Home Made

Thinking about a remodel? Tired of your circa-1985 kitchen? Want to jazz up your walls or have the house all your friends are talking about? We’ve consulted the experts, tracked down the craftspeople, crunched the numbers, and shared our own DIY stories. Ready, set, renovate.

April 2012

BEFORE AND AFTER: Solid Investment

This West Washington Park duplex (pictured above) was purchased by property investor Andrew Johnsen via 8z Platinum Partners. Together with his brother, architect Roger Johnsen—the duo owns architectural and interior design company Jtwo Design and Development—he strategically knocked out walls to open up the layout for entertaining purposes, updated appliances and aesthetics, and converted it from one to two bedrooms in the process.

Purchase price: $150,000 per unit.

Renovation costs (includes materials and subcontractors, though half was DIY labor): $35,000 per unit.

Resale value: $250,000 to $300,000 per unit.

Potential return on investment (ROI): 100-plus percent.