The excitement is building as the Burdens peek upstairs and can see the essence of their 1920’s heritage home coming to life! Colour selections, appliances, and final details are revealed, including a final, unexpected hiccup with a subtrade.
Here's the Full Transcript of this Episode and resources too!
HAVAN 33 Transcript
[00:00:00] Welcome back to Measure Twice. Cut Once, a podcast from HAVAN, the Homebuilders Association Vancouver. It’s season four and we’re following the Burden family through their real time 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 East Vancouver Heritage home is being gutted back to the studs to bring the house back to its original 1912 glory with the modern conveniences and finishes for increased efficiency, comfort, and safety. The Burden’s goal is to live in the basement with two small kids for the duration of the project once construction starts. For each episode this season we are bringing the family builder and designer in at key points in the project to share their experiences and lessons learned to help shed light on their real renovation process.
And as always, episodes, transcripts and resources are available at www.havan.ca/measauretwicecutonce , including photos of the project.
Welcome back, everybody. Well, it’s been a process. I think we started this back in, when did we start renovating Alex? Back in January. Oh. And we’ve been following it along. It feels like a long time, but it probably feels longer for the Burdens, who of course, just to mention, they’re living in their basement suite while the construction or the magic as I like to call it, is happening above.
We’re still there. Yep. in the basement. Luckily, it’s summertime and we’ve been on vacation, so we haven’t been, Yeah, too cooped up down there, but yes, we’re still there.
[00:01:29] You’re still around . You’re still excited?
Yeah, we are excited. Things are moving along so. This is the fun part where you actually see how things are going to look at the end. Yeah, this is the fun part.
So, I had the pleasure to go through it a week ago and take a look at what was going on. Of course, it’s still a construction site, but you can see a lot of different things under the plastic.
[00:01:49] They’re starting to wrap everything up while they do the final preparations, finishing the painting and all that. And it really comes together. As somebody that come from a family of construction. This is the exciting part because sometimes with homes, and Alex can probably tell you, it feels like they’re going nowhere and then all of a sudden, it’s like you got your drywall on, you’ve got your finishes coming in, and it gets way more exciting.
[00:02:10] So it looks like a beautiful home, and I can’t wait for them to take the plastic off. We’re also excited for the plastic to, to come up and move out of that basement suite as what we learned in the last episode. You guys were getting a little bit tired of it, which I don’t blame you, but like we said, it’s summer, so you guys have been able to take the kids out on s.
[00:02:27] Kind of get outta the house, and then when fall comes around, it will be nice for you guys to move in. Let’s do a little recap of what has been going on so everybody can kind of see the changes that you see through Theater of the Mind here on the podcast. So last time we chatted, the floor leveling was completed.
[00:02:43] There was a little bit of an issue with that, but we resolved it. You’ll have to listen back to last episode to see how we solved it as. And now the flooring and the drywall are going to come in. And so, Alex, can you give us a little recap on everything? Yeah. So now that you know, we were able to pass all our roughen inspections and finally move on to more funner aspects of the project.
[00:03:06] So, you know, starting with drywall, Boarding, mudding, and taping all the drywall, which is probably going to take around three weeks. And then once we have our, our, our drywall finished, then we’re able to move on installing the floors, the new engineered hardwood floors. And once those floors are complete, you know, then we’re able to move on to tiling work, put in the bathroom, all the prep and the install of the tile.
[00:03:33] You know, now that we’ve finished inspections, now we can, you know, really. Put our head to the grindstone and get moving on some of the funner things. And Alex, for somebody that might not know, what a rough an inspection is, especially if it’s their first time as a homeowner. What is a rough an inspection and what are the list of them that you had to complete?
[00:03:50] There are all the inspections that happen before drywall to make sure that all the plumbing, all the electrical, all the building and framing was done properly and to code. And every project is different in terms of what is required by each municipality. For the Burdens, we had to have plumbing, electrical, framing, inspection, and once all those three passed, then you can move on to your insulation inspection, insulation, and fire separation.
[00:04:18] But once that passes, you know you’re able to close up the walls and proceed onto the next aspect of the project. And so, for somebody that doesn’t know this, I know we talked before that the old copper pipes had to be replaced. Is that something that they would take a look at and pass? Is that perfect inspections, or no?
[00:04:35] Yes. They’re mainly looking at, you know, health and safety, things like drainage. And making sure everything is fire rated. The electrical inspector, they’re going to be looking at making sure that the panel being upgraded to 200 amp is done properly. You know, making sure that every appliance is on a dedicated circuit.
[00:04:52] And so, yeah, they’re looking at a whole variety of things when they do their inspections and Skyla and Justin coming from the homeowner’s point of view. When you guys hear inspections and all this stuff that’s going on that Alex mentioned it, do you understand it? Like, did you guys understand the process of what’s going on or do you kind of just leave it up to your wonderful contractor and then you’re like, Okay, let us know when we have to make a decision?
[00:05:14] Yeah, I’d say more the latter. That’s, you know, one of the major benefits of having a contractor, someone to take care of those fine details. So, I think me and Skyla both appreciate that there is a process here and you know, we like having. Double check in place to ensure you know that everything is being signed off on and you know, being held accountable to performing the work as required in terms of the details.
[00:05:38] That’s something that we don’t have to get involved with. Thankfully, Alex and the team at Level One take care of all the details when it comes to working with the city and the permitting. Something else I want to talk to you guys before we move on, of course, is gas new furnace. You guys were touching a little bit upon it last time, but being down in the basement, you guys are already realizing some of the benefits of it.
[00:05:58] Can you explain a little bit more? Of course, it’s been really hot, so you probably don’t necessarily have the heat on at the moment. Yeah, that’s been a significant upgrade for us switching from a dedicated boiler and hot water tank to now a combination on demand boiler hot water system.
