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5 Home Improvements that Actually Pay Off

5 Home Improvements that Actually Pay Off

The fanciest and most expensive renovation projects aren’t necessarily the wisest investment. Simple updates and smaller improvements can significantly enhance your quality of living, increase the value of your home and bring higher returns on investment. Before undertaking a renovation project, take some time to find out which one will actually pay off.

Deck addition

One renovation project that will increase your home’s value, especially if you don’t have an outdoor space, is a wooden deck addition. An average cost is around $10,000, but you can recoup an average 80.5%. Prospective buyers are always attracted to homes with stylish outdoor spaces. If you aren’t planning to sell your house, you’ll have an outdoor sanctuary where you can relax with your family.

Entry door replacement

The curb appeal of your home is an important factor that can significantly affect your sale price and the most conspicuous detail is your front door. If it has become worn-out, replacing it with a steel one will set you back around $1,300, but you’ll recoup around 91%. If you’re planning to stay in your home, a new door can also reduce your energy bill. If your old door has air leaks, you’re probably wasting a lot of energy, but a new entry door will help you change that. 

Home insulation

Home insulation is another item on the list of profitable home improvements, especially attic insulation. The estimated average cost of attic insulation is around $1,200, with 116%

return on investment. This is a project that will increase your savings in the long run – not only will it increase the value of your home, but it will also reduce your energy bill significantly. It will keep your home warm during winter and cool during summer, reducing the need for the cooling and heating systems.

Kitchen Renovations

If you’re planning to put your home on the market, you should take some time to style up your kitchen. However, keep in mind that smaller renovations and changes come with a higher return on investment. A minor kitchen remodel might set you back around $20,000 or less, but you can recoup around 83%. When it comes to specific improvements, you have plenty of options. You can replace the old fixtures and knobs with new, metal ones to give your kitchen a modern look. If your kitchen cabinets look a bit worn-out, you can simply repaint them. You can also replace the lighting fixtures, spruce up the countertops or add treatments to the kitchen windows.

You should avoid over-investing in your kitchen because you can spend a fortune while recouping just a portion of your expenses. In addition, if you don’t have much experience in remodelling or decoration, you should consider seeking help from a contractor. They can always give you some guidelines or useful advice that will make your job much easier. 

Bathroom updates

The bathroom is another area in your home where you can make smart and cost-effective updates that can actually pay off. Minor updates in your bathroom can go a long way, especially if they can lead to an increase in your savings in the long run. You can introduce plenty of eco-friendly updates, such as installing water-saving showerheads or low-flow toilet. These green updates will help you reduce your energy and water consumption and your bills. If you ever decide to sell your home, this will certainly appeal to prospective buyers.

Another simple yet significant bathroom renovation is repairing or replacing broken pipes. Not only will water leaks increase your water bill, but they may actually result in more serious damage that can cost you significantly more. It’s advisable that you hire a professional to take care of this. In Australia, for example, you can find a reliable plumber in Western Sydney who provides plumbing services at any time. Try to find one in your area and contact them to help you with a plumbing problem. 

Instead of wasting your money on expensive yet unprofitable renovation projects, take some time to make a smart decision and wise investment. Not only will you improve your quality of living, but you’ll also attract potential buyers. 

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Home Repair: DIY or Call a Renovation Contractor

Home Repair: DIY or Call a Renovation Contractor

I don’t know about you, but I am that type of person who likes to do house repairs and renovations on my own, even when I’m not cut out for it. Nowadays, many people feel incompetent or simply reluctant to take even the slightest action to fix something inside their house. This may be because it has become a custom, or even a trend, to call a renovation contractor to fix whatever is broken. However, sometimes, all we need is to watch a simple YouTube tutorial, think a little bit, and we’ll be able to fix it in no time. Many home repairs can be done without hiring anyone to needlessly take away your money. On the other hand, some repairs do require a professional’s hand and we shouldn’t handle them on our own. So, the million dollar question is: How to tell the difference and where do we draw the line?

Furniture

Most of these can be done by an amateur. Most furniture repairs include tightening some screws or adding a few new ones. Sometimes you’ll need to glue something together, pierce a hole or meld certain metal parts. If you have the proper equipment, there’s no reason for hiring anyone else to do it.

Windows

This is a bit trickier, but in some cases, you can handle it without any help. If your window has been broken, safely remove the remaining glass, and then blow-dry the putty so you can clean the area more easily. When it comes to the kind of glass you need to buy, you can get all the necessary information in a store or online. After that, apply a new layer of putty and gently place the new glass into the frame. You’d need to call a professional only if you live several stories up because, in this case, there’s a serious risk of falling.

Plumbing

This falls under one of the grossest sections of house repairs, but it’s usually quite simple. When there’s a clog, don’t rush to the phone to call a plumber, try a few tricks first. There are many recipes online for taking care of clogs. They usually involve pouring some kind of liquid into the drain in order to make it functional again. In extreme cases, there is a tool called a snake that can help navigate the pipes to clear the clog. Of course, if none of your attempts work, you’ll need to call a professional plumber in North Vancouver.

Electricity

Handling electricity issues yourself is one of the most dangerous things you can do when it comes to house repairs. Many jobs involving electricity require special permits. Plus, the risk of being shocked or burning down the whole house is too high for you to play games since not all houses have the same wiring, especially the old ones. In this case, it is strongly advised that you hire a professional. Find a fully qualified electrician in Blacktown

Walls

Wall-related issues can be exhausting, yet they usually can be done without any professional help. Removing and reattaching wallpapers or whitewashing can be very physically demanding, but it’s not really that difficult. You just need do it neatly enough so it would look good. There are numerous internet tutorials on these topics, so buy the right equipment and take all the advice you can get, as this is also a very messy job. You’d need to move all your furniture, protect it from anything that might stain it, clean up the whole mess multiple times and eventually move everything back the way it was. It’s quite tiring and also very tangible work. This is why many people opt for hiring a professional renovation contractor.

Basically, most house repairs can be done independently and the boundary between the ones you can do on your own and the ones that require a professional is quite vague and not the same for everyone. Of course, some people have more knowledge and experience and can handle more serious repairs, while others lack both knowledge and experience, and sometimes even the proper tools. In that case, it’s better to leave it to the pros than to regret it later.

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7 Pro Tips from a Renovation Contractor

7 Pro Tips from a Renovation Contractor

North Vancouver Renovation Contractor

source: pixabay.com

When home remodeling is at hand important issues will always emerge, and there will be a lot of touchy decisions awaiting for your final word. No matter how skilled and prepared you are, sometimes you simply cannot trust your intuition completely. If you pull just one wrong move the whole renovation could take a wrong turn. Wouldn't it be amazing if sometimes you could get just a moment's glimpse into the mind of an experienced renovation contractor? It most certainly would! So, here are some tips from pros that might help you see your project in a new light.

Be a good boss, applesauce

The perfect clients are easy to get along with, honest, and respectful. Treat your remodelers right, appreciate their work and you just might turn the project into art and joy. Keep in mind that although contractors are able to pull of some badass, magician like stuff, they are not able to read minds (yet!). 

 source: pexels.com

Make an effort to meet with the project leader at least once a day in order to ask relevant questions and voice any concerns you might have. He is your man of trust, so he needs and wants to know all your thoughts about the remodeling. Make sure to stay friendly with your contractor, and never hesitate to ask about anything you might be worried about. 

I’m working, do not disturb

 

source: pixabay.com

You definitely need to be involved in every single step of a remodel, just make sure that you are not a distraction. We are sorry if this sounds a bit cruel, but every minute your contractors spend talking to you is a minute they are not working on your project. Conversations that are important and job related are one thing, and they should certainly be continued. However, if you go full chatty about your vacation plans, the diet you are struggling to follow, or that awesome movie you watched last night, do not scratch your head later asking yourself how on earth is that kitchen renovation taking so long.

