Traditional to Modern Outdoor Update


MENATWORK Design Build


Toronto, ON




3 years




Best Exterior Home Renovation – BILD 2022 Renovation and Custom Home Awards

What was the challenge?

The house needed to respect the existing location of the house, garage, driveway, and proximity to neighbouring houses. So it was decided that we would utilize the existing foundation and ground floor platform, and add to that significant two storey front and rear additions, 2 two storey side additions and a 2nd floor side cantilever. The existing garage was also expanded to allow for more parking. Shoring was necessary due to proximity to one of the property lines. 

The existing stair location needed to be retained, which put constraints on the 2nd floor layout. In order to get more space for the 4th bedroom, we added a 2nd floor cantilevered bump-out. 

The front and back additions are modern elements with concealed eavestroughs and downspouts. This was done to enhance the fact that the side walls transition seamlessly into roof faces and then back to side walls. The soffit projection is copied when the roof face becomes a side wall, and the same standing seam metal cladding is used to further reinforce the architectural idea. 

The site is a rather tight urban location, so great care needed to be taken to protect the neighbouring houses and concerned neighbours. There was a large white oak tree that needed to be taken down to allow for construction. That lumber was harvested and milled into several built-in features in the house, including the cube seats that you see in the back yard photos.

What was delivered?

The renovation completely transformed the house into something unique that represents the character of both the husband and wife. The scale and massing, setback and location all match the typical built form on the street. The choice of materials allows for a connection to the original houses in the neighbourhood, but also injects some contemporary elements.

The two clients each had different design preferences. The husband liked modern design while the wife preferred traditional. The design responded with a mix of the two. The structure presents itself as a 2 storey stone cottage that looks as if it was built 100 years ago, to which was added a modern two storey front and rear addition.

The materials were chosen to reinforce this architectural idea. The “original” part of the house was clad in a split faced limestone, while the “additions” were clad in standing seam metal for the side walls and roof, and smooth sawn “roman brick cut” limestone for the front and back faces. The front and back have a notch for the front and back door and are covered by a floating canopy. The notch is clad in Trespa panels that mimic the look of White Oak and the canopies are clad in custom steel.

An interesting architectural feature was designed in order to prevent a visible eavestrough and downspout from marring the zero eave condition that was employed at the front and rear additions. The eavestrough is concealed above the roof line, and the downspouts are concealed within the side wall architectural features. The front and back canopies were designed to “float” under the floor structure and lintel above.

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