Revamping a Row House, 203k Style

  • Apr 18th 2012

by Shilpi Paul

Revamping a Row House, 203k Style: Figure 1
Facade, Before (left) and After (right)

After seven years in their H Street Corridor row house, Maileen Villamor and her husband were starting to get frustrated. The home had structural problems, like a perpetually wet basement and holes in the walls, and with just two-bedrooms, space was getting tight for the couple and their young daughter. They wanted to totally overhaul the home, but were daunted by the thought of saving up tens of thousands of dollars for a renovation, a process that would likely take years.

Enter the 203k loan.

With the help of the FHA home loan program, the Villamors were able to transform the aging two-bedroom, one-bath row house into a three-story, three-bedroom, 3.5-bath home with office space, a play room, and a roof deck.

Revamping a Row House, 203k Style: Figure 2
New 3rd floor, Exterior (left) and Interior (right)

The 203(k) is a government program that offers loans to buyers who want to renovate their homes. The loan is often granted to homeowners who don’t have the cash to fund a renovation, and don’t want to take out a home equity loan to fund the repairs. For people like the Villamoors, it is a nice alternative (i.e.repaying back their loan on a monthly basis at a time when forking over a pile of cash was unimaginable). Villamor told UrbanTurf that three homes on their block have been renovated using the 203(k) program.

For the renovation, the Villamors hired architect Amanda Clarke, who designed 1524 Gales Street NE, a past UrbanTurf Deal of the Week just down the street from their own home. Clarke went with a Mondrian-like modern theme, which meant the family had some fun picking out bamboo flooring, bathroom tiles, kitchen appliances and fixtures that they liked.

Revamping a Row House, 203k Style: Figure 3
Two stages of the second floor renovation.

In August, the family moved out and contractors began a complete gut renovation of the home. After tearing down the walls of the first and second floors, the contractors framed the new rooms, built a third story and rebuilt the home almost from scratch. They added new stairs, new walls, constructed the third level, renovated the facade and built a roof deck. Renovations took almost nine months, and the Villamoor family was just able to move back into their home in early April.

Revamping a Row House, 203k Style: Figure 4
Stairs, Early (left) and Finished (right)

To learn more about the 203(k) program, click here.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/revamping_a_rowhouse_203k_style/5418.

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