Often when tackling a large renovation the process is a journey. In 2012, my husband and I bought a 1959 bungalow. It was far from perfect but we loved the character it had and the surrounding neighborhood. We knew a major renovation was in our future. In 2015 the planning began in earnest. At first, we thought it made sense to start with the rental suite in the basement. We hired an interior designer and started getting quotes from contractors. We got a serious reality check. This was going to cost a lot more than we had anticipated. With this in mind we decided to focus on the main floor instead.
We did a few iterations of the main floor but none of the designs we came up with were fixing our layout issues within a budget we could afford so we decided to put the project on hold for a while. We decided to buy some CAD interior design software so we could tweak the floor plan ourselves. This gave us the freedom to create a multitude of adaptations to our home. We had versions where there was a second story, bump outs, an addition. We reviewed some more contractor quotes but concluded that staying within our existing square footage would be the most cost effective.
We realized our main priority was better access to our backyard. Two doors, two sets of stairs and a gate separated our kitchen from the backyard. Definitely not ideal for BBQs or hangouts. One day while sitting in the backyard we final had an epiphany. We should add a deck and turn our existing bathroom into a back entry. That idea brought the floorplan together and solved a lot of problems that we hadn’t been able to figure out so far. After that, the final design fell into place and the real work got underway. In September 2018 we moved out and demolition began. It was incredible to watch all our years of planning finally come to fruition. We finally finished the exterior in 2021. All in we spent three years renovating and six years planning. I know there is also an urge to tackle projects as fast as possible but taking time allows for really knowing what you want and doing it right!