Here is a guest post from Frugalbits – a Vancouver daily money-saving must read.
Old houses cost less than new ones even if you renovate – and the heritage house tour can show you how.
MONEY WELL SPENT | What’s the first thing that comes to mind when making an old house more energy efficient? Changing all the windows maybe? Well, relax. A CMHC case study on renovating for energy savings reveals that replacing the windows and doors of a pre-Second World War house reduces just 11 percent of energy loss compared to 34 percent for insulating and draftproofing of walls, ceiling and foundation; 34 percent for upgrading the furnace; and 18 percent for adding exterior insulation beneath the siding.
This is just one of the helpful tips to be gleaned from the 30-page guidebook for this year’s Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s heritage self-guided house tour on Sunday, June 6. Another is that retrofitting an old structure can be less expensive than demolishing and rebuilding—like the $89 million to be saved by the UBC Renews rehabilitation of 10 buildings on the university’s campus.
What You Will See On The Tour
The tour itself features multiple real life examples of how to update an existing home for today’s lifestyle. There are 10 buildings to see, including several with more than one residence, from Vancouver’s first warehouse conversion to a single-family home with a basement suite. The homes represent a variety of architectural styles and renovation approaches, so there are plenty of ideas to take away.
For example, a former Strathcona schoolhouse (shown here) raised and converted to five suites includes sliding walls to accommodate the changing needs of a growing family; a 1922 Craftsman now has a second bathroom created by combining a couple of closets; a 1939 Shaughnessy mansion with kitchen updated more than 20 years ago by well-known architect Robert Lemon still looks fresh.
This year, more than 180 volunteers will be at the homes to answer questions. Homeowners, many of whom share information about their tradespeople, resources, suppliers and even wall colours, are also usually on hand part of the day.—Alex Moore
This year’s tour is Sunday, June 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The guidebook, which also serves as a ticket, is $35 plus GST. Tickets are sent by mail and always sell out. To get yours, call 604-264-9642 or visit www.vancouverheritagefoundation.org
Photo: Courtesy Vancouver Heritage Foundation