Comments Off on Going up? Bringing Basement Ceiling Height to Your Remodel
Last post we started the discussion of adding basement ceiling height to your remodel. We discussed the strategy of digging down to gain height in the basement. In this post, we talk about up by lifting the house to gain basement ceiling height. As mentioned in the last post, these strategies have a high degree of difficulty
First and foremost you have to check what the city zoning will allow. A few things to look for are how will house raising affect your floor space ratio and will the new height be above what’s allowable. Providing you are able to check all the city boxes and get a building permit, then we get to the good stuff.
Let’s Get that House Airborne
Have your qualified contractor and structural engineer inspect the condition of the home ensuring it can sustain a house lift and the additional weight. Next disconnect services like water, gas, electricity and sewage. In the basement demo the existing interior walls. Confirm subgrade condition for stable placement of jacks and support cribs. Cut holes in the foundation to allow beams under the building. Jacks are placed under the beams and the house is raised and crib supports take the place of the jacks. Now that the building is off the foundation, its time to build the structural supports between the foundation and the bottom of the home. Lower the home onto the new structural supports and voila you have a taller basement. Now you are ready for framing, plumbing, electrical etc.
Questions? Please feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to help out.
Comments Off on Condominium Renovations-What you need to know
Condominium and Townhouse Renovations in Vancouver seem like a snap but they present their own challenges that single family homes don’t have. Here are a couple of quick tips to hopefully save you from a few surprises, expense and time when embarking on a condominium renovation
Love Thy Neighbour
Condominium Kitchen Renovation Before
Your neighbours will be involved and affected in some way. From demolition and construction noise to accessing the neighbouring suite to make plumbing adjustments for your new sink. Making friends with the neighbours well in advance will go a long way to making the project run much smoother.
No one is above the law
Read the strata bylaws very carefully before starting your renovation. Look for flags like restricted work hours (ex 10 am to 2 pm) or strata approval for minor things (like flooring). You can pretty much count on design approval and building permit required for a typical renovation. Breaking bylaws will land you a bunch of fines and/or a stop-work order, so take them seriously
Condominium Kitchen Renovation After
Sorry but some things are a little more expensive…
Delivery and access are two big challenges when doing a condominium renovation. Many things will be moved by hand from a truck, up the elevator, down hallways… well you get the idea. Waste disposal is another problem because using a dumpster is rarely an option. Consequently, many trips with a trailer are required to remove waste from a condominium renovation
Hopefully, you found these tips useful and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly
If your heating costs are unreasonably high you may find that your home has insulation problems. The walls and floor of your house may be very cold to touch. You may also notice that mold is growing on the walls, particularly in the basement. If it’s snowed and the snow on your roof has melted quickly, despite freezing temperatures, it may also indicate that there are issues with your roof insulation. Home insulation can be made to your house exterior, as well as the interior, basement and attic.
Keeping The Basement Warm
Keeping your home warm from the basement upwards will help maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the winter months. Installing an ethanol fireplace in your basement is a really economical way of heating your home. They are cost effective and clean. You will feel the effects throughout the house as heat rises. This will also help prevent mold forming in the basement throughout the year.
Block Out The Drafts In Your Home
Making sure that the seals around doors and windows are in good repair will help to keep your home warm in winter. They are the most common reasons that there are drafts in your home. You can apply self-adhesive rubber seals to help with this and also use draft excluders. Canadian winters can be cold, but also windy, keeping this out will help to regulate the temperatures in the home. Make sure that you close your curtains at night. If it’s sunny during the day, keep them open to let the heat and the light in.
Finally if you have stone or brick internal walls, covering them, even with pictures and mirrors will help to insulate your home a little from the cold. Keeping your home well-insulated means that you are warm in winter. Good, effective insulation will also save energy, in turn saving you money.
Comments Off on An opportunity to skyrocket your land value and make $$$!
Increase your land value
Great news for homeowners who want to increase the their land value by creating laneway and duplex homes.
Vancouver city council have approved changes allowing more development on RS (single family zones) and RT (two family zones), meaning you can increase your land value. More affordable housing and the desire to protect heritage homes has influenced this change. This is a win-win for landowners and those of us looking to purchase more affordable homes.
