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What is the New Laneway Suites Bylaw and How is it Affecting the Toronto and East York District?

The GTA is one of the fastest growing areas in North America. Individuals are flocking to the Toronto area for many reasons, including immigration. While this is excellent for the region’s economy, it puts a strain on housing development. The city is actively searching for ways to welcome and accommodate this new demand.

According to a 2018 Fraser Institute study, Toronto has room to grow and its overall popular density — which is 4,457 individuals per square kilometer — is significantly lower than cities such as New York City and Vancouver. Changes must be in place to help accommodate the growth and increase the housing supply in the Toronto and East York District. One of these changes is the new Laneway Suites Bylaw.

What is the New Laneway Suites Bylaw?

In June of 2018, the city of Toronto passed a bylaw permitting the building and use of laneway suites. According to the bylaw, a laneway suite is defined as:

“A self-contained living accommodation for a person or persons living together as a separate single housekeeping unit, in which both food preparation and sanitary facilities are provided for the exclusive use of the occupants of the suite and is in an ancillary building abutting a lane.”

This laneway suite will receive all of its services and resources such as gas, electricity, water, etc., from the front street, not the laneway. It can be used for the family to live in or as a short-term rental.

Why is this Bylaw Important?

One of the greatest benefits of permitting laneway suites throughout Toronto and the East York District is because it provides a significant increase to the housing development. It allows individuals to live and enjoy spaces throughout the city that were not being utilized to their full potential and that are essentially wasted space.

Additionally, it helps beautify these regions. What were once laneways filled with garbage, graffiti, and more will now turn into living areas. Old garages and sheds are transformed into gorgeous living spaces individuals can be proud to call home and visit each night.

It also helps open up and expand various neighborhoods. More individuals can live in neighborhoods close to schools, their jobs, and specific amenities than ever before. It is creating valuable living opportunities for residents in Toronto and the East York District that were once not available.

Furthermore, for owners of these laneways suites, this is an additional source of income if they plan to rent the properties. For those who have sick or aging family members such as in-laws or parents who need a place to live, it provides close proximity, yet gives both households their own space and privacy.

What are the Permitted Uses of Laneway Suites?

If individuals are interested in building a laneway suite on their property, there are specific regulations they must follow. These include:

  • An ancillary building — which is a type of shed, garage, or any other type of enclosure on the property — can be used to create a living space or a laneway suite.
  • The laneway suite may contain both a kitchen and a bathroom area.
  • Residents can occupy a laneway suite, and it can be deemed the principal residence.
  • The laneway suite can also be used as a short-term rental if it is occupied as the renters’ principal residence.
  • Only one ancillary building that contains a laneway suite is allowed on a property owner’s lot.

However, not every lot will meet the requirements for a laneway suite. There are specific requirements for the lot and the landscaping on the property that must be met. A few of these requirements include:

  • The lot must have a rear lot line and a side lot line abutting a lane for at least 3.5 metres.
  • If the lot’s frontage is 6.0 metres or less, 60% of the area between the rear main wall and the front main wall of the ancillary building must be for soft landscaping. For a lot frontage greater than 6.0 metres, this percentage increases to 85%.

What Are the Drawbacks to Laneway Suites?

While laneway suites certainly offer a plethora of benefits, there are drawbacks and concerns that many residents and homeowners have expressed. A few common concerns include:

Privacy: This is one of the biggest concerns as many homeowners are worried that their privacy will be hindered as these dwellings will be able to overlook neighboring yards, into windows of other homes, and more.

Parking: Parking is another concern for many individuals. With the addition of residents living in the laneways, there is a concern for where homeowners and renters will park. Parking will be limited and access must be available for homeowners and emergency personnel. However, the parking issue was addressed in the bylaw itself. It states that “no parking space is required for a laneway suite.” Although, it also states that a laneway suite “must have two bicycle parking spaces within the laneway suite or within any required yard setback.”

Receiving Services and Resources: A laneway suite does not receive its utilities from the lane, rather it comes from the main front street. This means that during the construction stage of the laneway suite, all servicing must be thoroughly examined and determined. Additionally, those living in laneway suites may feel inconvenienced as city employees such as waste collection will not drive down the laneway to collect garbage, but it must all be brought to the main front street.

What If I’m Interested in Building a Laneway Suite?

