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Killing off Mildew: The Foot Soldiers of Mold Infestation

You might already feel that mold (mould) is starting to infest your house. To start your witch hunt for mold, you better start with looking for mildew first. Mildew is a surface type mold that is visible and often black in colour.

Mildew Can Be Mistaken as Dirt

They can be confused for stubborn dirt due to their colour. To know if a black stain on your wall, gutter, or wall you see is mildew or dirt, put a few drops of bleach on it. If the stain gets whiter or starts to form bubbles, there is a high chance that it is mildew (although regular dirt might react like this way to bleach as well).

Mold Infestation Indicator

Thankfully, mildew does little damage to the surface they inhabit. However, they are good indicators that mold infestation is imminent. By the way, to remove mildew, you can use a scraper (or a screwdriver if the mildew infestation is rather small) and scrape the patches off the surface.

Finishing Mildew with Bleach Solution

Once the patches are gone, completely eliminate the mildew by using a bleach solution. Mix one half cup of bleach with four cups of water. Add some detergent until the solution gets a bit foamy.

Get your handy-dandy scrubber, dab a cup of the solution onto the mildew, and scrub the remaining mildew off the surface. By the way, if you are weak to allergens, you need to wear gloves and mask to protect you against any floating mold on the air.

Aftermath

Once you’re done, look for the root cause of mildew. If the mildew you found was in the bathroom, you better check for any leaks or if the room’s exhaust fan is working well. In case that your bathroom doesn’t have one, then make sure that the window is kept open to ensure proper ventilation.

If the rising humidity in your house is the culprit, make sure that you air conditioning is working well. In case that there’s nothing wrong with your AC and mold has been a recurring problem in your house, you might want to spend a few dollars on getting a dehumidifier.

Getting Started with Bathroom Renovation

It might seem that the easiest room to renovate is the bathroom. After all, the bathroom is usually the smallest room in a house. What could go wrong, right?

A lot.

lot of things can go awry if you underestimate the effort you need to exert to renovate one small bathroom. Despite being relatively small in size, bathrooms can be a big pain to renovate. Are bathrooms that complicated? The answer to that is a simple yes.

The Preparation
Before you start pounding your bathroom with a hammer or start moving things out from it, plan first. Remember, this is your bathroom we’re talking about. You cannot afford to go wrong and render it useless for a few days, especially if you only have one. Unlike the living room, a bathroom is one of the rooms you cannot live without.

So, plan first. You must make sure that you know everything that you need to do. You must move swiftly, and make it a point that you will be quickly done with the renovation. If you’re going to hire renovators, you need to give them a proper plan before you let them start working.

The Considerations
What should be included in the plan anyway? First of all, you must list all the essentials that you need in your renovated bathroom. Things like underfloor heating, rainshower, and storage space must be immediately declared or planned. You wouldn’t want the renovators to refloor your bathroom just to break it again, place the underfloor heating, and then redo the process of reflooring.

Considerations: Amenities
On one hand, please control yourself when listing the items you want to have in your bathroom. In an interior designer’s perspective, less is more, especially when it comes to your bathroom. Your bathroom should be the most comfortable room in your house. And having a cramped one will surely make that bathroom one of the most uncomfortable places to be in the house.

On the other hand, even though the Internet is handy for researching about products, do not rely on it. Go to a showroom, and see the materials that will be included in your bathroom yourself; nevertheless, it does not hurt to get yourself prepared before you go out. Research about the qualities that you will demand from the items you will buy.

Considerations: Pipes
Aside from the things you want to add or remove in your bathroom, you need to consider its location. You must take note all of the pipes that go in and out the bathroom. You must be wary on the things behind the its walls, ceiling, and flooring. After all, if you are going to perform an overhaul, you will surely stumble upon those fixtures and/or pipes. With just one small mistake, things might get messy — and smelly.

Considerations: Layout
The next thing you should consider is the layout of the bathroom. Why did you want to renovate it in the first place? Was it too cramped before? Were the fixtures placed awkwardly? Was the ventilation bad? Was the placement of the bathroom furniture offered little privacy? Answer all those questions, and you’ll instantly have an idea of what you want to happen in your bathroom.

Considerations: Budget
Once you have figured out and given the previous considerations some thought, everything will boil down to your budget. First, are you willing to spend quality materials for your bathroom? If you are, then do yourself a favour and visit a showroom. Are you willing to cut some corners?

Put in mind that cutting corners in renovation is like wasting money. Renovation is an investment, usually expensive, to improve your house. You renovate because you want to get the best out of your dwelling. Cutting corners will only limit the renovation and might lead to future problems, which should not happen in the first place.

