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.
Do you feel like your home could use an update? Whether you’re annoyed with your appliances causing your power bills to soar or you’re tired of looking at outdated pastel walls, 2018 has brought a few renovation trends that will bring your house into this decade and beyond. Here are the 6 most popular trends of this year.
1. Universal Design
Universal design, also known as “aging in place” design, makes it possible for people to stay in their homes well into their golden years. In a home with universal design, you’ll see things like wheelchair-accessible open showers instead of bathtubs. There are often also contrasting colours for easy visual navigation and open concept spaces for ease of movement.
2. Eco-Friendly Materials
In 2018, homeowners are looking for more than a simple energy efficiency sticker. They’re concerned about the sustainability of product development, the life cycle of products, and how they affect air quality in their home.
One of the biggest changes happening this year is in flooring options. Bamboo is becoming increasingly popular because it grows quickly and doesn’t require as much land to grow as other hardwoods do. This makes it a more sustainable option. Cork is another eco-friendly option gaining momentum, and is great for sound absorption.
Water consumption is also important if you plan to create a green living space. Homeowners are replacing their water-guzzling toilets and showers with low-flow options. They’re also planting native species of flowers and trees that are already climatized and therefore don’t require as much external water or pesticides to grow.
Additionally, we’re seeing more people upgrading their windows to eliminate air leaks; reducing heating and cooling costs. There is also an increased demand for plant-based paints with no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to minimize indoor air pollution.
3. Luxury Basements
Basements are no longer the damp, cold storage spaces for forgotten household items. The basement has now become a luxurious getaway for homeowners. We’re seeing more requests to renovate basements to be an additional entertainment space, home gym or music room. Adding an in-law suite is also very popular to accommodate aging parents or multi-generational families.
4. The Connected Home
2018 has become the year of making technology a staple in any home renovation. The goal of new tech, is to streamline your life.
New tech will also save you time and money. Here are a few of the most popular options:
- Install USB plugins in the kitchen to charge your phone as you look up recipes or browse the internet while cooking.
- Get a doorbell equipped with a camera. You’ll save plenty of time not answering the door for solicitors!
- Install programmable lighting and thermostats. Both allow you to save on utility bills while giving you one less thing to worry about every day.
Painting isn’t exactly a major renovation, but it has turned into one of the hottest home renovations of 2018. Homeowners are turning away from neutrals like whites, greys and beiges. Now, they’re painting their walls and cabinets bold statement colours that stand out.
Just look at any paint company’s most popular colour of the year. Benjamin Moore’s colour, Caliente, is a rich red that is sure to make a statement. Dulux’s paint colour of 2018 is the deep hue Black Elegant. Valspar’s is the bold Deep Indigo. It seems that the trend of clean interiors is taking a backseat to a colourful, personalized, and homey feel.
6. A Natural Touch
Like in fashion, the 90’s seems to be making a resurgence when it comes to home renovations. Wooden cabinets are back, but homeowners are most interested in reclaimed wood, or wood with a less polished or finished feel. This is different than what was seen over 25 years ago. You’ll also see the more rustic wood look in furniture, cabinets, and wood ceilings.
Are you looking to update your home with one of 2018’s hottest renovation trends? Schedule a conversation with us today!
Your home is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make and if you’re looking to sell, you will want that investment to pay off. Luckily, there are many renovations that will boost your home’s value and appeal to potential buyers. To ensure you get the most bang for your buck, here are five renovations that almost entirely pay for themselves in resale value.
1. Replace your garage door
Replacing your garage door is the best renovation for overall return on investment. You’ll not only recoup up to 98% of the cost, but it’ll greatly increase your home’s curbside appeal. Be sure to choose a garage door that can withstand Hamilton’s varying temperatures and weather conditions to get the most out of your investment.
