A Historic Tribeca Townhouse Needed Some Updates For A Growing Family
When Elizabeth and Daniel bought their Tribeca townhouse in 2021, they were happy to finally have more room for their young family. The couple had lived for years in a 700 square foot apartment in the East Village, but with a toddler and another baby on the way, they had outgrown the space.
“After a year of research, we came across a historic townhouse in Tribeca – the type of place we never imagined could be something realistic for us,” says Elizabeth. “It was the perfect neighborhood to continue building our family. And the townhouse, while unique and beautiful in its charm, needed updating.
In the end, the townhouse only needed a few upgrades. However, undertaking a renovation is always a difficult prospect, and it is even more complicated when you have young children. But Elizabeth and Daniel’s situation presented an opportunity, and the timing was perfect: the couple could continue to live in their current apartment while making updates to their new townhouse before moving in to better accommodate their family. growing.
Why a Design-Build Company Makes Sense
The couple have family members who have had bad renovation experiences with traditional contractors. As a result, they were only interested in working with a design-build firm, largely because they didn’t want to manage multiple parties or relationships. Their real estate broker referred them to Bolster, a New York-based home improvement company that offers a suite of project delivery methods to meet homeowner needs. Bolster’s data-driven approach and iterative pricing process gives owners like Elizabeth and Daniel complete visibility of all design and construction costs up-front.
“The Bolster team put us at ease instantly, showing us time and time again that they really listened to what was important to us,” says Elizabeth. “We had to stick to our budget and our scope, and we needed clear and consistent communication throughout. Bolster understood very quickly what our needs were, and they were incredibly communicative and responsive.”
The design phase
Elizabeth and Daniel’s townhouse in Tribeca was in good condition, having undergone renovations just after 9/11, when many homes in the neighborhood were damaged. The city had encouraged people to rebuild, so the previous owners did a full renovation that included a new HVAC system (a cost factor in most renovations). However, Elizabeth and Daniel sought to solve two main problems – the first was the dysfunctional kitchen in the living room of the house.
“The kitchen was weird and boring,” says Elizabeth. “It had excellent high-end devices, but it looked like it was built for a boat: everything was miniature. It seemed like an afterthought and didn’t make the most of the space.
The second issue was the lack of functionality on the third floor of the townhouse. It was built as a loft-style space, with only one small bathroom with no tub, which is not ideal for young children.
Elizabeth and Daniel originally thought they wanted to make the third floor of the house their master bedroom; however, working with Bolster’s design team, they found it would be a better fit for their two children. Support architect Matthew Rauch led them to a solution that turned out to be better than they had imagined.
“Matt had the brilliant idea of splitting the third floor into two rooms with a playroom in the middle,” says Elizabeth. “We designed a hideaway for our two children on the top floor, creating a playroom that we didn’t even know might even be an option, and increasing the number of rooms in the house.”
The building phase
With the design phase of the renovation completed, Bolster’s team got to work on the construction phase in a race against Elizabeth’s due date.
“Bolster matched our need for speed. There was no time to waste, and Bolster internalized that in a way that we had truly never heard of or experienced in a renovation project before,” she says.
The survey that took place prior to demolition was so thorough that there were few surprises when the construction phase officially began, ensuring relatively smooth navigation throughout the project. It’s a key part of Bolster’s philosophy.
During demolition, the brick chimney was exposed. The owners chose natural wood cabinetry and custom millwork in the kitchen in keeping with the historic nature of the home and chose sleek black fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom and unique touches like patterned wallpaper bold for a modern New York vibe. The couple also splurged on high-end appliances, including a Sub-Zero refrigerator, induction stove and top-of-the-line dishwasher. Their purpose is that the family will use their kitchen often, and appliances are a long-term investment that will increase the resale value of the home.
Like many homeowners who have renovated over the past year, Elizabeth and Daniel have experienced supply chain delays and have taken a realistic approach to meeting the challenges.
“From a supply chain perspective, we only ordered in-stock items. If we liked something, like tiles, that wasn’t in stock, we’d say, ‘Scrap that, show us something else,’” says Elizabeth. “When it comes to appliances, we’ve decided to use our old ones until the new ones come along.”
Throughout their renovation, Elizabeth and Daniel received regular updates from the Bolster team.
“Our Build Manager, Julieta, is exactly the person you want for your project. She is very communicative, engages regularly and in real time every day on Slack, and sends comprehensive weekly progress reports every Friday,” says Elizabeth.
The final cost
The total cost of renovating Elizabeth and Daniel’s 1,680 square foot Tribeca townhouse was $324,100. As with most major gut renovations, their largest investments were electrical ($17,495) and plumbing ($30,980). They also opted to invest in custom millwork ($52,800) and brand new high-end appliances ($21,325).
“With the entire team behind Bolster, from architecture to procurement to construction, we were blown away by the attention and thoroughness they each gave to our project,” says Elizabeth. “The company makes us feel like the only project they have, and we’re confident that with them managing our renovation, we’ll be happy to move into our dream home to welcome baby number. of them !”
Bolster Smart Renovation Zero Risk Guarantee
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