Message from Jim: You’ve got mail (coming soon)
We’ve just finished up the June/July issue of Renovation Contractor, and this edition nicely encapsulates everything we’re trying to do here at the magazine. For starters, we literally explore building materials from top to bottom, with an item on DuPont’s new slip-resistant Tyvek Protec roofing underlay and regular contributor Martin Zibauer’s feature on the different options for foundations.
Next, we help you find and generate new business by tapping into the ever-growing market for energy conserving renovations. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s Gary Sharp looks at some general trends in his regular column for us, freelance contributor Heath Applebaum takes a close look at MyEnergyXpert, a brandable app that contractors can use to help customers clearly see the long-term value of green renos, and Jay Somerset – a writer who’s been working with us since the very first issue – checks in to see what serial entrepreneur Casey van Maarion has been up to recently. Spoiler alert: he’s using ground screws to mount solar panels across Alberta and B.C.
Then we highlight some work that’s as fantastical as it is functional. Another long-time contributor, Diane Peters, profiles Tyson Leavitt and his crew at Charmed Playhouses out of Lethbridge, Alta.
Watch for your print issue to arrive in your mailbox shortly. The digital reprint will be available here
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NEW DATE! Our next Renovators’ Roundtable will take place Wednesday, October 10 through Friday October 12, 2018.
New moon tonight so I’ll be dark – and stay dark
The Connect Van is little changed from 2107 and that includes the sticker price of $24,604 for the basic XL model. That’s lower than the original price of $25,754 when the Connect debuted, a saving of $1,150. Who says there’s no such thing as progress!
The kitchen is the hub of any home, and the sink and faucet are probably the hardest working components in any kitchen. By focussing on those two interrelated components you can generate a lot of business working with clients ranging from budget-conscious, small-space dwellers, to affluent homeowners looking to create the luxurious kitchen of their dreams.
In every issue of Renovation Contractor we include a readers’ time-saving tip for getting the job done, and send them a great prize for sharing their idea.
Our managing editor, Allan Britnell, is working on a feature for the February/March issue on the implications of legal weed on the construction workplace, and we’d like your input.
In the town of Truro, Nova Scotia, competition is tight for construction clients and certified carpenters. But Victor Mingo and his 29-year-old company are booked nearly a year out and have staff members who’ve been on the team for 20 years.Mingo has developed a reputation for doing top quality work and specializing in challenging projects. “Anything that’s unusual or different, we get the call,” he says. That includes complex roof frames and matching existing interior finishes.Meanwhile, Mingo retains employees by managing them well, gathering them together at social functions and offering a medical plan. But most importantly, he offers steady work all year for his mostly certified team of 10. “They know the work is there, there’s no question mark every morning,” he says. While it’s somewhat standard practice in the region to lay off teams in the winter, Mingo gets work even in cold months and sometimes takes a hit to his bottom line to avoid layoffs.Mingo, who grew up in a small town outside Truro, was always around hands-on work, as his grandfather was a carpenter. He did vocation school and then spent seven years working for a construction company in Truro. He started doing some work on the side and quit in 1989 to found his own company.The economy was in rough shape at the time but Mingo, who would hire help on contract as needed in the early days, started by doing house framing and other structural work. Over time, he expanded to interior renovations, including top-notch finishes.He built a house for himself and then for a few clients. Those led to more jobs building homes from the ground up.A major coup was landing a wintertime contract in the early 1990s at the Stanfield’s plant in Truro. Projects like upgrading washrooms and other interior work helped the company become year-round – Mingo still does work for the plant on a project-by-project basis.Mingo’s tendency to say yes to just about any project paid off. “We were never afraid to take what came through the door, we never shied away from things that were odd or complex.” So, the team kept getting work that challenged them and expanded their expertise.That reputation led to some ambitious gigs, including seven years of work helping build the Fox Harb’r Resort – Victor Mingo did several timber frame buildings, the high-end interior of the resort’s spa, and Tim Hortons co-founder Ron Joyce’s 15,000-sq.-ft. residence at the resort.Today, Mingo’s wife Wanda still runs the office – she’s done so since day one – and he manages the team. Usually, two carpenters work in the shop he’s built in his backyard while the other eight go out on two-to-three jobsites. They’re always working on a range of projects, including, of late, a high-end cottage renovation to double the living space and build a pool house.With projects booked into next October, the Mingo family and professional team have the kind of job security few experience in their region in this field. “People are willing to wait for us,” says Mingo. —Diane Peters Fast FactsCompany name: Victor Mingo Quality Construction Ltd.Location: Truro, N.S.Specializing in: Renovations, new buildsNumber of employees: 10, plus 2 ownersApproximate revenues: $1-2 millionWebsite: VMQC.net
A couple in Toronto’s pricey Forest Hill neighbourhood sued nearby neighbours for copying the look of their custom-built home.
