Why A Forever Home Renovation Beats A Trendy Renovation

April 18, 2023

How many times do you really want to renovate a home in your lifetime? Statistically, North Shore homes go through a major renovation twice in their lifetime. That’s about once every 20 years. There’s an exception for heritage homes, but this is standard for most homes in North Van and West Van based on the age of the community.

When you start the design process of renovating, it usually starts with finding a renovation contractor or a designer to start building a vision for your home. We’re a full service renovator so we offer both services – but that’s the firmer is the typical approach.

So you start down this process and it usually goes like this:

You’re presented with a few samples and a few looks and you decide what works best for your lifestyle and what looks good to you. Both of these are great approaches.

There’s something missing though:

The “What Will Your House Look Like In 20 Years” Factor

I want you to envision two houses. Both of them built in the 70’s and renovated in 1999.

The first house went all in on the trends of the 90’s even though the decade was coming to a close. Tubular pink handles, curved edge melamine cabinets, small showers, outdated fixtures, vinyl mat flooring, A built-in CD cabinet in the family room and speckled granite kitchen counters.

Now envision another house on the same street. It also had a renovation in 1999, but the contractor and the designer had a vision for a timeless home instead of a trendy home. The hardwood in the living room is in good shape, it’s maple but it’s true hardwood and it’s wearing well. The paver driveway is still doing fine because it was installed on a good, solid base and it probably just needs a pressure wash. The craftsman style window trim still looks good and the house heats and cools itself well. The cabinets are true wood and not veneer, allowing them to be repainted without ripping them out and replacing them.

These two homes still need a renovation in 2023, but one needs a full gut and one needs a few tweaks to bring it up to snuff. The second home was renovated with longevity in mind while the first home went full in on the trends.

We have the same problem now: Homes are being renovated without any consideration for the future or any maintainability: Thin vinyl plank flooring, loud colours, “permeable” landscape membranes, ornate tiles & “matte” bath tubs and sinks. All of these trends will wear out quickly or look terrible in a few years.

Through good planning and very careful design, a home CAN be renovated to stay timeless for a lifetime, but there has to be thought put into it.

A marble countertop will always be timeless, but put blue LED’s under it and I guarantee you that’s coming out in 20 years.