Tag Archives: Renovation Contractor

rc_contest_feb2019_fi

New contest – introducing the wow factor

Latest News


New contest – introducing the wow factor

rc_contest_feb2019_3

They say that change is good. With that in mind, we think it’s time to change up our back page contest. Back when we launched the magazine we had “The Doh! Moment,” featuring readers’ on-the-job mistakes and the lessons they learned from them. Later, we had “Problem, Solved!” which featured readers’ ingenious workarounds to some of those little issues that constantly crop up on jobsites. And back in the February/March 2016 issue we introduced, “Work Smart, Not Hard,” that acknowledged the many ways readers have figured out to most efficiently go about their day.

rc_contest_feb2019_1

In the February/March 2019 issue, we’re introducing our latest back page contest: “The Wow! Factor.” These are those situations you walk into and say to yourself, “Wow, what were they thinking?!?What’s the worst thing you’ve ever stumbled upon on a jobsite? And how did you fix it? Share your story (and some photos if you have them) and you could win a great prize.

rc_contest_feb2019_4

Email your suggestions to Managing Editor Allan Britnell (allan@renocontractor.ca) or snail mail them to “The Wow Factor,” Renovation Contractor magazine, 37 Sandiford Dr., Ste. 404, Stouffville, Ont., L4A 3Z2.

rc_contest_feb2019_2

SHARE  

Featured Products


HPG video

VIDEO – HOMES Publishing Group celebrating 34 years in 2019

Latest News


VIDEO – HOMES Publishing Group celebrating 34 years in 2019

HPG video

A new year is always exciting, and as 2018 comes to a close and we look forward to 2019, HOMES Publishing Group prepares to celebrate its 34th year in business next year!

From Homes Magazine to Condo Life, to Reno & Decor, Renovation Contractor and Ontario Design and more, HOMES Publishing is the leading publisher of award-winning home related publications and digital products.

Whether you’re searching for a new home or condo, or planning a renovation and decor project, we can help. Check out our video:

SHARE  

Featured Products


rc_may9_2018_1

Spring Has Finally Sprung

Latest News


Spring Has Finally Sprung

Well that was a long winter… As I’m writing this, here in Toronto we’re experiencing the first string of double-digit temperatures in a row since some time last fall. It was a long one but (knock on wood) I think we can finally say another Canadian winter is behind us.

Unfortunately for most contractors, that also means busy season is upon us. The same goes for the team that brings you Renovation Contractor. While they were busy wrapping up the second issue of Building Excellence, they were also pulling together RC’s June/July issue. Articles in that edition will include a profile of an award-winning deck, the latest and greatest exterior finishing products, great industry insights from our guest columnists, and a lot more.

As always, we love to hear your thoughts on what you’ve seen in the magazine, and ideas you would like to see. Send your stories and suggestions to our managing editor, Allan Britnell: allan@renocontractor.ca.

Sincerely,

Jim Caruk

SHARE  

Featured Products


Michael Rosset named to BILD Hall of Fame

Michael Rosset named to BILD Hall of Fame

Latest News


Michael Rosset named to BILD Hall of Fame

HOMES Publishing Group founder joins ‘illustrious industry leaders’ in BILD Hall of Fame.

Michael Rosset, the founder and publisher of HOMES Publishing Group, was named to the Building Industry and Land Development Association’s (BILD) Hall of Fame during the Chair’s Dinner on January 31, 2018.

Michael Rosset, centre, with Darren Steedman, left, and David Wilkes of BILD.
Michael Rosset, centre, with Darren Steedman, left, and David Wilkes of BILD.

“Last evening I had the extreme and unexpected honour of being inducted into the BILD Hall of Fame,” Rosset said. “They acknowledged many contributions and achievements. But please know that I share this honour with all of my current staff and those who have previously been a part of the HPG team.”

Rosset has been a member of BILD since 1985, served two terms (four years) on the board of directors, was the Member of the Year in 2008, won the Riley Brethour Award in 2016 and helped found BILD’s Builder Baseball charity event.

