Tag Archives: RenoMark

Put on a happy facade

Put on a happy facade

Latest News


Put on a happy facade

As the seasons give way to brighter, warmer and longer days, there is an opportunity for all of us to rehabilitate the exterior of our own homes. We owe it to ourselves and our community to put on the happiest facade we can, to inspire ourselves and those around us.

So, how does one effectively do this? We checked in with Toronto architect Richard Librach, a master in simple, yet impactful facade transformations, for tips he uses when helping his clients.

“Accentuation, refinement and highlighting of existing assets are what is required,” he says. “Renovating the curbside view of a home is not dependent on the income of the people that reside inside the home – you don’t have to spend a lot of money to access good ideas.”

Whether traditional, transitional or contemporary, tweaks – rather than demolition – can have the most significant impacts (while preserving your pocketbook). Librach uses a simple questionnaire to help clients visualize and create an inspiring home exterior that reflects their style.

And by working with a professional, you achieve professional results. Librach takes an existing situation and improves it. “I look to accentuate the home’s existing features, all while disguising its less desirable, other features,” he says.

While construction and renovations are considered an essential service and have been able to continue relatively unabated during the pandemic, many people are uncomfortable with trades entering their homes to work. For this reason, now is the perfect time to focus on the exterior of your home, and to inject some excitement and pride into the place you now call work and school, as well as home.

Are you selling your home? A well-planned and executed facade project can yield a significant return on investment; people often buy on emotion, and curb appeal helps attract more buyers – and offers. If you’re buying a home in a hot market, a facade project may allow you to snap up a bit of a fixer-upper – and transform it to reflect your personal tastes.

If you want help designing and building your own home, remember, there is real value in working with a professional to execute your plan. Professional associations such as the Ontario Association of Architects and renomark.ca, the home of the professional renovator, are great places to begin your search.

Brendan Charters is a Founding Partner at Toronto design-build firm Eurodale Developments Inc., the 2020 BILD Renovator of the Year.

@eurodalehomes

416.782.5690

SHARE  

Featured Products


More Canadians are looking at ageing in place

More Canadians are looking at ageing in place

Latest News


More Canadians are looking at ageing in place

I recently read an article about a survey conducted by the National Institute on Ageing at Toronto’s Ryerson University saying that COVID-19 has more people thinking about ageing in place. The survey of 1,517 Canadians suggests more seniors want to continue living at home as they age, rather than move to a retirement home or long-term care facility.

Sixty per cent of respondents said the pandemic had changed their opinions on whether they would arrange for themselves or an older loved one to live in a retirement home. Seventy per cent of respondents aged 65 and older said they would try to live safely and independently in their own home as long as possible.

Do you feel the same about your own ageing process? The good news is, you can stay in your present home as long as you want if you design it to meet your future lifestyle needs. Here are some things to consider.

Washrooms

You can make your washrooms safer and help prevent falls by having smooth transitions between floor finishes. Installing a curbless or roll-in shower is a great idea if you want to remain independent. You might want to have a seat in the shower and install a hand-held spout lower on the wall for easier access. And, a floating vanity provides easy wheelchair access.

Access

Consider wider doorways and hallways to accommodate wheelchairs. Think about stairlifts and elevators for the future. When it comes to the kitchen, you can install upper cabinets that lower with a slight pull on a handle for easier access. Lastly, think about a dual-height kitchen island or counter to accommodate both those in a wheelchair and everyone else in the family.

Tax credits

The provincial government recently announced the Seniors’ Home Safety Tax Credit, which can help you make your home safer and more accessible. The tax credit is worth 25 per cent of up to $10,000 in eligible expenses for a senior’s principal residence in Ontario. The maximum credit is $2,500.

