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Meet Julie Palmer of Charlie Allen Renovations in Cambridge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Palmer.

Julie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started with Charlie Allen Renovations in 1999, when I was hired as office manager. Over the years, I began taking on greater responsibilities and in 2013, was named president of the company. Growing up, I never imagined that I would be president of a home renovation firm. But I loved history – in fact, I received my degree in history from Tulane University – so it’s a perfect fit for me to be working with a company dedicated to remodeling and restoring period homes, in a city as rich with history as Cambridge. Our portfolio includes noteworthy local residences dating from the 17th to the 20th century, as well as landmark buildings like Christ Church in Harvard Square. I love living in the city where I work — it’s always a thrill to walk past the many wonderful buildings that we have remodeled and restored.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Ups and downs in the economy always have a big impact on the home remodeling sector, and we’ve experienced several challenging downturns, including the great recession of 2008. That was a particularly scary time for businesses like ours, but we tightened our belts, maintained our commitment to our craft, and soldiered on. It helped that we had already established a reputation as a reliable and dependable firm producing high quality results. When money is tight, customers want to feel that they are getting the best possible value for their investment, and we have a great reputation for doing just that.

Please tell us about Charlie Allen Renovations.
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.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Walking in the woods behind our house with my dad and my little brother. I grew up in a sub-division that backed up to woods and a creek. My parents own 3+acres of woodlands and when I was a young girl we would walk the woods after school and explore. We saw beavers making a dam, and witnessed them playing with our dog in the water. The landscape varied from a shallow creek where we would hunt for crayfish in the summer, to forest with ferns, where we picked fiddleheads and learned to sauté them up for dinner. I feel very fortunate to have grown up with so much nature right outside my back door, with all the comforts of suburbia outside the front door.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Photos by Shelly Harrison Photography

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