If you are interested in building a laneway suite, it is important to work with a contractor who understands the specific building regulations, codes, and requirements to legally build the property. These requirements are listed in the bylaw itself but a few include:

  • There can be no less than 5.0 metres between a residential building and the ancillary building if the ancillary building is smaller than 4.0 metres.
  • There can be no less than 7.4 metres from a residential building and the ancillary building if the ancillary building is taller than 4 metres.
  • The maximum length for an ancillary building with a laneway suit is 10.0 metres.
  • The maximum width of an ancillary building with a laneway suite is 8.0 metres and is measured perpendicular to the lot centerline.
  • An ancillary building that contains a laneway suite can have a maximum of two stories.

In addition to the building regulations, there are also several guidelines for structures placed on the exterior of the dwelling. For example, satellite dishes and weather vanes all have specific regulations that must be adhered to if placed on the exterior of the dwelling. You can find more information about these structures and regulations in the bylaw itself. There are also specifications on the roof, equipment such as vents, pipes, etc., , as well as awnings or canopies.

If you are in the market to create the perfect home for your in-laws or family members, or you want to supplement your income with rental property, a laneway suite may be worth your consideration. Do your research and determine if you live within the boundaries that permit this type of dwelling.

Also, speak with builders about the process, time, and money to create this type of structure. With the right team, you can easily create a beautiful dwelling that will provide the space and the living accommodations that many families need. However, you need to carefully ensure that the lot and the ancillary building meets all guidelines and requirements before proceeding.

If you are ready to transform your home with a beautiful addition, a bathroom renovation or even a kitchen remodel, contact a team member at The Renovators of Canada today. They will work closely with you to ensure that your dream living space becomes a beautiful reality.

Why Should Choose the Renovators of Canada for Home Renovations

Whether you are looking to remodel your kitchen, basement, or even the bathroom in your Toronto home, choosing the right contractor is one of the most important decisions you will make. Not only will this decision affect the final outcome of the project, but it will provide you with a smooth and enjoyable experience.

And while the quality of work that the contractor in Canada completes is of utmost importance, it isn’t the only thing that should be taken into consideration. There are many factors that must be evaluated.

Things to Consider When Looking for a Contractor

Not all contractors are the same and it is important that you don’t rush into hiring any company or professional without a full evaluation. Here are just a few things you should consider as you make your choice.

Basic Background Information: You want to ensure that the contractor you choose meets all necessary requirements to legally perform the work. For example, does the company have a current license? What does their insurance coverage look like? These aspects are all important to help you ensure the project is done well and if any problem occurs, that the proper documentation and coverage is available.

Recommendations: If you have a contractor in mind, ask if they can provide references from former clients. You want to speak with past clients to not only determine the company’s quality of work but to also learn how easy they were to work with. You want to work with experts who are friendly, knowledgeable, and honest. Ask about how well the company worked within a budget, followed a schedule, and more. It is also a smart idea to determine if the company has any legal actions against them.

Offers Ideas and Listens to Your Own: This is your home and your project. What you want to do and the ideas you have should be expressed and implemented by the contractor. Good contractors will help you incorporate your ideas and create the space that you envision. But, they also have their own ideas and tips for enhancing the space. Some of the best contractors, like The Renovators of Canada, have a gallery of past projects they have completed so you can easily gather ideas and piece together a stunning space.  

What Type of Customer Service Training Is Important?

In addition to the items listed above, customer service must be a priority and for The Renovators of Canada, it is. They understand that customer service is what creates loyal customers and it encourages the recommendations and referrals to help their business succeed. But even more important, they understand that this is your home — one of the biggest investments you will ever make. A home renovation can be a frustrating and inconvenient process and they want to make the process as smooth and enjoyable for you as possible. Here are a few areas where this home remodel company is striving to ensure you experience incredible customer service.

  1. They Are the Experts

When you are tackling a big project such as a basement remodel or a kitchen renovation, you will likely have dozens of questions and concerns. You want to work with a company that will not only provide you with a detailed explanation but will also ensure that you understand and feel good about their explanation. Additionally, you shouldn’t have to wait a long time for a response either. Rather than wait for days for these questions and concerns to be answered, they should be answered in a fast and timely manner.

