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Wildlife: unwelcome tenants during renovations

Wildlife: unwelcome tenants during renovations

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Re-surfacing your kitchen, renovating your bathroom or giving your home a complete makeover are all exciting times with fresh new beginnings. However, you may find that you have something else that’s new to your home during this period: wildlife.

Exposure of critters that may have previously gone unnoticed or who are granted access into your home through holes created during the renovation work can come as an unwelcome surprise. So, whether you are dealing with rodents in walls, a raccoon under your new deck or a squirrel family in the rafters – these situations could add weeks to a job site, delaying work, threatening workers or incur additional unexpected costs which can add up.

 DIY is not for wildlife control

The sooner you have the wildlife tenants evicted, the better! However, it isn’t recommended that you try doing it yourself - rather give the professionals a call. Qualified wildlife control technicians are trained to exclude, capture and relocate critters effectively. You don’t want to end up confronting a protective mother raccoon! 

Should there be nests, babies or injured individuals in your home; it is important to use the services of a reputable company who consider the welfare of the animals involved to avoid suffering and additional stress; without compromising on solving the problem so you can get back to creating your new space. 

Knowing the signs

Although wildlife doesn’t intend to do severe damage to your structure while they go about their business; catching and addressing the problem early on can make all the difference in damage and associated costs. 

Here are typical signs to look out for during renovations: 

  • Chewed wires

  • Damaged pipes 

  • Contaminated/torn insulation

  • Urine or droppings

  • Animal–related smells

  • Structural damage 

  • Gnawing marks 

  • Nests (mammals and birds)

  • Noises: scratching, chittering, shuffling

  • Physical presence of wildlife 

If you need wildlife removal services or proactive protection against unwanted animal tenants you could try this animal pest control company working throughout Vancouver and the Lower Mainland.

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Make Home Accessibility Renovations to Take Advantage of Aging in Place

Make Home Accessibility Renovations to Take Advantage of Aging in Place

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 As seniors live longer and lead fuller lives, many opt to age in place. It is easier to do so when your home has undergone accessibility renovations because it will become an environment that supports your needs and ensures your safety and well-being. Your family members will rest assured that you can age in place happily when you have hired a great contractor to make those modifications for you.

 1. Find the Right Contractor

 When you are ready to modify your home to make it more accessible to support aging in place, your starting point is finding the right renovation contractor. Unfortunately, there are too many horror stories about contractors who take deposit money and never step foot on a property or contractors who claim to know how to make modifications but don’t have any experience doing so. 

Your first step should be finding a contractor that is a member of Accessible Home Improvement of America (AHIA) and that is a Certified Environmental Access Consultant (CEAC) or can prove he is certified aging in place (CAPS). Hire a renovation contractor who is licensed and insured and who has a list of references you can contact to ask questions about his professionalism and timeliness.

2. Prioritize Your Needs

 If you know that you are going to have limited mobility as you age in place, you should prioritize those needs with your contractor. For example, you should work with him to widen doorways to accommodate a wheelchair, put a walk-in or wheel-in shower on the first floor, lower kitchen counters and cabinets and install a stair lift so you can access any higher levels. 

Some seniors who consult with a renovation contractor find that it is less expensive to purchase a single-story home and modify it than to make home accessibility modifications to their existing larger, two-story home. When you prioritize your needs, you’ll know the type of home that will best suit you as you age.

 If you have some challenges with your vision, you should work with a licensed electrician to install lighting in the areas you frequently work in, such as in a kitchen or den. Or, you should work with a contractor to install larger windows or skylights to allow more natural light to penetrate your home and work areas. Other options include replacing solid doors with French doors.

 3. Ensure Your Safety

 As you age, you need to do all you can to avoid falling at home. Slippery hardwood and tile floors pose a risk to your health, as do throw rugs on these types of floors. Renovation contractors also can change your flooring to help ensure your safety. 

When choosing a flooring material, you should consider five factors and then choose the material that will make you more secure and comfortable: slip-resistance, ease of travel, cleaning and maintenance, comfort, and cushion.

 While carpet may seem like a better option for comfort, you need to choose the right carpet for your needs. For example, if your home has carpet with a high pile, you should replace it with low-pile carpet. Low-pile carpet has a smooth surface that allows chairs, wheelchairs and walkers and canes to move across it more easily. Low-pile carpet also is easier to clean and prevents allergens from getting trapped in the surface and contributing to allergy symptoms and other respiratory problems.

 You will reap the benefits of aging in place -- from enjoying more independence, to feeling more comfortable in your own home -- if you work with a reputable contractor to make accessibility modifications to your existing home or to a new home that better suits your needs. 

Image via Pixabay 

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Age-friendly Home Renovations

Age-friendly Home Renovations

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If your elderly parent or family member decides to age in their own place, rather than in some institution, you need to help them remodel their home. It’s quite understandable that they wish to remain in the place they are used to and if they are capable of living with limited assistance, it’s your duty to help them as much as you can.

The aim of remodelling is primarily to make the home more suitable to the needs of your loved one(s), but there is also an added bonus. Each home remodel provides a fresh, new environment that can lift the spirits of everyone spending time in it. So, what is it that we can do to renovate a home to make it more convenient for the elderly?

Stairs

Elderly people often have problems with stairs, due to various mobility issues. One of the things you could do is install a small ramp they can use to prevent fails. If the house features two or three stories, the best option is probably to install a chair lift.

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Lights

Another thing that can really help an elderly person is to introduce automatic lights, which can prevent fall-related injuries. Instead of trying to find the light switch in complete darkness, they can either use a smartphone app to turn the lights on and off or you can add a timer to control the system. Such renovation investment is relatively small, especially in comparison with the potential dangers that are avoided with the introduction of automatic lights.

