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Upward Bound: Toronto Second Storey Addition

When Kevin and Donna came to us to design and construct an addition to their home in the City of Toronto (Bloor West), they had an idea in mind – but weren’t quite sure it would work. Although their cozy 829-square-foot bungalow was a fine starter home, with plans to expand their family someday, they knew they needed more space.

They considered two options for expanding their living space. One was to extend the home from the rear, and the other was to add a second story. The latter was the option they truly hoped would work because they didn’t want to give up their backyard.

However, expanding upward brings many challenges. The first hurdle was designing a second story floor plan that actually worked. Because the home is located so close to the lot line, we couldn’t position any new windows on the side of the home; this presented a problem with getting natural light into the bedrooms and bathrooms. The other difficulty was the location of the existing stairs (at the back of the home).

We found the solution was to create a floor plan where the hallway meandered through the home. This allowed us to place two bedrooms at the front of the house and one at the rear – where windows could be included and natural light could stream indoors. The bathrooms were strategically placed in the middle of the second floor, and to bring in natural light, we installed sun tunnels.

Now with the bedrooms located on the second floor, we were able to renovate the first floor. Kevin and Donna wanted their first floor living area to be open and feel spacious. By changing the bathroom location, we (nearly) doubled the kitchen space – now the focal point of the main floor.

Although the living room remained the same size and location, a gas fireplace was installed to create a more warm and inviting space. What was once the only bedroom was transformed into a dining area, and we also designed a powder room into the floor plan. Additionally, by using open-web joists, we were able to tuck the mechanical systems into the ceiling – giving the first floor an improved look and continuous flow.

When construction was complete, Kevin and Donna now had a 1,600-square-foot home, nearly doubling their living area and giving them space to expand their family.  See complete project details here.

And the story continues … We are proud to announce that we’ve just learned that this project is a winner in the Best Renovation $150,000 – $300,000 category for its creative floor plan! The award was presented by BILD, a 1,350+ member association that is the voice of land development, home building and professional renovation industry in the Greater GTA.