Tag Archives: renovations

What you should know before digging in

What you should know before digging in

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What you should know before digging in

I have many prospective clients reaching out to me at this time of year, with lofty renovation goals and big dreams that their efforts will pay off. A home renovation can indeed offer a great return on investment – unless it’s not done correctly from the get-go.

The most important piece of advice I can offer is that this isn’t the time to start skimping. If you can’t do it right, don’t do it. Maybe put it off until your budget meets your needs. Cutting corners to save a few bucks will end up costing you more in the long run, because you’ll likely end up having to pay again to repair or redo the work.

Renovations can be daunting territory for many, and there is no doubt that this process can be overwhelming. Selecting materials, sourcing products (and making the right decisions!) and executing the project is a dance best left to a professional. A designer will perfectly choreograph your renovation project without missing a beat, and you can bet that there will be many beats in this process. When the renovation is complete, most of my clients agree that the result is worth the effort and temporary inconvenience of it all.

Now, before you get too excited about what will undoubtedly become Instagram-worthy interiors, let me give you another important renovation tip: Be realistic. Be realistic about the project (is your plan even possible?), the process (how long will it take, and what will it all entail?) and the price. Here are some things to keep in mind before you dig in.

1. There will be dust

Prepare yourself for the general feeling that you and everything you own will be a little dirty. All. The. Time. This also lasts months after the renovation wraps, as the dust quite literally settles. Cover your vents with plastic and turn off the furnace and air-conditioning systems in advance, to avoid circulating dust throughout your home.

2. There will be disagreements and compromises

Inevitably, you and your housemate/renovation partner will have different priorities. I ask my clients to prepare separate lists, each noting their own needs and personal preferences. Then we can put them side-by-side and find the commonalities. Compromise on the small stuff is easier when we feel like we agree on something big – usually, a functional and fabulous space.

3. There will be (costly) issues

Especially in residential construction projects, you need to plan ahead and budget for any number of wonderments that may be found lurking behind the walls. Set aside 20 per cent of your budget as a buffer zone. I typically keep this amount “in the bank,” and when the project is nearing completion and I can see that we’re in the clear, I can reallocate the remaining amount for splurges appearing on my clients’ wish list.

One or two less-than-ideal byproducts accompany most renovations, whether they come in the form of construction dust or budget-busting “surprises.” However, by enlisting the right professional and planning well in advance, you can minimize the negative impacts of a renovation and maximize the positive.

Andrea Colman is Principal of Fine Finishes Design Inc..

With almost two decades of reno and design experience, her full service firm serves clientele throughout the GTA.


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The Party Project

If you want a major renovation to be completed in time for a holiday party, think again

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If you want a major renovation to be completed in time for a holiday party, think again

The global calendars are set around the end of the year. Across all religions, the holidays or holy days are virtually the same every year (within reason) and yet each year – sometime between the end of summer (read Labour Day) and December 1st, we seem to lose a few critical months in our minds. The day Halloween is over in Canada, the shops and malls start playing holiday music, parties begin to fill our calendars through to New Year’s Eve, before we even digest our Thanksgiving meals. Just like that, another year has passed!


When thinking about a big party to footnote a large addition, renovation or custom home project, our first piece of advice is to stop, and not do it if it is at all tied to a rigid date like a religious holiday, birthday, graduation or worse… wedding day! Sure, some of us work better under the pressure of a deadline, and having a firm date can truly help spur things to happen quicker (or when they should in the first place), but keep in mind that residential projects are fluid beasts that can twist and turn as a result of a series of relatively uncontrollable factors.

The perfect project — right up until the thick Fibre optic cable was uncovered where the addition was designed to sit, adding over a month to the project.
Photography by Valerie Wilcox (After photo), Nikolas Koenig (Before and During photos.)

Permit backlog

Projects start with design, but most projects require review and approvals from some municipal regulatory body. In busy cities across this province, those time frames have been lengthening and have become increasingly unpredictable. In Toronto proper for instance, it is not uncommon for a large addition and renovation project to require anywhere from a few months up to two years to obtain approvals required to start construction, depending on the rules which govern the property and the proposed project.