This is only a short list of what you need to consider. We could get into more detail, such as addressing lighting quality to help with visual impairments, or other potential situations that need special consideration, but the best thing to do is to work with a RenoMark renovator who has a certified ageing in place specialist on staff. These professionals know what to do, have the correct licences and will ensure that you do it legally and correctly the first time. Your home and safety are not places to cut corners. Find out more by visiting renomark.ca.

Dave Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA.

For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, @bildgta, or visit the website.


SHARE  

Featured Products


Bathroom pitfalls ... and how to avoid them

Bathroom pitfalls … and how to avoid them

Latest News


Bathroom pitfalls … and how to avoid them

If kitchens are the hub of the home, then bathrooms must be the inflated tires around them. They provide a smooth and comfortable ride until something goes wrong – such as worn treads or a bulging sidewall – and they fail to function as designed. Designers and manufacturers of bathroom products have continually been changing trends to keep us chasing that fresh, spa-like bathroom experience. Society ditched the public baths the Roman’s famously built out of fear of spreading disease long ago. While those oversized public baths may seem like a distant mistake of the past – especially amid our modern-day pandemic, there are other design pitfalls to avoid during your own bathroom renovation!

Here’s a quick cheat sheet …

  • Custom shower pans – we recommend custom fibreglass over the rubber membrane with a dry-pack method to avoid leaks below the shower. If you go with the conventional, do the dry-pack before the drywall work to avoid risk to tears which result in leaks.
  • Check fixture flowrates – and total them relative to your hot water tank or tankless hot water heater/boiler. Some tub fillers have rates of nine gallons per minute, which can knock out a combination boiler or steal an entire tank of hot water in seconds, leaving the rest of the house on ice!
  • Insulate the floor and wall under the tub – to avoid losing the heat from your bathwater in a hurry! Tubs are installed before the drywall, and sometimes these cavities are forgotten, until the first dip in the bath!
  • Add a floor drain beside the toilet. Toilets back up – virtually every toilet has a failure at some point in their lifespan, and this drain can save a lot of mess and associated costs in an overflow or a seal failure.
  • Membrane the walls – green board, fibreglass board and cement board are not perfectly waterproof. Add a membrane, glue on, paint on, no matter the type; it will help ensure you avoid the long-term effects of water creeping behind the tile or slabs on the walls.
  • Cover your fixtures during the work stage – especially the shower floor and the tub. Tools fall, materials grind and finishes are delicate and often expensive. Preserve the new stuff until the job is complete with liquid membranes, insulation and hard surface coverings, so you don’t prematurely dull the shine or marry the finish.
  • Not all mixing valves are created equal – Splurge for a shower valve with controllable temperatures inside the valve, especially if you have a tankless water heater or combination-boiler. Otherwise, you might be left with a lukewarm rinse until you decide to renovate again.
  • Recirculatation lines to the vanity faucet and shower and tub fixtures – will ensure you are not running water long to obtain the hot water you are after – especially for on-demand tankless and boiler systems. Saves wasting time and water – a win-win! Insulate those lines to avoid wasting energy for the winning hat trick.
  • Pick and then plumb – true of all fixtures, but especially for showers, toilets and vanities, as wall-hung units can create different plumbing rough-ins and avoid costly re-run at finish installation time.
  • Potlights – best kept for inside the shower or water closet only, not at the vanity as they create long and dark facial shadows that can make you look old and tired at any time of day. No thanks!

If you want to design, build or renovate your perfect bathroom, remember these pitfalls, and know there is real value in working with a professional to design and create the space. Visit renomark.ca, the home of the professional renovator, to start your search when looking to start your project!

Brendan Charters is a Founding Partner at Toronto design-build firm Eurodale Developments Inc., the 2020 BILD Renovator of the Year.

@eurodalehomes

416.782.5690


SHARE  

Featured Products


BILD introduces new education programs for RenoMark members

BILD introduces new education programs for RenoMark members

Latest News


BILD introduces new education programs for RenoMark members

When the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) established RenoMark in 2001 its purpose was to identify professional contractors who agreed to abide by a renovation-specific Code of Conduct. We want to differentiate your expectations of RenoMark by introducing a mandatory Professional Renovator Education Program (PREP) for all member renovators. We’re looking to renovate your expectations one course at a time.