As well as publishing HOMES Magazine, Condo Life, Active Life, RENO & DECOR, Ontario Design and Renovation Contractor, HPG also produces a special attraction at BILD’s home shows called “Design Intervention,” produces the BILD Contact Member directory, produces the official guides for the BILD home shows, has donated hundreds of pages of editorial and promotion space to BILD, was the founding sponsor of the BILD Renovation and Custom Builder Awards and is a Silver Sponsor for BILD. In 1985, Rosset created HOMES Magazine, the first regular new home magazine in Canada and the first real alternative print vehicle for the GTA market.

“I am deeply humbled by this honour, to be joining so many illustrious industry leaders and pioneers in the Hall of Fame. For 33 years, it has be a joy to work in an industry with so many entrepreneurs and mavericks who embrace and celebrate new ideas and solutions. The support and friendship over the years has been extremely rewarding.

“And of course, none of this would have been possible without the fabulous team at HOMES Publishing Group, who make all things possible.”

During the Chair’s Dinner, other awards were handed out. Jon-Carlos Tsilfidis, president of Fairside Homes and Renovations, won Member of the Year and Corey Libfeld of the Conservatory Group won the Chair’s Award of Merit. As well, Rodney Ikeda of GSNH LLP, George Przybylowski of Construct Canada, Steven Hurst of Yellow Sheet Analytics, and Allan Steedman of Schaeffers Consulting Engineers were named to the Hall of Fame.

The HPG team, from left, Sonia Presotto, Amanda Bell, Jessica MacInnis, Michael Rosset, Frances Mangos, Trish Sutton and Josh Rosset.
The HPG team, from left, Sonia Presotto, Amanda Bell, Jessica MacInnis, Michael Rosset, Frances Mangos, Trish Sutton and Josh Rosset.

myhomepage.ca


SHARE  

Featured Products


Reno Expert: Think Small

Reno Expert: Think Small

Latest News


Reno Expert: Think Small

by Jim Caruk

Condo and tiny-home dwellers need to find compact or multi-tasking appliances and furniture

A couple of years ago, I wrote about the growing trend of tiny houses: Residences that are only a few hundred square feet in total, often built on wheels. Cost-effective, yes, but not very practical for most people.

But even with the recent decline in housing prices, the average detached home in Toronto still goes for more than $1-million, and semi-detached homes aren’t far behind. As a result, for many people, condos have become the default starter home.

Another recent trend has been that the condos they build today keep getting smaller than the ones built in the past. While some of Toronto’s older condos have three bedrooms spread across 1,200 sq.ft. or more, most new condos are one-bedroom or bachelor units crammed into half that space, or less.

PRODUCTS THAT MEASURE UP

All of which adds up to having to think compact—or multi-purpose—when renovating small spaces. Luckily, appliance manufacturers have recognized this trend and are making products to fit the bill. And condo-sized doesn’t have to mean no-name, budget offerings. Home-chef favourite, Wolf has 24″-wide ovens and induction cooktops in its lineup, while Bosch boasts an 18″-wide fridge.

Other appliances are true multi-taskers, such as Panasonic’s four-in-one 1.2-cu.ft. stainless-steel oven that combines steam, convection, microwave, and grill cooking all-in-one built-in unit. There are also two-in-one washer-dryers that handle both tasks in one unit.

Even the kitchen sink can be a multi-tasker. Kohler designed its Prolific sink with small spaces specifically in mind. The 33″ x 17¾” basin comes with five accessories, including a bamboo cutting board and a dishwasher-safe colander, all of which you can store right in the sink basin when not in use.

JIM’S PICK

I recently toured Panasonic Canada’s office and showroom to check out their lineup of products. Perfect for a small space and out-of-view storage are these revolving racks that can hold up to 56 pairs of shoes.

https://go.panasonic.ca/storageandorganization.html

 

 

 

CAPTION: photography courtesy of Panasonic

MURPHY MAKES A COMEBACK

Efficient use of space extends beyond the kitchen. People of my generation may remember Murphy beds as a part of the punchline from old black-and-white comedies where someone gets folded up into the wall. But by saving (extremely) valuable floor space during the day, Murphy beds have again become a popular and practical sleeping option.

And it’s not just beds that tuck away. I’ve seen sideboards that fold out into extra serving space, dining tables with extensions that slide away when not in use, and closet organizers that can hold dozens of pairs of shoes in a relatively small space. Finally, don’t forget the space that sliding pocket doors can save.

Designing and furnishing a small space requires careful planning. But if it’s done right, you can really live large.

