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Addition

Small urban townhouse, built in the early 1950’s, located in a neighborhood of North Old Town Alexandria, which is currently undergoing major redevelopment. It is a popular and affordable neighborhood with young people and families and very convenient to DC. Historic brick exterior and all original plaster over concrete interior walls, hot water radiator base, sunk in 1x6 plank subfloors and tongue and groove pine floors, were to name a few of its existing condition. Basement with low ceiling, no outside window, moldy and bare cinder block walls was in no condition to be used. The big broiler was taking over a large portion of the basement. Challenges: No ground plumbing existed in the basement and the baseboard radiators were a drag to work with. Keeping up with its historic old town Alexandria look, we had to carefully remove and salvaged, restore and reused existing brick masonry. Use a matching fascia boards and windows with the rest of existing windows. Uneven sub-floors, double layer wallpaper over plaster walls, falling apart staircase and railing and small second floor bathroom with no natural light source. The leaky flat roof was one of the major problems of this couple. Kitchen layout was dysfunctional and not practical for them. Design solutions: While maintaining with its 1950’s look, the new staircase was designed in a stylistically similar manner as original home. Stripping down walls and ceiling to bare walls, reframing, new electrical work, new insulation and drywall brought the interior of this home back to the 21st century techniques. Salvaging some old trims and a piece of art glass and then reuse in the bedroom, contributed to keep a bit of the past in this renovation. Installing updated recess lights where they lacked daylights, installing some old and matching new base trim, casing and crown moldings to keep up with its timeless look. We have relocated and installed new HVAC system for the entire house. We have installed new hardwood floors, new staircase and railing and fixed all saggy subfloors. We have redesigned the three bedrooms on the second floor to allow a larger bathroom, walk in closet and wider hallways. We installed new roofing and a large skylight to allow natural light into the bathroom and the upper hallway. The solid block and brick back wall of the dining room was widened to have bigger window. The solid wall between the kitchen and the dining room was removed, plumbing was relocated for new sink location and the kitchen got expanded with an eating island into the dining room. Closet and plumbing stacked were relocated to allow a new space for fridge. The new layout for the kitchen now allows them to comfortably entertain larger groups of gatherings. The basement was totally revamped. New plumbing was put in place for full bathroom, laundry room and a den. They were experiencing leaky walls, so we have installed a French drainage system and waterproofed related walls. New e-grass window was installed in the basement to bring this basement up to current building codes. Outcome: This historic Townhome even with its original exterior has a bunch of new features to offer in its interior. This couple loves the neighborhood and now their home gives them more opportunities to stay in the same location. The color schemes are bright, uplifting and live and testimony to homeowners’ spirit.
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