Thoughts on Modernizing a 1963 Two-Storey

worthyFebruary 26, 2010

What have I done?

One minute I'm out looking for a buildable lot. I am a builder, after all. And that's what we do. The next thing I know I've picked up this C$1.2 million dollar fixer-upper on a half acre court a couple hundred yards north of Toronto.

"1963 One Owner." Aging Home Needs Updating

We're moving in and will play it by ear. Including attempting to market a pre-build sale from plans, as I've done before. If it doesn't fly, at the most you've blown a few thousand dollars on a concept and a floor plan.

After the obvious--refinished floors and new paint--the way ahead is not so clear. Except the absurd shutters have to go!

Any thoughts much appreciated.

I'll be posting pics after I get possession in a couple of months. Wish me luck! (And no meltdowns in the roaring housing market here.)

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Why update? It would be cheaper to put a Chevy 409 SS in the driveway and buy some skinny ties and a lava lamp.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 9:24AM
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Hey you! Hands off my 409!


I like it! Full-on baby boom retro. JFK is king. Marilyn's cooing. Elvis is still in the house.

But in an upper income neighbourhood as bland as bland can be, where adolescent dreams have long been surrendered for golf club memberships and an SUV and a Merc in the driveway. Bound to be a big seller!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 11:01AM
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You want upscale?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 11:29AM
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The Jag is rad but the chebby would be mucho bueno out here in the west...lowered, candy apple red, lights in the wheel wells, dingle balls abounding with red,white, and green stripes for the upholstery. Dont forget the hydraulics kickin' it from high rise to low rider! Bounce dat mudda down the 405!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 11:44AM
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Where I'm from you could get shot for trashing a 409.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 2:15PM
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"Where I'm from you could get shot for trashing a 409."

Deservingly so! Anyone that takes a classic of any make or model and turns it into a la bamba ought to be strung up!:-)

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 2:59PM
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An upward pointing Jag snuggling up to a legs-akimbo lassie spreading open her fur coat. Talk about subliminal advertising.

Thanks gang for all the helpful design suggestions!

    Bookmark   February 27, 2010 at 8:14PM
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Still, I soldier on. Similar house reno/addition. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 5:42PM
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park the 409 in the drive.
have fun with the house!
I saw a house nearby that is almost exactly like yours.
I wonder if the floor plan is similar? They sold to a
couple from Texas,
Congrats on the new fixer upper.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 8:17PM
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I've just come across a stash of old slides of my family and me in our then brand new 1958 suburban home. Two-tone green asbestos siding--to match the two-tone green '53 Buick Roadmaster in the drive. Mom in her sleeveless A-Line. Dad in a Mad Men suit. It's so wonderfully retro!

Unfortunately, now we're 20 miles north of the downtown hipsters who would "get it."

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 4:33PM
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It looks like a nice brick Colonial ... work on the interior to get the plumbing and kitchen into great shape.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 7:01PM
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I'd get big of the terrible porch and do a better one, more suited to the Federal style it's trying to ape. And I'd paint the brick. I love brick, but NOT orange.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 10:46PM
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Right on the porch. It's so terrible it may have been a later "improvement", as were the execrable "shutters". The brick is redder than the pic registers.

The biggest problem I see is in the roofline. First, the lack of space between the roof and the upper floor windows. Traditional Georgians, as in the pic below, have a generous spacing there, often filled with elaborate cornicework. Secondly, the angle is too shallow to support dormers.

1920's Georgian style residence, Oakwood, Ohio Kent Development Group

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 2:34AM
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I was thinking maybe adding EIFS stucco, thus obtaining the benefit of insulation. There's probably a nominal R12 fiberglass in the walls; there's nothing at all in the finished basement.

Still, I think the proportions of my fixer-upper are off for a Georgian style home.

Georgian-style stucco. Note Captain's walk

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 2:57AM
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After moving in and investing $1,200 on new elevation plans, I'm taking the easy way out: total demolition. I guess we're moving soon!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 1:11PM
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