  1. Very Friendly and Upbeat

A home remodel is a very exciting project but it can also be very challenging and frustrating. A good contractor, such as The Renovators of Canada, recognize that. No matter how you are feeling, they should be friendly and warm. You should feel comfortable coming to them with questions or concerns and you should walk away from any employee from the company in good spirits.

  1. Listen to What You Say

Whether you are concerned about a change in plans, the price, or just don’t love the current design ideas, an employee from the best companies should be there to listen to your concerns. They should not shrug you off but work with you to address your concerns. And if you are in need of more ideas or how to customize your current plan before the heavy work begins, speak up and let them know.

  1. Fully Trained

Strong customer service begins with fully trained employees. Workers who don’t know what they are doing or don’t fully understand their responsibilities cannot provide proper assistance to their clients. You want to ensure that all employees — no matter their job position or their role in the company — are fully trained. When the staff knows what they are doing, it not only reflects in their overall product but also with each client’s experience.

Safety Training: What You Should Know

When training employees, it shouldn’t simply be time spent focusing on a new policy or how to complete a certain document. Much attention should be placed on the safety of the workers, the home, and any other individual in proximity. Safety training should be mandatory and ongoing. It should not be a one-time training. While many contractors, such as The Renovators of Canada, make safety training a priority, here are a few things you should know and watch out for.

It Encompasses a Variety of Situations

This safety training should focus on a variety of situations from those that are very small and minor to major incidents. The better trained the employees are for certain situations, the more confident clients can feel trusting these workers in their home and with such major projects in their home.

It Is Ongoing

As mentioned previously, safety training should not be a one-time event. As safety policies and procedures change, new training should be made available to employees. Plus, employees should review the content they learn on a regular basis to help them stay up-to-date and ready for whatever the day may throw at them. Additionally, it is important that all employees receive thorough training when first hired to ensure they are trained and aware of any specific policies and procedures to prevent putting themselves or anyone else in danger.

Why the Renovators of Canada Are Your Best Choice

As you narrow down your options of contractors who can help you complete that bedroom renovation or the bathroom remodel in your Toronto home, The Renovators of Canada should be at the top of your list. Not only do they have all the basic needs such as licensing and insurance to ensure a legal project, but they are willing to listen to your needs and offer many ideas to add a custom look to your home. Plus, their extensive training helps you feel confident in their work and in the safety of your home and the workers in it.

Choosing contractors can feel overwhelming — sometimes just as overwhelming as the project itself — but with the right team to work with, you will have a beautiful home that you love and a hassle-free and incredible renovation process.

Contact The Renovators of Canada today to book a free planning session and experience an incredible home remodel.

The 9 Hottest Trends in Kitchen Renovations

Whether you are completing a full kitchen renovation or just making several upgrades to improve the space, sorting through all the many trends and designs ideas can feel overwhelming. You want to create a room that is functional, beautiful, and practical. Plus, you want to ensure that it contains all the features and characteristics that you need and will last for years to come. To help you create a kitchen that is stylish, trendy, and gorgeous, here are 9 of the hottest trends in kitchen renovations.

1. Two-Toned Kitchens

For the past several years, all-white kitchens have been all the rage. Many homeowners have chosen white subway tiles, white cabinets, white countertops, etc., But, this design trend is slowly starting to fade. Many individuals are now turning to two-toned kitchens.

This trend is a simple way to add a significant amount of color to the area. You will see this trend primarily on cabinets but also backsplashes and paint colors as well. It is a great way to brighten up the room and if you aren’t brave enough to design a bright and bold kitchen, this is a great starting space. Two-toned kitchens can include any color such as greens, purples, and blues. And if you want to a more subtle look, tans, taupes, and grays are extremely popular.

2. Open Cabinets

More homes are choosing open cabinets rather than the traditional storage option. Open shelving not only adds a lot of contrast and texture to the space, but it is also a convenience. This allows homeowners to place their most-used items within arm’s reach and prevents it from sitting directly on the counters, cluttering up the room. However, with this trend, you must be cautious to not put too much on these shelves as it creates a cluttered and messy look.

3. Wood Flooring

Hardwood floors have been a trend for many years and it shows no sign of leaving. This type of flooring provides a very classic look and goes well with a variety of home décor styles such as farmhouse and minimalist.

There are many benefits to hardwood flooring including its durability. This type of flooring can easily handle the wear that comes from daily foot traffic. And, it is extremely low maintenance and requires very little effort to keep it looking great for years to come. Plus, it handles spills and messes well and is easy to clean.