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Creating positive atmosphere

You need to create an atmosphere in which your loved one(s) will feel relaxed and safe. Apart from painting the walls in neutral colours and removing all the necessary clutter, you should also think about the little things that make life more pleasant. For example, you could add scented candle supplies, which will contribute greatly to the atmosphere and the way your elderly relative feels while at home.

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Non-skid flooring

One more item to consider when renovating the home for the elderly is the flooring. You want to avoid using slippery surfaces, since they are quite hazardous. So, instead of slippery floors, opt for carpets or rugs, which generate more traction. You just need to choose wisely, because you might need to choose a type with low pile, if the elderly person uses a walker or wheelchair.

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Replace the doorknobs

Seniors might find round doorknobs too difficult to use, which is why you should consider installing lever-style handles. They are much more suitable for those suffering from arthritis or other types of mobility issues. Similarly, you could replace faucet knobs with levers if you want to improve the quality of living.

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Set up a guest room

Your elderly family member might have some visitors coming over and spending a few days with them. That visitor could be a family member or caregiver, but they definitely need a separate room to get some rest. This room doesn’t need to be lavishly decorated, but it needs to feature a good bed, wardrobe, a set of drawers and all the basic furniture.

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It goes without saying that there are quite a lot of things you can or need to do in order to help your aging family member. Many of them depend on the condition of the person living in the house, but generally speaking, everyone benefits from home improvements. While for younger generation such improvements are a bonus, for the elderly, they are absolutely necessary. That’s why we need to help them renovate their home, so that their wish to age in the place they like can come true. If need you can enlist the help of a certified aging in place renovation contractor.

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How to Keep Dust Under Control During Home Renovation

How to Keep Dust Under Control During Home Renovation

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Renovating your home can be very exciting, but it can also be very dusty and chaotic. After all, there’s usually a lot of movement and work to do, so avoiding dust completely is quite impossible. What you can do, though, is keep it under control. So, if somebody in your family has respiratory issues, or if you simply want to protect your furniture items from the dust, here are a few things you can do to keep dust under control during your remodeling project

Include it in your budget

First things first, you need to accept that keeping all the potential dust at bay is going to cost – not a lot, but still, enough to be included in the budget. Many people neglect this small detail, only to regret not thinking about it sooner. So, you can either set aside $100-$200 for controlling dust, or you can spend that much, if not more, on all the cleaning products and help that you’ll later need if you don’t do anything about the dust on time. 

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Use plastic

Although this might seem like an obvious thing to do, it’s often overlooked or not done properly. So, first, you should remove all the furniture from the room that’s being renovated. Then, you should wrap up all the bigger furniture items in plastic. This should keep them clean, as long as you seal the plastic properly. You can also use plastic for protecting the floors, but keep in mind that it can be slippery, so you might want to opt for some other form of protection, like builder’s paper or cardboard floor protectors.

Protect the HVAC systems

Your HVAC systems will blow out dust particles just as easily as they blow out air, which is why you should ensure that they are properly sealed. Plus, too much dust can clog up the air filters, which only means additional expenses. Fortunately, this is also a problem that you can solve with plastic – you can wrap your AC units and all the other vents in sheet plastic and secure the plastic with a bungee cord or duct tape. Also, if you notice that any part of the plastic is torn or pierced through, make sure to fix it right away. Dust can get into the tiniest holes, which is why you should check for any damage continuously throughout your remodeling project.

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Get the furniture out of the way

After wrapping your furniture in plastic, it might not be a bad idea to get it out of the way completely. This way, you wouldn’t have to think about it at all, and it would be safe until the end of the renovation. To do this the right way, you should consult professionals like Moving Containers about the best way to store and transport your items. Of course, you should also find some temporary storage where your items can stay for the duration of the project. So, don’t forget to include this into your budget as well, especially if you own any valuable items that you don’t want to see damaged.

Do as much cutting as you can outside

Many people make the mistake of taking down all the protection as soon as the demo part of the remodel is over. However, not many things create more dust than cutting and sanding drywall. So, if doing that is a part of your renovation – and it probably is – try to do it in the backyard, and bring only the finished pieces inside. Also, don’t take down any dust protection until your project is completely over.

Clean the entryways 

Dust often comes through the front door, settles in entryways, and from there, it’s easily spread around the house. So, make sure to clean your entryways often. Additionally, it might not be a bad idea to keep a small vacuum cleaner nearby, which you can use to occasionally clean the area. Speaking of vacuums, after the renovation project, make sure to vacuum your home thoroughly just in case any dust particles managed to get through.

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Keeping your home dust-free during your renovation project can be a challenge. However, with some effort, a bit of plastic, and good organization, everything is possible. Therefore, consider the listed tips, apply them to your home, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble with dust.

About the author: Mike Johnston is a home improvement blogger and DIY enthusiast from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator and contributor to numerous lifestyle, real estate and green living blogs. Mike’s goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.

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Which Home Renovation Projects Offer the Best Return on Investment?

Which Home Renovation Projects Offer the Best Return on Investment?

The biggest problem with renovating your home isn’t deciding whether to do it or not, but where to invest your money. Not knowing whether your investments will pay off is even worse, so you need to pick projects to invest in carefully. If you’re still unsure which ideas will pay off in the long run, here are five ideas you should explore.

Repainting walls

This is one of the cheapest projects out there, but it’s also more than valuable. Repainting your home shouldn’t take more than a couple of days, and it doesn’t cost too much, but the end result is amazing. You can easily do this on your own, so just choose the colors you like, invite a couple of friends over to help you, and you’re good to go! If you choose your colors wisely, you’ll instantly turn your home into a nicer and more welcoming space, and that’s something we all need.

