Month: March 2017

Renovation Contractor Hiring Tips

Renovation is the process of improving a structure. Two prominent types of renovations are commercial and residential. Before embarking on any renovation, it is good to look at some renovation contractor hiring tips to not only avoid con artists but also get the best contractors. Renovations can involve home modifications like stair glides, handicap modifications for disabled people, basement remodeling and renovation or business premises modifications like office space renovation. Whether one is a professional do-it-by-yourself genius or a homeowner, there comes a time when one needs some professional home building or renovating. The renovations may range from simple home modifications like bathroom renovations and remodeling to complex ones like porch lifts and elevators.

Depending on the complexity of the project at hand, the contractor chosen will be spending some time in or around the renovation premises for familiarization. Preferably the contactor should be local, since they understand the law governing the area on buildings and renovations. For instance for a person living in Toronto, it is advisable to find a Toronto home renovations company for building or renovating purposes. When looking for a renovation contractor to do some building renovations, beware of owner-contactor matchmaking services that advertise the contractor members having been pre-screened, verified or certified with valid licenses. They can be misleading to the owner who can be allured by the false sense of security. One should know for instance, the difference between a certified and a registered contractor.

A registered contractor is registered with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation after accomplishing several competency requirements in some jurisdictions, thus can only work within the certified jurisdiction. When hiring contractors for building or renovating, one is encouraged to check the validity of their insurance, licenses, bonding and other essential credentials. Check out the references provided and enquire on recently accomplished tasks similar to the one at hand. This will give an impression of how the work might be once completed. Get the names of previous clients of the contractor in question contact them for information. It is wise to ask several questions before settling for one. Some of the facts to consider are whether the contractor is open to communication during the whole duration of the project and if the contractor can keep the owner informed on the project’s progress. Others include whether the workers will work promptly and if they clean up the site after each day’s job.

It is also wise to consider if the project will be completed on time and if there will be any unnecessary delays. It is advisable to look for recommendations from previous satisfied customers as well. If possible, one should visit the contractor’s former project to see the way building or renovating work was carried out. In Toronto, Ontario, Mississauga and other parts of Canada, numerous contractor companies perform a wide range of additions and renovations. Generally Toronto home renovations involve painting, cleaning, roofing among a host of other building renovations. There are also Toronto renovation internet sites that … Read More

How to Do Simple Kitchen Improvements

One of the more popular renovations to the home is Kitchen Improvements. People often like to revamp their kitchens. It is always a good idea to seek expert advice in order to get this kind of job done.

There is a variety of ways in which to get ideas about how to get this done. Look at people's kitchens when you visit them, browse the Internet, buy magazines and there will be a wealth of ideas from which you can make decisions about revamping this room. Even chatting to the DIY and kitchen supply stores will give you a lot to think about.

You need to do some sums before embarking on this. You will want to work out fairly how much you need to do the job you want. There is nothing worse than running out of money half or three quarters of the way through the job. Once you have arrived at a figure then cut that by about ten percent, this way you are sure to keep within budget.

Once the budget has been sorted out, then put pen to paper and design what you want this room to look like. You could even build a small model of what you want it to look like.

The cabinets will need the most consideration, as this is probably the most costly item in renovations of this nature. If you do not have a lot of money to spend then refinishing them might be an option to consider.

Appliances for the kitchen are also very important. Functionality and style are considerations to be made. The appliances should not only look good in the kitchen, they also need to be functional and practical. Kitchen Improvements can be exciting, however you need to do your homework and ensure all your sums are correct. … Read More

Renovations Gone Bad!

It was not all that long ago that I just finished a bathroom renovation that had gone bad from the very start.

These very nice people had there basement finished by a couple of friends that used to work for GM. OK it was cheaper but what a mess!

They stopped them before they finished the bathroom, that was the best thing they ever did.

When I went to to there home in Thorold Ontario I started to poke around. They said they stopped them before they went any farther because we thought they did not know what they where doing.

They mentioned that they had put drywall up and they did not even realize where the shut off valves were. I started to take the drywall down.

Let me start by say WOW!

After removing just a couple of sheets I noticed that the bathroom was framed with that new aluminum framing. OK that is not that bad but, I always use wood for framing, especially in bathrooms.

They ran all the wires through the framing without using any grommets. They also had copper pipe running through the framing just with a little duct tape around them no grommets either.

You could see the metal was already cutting through the wires and the copper. You might say this would have been a problem in the future!

Let me start by giving you an example of what could have happened. Sean the home owner or his wife might have went and took a nice long shower. The wires that had no grommets makes a connection making the whole bathroom become live.

Then you have a copper pipe start to leak Now you got electricity and water making a connection. What do you think would happen to the person in the standing shower. Instant ground dead by electrocution.

Good thing these people decided to give me a call. They already wasted enough money so I had them buy all the materials and I just charged them the Labor of around $4,000.