Be decisive

One of the best things you can do for your renovation project is to make every single decision on time. You do not want to keep contractors waiting, since this will stall the whole process needlessly. Most of the delays are actually related to issues like trim, paint or faucet selection. While it might sound like a minor point, if you’ve planned a five week project, waiting for something like a simple faucet for two weeks can really throw a wrench into your works. Once you have made up your mind, do not change it a lot. It is reasonable that you make some adjustments along the way, but restrain from changing your mind too often, as it can be extremely time and money consuming. Always be aware of the potential disruptions and delays to the job.

Do not buy materials on your own

You want that sweet home of yours to look exactly like you imagined after renovation is over, so purchasing materials yourself might seem like an obvious choice from the design, but also from the budget point of view. However, an honest professional would always suggest you to reconsider this. First of all, a builder can probably get a better price for materials than you could. Also, if there are any issues with the materials provided by the contractor, they are the ones obliged to replace them. Otherwise, you will have to deal with that unpleasant and not so budget friendly responsibility. You should stay away from buying supplies like cabinets, tiles, windows and other major parts on your own. 

source: unsplash.com

Of course, you can always check out what is out there and let your remodeling contractor know which elements you like. Purchasing appliances, accessories and light fixtures is acceptable. If you insist on doing some shopping on your own, just make sure that you have all the specifications for the remodel at hand when you go to the store. 

Hire an interior designer 

Interior designers are trained to turn aesthetic visions into a practical reality while adapting everything to your needs, lifestyle and budget. If you desire functional yet stylish, elegant space, consider hiring one. Designers are also able to create a realistic 3D rendering of your future home, which eliminates the risk of not being happy with the renovation. 

source: pexels.com

While some people consider that hiring an interior designer is something reserved for the privileged and wealthy, they reality is that having one to consult with during a remodel could actually save you quite a bit of time and money. Not only will they be able to help you avoid costly mistakes, but their advice is bound to help you raise the property value and appeal. 

Splurge on the showpiece of the room

While it is always good to save some money, paying as little as you can for the materials or labor is not the best way to go. Instead, it is about making wise decisions, and not being afraid to spend a little more when you are sure something is worth it. Just one carefully selected designer piece can do wonders for the room, instantly making it more fashionable. Decide which items you are likely to hang onto, and spend a little extra on them, so you can then skimp on those you will probably get bored of faster, or that are likely to go out of style soon. Some of these permanent fixtures that deserve a more significant financial investment include art or larger furniture pieces. 

source: pexels.com

One of the items that is both functional, ornamental and practically obligatory in a living room is a good sofa. While you might have to pay a little extra, do not just ignore the ones with eight-way hand tied spring construction or kiln-dried hardwood, in favor of cheaper ones. Buying a well made, classic sofa will allow you not only to quickly spruce up your place; but you will also be able to easily reupholster it with new fabric in a couple of years, when the original design goes out of style.

Keep it simple

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source: pexels.com

Experts keep emphasizing how important it is to understand the value of simplicity. Clean lines will ensure that the attention is not detracted from the intended focus points, like furniture or art. A house should never look better when it is empty. Remember that a lot of the time, less is more; so as tempted as you might be, stay away from over-designing. Once you’ve reached a point where you love what you see, stop. It can be tempting to keep going, but by doing so you often design out what you loved in the first place or create a clutter which prevents the focus points from standing out. 

source: unsplash.com

While it is not uncommon for people to become hostage to their renovation projects, being stressed out while they last, but not wanting to let them go once they are near completion, remember to stick with your original plan. If you still have the bug once the initial remodel is done, you can always try to spend that pent up energy on getting the rest of the house in tone with the section you’ve remodeled.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How to do a Bathroom Renovation in Pictures

How to do a Bathroom Renovation in Pictures

The first thing to do in this complete bathroom renovation project was remove the toilet. Put it in a garbage bag to keep clean.

 

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

Remove the old bathtub

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

I used the reciprocating saw to cut around and remove the tiles around the bathtub. A pry bar came in handy to remove the tile parts. 

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

Then, we removed the drywall which left the studs exposed. A little bit of drilling job was required to get rid of the old floor tiles. Every bathroom renovation needs a little elbow grease! 

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom Renovations
North Vancouver bathroom renovation
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

We added a showerhead. I determined the appropriate height at which the new showerhead should be installed by using myself as a model. Before, there used to be a shower curtain and a rather old-fashioned showerhead.

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

After the bathroom renovation plumbing was sorted out by R and B Plumbing and Heating, we turned out attention to electrical installations by Coast Mountain Electric. My renovation electricians wired the electrical outlet and ceiling fittings.

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

I employed a mixer to stir the drywall mud. Here, you have to be a bit careful and press the trigger gently. 

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

I measured everything thoroughly in order to figure out how much tile, mortar, grout, and backer board I needed. The tile cutter was used to make tiles fit the specific layout of the bathroom. A Schluter anti fracture membrane with in floor heating attached to concrete slab provides sturdy foundations for tiles.

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

I applied a layer of Mapei self levelling mortar to the floor.  I had to wait 24 hours for it to dry. After that, it was possible to add a waterproof tile membrane over the subfloor. Finally, I could place the tiles and fill the spaces between them with grout.

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

Once you lay the groundwork and do the math, you make certain that the stage of laying tiles plays out nice and easy. So, do not overlook a single detail such as having to cut the tile and make it fit the shape of a drain in the floor.

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

One of the tasks was to handle the plumbing infrastructure for the shower. We assembled pressure-balance and anti-scald valves. They were installed between the wall studs.

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As for the area around the tub, it is advisable to go for tiles. The porcelian ones we used are strong enough to endure years and years of splashing and high water exposure. Again, I had to pay attention to the layout and how the tiles will fit the sections around the window.

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

It was time to put a maax bathtub in place. First, I installed a new tub drain and plastic pipes and ensured that the tub sits level.

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

At last, it was time to deal with fixtures. We placed a new, double sink and two faucets. The new counter is custom made and drawers provide much-needed storage space.

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver Bathroom Renovation
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg
North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

 

That is all folks, roll up the sleeves and have a great success with your bathroom renovation or contact us at Heilman Renovations!

North Vancouver Bathroom Renovation
North Vancouver Bathroom Renovation

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7 Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

7 Renovation Mistakes to Avoid 

Image 1 source: pixabay.com 

Let’s say that you are not a total renovation newbie. You have binge watched home improvement shows like Love it or List Vancouver, searched the web like a lunatic for days and even successfully survived a remodel project or two. Basically, you can call yourself a veteran. Right? Well, not exactly. Home renovation is never as easy as it appears to be on the big screen. When lacking proper preparation, it can lead to some pretty hefty and not so budget friendly mistakes. It is vital for your mental, physical and material well-being to learn how to dodge the biggest remodeling mishaps. So, let's check out the list of the most frequent calamities, with a few tricks on how to evade them and not lose your cool.

One man show  

Renovation could inspire your inner DIYer to break free and take over. Even if you are a natural born handyman, be cautious and involve professionals in the project. Do not avoid renovation contractors thinking that you will save some money. In most cases, home renovations require a bit more training and experience than a few hours on YouTube. So, it is quite important to leave your ego behind and know your limitations before taking that hammer to your living room wall. 

Image 2 source: pixabay.com 

DIY mistakes are actually quite common, especially when it comes to measuring, purchasing materials, fixing plumbing or electrical systems, roof reparations and other ventures related to house structure. If all your kitchen needs is a fresh coat of paint, you can probably perform a decent solo act with proper preparation. For serious remodeling projects, an inspector will be necessary to run a check of your home, along with renovation contractor and even designer. The more help from experienced professionals, the merrier. 

Mismatching the contractors

Take your time when choosing a contractor. Word of mouth is still the best way to find quality professionals, so asking relatives, friends, and neighbors to recommend someone they have had good experiences with is a must. You can also find leads to respectable renovation contractors through real estate agents and online home services. After collecting enough recommendations, do further research: visit the contractor's website, compare quotes, check references and make a few phone calls. Seek out certified renovation companies which have invested in coursework and are on top of their game.

