Before and After: How a $360,000 renovation transformed a Junction shack into a sparkling family home
Goodbye, muddy floors, ’70s panelling and dilapidated shed. Hello, airy interiors, bespoke cabinets and EV-ready garage
A three-plus-one-bedroom, four-bathroom semi in the Junction that just underwent a big-time renovation. It has a separate one-bedroom basement apartment and a new two-car garage with a panel that can support an EV charger.
Gord Harrison, a contractor, initially purchased this 100-year-old property, for $1 million in February of 2021, as a home for his young family. He brought in his friend Shawn Chua, with whom he had partnered on a dozen previous renos, to share the load. But, a year into the job, they discovered a rat’s nest of problems: poor insulation, asbestos and a basement floor that required re-pouring. Harrison needed to recoup costs, so he kiboshed moving in, instead opting to rent the upstairs and basement units at $4,400 and $2,100, respectively. In total, he and Chua spent $360,000 turning the place around.
First, the façade’s facelift: Harrison and Chua resurrected the porch, re-sided the gable and installed a new staircase.
The pair wanted to create a modern open-concept space with more natural light, so they tore down one of the front room’s walls. They also preserved that ceiling cove (which used to be part of a fireplace) and exposed the original brick. They installed white-oak engineered hardwood flooring throughout the house.
The kitchen was originally in the back of the home, but Harrison and Chua moved it forward to add a powder room, a dining area and a stacked washer-dryer closet. The new space has quartz countertops and an island that seats three people, plus a gas range with a chimney-style ventilation hood.
Here’s that added space at the back of the home.
There are three bedrooms on the second floor. The hallway is quite narrow, so they swapped out the wood railing with glass to make it feel more open.
A wall of built-in closets was added to the main bedroom, which overlooks the neighbourhood. Harrison and Chua also stole about three feet of space from the adjacent bedroom to add an ensuite bathroom with a walk-in glass shower and a vanity.
One of the bedrooms used to be a second kitchen, with a view of the backyard. The renovation reduced its length by about a foot to create more space for the second bathroom.
Now, that second bathroom: they moved the tub under the window, installed a floating vanity and gave it a smart paint job.
The basement used to be dark and full of ’70s wood panelling. After gutting it and re-pouring the slab, Harrison and Chua created a rental suite with a full bathroom as well as a kitchen. Should residents wish to combine both units, the kitchen could be converted into a laundry room, an office or a lounge.
Out back, they replaced all the doors and windows. The centrepiece, though, is the mudroom—rebuilt with doors for each unit.
The old garage was on the verge of collapse. Harrison and Chua levelled it and built a shiny new structure in its place.
Some relics surfaced during renovations: newspapers and magazines from the turn of the century, plus a tin of ancient cat food.
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