While searching for downtown properties a couple relocating from another city were presented with an opportunity to purchase one of the few remaining original urban rowhouses in downtown Knoxville. They jumped at the chance to purchase this rare property despite shortcomings which included years of deferred maintenance and an inefficient layout. Also recent renovations from the previous owner lacked the restraint and sophistication the new owners desired.
After defining a budget for renovations, the owners engaged the architect to help define a realistic scope. With the budget serving as a starting point, it was clear that a wholesale renovation including kitchens and bathrooms would not be a possibility so a recommendation was made to single out those relatively straightforward budget line items which were must haves. These included the removal of faulty wiring and replacement of lighting fixtures, the replacement of a 1/8” laminate wood floor with a wide plank sand and finish maple, and finish upgrades throughout. With a value assigned to these line items a reduced budget was established which set the parameters for the remainder of the project. In order to achieve the maximum impact with these limited dollars it was recommended that the remainder of the budget be dedicated to the two key areas which would have the most impact in addressing the shortcomings identified at the time of purchase. These included 1) the reconfiguration of an existing basement space with a 6’-6” ceiling into a guest retreat and media room and 2) the removal and replacement of an existing checkerplate clad stair with a chain link fence stair rail.
Tim Hulsey and Leticia Flores
Completion Date:Summer 2014
Brandon F. Pace, AIA
Ashley E. B. Pace, RA
Sanders Pace Architecture
AIA East Tennessee Award of Merit 
“Room of the Day: Swank Basement Redo for a 100 Year Old Rowhouse” – www.houzz.com