Renovations for DIYers Vs Renovations for Pros

renovations for DIYers Vs renovations for pros

It’s the question every home renovation enthusiast eventually asks themselves – “how much can I actually do myself?” You’ve closely studied the DIY blog posts from your favourite renovation website, watched a few episodes of Property Brothers and bought yourself a brand-new toolkit. You’re ready for your next reno – or so you think. Before you start hammering away at your newest passion project, it’s probably a good idea to get a sense of the renovations you can do yourself and those you should call a pro to handle. Here’s our list of renos for the pros versus those you can tackle as an ordinary Joe.

Renovations for DIYers

1. Cosmetics

When it comes to home renovations, this is where DIYers have the most flexibility. Changing cosmetic aspects of your home like the colour of the walls or the interior décor can be done with relatively little experience. Plus, you don’t need permits or approvals to work on your home’s interior. You can replace old fixtures with modern ones, repaint your doors, rearrange your furniture or even go for a whole new look. Just be sure that the changes you make increase the value and functionality of your space.

2. Light Demolition

While you shouldn’t take a sledgehammer to any wall without consulting a professional first, light demolition is certainly something you can tackle on your own. This means taking down things like old shelving and cabinets, appliances, molding or even removing unwanted tile work and carpeting. Whatever you do, steer clear of structural work. As a renovation newbie, it’s hard to know which walls are load bearing, and a sledgehammer to the wrong wall could cause a renovation disaster.

3. Landscaping

landscaping renovation

Another great DIYer – landscaping! A well-kept lawn can work wonders for your home. It makes your space seem more inviting and appealing to neighbours and buyers alike. The best part about this renovation is how easy it is. Preparing garden beds, mowing the lawn and trimming your hedges are all things you can do by yourself in a short period of time. 

4. Simple Tiling

Last but certainly not least – tiling. While you may want to leave complex projects like herringbone or basket weave tile to the pros, so it looks upscale and well done, simpler projects that use a straight or diagonal pattern are a go for DIYers. Just make sure you brush up on your tile laying skills with a reliable, easy-to-follow guide – here’s one of our favourites.

Renovations for Professionals

1. Major Structural Changes

These days, everyone wants an open-plan home. But that doesn’t mean you go demolition crazy and knock down every wall in sight. Some walls are load bearing and play an important role for the structural integrity of your home. Simply put, they’re the reason your house is still standing. So, if you want to make any major structural change to your space, its best to call a contractor. They’ll have a better understanding of the structural makeup of your home and have an easier time dealing with the different permits, code requirements and approvals necessary to get the job done.

2. Electrical and Plumbing

Plumbing renovation

This is another important renovation you don’t want to tackle by yourself – no matter how many DIY guides you read. Your plumbing and electricity are essential utilities for the proper functioning of your home, so you want to make sure everything concerning these utilities is handled correctly. Another important reason why you should leave your plumbing and electricity work to the pros is the permits required. Depending on where you live, you may need authorization before diving into these renovations. For example, in Ontario, a plumbing permit is required before installing, plumbing, or replacing an existing plumbing system. Plus, all plumbing installations are subject to the regulations under the Ontario Building Code.

3. Asbestos or Mold Removal

As a general rule of thumb, any renovation that involves a potentially hazardous situation should be crossed off your DIY list. Issues such as mold and asbestos should never be repaired or tested by anyone who is inexperienced. Instead, these renovations should be tackled by professionals with access to proper safety attire as exposure to mold and asbestos could damage your health.

4. Painting Exteriors

Painting your home’s exterior is much more complicated than painting the walls in your living room. It requires more paint, more prep and a more polished technique so your home doesn’t end up looking like a hot mess. Not to mention, your home is much bigger than just your living room. So, chances are there’s some spots that are tough to reach in a safe manner. This is why painting your homes exterior is another renovation best done by professionals.

Thinking of starting your next big remodel? Schedule a conversation with us today!

Five Things Renters Look For In a Newly Renovated Home

Five things renters look for in a newly renovated home

Renters can be quite picky when on the market for a new home. As they’re coughing up their hard earned money and getting into a long or short term agreement, it’s no surprise that they’ll be looking for a space that’s worth their dollars. While there’s tons of competition in the rental market, there’s features you can incorporate into your rental to help it stand out from the crowd. To help get your property off the market and new tenants moved in, we’ve come up with a list of features renters look for in a newly renovated home.

1. Open floor plan

Renters love an open floor plan. It gives the space a 21st century feel, creates a seamless flow and helps put every square foot of the home to good use. Not to mention, an open floor plan can make a small home seem much larger than it is. It might be worth getting rid of some non-load bearing walls to create a more open space in your rental. Most importantly, you’ll want to get rid of any barriers between the kitchen and the living room. Instead of having a wall to differentiate these two areas, you can make them distinct with the type of flooring you choose. For example, you can install tile flooring in the kitchen and carpet or hardwood floors everywhere else. This will create a better space for entertaining guests and will allow easier movement throughout the home – all of which renters love! But make sure you don’t embark on these renovations yourself. Making big changes like these require the help of a professional!