Nature delays

Forecasting and scheduling handcrafted builds is also unlike the highly measurable work undertaken in a controlled factory setting. Although prefabrication is increasing in many tract-built sites, it has yet to make inroads successfully into smaller, single infill or remodel sites. What may look perfect on paper, rarely translates perfectly to the field. For example, hidden surprises like soil conditions, asbestos, or archaeological finds can only show up once things start on-site. Likewise, weather can impact delivery of materials, as well as production rates of workers until a structure is closed in and at least watertight. In Ontario, as in much of Canada, we undergo blistering heat in the summer and bone-chilling cold in the winter – both have impacts on the pace and safety of workers on-site, which in turn affect productivity estimates. From one year to the next, temperatures and precipitation rates can vary tremendously and are unpredictable at best.

Not to mention, most firms that take on single family projects are small businesses, hence with small teams. Anything from illness and injuries to vehicle breakdowns, life’s curveballs impacts the number of people who show up to work on a site any given day.

The project schedule was railroaded upon discovery of what lied beneath. The house was situated atop cinder and ashes from a former adjacent rail line.
Photography by Will Fournier

Rebates & supply-demand chain

Suppliers of materials are very susceptible to market forces when it comes to being able to supply goods that are desired or required. A busy marketplace can become infinitely busier and almost unmanageable when government initiatives are rolled out, such as rebate programs (remember GreenON and the impact on window manufacturers?), as well as economies, which purchase supplies from us such as our friends south of the border (remember the Gulf War and the impact on plywood?). Tariffs and trade wars, as well as market prices of commodities can all affect availability of items you plan to put into your home.

Lastly, as the consumer, we must also appreciate that our own lives can get in the way. Domestic challenges can quickly require much more attention, as well dependents and work commitments can delay our scheduled plans to select finishes or review project details that the contractor may require from us.

Realistic timelines

The construction project road is nicely paved with good intentions. It’s important that we are all realistic about the time it takes to build what we are planning. It’s also very helpful to look into the project rear-view mirror. Ask your architect, designer and builder what similar projects took to undertake, and ask for client references to confirm those time frames. Each project is also unique in its own right and deserves a custom schedule. A generous site with a new-build custom home can be undertaken in less than six months, whereas a tight urban addition and renovation project that includes underpinning could easily take upwards of a full year to build. We recommend creating two schedules – with a two-month gap between them. Have your project partners work towards the tighter target, and you plan for the one with the two-month padding and hope that you are able to meet somewhere in the middle. If either of your targets arrive within a couple of weeks of the holidays, resist the urge to mail out party invitations, unless it’s a painting or moving party, as the odds are…something will have impeded the project completion. Why add that stress to anyone’s plate as part of a dramatic construction project?

Thinking of undertaking an addition, renovation or custom home project? Start your search at RenoMark.ca to find a professional design-builder to help undertake the full project from initial plan, through design, approvals and final construction. You’ll be glad you did.

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.


(416) 782-5690


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A dated Toronto west end home becomes a dream home, inside and out

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A dated Toronto west end home becomes a dream home, inside and out

Renovations are a fact of life for many GTA residents, including this family of five and their post-war compartmentalized home. The difference was their backyard and pool. Their existing three-bedroom home had a 1980s coffin-shaped pool backing onto a cemetery, which became a fun family joke. Renovation must-haves for this family were to maximize the current footprint and to create a backyard, pool and outdoor space that interacted with the kitchen to make this a perfect pool-party house.

There were four key players that would make this dream a reality: Altius Architecture, BonaVista Pools, Paragon Kitchens and builder Dave LePrevost of LePrevo Design Build. These four businesses worked together with the homeowner to transform the dated house and backyard into a modern, sleek, four-bedroom home with a new 40-ft. lap pool and gorgeous 300-sq.-ft. pool house, which functions on weekdays as the owner’s office and on weekends as an alternative entertainment space for spill-over from pool parties.

How was this accomplished?

