Whoo-hoo, it’s This Old House! Oops, wrong network. This week’s episode marks the beginning of another storyline this season, the renovation of our Brooklyn townhouse. In this episode you see us meeting with Aaron McDonald (www.buildme.net), our architect, to discuss our plans. One thing that was great about working with Aaron is that he took the ideas and floorplans we had and ran with them. He made suggestions to build upon ours and knows NYC code backward and forward – it was an easy, fluid collaboration.
We bought this house intending to gut renovate it. It had great energy and tons of original detail – we’re only the third family to own it since it was built in the late 1800’s. I was 5 months pregnant with Johan when we moved in, so we didn’t start looking seriously at what we wanted to change until after he was born. In early 2007 we began and completed phase one, which mainly involved the basement. We dug the floor down two feet, underpinned the foundation, relocated gas, electric and boiler configurations for better efficiency and more floor space, and finished it off as a media/play room with laundry and storage space. We took a break, filmed season 1 of the show and geared up for phase two, the beginning of which you see in this episode and involves the interior of our main living space. Kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and living areas are all on the agenda. And may I say, if you think the house looks messy in this episode, it’s going to get much worse before it gets better!