Sunset Park Brooklyn — Parlor Floor Renovation by Alexandra Barker

After a renovation she did appeared on Brownstoner three years ago, local architect Alexandra Barker of Barker Freeman “got a ton of work,” she said. “That was a brick row house in Windsor Terrace where I opened up the rear façade. People began calling and saying, ‘I want to open up the rear wall!'”

Here, for a two-story Sunset Park wood-frame house, built around 1910, she did it again — a little differently this time. (more…)

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A gut renovation opened up this now loft-like Williamsburg home. Photo by Ensemble Architecture

Renovating a house can be one of those bank-account-draining experiences that make a designer shoe habit or dining in three-star restaurants look cheap in comparison.

But how much does it cost — or should it cost — to renovate a home? Some believe a top-shelf Brooklyn townhouse renovation costs at least $1 million. But there’s also a vocal subset who hold fast to the idea that almost any house can be renovated for $200,000 — or less.

Who’s right? Read on to find out. (more…)

Gowanus Brooklyn Wood Frame House Renovation

The owners of this late-19th-century two-story wood-frame were ready to abandon their dream of adding square footage, after the first architect they consulted produced a design that would have been way beyond their budget.

But then they were introduced to Thomas Warnke, whose pared-down philosophy enabled the job to go forward at a price the couple could swallow. “I prefer clean and simple lines, not too many competing ideas in one project,” said Warnke, originally from Germany, who established his Brooklyn-based design practice, space4a, in 2007. (more…)

Renovating An Old House

If you’ve ever renovated an old house, chances are there are some things you wish you’d done differently. Here are the top 10 things to know before you start — all from hard-won experience.

10. Do everything at once up front.
It will seem more expensive, but we promise you will save money and mental trauma in the long run. You only want to open and close the walls once. Plastering, painting and floor refinishing should all be done before you move in. (more…)

Red Hook Brooklyn -- Row House Gut Renovation

This month marks Brownstoner’s Steel Anniversary. We’re taking some time to look back at our past, even as we design a new future.

A sunken living room with a fireplace. A bathtub with a view. A secret garden. Balconies and roof decks. Even a 40-foot-tall fluorescent light installation running from basement to roof.

In designing his home in Red Hook, a circa-1900 brick row house on a cobbled street one block from the water, and carrying out a near-total renovation of what was little more than a shell, Thomas Warnke put in pretty much everything he ever wanted. (more…)

Passive House Brooklyn Brownstone

Though currently a hot commodity, brownstones aren’t known for their energy efficiency.

“It’s amazing how much money is spent just heating building materials,” Michael Ingui, Partner at Baxt Ingui Architects, recently told Brownstoner. But that’s no longer the case in at least one newly renovated townhouse — the first passive-certified, landmarked home in Brooklyn. (more…)

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An extravagant but dilapidated Brooklyn brownstone famed as the family home in Spike Lee’s Crooklyn made headlines when it sold for $1,700,000 in 2013. Now newly restored and decorated, the home debuted Saturday as a bed and breakfast.

Built in 1887 in the Renaissance Revival style, the house was designed by one of the borough’s finest 19th century architects, George P. Chappell. It is full of his signature original touches, such as as custom woodwork with foliate motifs you won’t find in any other row of brownstones. (more…)