[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]ONTO THE BUILD…
With the demolition process out of the way, we had arrived at square one for the build.
We had a lot of fun putting this project together. Here it is in photos. We’ve tried to lay out the elements of the process that were most meaningful to us. Hope you enjoy![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
When performing a gut rehab on a Baltimore City rowhome, you are pulling out all of the innards and leaving the brick structure intact. Rarely do you need to rebuild the brickwork from the ground up. There may be spots where it needs to be touched up, but if you adopt a home before the roof caves in, the decay related to the brickwork should not be too severe.
During the framing process, we had to be cognizant of the details involved with rowhome construction. Space, eternally a constraint of rowhomes, specifically the width of these homes, was something we constantly juggled. How do you make a home feel spacious when you have inherited a space of 13-15 feet in width.
One of the beauties of these narrow homes, is that you can use 2x10s or 2x12s as joists, simplifying the construction process tremendously. These joists are often pocketed into the existing masonry.
In this photo you can see the original window openings framed out on the top story of the home. When rebuilding a home in Baltimore City, it offers builders an opportunity to restore the home to how it originally looked, when it was built in the late 1800s or early 1900s. For this home, we purchased original double hung, wooden windows, emulating the original style from 1917.
When deciding how to insulate this home, we went with a technique called spray foam insulation for all exterior-facing walls. It is more tightly packed than standard insulation and possesses higher insulative properties. Better insulation helps reduce the carbon footprint of a home through minimizing gas and electricity usage to heat and cool the space.
Solar is one of our favorite elements within this home. We appreciate it as an innovative new technology, and one that helps reduce the carbon footprint of our home. Innovation can create ripples that impact your surrounding community. Within our community, the spread of environmentalist practices will help to prolong the lifespan of these trees that grow beside our solar panels.
HIRING LOCAL ARTISTS
Our buddy Steve Baker is a resident-artist, who specializes in making stained glass and wrought iron art pieces. We are lucky to have Steve as a resource in our beloved Baltimore. His work has played a role in defining the aesthetic of the Hampden neighborhood and we routinely look to him when building new homes.
B.Y.O.S. – BUILD YOUR OWN STAIRCASE
It frustrates us when people use corny old adages (even though we may stoop to using them ourselves from time to time). But when lemons end up on your doorstep, sometimes its best to make the proverbial lemonade.
A few months into our project at 412 Lanvale, we got a call from a friend who had inherited two old Bethlehem Steel I-Beams. The beams were laying around a studio space he had just purchased and he asked if we wanted to claim them for ourselves. We gladly took them aboard and paired them with some beautiful old joists we reclaimed from Ocean City, MD. The stairs you see below are a marriage of these old materials, created by our very own team.
To bring a project like this to life, it took a lot of sacrifice – weekends away from girlfriends, banged up bodies from days of construction and really a lot of dedication to making this something beautiful and inspiring.
Breathing new life into these old buildings has given us a lot of joy and we appreciate all the support and interest we have gotten from the community related to these projects.
One house at a time, we are hoping to push forward all the values we feel passionate about and we’re excited to share this journey with you all.
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What will tomorrow bring?