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7 Signs That Your Bathroom is Due for a Renovation

When it comes to renovating your house, sometimes it seems like it is a never-ending project and there is always so much to be done.  In times like these, it becomes crucial to prioritize what is most important or most in need of completion and tackle that project as your main concern. Here are seven signs that your bathroom needs to be the first one:

1.     It is Leaking

There is a lot of water in the bathroom. It comes from the sink, it comes from the toilet, it comes from the tub or shower, and it comes from the air due to vapor and steam. If you have a pipe underneath your bathroom sink that is constantly leaking, if there is always water sitting around the edges of the toilet bowl, or if the faucet in your tub is permanently dripping, there is a good chance your bathroom might need a renovation. While you can always opt to simply have the plumbing fixed or focus on investigating where the water might be coming from, the process may be extensive and a complete renovation and overhaul may be a better use of your time and resources.

2.     Your Floor is Damaged

Just like you may have observed leaking from your faucet, toilet or tub, as indicated above, there are more areas of destruction that water can cause that may be indicative of the need to renovate. One of the most common of these is damage to your floors. When water leaks it is not always visible and may start its leaking underneath your floor boards.  This is common when the issues causing the leakage are in the pipes that are under the floor or in the wall. As a result, the first sign of a problem may be damage to your floors, as water gets underneath and causes the floors to start lifting or becoming stained and discoloured.  If this is the cause of damage, it is often an extensive process for repair, whereby you will have to rip up floors or rip out your walls, and as such, it presents a good time to undertake a renovation.

3.     There is Visible Mold

Just like water can cause damage to your floors, leak under your cupboards, and drip annoyingly out of your faucet, it can also be the root of bigger problem: mold. Mold thrives in warm, moist environments, making the bathroom its ideal living space. You may see it appear first along the edges of your shower or bath, or as dark spots on the ceiling.  Once it shows up, it will only get worse, and may already be looming behind the walls or ceiling where you can’t see it. With mold in the house, you and your family are at risk for an increased number of health concerns, so it is important to attend to the situation as soon as possible.

4.     Your Paint is Peeling

While you may not see mold, another indicator of damage coming from steam within the bathroom – and a good reason to renovate – is paint peeling off the walls. The constant water presence in the air can break down the paint and cause it to start peeling.  This is especially relevant if your bathroom was built and painted a few years ago, before paint was of a higher quality like it is now, whereby it can sustain more water and steam exposure.

5.     It is Outdated

Perhaps a less obvious sign, and subjective to an individual’s taste, an outdated bathroom is a great reason to tackle a renovation. If you have only a bathtub and no shower, you still have wallpaper covering all of the walls, or the faucets and plumbing are hard to operate and dripping, it’s a good indication that your bathroom is outdated.  While an outdated bathroom is something you may have gotten used to, understanding its nuances and unique characteristics, if you have future plans to sell your home, a bathroom renovation is a necessity. This is particularly true if it is the only bathroom in the home or if it is missing a shower and relying on a bathtub alone.

6.     You Can’t See Very Well

When you first built your bathroom, the lighting selection you made was likely based on typical recommendations from your contractor and was quite standard for most homes.  In the last several years however, lighting options have dramatically increased and there is a much broader range of availability on the market.  You can select different lights for different areas of the bathroom, like having lights in front of the mirror that are optimized for seeing in the mirror, while the lights over the shower are optimized for functioning in steam and water.  Furthermore, you can have added features such as heat lights or lights which can be dimmed and brightened as necessary. Bathroom lighting makes a huge difference to the overall bathroom atmosphere and ambience, and is not something to be neglected when it comes to a renovation project.

7.     It Lacks Storage

If you built your bathroom and your home before you had kids or when you had a smaller family, you may have felt at the time that the storage was adequate. Now however, with more people and more stuff, the small closet in the bathroom just isn’t going to cut it.  There are many ways to add increased storage to your bathroom, or to more efficiently use the space in your bathroom, and this is something that is worthy of doing during a renovation.  In addition, you will also be able to make other changes at the same time, such as improve the lighting, paint the walls, or add additional hooks, which can allow you more space for towels and bathroom supplies.

Do you have some of these signs in your house and are thinking it is time to tackle your bathroom for a renovation? If so, it’s a great time to take on the project, but certainly isn’t something you should do alone. Instead, reach out to TRO Canada. Our expert team is more than equipped to help you successfully renovate your bathroom and we’ll make sure to have everything done in a timely and efficient manner. Call us up today to find out more!

The Best – and Worst – Reasons to Do a Home Renovation

Home renovations typically aren’t anybody’s idea of a good time, so when it comes to getting it done, it’s important to make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and that the outcome will be worth the stress, investment, and inconvenience.  Consider these right – and wrong – reasons for renovating and choosing to upgrade your home.

