Welcome to Row House Reno!
In the spring of 2013 we bought a 19th Century row house in Toronto’s Leslieville neighbourhood that has “potential”. Translation: it needs a LOT of work.
When we first started house hunting we thought we might like a place with a few minor projects (like changing the paint colour or upgrading the light fixtures), but we quickly realized that in the crazy-hot Toronto real estate market those places would have us getting caught up in a bidding war – no thanks! So we revised our strategy and started looking at houses in our preferred neighbourhood that needed more work. Some were just plain unliveable and would require so much time and money (guess which one we don’t have a lot of…) but as soon as we walked into this row house we knew it was just what we were looking for.
We immediately fell in love with the surprising amount of interior space, high ceilings, huge back yard and the overall potential (see: the gorgeous stained glass transom window that has been covered in stone from the outside…).
The tiles in our house. Things we didn’t and will never love include; the three kitchens (yes seriously, there are three full kitchens), the crazy amount of and decidedly unstylish ceramic tile floors, the tiny bathrooms and the awkward closed off layout of the place.
But all that stuff doesn’t matter because did we mention the potential?! What really sealed the deal for us was the fact that the place was livable in its current state and we could deal with all the stuff we didn’t like at our own pace.
So here we are all moved in and planning for a whole lot of renovations which, optimistically, we will try and do ourselves. Given that our combined DIY and renovating experience includes a whole lot of tv watching, taking an hour to get a picture hung up straight and barely being able to put together Ikea furniture (don’t judge – that stuff is complicated!), things could get interesting.
This blog will follow our attempts, successes and (hopefully very few) failures at DIY renovation projects as we try to turn this house with potential into our dream home. While waiting to take possession of our house we became DIY and reno blog addicts, pouring over tons of sites on a daily basis, so hopefully our experiences as first-time renovators will be of interest to others considering a (mostly) DIY renovation!