Maximizing the footprint

From the initial design phase, the family wanted to focus on the backyard as they love to entertain friends and family. This meant sacrificing the main-floor footprint in order to devote more space to the backyard and pool. Renovating every square foot of space, however, is quite costly. Altius Architecture worked with the homeowners to save square footage wherever they could. One major space-save solution was the use of Crowdertrack, sliding/pocket-door hardware. The house has 30 interior doors and only one is a traditional swing door. Altius used many different Crowdertrack applications – from pocket doors and concealed panels to fancy three-door come-along systems. With each application of a sliding door saving nine sq. ft. of space, these doors resulted in a gain of almost 300 sq. ft. This extra square footage came in handy upstairs, where the family now has four bedrooms, two baths and an upstairs laundry room in this jam-packed 30 by 30 footprint. The couple also installed sinks in each of the girls’ bedrooms in order to take some pressure off the main bathroom and to save everyone’s sanity as these kids move into the teenage years.

The kitchen

An open-concept main floor was paramount for this family. The main floor space needed to be a continuation of the outdoors and vice versa. The colour scheme of the house, blacks and greys with accents of light woods, gave rise to a bold, black kitchen with a gorgeous marble-like countertop.

Black kitchens are tricky. The homeowners consulted with Paragon Kitchen Designs to help bring their vision to life. The kitchen designer introduced them to quality products that were low-maintenance, forgiving and built to withstand the wear and tear a family of five would put on a kitchen. The Miralis cupboards use nanotechnology and are scratch-free and fingerprint-free – a must. A marble finish can be extremely stressful for homeowners who don’t embrace a patina look. These homeowners love their coffee and their red wine. The Paragon kitchen designers suggested a low-maintenance countertop by Cambria, which gives the marble look with a lifetime stain-resistant warranty.

Hardware was carefully thought out in this kitchen, with specialty hardware from Richelieu, including Silgranit sinks and faucets, and custom black fridge pulls from Upper Canada Hardware to nearly conceal the integrated fridge. The white oak quarter- and rift-sawn hardwood floors are the perfect backdrop for this killer kitchen.

The pool

This family isn’t new to pools. The pre-renovated house had an existing vinyl pool, which the young family loved, but it was showing its age. As the kids grew older, the homeowners recognized that the pool was a mainstay of their home. They decided to reach out to BonaVista Pools to help design a custom concrete pool that would grow with the family – yesterday’s kiddie splash pool would be tomorrow’s custom lap pool.

BonaVista Pools worked with the homeowners on the overall design, placement, luxury features and also the permitting, which was challenging due to neighbouring trees. A concrete pool means customization of such things as shape, depth, water colour and jet placement – the sky is the limit with concrete. The couple decided on a simple rectangular design, 40 by 10 ft., with custom stairs tucked in the corner, allowing plenty of space for doing laps and flip-turns.

Automation to ensure low-maintenance was another important function for the pool. With the help of a saltwater system, efficient heating and a special vacuum, the pool pretty much takes care of itself.

This backyard is also phenomenal at nighttime, with its fence lighting, stake lighting and hotel-style bollards that illuminate the walkway. And the piece de resistance is the pool LED lights, which give this backyard a real nightclub vibe for when a random dance party breaks out.

Photos: Tessa Linden


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Bathroom makeover, coutry style

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Bathroom makeover, coutry style

Photography By Kerri Torrey, Larry Arnal

When it comes to design, country can mean different things to different kinds of people. From barnhouse details to all things wicker and antique, country style is as vast as the landscapes it is inspired by.

Here we have two designers, Megan Crosbie and Evelyn Eshun, who have taken two very different approaches to a country esthetic to make their spaces more contemporary and unique. Whether you lean toward a slicker version of country, or you’re looking to freshen up a more traditional room, these bathroom updates are sure to give you plenty of inspired ideas.

“Contemporary country” is how designer Megan Crosbie describes this bathroom, which features a combination of updated traditional elements, natural details and modern whimsy.

When the owners of a farmhouse in Erin, Ontario, decided to renovate their master bathroom, they called on Crosbie, who had already designed other areas of the rural home and was familiar with their modern style and their wish to maintain some of the original feel of the traditional home.

