Roommates convert small studio to two bedroom apartment with one month's rent

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In order to save money and live in a great neighborhood, Adam Finkelman and his roommate converted their 700 square foot Brooklyn studio into a real two bedroom apartment.

Because the space was a rental, they wanted to keep the conversion inexpensive. Finkelman runs the company Yorkwood Co, which specializes in the design, construction, and management of projects as small as a chair or as large as complete renovations. Many of these projects emphasize using salvaged materials, which is how they kept total construction costs under one month's rent for his own apartment.

Most of the materials were obtained through Craigslist or found on the streets of their tony Boerum Hill neighborhood, where gut renovations of large brownstones are commonplace. “We salvaged doors, windows, floor boards, sheetrock, [and] in some walls we used our old clothing for additional insulation,” says Finkelman.

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