The exterior of this home was crumbling and full of birds’ nests. A sub-par exterior finish by a previous owner was leaking, needing a complete overhaul, refresh, and re-do-it-all. Kon-strux stripped the exterior of the home, then re-insulated and furred out the walls to make them perfectly flat. Flashing, secondary roofing, stucco, doors, windows and surrounds, garage door, the curved and entry stairs and landscaping rock, driveway, and paint were all replaced with brand new ultra-long-wearing materials. In short, we evicted the birds, installed sealed underlay to prevent leaking into the walls, revamped the lighting with a simple but elegant design and new fixtures, and brought the exterior of this home fully into the 21st century. For the stairs and retaining walls we stripped back the foundational earth and used deep hidden supports and interlocked underground layers as its base — this yard won’t shift for centuries. The driveway was removed completely replaced with a long-wearing sealed finish over multiple stabilizing layers of underlay. The windows were replaced with high-efficiency UV reflecting exterior-tinted windows that better situate the house amongst the huge mature trees on this lot, reflecting their branches in the panes. Now this house is worthy of its address.
Overall appeal, unique features, special design elements:
A large home on a generous inner-city lot, this project was about making the exterior worthy of the desirable address. We focused on efficiency (replacing the windows, re-insulating, flashing, secondary roofing, stucco, doors, windows and surrounds, garage door, the curved and entry stairs and landscaping rock, driveway, and paint) and new, ultra-long-wearing materials. In short, we evicted the birds, installed sealed underlay to manage moisture, and revamped the lighting design to showcase the entries while leaving the upper stories darker for nighttime privacy. The front entry and garage doors were replaced with thick, high-efficiency versions and new “grippy” banisters were installed at the front stairs. Water management is a big part of this new design, involving downspouts, the landscaping, the angle of masonry and the driveway, the flashing… everything is in service to moving water away from the house. This home now looks fully at home on its property.
Creative use of space, functionality, and integration within the home:
The overall plan of the house was not changed: these renovations were about repairing and upgrading the envelope and exterior detailing. However, the house sits far more stately and aesthetically secure on its location, now; appropriate and worthy of its address, better nestled into the trees of its lot by virtue of the new colours and UV-coated windows that give better views, protect the house’s contents, and reflect the tree branches in their panes. We rebuilt the stairs up from the driveway to provide a more generous entry that now suits the scale of the home and property. Rough-edged paving stone and sealed pebble walkways (and driveway) were chosen to contrast with the transitional modern exterior, marrying the park-like feel of the landscaping and the modernity of the flat stucco walls.
Birds and bats who like to nest in stucco are tenacious and want to return… we integrated an innovative wire sheathing within two layers of the stucco and sealed every corner and edge (preventing heat escape from the inside) to deter would-be winged squatters. Only the homeowners live here now! Water management was a key issue, to ensure no leaking and to direct water from the roof away from the house in every area, essential for the longevity of an estate house meant to stand for centuries like this one. Water directionality also benefits the two large spruce in the front yard (this species of tree requires far more water than homeowners usually know) and the showpiece mountain ash over the driveway.