Vancouver City Council’s – Two Approved Changes:
RS (single family zones) is the lowest density regions and covers over 80% of vancouver’s land mass. Those in RS zones can now build, sell or rent laneway houses on their land. The catalyst for this change is to protect heritage homes.
In denser RT (two family zones in the Grandview Woodland and Mount Pleasant area) the number of homes on a standard 33-foot lot can increase from 2 to 3. This means you can have a duplex and a laneway house to sell or rent.
At the moment, heritage homes are being pulled down and replaced and create more affordable housing. The changes n0w protect heritage homes. As a consequence, if a heritage home is demolished, the city will limit the size of the new house you are able to build.
What does this mean?
If your current home is on a RS or RT zone you are able to increase your land value. You can build a laneway home or turn your home into a duplex. This means, in effect those in RT zones could live in one element of your home, and sell or rent off the other two. Pay off your mortgage and possibly even make an income. As a result it means there will be more affordable housing available.
Find out more about these changes and how we can help you renovate/build to skyrocket your land value. Contact us at 778-379-4403 or get a free consultation here.
Comments Off on From Rec to Rentals – What To Do With Your Basement Renovation?
Basement suites are incredibly common in the Lower Mainland, yet many sit unused and gathering dust. What to do with them? That’s the big question. Do you create a whole new suite? A family room? A playroom? the list goes on. With living space being a luxury here in Vancouver we think it’s crazy not to be utilizing your space and getting the most out of it. We have picked our top 7 ideas for basement renovations.
Rent out your suite
The most obvious option is to rent out your suite. Studies show that four in ten home owners in Vancouver rent a part of their place out (News1130), indicating, it’s clearly a great way to make some added income. Alternatively perhaps you need two generations of your family to live under one roof, sharing out the costs. Basement renovations are an effective way of adding value to your home, however it’s important you investigate your options. Info from Vancouver city can be found herewhich explains everything you need to know to legalize your basement.
All photos from Pinterest
Ok, we thought about putting the wine cellar next, but decided to go with the more practical option (boo us, we know). A playroom is a great way to keep your young ones busy, learning and having fun in the safety of your own home. There are so many ideas you could incorporate into your basement to entertain your kids. Built in playhouses, kitchens and shops are a great way to save on space. They could be easily transformed into storage as your children grow up. We also love the idea of having a stage or reading area to help bring out their creative side. Plus, lets be honest, it’s fun for the adults too!
The type of thing you used to see on ‘MTV cribs’ – a home theatre built for family viewing. If you’re into your films, sports and TV it could be a great idea to renovate your basement into a home theatre. Just imagine watching Game of Thrones on the big screen! This type of renovation is likely to be more straight forward than converting your basement into a suite. It also takes less time. It’s also a great option for a basement with little to no natural light. The styles of home theatres are endless, you could go novelty theatre to chic home comforts.
All photos from Pinterest
What most of us dream of, could become a reality for those of you with a basement. Renovating your basement into a wine cellar, is the perfect options for those wine lovers and those who love to entertain. Perhaps you could create a traditional wine tasting room, a chill out with wine zone or purely storage. The basement tends to stay much cooler than the rest of the house so already has a head start in being a successful renovation. It would certainly wow your guests on your next home tour.
All images from Pinterest
For those of you working from home you will know how difficult it can be to focus with every day home distractions. Renovating your basement to a home office is a great idea. This might mean adding in amenities such as storage, printing facilities etc. If you have a more practical job it might mean creating a craft office, a workshop or an art studio.
All images from Pinterest
Games Room, Bar or Man Den
For the ultimate fun zone, why not renovate your basement to a games room or even a bar! This basement renovation is likely to stand the test of time. Unlike a children’s play area it can’t be outgrown. For those who like to entertain, this is the perfect basement renovation. If you are planning to sell your home it also adds the wow factor and really stands out.
All images from Pinterest
Perhaps you have a smaller basement? A laundry space could be a perfect basement renovation to get the most out of your home. Annoying rooms such as laundry can take up valuable living space. By putting it down in the basement, it also means all that drying, noise and commotion can be kept out of the way.
All images from Pinterest
To view all of these images check out our Pinterest board here.
