It’s getting real in the basement as the two upper floors of the Burden’s heritage B home are gutted. Tune in as the walls are opened, and the anticipated reno surprises are revealed.
Check out FortisBC to learn about their latest rebates and information on renewable energy options.
Ethical Flooring: A family-run, premier destination company in North Vancouver renowned for quality, brand-name flooring. Book your virtual or in-store tour.
Host, podcast editor: Jennifer-Lee Gunson: jPod Creations
Distributed by Black Press Media: Today in BC.
Here's the Full Transcript of this Episode
Welcome back to Measure Twice, Cut Once. I’m Jennifer Lee Gunson, your host for Season 4. This season we’re going to follow a Vancouver family in real time through their home renovation. This is not just a weekend makeover like you might see on reality TV. We’re talking real life; a real renovation. The entire main and upper floors of their heritage home in East Vancouver will be gutted and the family will be living in the basement with two small kids for the duration of the project, estimated to take five to six months. For each episode this season, we will bring in the family, builder and designer in at key points in the project to share their experiences and lessons learned to help shed light on the real renovation process. And as always, all episodes, transcripts and resources are available at HAVAN.ca/measuretwicecutonce, including photos of the project.
Let’s get into today’s podcast. Okay, so we left off last time at a really crucial moment. We were about to demo the home. How are you guys feeling now that it’s been demoed?
Yeah, things got real; quick. It doesn’t take long to demo a house. Yeah, it’s happening and a little bit nerve-wracking.
I feel like you had a real honest reaction there. That’s how people feel after the demo. Okay, Alex, let’s start with you because you’re the person that led the demolition, you’re hands on. Walk us through the process because I think a lot of people just think when you’re demoing a house that is just like everyone’s ripping out stuff, but there’s actually a science behind it and as you go, you uncover different things.
Demo went relatively smoothly allowed for two weeks in the schedule there and we were able to finish schedule. Once we were able to clear all the garbage out, get all that drywall removed, we were able to really see what’s happening in these walls and what’s going on. So, we were able to find a couple of good things, but also a lot of concerning items that we had to walk through with Skyla and Justin. And I know one of the good things was something that was kind of discussed on during the design process.
One of the positives that we found was that we actually could open up a little bit in that dining room so that we have a little bit more open concept so that there is better flow from the kitchen to the dining room. And so that was our very optimistic best-case scenario for that dining room. So, we are happy to be able to incorporate that back in the design without having any engineering involved with that because there actually was an old door that was framed there, so it wasn’t as load-bearing as we anticipated.
Anything else good from the demolition?
No, I don’t think so.
Oh, that’s comforting. Okay. Going over to the homeowners is the demolition and what they found is what you expected, or is this a little bit different from your vision of the demolition process?
I mean, like Skyla said, it got real fast. So, day one, we have bins out on the street, neighbors walking by everyone knows in the neighborhood now that we’ve got a big project underway. Right. So, all the signs are there. Grabbed a few sneak peeks up through the basement door there and got an appreciation for how much progress you can make in a day, two days, three days. So, it didn’t take long to see all the drywall down, all the appliances gone, all the finishing work piled in the living room, and then the next day in the dumpster. So, it was really impressive to see. As we near the end of that, we got a few phone calls and there’s some emails going back and forth, and we’re starting to get a sense that there may be some issues that we have to deal with. And we talked in the last episode. We understand that this is an old house and there are unknowns. And I think that was the fear, right? The great unknown. So, as it turns out, there were some unforeseen issues and things that we have to deal with to move forward.
Yeah. And kind of one of those things that kind of came up as we completed the demo was upstairs on that second floor, all the sheeting. A lot of it was just rotten. And that was a mix of it being an older roof and also more ventilation in that attic, which really limited the lifespan of that roof. And yeah, that was one of those surprises were kind of in your face is something that you’re just going to have to deal with.
Just to make it clear for them. You guys are going to have to replace the roof now in its entirety.
The roof and the sheathing.
