Charlie Allen Renovations, Inc.





“Mike Panis and Kathleen Finn understand the sometimes-elusive quest for comfort in a historic home. When the couple purchased their 1888 Victorian in Somerville in 2004, the windows were a struggle to open. “The house was drafty, so we focused more on comfort [initially],” Panis said. Working with Cambridge contractor Charlie Allen Renovations, they’ve been careful to preserve the home’s historic character while making incremental efficiency improvements that dovetailed with other projects, such as installing central air and remodeling a bathroom.

Boston Globe, “A step-by-step guide to making an old New England home energy-efficient. Plus, what it could cost — and save — you,” | June 12, 2022, Jon Gorey

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“One of the most overlooked yet critical points of failure are the footings,” said Mark Philben, the Globe’s Ask the Remodeler writer and the project development manager at Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge. Those need to be 48 inches deep at a minimum, he said. “It is rare, if nonexistent, that the floor framing itself fails. It is almost always the point of contact with the house or the ground.”, “How to Make Sure Your Deck is Safe for Your Memorial Day Party” | Jim Morrison, May 11, 2022

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Today, the Boston Globe reintroduces a popular series that answers homeowner questions about projects or problems related to their homes. This new iteration is called Ask the Remodeler, and when I was asked to be the point person for your questions, I jumped at the chance.

Boston Globe, “Home Renovation Column Returns with Renovation Expert at Helm,” | March 7, 2021, Mark Philben

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“The house itself has a voice,” Palmer says. “Whether it was built in the 1970s or 1870s or even the 1770s, it still deserves to be listened to and respected”....In that spirit, Charlie Allen Renovations hones in on renovating older homes and bringing them into the here-and-now while preserving their period charm and details.

Boston Spirit, Bridge Builder: Breaking Barriers with Julie Palmer of Charlie Allen Renovations | Jan-Feb. 2021, Nathan Tavares

“You probably don’t need to call your insurance company after, say, painting the dining room, but “if it’s a big remodel, including kitchen and baths, you’ve just increased the value of your home, and your current policy probably doesn’t cover all the upgraded kitchen cabinets, appliances, and bath fixtures,’’ said Mark Philben, manager of project development at Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge.”

Boston Globe, “Renovating? Why Your Insurance Needs an Update, Too” |
January, 6, 2021, Jon Gorey

"Even if you can’t tell porcelain tile from ceramic, at the very least, it helps to familiarize yourself with your home’s architectural style. “We never expect our clients to know architectural terms, just as they don’t expect us to know the terminologies used in their careers and specialties,” says Julie Palmer, president of Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge, Mass. “But for owners of period houses, recognizing the correct term for your home’s architectural style can be helpful whether you’re planning a sensitive restoration or remodeling project or just listing your home for sale.”

Apartment Therapy, “8 Things in Your House You're Probably Calling by the Wrong Name” | December 11, 2020, Jon Gorey

[Charlie Allen Renovations project development manager Mark] Philben says it's a good sign if a contractor is a member of a trade association, such as the National Association of the Remodeling Industry or the Builders and Remodelers Association of Greater Boston. Ask your contractor for a proof of insurance certificate, and get a copy of the company’s standard contract as well.

Boston Globe Magazine, “Hair-Raising Contractor Horror Stories — And How to Avoid Them” | September 8, 2019, Jon Gorey

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Old houses are plentiful around Boston, but their original woodwork is a bit harder to find—because at some point, homeowners inevitably grow tempted to paint molding and baseboards, perhaps to brighten up a room….But what if you want to expose those rich copper- or golden-hued grains once more?….Restoration expert Mark Philben, manager of project development at Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge, said stripping paint from wood molding, windows, trim, and baseboards can help restore a historic home to its original glory; it even helped one client win a preservation award. But there’s no getting around the fact that it’s time-consuming work. “It’s just an incredibly labor intensive project,” Philben said…., “How to Strip Paint from Wood Safely” | August 22, 2019, Jon Gorey

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At the beginning of the project, subtle changes stitched together the home's living areas. Remodeler Charlie Allen Renovations opened the wall between the kitchen and dining room, which had been mostly enclosed....The end result is as graceful as it is refined.

