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Category Archives: Home Renovations

Flat Roofing

5 Reasons to Choose Renovations over Moving

By | Blog, Home Renovations, Ottawa | No Comments

Is your home cramped? Are you tired of staring at lime green kitchen tiles, you’re your home had a bathroom on the main floor, or terrified to go into your musty, unfinished basement? You have three options – live miserably in the status quo, renovate, or move.

If you are considering moving to a new home in your Ottawa, then you should take a moment to reconsider. Every year, millions of Canadians needlessly move in an attempt to find something better in their area, only to find themselves stressed financially and emotionally, regretting the decision. Before you close on a new home, let’s take a moment to review five reasons to choose renovations over moving.

The Financial Impact

Moving is an expensive proposition. Between real estate commission, lawyers’ fees, and any new furniture, appliances, décor, or random home supplies you need to buy, it gets expensive fast. Add in buying boxes and packing supplies, paying for movers and or renting a moving truck…it’s expensive. Now imagine you move in and discover the deck is structurally unsound and needs to be replaced. The roof has a leak. There’s mould growth in the basement. Dollars just pouring out of your pocket. Yes, renovations won’t be cheap, but they are worth every penny and every dollar goes to improving the look, feel, and value of your home.

The “Grass Is Greener” Phenomenon

It is not uncommon for people to see only the bad and none of the good when it comes to their current property. Frequent issues can sour us to home repair and the costs that come with it. Before moving, be aware of the “grass is greener” phenomenon. This is where we see something else as better, because we register only the good and the possible without fully acknowledging the challenges that will come with a new property.

A Lot Can Be Done With Your Existing Home

You can place an addition on the exterior of your home. You can consider an interior decorator to do a makeover on your home. You can turn spaces into livable spaces like a basement or an attic. You can knock down walls for an open concept renovation. You can create an income suite in the basement, a master retreat in the attic, or a charming coach house in the backyard. You can go modern, go retro, and let your personality shine. There are countless ways to improve your existing home and put in it the things you want from the house you are considering buying. A professional renovator can help make a lot of these changes possible.

Chance Of Being Burned (Existing Problems)

We skimmed over this in #1. There is a chance that you will face unexpected problems with the new home that the current owner is less than forthcoming with. Be aware that just because it looks good before purchase it does not mean that there are not serious things that may need to be addressed by you once you buy.

Moving May Not Satisfy The Underlying Issue

People sometimes move because they are dissatisfied with their current point in life and are looking for a change. Rather than spending a lot of money on a new home, consider instead the benefits of investing in what you have. Whether the investment is in the home or in you, saving money is guaranteed.

Consider Hiring A Professional

The secret to a successful home renovation is hiring a professional home renovation contractor that you can trust. With years of experience providing practical solutions to the problems you currently face, you will find the assistance of a professional to be invaluable. Whether they are simply providing guidance or doing the work they, you have a lot to gain by hiring their services.

 

stretch_celling

Transform Your Home with a Stretch Ceiling

By | Blog, Home Renovations, Stretch Ceilings | No Comments

If you want to transform the way that your home looks and give it that luxury high-end appearance that is in such demand these days, you are going to want to seriously consider moving forward with a stretch ceiling installation as your next home renovation project.

Stretch ceilings are red-hot right now. These home renovation projects used to be predominantly in the domain of high-end hotels, resorts, and spas. These days, these kinds of projects are working their way into high-end homes and more budget-focused properties as well – providing a tremendous amount of visual impact along the way!

Not only will you be able to transform the way that your home looks with the installation of a stretch ceiling, but you’ll also be able to increase its value as well. It isn’t at all uncommon for people to be able to add $10,000 or more to their property’s value with a simple and straightforward installation of a stretch ceiling.

At the same time, you’ll want to be sure that this is the right move for you. Take advantage of the inside information we outlined below to determine whether or not this is the kind of home renovation project you should be tackling in the first place!

What Exactly is a Stretch Ceiling Anyway?

Stretch ceilings are essentially a thin layer of PVC plastic or a fabric membrane that covers the entirety of your ceiling and is mounted into a track that goes around the room. This track is almost always “hidden” by crown molding, and the PVC plastic or fabric membrane overcoat “stretches” the look of your ceiling by providing a semi-reflective surface that makes it look like it goes on and on forever.

Just How Simple and Straightforward is a Stretch Ceiling Installation Home Renovation Project?

For the homeowner that hires the right home renovation contractor to install a stretch ceiling, the process is simple.

For starters, most rooms can have a completely finished stretch ceiling installed in a matter of hours – not days – and an entire house can be fitted with stretch ceilings in about two days (sometimes three).

Secondly, the right home renovation professionals are going to understand exactly how to work with this relatively new construction material and are also going to understand exactly how to shortcut the process to give you the results you are looking for in the first place.

