Restoring & Rebuilding a Century Home

Feb. 12, 2016

We are off to the races!  Architect has been retained and he has already made a few important phone calls on our behalf, checking with both the TRCA and the City of Markham Heritage group.

We've learned that digging a new basement will likely be a no-go, because of floodplain issues.   And we are not sure yet, about whether a garage will be an allowable option.  So, building enough storage into the home will be a key factor for us.  A crawlspace IS allowed, however, and there is a lot we can do with this in order to safely (and dryly) store our stuff, but it is not the most comfortable thing to have to navigate!

The amount of expansion allowable for habitable space (space that we live in, use for mechanical/electrical equipment, etc) is a number based on 50% of the existing main floor footprint.   

Next steps are a site measure to verify the existing building and property, so that as-built drawings can be done.   

We agree that the space we use the most really comes down to three areas of our house - the kitchen/dining area, the living room, and our Master Bedroom.   This is where we will focus our efforts, leaving the original part of the house to serve for office space, a music room and extra bedrooms.   

In looking at the photo attached to this Blog post, you can see exactly where we'd like to remove the old Salt Box addition, and the back porch/breezeway too, leaving the original structure in place...but perhaps doing something different with those dormers.

I will call this project a 'slow moving vehicle' for the time being.  It will be a while before we are into Conceptual Drawings.

Jan. 2, 2016
Here's the List I'll Use!

This is a great list, things that we don't even notice in our daily lives...but that would make packing up and moving so much easier, if they were GONE in advance. I have already done the pesky underwear drawer...having graduated to a new size, why do I need to keep the old ones? Hahaha. ;)

Jan. 2, 2016
Pinterest: Collecting our first Ideas

Here's a link to our Pinterest site - gives you an idea of what we're after!

Jan. 2, 2016

There are a lot of unknowns still, but within the next month or so, we are hoping to make them into KNOWNS!  

Some paperwork on the Property is needed before we can get in touch with our Architect again, so that he is equipped with as much information as possible.  In particular, it will be surrounding the Heritage Designation, the Conservation Authority, Floodplain, and the Development Standards concerning Setbacks and other legalities. 

We don't know yet, what we will be able to add, change, or improve, except that the original roofline has to be kept and that we must use original materials to finish the exterior.  The interior is Carte Blanche!  

In the meantime, a ruthless purge has to take place.  I refuse to move back there with anything that I moved here with, that I have not touched in 8 years!   If I am smart, I'll tackle it with a systematic approach, one room at a time, instead of applying my usual Attention Deficit Disorder approach.   At least I can use the Records Management Rules of pitching business stuff after 7 years have passed.  And how about the drawers in the bathroom filled with tiny samples that I've collected and will never use?  Expired Vitamins?  Gone!  Our cold storage room is filled with knicknacks and silly things... I'm not a hoarder, honestly, but I have kept greeting cards sent to me over the years, and wedding I need them?   We have already gotten rid of almost three closets full of clothes left behind by our three teenage boys, and it was happily donated to a Syrian Refugee program.    There is furniture to part with too, stuff that has remained in our home that came from a past life ~ these items will be put out on Craig's List or something, when the time is right.

Other questions remain to be answered, such as how we'll float two homes when we no longer have a Tenant at 19th Avenue who is covering the Mortgage there.  We have an option, however, which will be to temporarily move into the basement of Hilton.  This will mean two moves, and paring down on the EXTREME, so that we can fit.   My beloved piano for instance, will have to move in advance to 19th Avenue and be carefully covered to protect it from dust and construction risk.   

A timeline will have to be built, to help us to understand when and how best everything should unfold.   I for one, don't want to be staying in the basement here through a winter, (I would miss the gas fireplace desperately) so the idea is that we'll be able to accomplish a lot from now, until the end of September or October of 2016, with a big move happening then.   What we do know, is that this whole thing means that certain other lovely things and ideas will have to be sacrificed, such as a Holiday... or the remote possibility that I'd audition for a Summer Opera Program in Italy.   But then again, 2017 is not so far away, is it?  ;)

I've started searching through Pinterest to find photos of interiors and structure that I like, and these will be the subject of much discussion with Aris and our Architect, when the time comes. I remember collecting volumes of Architectural Digest and Interior Design Magazine when I was younger, they were like gold to have...but thankfully those days are over and my mags were tossed long ago.  It's funny how our tastes evolve but ultimately, we settle into what we inherently love.  For some it is a modern interior with all of the shiny comforts and new fangled devices.  I prefer an eclectic mix and we will likely end up with a classic look to fit the era of the home, but with upgraded amenities for kitchen and bath.   What did I learn in Interior Design School at Niagara College?   Form Follows Function!





Dec. 29, 2015

Beautifully painted and before the eaves troughs and downspouts were added. Also, blue trim on windows still not done. September 2006