[00:06:15] One of the first things off the bat is the footprint of the unit is much smaller, so it’s in a utility closet. We have some additional space now to store a bunch of our belongings and which has been extremely useful with us being in the basement. You know, also we’ve seen the benefit in terms of the, the gas bill has decreased significantly.
[00:06:36] That is part to do with the change in season but can imagine we had a boiler. You know, that was commissioned back in the eighties. I think the efficiency ratings at that time were much lower than they are now. And not to mention a huge hot water tank that was standing there, you know, continuously firing water.
[00:06:52] So big upgrade for us and part of the considerations of this project was to try and improve the efficiency of the house. The roof is 90% complete. I know that was kind of the elephant in the room. It was 90% complete last time we left off. Now we have a roof. We’ve put all those problems behind us.
Jen, we’re still 90% complete actually, so it’s a bit of a sore subject.
[00:07:16] I mean, there’s some communication issues with the roofer, so we’re, we’re trying to resolve that. We’ll see what comes here. As we’re nearing the end of the project, it’s something that’s going to have to be taken care of one way or another, so still remaining patient at this point in time. There may be some conversations that need to happen pretty quick to make sure that the, the timing of that aligns with the, the end of the project.
[00:07:40] Can I ask what the holdup has been with the roof? Because obviously for me, I’m, I’m not that tall. Like when I went to go look at your house, it, it’s all beautiful. You got rid of, there used to be skylights in the bedroom. They’re gone now. The roof looks great from the inside , but I, I don’t know what else is there left to do.
[00:07:56] We’re told it’s watertight, so that’s good. I saw no leaks, there’s some shingling that needs to be done in the front of the house. The flat roof and the dormer section still needs to be completed. There’s some flashing in gutter work and event cap that needs to go on as well. And, and then just some general cleanup.
[00:08:14] The gutters are full of debris and asphalt, so I mean, there’s probably a day or two of work and I, I think what’s happened is we had such a poor. Weather wise, I think the roofers really, you know, booked themselves up and now they’re scrambling to complete all their work while the weather’s nice. We’re remaining patient for now, but it has to get done.
[00:08:34] There is an added complication. The, the exterior painting has started. Um, so we have, you know, a bunch of personnel outside working. The painters have been booked for almost a year now. This is their two-week window to come in and complete their, their job. So, we just need to make sure that we don’t have anyone getting in their way.
[00:08:54] And obviously you don’t want people scrambling around on the roof when there’s wet paint on the, on the side of the house. With the building coming, there are sub trades and sometimes I think a lot of people think that the contractor, like they are responsible for the sub trades, but sometimes. You know, if there’s other things going on, like you said, Justin, the weather, or like they are entirely another company, you can’t necessarily make them work.
[00:09:17] So I think sometimes the builder gets it put on them that it’s like, where are these people? So, Alex, can you fill us a little bit in about maybe your relationship with Sub Trades as a construction company just in general? You know, every trade that you work with, they all. Other companies that they’re working with, they all have other jobs.
[00:09:34] And you know, it can be challenging, especially when you got several jobs on the go, schedule each individual one at, you know, certain timeframes. So as anybody knows in a reno, there’s always delays, and delays always have a compounding effect throughout the supply chain. And it just, it pushes everybody back.
[00:09:50] You know, it’s a delicate balance in terms of trying to manage client expectations, but also, you know, making sure that trades can come in and, and have their window to do their work too. You can’t have 15 guys on site doing their work or nothing is going to get done, and you’re not going to have the quality of work that homeowners should get in a, in a high-end reno or just a reno in general.
[00:10:10] So, but I think the relationship with the roofer on this one was just a little bit. Again, having good communication, which we’ve talked about in a lot of the different episodes with the homeowners and not blind siding them as well. So, was Alex and the team at Level One upfront with you guys about the delay with the roofing?
[00:10:27] Well, as Alex kind of alluded to, it’s, it was a little bit of a different situation. So, Skyla and I selected the roofer. He’s kind of has a relationship with our extended family, so that kind of muddies the waters a little bit. Instead of the onus really being on Alex for having selected a roofer. It’s, you know, I’m involved now as well, so.
[00:10:51] You know, we’re trying to work through that together and I mean, I appreciate the fact that both Alex is at Level One. There has been patient as well and have done their best to try and coordinate and communicate with the roofer. It’s just one of those situations that hasn’t really progressed as.
[00:11:12] 95% of scenarios you never want the homeowner choosing trades. As Justin said, it just muddies the water and it becomes a problem of if somebody screws up who’s liable and it just be, creates a messy situation. I think for something like the roof. Um, aside from it being done, it, it was one of those tasks that could be done.
[00:11:31] You know, it had to be done before we, we had our inspections. So, there was a critical path there in a sense of it just needed to be done within a four-month timeframe. And then, you know, now it’s like, well, it just needs to be done before we call final inspection. But if it was one of those things where it’s like, you know, we need to hire a drywall guy within this timeframe, and what if he doesn’t show up?
[00:11:50] But if like he doesn’t get things done in a timely manner, then it screws up our trades and then it screws up our schedule. Yeah, Roofing was just one of those ones where, where it worked and I was, I was okay with saying, Yeah, you guys can hire, you know, the roofer and we can coordinate with him to come in and do the work and then come back and finish the work.
[00:12:10] Usually any other subrate aside from that would be a no go. And, you know, I was hesitant, you know, to be involved there, but it was really a budget driven decision because the roof was not in the original scope for us. It came as a, as a big surprise and, you know, it is a fairly significant budget item when it comes to, you know, replacing sheathing and res shingling an entire roof.
[00:12:34] So the roofer that we did select was, you know, the most competitive when it came to pricing. Also, a family friend who’d done work for you previously. So, it wasn’t a guy off of Craigslist. Exactly, yeah. It wasn’t you know; you guys went in and, and just chose the cheapest guy. There was a little bit of you know, some good reasoning behind it.