Much has changed in the renovation industry since 2001. We have seen updates to building codes, advances in building science and construction materials, new design trends, and with the advent of the Internet, customers that are engaged and more informed.

With all these changes RenoMark renovators need to adapt and continue to keep learning. Our members must keep up to date of changing practices and stay educated if they want to remain relevant. That’s why continuing education and lifelong learning is important for everyone in the industry, and it should be important to you as a consumer when choosing a renovator.

In 2020, RenoMark renovators participated in eight PREP education courses. They started with a refresher course on the RenoMark Code of Conduct and other courses included Customer Service, Dispute Resolution, Finance, Documentation, Insurance, Risk and Contracts.

The Code of Conduct course is the pillar of the program and is written with the consumer in mind. All RenoMark renovators must provide their clients with a written contract, offer a minimum one-year warranty, carry $2 million in liability insurance, possess all licences and permits, return client phone calls with two business days and have workplace liability insurance (WSIB).

How does renovator continuing education affect you as a consumer? For starters, the contracts course places an emphasis on providing a written contract for every job. The importance of getting such a document from your renovator cannot be overstated. A contract protects you by setting out clearly what you are getting, when you’re getting it and how much you will pay for it. The customer service module lets contractors see the renovation from the consumer’s point of view. The consumer wants a quality renovation that is on time and on budget, with minimal corrections and minimal call-backs. Consumers want protection and peace of mind by ensuring that their renovator has all the necessary permits, licences and insurance.

The remainder of the courses review new financial software, update them on environmental risks and give them a refresher on how to deal with consumers in a professional manner.

If you’re interested in finding out more about RenoMark, please visit us at renomark.ca or email us at renomark@bildgta.ca.

David Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA.

For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, Facebook, BILD’s official blog.


SHARE  

Featured Products


Suburban to Urban

Suburban to Urban – Density for the good of the community

Latest News


Suburban to Urban – Density for the good of the community

Toronto, having entered the global scene as a major world centre over the last two decades, still needs to mature in many ways. As residents of the fastest growing metropolis in North America, Torontonians have had to embrace change, and have done so reasonably well. However, where we have failed is mirrored across major centres throughout North America, and in many cases, the world. It has been highly publicized that Toronto is a tale of two housing types – the highrise condo and the lowrise single-family home. There is a gap in choice for the residents and new Torontonians immigrating to this city (more than 100,000 arrived last year alone).

The “missing middle” is a housing type that takes the built form of duplex, cottage courts, fourplexes townhouses, stacked triplexes, multiplexes and live/work suites. These are sometimes illegal due to the zoning that governs many of the areas defined as stable neighbourhoods. Also referred to as the “yellow belt,” this area makes up about 70 per cent of the city’s landmass. Still, it also includes a declining population (as those living in the single-family homes continue to age and their kids leave the nest, permanently). In comparison, defined strips of the city (generally downtown and along the Yonge Street corridor) are booming in vertical expansion of condominiums that scrape the sky.

The dichotomy is often not suitable, as it leaves an aging population in homes they may have difficulty aging in. It also relegates young cash-strapped families starting in tiny condos to move out sooner, fleeing the city in search of more house and more land.

With an excess of six million people calling the GTA home today, slated to grow past eight million in 10 years and balloon to more than 10 million in less than 25 years, the great bastion of the “stable neighbourhood,” and the people and property owners within it, must change. If everyone who moved out of a condo in search of an alternate housing type moved to one of the bedroom communities outside the GTA, our North America leading gridlock would only worsen. We just can’t build enough transit to keep up with that solution. In a mega-city such as Toronto and an even more populous group in the GTA, efficiently moving people will forever remain a significant challenge.

