The Wolcott Project consisted of an approximately 2,500 square foot, 2-story, masonry building constructed in 1912. The floorplan of this building was a classic, Chicago-style layout with long, rectangular living spaces and bright sun rooms or “winter gardens” in the front of the units. This was an investment project for a client who intended to capitalize on rental prices in the Ravenswood neighborhood while creating a sizable profit in equity for an anticipated sale within the next 3 years.
The primary challenge of this project was determining an end result. The higher-end rentals in the Ravenswood neighborhood include quality finishes and superior layouts while the optimal sales market for investors is a building with solid systems, good structure, decent interior, and equitable sales price – future investors do not want to pay top dollar for the building. So, in addition to a full systems upgrade including new HVAC, Electrical, and Plumbing, a new roof, and structural support in the basement from the normal wear and tear of a century-old building, we also needed a high quality interior. The renovation cost, of course, needed to be priced for resale.
Regarding the renovation cost, there was little room in the budget to maneuver demolition, systems upgrades, and the roof – it’s cheaper to take it down to the studs than do selective demolition because HVAC and plumbing need the majority of the walls open. By the time the majority of the walls are open, the original plaster and the new drywall will be noticeably different when the finished product is painted. Having all walls opened also allows for more flexibility among contractors on site because there are no surprises. Structural support cannot be negotiated – it is absolutely necessary. So, we capitalized on Finish Carpentry. Our client bargain-hunted flooring, tiles, appliances, and cabinets. Simple designs were chosen for easy installation and optional items such as crown moulding were omitted from scope. The extra effort and thoughtful selections saved this project thousands of dollars.
Here’s the reveal!
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