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Fixing the bathroom

This is where you spend a considerable part of your day, and while the bathroom doesn’t need to be the most spacious room in your home, it certainly needs to be the coziest. That’s why investing in a new bathroom can really go a long way – this will turn this space in your own private sanctuary and give you a spa-like experience you surely deserve. What you need to do is install a new free-standing tub, maximize your storage space, add some scented candles here and there, and bring in a few plants that will introduce a dose of nature into your bathroom.

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Spice up the living room

This is another area where you probably spend most of your time, hanging out with your family, entertaining your guests, or enjoying your afternoon nap. These are the reasons why the living room needs to be visually appealing and comfortable, so don’t be afraid to invest in some new furniture, high tech gadgets, as well as new windows that will bring in more natural sunlight and fresh air into your living room. Take it all to the next level by adding some intriguing Persian rugs that will transform your living room into the most exciting room you’ve ever seen and the focal point of your entire home.

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Kitchen remodeling

If you’re planning on selling your home sometime soon, this is a project that definitely deserves your attention. Buyers generally love new or at least recently-remodeled kitchens, and they don’t have a problem paying for them. Therefore, find a couple of ideas you like and start implementing them into your kitchen little by little. Replacing your countertops, repainting your cabinets, and installing a new kitchen island are just some of the things that will boost the value of your home and make you happy you’ve made these investments.

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Check your floors

This is something we usually don’t pay attention to until it’s too late, but the fact is that most floors could use some touch-ups from time to time. So, check your floors thoroughly, see if they’re sloping or maybe sagging, and decide whether they require your attention. You can also install completely new floors into every room of your home and make sure they’re perfect. Just pick your materials – most people go for hardwood or laminate floors, but you can also opt for tile, stone, concrete, bamboo, cork, vinyl, and lots of other ideas – and give your floors a new life.

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None of us love investing too much money into our homes because we can’t be sure what’s going to pay off, so start with these five ideas and find more safe investments along the way. In addition, you can get help from a professional renovation contractor.

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Tips for Bathroom Renovation and Its Key Advantages

Tips for Bathroom Renovations and Its Key Advantages

Getting any space inside the home renovated needs lots and lots of planning and when it is all about the loo, one needs to think about getting the furniture inside replaced, getting the floor cleaned and polished and so on. The basic things of concern when it comes to bathroom renovation are sewage and drainage.

A plumber must be contacted for checking the drainage lines. This space getting cleaned, changed and renovated might involve changing the floor tiles, changing the wall tiles, cleaning, changing the mirror and curtains and so on.

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A systematic planning can easily be done by contacting interior planners, renovation specialists, plumbers and a professional bathroom renovation company. This makes the work easier and it will get done faster. In fact bathroom renovations can also encompass petty things such as, getting the shower mat changed, the taps and showers replaced by new, getting the nozzles clean and so on. In fact taking care of the water heater is important when it comes to looking after the bathroom.

Tips And Tricks to Give the Space a New Look

  • To give the space a new look one can easily think of getting new coloured tiles attached to the wall. In fact the floor tiles can be changed but that involves hard work that too involving architects and masons. 

  • Painting the walls and floors can work well if we want a new look for the space. 

  • A different set of toiletries can be bought and old ones need to be replaced.

  • New curtains are bought to give the space a new look.

  • New glass can be installed for the bathing section. 

  • One can install a separate steam bath section according to requirement.

  • In fact getting the bath tub cleaned or replaced if damaged is a better idea for bathroom renovation.

There are arrays of service providers who can provide the customer with a dedicated team of workers expert in the field of plumbing, cleaning, and masonry and so on. Do not hesitate to contact a dealer to manage the work of bathroom renovation. One can contact them based upon their requirements and the budget too. There are people who actually and solely work for remodelling bathrooms; and for this reason this has become a profession to help people remodel and renovate their older bathroom spaces.

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A Few Modern Hacks That Work Well When It Comes to Bathroom Renovation

  • Replacing the old fashioned pots with the new hidden tank toilets has been a trend, the basic advantage of this being, lesser space occupied by the structure. 

  • The plumbing needs calculations and accurate measurements too. A 2 inch plumbing line has to be maintained for a standard renovation of the drainage lines. 

  • Installing a space for ventilation, say a window is a necessity in a bathroom. In fact we can keep flower pots or small plat saplings in the space. 

  • A bathroom should always be airy and spacious; and for this reason, while a bathroom renovation the space can actually be expanded. 

  • Keeping a bath tub just for show is a complete waste of the space and resources as well. If not required then a bath tub can be removed while a bathroom renovation.

  • To install new towel holders, liquid soap containers, brush holders and so on has been a trend when it comes to refashioning a space.

Bathroom renovation is about improving the aesthetics of the space with better colours and better lightings but one must not forget about the function abilities of the space and the tools there.

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Tips on Living at Home During a Renovation

Tips on Living at Home During a Renovation

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A home renovation can be an exciting time for a family, but it can be a bit of a hassle without a clear plan to manage possessions and people during the process. Here are some ways for a family to survive a renovation if they decide to buck through and live in the home during the building phase.

1. Manage pets

Pets who aren’t crazy about strangers aren't as dangerous as friendly, inquisitive pets when it comes to having workers in your home. It's true that it’s hard to resist a friendly animal, but they can become a hazard when workers are lifting and carrying materials, using power tools, etc.  So, plan a way to contain your pets for their safety and that of the work crew.

2. Plan for dirt

A renovation is dirty business! Plan for dirt on everything to be on the safe side. Some people advocate to pack up as though you’re planning to move. While this may seem extreme, remember how eagerly dust settles into nooks and crannies and plan accordingly. Tarps are handy to cover items when they aren't in use. Some people like to rent a storage unit and keep their most valuable, dust-sensitive materials entirely away from the renovation area until it’s complete. Box up everything possible and get it out of the way, especially if the home improvement involves a kitchen or bathroom, and use an air filter, air purifiers, etc. as needed to pull residual dust out of the air.