But, as we know, change is hard. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about swift change for the entire world. One of the great challenges that has been noticed is the impact of density on the transmission of the virus. Rental rates of condos located downtown are reported to be down close to 20 per cent. While anecdotally, real estate professionals are citing a growing flock of persons cashing in and relocating to communities up to two hours from the city in hopes of finding affordability and physical distancing from others.

With the help of Zoom and similar technologies, working from home is possible, but can also provide strain when working and living with a family within a small condo. The single-family housing type which dominates most neighbourhoods can become more flexible and provide housing for many types of residents, across different life stages and various economic levels.

It makes little sense for a young family to become grossly indebted obtaining a single-family home, have their kids vacate the building in search of their own housing once they’ve grown, leaving two people to remain in a four-bedroom home. When one passes away, it can leave three empty bedrooms and a lot of house to maintain and safely provide for their own care within, all while shutting other families out of the market for longer than necessary.

Suppose we were to reimagine these existing buildings – to convert from a single-family dwelling to a duplex, triplex or fourplex. Or, even allow for the assembly of two to three of these structures for a lowrise, four-storey walkup (with elevators) as was allowed in old Toronto. We could provide for transition options for people to stay in their communities for their entire lifecycle if they chose to.

It would also develop a more accurate societal cross-section (a real “community,” if you will), comprising babies, young children, teenagers, young adults, families and seniors. Each of whom has vastly different housing needs and have varied socio-economic backgrounds. As Ted Knight famously quips in the movie Caddyshack, “The world needs ditch diggers too!” Why must the post-war suburbs be reserved for high-income professionals or those benefitting from generational wealth?

Toronto and its residents know full well that we are in a housing crisis. With only a few thousand legal secondary suites in the city and, an estimated existence of between 70,000 to 100,000 illegal basement apartments, a well-defined and exploited need is outpacing political abilities to make the changes we need.

For our mutual benefit, as we all travel the journey of our lifecycle together, we could be creating walkable communities while rehabilitating the aged housing stock in the process and helping the environment, too. If still unconvinced, spend some time reading from local planners such as Richard Florida, Jennifer Keesmaat, Gil Meslin and Architecture critic Alex Bozikovic. Google terms “gentle and distributed density,” “missing middle” and “flexible housing” to get an idea of how subtle change can make a positive impact for everyone. If you like your community, let’s work together to change it so it will work for you and your family forever.

If you want to design, build or renovate your home for the long term, remember there is real value in working with a professional to design and build the space. Visit renomark.ca, the home of the professional renovator, to start your search when looking to start your project.

Brendan Charters is a Founding Partner at design-build firm Eurodale Developments Inc., the 2020 BILD Renovator of the Year.

@eurodalehomes

416.782.5690


SHARE  

Featured Products


Renovate safely during COVID-19 with a RenoMark Renovator

Renovate safely during COVID-19 with a RenoMark Renovator

Latest News


Renovate safely during COVID-19 with a RenoMark Renovator

Photos by Eurodale Design + Build

New renovation projects were allowed to start this past May when the provincial government expanded the list of allowable construction activities under its COVID-19 emergency orders. Previously, only renovation projects that had already been underway were permitted.

The health and safety of homeowners and workers is the industry's number one priority.
The health and safety of homeowners and workers is the industry’s number one priority.

To help guide renovators and protect homeowners, our partners at the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) developed a Health and Safety Guide that outlines best practices for renovators under COVID-19.

The health and safety of homeowners and workers is the industry’s number one priority. RenoMark renovators are industry professionals who only work with contracts, carry all the necessary insurance and permits, provide a warranty on their work and abide by the RenoMark Code of Conduct. When it comes to COVID-19, RenoMark members have all the necessary protective equipment and processes in place to complete the job safely and to the standards that homeowners expect.