More than a kitchen and bath luxury showroom, The Water Closet offers unparalleled service, selection and solutions for all your plumbing and heating needs. Our goal is to be your full-service showroom while “Enhancing the Flow of Life”.
We've been proudly serving the community for more than 160 years. We deliver natural gas safely and reliably to two million homes and businesses across Ontario. With safety as our ongoing priority, we're committed to making communities better places to live.
Fusion Stone is an easy and budget-friendly way to beautifully upgrade your home, inside and out. A patented Shouldice innovation, Fusion Stone is a thin stone veneer that is easily installed with the included stainless steel clips & screws. You just screw it to the wall and it’s “Hooked for Life”.
Masco Canada Ltd. is the Canadian plumbing division of MASCO Corporation and represents brands including Delta, Brizo, Hansgrohe, Axor, BrassCraft, Master Plumber, and Waltec. MASCO Canada Limited is dedicated to complete customer satisfaction and responsiveness to the unique Canadian marketplace.
Royal Building Products is a leading manufacturer and distributor of a broad range of state-of-the-art exterior building materials for the home remodeling, building and municipal construction markets.
DRIcore is the first and most important step towards creating a new living space as warm and comfortable as any other space in your home. DRIcore is the one-step engineered subfloor solution that is specifically designed for basements. The raised moisture barrier covers cold, damp concrete to protect, insulate and cushion your finished floors.
For over 50 years, SFA Group's goal has been to allow anyone to easily install bathroom fixtures, laundry rooms and kitchens anywhere and without any major work. As the French inventor of the famous macerating systems, today SFA is among the top companies worldwide in bathroom fixtures.
You chose your new Chrysler because you wanted something far beyond the ordinary. It just makes sense that your ownership experience should be just as special. That's why we're committed to exceeding your expectations for as long as you have your Chrysler.
Cosentino is a global, family-owned company that produces and distributes high value innovative surfaces for the world of architecture and design, leaders in their respective segments such as Silestone® Quartz surfaces and Dekton® Ultracompact surfaces. Technologically advanced surfaces that create unique designs for the home and public spaces.
Created by fusion of exceptional design, superior quartz quality and cutting-edge technology, HansStone Quartz weaves together intriguing patterns and colours inspired by the diverse Canadian landscape.
Space Age Closets and Custom Cabinetry has been serving Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area for over 30 years. Our services include a wide array of custom storage solutions for every room in your home. With decades of experience designing and installing custom closets and cabinets we pledge to provide excellence in service and get the job done right the first time.
Over the past 14 years Factory Tile Depot has become #1 for everything tile and stone. With 5 locations showcasing the latest and greatest trends in the tile industry, we have built the confidence of trade and retail clients alike. We are proud to offer well thought out showrooms, extensive selections of hard to find tile-stone, on site designers, and some of the best after care support in the industry. Experience the FTD difference on your next project.
With over 90 years of experience, BLANCO is the leading kitchen sinks and faucets manufacturer. From handcrafted in Germany Steelart® sinks and the beauty of Silgranit®, to the European design faucets, BLANCO products are celebrated worldwide for their unmatched quality and design. Blanco Silgranit® sinks are proudly manufactured in Canada TRADE ONLY.