The Best

Your Home is Outdated

If it has been several years since you moved into your home, or you purchased a home that is older and in need of some attention, renovating can be the perfect solution.  In some cases, purchasing an older home can save you money in the initial purchase cost, and this is good money for you to put towards a renovation. When you decide to take on your renovation, whether it be a bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom, spend some time researching the current trends in home decorating, what the season’s colours and styles are, and how you can update and modernize your home through a renovation in a streamlined and timeless way.

You are Preparing to Sell

Completing a renovation before you sell your home can be a great idea for several reasons, especially if you focus on a room that is a big selling point of the house such as the kitchen or bathroom.  First, it can ensure you have a better outcome when it comes to having a buyer conduct a home inspection: newer homes, or newly renovated homes, with up to date appliances, lighting, windows and doors, will bode better in an inspection. In addition, if you renovate before you sell, you can often increase the value of your home and elicit a higher market value.

You Can Appreciate the Results

Maybe the kids have moved out and now you don’t have to worry about having crayon marks all over the wall. Or maybe living without kids frees up a room that once was used for games and entertainment and can now be used as a more sophisticated lounge room for you and your own group of friends.  In several cases, people renovate after living in the house for several years because their lifestyle, preferences, or choices in decorative style have changed and they want to update the home to reflect that.  In many ways, a home is a reflection of a person’s personality and style, so this can be a great reason to plan a renovation.

You are Ready to Save Energy and Improve Efficiency

Older houses, built before solar panel technology, or before there was as much emphasis on saving power and going green, lack the energy efficiency benefits of newer homes. With a few small changes however, you can convert your home to a more energy efficient selection.  Install solar panels, or make a change to the way your home is heated. Go green in the kitchen when renovating it by purchasing energy efficient appliances. All of these are great reasons to renovate and may get you a new modernized looking home at the same time!

The Worst

You are Trying to Save Money

Unfortunately, in most cases, renovating or home remodelling is not going to be a way to save money. When you launch into a home renovation project, it is important to do so with a budget, but also to be aware that the project may go over that budget and that you need to be flexible with the amount you have to spend.  In addition, because home renovations are a time investment, it is likely something that you want to spend the necessary money on so that you get results that you are happy with and do not have to do it over any time soon!

You Want to Try out a Weekend Project

Many people latch onto home renovation plans and ideas because they have recently started doing handy work and are eager to try their hand at a new project.  While fixing things up around the house is one thing, taking on a complete home renovation is another.  There are a lot of complex aspects to home renovating, especially when it comes to things such as dealing with electrical work, plumbing, ensuring the building meets city codes and inspection standards, and maintaining proper safety standards. Unless you know what you are doing and have some experience, it’s better to leave the home renovations to the professionals, and refrain from taking this on as your next DIY project.

You Want a New House

There is a difference between doing a home renovation and completely gutting a house and starting fresh, and it’s important to get clear on your expectations of your home project before you begin.  If you are entering into a home renovation with visions of having practically a whole new home at the end, you will likely be better off hitting the real estate market and looking for a house to purchase.  On the other hand, if you want to have a few rooms get a facelift, or have a new kitchen, a home renovation may be just what you need.

You are Just Jumping on a Trend

If your main reason behind renovating is because someone else is doing it, because you saw a new trending look in a magazine that you are sure you have to have, or because you want to have your home look like someone else’s, unfortunately your motives may not be optimal to give you the best results.  Before you launch into a renovation, make sure you have a clear plan and valid motivation – the renovation may take some time, be expensive, and be a major inconvenience while it’s underway, so doing it for the wrong reasons will make it hard to stick it out to the end.

Are you ready to tackle your home renovation? Whether it is a new kitchen, remodelling your bathroom, or making some minor renovations around the house in preparation for selling, TRO Canada is the place to call.  Our expert team will make sure they have everything covered when it comes to getting you the results you want in a timely and economical way. Call us today to find out more!

Need to Know Before Hiring a Kitchen and Bathroom Renovation Contractor

A major kitchen or bathroom remodeling project in your Toronto home can be a hassle and an inconvenience. Before you hire just anyone to begin the project, you must ask the right questions and learn as much as you can about the company and its workers. Here are 10 questions you should always ask before hiring a renovation contractor in Ontario.

1. Do You Have a License?

One of the most important — and one of the first — questions you should ask a renovation contractor is if the company is licensed and has the required certifications to complete the project in your area. Different regions may have varying licensing requirements so it is critical that the company is licensed and able to work on your home.

2. Are You Insured?

Again, this should be one of the first questions you ask before hiring any company to complete a home renovation. If the answer to this question is no, you will want to quickly walk away. If the company is insured, find out how they are insured. The company should have both workers’ compensation and liability insurance. It is also wise to have the contractor show proof of insurance and not just take their word for it.