During COVID-19, sanitation and cleanliness on the job site are paramount. For projects lasting longer than two days, portable toilets and designated wash stations will be made available or a washroom designated by the client will be used as an alternative. Daily cleaning requirements are to be documented in a cleaning log. Communal areas are to be cleaned regularly and logged daily. On weekends, the homeowner will be responsible for cleaning communal spaces. Workers will wash their hands frequently, sanitize and use proper hygiene protocol as outlined by the chief medical officer of health.

RenoMark renovators understand that communication with customers is now more important than ever. Renovators will ask that clients communicate directly with the site supervisor while practicing physical distancing. All site access will be scheduled by appointment only, and clients will be asked to sign in when entering the work zone.

To ensure that no worker shows up unexpectedly, RenoMark renovators will provide schedules of when trades will be in the home. OHBA guidelines require that renovators stagger on-site trades’ schedules to limit the number of people in the home. They also require the renovator to screen the health of tradespeople accessing a site every day.

These are some of the protocols that RenoMark renovators are putting in place to protect the health and safety of homeowners and their families. In return, renovators will ask clients to avoid entering the work site when work is being performed and to notify the site supervisor of any illness, wear a face covering when entering work areas and practice physical distancing.

Our industry is ensuring that work is carried out in compliance with the Ministry of Labour’s Guidelines for Construction Site Health and Safety during COVID-19. Our entire industry also supports closing any site that doesn’t meet requirements and welcomes increased inspection levels by the Ministry of Labour.

To find a RenoMark professional renovator for your next project, visit renomark.ca.

Dave Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA.

For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, @bildgta, or visit the website.


SHARE  

Featured Products


Top honours at 2020 BILD Renovation and Custom Home Awards

Top honours at 2020 BILD Renovation and Custom Home Awards

Latest News


Top honours at 2020 BILD Renovation and Custom Home Awards

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) handed out their annual Renovation and Custom Home Awards to the GTA’s top renovators and custom home builders by video conference on April 8th.

Created by BILD in 1999, the Renovation and Custom Home awards recognize professional renovators and custom home builders for their innovation, quality of work, customer service and industry leadership.

BILD received a record 117 submissions for 25 categories that included Best Overall Space, Best Overall Renovation, Best Overall Custom Home, Custom Home Builder of the Year and the coveted Renovator of the Year award. All submissions were evaluated by 28 industry professionals who served as volunteer judges.

This year, the Renovator of the Year award went to Eurodale Design + Build for their commitment to customer service and their contribution to the overall image of the renovation industry. Eurodale Design + Build also won Best Innovative Renovation.

“Eurodale customers were impressed with the renovator’s quality workmanship and professionalism,” says Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of BILD. “True to the RenoMark brand, Eurodale clients were provided with a warranty for the work done and clients felt that the renovator went out of their way to deliver an outstanding project with excellent service and followup.”

The award for Custom Home Builder of the Year went to Luxor Home Corporation. Luxor Homes’ clients felt that the builder went above and beyond to provide great quality of work and outstanding customer service. Luxor Home Corporation also won Best Custom Home Kitchen.

Profile Custom Homes won the Best Overall Custom Home award for their project in Mississauga. The design and flow of the home blurs the line between indoor and outdoor living areas. The modern design is softened by the use of wood and the integration of views of nature from every room of the home. They also won Best Custom Home over $2 million, Best Custom Home Washroom, and Best Renovation (No addition) over $500,000.

Best Overall Renovation went to Carmelin Design + Build. Carmelin Design also won Best Condominium Renovation under $200,000, and Best Renovation (No addition) under $250,000.

Both of these award-winning projects utilize high-contrast colour features in the kitchen, while softening the floor through the continuous use of hardwood floors throughout the home. The integration of large windows, which are expertly orientated in the design, maximizes the infiltration of sunlight throughout the home.

