Sorry for the radio silence this last week, guys. Maya had the stomach flu, and then on the day she started to feel better, mama was down for the count! It was a doozy. Thank goodness for Dan’s strong stomach and grandparents nearby. Happily, we seem to be all recovered here for now, so life is getting back to normal.

Okay so I know I haven’t given you guys a renovation/addition update lately and thought it was definitely about time. If you’ve been reading along here for a while, you’ll know that adding to our current pad has been in our dreams for a while now. We love love love our neighbourhood and neighbours and want to stay put… but the 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom main floor of living space that we occupy is starting to feel pretty tight with Maya cruising around (reminder: we rent out the basement of our bungalow to tenants). I totally admire families who make it work in small spaces – you have to be so smart about storage and organization. I have to admit, I am having a hard time with it, lately. It seems like there is always clutter somewhere – even though I am constantly tidying up. How does this happen? I dream about having a big closet or even a room (!!) where I can shove things and close the door until I have time to deal with them. Even our recycling is constantly piling up and spilling out onto the floor in our kitchen. Anyway, enough with the moaning – I do realize how ridiculously lucky we are to own a home, and that it is huge when you consider home sizes around the world.

house in winter- edited

Our house – the first winter we lived in it

So over the winter we have been working with an architectural draftsman to draw the plans for our future house. Our hope is to keep the basement as untouched as possible (we renovated it in 2010), but pretty much re-do everything else, and add a whole second floor of square footage above our existing house and new garage.

Main floor – We’d like to put in support beams and take down all of the walls in our main floor to open it up. No more bedrooms on this floor – just an open kitchen, dining, and living space, with an office for Dan tucked in at the back. We also plan on removing the freestanding garage that currently sits on our property and building a new, attached one to the side of the house. This will mean that we can park our car and then come in through a side door, and our tenants would come through a door and hallway in the garage, and then down to their apartment. The bathroom on our main floor is just about the only thing that will remain. Although the kitchen footprint will stay basically the same, everything will have to be gutted and redone. Oh and we will be adding doors from the back of the house out to the backyard.

I drew up some seriously rough floor plans to give you a general idea. These are by no means to scale and don’t show windows, doors, closets, etc but they give you a sense of the potential space.

new house1

 

Second floor – Ahhh! A second floor! This is ridiculously exciting for us. We plan on having our bedroom + ensuite at the back of the house, and then 2 bedrooms for kids up at the front. We will also have a guest bedroom, but plan on using it more as a second living space/play room – kind of like what I imagine we would use our basement living room for if we didn’t rent it out. Oh and there will be a small area for laundry on this floor, a linen closet, plus a bathroom for the kids/guests.

new house2

 

And third floor? We aren’t sure if this will be a reality, but we are hoping to have a loft space in the third floor to act as a studio/office for me, plus as additional storage. We have been able to draw this into the plans and it doesn’t seem to have added a ridiculous amount to the budget/quote, so we are hopeful that we might be able to make it happen. Dreamy, I tell ya.

Exterior – The exterior will look pretty different. I don’t think you’ll be able to even recognize the bungalow that was once here (which isn’t a bad thing – I don’t want it to look like an addition, you know?). Since we are attaching the garage, and since our brick is currently in really terrible shape, we are going to do a mix of new stone and siding over the whole house. We are still making those choices, but I have a dark gray siding + lighter gray stone vision, with thick white trim around the windows and tapered white columns on the porch.

Here is a sneak peak at our drawings…

house2

As for where we stand now, a few weeks ago we submitted all of the plans and drawings to the City department that handles permits. We are still waiting to hear back, but expect that there will be some back-and-forth until we have permitted drawings ready to go. We are anxious to get their feedback and see what we might have to change.

We are also still in the process of getting everything in line with the bank, so are hoping that the financing all works out the way we anticipate it will.

So those two things are what we are anxiously awaiting. We have chosen a contractor, who was recommended to us by a personal friend. He has a big crew, has done lots of large jobs like this, and his references were stellar. He is more or less ready to go when we are.

We are kind of in this weird limbo place, just sort of holding our breath. Will the permits be approved? How long will that take? Will all the financing work out as we have been told it will? If everything is indeed a go, we will be booking movers, a storage unit, and getting our butts out of here as fast as we can. But if things don’t work out? Will we have to wait another year? Maybe. We will of course be a bit disappointed and have to cross that bridge when we get to it, but it’s definitely at the back of our minds. We are trying to be cautious, but optimistic. We’ll see.

I will of course keep you posted every step of the way. In the meantime, since I haven’t wanted to do much around our place, I have been helping out a friend with her nursery, gearing up to help my parents’ with their bunkie at our cottage, and have a few small DIYs up my sleeve. I have been dyyyying to decorate a room lately, so I am super pumped to get going on these projects.

Have you guys done any architectural drawings before? Or dealt with City permits? When we did our basement, Dan was such a star with getting everything in order with the City department. We were pleasantly surprised at how quick and easy it was, and how friendly the inspectors were. Let’s hope for the same experience this time around.

  • Natasha

    Wow! Exciting news! Fingers crossed it all falls into place smoothly. I can’t wait to see what you do with your house!

    • gemma

      Thanks Natasha! We are excited, and also very nervous, too!

      xo,
      gem

  • http://krysworld.blogspot.com krys72599

    Thank goodness you asked…
    Check and triple check your plans. That’s my recommendation. We had a ranch with a basement that we added a second floor to several years ago. We used a local architect to help with the plans; she did a lot in our area. I now have a house with no coat closet on the first floor and no linen closet on the new second floor. She didn’t put one in and we didn’t notice it. REALLY think about everything you have or don’t have, can or can’t live without, and make sure what you need is on the plans. I never thought I’d miss a linen closet but my sheets and towels are in fake built-in window seats two rooms away from the bathroom and bedroom because that’s where there was room. And coats are on a coat tree in a corner of my dining room. PLEASE think about every little detail!!!

