Protecting Your Deck from Dry Rot by Choosing the Right Material

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Protecting Your Deck from Dry Rot by Choosing the Right Material

At Heilman Renovations, we know that when you undertake a significant home renovation project like adding a new deck you want to make sure that you get the best use of your home improvement investment. One of the biggest deck maintenance problems that home owners face is dry rot. You can avoid dry rot in your deck by choosing a deck material that fits both your budget and your maintenance schedule.

Maintenance-Free Plastics

Dry rot is caused by moisture, so one of the easiest ways to avoid it is to use a decking material that is completely water resistant. Plastic decking materials like Azek are made from recycled bottles. They’re completely rot resistant, and they require very little maintenance. There are also composite decking materials like Trex that are made from wood and plastic with many of the same benefits. If you want to avoid annual power-washing and semi-annual sealing, plastic may be the right material for your new deck or renovation.

Plastic decking does have negative features, however. It is one of the most expensive materials you can use for your deck. It typically comes as a proprietary system, so you have to use fasteners, trim, and other components from the same manufacturer’s system. The other negative is, well, that it’s plastic. It looks like plastic, and it comes in limited colors.

For maintenance, all plastic and composite decking needs is to be washed occasionally. If you want to spend your time relaxing on your deck instead of working on it, plastics may be the right choice for you.

Natural Wood

If you prefer the rich and natural look of wood, cedar, redwood and cypress are all beautiful woods that are naturally rot resistant. They are less expensive than plastic and composite decking materials, and they are light, easy to work with, and resistant to warping. They do require ongoing maintenance, including annual power washing and recoating with sealant every three or four years. They fade to a silvery grey color that is very attractive.

Also available now are extremely durable tropical hardwoods like ipe, which combines the beauty of real wood with extreme durability and less maintenance. It is more difficult to work than cedar or redwood because it’s very heavy and extremely hard. It dulls saw blades and drill bits quickly, and all holes must be predrilled. You’ll also want to make sure that it’s certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council so that your deck isn’t contributing to the loss of rain forests.

Economical Pressure Treated Lumber

The most inexpensive deck option is pressure-treated lumber. It is typically southern yellow pine that has been treated with chemical preservatives. It is very heavy, and does require annual power washing and regular re-sealing to keep it protected. When your deck is built, you’ll also want to ensure that all cut ends are treated with preservative, and make sure that your design does not allow any standing water on the deck. You’ll also want to make sure that you use galvanized fasteners and anchors so that the wood preservative does not corrode the fasteners.

If you are concerned about chemicals, pressure-treated lumber may not be the right choice for you. Older preservatives used arsenic, which was found to leach into the ground around pressure-treated structures. In 2003, the preservative in residential lumber was changed so that it no longer contains arsenic. If chemicals are still a concern for you, an all-natural choice like cedar may be a better option for you.

There are many great materials available for your deck building and renovation projects. Balance your budget with your willingness to do maintenance, and you’ll end up with a great looking, long-lasting deck.

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Renovationfind.com 10 Best Renovation Companies

Renovationfind.com 10 Best Renovation Companies

We went through renovationfind.com and found the 10 best renovation companies across Canada. 

Calgary, Alberta

Contemporary Bath Kitchen and Lighting Centre

  • It is the dream, vision and goal of every person to secure a renovation company capable of delivering the best outcome from the investment made in home improvement. Contemporary Bath Kitchen and Lighting Centre is the finest solution for this purpose in Calgary. This company will assure the client an outstanding kitchen and/or bathroom renovation. The company installers offer credible experience and skill spanning many years with respect to the remodeling of kitchens and bathrooms.
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  • This company offers comprehensive renovations to the bathroom and kitchen in the regions of High River, Strathmore, Cochrane, Airdric, Calgary and Okotoks.
  • For more information visit http://www.contemporarybathrooms.ab.ca/

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Kitchen Craft Winnipeg

  • This construction company specializes in the supply and manufacture of custom made cabinets for and home space. All bathroom vanities and kitchen cabinets supplied by Kitchen Craft Winnipeg provide an excellent blend of performance and aesthetics. This therefore allows the family to enjoy the elegant space.
  • The detailed artistry coupled with forty years of experience assures that the solution to customized cabinets fits in perfectly in to the upgraded or new spaces.  It is the honor of customers to explore the reason why Kitchen Craft is the most preferred company by homeowners, renovators and home builders in Canada for all custom cabinet solutions. Kitchen Craft designers are always prepared to turn the dreams of customers into reality.  Anyone can visit our showrooms located in Kenaston BLVD or Regent Avenue, Winnipeg.
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For more information visit http://www.kitchencraftwinnipeg.com/

 

Edmonton, Alberta

D-Trac Construction Company

  • This company is based in Edmonton and offers services across Alberta area.
  • D-Trac Construction Company has an experience of 25 years in construction making it a fully-fledged service provider in general contracting. The firm is purely dedicated to commercial and residential renovations. Some of the services provided by D-Trac firm include engineering, interior design, development and/or renovation of basements, kitchen renovation, improvement and renovation of the interior of commercial offices, decks and bathroom renovations.
  • D-Trac construction firm is authorized and approved by Baeumler contractor. The firm is also a prepaid contractor with licensing for operation in Alberta. The firm has the endorsement of Better Business Bureau and is also insured and bonded. D-Trac construction Company enjoys the most recent WCB coverage as well.
  • More information about D-Trac Company can be found on http://dtracconstruction.com/.