Considerations: Workload
Lastly, the main reason bathrooms are a challenge to renovate is because it involves a lot of work and people. If you are going to hire contractors, you will need to get an electrician, plumber, painter, heating specialist, and carpenter.

If you plan to do it yourself, then prepare your body. It will be a lot of work. But please, save yourself from the hassle and your bathroom from amateurish mistakes. After all, you won’t be here if you already know what you’re going to do or you’re experienced enough. Let somebody do it for you or at least help you.

Custom Home Building Renovation Tips for your Toronto Home

Most people would visualize on what they want. They would visualize their dream house. There are actually custom builder who are accustomed to building a home to the specifications of their customers.

  • A covered outdoor cooking and storage area will be great to experience that “cottage” feeling.
  • Install wood burning fireplace. This will not only be used as heater, but also you can cook on it.
  • Outdoor lighting. To have that cozy feeling and extraordinary visual effect at night.
  • Use real hardwood flooring in the bedroom and to top it off use area rugs. This will create hygienic environment and would be easy to clean and maintain.
  • Fix the basement. Basement would be a great area for the whole family to hang and enjoy.

Always Ask or Confirm These Things With Your Contractor

It is a good practice to make sure you and your contractor are on good terms and you both understand exactly what you want to come out of the project. So it is almost vital these questions are asked.

What is our Schedule and who will be working here?

A schedule isn’t only something that says what the start and end date will be, it tends to outline certain tasks and the timing which can help show you the over all picture of what is happening. It will also show deadlines so you can be aware of any delays or if you are slipping back a day or two so you can adjust accordingly. Never start a project without knowing at what time workers will be at the project site as well as being aware of who is doing the construction and who is in charge of locking up and keeping the area secure.

How can you ensure my property is taken care of?

It’s important to ask this question before any demolition happens as you don’t want to come back to see everything broken down and all your personal belongings shaken off the walls and shelves. As well as the entire area being covered in dust which can be very difficult to remove off of certain objects. Also if you are aware there will be a lot of hammering its important to remove any drapes or objects on the wall as they can easily fall of and get damaged.

(Probably the biggest one) How will we communicate and discuss the project?

It is very important that you stay updated on the project as well as are able to communicate with your contractor at any hour of the day if there are issues or something important that needs fixing. Also if there is something concerning you that it gets resolved and you aren’t kept in the dark. It is also important that you can be reached at any point in the day if there is a decision or something the contractors need you to decide on before they can continue as this can prevent falling behind in the plan.

What kind of documentation will I receive once the project is done?

Contracts frequently call out end-of-project paperwork — lien releases, marked-up plans with as-builts on plumbing and other utilities, copies of inspection reports, etc. But there may be additional items you will find valuable: a full set of mechanical photos before insulation is installed, the operating manuals for installed equipment (and a personal lesson in their operation if you don’t know the basics), a list of subcontractors and contact info, care for things such as countertops and tile and a well-marked electrical panel. Confirming that you will receive these things before you get started will help ensure that you finish the project with all the information you need.

If these questions are asked you are almost bound to guarantee a project that comes out the way you expected it to as well as one that you agreed to and not a  project you have no idea the outcome of.

Posted by : Vithusan Jeyabalasingam

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail (info@trocanada.com) with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed

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A Dream home made into reality

In this case we see that a home really can be a box or rather two large rectangular sections attached together and mounted above two concrete piers. The house is framed with steel and wrapped with a wood exterior.

This is to really give off a boat vibe, as this home design was inspired by the look of a boat. Considering this home was inspired by the look of a boat where would be a better area for it to be situated then near the ocean? The home hovers right over the ocean where waves can crash into the concrete that is holding up the building.

If you thought this wasn’t impressive enough other than seeing the view from the outside the interior is designed perfectly to see the outdoors. There are wall sized windows pointing towards the ocean so that you can sit relaxed and watch the ocean and the wave’s crash against the rocks and below the home.

Also as this is a home it is suitable for living as the interior is designed with areas for a bedroom as well as other facilities like a bathroom and kitchen. This home despite being located near crashing waves and hovering over rocks is surprisingly inviting. The interior was designed to enhance the outdoors as the entire building was made to look out into the ocean like binoculars the interiors, also revolves around the boat and ocean theme.


The home not only brightens up the day of the person inside it also illuminates the beachfront at night. With the amount of lights installed inside and with the positioning of the home the two wooden “hulls” appear as lanterns lighting up the water.