You can also enjoy much versatility with this flooring option as you can choose a variety of wood types such as oak, maple, and walnut. If you want a more cost-friendly option, you can find flooring options such as laminate and vinyl that look like wood.

4. Unique Light Fixtures

A well-lit kitchen area is essential. Not only is ample lighting important for your meal prep and cooking, but also for creating a space that you want to gather and spend time in. If you don’t have much light in the kitchen, this should become a priority during kitchen remodeling in Oakville. Consider installing additional lighting options such as under-cabinet lights, lighting in the pantry, etc.

For your main light source, choose statement fixtures. These are light fixtures that can become a focal piece. For example, consider an elegant chandelier or install unique pendant lights over an island or kitchen sink. You may also consider zone lighting, which is recessed lighting split up into areas throughout your kitchen. This allows you to brighten up certain areas of the room where you are working such as over the sink, large counter space, the stove, etc.

5. Dark Color Schemes

Choosing light and neutral colors has been recommended if you plan on selling your home in the future. But, today, many homeowners are branching out and including very bold and dark colors throughout the kitchen area. Black is becoming increasingly popular as cabinet colors, seating options, paint colors, and countertops. Other bold colors that are becoming popular include reds, blues, purples, and greens.

Keep in mind that if you choose to include a bold and dark color into your kitchen’s color scheme, you want to choose colors that accent it well and don’t create an overwhelming space. For example, if you desire a black kitchen, don’t go all black. Rather, choose a black island with white cabinetry lining the walls.

6. Smart Kitchens

During a kitchen remodel, you can’t forget about your appliances. Not only will new appliances enhance the look of the room, but they will save a considerable amount of energy each month on your utility bills.For example, when you purchase a new energy-efficient refrigerator, you will use approximately15% less energy than non-certified products.

But, saving energy isn’t the only reason to consider new appliances, many of these newer products boast smart capabilities, that add convenience, functionality, and safety to your home. Smart fridges feature built-in computers where you can view recipes or check the daily weather. You can also purchase products with built-in cameras that allow you to look inside your fridge while walking down the aisles at the grocery store.

A few smart appliances you should consider include:

  • Refrigerators
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Coffee makers
  • Ovens
  • Ranges

7. Quartz Countertops

While granite countertops have been a top choice for homeowners, quartz is quickly stepping in. This material is not only durable, but it boasts a long lifespan, which makes it an appealing option for many individuals who plan to live in their home for years to come. Additionally, quartz is anti-microbial and extremely simple to maintain — even more so than granite — which makes it an ideal substance for this room.

8. Simplicity in Every Aspect

Many homeowners are turning away from cluttered, full kitchens to a very simple, tidy look. As these individuals are completing home renovations in Waterloo, they are focusing more on the layout of the kitchen and ensuring it all flows and that you aren’t covering too much ground for all your dinner prep, cooking, and cleanup.

Additional ways that individuals are creating more simplicity in the kitchen is by removing top cabinets and focusing more on open shelving or expansive storage options. Additionally, those with smaller kitchen areas should consider a simpler look and layout as it helps the room appear inviting, large, and open.

9. Ceiling Treatments

Ceiling treatments are making big statements in kitchen areas and rightly so. This element adds an entirely new focal point to any home and when done correctly, can help an area appear larger. Additionally, there are a wide variety of ways to create stunning ceiling treatments so they are unique and stand out from other houses on your street. During your home renovations in Richmond Hill, talk to your contractor about how to add this creative design element to your home.

If you are ready to create a stunning kitchen area in your Canadian home, contact the experts at The Renovators of Canada to begin. They can help you tackle this large project and create a space that you, your family, and all your guests will love each time they walk into the home. Give us a call today for more information.

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!

Splurge vs. Save: What to Invest in on a Kitchen Renovation

A kitchen remodel in Toronto can help you create a home that you love. The kitchen tends to be the gathering place of the home and it should reflect that welcoming feeling. By renovating this space, you not only create a more beautiful and functional area, but it can also drastically increase your home’s sale value. You can receive a return investment of up to 82% for even a minor kitchen remodel.

Luckily, you don’t have to drain your bank account, and there are several areas where you can save a little money during the remodel. On the other hand, there are also projects where you should not take any shortcuts. Let’s explore a few of the best areas for splurging, or saving, during your kitchen renovation.

