Row House Remodel in Mount Pleasant, Washington, DC
This full house remodel included two and a half bathrooms, a master suite, kitchen, and exterior. On the initial visit to this Mt. Pleasant row-house in Washington DC, the clients expressed several goals to us. Our job was to convert the basement apartment into a guest suite, re-work the first floor kitchen, dining, and powder bathroom, and re-do the master suite to include a new bathroom. Like many Washington DC Row houses, the rear part of the house was cobbled together in a series of poor renovations. Between the two of them, the original brick rear wall and the load-bearing center wall split the rear of the house into three small rooms on each floor. Not only was the layout poor, but the rear part of the house was falling apart, breezy with no insulation, and poorly constructed.
Design and Layout
One of the reasons the clients hired Four Brothers as their design-build remodeling contractor was that they liked the designs in our remodeling portfolio. We entered the design phase with clear guidance from the clients – create an open floor plan. This was true for the basement, where we removed all walls creating a completely open space with the exception of a small water closet. This serves as a guest suite, where long-term visitors can stay with a sense of privacy. It has its own bathroom and kitchenette, as well as closets and a sleeping area. The design called for completely removing and re-building the rear of the house. This allowed us to take down the original rear brick wall and interior walls on the first and second floors. The first floor has the kitchen in the center of the house, with one tall wall of cabinetry and a kitchen island with seating in the center. A powder bathroom is on the other side of the house. The dining room moved to the rear of the house, with large doors opening onto a new deck. Also in the back, a floating staircase leads to a rear entrance. On the second floor, the entire back of the house was turned onto a master suite. One closet contains a washer and dryer. Clothes storage is in custom fabricated wardrobes, which flank an open concept bathroom. The bed area is in the back, with large windows across the whole rear of the house. The exterior was finished with a paneled rain-screen.
Style and Finishes
In all areas of the house, the clients chose contemporary finishes. The basement has more of an industrial look, with commercial light fixtures, exposed brick, open ceiling joists, and a stained concrete floor. Floating oak stairs lead from the back door to the kitchen/dining area, with a white bookshelf acting as the safety barrier at the stairs. The kitchen features white cabinets, and a white countertop, with a waterfall edge on the island. The original oak floors provide a warm background throughout. The second floor master suite bathroom is a uniform mosaic tile, and white wardrobes match a white vanity.
Construction and Final Product
This remodeling project had a very specific timeline, as the homeowners had rented a house to live in for six months. This meant that we had to work very quickly and efficiently, juggling the schedule to keep things moving. As is often the case in Washington DC, permitting took longer than expected. Winter weather played a role as well, forcing us to make up lost time in the last few months. By re-building a good portion of the house, we managed to include significant energy upgrades, with a well-insulated building envelope, and efficient heating and cooling system.
What the Customer Said
“We first heard about Four Brothers from a neighbor. When we finally decided to take the plunge, we contacted them and started interacting with Leroy and Kent. We immediately appreciated it their straightforwardness and their ability to understand and translate our lifestyle and must haves into good, practical design ideas. Construction was not without its problems, but good communication and willingness on both parts to make compromises for the good of the project was always present. Overall, we are very satisfied by the work Four Brothers did in our house and would gladly recommend them to friends and acquaintances alike.”