As always when constructing a project this massive it’s important to let the professionals do the job, as constructing a project without professional help can end up costing you more money if there are damages as well as take longer and probably not let it end up the way you wanted it to. The final important thought to remember is that a dream home doesn’t have to stay a dream home and can be made into a reality.
Written By: Vithusan Jeyabalasingam

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail (info@trocanada.com) with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed

10 Tips for Turning a First Home Into an Income Property

For the past ten years, Scott McGillivray, a 30-year-old real estate entrepreneur, has made a living by transforming houses into income properties. The 30-year-old currently manages 18 properties with over 100 tenants, and now he’s coming to HGTV to help a “house poor” generation create legal income suites and help offset their rising mortgage payments.

Whether it’s a 100-year-old Victorian home, a multi-apartment property or a fully renovated unit in a hip urban area, this entrepreneur can do it all. Check out 10 tips we learned from McGillivray by watching the first episode of HGTV’s Income Property:

    1. Make sure it’s worth it
      As McGillivray says, the cost of renovations has to be able to pay itself back within two years rent. Scout out local markets, get a professional opinion, and be sure to watchIncome Property. Because, hey, who doesn’t want to make a couple of bucks on something they need anyway?
    2. Tag team, if you can
      To use a cliché, two heads are better than one, and home-owning is no exception. Getting to your desired final product is a journey, and having a teammate to share frustrations, anxieties and most importantly, costs with is invaluable.
    3. The best way to learn is to go through the experience
      As one homeowner in the show puts it, “you can read as many books as you want, but you have to experience it.” Every home is unique, and every home will reveal its own problems and potential solutions.
    4. Whatever you budget, add 25 per cent
      When renovating your space, despite what a professionally quoted budget says, add 25 per cent, just in case. If you don’t go over, nothing lost. But if you do, at least you were expecting it.
    5. Houses are like onions
      The more layers you peel back, especially while demolishing, the more problems you’re going to find. Count on hidden gems like mould, live wires and any other hidden costs, just in case.
    6. Consider all the options
      If you have a three-story plus basement house, why just rent out only the basement? As we learn in the first episode, doubling the space not only allows you to live mortgage-free by increasing the rent, it also increases the value of the home. But it also may not be the option for you, especially if you plan on expanding a family or you want access to your backyard.
    7. Make sure the space is livable
      If the kitchen has zero counter space and the bedroom can only fit a bed, not only is it going to be hard to find someone to rent out your unit, but think of the types of people who might be wanting to rent out your unit.
    8. Don’t skimp on the drywall, especially on the ceiling
      Not only do you want a fire barrier between you and your new housemates, you might be thankful for a little bit of sound-proofing in the long run.
    9. Start on the outside
      A separate entrance is key when renting out a basement, especially if you don’t want to mingle too much with your new lessees. And you might want to make sure there are no potential lawsuits hanging around — such as slippery stairs or rotting wood.
    10. Don’t turn your house into a home… right away
      If a long-term investment is what you seek, turning your space into a home right off the bat isn’t going to help pay those accumulating bills. Your No. 1 priority should be making your home into an income source, or at least a manageable entity.

Posted By: Jake Fortinsky

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images and content on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail (info@trocanada.com) with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Getting the Most Out of Your Basement

The Dream is Within Reach

Basement renovations have become incredibly popular for many reasons, but the main reason has been to take advantage of the extra square footage that you have sitting below your main floor. Basements are being renovated with more sophistication. Whether it is a new home office, gym, bedroom, family room, or even sometimes a kitchen!  The basement has given many families the square footage they need to turn their home into a dream home! With more complex basement renovations, means more opportunities for poorly renovated basements. To eliminate the possibilities of a poor renovation, asking a professional to work with you on your renovation plan is significantly important. A professional can help guide you in the right direction. A professional can also take care of all the stress that is attached to performing a renovation. Most likely you have a budget for this basement renovation, and having a professional show you your options in that price range is important as well. Beginning a renovation that is clearly out of your price range can lead to you spending much more dough than you had originally planned to spend. Hiring professional costs money, but this initial investment will allow you to stick to your budget and to renovate your basement perfectly.

Lighting Changes Everything!

I am only going to discuss one significantly important factor to consider when performing a basement renovation. Many people looking to renovate their basements forget to add quality recessed lighting. This means installing lights into the ceiling of your basement. The reason I am emphasizing this aspect of the basement, is due to the fact that most basements have little natural light. Windows tend to be quite small in basements, therefore giving off a dark and sometimes dingy feel. Adding excellent lighting in your basement will give your basement the brightness it needs to be a welcoming space for your family and friends. Recess lighting also saves a lot of space that would otherwise be wasted on lamp space. Saving on space for lamps will give you the ability to truly take advantage of the extra square footage you are accumulating through your basement renovation.

