The renovation company’s perspective
When project designer Jaclyn Weibe and co-owner Tony Teunis of All Canadian Renovations first visited the home to be renovated they knew they had their work cut out for them.
“The basement was mostly undeveloped, dark, damp, and cold. Since the homeowners’ family was about to grow exponentially they needed to gain some family space before their summer wedding,” Jaclyn explains. “They wanted a wet bar, an entertainment area and feature wall, a three-piece bathroom and separate laundry room, all in 600 square feet!”
Jaclyn continued, “We also needed to hide some basement essentials such as the gas meter, water meter, furnace and teleposts. This meant that the floor plan needed to be very well-configured. As the designer, I took the wish list and got to work on the plans for the new layout.”
Prep work for the new space was definitely required in order to make the lower level warm, dry and comfy. This is all of the ‘behind the scenes’ work you don’t see in the finished project but that needs to be done properly. Plumbing, wiring and proper insulation are all important elements of a good renovation.
“Now that the space was warm and dry, we added pot lights and accent lighting and luxury vinyl plank flooring,” says Jaclyn. “The vinyl plank was ideal because it added the look of warm rustic wood with zero maintenance and since it’s thinner than other flooring options it didn’t take away any of our precious head clearance. I helped the homeowner select materials that coordinated and flowed well in the open space, such as tile, flooring, high-definition laminate for the bar countertop and paint colours.”
The feature wall included tile detailing, illuminated glass display shelves, an electric fireplace and storage for electronics. (It also conceals access panels for the water meter.)
The bar area carries on the mosaic tile detailing and has a sink and a bar-fridge. In the well-used bathroom (now totalling two in the whole house) white wainscoting was installed as per Sherri’s request which helped tie in the room with the character of the old house. A custom railing was designed and installed to replace the old walls around the stairs, opening up the area further.
“In the end, 600 square feet feel open and spacious with the right layout. In all the basements I have worked on I have never seen one so well-used by all members of the family,” says Jaclyn. and she made it happen.
“I’ve always wanted wainscotting in the bathroom and Jaclyn priced it out and told us it would not be much more at all. The contractor that they had on the job was amazing with how we could talk about something and then just make it happen. He wasn’t afraid to share his ideas as well.”
Sherri and Mark were very pleased with their contractor. “There was a lot of talent there. All the people that we had to deal with were courteous and respectful. As our wedding approached I started to get a little frazzled and worried about the progress. Tony came over himself and calmed my concerns and told me that what I was feeling was very normal and that they were on track,” said Sherri. “My advice to other homeowners looking at major renovations is to be realistic about their budget, get a few quotes, and look at past work and warranties that the company offers.”
The couple went from trying to entertain in their cramped living room/ dining room area upstairs to having a gorgeous basement where they have had countless get-togethers, family gatherings and parties. The children, Kathleen, Luke and Celeste, now have space to spread out and play.
“It really has changed the enjoyment of our home so much. While we were nervous about the cost, we are now extremely happy with the outcome,” Sherri beams.
By increasing their living space by almost double, increasing the family size didn’t mean having to put up a for-sale sign and leaving the neighbourhood the family loved. This newly blended family now has many new beginnings to enjoy.
The homeowners were pleased to hear the basement renovation won Gold in the category of basement development in the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association Renovation of the Year contest. That is among many awards All Canadian Renovations has won over the years.