Doug Kerr, the founder of Kerr Construction & Design, is proud of the lengths our company will go to improve a client’s project in even small ways. Our staff is imbued with concern about the quality of their work and are constantly thinking of improvements that can be made to benefit the client.
Recently, we made a series of videos in which Doug shows the subtle yet thoughtful improvements made to a new laneway house build we have done in West Vancouver.
Saving trees in the backyard
The most major undertaking was replacing the usual foundation for the house in favour of using screw piles and metal reinforced foundation walls. This was done because the homeowner had several cherished trees within a foot of where the foundation needed to be placed and wanted to save them.
As Doug explains in the video, a traditional foundation footing would have encroached too close to the trees, cutting their roots and causing their demise. The use of screw piles eliminated this threat, allowing the trees to continue to flourish without harm.
Putting the electrical panel in the kitchen? No way
The placing of the interior electrical panel for the house was a problem. Doug shows how this was solved.
Usually, an electrical panel is placed on the interior wall at the same place opposite the exterior BC Hydro hookup and meter. In this case, this would have put the electrical panel right dab in the middle of the kitchen above the stove. Not a great location and Kerr didn’t have any choice on where the hookup would be placed.
So rather than have it in the kitchen, the panel was placed in the garage and electrical lines were run from the BC Hydro connection down through the foundation.
Reusing materials to improve wear & tear
Doug explains that our site manager of the project came up with a pretty cunning idea which was to take leftover pieces of kitchen countertop and use them to line window ledges in the living space and kitchen as the house was expected to undergo some hard use over time. Usually, window ledges are just painted drywall which would eventually accumulate scratches and dents. The countertop pieces would provide a damage-proof surface for the life of the house.
Improving the exterior aesthetics
A simple and usually ignored technique to improve the look of exterior foundation walls is shown by Doug. Exterior concrete walls are ordinarily pretty rough and little thought is normally taken for their aesthetic appeal. For this house, the site manager used special paper-backed forms for the concrete molds. Once dry and when the form is removed, the walls are very smooth as opposed to the usual popcorn-type look.
If you are thinking about a home renovation, we would love to talk to you. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to go over your project and give you a workable plan whether you use us or not.