 

Toronto, Ontario

Belvedere Home Improvements Limited

  • A house will only truly become an abode upon applying that personal touch on it. Belvedere Home Improvement Company is the place to get exquisite finishes for the newly completed property and renovation for the current home. The company will introduce a new elegant look on the living space.
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  • This company is located in the neighborhood of East York at Leaside. The Toronto region has been a beneficiary of the professional services on home improvement offered by this company for a period exceeding fifty years. The expertise of Belvedere renovators in the industry aggregates to more than 145 years. Belvedere is ready and willing to assist in the creation of a dream home for all her clients.  Belvedere Home Improvement company is an associate of Better Business Bureau and their license number is T85-3956838.

For more information Visit http://www.belvedererenos.com/

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

J.A.B.A. Construction LTD

  • This company specializes in general contraction for all home and commercial renovations. The company’s management team cooperates with clients through a management system designed by them in the quest to ensure the customer realizes their objective on budget and in good time. 
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  • J.A.B.A has membership to the Saskatoon and Region Association of Home Builders, Better Business Bureau, RenoMark, Trusted Saskatoon and the association of business persons (Chamber of Commerce).  The memberships builds client confidence with the full knowledge that the company is fully compliant with the stringent behavior and ethics code, all legislative requirements and liability, and compensation insurance for all workers. 
  • For more details visit https://www.jaba.ca/

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Mother Hubbard’s Kitchen

  • This is a profoundly experience company from Atlantic Canada. Mother Hubbard’s Kitchen has for years been renovating and designing custom bathrooms and kitchens.
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  • This company has an exquisite reputation in their offering quality renovations. Some of the renovators in Mother Hubbard’s Kitchen have more than 35 years of experience in kitchen renovations and design. The company is committed to sustaining strong bonds with their clients through referral and repeat business established through provision of satisfactory customer services. This is achieved through detailed attention and outstanding customer service.
  • For further information visit http://www.motherhubbardskitchens.com/

Montreal, Quebec

Boiserie Alpin WoodWork

  • This company was established by Mr. Dorinbaum Daniel in 1998. The company prides itself with forty years furniture and cabinetry experience. Assisted by his two children Mr. Dorinbaum has upgraded and updated all Alpin WoodWork facilities and opened two showrooms. The company concentrates on commercial and residential furniture in melamine, thermoplastic and wood. The expertise of Alpin WoodWork is found in customized Kitchen armoires, libraries, living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms, Islands and bars, home cinemas, and home offices.
  • The confidence of Alpin WoodWork is pegged on provision of excellent furniture for the office and home. The furniture made by this company is long lasting and remains elegant for many years. The company integrates new technology with their skilled craftsmen alongside the splendid experience to manufacture elegant and quality customized furniture that fits personal preferences and needs.
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  • The initial showroom, offices and factory to this company is found in Montreal. The public is free to visit for estimates and further consultations.  Alpin WoodWork inaugurated their second showroom in East Montreal. Home owners and designers are welcome to visit the showroom and witness the relaxing atmosphere and display of the current elegant designs of bathroom cabinets and kitchens.
  • For further details visit http://alpinwoodwork.com/

St John’s Newfoundland

Smith’s Home Hardware

  • This stores house a variety of products that have been selected with great care for the purpose of home maintenance, repair and renovation projects. Some of the available materials in Smith’s Home hardware include paint, lumber, power and hand tools, electrical and plumbing supplies and other varieties of materials used for building.
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North Vancouver, British Columbia

Heilman Renovations

  • This is a renovation company domicile in North Vancouver. The company is a general contractor dealing in bathroom and kitchen renovations in Commercial and residential properties of Burnaby, West Vancouver, North Vancouver and Vancouver.  The owner of Heilman Renovations is Joe Heilman. He is an expert in renovations. Heilman has been in this profession for 21 years as a general contractor, authorized professional in renovations, and a veteran in renovations. For the homes. Heilman has experience in home improvements, deck constructions, commercial renovations, interior design, bathroom renovations, home renovations, interior design, doors and windows installation and other general services in North Vancouver.
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  • For further details visit www.heilmanrenovations.ca

Fredericton, New Brunswick

Kitchen Creation Company

  • Kitchen Creations Company is dedicated to assisting customers achieve their objectives. With great and long experience collaborating with clients in renovation schemes, Kitchen Creations provide the most outstanding products and customer services both in Fredericton and the regions surrounding. Customer satisfaction is the first priority for Kitchen Creations.
  • Kitchen Creations allows clients to watch their ideas grow into elegant designs through the 3D designs generated by computers. The 3-D designs are then transformed into real objects through accurate manufacture and installation of the elements. The skilled staff collaborates with clients to make cabinetry which synchronizes perfectly with the lifestyle and home space. Kitchen Creations is better thought of as a partner in the client’s bathroom and kitchen project.
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  • The company utilizes the most current equipment and their woodworking shop is properly equipped.  Kitchen Creations offers various products that are custom made including entertainment units, fireplace mantles, china cabinets, and office workstations etc.  The strength of this company is derived from offering quality installations and constructions for each product sold.
  • For the clients looking for countertops the place to be is Kitchen Creations. The company has a wide variety of materials for clients to choose from with respect to budget and lifestyle. Some of the alternatives include the model postform laminates, the customized laminates with DuPont corian or wood edges etc.  Clients can make a choice from the prevalent DuPont Corian solid surfaces, DuPont Zodiac, marble countertops, or natural Granite.
  • Further information can be sourced from http://www.kitchencreationsinc.ca/

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Homeowner's Workbook: How to Remodel Your Kitchen

Homeowner's Workbook: How to Remodel Your Kitchen

Whether you’re ready for a complete makeover or just smaller changes, these remodelling ideas will help you design a stylish, elegant and functional kitchen. Just remember – as the heart of your home, your kitchen deserves nothing but the best. 

