Tuesday, June 05, 2007

curb appeal #2

I wrote about curb appeal in a snide way a couple of weeks ago, and promised an example of what new construction could be.

The upper picture (below) is the new place that was built on the rear of a lot just off Commercial Drive. My understanding is that the lot is strata, but the house is freehold. I'm not sure just how that works.

The picture doesn't do justice, it has very nice exterior finishes congruent with the style of the house. I spoke to one of the workers there, and he said that it was pricey to build. But why not build something nice instead of an ugly box? It's worth that much more at resale time. Further, it doesn't ruin the character of the area, and invites a more social way of living with the big front porch. I'm not so sure I like the proximity to the lane way though.

The lower pic' is of the original house at the front of the lot.

There are other such places being built in the area, and I will post them as they progress.


Streel said...

Nice post,

I love that house, very nice. Any idea of the builder's name? Is it still listed on a site where I can see more pics?

Work like that is rare indeed and keeping the heritage in the neighbourhoods is very important IMHO.

solipsist said...

I don't know who the builder was, but David Campbell may (he deals with a lot of such houses in the area as a realtor - and a good one).

I took the pic's, and don't know if it appeared on the MLS or not. I have a feeling that it was custom built.

paul said...

Yes, the houses posted are pretty.

What architectural style and construction quality would one build on the back lot of a Vancouver special? Are they considered to have heritage architectural significance worth preserving, otherwise about 1/3 of East Van may be eventually plowed under. BTW, is interior vinyl wood paneling even still available?

Patiently Waiting said...

Yes, these are nice. I'm seeing similar quality houses being built in the Queens Park area in New West.

Are these SFH or multi-unit?

Townhouses done in this style would be very nice.

Babybull40 said...

I love the porch.. they are both nice looking..

Anonymous said...

I happen to live in Grandview Woodlands the area in which these houses are located and one of the best things the City of Vancouver did almost 15 years ago was to imposed development guidelines supporting the character and the heritage of the area. In 1997, in order to build a new house within certain parts of Grandview/Woodlands you must meet the Character/Heritage design specifications of the City in order to proceed. The net effect of this was more "character" new houses/duplexes and virtually no "Vancouver Specials". I think that if the City could expand the areas in which these development guidelines apply we may be able to save Vancouver East from the growing blandness of the new homes being built now.

Streel said...


Many thanks for the info.

solipsist said...

"What architectural style and construction quality would one build..."

I'm not sure that there is room to build anything on the back of a lot hosting a Van. Special, but some of those plastic outhouses that you see at construction sites might be a nice fit.

But seriously, some people have done some pretty cool things to Van. Specials. There is a website for them somewhere if you care to Google it.

I don't mind them so much, except that the yard is usually paved. I would consider one before I would buy one of the "new" Van. Specials that you see now. The originals have nice clean, modern lines, and are not as offensive - in my view.

"Yes, these are nice. I'm seeing similar quality houses being built in the Queens Park area in New West."

Glad to hear that, as that area has some old beauties. I've liked the Victorians and Craftsmans forever, and have always wanted one. It made me mad that so many were torn down. Now, they are popular again.

"Are these SFH or multi-unit?"

Looking at the fire standard on the front of the house, I take a wild guess that it is suite-ed [sic], or multi.

"we may be able to save Vancouver East from the growing blandness of the new homes being built now."

A lot of East Van. should be torn down IMHO. But I think that it is way too late to save the whole city from blandness.

Vancouver has no hum. It is noisily quiet. It really is a staid back-water. Cities need artists of all kinds to have hum, and all the artists are priced out, and have moved on. Look what happened to Commercial Drive. Before that, Kitsilano.

wlcaulfield said...

The pictures both seem to show street fronts rather than a lane front ... or am I missing something?


Anonymous said...

A better designed house might be worth more when it comes time to sell it, but it unfortunately won't likely make the builder much more profit, and will possibly cause them to make less profit because of the extra time involved. Unfortunately, there is very little incentive for builders to build beautiful houses, and there are many incentives for builders to build quick and cheap.

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