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How to Renovate a BC Box House

Blog, Home Renovations, Renovation Ideas | February 20, 2020
BC Box Renovation

No matter where you live in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, it is extremely likely that you are accustomed to seeing what has come to be known as the BC box house. BC box houses were incredibly popular between 1965 and 1985 in the Greater Vancouver Area, and many were built in the surrounding Fraser Valley cities as well. Due to changing trends in design and style, the BC box home template is not always preferable to modern homeowners, and many of these homes are in desperate need of updates. At Stattonrock Design + Build, we know how to renovate a BC box house in ways that modernize it and bring it refreshed value in style and function.

What is a BC Box House?

BC box houses are named after their box-like shape, although they are also often called Vancouver Specials. They consist of a main mid-level entryway that enters onto a staircase that leads both up to the main level and down to the basement. The main level typically consists of the living areas and bedrooms, while the basement consists of extra bedrooms and utility rooms that are frequently turned into a renter’s suite. Because most BC box houses were built before 1990, renovations are extremely common.

Renovating a BC Box House

If you hope to renovate your BC box house, it can be good to have a couple of ideas prepared so that you know what you want out of the renovation. Some ideas for renovating a BC box house to modernize it include:

Add a Renter’s Suite

If you do not have a renter’s suite in the basement of your Vancouver Special already, it is worth getting one installed. Most BC box houses have the capacity for such an addition and the income that can be generated from a renter’s suite is considerable. Depending on the size of your basement and how much of the house you are willing to sacrifice, you can usually wind up with a one- or two-bedroom suite of decent size.

Open Up the Living Area

Most BC box houses have walls separating the kitchen, dining area, and living room. These walls can make the space more claustrophobic than it needs to be. By removing the walls and opening up the space, you can give the house a better flow from room to room and make the entire home seem bigger.

Bathroom Updates

Bathroom fixtures have come a long way since the 1970s and 1980s. Even if nothing is broken, it can be worth renovating the bathrooms of your BC box house in order to offer a more efficient and relaxing space.

Aesthetic Updates

Like any home over a decade or two old, it is worth updating the stylistic choices that were made during the build. Adding different moulding options, updating cabinets and countertops, and changing the flooring can go a long way to freshen up the space.

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional for a BC Box House Renovation

With any renovation, hiring an experienced renovation professional can go a long way to how the end result turns out. Although many things in a renovation can be done by novices, the small touches are often what makes a difference in how the home looks in the end, and a professional home builder or renovator can make sure you end up with a quality product. They can also ensure that the project is finished quickly and efficiently, and you can have peace of mind in knowing the project will be done properly and safely.

If you are interested in finding out more about how to renovate a BC box house, or to learn more about the services offered by Stattonrock Design + Build, please contact us and we will be sure to get back to you with the information you need.


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