Choosing the right contractor to help you bring your renovation dreams to life can be challenging. With so many options out there, it’s tricky to know where to start and who is reliable and does a good job. Settling on the perfect contractor can be the difference between a seamless renovation process and a stressful remodel which drains your pockets. To assist with the selection process, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you sift through the countless contractor options for your home renovation.
1. Do your research
Doing your research is the first step in finding the perfect contractor for your renovation. After all, you can’t settle on the right contractor if you don’t know the options that are available to you. Your research can be something as simple as a Google search, asking friends and family for suggestions or a more in-depth investigation. We suggest using websites like Home Advisor – an extensive database of home improvement experts – to get an overview of the renovation professionals in your area. Contacting your local chamber of commerce is another great option. They should be able to give you some solid recommendations. Once you’ve gotten an overview of possible contractors for your home reno, you can then compile a shortlist of your favourites to move further along the process.
2. Conduct phone interviews
When on a quest to find the right contractor, interviews are a crucial part of the process. You never want to work with a company without knowing a bit about them and soliciting the necessary information to help with decision making. During your phone interview, you want to get to know a little more about the company, their processes and expertise. This is also a good time to request the contractor’s license number. With a license number, you can then contact your local municipality to verify if the contractor is legally in business or not. Once you have all this information, you should be able to narrow your list down a bit more.
3. Arrange face to face meetings
When you’ve narrowed your list down to a few finalists, it’s time to meet them in person! This will help you get a feel of their personality and what they’re like to work with. This initial face to face meeting should let you know if both of you are a good fit for a long or short-term project. This meeting is also the perfect time to ask for more important information like project schedules, business history, references etc. Every contractor should be able to comfortably provide two to three references for you to speak to regarding their work and performance.
4. Dig deeper
Hearing what a contractor has to say about themselves is only half the journey. In order to make the right decision, we urge you to reach you to their references. Ask if you can take a look at the work that was done for them and assess it according to your standards. You should also ask about the renovation process. Ask if they found it easy working with the contractor, if the project was delivered on time, and any other question you feel is necessary. This step should give you a more accurate depiction of the experts you’re about to team up with. By now, you should now have a solid knowledge of their work and work ethic.
5. Get itemized bids
Finally, you should request an itemized bid from every contractor you’re interested in working with. This should give you a clear idea of how much your project will cost. An itemized bid should include labour costs, material costs, permit fees and any other expenses required to bring your renovation dreams to life. Compare bids from all the contractors to see which is best for your budget – but, be wary of bids that are too low. As a general rule, if it’s too good to be true, it usually is!
Thinking of renovating your home? Get in touch with us today!
When it comes to creating your dream home, some homeowners know no limits. From gold faucets to custom additions, they will stop at nothing to add their personal touch to their space. However, when embarking on home renovations you have to ask, “is this worth the money?” Especially if you plan on selling your home sometime in the future. This will ensure that you only invest your money and time on renovation projects that add value to your home and appeal to buyers on the resale market. With that being said, here’s a list of four home renovation investments that typically aren’t worth splurging on.
1. Flamboyant designs and fixtures
As a general rule of thumb, if this isn’t your forever home, steer clear of over-the-top design elements and fixtures during your home renovations. Chances are most people do not have the same unique taste as you do. So, for example, spending tons of money to give your home a medieval inspired makeover complete with all the trims and finishings may not be the best idea. This goes for any unique renovation that may not appeal to most buyers on the resale market. When renovating your home, you want to strike a balance between adding a personal touch and appealing to market needs. Also, depending on how original these fixtures are, they may be difficult to maintain or repair.
2. Murals and over-the-top paint jobs
We all know that a fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to revamp your home and add value to it. However, it’s very easy to go too far with renovations as easy as this. Although adding a mural to your space may seem like a great and inexpensive way to upgrade and add some pizazz, it isn’t the best way to invest your money. When buyers look at a potential home, they want to be able to see themselves living there. Potential buyers will most likely have a hard time looking past the funky murals you love so much. Not to mention, depending on the materials used, getting rid of that eye-catching mural may be more expensive and difficult than you think.
