Updated: Nov 4
Me and Maeghan purchased a house during the peak of the real estate madness in Canada. This is what we knew about our backyard when we placed an offer in February 2022.
When we first moved in in May 2022, the backyard was a bit of a mess...
... but after a year of hard work, we transformed it into the location of a new office and backyard oasis!
Phase 1 - Site Preparation
In April 2023, I started digging trenches and running conduits to accommodate power, data lines and water for a hose.
Cindy Pawford was naturally very curious about the whole thing.
One surprise was that the neighbour's sewer lateral actually cuts across our backyard... Originally we wanted to square the new building, but we had to put it at an angle to accommodate the situation. We built the retaining wall directly in front of the lateral to protect it... Apparently it had been damaged by the previous owner's landscaping, but was otherwise fine.
Once our service lines were installed and inspected, we rebuilt the retaining wall, ensuring our electrical lines would pop out of the future concrete pad.
Phase 2 - Core Buildout
In May 2023, we built the core building, starting with a concrete pad. We also re-parged the back retaining wall and removed some of the rust stains.
Before building the kit from BunkieLife.com, we built a small platform overtop some foundation wrap. The idea was to help drain water underneath the structure, and to allow space to run electrical and insulation.
We aligned the base of the future building with the electrical services we ran during Phase 1.
Next it was time to assemble the Hideaway Bunkie!
The following weekend we managed to wrap up some landscaping (new trees, raised beds, etc.) before a party on May 24!
A fun feature of the project was to setup a projector outside for summer movie nights. Eventually we'd have electrical setup with outlets in the new building, but that didn't stop us from using a good old fashioned extension cord to enjoy our first movie night in June.
We couldn't move forward without finishing the roof. A few weeks later, we added 2 inches of insulation under a steel roof.
Phase 3 - Interior Finishes
In July, we focused on interior finishes and making the space liveable.
We did the electrical panel (with ESA inspection). Hourray for the work we did in Phase 1!
We electrical services ready to go, it was time to run electrical in the floor, get a rough-in inspection, insulation, and finalize the sub floor. We didn't think the quality of the tongue and groove floor would meet the abuse of an office chair, so we installed vinyl on the floor.
Before moving in, we needed more storage space. The old shed had been sacrificed for planters, so we needed to find room for storage bins and banker boxes. I added doors on kitchen hinges to make for a nice, finished look for the 'storage loft'.
A "hidden" secret of the storage loft is the secret projector screen that is built into the ceiling.
Before moving in, we needed to finish the exterior of the building and upgrade some insulation.
Finally, in August, it was time to do some decorating and move in!
The Final Look
This project was also featured by BunkieLife!