2. Natural light

When it comes to the home, lighting is everything.  If your rental property doesn’t have enough natural light, it might be a turn off for potential renters. So, it’s probably not a bad idea to call your contractor and look into getting a few more windows installed. An abundance of natural light will help your property look warm and more inviting. It’s also proven that sunshine is a great mood booster, so you’re sure to have a happy tenant.

3. Stainless steel appliances

Who doesn’t love shiny new things? New appliances, and better yet, stainless steel appliances are a great draw to potential renters. This gives them assurance that everything in their new home is in tip-top shape and is functioning properly. If you can’t afford stainless steel appliances, you can always opt for stainless look appliances – these are much more affordable and still have a polished look. The next important factor here is making sure your appliances match. With today’s picky renters, a blue dishwasher paired with a black stove simply won’t cut it. Matching the appliances makes your space much more visually appealing.

4. Lots of storage space

Renters usually have a lot of stuff. So, they appreciate homes with tons of space to store everything they’ve collected over the years. Thankfully, if your rental property doesn’t have enough storage, this can be fixed quite easily. You can install new shelving units in the kitchen, bathroom and living room. If you’d like to go a step further, you can look into adding new closet space or possibly expanding an already existing one.

5. A fresh coat of paint

There’s nothing worse than moving into a new rental and seeing traces of the tenants who lived there before you. Whether its stunning wall art or scuffed up cabinets – as a landlord, you’ll want to get rid of it! Repaint the walls and cabinets, if need be, with a neutral colour. Neutral tones tend to appeal to most people as they’re easy to work with when it comes to interior design. The simpler the colour scheme, the wider the appeal.

The competition on the rental market is fierce, and it all boils down to how well you meet your potential tenants’ needs. When you incorporate these features into your property, you’re sure to be earning rental income in no-time!

Want to renovate your rental property? Get in touch with us today!

Five Easy Weekend Renovations

easy weekend renovations

When most people think of home renovations, they think of time-consuming projects that sometimes cost an arm and a leg. However, remodeling your home and giving it a fresh look doesn’t always have to be a big to-do. You can add some pizzazz and unique touches to your home in as little as a weekend – and best of all, these are all projects that you can easily do yourself. If you’re looking for quick and easy ways to breathe new life into your space, you’ve come to the right place. Here are a few of our favourite DIY weekend renovations.

1. Update your doors

Sometimes doors can look plain and take away from the aesthetics of a room. This is especially true if you own an older home. Naturally, when a home has outdated doors, the first thought is to replace them. But, not so fast! You can save yourself the time and cost this renovation project. With a little paint, some decorative trim and precise measuring skills, you can easily create the illusion of having brand new doors. Sound like something you’re willing to tackle this weekend? Then check out this easy to follow Hometalk tutorial.

2. Create a feature wall

A feature wall is probably the easiest way to make over any room in your home. Within one weekend, you can turn your walls from drab and washed out to bold and eye-catching. We suggest you create your feature wall using either paint or wallpaper. But, before you go to town with your hue or pattern of choice, you want to be sure you don’t go overboard with this remodelling project. Avoid over-the-top murals as they’re often hard to fix if something goes wrong. Also, extravagant paint jobs and wallpaper typically don’t add value to your home and aren’t worth the investment.

3. Replace bathroom fixtures

When it comes to the bathroom, a new fixture can go a long way. A new faucet can completely revamp the look of an outdated vanity. You can also opt to replace your showerhead if that’s the problem area. Not only can this renovation transform the look and feel of your bathroom, it could potentially save you some money down the line. You can opt to install low flow shower heads and faucets. They’re eco-friendly and will decrease your monthly water bill. Here are some easy guides to help you install a brand-new faucet and shower head.

4. Give your closet a new look

Closet renovations are a new trend that’s taking over the renovation industry! Homeowners are pulling inspiration from celebrity closets and turning what used to be a basic space for storing clothes into their own personal show rooms and walk-in retreats. The best thing about an over the top closet is that it’s pretty easy to create. All it takes is a few new storage units and a weekend of reorganizing. You can even incorporate some décor and art pieces in your closet to give it more of a personal touch.

5. Boost your curb appeal

Sprucing up your home’s exterior is another great renovation project to tackle this weekend. This can easily be done by giving your yard a little TLC. Planting a garden and investing in some lawn care can make a big impact on your home’s visual appeal.

Updating your home’s look doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. With these simple renovations, you can create a brand-new space that you love in no-time!

Thinking of renovating your home? Get in touch with us today!

Three easy ways to incorporate automation into your home

Three ways to incorporate automation into your home

Three ways to incorporate automation into your home

With each passing year, technology becomes a bigger part of our lives and now it’s making its way into our homes. Recent improvements in smart home technology has made it possible for homeowners to enjoy their spaces, be eco-friendly, and feel more secure than ever. Home automation is one of the perks of bringing tech into your home. It has the ability to provide convenience and simplicity to just about any aspect of your home life.