3. Have alternate entry and exits for the family 

Staying out of the way will make a renovation go more smoothly and be safer for the family — plan for alternative entry and exit points from home to stay away from the renovation site. Most families who own an attached garage normally use it as the main entry and exit from the house. Garage door repair companies report that families who don’t use their garage as an entry point are more likely to have garage door repairs performed just before a home remodeling so they can make use of the garage, either as a point of entry, for storage, or as part of an alternative room arrangement strategy. 

Another room arrangement strategy is setting up a temporary alternative room. When remodeling the only bathroom in the home, some families will set up a camping potty in the garage for kids or emergencies. A large plastic bin can be a makeshift bath. (A siphon hose is a much easier way to empty the bin than tipping or bucketing.)  A small kitchen area can be created in the garage during a kitchen remodel, with essentials such as paper plates, a toaster oven, or even a mini fridge or microwave oven.

Being able to keep a sense of humor and perspective will help a family get through a renovation. After all, it’s only temporary. Human beings have a strong streak of courage and more determination than they know when it comes to pressing through inconveniences so they will end up with the house of their dreams. 

In addition, the renovation process can be much smoother if you hire a professional renovation contractor.

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Renovate and Remodel Your Way to Safety: Advice for Seniors Aging in Place

Renovate and Remodel Your Way to Safety: Advice for Seniors Aging in Place

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Sixty percent of senior falls take place in the home — it’s a constant and serious threat to seniors trying to live safely as they age in place in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four Americans age 65 and over suffers a fall every year. Unfortunately, just one fall can make the difference between living safely and happily at home and moving to an assisted living facility — and just one fall can be fatal. Thankfully, there are plenty of renovations and modifications that can help keep you from falling, as well as lifestyle changes that can make seniors less vulnerable. 

Identify Medical Risk Factors

It’s not uncommon for older adults to experience a gradual diminishing of their vision, hearing, and reflexes. Consult your healthcare provider if you’re experiencing one of these health issues, or if you suffer from diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, or some other problem that could threaten your safety at home. It could be a simple matter of having prescription medication adjusted or changed, consulting an ophthalmologist, or working with a physical therapist.  

Home Modifications

Many of the home renovations that can keep you safe at home can be done by you or with the help of a friend or family member. In the bathroom, where most falls occur, installing grab rails is a necessity for staying safe. Anchor rails securely in the wall next to the toilet and in the shower/bathtub, and place a non-slip surface in front of the sink and toilet. Install a shower seat or put in a walk-in bathtub for safe and convenient access. 

The kitchen is another area that can be made safer with some basic remodeling, such as lowering counter height to 30 inches for enhanced accessibility. There are plenty of ways to injure yourself in the kitchen, so make sure there’s plenty of ambient, non-glare lighting in the kitchen. Install nightlights or motion-activated lighting in the bathroom, kitchen, and hallways. 

If you’re experiencing decreased eyesight, sudden changes in light intensity can make it harder for your eyes to adjust, which can ultimately lead to falls. So, maintain consistent lighting throughout the home, particularly in the halls and staircases. Consider removing carpeting and replacing it with smoother surfaces that are less conducive to tripping. If you have wooden stairs, have a non-slip tread placed on each step.

Strength Exercises

Exercise is an important part of your health routine at any age. For seniors, exercises that help strengthen the lower body can go a long way toward preventing falls in the home while keeping you active and feeling positive. Knee extensions, for example, can improve leg strength and flexibility. From a sitting position, simply extend one leg, hold it for a few seconds, then do the same with the other leg. Try following that up with some squats. Place your hands on a chair back and do a series of standing partial squats, which will improve hip strength and flexibility. Do these exercises, and perhaps some bicep curls and tricep exercises, and you’ll improve your strength and make it considerably easier to stay physically active.

Wear Safe, Comfortable Shoes

This might not require any remodeling and renovating, but wearing safe shoes is equally as important. Shoe choice comes down to common sense: Avoid high heels and floppy slippers and sandals and go with shoes that are comfortable and sturdy. Hard-soled slip-resistant soles and heels an inch or less in height are safest. Avoid wearing socks or going barefoot, which can leave you more susceptible to slipping. Shoes that fasten with velcro straps are easier to slip on and off. 

Much of the remodeling that can keep seniors safe in their homes can be done on a DIY basis. If you find yourself needing to widen doorways or hallways, you’ll probably need the services of a professional renovation contractor. It’s more expensive, but these modifications are well worth the investment as long as it translates into a safer, more accessible home.

Image courtesy of Pixabay

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Most Common Renovation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Most Common Renovation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

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Renovating your home sounds like the easiest and most enjoyable process in the world – it’s something that will ultimately lead you to a new home afterward, and that’s always good! However, every renovation takes some time and energy, and you have to be careful if you want to do everything right. Avoiding mistakes people usually make is one of the issues you need to be careful about, so here are a few obvious mistakes you should avoid at all costs

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Be realistic

We all want to live in amazing homes with a ton of space and all sorts of amenities that will make our lives much easier. Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, which is why renovation project seems like the perfect solution to solve problems people face every single day. But, what you mustn’t do is set the bar too high and expect to achieve too much. Define what you’re trying to do, try to be realistic with your goals, and stick to your plans instead of trying too hard and then failing.

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Define the budget

This is another common mistake people make when renovating their home – they don’t define their budget, and ultimately end up spending too much money. Your renovation budget will actually define what you will and won’t be able to do, so making sure you know exactly how much money you have is crucial. If you don’t do that, you’ll just keep investing and investing, eventually spending the money you don’t really have.