[00:12:51] We knew the workmanship was. We didn’t really appreciate maybe that the, the timeline wasn’t as strong, but it worked out. It’s not a, I don’t think it’s, it’s not a big deal. You know, he got the roof in, you know, shingled before we’re able to do our insulation, and then now he’s busy. This is their money-making season, right?
[00:13:09] Summertime, he’s got a lot of other projects to do, and just as long as he comes back to wrap up those items in, in two days before we call for a final inspection, it’ll be worth the cost savings in the. Like the stress, the low-level stress here, and like on our end, it will outweigh the amount of money that we’ve saved.
[00:13:27] So it’ll be fine. It’ll just be another reno story. Yeah. If you’re saving five grand, it’s one of those things where it makes sense. No issues from our end. And do we have a date for them to come back and finish it, or not yet? No. I think that’s the frustrating part right now is we’re trying to pin down a.
[00:13:42] There’s been some kind of loose promises that haven’t panned out. It’s time to get it done. So, I think probably given a firm deadline, there’ll be a rise to the occasion or a call to action there. Well, next time I talk to you, hopefully it’s a hundred percent done. Anyways. Just one more question on this before we move topics for people again that don’t know this.
[00:14:02] When the homeowner picks their own subtrade, Alex, who pays them, is it still Level One that defies out the payments like they would for other trades or is it Skyla and Justin? Yeah, in, in the rare event it happens, they would pay the sub trade directly. Same thing with Cara from Triple Dot. She’s technically a sub trade, I guess, and you know, she works with the homeowner, and she has her own rates, and she bills the, the client, so Justin and Skyla, and then they just pay her.
[00:14:30] So same thing happens with the roofer. They send them the invoice and then they have their own payment structure, and they deal with paying him and, and dealing. Any issues that may arise from his work. So, Level One would not be on the hook then, if anything Knock on wood was to go wrong, not if it’s a roof.
[00:14:45] Yeah, if it’s a roofing issue, yeah. No, that’s, that’s not on us. If it’s a floor issue, then yeah, you. Call me think and knock on what, No more issues. We are beyond that and it’s going to be a wonderful house. Okay. In one of the first episodes and stuff, I think you guys weren’t quite committed to necessarily changing the paint color on the outside of the house because it is a heritage beat.
[00:15:06] You have to get the colors approved and everything. And correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think that was something that was on your original list when we started with painting the exterior of the house. Yeah. I thought you guys were going to wait a. We had thrown that around. I mean, it’s definitely due for a paint job, so it’s one of those things.
[00:15:21] We’ve committed resources and financially and in terms of sacrifice living in the basement to upgrade the inside and the outside needs to be taken care of as well. Not just for aesthetics, but just to, to seal up all that wood. It’s, you know, everything’s shingles, cedar shingles are siding, fully woodhouse.
[00:15:41] That paint needs to be in, in good condition to kind of preserve the exterior there. So, we had thrown it around. We are working with the Vancouver Heritage Foundation provided us with a grant based on the condition that we select our color scheme from the true colors palette so that it stays true to the historical color scheme in Vancouver.
[00:16:02] So me and Skyla did some back and forth with them and, you know, they came and. Did a scraping of the exterior of the house and gave us an, a sense of what the original color scheme was when it was first constructed, and it was a lot of yellow and brown. So, after reviewing that, we decided that we could work with them within their, their guidelines and the requirements.
[00:16:23] And we’ve selected some, some different colors. So that’s commencing now. And initially when we had booked the painters, we had anticipated that the interior renovation would be complete. But now the exterior painting is overlapping with completion of the interior renovation. And, you know, Level One has been fantastic in, you know, accommodating them, understanding that this was their scheduled time for, you know, almost a year now.
[00:16:49] And thankful that actually Level One’s there, because as the painters have been up and prepping sanding, they’ve identified some structural issues. Some support brackets and some, you know, some siding that’s probably curated to the point where it needs to be replaced. And, you know, Level One has jumped in there and been able to respond and remediate those areas as required.
[00:17:13] So it’s, you know, another kind of example of teamwork and. Painters and Level One all kind of working together there. So, it’s, it’s been great to see. And I think you just said something else in there too, is the fact that when you do renovations, and then we talked about this probably in one of the first episodes, is you have to be prepared that maybe the items you originally wanted to do are going to expand.
[00:17:36] Because like I remember early days you guys weren’t quite sure about the outside, but then you said there. Issues that you wanted to resolve. So, you protect all that great work that Alex and the team are doing inside. So, you know, you don’t have leaks down the road that ruins in, causes maybe more destruction that you eventually have to get fixed.
[00:17:51] So I think again, as a couple that are renovating their home, you have to be open because your project can expand. Sometimes maybe you don’t want it to, but sometimes it’s for the better. Now you guys don’t have to do it for another 10 years or more. That might have been a conversation of, you know, if there were a lot of budgets.
[00:18:09] Whereas so is one item you can delay off the list, probably exterior painting was one of those ones where you can push off for, for a bit, um, in a sense of like, you know, you can’t do your doors later or you can’t, you know, do your bathroom later in a, in a, so to speak. So, I think it was mainly that if there was, if there was some really, really big surprises and maybe, yeah, the exterior painting gets done later on.
[00:18:33] But we knew that there was going to be some patches, especially with the electrical panel moving, so you don’t want to leave it too long. Justin and I also found, um, Some areas of Rod outside too. So, it, we sort of felt like we needed to, it was a priority, and we waited a couple of months to hear back from the Vancouver Heritage Foundation to see if we got the grant and then once they said they would, they would give it to us.
[00:18:54] We kind of decided we might as well go for it. As we mentioned, many times it’s episode or episodes for this podcast is the fact that your home is Heritage B. So, you guys actually had to go. It’s a heritage society first to help you choose a color. Cause you can’t just paint them whatever you feel like.
