Condo Remodeling in Washington, DC
Although a condo is different than a single-family home or even a townhouse, remodeling one requires the same thought and expertise that goes into a larger project. Condo owners in the Washington, DC area often want to reconfigure interior space, remodel outdated kitchen and bathrooms and improve the value of their home with an interior design project or enhanced upgrades. Throughout the years, the Wentworth Studio team has worked with condo owners in the Washington, DC area to better achieve livability and comfort in their homes.
Reconfiguring Condo Space for a Better Fit
Many older apartment buildings (circa 1900-1960) that were eventually converted to condos feature floors plans that seldom fit a modern lifestyle: dining rooms are separated from the kitchen and rarely used, and there is a general “boxed in” feeling. The space does not flow like it does in modern condos in the Washington, DC area. This rigid formality can often be modified by opening up some of the walls and reconfiguring interior space. In many instances, the Wentworth team of architects and designers can design a room to more efficiently utilize livable space. A dining room could become an informal living/dining/cooking space, while an extra bedroom is opened up with large pocket doors to double as a den and a guest room.
Kitchen and Bath Condo Remodeling for Modern Lifestyles
Technology can become outdated very quickly, and this is evident in any condo kitchen more than 10 years old. The large, often clunky appliances used in kitchens in the past can now be replaced with space-saving, energy efficient appliances that allow for the most effective use of kitchen space, particularly in an already small condo kitchen. For example, the new and popular microwave drawer eliminates the need to place a bulky appliance on the countertop, which maximizes counter space and minimizes appliance clutter.
In a condo, bathrooms are often a point of contention, mostly due to their cramped quarters and lack of storage space. Condo bathrooms frequently suffer from poor design that doesn’t maximize space, storage or aesthetic potential. Bathrooms can also suffer from changing times. People are using bathtubs less and less. Large shower stalls are becoming more popular, particularly in condos with only one bathroom. The bath industry has developed extraordinary products over the past 10 years, and a bathroom condo remodeling project allows a homeowner to take advantage of such technological advances – all of which are energy efficient, quiet, space-saving, functional, not to mention attractive and conducive to a modern lifestyle.
Personalizing Condo Living Space with Interior Design
Over the years, the Wentworth team has completed numerous condo remodeling projects in many different neighbors, from the Watergate South in Washington, DC to the Jamieson in Alexandria, VA. While each condo building is quite different, our team of architects and interior designers has found that condo owners love to decorate and appreciate custom built-ins, millwork, fine furniture and good lighting. Condominiums owners are limited in the ways they can update and expand their space. They can’t build additions, alter facades or plant gardens as forms of expressing personality and adding character to a home, but an interior design project is an ideal way to personalize a bland and boring condo space.
Planning for a Condo Remodeling Project
If you do decide to remodel your condo, there are a few important considerations to take into account before beginning. An experienced design-build team can walk you through the steps, ensuring the project runs smoothly and the results meet your expectations.
Getting material in and out of your condo building will require good coordination. If your building has a freight elevator, then your team can bring materials into the unit that way. When there isn’t a freight elevator, it may be necessary to reserve a passenger elevator. If that’s the case, what fees and requirements are needed to ensure use of an elevator for construction purposes? Are there fees or security deposits associated with the use of a passenger elevator? Will your team need to hang protection on the walls of the elevator cab to minimize damage?
Further questions regarding the delivery of materials include:
- Does your building have a proper loading dock where materials can be off-loaded and easily brought into the building?
- How far is your unit from the elevator?
- What floor and wall protections are necessary when moving in public hallways?
Because of certain complications in Washington, DC area condo buildings, remodeling sometimes requires significant coordination and planning, which the Wentworth team has had plenty of experience with.
Parking in a city can be tough, and that’s particularly true for condo buildings where parking is restricted to residents. Before beginning a remodeling project, it is important to answer the following questions regarding parking for your construction team:
- Where will your contractor, carpenter, and sub-contractors park?
- Can you provide a parking spot in the building?
- It is possible to get a truck into the parking garage?
- Are there fees associated with parking?
Rules and Regulations
Most condos are regulated by a condo board, and remodeling is often covered by condo rules. Prior to beginning a remodeling project, you should contact your condo board to determine the answers to the following questions:
- Will the condo board want to see architectural plans?
- Will the condo board need to approve the changes you are making to your home?
- Who is permitted to do work in the building and during what hours can work be performed?
- Is a building permit required for the proposed work?
In some cases, buildings will require that no construction work occur before a certain start time. Your building may also have regulations about the type of work being completed in your home. For example, the Watergate condominiums were constructed with post-tension concrete slabs and homeowners are not allowed to cut into the slab without engineering approvals. Working with an experienced and licensed design-build team is the best way to ensure your condo remodeling project not only meets the requirements of your building, but is also the ideal environment for you.
Whether you’re downsizing and moving into a brand new condominium or are looking to update your closed off and outdated kitchen, a condo remodeling project is a cost-effective and smart way to personalize and enhance your space. Although condo remodeling may require more coordination than single-family homes, we have seen the value and benefit of customizing a condo with a remodeling project. If you’re interested in a condo remodeling project in the Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia area, contact Wentworth today!