1960s Show Home Brought Back to Life

1960s Show Home Brought Back to Life

Calgary, Alberta

Past Project

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Property ID :








Year Built



This three-bedroom bungalow was built in 1967. We purchased this home from the owner who had lived in the house since it was built. The husband had passed, and she was down sizing.

The original layout had a living room, dining room, eat-in kitchen along with the bathroom and three bedrooms. With the house being built in the sixties, the living room was done in a dark paneling and a thirty foot spruce tree in the front yard blocking any sun light into the room. You almost had to use a flashlight to see. The finished basement had a 4‑piece bathroom, 2 bedrooms, recreational area, mechanical room, laundry and a cold room.

Where to begin. The challenge began with removing a dumpster full of personal items left behind before we could start demolition. The previous owner was in her eighties and their entire life was in this house. She and her husband had a full room from floor to ceiling with canning jars … full. We started on the main floor, by removing the walls between the living room, dining room and kitchen to give it a total open concept. This was a challenge as we had to make sure the trusses were designed to structurally support the roof without adding any additional beams. The kitchen vinyl flooring was pulled up and we were able to find hardwood flooring to match the original hardwood that went throughout the entire main floor. Sanding, glazing and matching were a large undertaking and took all the contractors off site for close to 2 weeks — something I am not a fan of as time is money. But our patience was rewarded as the floors came out amazing!

Then we moved down the hallway to the main floor bathroom where we widen the bathroom door to a standard 30” door from 24”. We removed the window in the shower and gutted the rest of the bathroom to start from scratch. The bathroom had coral shell sink and a purple toilet and tub in mint condition. The biggest challenge we faced was removing all the wall paper (what fun). The house was wall to wall and floor to ceiling wallpaper. I think we are pros now at wallpaper removal!

We then moved to the basement, we wanted to keep some options open regarding strategies to do with the home. The market had dropped quite quickly due to our oil economy and we were wanting to keep some options open regarding best profit margin. While doing the renovation, we had also started the process to get approval to put a secondary suite in the property. The house fit all the city’s criteria and was in a great family‑demanded area. Therefore, when developing the basement, we added some extra features that could work or make it easier to suite the property at a later date. We also looked at it to sell with a nannie suite or options for live‑in Adult children. It definitely gave us some options to work with.

Once the week of demolition and two many dumpsters to count was done we began the fun part of putting it all back together. As this was a complete make over, all our contractors and others were brought in.

On the exterior we replaced all the windows, doors, roof, siding and removed the large spruce blocking the sunlight to the living room. With the removal of the tree we then had to re-sod that half of the front yard. In the backyard, we put up a new fence across the back plus painted the rest. Oh yea, I forgot to mention that they closed in the patio deck which had to be removed. We then re-railed the deck and put in a new stairwell and re‑sodded the area where they had a garden plot.

With opening the main floor, many changes were made. The ceiling repairs, where the walls were removed, was the start. We then added a laundry closet off the old dining room to offer main floor laundry. With a totally new kitchen layout the electrical and plumbing were brought up to date. Pot lights and additional lighting over the new island were installed. The plumbing was moved to accommodate the changes along with the addition of a dishwasher.

Keeping the basement suite in mind, we put in separate heating between each floor, fire rated the ceiling, and sound‑proofed which also helped with the natural noise old hardwood makes. The entire home was upgraded for electrical, plumbing, HVAC and ducting. During demo we found some neat gadgets in the walls and home. Some items the contractors had to google to find out what they were being so old. It was determined that this home would have been considered a show home in its time. The framing, structure and craftsmanship was immaculate.

This was our largest project too date and our busiest time of the year with three full renovation projects on the go. But having a solid Budget and very detailed schedule and timeframe laid out it was very easy for all the contractors to know what we were doing, who was supposed to be where, and the project was completed on time and only $10,000 over budget which were really added items we needed for the secondary suite components.

Timeline: 12 weeks

Budget: $100,102.00

Items Completed: Roof, Siding, Furnace, Flooring, Eaves, Soffits, Windows, Doors, Landscaping, Cabinetry, Bathrooms, Paint (Interior & Exterior), Lighting, Plumbing, Electrical and so much more!

Property Appraised: $580,000

Bedrooms: 5

Bathrooms: 2

Style of Property: Bungalow

Square footage: 2,150 (1,075 per floor)

Year Built: 1967