April 25, 2017

Expecting the Unexpected

As a rule, I always tell clients to expect the unexpected. Be prepared for delays, anticipate an occurrence which could either delay or set your project back and never rule out the inevitable budget increase. I know, this sounds harsh but I would much rather scare my clients at the beginning of this process than promise a seamless endeavor. What could that “unexpected” issue be – I don’t know, if I was expecting it, it wouldn’t be “unexpected”. Based on experience I like to plant the seed so my clients have something to look out for.


Which takes us to #TheBeech. Back in February of last year my clients closed on a beautiful property in the Toronto Beach neighborhood. This 3000 sq/ft home was old and outdated yet the bones were perfect for our new vision. Despite the odd layout – we’re talking a bathroom in the kitchen kind of strange and I’m not saying a two-piece wash-your-hands-and-go kind of lavatory I’m referring to the shower and all. The front door was disastrous. You could literally touch the first step of the stairs upon opening the front door, a relocation was beyond necessary.


Our plan was to blow up the entire main floor and create an open concept. The original kitchen was at the back of the house, which is pretty typical however, I saw the back as an opportunity to flood the space with an abundance of much needed light. I proposed relocating the kitchen to the middle of the main floor and opening up the back wall to a set of four floor to ceilings windows & doors. The idea was triumphant and we could continue to plan the upper levels which included adding a kid’s bathroom and closing off the master suite. Then we brought in our engineer and had him draw up with proposed plans which went off to the city, which required a bit of waiting time. We were off to a pretty good start, until the “unexpected” hit us. Turns out the house which underwent an extension about 30 years ago was built around the original brick structure, so that ten foot wall I had dreamt of bringing down was in fact a pretty important structural element of this house. The kitchen had to be flipped over and a whole new set of drawings had to be created which meant another post & beam calculation was in the works. Back to the city and back to the waiting game we went. At this point, no other work could happen on-site so the construction portion of this project went on a brief “pause” until this all got sorted out.




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