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How much are you spending?

The most common question we've been asked about our renovation is: "How much are you guys spending?" My usual answer is: "I don't like to say the number out loud." It's true ­– I don't – but not because I'm worried about what we're spending.

Plan for surprises

Digging down to find a silver lining We planned for the unexpected – that is a must when you're renovating a house that's 65 years old and has suffered through two poorly executed renovations.

Hot dilemma: Choosing a heating system

After the completion of the initial design work for our renovation, the most discussed topic was our choice of heating and ventilation systems.


The windows and doors in our house had been updated circa 1990, but many had failed. Often, the living room windows and sills were wet with condensation. A lot of the windows in the house did not have proper screens.

Lose four inches or spend $4,000?

Before we hired him, contractor Dave Rannala looked over our renovation drawings and asked some key questions. "Is there a reason why the windows in the family room are 7-foot 8-inches tall as opposed to 7-foot-6?" he wanted to know.

Before and during demolition

Here are some before and after shots of the house as it was and as it is under "destruction." Dumpster takes up almost the whole driveway, but ... ...

Moving out to renovate: Finding a killer view

Some brave souls stay in their homes as walls come down and dust builds up. Fortunately, we had no choice but to move out. Friends who have seen where we're staying wonder if we're going to like it so much, we won't want to move back home.

The Reno Plan: Making a swan out of a not-so-pretty duckling

The image here is a link to our floorplans. If you've never read one of these before, the dotted lines indicate existing parts of the house that will change. They are overlapped by solid lines that show what changes will be made.

Designers & contractor

After years working for the Homes section at the Times Colonist (and at the Ottawa Citizen before that) and dragging my husband Brad to Homes shows,we had seen a lot of great work and talked to many architects and architectural designers.

Buying a house in need of TLC

Welcome to Angela, Bradley and Caitlin’s excellent renovation adventure. At least, we hope it turns out that way. We bought our home in Oak Bay in 2004.
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