Tag Archives: Renovation Contract

6 Reasons to Add On to Your Home

 You may love your home and all that it has to offer but there is always room for improvement. By adding on to your home, you can improve your life in many ways. No matter if you are simply considering adding on a single room to your house or an entire floor, here are six reasons you should consider adding on to your home

 1. Adapt to Your Family’s Growing Needs

 Many individuals add on to their homes to meet the needs of their growing families. It isn’t uncommon for families to dread leaving their current home or neighbourhood to move to a larger home. Their current house may offer many of the features they desire in a home, they simply need more space.

 Your family’s needs may have changed from when you first purchased the home. For example, you may have more children, you may need a home office, etc. Luckily, no matter what type of room or feature you build, when you add on, you increase the square footage of your house. This will give you more space to gather, more room for additional family members, more privacy, etc. 

 2. Can Increase Your Home’s Value

While there are many projects around your Markham home that can increase your home’s value, a home addition is near the top of that list. Adding on to your home can greatly increase the value of your home and depending on the type of room that you add on, it can have a high ROI. 

 Here is a look at several room additions and the average ROI you can expect to receive. 

 Garage: You can receive up to a full 100% ROI, if you decide to build a garage, particularly if you build a detached garage and create a small apartment above the space to bring additional income to your household. 

 Sunroom: A sunroom will not bring you as much of a return as other spaces offer. However, you can still expect to see up to 50% ROI on this project. 

 Additional Bedroom: This addition offers an ROI of around 50%. Keep in mind that if you build a bedroom on your main floor, it will take away precious yard space. 

 Additional Bathroom: Several bathrooms throughout your house is a large selling perk and can increase your home’s sale price. By adding a single, basic bathroom with little features to your home, you can expect an ROI of approximately 60%. 

 Second-Story Additions: Adding on a second story of your home may sound expensive and an inconvenience, but it can transform your home and your living space. Additionally, you may find that it is less expensive than other home renovations as you can receive up to 65% ROI on this remodel. 

 3. A Home Addition Can Make Your Home More Sellable

 In addition to increasing the value of your home, a house addition can also make your Kitchener property more sellable. Potential buyers are looking for a home that is move-in ready. They want a place that meets their family’s needs and provides adequate space. When you add on to your home, this makes it more appealing to many families and checks off more boxes on their “must-have” list. 

 Several additions that can make your home more sellable and appealing to potential buyers include: 

 Laundry room

  • Bathroom
  • Bedroom
  • Larger kitchen
  • Garage
  • Storage space such as a large pantry
  • Dining room
  • Master bedroom suite 
  • Home office

 4. To Create a Work Area

https://unsplash.com/photos/a8K-puaPyVk

 Today, millions of individuals work from home. In fact, the number of individuals who work from home has increased by 140% since 2005. This means that more families are looking for a home office or a dedicated workspace. They want a home office where they can focus exclusively on work and be away from the mainstream areas like the kitchen. However, you may not be looking solely for a home office, but a place to perform hands-on-work such as a large garage or a shop.    

 No matter what type of workspace you plan to add to your home, keep the design of this space in mind. For example, if you are building a home office, you may consider a room with lots of windows. Studies show that offices with ample natural light improve productivity. One study found that individuals noticed an 84% decrease in symptoms such as headaches, blurred vision, and eyestrain in a well-lit office.

5. You Hope to Grow Old in the Home

If you love your current home and you can’t imagine living elsewhere, you should think about how the home will cater to your aging needs. You want to make sure that the home provides an adequate living space for you to move safely and without any assistance. 

 For example, if your current home has your master bedroom and bathroom upstairs, this may be too difficult to access if you are faced with mobility issues or certain health conditions. You may consider adding to your home and moving your master bedroom on your main floor. 

 Other ideas to consider to help you age in place include: 

 Adding a main-floor bathroom. If the current bathroom on your main floor is small, changes may need to be made. You need a space with a large walk-in, seated shower. You may also need additional space to make the bathroom accessible with a wheelchair. 

 Create wider walkways. Are the hallways throughout your home narrow? What about your door frames? You may need to make some home renovations to your Toronto home to make it easier to move throughout your property with a wheelchair or a walker. 

 Create larger gathering areas. Could your current living room be expanded to make it easier to move through it or to allow for additional furniture such as a reclining chair? Do you have a small set of stairs that takes you from your kitchen area to your family room? These are all features that will need to be carefully looked at as you age in place. 