Jim Caruk, Renovation Editor

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?

Email editorial@renoanddecor.com


SHARE  

Featured Products


Building Excellence

Building Excellence

Latest News


Building Excellence

HOMES Publishing Group launches new official magazine of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) in association with HOMES Publishing Group (HPG) is proud to announce that, beginning in 2018, Building Excellence is the new and official national magazine of the association.

Reflecting the dynamic energy and innovation that are the hallmarks of CHBA members, Building Excellence will provide wide ranging and timely insight into all aspects of the residential construction business. From new technology and products, to business and financial management, to marketing and sales.

CHBA shares a commitment with HPG to make Building Excellence the must read journal covering the home building, renovation and development industry in Canada.

HOMES Publishing Group is Canada’s leading source of home-related and award-winning magazines, web sites, newsletters and their 33 years of experience working within the industry will help ensure that Building Excellence is the most valued print information resource for CHBA’s members.

HPG also publishes HOMES Magazine, Condo Life, Active Life, RENO & DECOR, Renovation Contractor, and Ontario Design, as well as acting as the publisher of the Building Industry and Land Development’s (BILD) membership guide, the Durham Region Home Builders’ (DRHBA) membership guide and the programs for the National Home Show, GTA Home & Reno Show and the Toronto Fall Home Show. HPG and Renovation Contractor are also producers the annual Renovators’ Roundtable, a three-day trade show.

With a circulation of over 12,000 and anticipated readership of well over 25,000, Building Excellence is the only business magazine distributed to all CHBA member-companies, from Newfoundland to British Columbia.

HPG has exclusive access to the association’s member database, ensuring new members get this great resource as soon as they join.

CHBA is very pleased to be working with experienced and talented staff at HPG in this next generation of the magazine, which is sure to be extremely popular with its members, both in hard copy and online.

CHBA member companies build more than 80 per cent of all new homes in Canada, develop new communities from coast to coast to coast, and represent the professional home renovation industry.

MyHomePage.ca

CHBA.ca


SHARE  

Featured Products


Reno Expert: Home Organization

Reno Expert: Home Organization

Latest News


Reno Expert: Home Organization

by Jim Caruk

Organized and orderly rooms not only look good, they’re good for you

I hate seeing a mess. On a jobsite, piles of trash and jumbled materials aren’t just an eyesore, they’re a safety hazard for me and my crew.

The same goes for around the home. Mounds of junk spilling off of every surface is a tripping hazard, and scientists have shown that messy spaces actually stress us out.

But shoving everything into cupboards and drawers isn’t an efficient solution. As they say, a place for everything and everything in its place.

KITCHEN PLANNER

When designing a kitchen, there’s usually a fair bit of wasted or under-used space in a corner cabinet. People usually figure they’ll put bulky countertop appliances at the back, and only pull them out when needed. But, left out of sight, they’re usually not top of mind and get forgotten about. Instead, I recommend investing in some sort of swinging, lazy Susan-style shelving so you can pull out the items from the back, making them more accessible.

photography: bigstock.com
photography: bigstock.com

Whether you bought them from a big-box store, or had them custom-made, most kitchen cabinets come with adjustable shelving. But most people tend to set them up when they first move back in, then never change them again. I’d say it’s worth taking an afternoon to play around with your dishes and pantry items to see if you can set up the shelving more efficiently.

BED, BATH, AND BEYOND

Closets tend to be the great dumping ground in the house. That’s why there are entire companies dedicated to closet organization. But if consultation fees just aren’t in the budget, there are a number of (pardon the pun) off-the-shelf options that any reasonably skilled DIYer can install.

Nobody likes a cramped, cluttered bathroom. One way to save a bit of space is to install a wall-mounted toilet, where the water tank is hidden between the studs. A vanity mirror that opens up to a recessed shelving unit is a no brainer. And, of course, a small shower stall takes up a lot less room than a shower–tub combination.

If you’re sticking with the tub, consider building some shelving into the space at the back —away from the showerhead—so you can store towels, shampoo, and other toiletries.

Finally, don’t forget the space you may be wasting in the utility room. You may have room for some wall-mounted shelving, or a stand-alone unit that you can use to organize cleaning supplies, bulk bags of toilet paper and paper towel, or even non-perishable pantry items.

