In the planning stages

Reno Me! with FortisBC contest winner Melissa continues her renovation.



By Melissa Tolsma

I soon faced the next big challenge in my backyard reno: communication.  The rendering that Sarah Gallop Design provided is the big vision, but I need to be able to articulate the details of what I want to happen.  Although the design is stunning, it’s a little flashy for my humble little house.  I like aspects of it, but I think a more rustic, West Coast style might suit my space better.  Brad Fraser, from Jonker Custom Building, encouraged me to look for more pictures that I like.  Google image searches soon led me to Houzz, which has been a great source for ideas.  I’ll admit, I’ve developed a little bit of an addiction to Houzz.  Its vast repository of home-improvement eye candy is habit-forming.  If you haven’t yet discovered it, be forewarned!  Houzz even enables my habit by emailing me now and then just to keep me hooked.

One idea for the reno that Brad suggested is a more inviting entrance to the backyard.  I had admired some of the great gates on their website and wanted to find something new.

My sad, saggy plywood gate and unfinished arbour don’t exactly make the best first impression.  I gave him the go-ahead on the gate and arbour, and while I waited for the prize money to arrive, I kept looking for inspiration online.

Over the next couple of weeks, I forwarded some Houzz pics to Brad: a pair of rustic benches by a seaside firepit, a pretty raised garden box, a gate that I liked.  We’ve had a couple of phone and email conversations to debrief about these images, and I feel pretty confident that we were on the same page.  I became even more confident when Brad brought over the gate he’s been working on.  The handsome gate, with its lovely lines and mortise and tenon joints is truly a work of art.  Brad even custom stained it to match my fence.  I searched the local home improvement stores for some hardware to complement the gate, but nothing seemed worthy.  Again, I turned to an online search, and found a nice drop latch from 360 Yardware. Their motto,“Life’s too short for crummy hardware” helped me make the decision to invest in a simple, sturdy bronze drop latch.  The manufacturer, Coastal Bronze, says it will darken to an old-penny brown with a greenish-blue patina.

I’m feeling positive that the planning I’m doing now will pay off very soon.  The reno is off to a great start!

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP block entrance to Goldstream Park, evicting all campers by morning

Roving tent city moved to provincial park yesterday, advocates say homeless unfairly targeted

Choir study shows people with dementia can learn new songs

Volunteers need for Alzheimer’s helpline, World Alzheimer’s Day is Sept. 21

Victoria’s ‘Penny Girl’ to tell story of gender transition in new documentary

Frankie Edroff will write film, Empress Avenue Media to direct, produce project funded by Telus Storyhive

Four Greater Victoria mayors to be acclaimed in fall election

No election in District of Highlands with six council candidates up for six seats

United Way asks Victoria to share local love

2018 campaign aims to raise another $5M

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read