Leroy, Walid, and Kent, is extremely talented, creative, responsive, punctual, and friendly. Additionally, the project started and ended on time, there were daily clean-ups to minimize dust, and everything came in at budget. The finished product speaks for itself, and the craftsmanship is superb. Everyone who enters the home comments on the quality and fine details of the living & dining rooms and kitchen. We appreciate Four Brothers’ ability to think outside of the box and provide unique solutions that ultimately add value to our home and quality of life. We are definitely working with Four Brothers again on future renovations to the house.”