PARKING PAD

I’m always amazed how many people have garages that they can’t actually park a car in, because they’re crammed full of junk. Often, all that’s needed is a little bit of shelving and some planning to better utilize the space.

One of the bulkiest items we store in our garages is a set of winter tires. Rather than eating up a corner of the garage, invest in a wall-mounted rack so you can get them off the ground and out of the way.

Bicycles can also eat up a lot of floor space. But not if they’re hung from hooks in the ceiling or on the wall.

Buying a simple PVC storage shelf is a great way to organize your garden tools, leaf bags, flowerpots, and so on. And a couple of hooks screwed into the studs are great for keeping shovels and other long-handled tools organized and off the ground.

Not up to the task of designing your own garage storage? In Renovation Contractor magazine, we recently profiled a small company, Nuvo Garage, which specializes in organizing garages. The owner, Rick Scully, has worked on everything from adding a few shelves to tidying up a small, single-car garage, to a complete $80,000 garage makeover.

Jim Caruk, Renovation Editor

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?

Email editorial@renoanddecor.com


SHARE  

Featured Products


HPG celebrates 32 years of publishing excellence

HPG celebrates 32 years of publishing excellence

Latest News


HPG celebrates 32 years of publishing excellence

It was on November 13th, 2017 that HOMES Publishing Group held their 32nd Anniversary Party at Marlowe’s Restaurant in Richmond Hill, with over 350 guests coming to raise a glass to mark the special day.

“It was wonderful to see so many friends out to help us celebrate our anniversary,” said publisher Michael Rosset. “That is a lot of years for an independent magazine company, and we are grateful for the phenomenal support of so many wonderful clients and the millions of readers over the years who have looked to us to help them choose their new home.”

HOMES Publishing Group’s publications include HOMES Magazine, Condo Life, Active Life, RENO & DECOR, Renovation Contractor and Ontario Design.

MyHomePage.ca

HPG's Michael Rosset, Leanne Speers, Trish Sutton, Amanda Bell, Jessica MacInnis and Tony Loria.
HPG’s Michael Rosset, Leanne Speers, Trish Sutton, Amanda Bell, Jessica MacInnis and Tony Loria.

Mark Cullen, contributor to Reno & Decor and Leanne Speers and Tony Loria of HPG.
Mark Cullen, contributor to Reno & Decor and Leanne Speers and Tony Loria of HPG.

Amanda Bell, Cobi Ladner, Silvana Longo and Jessica MacInnis of HPG.
Amanda Bell, Cobi Ladner, Silvana Longo and Jessica MacInnis of HPG.

Bryan Tuckey, BILD, and Michael Rosset, HPG.
Bryan Tuckey, BILD, and Michael Rosset, HPG.

Michael Rosset, Silvana Longo, Ani Bogovic of Dekla Developments, Jessica MacInnis and Fay Splett of HPG
Michael Rosset, Silvana Longo, Ani Bogovic of Dekla Developments, Jessica MacInnis and Fay Splett of HPG

Trish Sutton, Michael Rosset, Hope McLarnon and Jessica MacInnis and HPG.
Trish Sutton, Michael Rosset, Hope McLarnon and Jessica MacInnis and HPG.


SHARE  

Featured Products


Reno Expert: It's a GREAT BIG World

Reno Expert: It’s a GREAT BIG World

Latest News


Reno Expert: It’s a GREAT BIG World

Photography: bigstock.com

by Jim Caruk

Building techniques vary from country to country

Anyone who has done much travelling around the world knows that building practices can vary from country to country. I recall an item we ran in Renovation Contractor magazine a few years ago about lax safety standards on jobsites. It included images of guys working from ladders that were stacked on top of other ladders, scaffolds made of lumber stacked on top of oil barrels—with bricks to level things off and, my favourite, a guy with a hardhat strapped with a bungie cord to the top of his dreadlocks, a good foot away from his skull.

TIME ZONES

One of the guys I work with travelled around Southeast Asia with his wife for three months a few years back. In Bangkok, Thailand, there was a vacant lot close to the hotel they were staying in. When they returned to the city a mere six weeks later there was a fully operational eight-storey hotel on the site, complete with a bar and Internet café on the ground floor. Here, it would take that long just to get through the first round of building inspections.