3. Can You Provide Me with a Bid?

The price of the project is at the front of every homeowner’s mind. An average kitchen remodel can cost more than $20,000 with a high-end remodel featuring luxury appliances costing more than $50,000. A contractor should provide a bid at the beginning of the renovation process. If possible, ask for an itemized bid. This will give you an idea of how much you are spending on various features and products during the remodel. If you want to save a little money, it also helps you see where these cuts can be made as well.

4. Where Do You Purchase Your Materials?

Many contractors will work with suppliers to purchase their materials. While this is a convenience to them, it can be vital for you. Find out where these materials and supplies are coming from to ensure you are receiving high-quality products. You don’t want to work with contractors who purchase cheap products that lessen the quality of the project.

5. How Long Have You Been in Business?

You want to work with an experienced contractor, particularly on large projects such as bathroom and kitchen renovations. There are many components to these projects and an experienced contractor can help you make the best decision regarding the job and help you create a beautiful living area. In addition, most companies will have photos galleries show-casing past projects. Carefully look through these images to determine the type of quality and creativity the company puts into every project.

Furthermore, when you choose to work with an experienced contractor, you choose a professional who has come across many challenges. You never know what you will find or encounter during a home renovation in Kitchener and these individuals have the training and the experience to handle the situation quickly and without hurting your budget.

6. What is Your Timeline?

The best renovation contractors in Canada will set a timeline and stick to it. A bathroom and kitchen renovation can be major inconveniences in a home and the contractors recognize that. They will do everything they can to complete the project in a fast and efficient manner.

7.  How Do You Protect My Home?

When completing a major bathroom or kitchen renovation, there will be extensive work occurring in the home. Walls may be removed, cupboards torn out, plumbing exposed, etc. There will also be dust and dirt in the home due to the extensive work. You want to know beforehand what the company will do to protect flooring and walls in hallways and nearby rooms. Do they cover these areas? Will you need to remove large furniture items? Additionally, you will have many workers come in and out of your home. If you are away from the house, how will they safeguard your belongings?

8. Will I Need Any Permits and Will You Take Care of that For Me?

Not all home renovation projects require permits, but many do. Talk to the contractor about the need for potential permits and the process to acquire them. Many of the best home renovation contractors in Toronto and area will handle all permits, paperwork, and documentation needed to complete the renovation. This also gives you confidence and assurance that the project is being completed according to the building code and there should be few problems during the final inspection. However, if the contractor says he will handle all the necessary permits, follow up at a later date. You don’t want a missed deadline to cause significant issues.

9. What Are Some Ideas You’d Like to See with My Remodel?

Your contractors are professionals and have likely completed dozens of renovations. Gather ideas from them to create the perfect remodel. These experts may recommend built-in shelves, specific lighting, unique flooring, or other features that you may not have considered. While their style may not fit yours, it can give you some great ideas to create your dream space.

10. Do You Have Any Past Clients I Can Talk to?

If you are going to spend thousands of dollars on a remodel, you want to ensure the quality of the work is exquisite. Speaking with past clients is an excellent way to learn about the contractor, what they do best, where their weaknesses lie, etc. This is also a great way to build confidence in your contractor and know that you made the best decision.

Before you make your final hiring decisions, take the time to talk to the kitchen and bathroom renovation contractors. By asking the above questions and addressing any concerns you may have, you will feel confident in your decision. If you are ready to create a space that you love, contact The Renovators of Canada and schedule your free planning session today!

8 Ways to Use Your Finished Basement

Finishing your basement not only adds value to your home, but it creates functional and additional space. With the right ideas and some professional help, you can create an area that your entire family loves and your guests won’t want to leave. Let’s explore eight ways you can use your finished basement to create the ultimate living area.

1. Home Gym

A home gym is an excellent way to utilize your finished basement, plus it can save a little money each month from pesky gym membership fees. When finishing your basement with a home gym in mind, you must consider the height of the room. You need tall ceilings to ensure many pieces of exercise equipment will easily fit in the room. Plus, if you like to do a lot of cardio and plyometric exercises, you won’t worry about hitting your head on a low ceiling. In addition, you’ll want to carefully think about the flooring in this area. Rubber or foam flooring options may be ideal.

2. Theater Room

A large theater room can be the perfect place to relax after a long day. If you desire a theater room, there are several tasks you’ll want to complete during the renovation process. For example, the wiring in this room will be particularly important as you’ll want to make sure there are connections for a sound system, projector, and other media equipment. You will also want to avoid any windows in this space as it can create a glare on the screen and ruin your viewing experience. However, you should install plenty of lights throughout the room. You’ll need these lights before the movie and if possible, install a dimmer so you can have a little additional light during your show if needed.

3. Guest Suite

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A guest room needs to be comfortable, relaxing, and beautiful. During the basement renovation process on your home in Richmond Hill, you can’t focus solely on the look of the room. You need to think about the characteristics of the space that will create the optimal environment. For example, basements can be chilly so it is important that the insulation in the room is done well to keep your guests warm. If you don’t have large windows in the space, make sure to add ample lighting. Also, when designing the room, avoid dark colors in the space. This will make the guest suite appear dark and gloomy.

