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Renovation Information

Stay Or Move During Renovations?

Stay Or Move During Renovations? Several years ago we had an initial meeting with a young couple who were planning a second storey house addition and main floor renovation.  They asked if they could live in the basement of the house during the project.  Our answer was: “Absolutely not!”  We were ultimately selected to design…

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Choosing A Designer

Choosing a Designer At least once a month, we get a call from a homeowner who is planning a renovation or a house addition project, and are already working with a designer or an architect.  They are dissatisfied, and they want us take over the design work for their project. How can homeowners avoid coming…

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Home Backup Generator Options

The prolonged power outage caused by the recent ice storm has created significant interest in backup power generators for the home.  The City of Toronto’s policy to increase the number and size of trees, along with aging hydro poles and wires, suggest power outages will become more common.  For those running a business in a…

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Lowering A Basement: When Does It Make Sense?

  We’ve had several homeowners contact us in recent months, with the idea of lowering the basement floor in their house to create more liveable space in the basement.  As always, they ask us if it is a project that makes financial sense. First, let’s start with a definition.  Lowering a basement floor, or underpinning,…

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7 Great Online Renovation Resources

In a few short years, the internet has changed how homeowners approach home renovation projects.  From looking at pictures for ideas, to searching online to find a reputable renovation contractor, the internet is a great resource to begin planning your renovation.  Below we have listed some of the best online renovation resources that are available…

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New WSIB Insurance Requirements in Construction

Starting January  1, 2013, WSIB rules regarding the construction industry have changed.  WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board) provides insurance coverage for workers who are injured on the job. Insurance coverage in the construction industry has always been mandatory, with the exception of executive officers (ie: company owners) who did not have to have insurance…

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Why Homeowners Don’t Get Building Permits

Most of our projects involve building permits. We’ve always built with permits, and we encourage homeowners to get a permit if one is required.  But every year, we meet homeowners who choose not to get a building permit for their project, for various reasons. Here are the common reasons why homeowners don’t get permits, and…

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5 Reasons For Change Orders

On home renovation and house addition projects we work on, we start the project with a clearly defined scope of work, and on larger projects, a set of architectural drawings.   As the work on the project progresses, there may become a need or a desire to deviate from the original plans and scope of work. …

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Building a Legal Basement Apartment

Homes with basement apartments are popular with many homeowners due to the income potential.  However, creating a legal basement apartment isn’t as simple as finishing a basement for personal use.  And just because a home already has a basement apartment, it doesn’t mean it is a legal basement apartment. By definition, a legal basement apartment…

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Keeping Your Renovation Project On Budget

For every renovation or construction project that is completed on budget, there is another that goes over budget.  Budgeting is not difficult, it is probably one of the easier aspects of a construction project. As we look at our past projects, there are key elements that determine whether a project will be completed on budget,…

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