2. Fix your flooring
Flooring makes a big impact, and can be a make-or-break for many potential buyers. Take a look at your carpet – is it stained or frayed? If you have hardwood, is it scratched from years of pets roaming around? Also check if any tiles are cracked or if any linoleum is peeling. Regardless of whether it’s true or not, the buyer is likely to assume your house hasn’t been well maintained if the flooring is in rough shape.
When it comes to flooring, hardwood proves to be the best return on investment adding up to 2.5% on to your home’s sale price, but it can be pricey to add to every room in the house. If you’re looking for a less costly solution to appeal to buyers, opt for hardwood in public areas like the living room and hallways, and install new carpet in the bedrooms.
3. Give your kitchen a makeover
Many buyers still consider the kitchen to be the heart of the home, and therefore the most important room in the house. So it’s no surprise that giving your kitchen a makeover will appeal to potential buyers.
You don’t have to completely gut your kitchen to increase your home’s value. In fact, high end kitchen remodels have a lower return on investment than mid-range remodels. This is because it’s easier to recoup the cost of lower ticket items like appliances and an updated backsplash than it is for custom cabinetry. Also, neutral paint colours have been shown to be the most appealing when selling your home.
4. Upgrade the bathroom
Home buyers are typically looking for clean and modern bathrooms. The cheapest upgrade options are lighting fixtures and sink hardware. Though, if your bathrooms haven’t been renovated in over 20 years, it may be time for a more extensive remodel like a new bathroom vanity, sink and tub.
If you have multiple baths and are looking to prioritize what you renovate, master baths and powder rooms are the best places to start since the homeowners will be primarily using the former, and guests will be using the latter. Secondary baths like those found in the basement, hold less weight to buyers. And as with kitchens, buyers have been shown to overwhelmingly prefer neutral paint colours.
5. Don’t forget the outside of your house!
Buyers often make their decision whether or not they’ll buy before they even enter your house, so make sure to consider how the exterior of your home looks. For your front yard, there are a number of cheap and easy options to boost curb appeal, like keeping the grass cut, adding a few colourful flowers and trimming overgrown bushes. If your siding is still in good shape, consider adding a fresh coat of paint.
In your backyard, low maintenance gardens and a tree or two can go a long way – buyers value having privacy and some shade. In fact, mature trees can add up to 20% on the sale price of the home.
Are you ready to start renovating your house to attract buyers and boost your home sale price? Schedule a conversation with us today!
Home renovations are wonderful – you get to update your home to your tastes, and likely increase the resale value down the road. However, renovations are a large undertaking that require plenty of materials, time, and labour, all of which cost money. For this reason, before you even begin to plan the details of your renovation, the first step should be coming up with a budget.
It might not sound like the most enjoyable task, but it will help you avoid taking on unnecessary debts by determining at the outset what you can comfortably afford. And if you love HGTV or thumbing through home renovation magazines, a budget can also help you prioritize what is within your reach. To avoid breaking the bank with your next renovation, here are five tips to help you stay on track with your budget.
#1. Plan, plan, plan
One of the main keys to successfully renovating your home on a predetermined budget is to know as much as possible before the first nail is hammered. It can be easy to look online and make general assumptions about costs, but don’t forget that there can be huge differences in price for things you’d otherwise think were consistent. For example, floor tiles that may look similar in quality can be radically different in price. Small choices like ceramic versus porcelain, or the size of tile can result in a big change to both material and installation costs.
Customizing your selected materials also adds to the bottom line. For example, you may see countertop prices and think you know the price per square foot, but things like non-standard lengths and holes that need to be made for sinks and faucets can add to the cost.
#2. Stick to the plan
Once you do come up with a plan, stick to it as best as possible. Last minute changes will undoubtedly extend the timeline of your remodel, which means you’ll be paying more in labour costs. You also run the risk of doubling up unnecessarily on materials if you change your mind and are unable to return your original selections.
#3. Budget for additional expenses
Aside from labour and materials, keep in mind that you’ll likely have to pay for drawings and construction permits. And if your home is older, you may have to update things like electrical work that isn’t up to current code. Also, be sure to check if renovating your home means paying a higher tax rate and insurance premiums.