4. Playroom

If you have young kids, a playroom may become your favorite room in the house. It can help keep toys organized and out of sight, especially when unexpected guests arrive. When designing a playroom during your basement renovation in Burlington, consider various storage options all throughout the space. Built-in cabinets and drawers can be a great way to hide toys and a large closet with deep shelves can be excellent for books, games, and art supplies. Consider adding small cubbies or even a built-in desk for art projects and storing personalized items.

5. Home Office

If you work from home or tend to bring a substantial amount of work home with you each day, a home office is ideal. As you finish this area in your basement, consider the layout of the room. You want plenty of space for a large desk, bookshelves, or file cabinets. If possible, consider a built-in desk and bookshelves for a cohesive and professional look. Additionally, don’t forget about large windows to help you enjoy a little sunlight if you find yourself in your office for hours on end.

6. Game Room

If you have teenagers or love to host parties, a game room can be an excellent way to utilize your basement. You need to create a room that is wide with tall ceilings for various gaming equipment such as pool cues. Also, if you have game nights in mind, you can’t forget about your serving areas. Beautiful built-in bars and counter space are a must for drinks and snacks during your parties. You also don’t want to overlook the various fixtures inside the room such as light fixtures, paint colors, and flooring. You want to create a fun and relaxing environment, yet it must be functional for several people to move around and enjoy themselves as well.

7. Laundry Room

Even if you have a laundry room located on the main floor of your home, a second laundry room can greatly increase your home’s resale value. Plus, by creating a spacious laundry room downstairs, you can create an extraordinary room with ample storage opportunities. When renovating this space, consider large counters and cabinets that border the room. This provides plenty of space for storing extra linens and other miscellaneous household items. Plus, the large counters are ideal for folding or ironing clothes. If room allows, install a sink to help with those soiled clothes and don’t forget about adding plenty of accent light above or beneath the cabinets to make the room bright and inviting.

8. Create a Small Apartment

Finishing your basement so it can be used as a small apartment is an excellent way to bring in a little extra income to your household. It can also be a great place for a family member such as a mother-in-law or a grown-up child can live in. This project will vary drastically depending on your home and its current state. When designing a basement apartment, you must focus on functionality and comfort. You will need to work with a professional contractor who can help you know exactly what you need to ensure the apartment is up to code.

Renovating and finishing the basement in your Markham home can seem like an overwhelming project, but by hiring professional contractors to help you every step of the way, you can create a space that you will want to spend time in, you’ll regularly use, and that will increase your home’s value. If you are ready to finish your basement, contact T-ROC today for a free planning session and get ready to create a space you’ll love to spend time in.

7 Ways to Breathe New Life into Your Old Bathroom

Bathroom renovations are one of the best investments you can make in your Toronto home. The bathrooms, along with the kitchen, are the areas in your home that will increase your property value the most and attract potential buyers – if you plan to sell your home in the future. For example, according to a 2004 study in the United States, sellers received 184% of the cost of the bathroom remodel.

However, many individuals don’t even know where to start and are scared to remodel a bathroom for fear of the upfront cost. But you can create a beautiful and stunning bathroom without spending a fortune and completely gutting the space. Here are seven ways you can create a stunning, functional, and updated bathroom.

1. Update Light Fixtures

Updating the light fixtures in the bathroom is a simple upgrade that can make a large difference in a space. Consider installing light fixtures that make a great accent piece or that become a focal point in the room. If your bathroom is fairly dark or there is little natural light, consider installing additional lighting to brighten up the room. Additionally, consider installing an energy-efficient light fixture to save a little money on your utility bills each month.

2. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

A fresh coat of paint can change the entire feel of the bathroom. It can make a room that is bright or boring, into a space that is modern and beautiful. Plus, you can paint a bathroom in a day and it doesn’t cost a significant amount of money. There are many great paint color options for a bathroom, but if your bathroom is small, stay away from dark colors because it can create a room that appears dim and overwhelming. Ideally, you want very light and warm colors such as light yellows, grays, and blues.

3. Refinish the Tub and Shower

Instead of spending hundreds of dollars to replace an old tub or shower, you can refinish it. This not only gives your tub and shower a new look, but it can also fix some of the damage to your tub such as cracks or chips. Some individuals may choose to perform this handiwork on their own but if it is not done well, it can be counterproductive and create a very unattractive look and even more damage to the tub. Plus, if you have your tub or shower refinished well, the repairs will usually last for more than a decade before work is needed again.

