Sep 152015
 

If you click on the right-hand menu called “architectural drawings” you’ll find a number of posts I have written since February 2014 that include snippets of the plans that Annabel the architect drew for us. These provide an incomplete picture, however, and I think it is time for me to collect all the drawings in one post.

Annabel moved to Ontario so now that we are finally moving ahead with the vision she helped create, she was unable to help us make the adjustments necessary for our final building permit. For that, Ridgewater Homes took over.

These drawings were used to obtain our Heritage Alteration Permit, which allows us to make changes to our house which is under a Heritage Revitalization Agreement. The Building Permit drawings differ slightly (the building code changed in December 2014) but not much.

Here is the house as it was in June of this year 2015:

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Looking east

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Looking north

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Looking west

The view from the Little Yellow House (looking south)

The view from the Little Yellow House (looking south)

To give you an idea of the layout of our newly consolidated double lot (a property that is twice the regular size), here is a bird’s eye view. The little yellow house is at the top.

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Now, here is the plan.

No change to the front.

No change to the front.

imageThe rear addition is extended out and a new dormer is added to the back. It’s windows face the sunrise. The dormer is inset so that the main shape of the original house is still prominent. There is a generous back porch.

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Heritage is carefully considered.

imageThere are new windows in the extended addition which give natural light to the bathroom and master closet.

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imageThe new dormer on the third floor gives the kids a bathroom near their bedrooms and functioning closets, as well as a playroom/guest bedroom.

 

imageThe main floor fixes the whole reason we got into this mess in the first place (the bathroom) and adds a walk-in closet, a large bathroom with shower and tub a la japonais as well as a porch which will be our living room in the warmer months.

The existing house has little useable space in the basement (ceilings are very low).

The existing house has little useable space in the basement (ceilings were very low). The bathroom has carpenter ants and rot, foundation issues and bad ventilation as well as being ugly.

imageThe new basement will have the minimum 2.1meter ceilings in the basement (7′), an insulated floor slab with hydronic heating pipes running through it and sealed and super-insulated walls.

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All this sometimes seems pretty extravagant for a humble little house owned by an ESL Instructor and a Recycling Society employee who met in a theatre class at UBC 19 years ago, but it will be worth it in the end. Making ourselves happy in our homes is one of the best things we can do for our community and the world.
Through the miracle of Annabel's technology, these are two models of what the house will look like

Through the miracle of Annabel’s technology, these are two models of what the house will look like


Can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait!

 

Aug 132014
 

 

Page four tells a bit more of the story you already know and adds a hint of the green building features we would like to employ.

One thing has changed since this was written: we are not subdividing the property. We are going to consolidate both lots into one lot. That means no future owner, including us, will be able to sell off the little yellow house. We feel that the entire site has heritage value in its original layout and we would like to preserve it.

Does anyone know who those visiting neighbours are in the photo?

SOS Page 4

Jul 282014
 
Through the miracle of Annabel's technology, these are two models of what the house will look like

Through the miracle of Annabel’s technology, these are two models of what the house will look like

It is difficult to overstate how valuable it is to have Annabel’s help with our plans. Without her, it would be a guessing game.

Extending the back of the house so far was not an easy decision. We were concerned that it would warp the look of the house too far and create a monster. What will the Hammond Neighbours say? Continue reading »

Jul 262014
 

The basement is unfinished and the ceiling is too low for anyone taller than 5’6″ to spend a lot of time down there.

The back side of the basement as it is (but without the pump room drawn in)

The back side of the basement as it is (but without the pump room drawn in)

Under the addition that was added in the 30s the ceiling is even lower. That space consists of the hallway to the basement door and, next to it, the small “pump room” where the indoor plumbing first came into the house.

The rest of the space, under the office and sunroom (formerly the back porch) is 5′ ceiling, dirt floor, and the remains of a huge carpenter ant nest (which may be active again for all I know). Continue reading »

Jul 232014
 
From the back, the new additions are quite elegant

From the back, the new additions are quite elegant

Why not run the dormer across the entire width of the house? That would give us more space and eliminate those pesky sloped sections of ceiling in the kids’ bedrooms.

Well, even before we started considering the requirements of the Heritage Revitalization Agreement, we were sensitive to maintaining the character of the house.

If the dormer roof ran from North to South it would become the main roof of the house, changing the look considerably. We thought that would create an imbalance between front and back. With the dormer inset like this, the original roof still defines the shape of the house.

The Heritage Department at the District of Maple Ridge did not make any special requirements for us to do this, but they did approve our plans.

Jul 202014
 

I can’t find the sketch I made for the upstairs dormer. You may recall I had the idea of matching the front gabled dormer which forms the roof of the front porch with a rear gabled dormer. Annabel pointed out that Craftsman-style cottages had a clear front and back and, in this case, gables at the front, shed roofs at the back.

The purpose of this dormer is to give us a simple bathroom with a toilet, sink and shower for the two bedrooms upstairs as well as a smaller room we can use as a guest bedroom and a playroom.

Sorry, Dave the Father-in-Law, an extra bedroom does not necessitate a third child.

My plan was very awkward. Check out Annabel’s elegant solution:

With an upstairs bathroom, suddenly the teenage years don't look so scary.

With an upstairs bathroom, suddenly the teenage years don’t look so scary.

Continue reading »