[00:19:11] Um, and I didn’t realize that there were grants for it too. Well, we could actually paint the house any color we, we wanted. We just wouldn’t be eligible. And when you apply for it, you have to agree to use. The color schemes. So, they did the, the paint scraping of the house, found the original colors, which are heinous
[00:19:30] So we were like back pedal, like, oh no, the money’s great but I don’t want to Brown and Gold House. , they gave us some other parameters and we were able to pick something, you know, maybe something we wouldn’t have necessarily chosen, but it’s, it’ll be, it’ll be nice. I didn’t know, I thought you had to, with having a heritage home, I thought you had to keep it the color that they wanted you to.
[00:19:54] So the fact that you could paint it any color you wished that’s pretty cool. And what color combination did they choose? We went beyond East fan, so it’s actually really interesting when you go to the website, there’s some east side, west side colors, and then depending on the era of your home, there’s colors for each era.
[00:20:11] So we had to go west side to get a decent color from 1912. So, we picked Point Grey and then a yellowy, they call it beige, but or cream. It’s quite yellow. What was it, Justin? I don’t remember.
Yeah, so the main body of the house will be Point Grey, and then the trim, the soffits, the fascia, the columns, the brackets, pretty much all the other accent features will be an Edwardian Buff, which is on the, you know, it’s a yellow or type of color.
[00:20:42] And yeah. And then windows indoors will be black. So, it’ll be interesting to, to see, see how it comes out. It’ll be a big change. And there’s a lot of prep work on that house. There’s been a fairly decent sized crew there every day, scraping, sanding, washing a paintbrush. Hasn’t touched the house yet, and they’ve been working for almost a week.
[00:21:05] Lots of work to. That’s so cool. And I didn’t even know that were different colors in different sections of Vancouver, so I’m learning something. I’m going to go Google that later. Okay. Well, we’ve talked about a lot about like different things popping up in the home, things we’ve been working on, but one thing I really want to talk about is the finishing details, because when I just walk through the house, even though there’s a lot of plastic and a lot of coverings, I could tell there was a lot of neat details in the home and it also ones that make the home more functional.
[00:21:34] So, Cara, can you start us off in the discussion of finishing details and making it work for us or work for the burdens? I’m not living there. I wish I was. Well, because this house had a big renovation in the eighties. Big part of our design was to add, um, character back and in details back in. So that’s why you do see a lot of.
[00:21:53] Detail stroke. One of my favorite features on the main floor is we did a shiplap ceiling, and we picked an MDF shiplap. It just gives a nicer painted finish versus a fur. You could do a fur, but then you get it’s pretty rough and you get all the knots, and you would see that. So, it gives a much different, um, look.
[00:22:11] So I wanted it to be a little bit cleaner, so we did. MDF shiplap ceiling. We did crown throughout on the main floor, um, where the ceilings weren’t vaulted. Just to add that extra level of detail, all our openings are cased with architraves. So, an architrave is a detailed header on the top of your, like window and doors.
[00:22:31] Cara, why did you choose a crown that was so like deep? Well, we had fairly high ceilings there, so we wanted something that looked substantial enough in the area, and typically in older places you’d have a fairly big crown, so we wanted something pretty chunky there, so it didn’t look too small in scale against the height of the ceilings.
[00:22:51] But I love that about your design because you know, like Skyla and Justin are putting a lot of work into. The outside the house, and of course you do have to follow certain rules of heritage be, but sometimes inside the house, some people make it really modern. So, I like the fact that even though your kind of doing like a twist of modern with some older features, it all kind of works together.
[00:23:09] Like I lived the New Westminster way to follow certain rules. My home was brand new when I grew up, but it had to be Victorian style, and so inside it, there was queen and details in it, but there was a little bit of twist to modern, and that’s what I like about your design. Justin and Skylight can live in there and not feel like they’re living in like a really old home, but they can still have that element that makes it feel like that as well, so you’re not fully taking away from it.
[00:23:34] And it’s also casual feeling too, like it’s not traditional stuffy. It’s, it’s just nice and it’s finished and it, it does. Original to the home, but it doesn’t feel too formal. Between our family room and dining room, we’ve done a tram window. So, tram is, well, we have an opening, and then there’s glass kind of above and beside the opening to kind of give it the separation, but still give it kind of light and airiness, but um, but not closing off those two spaces. So, you still have some connection, but still have separation. And you would see details like this in older homes. So, you still have semi-open concept, but it makes sense to what this house was. As you walk up from the sidewalk, you see this beautiful heritage home and you walk through the doors, and it isn’t like a jarring juxtaposition from inside to outside.
[00:24:30] So it’s this really like nice, harmonious feel as you walk through that front door from your first experience of the house. Yeah. You’re not going to get, like I’ve been through Heritage Homes where they were allowed to do whatever they wanted inside. And so, you go from outside and in this beautiful grand home and then all of a sudden, it’s like, whoa.
[00:24:46] It’s like you’re in a modern room that you found in like a Bay Catalog. So, it’s not like giving you like a heart attack when you come in. It’s a nice harmonious. I think it’s in a very approachable design. Like Skyla said, it’s casual. It’s got layers, it’s got details, but nothing that’s so intricate that it’s too fussy.
[00:25:08] Because you guys are a young family, you don’t have time to be cleaning super ornate details No. And that was the one thing I was going to mention is if we talk about the staircase in there, they used to have those big wooden balls on top. And you told me that, you know, maybe the carpenters weren’t super excited with you Cara for getting rid of those balls.
[00:25:29] Because they really had to flatten the , um, what is it called?
The newel post cap was like the eighties round ball and so we didn’t want those anymore. So, it had a little bit of a tapered edge up to where that new cap started. They had to cut it all off because we didn’t completely replace the railings to make it all the same.
