Craig Iseke says he required a double garage for his woodworking shop so a large lot was a must. Photo by Andrea Cox / For CREB®Now

Craig Iseke used his cabinetmaking skills to renovate his ’70s bungalow and is loving the results

High school teacher and journeyman cabinetmaker Craig Iseke has two loves: hanging out in the mountains (doing outdoorsy things like biking, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing and fishing ), and designing and crafting wood furniture. So when he decided to sell his Marda Loop home and look for something a little more off the beaten path, but closer to the school that he was teaching at, he had a long list of must-haves. First on that list was space to store all his sporting gear. After searching MLS® System Listings for close to five months, he found an 1,100 square foot bungalow on a 50-foot lot in the southwest community of Braeside. The home, built in 1972, was in need of a renovation, an endeavor right up Iseke’s alley.

CREB®Now: What else was on your must-have list?

Craig Iseke: I knew that I wanted a single-family home. I would never consider a townhome or a condo; I just can’t get my head around paying condo fees, plus the fact, the condo lifestyle just doesn’t work for me. I wasn’t interested in an infill-type property either, where the homes are side-by-side. I required a double garage for my woodworking shop and it can be a little bit noisy, so a large lot was a must. Location was also important; the home had to be close enough to where I was working at the time because I wanted to ride my bike.

CREB®Now: What attracted you to the property in Braeside?

Craig Iseke: I’m not going to lie; the first factor was price. The home was priced in my budget and I was able to negotiate the asking price down almost $70,000, which was hugely significant. I really liked the mature trees and the back alleys and the home is on a cul-de-sac. That’s something that I like and it is very quiet. It reminded me of St. Albert, the community I grew up in.

I also really liked the feel of the house. I liked how it was laid out and I knew that it had good bones.

As well, the location was great. It’s close to Fish Creek Park, close to get out of town and there are loads of amenities around, (plus) all of the shops at Glenmore Landing, the Co-op is close and the C-Train isn’t too far.

I also really liked the feel of the house. I liked how it was laid out and I knew that it had good bones.

CREB®Now: What kind of renovations did you do?

Craig Iseke: As soon as I walked into the home, I knew exactly how I wanted to redo it and how I was going to change it. I gutted everything on the main floor and lived in the basement while I was renovating. Now it is one big open concept, whereas before it was this cramped warren of hallways and rooms. I replaced all of the windows and all of the mechanical, so it is really just like a new home.

Now that the home is all completed, my favourite space is definitely the kitchen. I do lots of cooking and entertaining and it works really well. I’m definitely keeping this home for a long time. I love it!