Image 3 source: pexels.com 

Your budget will play a major role here, and it is important that you are realistic about the amount of cash you can afford to spend on a home remodel. Remember though that the super low price rarely goes with the first-rate job. Inexpensive might be good, but cheap never is. If you can not afford a reputable renovation company at the moment, it would be wise to wait.

Mismanaging the contractors

When it comes to the building process, contractors are “the professionals”, but you’re the smooth operator who lays down the ideas. Explain the look you are trying to achieve, as well as how a certain room will be used. Be detailed, use images, and keep a journal of your project. Your involvement through the whole renovation is crucial and this will allow you to catch potential problems on time. Concerning problems - although it can be intimidating, you should speak up loud and clear if you notice that things are not going up your mill. Do not pass the chance to do so, or you might end up with a sour grin, lack of money and tons of frustration. After all, we are talking about your home, sweet home. 

Wanting it all, wanting it now 

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Image 4 source: unsplash.com  

Always coordinate remodeling projects with the rest of your obligations. Renovations involve inconvenience, clutter, and struggle with scheduling. The process can take weeks or even months, so if you have a full-time job, family and would like to get some sleep now and then, a good strategy would be to organize your remodels one at a time. That way you can thoroughly oversee the work, and this is a smart decision from a budget perspective too. Namely, if one project exceeds your funds - you will survive. But try that with three at the time and watch your money do the disappearing act like a pro magician.

Focussing on the outside

Of course, you want your home to look as Pinterest-worthy as it can get, however that can not be your main goal. Do not put aesthetics and short lifespan trends before necessary repairs, quality materials and substructure. 

Image 5 source: unsplash.com 

If you disregard what you can not see, your brand new kitchen might end up looking like a front page of a Style at home came to life, but it will not stand the test of time. In order to prevent problems that might cost you more than you can afford, the best way to ride it out is to invest in the classic look and build for the future.

Being a Safety Rebel

It is vital that you understand the most important thing about doing any renovation work – the safety of everyone involved. Home renovations carry huge health hazard risks (both visible and invisible) due to being 100% manual labor. The essential things while working on the job site are eye goggles, earplugs, and gloves. You want no dust in your eyes, no head whistling for hours and definitely no nails or splinters in your hands. Always have a first-aid kit by your side, so you are properly prepared if something goes south. 

 Image 6 source: pexels.com 

Before you undergo a renovation, make sure you have got all the work permits you need. Some of the repairs and remodels require you to have one, some do not, which depends on the law and location. This might seem like an unnecessary step, but getting them all will help you avoid all the bumps in the road that could befall during permit-free ride. 

Changing your mind

 Image 7 source: pexels.com 

Do not let yourself to be “that guy” who changed his mind midway through the job. It will cost money, it will cost time and it will cost you nerves. It could be a seemingly simple addon like lights in the hallway, but that will require the electrician again and probably the painter. The domino effect hits hard and you’ll be the target. So, speak on time or remain silent forever.

Home remodeling can be complicated and exhausting process but some common mistakes do not need to happen. Avoid renovation disasters by planning the heck out of it like a rocket scientist and teaming up with some awesome, outstanding professionals. 

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How to Make Your Living Room More Inviting

How to Make Your Living Room More Inviting by Lana Hawkins

As an area where you spend time relaxing or socializing with your family and friends, your living room should have a homey atmosphere of warmth and comfort. By undertaking several projects and restyling your space, you can make your living room more inviting and cosy.

Create an open-floor plan

Although you’ll have to do a home renovation and tear down a wall or two, an open-floor plan will erase the boundaries between your living room, dining room and kitchen, creating a single-family space. This will provide you with an open and airy space that will represent the heart of your home where you can spend quality time with your family.

Transform with paint

You can easily create a warm and inviting look using the transformative power of paint. If you have a spacious living room, you can make it cosier by opting for warm hues. However, make sure to create a balanced look by incorporating both cool and warm colours. For example, you can opt for a neutral scheme of warm colours, and then add unexpected pops of cool colours for a unique effect.

Use the power of lighting

Lighting plays an important role in interior design because it can completely transform a space and emphasise its features. You should use as much sunlight as possible because it will give your living room a warm, natural feel. So, you should consider a adding a window or two or replacing your old ones with larger windows to allow sunlight to come in. When

it comes to artificial lighting, LEDs typically emit warm and soft glow similar to natural light, which makes them a perfect choice. 

Eliminate clutter

You should feel comfortable in your own living room, rather than cramped and constrained. Thus, it’s important that you eliminate all the unnecessary items that might create an ambience of messiness and disarray. There’s nothing more off-putting then a messy home, so get down to business.  

Introduce soft textiles

Nothing is cosier than soft textiles which can really add depth and warmth to your living room. You can add an area rug, a couple of comfy pillows and several blankets to give your home an inviting and cosy vibe. In addition, you can use textiles to introduce patterns and colours to a monochromatic area. 

Add plants as stylish accessories

Not only will plants liven up your living room and bring in natural energy, but they will also make your space more airy and enjoyable. They will purify your living room from allergens and other hazards, increase the indoor air quality, and consequently make it more pleasant and enjoyable. 

Welcome nature

Nature will bring a sense of calmness and serenity into your home, so make sure to incorporate natural materials as much as possible. Nature-inspired décor and natural materials like wood will add warmth to your home and create a peaceful and inviting atmosphere. Choose natural fabrics, use wood stumps as stylish side tables and display forever-trendy hardwood floors.

Express your personality

Interior design offers a lot of opportunities for self-expression, which can make your space more personal and inviting. Display your favourite books, hang your artwork collection or personalise one piece of furniture. This will give your living room a unique character that will mesmerise everyone who enters your home.

Add pleasant scents

A calming scent that permeates your living room will definitely make it more inviting. You can add several scented candles for both an aesthetic appeal and fragrance. In addition, candles will create an intimate and warm atmosphere in your living room. The healthy and stylish options are going with beeswax

candles that emit a soft glow and sweet honey scent. 

Pick the right furniture

The furniture you choose for the living room will greatly affect the overall ambience. Thus, it’s important that you pick premium furniture that is cosy and works well with the general style of your living room. In addition, pay attention to the arrangement of your furniture. Placing your pieces in a semi-circle facing the fireplace is much more inviting that lining them to face the TV set.

By creating an open floor plan, choosing the right colours and using the power of interior design, you can easily make your living room more inviting. Afterwards, you can relax in your sanctuary and socialise with your family.

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Top 7 Tips to Increase Your Home's Value

Top 7 Tips to Increase Your Home's Value by Contributor Lana Hawkins

If you’ve decided to improve your home and increase its value, then you should put your efforts in projects that can actually help you achieve this. Whether you’ll put your house up for sale later on, or simply want to improve the quality of life for you and your family, you need to be sure that you’re making a wise investment. Here are several tips and projects that can help you increase the value of your property.

Kitchen improvements

Often consider the heart of a home, the kitchen is the area where even the smallest improvements can make a difference. When visiting a house, buyers pay special attention to the kitchen and the appliances, so, if you’re selling yours, you better make some kitchen improvements. If you’re planning to completely remodel your kitchen, you should consider hiring a general contractor to avoid making some costly mistakes. Otherwise, you can make some smaller updates yourself and save some money. For example, you can change the knobs and fixtures or apply stainless-steel stick-on coverings to your appliances to give them a new, modern look.

Bathroom remodel

Another wise investment is a bathroom renovation that will bring a sense of novelty into your personal spa. There are numerous easy upgrades that can improve the functionality and the aesthetic appeal of your bathroom. Everything from removing rust and stains, to replacing faucets and showerheads, to repainting it in a new hue can improve the condition of your bathroom. However, for a major renovation you can again hire a renovation company to help you out and avoid unnecessary expenses. Keep in mind that moving plumbing can be quite expensive, so you should work your way around that.