The sheathing. So, all the plywood shaving, if you walk upstairs now that the drywall is off, the insulation is gone, is a lot of that plywood sheeting is black discolored. There’s a few really soft spots right, Alex, where you can literally push your finger through. So, there’s been some water ingress for seemingly quite a while that has degraded the sheathing. And that wasn’t something we anticipated.
Yeah. And when the guys were doing demo, there was existing carpet upstairs. And once they removed the carpet in one of the bedrooms, there was just a pool of water just sitting there. And it wasn’t previously noticed because it was just an existing closet. And I mean, nobody’s going to all your stuff is in there, right. So, it’s not an apparent issue. I guess. Good thing that a little bit came from it was we were already doing roofing work anyways, part of the project involved closing in a couple of Skylights and also replacing Skylights. So, there’s going to be some roofing work anyways. Now is kind of the time. Granted, we already knew we were going to do some roof work. Now is kind of the time to finish it off and not have to worry about it for another 25, 30 years.
How long does this affect the timeline then, Alex? By the time they get a new roof, how much longer is this project going to take?
Now, I wouldn’t say the roof is a dependable variable that will affect the final timeline. It’s more so other factors that come into play that will affect other things. So, the roofing wouldn’t be one of those things that affects it just needs to be done before we install it. But that’s something we can easily schedule in.
So that’s a positive then? If it’s not affecting the timeline too.
It’s just an extra cost that Skylar and Justin weren’t necessarily preparing for.
And I think one of the big things with this roof replacement is usually your roof has, like, a 25, 30-year lifespan, but you would just replace the shingles, but the sheathing is rotten. So, you actually have to replace all that backing and the plywood, which makes it bigger tasks than just replacing your shingles.
For anyone that doesn’t know what is.
Sheathing, just basically the plywood that goes on top of the trusses, and then you have your waterproofing and your shingles. But one of the other things that the engineer found that we did not expect at all was we have to do a new ridge beam in the primary bedroom. It’s not even a two x four now, and that’s what’s holding up the peak of the roof. And so that Alex can expand on more, I believe will have an impact on the framing timeline.
Yeah. So originally this project evolved in many ways where we originally had a floor plan and Cara had these design plans, and once we met with the engineer, there’s going to be a lot of footing work, and we went away from that plan not only for budget, but also because Skyla and Justin were living downstairs. So as part of the scope of work and as part of Cara’s plan was, we were going to try to keep things simple to avoid some of that engineering work. As we open things up and found out what was really going on with the house, it wasn’t necessarily the design plans that kind of resulted in some of these changes. There were just safety concerns that the engineer had to make the house structurally sound. And maybe Justin can attest to this because he’s also an engineer. An engineer, he’s putting his liability on the house. So, if we’re opening things up and he sees something that’s unsafe, he’s going to want us to address it. And those are some of the surprises that came up. And unfortunately, with that came not only cost, but also added time frame, where this does push things three weeks basically behind schedule because we have to get all this work done before our electrician can get in there, before our plumber can get in there. So, we’re not having to redo work. So, some of these added surprises with the engineering not only increased cost, but also increase our timeline as well.
And when you do see the home opened up and demoed, you do get an appreciation for these different structural elements that didn’t make any sense before. But for instance, like around the fireplace, we had some ideas of maybe exposing the brick, but discovered that I guess some of the support things around the fireplace were holding up the third floor. So, we can’t do that, but you can actually see them and appreciate that once the house is demon, you can literally see, oh, yeah, that is like the only support structure for this area of the house. So, I think it’s important that homeowners do see their home demoed and do see the puddles of water. Hopefully not. It gives you that real view lens of what’s going on with your home.
There is a concern of overengineering things and making things overkill. I think that’s the one advantage that it’s important for a contractor to have with an engineer is we can have that dialogue back and forth with him and say, you know, some engineers are like, well, this is my way, this is the highway. This is what we want done. Right? And that may end up being X amount of dollars and X amount of time frame for the client. But in this scenario, we were able to go back to the engineer and say, hey, are we able to do this? Are we able to consider this to save some time and money?
