Renovating in Vancouver: realizing my vision
When we bought our house, I knew there was room to expand our third floor. At the time, I was pregnant with our second child. Our daughter was two and we were expecting a boy. The upstairs had two large bedrooms, and I knew that we could eventually turn the back bedroom, that the kids would occupy, into two smaller bedrooms. Unfortunately, even if you can afford a house, renovating in Vancouver is a reality that usually comes along with it.
We also only have ONE bathroom upstairs. Aside from the bathroom in our basement suite, this is the only bathroom in the entire house…which is a stretch to use for a busy family of four. First world problems, I know, but there you have it.
Fast forward to today. It’s all well and good that I had a vision for our upstairs, but getting someone else to realize this on paper is an entirely other thing. Lots of people told me it wouldn’t be possible to fit what I wanted in the space that existed upstairs, for the budget we have. Our real estate agent advised against it, saying we would be better to sell, buy a lot and build a brand new house with revenue streams coming from a basement and coach house. We had a few builders come by who flat out told us we were looking at upwards of $200K to renovate and that we’d have to expand the footprint of our house to the rear, if we were to realize my vision.
We even auditioned for Love it or List it Vancouver. While I’m certain what the production could do for our house would have been amazing (have you seen what Jillian Harris and her team are capable of?) they couldn’t add in our much needed ensuite. What we would have gotten for the money we would have had to put in just simply wouldn’t have met our needs. It was soooooo hard to say no to that option.
Finally, I was speaking to a mom friend at my children’s school. She and her husband had recently completed a massive renovation on a Vancouver Special in our neighbourhood. She suggested I chat with her architect, who also happens to be a parent at the school. I gave D’Arcy a call almost immediately. I wasn’t sure our project would be something he’d take on, as he usually works on quite extensive renovations and new builds, but I thought he might, at the very least, be able to see what I had in mind.
It was such a HUGE relief to speak with someone who was able to assure me that we would be able to get what we wanted out of the space we have existing in our house. We now have drawings, which we can take to a contractor and engineer before going to City Hall for permits.
After months of being told it couldn’t be done, I finally found someone who could see my vision…and I’m so excited to move on to the next stage. Finding a contractor who can take these plans and make them a reality!