Reworking a Walkout

It’s great to have a basement development project that’s also a walkout as it gives us lots of natural light to work with and, of course, a brighter space for the residents to enjoy. Our biggest challenge was starting with a floor that was concave. So here’s what we did:

  • Filled the floor with self-leveling concrete to get an even surface before installing a combination of carpet and tile.
  • Created two generous living areas from one large space by installing a double-sided media wall of custom cabinetry and a fireplace.
  • Custom made sliding doors that act as a feature wall yet maintain the consistent look of the five-panel shaker doors.
  • Built a large bar with custom cabinetry of aluminum and glass doors.
  • Added a speaker system that runs throughout the basement, along with pot lighting.
  • Refurbished the bathroom with a floating vanity and LED under-lighting.

Two Stories, Two Stages

Renovating this two-storey, 1,700+ square-foot home in the Calgary community of Varsity ended up being a two-stage project. At first, we were hired to redo the basement, garage, and exterior, along with the roof. The clients were so happy with the results, they asked us back for a complete renovation of the main and second floors. Here’s what we did:

  • Turned a four-bedroom plan into a three-bedroom by converting a small bedroom into a luxurious walk-in closet and expanding the size of the master.
  • Redesigned the kitchen by removing a wall and the outdated sunshine ceiling, adding custom-built cabinetry and an island, and turning the front closet into a pantry.
  • Chose all the new fixtures and features, including flooring, tile, doors and trim, lighting, paint, etc.
  • Replaced all the plumbing and mechanical by cutting through the floor on the main. An unusual approach, but it was more effective since the basement had just been redone in stage one of the project.

From Barn to Custom Home

Since this 1920s concrete barn was stripped down to its bare bones, the project was more of a custom build than a renovation. We worked with the owners to create a rustic, industrial style that paid homage to its history, while also creating a stunning home for its family. These are some of the steps we took and considerations we made:

  • Barn boards were reclaimed and used for stairs; the hemlock from the hayloft ceiling was used for floors; the corrugated tin roof was recycled for island cladding; and the steel trusses were also reclaimed and showcased in the ceiling.
  • To maximize energy efficiency, six-inch wood walls with spray foam insulation were paired with the existing eight-inch concrete exterior walls.
  • Additional windows were added to maximize mountain views and overlook the third green of the Sirocco Golf Course.
  • Additional square footage was added to the second floor for living space: a new media room, two offices and a playroom became part of the final 3,800-square-foot home.


More than a Man Cave – Basement Development

More man emporium than man cave, this basement development is a fantastic reason to never see the light of day. But you will because this walkout has a fireplace on one side framed by very good-sized windows. This is some of what you’ll find down there:

  • A golf simulator (aka swing station). To install this, we cut out the concrete, shored up the walls, jackhammered out six old footings, dug down two more feet to put in six new footings, concrete walls and sump pump. Then we poured new floors, built stairs and installed the simulator.
  • A built-in fish tank
  • Built-in speakers
  • Custom cabinets with a floating vanity and a custom-built mantle
  • A hidden liquor cabinet that James Bond would be proud of
  • A wine room that has walls sprayed with 2-pound insulation and a hollow core maple door
  • A fully finished bedroom and bathroom

Bathing in Luxury

This stunning and unique bathroom started out with standard builder specs. All the mechanical aspects of the room had to be changed as the design required a different layout. Here are some of the other changes and elements we added:

  • The bathtub was 500 pounds, so we cut open and reinforced the floor under it.
  • We added an extra layer of soundproofing to the walls since a child’s room was next door.
  • Pressure-assist, low-flow toilet was installed, along with a steam shower with multi-body jets and a rain head.
  • New custom cabinets were installed: a built-in armoire, make-up desk, vanities and mirrors.
  • Marble was used for the floors and vanity tops.