When architect Terrell Wong and her husband decided to conduct an energy-efficient renovation of their 90-year-old home, there were many parts of the house they wanted to preserve. The house, which had been in her husband’s family for 35 years, had beautiful hardwood flooring and dark kitchen cabinets that her mother-in-law had commissioned 35 years ago. Plus, it was located in the historic Rosedale neighborhood of Toronto.
“I wanted to honor it,” says Wong, owner of Stone’s Throw Design in Toronto.
But there was one important feature of the house Wong wanted to do away with: the $12,000 annual utility bills. The home’s heat was provided by two gigantic oil tanks in the basement. The construction was typical of a home from its time period: The exterior was 8-inch brick,