If you have been inspired by this blog, feel free to get incontact with us today to see how we can transform your basement.
VANCOUVER is a real estate hot spot! The mild West coast weather is a huge draw coupled with the mix of mountains and seaside beauty. You can go to the beach and snow ski all in the same day! It’s a gem that is well-known around the world. While this is amazing and why we live here, it’s making it more and more difficult for young people to live and families to grow here. Space is constantly shrinking while prices are going up due to high demand.
So what can you do if you don’t want to leave yet still want to live here comfortably in a small space? Organize!
The best thing I do for myself (and my sanity) every 3-6 months is purge. I usually do it at season switchovers and get rid of anything I did not wear/use unless I can seriously justify keeping it. This is so important when you live in a small space as clutter has not only physical effects (read: no room to walk or sit) but psychological as well! It takes up not only your physical space but your mental too. Once I have done a good purge on my apartment, i feel refreshed and ready to organize everything that’s left!
A lot of times, we work in kitchens or live in bedrooms that don’t have the right flow. We can’t seem to pinpoint the reason why we don’t feel like our home is a calming space. Whether you’re renovating your own home or trying to make do in a rental space, there are plenty of ideas out there. If you’re renting, the biggest thing to keep in mind is flexibility. If you have to move, you will want whatever you acquire to (hopefully) work in the next place you live. It’s important to think about whether or not you will be able to take it with you. If not, really consider if it’s worth investing in.
Ikea – Yes, really
One of my favourite and inexpensive ways to incorporate more storage is with IKEA. If you’re thinking, Ugh everyone has IKEA! You’re not alone but there are many ways to give products a more personal touch and luckily there are lots of hacks/ideas out there. Some are as simple as a quick coat of paint or new knobs while other require a little more energy and tools. However, they are all doable and take a simple product to another level. The best part? If you mess up it’s typically not a hugely expensive flop!
Quick coat of paint blends a shelf into the wall for a minimal look. Check here to view more
There’s even an entire website devoted to it! Here’s one of my faves (pictured) Click here to view more
If you’re renovating, there are a multitude of ways to incorporate more storage and make your home flow better. When renovating, it’s important to have a reason why. Plan the space for right now but future growth as well. Whether that means just updating to sell in a few years or adding more people or pets to your family or wanting to work from home. The best way to narrow this all down and create the best space is to hire a professional to plan your home. Whether you decide to hire someone or not, prepare to get comfortable with sites like Houzz and Pinterest for ideas to get a feel for the style you want. Even if you hire a professional, having a good sense of direction (and pictures) will save you time and money in the long run.
Start with the rooms you use daily. Are they organized and easy to use or are you constantly going in the wrong drawer or digging through trying to find things? You may not realize how much little frustrations affect you throughout the day. Ridding those frustrations helps clear your mind. When your space is organized, it’s much easier for you to be. Working with a professional can make a huge difference, especially in a larger ticket room like a kitchen or bathroom. Would you trust yourself to privately sell your home or hire a realtor?
Is your bathroom functional? Is your morning shower relaxing and invigorating to get you ready to seize the day? Maybe you need more space in your vanity to store the essentials so everything is within arm’s reach? Maybe you need a new handheld shower head so you have more flexibility and or better pressure? Not enough storage? Create better ways to organize the storage you do have or add shelving somewhere. My favourite way to keep a shower organized is to add niches! They look sleek and offer just the right depth for bottles so they aren’t littered around your shower.
Is your kitchen a great place to cook where everything flows or are you constantly running around trying to find everything? Do you have a functional work triangle? Does your kitchen need to accommodate one or multiple cooks? Working with a professional designer is key to make sure you explore the possibilities. They can answer the pertinent questions to design to your needs. The right accessories, such as a recycle unit, can make recycle day a breeze because the hard work is already done. Having a utensil sorter so your whisk is easily accessible and you’re not removing all the other utensils stuck in it as your sauce burns. A spice organizer so you’re not digging through a drawer trying to find that one spice you haven’t used in a year. You get the idea!