Interior flooring

Although you might consider this improvement to be completely unimportant, the truth is that floors are among the first things that prospective buyers will pay attention to. The simplest and completely cost-free way to freshen the look of your floors it to remove your old carpets – not only can they be off-putting, but they are also unhealthy because they’re home to numerous allergens and hazards. A classic and timeless solutions is having hardwood floors – just make sure to opt for eco-friendly materials such as reclaimed wood, bamboo or cork. To elevate your home décor, you can add area rugs, but you should opt for those made of organic cotton or other healthy and allergen-resistant material.

Attic transformation

Nothing is more useless than a dusty attic used as a storage for old furniture. Homes with rooms with a clear purpose have both a higher value and appeal to buyers. Thus, you should consider transforming your attic into a purposeful room. You may be able to transform it into a home theatre, bedroom or home office. If you’re not sure about the particular design of the new space, you should seek professional advice from a renovation contractor. This way, you can transform your attic into a completely new area that can meet your needs.

Eco-friendly updates

Being green is more than just a trend. It has become a lifestyle that more and more people are embracing. Designing a green home can help you create a healthy environment, reduce your ecological footprint, improve the energy-efficiency of your home and attract potential buyers. When it comes to eco-friendly updates, even the smallest change can make a big difference, so you shouldn’t worry if you can’t make all the improvements right away. You can replace your old fixtures with water-saving ones, switch from incandescent to LED lighting, repaint your home with green paint and

repurpose old furniture. Later on, you can even buy energy-saving appliances or have solar panels installed.

Doors and windows upgrades

Your doors and windows can affect the value of your home significantly, so you better make sure that they increase it. If your doors and windows have become worn-out, you should replace them altogether. Not only will it enhance the visual appeal of your home, but it will also improve the insulation. In addition, you should also improve the security levels of your doors and windows. You can have aluminium security doors installed, and secure your windows with latches and locks. All of these improvements will increase your home’s value significantly.

Deck addition

Adding a deck can increase the value of your home significantly, which makes it one of the wisest investments. If you don’t have the necessary skills, you can hire a deck builder, and then decorate your new relaxation area yourself. Don’t forget to include greenery to create an atmosphere of serenity and tranquillity.

Whether you want to sell your house, or simply make it better, these value-increasing updates and remodels certainly make for a wise investment.

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8 Bathroom Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

8 Bathroom Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

According to Houzz survey, in the next two years, 72% of Canadian homeowners will decorate or redecorate. Kitchen remodelling and bathroom remodelling are two most popular domestic undertakings. This is no surprise because bathrooms no longer represent just tiny rooms where people get clean.

They have evolved into tranquil sanctuaries that allow us to escape the daily hustle and bustle. It may be a relatively small investment, but the average bathroom renovation project still costs around $20,000. There are many things that could go wrong, but here are some of the most common mistakes.

Pouring money down the drain

Overspending is one of the most common pitfalls homeowners encounter. Even a simple makeover can turn out to be a real money pit. Experts argue that you should keep the costs below 1.5% of the total value of the property. In any regard, come up with a budget, stick to standard fixtures, buy tiles in bulk, and do not spend green like there is no tomorrow.

Dodging homework

It is interesting that most people embrace a head-on approach to bathroom renovation and handle some or even all work on themselves. Still, in recent years, there is a tendency to rely on a bathroom renovation contractor at some point. Alas, many homeowners do not carry out proper research. They do not invest enough time in finding the right bathroom company and have to cope with shabby quality of work.

Letting the clutter take hold

Bathroom remodelling is governed by a few simple principles. One of them is that you want to maximize the space and minimize the clutter. So do not try to squeeze too many things in such a small room as the bathroom. Be smart and opt for space-saving solutions such as baths with showers, in-wall toilet cisterns, wall-mounted cabinetry, etc.

Watery grave

In a bathroom, water can be both a friend and a foe. One mistake to avoid is neglecting the drainage. The floor must feature an inclination that allows water to drain away nice and easy. To prevent such hassle, professionals (one can find them locally or online on sites like Homestars) use tilers to set the level of the fall. Also, note that large floor tiles may obstruct the flow towards the floor waste and do more harm than good.

Your way or the waterway

In case you want to go down the DIY road, tread carefully. Waterproofing is one of the tasks people tend to take on, yet the results can be subpar. Leaks may seem like a small problem, however, in the long run, they could cost you a fortune. Thus, consider hiring a certified Schluter waterproofing professional or a renovation company to nail the job.

Something odd in the air

Not everyone has a window that serves as a natural ventilator. Lack of air circulation brings forth many problems. Most notably black specks of mold, the telltale signs of poor ventilation, appear on the wall. On newly painted surfaces, they represent a real nightmare in their own right. Therefore, do not skimp on something as important as good ventilation and invest in an exhaust fan or IXL Tastic!

Leaving it in the dark

Lighting is another aspect that does not get the attention it deserves. Namely, many bathroom activities call for quality task lighting. General ambient lighting simply does not cut it. The good news is that there is no shortage of sleek options that merge with the overall design seamlessly, and work their magic from above the mirror or vanity.

Losing sight of beauty

Bathroom design advances by leaps and bounds. It is all about the perfect blend of sublime style and superior functionality. So, do not overlook the visual bliss. Choose a nice, mould-resistant bathroom paint, check out internet hubs for design ideas, and be on-trend. Feel free to let your creativity run wild as long as you keep other priorities like quality and durability in mind.

Bathing in style

Depending on the preparation or lack of it, bathroom updates are either exciting adventures or nerve-wracking ordeals. To facilitate the former outcome, keep leaks, mold, shabby quality, and other nuisances at bay. What you need is a personal hideout where you can rewind and melt the stress away.  Still, there is absolutely no need to spend a truckload of money, time, and nerves on renovating. Make the most of your space, plan ahead, and treat yourself with a captivating, well-designed refuge. 

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6 Questions to Ask Your Renovation Contractor

6 Questions to Ask Your Renovation Contractor

Renovations are a complex undertaking that is both emotionally and financially taxing. Being involved in the decision-making process also takes a lot of time, which is why many homeowners decide to rely on professional renovators. It is of the utmost importance to ensure smooth communication and know what to expect before the project commences. So, here are the questions that allow you to prevent unpleasant surprises down the road.  

How does the schedule look?

One of the primary concerns is related to the schedule. Renovations disrupt your daily routines and domestic goings-on, suggesting that it is in your best interest to see the renovation through as soon as possible. Then again, you should know that a schedule does not encompass only a start and end date, but also an outline of different tasks and timings. A big picture thus most often involves a whole matrix of sequencing and deadlines.

What about your business history?

Opting for the right general contractor is no cakewalk. Of course, a direct approach is to ask the organization about prior work, and you should do that. In addition, demand a proof that the company is licensed or registered for renovation work in your area. Still, it is highly advisable to also do your own homework and dig into company’ history. Try to find some customer reviews on Houzz, Homestars or Renovationfind because they shed the light on the quality of the service you can expect.

 

Who will do what?

It is only natural to be eager to know who will spend time in your home. It is a good idea to focus on contractor’s plans that address site supervision as well as subcontractors. While some companies hire a host of subcontractors others have on-site crews. In the former case, pay attention to transactions between all parties because there have been cases of builder’s liens being placed on homes in North Vancouver.  Namely, this mechanism kicks in if the subcontractors don’t get paid.

How will you protect my property?

A conversation about protecting the property must take place before the demolition begins. For instance, there is a wide array of dust-containment measures that mitigate the impact on your household in the wake of remodeling. You also want to ensure that delicate possessions like vases and pictures are out of the harm’s way.

How will you communicate?

Good and open communication between you and the remodeler maximizes the chance of the project being carried out to your utmost satisfaction and benefit. Therefore, define how you would like to receive information about the renovation process. With so many marvels of electronic communication at your disposal, there is no need to restrict yourself to the SMS and phone calls. In any event, do not let contractors leave you in the dark regarding any detail or aspect of the renovation.

What documents will you give me?