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4. Install New Flooring

Installing new flooring in your bathroom can be one of the bigger projects in this space and can be an inconvenience for a day or two. However, it can be one of the best things you do for this area. There are many flooring options available for a bathroom but you must consider flooring that can handle a lot of moisture, is waterproof, durable, and stain-resistant. A few great options to consider include:

  • Tile
  • Vinyl
  • Laminate
  • Stone

You want to stay away from carpet and hardwood in the bathroom area as neither material can handle water well.

5. Update Various Bathroom Fixtures

If you want a budget-friendly way to update your bathroom, and one that can be done in a short amount of time, update the bathroom fixtures. This can be as simple as purchasing and installing new handles for your vanity, installing a new sink faucet, and updating your towel racks. These little details can easily enhance the look of a space and give it a more modern feel. When something as small as a towel rack is old and broken, it makes the entire bathroom look poorly cared for and larger repairs stand out.

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6. Update the Countertops

If your budget allows and you are in need of an entirely new vanity, consider ripping out the current vanity and replacing it with a new one that boasts lots of storage. However, if a new vanity is not needed, consider replacing the countertops. By installing granite or even laminate countertops, you can create a luxury bathroom for very little. Granite countertops don’t cost as much as they did several years ago and are extremely durable and easy to care for. Additionally, if you install new fixtures as well, you can create an entirely new look without a complete bathroom remodel in Mississauga.

7. Update Your Mirror

The bathroom mirror is more than just an item you use to do your hair or put on makeup each day. In fact, with the right mirror, you can make your bathroom appear larger, brighter, and more modern. Ideally, find a large mirror and place it right above the bathroom sink. Additionally, to really create a unique look, frame the bathroom mirror. This creates a more homey and relaxing feel to a space and it can become a great accent or focal piece in the room. Also, consider more dramatic mirror options such as items that are oval or star-shaped. Although, if you already have a lot of décor and style pieces in the bathroom, a large, bold mirror may make the bathroom a little too overwhelming.

Bonus: Update the Toilet

If the toilet is old or even if it is an odd, outdated color, you may consider installing a new toilet. These products themselves aren’t very expensive, although, you may need to hire a plumber to make sure it is installed correctly. If you purchase a low-flush toilet, you can save a significant amount of water, helping you save money each month on your monthly utility and water bills.

There are many options when it comes to remodeling your bathroom in Vaughan or surrounding areas. To ensure your bathroom renovation is done well, hire a contracting company such as The Renovators of Canada. Experts can help you determine the best updates for your bathroom and help you create a space that you love and that will increase your property value. Contact T-ROC today for a free planning session and to start building a bathroom that you’ve always wanted.

7 Ways to Breathe New Life into Your Old Bathroom[Infographic]

6 Projects that Will Create the Kitchen of Your Dreams

The kitchen is the gathering place of your home. It is where you spend much of your time and where memories are made with the people you love the most. If your kitchen isn’t what you want and you don’t love this area in your home, you can change it. Kitchen remodeling in Oakville can seem extremely daunting but it doesn’t have to be.

While the amount of time, effort, and cost will vary depending on your home and the work that must be done, you can break your kitchen renovation into smaller projects, which makes the remodel much more manageable. Plus, if you work with a professional contracting company, it is less of a hassle for you and professionals are there to answer any of your questions.

Here are six kitchen remodeling projects for your Mississauga home that will help you create the kitchen you’ve always wanted.

1. Kitchen Cabinets

The kitchen cabinets are one of the most crucial aspects of your kitchen. If you have too many cabinets, the kitchen can appear small. Yet, if there are too few, you have little storage and counter space. The layout of your kitchen cabinets is something you should take time to consider. You want to make sure you have plenty of open space for family members and friends to gather. You also want counter space for cooking and preparing meals. If you prefer an island, make sure there is enough room in your kitchen and the layout is ideal for this addition.

Furthermore, think about many of the additional features that can enhance the functionality and the design of the kitchen. If you like drawers to store items, make sure your cabinets boast many drawers that are deep and wide. Slow-closing hinges are also a large benefit to prevent slamming cabinet doors and to keep the noise level low in the kitchen. Also, consider the color and material of your cabinets as that will be a main focal point in this area.

2. Lighting

Updating the light fixtures is a small project that can have a huge effect on the room. You can swap out old light fixtures for a new, more updated look. Many light fixtures also have energy-saving features which help cut down your energy costs. If you really want to brighten up this area, think about adding additional lighting such as lights under the cabinets, accent lights, or lights in the pantry.

3. Countertops

The countertops are another feature that can make a dramatic difference in your kitchen. There are numerous styles, colors, and textures that you can choose from such as granite, concrete, quartz, laminate, and more. Each option will have a different price tag and each has its own benefits from durability to longevity. You should work with a professional contracting company to determine exactly what you need for your lifestyle and the many options available for your kitchen remodel in Burlington.

