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Custom Home Construction and Remodelling Tips

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Project Challenges and Opportunities

A indoor pool room had been added to the client’s home in the 1970’s, and although it had remarkable potential to be a stunning feature, it had been sadly neglected for many years leaving the space dark, cold, and extremely dated.

The client was eager to reinvent the space dramatically, noting that “together, we spent a lot of time in design prior to starting my project, in order to plan the optimal space re-arrangement and systems solutions for the pool room.”

After reviewing multiple options and concepts, it was determined that the original pool needed to be removed entirely. The new design called for a smaller pool with an integrated hot tub. This required a lot of gravel fill and new concrete to be poured around the new pool/hot tub. It was important during the design process to come up with the best solutions with the most value. Fortunately, we were removing large sections of exterior walls for the installation of panoramic doors which allowed us ample access for the heavy machinery to pour gravel and lay concrete. Prior to remodelling, there was a step up from the pool are area to the outdoors, however, this was eliminated when the new concrete was laid. This small detail allows for smooth indoor/outdoor access and creates the feeling of cohesion between the indoor and outdoor spaces.

One of the larger issues addressed during the design and construction phases was the temperature control within the room and its adjoining areas. The space was not heated well originally, therefore the under-concrete heating ducts needed to be removed. In-floor hot water radiant heating was installed under the concrete to ensure a consistently warm floor and comfortable room temperature. This heating extends into the gym, bathroom and parts of the house that were always significantly colder spaces. Now, the same gas boiler system that heats the floors also heats the pool and hot tub.

Additionally, the original pool room was never properly dehumidified so there was mould and moisture damage throughout. This is a huge consideration when designing and building an indoor pool, hot tub, or spa. A commercial dehumidification system was installed to prevent any moisture, mildew or mould damage in the future. Additionally,  an engineered glass wall was installed between the gym and the pool area to control the climate in the pool room separate from the space connected to it. Finally, insulation and cedar cladding were replaced on the walls, and the aging leaky windows were replaced with modern wood/aluminum clad Thermo-pane windows.

Features and Custom Design Elements

Our client wanted to bring the outdoors in as much as possible, due to her spectacular ravine side location. Two exterior walls were rebuilt to accommodate a panoramic door system that can be folded back and completely open up the pool space to the deck. A crane lifted the heavy steel beam into place to support the door structure. With limited access because of the ravine-side locale, the beams were craned over the house’s roof and into place.

Panoramic doors fold back to create a connection between the outdoors and indoors. Panoramic doors fold back to create a connection between the outdoors and indoors.

The existing cedar ceiling was dated, making the entire space feel dark and depressing. The client wanted to keep the cedar finishes, so in most cases the cedar was either restored (walnut-shell blasted and re-stained) or replaced. Additional artificial lighting was installed, and the existing skylights were almost doubled in size to brighten up the room and ambiance.

The client also wanted a steam shower, ample space in the pool area to set up gym equipment, and a dog wash–a necessity for 3 large dogs living on a country ravine property! Walls were remodelled to accommodate these needs; a tiled wall was installed so that the client could  bring the dogs into the gym/shower area directly from the outdoors, wash and dry them in a dedicated space and then allow them into the house without tracking dirt throughout the home.

Gym area beside the pool room separated by full glass walls. Gym area beside the pool room separated by full glass walls.

Project Outcomes and Accolades

Here is what the client had to say about the renovation of her pool room:  

“I really enjoy the light and bright atmosphere in the pool room now – it was so dreary before the skylights were enlarged and the panoramic doors were added. The panoramic doors open right up in the summer and the space feels like you are outdoors, giving me the best of both worlds! It is going to transform my living space dramatically. The quality of the workmanship in the finishing is excellent throughout.” 

This project was selected as a finalist for the Home Design Renovation Awards 2015 with the Peterborough & Kawarthas Home Builder Association in the category of  Home Renovation over $200,000.


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