Ren­o­va­tor marks 25th an­niver­sary with ex­treme project

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES -

mately eight months later.

“To start things off, we used the ex­ist­ing foun­da­tion and then put a six-foot by 18-foot ad­di­tion on the front of the home, which in­cludes the front porch,” Con­tant ex­plains. “The front door is pretty much in the same lo­ca­tion as it was be­fore. Aside from that, the floor plan is very dif­fer­ent from the other home. There’s a two-piece bath­room and mud­room where the old kitchen used to be, and we to­tally had to redo the stair­well that led to the up­per level, open­ing up the ban­nis­ter to make it safer and so you had a view down into the kitchen.”

Mean­while, the de­sign of the main level — con­ceived by Con­tant and his busi­ness part­ner Brad Svein­son — is as con­tem­po­rary as you can get: an open-con­cept kitchen with an arched, pil­lared en­trance to an is­land kitchen, the is­land com­prised of an en­gi­neered, striped bal­sam wood that mim­ics ze­bra wood. The kitchen is then fin­ished off in rich fashion with plank-style cork floor­ing and gor­geous cherry cab­i­netry (by Vi­sions).

At the end of the kitchen is a large dinette area. Across the way is a large liv­ing room de­fined by plush, dark brown ber­ber car­pet­ing that matches up well with the brown/beige colour scheme. Suf­fice it to say, the main floor in the new home, which is 150 sq. ft. larger than the pre­vi­ous one, bears lit­tle re­sem­blance to the old one.

“Let’s just say we wanted to show the work we typ­i­cally do. We en­joy cre­at­ing and build­ing things. That in­volves de­sign­ing a solid floor plan, then plac­ing the right ac­ces­sories with the right fin­ishes within it to cre­ate an area that not only looks good but is easy to get around.”

Like the main level, the home’s up­per level also rep­re­sents a dras­tic de­par­ture from its pre­de­ces­sor, he adds.

“It used to be two bed­rooms with an­gled ceil­ings. Now it’s 500 sq. ft. larger, with three good-sized bed­rooms,” Con­tant says. “We also put in a nice four-piece bath­room. Pre­vi­ously there was only a two-piece bath­room that you could hardly move in.”

PER­HAPS the most sig­nif­i­cant change oc­curred in the mas­ter suite, which Con­tant and his crew — as the say­ing goes — went to town on. How does a large suite with vaulted ceil­ings, pi­ano win­dows fram­ing the bed, built-in en­ter­tain­ment unit and an en­suite with six-foot soaker tub, low stepover corner shower, heated (beige) ce­ramic tile floor and quartz (Flo­form) coun­ter­tops on dark maple van­ity sound?

“It’s lux­u­ri­ous, as it should be,” says Con­tant. “There’s also a big walk-in closet with pi­ano win­dow for nat­u­ral light, and we also put in wa­ter-sav­ing fix­tures and low-flow toi­lets.”

The lower level also re­ceived a ma­jor makeover.

“We opened up the floor, moved the bath­room and in­stalled a sump pit, and then dry­walled the ceil­ings for max­i­mum height. Now, there’s about 850 sq. ft. of liv­able space with room for a spare bed­room/of­fice, three­piece bath­room and big laun­dry room. In­su­la­tion in the base­ment is R24, R22 on the main floor, R20 on the sec­ond floor and R50 in the at­tic. We also in­stalled a high-ef­fi­cient fur­nace with HRV sys­tem.”

Ex­te­rior-wise, the new home was also built to last, with 30-year Re­nais­sance shin­gles and durable hardi­board sid­ing with cul­tured stone ac­cents. All deck­ing is ul­tra-durable com­pos­ite, with a cov­ered back­yard deck and de­tached garage only steps from the back door — a very ef­fi­cient de­sign fea­ture.

All in all, Con­tant says all the time and ef­fort was worth it to show what a rep­utable ren­o­va­tor can do.

“Over­all, we were a bit limited with the foot­print (of the lot), but Brad did a real good job with the end de­sign,” he says. “What peo­ple have to re­al­ize is that it’s all very de­tail-ori­ented work, and that the de­sign didn’t just come to­gether overnight. With the right de­sign, great at­ten­tion to de­tail and by tak­ing the time to do things right it’s pos­si­ble to trans­form your whole home, or any part of it, into what you want it to be.”

The for­mer bun­ga­low has grown up, both in style and in storeys: from left, the kitchen, bath, up­stairs loft area and great room demon­strate high lev­els of crafts­man­ship.

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