Of course, it would be smug of us to think we always do better here. In Renovation Contractor, we have a regular feature called the “Recall Roundup.” In it, we highlight some of the many (many) tools, building materials, and household products that are recalled every month.

EURO-SMART DESIGN

Europeans have often been way ahead of us in terms of energy efficiency and water conservation. Tankless water heaters are rare here but all across Europe people have been using the space- and energy-saving units for decades.

AVAILABLE RESOURCES

Then there are renewable products such as bamboo that we just can’t grow here. But in Asia, contractors use it for everything from flooring and room dividers, to durable scaffolding for working on the exterior.

Styles and material choices even vary across the country. Here in Southern Ontario, access to raw materials and manufacturing facilities to create them have made brick the dominant choice for exterior cladding. But if you go out to the east coast, Cape Cod style wood siding dominates (see A Renovator’s Prerogative). Head out west and it’s common to see homes built with log walls and cedar shakes, something generally reserved for wealthy cottagers here in Ontario.

Jim Caruk, Renovation Editor

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?

Email editorial@renoanddecor.com


SHARE  

Featured Products


Reno Expert: A Renovator's Prerogative

Reno Expert: A Renovator’s Prerogative

Latest News


Reno Expert: A Renovator’s Prerogative

by Jim Caruk

Global design trends ultimately influence and update our taste here at home

When it comes to home designs, I’ve always preferred more traditional looks to modern ones. So much so that when I was building my own house, I opted for the Cape Cod style, sometimes also called the New England style.

One of the key features of Cape Cod design is the symmetrical look of the exterior, with equal numbers of windows on either side of the door.

This type of house often includes dormers to add living space upstairs on steeply sloped roofs. (The steep pitch is handy for shedding the heavy snow load common on the northeast coast of North America.)

The original builders used the materials that were close at hand and that typically meant wood. The roof is usually covered with cedar shakes and the exterior is clad in wood clapboard siding.

WARMING UP TO MODERN DESIGN

That’s what I’ve liked for years. But now I’m starting to really warm up to the real modern Scandinavian stuff, and I never thought I would. The lines are so clean: before the furniture goes in, the rooms are basically empty boxes with straight lines.

One thing to keep in mind when building in that style is that you have to have really good trades for all the finishing, particularly drywallers and painters, to do it right. Why? Because there’s nothing to hide the little imperfections. No crown moulding to cover up the joint where the walls and ceiling meet. No trim around the doors. Everything’s clean and bare, so mistakes leap right out. You have to be bang on with all your corners.


JIM’s PICK

 

Longboard’s Long Boards

A common feature in modern exteriors is large sections of contrasting materials. But wood will crack and swell. Instead, use these durable powder-coated aluminum panels with realistic wood finishes.

LongboardCladding.com

Photography courtesy of Longboard Cladding
Photography courtesy of Longboard Cladding

WHAT’S OLD IS NEW

What’s important to keep in mind is that styles and tastes vary over time. Take stucco on the ceiling. It was the default option in the 1970s and 1980s, in part because it covered up all those imperfections. Then, people couldn’t wait to get rid of it. A lot of contractors were kept busy removing or covering up stucco ceilings. Now, guess what? Stucco seems to be making a comeback. And, done right, it really is a work of art.

LUXURY DESIGN COMES TO TOWN

You look at a place like Dubai. This city, part of the United Arab Emirates, has become internationally famous for continually raising the bar on ultra-modern design. You’ve likely seen pictures of the Burj Al Arab—the sail-shaped hotel with a helipad on the roof—that occasionally doubles as a tennis court! Granted, most of us will never see the building in person, let alone stay in it, with rooms starting at about $1,500 a night. But some of the design elements from ambitious global projects like this eventually filter down to residential building here in Canada.

For example, designs that combine multiple elements such as stone, steel, and wood all together as part of a feature wall first started showing up in high-end hotels, then high-end custom homes. Slowly, they’ll trickle down to everyday homes.

A recent project we did was a condo loft. Everything was all open-concept with bare concrete walls. I really liked it. In the past, I probably wouldn’t have. Apparently people can change. Or at least change their taste in home decor.

Jim Caruk, Renovation Editor

We look forward to hearing from you and welcome your feedback. Do you have a reno or decor question for our team of experts?

Email editorial@renoanddecor.com


SHARE  

Featured Products