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 Houzz.com. “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” |
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,
....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” |
...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 Magazine.com 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
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