3. Fancy landscaping
Landscaping is another easy renovation project that does a lot for your home’s visual appeal. Your lawn is the first thing visitors notice about your home, so it doesn’t hurt to show it a little bit of love to keep it looking good. But, investing in over the top fountains, stone paths and accessories for your lawn or garden is simply not necessary. These additions are most likely not going to add value to your home, and therefore won’t produce a good return in investment.
4. Changing your electrical system
Unless it’s absolutely necessary, upgrades to your electrical system are typically not worth it. Once again, it all boils down to the buyers in the resale market. Considering the fact that no one will see your new wiring, they most likely won’t be impressed by it or be interested in shelling out more money for it.
Simply put, not all home renovations are worth the expense. Although adding a personal flair to your space with your renovation project is fantastic, it’s very easy to overdo it. Avoid these unnecessary and extravagant remodels, and your wallet with thank you!
Thinking of renovating your home? Get in touch with us!
Home renovations can be pricey. From contractors and quality materials to a top-notch interior designer – there are lots of things to budget for when it comes to a remodelling project. However, do you know that there are a number of avoidable mistakes that can greatly increase your renovation budget? We’ve come up with five common and unnecessary mistakes that most homeowners make which affect their home renos and their wallets.
1. Waiting too long to renovate
A lot of homeowners are guilty of making do with the damages in their homes. In an effort to save money, they wait until damages are unbearable before finally deciding to renovate. However, waiting to renovate isn’t always a good thing. Doing small renovations when they’re needed can prevent a small problem, like mold in your bathroom, from spreading or getting worse – thus requiring a more complex fix. Also, doing one small renovation at a time is significantly more convenient than waiting to redo your entire home. These small reno projects save you from the major inconveniences that large remodeling projects come with – like long timelines, and temporary residences.
2. Cutting costs
Sometimes, homeowners make the mistake of looking for and purchasing the cheapest materials for their home renovations. Although sticking to your budget is advisable, it’s definitely not a good idea to skimp on quality. Cheap materials have to be replaced more often because they’re more susceptible to wear and tear. So, while their current price points might be appealing, they’ll cost you much more in the long run.
3. Choosing the cheapest contractor
Deciding on the best contractor to work with is arguably the most important step in the home renovation process. Not only do contractors work to bring your vision to life, they also give much-needed guidance and advice. Since choosing the right contractor is vital to a successful renovation, is best that you don’t go for the cheapest option. When it comes to sourcing help for your renovation project, you want to get different quotes and settle on the average cost. Cheap contractors usually sacrifice other aspects of your renovation to make up for their low bids. So, for example, they may use subpar materials and quick fixes. As a general rule of thumb, if the price seems too good to be true, it usually is.
4. Overly trendy renovations
Remodelling your home is the perfect way to add personality to your space. However, you want to make sure that the vision you have isn’t too trendy or bold. Sure, gold faucets and loud paint colours may be in vogue now, but who’s to say what will be popular next year? Due to the fleeting nature of trends, you want to avoid incorporating too many of them into your renovation. A reno that’s too trendy will end up greatly decreasing your home’s resale value as it won’t appeal to a lot of buyers in the market.
5. Under Budgeting
Regardless of how well you plan, there’s still a chance that something will go wrong during your home reno. Materials could be delayed, or you may even come across a bigger problem while trying to fix the current one. Leaving allowances for delays and other unforeseen circumstances is the best way to ensure that your renovation is completed within your budget. Otherwise, you can expect to shell out some money you didn’t plan on spending.
Your pockets don’t have to take a big hit due to your home renovation. By avoiding these five common mistakes, you’ll be well on your way to an affordable remodel with no unpleasant surprises.
Thinking of renovating your home? Get in touch with us today!
In-law suites are all the rave! Whether you live in a multi-generational home or would just like a beautiful space for family to stay when they come over – in-law suites can be extremely useful additions to your home. Just like any other room in your house, your in-law suite can be constructed and styled in any way you want. However, before calling your contractor and selecting renovation materials, here are a few things to consider when constructing a space for your in-laws.
