Rather than sell their south Burlington home and buy a bigger house in another neighbourhood, one family chose instead to expand their existing house and remodel its interior. Eastview got the call because the homeowner did the math. He found it would be cheaper to build an addition rather than sell and purchase something bigger. The closing costs of selling the house and buying a new one made the home addition alternative more attractive. Plus, there are so many ways to improve houses and add value these days. The work done here by Eastview Homes exhibits several different property improvement options all combined in a single project.
After long delays caused by the COVID19 pandemic, the home renovation project on Dunvegan Street in Burlington with two backyard additions finally reached its finishing stages in June 2021.
This two story house was physically expanded, front and back and the insides were demolished and reconfigured for better access and more comfortable daily living. This is a full home renovation with kitchen remodeling. Two bathrooms were relocated and more space was added in the basement, main floor and upstairs bedrooms.
At one time, decades earlier, this structure was the identical twin of the neighbour’s house, flipped 180 degrees so the driveways were beside each other. That was a common practice carried out by the original land developers who built entire neighbourhoods in the 1960s from six or eight different sets of plans. Both houses started off as two-story bungalows, but now after sixty years, they look nothing alike. Today that twin structure, which you can see in the photo above, has a rear expansion, but still does not have bedrooms over its garage. Our project house expanded to add bedrooms over the garage in the 1990’s, and this latest addition in 2021 expands on that work and streamlines the interior in ways which could never have been imagined by previous architects. They didn’t have the materials or desire to create open concept designs with minimal walls separating an island kitchen from the family rooms.
The new kitchen was moved from the rear center of the house to the north east corner which opens up the main floor amazingly, and now you can see some of the front lawn and street by looking through the house from the backyard (as you can see in the photo below). The flow is much more streamlined for comfort and easy living.
A typical home addition expands the building’s overall footprint which means excavating the basement to create a new foundation for what’s being erected above ground. In this house there was no basement under the garage and so the team had to excavate under the existing structure. The construction manager broke through the exterior basement cinder block wall to expand the building foundation in two places. Part of the job required excavation below ground using workers with shovels and wheelbarrows. You can read all about this adventure and see the photos on a recent blog post entitled Waterproofing a Rear Addition. The write-up details how we excavated the basement, and added a new sump pump and waterproofing membranes and how we improved the house’s gutters and downspouts. Eastview had to tunnel below part of the house because we needed to be able to add supports and reinforcements for the work being installed above ground.
The new foundation has a waterproofing membrane attached positively to its exterior to prevent water from even coming into contact with the concrete. It’s made of high-density polyethylene so it’s not going to decompose anytime soon. It’s specially formulated to resist acids and other deteriorating ground agents and probably has a longer lifespan than the cement it protects. The air-gap design on the surface channels away rain and moisture. This black plastic membrane comes in a roll which makes it easier to install. This precaution along with improved drains and downspouts and rudimentary landscaping will help ensure the new basement that we just excavated remains warm and dry.
Renovations Begin Below Ground – The Basement Floor
Also detailed in the waterproofing blog post mentioned earlier is how we added a sub-floor to the basement. Dricore sub flooring is made from specially treated OSB or orientated strand board. Each panel has a polyurethane grill on the bottom to catch and channel moisture. This is literally the last line of defense and yet the product has a surprising capacity to contain leaks, esp water exuded from thin cracks. The only downfall may be that it prevents the homeowner from realizing their basement actually leaks and the foundation has been compromised. This could be especially true if the flood water drains away somewhere other than the sump-pump reservoir. The concern is that a small leak will soon become a large hole that’s more damaging and more expensive to fix.
Oriented Strand Board is a widely used, versatile wood panel that’s perfect for sub-flooring. Manufactured from waterproof heat-cured adhesives, rectangular wood strands are arranged and glued together in cross-oriented layers. OSB is an engineered wood panel that shares many of the strength and performance characteristics of plywood. OSB’s combination of wood and adhesives creates a strong, dimensionally stable panel that resists deflection, delamination, and warping and that combined with the hard ‘plastic’ bottom makes this a great choice for basement sub-flooring.