IFDA Magazine, “Out With the Old and In With the New” | July 26, 2019

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40 years later the small renovations and remodeling firm grew into an award-winning powerhouse....The firm has also been regarded as the Best Restoration Contractor by Boston Home, awarded 15 Cambridge & Somerville Preservation Awards, 5 Contractor of the Year awards, Remodeling Magazine’s Big 50 & Remodeler of Month, and other awards.

General Contractor Magazine, “The Best General Contractors in Massachusetts” | May 20, 2019

“If one of the motivations for walls is hiding unsightly things, like dirty dishes, this can be fixed with an island that’s high enough to block the view”, said Julie Palmer, president of Charlie Allen Renovations. Another option is adding a small wall to just half of the kitchen....Palmer recently added 5-foot-wide barn doors in a home. “That can really help close the space, but then you can open it so it’s not a permanent wall that you’ve put in,’’ she said. “It’s basically a moving wall.”

Boston Globe, “Experts Weigh In On How to Close Up Open Floor Plans” | March 22, 2019, Arianna McNeill

With an abundance of talent in the EM NARI chapter of women leaders in the remodeling industry, several members came together with Executive Director Michelle Glassburn to launch a new event: the Women in Remodeling luncheon....The panel featured moderator Kimberlee Dow-Marcotte, VP of Dovercraft, Inc. since 1986; Kathy DeMeyer, General Manager of Encore Construction and currently serving as EM NARI chapter President; Allison Iantosca, Owner/President of F.H. Perry Builder since 2008; Sarah Lawson, President/Owner of S+H Construction since 2016; and Julie Palmer, President of Charlie Allen Renovations since 2013.

EM NARI Newsletter, “Women in Remodeling Event Offers Insight and Inspiration” | December 21, 2018

One of the nice parts of working in the business of remodeling homes is keeping in touch with our customers and getting invited back into their home a second, third, or fourth time — eventually becoming their go-to contractor. It gives us the opportunity to get to know their house, see their kids grow up, or even mourn their pet when he/she passes. We get to know some families really well over time. Our main goal is to help people live better and enjoy their homes more. A majority of the houses in Cambridge are old and don’t work for today’s modern families. We help owners create open spaces, closet space, and a facade of a house that they can be proud to walk into every day.

Central Square Business Association, “Spotlight: Julie Palmer” | December 7, 2018

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Cambridge-based Charlie Allen Renovations won a 2018 Contractor of the Year Gold Award for its work remodeling and restoring a fire-damaged Victorian home in Somerville at a gathering of the Eastern Massachusetts chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry on March 28. Palmer, president of Cambridge-based Charlie Allen Renovations, recently was named the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers January Remodeler of the Month. Palmer was selected for her “leadership in craftsmanship, customer service and community involvement,” and for “exemplifying the best in the remodeling industry.”

Cambridge Chronicle, “Charlie Allen Renovations Receives Contractor of the Year Award” | April 10, 2018

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As an undergrad, Julie Palmer was a history major. But throughout her professional career, she has worked her way up to become president of Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge, Mass. — proving that the best remodelers don’t always have an extensive construction background. “I answered an ad in the newspaper for an office manager [because] the company’s focus on period homes appealed to me,” Palmer said. “Gradually, as the company grew, so did my responsibilities. And in 2015, I became president of the company.” Palmer’s unique background and strong work ethic has led her to become the January 2018 NAHB Remodeler of the Month.

NAHB Now, “Remodeler Goes from Office Manager to Company President” | January 30, 2018

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Julie Palmer, president of Cambridge-based Charlie Allen Renovations, recently was named the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers January Remodeler of the Month. Palmer was selected for her “leadership in craftsmanship, customer service and community involvement,” and for “exemplifying the best in the remodeling industry.”

Cambridge Chronicle, “Cambridge Remodeler Named Remodeler of the Month” | January 19, 2018

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Without a doubt, the only way and the best way to run a company is to support each other in all aspects of our life,” said Julie Palmer, president of Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge. “It’s not just about the job; it’s about your family and your life outside of work as well.

Boston Globe, “He remodeled their homes. After Hurricane Maria, they helped rebuild his mother’s.” | December 21, 2017, Cristela Guerra

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Cambridge-based Charlie Allen Renovations recently launched a GoFundMe campaign to help finance the rebuilding of Charlie Allen Renovations project manager Nortoh Alexander’s mother’s house after Hurricane Maria hit Dominica. The campaign raised more than $10,000, contributed in large part by area residents whose homes had been remodeled by Alexander, who was born and raised in Dominica.

