Uplifting spacePublished on January 16, 2012

  • (Photo by Mark Holleron)

  • (Photo by Mark Holleron)

  • (Photo by Mark Holleron)

  • (Photo by Mark Holleron)

  • Rob Sorokan. (Photo by Mark Holleron)

Rob Sorokan is no shoemaker! The hard-at-work renovator is the owner of TwentyTwenty Home Improvements Inc. and, while he is busy transforming many older homes for clients, he recently took the time to do the same for his family.

Their home is a classic 1960s bungalow situated on a large lot in the active-lifestyle community of Champlain Park. Although it's a great property on one of the neighbourhood's most sought-after streets, the home itself had challenges.

Along with his wife Anna, who has a flair for decorating, Rob took on the challenge with enthusiasm and confidence. He knew where to stay on budget and where to make modifications that would bring long-term gain for their family of four.

Raising the roof

The footprint had to be increased to include a master suite, home office and two large covered porches. Adding interior and exterior space by bringing the rooflines up and out was one of the most successful aspects of the renovation. The original roofline was a nondescript, low-slope hip roof. Without changing the location of existing trusses, they removed the entire roof and installed new trusses while the old ones were coming off.

"This is the classic ‘while we're at it' situation," says Rob, who knows that line of thinking only too well. "We seized the opportunity to frame all of the walls to nine feet in height. This was not part of the original plan, but we could not resist the new ‘bigger' feel we would get."

Two of the rooms remained at the existing height for cost reasons: the kitchen (which already had new pot lighting) and one of the bedrooms. While adding an office and master suite, they continued the roofline over a 16x20-foot back porch which now has a fireplace and outdoor kitchen. 

Dramatic changes to the existing interior layout brought the home up to date and turned an older bungalow into a stylish family home that embraces all aspects of a well-designed space, both inside and out.


Know your budget:

Letting your builder or renovator know what your budget is, helps set limits and guidelines. "I won't send you to a custom kitchen company when IKEA or Home Depot would be more suitable," explains Rob. "Ninety-five percent of jobs go over budget. This is rarely due to contractor error (that is, if you have hired a reputable quality contractor). Owners have to be disciplined when it comes to planning their renovation and being realistic about what they can afford."

Work with your existing space:

Rearranging rooms and removing some walls to maximize the use of space is beneficial. But if you can keep bathrooms and kitchen in the same location, the financial benefits will be significant.

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