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Pay attention to details

If you’re renovating your home and investing time, money and energy into it, try to do it right. This means paying attention to details and taking every little thing into consideration. So, if you’re renovating your bathroom, start with new plumbing, and if you’re remodeling your kitchen, invest in new appliances. If you’re redoing your bedroom, install new windows, but don’t forget about the blinds, especially if you’re living in a hot region. This is something people in hot areas know the best, which is why they might want to talk to experts in blinds who can recommend those protective blinds that will help them control the level of light penetrating their living space, as well as enhance their privacy.

Hire the right people

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Look, doing everything on your own is quite all right, and it’s certainly the best way to save a considerable amount of money, but is it really worth it? Unless you’re a handy and skillful person who knows what needs to be done, the chances are you won’t be able to complete your home renovation project adequately, which is why hiring the right people instead is always a better idea. Find a professional renovation company, and let these people do their job.

Set the deadline

No matter how big your project is, you need to complete it as soon as possible. If you don’t set the deadline and stick to it, you’ll just keep adding more and more ideas you want to spend money on, and you’ll never be done. That’s why you need to know when you want your renovations to be done, and then organize all your actions in accordance with that final date. Of course, you can always push it a bit, but at least you’ll know when you’re supposed to be done and why your renovations are running late.

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Paying attention to these mistakes, knowing how easy making them is, and trying your best to avoid them is one of the most effective paths towards a successful home renovation project, so be careful, and always keep your end goal in mind.

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North Vancouver Home Renovation

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North Vancouver Home Renovation

North Vancouver Home Renovation - Heilman Renovations, 1001 Northlands drive, North Vancouver.

Heilman Renovations recently completed a full home renovation which included renovating kitchen, two bathrooms, laudry room and more.

Before

Before

Demolition can begin

Demolition can begin

Removing drop on ceiling to modernized new kitchen

Removing drop on ceiling to modernized new kitchen

Wall ready for rewiring and new drywall

Wall ready for rewiring and new drywall

New drywall instalation

New drywall instalation

Drywall mudding and ceiling repair

Drywall mudding and ceiling repair

Ready for new cabinets

Ready for new cabinets

New cabinets instalation

New cabinets instalation

Countertop

Countertop

Joe is working on backsplash

Joe is working on backsplash

Backsplash

Backsplash

Clean up

Clean up

After. Beautiful result!

After. Beautiful result!

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North Vancouver Kitchen and Bathroom Renovation

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North Vancouver Kitchen and Bathroom Renovation

North Vancouver Kitchen and Bathroom Renovation - Heilman Renovations, 6th Street E, North Vancouver

Heilman Renovations recently completed a kitchen and bathroom renovation which consider removing an old cabinets and replace with new one.


Kitchen before

Kitchen before

Kitchen before

Kitchen before

Bathroom before

Bathroom before

Removing dividing wall

Removing dividing wall

Joe filing wall with insulation

Joe filing wall with insulation

Drywall repair

Drywall repair

Ready for a new kitchen cabinets

Ready for a new kitchen cabinets

New kitchen cabinets

New kitchen cabinets

New cabinets

New cabinets

Counter top delivery. Ready to install !

Counter top delivery. Ready to install !

New counter top and cabinet

New counter top and cabinet

Backsplash

Backsplash

Joe grounding a new tiles

Joe grounding a new tiles

New lights in dinning room and kitchen in back

New lights in dinning room and kitchen in back

And kitchen after

And kitchen after

Kitchen after

Kitchen after

And Bathroom after

And Bathroom after

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Don’t Be Surprised: Things to Expect With Your Remodel

Don’t Be Surprised: Things to Expect With Your Remodel

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Home remodeling is always a bigger project than you might expect it to be. Many homeowners prepare for it, sometimes for months and get sidelined by the problem they didn’t see coming or by the lack of labor in certain areas.

Also, home remodeling takes time and effort. That means that it might affect your home life for days and sometimes weeks. It’s an expense you’ll need to factor into your calculations. Sometimes it’s better to remodel the home all at once, rather than separating it into projects, so you can get the distraction out the way.

The mess

Everyone will expect their day-to-day life to be uprooted a bit while the construction is underway. That’s normal and everyone prepares for that in one way or another. What’s often overlooked about the work itself is that it leaves quite a lot of mess behind.

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There are two ways to approach this, the first is to include the cost of the cleaning into the work and make sure the work is done from start to finish and the second is to plan for a couple of additional days of disruption.

Materials matter

The price of the materials used for remodeling is probably the biggest percent of the cost. It may seem like it’s easier to purchase the materials and to find labor at the same place. It is the case, but you can save quite significantly, by shopping around for materials.

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Also, deciding to use reused, recycled, and repurposed materials can be beneficial in numerous ways. It’s less expensive, it adds patina to your home and it’s more environmentally sound. This is especially true if such materials could be bought locally, which cuts shipping costs.

The roof

One of the most overlooked parts of the home when it comes to remodeling is the roof. This is a mistake because problems with the roof are usually small until they suddenly turn big and cause serious damages which are expensive to repair. The key to repairing a roof leak is to do it before it’s noticeable.

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A complete roof restoration project will start with cleaning and then go on to replacing the coating if it’s needed at all. Tiled roofs are also the most likely to leak and you should hire a professional to make sure all old tiles are joint together, which isn’t only important for preventing leaks; it also makes the roof look better.

Renovating isn’t always better

For the majority of older homes, there’s a dilemma between renovating and replacing. This is usually where homeowners are trying to save and simply repair what can be repaired instead of buying new materials and making big changes.

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This is understandable, but it’s something to do with considering the specificities of the project. The cost of additional repairs and the quality of the work should be taken into account and you might find that paying more upfront may be a better option for you.

The budget

In the end, budget considerations often come as a surprise for an average homeowner. Almost everyone takes the time to prepare and to shop around before starting the renovation. Regardless of how well you plan things out, there will always be additional, unforeseen expenses.