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Add a coat of fresh paint

Repainting your kitchen is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to introduce a sense of novelty and liven up the ambiance. Not only will you freshen up the walls and remove greasy stains, but you’ll also give it a completely new, stylish look. When choosing a colour palette, you can go with a timeless neutral scheme of beiges, whites and greys for the backdrop. This will later on allow you to create a chic contrast by introducing darker hues for your cabinets or countertops. Of course, you can go with an all-white kitchen to create an elegant and serene look and then introduce pops of vibrant colours for smaller details. 

Consider rearranging the layout

Since you spend a lot of time performing everyday tasks in your kitchen, it should feature a functional and practical design. If you always have troubles getting around your kitchen, you should consider rearranging the elements and creating a more functional layout. However, you should keep the sink and the appliances in the same place to avoid having to change your plumbing or wiring. There are different types of kitchen layouts, so you should find one that fits your space. While the L-shaped kitchen layout will help you use your corner space, the galley layout with two parallel countertops is more appropriate for smaller kitchens. 

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Update your door or windows

When it comes to kitchen renovations, you have plenty of options, ranging from smaller upgrades to a complete makeover. Replacing your windows or internal door is often disregarded, but this type of change can help you both restyle your kitchen and improve the energy-efficiency of your home. You can opt for sliding doors to save space in your kitchen, use glass internal doors for a modern look or go with a barn door to give your kitchen a rustic flair. As for windows, you can install energy-efficient ones to reduce your energy consumption while experimenting with the design. 

Experiment with different materials

If you’ve decided to go with a major kitchen remodel, you can completely change the materials in your kitchen. You can combine different materials to create an authentic look that will add character to your space. From hardwood floors and repurposed wooden cabinets to natural stone tile and marble countertops, you can mix and match for a unique visual appeal. Combining modern stainless steel appliances with natural materials will add an organic touch to your kitchen and create a warm and inviting atmosphere. You can also experiment with finishes – a matte finish and muted tones will help you create a simple yet elegant look. 

Replace the appliances

Kitchen appliances are some of the most important elements in your kitchen, so it goes without saying that they need to function properly. This is an opportunity to choose energy-efficient appliances and save on your bills. You shouldn’t hesitate to spend a bit more on your kitchen appliances because this is a long-term investment. However, you need to make sure that the appliances you buy are certified and functional. For example, efficient Maytag dishwashers are Energy Star certified, have the most powerful engine on the market and offer several different functions, such as quick wash and PowerBlast cycle

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that removes stuck-on food. It’s essential that you go with a reliable brand in order get durable and efficient appliances. 

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Style up the décor  

Elevating your kitchen décor will add a final touch and create an authentic look. You have a variety of interesting options when it comes to kitchen decorations. You can introduce a specific theme and style, such as Moroccan-inspired, vintage, rustic-chic, natural-modern or country design. You can display your collectibles in an antique cupboard or proudly exhibit your stunning dishes on shelves. You can introduce enticing lighting fixtures, such as a lush chandelier or vintage lamps, add fresh flowers or houseplants or hang beautiful artwork. You can be creative as much as you want, but make sure not to clutter and to fit the general style and design of the kitchen. 

With these remodelling ideas, you’ll create a kitchen that exudes elegance and sophistication and features a functional design. 

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5 Home Window Replacement Tips for Vancouver

5 Home Window Replacement Tips for Vancouver

Thinking about home window replacement soon? You might be tempted to just go for the fastest, cheapest option — but if you do that, you could be shooting yourself in the foot. There are a few things you should know as a home owner first, especially in rainy Vancouver 

Consider these five tips to help save you trouble in the long run.

1. Particularly in Vancouver & B.C., Choose Window Materials Wisely.

Obvious material choices for a window are either wood or vinyl. Who doesn’t have memories of a classic wooden windowsill and wood frame? But it might surprise you that the best material option for your windows is actually … neither.

Vinyl is great since it’s low maintenance, but it’s prone to cracks that result in the whole window needing replacing. And while wood is a long time favorite, modern wood frames degrade quickly, particularly in harsher, wetter environments like the west coast. While both are certainly well known, neither is precisely what you want.

Consider a material like Fibrex. Fibrex presents all of the sturdiness of a wooden frame, with the low-maintenance upkeep of a vinyl frame. It won’t chip or crack, and it won’t degrade any time soon. 

Fibrex also allows for narrower frames, giving you more glass, wider views, and more light. And to top it off, it can be given the appearance of a painted wood finish to maintain that rustic woodwork feel.

That wood finish might seem like a pure vanity point to make, but it actually leads nicely into the second major thing to consider:

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2. Your Home's Aesthetics Are Key.

Homeowners get about 73% of their replacement window investment back when they resell the house, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2016 Cost Versus Value study. Choose the wrong windows, though, and replacements can detract from home value.

“Like custom kitchens and original wood flooring, windows are important architectural features,” says North Vancouver Contractor, Joe Heilman. “Replace them with a cheaper product, and you downscale the house.”

Cheaper windows at big box stores don’t have the color options that allow you to match your trim. This is where a quality Fibrex option is a clear difference; you get the low maintenance of vinyl without sacrificing aesthetics with a plain matte finish.

When you order an in-home quote, a window company can help you choose options that fit your home and improve its aesthetic value.

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3. Hire Licensed and Insured Window Professionals.

This should never need to be said when it comes to any sort of home improvement … but the truth is it that's worth a reminder: always go for a licensed, insured professional who specializes in the task at hand.

