He bought a skinny house for $900,000, then added a two-storey extension for $350,000 more
Who: Naseem Saloojee
Purchased in: September 2014, for $900,000
Cost of renovation: $350,000
Construction duration: 9 months
Reno highlight: The city approved a separate entrance for the basement, allowing Saloojee to create an income suite that could boost the house’s price when he sells.
Reno lowlight: The plumber didn’t connect a second-floor shower drain properly. Saloojee only found out after water started dripping through his kitchen ceiling.
In 2014, Naseem Saloojee started a new job as a vice-president at the educational app creator Top Hat. He wanted a home close to Yonge and College, where the company’s offices are located, but he wasn’t going to get sucked into any bidding wars: he decided he’d only make low offers on houses that weren’t snapped up on offer night. He’d give priority to properties where he could add value with renovations.
His strategy paid off in July 2014, when he found a two-storey Victorian semi near U of T. It had a cramped first floor, three bedrooms on the second floor and an unfinished basement. It was listed for $1 million, but Naseem was able to bargain the seller down after a housing inspector found knob-and-tube wiring.
Naseem’s contractors added a two-storey extension on the back of the house, to make room for a bigger kitchen, a powder room and an open-concept living-dining area on the first floor. On the second floor, they enlarged the back bedroom and added a second bathroom. Then they added a third floor, with a huge master bedroom, an ensuite bathroom and a rooftop deck with views of the downtown skyline. Naseem kept his construction crew on track with meetings almost every day at 7:45 a.m., and the discipline was worthwhile: he was able to move in by spring 2015, less than a year after buying the property.
When Naseem bought the house, it was 1,500 square feet:
Post-reno, it’s 2,150 square feet:
On the main floor, Naseem moved the staircase forward to make way for a powder room:
The backyard has a garage door that spans its entire width, allowing him to park two vehicles at a time:
The rooftop deck has a view of the downtown Toronto skyline:
The all-new master bathroom has a skylight, a rain shower and a separate soaker tub:
The home is less than 17 feet wide, so he saved space everywhere he could—in part by installing pocket doors, including the ones leading into his walk-in closet:
Did you add second or third storey? We want to talk to you.