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The best way to go is to simply add 10 or 15 percent to your initial budget and to use it if something goes wrong. There’s no way of saying if that’s enough, but that’s a good hedge to have.

Home renovations are a big disturbance to both your home and your budget. Planning ahead with a professional renovation contractor and focusing on things that might go wrong before they do is the only way to do it.

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Functional Kitchen Tips from the Pros

Functional Kitchen Tips from the Pros 

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Whether you’ve just moved into a new home or want to spice your living space a bit, finding new decorating and furnishing ideas are always welcomed. From bringing in new living room furniture to redoing your bathroom, all of these things will make your home more visually appealing and welcoming than it’s ever been. Another area people love renovating is the kitchen, but the point here isn’t just making it nicer, but also making it more functional. In order to achieve the maximum level of functionality in your kitchen, here are a few tips from decorating experts that might go a long way.

Declutter Everything First

This is probably the oldest and the most boring way to introduce a change into your life, but it’s also the most effective way to make your kitchen more functional. No matter how good you really are at cooking, the chances are your kitchen is full of things you don’t need – from leftover food to appliances you don’t use – so you have to get rid of these as soon as possible.

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Decluttering your kitchen seems like the hardest thing in the world, but it’s surprisingly easy if you know what to do. Clean the countertops, organise the cabinets, swipe the leftovers after eating your meals, and take out the trash every single day. This way, your cooking space will look bigger than it actually is, but it’s also going to boost your cooking skills and help you prepare tastier food.

Make Everything Accessible

Not everyone prepares their food in the same way, and when you’re insisting on functionality, you need to place everything within reach. This is easier in kitchens that are smaller and already crammed into a tinier space, but just because all your appliances are leaning on each doesn’t mean your kitchen is as functional as it can be. Well, in order to fix this, you have to think outside the box for a while.

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Start by defining the most important areas of your kitchen – the fridge, the island and the sink – because these are also the areas where you spend the biggest portion of your time. So, what you need to do is connect them in the best and most effective way possible. You need to be able to move from one to the other in a matter of seconds, without interrupting your flow and losing too much time. Once you bring everything together, your kitchen will start becoming more functional than ever.

Find the Right Layout

This is probably the most important part of your kitchen organising process and something you definitely need to pay attention to. The layout you choose depends on the size of your kitchen, and those L- and U-shaped layouts seem to be the most popular out there because they give you tons of manoeuvring space and enough storage area for all your necessities. However, there’s another reason behind their popularity – the number of appliances that fit into these layouts.

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No matter how big your kitchen is, you’ll be able to incorporate anything you need into it if you pick one of the aforementioned layouts. Stacking your sink, your range, your fridge and your dishwasher next to one another is easy in that situation, but you can also add a built-in oven, one of those fire ducts that clear the air, and a massive freezer as well. In short, whatever you want to create is possible if you pick the right layout and plan ahead.

Fix the Floor

Again, it doesn’t matter if you’re moving into a new kitchen or renovating your old one by a kitchen renovation company, you need to make sure your floors are in top condition. You have lots of different materials to choose from, but, if you’re insisting on functionality, not just any flooring will do. So, look into each option carefully and pick the one that seems to be more durable and practical than the others.

Hardwood, porcelain tiles, stone, and concrete floors are among the most favourite choices out there, and they’ll surely prove to be good enough for you as well. Alternatively, you can go with bamboo, laminate, linoleum, and vinyl, as these choices are still good, but much cheaper and easier to install. In the end, be sure to pick a material that goes well with the colour scheme you have going on in your kitchen because that’s the only way to take its overall design to a new level too.

Turning your kitchen into the most functional part of your home is far from being easy, simple and cheap, and you have to invest a considerable amount of time and money into this process. But, if you’re not afraid to do that, you could end up with the most functional kitchen in the world, and that’s something you can’t put a price on.

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Home, Safe Home Vol.1: How to Child-Proof a Kitchen

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Home, Safe Home Vol.1: How to Child-Proof a Kitchen

Home, Safe Home Vol.1: How to Child-Proof a Kitchen

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Childproofing is essential for keeping kids safe around the house, and we would love to share with you our expert advice on the house renovations you should make to reduce the chance of accidents. Since we are talking about the safety of our little ones, it will take a few articles to get you fully covered on the topic (don’t forget to check our blog for future features).

And today we will be talking about what you can do to childproof a kitchen.

Modern day kitchens are often the hub of the house, places where families gather for a meal, but also to socialize. The rise of the open plan living made kitchen once again the hearthstone of the home, and its importance in our busy-scheduled lives keeps growing. But kitchen can also be a very dangerous space if you put toddlers in the picture. Heat, fire, sharp objects and a whole range of different toxins are just some of the dangers lurking in the kitchen. Many experts believe that babies and toddlers shouldn’t be spending time in the kitchen at any cost and that no amount of childproofing can make it safe.

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Even though this opinion has some solid roots, the truth is that following this advice is simply not achievable in real life. Ask any parent and they will tell you, preparing food for youngsters is one of their most often and definitely most time-consuming daily chores. Having someone on hand to take care of the baby while they are busy preparing food is not a commodity many can afford, which makes childproofing a necessity no one can argue with.

There are numerous things you can do by yourself, such as - making sure all hazardous objects and chemicals are put away, using back burners on the stove, installing safety latches or removing tablecloths and runners from children’s reach. We won’t be talking about these simple, everyday measures today, but rather things that require professional help (or at least a handy pair of hands).

Keep Them Away

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If you absolutely need to bring the baby in the kitchen, make sure to set it in a secure place. Easier said than done! Infants will be safe in car carriers, but toddlers will require some extra effort. Placing them on a high chair or in a playpen might work, at least for some time, but sooner or later it simply won’t be enough.

