7 April – Scope of Work Update

Hi everybody,
This is just a blast post for our reference.  Feel free to read it anyway!
  • New basement framing details / photos in the ALBUM
  • Please see the updated “Scope of Work” on the “About” page

Essentially-Finalized FLOOR PLANS

-The only things to change are the windows and the bar becomes an open concept passthrough instead of walls and posts.


Essentially Final – only Window detail to change:


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11 March – 2nd Bathroom / Near Finalized w/ Video

Finally, we feel like the design is essentially finalized.  Who knows what we might discover, but here is our floor plan.  Enjoy!

Without Dimensions:

11 Mar - Near Finalized

With Dimensions:

Click for Bigger

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Kitchen Designs

Welcome back!

My wife discovered some great kitchen designs this morning, and we think we have made some great headway on the kitchen design.

Take a quick look at these photos to see what we mean:  “Peacock Kitchen.”  See the Willow Design Blog for more explanations and examples.  (Apparently Christopher Peacock is a renowned designer who highlights “authenticity” in his “Scullery Kitchen.”  Sorry his website is so complicated!)

Here’s our favourite; an idea of what we’re looking for:

Our Favourite Kitchen

Here is what we came up with (see more at the Design Ideas album):

IKEA Kitchen Design - 3D View 1

IKEA Kitchen Design – 3D View 1

We found this new stove on Kijiji!

Shelley's Heartland Stove (30 inch)

Heartland Stove (30 inch)

IKEA Kitchen Planner - Our Island

IKEA Kitchen Planner – Our Island (Expect A Different Sink)

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5 Mar – Adding A Roof!

Hello everyone,

We had a great meeting with Chad Horril of Prestige Project Management yesterday.  He gave us a few key suggestions, and it made us change tracks a bit on our reno.  Here are the results:

  1. Instead of building a cement stairway outside the foundation, we’ll extend the original roofline fully to the rear end of the house.  This will improve its snow load capacity, and also improve the floor space, because all the ceilings will be the same height now.
    • This will significantly improve the house’s energy performance as well.
    • This will involve insulating/building up the northmost 2/3’rds of the floor in the back of the house to match the rest of the house.
    1. Instead of removing the bay window, we’ll keep it, and actually square off at its furthest extent, and include all of that floor space.  (Compare with the existing floor plan.)
    2. Plan on doing blown cellulose into the old/new attic and walls.
    3. Skipping the skylights.  Perhaps one Solatube in the bathroom, since it can also act as a vent, (unless the HRV will collect bathroom air???)
    4. There is now a legitimate bar seating area since we swapped the living room onto the south side.
    5. The basement stairs now occupy a spot very near or overlapping the existing hole.  🙂
    6. All plumbing is near to the original plumbing except the kitchen.
    7. As drawn, all windows are 3.5′ off the floor, 4′ tall.
    8. We’ve kept the Sunny Day Marmoleum and the Rona Birch hardwood flooring.
    9. FYI – North is on the “grassy” side, and the walkway is on the South side of the diagrams.
    10. We will be doing soffit, fascia, and gutters as required to upgrade the curb appeal of the house.

    Here are the pics (15 views in the Picasa album.)  Be sure to zoom in to see the details.  Note also we’ve added additional exterior photos.

    5 Mar Floorplan3D View - Image /15



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    Hiding / Retracting Basement Stairs

    Here’s a neat idea for a hiding or coverable basement/crawlspace hatch/floor door/trapdoor. (It might also be called retractable stairs or a hidden stairway). This kind of stairway gives you extra usable floor space when the stairs are folded down, and the stairs become a railing when they are open / up.

    The stairs are power-assist using gas shocks like from a liftgate in a van/SUV/station wagon, or counterweights / springs.

    (I am keeping this page as a reference in case people out there searching need the links.)

    The basic idea is to have the floor on a piano hinge,  and open up to form a railing which prevents people from falling down the stairwell. (Two walls protect the other two sides of the stairwell. It seems like many manufacturers and designs ignore this obvious need!

    The hatch needs to allow a code-compliant stairwell into a 5’8″-6′ crawlspace (3/4 basement.)

    The biggest issues are what type of gas shocks to use to decrease the force required to open the hatch, and what type of materials to use for cost efficiency.

    The two very best examples I have seen for basement access are here:
    http://www.meia.co.uk/Floorhatch.htm – beautiful

    Here are some more amazing cellar / basement access ideas!
    more http://www.spiralcellars.co.uk/trap-doors/

    Some videos:

    Here are some more brain-candy ideas:

    Commercial; not really what I am looking for:

    Gas Shocks to use:

    Pulls (Handles):

    Good discussions:

    Any tips or suggestions?

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    2 Mar – Near-Finalized Floorplan

    This is a near-finalized floorplan, subject to our interior designer’s approval!  We have spent countless hours rehashing things down to the inch!

    Here’s how things are looking now:

    • We decided to eliminate the Attic development.
    • Front Closet
    • Front Room can serve as Living Room on Left or Right, either way you like!
    • Eliminated the (current) Awkward Bay Window
    • Side Door at the Front instead of French Doors; Big Window
    • Pellet Stove Below TV is an option
    • Bathroom is near to existing plumbing
    • Kitchen now fully Galley + Island
    • 2nd & 3rd Bedrooms Have Sloped Ceilings
    • Enclosed Laundry Machines.  We will need to run insulated plumbing for them.
    • Bench in Mudroom
    • Rear Mudroom Area Now Has A “Lid” for the stairway that adds floor space!
    • Flooring – Marmoleum, Diagonal Tile, and Hardwood
    • Large Soaker Tub with Armrests

    (Note: If you had been looking at my old drawings, carefully check the scale.  In some drawings I had posted the scale bar was totally wrong. The house is, in reality, approximately 20’10” wide.)

    2 Mar Post-Shelley

    3D View

    Check out this idea for the stairway to the basement:

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    Updated Design and Some Design Cues

    Here are some updated floorplans – minor adjustments made based on your feedback. Also, we’ve put some photos of style cues we like up. Enjoy!

    Current Floorplan 9 Feb

    Current Floorplan 9 Feb

    Our Design Ideas(Click on photo to see more!)
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