The Pursuit: Greening an Already Green House

by Shilpi Paul

Weiss’ new home in Petworth

Betty Weiss has been investing in DC real estate for awhile. She renovates homes around the area, filling them with renters or selling them immediately.

Weiss lives in a Dupont Circle condo and at some point, decided to renovate her own unit, specifically redoing the kitchen in a green fashion. Through Amicus Green Building Center in Maryland, she found Green Dwellings, a contracting firm that specializes in eco-friendly development.

“It ended up being this big, fun, process,” Weiss told UrbanTurf. Following the experience that Weiss had renovating her kitchen, she went on to work with Green Dwellings on three of her own investment projects, putting green materials, lots of insulation, and efficient windows in worn out row houses she purchased around the District.

Eventually, Weiss starting thinking that she should do one of these projects for herself. In the spring, she told her realtors to keep their eyes open for a home that would fit the bill.

In May, one of Weiss’ realtors called her about a three-bedroom Wardman-built row house in Petworth. The home was in a half-finished state, but the previous renovator seemed to have a green inclination. The finished basement had bamboo flooring and a kitchen with concrete counter tops and the backyard was landscaped with a rain garden, composting area and a rain barrel. A newly constructed garage was designed with salvaged materials, a touch that spoke to Weiss, who uses reused materials as much as possible on her projects.

The new garage made from salvaged materials

Many original details remained in the house, like moldings, trim and doors, and the hardwood floors were in very good shape. “The previous owner had done a really really thoughtful job with the renovations,” noted Weiss. “He didn’t just gut it and rip things out.”

Best of all, with the main levels unfinished, there was still work that Weiss could do. She made the owner an offer, and closed on the house earlier this week. She is keeping her Dupont condo and renting it out, and is looking forward to finishing the job on her new house and moving in later this summer.

In addition to creating a kitchen, where Weiss hopes to use energy efficient appliances and eco-friendly cabinetry, she will also be renovating the bathrooms and outfitting the back porch with windows to turn it into a room that is usable year-round. She will be working with Green Dwellings again.

“It’s the perfect house, because it’s partway, but not all the way done,” Weiss said. “My plan is to keep as much of it as I can — the details that are there — and then finish it. I’m just looking forward to enjoying the space.”

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/the_pursuit_greening_an_already_green_house/5649

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