Safety gates can be of extraordinary help for keeping kids away from the kitchen when all of the previously mentioned fail. However, not all kitchen layouts are created equal. In a traditional kitchen with a single point of access, installing a safety gate might be all you need to keep a wandering toddler away, but in an open-plan layout, things get tricky. One safety gate won’t make much of a difference to such a space and coming up with a plan to block off the kitchen area will require more aggressive measures. You can choose to shut down the access to the kitchen entirely, or just cut it down to a small size that will be easier to guard.

Visually, it can get a bit messy, and it will probably ruin you seamlessly designed kitchen, but remember why you are doing this in a first place. Kids’ safety is the number one priority; design comes later. And after all, they do grow up so quickly! You will have your beautiful kitchen back in no time. Much sooner than you’d wish. And in the meantime, you can always paint them to match the rest of the interior.

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Dutch doors are a more pricey, yet way more stylish alternative to safety gates. However, they will become a permanent resident of your household, so make sure they fit well with the environment. When kids grow older, and there is no need for keeping them away from the kitchen, Dutch doors will still come in handy. They will allow you to vent the kitchen while keeping the dog outside of the room.

Do Your Homework

If you are about to remodel your kitchen to make it more child-friendly, pay attention to the materials you select.

Natural materials like marble and granite might look smashing, but they won’t stay that way for long when little hands start spilling food and juices all around the place. Choose quartz or solid surface instead, and you won’t have to worry about stains on your beautiful new counter.

Also, no matter how sleek and modern stainless steel is, keeping it spotless with the curious hands around will become a mission impossible. Actually, avoid selecting anything too shiny, but somewhat muted, or semi-glossy.

Sturdy, durable materials that are not easy to scratch are always the best choice.

Make sure to avoid any sharp edges whenever possible and pay attention to height levels. Don’t make the kids have to climb to reach everything. Choose your battles wisely and allow them to use the table, not the counter while leaving out of reach what needs to stay there.

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Put Away the Trash Can

A built-in trash can that pulls out from a cabinet is something we highly recommend to every family with young children. Not only will it look clean, but it will also be easy to lock away. If kids can’t see it, it won’t raise that much interest in them to go on a treasure hunt. Kids simply adore to rummage through the garbage, and it is not just gross, but can be very dangerous too.

If you are about to remodel your kitchen to suit the needs of your growing family, give us a call, and we will be happy to help you create a safe environment for raising your children. Just keep in mind that no amount of child-proofing can substitute parental supervision.

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Full Home Remodeling or Room-by-Room Renovations

Full Home Remodeling or Room-by-Room Renovations

It is not uncommon to delay remodels due to excessive obligations. However, we can push these delays too far and quite soon we may end up with a household that requires a more “holistic” approach to renovations. Still, one needs to decide on the most prudent method of approaching such an ambitious project – either as a full home remodeling or room-by-room renovations. 

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The trials of living conditions

Remodeling projects can take a while to finish. Sometimes, they can stretch across two months or more, depending on the efficiency of the contractors and how complex it gets in certain areas. The matter that you need to consider is the logistics of your living conditions during a remodel. If you go with room-by-room renovations, it is feasible to stay at home and continue a somewhat normal living routine. If you decide to go with the full home remodel, you’ll have to stay somewhere else – and this can become a budgetary concern. The most painless way to go through this is to crash at your best friend’s place or relatives. 

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Budgetary concerns – stretch a dollar

In the end, it all comes down to budget. If you have enough cash on you to renovate the entire household, you should most definitely go with this approach. It may actually be cheaper in the long run, especially in large cities like Perth where the price of a working hour appears to be skyrocketing on a year-by-year basis. You should utilize the planning phase to the fullest in order to stretch every dollar as much as you can.

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For your living room facelift, you can totally discard the interior designer and outline the aesthetic composition of your home yourself – after all, the custom “boutique” approach is all the rage now. As soon as you find a renovation contractor, see if they will be eager to consider working with recycled or reused materials, which are of the same quality as new ones, but at half the price.

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When it comes to redoing the kitchen and bathroom plumbing, you’ll have to do thorough research of the professionals that work within the area just to find the most efficient plumber you can afford. Keep in mind that time-efficiency factors translate to reasonable pricing. The last thing you need is a plumber who cannot make heads or tails of your bathroom piping and who will waste dollars-per-hour of your hard-earned money and leave shoddy work behind them.

Future-proof

Room-by-room remodel is the best way to renovate if you are not particularly ambitious about refurbishing and you want to keep the entire process painless. Lifestyle changes required by full-on house remodel, as it has been suggested in the first paragraph, can induce a lot of stress. However, when it comes to future-proofing, full home renovation trumps room-by-room for several reasons.

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First of all, there is a better chance full home remodeling will lend your house a cohesive appearance in one grand sweep, and a better flow can make a lot of difference. This also means that your household will have a more lasting “aesthetic integrity”, not to mention that incorporating universal designs and covering every area will grant you the best “mileage” out of your home before the next remodel is required. Simply speaking, it is more convenient, financially reasonable and forward-thinking.

The type of home makes a difference

Of course, the type of your household may dictate your choices instead of you. For example, if you live in an apartment, getting the approval from neighbors can be an issue, not to mention council approval. You will need to submit a proposal. Sometimes, it is better to go with holistic renovations, as other residents of the building may be fairly unhappy with one noisy remodel after another.

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Budget and timing will dictate your approach to household renovations. Beyond that, your decision depends on what you want to achieve. Do you want to spruce up your home just to feel more comfortable in certain areas, or do you want to “prep” it for a sell? No matter what you decide, the ultimate goal should be the improvement of your own quality of life. Stay flexible on the road to achieving this goal, and you’ll end up happier either way.