Lifestyles by Barons Inc. won Best Overall Space Renovation. This beautifully constructed whole home renovation is a testament to Lifestyles by Barons’ attention to detail and listening to the desires of their client. The integration of the soft-coloured stone and tile throughout the home provides an ambience of strength, while relaxing and easing the homeowner’s state of mind. Lifestyles by Barons Inc. also won Best Basement Renovation over $125,000, and Best Washroom Renovation.

“This year’s winners exemplify the quality, innovation, creativity and integrity that homeowners can expect when working with professional RenoMark renovators and custom builders,” says Wilkes.

All award winners are members of the national RenoMark program, which connects homeowners with professional renovators who have agreed to abide by a renovation-specific code of conduct. Contact information for all RenoMark renovators is accessible on renomark.ca. A complete list of winners can be found in the latest blog on the RenoMark website as well.

BILD would like to congratulate all the winners and finalists.

A complete list of winners can be found in the blog section of renomark.ca.


SHARE  

Featured Products


Silvergate Homes

Silvergate Homes is redefining Niagara living

Latest News


Silvergate Homes is redefining Niagara living

For more than 35 years, Silvergate Homes has excelled in new home building in Niagara. Owned and operated by two generations of the Passero family, Silvergate has carefully nurtured a reputation for exceptional quality and a commitment to customer service.

This underlying philosophy hasn’t changed since day one, and Silvergate is now getting noticed well beyond the local new home market. Its two flagship communities, Legends on the Green and Village on the Twelve, are attracting the attention of a growing number of homebuyers from the GTA who are seeking value and luxury in Niagara.

Legendary living

An Energy Star®-certified contemporary bungalow townhome community, Legends on the Green, offers luxury living and architectural elegance. Backing onto the outstanding Legends on the Niagara championship golf course, this rare enclave community of 58 upscale bungalow towns is located in the charming village of Chippawa along the Niagara River.

“We’re extremely proud of Legends on the Green,” says John Passero, President of Silvergate Homes. “The location is second-to-none with its secluded backdrop along the golf course, yet it’s just minutes away from all the amenities Niagara Falls has to offer.”

The architecturally controlled exteriors at Legends combine a stylish fusion of dark siding, stone and modern brick. Interior layouts and finishes exude luxury, with designer kitchens, spa-like ensuites and spacious living areas.

Village on the Twelve

Overlooking a beautiful ravine along the banks of St. Catharines’ historic Twelve Mile Creek is one of Silvergate’s most luxurious releases to date. The sixth phase of Village on the Twelve is a limited collection of two-storey and bungalow townhomes.

These homes offer upscale, modern design, along with architecturally controlled exteriors to ensure aesthetic beauty and balance within the community. Innovative floorplans and contemporary styling elevate this collection of stunning homes, with multiple windows that highlight clean lines and bright interiors.

This secluded oasis in one of the city’s most prestigious areas, and is referred to as Niagara’s Urban Hub. Residents of Village on the Twelve are just a short, five-minute drive from the downtown, which offers premier dining, a new performing arts centre and the Meridian Centre sports and spectator facility.

Niagara’s growing allure

Real estate in the Niagara Region is booming as buyers from the GTA look to escape an overheated metropolitan market. It is the perfect place to downsize, and to lock in exceptional value. GTA sellers can upscale their comfort and luxury, while achieving considerable savings.

Both Legends on the Green and Village on the Twelve are ideal home bases for enjoying some of Niagara’s top amenities. The area caters to millions of visitors every year, so when it comes to conveniences, comforts and hospitality, the Niagara Region’s population of approximately 450,000 punches well above its weight. Destinations include 88 nearby wineries, Niagara’s Ale Trail, fine dining, two casinos and the Fort Erie Racetrack. Golfers can choose to play at more than 40 courses, and hundreds of kilometres of hiking and biking trails are available throughout the region. In addition to local farmers’ markets and harvest festivals, shoppers have access to outlet malls on both sides of the border.