“The key to contemporary country is keeping things simple,” says Crosbie. “Clean lines and not too many things competing, then adding little details that reference back to country.”

Traditional elements

One of the traditional features used throughout the farmhouse is beadboard wainscotting. Crosbie carried this into the bathroom redesign by incorporating beadboard into the fronts of the cabinets, by Fox Custom Woodworks. White subway tiles from Saltillo were also used to mimic wainscotting on the bathroom walls, giving the room a traditional feel with a modern twist.

One of the “must-haves” for the client was a clawfoot tub, says Crosbie, who sourced the Victoria + Albert tub from Taps Bath, and paired it with a faucet from Rubinet. “The tub is really traditional, the clawfoot is one of those things that just feels really authentic in a country bathroom,” she says.

Modern finishes

Contemporary simplicity was introduced through a black-and white colour scheme and this gives the space a clean, bright feel. Black, textured metal on mirrors (Restoration Hardware), sconces (Schoolhouse Electric), faucets and towel bars add an industrial feel to the space that’s also very of the moment.

The heated slate floors, in a large-scale chevron pattern, also from Saltillo, provide a modern foundation to the room. Tiles on a shower shelf, also in a chevron pattern, tie into the floors for a cohesive, elegant look.

“I like the play between traditional elements and modern ones. It perfectly suits the home, the homeowners and the space,” says Crosbie.

Natural details

With lush nature surrounding the farmhouse, Crosbie decided to bring some of the outside in by incorporating the colour green along with the black and white.

“I think green has really turned into a neutral — much to my delight — and in what can be a cold, more sterile space, it gave us the opportunity to warm things up,” says Crosbie. “It also helped to avoid falling into the more contemporary and very popular black-and-white bathroom trend.”

To balance the seriousness of the space, Crosbie chose a whimsical roman blind from Christopher Farr Cloth, sold at Kravet, featuring vines, much like the ones growing outside the farmhouse and barn.

“It really completed the space for me,” says Crosbie, “as it worked so beautifully with the vanity, and offered that softness we were lacking with all the hard elements in the space. It acts like a piece of art in itself, without being too formal or stuffy.” A match made in contemporary country heaven.

“Rustic refined” is the look designer Evelyn Eshun came up with when she was brought in to design a main floor bathroom in a brick bungalow near Port Perry, Ontario. While the homeowners love the clean and simple lines of contemporary design, they also wanted welcoming country undertones to suit the rural location.

“The goal was to create a space that felt textural and warm while embracing the simplicity of a minimal design esthetic,” says Eshun. “The clients wanted to embrace the fact that they live next to a forest, yet they wanted to be current in their expression of their lifestyle.”


In the bathroom, a vanity by custom builders Tacoma Woodworks sets the tone for the city-meets-country space. The vanity, which is highly durable, mimics the look and feel of real wood, yet features clean, flat, contemporary lines. For storage, an asymmetrical tower cupboard was added to the design.

The textured feel to the room continues via a solid granite sink from Art Bathe and black hardware from Berenson on the cabinets, which complement the dark grey Caesarstone countertop.


On the back wall, striped wallpaper, from Crown Wallpaper, is also textured, and, like the vanity, is also very durable — it’s made from vinyl that won’t be damaged by water.

“My client wanted the space to be comfortable and low maintenance but to also have personality and character,” says Eshun.

Golden glow

To elevate the rustic feel of the space, Eshun added touches of brass throughout the room. A mirror with an antique brass trim from Renwil was chosen, along with other coordinated accessories — including a brushed brass soap dispenser, tissue box and small decorative dish — giving the room an elegant feel. For the floors, 24″x 24″ limestone tiles from Tycos Tile were chosen for easy maintenance and a coordinating gold tone.

“I like the juxtaposition of different materials — the rough wood-looking vanity with the sophisticated warm, brushed metal — it makes the space so much more interesting,” says Eshun.

All in the details

Another goal for the space was to include as little white as possible, and that extended into the inside of the drawers, which are covered with gunmetal grey drawer liners from Bloom.

Attention to detail also applied to the lighting: two pendant lights from Union Lighting were hung on either side of the feature wall mirror for a symmetrical look. “It’s sophisticated but also provides a balanced light,” Eshun explains.

