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Look Ma, No Walls! - A Vancouver Special Renovation

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We just finished the first week of the reno and all things considered, everything went quite well. The kitchen, both bathrooms, and the dining room are all down to the studs, and we're now getting a good idea of where we go from here. We wanted to remove the wall that formed a useless hallway inthe centre of the house, but weren't sure exactly if there was anything structural in that wall. When we pulled it apart, it wasn't a major structural wall, but it did contain one supporting post. In the City of Vancouver, if you're going to mess with structural elements, you're going to need an engineer to sign off on new plans (B1 & B2). To try and avoid this, I went to City Hall to get the original plans to see if there was a possibility that the engineer would write a letter allowing this change without full structural drawings. In the end, he just wanted extra bracing in a couple of spots and that was it...

The other thing that was a bit of an unknown, was the state of the attic. The original homeowner decided that there was no need for bathrooms air vents, which isn't a good thing. With all of the rain and high moisture levels we have in the Pacific North West, air circulation in the home and in the attic is important. During the inspection we could see that there was black staining in the attic, but couldn't see much due to the 18" crawlspace that you'll find in Vancouver Specials. The worry was that there might be some mould in the attic that we would have to deal with, but it turned out that we didn't. We've decided to paint the attic, just to seal everything up, and adjust the insulation so that the soffits are fully exposed.

Next week, we're going finish the framing, start of the electrical and plumbing.

Have a look at some photos of the place so far...

See all Vancouver Special Blog Posts

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Cliff on Feb 1, 2011 7:43 PM posted:
I have a Special and very interested in your progress. Cheers, Cliff.
Jordan Macnab on Feb 4, 2011 6:03 AM posted:
Sweet dude !! Loving the progress report. I need to Come check this out. I hope you are keeping the bathrooms original baby blue. Haha!!!
Mel on Feb 5, 2011 6:20 AM posted:
Thanks for sharing these photos. We're considering a similar reno and look forward to seeing more.
Cliff on Mar 13, 2011 9:49 AM posted:
The wall between the kitchen and dining room, is it a supporting wall or can you remove it or part of it to open the space into the kitchen?
Rob Zwick on Mar 13, 2011 11:26 AM posted:
We took out both of those walls. If you click back to the home page, then the Vancouver Special Renovation tile, it will lead you to the most recent posts I've made.

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