A few months ago we were contacted by a potential client who was in somewhat of a dilemma. They had recently purchased a North Vancouver single story ranch in a neighbourhood that they really liked but since purchasing the house their situation had changed. Their elderly parents had decided that they would like to spend more time with their only grandchild and move to the area. Because of the high cost of properties their parents could not afford a home of their own. And, having lived in a house all their lives they did not want to live in an apartment. This left our clients with a few options.
Firstly, they could move but they really liked the neighbourhood. They did not want to go through the expense of moving or trying to find another property in the area. They also didn’t relish having to outbid numerous other people to try and purchase a new home.
Their second option, was to knock down their home and build a new one. But the cost of construction of the new home, finding and moving into a rental property until the new home was completed, and the time factor were prohibitive.
The third choice, was to build an addition. At first, this was the obvious choice but when they looked into the matter the only place they could build the addition, due to local bylaws, was at the front of their property. While this would give them the space they needed it would spoil the look of the home and the design would not really function for them.
After looking around the property and discussing the issues, we put forward the idea of building a second floor. They went quiet for a few seconds and said that they had thought about this and originally consulted another contractor. He had said that it was too much work and therefore the idea had been dropped. We agreed that there was some work involved. But we felt that with careful planning, the right contractor and a team effort from everybody it was not only possible but actually a very good solution. A solution that may well prove financially beneficial to them as well.
A team effort.
Intrigued by the idea they asked us more questions and what we meant by “a team effort.” We explained that to complete the project in an efficient manner and produce the expected results we all needed to work as a team. Contractor, employees, architect, engineer, specialist sub-contractors working tightly together. But, more importantly we would work with them as a team member. Because without their input it would be our interpretation of what we thought they wanted without their personal touches and input to make it their own.
Castle Crest approach.
We further explained to them that although this is a complicated and very involved project our teamwork approach would make it doable. We outlined that the way we worked is very different from other contractors. We actually employ our own carpenters under the direct control of our project manager. A manager who is a Red Seal carpenter with over 30 years’ experience. This approach gives us better control of costs, scheduling and most importantly quality. People do not realize that the most important part of a house is the structure and framing. If this is not done correctly the rest of the work can be jeopardized.
The best of Vancouver skilled trades.
We further explained that in addition to our own Vancouver-based carpenters, the architect, engineer and all specialist subcontractors had all worked for us previously. Their services had been utilized on many occasions not because they were the lowest bid but because they were experts in their respective fields, charged a fair price and cared about their product.
Since this initial contact we have moved forward, our architect has drawn plans, budgets have been set, contracts signed and permits applied for. As we joked with the clients during our first meeting by the time this project commences you will get to know us real well and really be part of the team. Now they fully understand what we meant.
Construction went as follows.
- Early March – Permits were obtained
- Mid March – Commence construction, demo, additional footings, moment frame installation, preliminary framing.
- April – Demo completed, framing completed, roof framing completed, roof covering installed, windows installed and building waterproofed, rough plumbing, rough HVAC, rough electrical, existing home downstairs demo completed, downstairs framing completed, underfloor heat installed, seismic upgrades and tie downs completed.
- May – Plumbing, HVAC, electrical & framing inspections, insulation, drywall, doors and trim installed, tiling completed, rainscreen installed.
- June – Painting completed, bathroom & laundry cabinets installed, plumbing electrical and HVAC completed and passed inspection, floor coverings and hardwood floors installed, staircase completed, handrail installed. The house was completed and ready for occupation and out of town guest arrivals June 24th.
- July – Continue working on finishing outside, exterior trim, caulking, painting, landscaping, driveway, soffits etc.
The project was completed by the last week of July. It was originally scheduled for completion in late August, but the stars aligned, the weather cooperated, the team worked hard and it was completed early.
A beautiful transformation for a mulit-generational family home.
The entire project transformed a 1950’s 2000 sq.ft. ranch into a modern open concept two-story 4200 sq. ft. home. The 2200 sq.ft second floor addition, contained a master bedroom and bathroom with luxury tiled and heated floors, two further bedrooms, both with en suite bathrooms, and a custom laundry room. A new two story entrance and staircase were constructed with glass handrails for private access. Seventy percent of the existing home was also renovated including: bathroom cabinets, bathroom renovations, bathroom fixtures, kitchen renovation and new cabinets, electrical upgrades, plumbing upgrades, HVAC upgrades and air conditioning, new doors and windows, patio door installation, patio installation, rainscreen, siding, exterior trim, interior trim and painting.