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How to do Basement Remodeling as good as a Professional Contractor

How to do Basement Remodeling as good as a Professional Contractor

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A basement is often the most underused and underwhelming part of a home. It can also be damp and rather unattractive if you don’t take good care of it. Luckily, with a few renovations and a clear plan of what you want to make of it – you can turn this room into a useful and even beautiful leisure space.

This isn’t just a renovation project that will keep you occupied for a while and make your home better looking and more comfortable. It will actually make your property more valuable and easier to sell, too.

Cleaning

For most households a basement is basically a storage unit. It’s usually not that clean and well-organized and there are items in there which you thought were lost for years. Before you can start the renovations, you should first clean the basement from top to bottom.

It’s best to sell or donate some of the items you find there. That can help you along with the funding needed for the remodeling, but it’s also an easy way to move stuff out without having to hire a crew to do it.

A budget and a plan

When you have a clean basement to work with, you should start seriously discussing what you plan to do with it. It’s often transformed into a workshop of some kind or into an entertainment room, since it’s well-suited to that purpose. It doesn’t need to be if you have other needs for which the basement would be better suited.

Once you have this clear idea, the renovation budget should be easier to figure out and organize. It’s always a good idea to create a bigger budget than you might think you need. There might be mistakes and there are costs of cleaning and putting finishing touches.

Floors

In most cases, floors are the biggest problem and the biggest thing to do when it comes to remodeling a basement. This is best done by a professional renovation contractor because it’s such an important and specific task. The first part of this is to use a laser level to make sure the floor isn’t slanted and that it’s suitable for everyday use.

There’s often a drainage problem with the flooring and the matter of insulation. All of these are considered to be more difficult part of the project and once they are done you can get onto the more fun and creative things to do.

Lighting

Setting up the lighting for the basement is often a difficult and daunting task. Basements aren’t made to be well lit. There usually isn’t any natural light and you’ll have to do your best to set up the artificial one to be both comfortable and to allow you to use the room for its purpose.

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Ambient lights can’t accomplish this in a small and crowded space, so it’s best to set up a few task lights throughout the room to keep it evenly lit.

Carpets


The best way to describe a well-decorated basement is with the word cozy. There are structural problems with turning a basement into an additional room and most of them appear as problems with heating and air conditioning.

Carpets and drapes are an easy and inexpensive fix for these issues. Before you decide on carpeting, you might think about adding a layer of insulation beneath the floor. The color and texture of the carpets does more than just regulate the heat. It can also make the basement appear more spacious and open if you choose a lighter color.

Remodeling a basement is often a complicated and expensive project. Expert contractors are needed to deal with slanted floors and insulation. Other than that, lighting and decoration will be the biggest and most creative tasks.

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The Basics of Starting a Living Room Remodel

The Basics of Starting a Living Room Remodel

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Every household remodelling project is an exciting opportunity, but the possibility of irreparable mistakes and a large number of decisions you have to make can make the entire venture quite overwhelming. What can you afford? Where to begin? Should you listen to yourself or consult a renovation contractor? These are the questions that can haunt you deep into the night as you tussle in your bed with your eyes wide open, but have no fear – here are the basics of starting a living room remodel.

Plan according to your lifestyle

You probably want a spacious, conveniently arranged living room where you can retreat and relax during a prolonged cool-off session after a frantic day. Is the space about to be used for intimate gatherings or do you want a “parlor” where parties can easily be arranged? Knowing what you want in the simplest possible terms is a good foundation for further planning. It also helps if you are about to invest a lot of money into structural changes in your living room.

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Secure the place before the remodel commences

When it comes to renovations, a lot of messy work necessitates additional levels of safety, both for your house and for the contractors that will do the remodelling. First of all, begin these preparations by removing all of the furniture out of the room that is about to be renovated. If the walls are to be torn down, you should remove all the paintings and paraphernalia from the other side of the wall as well. You don’t want extra furniture expenses now that you have invested in a remodel. 

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It would also be smart to move out for the time being. The point is to avoid inhaling sawdust, paint fumes and other damaging airborne materials. Finally, it would be an idea to hire an accredited electrician to on your home, to ensure everything is done properly. These steps should have you covered. 

Consult the professionals

However, there is only so much you can do as a layman to “secure” everything and everyone involved in the remodelling. The rest is up to the contractors and their experience, the should be quite proficient in all departments. Should you get a chance, consult with them before the project commences. 

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If you have envisioned something for your living room, pulling it off might be unrealistic – but this is something only professionals will know. Therefore, keep an open mind and listen to their advice, but don’t be afraid to push the envelope by asking questions back – probing for an approach to get the most out of what you’ve envisioned. 

Look for cheap hacks

If you are doing a complete living room remodel, you will probably introduce some new furniture elements to the area after the broad strokes are established by the professionals. The bad news is that this means more spending. The good news is that you can look for cheap hacks to make your living room more luxurious than it is. Sleek black elements and framed pop art can easily add the sense of ultra-modern lavishness to your communal space. Make sure the room is always bright and consider adding more greenery to the corners. Rugs, if properly chosen, can also tie your room together in surprising ways. For a deluxe sheen, consider high-pile rugs. 

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If you find the experience too overwhelming, you need to remember one important thing: this is your living room, which means that you are the one who calls all the shots. As questions begin to compile, you should be well aware of the fact that there are no wrong answers but the ones that do not suit your sensibilities. This should help you relax and start making proper decisions for your living room remodel – and beginning is usually the hardest part. 

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Trex Deck Build in North Vancouver

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Trex Deck Build in North Vancouver

Trex Deck Builder in North Vancouver

North Vancouver Deck Builder

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West vancouver Renovation Contractor

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West vancouver Renovation Contractor

West vancouver Renovation Contractor

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