Always.

Poor installation will cost you far, far more than the money you save on a cheap job. You might create a hole in your vapor barrier, ending up with gaps around your windows that allow in insects in summer and rack up your heating bills in winter.

It will cost you more upfront, but the time, money, and hassle you save in the long term more than make up for it.

This also plays back into the point above; a poorly installed window will absolutely affect the value of your property. Nobody’s going to want to pay a premium price for a place that has poorly installed windows that leave them saddled with bills and bugs.

4. Know What Your Manufacturer Warranty Is.

Winters in B.C. can be harsh. It’s why you need quality material to make your windows out of, why you need a professional who focuses on windows, and why you need to ensure you’re getting a quality installation warranty.

Most big box stores simply don’t offer a warranty on installation. Those that do may only do so for a few months, if you’re lucky. What you want is twofold:

  • Firstly, you want to go with a specialist window replacement company. They’re more likely to have the extended warranties you require to get the most out of your purchase.
  • Secondly, go for a company that’s been around for a long time with a strong reputation. You want to make sure that the company is actually going to be around for the time it takes to honor the warranty itself.

Your windows are going to be exposed to some harsh weather conditions, and they need to stand the test of time. Don’t risk it.

5. Don’t Choose Windows Based Solely on Price.

This point has been made all through the article, but here we’ll stress it:

Don’t skimp on the cost.

Having a budget is obviously going to keep your options targeted, but you must always keep in mind that you’ll get what you pay for. If you go for the cheapest option to start with, be prepared to be fixing it again in the foreseeable future.

Generally, you should only need to replace windows once or twice in your lifetime. It shouldn’t come up that option. Spending a bit more than you’d think on it today will help ensure that is only once a lifetime, not two … or three … or four.

Do your research to find out why some features and glass options cost more than others. Weigh the long-term benefits against the short-term investment. When in doubt, focus on the long-term value over the cost.

This article was contributed by Renewal by Andersen British Columbia and appeared originally on their blog.

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6 Small Basement Remodeling Ideas

6 Small Basement Remodeling Ideas

Below-grade rooms are often left on their own, to slowly deteriorate over time. Yet, they hold great promise in terms of expanding and improving the living space.  You can gain additional square footage without excavating or making structural changes. Besides, infrastructure in the form of utilities is usually in place. So, do not let the size of the room stand in the way of your vision. With small and simple steps, you will be able to transform it and create more living space. 

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A home extension

It is a real shame that most basements are used as makeshift laundry rooms and storage repositories. Thus, one has to figure out the new purpose that the renovated basement will serve. Do you want it to be a subterranean entertainment area, workshop, home office, room for kids, or something else? I would defiantly go for a bonus room such as a home theater. The layout is likely favorable, since you need little more than seating area in a dark spot, where you can avoid the annoying screen glare. 

Prepping the stage

It helps to deal with clutter, dirt, dust, and mold that run the show and inhibit your plans. If you do not know what to do with a ton of stuff that was crammed there, call an appropriate service to handle it, such as these pro removalists in Brisbane. Once that is sorted out, consider the layout of the basement. In general, when working with a small space, open floor plan seems like a good idea. Still, do not rule out partition walls, half-wall dividers, sliding doors, and movable screens. 

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Test the waters

The thing with basements is that they require thorough planning a quite a bit of prep work. Namely, they endure a heavy beating from moisture and water over time and as a result, nuisances like mold and mildew take hold. Hence, one of the crucial tasks when converting the space is to carry out waterproofing. Fix any plumbing leaks, cracks in the foundations, and holes. See how to integrate basement laundries, kitchens, and bathrooms with present water supply lines, main pump, and drainage.  

Pops of color

People do not seem to know what to do with ductwork and beams. Some homeowners decide to play it safe and paint them in the same color as the ceiling. However, I would try out something different. How about applying a bright and playful tone to liven up things a bit? Alternatively, box the ducts in with soffits or wood-frame enclosures. Of course, there is a wide array of other projects for interior home renovations that enable you to spruce up and beautify the space. 

Let there be light

In basements, natural light tends to be in short supply, limited to few small windows at best. On the brighter note, you can make the most of the artificial lighting fittings. Recessed and dropped ceilings easily accommodate can, track, and fluorescent troffer solutions. The perimeter lighting comes in handy as well, so think in terms of sconces, fluorescent tubes, LED wall washers, and spotlights. As for the main socializing area, it should be placed where there is most natural light.  

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Finishing touches

When finishing a basement, make sure to use materials that are resistant to moisture and water. Typical drywall or wood framing does not cut it when longevity and durability are a priority. On the other hand, you can always rely on insulated and waterproof wood panels, mold-proof PVC moldings, water-proof under-floor systems and similar solutions. TBF panels are worth considering as well, because they can be attached directly to foundation walls and make it easy to do the wiring. 

From lowly to lovely

Basements can be much more than cold concrete prison for discarded and rarely used items. They should be treated just like any room aboveground. With smart renovating and remodeling, it could become a favorite spot for hanging out or spending some solitary time. So, inspect the space for moisture and mold and take on DIY waterproofing. Have a plan in place before rolling up your sleeves and enhance functionality, comfort, and visual appeal. 

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What to Consider When Expanding Your Home

What to Consider When Expanding Your Home

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Expanding your home is a great renovation project that will help you increase your property’s value and functionality. While some simple home improvements don’t require much effort or money, home expansion is a more complex and challenging project and it requires careful planning and consideration. Therefore, it’s essential that you consider everything in advance and prepare for possible obstacles you may encounter. This way, not only will you avoid making a costly mistake, but you’ll also make the entire renovation process as efficient as possible. 

