Laneway Suite of the Week: This Brockton Village family built a home in their backyard, moved in and never wanted to leave
For $860,000, they got three bedrooms, three and a half bathrooms, plus – almost unheard of in road suites – a basement.
From: Jordan Raspberry, 37, real estate agent. Heather Rasberry, 37, COO of a technology company; With their daughters Blake and Brier.
In 2015, Jordan and Heather bought a country house in the village of Brockton for $927,000. It’s split into two units: a 1,100-square-foot three-bed room, one bathroom upstairs, which they occupy, and a 1,600-square-foot two-bedroom plus den, and two bathrooms on the main floor. Upstairs and downstairs, which they rented. In 2018, their eldest daughter, Briar, was born and the family began to feel upset.
By late 2019, Jordan was hearing a lot about the green lighting in the city to build the pavilions of the road. He and Heather knew their property would be a great candidate. It was large enough to accommodate a second building, plus the potential unit was close to the fire hydrant. Jordan was also helping a client rent his newly built suiteAnd the Spread over an area of 2,000 square feet on three floors. It was one of the first vaults in Toronto, and he and Heather were impressed by how spacious it was. They figured they could build a similar house with a basement, to suit their growing family, and then rent out both units in their original home.
In January 2020, Rasberrys hired architecture firm RePlacement Design to help design a three-bedroom, three-and-a-half bathroom suite. The main floor will have an open plan kitchen, dining room and family room with bathroom, and the upper floor will have three bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a laundry room. They set aside about $800,000 for construction, including furniture. The plan was to try to live in space for five years before upgrading again.
They submitted plans for the city in April 2020. After some back and forth (eg, the main entrance had to change locations according to the fire code), their plans were approved for a November start date of seven to nine. Month schedule. Old tenants had already purchased a new home and moved out, and any potential tenants would be informed of the construction and any inconveniences it might entail. Then Jordan and Heather received some bigger news: She was pregnant with their second child, due in July 2021, around the time their new home would be complete.
The crew’s biggest problem came when digging the basement. The water level at the property was higher than expected, which led to muddy floors, monthly delays, an extra $30,000, and a lot of stress. The increased cost of lumber also added $10,000 to the budget. But by the time the pavilion was framed, the family was surprised by how spacious it was. They realized that they could be comfortable living there for more than five years. So they invested in quality materials, including for millwork and flooring. That added another $20,000, bringing their project total to $860,000.
By July 2021, the suite was complete – on schedule if not on budget – and the Rasberrys had moved into their new home with newborn Blake in tow.
The front of the pavilion, facing the side aisle, opens onto a compact mudroom.
The family room overlooks the front yard where the Raspberries spend most of their time – getting ready for school, watching movies after dinner, and hosting happy hours. The gas stove is wrapped in porcelain tiles. This terracotta is on the right, with a divider that doubles as a chuchki sofa and shelf.
A powder room behind the mudroom breaks up the sight lines from the front door, giving the family some privacy from passersby.
Although they have a proper dining table, the family eats most of their meals around the kitchen island. “It’s easier to serve kids this way,” Heather says. The kitchen is equipped with a five-burner gas stove and a double in-wall microwave oven.
Here is the island.
Sliding doors in the kitchen go out to the backyard, where the family has gAs a BBQ as well as a Big Green Egg BBQ, patio seating and a fire pit. Metal screens provide additional privacy.
The master bedroom is located upstairs, overlooking the backyard.
This is the master bedroom.
Briar chose this bedroom for herself, along with the furniture and paint colors (with Heather training). Both children’s spaces overlook the laneway.
The basement is the basement, and in it is Jordan’s office. It could be used as a fourth bedroom, and they plan to install a Murphy bed for the guests. There is also a second TV room below, where the girls can play.
The highway is not yet named, so deliveries can be tricky. Postage and delivery still go to the original home. The Raspberry family is currently working with the city to name the highway, but 50 percent of the residents who share it must be on board first. “It was more difficult than we expected,” Jordan says. Apart from that, he and Heather are happy in their new home. It is quiet, safe and comfortable. Having shared the duplexes and triplexes with their tenants over the years, they feel fortunate to finally have a space of their own. “I’d be happy if this was our forever home,” Heather says.
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