By Ted McIntyre

The Drama of Exterior Renovations

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. But you can certainly catch the eye of passersby before they notice any other book on the shelf. 

Or, in this case, any other home on the street. 

Whether it’s about curb appeal and the resulting bump in property value, or merely a client’s dream of a dramatic, refreshing facelift to their home, there’s nothing superficial about the following eight super surface replacements—each of which have breathed vibrant life into once-stale exteriors.

 Sitting In Splendour By Kawartha Lakes Construction (Sandy Lake, Buckhorn) 

This buckhorn cottage exterior reno began with a simple desire to build a screen room at the family cottage to retreat to when the bugs came out, while still enjoying the great outdoors. The team measured the furniture their clients planned to use to ensure the square footage would work. The plan included a 2’x6’ box beam around the bases of the tempered panels to accommodate electrical outlets throughout, rather than using floor outlets. 

The finished product’s angled orientation offers unobstructed waterfront views, with the porch design providing the utmost privacy. Added curb appeal included timber-framed entry and garage porticos.

Like Night and Day by Concord Homes (Amherstview)

Stunning landscaping and hardscaping complete this amazing metamorphosis.

This home’s previous exterior was aesthetically nondescript and failed to integrate within its four-home cul-de-sac. White windows and trims now emphasize the exchange of views from inside to the beautiful landscaping. The James Hardie cement board siding’s dark colour and Arctic White trim enhance the Arriscraft Fresco stone. And Cedar shakes used as accents on the front portico and a dormer help provide definition to the home’s dimensions.


As the house is perched on a hill, Concord also had to artistically contend with the lot’s grading. Hardscaping was used to update the retaining walls for the driveway and a functional walkway.


Stately Innovation by Eurodale Developments  (Teddington Park, Toronto)

This retrofit began with an addition at the garage and included a new second storey at the rear.

A finalist for BILD’s Best Innovative Renovation for 2021, this project required the construction of a new living area, while maintaining the historic Georgian exterior of this 1930s home. 

It was an aging-in-place success story— particularly well timed, given that it was completed just before the pandemic took hold and ravaged long-term care facilities. Inside, an elevator and fully accessible suite were added, but it’s such a seamless addition from the outside that neighbourhood residents could be excused for missing the fact that a major renovation has taken place.




Modern Family by Trubuild (Lorne Park, Mississauga)


The clients felt it was time for them to upgrade their outdated 1970s red brick home.  Merging old with new proved very challenging. Significant ‘value engineering’ took place to remove a huge double brick wall that ran the length of the back of the house, which is now supported with massive steel beams and posts. 

On a tight budget after removing and rebuilding the roof and building new spaces, the team had very little room for error. The resulting transformation, including the addition of a backyard pool oasis, is stunning.

Double the Fun by Premier Quality Renovations (Port Credit)

Colour and texture choices enable this Mississauga project to mesh with the adjacent homes.

Signage from a nearby neighbourhood project caught the client’s eye and led to a collaboration with this Mississauga bungalow. The existing property allowed for living space to be doubled in size without unduly imposing itself on the neighbouring properties.





Refresher Course by Oakwood (Ottawa)

This Ottawa upgrade prevented further deterioration of wooden siding windows and sills.

An older home with failing wood siding and rotten window sills was in dire need of a facelift. The client was looking to replace the exterior to refresh the look of their house. The team selected Maibec CanExel Ced’R-vue—a durable engineered prefinished siding—to clad the entire home. The choice of Maibec’s Coastline colour provides a rich modern tone, while still harmonizing with the surrounding neighbourhood.
As with many such projects, however, there was substantial damage behind the original wood siding. As a result, OakWood’s work included a custom metal flashing and cap for the chimney to prevent further water infiltration.





Transitional Treat by Homes by Hendriks (Niagara)

A false garage door in the revised layout gives the illusion of a traditional design, but conceals a separate new living space.

One of the client’s main goals with this Niagara River reno was for the design to respect both the original structure and the neighbourhood. Consequently, the material used to replace the existing brick was mainly stone—inspired from the guesthouse at the back of the property as well as adjacent houses.

One dramatic change was the roofline. By extending it upward, the clients were given the feeling of a much larger interior space, while also creating an exterior statement piece appropriate to its lot size. This also allowed for the introduction of a dormer topped with copper metal roofing at the rear, which created an opportunity for an increased amount of natural lighting indoors.

Welcome to the 21st Century by Windrush Hill Construction (St.Catharines)

Clean lines and tones help keep this major upgrade from being obtrusive, while solar panels on top improve energy efficiency.

Although seeking a unique design, the client also wanted their home to harmonize with the neighbourhood. Modern stucco and high-quality aluminum siding in an olive wood finish helped achieve the goal on the corner lot. 

But before that could happen, this century home was taken down to its foundation to address structural issues, after which a two-storey addition was added along with the detached garage and rooftop solar array.



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