Better build homes

By choosing a home at one of these two communities, you’re selecting a better-built home by Silvergate, which includes superior architecture and craftsmanship, along with innovative designs and the most up-to-date materials. Staff members are committed to personalized customer service throughout the home buying process.

Silvergate Homes is an award-winning, Tarion Warranty builder and RenoMark contractor, with more than 30 builder awards for Excellence, Design, Marketing and Environmental Stewardship. Their homes are built to exceed provincial building code standards. Silvergate is dedicated to building energy-friendly new homes through eco-friendly practices and technologies.

CONTACT INFORMATION

The model homes are located at 8974 Willoughby Drive in Niagara Falls.

905.680.6000

silvergatehomes.com


SHARE  

Featured Products


Successful renovation

At the crest of the busy renovation season, here is a guide to planning a successful one

Latest News


At the crest of the busy renovation season, here is a guide to planning a successful one

Photography: Courtesy of Alair Homes

Spring is a great time to turn your attention to begin that renovation you’ve been putting off. If you are planning an upgrade or renovation, you are in good company. Based on Statistics Canada’s Canadian Housing Survey (2018), over one million Canadian homes are in need of major repair.

Renovations and repairs may include a smaller job, like a bathroom refresh or finishing a basement, to meet changing life needs, or maybe it’s something more substantial. Regardless of the project, understanding the process and planning is a key factor in achieving the results you want.

Articulate your wish list

Your first step should be to develop a very clear vision of what is required. Take time to articulate what goals you want to achieve with your renovation and develop a clear description of what you want to change. Write down your priorities and items that you’d like to have if your budget allows. Make sure everyone in your home participates in the discussion so you have a complete picture of what is needed.

Pick a pro

Then it’s time to find a professional renovator that will guide you through the process. The good ones get booked up months in advance, so it is in your best interest to start this process early. You will be putting a lot of trust in this person, so look for a renovator that is a member of BILD’s RenoMark program. This means that they have committed to the RenoMark code of conduct and BILD’s code of ethics. To find a RenoMark renovator, visit the website.

For most people price is an important consideration when choosing a renovator, but it’s important to note that you often get what you pay for. Make sure to consider the renovator’s experience, construction schedule and references. You should verify that the renovator has the appropriate licences, WSIB coverage and insurance. Take the time to check three references to get a good understanding of how the company operates.

Outline budget & potential permits required

Once you have selected your professional renovator, he or she may bring in a designer or architect, and together you will work through your project outline and create plans and specifications. This will help determine the budget estimate and any building permits and approvals you will need. In some municipalities, obtaining building permits and approvals can take many weeks and even months. This is another reason to start the process early.

Get it in writing

When you are comfortable with the preliminary design, budget and timetable, you’re ready to draw up a written contract with your renovator. The contract sets out the precise scope of the work, the price, a schedule of payments, a reasonable timetable for completing the work, product-specific details and a warranty clause. The contract should be reviewed by a lawyer. A RenoMark renovator will provide a contract for all projects. Remember good contracts provide protection to both parties in the event of a dispute or problem.

For more information about the nuances of planning a renovation, BILD has recently compiled a new Reno Guide to assist homeowners through the process. The Reno Guide is published with the support of the City of Toronto Environment & Energy Division and can be found on the BetterHomesTo website.

Dave Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA.

For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, @bildgta, or visit bildgta.ca.


SHARE  

Featured Products


Kitchen Trends 2020

Kitchen Trends 2020 – Tips to advance your home into the roaring ’20s

Latest News


Kitchen Trends 2020 – Tips to advance your home into the roaring ’20s

Photography: Thornton Design

In 1949, the U.S. Department of Agriculture developed a full research project around what it described as “A Step-Saving Kitchen.” YouTube it, it’s pretty awesome…but technology, trends and how “the farm homemaker” (or urban millennial) uses the kitchen has evolved greatly since then. So, where does one start and how do you filter the noise? We sat down with our team to break down the main kitchen trends we are implementing in 2020.

