T minus… An Interior Design Perspective on Building a New House in Toronto

I’m building a new house in Toronto. I’ve been working in the interior design field for more than 15 years but this is the first time I’m doing my own project. So, I decided to document the entire experience on my blog – taking an interior design perspective to explore the many challenging decisions that arise when building a house. I’ll be updating the blog and adding new posts every week (and sometimes daily), so please check back regularly.


T minus…

There are clearly a lot of pre-demolition things that need to happen when building a new house. Our builder (Sierra Building Group) has guided us through that process but there are inevitable delays. And landing on a demolition date has been elusive.

We got the gas turned off and the gas main cut. That required 45 days.

Then we got the electricity disconnected, the water turned off and the water meter disconnected. That took less time.

And then it started raining…

So we’re at T minus…… Well, it’s not clear, but we should be proceeding with the demolition in the next week or so. At this point, with the rain, it’s weather dependent. But when I know, I will provide another update.


T minus… (still)

It’s only a day later but I wanted to show you a new photo of the house, with the construction fencing and the portable toilet in place. We’re as ready as we can be.

But still no firm demolition date.

Of course, when the City was to come to shut off the water a few days back, they noted that they had to have access to the water valve located in our driveway. The water valve was enclosed just inside the fenced in area — of course! See the blue painted valve in the photo on the second photo. My husband and I had to take a section of the fence out — it was easy to take the section of fence down but much more difficult than I expected to put it back — to allow the City access to shut off the water. But all is good now.

Another update in this ‘T minus’ period. Today was asbestos removal day. When we bought the house 5 years ago, we were informed that the water pipes in the basement were wrapped in asbestos — tightly wrapped and sealed off. We were told that if left undisturbed, they would not do any harm. But if we were going to live in the house long-term (e.g., if we were to do the renovation — plan #1), then were were advised to have the asbestos removed. But once we made the decision to go with plan #2 and tear down and rebuild, then it could be done after moving out of the house. So it got done today — which means we won’t be going back inside again. Ever.


 T minus 6!

We have a demolition date. It’s next Monday — weather permitting!

I am very excited!

More to come…

Still T minus 6…

So, the delays are starting before we even start!!! We were all ready to go for Monday but then we got a call from our Builder saying that the demolition company had a delay this week and therefore our demolition day was going to be delayed at least until next Wednesday (or who knows when). No big deal, but I just want to get this going!

T minus 1…

So the Wednesday demolition date was delayed one more day, but all is supposedly a go for Thursday.

I’ve been so focused on getting things ready that I really haven’t had time to sit back and reflect on what we’re about to do. Ultimately, we’re taking down a house. Should I feel some nostalgia? Some regret?

Per niente!


My next blog will be on the demolition/excavation!  To view my list of other blog posts, please click here.

Ciao – Monica