    • gemma

      Great to hear this feedback!! We have REALLY taken our time (6 months ++) to do up the drawings and have tried to think about every little detail like this. Storage has been huge for us – closets everywhere, in every room, etc. We have also really tried to think about flow, light from windows, etc. I will share the official plans when everything is a go.

      xo,
      gem

  • http://www.lisagouletdesign.com Lisa Goulet

    Oh how exciting. Love the exterior drawings. It’ll be fun to follow you guys along and here’s hoping everything goes smoothly!

    • gemma

      Thanks lisa. Fingers crossed!

      Xo,
      Gemma

  • http://thisdustyhouse.com Jeanette @ This Dusty House

    Ah, so exciting! We thought about putting a second floor on our bungalow, even did up the drawings, and shared floor plans on the blog, etc. But, in the end, it wasn’t going to be worth it for us because we aren’t willing to go all out with adding square footage to our footprint – which you’re doing with the attached garage. Seeing these floor plans kinda makes me wish we had gone all out… I shall just have to live vicariously through you! That’s what blogs are about anyway, right?

    Anyway, we skipped architectural drawings and went with structural drawings for our attic reno instead since the husband is an engineer and could do them himself. Dealing with city permits seems like a much bigger deal than it actually is, especially if you’re submitting on your own behalf. At least, the city of Toronto has been very easy to work with.

    Good luck!

    • gemma

      Oh I remember your plans Jeanette – I was following closely, as our little bungalows are quite similar!! :) I love what you have done with your attic space. That wasn’t really an option for us as there wouldn’t be a smart spot for stair placement, and our attic isn’t as large or high as yours.

      Great to hear that your experience with permits wasn’t a huge deal. I am hopeful that our experience will be similar!

      Hope you are feeling well with your pregnancy :)

      xo,
      gem

  • http://www.inspiremeheather.com/ Inspire Me Heather

    Your plans look great!! We’re doing the same thing: we have a little house and we (well okay I) wanted it bigger. We had the plans drawn up to go a floor up but it was too expensive to have it built so we went to the side (it 2 bedrooms plus ensuite over a carport). Our biggest goal is to have it look like it’s always been there and not an addition – so far so good! Our inspectors have been great too, good to work with!

    • gemma

      Super interesting Heather! We really want to go to the side & up, as we don’t have an existing garage/carport that is attached. It’s definitely a big investment, but one that will be worth it for us as it means we can stay in this house for the long term. Great to hear that you have had such a good experience!!

      xo,
      gem

  • http://renaissancedaze.blogspot.ca/ Tatiana Dokuchic

    Wow, what a transformation that will be, Gemma!

    I think you’ll love having the laundry on the 2nd floor. I know it was one of the best decisions we made with our home.

    Looking forward to all the developments!

    • gemma

      Oh my goodness, I bet. Maybe it means I won’t procrastinate with the laundry quite so much… maybe. :)

      xo,
      gem

  • http://hometoheather.com Heather

    Whoa! That’s a major reno! I look forward to watching the process unfold. Good luck!

    • gemma

      Thanks Heather. It is totally maj.. kinda scary!

      xo,
      gem

  • http://www.countrychicrenovator.com Danica

    We’ve done additions to both of our homes and both have been pretty successfull! Thankfully where we live dealing with permits and such was a breeze! Loving the new look of the home.

    • gemma

      That is great to hear, Danica! And I’m all ears for any other tips you might have :)

      xo,
      gemma

  • http://www.vinyetetc.ca/ Laurie @ Vin’yet Etc.

    Wow, that’s super exciting! My fav exterior colour combo is dark grey with white trim, I adore that! Can’t wait to follow the progress! Glad you guys are all feeling better! :)

    • gemma

      I know – isn’t that combo just so good? Classic, dynamic, punchy, etc. Love it. Thanks Laurie!

      xo,
      gemma

  • http://www.moreofeverything.ca Tia

    Holy smokes, Gemma! What a huge undertaking. I’m so excited for you guys :) Here’s hoping that the city permits come through without a hitch. We never applied for permits in Ottawa, but in Waterloo, we have only had good experiences.

    • gemma

      Thanks Tia! Great to hear about your experience. Let’s hope ours is breezy too!

      xo,
      gemma

  • http://www.settingforfour.com/ Heather

    Sounds exciting! Can’t wait to see the entire renovation!!

    • gemma

      Thanks Heather. You and me both! :)

      xo,
      gemma

  • http://satoridesignforliving.com Shauna

    How exciting! I love that you’re working with existing elements and I think it’s going to all come together perfectly. Here’s hoping it all goes well!

    • gemma

      Thanks Shauna! Fingers crossed!

      xo,
      gemma

  • http://www.suburble.com Tara

    Wowza! That is quite the renovation! I can’t wait to see it as it progresses; that’s going to be a huge transformation of your home!

    • gemma

      It definitely will be! Thanks Tara!

      xo,
      gemma

  • http://lifeovereasy.com/ Dani @ lifeovereasy

    This is so exciting! You know, I lived in the exact same house. We loved the home and the street, but we eventually outgrew it. We almost renovated, but in the end decided to move. We still miss the little house sometimes! Good luck with your project – it will be a beautiful home!

    • gemma

      Yeah this style of bungalow seems to have been a popular build in the 50′s. There is something to be said about living in a small space – cozy and you stay very connected! Thanks Dani! We’re excited :)

      xo,
      gemma