If you click on the right-hand menu called “architectural drawings” you’ll find a number of posts I have written since February 2014 that include snippets of the plans that Annabel the architect drew for us. These provide an incomplete picture, however, and I think it is time for me to collect all the drawings in one post.

Annabel moved to Ontario so now that we are finally moving ahead with the vision she helped create, she was unable to help us make the adjustments necessary for our final building permit. For that, Ridgewater Homes took over.

These drawings were used to obtain our Heritage Alteration Permit, which allows us to make changes to our house which is under a Heritage Revitalization Agreement. The Building Permit drawings differ slightly (the building code changed in December 2014) but not much.

Here is the house as it was in June of this year 2015:

Looking east
Looking north
Looking west
The view from the Little Yellow House (looking south)
The view from the Little Yellow House (looking south)

To give you an idea of the layout of our newly consolidated double lot (a property that is twice the regular size), here is a bird’s eye view. The little yellow house is at the top.


Now, here is the plan.

No change to the front.
No change to the front.

imageThe rear addition is extended out and a new dormer is added to the back. It’s windows face the sunrise. The dormer is inset so that the main shape of the original house is still prominent. There is a generous back porch.


Heritage is carefully considered.

imageThere are new windows in the extended addition which give natural light to the bathroom and master closet.


imageThe new dormer on the third floor gives the kids a bathroom near their bedrooms and functioning closets, as well as a playroom/guest bedroom.


imageThe main floor fixes the whole reason we got into this mess in the first place (the bathroom) and adds a walk-in closet, a large bathroom with shower and tub a la japonais as well as a porch which will be our living room in the warmer months.

The existing house has little useable space in the basement (ceilings are very low).
The existing house has little useable space in the basement (ceilings were very low). The bathroom has carpenter ants and rot, foundation issues and bad ventilation as well as being ugly.

imageThe new basement will have the minimum 2.1meter ceilings in the basement (7′), an insulated floor slab with hydronic heating pipes running through it and sealed and super-insulated walls.

All this sometimes seems pretty extravagant for a humble little house owned by an ESL Instructor and a Recycling Society employee who met in a theatre class at UBC 19 years ago, but it will be worth it in the end. Making ourselves happy in our homes is one of the best things we can do for our community and the world.
Through the miracle of Annabel's technology, these are two models of what the house will look like
Through the miracle of Annabel’s technology, these are two models of what the house will look like

Can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait!


Published by

James Rowley

James lives in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada with his amazing partner, Leanne Koehn, and their two amazing kids in their beautiful house. He studied Science and English Literature at the University of British Columbia where he met Leanne. He also studied acting for a while at Studio 58 in Vancouver. He works as a teacher of English and curriculum writer for new Canadians.

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