 Build a main floor laundry room. In many homes, you may find the laundry room in the basement or upstairs near the bedrooms. You may want a main floor laundry room to make it easier to complete this basic chore. 

 6. Your Children Need a Place to Play

 If you have young children, you may find that your living room is covered in toys. This will not only take away the beauty of your indoor space, but it will also make your room look small and cluttered. Creating a playroom gives your children a designated place to go. It helps to contain the mess. Not to mention, the living room and bedrooms will look nicer without toys sprawled all over the floor. 

 This room is also beneficial because it can grow with your children. While they are young, you can use it as a playroom and as they become teenagers, you can transform it into a place where they can go to hang out with their friends. You can place a ping pong table in the corner, hang a TV on the wall, etc. Once all of your children have moved away, you can then turn this space into a guest room or a craft/hobby room. The possibilities are endless. 

 If you are considering adding on to your home, work with professionals like The Renovators of Canada. These home renovation experts will work closely with you to help you create a home that you are proud to call your own. It will have the space, features, and qualities that you desire in your dream home. Call The Renovators of Canada today to schedule your consultation.


How to Set a Budget for Your Kitchen Renovation

Creating a kitchen of your dreams may seem impossible. The kitchen is the gathering place of the home and where your family spends a significant amount of time throughout the day. You deserve this space to be beautiful, functional, and perfect. However, a kitchen renovation can be daunting and quite expensive. In Canada, the average kitchen remodel costs approximately $25,000 and if you are considering a luxury kitchen for your home, you could spend up to $50,000 when the final project is complete. 

Creating a budget for the kitchen renovation in your Toronto home can be challenging but it’s necessary. This will help you prepare financially for this change and it will help to reduce some of the included stress. Plus, when spending such a significant amount of money on a kitchen renovation, you won’t strain other aspects of your lifestyle just to pay for this one project. 

Managing your budget and expenses is quite easy if you prepare ahead of time. Here are seven tips to help you set a budget for a kitchen renovation and to stay within it. 

 1. Determine What Projects To Complete

One of the first things you must do is determine exactly what type of work you want complete during your kitchen renovation in Oakville. Sit down and establish a list of both your wants and needs. However, don’t make this a vague list of projects like “update the flooring,” “replace cabinets,” etc. Do some research to truly know what is available and the type of materials you want to use. 

By providing a more detailed list, you will be able to more accurately set your budget. For example, let’s take a look at the floors. If your kitchen flooring needs to be replaced, the type of material you choose can drastically impact your budget. Here are a few flooring options you may consider and their price:

 Vinyl Sheet – $1 to $5 per square foot

Vinyl Tiles – $1 to $4 per square foot

Hardwood Floors – Up to $15 per square foot

Stone Tiles – Up to $20 per square foot 

Additionally, the labor and installation for each type of material will also range in cost as some materials, such as stone tiles, are a lot more challenging and time-consuming to install than vinyl. 

 2. Determine Your Priorities 

 

Once you have a list of all the tasks you want to complete during your kitchen remodel, separate your list into three or four priority tasks that must be done. The rest of the projects you want to complete can be left out if necessary but would be nice when transforming your living space. Unexpected costs can occur in any type of renovation and to stick within your budget, you need to focus on the tasks that mean the most to you and are of the highest priority. 

 3. Consider Your Future

The future for your family and the home should also impact your kitchen renovation and budget. If you have no plans to move from the home in the near future, you want to consider your needs now and in the future. Will you have space for your family to grow? Will it have all the meal prep and kitchen features that you desire? If this is your long-term residence, you should create a kitchen area that best suits you and your family.

If you don’t expect to live in the home forever and you have plans to move within the next several years, you don’t want to put too much money into the remodeling project. You don’t want to spend more than you will receive when you sell the home. This means you should only focus on those tasks that must be done to create a space that impresses potential buyers and will increase your home’s value. 

 4. Have Some Wiggle Room in Your Budget

 As you look through your finances and determine your budget, you want to be prepared. Ideally, you should set aside 15% to 20% of your budget for unexpected costs that will arise during the kitchen remodel. You never know what could be hiding behind the walls of your home or under the floors. You could find that there are plumbing issues, wiring problems, etc. You may also find challenges such as mold or water damage in this room as well. If you don’t have money set aside to cover the majority of these expenses, you will go over your budget very quickly. 