[00:25:49] We had to get rid of the new caps and they had to try to finesse it to make it look good. And Cara, you had mentioned over a year ago when we did our walkthrough that it’s quite expensive to replace, like the whole staircase, the banister and the railings be a significant price. So, if we could do something just to update our, our existing, then, you know, that’s what we were, we were hoping for.
[00:26:11] And as an interior designer, Cara, in general, do you find, if there’s a lot of great stuff in the home, do you try to keep it and kind of configure it to make it brand new or do you get rid of it? Complete. Well, it depends on what it is. If you can retain any like original moldings and stuff, we will try to, but sometimes that’s really challenging and especially with Skyla and, Justin’s scope work where most of the drywall came out, if not all of it, on those two floors.
[00:26:39] Once the drywalls out, your moldings are out so that that can’t all be retained. In their case, we worked with the original windows. Not only are they beautiful, but because of their heritage. B status poses an issue. How to replace them without costing them a lot of money. Let’s talk about that because you brought it up – window solutions.
[00:26:59] How did you guys, I know there were some solutions to keep those windows because you, one of you were telling me that it is a very expensive to replace them. So, can you give us a rundown, a little bit of what it means of Heritage B windows and how do you work them into your design and make sure that they’re still kind of functional for today’s standards?
[00:27:17] Yeah, so that’s still a work in progress. I mean, the windows themselves are, they are original to the house, and they are one of the primary character elements of the home, the star detailing, you know, they, they really kind of give that heritage feel to the home and it was a priority for us to, to retain that in some form.
[00:27:37] And for now, that’s the solution has been to, to keep the original windows as they are. Level One’s been working to improve the functionality, at least swing outwards. Some of them were an o opening properly, some hinges were broken, some latches were either not functioning or missing. So, the team’s going through and, and upgrading and fixing that.
[00:27:59] Think we will have additional discussions with the Heritage Foundation to see how we can improve the weather tightness of those windows. I mean, in some of them there are visible gaps where you can see straight out to the exterior. So, in terms of efficiency, they’re not the best. That’s kind of a work in progress, but we want to maintain that heritage element and we’ll, we’ll do what we can to improve the functionality.
[00:28:26] Touching on the star detail, like you said, Justin, we just wouldn’t be the same without it. It’s this like little wooden detail that makes like stars on the window trying to paint the picture for everyone. But Cara, you took that one step further and you elevated your design by taking that star detail and putting it on other glass paints throughout the kitchen.
[00:28:45] Yeah, so despite their windows inefficiency, we really do love how they look, and they have this beautiful star ma on it, like Jen. So, it’s the wood divide on the glass. So, we took that detail and mimicked it in our glass cabinets in the kitchen. So, we have solid doors and then smaller glass doors. And all those glass doors also have that star mullion on it.
[00:29:11] So we’re pulling in that element from the front windows of the house back into the kitchen to help tie it all together and keep the space again, really nice and harmonious, which really helps with the energy in the home. Not your energy efficiency, just the energy you feel . Something else I noticed while we were in the kitchen with those brass faucets, they look amazing, and I know that they do something a little bit more different than people.
[00:29:36] Yeah, so we pick for our kitchen faucets, unlaced brass and unlaced Brass is what we call a living finish. So, it starts out fairly gold and shiny, but each time you touch it, it starts to patina and age, and eventually it will go deeper to like a really beautiful honey or caramel color. And so, then you’ll get what you’d see in like an old castle kitchen or something.
[00:29:57] It really ages with you and starts to. The story of your home, but an unlacquered brass is a premium finish, so we didn’t want to do that everywhere, just because that can easily blow the budget up. We’ve mixed our metals in the house, so we have the unlaced brass in the kitchen faucet and the wet bar faucet, and then everything else is just a chrome.
[00:30:18] So it really makes those faucets stand out as a feature piece, and I think that’s something I learned in the walkthrough with you, Cara, because I’m not a designer, is that you told me you can mix your metals and a lot of people don’t think that you can mix your metals. Yeah. There’s definitely nothing wrong with mixing metals.
[00:30:35] Typically you want to do a warm and a cool one, or you can do like a black and a silver metal. You don’t typically want to do like a chrome and a polished nickel because they’re too close together, so they don’t go together as well. But gold and the chrome fit together really nicely. We also didn’t want to do unlacquered brass on the kitchen handles; A because of cost and B, because if you have cabinets, you don’t use very often, you’ll start to notice that those handles aren’t as aged and patina as the ones that say your cups, or your dishes are in, so, then you’d get a little bit kind of a funny aging in that kitchen. So having finished metal that’s not going to patina is better for your kitchen cabinets, unless that’s a look you’re really, really after.
[00:31:20] And that’s why you have an interior designer. Again, not to repeat this all the time, but that they’re able to tell you and pick up on those details because I would’ve never even thought about. Justin and Skyla because I think this finish is cool. Like what did she have to do to sell you on this unlacquered brass?
Were you guys like, Yeah, this is what I want.
Yeah. I think that was like Skyla’s. That was one of our wishlist items, right? We had no idea what the cost was or what we would have to do to in order to get it. So, it was a wishlist for sure. We only had a small wishlist that was. Yeah, it’s one of those things, right, Like the incremental expense for some of those final finishing details are, are small at the end of the day compared to some of the bigger ticket structural items that we had to face.
[00:32:06] So we figured we didn’t want to sacrifice on those and. We had the ability to do that. So, we made that decision to proceed with that.
Oh, you have to treat yourself. Sometimes treat yourself account will be about structure. What was on your small wishlist? Do you remember? Like, so you got your faucets, I think Justin got his pink cabinet. Was there anything else? The tram window was something on our list originally. Doors, but oh, it had pocket doors. Yeah. We pivot it off of that. Yeah. Yeah. That was a happy accident that we couldn’t do the pocket doors because I don’t think we would’ve used some. I think it probably turned out better than it was going to before.