1. Building codes
Before making any addition to your home, it’s a necessary and good practice to check your local building codes. There are usually guidelines and limits to what you can do with an addition to your home. Typically, additions are limited to having a living area, bedroom, bathroom and small kitchenette. Anything other than these rooms will require separate permits. This is because a more sizeable addition to your home will result in it not being considered a single-family home anymore. So, before you get to building, check what is permitted and what isn’t. It’ll save you a ton of time and stress.
As with everything that has to do with real estate – location is everything! With a vision of your dream space in mind, it’s time to pick the ideal spot to build or convert into the in-law suite. Usually, people opt to convert their basement, attic and even their garage into a separate space for their in-laws. When looking for the right location, choose an option that makes the most sense for your home and the occupants needs.
Since in-law suites are usually designed for elder or ageing residents, it’s important to address all accessibility needs and concerns. During the design and construction process, work with your contractor to identify and remedy any safety hazards. This could mean anything from using calming paint colours to installing shower seats and grab bars in the shower. It’s essential to ensure that your in-laws can comfortably and safely use every part of their space when they’re over for a visit.
As with every other renovation project, it’s important to take a look at your finances and figure out what you can and can’t afford. Your renovation budget determines everything from the scale of your project and the materials you use, to whether you can renovate at all! Before diving headfirst into any remodelling project, have an honest conversation about your finances and set a reasonable budget for yourself! For a better look at what to include in your renovation budget, check out our budgeting blog.
Utilities are usually the last thing on anyone’s mind when renovating a part of their home. However, when it comes to in-law suites, it’s one of the major things to consider. We advise that your new addition have its own separate power, heat and water source. This way, you can turn the utilities off when your in-law suite isn’t occupied. Separate utilities can also come in handy if you decide to rent this space out in the future.
6. Personal taste
Last but certainly not least – personal taste. When constructing an in-law suite, you want to keep the occupants in mind when picking everything from renovation materials to colours and furniture. This will make sure that your in-laws are able to enjoy their space as it’s a representation of their personal style.
Thinking of adding an in-law suite to your home? Get in touch with us today!
As exciting as a home renovation is, it can also be expensive. From materials to labour, the costs of creating your dream home can add up. When setting the budget for your renovation project, there are a number of factors to consider before settling on a final number. We’ve come up with a few major cost categories for a typical home renovation. These categories are where the money for your renovation usually goes and should be researched thoroughly before you start your project to ensure you’ve put the appropriate amount of money aside.
In regard to the materials required for your renovation project, you get what you pay for. When coming up with a budget, you want to consider the quality of materials you want to be used in your home. For example, if you’re upgrading your kitchen, opting for stone countertops and custom cabinets will require a much larger budget than laminate countertops and standard stock cabinets. Seeing that stone countertops such as marble or granite can cost anywhere from $2,000 – $5,000+, while laminate countertops come in at a more affordable price of $800 – $1,600+, there can be quite a difference in the budget required for your reno depending on the materials you want.
The amount of money you set aside for your renovation is heavily influenced by your decision to either DIY it or work with professionals. If you DIY your renovation project, you may get to save big on labour costs. However, unless you have some expertise, going down this route could cause some very expensive mistakes.
Homeowners who opt to hire professionals should always leave room in their budget for contractor costs. Most contracting companies will charge anywhere from 10 – 20% of the total renovation costs. So, if for example, your renovation costs $20,000, then you can expect a contractor to charge you anywhere between $1,000 and $4,000. Remember, each contractor is different, so it’s essential to get different quotes. This will ensure that you get the best deal and quality service.
Permits and inspections
Depending on the scale and type of renovation, you may be required to have a building permit and to book an inspection to make sure the work done in your home is safe and up to city standards. Generally, projects that require adding or removing walls, electrical work, adding accessory structures such as garages and patios, and even completing an unfinished basement requires a building permit and subsequent inspection. The amount of money set aside for building permits can vary greatly depending on where you live. Nevertheless, these costs should be factored into your final renovation budget.