Planning the budget

Before undertaking this renovation endeavour, you should define your budget limits and decide how much money you can spend on expanding your home. You don’t want to spend months planning your perfect home only to realise that you can’t cover all the expenses. By defining your budget beforehand, you’ll be able to stay within your budget limits and avoid spending more than you can afford.
Depending on the size and type of your home expansion, costs can quite vary – an additional bathroom or bedroom can cost from $25,000 to $50,000, while adding a larger, family room can amount up to $100,000. Thus, you should consider all possible expenses and the payment method – you can apply for a construction loan if necessary. 

Defining the purpose

After you’ve come up with the budget, you can start planning and preparing for your renovation project. The first thing you need to consider is the purpose of your expanded space because it will greatly influence your options when it comes to material, size, style, etc. For example, if you’re planning to have children, you’ll need plenty of highly functional space.

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Choosing the location

Depending on the purpose of your new space, you should choose a convenient location that will meet your needs. If you want to add a cosy family room, you can pick a spot facing your yard with a beautiful view and plenty of natural light. On the flip side, a bathroom shouldn’t face the street, but have a more private location. 

Consulting the pros

If you have no experience in home renovation whatsoever, it’s highly advisable that you seek professional help. You can meet with an architect who can suggest a renovation plan that will meet your budget and the renovation purpose, as well as fit into the general style of your home and your neighbourhood.
Those who have some building experience should assess their skills objectively and decide which projects they can do on their own and which ones should be left to the experts. Typically, structural work, like building the foundation, should be carried out by professionals who will ensure that everything is done properly. Also, some specific equipment such as mobile scaffold should also be provided by specialists who can also offer relevant advice and consultation. On the other hand, smaller updates, such as repainting the interior of your new space, don’t require any special skills and you can do them on your own.

Learning about the regulations

Another important step of the building process is informing yourself about the local regulations and laws. Before starting the construction work, you need to make sure that you meet all the necessary requirements and safety standards. Find out whether you need any additional permits and certificates and file the paperwork on time. 

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Picking out the materials

Choosing appropriate materials that will meet the purpose of your space, contribute to its functionality and fit into the general design of your home is an important step when expanding your property. However, this is a great opportunity for you to try something new and different that will boost your home’s appeal and help you reduce your expenses. For example, if you have a brick house, you can choose wood for your new addition, which will be less expensive and more appealing. Just make sure to keep the wood in the same colour for a more cohesive look. 

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Preparing for inconveniences

Expanding your home might be a long and noisy process, so you need to be prepared for all the possible inconveniences. Kitchen expansion might take up all of your space, so you should consider setting up a temporary kitchen. In addition, if you work from home, it might be too loud and distracting, so you should consider working somewhere else during the building process.

Since home expansion is quite a large improvement project, you should take some time to plan everything in detail. This way, you’ll sure that everything is done efficiently and as quickly as possible so that you can enjoy your new and improved home.

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6 Renovation Tips for Your Home’s Exterior

6 Renovation Tips for Your Home’s Exterior

Perhaps you can’t judge a book by its covers, but you can judge a house by its exterior. Apart from leaving a lasting impression on your guests, your home’s exterior is a great indicator not only of its interior style, but also of your personal taste. If you feel that the curb appeal of your home needs a boost, here are six renovation tips that will help you create a warm and inviting look.

Style up the front door

Your front door is one of the focal points of your home’s exterior, so it’s important that it works well with the general style of the house and that it reflects the interior design to some extent. If your front door is in a good condition and doesn’t have any cracks, you can give it a makeover by repainting it in a new hue and changing the hardware. Pick a colour that is complementary to the house paint, but that will still stand out.
However, if your entry door is worn-out, you should consider replacing it altogether. Front door replacement might cost you a bit more, but it’s one of the most profitable home improvements and you’re likely to recoup your initial investment.

Tackle the windows

Along with the front door come windows, especially if they need some styling up. You should check whether your windows have any openings that might be a source of energy loss. If there are just a few air leaks, you can seal them and then give your windows a new look by repainting them, creating a stylish frame or installing shutters. On the other hand, if your windows are poorly insulated and represent a major source of energy loss, you can replace them with new, energy-efficient ones and cut your expenses. 

Create a wooden deck

A lovely outdoor area will boost the aesthetic appeal of your home and you’ll have your own personal sanctuary. Creating a wooden deck is a profitable home improvement that will increase the value of your property. While the building of the wooden deck should be left to professionals (if you don’t have any experience in the field, that is), design and décor can be completely up to you. Since this will be your lounge area, you should add comfortable and stylish furniture that will fit into the general design of the house. Appropriate lighting is also important – you can install lovely lanterns or use string lights to create an ambiance of romance and intimacy. Don’t forget decorative details, such as intricately designed area rugs, candles and, of course, plants.

Fix up the roof

When the roof is impeccable and in a perfect condition, you never notice it. It’s when the roof is worn-out that you look up and start paying attention. So, if your roof has got your attention, you should style it up. You should carefully inspect the roof, especially the area around chimney, vents and shingles, check whether there are any leaks and keep your eyes open for rust, mould and mildew. Should you come across any of these problems, you should treat them accordingly and prevent any further damage. If you don’t have any experience in fixing the roof, you should seek professional help.

Spruce up the landscape

Landscaping is a simple yet effective way to enhance the visual appeal of your home’s exterior and create an inviting atmosphere. You should mow your lawn, trim the bushes and trees, get rid of weeds, plant flowers in colourful beds and build a curved path that will lead to your front door. In addition, you can place outdoor lighting fixtures to illuminate your home’s exterior – just keep it subtle.