[00:32:46] The trans window looks beautiful and that’s kind of, Overall, look, we really did want. So, we didn’t, definitely didn’t sacrifice anything there, in my opinion. You know, maybe in 10 years it’s something we would maybe use, but, But right now, yeah. We’re happy to let the, the doors go. Yeah. It creates a nice natural flow through there.
[00:33:06] We did want to double vanity. That was a must have on the list because once we had gotten that engineering and we found out engineer wanted the post right where our door was going to go, we had to kind of redesign the bathroom a couple times, and I presented a couple options that had a single vanity, and we went back and forth.
[00:33:25] It really came apparent that the double vanity was the priority, especially because this was the main bathroom to use in the. And I think that’s a reminder to everyone too because I didn’t think about it until we went in there. The bathroom above is for all four of you. There is no ensuite bathroom for you guys.
[00:33:42] You’re all going to be sharing this. So, the way that Cara has designed it, it’s awesome. You’ve got your two vanities, and can you tell us a little bit? About your shower solution as well. You’ve got that shelf. I figured Justin, the way that they’ve got it now, you can actually probably stand in it. It looks good.
[00:33:57] So if you guys remember a couple episodes back, we talked about the tub and the shower height. In order to get that shower height for Justin and Skyla, we had to bring that tub out along the pitch to a taller portion. And in order to do that, we created a little shelf or a bedo. You have the tub, and then along the long edge of the tub, we have a shelf and it’s pretty deep.
[00:34:22] It’s like a foot to 16 inches deep. And we did this instead of a standard recessed niche. And so, it’s a really good spot to put all your shampoos, soaps, the kids’ bath toys. You can put candles or your tablet there if you’re having a bath, your wine. So, it really becomes this great like little multi-purpose shelf.
[00:34:40] But the main purpose of it is to push that tub into the bathroom more, to create that head room for the shower. Ultimately, we really changed the footprint of the bathroom just because of cost and engineering. But we really had to make it more functional for you guys as a family. So that was one of the biggest things that we were trying to achieve and pushing that tub out as far as we could with still leaving room to stand in front of the vanity and be in front of the tub.
[00:35:05] Bath kids and stuff. Something else that I really enjoyed. Going back to the details and kind of still giving that heritage feel. Can you tell us about the little tiles that you’ve got on the floor? I know there’s an actual name for them, but I was just like, they’re cute little tiles.
[00:35:26] So we did, not penny rounds, but they’re a little bit bigger than a penny round tile and they’re hexagons and they have a marble look to them, but this is a young family and it’s their main bathroom. We did a recycled glass marble look tile because it’s much more durable than a real marble. And you still kind of get that look. We did a black border around the bathroom and then a white, um, inside on that border. And then the walls, we fully tiled all the walls in the bathroom because it’s not very big.
[00:35:46] And we did a bottom border of a gray tile, did a little pencil nose, and then did white tile. Above that, and then along the very bottom of the bathroom, we rotated the tiles to be vertical, and that kind of creates this nice. Visual detail that acts as like your baseboard, but it’s still a flush in line with all the tiles.
[00:36:08] That was a nice feature. It kind of breaks up kind of the, just the continuity of a subway tile wall, which we’ve had before in a bathroom. So just to have those other little design elements in there. The vertical tile, the pencil knows. And then the offset lay of the subway tile. It looks really great.
[00:36:27] And subway tile is like actually in a really affordable tile. But there are lots of ways like we’ve done, done for Skyland Justin that elevate it, so it doesn’t feel really basic. And if you want to see all these beautiful images we’re talking about, follow along with us on the website www.havan.ca/measuretwicecutonce where all the photos are going to be there, especially one of the backsplashes for the kitchen. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Because I thought this was so cool. It’s kind of like an iridescent mother of pearl white plaster. This is not, I’m not interior designer, but this is from my regular people words.
[00:37:03] Um, and I think it looks great. So, you tell us a little bit about that and how you were able to kind of tie it in. Because a lot of the cabinets in the kitchen, except one side is white too, so it doesn’t look just all white. You’ve got different layers.
[00:37:19] Well, the cabinets are not white. They’re actually a, they’re what I call a putty color. So, it’s a very light,
again, not an interior designer.
They’re very light, kind of beigy gray, white. So, it’s this really beautiful, soft kind of warm feeling color. So, it’s not as a stark, as white cabinets are still beautiful, but that’s not what we are going for here. And the back splash is – Jen, you’re pretty spot on, – like it’s an iridescent square tile with a little bit of a handmade look edge to give it some kind of depth and texture along there.
[00:37:47] And it just kind of ties in the colors of the counter and cabinetry really beautifully. Yeah, and the detail, bringing it up around the window, that’s, the kitchen window in front of the sink is really nice. So, you got that kind of, that height in that area. It goes from the countertop all the way up to the ceiling.
[00:38:05] So that’s a good thing to point out. That’s one of, well, my pet peeves as a designer, when you stop your back splash kind of mid wall when there’s nothing above where you have floating shelves. Find that it just elevates the space to finish it right up to the ceiling, and it just gives it more attention and less of that kind of like builder basic look.
[00:38:26] And maybe Cara will put it on the website, but if you’re willing, and obviously if the burdens are willing to share their beautiful secret colors, you can put the color numbers on for people to follow along if that’s okay. If people want to copy you. You guys are the trendsetters and to kind of offset some of the neutral colors we have in there.
[00:38:43] Skyla and Justin were really great and wanted to incorporate color into their design. So, we have this one cabinet that’s kind of a pantry hutch and we designed it to be more free standing, and we’ve done that in a really beautiful like light, sage, lemon grass. So that’s a standalone piece. It’s a standalone color.
