Hey Maca Builds a Second Floor: Construction Update 1!

The dream became reality, friends!

We started our second floor construction and this ride has been I N S A N E. 

Honestly, I have to admit the day we started I experienced my first panic attack in life when I was literally coordinating an early move to the new studio, driving my dad home out from the hospital after 2 months and checking the house construction the same day.  

I decided to unplug from the blog, youtube and social media a bit to simply slow down, what I needed to do for a long time. I’m BEYOND grateful to be able to start this magical project with the help of my friend Marie-Jeanne Rivard who’s bringing back the OG team who built this shoebox house 6 years ago. 

Despite all the madness since we started, 8 weeks have passed already and I am just stoked to document the process and share with you how it has been and all the plans we have for this new floor.

 I have received many fun questions on social media about this process, so I thought to write as much info as I could in this first construction update, deal? 

Do you need to save a lot of money? 

Kind of. When we first started thinking about it 4 years ago, we basically worked hard balancing our finances and debts to be able to formally apply for a construction mortgage.

How do you start if I want to renovate?

Depending on the amount of renos you would like to do, you will need city permits to start. In our case, we are building a major reno, so we couldn’t do it with a credit line but with a construction mortgage. 

How do you get a construction mortgage? 

The first thing you need is to hire a contractor and get a formal estimate. In this estimate they will need to include the total cost of the project plus taxes, all the details that will be done in your construction, a list of the finishes that will be included and a plan of the future reno. This part was the longest and most complicated for us, because the banks needed to be sure the contractor has a credible reputation that will finish the project making the process very strict. It took us almost a year to get this loan approved and finalized at the notary before we could even start. 

What else should I know about a construction mortgage?

It will take time and effort, but once it’s approved you are ready to go. The bank will wait for your contractor’s invoices and they will disburse the funds directly to them. One catchy part of this type of loan, you will need to save 15% of every single invoice that they will pay 30 days after the end of the project is officially finished and supervised by the bank – that’s the part where you need to save up some cash. 

Are you still living in your house while the construction?

Actually yes (insert dust here) and I can’t believe we are doing it. We have been living with a messy, dusty, cold first floor the past weeks including not having a closet and have all our clothes packed in a million IKEA bags. This was a very personal decision because I really wanted to be here “living” the reno life. I’m thinking to escape to a hotel when the plaster era starts, just to chill a bit. 

How long will it take to finish?

I actually barely ask this question to my friend Marie-Jeanne, because I know the normal delays, hiccups and nightmares when you build a major construction – I have an idea when, but I’m taking one day at a time and enjoying the process SO much, which has helped immensely not to stress myself. 

so far what have you finished? 

in 8 weeks, we have finished the entire new structure, the roof, the skylights structure, the insulation, plumbing, electrical work, internal divisions and ventilation. Next week we are closing down with drywall, touching up with plaster and only missing finishes, floors and windows. 

I’m excited to show you more on my YouTube channel and Instagram every week, see you there! 

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