Flooring

The flooring in your kitchen will see a significant amount of traffic every single day. When you choose cheaper, low-quality products to save a little money, you will get what you pay for. You may find that the flooring wears down faster, damages easily, and you may have to reinstall flooring much sooner than if you choose higher-quality products.

When you choose the right kitchen flooring, you need to find products that are not only durable, but can handle food, water, and dirt with ease. You also want flooring that is easy to clean and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. Luckily, there are many possibilities. Tile and stone are some of the best options if you want a material that can handle most elements, kids, and pets. It also comes in a variety of colors and patterns, giving you plenty of options for your kitchen.

Wood is another excellent option and is known for its versatility. It matches many décor styles and trends and can handle food and water well. This flooring option is also extremely easy to maintain and clean. Plus, it can last for a long time.

Layout

When remodeling your kitchen, the layout and the design of the space should be a priority. Not only do you need a kitchen that is functional, but one that is open and caters to the traffic that comes in and out every single day. You need to ensure the layout of the kitchen is functional. For example, you don’t want to place your dishwasher a far distance from your sink — it just doesn’t make sense.

If you are considering a major kitchen remodeling project in Oakville, it is important you do it right. You may need to knock down walls or install additional cabinets and countertops to create the space that you desire. If you have a small kitchen, the layout and design of the kitchen are even more important as space is limited. You should work with professional contractors to help you design a space that is open, functional, and meets your specific needs.

Countertops

Your kitchen countertop will not only be used constantly throughout the day, but it is visible. You need countertops that are durable, easy to clean, attractive, and a conversation starter. Countertops are similar to flooring because there are dozens of options available and you get what you pay for. In some cases, like with granite, the material is available in various grades so you can still receive the benefits of the stone, yet you don’t have to hurt your budget. You will need to determine your own needs when determining the right product.

Appliances

You may use the appliances in your kitchen every single day. This means that you don’t want to choose low-quality products. You should consider products with energy-efficient features to help cut down your monthly utility costs and those with strong warranties to ensure that if any problems do arise, parts and replacements costs won’t drain your savings. Plus, the higher-quality products you purchase, the longer their lifespan will be.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to go overboard and buy the latest and most expensive models available. You should consider your own lifestyle needs and what features make the most sense for you. Additionally, if you are trying to create a cohesive and trendy kitchen, you should look at installing appliances with similar finishes such as stainless steel. A mismatched kitchen can quickly turn your newly remodeled kitchen into an eyesore.

Lighting

A well-lit area creates a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. This is particularly important in the kitchen area of the home. You don’t want just a few lights above the sink – you need to have adequate lighting throughout the entire room. To do this, you should consider ambient, accent, and task lighting. Task lighting is often overlooked but can make a difference in the space. Task lighting is lights around the kitchen that can be turned on to make your jobs easier, such as lights underneath or on top of kitchen cabinets. If you need to brighten up the space, make sure to do it well and hire someone who can install the right light fixtures throughout the entire room.

Cabinets

The kitchen cabinets are one structure in the kitchen where you can either splurge or save. If your kitchen cabinets are structurally sound, there is no reason to tear them out and replace them. It may require a little extra work, but a deep cleaning, sanding, and a few new coats of paint can breathe new life into your entire kitchen for the cost of paint and supplies.

However, if your kitchen cabinets are in need of repair, it is worth the investment to install new cabinets. When choosing high-quality materials, these products will last 50 years or longer. In addition, if you want to save a little extra with your cabinets, there are options to consider, like open shelves and cabinetry.

Backsplash

The backsplash is also an area in your kitchen where you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars. You can achieve a terrific look with durable materials with less expensive products. You still need to find a balance between quality and cost, as some inexpensive products are more prone to breaking and chipping and they don’t clean easily. However, you can easily find products that match your style and décor choices without hurting your budget.

When you remodel your kitchen, it is important you do it right. Whether a minor kitchen remodel or a complete overhaul, it is vital that you not only use the right materials but they are installed correctly. To begin your kitchen remodel in Burlington, schedule a consultation with T-ROC today and begin planning the kitchen of your dreams.

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.

https://pixabay.com/en/bathtub-tub-bathroom-bath-white-2485957/

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.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/macro-photography-of-a-stainless-steel-faucet-615326/

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.

 

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