Another area that we use every single day is our closet. How many times have you torn apart yours trying to find an outfit for the day? If everything was organized into sections and laid out properly so you can see each piece it would make putting outfits together a breeze. Built-ins are the best way to achieve the closet of your dreams and end the couple battle over space. If you’re renting, you can still get removable pieces that will keep your closet manageable. From jewelry dividers in drawers to laundry hampers. There are lots of great ideas for efficiently organizing. This Buzzfeed article has a step by step on purging and organizing your closet:
This all may sound daunting and exhausting however, once it’s done, it’s done. It then means it’s easy to maintain moving forward. In the long run, the time you put in at the start will pay off and then some. The age old saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is beyond true when organizing. What most people forget to do is plan to plan. You have to set aside the time and make it a priority.
Comments Off on What To Ask Before Renovations Start
Know What To Ask Before Renovations Begin
Renovating your home can be an overwhelming task. Knowing the right questions to ask can really help you manage your expectations and build a trusting and transparent relationship with your contractor.
It’s your home, your money and your vision! You want to ensure you investigate and explore all of your options and know what you are singing up to. Think of your first meeting with your renovator like an interview. You need to know that you can work together and trust them. Find out what you need to ask before renovations start.
Ask about the company
How long have they been doing business? If it’s a long time, it’s likely they have completed successful renovations and have happy clients. It also means they will most likely have built strong relationships with suppliers which means you’ll have lots of choice of material and perhaps even a cheaper rate.
Who will be at the renovation site?
So far you may have only dealt with one person, but who will be at your home every day? Do they have employees or is it contractors? What’s the process of opening and locking your home if you aren’t there? How often will you need to be on site/available? All important questions to find out to help you plan your work/life balance while your renovation is taking place.
How will you present the budget and how do I pay?
Some contractors will tell you the top line cost. Others like us at reVISION Renovations provide a detailed and transparent cost breakdown. Will you be able to see all the material costs, design time costs and mark up? How will you be paying for your renovation? Will you be paying in one lump sum, weekly or as items are billed?
How will you protect my home and the items in it?
This must be asked before the demolition stage. Is there a process for protecting your belongings and anything in your home that is remaining throughout the renovation. For example, ask do you cover carpets/flooring. Do you move furniture? It seems like a simple question, but you will be able to gauge the level of professionalism and care the company take by their answer given.
Will you obtain the correct permits and design around this?
Some contractors will try to cut corners. It’s important that you obtain the correct building permits and that your design has been worked around the limitations of this. Ask about this process to ensure your new home will be to code. All of our team including designers understand the code and regulations. This will save you time and money.
How will you communicate with me during the renovation?
It’s important you express how involved you would like to be during the renovation. Do you want to be called or emailed? What does your renovator normally do when decisions need to be made. How often will you need to come back into the office? If you don’t click with the people at the renovation company, or don’t like how they work, it’s likely your whole renovation process will be a struggle.
Is there anything about my renovation that concerns you?
Is there anything the renovator is concerned about? Or perhaps, is there anything they are not capable of completing for you?
How long is this renovation going to take?
You need to make plans to either live in an unaffected area of your home, stay with friends/family or get a hotel or Airbnb. You need to ensure it’s a realistic time scale which will help you set your expectations.
Our goal at reVISION Renovations is to help clients love their homes. We do this by guiding them through a clear and transparent renovation process, supporting them every step of the way. Before renovations, during and after.
Comments Off on 5 ways to update and brighten your space on a budget
Feature blog by Nicole Poelzer, Interior Designer at Revision Renovations
One of the most common questions I get as a designer is how can you brighten and update your home without breaking the bank. Whether you are renting and don’t want to invest in a home you don’t own or you recently bought your place and don’t have the extra cash to renovate yet, this tips will help you out!
1) Roll on some new paint
It is amazing what a new paint job can do for your space. I recommended using a neutral paint colour so your home is bright and won’t date. If your home isn’t getting much natural light then a white or off white will make it feel bright and less gloomy. A neutral colour will also let you bring in colour with less permanent things like your accessories or a statement piece of furniture. If you need a splash on the wall than I suggest picking a wall and doing a feature wall colour. Below are my favourite neutral paint colours from Benjamin Moore:
2) Add life in your space with some plants and fresh cut flowers
During the spring and summer months I love to grab some flowers from a local florist and put them in a vase for my dining room table or kitchen island. It adds colour and brings life into the space, and they smell good too! Flowers in season are generally cheap to pick up.