A typical contract designates end-of-project paperwork, which takes the form of copies of inspection reports, lien releases, and plans with as-builds on plumbing and utilities.  A reputable renovation company might provide other valuable documents such as operating manuals for new equipment, a list of subcontractor's and contractor’s info, mechanical photos, etc. Thus, acquire all the necessary information and feel free to ask for as many documents as you would like.

Cover all the bases

Good preparation is the name of the game. You will be seeing your contractor quite often, so do not fail to ask the right questions. Also, know that depending on the size and structure of the company, the answers may vary significantly. Bear in mind that it is best to pose questions to a few different companies and compare the answers.  You get to choose, but the decisions must be based on facts and figures. Stay on the safe side and test the waters before diving into the renovation adventure.  

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7 tips for a successful home renovation

7 tips for a successful home renovation

Image 1 source: pexels.com

So, you have finally decided to hit the refresh button on your home. Living room walls could use a new coat of paint, your bathroom suddenly seems so tiny, and that leaky roof became a subject you do not mention anymore. Whether you have decided to commit to a house renovation because you felt a Feng Shui disbalance of the current setup or because improvement was a definite must, remodeling projects can seem overwhelming, time-consuming, pricey and a bit chaotic. However, the process will definitely go smoothly if you learn a few clever insider tricks. You might even enjoy it!

Do your research

Before plunging into renovation whirlpool, you should have a clear view of the big picture goals, know all your options and understand what to expect. Renovation experts need details, so you simply must bring more than a few stylish Pinterest images to the table. Summon your inner nerd and research, research then research some more! 

Image 2 source: buzzfeed.com

Search Google for local companies, look at search engines that find the best contractors. Talk to friends who have recently gone through a renovation and consult experts. Get informed about the styles, trends, materials and costs. A Well-researched project is much easier to accomplish. 

“To do” list and priorities

Take your time and decide what truly needs to be done. Make a detailed ‘’To do’’ list but separate wants from needs. Home renovation project is often a major investment and necessary repairs and/or upgrades must come before luxury.You’ll agree that, for example, the roof, windows, and doors must be in top notch shape, while your basement bowling alley can wait a year or two.

Set the budget

Image 3 source: pexels.com

It turns out that renovation often costs notably more than homeowners had initially expected. Usual suspects for this unpleasant surprise are hidden costs since projects that got completed without a hitch are a rarity. In other words - inevitable issues will spring up. In order to avoid last minute scrambling for additional money, add at least 20 percent to your original budget for unforeseen expenses. Don’t get discouraged - when investing a big chunk of money into a project, merging your funds with a renovation loan could potentially be a winning combination. Renovating in stages is another good option, especially if you truly do not want to compromise when it comes to your dream home.  

Know your limits

Hiring professional help immediately is usually preferable to having to resort to calling them in the midst of your solo adventure gone rogue. Sure, some home improvement projects can undoubtedly be placed into the DIY sector, but it is crucial to know when to put the drill down and make the call.

Image 4 source: pexels.com

Before hiring a contractor, scroll up and revisit the Do your research part of the article. Seriously now, do the research! Get a few quotes, check out what different companies offer, read their references carefully and learn from the good (and bad) experiences of the people you know. You should never just go with the least expensive choice. In the best case scenario, when remodeling, you can pick two sides of the price - speed - quality triangle. Always choose quality above all else.

Consult the calendar

Image 5 source: pexels.com

Know your timeline for renovation and make a realistic schedule. Strike a deal with your remodeler regarding exact schedule in advance in order to avoid any problems later. Start thinking about project duration on time and be smart about it. Trust us, you don’t want winter to catch you in the middle of a roof installation.

The future is coming

Trends are for decorating, not for renovating. Invest in quality materials and elegant, timeless, functional designs. Take a deep breath and think how your choices will impact the home that you will still be living in 10 or 20 years from now. Remember, fashion comes and goes, but style lasts forever. 

Safe and sound

Image 6 source: pexels.com

A remodeling project is going to affect every room in the house. Word of advice would be to pack away your belongings, take down the pictures, cover the furniture with plastic and flooring with cardboard sheets. It might not be a bad idea to select and equip a room that will remain relatively untouched by the chaos in order to carve out an oasis for yourself. Before you start, find out whether you need any specific building permits so that you are within the law. Oh, and last but not least, be considerate and notify the nearby residents about your ‘’upcoming party’’. 

 

Good luck! 

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Deck Building: To Go DIY or Hire a Pro

Deck Building: To Go DIY or Hire a Pro

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As the spring spellbinds us with its vibrant beauty and the summer makes its graceful approach, many people are turning their attention to the great outdoors. Some of them are expanding their living space in order to migrate outside and immerse in nature, fresh air, and nice weather.

The logic is rather simple: Besides boosting the appeal of your home, decks also increase its value. Still, it is a complex undertaking to assemble a deck and rushing things is not advisable. Here is how to properly assess the situation and reach an informed decision.

Setting the stage

A deck is the garden’s central stage, a place where people spend most of their outdoor time. They are the essence of outdoor living, a rising trend that brings a host of benefits. You can throw a nice party for your friends, escape the stale interior environment, and feel the rejuvenating presence of sunlight.

When faced with projects such as deck building, though, one dilemma pops up. It revolves around going down the DIY road or hiring a professional. The choice makes a difference and can mean a decking well done or a real train wreck. Sitting on the fence does not pose a fruitful approach, so keep your options open and undergo a step-by-step deliberation process.

Way to go

The course of action depends primarily on the way you meant to use the space. Your ambitions should shape your strategy, but do not let them cloud your judgment. You have to tackle multiple factors such as budget, location, size, and material of the decking. IPE Hardwood is pretty popular, for example, but is it really the most prudent solution for you?

Ask yourself whether you crave for a fully functional outdoor entertainment area or just a quiet spot to read or wine and dine. In case you want to integrate a well-equipped outdoor kitchen, it might be wise to rely on professionals. There are ways to infuse the deck with the level of comfort you typically find in homes, but newcomers and amateurs may bite off more than they can chew. 

Thus, go DIY only if you know what you are doing. At the very least, do your homework and educate yourself. Finally, bare in mind that even armed with video tutorials and comprehensive instructions there are many things that could go wrong in practice. The results may fall short of your expectation, and worst case scenario is that you waste precious money and effort.

Enlisting a professional

In a nutshell, professional work is quality work. And to be more specific, there are many advantages to opting for a versed deck builder. Construction of the deck, for instance, has to comply with the building codes. Deck builders are well aware of this and able to acquire necessary permits. Furthermore, they can come up with a thorough plan and give you a chance to envision the deck before the work commences.

Likewise, professionals are also best suited to pick the right material. Namely, when it comes to the decking, one has a wide array of options. There are different strokes for different folks, but also some rules to adhere to.  One can settle for natural wood or composite decking material, still, there are advantages to trex decking or click together tiles.

The only real drawback of hiring a deck builder is that brings forth increased spending. One other thing worth mentioning is that finding a suitable deck builder is no cakewalk. It is not a good idea to hire the first one you come across. Instead, you should do an online research and ask friends, family and coworkers for recommendations. Thus, take your time and cherry pick the best solution.  

Play with a full deck

Having a deck is an incredible opportunity to expand your horizons and embrace outdoor enjoyment at its finest. If you can afford it, secure the sublime touch of a trusted deck builder. Take the project on a DIY basis if you want to save money and know the ropes. Hedge your bets and weigh the pros and cons.  Treat yourself with a deck that will serve its purpose for many years to come. Soak in the sun, feel the breeze snuggling you up, and doze off under the eternal blue sky. 

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Senior Friendly Bathroom Renovation Tips

Senior Friendly Bathroom Renovation Tips

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Bathrooms may be the smallest rooms in our homes, but we spend quite a bit of time there. They are also places where many slips and falls occur. Seniors are most prone to falls that account for more than half of all injuries. In 20% of cases, the accident results in death.

Thus, it is time to look beyond quick fixes that solve the problem only temporarily and carry out a renovation. With a bit of investment and planning, it is possible to preserve safety and turn the bathroom into a safe sanctuary of cleanliness and relaxation.