Freshen up the façade

Façade is one of the most important elements of your home’s exterior and by giving it a new look, you’ll boost the visual appeal of your house instantly. A simple solution is repainting it in a new hue – a simple and neutral colour palette will have the best effect.
However, installing durable cladding made of weather resistant composite panels is a cost effective and long term-solution because it’s resistant to weather conditions and requires low maintenance. Since these panels come in different colours and sizes, you can easily find a design that will fit your home’s style. 

By styling up your doors and windows, building a wooden deck, taking care of the landscape and the roof and giving your façade a makeover, you’ll boost your home’s curb appeal and value. Not only will our guests be enchanted by your home’s design, but you’ll feel much more comfortable and satisfied.

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10 Best Renovation Contractors for 2017 in Canada

10 Best Renovation Contractors for 2017 in Canada

When it comes to home renovation projects, making your dreams come true starts with hiring quality, reliable and experienced professionals. However, in order to find an outstanding renovation company, you will need to paddle through a sea of contractors out there. The fact is that a good ad is not always proof of quality work, and some of the companies might be incompetent for your project. You will definitely have to be patient, wise and embrace all the information you can get. So, here goes Heilman Renovations' list of the 10 best renovation contractors in Canada, to guide you through adventurous quest of choosing the finest renovation contractor for your project. 

Heilman Renovations

North Vancouver, British Columbia

heilmanrenovations.ca

North Vancouver Renovation Contractor, Heilman Renovations

North Vancouver Renovation Contractor, Heilman Renovations

If you need a kitchen renovation company or bathroom renovation contractor, you should definitely consider bringing Heilman Renovations on board. Experts from this North Vancouver based renovation company are specialized in performing kitchen renovations and bathroom renovations in North Vancouver, West Vancouver, Vancouver and Burnaby.

North Vancouver Renovation Contractor, Joe Heilman 

North Vancouver Renovation Contractor, Joe Heilman 

The owner of Heilman Renovations, Joe Heilman, is a 21 year general contractor and certified, awarded renovation professional in the home renovation business. This remodeling veteran has vast experience as a tradesman in bathroom, kitchen and home renovations, but also in commercial renovations, deck construction, home improvements, interior design, window and doors installations as well as North Vancouver Commercial Tenant Improvements. Joe also prides himself on keeping job sites clean and organized, which is quite a nice final touch to a well executed renovation project, you will agree.

North Vancouver Bathroom Renovation

North Vancouver Bathroom Renovation

Client’s testimonial: "Joe and his team came to redo our bathroom, which involved ripping the old one out, completely. They were quick, professional, and very friendly. What surprised me most was that they cleaned up after themselves at the end of each day. They also did a bunch of other projects around the house, and both, my wife and I are very happy with the quality and speed of their work. Great job Joe."

MAC Renovations

Victoria, British Columbia

macreno.com

Victoria Renovation Contractor, MAC Renovations

Victoria Renovation Contractor, MAC Renovations

Although MAC crew has been present on the Victoria remodeling scene for 35 years, their principle remains the same - work as a team and be trustworthy. You will therefore find that experts from MAC renovations are striving to make every aspect of a home remodeling uncomplicated, safe and hassle-free, while focusing on details. MAC renovations employees assert that treating clients as partners minimizes trust issues and conflicts, so the core of this Victoria based renovation company is regular, clear and honest communication. 

Victoria Kitchen Renovation Company, MAC Renovations

Victoria Kitchen Renovation Company, MAC Renovations

Their award-winning portfolio is a valuable proof that MAC Renovations meet rigorous quality and ethical standards. Oh, and there is more - as a part of their Contractor-for-Life follow-up program, you’ll get a check-in from a MAC Reno expert at the one-year and two-year anniversary of your project completion date. What’s there not to like?

Victoria Kitchen Renovation Company, MAC Renovations

Victoria Kitchen Renovation Company, MAC Renovations

Client’s testimonial: "MAC's work is impeccable. When I first hired Mac Renos, they did everything right. They didn't try to change my mind as much as told me what would work and would not work, what was safe, and what was not safe. Their work is impeccable, they are always reliable, and they are always dropping by to check up on us. Because of that, I keep using them. We've done three projects since 2010, and I have no doubt I will use them again."

Start to Finish Construction

Kelowna, British Columbia

starttofinishconstructionltd.ca

Kelowna Renovation Contractor, Start to Finish Construction 

Kelowna Renovation Contractor, Start to Finish Construction 

These Kelowna based contractors keep audacity to be different in high regard. President and CEO, Sean M. Hogan, decided to branch out his family business and open his own construction company in Okanagan Valley. This obviously was a smart move, since today Sean is one of the leaders of the Kelowna construction industry, excelling in safety, transparency, employment practices and customer service. Sean believes he must be a prime example on how to lead. 

Kelowna Bathroom Renovation Company, Start to Finish Construction

Kelowna Bathroom Renovation Company, Start to Finish Construction

He believes in creating a warm, positive career environment which will encourage his employees to grow in both personal and professional fields. Looks like this is another smart move by Mr. Sean Hogan, since his staff love coming to work and Kelowna clients love Sean and his crew on their remodeling projects. The damsel responsible for breathing in the art in Start to Finish is lovely Marilyn Hogan. Visual arts are her passion, and for the last 10 years, she’s been in love with interior design. Naturally, she’s the one who’s in charge of the Re-design and Staging divisions. Start to Finish Construction are offering numerous services like commercial construction, new home construction, asbestos removal, interior design, etc. It is pretty much clear that these Kelowna contractors are most certainly bringing clarity to the renovation process. 