Fisher & Paykel incorporates the world’s most innovative technologies and produce the most technically advanced, efficient and contemporary styled appliances. DCS created the first line of high end, commercial quality appliances and expanded to pioneer indoor and outdoor kitchen solutions for the at home chef. TRADE ONLY.
X-Tile is sure to have whatever you need to express your unique individual style. We offer you an exceptional variety of wall and flooring options in ceramic, porcelain, natural stone, glass, mosaic and much more from leading suppliers around the world. Let our knowledgeable and friendly staff help you in your dream renovation or building project.
For four decades, we’ve built a reputation as a leader in premium and luxury space-management, delivering truly custom products and unparalleled service.
DelSuites offers fully furnished and serviced condominiums in 20 locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area, including Downtown, Midtown, North York, Markham, Scarborough, Mississauga, Etobicoke and Brampton.
Euro-Line Appliances has brought elite European engineered appliances to Canadian homes for over 25 years. Our brands exceed expectations and have earned awards in design, engineering, performance, and energy efficiency. All of our cooking, refrigeration, dishwashers, and laundry appliances are created to conserve our non-renewable resources.
Sharing Passion & Performance. With our unique expertise and sensibilities, gained from our devotion to sound and music, we are committed to creating excitement and cultural inspiration together with people around the world.
Vangarde Cabinet Design & Factory Inc. specializes in aftermarket cabinet fronts and accessories that fit IKEA kitchens. We transform ordinary looking IKEA kitchens into extraordinary ones. Finally, there is a choice for more desirable cabinet doors and accessories for your IKEA kitchen.
At Riobel we design, create and assemble faucets, shower systems and accessories in our Canadian facility located in St-Jérôme, a suburb of Montréal. Our modern and fashionable products are designed to fit all kitchens or bathrooms. They are easy to install, while mechanical parts are accessible from above the counter to facilitate cleaning and maintenance. Riobel: a benchmark of excellence since 1995!
Established in 1987, Caesarstone pioneered the original quartz surface and continues to be a leading developer and manufacturer of premium surfaces. Highly functional and design forward, Caesarstone surfaces have endless application possibilities including kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, wall paneling, furniture and more.
Since 1989 Men At Work has specialized in renewing and enlarging older houses in core Toronto neighbourhoods. We are experts in managing the challenges of renovating sensitive old buildings into beautiful, functional, comfortable living spaces.
BONE Structure has designed and patented a structural steel frame and insulation system that is the best integrator to build Net-Zero Energy custom homes. Using an integrated process inspired by the aerospace industry, we design and build high-performance, sustainable homes.
For more than 140 years, American Standard has led the way in developing innovative bathroom and kitchen products that improve daily living.
Pharmasave is one of Canada’s leading independent pharmacy and drugstore retailers. Since being founded in 1981, Pharmasave has focused on building a national platform of community based retail outlets designed to provide customers with exceptional service, products and advice.
Through our customer feedback, we have learned the importance of ‘service’. You said and we listened. We addressed your needs and improvised; bringing you services and quality no one in the industry offers.
Forterra Brick is North America's largest brick manufacturer with a total capacity of more than 1.7 billion bricks. Forterra Brick provides superior selection and service, and more than 1,000 styles of brick in four regional brick collections. Among architects and builders across the U.S. and Canada, we are known for; Innovation, Service and Influence.
Wholesaler of decorative drapery hardware to the Canadian market since 1949. Workroom supplies, wood poles, decorative traverse rods, wrought iron, trimmings and much more in stock. TRADE ONLY.
ImmerSpa inground hot tubs combine the aesthetics of a gorgeous water garden with the benefits of water massage – at a price that’s comparable to other tubs. We invite you to let your imagination run a little, and consider that the joy of water in your backyard is within reach. Bring the spa experience home with an affordable, easy to install, inground swimmable water feature. ImmerSpa. Simply soak it in.