Many times with a growing family or lifestyle changes a home addition becomes necessary to meet the needs of the owners.  The purpose of this addition may be to allow for a larger kitchen, add an additional bathroom, give an expanded master bedroom, a new entryway, or an additional family room for the kids to play in to give their parents a break.  Additionally adding a second floor often allows more bedrooms for a growing family or an in-law suite for an elderly parent.   For any questions about adding a home addition in Vancouver and Richmond please contact the Indoor Outdoor Guy Renovations and he will be happy to give you a free consultation.

Technically home additions in Vancouver require several steps.  First a client consultation must be done to determine exactly what the clients need the addition to provide.  Second, in consultation with the clients a complete set of plans and drawings must be done up to ensure that every detail is looked after, and that the clients know what they are getting.  Thirdly, once the clients have approved the plans, the plans need to be submitted to the city and be approved in order to get a building permit granted.  If the addition contains a kitchen or a bathroom it will require a plumbing permit and a more detailed electrical permit.  Depending on the municipality, the project may also need a site service permit, land survey and/or development permit. A development permit is often needed in the city of Vancouver and surrounding areas if you are adding additional space to your home or if you are adding a secondary suite as part of the renovation. A structural engineer and/or geo technical engineer is also needed to sign off on your project and perform additional inspections, depending on the size of your project and building/site conditions.  

As each city and town has its own regulatory body; the municipality, the renovations contractor have to know what details the city wants to see in the plans. Overall requirements of plans for new home additions have increased considerably and include movement to green building materials and practices, higher insulation requirements, seismic concerns, rain-screen requirements etc. 

The experience of the general contractor, who is assigned the task of building a second story addition in Vancouver and Richmond will be tested by the provincial building code and municipal bylaws as both zoning requirements and the BC Building Code have become more complicated and thus more difficult to interpret. Only a contractor that knows the system is going to get these legal issues resolved.  Only a contractor that understands the system is going to have success completing your renovation.

Whether it is possible to get certain home additions approved in Vancouver and Richmond or the surrounding areas depends upon the municipal by-laws of the city you live in, as it is the municipality that will grant the permit for the addition, depending on the FSR or Floor Space Ratio. If there are homes around that are on the same size of lot and they are larger than yours, chances are good that the municipality you live in will grant the permit.  Also, if you live in an older area, as most municipalities have increased the maximum FSR to allow for bigger homes, are likely to get the permit granted. Even though there may not be any larger homes on your street, the FSR on the whole, might still allow for an addition.

There are other issues like issuance of a permit to build an addition on the ground or add floors or additions to floors. Permits may not be issued to build on the ground as it reduces the amount of permeable ground, but you may be allowed to build up.

Occasionally the municipality may not issue you a permit to build an addition that increases the footprint of the existing home (ie expands the home outward) , because of permeability or zoning issues,  in this case they still may grant a second floor addition or an addition that is built over an attached garage. 

For any home additions on the ground or second story additions in Vancouver and Richmond or the surrounding area the Indoor Outdoor Guy Renovations is the right contractor for the job as we have the experience and knowledge to build your addition right the first time. 

The Westridge residence involved the construction of a new addition, an entrance way, and connection to the existing house.  The addition uses a hybrid timber frame design with 4x8 joists and 8x12 timber beams.  The exterior of the addition shows some of the beautiful douglas fir beams as well as low maintenance fibre cement siding.  The remaining exterior of the front of the residence & garage was also re-sided and had new windows installed to match the new addition.  The interior of the new addition features a new large family room,  guest bathroom  and, an entrance way with a high cathedral ceiling.  All the rooms have nu heat radiant heating installed below the floor tiles, to allow for a comfortable natural heat.

Read more: Construction & Renovation of Westridge Residence...

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The heart of this project was to convert a single story World War II bungalow into a two story character home.  When the client came to us initially she wanted a larger home that she could share with her two young children and her mother, that would be built at a reasonable price.  As we entered the design phase with the client it became clear to our delight that she liked the style of character homes and the clean look of fiber cement siding. Through consultation with the client we created a design that was open concept and used the floor space very efficiently. The main floor includes an open concept kitchen, dining room and living room area, as well as a playroom, study and powder room.  The second floor has a master bedroom with lounge area, two children's bedrooms and a spacious bathroom.  The ground level contains a one bedroom suite with separate bathroom, kitchen, bedroom and living room.  The house has a shared laundry room on the ground level.