 5. Determine How You Will Pay for the Project

 Knowing how you will pay for your home remodel in Markham will also make a difference in your budget. If you can afford to pay in cash, this is ideal. You will have the money upfront and you will not have to worry about receiving financing from the bank and working through the application process. However, saving up to complete your kitchen remodel can take several years and will require much self-discipline to ensure you have money needed to complete the project and to do it well.  

 Receiving a loan through a lender is a common way to pay for the remodel. This option allows you to receive the money at a much faster rate than when paying in cash. However, if you choose to take out a loan, there are additional expenses you must prepare to pay. For example, you must add a little extra money into your budget to cover the interest that accumulates on the loan. You will also have processing fees and other lender fees that will add up and eat at your budget if you are not prepared for them. 

 6. Decide What You Will Do During the Remodel

 It is no secret that a kitchen remodel can be inconvenient and stressful for a family. This essential area of your home is out of commission for several weeks. The type of work you wish to complete will greatly affect how long your kitchen remodel will take but you can expect a minimum of six weeks or longer. For kitchen renovations that require extensive work on the plumbing, electricity, etc., it can take several months to complete. 

 During this time, how do you plan to care for your family? Will you remain in the home and live around the mess? Will you live with family members for a few weeks? Stay in a hotel? If you choose to remain at home, how will you eat? Will you go out for the majority of your meals? The increased eating out and additionally housing accommodations of your family can add up quickly. These are additional expenses that you will not want to leave out of your budget or it can put you several hundred or even thousands of dollars behind. 

 7. Talk to a Contractor

Once you have determined the type of work you wish to complete and you know how much you can spend, request bids from several contractors. Talk to these professionals and let them know exactly what you want, the type of materials you desire, etc. Make sure they understand your list of priorities and what you want to accomplish. By gathering bids from multiple contractors, you can not only find a company that will offer you an excellent price, but you will also find a contractor who you trust and who you will enjoy working with for several months. 

To help you transform your kitchen area and create the space you’ve only dreamed of, contact The Renovators of Canada today for a full consultation. You will see how they can work with you to create a gorgeous, functional, and well-designed kitchen space for your entire family. No matter what projects you wish to complete in this area of your home, they have plenty of ideas to truly customize the space and make it your own. 

 


Home Additions and How They Add Space and Value to Your Home

Architect

No matter if you have been living in your home for many years or it is a recent purchase, you want to create an atmosphere that you love and you are proud to call home. There are many ways that you can spruce up and create a gorgeous living environment, and there are also many upgrades you can make that will improve the functionality, look, and design of your property.

But, if you want to make a significant difference, increase the space in your home, and see a drastic increase in your home’s value, a home addition should be at the top of your list. Let’s take a closer look at home additions, their benefits, and several examples of these large renovations.

Why Choose a Home Addition?

It can be a challenge to determine if a home addition is the right project for your property. Before you proceed with the decision, you want to think about it carefully. There are several questions you can ask to help you make a decision that you don’t regret. These include:  

Is a Home Addition the Best Option or Should I Purchase a New Home?
Many homeowners are faced with the dilemma of adding onto their home or to simply put their house on the market and purchase a new property. While both have their advantages, you will want to weigh several key factors before making your choice such as your budget, time, and future plans.

When you choose to complete a home addition, you have the ability to create a space as you want it.

Do You Have a Budget?

The amount of money you spend on a home addition will vary greatly by the size of the project, the contractors that you hire, and more. You can expect to pay on average $200 per square foot on the home addition but you should work closely with a licensed contractor to stick within your budget and to determine the best places to cut costs if needed.  

Will a Home Addition Address My Concerns?

Do you have a growing family and need more space? Or do you want to increase your home’s value? Will a home addition address your concerns or are there other options that will require less time and money? The more research and thought you put into the project, the more satisfied you will be with the final results.

The Benefits of a Home Addition

As you determine if a home addition in your Toronto house is the best option, you must consider the benefits of this project. Let’s discuss a few.
Helps You Create Your Dream Home
As you work with a licensed contractor to renovate your Markham home, you can let your creative juices flow. You can work with these professionals to create a beautiful, trendy, and stylish living space that not only increases your home’s square footage but also improves the aesthetic appeal of the living space.