Jim Cunningham, Architectural Technologist from Eurodale Design + Build, Interior Designer Laura Thornton from Thornton Design, and Jimmy Zoras from Distinctive by Design, all shared key elements being recommended for consumers. These experts routinely guide homeowners in two crucial areas of the kitchen – functionality and style – so we posed three key questions for them (and you) to consider when crafting the perfect kitchen for this new decade of food storage, preparation and the social interactions connected to food.

Firstly, what is the single most critical design feature you try to convince clients to include in their kitchens?

JC ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN: Incorporate more receptacles, with integrated USB ports for connecting devices. Backsplash, under cabinets, sides of islands, counter pop-ups, even inside drawers – you can never have enough. Lastly, always rough-in for water to the refrigerator, and a future pot-filler over the range to future-proof the space.

LT INTERIOR DESIGN: Kitchen islands are a great addition to any kitchen, offering extra seating and storage. If size allows, instead of one large island, we prefer dual islands. They are a fantastic way to increase traffic flow while expanding a kitchen’s function, dividing between meal-prep island and a serving island or additional seating island.

JZ KITCHEN DESIGN: Specialty hardware adds real-life functionality. Automatic Servo Drive mechanisms for doors and drawers, pull-out drawers instead of doors, cabinet door-lift systems and corner-cabinet hardware (magic corners and Lemans units), these are all great investments for easy cleanup and access.

What do you feel is the outgoing or passé trend (style or function-based element)?

JC: Gold knobs. Some things should remain in the ’80s, if only for historic preservation.

LT: Goodbye boring subway tiles and say hello to slab backsplash. Eliminating grout eliminates maintenance. In addition, a vertical-run slab adds show-stopping drama.

JZ: Dark-stained cabinets are a thing of the past as we are using more natural wood as accents for cabinetry to make the kitchen pop with a statement.

What is the next hot thing that will find its way into new kitchen designs for 2020 and beyond?

JC: Contrast is back. Now we see a flip to three-tone colouring and wood uppers with painted lower cabinets. Light blue is making a splash as well vs. the navy that has been prevalent the last five or six years.

LT: Concealed hood fan covers. The unexpected use of metals, marble or quartz, stained wood, tiles and even shiplap has become a way to cover the hood fan for a sleek and clean overall esthetic. Material, texture and sizes are changing the face of this long-ignored kitchen element.

JZ: Black-powder coated metals for exposed tubing and framed open-shelving with wood accents. Stone is also a big item now for full-height backsplashes as well as accent pieces such as hood fan covers as a vertical stone show like an art piece.

Lastly, the biggest thing to remember is that kitchens are now multi-faceted spaces that allow for almost everything you could otherwise do elsewhere in the home (excluding sleeping and washroom facilities, thanks). Sizes of homes in urban settings are shrinking and the kitchen has evolved into a space, which is constantly visible, not excluded from the rest of it. Built-in banquettes, eat-in kitchens, desk spaces and multi-use elements are allowing families the ability to congregate in one main room to remain connected to each other vs. ducking away into private rooms with their personal devices. Housing affordability is also shaping these spaces as in many bachelor condos, the kitchen is open to the combined family room and bedroom, so concealment of storage, prep items and appliances is essential. Whatever the square footage, we are sure that the design team’s suggestions of functional storage, hardware selection, texture, colour, millwork elements and tone integration as well as multi-use islands are all critical features for a modern kitchen to kick off the new decade.

When planning your own kitchen in a new home or renovation, remember there is real value in working with a professional to design and build the space. Function is as important as form here, and planning your search at renomark.ca, the home of the professional renovator is a great place to start looking for help.

Brendan Charters is a Founding Partner at Design-Build Firm Eurodale Developments Inc., the GTA’s only four-time winner of the Renovator of the Year award.

@eurodalehomes

416.782.5690


SHARE  

Featured Products