Pittsburgh, PA | Lawrenceville

Zack bought an 1890s Lawrenceville rowhouse and used a Fannie Mae Homestyle loan to completely transformed it from a dated, cramped unit to the modern, open-feeling space he envisioned. He completely re-designed the space from top to bottom, including a loft-like bedroom space complete with an office high atop the bedroom.

Zack was a ready-to-go renovator when he took on this project. He always had a desire to renovate, with experience in construction and an interest in interior design. He had renovated his home before, which only reinforced his desire tackle a much larger project. His Realtor®, Curt Buchanan, was only too happy to show him this property with potential.

My friends and family are blown away that it’s the same house that I started with.

Most people saw a completely gutted house; Zack saw an opportunity to follow his passion. From a mechanical standpoint, wall-to-wall and roof-to-floor would all need to be replaced. While the majority of the project was completed in 6 months by his contractor, Sharone Cohen from RBS Management, Zack continued to work on smaller details over the next year. 

“The excitement after the demolition phase was motivating. The blank canvas with all of the walls down made me see the potential,” Zack replied when asked about the best moments of the project. “That, and after 6 months, standing in the house and seeing how far it had come, after all of the hard work we put into it, was so rewarding. It was hard to believe it was the same space because of the transformation.”

The master bedroom was the highlight of his new home. “The house had a vaulted ceiling in the attic space which we used to create 15-foot ceilings in the bedroom, transforming it into a large and open area with a loft feel.”

Even though there were many great moments, Zack had some struggles to face. Sticking to the timeline for the project was the most stressful part. “When you demo a house, a lot of other things are undercover that you cannot see, such as roof framing and joist work. Once you discover those types of issues, that can have an impact on the timing and budget.” 

This project is one of the things I am most proud of in my life because of the scale of the renovation. Working with PrimeLending allowed me to do the project how it should be done. I am thankful that I was connected with them.

If you plan on starting a renovation, Zack recommends having a specific vision of what you are looking to build. “Start with a clear idea and be patient.  It’s a process.”