There are also expenses like taxes and shipping on materials, hotel stays and eating out more often which can add a hefty sum to your budget.
Overall, it is a good idea to budget 20% of your initial renovation costs for potential changes, material or design upgrades, and unforeseen costs.
#4. Make compromises
If you plan ahead, you can see an itemized list of what will be costing you money. And if one line item seems high compared to other higher ticket items, you can likely find comparable items at a lower cost. For example, while fancy lighting fixtures may look beautiful, they can cost a pretty penny. To reduce costs, see if the same style can come in different materials, in a smaller size, or can be created to be a bit less ornate.
If you’re having a hard time choosing materials or knowing what a comparable alternative is, an interior designer can guide you.
#5. Communication is key
When you’re ordering materials, don’t be scared to ask for discounts. Just because they gave you a quote doesn’t mean it’s not negotiable! Or you can always ask your contractor too if they have a recommended supplier – contractors are often repeat customers who do a large volume of orders, so they can have more leverage for price negotiations.
Also, be sure to tell your contractor your budget. Many people assume a contractor asks because they want to upsell you. However, the real reason for this is they need to see how they can best help you. Good contractors will always work with you to hone in on exactly what you want to make your renovation dreams come true within your allotted budget.
If you are ready to renovate your home or have questions about the renovation process, schedule a conversation with us today!
Kitchens are the heart of the home and the centre of your family’s day to day living. But when you start to notice that it’s not as functional as it could be, or it has simply become outdated, it may be tempting to take a sledgehammer to everything in sight.
There are so many variables that go into planning a kitchen remodel and you need to truly understand how you would like to live, work and entertain in a new kitchen. So, before you pick up that sledgehammer, here are five questions to ask yourself to make sure you get the kitchen of your dreams.
#1. What bothers you about your kitchen?
Is there a cabinet and drawer that can’t be opened at the same time? Does the refrigerator door open away from your work area? Is your dishwasher too far from the sink? Not enough storage space?
If this is the case, you have a functionality problem. Luckily, there is a concept called the kitchen work triangle that makes it easy to understand how to get an efficient kitchen layout. Here are the principles:
- Each “side” of the triangle (e.g., the distance between the sink and fridge) should measure between 4 and 9 feet, and the three sides of the triangle should not exceed 26 feet in total.
- The work triangle should not cut through an island or peninsula by more than 1 foot.
- If the kitchen has only one sink, it should be placed between or across from the cooking surface, preparation area, or refrigerator.
- No major traffic patterns should cross through the triangle.
If your kitchen is perfectly functional and you feel like it just needs to be updated, what exactly needs to be updated? Would refinishing the cabinets give your kitchen the look you want? Or would you have to completely change the cabinets, flooring and countertops?
Decide if there’s anything in your kitchen you’d like to keep – this will be easier on your wallet too!
#2. What are your must haves?
Some people are entertainers who enjoy gathering their friends and family together for happy hour and appetizers and then moving to a big dinner table. If this is you, perhaps installing a kitchen island with comfortable bar stools and extending the dining space is important.
If you’re big into preparing everything from scratch and have all sorts of kitchenware, your kitchen remodel would prioritize storage so your dutch oven and canning supplies don’t take over your counterspace.
Maybe you’re the type that sees the kitchen as just a means to an end for cooking a simple meal with as little hassle as possible. If this is you, look into lighting options and personal touches like a pop of colour in the backsplash to make your space more appealing.
#3. What is my style?
Interior design can be tricky. Once you decide what design style suits you (e.g., traditional, contemporary, mid-century modern, etc.), you’ll need to determine what colours, textures, and materials best suit that style to pull the look together. Hiring an interior designer can take a lot of the guesswork out of this step!
#4. How much do you want to budget for your kitchen remodel?