Cambridge Chronicle, “Charlie Allen Renovations holds fundraiser for employee’s mother.” | December 21, 2017

Anyway, for DIYers, calculating square footage is probably the single most important mathematical formula, said Mark Philben, construction manager at Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge. “To price out a particular product, whether it’s carpeting, flooring, or tile, you need to calculate how much of it you’re going to need,” Philben said. “It’s pretty simple — length times width — and you always want to factor in about 10 to 15 percent waste. That’s pretty important. ”

…Of course, math isn’t everything — there’s some art in the remodeler’s syllabus as well. Philben said his company’s founder, Charlie Allen, always talks about “where to tell the lie” in older houses and odd-shaped rooms. “If you can’t build it square, what kind of adjustments do you make so it works well but looks correct, too?” Philben explained. “Like if you put a square doorway in a crooked house, it’ll work right but look off. Oftentimes you have to cheat it and make adjustments so it doesn’t look so out of place in an older house . . . That’s more art than science, for sure.”

Boston Globe, “Yes Kids, You Will Use That Math Someday. The ABCs and 123s of DIY” | September 10, 2017, Jon Gorey

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Charlie Allen Renovations is well known for our work on period homes, meaning anything built prior to the mid-twentieth century. Seamlessly introducing modern amenities to older homes while preserving and celebrating their period charms is our specialty. We are also distinguished by our process, which involves lots of careful planning on the front-end. This allows us to anticipate and minimize issues that inevitably arise during the renovation process, making for a much less stressful experience. We also remain committed to our customers long after our projects conclude, providing assistance for years afterward.

Voyager Boston, “Meet Julie Palmer” | July 19, 2017

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“Thoughtful planning means spending extra time considering all of the specific inconveniences that come with renovation," says Julie Palmer, president of Charlie Allen Renovations, an award-winning remodeling firm in Cambridge, MA. "If it's a bathroom, do you have a second bath? If not, can work be scheduled in a way that minimizes time when the room will be off-limits? If a kitchen, can a second cooking station be established elsewhere in the home? Is there a place to store perishable food?”, “4 Painful Lessons Learned While Renovating a Home” |
May 18, 2017, Liz Alterman

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Whether you find them charming or just exasperating, every old New England home comes with its own set of quirks. Julie Palmer, president of Charlie Allen Renovations, has plenty of advice on how to make the old feel a little newer.

Boston Magazine, “Home & Property: A New Englander's Guide to Spring Cleaning” | April 13, 2017, Alyssa Vaughn

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More than 120 years later, in December 2014, the Joseph K. James House was back in the local news — after it was severely damaged by a two-alarm fire. But what could have been an obituary for the Queen Anne Victorian turned into a rebirth. The owners asked Cambridge’s Charlie Allen Renovations to bring the house back to life. It was Charlie Allen, after all — the company’s founder and CEO — who had carefully restored the home when the owners first purchased it decades earlier, en route to a destination on the National Register of Historic Places.

Boston Globe, “From the Ashes: Fire Forces Owners of Historic Somerville Victorian to Restore Home to Original Glory—For the Second Time” | February 5, 2017, Jon Gorey

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Prior to moving into this newly-built home in Brookline, the homeowners lived on Beacon Hill in a house that had been built in the 1700s. “They were used to living in an old home with unique, aging wood and other period elements, ” says Mark Philben, project development manager for Cambridge-based Charlie Allen Renovations.... Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the updated fireplace is the mantel, which was created out of a 100-year-old ladder that was used at an old dock in South Boston. Philben discovered the timber at Long Leaf Lumber in Cambridge...

