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From Permit, to Design, New Home Builds or Renovations, What Can You Do to Expand Your Space in These Times?

With the demand for more outdoor meeting and gathering spaces, it mirrors our needs for our homes.  With the holidays approaching and winter ahead, planning and preparing for those special gatherings will take more time and effort.   

Living in the Lower Mainland of BC does allow us to enjoy milder winters.  In the midst of responding to the health challenges of these times, we wanted to offer some design tips and ideas on creating spaces wherein safe gatherings can happen and with social distancing in mind for your holiday meals and warm cozy nights.

  • Expand Your Outdoor Space

At Sasen Homes, we have designed, built, renovated decks, expanded decks, and created atrium spaces for clients.   With weather being rainy and the need for light during winter, one of the best options is expanding or renovating your deck with a roof covering.   

  • Adding a Deck or Renovating One

Having a deck with amazing cedar wood ceilings,  installing a skylight and/or creating a location for electrical heating are great options.   

For an open feel to connect with nature or your environment depending on where you live, a covered see-through ceiling is a great option.   Heating devices can be hung creatively or stand alone heating devices work.   Here are some ideas from Pinterest:

  • Converting a Space to an Atrium or Creating One

An atrium attached or semi-attached to your home is a great option.   By doing so, one can have a separate entry way for guests visiting and a way to bring meals from your home to the entertainment space.   In terms of heating, it could be connected to the main home system or done on a separate system for air ventilation purposes.   

  • Garage Conversions

A garage is space for storage but sometimes not used entirely.   This is a great safe option for a separate entry and entertainment space possibilities in these times.

  • Temporary Creative Spaces

If you are on a budget and a new build or renovation at this time is not possible, you can book an entertainment canopy as well as heating devices ahead of time for that special occasion.   Search for tent rentals on-line near you.

Costco, Walmart, Canadian Tire, and Amazon have 12 foot wide picnic canopies you can purchase as well as various outdoor heating devices.    Costco and Walmart sometimes offer a DIY outdoor sunroof but it may act more like a door entrance cover.

If you are planning to put a canopy on a deck, it may take more effort. With winter and wind, using the tent stakes and sandbags are necessary to secure your canopies.  You can get sandbags here or local hardware store as well as on-line.

  • Outdoor Fire Pits

If you are wanting to have a wood burning device, best to follow your district regulations as some districts may not allow outdoor wood burning. Keep this far away from anything flammable.

  • Insulating Your Deck

Many restaurants and locations such as Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain, Cypress Bowl are adding vinyl curtains to keep spaces warm with their permanent covered spaces and temporary tents.  You can hire a company or do it yourself for your deck or patio space.

How to Get Started?    

Permits Process for Deck Renovations, Extensions and Garage Transformations

On your checklist to design your gathering space is the permit process.

At Sasen Homes, we help clients from conceptual design through permits and onto construction completion.  

The time spent in the permit process depends on a number of factors; what municipality the project is in, how complicated the project is and how busy the planning department in that municipality is at the time of submission.  Once you engage with Sasen Homes, we engage with the city on the issues of timelines for approval, bylaw and zoning issues.  We become your advocate and champion the whole way through.

Garage renovations may not require permits as you may not be working on any structural details that affect your home.   Check with our designer or yours if you have any questions on permit issues.

With regard to timelines, for design it is very much driven by the client, we take the time it takes to arrive at the design the client loves and can afford.   With winter approaching, being strategic and working with a team that can help you is highly recommended.

From permits, to design, new home builds or renovations, contact us anytime here.  We look forward to hearing from you.



Outdoor Living Spaces
Atrium Extensions
Garage to Living Spaces

PINTEREST Garage Transformations 

Outdoor Fireplaces and Firepits


Heating and Insulation Ideas


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