With its metallic accessories and rustic, wood-themed cabinetry, the room has a unique style and polish to it that’s not out of place in the country.

Indeed both bathrooms, thanks to their integrated design and thoughtful touches, showcase contemporary stylings and traditional design for truly inviting, statement-making spaces inspired by the homes’ natural surroundings. Country chic indeed.

Catalina Margulis can’t wait to renovate her master bathroom into the ensuite of her dreams. Until then, she satisfies her cravings for marble floors, spa-like showers and photoshoot-worthy tubs with decor articles showcasing the hottest looks and trends. As a magazine editor and writer for The Globe and Mail, Flare and Elle Canada, among others, she has covered everything from fashion, beauty and travel to health, food, decor, business and parenting. When she’s not working on her latest assignment, she’s chasing after her four young children and writing her first novel.


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Living in place and timeless design with Linda Mazur

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Living in place and timeless design with Linda Mazur

Annually 1.5 billion dollars is spent on new home builds, condo builds and renovations. When you’re part of the demographic that spends you need to invest your money wisely. Linda Mazur discusses the importance of designing your home to work for you for many years to come.


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30 year old condo gets the ultimate facelift

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30 year old condo gets the ultimate facelift

Photography by Gillian Jackson Photography

Updating and renovating any home is a daunting task. My clients loved the size of their condo, but after 30 years, it was showing its age. They liked the two bedroom layout, but the kitchen was looking shabby with it’s original cabinets and appliances. Not only was it windowless and closed off from the living area, but the fluorescent, Florida ceiling cast a gloomy light. Together we transformed the entire suite from dated to daring.

Luxury is all about adding small details that collectively amplify the feeling of glamour and sophistication. – Jane Lockhart


If there’s one thing that I’ve learned about renovating an apartment condo, is that it’s best to treat it like a bandaid and take it off all at once. When you’re dealing with noise, demolition, elevator disruptions and deliveries, it just makes sense to do it all at the same time.

We asked for, and received, all the appropriate permissions. Then, we began the months-long renovation process. Once we took the walls, floors and drop ceiling back to the concrete, we were able to get a good look at what we could (and couldn’t) do.



Because you can’t install lighting into concrete ceilings, we strategically added coffered ceilings to house new LED recessed lighting. In the now-open-concept kitchen and entryway, instead of trying to blend the ceilings, we added trim to make it a feature. Now, the entry virtually sparkles with a full mirrored wall, sconces and a delicate chandelier.

Multi-patterned tiles in travertine and onyx added a reflective quality. We added crisp trim moulding to the flat panelled entry door and painted it a dramatic black.


With the kitchen now open to the living room, it was important to create a cohesive living space with complementary surfaces and materials. Hardwood flooring was installed in a diagonal pattern to add visual interest in the living room, kitchen and bedrooms.

We opted to forgo upper cabinets in the kitchen. Instead, we used glass tile in a stacked form, and had the stainless steel range hood custom designed as a sculptural element. The art deco insert on the apron sink is a wonderful feature, as is the horizontal detailing on the glossy, Macassar wood cabinetry. A white stone counter tops off the island, and black is used on the perimeter counter. For dining, we chose a warm, wood finish for the table and rich, velvet fabric for the counterheight chairs.


High-gloss black barn doors house dishware and collectables. And guests now dine in comfort without being in a closed in room.

The living room features an electric fireplace in a book-matched, chevron-patterned tile. With black as the accent colour, we added lush textiles. Here, black is mirrored in the edges of the sofa, and the black cabinets are accented with a touch of the kitchen cabinetry wood. The look is carried throughout to add an element of drama, and as a backdrop to decorative pieces. Silk pillows and the plush velvet chairs add texture and shine, as well as the shimmery band around the border of the custom-made rug.


Moulded trim was added to the walls to create balance, and to add symmetry with the artwork. A silver coffee table added just the right amount of splash, along with other mixed metals. Luxury is all about adding small details that collectively amplify the feeling of glamour and sophistication. You don’t need to renovate to achieve this, so start with adding some luxurious elements into your own home.

