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Monthly Archives: December 2014

6 Common DIY Mistakes

By | Design Inspiration, Ottawa, Professional Tips, Renovations | No Comments

The renovations Ottawa homeowners plan often include some DIY projects that can lead to some common mistakes including:


It is very easy to under-budget your DIY projects. This is because you consider only the cosmetic aspects of the job. For example if you want to do your flooring you look at the cost of the hardwood or laminate but not the cost of additional materials required to install them. As well it is easy to miscalculate measurements which can lead to huge underestimations on the materials required. It is also common for a DIY project to spin out of control. You might see a tile that is loose and decide to replace it only to find you damage other surrounding tiles and have to do the whole wall.


The DIY reno always takes longer than you think You look at your kitchen cabinets and figure you can paint them white in one weekend. However you don’t realize that sanding takes time as well as priming. Once you get to what you think is the final step for your top coat it ends up taking three coats for each cupboard door. Suddenly your easy weekend project takes months because you just don’t have the time to complete the project.

Require Skills

Unfortunately watching a video on how to install tile is not going to give you the required skills to complete the project. It is easy to think you can handle the job without any issues. However once you start into the project it becomes a sloppy mess that isn’t going as planned. Most DIY projects require a certain level of knowledge and skill the average homeowner just doesn’t possess.


The renovations Ottawa homeowners undergo require the proper tools to do the job right. Even something as simple as cutting a tile can be impossible without the right tools.

Improper Prep

Many DIY-ers skip steps to save time and money. However without the proper preparation you can completely ruin a project. From skipping the sanding to not using a primer on wood before painting, missing a step can lead to disaster.


Measure twice and cutting once is very important if you want to save time and materials.
It is always tempting to take on DIY projects to save money. However the renovations Ottawa homeowners require are often better left to the professionals to avoid costly mistakes.

5 Unique Renovation Ideas

By | Design Inspiration, General Contracting, Home Renovations, Ottawa | No Comments

If you consider yourself a unique person your home should reflect your individuality. Here are five unique renovations Ottawa homeowners can consider for a truly customized look:

Utilize Your Stairs

One of the biggest wasted spaces in your home can be found beneath the stairs. Create a cozy reading nook just like Harry Potter for yourself or the kids by adding a banquette style seating area with an overhead lamp and plenty of pillows. You can also look for unique storage ideas such as shelving or pull out drawers for extra shoes, coats and backpacks. Another good use for that little area is to build a workspace for your computer.

Baseboard Kitchen Drawers

Kitchen storage space is always at a minimum. A new trend is to build drawers into the baseboards beneath kitchen cabinets. As long as you are spry it offers easy access to any number of items. You can store cookie sheets, frying pans and muffin tins or lesser used items such as fancy table linens.

Pumped Up Shower

Luxurious showers seem to be replacing the soaker tub in modern bathrooms. Consider an easy to clean walk in shower room sans the high maintenance glass doors and walls. Look at installing curved seating where you can lie down and enjoy a steam shower. Look at high end shower features such as programmable faucets or music and lighting.

Platforms and Sunken Spaces

In rooms with higher ceilings consider adding a platform with a storage space below. Platforms work well in awkward spaces with interesting window configurations in turrets or sun rooms. You can also do the opposite and opt for a sunken living space with steps leading down into a comfy seating area. This is very retro and was a popular design feature in homes in the 60’s and 70’s.

Retractable Window Wall

Install a retractable wall of windows at the back of your home. You will bring in natural light and have a lovely view of your garden area. Accordion style patio doors can open up the entire back area of your home for access to your backyard. This is great if you back onto a natural forest or conservation area. It is also perfect if you have a pool or do a lot of summer entertaining.

The renovations Ottawa contractors provide can customize your home to reflect your personal taste and lifestyle.

Why You Should Consider Stretch Ceilings for Your Home

By | Ottawa, Professional Tips, Renovations, Stretch Ceilings | No Comments

The stretch ceilings Ottawa contractors offer can make an impressive impact on the look of your home. Stretch ceilings are a specialty ceiling mounted on a track and fitted directly over the existing ceiling. Here are a few reasons you should consider them as an addition to your home:

Easy Installation

The stretch ceilings Ottawa contractors install use an easy installation process that requires no effort on your part. Your furniture and other belongings can be left where they are during the process. They are simply installed using tracks that are fitted around the perimeter of the room and the ceiling is then mounted on the track. There is no dust or debris making it a worry free, easy installation.

No Additional Steps

Stretch ceilings don’t require additional messy steps. That means for additional installations such as light fixtures and sprinklers as well as accessories and alarms they are all easily attached to the ceiling using the background support system. All of the wiring and parts are well hidden leaving your ceiling seamless and beautiful.

Modern Look

The stretch ceiling has a contemporary look that is ideal for modern homes. It is exceptionally sophisticated and can be installed in a number of colours to suit your sense of style.

Popcorn Ceiling Cover Up

The stretch ceilings Ottawa contractors install are the perfect solution to cover up those unsightly popcorn ceilings found in many older homes. There is no messy scraping, dust or the need for materials such as drywall and plaster.

Safety and Warranty

Stretch ceilings have a Class 1 Safety Rating and also come with a 25 year warranty. They not only look good but also will retain their look, shape and colour. They are fire, water and moisture resistant unlike drywall and plaster that shows damage even with the smallest of leaks.

Environmentally Friendly

Stretch ceilings are environmentally friendly and are made of recyclable materials. Their installation does not release any dust or particles into the air and does not require any harsh chemicals.

Acoustics and Insulation

Stretch ceilings increase insulation as well as increases acoustical comfort to reduce noise in the home.
Easy Adaptability and Access: Unlike drywall if there is need for repairs or changes to existing pipes or ductwork there is no need for messy tear downs and replacements.

Stretch ceilings are the perfect option for a modern look with worry free installation and long-lasting beauty.


Fixing Up a Fixer Upper

By | Home Renovations, Ottawa, Professional Tips | No Comments

The general contractors Ottawa homeowners hire understand what it takes to change a diamond in the rough into your dream home. When you are considering fixing a fixer upper here are the most important things to factor into the mix:


Remember that the first step in fixing a fixer upper is buying one. This will take up a huge chunk of your overall budget. You have to ensure the following:
• The cost of the home is greatly reduced from fair market value
• The investment required to upgrade the home will make sense when it comes to the new value of the home in regards to the current housing prices in the area
• The cost of the home and the investment required for renovations combined do not exceed the allotted budget for your overall home investment


Your budget will be different from your investment in your fixer upper. You have to make sure you have enough money to cover all of your renovations and include a slush fund. Renovating a fixer upper often leads to unexpected issues that are revealed once work is underway. You will need the budget of the estimated costs plus an additional 5 to 10 percent to cover any additional upgrades that might be required.


The best way to avoid unforeseen costs is to have a thorough inspection of the home before you buy it. This will reveal some of the less obvious issues so you can factor them into your renovation budget. You can then decide if it is worth it if you discover major repairs are required such as structural issues. These costs will eat into your remodeling plans and make it difficult to create your dream home.

The Right Renovations

Consider where you should invest your efforts in order to get the best possible ROI. The best paybacks for renovations tend to be bathrooms, kitchens and cosmetic updates such as hardwood floors. Other good investments include exterior upgrades such as roofs and windows. Research before trying to add on to your home. For example the cost to add an extension for a new bedroom or living room will not be worth the investment. However an additional bathroom will bring in twice your investment.

The general contractors Ottawa hires can offer a realistic estimate for fixing a fixer upper and help you create your dream home.