The exterior of this completed home will has an authentic character house style look and features a front porch, low maintenance fiber cement siding and beautiful west coast windows. The windows have two by four casings, while the gables are done in shakes with the main wall areas covered in cedar lapped style siding.  The house exterior features a craftsman style fiberglass door, as well as a set of french doors leading out on to a deck in the back.

Gulston Residence - single story bungalow - before renovationIf you are considering a renovation and would like to view this home, to see the Indoor Outdoor Guy and his crew in action, please call 604-277-5572 and ask for Joseph (The Indoor Outdoor Guy)

Read more: Home Renovation of Gulston Residence Vancouver BC

Brulot residence restoration character home with craftsman finish

The focus of this project was to transform the clients aluminum sided home into a period era character home. As part of this project the front porch was redone with additional details added to posts and beam. The windows were all re-cased with a Victorian style casing.  Band boards were added between the shakes and the lap siding.  A repeating square detail was added above the front porch to finish the Victorian look.  New soffits, as well as gable trim boards and corner boards were added to give this house a completely new look.  Certainteed fibre cement siding was used both for the lap siding and the shingles in the gable.  Both the siding and the shingles were pre-painted to Benjamin Moore colors, chosen by the client, to accomplish the specific color balance the client was looking for. The project also involved the construction of a completely new rainscreened building envelope & the complete re-siding of the entire house, lifting of front porch, and construction of new a railing for the front stairs.


North Elevation

Brulot residence - building envelope with rain screenBrulot Residence -fiber cement siding, east view

Read more: The Brulot Residence Construction Vancouver BC

This home was built using all natural building products and has almost zero VOCs or off gasing.  It features a timber frame ceiling and stairs, long lasting metal roof, and hardwood fir flooring throughout.

Landscaping completed 2013

The Interior

The interior of this home features beautiful timberframe ceilings, fir floors and fir windows and door casings throughout. Earth quarried slate, granite, wool carpeting combine with the timberframe features to give the interior of this house a very natural and relaxing feeling.  The interior of the house also features a radiant floor heating system that provides a very green energy efficient solution for heating the home.  The home also features spacious nine feet ceilings, large 6ft tall windows, a set of french doors, as well as a covered front and back porch.  The open concept design of this home makes it feel far larger than it actually is and it allows the home to be used for entertaining as well as day to day living.


Timber fram home, with beams left exposed to floor above

Another view of the timber frame ceiling and fir flooring, fir beams were used throughout

Read more: Custom Natural Home Builders Vancouver

Completion of the transformed home from vinyl siding to fiber cement siding, as well as installation of vinyl wood hybrid windowsThe goal of this project was to transform the clients vinyl sided home into a beautiful character home.  As part of this project the front porch was opened up and the back porch replaced with a deck to allow more light into the home, as well as to change the overall appearance of the house.  The clients also desired that the house be green while low maintenance, as such CertainTeed fibre cement siding was used as well as vinyl wood hybrid windows.  The CertainTeed fibre cement siding does not rot or require regular repainting and is thus low on maintenance and environmental cost.  The vinyl/wood hybrid windows offer the best of both worlds.  The beauty of natural wood on the interior of the window, with the durability and weather resistance of vinyl on the exterior.  The project involved the construction of a completely new rainscreened building envelope, the residing of the entire house, the installation of new faschia, soffits, gable trim, window and door casings, ban boards, and the installation of new doors and windows.

South facing composite deck.South facing deck and cedar railing

Read more: Character home completion - Erickson/Chappell

Addition Design and Construction Services

Interior Architectural design of Additions
Building and Construction
Tie-ins to existing structures
Adding a second floor 
Heritage Home Addition
Rear home addition
Home Office Addition


Increased living space
Room Expansions
Guest House Additions
Room additions
Man Caves
Spa Bathrooms
Expanded Kitchens

Drawing plans
Addition permits
Room additions
Floor plans
Elevation drawings
Playroom Additions
City Variances


Structural reinforcements
Truss expansions
Post and Beam
Timber Frame
Natural Design
Geo technical  
Structual Engineering



Serving Vancouver, Richmond, Delta and all the lower mainland.