Working With Hills (But Discovering Rivers) to Expand a Home’s Footprint by 1600 Sq Feet

When a homeowner came to us with a massive home expansion request, we were able to overcome a rising river of challenges to make the family happy.


When clients come to us looking to expand the square footage of their home, it typically means the addition of an office. Often, it’s a bigger kitchen or sometimes it’s a man cave. Your average additional square footage is around three hundred square feet. But this time, our client was thinking big… really big! And with big dreams often come big challenges — but not so big that JBC was not able to overcome them in the end.

1. A Grand Vision for a Massive Renovation Project

Overall, the Kovacics envisioned having more square footage in their hillside home. In addition to wanting a new room in their basement, they also wanted to maximize a versatile indoor/outdoor living space by giving it more natural light. The also wanted a bigger master suite for some privacy from their 4 kids. Then there was the fun challenge of building a discreet passageway connecting the master ensuite to the walk-in closet!

2. The Initial Plan

After the initial consultation and walk-through, the JBC team got right to work. It was an exciting vision and we were eager to get started. Here’s what our initial plan looked like.

  1. Add a basement-level room to the new addition on the house. We planned to excavate below the garage and install a floating slab so we could build beneath the garage and add a level above the garage to be part of the new, bigger master suite.
  2. Suspend the garage slab (the concrete floor of the garage). This would allow for additional living space below it. The entire basement space would feature 10-foot ceilings.
  3. Install an engineered beam on the corner of the house. This would support the existing structure with the addition.
  4. Install a 16 ft sliding glass wall. This would create plenty of daylight in the indoor/outdoor living spaces.

3. The Obstacles

With a multi-pronged project like this one, obstacles were bound to come up. But we never imagined we’d run into a literal river of problems! The first obstacle we ran into was that the foundation was going to have some pretty serious issues. Unbeknownst to the Kovacics (and JBC at first), there was an underground river near the back of their house.

The river had been causing soil erosion and as a consequence, the foundation of their home was starting to cave in on itself — a homeowner’s nightmare!

The river required additional precautions. We had to keep the excavation hole free from water while we constructed the foundation. This required constant pumping of water out of the hole to be done right.

4. The JBC Solution

Additional stabilization of the foundation. Because of the underground river, adding a level above the garage for the new, larger master suite would now require underpinning the existing foundation and extending it an additional 10 feet down.

A GEO Technical Report. This would enable our team to understand how to properly stabilize the excavation of the basement.

Additional measures to prevent a cave-in. To stabilize the foundation we had to use 75 X 1-tonne concrete blocks to ensure the basement we dug didn’t collapse on itself.

The Outcome

– Despite Design Changes, Permit Woes, and a Surprise Underground River, This Expansion Project Turned out Great.

Sometimes the biggest challenges end up producing the most amazing outcomes. That’s true in life as it is in the home renovation business. Through thick and thin, JBC worked with the Kovacic family to produce what we all agree are extraordinary results. Here are more than a few words from Mr. Kovacic himself about working with JBC to transform his home:

“We are pleased to provide this letter of recommendation to Jedan Brothers as well as Dan and Jesse Klassen. We hired them as our general contractor to build a 1,600 sq.ft addition to our home, which included excavation beside the existing structure for a full basement and two levels above. The project cost exceeded half a million dollars.

Jedan Brothers provided high-quality work and professional management. They distinguished themselves early in the project when they played an instrumental role in the design changes that were necessary to receive the city permit and particularly during the complex excavation phase that was conducted between the existing remaining structure and our neighbour’s house. Perhaps even more important is to inform that Jedan Brothers delivers on their warranty.

Some months after the completion of our expansion, a defect was found with the workmanship of one of the sub-trades. We are pleased to inform that Jedan Brothers corrected the defect at no cost to us. As such we have no hesitation in recommending Jedan Brothers for any expansion project particularly for complex, high-quality expansion projects.”


We had Jedan Brothers Contracting renovate our basement from a storage room to a media room and they did an outstanding job. Any friend we have asking for renovation general contractors we highly recommend them.

Meghan H.

We were very pleased with the work done. Dan was professional in every way and the sub trades were friendly, helpful and efficient. The work was completed on time and Dan always returned my calls immediately.

Marthy M.

Our family really loves the new kitchen. It’s so big and bright. There room for everyone! It’s very well laid out. Our teenage kids love to entertain their friends in our new kitchen.


We were very pleased with the quality of work, the fact that it was done in a timely fashion, and within building codes.

Eric M.

We had the pleasure of having Jedan Brothers Contracting renovate our house over the course of 7 months in 2018 and we would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone looking for a great, conscientious and likeable trades team to look after your construction, large or small. 

