Renovating Your BC Box House?
A lot of us in the Fraser Valley and southern B.C. live in BC box houses. But not every BC box needs to be the same as every other one on the block.
Full Scale Renovations has a ton of ideas how you can renovate your BC box and make the most of your existing home.
Whether it is a quick refresh or a full scale renovation, we have a ton of ideas on how you can upgrade your house and make it the home you have always dreamed of!
Table of Contents
What Is A BC Box House?
A BC box house is a style of rectangular box shaped house built mainly in the Vancouver ,Fraser Valley, and lower mainland area of British Columbia. This style of house became popular in the late 1960’s and continued to be built well into the mid to late 80’s.
It is without a doubt, the most prolific, single house style, in the lower mainland area, and if you have lived in this area for any amount of time you have more than likely been in a few of them, or even lived in one.
Their ease of building in a time of great growth in the area made them popular with new families looking to get into their own home. Their basic rectangular shape and low sloped roof made them reasonably affordable and fairly quick and easy to build.
This same ease of building and simplicity of design also leads to one of their largest drawbacks, they are one of the most boring home designs we have ever worked on. (Sorry BC box owners)
But fear not, we have a ton of ideas and techniques to help you renovate your BC box and make it into one of the nicest homes in your neighborhood.
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BC Box House Plans
The basic BC box house plans tend to have the kitchen and living room on one end of the house while having the bedrooms and bathroom at the other end of the house.
The general shape and structure of the house means that it usually had a main load bearing wall running lengthwise down the middle of the house for support and this led to a fairly closed off and compartmentalized feeling to the space.
Changing this layout and replacing part of this wall with new technology such as adding a Parallam beam to open up the kitchen and living space is one of our favorite modifications to really change the look and feel of your house.
The typical house size is between 1800 and 2600 square feet total (including the basement) Many times the basement was not finished at the time of construction and we still come across a lot of these unfinished basements. Renovating your BC box basement is one of the most cost effective ways to get the most out of your existing house and dramatically increases the overall value of your home.
There are of course, quite a few minor variations of the overall general rectangle shape, however, most BC box layouts had their front entrance enter in the middle of the house to a landing with stairs going both up and down to the main living space and the basement.
We have seen quite a few styles that have covered carports or garages under one end of the house and these styles tended to have the up and down stairs entering from the garage at the end of the house while having an upstairs only entrance at the front.
BC Box House Exterior Renovations
With the overall simple rectangle shape there was not a lot of style and interest to the exterior of the standard BC box. This led builders to dress up the outside with things such as multi colored awnings over the windows, two tone stucco siding, and sometimes long decks across the front and commonly referred to as Vancouver Specials.
Along with the somewhat boring exterior finishing the time period when many of these houses were built coincides with the infamous “leaky condo” period and while they have held up better than many of their multi-family counterparts we still encounter quite a bit of rot and water penetration on many BC box exterior renovations.
With that said though, the overall structure and bones of these homes tends to be solid and quite often we can do some minor repairs and simple additions combined with high quality new exterior finishes and really freshen up the exterior of your home.
Many times just changing the windows, adding new premium siding, and adding a couple small feature touches such as a covered gable entrance, some custom stone work, or premium siding products such as Hardie board or Longboard wood grain products can really add a touch of class and interest to a once boring exterior.
BC Box Kitchen Renovations
Without a doubt, my favorite place to renovate in a BC box is the kitchen. There is nothing like seeing the looks on peoples faces when they come into their newly renovated kitchen for the first time. Imagine the look on your friends faces when they can hardly recognize your new kitchen.
Renovating your kitchen is one of the most dramatic changes you can make to your house. Gone are the traditional closed off kitchen and living space that segregates you into the kitchen while your guest are enjoying themselves in the living room. The new style of open concept kitchen and living area can sometimes be difficult to imagine in your existing space.
We love to come up with creative ideas on how to open up your living space while adding in all of the amenities of a new home. Imagine your new kitchen opened up with a big island in the middle, quartz countertops sparkling in the light as it flows in all the way across your newly opened up living space.
Serve your friends a glass of wine while they sit at the islands edge and take part in the conversation while you whip up some food. Enjoy your new counter space and extra storage for all of your kitchen supplies.
Whether you have all the ideas for your kitchen remodel already, or want us to come up with a plan for your new dream kitchen just give us a call to get your free consultation and learn how we can transform your old kitchen into the space you have always dreamed of!
BC Box Bathroom Renovation
The second most common room for us to renovate is the bathroom. This room gets a ton of use and is often subject to lots of moisture and dirt which make it a prime candidate for a makeover.
The standard BC box bathroom is 5 feet wide and about 10 to 12 feet long. It has a bathtub against the outside wall and sometimes has a small window for ventilation instead of a fan.
A full bathroom renovation can be as simple or as detailed as you want. Very often we are doing a complete gut and totally changing the look and feel of this small room.
With the age of most BC box houses it is a good time to do a makeover of your bathroom. Many times the old plumbing fixtures and even the pipes are in need of replacement. It is an easy task to change out the shower valve and trim to a new modern style that helps save on water as well as look great.
At the same time, I recommend changing out any of the old copper to new Pex piping through the walls to prevent any future issues with pinholes or galvanic corrosion. Top all of this behind the wall work with a new fiberglass tub and a beautiful tile surround and your bathroom will feel like a completely different room than you are used to.
Finish this off with a new tile floor, new toilet, and a custom vanity and the bathroom may just become you new favorite room in your house
BC Box Renovation Ideas
It may feel daunting to think about renovating your BC box house. Whether it is a complete renovation, a new kitchen remodel, or a small project you have been thinking about for years, give us a call for your free consultation and let us share our ideas with you about how easy it is to change the look and feel of your home.
We have worked on a lot of BC boxes and within the standard shoebox footprint there can be an endless variety of ideas to suit you and your lifestyle. Let us share our experience with you to get your creative juices flowing and figure out how to recreate your home to be as beautiful as you are!
- Open concept living spaces
- Big kitchen island with seating bar
- Custom cabinets and quartz countertops
- modern lighting and stylish fixtures
- High efficiency hvac and plumbing upgrades
- Custom floorplans and basement renovations
- New high efficiency windows
- Exterior refinishing and upgrades
- custom built in fireplace surround
- Stylish and funky bathroom finishes
- And anything else you can dream of
Let Us Bring New Life To Your Home
If you have been dreaming of completely renovating your home, or just thinking of a small upgrade you have been meaning to do. We want to help you make your house the home you have always dreamed of!
Serving the entire Fraser Valley including, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Mission, Maple Ridge, Langley and the entire Fraser Valley, our small and dedicated crews have the skills and experience to bring your dreams to life.
We offer free renovation consultations and estimates, so give us a call or leave us an email with your renovation ideas, and we will help you make your renovation dreams come true.