home remodeling main floor interiors

Home Remodeling vs Tear Down

Fix It Up or Tear It Down?

home remodeling trumps tear down
This ambitious home remodeling project in Chevy Chase preserves the character of the original home while vastly improving its value.

A short time ago, I visited 4405 Ridge Street in Chevy Chase, a newly renovated home listed by Joe Rubin (Long & Foster).  The house has been meticulously remodeled on the exterior and interior from basement to attic.  It’s a great example of what custom home remodeling can do (versus tear down) to improve the value of a home that no longer “works.”  It also invites conversation about the cost/value benefits of remodeling vs tear down/new build.

Given the small lot size (6,250 sf) and lot coverage restrictions in Chevy Chase, most infill developers would pass on the opportunity to do something with the property.   So renovation was the way to go.

 

Everything Old Made New

One of the many things the remodeler (Lustig Associates) did was to build an addition that steps down into an open kitchen and family room (master bath and bedroom above).  Adding this space made it possible to significantly reconfigure the main floor layout.  Almost entirely open now, the living, dining, family rooms and kitchen are defined by half walls, changes in floor level, built-in details or ceiling treatment.

home remodeling with open interior plan

The renovation introduced all the comforts and logical functionality that the old house (built in 1931) lacked.  The house is transformed and yet retains the original character including the street side appearance and this plaster fireplace.

home premodeling preserves original plaster fireplace surround

Custom Renovation Is Value and Quality Intensive

At $1.695M and 3600 square feet, some people at the open house suggested it was high-priced (It sold for $1.6M).  How so, I asked?  Cost per square foot, they answered.  For the money, it should be a larger house. Does it seem small or cramped inside?  No.  Are the room dimensions stingy? No. So not too big, not too small. Okay, remodeling is expensive. But, it is also value and quality intensive.  This moderately sized house has a lot of quality designed into it.

This is why cost per square foot doesn’t work when applied to residential renovation.  The formula tells you nothing about the value it is supposed to represent. It would make more sense to think about it in terms of “benefits” per square foot. Wouldn’t it?

home remodeling main floor interiors

Designing Rooms That Speak To Each Other

Home remodeling is all about renewal, re-thinking how we live in a house or use a particular room in that house.  The fact is, expert renovation that follows a thoughtfully developed and tastefully executed design plan infuses tremendous value into an older home.  How?  By creating rooms that talk to each other, by creating human spaces that invite you to stay, and by suiting the layout and the look of a room to its particular function in the life of the house.  Custom home remodeling (when done with finesse) preserves what is intrinsically good about a home while adding new elements that revive it.

newly remodeled kitchen in chevy chase md

Towards a New Definition of: “Worth It”

The fact is, expert renovation that follows a thoughtfully developed and tastefully executed design plan infuses tremendous value into an older home.  How?  By creating rooms that talk to each other, by creating human spaces that invite you to stay, and by suiting the layout and the look of a room to its particular function in the life of the house.  Custom home remodeling (when done with finesse) preserves what is intrinsically good about a home while adding new elements that revive it. The total volume me be modest in scale, but the value is extravagant.

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