I know it sucks that you guys are going to have to incur those costs, but Alex, isn’t this something that they would have had to go and do down the line anyways? Like, say if they went and lived in there for a while, eventually they’d have to replace the roof. I know that doesn’t really make it easier, but was this something that was eventually going to be an issue in the next few years?
The roof you can really replace at any time. Obviously, the sheathing you can’t. This is one of those things where everything is already opened. You might as well address it. I would say if this project wasn’t a full gut and we weren’t upgrading the bones of the house and making it more energy efficient and making it somewhere they’re going to live for the rest of their life and we wouldn’t be removing all the drywall and we wouldn’t be exposing all those existing engineering issues and we wouldn’t really have known about them. Right. So, it’s just one of those things that I’m up in a larger scale project where, I mean, now is the time to do it because you can’t do it later.
That might have been a silver lining there with the roof, just being able to be aware that that route was occurring, because before that, we didn’t have any idea that there was water ingress up there. It was probably within five years, regardless, needed to be replaced. And as Alex said, when you consider the patching that has to be done, the skylight replacements, now is the time to just do the whole thing.
And then just having that risk of spending all this money on this house, making it like a magazine, and then all of a sudden, one day, there’s a pool of water up in your roof upstairs. One of those things you don’t ever.
Want to have happen with the engineering stuff. So, the three Alex’s and me walk through the house earlier in the week, and like Skyla said, you get an appreciation. You can see the one by four ridge beam that’s holding up your entire master bedroom, and you have an appreciation for the fact that that needs to be improved. You get a sense of, in the original design proposal, why it would be so difficult to move a wall in the upstairs bathroom because of all the inverted roof lines and rafters that terminate on posts throughout that entire area going downstairs. And Alex hasn’t brought this up, but there’s a large beam that spans the living room and dining room, and that had a major deflection in it. You can stand there and look at it. And Alex explained, not only is this an engineering issue in terms of safety, but when we finish that and try and mount crown molding around there, it’s not going to be square. You’re going to be able to see that. So, these are all things when we’re having the discussion, my heart kind of sank. I’m thinking, oh, no, what are the budget implications here? Are we going to be able to absorb this? Where are we going to find the funds to cover this kind of work? Luckily, we will be able to accommodate it. It may impact some of our future projects, future timelines, in terms of other things that we want to take care of. But the engineering and the roof are critical things that we need to address now, and there really is no other option but to do the work well.
If the current findings is there anything in the design that maybe, you have to cut back on now? Is there anything that you guys are maybe not going to get on your wish list because of this? Or are you guys just going to go full steam ahead with everything?
We wanted to expose the brick on the chimney just to kind of have that heritage and that texture in there. But as Skyla mentioned, the framing around the chimney was load-bearing upstairs. And then if we expose the brick in the dining room, that meant we couldn’t actually fit a fireplace in there, so we had to forgo it upstairs because it was load-bearing in the downstairs. Actually, having a working fireplace was more important than exposing the brick. So, we’re going to have to kind of pivot there and make a decision on the fly of how we want to finish that without exposing that brick.
Is there anything on your wish list that you guys besides the fireplace might not get now because of the roof that maybe like some fancy appliances or maybe something you wanted to do another room?
No. Because of the pandemic, we’ve had to order everything already. So, we’ve really committed to we ordered appliances and picked them out last year, like in the spring of last year, and put deposits on it, and we’ve ordered all our finishing, and Alex has ordered everything. So, it is what it is, and I’m not sure we would have changed our mind because we’re kind of in it now.
Yeah. We still remain fully committed. I think, if anything, it would impact maybe phase two, the basement. The timing of that, we’re going to have to let the dust settle here and see where we’re at. So that’s really where that budget will be pulled from the budgets that were allocated for other projects and savings for the upstairs.
I know that bathroom is a big topic because you are tall, Justin. I am not. But even I felt really tall in that bathroom because the ceilings are very slanted. Did anything else come on. Are you guys able to change anything after demolition? I know that was one thing we touched upon the last episode, that maybe we’ll be able to change some stuff or is it going to remain the same?