Many of the best contractors have galleries of past projects that you can browse through to gather ideas and implement small details into your project to create a truly customized and functional area.
Gives You More Room
For many individuals, they consider a home addition because of the increased square footage in the home. Whether you are adding a new room, bathroom, or even a garage, you have more space for your entire family and lifestyle needs.
Increases Your Home Value
One of the greatest benefits of a home addition is how this one project will greatly increase the value of your home. The type of room and the amount of square footage you add will affect your home’s value.

For example, adding a new bathroom to your home will give you the biggest return on your investment — an average of 86%. On average, you can expect that for every 1,000 square feet you add, you can increase your home’s value by up to 30%.  

However, keep in mind that there are several factors that will impact the return you receive and your increase in value. A few of these include:

  • The quality of the home addition. If it is done by professionals, you will receive more than if it is a DIY project.
  • The room must be functional to be beneficial.
  • The flow from the original home to your addition is smooth.
  • You use high-quality materials to complete the addition.

It is best to work with a licensed contractor to complete this project and ensure you have the expertise and the knowledge to complete a beautiful, functional, and usable space.

Home Addition Ideas for Your House

As mentioned previously, one of the advantages to completing a home addition is you have the ability to create a home that you love — that you are proud to call your own. There are also many ways you can transform your indoor living space and ensure you have the space and features that you love. A few home addition ideas for your house include:

A New Bathroom

If you are considering selling your home in the future or your family is growing, a bathroom addition may be ideal. The cost of full bathroom additions will vary depending on the size of your project and the many features and appliances you plan to include. If you want to cut costs, you may consider building a half bathroom with just a sink and toilet. This is also a much faster and more simple project but you still reap many benefits.

Or, if you do not want to complete a full bathroom addition in your home, you can expand a current one to add more space and make the room more functional. Consider implementing more storage space and features such as a walk-in shower or a large vanity.

A Laundry Room
Many homes may have a laundry room in their garage or basement. By building a laundry room on the main floor of your house, you not only increase your home’s value but you make this dreaded chore much more enjoyable. Having a laundry room on the main floor is also a major selling perk if you plan to sell your home in the future. Consider incorporating a mudroom into this area of your home as well for even more appeal.
A Sunroom
A sunroom is an excellent way to bring the outdoors inside. You can add large windows, skylights, and doors to create a bright and beautiful area. Brainstorm ideas with your contractor about how to include various features into this space to turn this room into a beautiful indoor living area.
A Family Room
You may feel like the most visited areas of your home are tight and difficult for your entire family to sit in and enjoy. By adding a large family room, your home not only looks bigger, but it is more comfortable, aesthetically appealing, and livable.
Expand the Kitchen
A large, open kitchen is all the rage and if you are considering selling your home in the future, it will greatly attract potential buyers. Rather than add a new room onto your home, just expand your current one. Add more square footage to allow for more counter space, sitting areas, and more.

If you are considering a home addition in your Canada house, contact a licensed contractor such as The Renovators of Canada.They can help you create the indoor living space that you desperately desire. Whether you are looking to add a new living room or even expand your kitchen, they can help you every step of the way. Plus, you can browse their gallery of past projects to help you generate creative and unique ideas to truly transform and turn your home into your dream living space.


How to Increase the Value of Your Home

If you have plans in the future to sell your home, you will do all you can to make the most money from the deal. You not only want to impress all potential buyers who step foot on your property but you also want to keep the house in tip-top condition so basic repairs and upgrades don’t discourage potential buyers and they lower their offers.

And while there are dozens of projects you can complete around your home, a handful of them will actually increase your home’s value and help you receive more money on the sale of your property. Let’s talk about several things you can do to increase the value of your home.

1. Focus on the Curb Appeal

When selling your home, you want to make an instant impression the minute buyers pull up to your property. You want them to fall in love right away and be anxious to see what the interior of the home has to offer. You do this by improving the curb appeal of the property.

There are many ways that you can improve the home’s curb appeal. Little things like keeping the grass short, planting fresh flowers, and even trimming the trees and bushes will all make a difference in the look of your home. Additionally, take the time for small exterior details such as paint the trim, sweep the balcony, remove all clutter such as yard toys and bikes from the side of the home, etc.

If you truly want to make a difference to the exterior of your home, enhance the front entryway. Sweep the porch, lay down a new welcome mat, and place a planter of fresh flowers near the door. If the door is old and worn down, you may consider replacing or painting it.

In fact, a study by Zillow found that by painting or choosing a black front door, you can improve your home’s value up to $6,271.