A kitchen remodel can cost in the low five-figures for a small kitchen or a kitchen refresh, while a full gut and replace with new appliances and high quality materials can cost well over $50,000.
While you may have an extensive wishlist for your kitchen remodel, it may have to be pared back to fit within your budget. To get an idea of how much you should budget, check out this Ontario Contractor’s guide.
#5. How long are you planning to live in your house?
A lot of people ask us how remodeling will affect future resale value. While this is great to think about, you should remodel for your needs if you plan to stay in your home long-term. If you are simply looking to update your kitchen before putting it on the market in 12-24 months, consider what is selling in your area and use neutral colours.
If you are ready to remodel your kitchen, or have questions about the kitchen remodel process, schedule a conversation with us today!
When it comes to home renovations, we find that Hamilton homeowners often debate whether they should use a contractor or a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. While DIY-ing renovations may be appealing to some, working with a professional contractor alleviates a lot of stress, and ensures that your vision is transformed into a reality. With that in mind, here are the top 8 benefits of hiring a contractor for your next home renovation.
#1 Save money.
DIY may seem cheaper in terms of upfront costs, but working with a professional contractor will greatly diminish the chance of surprise expenses that blow your remodeling budget. Not only can a professional contractor help you avoid unexpected expenses, we can also help you weigh the pros and cons of construction materials based on price and quality so you get the most bang for your buck.
#2 Save time.
From initial consultation to construction and completion, there are many timelines that rely upon each other and need to be coordinated properly to keep your home renovation project on schedule. If you choose a DIY approach, you may not realize that some remodeling processes won’t work in the scope of the entire project. Working with a contractor ensures that missteps are minimized, and if there are unexpected issues, they can be corrected quickly. Plus, a contractor can help you make informed decisions in a reasonably quick time frame, preventing delays from indecision.
#3 Get what you want the first time around.
We value strong relationships with our customers, suppliers, and within our own team so every home renovation project runs smoothly from start to finish. Fostering strong, positive relationships allows us to give our clients what they want, and helps guide them through the renovation process with compassion and understanding. We are home owners too! So we always put ourselves in your shoes to make sure you’re happy with the final result.
#4 Capitalize on expert buying power.
Whether you choose a contractor or you do the renovation yourself, the cost of materials can add up quickly; testing the limits of your renovation budget. One of the most notable benefits of hiring a contractor is that you can take advantage of their buying power. Professional contractors possess tremendous buying power in the home renovation market, and are able to acquire materials in a shorter time and at a much lower cost than you would be able to if you chose the DIY route. This not only helps keep your project on time, but it will also help you get higher quality materials for a lower cost.
#5 It’s easier to bring your vision to life.
We’ve heard from customers that two heads are definitely better than one when it comes to bringing a beautiful renovation vision to life with a realistic budget. Home renovation experts work to establish a level of understanding so a tailor-made solution can be created to address your immediate needs and then sequentially apply the right solutions to achieve your desired outcome.
#6 Be just as involved in decisions as a DIY (minus the hard labour).
When a client wants to be an active participant in the renovation process, it helps a home renovation contractor to create the exact outcome that the client desires. It has also been our experience that clients who are involved in the renovation process find that participation to be inspiring, and it gives them a lasting sense of pride about their newly renovated home.
#7 Get professional guidance.
Home renovations can easily turn into stressful, chaotic, and exhausting events if you don’t have access to a professional that can guide you through the renovation process. Working with professional contractors like the team here at Cornerstone Select involves working with a qualified team of pros that will each bring their specialized talents to the process.
#8 The renovation process is managed for you.
A professional home renovation contractor is accountable for everything, including the end result, so much more attention is paid to pricing in the planning phase, and scheduling in the construction phase. Fees, material costs, construction costs, and all other expenditures are carefully considered from the start of the project so you can be comfortable knowing the cost of the entire scope of work.
To learn more about how hiring a professional contractor can help save you money, time, and give you peace of mind for your next home renovation project, schedule a conversation with us today!