O Canada

Our next blog will include more tips on basement renovations. Living in Canada may give us a tough winter, but having the extra square footage is excellent for us Canadians. We should all use our basements wisely, and this is why we will be creating another blog on basement renovation! We want to help you create your dream home! Remember, if you are going to dream, you might as well dream big!

Written By: Jake Fortinsky

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail (info@trocanada.com) with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Renovation Advice From Professionals

Significantly Safe

When performing home improvements, you must always ask yourself if it is an improvement that you can perform on your own. If it is a renovation that is more complex, hiring a professional is usually the safer way to go. This article will help you know your potential, and when you should call a professional to perform your home improvement.

Electrical Execution

When making electrical changes to your home, it is always best to hire a professional.There are many negative consequences that can result from you performing the electrical changes inappropriately. Hiring a professional will eliminate the negative possibilities such as; over-heated electrical wires, overworked circuit breakers, and many more. To ensure that all electrical standards are met; you will need to have in-depth knowledge of the electrical changes you are performing. Even though performing these alterations without a professional will save you money in the short-run, in the long-run you will need to spend endless amounts of money to fix the mistakes you made previously. It is best to spend more money at the beginning of a renovation and to perform these changes safely, rather than spending more money in the future.

Wild Walls

If you are planning to expand your kitchen, or simply create a more open-concept layout, you must understand which walls are load-bearing walls. Load-bearing walls are the walls that are supporting your home, and ensuring that your home does not cave in. Therefore, a renovation that is as simplistic as knocking down one wall, may lead to your entire home collapsing! I recommend at least obtaining information or advice on which wall you can knock down in your home. It may seem like a small change, but a small modification can lead to a large disaster. Unfortunately many of us do not know which walls are safe to eliminate, and therefore hiring a professional to perform this improvement is highly recommended. A professional will have greater knowledge of the structure of your home. You may be thinking, “Well how can they know more about my home, it’s my home!” It may be difficult to believe, but you do not know many things about your home. The professional will be able to identify a cosmetic wall versus a support wall, therefore notifying you of which wall you are able to eradicate.

Lesson Learned

This article discussed a few renovations that are safer when performed by a professional. There are still many other

types of renovations that you should ask a professional to accomplish.The goal of this blog is to expose you to the dangers of performing renovations without a professional. The lesson to take from this article is that, when you are unsure of a renovation or how it should be performed, contact a professional. The professional will be able to provide you with advice and tips for the specific renovation you are planning to execute. Stay safe, and may all your future renovations conclude in success and happiness!

By: Jake Fortinsky

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail (info@trocanada.com) with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

Painting Your Interior Walls Successfully

When working on the walls of your home you must decide between two options for your walls. You can choose wallpaper or if you are willing to take on a slightly more difficult job, you can paint your walls. Using wallpaper

Shake Things up in the Kitchen!

Lifestyle Change Needed!

Renovating your kitchen will add ease to your lifestyle and value to your home. These next points will help you make the correct decisions for your kitchen renovation! So get excited and get inspired!

Quality is the Answer

Always choose top-quality drawers and hinges, otherwise your cabinet doors may not close properly and they will wear quite quickly. For the interior of all cabinets, you should always use wood veneer. A wood veneer interior is significantly more durable than melamine, laminate or particleboard.

Storage Galore!

Always maximize your storage. Extend your cabinets up to your ceiling, to increase the amount of storage in your kitchen. Although, if your ceilings are higher than eight feet, you should leave approximately 15 inches of space between the top of your cabinets and the ceiling. Leaving this amount of space ensures that you will be able to reach the top shelf of all your cabinets. So for anyone who couldn’t reach the top shelf, where the cookies were hidden, now you will be able to!

Paint, Splash, & Have Fun!

I recommend brush-painted cabinets, because they tend to last longer and give your kitchen a more unique personality. It also gives you the opportunity to show your personality through your kitchen cabinets. Let your personality shine through your kitchen!

Life on an Island…

Make an effort to choose an island that has an open and airy look. This does not mean keeping the island to smaller dimensions, but simply understanding that a kitchen can become quite busy. Understanding this concept, means that you should consider how many people tend to be in your kitchen at the same time. Based on your estimate, you can determine whether you should be installing a smaller or larger island. If you have many family members. then it is best to create extra space in the kitchen; by either choosing a smaller island, or throwing out half your family!

Written By: Jake Fortinsky

THIS BLOG claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to its respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please E-mail (info@trocanada.com) with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.

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