Interior design and home styling
No home renovation is complete without the perfect touches of design. Interior design is an important step in bringing your renovation dreams to life and creating a space that truly reflects our personality. When budgeting for your home reno, it’s essential to consider the costs of working with an interior designer, if you choose to go down that route. Prices for interior designers vary as they all bring different levels of expertise. Some may charge $150 an hour or less, while others charge upwards of $250. As with any other hired labour, you’ll want to get different quotes to ensure you’re getting a fair price.
Mistakes and delays
Finally, when putting together the budget for your renovation, it’s important to factor in the possibility of mistakes and delays. No renovation project is perfect. Sometimes materials take longer than expected to arrive and delay the renovation process. We suggest putting some money aside, as much as 20% of your total budget, to cover unforeseen events and circumstances that may arise.
Budgeting for a renovation can be tricky. If it’s your first time embarking on a renovation project, it can be difficult to know what to set money aside for. There are many factors that go into a successful renovation. However, as long as you consider the major costs mentioned above, you’re well on your way to budgeting appropriately for your next renovation.
Thinking of remodelling your home? Get in touch with us today!
Home renovations are inherently noisy. With hammers hammering, drills drilling and workers scurrying in and out of your space, the noise, hustle and bustle of it all can be overwhelming. During a home reno, your first instinct is probably to find a different place to stay, but, this may not be necessary. In certain situations, staying at home is the best choice. Plus, you get to avoid costs associated with finding temporary accommodation. Here are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not to stay at home during your renovation:
There are different types of home renovations – some safer than others. The safety level of your renovation is a huge factor when deciding whether to stay put or move out for the time being. Major roof remodeling, wood floor refinishing and asbestos or mold removal are examples of projects that definitely require moving due to health and safety concerns. In cases like these, there’s really no decision to make. Always prioritize your health and safety above anything else.
Before packing your bags and hurrying into a hotel, you want to consider the timeline of your renovation. Some projects can be completed in less than a month, so you’ll be able to have your space to yourself in no time. However, for bigger renovations like kitchen remodels which take over a month to complete, you may want to look into housing options as it can be difficult dealing with the noise and clutter for an extended period of time.
3. Project scale
It’s important to think about the scale of your renovations. Some projects like a complete home remodel, make it practically impossible to live at home while they’re being worked on, while others only place little restrictions on your movement within the home.
4. Access to necessities
Regardless of the scale of your renovation, you have to consider the access you have to necessities such as your bathroom, kitchen or even your home office. As a general rule of thumb, when a home reno restricts access to any part of the home you consider an integral part of your day-to-day routine, it’s probably best to live elsewhere for the time being.
5. Effects on project outcome
Some homeowners choose to stay at home during a renovation to avoid excess costs. However, in some cases, trying to avoid these costs can actually affect the project outcome. Living at home could extend the timeline of your renovation as workers have to adjust their schedules to accommodate your daily routine – and the longer the timeline, the higher your budget. If your presence in the home stops workers from doing their work efficiently, moving out may be a better choice. Your bank account will thank you for it!
6. Personal boundaries
As previously mentioned, renovations come with a lot of noise. Depending on the project, you may have restricted access to various parts of your home. Also, different tradesmen coming in and out of your space could impact your privacy. It’s up to you to decide whether or not you can deal with the impacts of a home reno on your day-to-day life. This may even be the biggest factor to consider.
Deciding where to stay during a home renovation isn’t as cut and dry as it seems. However, if your project has a short timeline, is small in scale and affects small unintegral parts of your home, then it’s okay to live in while renovations occur.
Thinking of renovating your home? Get in touch with us today!
When remodeling their homes, many often ask “do I really need an interior designer?” It may seem like an unnecessary expense up front, or even a bit frivolous, however, if you are spending time and money on remodeling your house, it may very well be worth it. Here are some reasons why.
1. Save Yourself Some Money
When doing a remodel, paying an interior designer might not seem like it will save you money, but creating a cohesive look in your home can be a daunting task, and costly mistakes can easily be made. For example, do you know with certainty that the paint colour you picked will work with your lighting and furniture choices? Or if you’re shopping for furniture, are you certain that you’ll be just as happy having it in your home as you were seeing it on the showroom floor?