What are the Obvious Benefits of Moving Forward with a Stretch Ceiling?

Outside of the obvious benefit of being able to dramatically transform the look of your home while at the same time transforming its value along the way, stretch ceiling home innovation projects also:

  • Provide you with a Class I fire safety rating
  • Have a 25-year manufacturer warranty
  • Are some of the most environmentally friendly ceiling materials available
  • Provide you with the ability to change the look of your home in just a few hours
  • Will not add any dust or debris to your home
  • Will not hold or harbuor odours, bacteria, moisture, dust, debris, or dander

That’s just the tip of the iceberg!

When you go with a stretch ceiling for your next home renovation project you’re going to be able to boost the value of your property. You will also be able to boost the overall look and feel of your property as well. If you want to go with a home renovation project that makes sure you love coming home every day, this is the one to move forward with! If you’re in the Ottawa area, and you want to make your favourite room, or entire house look and feel sophisticated and high-end, contact Lucas Contracting to receive a quote for a beautiful stretch ceiling.

The Framing Contractors' Experience

The Framing Contractors’ Experience

By | Framing, General Contracting, Home Renovations, Professional Tips | No Comments

Experienced framing contractors are trained in building frames for commercial and residential structures. As a home or business owner, you’ll need a proficient framing contractor like Lucas Contracting who understands municipal regulations, building codes, and mandatory safety regulations. Before hiring the framing contractor, do your homework and determine whether the contractor works closely with steel framing or dimensional lumber. More importantly, conduct additional research to determine whether the contractor is licensed in the field.

A skilled framing contractor certified within the construction industry will understand the essentials for building the ideal frame for your home or business. Continue reading to understand why hiring an experienced framing contractor is a crucial element of moving into your new home or office space.

Knowledgeable in Residential Construction

Knowing why experienced framing contractors are important can be as simple as understanding their work. An experienced framing contractor knows that building a frame for your home is a sophisticated task that requires extensive focus, patience, and attention to detail. While on site, the contractor will first install a sill plate which is often made of lumber and provides the bottom portion of a wall or building. Successfully constructing the sill plate is essential for building the roof, flooring, and walls. To prevent costly mistakes later, an experienced contractor will understand that each step in this process must be completed in order.

Upon completing these initial steps, the contractor will continue the framing project by installing exterior house boxing, subflooring, and roof deck sheathing. These next steps can only be completed successfully if the contractor possess the ability to understand architectural symbols, read blueprints, and coordinate effectively with the rest of the crew. Framing contractors experienced in residential projects typically work with single family, duplex, and multifamily projects as there are fewer units to work with.

Knowledgeable in Commercial Construction

If you’re a business owner, hiring an experienced framing contractor is equally important. Framing contractors trained in commercial construction typically build retail stores, manufacturing facilities, and occasionally large apartment complexes. Generally, only certified contractors hold the experience and credentials to complete these projects, however, all framing contractors must abide by municipal regulations.

A framing contractor’s work requires extensive knowledge and training in construction equipment. Tools and equipment include household maintenance items such as nails, screws, and hammers, which are worn on the contractor’s tool belt. More advanced tools include a variety of different saws, laser equipment, air-powered tools, and scaffolding equipment. As a home or business owner, these tools are dangerous to use without proper certification and training. Knowing how experienced framing contractors work and understanding their value is crucial.

For more information about framing contractors or to hire a professional and experienced framing contractor for your next project, contact Lucas Contracting today.

Ottawa Lighting and Electrical Contractor, Supply and Install Interior Lights in Kitchens, Bathrooms, Basements, Living Rooms, Bedrooms

Which Home Renovations Have the Best Return on Investment?

By | Blog, Home Renovations, Renovations | No Comments

If you are a homeowner contemplating a home renovation, you need to balance two important considerations in your mind. Do you want to make highly specific customizations that reflect your unique personality but maybe aren’t the most widely needed or desired? Or do you want to make upgrades designed to appeal to the masses and result in a satisfactory return on investment (ROI) when it’s time to sell? If you fall into the latter category, here are five home renovations that deliver in terms of ROI:

Fixture Upgrades

You don’t need to overhaul a room from floor to ceiling to upgrade the value of your property. Even simple upgrades to door handles, knobs, faucets, and towel racks that haven’t changed since the 1980s can make a big difference. These are cost-effective upgrades, but they will more than pay for themselves when it comes time to sell the home.

Hardwood Flooring

When we walk into a new room, the thing which draws our eye is usually not the artwork on the walls or the massive flat screen TV or even the furniture…it’s usually the flooring. Hardwood is the most desirable flooring option among prospective buyers, and they’re willing to pay more for homes that have this upgrade. Simply upgrading the flooring to eco-friendly bamboo or hardy oak will transform the look of a room, without having to spend a penny more on other renovations.