If you want something a little more permanent you can get some cheap pots (IKEA has some great options!) and some plants to pot. Spider plants are great, they are easy to keep up and are hard to kill for all those brown-thumbs out there. I have some at home and we have some in our office.
3) Have less clutter
Clutter in your space will make it feel small and busy. Throw out, donate or sell anything you haven’t used in the past year. If you haven’t used it in a year then you are probably not going to use it again. Once you’ve done that you can organize your things (You’ll probably have a lot of “stuff” after you’ve purged through your things) into bins and baskets. Bins and baskets will make you things neat and tidy in a decorative way with different colour or patterns.
4) Update and add more lighting fixtures
Lighting is an important part of your home, you can find a really unique fixture that can also be an art piece and give you more light!. Fixtures can range from cheap to expensive. It also can help update your home if you have older out of style fixtures.
If you don’t own the home you’re living in you can still update the fixtures. For example you dislike the dining room light in the condo you are renting, you can replace it and keep the old fixture that was there before. When you move out you can take your light out and replace it with the original. If your apartment is lacking light even with fixtures add some floor and side table lights to brighten up the space. Below are some options of budget friendly fixtures!
5) A gallery wall
Lets be honest, art is expensive! Instead of leaving your wall blank, you can create your own personalized gallery wall.
There are a few ways you can create your wall, you can use personal photos, I like getting black and white photos printed and put in black or white frames. Another option is to get prints, Indigo has some good options and so does Desenio. Desenio prints are even made for IKEA frame sizes, making it even easier. If you are feeling artistic you can even create your own designs or drawings and frame them, Or mix the 3 of these ideas!
For picture frames I would go to IKEA, they have a great selection of standard sized frames in black and white. Here are some examples below:
Feature Blog written by Nicole our Interior Designer
Comments Off on Clever & Innovative Renovation Ideas
During a renovation, we’ve all done it. Scanning pinterest to find the clever, innovative renovation ideas you can incorporate into your home. We’ve done the hard work for you and put together a Pinterest boardwhich we think will make your life easier. We love including innovate features in our renovations. Here is an overview of a few ideas to get you thinking about your next project…
Finding a place to put those pesky shoes that pile up at the bottom of the stairs can be difficult. Shoe racks don’t hide them well enough for our liking and cupboard space is precious. We love this idea of storing your shoes in the stairs.
Pull out bins
How useful would it be to be able to scrape food scraps straight to the bin! These bins are easy reach, hidden away and right where you need them most.
So you’ve had your bathroom renovated and now you have to add all the life essentials like shampoo bottles. All of a sudden the bathroom doesn’t look as nice. This storage pull out is a great idea to hide all the daily essentials.
Finding a place to put your dirty clothes before washing can take up lots of room. Separating colours is always a drag. We love this laundry storage as it makes all those problems disappear.
Small touches count
It’s easy to overlook the small touches. It’s a busy morning and your rushing around getting ready. The last thing you want to do is put a hot hair dryer on your lovely new bathroom counter. Little touches, like adding a place to hold and store these types of items make your life easier.
Outdoor space is hard to find. The hot summers in the Lower Mainland can be difficult to handle without a little outdoor space. This is a great solution to bring fresh air into a room.
These are just some of our favourite of many ideas we found on Pinterest and have created in previous renovations. Check out the Pinterest board here to see the images up close.
Ads a If you live in or around Vancouver, you’ll have likely heard the buzz around Riverdale; the mysterious teen drama based on the Archie comic books which is being filmed in the lower mainland.
The filming locations of Riverdale have a very distinct mysterious style with the sets having a vampy mix of retro pieces with a modern twist. The aesthetics scream twin peaks, haunted hollywood and are very vampire-esque. As a result, this got us wondering how could we replicate some of these elements in our home. We have picked our top 3 sets from the show and broken down how you can incorporate some of the vampy style into your interiors.
