Woodsmith Construction Project Journal: Ossington Home Renovation
Renovating homes in the west end of Toronto is something the Woodsmith Construction team has become very familiar with. With street after street of townhomes and semi detached homes, there is no shortage of work to be done. These homes have not received a lot of love over the years and in the vast majority of cases they are showing signs of major deterioration. If you own a home in this area, here are a few tips you should keep in mind based on our last project in your community.
First a little background on our Ossington home renovation. This home was your standard semi detached home with a semi renovated interior. The renovations were done poorly and the major work which had not been done, like sagging floor joists, leaking roof or bad foundation, was really starting to come apart at the seams. We were fortunate enough to get the green light for a complete home renovation. Which means a complete gut back to foundation and structure and start fresh from there. As a rule this is always the best way to go about any renovation to an older home. Especially one that seems to have had shoddy work done to it in the past.
There were however a few interesting things that became apparent once things got removed, that are worth sharing.
Although most of the homes in the Ossington area have third floors built into the roof. Before you start any work on your home, keep in mind that the structure of those third floors will be bad. With multiple layers of roofing membrane installed of the years. You will more then likely have to correct some major sagging in your roof and potentially some structural failure. Our Ossington home renovation was no exception to this reality. It required lots of man hours to get off what must of been 8 layers of torch down roof. Along with a complete rebuild of the roof itself. Always plan for the worst when it comes to gutting a home. Better to be pleasantly surprised then disappointed with the findings because once the problem is revealed it has to get fixed.
Most basements in the West end of Toronto have had some work done to them. It usually was very poorly done and in bad shape once we get there. Our Ossington home renovation was also no exception to this fact. The basement on this project had been lowered but unfortunately they had not done it with a permit so we had to make sure it is done right. Once a sample was removed we could clearly see the the under pins had been dug half the width of the foundation instead of the full depth which would be required. Which meant, we then had to repair all of the work done. Rule of thumb if your basement has been underpinned without a permit, odds are it was not done right. Be very careful when dealing with bad foundation work, as it can structurally comprise your entire home.