Our renovation was large and costly and Dan… Read more “Their Work Is Top Notch”

Wendy & Peter

We hired Jedan Brothers Contracting as our general contractor to renovate our entire main floor. Dan and Jesse worked hard to meet our budget and deadlines. They were always available to answer any questions or address any concerns. We knew they had our interests at heart. They demanded a lot from their team of sub-trades… Read more “Exceeded Our Expectation”

Richard & Monica

Dan, Jesse and crew did a fabulous job on updating our kitchen and main bathroom. They were both professional and very personable, allowing for great communication and collaboration. The quote that was provided was very accurate which was very important to us. We were kept up to date on every detail throughout the process and… Read more “Fabulous Job”

Mary & Don

Jedan Brothers Contracting did a large renovation project on an older home that we bought. They were on time, on budget and the end results were fantastic. We would definitely recommend them and use them again!


My wife and I hired Jedan Brothers to build an addition and completely remodel our house, I have 13 years experience in the commercial construction market and have dealt with hundreds of contractors. Dan and Jesse are far and away the best I have dealt with. They gave us a very detailed and accurate quote… Read more “The Best I Have Dealt With”


We contracted Jedan Brothers Contracting to assess, design and process a renovation project within our North Vancouver condominium. The project effectively required a complete update and improvement of the existing structure.

 We were completely satisfied with the results, not only the quality of the finished project, but also the professionalism and intelligent application of expertise… Read more “Completely Satisfied”


Dan and his team delivered our renovation on schedule and on budget. 
They arrived on time each day and were friendly and helpful.
We were in good communication with Dan throughout the whole project and found him to be trustworthy and honest. The crew was cheerful and competent. 
We have since recommended Jedan Brothers to friends… Read more “On Schedule And On Budget”


A key component to an excellent renovator (in addition, to superior workmanship) is to listen and to communicate. Jedan Brothers Contracting, fulfilled all those roles. They kept me up-to-date on the project progress and did not hesitate to touch base with me over the smallest details. Their tradespeople displayed excellent workmanship. My neighbours (I live… Read more “An Excellent Renovator”


We hired Jedan Brothers to renovate our ensuite bathroom and the main floor of our home (including kitchen powder room and front hall). They did a phenomenal job both times of completing the project on time and on budget, troubleshooting for any unexpected/unforeseen issues and communicating regularly with us. They also hired qualified trades and… Read more “Very Happy With The Results”

Carolyn & Eric

Every project we have worked with Jedan brothers has been managed excellently by Dan. I’ve noted his attention to detail and watchfulness over the projects to be sure everything is completed according to plan. I’ve recommended Dan on many occasions to my clients looking for a contractor to manage their project. He is trustworthy, competent… Read more “Highly Skilled”

Sandy - Flooring Supplier

It was a pleasure to work for Dan at Jedan Brothers Contracting. Dan was easy to get a hold of and was very detail orientated. The job site was clean and organized. I would highly recommend Dan and his team for your next project.

Ben - Cabinetry Supplier

We had the pleasure of being hired by Jedan Brothers to install the frameless glass shower doors for a couple of their projects. The professionalism and level or organization that they exhibited was tremendous. The communicated very well on what they expected which made them easy to work for. I would recommend them to anyone… Read more “Easy To Work For”

Craig - Glass & Mirror Supplier

If you are looking to hire a reliable, transparent, and trustworthy quality renovation company you don’t need to look further than Jedan Brothers. I have had the pleasure of working with Dan and Jesse on major home renovation projects. They are hands on, communicate well, meet timelines and budgets, and put their clients needs first.… Read more “Reliable, Transparent And Trustworthy”

Sylvia - Interior Designer

We hired Jedan Brothers to completely remodel our kitchen. Our old kitchen was very poorly laid out and did not work well for our family of five. With the help of a designer we came up with a beautiful and highly functional space that is a vast improvement from what we had before. The old… Read more “Very Communicative”

Lisa & Dave

Complete kitchen renovation, including new hardwood floor throughout entry hall, powder room, kitchen and family room. A very professional company that employs all sub-trades. Project delivered on time and on budget. The company is a member of BBB and gives a 2 year warranty on renovations.


My wife and I just had a completely new kitchen and family room with hardwood floors done by two very pleasant men Jesse and Dan of Jedan Brothers Construction after a total demolition which only took three hours. We were very pleased with the workmanship and oversight of the job. The workmen came when they… Read more “Very Pleased With The Workmanship”

John and Elizabeth

You were very responsive and a great communicator about how and when things were going to happen.

Linda S.

We are more than satisfied with our project. The project exceeded what we imagined it would be. One of the biggest things that stood out was the quality of the work and tradesmen. We felt that everyone who was working on the project had integrity. We would definitely recommend Jedan Brothers for any type of… Read more “More Than Satisfied”

Paul & Katrina

We are pleased to provide this letter of recommendation to Jedan Brothers as well as Dan and Jesse Klassen. We hired them as our general contractor to build a 1,600 sq.ft addition to our home, which included excavation beside the existing structure for a full basement and two levels above. The project cost exceeded half… Read more “High Quality Work and Professional Management”


Jedan Brothers were very professional and we’re very satisfied not just with the results but the whole process. Everything was completed on time and they were definitely on budget. They were excellent communicators and really appreciated that any questions we had they go back to us right away. We would absolutely recommend Jedan Brothers.

Shane & Stephanie

Posted on

July 4, 2019