One of the walls downstairs in the kitchen that we thought was not load-bearing turned out to be load-bearing. So, for us to shift that wall back and achieve kind of the design intent, we have to install a beam and where that beam has to go. Of course, there’s plumbing from upstairs that’s in the way. I don’t even think this is a major change, but one of the changes that affects the design upstairs is the location of the drain. We just have to swap from one end to the other.
Actually, pretty much best-case scenario in that sense, because we have a tough shower combo. So instead of having a right-hand drain, we’ll have a left-hand drain, and the plumbing will just move to the opposite wall so that beam can be installed because that’s really important. It results in a bigger kitchen for us, so we need that beam. So just switching the size of the plumbing was a really good solution that didn’t negatively impact the end result of the bathroom. But we don’t get more headroom.
Yeah. So, we’ll just chalk that up to the appeal of the heritage characteristics of the house.
And we’re only going to shrink anyway.
There you go.
One day you’ll fit perfectly.
I don’t see it having a huge impact on my day-to-day life. I’ve used that shower. We were using it before. It’s not ideal. It’s not like an over the head rain shower, but it’s going to be fine for me and perfectly suitable for the majority of the people in the house.
To paint a picture, we have a very steep slope in that bathroom where the shower has to go. The highest point in that bathroom is the middle of the bathroom. We had to try to push that tub shower as far into the center as we could, within reason. And we did do some things with the design, like we have a rain shower head with a flat arm, and then we also have a hand shower, which gives the flexibility. So, if I don’t want to duck a little bit one day, because I don’t even think we can get at 6ft for that shower head. So, you do have removable hand shower ones so you can actually wash your hair properly. So, we tried to do as many design decisions that made it as functional as possible.
Kind of what happens when you work with engineers is they always spec beam sizes and all that, but they don’t take into consideration the final product in terms of trying to achieve, whether it’s a flush ceiling or a drop ceiling. Is a drop ceiling. Like, if a beam size is a certain way, then we’ll have a drop ceiling. Is that okay? And those are kind of the conversations that we have to have with the engineer and with Cara to make sure that the design intent is also there as well. So, they’re not expecting a beam where you install it, and then you’ll have a big drop in your kitchen. What’s the point of that? That’s kind of that evolution that you have with the engineer. Once you open things up and you kind of see what’s going on and what can we achieve?
And that’s why you need experts that know what they’re doing. If you want to follow along, of course, with the photos, if you want to understand more what we’re talking about, you can always go to www.havan.ca/measuretwicecutonce, and follow the journey of this project because you need to see this bathroom. It is a very slanty roof, so I’ll be curious to know. I know you’re going to make it beautiful, Cara, but let’s move down to the kitchen because that’s some good news. I know in the last episode, you were saying that you want to maybe get a small island in there, but that was vetoed. Can you get a small island in there?
Now, the real point where the island is the make or break was the corner of the dining room, which we really can’t move in like we wanted to because it’s a big point load and it would have resulted in several footings downstairs. So, our island dreams were gone long ago.
I thought maybe that’s when you were getting when you said there was some good news in the kitchen. I guess I was wrong.
We’ve accepted the news. That’s the good news.
One of the interesting things I found when we did the walk through at demo was in the living room and dining room after the carpet was taken out, you could see all the old original hardwood in that area. It was covered in concrete and self-leveling, so we aren’t able to retain that, unfortunately. But it was kind of neat to see that little element of the original house, for sure, which I definitely didn’t expect to see.
Under the existing hardwood was tile. And then there’s different types of existing flooring. On the main floor, in the dining room and living room, there was carpet and underneath the carpet was the hardwood, but in the rest of the space was hardwood, but underneath that hardwood was tile. So, you have different products at different heights. So, yeah, that was one of the kind of unforeseen things that came up with what’s really going on behind this floor and how are we going to achieve a consistent height throughout?
