Our 93 yr old house reno in Toronto
Christine Li
May 21, 2013 in Before & After
When we purchased our house last summer (2012) we learned the kitchen addition was built on improper foundation. The house had a number of other issues such as: no vents in the kitchen, barely any electrical outlets in the kitchen, 60 amps electricity, termite infested deck, uneven and mismatching floors, crooked walls and lots of wood paneling making the space feel dark.

We also had our wedding to plan (one month after closing) and had out-of-town family members counting on us for hospitality. Needless to say budget and timelines were tight.

Armed with a total renovation budget of $25,000, we tackled the kitchen, the main floor and all the necessary upgrades of a century home. The kitchen portion of the spending came up to around $10,000 of the total. 80% of the work was completed within the first month, the remaining 20% dragged on for another 3 months.

Here's a list of what we were able to achieve within the budget:
- demolition of kitchen, back deck and first floor
- new poured concrete foundation below kitchen
- new floor joists under kitchen
- vents into the kitchen
- 100 amp electricity upgrade
- new insulation and dry wall
- oak hardwood flooring throughout the main floor
- 3x4 flared skylight in the kitchen
- pot lights and electrical fixtures/lines throughout
- custom cabinets and pantry
- gently used stainless steel appliances (all 4 for $900!)
- Paradiso Classico granite parameter countertops
- White Macabus quartzite island countertop with waterfall edge
- 33" stainless steel apron sink
- stainless steel floating shelves
- counter to ceiling glass tiles

We still have some small things to finish off - like paint the column and stain the window trim...but overall we're pretty happy with the results and we're comfortable in our new home.
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Absolutely gorgeous! But what is more impressive is everything you got done for only $10,000? Unbelievable - did you hire contractors or do it yourself for that cost?
May 21, 2013 at 6:14pm   
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Christine Li
Thanks Nancy! Like all first-time renovators, we started with great ambition to be champion DIYers...but at the end all we did was paint. We did take on the roles of a general contractor and hired the different trades people, scheduled each stage of work, and sourced all of our materials from warehouse sales and leftovers from other jobs. The countertops were from a stone fabricator who was shutting down his business and needed to get rid of leftover inventory. The tiles were on sale for around $1.25/sqft. The toughest part about this renovation was starting with a blank slate and coming up with a layout that would best suit our lifestyle. Having so many options felt overwhelming.
May 21, 2013 at 6:36pm     
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KK Design Koncepts
Wow, Christine! This is truly unbelievable! Which goes to show that it's when you have a small budget you REALLY get creative, and you did just that! Creative in your home design, and creative in sourcing materials. It's almost hard to believe that before and after are the same place! Fantastic job!
May 21, 2013 at 7:01pm     
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Love the blown glass lights. Where did you get those?
July 19, 2013 at 7:10pm     
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KBR Design & Build
That island is really stunning
March 5, 2014 at 5:04pm     
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Nice job!! Total gut & re-do for $10 K....someone was watching where every dollar went!

March 5, 2014 at 6:37pm     
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Christine Li
Zekster - sorry for the late reply. Those lights are from CB2.
March 5, 2014 at 7:00pm   
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Christine Li
Thanks bungalowmo!
March 5, 2014 at 7:02pm     
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Beautiful home, Christine! I'm from the GTA area and working on a Reno myself and love coming onto Houzz for great ideas. I love bumping into some beautiful makeovers close to home! You're just probably catching your breath after your busy year!!
March 7, 2014 at 8:02pm     
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Christine Li
Thanks zsazsajanny! We actually just replaced the back door and window. Next is the deck and backyard...and then it's the office and hallway. Unfortunately with an old house like this, it's never 100% done. I'm getting into the swing of things though, it's a great outlet for creativity.
March 8, 2014 at 1:02am     
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Congratulations great job, frugally executed. Bright and comfortable.
March 8, 2014 at 7:11am     
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Great story and outcome. I love the island!
March 8, 2014 at 8:04am     
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Fieroza Pienaar
Job we'll done! Your design style truly amazing! Love!
March 11, 2014 at 12:26pm     
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