Slippery slope

In case you are wondering whether the investment pays off or not, let us just say that senior friendly bathroom renovation can help the elderly stay at home instead of moving into a facility. It improves the quality of life and boosts their independence, and these things are priceless.

Now, the main culprit behind slips and falls in bathrooms is moisture, which makes the surfaces extra slippery. The second crucial element that makes bathrooms a hassle is the difficulty of climbing or reaching for items. There are other contributing factors such as poor lighting and we are going to address them all.

Baby steps

First off, remodeling begins with a location of the bathroom. Ideally, there should be a bathroom on every level of the home, or at least a powder room. In case that is not possible, homeowners should strive to have a bathroom on the same level where seniors spend most of their time.

As we have indicated, seniors need room to move, especially those with a mobility aid such as a wheelchair. In this regard, renovating adheres to the principles of handicap bathroom design. Note that tiny bathrooms are thus the most difficult to renovate and transform into places that are easy to navigate.

Even then, however, there are small things you can do in order to make a big difference. For instance, add grab bars to the walls.  Do not overlook a single detail such as toilet paper being within reach. One may also raise the level of the toilet seat to facilitate actions like standing up and sitting down.

Flow of movement

Furthermore, try to separate the tub from the shower. Seniors find it hard, and some of them borderline impossible to climb over the edge of the tub. In a nutshell, the only type of shower that does the trick is the one you can simply walk into.

This type of bathroom remodel may involve turning a part of the bathroom into a “wet room”. Basically, you have to ensure that the floors and walls are sealed and tiled. Another problem for seniors is standing for a long time. Therefore, install a seat with a handy grab bar.

Alternatively, if the senior adores bathing, go for a walk-in tub. It is usually taller than a regular tub and features a door on the side as well as a seat. There are also models with jets that alleviate the pain in legs. Just bear in mind that due to higher water level, walk-in tubs can be hazardous to children.

Slip resistance and lighting

Next, we come to boosting the slip resistance. There is a plethora of tile designs on the market, but most of them prioritize aesthetics. When putting together bathrooms for the elderly, though, you should opt for a rougher texture. 

Finally, do not overlook the lighting. Most bathrooms have one light in the center of the ceiling, or above the mirror and vanity. Alas, rooms that are too dim and poorly lit are perilous for those with a blurry and impaired vision. Seniors need a light fixture in the shower, preferably the one that aids in nocturnal bathroom visits.

Stay on the safe side

Bathrooms are responsible for a lion’s share of all falls that take place at home. The good news is that it is within our power to turn this predicament around.

The renovation is all about functionality and smart thinking. You have to realize that even small movements like sitting and standing feel like a journey to the elderly. So, make the bathroom safer for those with reduced mobility and make life easier for them.

 

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How to find a Trusted Renovation Contractor

How to Find a Trusted Renovation Contractor

In the world of home renovations, the lines between exciting and tedious are often blurred. Namely, renovating can turn into a money and energy-consuming ordeal, which is why many homeowners rely on a professional contractor. Opting for the first company you stumble upon, though, does not cut it.

You want to avoid shady renovation companies like plague. So, embrace a proactive approach to hiring and researching: do not commence your renovation project until you discover a reliable and competent company. That way, you will be able to complete the project on schedule and to your utmost satisfaction.

Google

The internet is an immense ocean of possibilities, an ecosystem that holds much promise wherever you are. Google is an unprecedented digital nucleus, and the search can start there. Know, however, that the most convenient option is not necessarily the most prudent one.

A proper research requires you to pick a variety of companies. Moreover, it is of the utmost importance to do a background check and confirm that the business is legitimate. Keep your eyes open for customer review and complaints as well as other proofs of contractor’s trustworthiness.

Houzz

Apart from Google, there are some other online avenues, where one can find a quality renovation contractor. Houzz rises above the competition as a superior platform for remodeling and design. There, homeowners and contractors come together to join a busy community.

The search options run like clockwork and there are almost 797,000 contractors to choose from. They manage all aspects of home renovation projects and regardless of whether you want an expensive remodel or affordable spruce-up, Houzz has got you covered.

https://www.houzz.com

https://www.houzz.com

HomeStars

The online surge has empowered homeowners with other free services that could come in handy. One of the most prominent ones is certainly HomeStars. Let us just say that the database contains 2 million companies and that reputable renovators are not hard to come by.

Even better, the platform has hundreds of thousands of reviews that speak volumes about the quality of services. Homeowners do not shy away from writing both good and bad reviews, putting together an invaluable knowledge database.

https://homestars.com/

https://homestars.com/

Yellow Pages

Years ago Yellow Pages in the phone book was the way to find a North Vancouver renovation contractor, however the company has moved into 2017 with Yellowpages.ca. This is a great search engine that can be used together with other options.

https://www.yellowpages.ca/

https://www.yellowpages.ca/

Face to face

There is one other old-fashioned strategy you may take advantage of: take recommendations from friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family members.  Strive to get at least three references for each building contractor you want to take into account.

If you manage to do this, then you have most likely managed to solve the problem of finding a suitable contractor. At last, bear in mind that the employees of local hardware stores may also be helpful and quite knowledgeable.

Safe and sound

Even when you manage to find a reputable contractor, do not throw caution to the wind. Your work is not yet done because you can do a few other things to stay on the safe side. For instance, there is no need to break the bank, is there?

Thus, do not rely solely on the contractor’s estimate regarding the cost of the labor and materials. Contact the suppliers yourself and evaluate the realistic price. The price that is too low is a potential red flag, one that could point out to the shabby quality of the work.

Keep your options open

Hiring the right contractor makes a difference between a swell job and utter disaster. It is clear as a day that you have to do your homework and find the best possible solution. In other words, make sure that the contractor or a company is credible to avoid any unpleasant surprises.  

It is always a good idea to get multiple bids and compare them. If the contractor does not have an online presence and only wants to provide a telephone number, it is probably best to move on and find another option. Cover all the bases and you should be able to treat yourself with a stellar space. 

 

 

 

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Top 7 International Houzz Designers 2017 

Top 7 International Houzz Designers 2017

Houzz Head Office

Houzz Head Office

Houzz https://www.houzz.com has established itself as a booming designer hub, source of information, inspiration, and ideation. People seeking to remodel, spruce up and renovate use it as an indispensable resource. After all, a sublime touch of a professional home designer makes all the difference in the interior landscape.

Whether you are a renovation contractor or an eager layman, there is much to be learned and gained from the best of the best. No one is more capable of honing flawless style and capturing its essence than the following design connoisseurs:

Jodie Rosen, Jodie Rosen Design, Toronto Canada

Jodie Rosen, Jodie Rosen Design, Toronto Canada

Jodie Rosen, Jodie Rosen Design, Toronto Canada

Jodie Rosen, with 44 Houzz reviews and a Houzz rating of 4.9/5 is one of those designers who have managed to win many accolades both in the area of customer satisfaction and home design greatness. Her dazzling success is a reflection of her capacity to blend personal tastes with the principles of top-notch organization and functionality.

As a Toronto-based home designer, she has mastered the art of architectural details, superb decorating, and material utilization. Jodie Rosen Design is a prominent player in residential and commercial design, continuing to shape the timeless, sophisticated portfolio.

Reisa Pollard, Beyond Beige, North Vancouver Canada

Reisa Pollard, Beyond Beige Interior Design, North Vancouver Canada  

Reisa Pollard, Beyond Beige Interior Design, North Vancouver Canada  

Reisa Pollard is the founder of Beyond Beige which has 26 Houzz reviews and a 4.7/5 rating. Reisa is a creative visionary, and a prolific home designer. Beyond Beige Interior Design had humble beginnings. It was, in fact, the name of her assignment in art school. Over time, however, the idea has evolved into a concept, and then into a reputable home design business in North Vancouver.

In a nutshell, Reisa has the ability to set her own preferences aside and listen to her clients. She adapts to their wants and needs, and the result is a mixture of prime elegance and unparalleled design versatility.