Well, we did anticipate slightly because there was a little bit of a ramp down from the hallway to the dining room, but we just really didn’t know what was going on under there. So that’s going to be I know Alex in the level, one team is trying to figure out the best way to tackle that flooring in regard to self-leveling and having it uneven plane. When we installed a new engineered hardwood.
And I think Justin was able to see that in our walkthrough of how much they actually built up on top of the existing shiplap was just layer upon layer upon layer.
We always anticipated that the subfloor was going to require some extra attention. There’s definitely some bumps underneath the carpet, so it’ll be interesting to see how that all comes together in the hopes of getting that continuous floor placed through there. Speaking to the tiler, I think there was kind of a nostalgic moment there. I shared some of those photos with Skyla’s parents, and that’s the flooring that they remember from the 80s when they first moved in there, that black and white checkered tile. So, they were kind of excited to see that. But at the same time, they also got to see the pictures of their home that they were in for 40 years back down to the studs. So, kind of mixed emotions there.
Skyla, what do your parents think of this?
I think they’re excited. They did get it in the well, so we shared those photos before of the renovation from back then, so they’ve seen the house like that. We have very different styles and I think they’re anticipating what it’s going to look like. So, yeah, I think they’re excited.
I was going to say, are you guys going to pay any nods to any of the older 80 styles in the design? Like, are you going to bring back that black and white checkered tile, but in a more modern fashion or no, it’s done.
There are some black and white elements and maybe a pink one, but more tastefully. Not tasteful, more updated design.
We’re going to pay homage to more of the more original heritage character. That’s kind of the goal. And we’re bringing some of the elements. The starburst framing on some of the original windows is going to be replicated in the kitchen, so that’s going to tie that together. It will definitely be a change in the field, I think a transition back to more of a heritage type look.
What was nerve wracking when we removed the carpet and under the hardwood? Was that tile? I know. My first immediate reaction was, oh, shoot, is this asbestos? So, when you’re looking at it, it’s like, well, if it’s asbestos, that’s an entirely different conversation in terms of do we remove it? If so, these are the costs. If we install new floor on it, will it actually adhere to this substrate? If not, then we have to remove it and then there’s costs with that. So, any time you see flooring built on top of one another, my assumption to think that there was asbestos. But fortunately, we got things tested and those came back negative, so we’re able to continue on. That was my first definite scare. What do we do?
So, is there no asbestos? Because usually when you renovate a level of homes, it’s generally there and like you said, it is an added cost. Did they not have any asbestos at all?
No, because the home was substantially redone in the late 80s. My guess is that would have already been removed if there was any asbestos. Fortunately for them, there was no asbestos anywhere in the house.
I can jack up the cost, so we’re still dealing with the roof, but at least there’s no asbestos on top of that.
Did your parents have to deal with an abatement? Do you know Skyla?
Were there strict rules back then?
I think they did remove all the assessors, yeah. I don’t know how, but it was removed.
I know the roof was a surprise, but was the demolition what you expected? Or did you expect like, okay, no more money being spent, or did you kind of deep down inside know that, okay, some little things might come up? Obviously, maybe it wasn’t a big thing like the roof. Were you expecting to pay a little bit more?
I think we were expecting some things to come up. I think the extent of the engineering requirements definitely exceeded some of my expectations. Certainly, having the engineer have been in there, I guess you really don’t have an appreciation for their level of understanding or how much uncertainty they’re still working with, having seen the framing exposed. So, things like the change out of the beam in the living room, we weren’t expecting that. We definitely weren’t expecting the wall that’s being moved back in the kitchen. For that to have been an engineering requirement to have been load bearing. So that was a little bit of a shock. We’re going to have to reinforce a beam in the floor, so they’re going to have to do some temporary support in the basement now, it sounds like. So, there might be a day or two where they’re down in the basement building some temporary support. So those are all things that I don’t think we anticipated. Once we saw all the drywall had been removed and everything had been open, we kind of thought we were in the clear. So, I guess that news came a little later in the week. I’m through that period. It was a little bit shocking to get some of that news, and I struggled with that. It was a big distraction, and I’ve come to terms with that. Move forward. So, everything’s good?
