The architectural ugly duckling – what are the advantages to renovating and starting over with these commonplace Vancouver homes?
This forward-thinking family has figured out a way to glean maximum value from their solidly built, but not so special, Vancouver Special. Vancouver is a city that comes with its own unique beauty, combining both its beaches and mountains all within a close proximity. Which leads us to another unique feature of this city: The “Vancouver Special”. There are over 10,000 of these homes around the city. They were built around the 1970’s and were made with great quality. They had a boxy style and were a reasonably priced build. Unfortunately, as the decades pass the original Vancouver Specials have started to look unappealing; however, with some modern renovations, this design is starting to become one of the trendiest housing styles. Vancouver Specials, built from the 1960s to 1980s, were a highly functional design because they always operated like an up-down duplex, with stairs in the foyer that go up to one level and down to another.
At TQ Construction, we’ve had the opportunity to renovate a few of these gems. This has been a great opportunity for us, since we are a Lower Mainland company familiar with these homes. We see the importance of maintaining the integrity of this local heritage design, while at the same time updating it to be a more up to date version of the Vancouver Special. We want to be a part of the history by keeping this historical design alive and well for decades to come. We’re seeing this more and more in all our project types right now; that it’s so expensive to buy land in Vancouver, the baby-boomer generation is trying to help their kids out by finding a way they can either subdivide their lots, or build laneway houses to help house them on-site.
They are great homes that have been easy to work with in regards to their adaptability. A lot of the houses that we have renovated have had either a wood-stucco or wood-metal exterior upgrade. Both are incredibly easy to maintain. What flatters this type of exterior is a glass balcony. Switching to LED lighting is also a good idea as it is energy efficient and better for the environment. Get more vitamin D in your life: You can achieve this by bringing in some more natural light. This can be done by opening up the attic space and adding elevated ceilings with skylights.
Give yourself some room: It’s 2018. We don’t have to limit ourselves to being in just one room. Friends, it’s time for us to all be together. Just because you are the chef of the house, or the hostess with the most-est, doesn’t mean you can’t also be watching the game with your guests. TQ has the skills to create an open concept main floor with lots of hidden storage in order to open up the interior as one functioning space. Most of them offer about 2,000 to 2,800 sq. ft. of living area — an unbelievable amount of adaptable space for today’s families and investors.
Still paying off that mortgage? At TQ we are more than happy to take a look at what potential your basement has. A basement suite is a great investment. We put the party in the back, not up front: TQ can bring Vancouver paradise right to your backyard. In some cases we have installed a deck in the back for all of the memorable backyard BBQ nights; complete with friends, family, pets and of course, even a fire pit. Contact us for a complimentary consultation to see how we can make your Vancouver Special unique to not only you, but to the city you live in.