Posted at 12:00 p.m
Seven years ago, Marjolaine Arcand and Simon Bergeron fell in love with a house in Trois-Rivières that is close to everything. They knew that one day they would renew the kitchen, but they wondered how to use the wasted space. A friend suggested a radical solution: reversing almost all the rooms on the ground floor and arranging the kitchen instead of the playroom. The couple had made plans and expected to complete the work in the fall. Fate decided otherwise.
Earlier this year, Simon reserved six weeks off before starting a new job. His father, Viateur Bergeron, who had taken charge of building his own home at the age of 72, unexpectedly found free time due to unforeseen delays. He urged his son to get to work.
“My father is not a man who likes to do nothing,” explains Simon Bergeron. Everyone we contacted was able to meet the new deadline. We were lucky, we were able to move the project forward. We worked non-stop for the first 21 days. »
Viateur Bergeron took charge, using his experience in construction.
I’m zero manual. The fact that my father is a genius at it didn’t strike me. He oversaw everything and I was an excellent second. He told me how to do it and I did it. I didn’t take any initiative. However, I have found that I am a good site manager.
Simon Bergeron, co-owner of the house
The function of almost all parts has changed. Only the living room with fireplace, to the left of the entrance, has retained its appeal. The games room, which had direct access to the courtyard through a French door, and the second living room (with TV) became the kitchen and dining room. The entrance, on the right side of the house, has been renovated and the old kitchen is now used as a cloakroom. The playroom for the two children aged 5 and 7, which was moved to the basement during the work, has remained there.
walls have fallen. The slats of the old parquet floors on the ground floor were all torn out and replaced with new ones. There was a lot of dust. “I thought about doing the renovations room by room, but we did everything at the same time,” recalls Simon Bergeron. Every night I cleaned up so my dad would arrive the next morning and it would be fine to start over. It had been long days. »
During the work, the family continued to live in the house. Marjolaine Arcand, who telecommutes from her upstairs office, dusted off the onions before preparing meals. “Fortunately, we were able to continue using the old kitchen until the end,” she says. When Simon started his new job, he spent his weekends renovating at my stepfather’s house. We put our family life on hold. I went with the kids to do activities and get away from the site. »
They refinanced their mortgage to increase their budget, which they kept under $90,000. The most expensive fees are for the electrician who renewed all the electricity in the house, built in 1946, and the new kitchen.
We were very careful and bought used items as much as possible. It was important to us, both for ecology and savings and for the somewhat eclectic style of the facility.
Marjolaine Arcand, co-owner of the house
The work would have cost $150,000 without her father-in-law’s valuable help, she estimates. “He’s very generous. He gave us what he does best. »
“When we work together, we complement each other well,” adds her spouse. This brings me closer to my father and I get to know him better. He’s always been a workaholic. He didn’t have time to play with me when I was little. Today I have the impression that we are catching up on that time. I make the best of it. »
The goal : have their dream home
A big challenge: Staying in the house during the renovation
A surprise: the precarious condition of the electric cables in the house walls
Duration of work: full-time from early January to mid-February 2022, then on weekends until the end of May
Total cost : $83,637 (materials, furniture, paint, crafts, designers, etc.)
Interior architect: Andrea Allard
Working in the dining room: Guillaume Massicotte (paper press workshop in Trois-Rivières)