Both my grandma and grandpa moved to the U.S. during WW2. They met and fell in love on the sole premise that they both spoke Russian. Once married, they bought a home in Los Angeles in a friendly neighborhood. They lived in that house for the rest of their lives, raising five children, including my father, in the heart of Los Angeles. Once my grandpa died, my grandma, whom we called ‘babushka’, lived there alone with cousins and uncles intermittently living with her. When babushka passed away, the house sat empty as we all tried to decide how to sell it.
The building was constructed in the 40s back when the neighborhood was family-friendly and growing. There was an abundance of young families moving in and everybody knew each other. By 2010, the neighborhood was famous for muggings, robberies and gang fights. When my cousin lived with babushka for a summer, he would lie awake at night distracted by the helicopters with spotlights flying over every night and the police sirens that zipped by all night. Babushka was mugged several times while walking home from the dollar store one block away. One time, some guys tried grabbing her purse and my stubborn grandma refused to let go. They were in a car and pulled her around the parking lot. She broke her hip and had to get surgery. Needless to say, it was not a safe place to be anymore.
A reality television show that was based on building remodeling wanted to come and assist my family in remodeling the home. My aunts and uncles all met with the show’s contractors in order to figure out the best way to remodel the building. Once the designs were in place, everyone got to work. Apparently on those shows, they don’t remodel the entire home! They only remodel a few rooms and leave the others as they were. The crew and my family went to work on the living room, kitchen and front two bedrooms. After several days of hard labor, the rooms looked immaculate, modern and like an entirely different home.
Unfortunately, the entire back half of the home still looked like a dump. The back bedroom floor was caving in and there was still knick-knacks piled everywhere. The bathroom was still awkwardly split between two different rooms. Half of the home’s value was raised and half the home’s value was going down the drain. My family had to come together and put in much more work without a contractor and design crew and fix the rest of the house up in order to sell.
The end results turned out amazing and the house sold quickly to a couple hoping that the neighborhood was up and coming again. With the newly designed home, it sure looked the part! Most people don’t have the luxury of having a design crew and television show to come in and remodel a building. However, there are companies like Gregor Industries that will come in and assist in commercial remodeling.