This HDL Group Renovation Project Example was generously written by the homeowner himself, who allowed us to publish it on our site...
The initiial plan was for a small storage shed for garden tools etc with a small deck out the side housing a hot-tub. I thought I could do it myself with a pre-fab kit. Next thing I know my wife Kedy calls me informing me she expects me home early as the architect is coming over to talk about concept and plans. I thought oh oh this is gonna cost a bundle...
We realized we have a large, valuable property and intend to stay here for many more years. The architect explained that if we built a small pre-fab shed when we came to sell, the propspective purchasers would take one look at the structure and wonder how much it would cost to get rid of it as it doesn't belong in a valuable, high-value property. A properly designed structure would not only add value and interest for future buyers but would be ours to enjoy and take pride in while we reside here.
We wanted something unique with the driving interest being something our teen children could use with their friends and we could use to expand our living space. We wanted a West-Coast, open concept with plenty of wood and glass. Paul, Eric and the HDL group supplied it!
Design & Materials
High quality native wood is used throughout. The large cedar beams are unique to this area and are the envy of visitors we have had from elsewhere in Canada and around the world. It is designed to make all the wood finishing and core supports very visible. Local fir is used for the deck and is stained to enhance the grain. Huge windows and glass doors bring in light which helps to alleviate the low light conditions prevalent in the Pacific North West. We have added fountains and rock to the surrounding garden which melds into the rain forest atmosphere. Looking out the back doors and window of our house we see a work of art that doesn't seem out of place in our back yard at all. Walking out to it feels like a walk in the forest; then you open the door to find a warm, quiet refuge with all the modern amenities.
Many challenges presented themselves and were dealt with successfully. Getting city approval was pivotal and proved difficult as Richmond did not allow even a small crawl space which I craved. Plans had to be changed mid way through but Paul was able to deal with each challenge efficiently and effectively with myself and the city authorities. At one point the large excavator got stuck in the deep mud which resulted with heavier-than-usual autumn rain. The foundation was deemed too close to the property line; Paul quickly realized there was already access to the city sewer line from another property and was able to get permission to leave the foundation as is. Drainage in Richmond is a constant headache and difficult to provide as we are at the waterline. HDL had to redesign the drainage plan and went to great lengths to make it right which involved constant consultation with us. Cost and over-runs were brought forward and dealt with in a mutually agreed to manner. I never felt that quality would be compromised because of budget. Paul wanted it done properly and to mutual satisfaction.
The Final Result
We love our 'structure' and feel it is perfect. The children use it constantly and bring friends over all the time. Our house is the center of their social life...at least for now! It has added enjoyment to our family life and value to our property. The construction was disruptive; the cost substantial...the final result? Priceless!
Chris H. and Kedy A. (proud owners)