Kelowna Renovation Contractor, Start to Finish Construction

Kelowna Renovation Contractor, Start to Finish Construction

Client’s testimonial: "I just wanted to send you a quick note to say thank you to you and your team for doing such a wonderful job on renovating my home. I greatly appreciate how professional you were and how if I had a question or wanted to change something, you were right on it. I will certainly contact you for any future work I decide to do! Thanks again - and thank you so much for the wonderful bottle of Pinot Noir. I will certainly enjoy having a glass in my amazing kitchen."

Pinnacle Renovations

Calgary, Alberta

pinnaclerenovations.ca

Calgary Renovation Contractor, Pinnacle Renovations

Calgary Renovation Contractor, Pinnacle Renovations

At the helm of the “Pinnacle” are Paul Klassen and his wife Elaine, with their own vision on how to serve Calgary’s families by creating homes to last a lifetime. Paul has spent extensive amount of time as a developer in the spec and custom home markets as well as commercial retrofits, project management and upscale, general contracting, so he’s a walking encyclopedia of construction knowledge. 

Calgary Kitchen Renovation Company, Pinnacle Renovations

Calgary Kitchen Renovation Company, Pinnacle Renovations

For Pinnacle, creating the ultimate client experiences is the primary goal as it simultaneously translates into customer loyalty. Looking back at this Calgary based renovation company he spent his whole life shaping, Klassen remarks: “Focus is on the family first. What they need and how they interact, both today and in the future. We affect people’s lives and support the family nucleus by building better spaces, and in doing so, we create homes that foster a sense of wholeness, safety, relaxation and support.” Well, dear Paul we most certainly agree, and so do the Calgary homeowners - jugging by admirable reputation of Pinnacle Renovations. 

Calgary Renovation Contractor, Pinnacle RenovationsPinnacle Renovations

Calgary Renovation Contractor, Pinnacle RenovationsPinnacle Renovations

Client’s testimonial:“The main reason for us recommending the Pinnacle Group is that they were so great to work with. They answered our questions and they had great ideas. They did have some problems that were beyond their control (suppliers, weather, injuries etc) but they did a great job. They were professional, responsive, fun and timely. Pinnacle is outstanding.”

Parabola Development

Edmonton, Alberta

paraboladevelopments.com

Edmonton Renovation Contractor, Parabola Developments

Edmonton Renovation Contractor, Parabola Developments

These Edmonton contractors have more than 10 years of being on the scene. We are talking about the team of certified professionals, where every member has over five years of direct experience working with Parabola Developments, plus additional experience in their respective fields. Parabola is led by foreman Troy Hrushka, who is not just an accomplished residential and commercial contractor, but also an awesome, talented musician! People from Parabola Developments would be more than happy to assist you with Edmonton home renovations, quality electrical, concrete staining and acid etching, LED lighting consultations and much more.

Edmonton Kitchen Renovation Company, Parabola Developments

Edmonton Kitchen Renovation Company, Parabola Developments

If you are seeking for first-rate finishing and floorings, concrete poured countertops, engineered hardwood and energy efficient solutions, Parabola crew is the one for you. You will simply fall in love with your new home revamped by these professionals. Experts from Parabola Development are proudly claiming that any job below 100% is not a job well done. So, if you’re on a quest for professional and prompt home or business construction solutions in Edmonton, search no more, Parabola Development is exactly where you need to be.

Client’s testimonial:“Troy showed up on time every day and was very professional. We originally had him do a bathroom renovation for us, however after seeing how good of a job he did we’ve had him redo our entire kitchen! Great work Troy!“

J.A.B.A. Construction Limited

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

jaba.ca

Saskatoon Renovation Contractor, JABA Construction 

Saskatoon Renovation Contractor, JABA Construction 

J.A.B.A. Construction is a general residential and commercial contractor in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. All types of construction jobs are accepted there, including new home construction and home renovations. Regarding construction projects, services they offer include design consultation, space development and new construction. So, these guys will accept your project with arms wide open, no matter what you need for your office or home. Furthermore, they truly strive to personalize every project. 

Saskatoon Kitchen Renovation Company, JABA Construction 

Saskatoon Kitchen Renovation Company, JABA Construction 

Experts from J.A.B.A. aim to make you their client for life. What sets them apart from other construction firms is being able to create professional relationships on a personal level. For J.A.B.A., communication is the key for comfortable, successful renovation project. They’ll work very closely with you in order to meet your precise needs. J.A.B.A. team promises they’ll be here in the future to protect your largest investments - your business and your home.

Saskatoon Kitchen Renovation Contractor, JABA Construction 

Saskatoon Kitchen Renovation Contractor, JABA Construction 

Client’s testimonial:“Without question, J.A.B.A. Construction by far exceeded all our expectations. Family, friends and neighbours who were skeptical and looked at us as if we were crazy are now in awe of the results…The excellence in quality of workmanship we received and the professionalism in which it was provided deserves to be recognized and applauded.”

Quantum Construction

Regina, Saskatchewan

quantumconstructionsk.com

Regina Renovation Contractor, Quantum Construction

Regina Renovation Contractor, Quantum Construction

Quantum Construction offers a wide diversity of general construction and renovation services when it comes to both commercial and residential needs of Regina, Saskatchewan. Regina based renovation company was founded by Jerry Ricci and Phillip Diavatopoulos, who are bringing over 40 years of combined construction experience in the game. These two virtuosos are followed by a team of highly skilled, experienced and efficient sub-contractors. Quantum Construction’s experts have one primary goal - to give their fellow residents efficient, reliable and professional solutions to any given task, while they keep their service centers open for honest communication with clients. 