Yeah. It takes some time to probably get over the initial shock of finding things and changes to the budget, but this is the whole part of the process. Can we dive in now and say, how much is this going to affect the budget situation here? With the changes that you guys found.
After demolition on our end? The material, the budget impact is fairly significant, not entirely expected. As we mentioned before, we’re fully committed to doing this and doing it right. And these aren’t things that you can forgo the engineering work, the replacement of the roof, these are things that need to be done, and now is the time to do them. So, we’re prepared to do that and move forward and make sure things are done right.
As a builder, because I know with older homes, do you kind of account for a portion of the budget just in case there is any emergencies that come up?
Not necessarily. How we structure our budgeting is we’re fixed based on the scope of work, and if there’s unknowns, we’ll usually have that as an allowance kind of within the budget to say, hey, these are the things that might come up. You can’t always predict everything in advance or give a number in advance, because then you’re skyrocketing a budget by 200 grand just to cover for the unknown. So that’s not a realistic approach either. I think it’s being detailed and meticulous, and you’re pre-planning and budgeting and having everything planned that way. And if there are things that come up, just communicate and discuss with Skyla and Justin what budget implications are and does it have to be done now, can it be done later? Those kinds of things. We don’t necessarily say, hey, $25,000 for this thing or that thing. It’s more so a recommendation that the client has a bit of a contingency set aside on top of the contract that they sign with us to cover a bit of the unknown.
And really, people who are thinking about undergoing a renovation need to realize that throughout this whole process the budgets really fluctuated because we went into it thinking we were going to do a full bathroom, got upstairs and put in a free-standing shower and a separate tub and move a bunch of fixtures around and we’re not doing that anymore. So that impacted that budget in a good way, even though the design won’t be there, us not doing the island anymore has impacted things. So, it is in flux and would be more challenging if you get really stuck to a number because it’s not going to be that number by the end.
Yeah, and I think kind of nail it on the head. It’s having that, I guess, open mind because as you get more information, you’re able to provide more accurate costing and budgeting. So yeah, it’s just that natural progression and having to be open-minded in terms of the scope of work and the budget.
Typically the most budget surprises happen around this demolition stage because those are where all the unforeseen come in, because you’re opening and exposing what you couldn’t see before, whereas after kind of you start framing and doing your electrical plumbing rough and then once the walls are closed, your unexpected surprises should be pretty minimal if none at that point.
So, this is a surprise stage.
What’s the common thing everyone says about renos, right? They’re going to cost more than you think and take longer than you think. And in our experience, even with smaller projects we’ve done, that’s been true. So yeah, it seems to hold true. I guess that’s why people say it.
And I think that’s something you brought up to Skyla. Which is really important. Is that you guys thought it was going to be a smaller rental. That’s what you were going in for and now it’s turned into a larger project, and I think a lot of people are like. Oh. I’ll just fix this or do that and then they get into it and they’re like. Oh wait. This is a larger project than I expected. So, I think you have to have an open mind when you go in.
Definitely. I mean, we’re not the professionals, we just have a vision in mind and we’re relying on Cara and Alex to enact that vision.
Our timeline for home ownership here has a lot to do with it too. If we weren’t planning to be here for the long haul and we’d probably pass up on some of these things that weren’t not essential, but the fact that we do see ourselves being here for quite a while now is the opportunity when things are demoed, when things are open. If we find any of these issues, now is the time to take care of them. It’ll just be more difficult and costly in the future.
Your future selves thank you.
Great. And let’s talk about what it’s like now that you’ve been in there for a little bit and of course, you brought it up, Justin, as well. They might have to come downstairs into your basement suite now and do a little bit of work. What is it like living with your two girls in the basement during the demolition?
