May 25, 2011

Let's take a stroll.... through a renovation.

This is an article that was written by Eurodale Developments for Reno & Decor Magazine.

Renovation projects take all shapes and sizes, some vast and large, while others smaller, but still with striking impacts. The key ingredient to all successful projects is taking the time to plan it out in advance, from the first project thoughts, into the architectural or structural design and then tying it together with the selection of the interiors. This ensures that when the trades hit the site, that there is little required in the way of changes to obtain something that looks great, functions as is needed and most importantly – solves the challenge!

Below you will walk through the process of a recent Eurodale renovation project from germination of the idea, into the finished product.


This family required more space. Topping up the existing bungalow was the most efficient way to get it. They also wanted to have larger ‘common’ or family areas. Shifting the bedrooms upstairs and opening up the main floor would allow for this.


There are many ways to lay out a space. This fast draft sketch (see photo below) was just a first idea from which the layout evolves.  Identifying relationships between rooms and studying traffic flow are critical here (for example – you don’t want the kitchen and the dining room too far apart, or the main bath away from the bedrooms).


Once you have decided on the footprint and layout of the home, how it will look from the curb or the back yard are obviously important points of consideration for any large addition to the home. Sketching options for rooflines and finishes will give you an idea of the aesthetics possible, allowing you to see it before it’s built. In the photo on the left below, the exterior is more contemporary with the flat rooflines of the porch. The client preferred the image on the right with the more traditional overhang.


In this instance, the zoning allowed exactly what we were planning to do. This is not always the case, and more often than not a big project like this requires the approval of the Committee of Adjustments. Speak with your local municipality early so you know what is permissible within your specific zoning. Complete permit plans are complex (like the section drawing you see below). If you need to make alterations due to zoning restrictions, the earlier this is identified, the more time (and cost!) effective the design and planning process will be.


This part of the project is where the excitement really ramps up. All the planning comes together and the home starts to take shape. Once demolition has revealed the housing components behind the wall, the state of the existing building is visible, and any issues (like mould, rot or asbestos for example) can be treated before the installation of new finishes occurs.

This project was 6 months from the first day we started demolition until the owners were moving in. Because the leg work on the design decisions was made up front, there were very few changes along the way, making
the build process more enjoyable and less frenzied for the owners. The selections and budgets were all laid out in advance, so the surprises (and disappointments!) were avoided.


Well yes, truthfully it looks easier than it is in the few steps shown here, but generally this is the process of taking a project from start to completion. Every project starts with a challenge, problem or desire. From there, solutions are designed to solve it and a budget is created and followed through to the completion. The solution at this home occurred both on the inside with the newly captured space, and the remodeled and improved main floor layout. It also occurred on the exterior, where from the curb, the home does not resemble a ‘top up’ at all. Instead it looks like a brand new custom home, with the old and new tied seamlessly together. While every project comes with ‘hiccups’, the more active you are in the planning and design stages, the fewer and easier they are to endure, and the less you need to budget a contingency for.

May 24, 2011

Before & After Gallery now up!

Just click the Before & After button in the sidebar to view our gallery of renovations!  More information and photos can also be seen at

May 23, 2011

Check out the Video Gallery

Looking for a bit more information on Eurodale Developments or Mod256?  Check out our Video Gallery - just click the Video Button in the sidebar.

May 19, 2011

Decisions, decisions...

Many homeowners find themselves in the great debate between renovating the home they are in or selling, buying new and moving up. Although moving homes seems like an easier turnkey solution, eliminating time and construction stress, there are still many other factors to consider including:
  • The cost of the transaction - commission, legal, land transfer taxes, etc.
  • Inheriting the work and finishes of someone else, who is likely trying to make a profit and focuses on the look, not the operation of the house as a system.
  • The inability to see the construction along the way or selecting the layout or finishes that you personally like. Since the average Canadian lives at least 7 years in each house, this can be an important thing!
Based on the needs and wants of you and your family, there may also be a myriad of other factors that you are considering in your decision to move or renovate.

What is comes down to, though, for most homeowners, is cost.

In order to assist you with your analysis of the financial pros and cons associated with a sell, purchase and move, we have put together an example in order to illustrate the numbers related to both decisions.


This simple example is based on the selling of a home for $750,000 and buying another residence for $1,000,000. The numbers would adjust differently for the actual values of sale and purchase accordingly.

These numbers do not take into account the costs to make your home “fit to sell” - painting, staging and touch ups required to make it presentable which could run upwards of $5-$6k. It also doesn’t take into account the minor items you would need to do at the new house - painting, cleaning, window coverings, etc. These very real costs should also be accounted for when calculating total budgets.

Imagine the changes you could make to your existing home with a budget of $400-450K. 
You would have the benefit of selecting the systems that run the home, see the installation of the building envelope ensuring it is well done - with no corners cut -and also have the benefit of selecting all of the layout and finishes that will fit with how you want to live in the space and will fit your own personal aesthetic tastes.
True, moving to a new house could be achieved in 2-3 months and building could be a 6 month to 12 month endeavor.
At the end of the day, you are really weighing the difference between Buying a Product - a New Home - or A Process - Achieving your Perfect Home.

May 10, 2011

Thank you!

On Thursday. May 5 we ran a Thank You in the Toronto Star to all of our clients for their continued and overwhelming support of our company, helping us to win the title of BILD Renovator of the Year for 2011.  You can see the full sized ad here.

May 9, 2011

Eurodale featured in the National Post | Bottom's Up!

Eurodale was featured in Saturday's National Post - a great interview with Brendan and Jim and the clients from one of our latest projects.  If you missed it - you can still read the full article here.

May 5, 2011

So, you've decided to renovate...

If you missed Brendan's article yesterday in the Toronto Star - you can still see it online here.  If you're planning a renovation - big or small - it's full of the tips and tools to get you started.