Regina Kitchen Renovation Company, Quantum Construction

Regina Kitchen Renovation Company, Quantum Construction

Their greatest feats are providing clients with accurate project designs and quotes, as well as staff that will work with customers to make sure the projects meet their deadlines, are on budget and on top of their game. The power of Quantum Constructions relies on the ability to schedule concurrent, short and long-term construction activities and then effectively and simultaneously manage it all for timely project completion. Quantum Constructions stands for honesty, integrity, respect, passion and dynamic culture, which is exactly why they've been the most highly recommended Regina construction company all these years. 

Regina Kitchen Renovation Contractor, Quantum Construction

Regina Kitchen Renovation Contractor, Quantum Construction

Client’s testimonial:” Right from day one, Jerry and Phil were approachable, responsive and receptive to our needs and ideas. We found communication with them to be very clear and straightforward, and the process with our Sub-contractors was very smooth.”

Creative Design Contractors

Winnipeg, Manitoba

creativecontractors.ca

Winnipeg Renovation Contractors, Creative Design Contractors

Winnipeg Renovation Contractors, Creative Design Contractors

Winnipeg’s Creative Design Contractors was founded in 2008 by Jason Haddad. Having been through several home renovations himself, Jason understands the step by step process of such projects. The concept of changing a current layout and ending-up with a fresh, brand new design caught his attention. Therefore, Jason Haddad’s perspective goes far beyond any kitchen, basement or bathroom renovation. 

Winnipeg Renovation Contractors, Creative Design ContractorsCreative Design Contractors

Winnipeg Renovation Contractors, Creative Design ContractorsCreative Design Contractors

The force that is driving his team forward is all that magic behind the ability to bring a customer’s vision to life. Speaking about his team, each member has years of experience in the field of home renovations including basement renovations, kitchen renovation, bathroom renovations and commercial renovations in Winnipeg. They take the time to get to know the customers and their needs, so clients from all over Winnipeg could see how their dream home is taking shape in front of their own eyes. For squad from Creative Design Contractors, every project is unique and they are extremely grateful to take part in the transformation process - from the preliminary project consultation to the completion of a renovation. 

Winnipeg Bathroom Renovation Company, Creative Design Contractors

Winnipeg Bathroom Renovation Company, Creative Design Contractors

Client’s testimonial: “Jason and his team were a pleasure to work with. Throughout our whole experience with your company, everyone was very polite and helpful. It was very refreshing to get this kind of service. We are thrilled with our new bathrooms! We look forward to having your team work on our Kitchen remodel when it’s time.”

Albo Renovations

Toronto, Ontario

alboreno.com

Toronto Kitchen Renovation Company, Albo Renovations

Toronto Kitchen Renovation Company, Albo Renovations

Albo Renovations has been successfully engaged in construction and home renovation industry in Greater Toronto Area since 2005. Their fields of expertise include home renovation, cottage, offices, basement finishing, and repair of any type regardless of the size. The main goal of this Toronto based renovation company is to provide outstanding customer service and high quality work at affordable prices. Toronto renovation contractors of Albo Renovations operate on the principle of an integrated approach, avoiding inconsistency and reducing remodeling time to the minimum. This unique approach allows the use of flexible pricing policy, and that surely distinguishes Albo from the rest of the similar companies. 

Toronto Renovation Contractor, Albo Renovations

Toronto Renovation Contractor, Albo Renovations

Huge experience combined with the latest technology in their hands guarantees quality in home renovation and finishing projects, regardless of the level of complexity. The best validation of Albo Renovations work are most certainly all those amazing reviews of their impressed customers. Plus, these guys do not charge for Toronto home improvement suggestions or consultations. So, if you have specific need, we will work towards achieving the renovation objectives that you have set for your home.

Toronto Renovation Company, Albo Renovations

Toronto Renovation Company, Albo Renovations

Client’s testimonial: “These guys have done lots of work in the area and have signs on street. I called them to take a look at my basement and they gave me a quote, which was more than I actually paid in the end. Ivan was communicating with me throughout the project and was answering all my questions. They finished in about 1 month and I am very happy with work they did for my basement.“

Construction Daniel Dargis

Montreal, Quebec

dargisconstruction.com

Montreal Renovation Contractor, Construction Daniel Dargis

Montreal Renovation Contractor, Construction Daniel Dargis

Construction Daniel Dargis was founded in 1989 by Mr Daniel Dargis, engineer. Mr Daniels first worked as a carpenter’s apprentice for the family construction business and afterwards he became a master carpenter himself. He also worked as an engineer on numerous industrial sites, and then finally Mr Daniel decided to found his own Montreal based construction company. 

Montreal Renovation Company, Construction Daniel Dargis

Montreal Renovation Company, Construction Daniel Dargis

Since 2009, while constantly growing, Construction Daniel Dargis has offered extensive services in the following seven business sectors: engineering, architecture, interior design, construction and renovation, business consulting, training and business internships as well as project referrals for entrepreneurs.

Montreal Kitchen Company, Construction Daniel Dargis

Montreal Kitchen Company, Construction Daniel Dargis

Client’s testimonial: “I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Dargis and could tell from the first day how dedicated he is. His company offers quick, reliable and very professional services at prices that are not easy to match elsewhere. I highly recommend this company.“

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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

Image 7.jpeg

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.

North Vancouver bathroom renovation.jpeg

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 

Image 4.jpg

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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