[00:39:01] It will also have a butcher block counter. We’ve designed it to have cobles underneath the upper cabinets. It will actually have more of that shiplap on the back instead of the back splash tile. So, we’re really trying to make that look like it’s been there a long time. We did have some little hiccups with our crown molding when we saw the cabinets installed, which is totally fine, and we had to go through a couple discussions to figure out a solution.
[00:39:27] Which was challenging because I was on holidays then. But Skyla and Justin were really patient with the time difference to try to deal with that. And what was the issue? The crown molds just weren’t fitting where you guys originally thought they’d be, or with this freestanding unit we had the crown molding designed on it.
[00:39:42] But then when Skyla and Justin, so they weren’t, I mean, you guys can elaborate on this, don’t let me speak for you. But you guys didn’t really like how it looked with the crown molding. Just fair enough. And another thing to point out is this hutch part of it straddles right where our flat ceiling stops in the vaulted ceiling starts.
[00:39:59] So that was, I think, Kind of that point of contention and one of our kitchen cabinets, the crown molding also went a little bit past that where the ceiling fault changes, and I made a decision in the design to maximize on their storage instead of bringing that crown molding down to meet in line with that ceiling.
[00:40:17] But then if I had done that, that kitchen cabinet would’ve been quite small, and they don’t have a huge kitchen. It’s a great size, but it’s not huge. So, I was trying to maximize them. and I don’t think I had communicated that that decision with them clearly during the design stage, we had to kind of troubleshoot and make things work so that they’re happy with the overall look at the end, because that’s the most important thing.
[00:40:43] Yeah. You don’t want them getting mad at you ever tend to go in their kitchen. We’re like, I don’t like that. So again, having open communication with your interior designer is super. I think like Cara alluded to, the, the main issue in the kitchen there is the change in ceiling elevation. So, there is a, there’s a defined line that runs, that bisects the entire kitchen.
[00:41:03] And when we first went in there, um, none of the molding lined up with that ceiling line. So, kitchen cabinets, there was an overhang, so there was an air gap above some of the molding. And then on the opposite side of the kitchen, the pantry hutch was kind of straddling that line. So, part of the molding was hanging over the line.
[00:41:25] It just, it looked like a mistake. Honestly. It looked like that something wasn’t measured properly and that everything should adhere to that line and it, and it didn’t at first, I thought it might have just been me, but the more I asked around, the more the feedback I got was that yeah, it did.
[00:41:47] It didn’t look right. And the issue is when you walk down our hallway from the front door into the kitchen, it is really one of the first things you can see. You see all these nice clean lines down the hallway from all the molding, and then when you enter the kitchen, you see these two areas of over.
[00:42:04] Where things don’t line up properly. So, it really grabbed my eye when I first walked up there. Well, it didn’t look custom. I think that was the, the take home is that when the, the crown didn’t end at the ceiling where you would think it would, it went past that into the next elevation. It no longer looked custom, so it felt like it.
[00:42:24] Defeating the purpose of customizing something to fit your, your space. So, we were able to, to rectify it. So, the ceiling was built out a little bit and, and we changed the, the crown on the top. Maybe Cara can speak to that a little bit more. So, we changed the, um, the crown and the hutch to be just like a more of a, what’s called the simple stacker.
[00:42:44] So we removed the crown on there and then just created a little bit of a stepped stack there to, so that it wasn’t as obvious that it. Straddle those ceilings and then we fur out the flat ceiling. So, it met that crown molding. And part of crown molding too, just working with, from a design perspective is they don’t give you all the measurements you need.
[00:43:07] And so I think. Where we had planned, like I said, to maximize that cabinet. I think also the crown had a larger tangent than we had drafted up, so I think that was also exasperated that kind of detail a little bit more. Everyone was really fast to work on a solution. It was hard for me not being there to be able to.
[00:43:28] Run onto site and have a face-to-face conversation with you guys quickly. So, I think it took a little bit longer than it typically would for me, but in the end, I think it looks great now and hopefully you guys are happy with the solution that came up. Yeah, the issue was you, none of that stuff was obvious in the plans, right?
[00:43:45] Like, look at the elevations, that line wasn’t clear and couldn’t tell where the molding was going to terminate. So, it was one of those things, you know, we rushed to the plans looking at it. It’s not clear from the plans that where those things would’ve lined up. Right. Normally that would be shown on like a reflected ceiling plan as like usually ceiling lines.
[00:44:06] But again, like it’s hard for homeowners to know that detail. You all bring up a great point though, and that’s something that I think people should realize in renovations and new builds is sometimes when you’re looking at the plan, especially as a home, it’s not necessarily going to look exactly what you see.
[00:44:24] And so like, eventually, sometimes there are little details that pop up that you do have to change on site or change on the direction. Like, not everything’s going to be always perfect, right? So, no, but the, the magnitude of that, you know, we can’t just like, oh well when you design it and build it and install it, be like, Oh, well it’s not really what we.
[00:44:42] Yeah. It becomes a really awkward conversation of, okay, what do we do here as kind of the next step in hindsight? Yeah, 2020 is, we could have troubleshooted that earlier on. I think there’s a few factors in there that didn’t allow us to, and unfortunately it came to be very obvious once the cabinets are in, and sometimes you don’t know until it’s framed up.
[00:45:05] Just like we had drawn the closet bigger, and then once we’re in the space, we’re like, actually is too big for this space. So sometimes, unfortunately, it is something that has to be changed in construction and where it maybe did work on the elevations, but then in real life, different factors or how they actually made the cabinets versus how we drew the cabinets didn’t resulted in x Y and said that maybe that crown two inches over from what we anticipated, or the tangent of it was two inches longer than what we had scaled off.
[00:45:37] Measurements from the supplier. People expect sometimes for us to think 20 steps ahead and sometimes it, it’s hard. You can’t treat the design drawings as the Bible because like there’s always site conditions that change. And when somebody’s originally measuring the house, there’s always checks and balances to everything, right?
