This townhouse was purchased from the bank. The previous owners had decided to do their own electrical work throughout the whole house and an electrical fire started in the mechanical room in the basement. We believe that insurance figured it out that the owner had done his own wiring and wouldn’t pay for the damages and the owner chose to leave rather than pay to fix anything.
The fire was caught quickly, and minimal damage happened, but the basement had to be gutted and completely redone which included all new wiring throughout the house, plumbing, furnace, hot water tank and new laundry appliances. The Pepto pink walls in the basement really emphasize the amount of char smoke damage.
The rest of the property received minimal smoke damage. Just a bit of smoke on the main level when the basement door was opened to get to the fire. Taking away the fire problem, the house was in its original character. Other than the wiring, the property wasn’t touched.
Whenever a new property is purchased, there is always something that makes the property memorable. This house was no different. We purchased this property in the middle of January during a major cold snap (minus 20 Celsius). Because of the damage in the basement, the furnace was shot. This made two concerns for us. (1) no heat; and (2) frozen plumbing. We couldn’t get heat fast enough and our HVAC guy couldn’t get there for 2 days which meant we had to do demo in freezing weather. No break for the wicked. I couldn’t feel my feet by the end of the day. Thank goodness hard labor keeps you warm. Once heat was established I could have kissed our HVAC guy! We then had to deal with plumbing. We had every person on our crew there and we had to cut holes in the walls where plumbing was to see leaks. The plumber yelled from the basement and we all sat there with baited breath to see if we would have a major flood on our hands… (pause for effect) We didn’t! We had one cracked pipe in the basement which was sealed off immediately and repaired along with the rest of the basement renovation. It really was a crazy start to the project.
The other neat thing about what we do is what we find let behind from previous owners. We have found magazines, old newspapers, tools, toys, you name it, we have come across lost treasures left behind over the years. But this house had the craziest things left behind to date. During demo we remove all light fixtures, electrical plates, trim, etc. I was working on the upstairs and removing all the plates and registers in the house when I came across a bag in the cold air intake. I pulled it out and stuck my hand in to find…. a bag full of adult toys! I was mortified, and I am so grateful I was wearing gloves. The crew thought this was funny at my expense.
Once the plumbing and electrical were brought up to code, the property had a complete paint job, top to bottom, new windows and doors (interior and exterior) and all new lighting. The upgrades to the upper level included the master bedroom walk-in closet unit installed and new tile in the bathroom. The main floor and basement received new flooring and a new renovated kitchen.
With the basement we wanted to do something different. Due to us having to go back down to studs and get structural approved by the city because of the fire. We had a fresh slate to work with. The previous owner had attempted to put a bathroom in the basement. But we quickly figured out that was not possible. So, we came up with the next best thing and built an amazing private theatre space. This is an amazing wow factor and what a transformation of what was a charred fire pit.
Timeline: 6 weeks
Actual Renovation Costs: $56,922.87
Items Completed: Furnace, Hot water Tank, all new appliances, Flooring, Windows, Doors, Cabinetry, Countertops, Bathrooms, Paint, Lighting, Plumbing, Electrical and so much more!
Property Sold: $280,000
Style of Property: 2 Story
Square footage: 1,064
Year Built: 1975