Originally built around 1892, the house had slipped from neglected to uninhabitable, sitting empty for over a year when we purchased it. After a grueling 12 month permitting process we began a historically sympathetic restoration to the front of the house and a modern addition to the rear. Our first goal was to retain or re-purpose as much material from the original house as possible, the second to take advantage of state of the art building materials and methods to create an energy efficient family home.
What made the project interesting was implementing a new, sustainable model for heritage retention and conservation. We kept all the original character features of the home are intact and we used sustainable materials with exceptional R values. We didn’t compromise on style or comfort, and the clients will realize dramatically lower bills overtime.
- The entire house is heated with a combination tank-less water heating system that supplies hot water for our use and for the radiant heating system.
- We replaced toilets with dual flush low volume ones, and went from an air blower test result of 48 air exchanges an hour in the old house to less than 1 in the restored house with the new addition.
- The new addition was constructed with pre-fabricated, custom built and ready-to-assemble wall and roof units (from Insulspan). They come with designed wiring channels built in, ready to wire and for dry walling directly to the face of the panels.
- An exhaust fan in a utility room operates to maintain humidity levels, and as soon as the temperature goes up, they open an electronically operable skylight at the top of a light well that divides the new and old construction. With one open window, they create a traditional passive chimney effect that vents the heat out and brings in a cooling breeze.
- The skylight tops a light-well marking the transition from the old to new house. The space is a dramatic slice of light running the full height of the house and crossed at the second story by a glass floor panel leading into the master bedroom. The exterior siding of the original backside of the house were left in place and now act as a feature wall in the kitchen, which creates a whimsical backdrop to the modern, high-gloss white kitchen.
- The entire rear wall of the main floor of the house, off the kitchen addition is a custom built 10’ tall retractable glass door system (low E, argon filled, double pane panels) that folds seamlessly to the side to open the kitchen onto the back patio with a continuous polished concrete floor that stretches an additional 13’ into the back yard. It is the perfect entertaining space. They can seat 14 people around the table we designed which can extend up to 8’ out onto the patio from the kitchen island.
- The entire house is wired with a media system which can be controlled from any i-pod, i-pad or phone. 7 distinct zones ensure they can all listen to whatever music they like without disturbing anyone else.
- The existing house had the walls insulated with Eco-tite spray foam and all the floors are also filled between the joists with sound proofing spray foam insulation.
- In-floor retrofitted radiant heat was also added under the original fir floors.
- The house and all of the interior floors and doors were painstakingly restored, and we kept the original layout. Only 10 linear feet of casement and baseboard were custom recreated to match the original due to wear and damage.
- The house was on rotting posts, but now the original house and new addition sit on an ICF foundation (insulated concrete forms).
- The original windows had been replaced with aluminum windows in the 1960’s but now have been replaced with new historically appropriate wood double-hung windows throughout with argon filled replaceable glass units and metal exterior cladding, for low-maintenance windows that will last and perform well.
- Fibre board and stucco siding added during the 1960’s government energy improvement initiatives were removed and the original cedar siding restored, incorporating some newly milled matching shiplap siding to replace rotten boards.
- The old furnace chimney was removed brick by brick and reused as a feature wall in the new master bathroom.
- The beautiful, full dimensional wooden beams under the original house were salvaged and used to make the bar top in the new kitchen.