Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Bugalow to Duplex: The Backstretch!

This project is our answer to mediocrity. This would be our 4th rental property but our first multi-family property. Up until this point we had 2 townhouses and 1 condo. Though they had been very good for appreciation the cash flow we received form them was slim to none. This project is all about cashflow for us.


Though it may sound like a very complex thing to undertake it was actually quite simple. The building code her in Ontario stated that we required safe and sound insulation in every shared wall and ceiling. It also stated that we required 3/4 inch type X drywall on the wall to give 45 mins before the fire could burn through the walls and ceiling. This took a only a few days and then it was on to painting.

 Upper Unit Completion

Though we were hoping to have the upper unit complete in May the permitting process took more time and as usual in a construction project delays happen. In the end the upper unit was complete right around the Canada Day (1st of July). Though I haven't talked about the upper unit much it really was mostly was updating. We did a complete update of both the kitchen and bathroom and refinished the hardwood in a couple of rooms. We then put it on the market and rented it for $1650 for August 1st. With that complete the full focus of our contractor and ourselves turned to finishing the lower unit. 

Flooring, Cabinets and finishing touches.

Once the walls were painted downstairs the flooring was put in over a few days. What a change that was and we started to feel like the work (and the money) would soon be over. We had now seen the basement of this 3 bedroom home go from a dungy rec-room, workshop, utility room to a blank slate to a very nice looking 2 bedroom separate unit. All that was left at this point was the finishing touches which I will go over in my next post.

Check out our Bungalow to Duplex posts -  3 month updateNew beginning, Now for Inspection, Plans and Progress or How I paid off my mortgage journey for more info.

Do you have a story you want to tell, leave me a comment, I would love to hear

Monday, 17 October 2016

Bungalow to Duplex: A new Beginning!

From the Floor Up!

Following receiving the go ahead on our permits and completing the demo we started the rebuild. The furnace and AC units were from the early 90's so our first task was to get them replaced. Since we were replacing them that also gave us the option of moving them 4 feet and therefore created a much larger second bedroom for the basement suite. The contractor we hiredWe also needed to upgrade the water heater but as it was a rental that was looked after by the company.replaced and moved the furnace and had the water heater rental company upgrade and move the water heater to create space for the second bedroom.
Kitchen Island rough-in
The next project was the rough in of the new basement plumbing. We first needed break the floor and lay in the new drain lines for the Kitchen and Bathroom downstairs. Once the rough plumbing inspection passed the concrete was patched and the framing could be started. At this point the both bathtubs (up and down) were brought in and then the units were separated properly.

Old Stairs = New Laundry

Walls and Windows

In order to separate the units we first needed to remove the old stairs from the backdoor to the upper unit. This was only 3 risers so not a big deal. We placed new joist across the space that the stairs took up and built a wall at the back to create the upper units laundry closet. 
We only ran into 1 issue while framing out the basement. The previous owners had weakening the floor joists by chiseling out an inch hole so that the could run there plumbing above the old drop ceiling in the basement. The solution was to sister up the joist from wall to wall. This cost about $500.00 more than expected but it needed to be completed to pass the inspection. Then we ordered and installed the new windows which included enlarging one  for egress requirements and adding a new one in the basement living room.
Added centre window

Water and Wires

The next 2 surprises came fairly quickly. These were not actually needed upgrades but they just made sense. The house had a 3/4 inch service line from the street but after the water meter it stepped down to 1/2 inch. My plumber suggested that since he was running a bunch of new lines for the basement that it might be a good idea to replace all of the old copper supply lines and increase the service lines to some area to 3/4 inch. We also requested the city replace the old water meter.
The second issue was the electrical panel. The old one was fuses and needed to be replaced so instead or just throwing a new 100 amp panel up we decided to increase to 200 amp. This required a new mast on the roof and for the power company to run a new supply and change the meter as well. This ended up costing us around $1000.00 of non-forecasted money but the benefits easily out weighed the downside of not doing it.

Now that the behind the wall things were done we could move on to fire separation and drywall. This had taken to this point about 2 weeks longer than expected but progress was still being made.
Stay tuned for my next installment.

 Check out Bungalow to duplex , or How I paid off my mortgage journey for more info.

Do you have a story you want to tell, leave me a comment, I would love to hear

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Bungalow to Duplex. Quotes and Permits and 3 month update

Busier than planned

For the few people that actually are following this Blog I apologize for leaving you in the dark. It has been a very busy few months and the blog has kind of went to the back burner but hopefully I can give more regular updates going forward on our journey.


Possession didn't start as expected. To start with we had our possession date on the 9th of Feb. Seeing as this is the 8th time we have purchased a property I didn't expect anything out of the ordinary. The first thing was the keys. Usually when you buy a house you get the keys from your lawyer or Realtor. Well in this case the seller (Bank, Realtor, or lawyer) decided it was better for them to just leave them in the lock box that was at the property. I think that is a little lazy considering you expect better customer service from your local burger joint.
The next day we took the day off from our jobs and went to check out the house. We need to replace the furnace so we brought in 3 furnace contractors to take some measurements and give us a quote on the replacement. We are taking the opportunity to move the furnace as well in order to gain more space in the basement suite. Obviously this is was a good day to interview General Contractors for the rest of the work and so we did. We had 4 Contractors in to give us a quote on our reno's and we are still awaiting a response.

Permits and Paperwork

On the 12th we submitted our zoning application to the city and now the waiting game began.
After a week of reviewing we decided on a Contractor. We finalized some details on the plans with his input and were now just waiting for the zoning application to be approved.
The zoning approval came on the 18th of Feb and on the 19th we submitted our building permits to the City to get that part underway. There was a few corrections and clarifications along the way but after roughly 4 weeks our permits were approved on the 15th of March.

The Demo

What a relief it was to get the planning part finished and we could move on to the demo. Truth be told I had already pretty much demolished the whole basement and the kitchen upstairs. Once the demo was complete it was now time to add the second suite.

Stay with us to learn if this gamble is worth the risk, if it works out I may convince you to to turn a bungalow into a duplex. Until next time!

Check out Bungalow to duplex , or How I paid off my mortgage journey for more info.

Do you have a story you want to tell, leave me a comment, I would love to hear about it!