Boston Globe, “Adding a Little Character to a Contemporary Home” | October 15, 2016, Jaci Conry

“It was a pleasure to work with the homeowners to ensure that each bath was fully functional and tailored to the needs of its particular users,” said Palmer. “It was also a pleasure to integrate the home's classic appeal into each room.”
Kitchen & Bath Business, “One Home, Three Bathrooms” | September 15, 2016

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The Historical Society has been in the process of becoming more publicly relevant for some time, according to Charlie Allen, CHS vice president….Allen, who is also the founder of Charlie Allen Renovations, said he preserves old houses by adapting them to today’s needs and seeing them through the lends of history….In regards to housing, Allen said history can answer questions like why certain windows are used, why a building might have foundation problems, or why there are so few single family homes in the city.
Cambridge Chronicle, “Cambridge Historical Society Changes Approach to Stay Relevant” | August 11, 2016, Natalie Handy

Traditionally used mostly in urban settings, the mansard roof became popular on small cottages in 19th-century America., “Know Your House” | April 17, 2016, Bud Dietrich

Ask anyone who’s lived through a major home renovation, and they’ll tell you: It’s stressful….So why not just get the heck out of there? In the age of smartphones and 24/7 connectivity, it’s an increasingly viable option, and it’s one Julie Palmer, president of Charlie Allen Renovations, often recommends to homeowners. The Cambridge-based contractor has been perfecting the art of the absentee remodel. “It’s pretty standard for us,” says Palmer. “I was just on the phone with a client, and we’re going to paint two rooms and do some insulation work for them while they’re away on school vacation.”
Boston Globe, “Renovation Vacation: Sometimes The Best Souvenir Is A New Kitchen” | January 3, 2016, Jon Gorey

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With hopes of having a more family-friendly layout that would also better serve for entertaining, these Massachusetts homeowners set out to transform their stately kitchen with help from Charlie Allen Renovations…
Signature Kitchens & Baths, “Family and Friends” | Winter 2015/2016

Things can be downscaled in a bathroom for children, and that’s what designer Julie Palmer, president of Charlie Allen Renovations, says was a driving factor in the design of this Boston bath for two toddlers….“With small bathrooms it’s important to avoid trying to squeeze too much into the room,” Palmer says., “Vanities That Pack a Storage Punch” | October 19, 2015, Julie Sheer

If you live in or near Boston, MA, and you have an old house, you probably know Charlie Allen of Charlie Allen Renovations…His firm specializes in repairing and restoring older homes, trying to keep the historic quality while making the homes work for today's standards.
Traditional Building, “An Investment in History” | August 2015, Martha McDonald

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Charlie Allen of the design-build firm Charlie Allen Renovations, in Cambridge, Massachusetts…avoids stress by involving professionals from all disciplines at the very beginning of each project.
New England Home, “Trade Secrets” | July-August 2015, Louis Postel

Charlie Allen specializes in restoring period details in old homes, so when the time came for the general contractor to move his business out of his Central Square basement, it made sense to find a historic property he could return to its former glory. In 2002, he found what he was looking for in an 1899 flatiron building just blocks from his house….
Boston Globe “Restoration of 1899 Store Recalls Building's Glory Days”| May 13, 2015, Katie Johnston

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Charlie Allen, of Cambridge-based Charlie Allen Renovations, has worked extensively on large-scale preservation projects, but he has a special fondness for more modest homes. This particular triple-decker in Cambridge, Massachusetts, had been reconfigured into two living spaces. Allen was brought in to return the property to its three-unit origins, creating a modern first-floor living space while retaining the house's character.
Yankee Magazine “The Restorers: Meet New England’s Most Talented Old-Home Guardians”| March/April 2015, Bridget Samburg

This winter seemed to catch all of us by surprise. In late January, we’d had only 5.5 inches of snow, and, at that point, the ground was bare. The optimists among us looked forward to an early spring. Then came the first big storm, and the next, and the next one after that, and—well, I don’t need to remind you….Now, as we look to the arrival of spring just over a week away, a new fear grips many of us: What is going to happen when all of this snow melts?
Boston Building Resources Advice Blog “Preparing for the Deluge”| March 11, 2015, Mark Philben

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In this Cambridge home, the open third floor served as a playroom and storage space, and it offered a not-so-private place for guests. It had potential, but the layout and design were largely uninspired. From July-October of 2014, Charlie Allen Renovations worked to redefine the space.
Boston Magazine “A Catch-All Bonus Room Gets a Redesign”| February 10, 2015, Olivia Rassow

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When the time came to overhaul the kitchen of their 19th-century Victorian in Cambridge, the homeowners hired historic renovation specialist Charlie Allen to handle construction, maintain and replicate the home’s treasured moldings and white oak floors, and advise on period-appropriate paint colors.
Boston Globe "Home Design: Perfect Patina"| February 9, 2015, Jaci Conry