Additionally, a designer will know how to get the best value out of your design budget. They work with you to ensure you understand where every dollar of your money is going. Plus, they have access to resources and know of products that you may not even be aware of. This will save you endless hours of researching and comparing products and prices, which, of course, is valuable when you have other important things to attend to.
2. Increase Your Home’s Future Resale Value
Hiring an interior designer can help boost the appeal of your home when you eventually decide to sell. Their professional touches can add an appealing aesthetic to your home, which translates into an increase in showings. Plus, this increased appeal means your house will sell faster and won’t be sitting on the market for an extended period of time, which means money in your pocket much sooner.
3. Receive Invaluable Professional Guidance
A good designer can help you determine your personal style without pushing their own preferences and style on you. While they may give some nudges to help you think of ideas that you haven’t thought of yourself, they’ll be adaptable in integrating your feedback and personal tastes. Also, they are trained to expand on your vision and bring it to life. A lot of designers also offer 3D modeling or sketch boards to help you visualize what your new space will look like. With that being said, it’s always good to choose someone who takes the time to understand your tastes and your lifestyle. If it doesn’t feel like a good fit when speaking with a prospective interior designer, move on until you find someone you can trust and connect with.
4. Get the Wow Factor
Have you ever walked into a showhome, seen photos online, or visited a showroom and said ‘wow! how did they do that? This looks fantastic!’? Designers are always the ones behind the vision that make people feel an ineffable sense of awe. They are the ones that bring all the components of a room together beautifully. And rightfully so – they do this all the time! They are trained to think differently and can see the overall picture of a room while knowing the little components that pull it together. With an interior designer, not only will you get good design, you’ll also get an attention to detail that ensures everything fits perfectly and is truly unique to you and your home.
It can be difficult to determine your bathroom remodel budget because of the many components that go into making a bathroom functional and beautiful. There are countertops to choose from, bathtubs to consider, and design styles to sift through. Here are some things to keep in mind when building a bathroom renovation budget:
Set a budget as early in the process as you can
Ideally, the bathroom renovation process starts months before the first hammer falls. This ensures that you can come into the process well informed about the products you’d like, and set realistic expectations about how a remodeler can work within your budget. While your cost estimates may change as you learn more about the options and your project goals, having a realistic budget in mind helps guide the entire process.
Deciding on the scope of work
Your budget will largely be dependent on your project’s scope of work. Of course, just replacing a bathroom vanity is cheaper than a full gut-and-replace renovation. The scope of work will also affect soft costs – the larger the job, the more time a remodel will take so things like jobsite cleanup, debris removal, and project management will cost more.
Your cost will also be dependent on the amount of design work needed, as well as building permits, especially if you plan on removing walls, rewiring lighting, or rerouting plumbing. If layout changes are required, expect the total cost of the remodel to increase by 10-20%.
Which bathroom are you remodeling?
The bathroom you remodel also affects the overall cost. For example, a powder room (or small half bath) will be a lot less costly than a hall bath or master bath because there are less materials, and less hours required to complete the renovation. For reference, a powder room remodel takes 2 to 3 weeks, a hall bathroom takes 3-4 weeks, and a master bathroom can take 6-8 weeks.
Average costs for vanities
If you’re looking to update your bathroom for the lowest cost, replacing the vanity and countertop can make a huge difference. This can be done inexpensively with an all-in-one vanity (where the cabinet, counter and sink are included). Alternatively, you can go the custom route.
All-in-one vanities are a great option to save money, but be aware that the quality varies significantly. For this reason, you’ll see whole packages ranging from $200 to $3,000. There are limitations to all-in-one vanities though – they come in limited style and size options that may not work with your personal tastes or bathroom layout.
A custom vanity, on the other hand, is designed and ordered to fit your space, and comes in a multitude of design options, including custom storage solutions and detailing work on cabinet doors. Custom vanities start around $1,000, and go up from there, depending on the level of detail you want. However, unlike all-in-one vanities, you will need a sink (which can range from $50 to over $2000) and a countertop.
