Buying a character home can be exciting. Renovating a character home in Vancouver, however, can feel overwhelming. It does not have to, though. With a few simple tips, the process can be quite smooth. That is why, today, we are going through nine tips to assist you with your renovation.

9 Tips for Renovating your Character Home in Vancouver

1. Figure out which features designate your home as a character house

Before renovating your character home in Vancouver, it is vital to know what elements have given it its designation. After all, you do not want to destroy the character aspects of your house. There are a few elements to check:

  • Original Massing (the home’s shape, form, and size)
  • The roof
  • The entry, including any porch or veranda
  • Cladding (exterior wall materials)
  • Window openings, including the location, size, and shape
  • Period details
  • The streetscape

Once you have located the character features of your home, make sure you protect them in your renovation.

2. If you are thinking of tearing down your character home, check if you will you be subjected to a penalty

The City generally wants you to renovate and retain your character home – not tear it down. Due to this, you can receive penalties if you tear down your house. These penalties can include the Deconstruction of your Home, as well as the abatement of any Hazardous Materials. You can also have the size of your replacement home reduced in some zones, being given only 0.5 FSR instead of the available 0.75 FSR if you had renovated.

3. Find a company that has experience renovating character homes in Vancouver

One of the easiest ways to have a smooth process is to get someone who has done it before. By choosing a company that has experience renovating character homes in Vancouver, you ensure that your team can guide you through the experience. The company will also know any permits you need and issues that can arise, so there should be no surprises.

4. Apply for the proper permits

Never do work without the proper permits in place. We know we speak about this a lot, but that is because it is important. Doing work without a permit can put your build – and home – at risk. Avoid this by just getting the permits you need in the first place.

5. Keep a log of all alterations and maintenance

You want to know what has been done to your character home. This can be important if you ever want to restore an element. In addition, when you go to sell your home, potential buyers may want to know what renovations have occurred. Having a log will allow you to easily share the home’s history.

6. Figure out if there is anything that needs to be taken care of right away

You do not want to wait to repair damage, potentially letting the situation get worse. Therefore, before you begin renovating your character home in Vancouver, it is important to identify any issues that need immediate attention. If you see mould, rot, or anything that is falling apart, mark that area as a top priority.

7. Consider what materials you will need to use in order to retain the look of your character home

When your character home was built, different materials and features were available. Therefore, if you want to keep the look and feel of your house, you need to carefully choose your materials. If you are not sure what materials to use, speak with your renovation team.

8. If you are planning on making any energy efficiency improvements, ensure they do not conflict with any distinct features of your character home

It can feel hard to balance being eco-friendly with having a character home. It is possible though. The trick is making sure that your energy efficiency improvements do not conflict with your home’s features. Again, you want to speak with your Designer about your options, which may include hiding energy efficiency features or adding them in a way that works with your home’s style.

9. Think about simple updates

Renovating your character home in Vancouver doesn’t have to be an elaborate process. There is a lot you can do with simple tweaks and updates. The most common? Add a Rear Extension to increase the kitchen size.