Inspiration 1: Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe
Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe is the ‘Central Perk’ of Riverdale. It’s the meeting point for characters so therefore features poften in the show. We couldn’t help but get inspired by the 50’s retro/70’s mobile home vibe. The checkered floor and bright red neon signs and seating are reminiscent of the iconic Mel’s Drive In on the Sunset Blvd. We’re not saying turn your kitchen into a grungy american style diner. But you could certainly take some inspo like CW did for an event they threw.
American Diner Style Appliances
Appliances that add a pop of colour and a nod to the 50’s can liven up a dull kitchen and add a fun element.
Adding a coloured kitchen booth like ‘Pops Chock’lit Shoppe’ provides the family a fun place to enjoy meals together while being very easy to clean. Furthermore, the bright colour lightens up the room and ensures the booth is a focal point. We love the neon sign above the booth and the mix of classic wooden beams with modern furniture. (pictured above)
Checkered flooring isn’t just for the kitchen and it certainly doesn’t have to be black and white. Another thing we love is this dark green and white flooring (above), mixed with the dark walls and foliage. The the deep green flooring colour provides a modern twist while the darker walls keep the room looking vampy and glam.
Inspiration 2: Veronica’s apartment building (The Permanent Building Downtown)
Veronica’s apartment building is actually the Permanent building in Downtown Vancouver. This heritage building exudes glamour and class. The original Bank of Canada vault door still stands in the main hall as well as the beautiful stained glass atrium over head. This is perfect apartment inspiration for those wanting a elegant and prestigious look.
Stained Glass Windows
If you don’t have an atrium like Veronica, why not add stained glass to the bathroom. Due to the fact stained glass instantly adds drama, history and interest. The glass windows in the bathroom (above) provide beautiful colours which will change as the sun shines through. It also gives an element of privacy without having to frost the glass.
Crown moulding and framing doors and windows.
By framing the doors and windows you instantly make the room look more expensive and dramatic. This creates interesting lines for the eyes to follow and makes your home look far more upscale and traditional.
Metal and steel
It’s ok, we can’t afford our own steel vault in our home either. However, we can afford to introduce metal features such as this sink (above). By mixing metal with traditional materials such as wood, your home can look rustic and modern. The alternative textures really complement each other.
Inspiration 3: The Blossom Mansion
The brick & stone Blossom Family Manor is impressive in size and quality. While located in South Langley, British Columbia, the property is the gem in our inspo blog. Notably, the dark wood, velvet and gold finishes provide a mysterious and rich atmosphere.
Dark wood with gold accents
Don’t be afraid of dark wood. It can be intimidating using dark wood, particularly with dark paint, however by adding gold accents the reflections lighten up the space and make the colours look far richer.
Fireplaces Gates and Tall Candles
We pay homage to the Blossom Mansion gates by including a smaller version in the fireplace (pictured above). Firstly this gate adds drama, secondly it contrasts well with the lighter fireplace. Tall candles often make appearances in the Blossom Mansion and by adding these around the fireplace it can be a great way to bring everything around the fireplace together. It’s also common that fireplaces in vancouver are decommissioned but not removed. By going this, it’s a great way to keep it a feature.
If we are talking vampy style, velvet has to be included! In order to ensure velvet doesn’t look tacky you could add matte materials and matte paint around a feature velvet piece. Furthermore, this allows it to shimmer and stand out without clashing with any other shiny materials. Since in the Blossom Mansion (pictured above) velvet bedding and sofas are always the focal point.
Here at Revision Renovations, we have in-house designers who will be able to help you pull these looks together from flooring to fixtures and fittings.
I want to thank you again for the great service you have personally provided from start to finish of our project. It has been very much enjoyed and appreciated.
I would be happy to speak with any future prospective customers on your and your companies behalf.
We have undertaken several projects over the past couple of years using your company’s services and have found you to be attentive to our needs and concerns, responsive to our requests, and as efficient as the busy construction industry can under existing conditions.
Christopher T. Wilson – President, Faireharbour Strata NW 649
When our renovations were complete, we were very pleased with the quality and detail of the work that had been done. Also the estimated time in which Todd quoted at the beginning was accurate.
Todd is very organized and detail-oriented as well as being incredibly reliable…Todd represents a high level of professionalism within the work being done as well as on a personal level.
A special thanks is due to Todd for seeing to it that the work progressed efficiently, with materials and trades people arriving when needed.