Before & After: Will's Furnace Room

Many readers loved Will's home in Will's Toronto Townhouse Revisited. The first time we toured his home in 2010, Will's English Gentry in Cabbagetown, we were not invited to see the furnace room. This time, Will provided us with the "before" photos and we took the "after" photos.

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The renovation took a month and for most of the time, the house had no hot water or heat. It was stressful and disruptive to Will to have to shower at his neighbor's home or at his gym. But the room had holes in the walls and ceiling, old wainscoting that couldn't be fixed and was very messy. During the process he found layers of old wallpaper and Valentine's cards.

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After attempting to renovate the room himself by clearing it out, laying some laminate, and painting it, Will decided to hire contractors to:

• rip out the wood floors walls, where he found the valentine image in the drop box folder and newspaper
• rip out the ceiling
• get a new furnace with a built-in humidifier. It needed a pump for the water as there is no floor drain, and an exhaust drilled through the front of the house because the flue can't be used for high efficiency when it's shared with a hot water heater.
• all new ducts and gas pipes for a more efficient layout to create some more room and generally make it tidier
• hide the electric breaker behind a sliding panel
• put down nice ceramic title
• paint the room a neutral color
• added a hose to the front of the house (automated watering for window boxes coming this summer!)
• hide cable TV connectors, and other workings behind handy access panels
• add a switch built in for the light and a new light fixture instead of just a bare bulb
had two electric sockets put in so he could work with tools
• move the water heater to a more convenient location
• install a new water meter and seal it in
• install new carpet laid on all the stairs once the work was over

Will is very happy with the resulting clean, functional space, which now has more room because of the smaller furnace. See more of his home in the recent house tour Will's Toronto Townhouse Revisited.

Images: 1 & 3. Will Eagle; 2. Rachael Grad

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Renovating, Canada

Rachael is a fine artist and writer and when not obsessing about home decor she works in hospitality, spa and art events (galleryreinvented.com).