The rest of the bathroom was just as bad, 0% of the insulation was installed, all the copper pipes were on the outside walls. Not to mention they where running in from of 2 vents to the outside that where not even sealed.

No insulation in the headers. The upstairs window was leaking through the wall down the side right behind the drywall they already installed.

This might be starting to sound like a little to much but it is all true. I have witnessed many times people trying get there renovations cheaper ending up only paying more in the long run.

Maybe people that wish a cheaper renovation should just call me first or visit my website at We do travel and we also just do labour jobs!

If you feel your renovation job has gone bad or you did not get what you payed for I would be more than willing to help.

I do jobs like … Read More

What Kit Homes Are Really Worth

Every day, you hear people talking about kit homes and how they are going to be the property of the future. You watch on the news how they are the affordable alternatives to traditional home-building and how easy they are to assemble by yourself since they have an instruction manual included when they are delivered to your preferred site.

While it may seem easy to build your own kit home, about as easy as assembling and putting together a jigsaw puzzle, not everything is as it seems on the outside. They may look cheap and affordable up front, but if you take the time to delve deeper, you’ll realize that it is not the case. They are definitely more cost-efficient than your traditionally-built homes because they come to you already pre-cut, pre-measured and pre-designed but that’s just the smallest tip of the iceberg as far as costs are concerned.

It all seems to be peachy when you add up the costs of building them compared to a home built with traditional developers. But first off, you need to know that while the price tag is actually much lower, that only covers the kit home shell. You still have to install the fixtures, from the plumbing, to the cabinets and to the lights. The general rule of thumb is that the total cost of a kit home package makes up about a third or a fourth of the total cost of a completed kit home.

This is because kit homes are a unique project. The costs will vary and depend on several factors like location, how you customized it with the manufacturer, whether you want to build it yourself or hire a contractor, and of course, the finishes, furniture, appliances and the protection you put into it, for instance, if you are building in an area that is prone to bushfire like adding steel shutter to the windows and wrapping the entire framework in fire-resistant materials. From a basic $55,000 to $60,000 adding these accoutrements can set you back at least $500,000 when you’re done with everything. Of course, let’s not forget the permits you need to get as well, as well as the land, labor and utilities which are not included in the package cost.

So technically, you don’t save any money immediately but rather, you see the savings once you’ve started living in your kit homes. You also realize the savings once you find that certain things have already been laid out for you, like the walls, the roofs and the floors and the time saved because the company already pre-cut, pre-measured and pre-assembled them for you. And because time is money, you’ll find that kit homes save you about 37% in labor and man hours as compared to building a home the traditional way. Plus, kit homes are a lot less wasteful since no lumber or timber needed to be sawed on the premises. Another great benefit is that you can make slight modifications at little or no … Read More

CaesarStone Proud to be Sole Countertop Provider for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year

CaesarStone, the original quartz surface manufacturer, will once again be a part of House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year. This is the second year for the unique installation, which is set in New York City’s Rockefeller Center.

The first year saw CaesarStone’s countertops in Misty Carrera (4141), which were one of the focal points of the room. This year the company is proud to be adding their Raven (4120) countertop surfaces to this exciting dream kitchen.

The Barefoot Contessa is pairing with the project this year. Ina Garten, Food Network’s Barefoot Contessa, best selling cookbook author and House Beautiful Contributing Editor will be adding her unique design and lifestyle.  This year’s design will be inspired by Garten and designed by Robert Stilton.

The Kitchen of the Year will be open daily from Monday, July 20, through Friday, July 24 (2PM – 4PM on Monday and 9AM – 5PM the rest of the week. Each day, tours and demonstrations on everything from kitchen design to product sampling will be offered. A complete schedule of events can be found by visiting the Kitchen of the Year at

About CaesarStone

CaesarStone is the original quartz countertops & surfaces manufacturer. The company is headquartered in Southern California with offices in Los Angeles, CA; San Francisco, CA; San Diego, CA; Seattle, WA; Miami, FL; New York, NY and Atlanta, GA.  CaesarStone produces premium quartz surfaces, complementing any design application, from traditional to contemporary, for both home and commercial applications. CaesarStone products are available through kitchen and bath retailers, fabricators, architects, designers, builders and distributors nationwide.

Offering a lifetime warranty, their countertops are nonporous, stain, scratch and heat resistant. CaesarStone has earned the respected Good Housekeeping Seal from Good Housekeeping Research Institute in addition to ISO 14001 (environmental management system), ISO 9002 (quality management standard), GREENGUARD certification, a member of USGBC (The U.S. Green Building Council) and NSF (public health and safety) certification.

Disclaimer: This blog or article is for information purpose only, and should not be treated a professional advise or price protection guarantee. This blog is mainly used for search engine optimization and other commercial purposes and it is advised that readers seek professional consultation in the field of interest for more information.… Read More