I mean, it’s very noisy. Like you do not want to spend the day there, so I’ve avoided spending the day there, which is fine, but, yeah, it’s super noisy. There’s a lot of things falling from the ceiling downstairs. Few pot lights have popped out. It’s pretty intense, actually. The kids were scared at the beginning, but they’re fine now. Yeah, it’s definitely an adjustment. We’ve had a few things get adjusted too, like how to actually cook down there without blowing fuses and how to use the least amount of dishes as possible. So, we’re not doing dishes until 10:00 every night, so yes. Strategizing.
So, I’m going all the things you’d expect, the noise. Luckily, I’m mostly out of the house during the week. I leave before the crew starts in the morning and I’m home after they’re finished up. So, I’m largely not subjected to the noise. But there’s some debris and dust that’s kind of trickles down from the upper level down through the pot lights and any gaps. Especially in our kind of the utilities room there where there’s no drywall. So, there’s some clean up to do sometime in the evenings. Obviously, nothing too intense. One of the cool things, though, is the girls. They know that there’s the rental going on and we can open up the basement door and they can poke their head out. They get to see that this is what a house looks like. Behind the drywall, there’s all this wood and wires and pipes and I think that’s the first time they’ve really had an appreciation for how a house is put together and how you get water to a tap and why your lights work. So that’s been really cool to see.
And what are they thinking about it? Have they said anything to you about the whole process?
No, I think they’re excited to see what it looks like. There’s lots of guessing what it’s going to look like. Riley hopes there’s like, bean bags, furniture everywhere, so, Cara, you better deliver some sort of beanbag or something. Vivian just wants to be in Riley’s room because they have to share a room, so she’s excited to go to her room with Riley, which is also her room. But anyway, we haven’t understood that concept yet. Yeah, it’s good. They’re adaptable.
Thankfully, this is one of those projects where the client living downstairs is actually feasible, whereas in some of them there isn’t that possibility of maintaining power at night or maintaining running water in the evening when they come back from work. So fortunately, in this project, we were able to accommodate that. It will be annoying for the electrician to go down there, and he’ll be doing his work in the electrical panel, which is downstairs, and some of the driver work that has to happen, but it shouldn’t be too intrusive.
There’s been good communication there, so we knew days in advance that they were going to be down there so we can be prepared and try our best to move things out of the way. So that’s been critical.
You guys are so lovely and so easy going. I want to get a little bit of dirt right now. Have there been any inconveniences to your schedule at all with this whole demolition process for ten Cara’s not here or Alex? Okay.
There was one minor leak, day one.
Of demo, I think one of the radiator lines or a water supply line got nicked. There was some water coming down through one of the pot lights in the basement and it actually shorted out some of an electrical circuit on the backside of the house. And I mean, that’s kind of par for the course. The other Alex was quick to acknowledge that that happened, and they had an electrician lined up to come in and take a look at that. The major inconvenience about that was that we have a sump operating in the back, outside the back door, and that was connected to this electrical circuit that failed due to the water. So, we had to run an extension cord from the kitchen out through our back door into the sump line to make sure that that could operate during the rainfalls. And then within four or five days, that was all resolved. So that was a little bit of excitement. And the fact that it happened on day one was just kind of we just looked at each other thinking, oh no, we’re not off to a good start here. Where’s this going to go? But luckily that was the only minor.
Bump in the road followed by the budget increase.
That’s the big bump in the road.
We’re accepting reality, it’s all real.
And I’m glad that you guys are being super honest about these things happen in construction. And again, you have a great team. It’s all about being honest with you, leading you through it and fixing any problems that occur. So, thanks again. One more question before we go. I know you mentioned it a little bit that the neighbors know the jig is up, you guys are doing a big reno. Have they had any issues with what you guys are doing or have they been pretty chill neighbors so far?
Yeah, it’s been pretty chill. I think it’s more just curiosity. Everyone wants to stop by and get a better understanding of what you’re doing. We do have the big bins on the street. Luckily, they’re not really impacting any of the parking. That was maybe an initial concern that we had, but those have been managed pretty well. So, I think all in all, it’s been minimal impact to the neighbors. Probably some noise and some strangers or people that they don’t recognize coming in and out. We’ve tried to do our best to make contact with our neighbors and give them a heads up about what’s going on and there’s a lot of work going on in our neighborhood too, so I think people are fairly used to it. There’s quite a few projects underway.