Jane Lockhart, B.A.A.I.D., is a multi-award winning designer, author and television personality. Jane Lockhart Interior Design janelockhart.com


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AT HOME WITH MEN AT WORK: Constructive Construction

AT HOME WITH MEN AT WORK: Constructive Construction

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AT HOME WITH MEN AT WORK: Constructive Construction

by Craig Essery
Photography: Bigstock.com

Steps you can take to speed up your home reno project

Remodelling is always a big undertaking. Whether you’re redoing a single room or embarking on a full-home addition project, understanding the renovation process ahead of you and doing your part to prepare for any foreseeable obstacles is sure to save you time and headaches—many headaches.


Arguably, the most important stage in the reno process is the planning phase. As a homeowner ready to commit to renovating, it’s crucial that you have a clear vision of what you want to get out of your renovation, and that you do your research before hiring a contractor. Start with making a list of what it is that bothers you about your current home; take your time with this and really consider what you want to achieve from the renovation. Do you need more space? Do you want an open-concept layout? Do you need to plan for a growing family? Decide what features are, and are not, negotiable. Next, do your research before hiring anyone. You want to understand the process that’s ahead of you, and handpick the best company for the job based on what’s required for your home. Remember that experience brings efficiency, so it’s important to find a contractor who has plenty of experience working in your neighbourhood with your type of house. For projects requiring substantial design and project coordination, consider hiring a Design-Build company to service the job from start to finish. Design-Build companies tend to have all the trades and services you will need either vetted or in-house, making the process more efficient.


Although it may seem like a given to have your finances fully in order before signing with your contractor, it’s more common than you’d expect for projects to come to a complete halt, after construction has already begun, due to a lack of finances. Being transparent and clear with your contractor and design partners, in terms of what your main objectives are, and what you’re willing to invest in order to achieve them, is extremely important. Transparency will give your contractor the information they need to ensure that your expectations are realistic for your budget.


Relocating your living quarters, be it to an entirely new location or just a different part of your house, is inevitable during a renovation. Talk with your contractor to determine the best plan of action and work together to make the best of that decision. If you decide to fully move out during construction, push the contractor to shorten the timeline slightly; if you decide to relocate to a different part of the house, determine where the best area is that won’t cause delays and jeopardize the project schedule.


Contractors provide homeowners with a project schedule prior to beginning any work on the home. After the design phase has been completed, your contractor will generally provide you with an updated schedule for the upcoming construction phase; however, any changes that are made after exiting the design phase will result in increased costs and an extension in the project timeline. Avoid mid-project changes and don’t exit the conceptual design phase until you’re 100 per cent sure you’re happy with the plans.


Aside from cost, the main hesitation people have for remodelling their home is time. They envision themselves being victim to uncomfortable living conditions for months, or years, on end; and, while living conditions during a major reno varies from project to project, homeowners are right to be concerned about the lengthy period of time they’ll be subjected to these conditions. It almost always takes longer than expected to complete a renovation, so that’s why thorough planning and having realistic expectations will help mitigate the delays and frustrations that are bound to happen along the way. Depending on the size of the renovation, a typical home in Toronto will take a full year to complete from conceptual design to move in; and if it requires attention from the Committee of Adjustments, add another three to six months.

Specializing in home additions and major home renovations in old-Toronto neighbourhoods, Men At Work Design Build provides integrated engineering, design and professional construction services to help solve home space problems for Toronto families.

Craig Essery is a Renovation Consultant at the award-winning, two-time winner of the BILD Renovator of the Year award, 2012 & 2017, design-build firm.


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Industry Expert: Prepare to Succeed

Industry Expert: Prepare to Succeed

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Industry Expert: Prepare to Succeed

by Bryan Tuckey

Preparation is key to managing disruptions during renovation

Almost every renovation project will come with some disruption to the homeowner, but there are a number of things that you can do to minimize the disarray.

Some people don’t want to live in an active construction site and opt to vacate their homes and live elsewhere for part of, or the duration of their renovation. However, for most people, living elsewhere for several months is not financially viable, so they must find ways to live in a home under renovation.

