New Renovation Blog: We Need More Space!


Welcome to my 5th Avenue renovation in Park Slope. I am absolutely delighted to post my story on Brownstoner, not only because I am an avid “brownstoner” but because I thought that perhaps someone who is starting a renovation project may learn from my good and bad experiences. So where do we begin? I say let’s start from the beginning!

My hubby and I bought a three-story townhouse in Park Slope about ten years ago. We live on the top-floor apartment and rent out the other two apartments. After ten years, two kids and a 14-year-old Rottweiler, we both agreed that we may be outgrowing our three-bedroom, one-bath apartment. We wanted to live in a bigger space so that we all could stretch out a bit more and use the bathroom without lining up to do so. Seriously. The question then became: Move to a bigger space or build on top of our existing property?

We spoke to a financial advisor, who was passionately against us buying into a market he thought was failing, and he suggested we build up and expand our current real estate. “At the end of the day, you just need more space,” he said. “Why buy another headache when you can just maintain the one headache you have now?” Agreed.

In 2002 when we closed on our property, our interest rate was 6.87%. After refinancing in 2012 our rate dropped to 4.25%. Huge difference! And because of that we were able to pull equity from the property to renovate. So now here we are. We are renovators. On a journey of… well… renovation!

The current size of our apartment is 1,100 square feet. We plan to create a 500-square-foot fourth-floor addition as well as renovate the entire third floor. Some of the things on our list include making the bathroom larger, removing a partial wall that divides the kitchen and dining space, adding a kitchen island and new appliances, updating the kitchen, adding interior stairs, and building a large terrace. Here are a few shots of the apartment in its “before” state:

Next week I’ll show you a few plans and introduce you to my architects!

What's Happening