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The small space didn't allow for a tub, so Palmer opted for a prefabricated, angled shower. The clients had acquired an inventory of antiques, and they wanted to highlight at least one piece in the bathroom. “This small piece fit perfectly,” says Palmer, who adds that, in this particular space, it is a better option than a built-in. “It can be a temptation in a small bath to put in lots of built-in storage. But that can take up a lot of room, and it can end feeling a little closed in.”
Kitchen & Bath Design News “Living Large in a Small Bath”| October 2014, Kim Berndtson

Mark Philben, project development manager at Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge, MA is certified in Aging in Place remodeling by the National Association of Home Builders. He shares some tips and strategies below…. | “Aging in Place Renovation Strategies” September 19, 2014

“Bathroom spaces are often those that as an architectural and interior photographer I'm most frequently asked to capture. The detail and care taken to rework this space here made a big difference over the prior setup… ”
Boston Architectural Photography “New England Home Remodel” | August 21, 2014, Roberto Farren

Alex Romanowicz [of Charlie Allen Renovations] worked on a door in Cambridge on a street with many home construction projects under way.
Boston Globe “Home Remodeling Rebounds as Economy, Housing Market Improve” | August 20, 2014, Pryanka McCluskey

A Massachusetts couple sought quietude when they converted a small workplace attached to their historic home into a stylish guest suite….”The biggest challenge was getting the existing space to work the way the owners wanted it to,” says Julie Palmer, president of Charlie Allen Renovations, which designed and executed this project.
Qualified Remodeler “Sound Barrier” | August 2014, John Caulfield

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To find out the best way to fix this…we checked with Charlie Allen of the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based firm Charlie Allen Renovations, who surmised that the bricks and other debris could be trapped in the chimney either by the damper or an offset in the flue…
Old House Journal “Restore” | July 2014

...there are many contractors out there. To narrow down your choices, there are several acronyms that you'll want to consider, and “BBB” (the Better Business Bureau) is a good place to start. But don't stop there: following are several other initials you should expect to find on your contractor's website. “The ABCs of Looking For a Contractor” | June 10, 2014,
Mark Philben

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If you're living in an older house, turning your kitchen into a modern and appealing space can pose many challenges. Over the years, this has been a consistent and welcome challenge for my team at Charlie Allen Renovations, and we've found a variety of solutions…
Kitchen and Bath Business “Mixing Old with New” | March 2014

Julie Palmer, president of Cambridge, MA-based Charlie Allen Renovations, says that she's never had any issues with men questioning her professional authority. Starting as an office manager 14 years ago and being promoted through the ranks, Palmer says that she has always been treated fairly and respected by co-workers, subcontractors, tradesmen, and vendors. “I think a big part of it is that I worked my way up and proved that I know what I’m doing,” she says.
Remodeling Magazine “Female Remodeling Execs on the Rise” | February 2014, Diane Spivak

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We've learned that while our clients want contemporary amenities and design solutions that accommodate modern living, they're also committed to preserving the distinctive charms of their old houses….Following are the solutions we devised to answer four recent calls for help…"
Kitchen & Bath Business “A Time and a Place: The Gentle Art of Updating a Bath and Sustaining Its History” | November-December 2013

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When this Cambridge, MA family decided to turn their carriage house (which had been used as a pottery studio) into a guest suite, they asked Charlie Allen Renovations to include space for storage of musical instruments…"
DIY Network “Accommodating Guest Bedrooms and Bathrooms” | November 25, 2013, Michele C. Hollow

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In February, [Julie] Palmer was promoted to president of the company, one of only a handful of Boston women who hold leadership positions in the building and renovations industry....Women with strong management skills bring valuable insight to the construction site, Palmer said. “We tend to look at a project as more than construction, we approach it as a relationship,” she said.
Boston Business Journal “Women Building Careers in Construction” | April 26, 2013, Susan Johnston

I was a good student activist at Harvard, but then I had to make a living. I had an on-again, off-again thing with remodeling through the '70s. And in about 1978, I said this is good, this is what I'll do, and that's what I've done. Trying to answer those seemingly competing interests—“I love my old house and want to retain its authenticity or its charm or its style, but I need to change it”—that still gets me up in the morning....It's really heart-and-soul stuff for me.
Boston Globe Magazine “First Person”| January 13, 2013, Joel Brown

