My Dad knew an architect who is good at working with heritage houses, Annabel Vaughan. Annabel was nice enough to give the District of Maple Ridge a call to find out about building permits.
The building dept. said they couldn’t issue a building permit.
Apparently, the two houses on our double lot are lying smack on top of the property line dividing the two lots!
So what do you do when the building dept. says no?
You call the heritage department, and that’s what Annabel did. Lisa Zosiak, Heritage Planner at the DMR, told Annabel about a new Heritage Revitalization Agreement they had developed that would let us renovate and preserve the houses for generations.
The HRA meant that our reno plans would go through District Council for approval. After that, we would need a Heritage Alteration Permit to make further changes to the “character-defining elements”. We decided to plan out everything we want to do to the house, not just the bathroom, and get everything approved at once.
This really appeals to me because I grew up in a house that was never quite finished.
Annabel worked with us and this is what we came up with for the bathroom.
First, here is the existing bathroom again:
And here’s what Annabel came back with:
We love this design!
A guiding principle to our vision is to create the house we want to live in for the rest of our lives. A forever house.
The bathtub and shower will be separated, probably by glass, from the rest of the room so that less humidity escapes.
We love the double sinks, the space for linen and the toilet tucked around the corner.
And we love love love the walk-in closet with it’s window to let in natural light. That is a north-facing wall so it will not be direct sunlight, but at least we’ll see our clothes in their true colours. The bedroom is small, and the original closet is tiny, dark and cold. At the moment our clothes are cluttering up our bedroom in a dresser and free-standing wardrobe. –OK, let’s be honest: our clean clothes are usually left in a laundry basket on the bedroom floor because we don’t have time to put them away. There, I said it.
By paying attention to details that are important to us, we will add another natural step in the evolution of this house and ensure that it is preserved as a beautiful, comfortable, sustainable home.