2. Transform Your Kitchen Area

No matter if you have plans to sell your home in the near future or you just love to cook and have family around, you want an open, bright, and functional kitchen area. Kitchens that are cramped, have little counter space, and are outdated are going to detract and turn away potential buyers. Plus, if there are a substantial number of upgrades needed in this space, you may receive even less than you desire for your home.

A kitchen remodel in your Toronto home is one of the best things you can do to increase the value of your home. However, it can also be very costly if you are not prepared. A luxury remodel could cost you over $100,000 while a more basic upgrade could cost a few thousand dollars. However, you can work closely with a professional contractor to transform your kitchen area and stay within budget.

One of the benefits of completing a kitchen remodel is you can create the space that you want — the space you want to spend time in each day. Consider replacing items such as cabinets, countertops, flooring, the layout, lighting, and even paint colors. Work with your contractor to create a customized and gorgeous space for your family to gather in each day.

3. Finish a Basement

If you have an unfinished basement in your home, finishing this area should be a priority. Unfinished, this turns into unusable living space, but when completed, it adds significant, usable square footage to a home. Additionally, there are many uses for this area of the home. A few ideas that you can implement include:

  • Home office
  • Large living room
  • Theater room
  • Guest room
  • Apartment for family members or to rent out for additional income
  • Laundry room

4. Add More Square Footage

One way to immediately increase your home’s value is to complete a home addition. You may consider adding a living room, a laundry room, or even just expanding a bathroom or the kitchen area. The project you choose to complete will affect the cost and even the time required to complete it, but it can produce large results. By adding more square footage, you increase the amount of usable space in the home, the property feels and looks larger, and it can improve the home’s traffic flow as well.

Similar to other projects, what you choose to do with this added space and how you complete the project will affect how much your home’s value will increase. For example, adding another bathroom to the home with have a big return on your investment — an average of 86%. Consider why you want to add more square footage to your home and make sure your plans fall within your budget.

5. Update Bathroom Features

The bathroom is one area of the home where potential buyers will pay particular attention. This is because this is a room that is visited multiple times of the day by household members and guests alike. If the bathrooms have features that are outdated such as pink toilets and tubs, it can quickly turn away potential buyers and hurt your chance of a great sale.

While a bathroom remodel in your Markham home may be advisable, simply updating some areas of this room may be more plausible. For example, replacing old and faded vinyl flooring, updating the vanity, and refurbishing the tub and shower area may be what you need to give this room a lift. Even small details such as upgrading light fixtures, swapping out hardware such as faucets and showerheads are all going to make a difference as well.

If your bathroom is small, dark, and has little counter space, it may be worth your time to consider a full bathroom remodel with a contractor. Expanding this area, updating its design, and bringing in more storage options are just a few of the ways that you will totally transform this area and drastically increase your home’s value.

6. Paint!

One of the most simple and effective ways to increase your home’s value is to grab a paintbrush and begin painting. A fresh coat of paint can actually increase your home’s value by several thousands of dollars — if you choose the right colors. Plus, painting is a project that can be done in a weekend, and a few gallons of paint and several painting supplies can be acquired for less than $100.

If you are considering painting your home, a few projects you may consider that will increase your home’s value include:

Kitchen cabinets: By painting two-toned cabinets in your kitchen area, you can see a price increase of up to $1,500.

Bedroom walls: By choosing neutral and light colors for the bedroom, such as a light blue,  you can see an increase of almost $1,800.  

Living rooms: For living rooms, you also want to choose very neutral and light colors. A living room that is painted a light beige or taupe tone can increase your home’s value up to $1,800.

Unfortunately, just like there are many paint colors that can increase your home’s value, there are also many that can lower it and hurt your sale. These include:

  • Brown color on both the interior and exterior of the home. According to Zillow, brown or stucco home exteriors can reduce your home’s sale price by up to $1,900.
  • Red kitchen and dining rooms can also have a negative effect. While you can certainly use red in these areas, you want to make sure that these bold colors are more as an accent color, not the main color in the room.
  • White rooms such as bedrooms, living rooms, and even bathrooms can make you feel calm and peaceful, and that the area is clean, but they can decrease a home’s sale price by more than $4,000.

If you are ready to transform your home and increase your home’s value, contact The Renovators of Canada today. They can help you determine the best projects to create a living space that you can’t wait to come home to every night and potential buyers will immediately love.


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.


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!


10 Questions to Ask 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!


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.