Planning ahead and preparing your home, your stuff, your family and yourself, are important steps you can take to minimize the disruption.

As part of the overall planning of your renovation project, work with your renovator to devise a project plan that best accommodates you and your family, and always be sure to work with a professional RenoMark renovator.

BILD created the RenoMark program in 2001 to help homeowners differentiate professional renovators from underground contractors. RenoMark renovators abide by a Code of Conduct, which includes providing written contracts that carry at least $2 million in liability insurance and offer a minimum of two years warranty on all work. You can find a RenoMark professional at renomark.ca.

Photography: bigstock.com
Photography: bigstock.com

Talk to your renovator about your household’s daily schedule, any vacations that you have planned, or any special circumstances that need to be accommodated so that they can be factored into the work plan and schedule for your project. That way, particularly disruptive or messy parts of the project, such as refinishing hardwood floors, can be arranged for when you are away or can make alternate, short-term living arrangements. And busy on-site work times can be aligned with your family’s schedule so crews won’t be hammering away while you are trying to feed your kids breakfast.

Make sure you discuss which parts of your house will be impacted by your renovation project. Depending on factors like plumbing and wiring, your renovator and work crews may need access to more than just the immediate area being renovated.

Clean out the areas that will be impacted by the renovation and consider temporarily removing valuables such as art, from other parts of your home that could be impacted by vibration. Depending on the scale of your project, you might want to rent storage space nearby, or bring in a portable storage container. If you are storing things in boxes, be sure to label the boxes with an inventory. That way when you need something, you can find it.

Make a plan for how you will live in your home while it is under construction. Kitchen renovations can be especially challenging. Figure out where your temporary “kitchen” will be and what you need to make it work for your family.

Plan and stock up on meals that can be easily prepared in your temporary kitchen. Look at how you might be able to utilize your small appliances and your BBQ when you don’t have access to your oven. You will likely be without running water in your short-term kitchen, so make sure you consider how you will clean up after food preparation and wash dishes.

When you encounter trying moments, and you probably will at some point when you are living in a home under construction, just think about how great your remastered space will be or what it will be like to cook in your new kitchen.

Bryan Tuckey is president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association and a land-use planner who has worked for municipal, regional and provincial governments.

Follow him on Twitter @bildgta, facebook.com/bildgta, and bildblogs.ca.


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Property Brothers want you!

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Property Brothers want you!

The Emmy-nominated Property Brothers — starring twins Jonathan and Drew Scott — is now casting in York Region and North York its next season in the fall of 2017.
We are looking for:

  • Fun, interesting and opinionated people who want to renovate a fixer-upper
  • Interested candidates must live in the GTA and be moving to or moving within North York or York Region.
  • Must have a minimum renovation budget of $100,000.
  • Must have financing in place, ready to spend.
  • Candidates must be flexible and available for up to 10 days of filming, staggered over seven weeks.

Benefits to being on the show:

  • Homeowners receive $20,000+ value towards their renovation.
  • All renovations will be complete in seven weeks.
  • All budgets include not only construction of three to four rooms, but also furnishings, appliances and all the bells and whistles in each fully designed space.
  • Expert design and construction help from Jonathan Scott and his team.

Anyone interested can apply directly on our casting website: https://propertybrothers.castingcrane.com


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Five Steps to a Successful Renovation for your Home or Condo
Are you planning or do you have questions about renovating your home or
condo suite? Don’t miss this FREE seminar – “Five Steps to a Successful

This presentation features two experienced, professional RenoMark™
renovators who will provide the five steps you can take to achieve a
successful renovation. Hear from professional renovators who work in
the renovation market every day and get the tools to help you renovate
with confidence.

Whether you are making modest changes or transforming a space into your
dream home, renovating can be an exciting and rewarding experience by
taking the time to plan the project carefully.

Plan to attend:

Doors Open: 6:30pm
Time: 7:00 – 9:00pm
Location: 20 Upjohn Street, Toronto (York Mills and Don Mills Road area)
Space is limited

Click on the date below for more information

May 16, 2017

June 20, 2017


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