Yeah, people I think are used to construction by now. Well, I hope. Anyways, it’s been a great conversation. We’ve talked a lot about the demolition process and thank you guys again for being so honest. We learnt through this episode that you guys are going to be getting a new roof, so that’s something to look forward to. We did find out Cara had a win, which is great because she gets to make the kitchen a little bit bigger.
The kitchen can be the size that we wanted it to be, so we didn’t have to compromise on that, which was nice.
That’s great. And what was your other win again? You had one more win.
We could open up the dining room a little bit, which we were hoping for.
Skyla is happy, we’re all happy about it, so we kind of touch a little bit about this, but I want to know at this stage, the demolition stage. I just want to check in with you. Skyline and Justin, how are you physically and emotionally now that we’ve done the demolition part?
Yeah, no, things are feeling better. I mean, anything to get out of the packing phase, I would bring on the demo. Something about packing is horrible, so we’re just anticipating and excited still. Maybe that’s adrenaline, I don’t know, but yeah, we’re happy to see how things are going to go.
The first week was challenging, there was a lot of change, not only just the demo starting, but setting up my home office in a new location that was different. Still fully committed at work for a regular schedule. But these things, they think they can, they take time and then you get comfortable with them and then just in time for something new to come along. Right. So, it’s been really exciting to see the progress and things progressing so quickly after spending so many months planning and leading up to this, it’s all starting to happen. So, we’re looking forward to continuing on with the process and ultimately seeing the final product.
Awesome. And this is a question for Alex. I don’t want to give the homeowners any more heart attacks. We’re heading into the plumbing and electrical rough in stage. Any foreseeable concerns on the electrical side?
Nothing really of concern on the plumbing side, we’ll be looking at replacing some of those water lines for the boiler, those existing copper lines. So that is something that we’re looking at with the plumber. And we’ll be talking to Skyla and Justin about what are our options here and what do we need to do.
How are you guys feeling about that stage? Skyla and Justin?
I mean, I don’t see moving into demo. It was the great unknown. I don’t think there is as many unknowns now that we’ve kind of exposed this. So, I think hopefully this will just be more fairly standard electrical and plumbing work as we move forward. Knock on wood.
I think it becomes that evolution of a project where it’s nerve-racking at first. It will be for the first couple of months where you don’t really see any progress. But I think once you’re there and you start seeing the draw go up and then you see the floor go down and it’s tangible, right? You can see things happening and usually the client’s moods change around then because all those extras have been dealt with and all that stuff is kind of out of the way. So, yeah, it’s just a normal process of nerve-racking at first, and then that changes as you move along and you start to see all the pieces put together.
Again, thanks for joining us today. Next time, like we mentioned, we’re going to be discussing the electrical and plumbing rough and stage. Good luck to everyone. Hopefully there’s no more big surprises and we’ll see you in approximately four weeks. Thanks, guys.
Thank you everyone.
Measure Twice, Cut Once is grateful to our podcast partners FortisBC and Ethical Flooring. Their support helps us share expert knowledge and resources with families looking to build, design and renovate the home right for you. Ethical Flooring is located in North Vancouver and specializes in the supply and installation of brand-named flooring for residential renovations and custom-built homes. And the BC Energy Step Code Program is a provincial standard, moving the entire homebuilding industry forward to build homes to better energy efficiency standards, which means better health, comfort and safety. Be sure to check out www.Betterhomesbc.ca or talk to your renovator or builder for the latest energy rebates and resources. If you’ve enjoyed this episode or have a friend or family member looking to renovate, be sure to share this podcast. Simply by following and sharing the podcast, you will be entered in to win a Napoleon Prestige P 500 stainless steel natural gas barbecue valued at $1,549, compliments of Fortis BC. Season 4’s real time reno has real resources we can all learn from. See you next time.