Average cost for countertops
Every countertop material has its advantage and disadvantages, so it’s a personal decision to weigh price versus quality of materials. Laminate countertops are the cheapest option at $40-65 per square foot, but aren’t as durable as stone options. Granite countertops are durable and versatile, but can run you around $50-$200 per square foot. And unlike laminate, you can’t just buy what you need – you’ll have to buy a slab and have it cut to your bathroom’s dimensions. Resin countertops will cost about $50-$125 per square foot and are very durable – an attractive option if granite is too pricey.
Average cost for bathtub and showers
Again, the cost is largely dependent on your choice of materials and style. If you are looking to replace and install a bathtub or shower, it will cost between $1,500-$6,000 plus the cost of labour. There may also be other costs associated with replacing a bathtub or shower, such as moving walls, re-plumbing, and installing a new waterproofing system.
Do you have any questions about how much it will cost to renovate your bathroom? Give us a call today at 289.780.0748 for a free, no-obligation estimate.
How Long Does a Kitchen Remodel Take?
Many clients who are looking to remodel their kitchen have a date in mind in which they want it completed. If they are a landlord, the completion date might be a time that coincides with a new tenant moving in. For homeowners, it might be before the school season starts, before they have a baby, or before a major holiday, like Christmas, where they intend to accommodate a large group of people. If you have a specific date in mind you can plan backwards to narrow in on a start date, and this will also help your contractor understand your expectations.
So how long does a kitchen remodel take?
Whether you’re using the backwards planning method, or just looking to get a kitchen remodel done at any time, you should account for six to eight weeks of construction after the design stage has wrapped up. But keep in mind that the timeline for a kitchen remodel depends on a number of factors including the size of the kitchen and the complexity of the job. There are also some external factors that can influence the renovation timeline:
- Depending on the remodel, permits may need to be obtained before work can begin. The building permit submission will require drawings and a floor plan layout. Overall, this process can easily take a couple months before a permit is obtained.
- If other tradespeople, such as electricians and cabinet makers, are needed for the remodel, you may have to account for their schedule as well
- A lot of materials need to be ordered, including flooring, lighting, countertops and more. They may be delivered in a timely manner, or sometimes, in the case of custom cabinetry, may take up to a few months to arrive.
Steps to a kitchen remodel
To ensure a stress-free kitchen renovation, here are the steps you should account for when planning your timeline:
1. Planning and design. For many people, this can be months or even years before they even consider a remodel. Regardless of how long you plan, the more details you work out before construction begins the more likely it is that you’ll enjoy your new space. Another important point to consider during the planning phase is the fact that your current kitchen will be unusable during the renovation process. Planning for a temporary kitchen setup in your basement or other location may be needed if you do not plan to eat take-out food the entire time.
2. Order materials. Now that planning is complete it’s time to order all the pieces that will bring your vision to life. The timeline for receiving these materials varies greatly on stock quantity and location. Custom materials may take longer as well.
3. It’s demolition time! This stage involves removing the existing kitchen and inspecting everything that is now exposed. If everything looks good, the remodeling can begin. If modifications or repairs are needed, talk to your contractor to see how long this could potentially take and account for it in your timeline.
4. Electrical wiring. This is when the electrical crew will arrive and install an upgraded electrical system (i.e. new outlets, lighting, etc.) in your kitchen if required.
5. Mechanical installation. New plumbing, HVAC and any new features like built-in speakers will be installed.
6. The ‘bones’ of the remodel are installed. Insulation, drywall, and flooring are completed at this stage.
7. Cabinet and countertop installation. This is when the new kitchen really starts to take shape, and clients get excited when they get a glimpse of the final product.
8. The finishing touches. Next comes the installation of sinks, faucets, backsplash, lighting fixtures, and trim. Finally, the kitchen will be painted to your desired colour(s).
9. Clean up. Your kitchen remodel is now complete! The crew cleans up their work space, and will do any small touch-ups.
A key component of sticking to a timeline is clear communication between the client and remodeling company. From the early stages of design to the final light bulb installation, clear lines of communication reduce the chances of misunderstandings and allows the remodeler to meet and exceed expectations. So, be sure to establish who your main point of contact will be, and how communication will take place, whether through email, text, or phone calls.
Are you planning a kitchen renovation and want to discuss your timeline? Get in touch with us today to get the conversation started!