What is home automation?

Home automation is the use of technology to control or customize the way various parts of your home function. You could automate everything from your lights and music to more crucial functions in your home such as surveillance. Here’s a quick look at some simple and awesome ways you could incorporate it into your home.



Lighting is arguably the most common use of automation ever since tech started making its way into our homes. We’ve rapidly seen a transition from ordinary incandescent bulbs to the use of LED bulbs and smart lighting. Previously, smart lighting technology would have to be incorporated into a new home during the building process, but nowadays lighting control systems can be installed in already existing homes. Automating the lighting in your home allows you to easily control the mood in your space throughout the day. With the help of remote controls, motion detectors and touchscreens, homeowners are able to dynamically control both interior and exterior lighting systems. Improvements in lighting technology have also made it possible to create lighting profiles for different parts of your home, and program your lights to turn on and off at specific times of the day.



Probably the biggest cause of a high energy bill is an inefficient HVAC system. Often times homeowners forget to adjust their thermostat or turn off the air conditioner before they leave the house. Luckily, smart HVAC systems make it easy to control the temperature and air in your home. With the help of an automated system, you can program your air conditioner and thermostat to shut off and on at different times of the day. You can also control your home’s temperature with the help of smart gadgets. These gadgets use sensor technology to collect useful information like your home’s temperature, or how long it takes for your space to heat up or cool down. They prevent your home’s HVAC system from running longer than it needs to. Smart HVAC systems help create an optimal atmosphere in your home and could save you tons of money in the long run!



Perhaps the most important and beneficial use of home automation is increasing the safety and security of your space and family. Automated security systems provide more intelligent surveillance and are far more protective than traditional surveillance. Smart surveillance can even be integrated with the devices you currently use, such as your phone or laptop. With a smart security system, you can view footage from your security cameras remotely, with any device of your choice, as long as you have access to the internet. This makes securing your home a convenient and easy process. You can also program your doors to lock/unlock automatically when you leave or arrive, or even make use of motion sensors which detect movement in your home when you’re not around. For the safety conscious homeowner, smart surveillance systems make it easy to increase the security of your home.


Thinking of introducing smart home technology into your space? Get in touch with us today!


6 Tips On How to Avoid a Kitchen Renovation Nightmare

Renovating your kitchen can be exciting – after many months (or years!) of imagining and planning, you’ve decided to move forward with building your dream kitchen. However, even when everything goes smoothly during construction, it can feel like a nightmare when your regular routine is disrupted. Your house is a construction zone, there will be noise and dust, and you won’t have access to all your usual amenities. To help you through this, we’ve made a list of 6 tips to help you survive your kitchen renovation with ease.


Set up a temporary kitchen

While it’s inconvenient to not have access to everything in your kitchen, a lot can be done with just two electric burners. Think stir fries, pastas, breakfast foods, and one-pot dinner recipes. If possible, renovate your kitchen during the summer months so you can use your barbeque, and set up near a sink for easy cleaning if you can. And on those days where you just can’t face cooking a meal in your makeshift kitchen, have easy snacks on hand. Dried fruit, trail mix, and classic peanut butter and jam can be filling!


Buy paper plates and plastic utensils

Altering how you eat can be challenging enough, especially when there are dishes to wash by hand in a limited space. For easy cleanup, you can buy a pack of 100 paper plates for under $6 and a set of 120 plastic forks, knives, and spoons for under $20. And if the thought of throwing out that much waste doesn’t sit right, there are also compostable options that are made from recycled materials to minimize environmental impact.


Create a budget for eating out more often

While you can certainly make do with a makeshift kitchen, it’s understandable if you get sick of stir fries and pastas. Also, it’s nice to sometimes get away from the mess of a renovation. While eating out may not be a regular part of your family budget, it may likely become a bigger portion of your expenses when you don’t have access to a kitchen. So before your renovation even begins, anticipate how many times per week you’ll go out, multiplied by the timeline of the remodel to keep your budget in check.


Protect your valuables from dust

While we do our very best to minimize dust in your home during the renovation process, we can’t eliminate all dust and it can travel through the vents. Be sure to cover up your furniture and other valuable items to keep your home as dust-proof as possible.


Order as much as possible before the job starts

One of the frustrations that many people fear during a remodel is a delay in the timeline. The construction phase of a kitchen renovation takes an average of 6 weeks, sometimes longer depending on the extent of the remodel. Don’t forget the complete timeline – it can take weeks or months to plan and order supplies before construction even starts. Things like faucets, cabinets, handles, and lighting fixtures can take weeks to arrive, so it’s best to have these items on hand once the remodeling begins to minimize delays in construction.


Remember the big picture

While the noise, dust, and inconvenience can be frustrating, just remember that this a very short period of time in the grand scheme of home ownership. The temporary hassles of a kitchen renovation will be a blip on the radar when you look back on those times from your beautiful new kitchen!

If you are ready to remodel your kitchen, or have questions about the kitchen remodel process, schedule a conversation with us today!