Moving to 187 Hume Road back in 2014, we always knew we'd need to renovate one day (see before photos). But, I don't think "2014 Dave" would have agreed with "2021 Dave" on exactly how the final product would come together. It took a few years of planning and logistics to figure it all out, and countless nights spent measuring, plotting, going back to the drawing board, and revising the budget up. We took our vision to DJ Designs Architect, and at the same time, sat down with a few designers to come up with the final set of plans. After a few months of revisions, we settled upon the final plans and finalized our 'construction drawings'. At the time, we thought that the big decisions were made. As it turns out, that was the easy part. We were able to do the renovations and construction in phases, which allowed us to keep living in the house. This was helpful as the work took 2 years to complete.
Step one was demolition and renovation of the upper level of the existing home, creating the master suite and giving us some much needed extra square footage. After 6 years of living in a 900 sq ft basement apartment, it was nice to get some living space above grade. Next, we got to work rebuilding the 'barn' in the back yard, since access back there would become more difficult once the addition to the main house was complete. That's a story on it's own. The creation of a 2 story outbuilding with 1200 sq ft of open span storage, and a 1200 sq ft 2 bedroom apartment on the 2nd level with great views of the rest of the yard.
Once we had the barn built, we began working on the addition, which was essentially building a 2700 sq ft house half an inch away from our old one. We started by tearing down the old garage, clearing some trees, building the new septic system and regrading the yard to allow for a walk out basement. There were a lot of struggles along the way: an error in the land surveying calculations required some rework and delayed pouring of the new foundation, which then put us on a tight timeline against winter, and an early December deep freeze saw a race to backfill and get down some insulated tarps to protect the footings from frost. Fast forward through a long and mucky winter, we landed into the start of a global pandemic. A few weeks into April, we got a call from our framer, turns out he was behind and wouldn't be able to fit us into his summer schedule as planned. Luckily, the guys at ANC connected us with another framer who just happened to have some time available, the only catch: He would need to start immediately. We weren't in a position to say "no", and what a stroke of luck that turned out to be. We called Turkstra and ordered our lumber. As it turns out, we got what seemed to be the last available wood in the country before the pandemic supply chain crisis sent costs and lead times skyrocketing. The framing team did a great job putting everything together, and just like that, we were well on our way. We were fortunate to get in all of our ordering before the pandemic pricing really took hold, and in the end this saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars on the final bill.
Once the framing came together, we took some time to carefully plan out our rough-ins, with Billy at Leaks and Tyson at Connected GE getting us ready to board. The guys at Kina construction did a great job with the sprayfoam insulation and drywall, and Groulx windows and doors nailed the install and replacement of all of the windows in the new house and old. It is at this point in the construction that it really started to come together.
The finishes were the part that required the most skill and attention. Luckily, you can hire those qualities. Nolan at Elements and Adrian at Homestead were really great at working together to tie in woodwork and stone features, which definitely brought the project to the next level. Having Marko Barakoski on site every day as an extra set of hands and quality control supervisor helped grease the wheels and provide solutions for the little things that needed to be tied together.
We pushed hard to get everything complete just in time to book an appraisal to refinance the house based on the renovated value all before interest rates started to rise significantly. This set up the fuel we needed for the next project... To be continued...