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Christ Church is one of many historic buildings in Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, but it holds a special place in history and in the community....However, the icon had become a bit worn, especially the wood clapboard exterior, and the congregation...brought in Charlie Allen of Charlie Allen Renovations, a long-time member of the parish who had done other work on the building, to restore the exterior.
Traditional Building “Happy 250th Birthday” | December 2012, Martha McDonald

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As a renovation firm specializing in period houses, we bring a lot of older kitchens up to date....Rather than being the overriding design strategy, the kitchen triangle has to be integrated within a larger design that includes space for entertaining and sharing cooking duties with friends and family, for kids to do homework and parents to check email, and for dining and watching television. - Charlie Allen, president, Charlie Allen Renovations
Remodeling Magazine “The Kitchen Work Triangle: Still Relevant” | November 2012

Charlie Allen Renovations on River Street recently completed exterior work at St. James Episcopal Church on Massachusetts Avenue....over the last several months, Charlie Allen Renovations stripped paint off the church's iconic tower, restored all wood elements and repainted the structure. They also conducted extensive roofing repairs.
WickedLocal Cambridge “Cambridge's St. James Church gets a facelift” | December 4, 2012

Sometimes when you jump on the latest social media craze you land with a thud (remember Friendster?) Other times, it can be a boon to business. The latter was the case for Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge, Mass., when it posted more than 30 project photo on the design idea site “We began posting images and quickly saw many of them added to user ‘ideabooks’ - personal pages where Houzz members save favorite images from the site,” Julie Palmer, CAR's director of operations, explains. “We began getting questions from users asking for product details and renovation tips....”
Remodeling Magazine “Houzz Calls” | September 13, 2012, Mark Newman

...Instead, I would create more space outdoors. Your photographs show a small side patio and some room at the back of the house. Leaving the chimney and maximizing outdoor space on the ground floor would be a better idea, and doesn't negatively impact your available living space. A patio at ground level would be less expensive to construct than a roof deck and also more accessible.
Old House Journal “Ask OHJ” | August/September 2012, Charlie Allen

....That's the case for contractor Charlie Allen, whose Cambridge-based firm, Charlie Allen Renovations, does a lot of kitchen and bath work. "We've got a lot of business now, but it's very different working in this economy," he said. "People are much more serious about the dollar figure they have to spend." ....Allen's team recently overhauled a kitchen in a Cambridge Victorian that hadn't been updated since the 1960s. The mechanical systems needed immediate attention, so the homeowners didn't have a lot of money left to spend on the kitchen. But by making conservative choices, they were able to give the room a new, modern appeal.
Boston Globe “Renovations Get a Rethink” | May 24, 2012, Jaci Conry

Sometimes one little request leads to a major transformation. Married neuroscientists Vivek Unni and Tamily Weissman-Unni, owners of an 1870s house in Cambridge, Massachusetts [were] saddled with a dark front entry next to a front room that served as an ad hoc mudroom, and a "treacherous" narrow staircase. The couple asked general contractor Charlie Allen and architect Margaret Booz to rethink the entire space.
This Old House “From Unused Space to a Home Office Full of Smart Storage” | March 2012, Allegra Muzzillo

Budgeting for a large remodeling project presents a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem: you won't have a feel for the cost until you get bids from contractors. But unless you give pros a ballpark figure from the start, they'll have to guess at what to include in their bids.... "If I have a good feel for your budget, " says Cambridge, Mass., contractor Charlie Allen, "I can deliver maximum value within your financing."
Money “Remodeling? How to Get a Better Bid” | March 12, 2012, Josh Garskof

....Beyond computer-aided design, Charlie Allen, founder and president of Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge, Massachusetts, notes that technology has vastly changed the way contractors and designers do business. "We're now virtually available 24-7 for clients....projects run much more smoothly with all of these immediate methods of communication."
Design New England “Kitchen: It's Personal” | January-February 2012,
Gail Ravgiala

...this Episcopalian church in Harvard Square has undergone a painstaking exterior renovation aimed at preserving a building that offers a rare link to early America. "It's about as important as they get," said Charles Sullivan, executive director of the Cambridge Historical Commission, referring to the buildings in his city. "It's been touched by so many events in American history." The restoration was led by contractor and church member Charlie Allen. His affection for the building is clear as he explains his work, from repairing the wide siding boards to refurbishing the gold-leaf orb and cross atop its bell tower....Allen says he always tries to put the building "at the table" during restorations, giving it a voice of sorts when choosing materials and techniques. Beside a desire to be safe from the weather, Christ Church has made one thing clear to him, Allen said. "Don't we all want to look like we always used to?"
Associated Press “Massachusetts church shot during Revolution gets overhaul” |
October 8, 2011, Jay Lindsay

