home interior

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.

5 Things to Consider When Getting a New Carpet

It’s snowing a lot this month, and it would be nice if your feet is on something warm. No we’re not going to talk about your socks. What we would want to talk about are carpets. Yep. Those warm and fluffy rags that feels heaven while it’s freezing cold outside and you’re in front of your fireplace. Kind of a romantic setting, yah?

In this article, we will provide you with five simple consideration that you need to know before you buy your new carpet.

1. Too many people in your house mean a cheaper and sturdier carpet. There’s nothing you can do about it, especially if you have pets. Unless you’re buying a carpet for your own room, then spend luxuriously. But if it’s for the living room, forget about that fancy carpet you saw. Get something that can handle abuse. Preferably a shag carpet will do well in that situation. Another type you might want is modular tiles.

2. Bring a small piece of your drape or old carpet with you when buying. You don’t want your new carpet to be out of place. Make sure that you get the correct color that will match with your drapes or your walls.

3. Know that carpets have extra-added cool features, too! One of the feature you want to have is Anti-Static Technology. It would really save you against those sudden mini arc lightning.

4. Decide if the carpet will be only for winter use. If you are looking for that warmth during the cold season, a mohair carpet will be ideal for you. However, it’s a delicate carpet that tends to shed a lot. So, if it isn’t for those warm cozy nights, choose another type.

5. If you don’t care much about the warmth the carpet might bring but you want to make your room look warm, then it is best to get a hemp and sisal. It’s screaming with “tropical weather.” Although, this is another delicate carpet you might not want if you have children or pets.

Turn Your Vacant Room into a Game Room!

Once your kids become adults, they will surely get out of your house (or you might kick them out instead). Whatever reason they had for leaving home, it will surely result into one thing: a vacant room. And for us old folks, it’s an opportunity.

 

Of course, we’re not saying that you should heartlessly turn your old kid’s room into anything you like. In some cases, it will be much better for you to set your eyes on the guest room instead. After all, your kids will surely visit once in a while, and it will be sad for them to stay in a guest room or find out that you have disemboweled their rooms.

 

Anyway, the point here is that you will have an opportunity to add a new room. It can be a home office, a music room, or a game room. In this article, we will talk about turning your spare room into a game room.

 

For you to have that, you must get the essentials first: the “games”. Mostly, the cheapest game rooms will have a large televisions and game consoles. But if you aren’t into video gaming stuff, you can settle for billiard tables, dart boards, table tennis, and even a mini golf course.

 

Once you have your gaming stuff bought, then it’s time to redesign the room. First of all, make sure to paint the walls with a bright color. Light green or yellow works best. Put some yellow accents, and you’re done. Why bright colors? They exude fun and excitement while dark colors bring gloom. Surely, you want the former effect.

 

A few things that your game room must have are sound systems (jukebox for a more classic vibe or stereo for a modern feel), couch, and a table (for food and drinks). In case that you want your game room to be more used frequently, adding a television set will be a must. And if you want your wife to approve of what you plan, you might want to add a karaoke machine for her to have fun with some of her friends in there.

 

If you need more ideas, it will be much better to consult your friends. Ask them what games they want to play whenever they’ll be around for some beer. Surely, you’ll have a blast once you get this done.

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

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