renovation

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.

8 Ways to Use Your Finished Basement

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

1. Home Gym

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

2. Theater Room

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

3. Guest Suite

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

4. Playroom

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

5. Home Office

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

6. Game Room

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

7. Laundry Room

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

8. Create a Small Apartment

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

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

7 Ways to Breathe New Life into Your Old Bathroom

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

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

1. Update Light Fixtures

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

2. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

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

3. Refinish the Tub and Shower

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

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4. Install New Flooring

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

  • Tile
  • Vinyl
  • Laminate
  • Stone

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

5. Update Various Bathroom Fixtures

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

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.

 

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.

Simple Steps to Follow When Painting Your Room’s Walls

Is the paint on your walls peeling, cracking, or showing wear? This is not a big problem; to get perfectly painted walls follow these basic steps.

 

Clean the Walls

Before anything else, make sure that your walls are clean. No grease, dirt, or dust must be sticking on the wall. Do note that skipping this step will ruin your paint’s finish.

 

To clean your wall, just get a sponge, water, and mild detergent. Lather the detergent on the water, dab the sponge, and rub the sponge on the wall. After that, rinse the walls with water, and let it dry.  You can also use a product called TSP which is specifically designed for cleaning walls prior to painting.

 

Patching

When preparing your walls use drywall compound or a product called Drydex to cover any holes or blemishes.  Drydex goes on pink and dries white.  Sometimes these marks can be very difficult to see, it largely depends on the light in the room.  If you are very keen on details you can take a flashlight and slowly go over the walls from end to end.  You should be able to see all marks and blemishes using this process.

Once the patching material you use is dry, be sure to sand it with a flat surfaced sponge sander.  If you use a piece of sandpaper and your hand when you sand it is difficult to get a smooth wall.  Once you have completed sanding, clean all of the dust and debris by wiping down the walls with a damp cloth.

Once all of the dust is cleaned, it is time to caulk the gaps, cracks that may be showing between the trims and the walls.  When applying caulking use a damp cloth to wipe away the excess.  Using your finger doesn’t work as well and can leave an uneven finish.

Do Not Skip on the Prime

Depending on the colour you are painting, the walls may need to be primed.  You can have the primer tinted to reduce the number of coats of paint you may need to get an even finish.  There are also products that have the paint and the primer in one can – a great innovation for the painting industry!  Prior to coating the whole wall with primer, go over each of your patched areas with primer and a brush.  New compound needs the extra primer or the spots may show once you have completed painting.

Taping

Once all of the caulking and patching is dry.  To prevent a painting mess, make sure that you use painter’s tape (the blue or green tape you see in hardware stores). Tape the places you do not want to get painted (e.g., door frames, window, trim, etc.). It is very important to remove the tape before the paint dries.  If you wait, the new paint and the tape will stick together and when you remove the tape the paint may peel off with the tape.

Cleaning, Patching, Priming Complete – Time to Put on the Colour

Once you have the trims and ceiling taped off, complete all of the edging with a 2 – 2 1/2 inch brush.  For those tight to reach areas have a small brush handy.  If you can, work quickly so that you can roll the walls before the edging paint is completely dry.  This will help to reduce any potential lines.  Prior to rolling the paint on the walls remove all painters tape.

When rolling on the paint be careful not to put on too much paint at once.  If you do put on too much paint it may “run” or show drips.  A key to having a professional painting finish is to back roll all of the walls.  This means that once you have completed the wall or area you are painting, go back to the beginning and re-roll the wall without any new paint on your roller.  Be sure to have the part that connects the roller to your handle leading.  When you apply pressure with your roller, there will be more pressure on the side that is connected to the handle.  If the high pressure portion of the roller is trailing you may leave streaks.

Do Not Forget the Trim

Once you are done painting the walls and removing the tape it is time to paint the trims, and doors. This is the job that really counts – a quality paint job shows up the most on how well (or straight) you can paint the lines between the trims and the walls.

All done!  Time to step back and enjoy your handy work!

 

Renovation or Relocation

 

Renovation can be costly. Relocation can be a huge headache. But which will be the better choice? In some point in time, you could have asked this to yourself. Many factors should be considered. And this article will let you articulate and think about those considerations and factors.

Consider the Location of the New Property You are Eyeing

Are you prepared to leave the neighborhood that you were living in for years? Is the new property seated on a very convenient location? Those are just a few of the important questions you must ask yourself. And here are a few more:

  1. If you have a kid, is the local school good for your child?
  2. Is it near a market or mall? Is it walking distance from the new property?
  3. Is the property scalable? Are you allowed to renovate or expand the house on it?
  4. Is the house on the property a cookie-cutter house? Is it identical to the houses of your neighbor? Are you okay with that?
  5. Will you get what you want and will it be much more cost effective to relocate than renovate?

Some of these things can make or break your plan to relocate. Some of them cannot be controlled, which can easily make you create a decision for your family. Of course, your answers to those questions depend on your priorities.

Can You Let Go of Your House?

Have you made a lot of memories there and are you willing to let go of that special place? This is an essential factor that you must consider. Leaving your current house can be heartbreaking. Make sure that you also consult the other family members. Some of them might not handle letting go of the friends and places they have been accustomed and familiar with after all these years.

Is Your Budget Ready?

Remember that relocating might seem inexpensive first. However, you should know that it could be costly, too. You will need to hire movers, cleaners, and even real estate agents. You might also need to finish some contracts if you are renting. And you will be required to update some documents to reflect the changes in your address, and so on.

Why Renovate Instead?

If you are going to sell your house to relocate, it will be a good move to perform a renovation first. The good thing here is that the value of your property will rise. And you can easily get the amount of money you have spent on the renovation job.

On the other hand, it will delay your relocation plan. If you suddenly change your mind, then you will still have a nice house to keep. If your mind does not change, you still get to sell your old house on a higher price.

In a Nutshell

Depending on your priorities and family members, this decision can be complex or simple. Make sure to talk to them first. Having a nice house is good, but living with depressed people is much worse.

How to Have the Perfect Renovation Job

When renovating something in your home, the first rule that you should remind yourself is to be realistic. The second thing that you should think about is budget. Forgetting about those two will only spell a fail renovation, and a possibly empty pocket.

A friendly tip, which should be obvious to everyone, is to do some research. Do not let get your impulsive self do the best of you. Also, we want to remind you, and are future clients, that renovation costs do not end with us or any contractor that you will choose. You will also need to be mindful that you will or might need to get a few new appliances and materials to complete the renovation.

In addition, you set aside some extra money for unexpected expenses — whether it would come from the renovation job or any personal or financial problem you would suddenly encounter. Do note that just one unexpected expense can ruin your renovation plan. It might leave some walls unpainted, ceilings unfurnished, or even floors incomplete.

Disregarding our interests, we advise you to at least ask three contractors for quotes. But regardless of that, we assure you that getting us might be least expensive or inexpensive than our competitors, but you can rest assured that you will get quality work.

On the other hand, when it comes to your future appliances, spend time shopping around first. Your missus should certainly love that work if you are the man of the house.

As a perpetual advice, budget is always the name of the game when it comes to renovation. Without careful considerations of what you want and which factors you need to ponder about with the renovation job, you will only waste money and end up with a bad renovation work. No contractor would want to be blamed by a client who got his or her budget mixed up.

If you are interested in our services, you might want to contact us directly. We will even help you get some ideas on how much money you can spend and save when you hire us for the renovation work you want to get done.

Our contact numbers are there, and we would politely help you decide if you, and your finances, are ready to get a new look for the room or rooms that you want to renovate!

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