4. Flooring

Updating the floors in your kitchen can be a much larger and more significant task. However, by completing it during your kitchen renovation, you can make this area your favorite part of the house. Additionally, when you work on the flooring, you can evaluate if there is any water damage or other hidden issues that should be immediately addressed. Furthermore, by updating the flooring, you give the kitchen a cleaner, more modern appearance. Dirty grout, cracked tiles, dull floors — whatever the issue may be — is replaced with professionally installed, beautiful floors.

Just like with other features in the kitchen, there are a variety of kitchen floor options available. You can choose between tiles, hardwood, laminate, vinyl, and even concrete options. Each type of flooring boasts several benefits including easy maintenance, fast clean-up, stain-resistance, and cost-efficiency. Again, you will want to work with a professional who can help you narrow down your choices and find a flooring option that is ideal for your lifestyle, style choice, and current family situation.

5.  Appliances

Of course, when you update and renovate your kitchen, it is time to get out with the old and in with the new. Choosing the right kitchen appliances for your home is no simple task. However, this one change can quickly give your kitchen an updated look. As you choose your appliances, here are a few tips.

  • Choose a timeless design: You don’t want to go too bold with your dishwasher and have it be an eyesore in a couple of years. Remember that the current trends can easily change tomorrow. You want your kitchen to stay up-to-date and looking its best for as long as possible.
  • Consider size: You don’t want to choose an oven that takes away from all your counter space. While it may look good, think about functionality and convenience.
  • Buy what works best for you: This is your kitchen so you should purchase the appliances that you want. Make sure they have the specifications and the features you need.

6. Seating

Seating is often overlooked during a kitchen remodel. Because the kitchen is a gathering place in your home, you need to make sure there is ample space to gather. If you have a smaller kitchen, you may need to sacrifice furniture or cabinets to provide proper seating in this living space. If you are redoing your cabinets and countertops, you may consider a bar area that would provide additional seating in the heart of your kitchen. Or, create a corner nook with built-in table and chairs — a perfect area for young children. There are many possibilities when increasing the seating in an area, but some thought and a few sacrifices may be necessary.

A variety of kitchen remodeling projects can help create the living space you’ve always wanted. Even better, you can receive a large return on your renovation. On average, you can receive approximately an 82% return on a minor kitchen renovation. A kitchen renovation may be inconvenient but when working with a professional contract company, you’ll have a kitchen you love and a home that makes an impression.

5 Simple Tips to Increase the Value of Your Home

 

Increasing the value of your property is something every home owner should be thinking about. Buying a house is probably the single biggest investment you have made – and like any investment, property will begin to depreciate if you don’t maintain it.

Here is the thing: starting on a renovation project can seem a very daunting task. Should you really add a third floor to your two-story home?  How much will it cost to finally finish the basement? These are questions to ask of a professional contracting company before coming to any conclusion.

Here are 5 simple tips to increase the value of your home for you and for your potential sale (side note: check out this blog for advice on making the selling experience a bit easier).

Most of these are skilled jobs and should be left to a licensed professional renovation team for the best results and the highest quality finished product.

  1. Swap Out Your Light Fixtures

Changing a couple electric plugs a month is a good way to start a home improvement project on a small scale. Soon, you will realize that changing all the light fixtures is the next step, giving your home a fresher and more modern look, and in many cases also cutting down on energy costs.  Recess lighting is an excellent option these days, as are the hanging lamps associated with art deco design.

  1. Update the Flooring

No area of the house should be left with substandard flooring. Besides, you may even have a leaky laminate floor without realizing it! Signs of water damage in laminate floors include cracking, splitting, or any discoloration.

When it comes to tile flooring (a popular choice in bathrooms and kitchens) it is best to replace if the grout becomes stained or cracks appear in the tile. Replacing a damaged floor is the one renovation project on this list that is recommended to do as soon as possible because dealing with water damage can get quite expensive if it’s not addressed right away.

  1. Improve the Bathroom

Is your bathroom due for a make-over? A lot of homes built in the 70s and 80s, or earlier, have colourful tile designs in the bathrooms that no longer appeal to today’s home owners. You can bring your bathroom into the 21st century with a variety of fun upgrades: new faucets, marble countertops, modern lighting, heated floors, or even installing a steam resistant mirror. The best part is that pretty much anything you do will add huge value to your home because a beautifully renovated bathroom is one of the main selling features of any property.

  1. Update the Kitchen

Renovating the kitchen can mean a whole host of things, ranging from a complete re-modelling to a few key upgrades. Some prime kitchen renovation ideas are: re-designing the cabinets to improve the use of space, replacing the countertops with something more durable and modern, upgrading to energy efficient appliances, or putting in a new floor. Remodelling your kitchen might be costly in the short term. However, it will allow you to raise the asking price by $10,000 – $20,000 when it comes time to sell.