[00:45:54] Which is why the mill worker comes to site and he measures, and he produces shop drawings, which is what at the end of the day gets. Just one of those little things that happened and luckily you were able to have a solution that didn’t break the bank, that made Skyla and Justin happy, because that’s another thing that we’ve talked about.
[00:46:11] These particular homeowners, they’ve been really great through this whole process of seeing what they don’t like too, because sometimes the homeowners will be like, Oh yeah, it’s fine. And then you can tell it’s really bothering them, the end, and then you can’t do anything. So, it’s great that you guys speak up because at the end of the day, this is the home you live in, and Alex and Cara and all the teams they work with want you to be happy in it.
[00:46:31] So as we’re wrapping up, Alex, what else can we expect? Any more things that maybe we haven’t planned ahead for? Or is it smooth sailing at this point? What’s coming up in the next few weeks when we all meet back next time to kind of wrap. The podcast. Yeah. Installing appliances, countertops, finishing, painting the walls, and all the trim work.
[00:46:53] And from there, yeah, just wrapping up the rest of the project and getting all the little details finished so that yeah, Skyla and Justin can move in.
Any more surprises, any drama, or no ? This is like the easy part now.
[00:47:13] I wouldn’t say it’s the easy part. I think it’s, it’s pretty hectic from here on out, especially scheduling all the trades to, to come back and finish.
But yeah, we’ve already dealt with all the surprises, so yeah, nothing major at this point. And this time can feel like a very kind of long, slow. Process because the finishing, you’ve seen that big visual change, like you’ve had that climax of visual change now and now as they’re just doing all that little tedious finishing work, it’s not going to seem like very much is being done and then all of a sudden, all that site protection comes off and it’s.
[00:47:39] That’s exciting kind of end to the story and then you bring in the cleaners and then you move in and it’s perfect. Any product delays we could expect? You think coming up to do the end here, all we have so far is that roofing delay, which hopefully we wrap up. But any products, thankfully, no. I mean like, it’s just a, a long project, so we’re able to order.
[00:48:02] Like, you know I said earlier on like, when we sign a contract, we order all the materials so we’re able to get a jump start on. Cause most things these days do have long lead times, but even then, sometimes lights. Takes seven, eight months to get here. So thankfully, no product delays in a sense of, you know, the life fixtures, plumbing is all here.
[00:48:20] We did have an issue with the countertop. When our countertop supplier or subtrade picked up the slab, it became. Damaged. So just coordinating that process from, you know, making sure that we get the proper slab and going from there to reschedule trades and whatnot. So, I don’t know if that’s really a product delay, that’s more so when you’re dealing with so many people and different suppliers.
[00:48:47] Sometimes stuff happens and yeah, unfortunately countertops are a pretty important one because you need those in to then put in your faucets, your sinks, your back splash. Yeah, it’s just, um, just one of those things.
And quickly, did the skylight ever get replaced? Speaking of damage skylights installed by the roofer.
[00:49:06] So when he comes back to you, you don’t mean to say anymore . Yeah, I don’t want to stoke that. I don’t want, and I won’t want to make Skyla and Justin mad. No more talk about the roof. That one’s not the roofer’s fault. That’s obviously ours. But yeah, he has to put it back in perfect. Estimated move in date.
[00:49:25] I know contractors don’t necessarily love to say this while their clients are here listening because it can change sometimes, but where do you think you’re going to get them in?
Yeah, we’re, we’re open with Skyla and Justin about that. So, we’re just aiming for the end of the month right before school starts and to the burdens looking ahead as summer comes to close, hopefully you’re going to be moving those boxes up from the basement into your beautiful new home.
[00:49:48] How are you guys doing?
We need to make sure we. Furniture. So, we’ll need to yeah, finish up some order couches here. Okay, good. We need beds. We’ll, we’ll, we kind of got ourselves in the reverse situation with furniture. It’s all starting to arrive, but there’s nowhere to put it, so we’re kind of hoping that these suppliers will hold onto it for a few more weeks.
[00:50:09] I’m excited. Been waiting for a new couch for 15 years. It’s all coming together.
And then your child will spill something on it and then it won’t be new anymore.
Yeah, exactly. As long as it’s not me.
[00:50:32] Perfect. Okay, well we look forward to talking to you guys’ next time talking about, um, maybe more furniture rivals, the appliances being in, kind of wrapping up all those last bits and pieces.
Hopefully no more surprises. Hopefully when I talk to you guys the roof will be complete. And you guys will already just be on your way upstairs from the basement with moving boxes and you’ll start to enjoy your new home.
Cara, before we head out of here, any major decisions that will be required by Justin and Skyla in these final weeks as we’re coming to a close here, just have a few more furniture items that we have to finalize before things wrap up, but they can always kind of trail too.
[00:50:57] Great. Can’t wait for you guys to follow along with all the beautiful photos at www.havan.ca/measuretwicecutonce. I had the pleasure of going through a tour and like I said, with all the plastic and everything in, I was jealous.
[00:51:12] I’ll be moving in with my bag guys. Two beds. There’s on an extra bedroom. It’s quite small in there, but it’s pretty roomy and I’m excited for everyone. All those details. Thanks again. We’ll see you all next time. Anything else anyone wants to say before we go? It’s like your confessional true feelings.
[00:51:30] Oh, everyone’s good to go. Well, thank you guys so much again, and we’ll talk to you next time.
[00:51:42] 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 name flooring for residential renovations and custom-built homes.
[00:52:05] And the BC Energy Step Code program is a provincial standard moving the entire home building 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 to talk to your renovator or builder for the latest energy, rebates, and resources.
[00:52:25] 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’ll be entered in to win a Napoleon Prestige P 500 stainless steel natural gas barbecue, valued at $1,549 compliments of FortisBC. Season Four’s Realtime Reno has real resources we can all learn from. See you next time.