Renovating in Vancouver: tempered expectations
So…we have the architect and have hired a contractor. Over the last few weeks a lot has happened – alas, no actual work to our house has begun.
When we were originally looking at our upstairs, we wanted modify the layout so that we would have three bedrooms (we currently have two), a family bathroom and a three-piece ensuite in our master bedroom. Our architect drew up the plans, which called for the family bathroom being bumped into what will be our son’s room. Also, in order to gain the full ceiling height across the east side of our house, we planned to extend an existing pocket dormer (which houses the bathroom) the full length of the house.
Everything was looking amazing and we were getting super excited. Then we consulted with an engineer.
Now, I have nothing against the engineering profession in general, but man do I hate those guys and their precise, scientificy, safety-loving ways. I know, I know…we don’t want our house to fall down but, jeez…the things that were called for structurally for this renovation were insane. Craned in beams, point-loads (wtf are those?) into our basement, foundation supports — the list went on and on and my goddamn head nearly exploded. All in, the cost of these structural upgrades was going to add close to another $100K to our renovation budget.
//giphy.com/embed/mWEhiQVLsO9ygWe had to do some serious soul searching. Was having an ensuite going to be worth $100K?? I know, I know…it was a torturous decision.
//giphy.com/embed/xbhUlacB4DWb6In the end we were like “hell no” because, guess what, we don’t have an extra $100K just lying around burning a hole in our pockets. So…it’s back to the drawing board. On the bright side, it looks like the project just got a whole lot simpler.
//giphy.com/embed/hWT3yBQecuPM4We really had to consider what we would be gaining by spending that extra money…not a lot of floor space, as we were just increasing the head-room on one side of the house. We, literally, were gaining a shower. Our compromise was to forgo the enlarged dormer and work within the existing space, which means no shower in our ensuite. We’ll still get a little powder room, and that will at least alleviate our traffic issues when we’re getting ready in the morning. We don’t usually shower or bathe at the same time…but there are usually two people at any one time who need to pee!!
I guess what I’m saying is that you can’t always get what you want (unless you have a money tree), so expectations need to be somewhat tempered when making these decisions.
I think we made a good choice…do you?