was successfully added to your cart.

Monthly Archives: January 2015

4 DIY Projects to Avoid

By | Bathrooms, General Contracting, Home Renovations, Ottawa, Professional Tips, Uncategorized | No Comments

Part of being a good DIY-er is being realistic about your own skills. Avoiding the following projects will protect you from costly errors that will affect the integrity of your home:

Window Replacement

Your windows are not only a design element for your home’s exterior. They also play a key role in keeping your home warm and dry. It might seem simple enough to pop out the old windows and install the new ones, however there is much that can go wrong with window installation starting with the proper measurements. You will have to special order your windows and if you measure wrong this can be a very costly mistake. Very few home improvement stores will allow you to return special order items such as windows. The next issue is improper installation. Poorly installed windows can lead to multiple issues from poor insulation to leaks that can lead to structural issues and even the growth of black mould.


You have probably seen roofers tearing the shingles off of neighbourhood homes and thought that doesn’t look so hard. However roofing is not only highly detailed work, it is also highly dangerous. Much like windows, roof replacement is a huge job that requires the job be done correctly to avoid costly damage to your home. As well roof work is very dangerous and can lead to serious injury with one misstep.

Structural Changes

One of the main concerns with structural changes is that it can lead to serious issues in a day, or years from now. When knocking out walls you have to understand how it will affect the overall integrity of your home. Whether you are working in the basement, creating an open concept main floor or want a larger master bedroom, it is best to leave structural changes up to the pros.

Electrical Upgrades

If you figure you are going to upgrade that old knob and tube wiring in your home or add a few more circuits, leave it to the pros. Electrical wiring can cause a fire quicker than you can flick a switch. Without a clear understanding of the proper codes to follow you can make some serious errors in judgment that could literally burn your house down.

When it comes to your home, safety should always be your first priority. If you are considering any of the above projects call a contractor and discuss your options.

3 Tips to Spotting Foundation Problems

By | Foundation, Ottawa, Winter | No Comments

If your house has foundation problems you can experience problems both inside and out. Here are three tips to help you spot foundation problems in your home:

Interior Problems

Inside your home you will notice a number of issues that will be easy to spot. First you will notice issues such as doors and windows that are always jamming or that can’t seem to latch properly. You might also see cracks in your walls. This is usually more noticeable above doors as well as windows. You can also see them where your ceilings and walls meet. If you have concrete floors beneath tile or vinyl there can also be cracks appearing in your floor coverings.

Basement Problems

Inside your basement you can find some telltale signs you have foundation problems. One sign is a musty smell that can be caused by dampness seeping through your foundation. You might also note a chalky, crumbly substance on your basement walls or brown staining that looks rusty. Cracks can appear in your walls or floor. This can be harder to spot in a refinished basement. However if you see signs of buckling or mould on your drywall this can also be a sign you have seepage issues.

Exterior Problems

If you do notice any of the above basement or interior issues take a walk outside your house. Look at the foundation and see if you can spot any obvious damage. If you see hairline cracks appearing between concrete blocks do not be too worried about these as they are common and can occur for any number of reasons. What you do want to worry about is L-shaped cracks which might require repairs. They are not major but if left unchecked could lead to leaks. They are usually the most noticeable at steps if your home is built into a hillside for example. Bigger concerns include stair step cracks which might appear with bulging. Cracks wider than a quarter of an inch can also be dangerous.

The worst cracks are horizontal. Horizontal cracks are an indication you have water saturation occurring when the soil freezes. This can force the foundation to break leading to serious leaks and water damage.

Take a walk around your house in the spring and fall to watch for signs of problems. This way you can be proactive in addressing issues before they become serious.

Five Renovation Ideas for 2015

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

2015 promises to be the year of interesting textures on walls, ceilings and floors. Here are five renovation ideas to help you update your home with these exciting 2015 home design trends:

Stretch Ceilings

Stretch ceilings create architectural detail with a modern edge. The coffered ceilings of recent years are being replaced with a contemporary design detail available in a number of finishes and colours. This easy to install ceiling uses a series of frames and tightly pulled materials in the colour and texture of your choice. They allow for interesting lighting features as well as make it easy to access ducts and other electrical details without the need for messy tear downs. It is the perfect simple solution to cover unpopular “popcorn” ceilings without the need for scraping and dusty drywall jobs.

Open Shelving

You can create interest on walls using open shelving. Open shelving adds levels and texture as well as much needed storage space. You can opt for open shelving instead of the claustrophobic look of upper cabinets in the kitchen. Display colourful plates and state of the art small appliances or create interesting collections of pottery or antique copper cookware. You can use open shelving for books, electronics or thoughtfully placed art and objects of interest in any room in the home.


Textures are popping up on every surface from floors to walls and even backsplashes. Some textures are designed to mimic the natural marring found on stone surfaces. These interesting honed textures are being added to the once smooth surfaces of backsplashes and countertops. You can also create texture using fabrics and textiles, wallpaper or specialty paint treatments.

Accent Walls

Accent walls create a focal point in a room but can also add interest to boring or awkward areas. You can paint a wall at the end of a hall in a distinct colour or apply an interesting wallpaper. Alcoves can be made cozier in interesting areas such as bay windows with the addition of a warm or vibrant colour.

Wood Paneling

This isn’t your parent’s wood paneling found in the rec rooms of the 70’s, instead it is rich and natural to create interesting focal points on major walls in the home. Look for interesting V angle installation to give real wood paneling a modern twist.

These ideas add simple updates to your tired home to create a fresh, new look for 2015.