Company breathes new life into city row home

Renew Homes reimagines living spaces in Lancaster County and beyond

Owners Jeff Nolt and Anthony Reynolds and their team at Renew Homes will transform houses anywhere in Lancaster County and beyond, but being part of the transformation of Lancaster city holds a special place in their hearts.
City homes are the most work to renovate, but they are also the most fun, says Nolt’s wife, Christine, a Realtor with Kingsway Realty and listing agent for Renew Homes properties.
“The city is kind of their sweet spot,” she says. “The whole team gets so excited. It’s so rewarding. It feels really good to see what you can do. It’s so exciting to see what’s happening here.”
The draw of a vibrant downtown has put city homes in such high demand that a number of homes recently purchased and renovated by Renew Homes have sold for more than the asking price, Nolt says.
Of course, much of that credit goes to Renew Homes and its staff of seven, which includes Reynolds’ wife, Holly.
“Holly dreams it up, and Anthony builds it,” Christine Nolt says.
The Renew Homes special touch is on full display in a recently renovated rowhome at 448 W. Walnut St., in the city’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood.
The 19th-century home with the charming brick facade underwent a total makeover and was purchased by a woman from Florida virtually sight unseen. She had admired other work by Renew Homes, Nolt says, but only saw this home in its demolition stage before deciding to purchase it.
“It’s kind of like the show ‘Fixer Upper,’ ” Nolt says. “There has to be a high level of trust.”
Typically, Renew Homes will talk to a client about their style and the features they would like to include in their home, and then the team will work its magic.
At 448 W. Walnut St., that magic involved both structural and design transformations.
The team removed part of a wall to create a more open first floor and converted an extra bedroom into a master bath and a convenient second-floor laundry. Additionally, they eliminated a back staircase leading from the kitchen to a second-floor bedroom.
From a design standpoint, they embraced the home’s inherent character, adding special touches inside and out, from black trim and matching window boxes on the exterior to white plantation shutters throughout the interior.
Renewing the home also meant delving below the surface, exposing original brick walls and hardwood floors, while adding modern, high-end touches.
“I like the combination of rustic and new,” Holly Reynolds says.
You can see that combination throughout the home. In the foyer, Craftsman-style wainscoting fitted with convenient coat hooks works perfectly with the exposed brick wall above.
The kitchen is also thoroughly modern and bright, with exposed brick painted white to match the white cabinetry and subway tile. The countertops and a large island with bar seating both feature level 5 leathered granite. Other amenities include stainless steel appliances and a pot filler faucet.
The first floor also features a dining room with tray ceiling, a living room with exposed brick wall and a powder room.
The second floor includes two bedrooms: a guest room with exposed beams, skylight and balcony, and a master suite with bright triple windows, a walk-in closet and a newly installed master bath designed and built by Holly and Anthony. The floating dual vanity includes a marble countertop and sleek vessel sinks. Matching scalloped mirrors with silver trim hang on the exposed brick wall above. The bathroom also features built-in glass-front cabinets on either side of the vanity, along with a glass-enclosed tile shower.
The second floor also has a full guest bath with tile shower and copper fixtures, including a side-mounted copper faucet on a narrow Ikea vanity that Holly customized to look like it was always part of the bathroom.
The new second-floor laundry has a stackable washer and dryer, built-in shelving and sliding barn door entry.
The home’s third floor is a sunny retreat — a bright third bedroom or studio all in white, including white-painted hardwood floors and Edison-style bulb lights strung around exposed beams.
The team created a second retreat in the backyard, adding a border fence for privacy and a pergola on the patio.
Although the Walnut Street home is not on the market, Renew Homes is currently working on several other city properties, including a home at 440 W. Orange St. that will have many of the same high-end features, as well as a master suite, generous backyard, and newly installed heating and air conditioning systems. The home has almost 1,800 square feet of living space.
Nolt expects that home to be complete by late summer.
Jeff Nolt has been buying and flipping homes for 10 years, but the team at Renew Homes will also work with existing homeowners to take on whole-home, kitchen or bathroom renovation projects.
For more information about Renew Homes or any of its available homes, contact Christine Nolt at Christine@kingswayrealty.com or 717-517-0407, or visit www.renewlancaster.com. You can also follow their work on Facebook and Instagram.