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The Transformation of Our Small Home: A Story of Renovation and Reinvention

When we first set foot in our small bungalow over a decade ago, little did we know how it would evolve into the cozy haven it is today. Our journey of transforming our home began...

When we first set foot in our small bungalow over a decade ago, little did we know how it would evolve into the cozy haven it is today. Our journey of transforming our home began in 2008 and culminated in a major renovation in 2017. We added an extension, overhauled the exterior, and revamped the outdoor living spaces. In this article, I'll take you through our construction phases and share how it all came together.

A Charming Bungalow Reimagined

Our small bungalow, nestled on 4 acres of land just outside Edmonton, AB, had a certain charm even before the renovation. But with the addition of two large dogs and two kids, it started to feel cramped. We had to make a choice - move or renovate. And we couldn't bear to part with the property we had grown to love.

The initial plan was to do a cosmetic update, but as life unfolded, we decided to embark on a larger-scale renovation. The first step was to build a mudroom addition off the kitchen door, creating a separate entry space. As we delved deeper into the project, we realized that the existing exterior finishes would need replacement in the near future. That's when we decided to expand the scope of the renovation to include windows, doors, siding, decks, and outdoor living spaces.

The Front Porch: A Welcoming Addition

front porch addition on small bungalow
A cozy front porch addition transformed the look of our bungalow.

The first major step was adding a front porch. Given our extreme climate with harsh winters and plenty of snow, having a protected front entrance made a world of difference. Not only did the porch enhance the curb appeal, but it also provided a covered area for guests to stand, shielding them from the elements.

And of course, we couldn't resist adding a porch swing - a dream come true for me. From that moment on, the front porch became one of our favorite hangout spots, whether relaxing in the shade during summer or preparing for ice-skating adventures in winter.

Laying the Foundation for Change

With the front porch in place, we moved on to the next crucial step - removing the existing wooden deck that wrapped around the back of the house. This paved the way for the new mudroom and attached screen room. The foundation for the addition was meticulously built using ICF blocks and 12 ft piles to ensure stability and durability.

The Mudroom: Where It All Began

The need for a mudroom sparked our renovation journey, and seeing the framing take shape brought our vision to life. With the roof and front porch in place, our once humble bungalow started to feel like an entirely new home. The extended concrete path and poured concrete slab floor added both functionality and aesthetic appeal.

The completion of the mudroom addition was a game-changer for our family's daily routines. It seamlessly integrated with the kitchen, providing a dedicated entry space to keep muddy boots, backpacks, and groceries organized.

Extending Outdoor Living: The Screen Room

Living in a mosquito-prone area with short summers, we wanted to expand our outdoor season while keeping the pesky bugs at bay. The perfect solution was to add a screened-in living space behind the mudroom. By extending the foundation and roof, we made the screen room a permanent part of our home.

screen room addition to small bungalow
The screen room addition provided versatile outdoor living space.

This spacious area doubled as a dining room and a living space, accommodating various activities from yoga to hosting parties. Equipped with three-season windows, we could fully enjoy the summer breeze or close them up during the colder months.

A Deck for Relaxation and Entertaining

Our original deck was in dire need of repair, so we decided to seize the opportunity to create a larger, maintenance-free space. Built on 12 ft piles to withstand our climate's challenges, the new deck featured composite decking in a beautiful pale gray shade. No longer burdened with the constant maintenance of wood decking, we could fully enjoy our outdoor oasis.

back deck with pergola on small bungalow
The back deck with a pergola became a delightful retreat.

The addition of a pergola provided much-needed shade during scorching summer days. The warm wood tone harmoniously contrasted with the cool finishes of the house, creating an inviting and picturesque outdoor space.

The Fruits of Our Labor

Undertaking such a massive project was daunting, but the results speak for themselves. The transformation dramatically enhanced the curb appeal and increased the value of our home. Not to mention the energy efficiency improvements with new windows, doors, and insulation.

More importantly, our family's quality of life improved significantly. The new, functional spaces catered to our needs and allowed us to enjoy the outdoors throughout the year. Every square foot of our renovated home holds special memories and serves a purpose.

It's hard to encapsulate every detail of this project in a single post, but I hope this overview of our small home renovation inspires and provides valuable insights for your own journey. Whether you're planning a renovation or simply curious about our experience, I'd be thrilled to hear your thoughts and answer any questions you may have. Drop me a comment below!