A house with a basement foundation has a lot of advantages. The biggest benefit is all the extra space, and that extra square footage adds great value to the property. With proper plumbing and ventilation, and the potential for front and rear egress, homeowners can convert their basements into rental apartments for extra income. Basements are necessary for life in colder climates, and basement foundations also provide easier access for repairs to the foundation and other parts of the house.
In many older houses, the basement’s floorplan layout mirrors the main floor above. In this house, we’ve gutted the basement and removed everything except the necessary load bearing supports and ductwork. The area will be completely remodeled and the new basement floorplan will be unique and efficient.
Finishing this basement will dramatically increase the livability of the house. The main area just below the stairs will be transformed into a sophisticated home theater with a surround sound system. The new flooring will be hardwood laminate with throw rugs. There are new laundry facilities and a bathroom to be built under the new kitchen in the north east corner. On the other side, on the northwest corner, the freshly expanded basement area could include a wine cellar, or another bedroom, or work-out room or the homeowner could simply leave it unfinished as a storage space.
The furnace and entire home heating / cooling system is in transition. The furnace is being moved to a more central area where the blower has longer, straighter lines to better heat and cool every section of the home above. This will increase overall efficiency. Its current position in the front corner of the basement means that every space, except the dining room which is directly above, requires some combination of angled ducts to transport the hot or cold air. The result is that it was always a few degrees cooler in the master bedroom at opposite corner of the house. Moving the furnace should fix that problem.
The fireplace in the front of the house which has been sealed-up and was only decorative for decades now gets a new lease on life with a gas-powered insert. The 3′ x 4′ heavy steel unit is not new; it was previously deployed in the north west corner of the house and is being moved to become the centerpiece of new family room in what was once a formal dining area.
This is one section of the house where Eastview works in tandem with an interior designer. That relationship is explored in the blog post that precedes this account entitled, Interior Designer Helps Home Renovation. That write-up relates how the fireplace unit will remain low to the ground to keep the wall above free for a big screen television. Gone are fireplace mantels which invite clutter. Today’s televisions are wider and require more horizontal space. Designers are aware of this and balance the room with wall art and windows being careful to never construct bookshelves anywhere near the area for fear tomorrow’s televisions will be even larger.
Exterior Makeover With Natural Stone and Wood Siding
The exterior of a house is very important. Curb appeal makes a statement about the owner’s social status, personal taste, and lifestyle. This is why it is essential to choose the right architectural stone design and building materials when constructing a new home or renovating an existing structure. We’re building a rear covered deck and there will be some serious landscaping happening the backyard, but out front we’re adding a proper front porch with stately wood columns and a more attractive front doors.
The exterior finish will have a limestone skirt under Cape Cod brand real wood siding, all of which is now on-site. The stone skirt adds curb appeal but more importantly it conceals the concrete foundation which is boring and ugly. The short stone wall around the circumference of the house becomes a visual transition that connects the wood siding to the ground. The fully insulated walls are being scabbed in prepared for the siding.
Kolbe Replacement Windows and Doors
Modern windows are infinitely superior than what was sold in the 1960’s and 70’s, and they’re a marked improvement over the styles and quality available in the 1990’s. These replacement windows from Kolbe are really striking but they also make the home safer from break-ins and of course they increase home heating and cooling efficiency.
Modern windows are more aesthetically pleasing and offer much better insulation than the windows of the past. Good windows make it easier for families to control their home heating and cooling costs. The best windows provide natural lighting, increase air flow, and make your house look great both inside and out.
These new Kolbe replacement window are really well made. The extruded aluminum exterior with raised mullions makes strong and durable windows. With proven structural strength, the windows swing out at the side to provide fresh air. They are ENERGY STAR® qualified, with U-values as low as 0.20 on active and 0.18 on stationary XL casements with triple pane glass.
In its entirety, this rear addition and home renovation project highlights how such developments are less expensive and more beneficial than moving. This is a terrific investment as the work done to improve life inside the house also increases its property value and ultimately the homeowner’s wealth. Plus we see how families can use the development to personalize the space and make it perfect for their needs. Eastview Homes is standing by to consult and present possibilities for your Burlington, Oakville or Mississauga property.