  1. Build a Rental Unit

Consider finishing the basement and putting a bathroom and kitchenette down there to re-purpose the space as a rental unit. Many new buyers are looking for homes with basement rental units to supplement their monthly income and help with mortgage payments, making this a worthwhile renovation investment. Looked at purely from a financial standpoint, building a rental unit would bring the highest return year-over-year out of any other type of renovation.

Save Money and Add Value

If done to standard, these five renovation jobs will bring a return on your energy bills within months and will bring you immediate enjoyment of your home while you are still living there. Furthermore, maintaining excellent operations and making key upgrades throughout the house allows you to set an asking price anywhere between $10,000 to $30,000 higher than market average.

 

Finding A Renovation Contractor you can Trust

You’ve decided to renovate your home.  It may be a small bathroom renovation or a full home addition.  As a renovation contractor I have always been amazed how little time customers spend vetting our company.  Our customers will often take the time on large jobs, like home additions, but will take very little time when renovating their washroom.  I’ve heard so many renovation horror stories and its always the same issues;

  • We paid him cash and he’s disappeared.
  • The job was a mess, they ruined my floors, damaged my personal property, never removed the construction garbage.
  • My 2 week bathroom renovation turned into 4 months
  • The quality of work was poor and needs to be redone
  • Water damage due to not using quality trades – especially plumbers

Even recently I spoke to a homeowner who was renovating their whole main floor including their kitchen – the initial budget was $200,000 and to my disbelief they were paying the contractor cash.  Surprise, surprise, when everything fell apart.  Really, $200,000 in cash!

Here are some tips to help you find a contractor;

The simple things to check – Does the contractor have a business number, HST number, WSIB, and General Liability insurance.  Ask for documentation – this should be easily accessible for a reputable renovation contractor.

Check to see if they are part of any industry associations – contractors who have pride in their work and their business are involved in their industry.  They are constantly learning and improving.

There are so many on line rating services that it is worth the time to read up on your contractor.  The public domain can provide great insight as to the company’s strengths and weaknesses.  However, a company that only has 10 out of 10 ratings can be suspicious.  Look for companies that respond to their reviews – good or bad.

Once you have narrowed down the list of contractors to 2 or 3 that you think would be good to deal with, invite them to your home to provide an estimate.  This initial meeting can offer a lot of insight in how your renovation will be managed.  Did the renovation contractor arrive on time, did he remove his shoes, how detailed is his quote, how did he speak to you, did he show you and your family respect?

When deciding to embark on a home renovation, whether big or small, take the time to protect your investment.  It is your home, plus your own well-being that you are dealing with.  Renovations can be very stressful. They can completely disrupt your life while they are going on.  Spending time upfront is a huge advantage.

Tips That Can Make Selling Your House Easier

Are you planning to renovate your home so you can get the highest possible sale price? If you are, then follow these easy cleaning, maintenance, and renovation tips on how to get the most for your sale.

Maintenance

Take the time to go over your every detail of your entire house.  It would be worth it to hire a home inspector prior to listing your house so that you can find out any possible deficiencies before potentials buyers walk through your front door.  If you are not planning to hire a home inspector prior to listing then take the time to really go through your home with a critical eye.  Some things to look for include torn or damaged window screens, moldy or missing caulking (inside and outside), rotting siding, decks, or handrails, worn out or missing weather stripping around windows and doors, ensuring all of your exterior and interior door handles are operational (be sure that they latch and that the locks work) uneven patio stones, cleaning any exterior gutters of leaves or debris, checking to ensure the slope of the flower beds or yard is away from your house, completing the annual furnace and air conditioner maintenance…  These are simple steps that take a little time, but wont cost you a lot of money.

Clean Your House and do What You Can to Make it Brighter

Nobody wants a gloomy house. To make your house more attractive to buyers, go through this simple exercise;  pretend you are coming to look at your house for the first time.  Stand on the street and walk up your driveway or front sidewalk.  What do you see?  Does your house look clean, bright and inviting?  Are the shrubs overgrown? are the windows clean? Once you get to the front door take a look at the door handle, is it rusty or worn?  Is the door or the key hole scratched?  Now you are inside, what do you see?  Is your entry bright?  This is what your potential new buyers will see within the first 30 seconds of coming to view your property.  You can make it or break it in these first 30 seconds.

Be sure to clean the walls, floors, and ceilings (you don’t want any cobwebs). Remove drapes, curtains (or replace them with thinner ones), and open your windows. Replace your old light bulbs with new or more powerful ones. How does your house smell when you walk in – old, dank, and musty?  Use an air freshener so that when potential buyers come into your home for the first time they aren’t taken aback by pet odours, or dirty shoes in the closet.

Updates and Renovations

The main selling features of your house are the kitchen and the washrooms, plus the flooring and the condition of the walls.

Painting

The first step is to paint the main areas, over time we all nick and bang the walls leaving marks and scrapes, especially by the front entrance.  Be sure to patch, prime and paint the the well used areas – hallways, doors and trims.  Doing a simple refresh will create an inviting environment for the new purchasers.