One of Cambridge's most revered historical landmarks is getting a facelift this summer just in time for its 250th birthday in October. Christ Church in Harvard Square is going under its first major renovations since the 1970s. Headed by Charlie Allen Renovations, a Cambridge company that specializes in the renovations of old buildings and houses, the church will receive new siding and molding and a fresh paint job...."In the case of this restoration, people are listening to the needs of the building, which is really exciting," Allen said. His team is excited for the citizens of Cambridge to see what's underneath the tarp, right in time for the church to celebrate its 250th anniversary of the inaugural services that took place on October 15, 1761.
Cambridge Chronicle “Historic Harvard Square Church Gets Rehabbed” |
September 6, 2011, Megan Murray

The 1915 Colonial home on historic Brattle Street in Cambridge, MA, held all of the period charm and character its two university professor owners desired...except for two glaringly outdated spaces: the master bath and its attached dressing suite....With a desire to transform the decades-old design into something sleek, bright and spa-like, the homeowners sought the talents of a local contractor, Charlie Allen Renovations, which specializes in renovating and restoring period homes...
Kitchen & Bath Design News “Bath Blends Spa Aesthetic with Historic Charm” | August 2011, Kim Berndtson

....Before a nail is driven into a wall, [Mark] Philben, who works for Charlie Allen Renovations Inc., meticulously plans renovations from concept to completion, making sure work gets done on time and on budget.
Boston Globe, “Successful renovations take careful planning" | August 21, 2011, Cindy Atoji Keene

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Charlie Allen, founder of Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge, Mass., an award-winning renovation firm specializing in the remodeling and restoration of period homes, has been bringing historic homes back to life for more than 30 years. But the charm of long-standing residences, he says, need not be restricted to existing housing stock. Take a look at some of his recommendations for design elements that will ensure new homes age gracefully...
Builder Design Details: Vintage Charm | July 7, 2011

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This small family loved the rich history of their 95-year-old house, but they weren't as fond of the dated design. Seeking a simple and bright spa-inspired space, they hired Charlie Allen of Charlie Allen Renovations to complete an overhaul of historic proportions, which started with a full gut of the room and reframing of the entire floor. To achieve the clean look, the room's lines had to be perfectly level—a real challenge in such an old house...
Signature Kitchens & Baths “Historic Renovation” | Summer 2011

This bathroom is an oasis of calm—it's also somewhat of a surprise...."The elements are sleek with straight lines," says historic renovation specialist Charlie Allen, whose Cambridge firm, Charlie Allen Restorations, renovated the existing bathroom down to the studs.  "It's quite a contrast from what you typically encounter in a creaky historic home—but it was fun to build a space in a way that was different for us."
Southern New England Living “Soothing Spaces” | June 2011, Jaci Conry

News/Press Page 2

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  March 24, 2021
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  April 4, 2018
Firm Wins Gold Award for Residential Historical Renovation/Restoration
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  January 16, 2018
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  May 26, 2017

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  September 15, 2016
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  February 22, 2013
Julie Palmer named President; Charlie Allen to remain as CEO
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  February 4, 2013
Annual Survey and Analysis of 11 Million Monthly Users Reveals Top-Rated U.S. Professionals
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  November 15, 2011
Firm honored for spa-style bath in Cambridge Colonial
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  July 7, 2011
Awards from Cambridge and Somerville Historic Commissions are the twelfth and thirteenth received by the Cambridge firm
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  January 6, 2010
Cambridge firm is region’s Best Restoration Contractor
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  June 1, 2009
Award is the 4th for the Cambridge-based firm
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  October 30, 2008
Programs from National Association of Home Builders and National Association of the Remodeling Industry Address Growing Demand For Services
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  May 13, 2008
Award recognizes nation’s best remodeling firms
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  Cambridge remodeling  
  January 7, 2008

Cambridge room praised for “classically styled yet high
tech” design

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November 13, 2007
Cambridge firm receives Gold Award for Residential Interiors
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Best of Houzz 2013 2014