Rebecca Mitchell, Rebecca Mitchel Interiors, Montreal Canada

Rebecca Mitchell, Rebecca Mitchell Interiors, Montreal Canada

Rebecca Mitchell, Rebecca Mitchell Interiors, Montreal Canada

Rebecca is the proprietor of Rebecca Mitchel Interiors which has 46 Houzz Reviews and a 4.9/5 Houzz rating. Rebecca leads a team of creative home designers in Montreal. She is a daring individual, who does not shy away from bold accents and striking colors.  She excels when it comes to creating custom, open-concept home designs. 

One of her most famous works is a music room for a family in Montreal. This space has enough room for both family members and guests to immerse in the splendor of sound. This example is just a small fraction of possibilities Rebecca Mitchell brings to her clients.

Christina Britt Lewis, Redesign Company, Davidson USA

Christina Britt Lewis, Redesign Company, Davidson USA

Christina Britt Lewis, Redesign Company, Davidson USA

Christina Britt Lewis is the founder and creative director of the Redesign Company which which has 108 Houzz Reviews and a 4.9/5 Houzz rating, Christina is a unique figure in the design realm. Her philosophy is embodied in the mantra ”Love coming home”, a concept which is to some profound and to others self-explanatory.

The Davidson home design company company could be better described as a collective of status quo antagonists and passionate life artists. Namely, Cristina aspires not to redesign just your living environment, but your whole world and life as well.

Martha O’Hara, Martha O’Hara Interiors, Austin USA

Martha O’Hara, Martha O’Hara Interiors Austin USA

Martha O’Hara, Martha O’Hara Interiors Austin USA

Martha O’Hara is the principal of Martha O’Hara Interiors which has 169 Houzz reviews and has a 4.9/5 Houzz Rating. O’Hara provides Austin Texas home design services homeowners and builders across the States.  It is also the leading interior design enterprise on houzz worldwide. Such an exalted position is the result of years of hard work and gallons of creative juices.   

Regardless of whether you want to update your furniture, do a kitchen remodel, renovate a bathroom, or reconfigure a floor, Martha and her award-winning home designers are up to task. Their main goal is nothing short of uncovering the fine threads that connect life and style.

Jane Brown, Jane Brown Interiors, Bellevue Hill Australia

Jane Brown, Jane Brown Interiors, Bellevue Hill Australia

Jane Brown, Jane Brown Interiors, Bellevue Hill Australia

“Creation of beauty is art”, and the living proof resides in Bellevue Hill Australia, home designer Jane Brown who is the owner of Jane Brown Interiors which has 31 Houzz reviews and a 4.9/5 Houzz rating. Her creative genius shines the brightest when she needs to seamlessly blend several styles, eras, and personalities into one striking amalgam.

This is rooted in her career as a flight attendant, a path that took her to distant horizons, vibrant cultures, and diverse philosophies. She believes that your environment is the reflection of who you are, and we could not possibly disagree.

Anoushka Allum, Smart Space Interiors, Sydney Australia

Anoushka Allum, Smart Space Interiors, Sydney Australia

Anoushka Allum, Smart Space Interiors, Sydney Australia

Smart Space Interiors was founded in 2012 and has 30 Houzz reviews with 4.9/5 Houzz rating. Since then, Anoushka Allum has managed to spark much interest in the limelight of the design world. Few would dispute her status as a swell paragon of residential interior design and master of decoration projects.

Through play and pristine craft, she brings most incredible solutions to life: Anoushka takes clients on a journey of self-discovery and reaches new design heights together with them.  She may be focused on home design in Sydney Australia, but she is quite active digitally.

Magicians, lovers, and builders

Renowned designers are able to translate even the vaguest of ideas into reality and make the magic happen inside the four walls. They distil tastes, clarify visions, and assemble a space that is both spellbinding and functional.

This is a unique opportunity to put together a cohesive, captivating look that speaks volumes about the style and personality. A home is not just a place to spend the days in, but also a personal sanctuary where love and passions are celebrated and cherished. 

 

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10 Design tips to know before remodeling your bathroom

10 Design tips to know before remodeling your bathroom

 

 

Image 1 source: interiorzine.com

 

A professionally executed bathroom remodel can increase a property’s value and substantially speed up sale. Nevertheless, if you want to get the biggest bang for your remodel buck, there are a few points you should bear in mind. If handled in a slapdash manner, some bathroom updates could go amiss or cost you more than they’re worth, which is why you should stick to tried and tested design tips if you want to stay on the safe and sleek side of the remodel agenda.

1. Estimate the remodel expenses

Before you barge into the bathroom wielding sledgehammers and power drills, take the time to draw up a framework cost assessment and see how much cash you can set aside for the project. This will help you avoid needless expenses and get a better image about the scope of the update and trendy bathroom changes you can actually afford.

2. Right lights for bathroom bling

 

Image 2 source: certified-lighting.com

The lighting scheme that brings out your bathroom’s finest features is another remodel aspect you should bear in mind when planning the update. As a rule, layered lights featuring equal doses of ambient and task lighting will work nicely in most bathrooms, and you can also throw in accent and decorative lamps for bonus aesthetic points.

3. Respect your bathroom’s size

To maximize the efficiency of the remodel, it may be a wise idea to get familiar with dimensions of key fittings such as the bathtub, toilet, and sink. Based on the measurements, it will be easier for you to draw up the floor plan and find a way to rearrange your bathroom in line with peak functionality and aesthetic value.

4. Swap the bathtub for a shower

A vintage bathtub will add an aura of old-school luxury to your bathroom, but unless you intend to use it on a daily basis, you may want to consider swapping it for a classic shower. The simple cost-efficient and space-saving adjustment will come in as particularly useful if your bathroom is on the smallish side.

5. Standalone tubs are here to stay

 

Image 3 source: interiorzine.com

If you really can’t go without a full-scale bathtub, consider upgrading to a standalone bath for an extra dose of aesthetics and functionality. Freestanding stone baths are a hot trend in the world of bathroom design at the moment, and they will go well with most contemporary fittings and trending colorways. 

6. Move the sink over to the corner

If your bathroom isn’t exactly generous size-wise, it may be a smart decision to move the sink to the corner to avoid traffic hitches. Of course, changing the bathroom layout will call for a partial or complete plumbing overhaul, which will in turn dial up total update costs and extend remodel duration. 

7. Where hardwood and tiles collide

 

Image 4 source: edilportale.com

Wood is one of the organic materials that made a loud entrance on the bathroom design scene a while back, and it’ll probably stay in vogue in the years to come. Nevertheless, if you wish to introduce timber into your restroom, you should pay attention to the wood-tile transition points to prevent excess humidity buildup and costly post-remodel flooring repairs.

8. Mirror, mirror on a suave vanity

The vanity is another bathroom element that can make or break cool bathroom impressions. For best visual effects, opt for a unit in a neutral color and top it with a wall-mounted mirror decked with a LED light strip. You should pay attention to the size of the vanity as well: too big a unit will block bathroom traffic, whereas a tiny vanity might not meet your makeup storage needs

Image 5 source: decoist.com

9. Double-check tile size and design

Before you buy those king-size tiles with a fancy print, pause to take a quick glance at the overall bathroom look you’re aiming to achieve. It would also be a wise idea to double-check tile types and dimensions to make sure they’re a perfect bathroom fit in terms of target décor, grout joint size, and restroom dimensions.

10. Watch where you put the toilet

Few things look worse that a bathroom where the toilet is the first thing you see when you open the doors. To prevent your toilet bowl from turning your bathroom into an eyesore rather than a functional room in your house, move the toilet bowl to a corner behind the door or conceal it by a mobile room divider or tall potted plant.

 

Image 6 source: domain.com.au

Are you ready to remodel your bathroom and boost your home’s value and functionality? Follow the tips listed above and your private hygiene haven will soon become as sleek, snug, and stylish as you always wanted it to be. Good luck!