Flooring

Flooring an be an expensive venture. Depending on the size of your home it and when it was built will make a huge difference.  We find that new home buyers will want to put their own stamp on the home anyway, so I wouldn’t break the bank here.  However, take a look at your carpets and hardwood.  Are they scratched, stained, or worn through?  Hire a professional carpet cleaning company to bring some life back into your carpet, or a hardwood company to repair any scratches or worn areas on your hardwood floor.  Be sure all the grout lines in your tile are clean and replace any grout that is cracked or missing.

Bathrooms

You can easily refresh the look of your washroom without spending a lot of money.  A simple refresh like re-grouting and caulking of the showers and tile walls and floors.  Replace your washroom vanity, sink and faucet can be completed in a day and having your tub refinished will bring an old tired bathroom back to life.  Of course you can completely renovate your washrooms, but be sure to budget $10,000 to $12,000.

Kitchens

The kitchen is the heart of the home, this is where prospective buyers will go first.  There are some simple and cost effective things you can do to update your kitchen.  Take a look at your cabinets – are they worn, are the doors straight, do the doors open and close properly?  If you don’t have enough time or the budget to renovate from scratch you can (depending on the type of cabinets) have them painted, or re-stained.  When re-staining wood cabinets use the same colour and a product which has the varathane and stain in one application.  If your kitchen cabinets are in good shape, then consider updating the backsplash with a new tile, or replacing the counter top, sink and faucet.  The simple task of replacing all of the handles and knobs can really add a quick and dramatic improvement.

If you do have the budget and the time, renovating your kitchen and washrooms tend to add the most value to your home and help to create the quickest sale.  If you do chose to fully renovate your kitchens and washroom, be sure to plan far in advance.  Ordering cabinets, making selections and having a kitchen renovation completed can take 2-3 months, a washroom renovation is generally 2 weeks once the work has actually begun.

Renovating your home for sale can put some extra cash in your pocket.  Don’t miss out.

Top 5 Reasons to Renovate

We all have different reasons as to why we would renovate our homes.  The important thing to realize is why you are doing it, and that your decision is right for you.  Here are 5 of the main reasons why our customers renovate their homes;

  1. They simply want something better – as we go through our lives our tastes and attitudes change.  The kitchen or bathroom that was perfect when you were just starting out lacks some of the new renovation options that are available today.  Wanting some of the comforts to make our lives a little bit easier or more enjoyable becomes important to us.  Some of the many new features are heated floors, heated towel bars, rain head showers with a hand held option, stone or hard surface counter tops, built in appliances, soft close doors and drawers – the list goes on and on.  When you are ready to renovate your home there is no shame in wanting to induldge in the finer things that life can offer.
  2. Family is changing – Over time our families can grow and as a result we need more usable space.  Finishing the basement so that the kids have a place to hang out with their friends or creating a space for your relatives to live.  An extra bathroom or bedroom is great for guests and gives them some privacy while visiting.
  3. Selling your home – our homes are often are biggest investment in our lives and keeping it up to date and current will drive a bigger sale price when you are ready to sell.  Buyers will often want discounts when your home is out of date or when it is in need of repair.  Companies make profits on “flipping houses”, don’t let your house become someone else’s flip.  Key areas to update – kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and paint.
  4. Income Suite – looking to make a little extra money every month and help pay down that mortgage?  Check your local by-laws about the possibility of creating a basement income suite.  Our customers have often been able to get financing to finish the renovation. Once the suite is rented they have been able to pay for the financing as well as put some money towards their mortgage every month.
  5. The house is showing its age and needs some TLC – houses need maintenance, they won’t last forever if we don’t look after them.  Over time many of your homes features will deteriorate.  Some of the more common areas are;
    1. windows and doors – replacing your windows can improve your homes look as well as reduce your energy costs.
    2. Gutters and downspouts – its so important to keep the water away from your foundation.  Next time it rains check to ensure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris and that the water is flowing well.  Extend the downspouts to at least 4′ away from your foundation.
    3. caulking – caulking only last a few years.  You should be removing the existing caulking from your tubs and showers and re-caulking them every 3-5 years.  This will keep the water from penetrating the wall surfaces and causing rot and mold.
    4. tile and grout – over the years tiles can crack and grout can become dislodged from in between the tiles.  Its important to inspect your washroom and replace any broken tiles and re-grout any areas where the grout is missing.
    5. exterior vent covers – most exterior vent covers are vinyl (plastic) and dry out over time.  When they dry out they crack and fall apart.  This can allow birds to make nests inside the vent pipes or allow water to penetrate your exterior building envelope.  If they are in disrepair take the time to change them.

What ever the reason you are renovating for, be sure to take the time to plan, and create a budget that works for you. Doing your research is the most important step of any renovation project.

 

 

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