Reno worth the wait

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - DAVID SQUARE

UN­LIKE tele­vi­sion ren­o­va­tions in which an en­tire house is com­pleted in one hour, in re­al­ity some renos can take more than 40 years to fin­ish, not in­clud­ing the small de­tails. Chris Ran­ick and her hus­band bought a home in East Kil­do­nan in the early 70s which was built near the end of WWII. “When Teramura and his crew lifted the roof, they didn’t re­move it like nowa­days,” said Ran­ick. In­stead, she said the men framed new walls on the floor of the at­tic; then cut the roof rafters where they joined the top plate of the main storey. The roof was hefted up­ward a lit­tle at a time, while the new walls were slowly raised into a ver­ti­cal po­si­tion. By com­par­i­son, Ran­ick said she noted that the mod­ern tech­nique for adding a sec­ond storey is to re­place the at­tic floor and roof struc­ture with pre-built trusses, ex­pos­ing the lower floor to the el­e­ments. “Even though our sec­ond storey was added in the sum­mer, we didn’t have to worry about mois­ture get­ting into the house be­cause the roof was never re­moved or re­placed,” she said.

With the up­per storey in place, the liv­ing area of the home in­creased to 1,400 square feet, more than enough to com­fort­ably house the en­tire fam­ily, in­clud­ing a sewing area for Ran­ick. Dur­ing the same pe­riod, the kitchen on the main floor was en­larged by re­mov­ing a built-in ta­ble that pre­vented easy ac­cess to the fridge and made cook­ing a gym­nas­tic feat. About three years ago, after liv­ing in the house for more than four decades, Ran­ick de­cided to ren­o­vate both the lower and up­per floors. She hired her son, Jay Ran­ick of Ran­ick’s Renos, to un­der­take the job, which in­cluded ap­ply­ing dry­wall over wall­pa­per that was per­ma­nently ad­hered to a fea­ture wall, lay­ing a new floor in the din­ing room and kitchen, as well as paint­ing most of the walls in three tones of grey se­lected from the same Para Paint pal­ette. The old liv­ing room floor was cov­ered with dark lam­i­nate wood with a pi­ano fin­ish and a swirling fig­ure rem­i­nis­cent of burl pecan. The kitchen linoleum is about to be re­placed with click to­gether rec­tan­gu­lar tiles in a grey tone that com­ple­ments red hues in the open liv­ing room. An ad­mit­ted an­glophile, Ran­ick has a col­lec­tion of me­men­tos in­clud­ing a Union Jack and a nearly full-sized, bright red English phone box, in­clud­ing lighted glass shelves fes­tooned with knick-knacks from through­out Bri­tain. On the sec­ond storey, she said three bed­rooms have been re­dec­o­rated and re­painted and her son is in the process of adding a bath­room. Her eclec­tic taste in fur­ni­ture in­cludes an­tiques from her grand­par­ents, tra­di­tional pieces from her par­ents and con­tem­po­rary glass and steel cof­fee and side ta­bles of her own choos­ing. In the main floor din­ing room, a glass chan­de­lier passed on from her grand­par­ents hangs over a solid wood ta­ble. “I had to have the chan­de­lier rewired be­cause the orig­i­nal wiring was frayed from age and could have been a po­ten­tial source of dan­ger,” she said. Though the base­ment is in­su­lated and fin­ished with dry­wall, Ran­ick said she still has plans to up­grade it to in­clude more liv­ing area. “Right now, it’s a stor­age space for bolts of cloth and other sewing ne­ces­si­ties that keep me busy dur­ing the year,” she said, adding that she and friends hold an an­nual Christ­mas sale in her house where they sell hand­made items that can’t be found in re­tail shops. For the time be­ing, Ran­ick said she is con­tent to re­main in her “dou­ble­storey bun­ga­low” be­cause she ap­pre­ci­ates the neigh­bour­hood and has many friends in the area. Her an­nual $2,500 tax bill and low heat­ing bills due to the in­su­la­tion added dur­ing ren­o­va­tions are fur­ther in­cen­tives to stay put. “After 44 years, there are still small de­tails that I’d like to up­date, but all in all this is my dream house and I won’t be leav­ing it soon.” By the way, the house she and her hus­band bought for $14,000 in 1971 is now worth about $300,000, ac­cord­ing to a real es­tate agent.

PHO­TOS BY DAVID SQUARE / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Up­stairs bath­room is presently un­der

ren­o­va­tion on sec­ond storey of East Kil­do­nan house. At right, the kitchen has been ren­o­vated a few times since the up­per storey was added to the house.

The floor is about to be re-tiled with a grey tone click-in­place prod­uct sold by

Wind­sor Ply­wood.

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