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Trex is #1 for Scratch Resistance

I've been a renovation contractor and deck builder for more than 20 years and have always wondered which is the most scratch resistant composite decking material, because it's important to me that a clients deck lasts a long time and looks good. I build decks using composite deck materials including Trex, Timbertech and Azek in North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. Today I tested the best quality line with similar light brown colour in each of the brands including Trex Transcend Tiki Torch, Timbertech Tropical Collection Antigua Gold and Azek Vintage Collection Cypress. These are all pretty good composite decking materials(in my opinion) however based on my test, Trex is #1 for scratch resistance. 

Trex is #1 for Scratch Resistance!

Trex is #1 for Scratch Resistance!

Trex Transcend Tiki Torch, Timbertech Tropical Collection Antigua Gold and Azek Vintage Collection Cypress scratch test showing that Trex is the most scratch resistant composite decking material.

Trex Transcend Tiki Torch, Timbertech Tropical Collection Antigua Gold and Azek Vintage Collection Cypress scratch test showing that Trex is the most scratch resistant composite decking material.

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Best 2017 Kitchen Renovation Trends

Best 2017 Kitchen Renovation Trends by Home Designer Mia Gunson at www.smoothdecorator.com

Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen Renovation

A kitchen renovation is something a number of people do every now and then. Why? Because they have so much money? Or because they like changes? Well, yes, but it’s not just that. It seems that home renovation is becoming more and more interesting year after year, which is why experts constantly recommend a rising number of trends, tendencies and innovations. And if you want to stay up-to-date with all of them, you need to get your hands dirty and try them out. With new trends emerging at the beginning of each year, this may be the perfect time for renovating your own kitchen, so here are a few ideas you might want to explore.

 

A focal point

If you’re lucky enough to have a spacious kitchen that can accommodate a nice island, organizing it won’t be a problem. Many people incorporate kitchen islands because – among other reasons – they need to create a focal point and an area where they can both prepare and eat their meals. Additional ideas for great focal points include countertops, cabinets, dining tables, walls and even appliances.

 

The best color

A number of people applaud a bold use of unusual colors and eclectic combinations in kitchens, so explore this trend as soon as possible. Two-toned kitchens are quite popular at the moment and if you manage to coordinate the two colors – grey and white, red and black or yellow and orange, for instance – and different materials and surfaces, you’ll transform your kitchen into an intriguing and inviting space everyone’s going to love. Alternatively, you can always go for bold colors for your cabinets and walls that will instantly bring your kitchen to a whole new level.

Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen Renovation

 

An even better color

On the other hand, no matter how cool these colors are, you can never go wrong with white. Plain white walls, a white marble countertop, white cabinets and white appliances will turn your cooking area into a clean space you can feel comfortable in. Yes, white may be more difficult to clean, especially if you’re a clumsy cook, but you can manage it as long as you’re organized and have no problem wiping the cabinets at least twice a week.

Something fun, something new

You can’t renovate your kitchen without decorating it as well! Just because this is the place where you cook and eat, instead of sleep and relax, it doesn’t mean that it does not deserve attention and a few interesting details that will take its decorations to the next level. Some of the trends you should investigate include colorful shelves, motivational posters, handy cookbooks, attention-grabbing magnets and your kids’ art hanging on the fridge. Additionally, you can add some class to your new kitchen by using fancy pendant lighting.

Kitchen Renovation

Kitchen Renovation

 

Add a pantry

Again, if you have enough space, adding a pantry to your kitchen might be the best idea you’ve ever had. It doesn’t occupy too much room, yet offers so many options you could utilize on a daily basis. You can store your food in a safe and healthy way, and always keep it organized and clean, which is something every cooking aficionado wants. This way, you’ll free some space in your kitchen, especially if you move your fridge to the pantry, which opens a possibility for a larger island or a dining table.

 

Other trends

While these are the top kitchen renovation trends for 2017, there are other options you might want to consider. These include replacing your old marble countertop with a new wooden one, adding a water-efficient faucet and a built-in oven, as well as installing a secret pull-out storage for all your canned goods – it will save you tons of space and show the world your DIY skills.

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Bathroom Remodeling Trends for 2017 by Mia Gunson

Although dominated by function and practicality, bathroom designs can provide a surprising number of options for fulfilling your needs and complementing the style of your home. There are several determining factors for finding the right balance in remodeling, and achieving a fresh look while leaving the essence of your style intact.

This season has several novelties in store for you, but the predominant direction is to go natural. Here’s a list of guidelines and creative ideas on improving your bathroom according to the latest trends!

Colors

This year, a palette of soft, creamy colors will be used for the foundation of your design. Instead of reflective and shiny surfaces, the basis should be matte and neutral, combined with a single darker tone to accentuate selected elements, and create a visually appealing contrast. Some of the most popular combinations will be ones including a clean marble surface with brass details to achieve an effect of exquisite simplicity.

Serene colors that evoke relaxation paired with a single, more pronounced hue in the details of the overall design will provide a sense of integrity and diversity for a creative, but calming ambience.

Via flickr.com

Materials

One of the most prominent upcoming trends is definitely combining organic, natural materials with those that need simple maintenance. Leading hectic lives requires bathroom designs that allow top-notch functionality without compromising the integrity of your preferred style. Simple, low-maintenance materials such as wood, stone, marble and even clay can be combined with modern, synthetic materials to achieve a seamless blend of timeless and innovative.

Style

Minimalism seems to be the basis for contemporary design. Going for a sleek style that emphasizes functionality, and giving it an eco-friendly, organic touch will boost the look of any bathroom. Depending on your budget, you can achieve this elegant look with stone or ceramic tiles, or perhaps even dimensional tiles, which will add a note of sophistication. Whether you pick a bathtub or a shower, make sure to find the right shape that will complement the architecture of your space.

Via pixabay.com

Opt for water-resistant materials, water-saving faucets and showerheads to prevent wasting water, and if it fits in your budget, you can add an audio system for relaxing music and a separate control mechanism that will allow you to regulate the water temperature and pressure. Using technology to turn your bathroom into a secluded oasis is the way to go.

Fixtures

In addition to tasteful design, as mentioned earlier, this year will be all about environmentally friendly choices; so, make sure to install fixtures that are smart with water consumption, and dual-flush toilets. Another way you can remodel your bathroom to be more eco-friendly is to opt for sustainable materials, such as recycled or reused materials, or even wood that is gathered from a sustainably-managed forest. Materials that are low in lead are now used in the production of faucets to make them safer for your health.

Storage

In accordance with the emerging tendency towards natural materials and seamless décor, your bathroom storage should be equally sleek, simple to clean and smart. From a purely aesthetic point of view, floating vanities are trendy and elegant, but they are also very low-maintenance, and such a design allows you to choose the height that suits your needs.

To keep everything in order, use drawer dividers and pullouts, as well as hanging hair dryer-holders. An extra open shelf or two will also be useful when you have people staying over, but make sure not to overcrowd the bathroom with too many add-ons.

While calming colors, curious tiles, minimalism and overall simplicity seem to be the prevailing principles of remodeling your bathroom this year, bear in mind that this approach leaves many options for you to get creative, personalize your space, and boast eco-friendly solutions that will elevate your design into an enduring segment of your home. 

Submitted by Mia Gunson at https://smoothdecorator.com/- Mia is an interior designer with a burning passion for Art deco. She’s also a multitasking, bilingual cat lover. In her spare time she likes to paint, run, hike and make pancakes. Her motto is ”I live to decorate, and decorate for a living”.

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Heilman Renovations certified with www.renovationfind.com!

Heilman Renovations has recently become certified with www.renovationfind.com. Renovation Find is a site where you can find pre screened renovation and service companies that are trustworthy, legitimate and ethical. Heilman Renovations is proud to welcome www.renovationfind.com as one of it's renovation marketing partners! Heilman Renovations can be found on Renovation Find under Kitchen Renovations, Bathroom Renovations and General Contractor.

https://www.renovationfind.com/companies/bc/vancouver/heilman-renovations-5642

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