When it comes to renovations, we always advise our clients that they are renovating their home for themselves, not for the next person who may purchase the home down the road. Choosing to renovate because you think it will yield more money when selling the home isn’t always a good strategy. Why? Because the person…

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“How long does a renovation take?” is a question we have often been asked over the years, and our response is always, “there are two parts to the process – the planning stage, which includes design and the building permit, and the construction stage.” This article discusses how long it takes to plan a project. …

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This past Sunday, we were at BILD’s Destination Renovation at The National Home Show in Toronto, volunteering our time to answer homeowners’ questions about renovation projects.  During the course of the day, we spoke with a few homeowners who were planning a house addition or significant renovation this year, and were already working with an…

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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 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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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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  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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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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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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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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