Main-Floor Bathroom

If you own an older home without a main floor bathroom, it can be a big deterrent to potential home buyers – especially if you’re competing with new build homes that seem to have three bathrooms by default. A second bathroom on the main floor will help your home stand out from competing houses in the neighbourhood. Whether you choose to build a three-piece bathroom or only have room for a cozy powder room, this upgrade is always worth the investment.

Income Suite

If you have unused basement space that can accommodate an income suite, this is a tremendously wise investment. An income suite will provide you with income every month to help pay off the cost of the renovations and/or contribute to the mortgage. It will also be a very compelling selling point should you decide to place your home on the market in the future.

Remember, a home renovation doesn’t have to be an overhaul. These upgrades offer a tremendous return on investment, so contact Lucas Contracting for your free quote to get the process started.

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.

Roofing

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.

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.

fixing-a-fixer-upper

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:

Investment

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

Budget

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.

Inspection

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.

Adding Character to Your Home

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

Many homeowners decide to purchase a newer home and then find once they move in their house lacks character. There are many ways you can add character to your home with the help of general contractors Ottawa homeowners hire as well as a few of your own DIY touches.

Lighting

Dull and boring light fixtures can make a home lack style and personality. A simple DIY project is to install new light fixtures such as charming chandeliers in your foyer and dining room and stylish pendant lighting over the island in your kitchen. The general contractors Ottawa homeowners hire can also come in and do some major updates such as recessed lighting and even accent and task lighting under your kitchen cabinets.

Welcoming Foyer

Your foyer sets the tone of your home. To create a more welcoming entry you can make some changes such as hardwood for floors and staircases, hanging a new chandelier, adding wainscoting and a more substantial floorboard. You can also use furniture such as a chair and hall table with an accent lamp or two.

Add Built-ins

Look at unused space such as a corner or bay window ideal for a cozy window seat with storage. The fireplace is ideal for built-in shelves and cabinetry. A den is ideal for a “library” look with custom shelving. The general contractors Ottawa homeowners hire can offer many suggestions from walk in butler pantries to dining room banquettes.

Architectural Detail

Architectural detail can add character such as crown moulding, framing around windows and doors, higher floorboards and new doors. You can also consider major changes such as coffered ceilings, a skylight or cupola. You can add decorative chunky feet to lower kitchen cabinets, beadboard to the front of an island and even filigrees and molding to cabinets or bulk heads.

Fireplaces

Many modern fireplaces don’t have a hearth or mantle. The addition of a wood or marble mantle and surround can add a substantial, historical feeling to your home. A marble hearth will also add charm and substance. You can choose to go modern with less detail or use reclaimed wood to add rustic charm.

Staircase

Give your staircase a makeover. Remove tired old carpet and replace steps with hardwood. You can also update your banister and rails or add a new decorative runner.

Adding character to your home will make it more welcoming with a unique sense of style.

To Renovate or Sell Your Home

By | Custom Built Homes, Home Renovations | No Comments

The problem many homeowners face when their home starts to feel a little cramped is whether it is better to renovate or sell. There are a number of things to consider before you make your decision including:

Neighbourhood

Your neighbourhood has played a key role in your life for the past few years. When you decide to move you might not be able to afford a home in your current area. This can be especially troublesome if you have kids as well as for your commute to and from work. When you decide to renovate you have the option of creating a perfect custom home in the perfect location without the need to uproot your family.

Investment

You also have to consider expenses. You want to know how much money would be available to you for renovations and compare that to the ideal renos you would need to make it worth your while to stay. You then have to look at what your budget would get you if you were to purchase a new home. Weigh the differences and decide which works more in your favour in hand with your wants and needs. Many homeowners have plenty of equity in their home. This means you can get a loan that is simply added back onto your mortgage. This is both an affordable and logical option as it does not add an additional financial burden to monthly expenses.

The Changes

Make a list of all of the things you would do to create a custom home if you were to stay. List each item such as an additional bathroom, the need for a basement reno, a new kitchen, a mud room, a better backyard, etc. Each change will have an impact on the cost as well as the improvement to your comfort. Ask for quotes from a few contractors and see if the numbers match up to the amount of money you have available to invest in the renos.

If you feel your current house has the homey feel you desire in a neighbourhood you love, making a move is not the answer. Speak to a contractor and share everything you love about your home and everything you hate. Speak to your bank and then begin the renovations to create a custom home you will live in comfortably for years to come.

Designing Your Dream Kitchen

By | Design Inspiration, Home Renovations, Kitchens, Ottawa | No Comments

Many people don’t take the time to stop and consider some of the finer features they could include in their kitchen remodel. Here are some exceptional ideas to consider for the kitchen renovations Ottawa homeowners dream of:

Breakfast Area

The breakfast area is an often overlooked kitchen feature most families would welcome. You can work with your contractor to find a way to make it work in your remodel. Whether you have the potential to add additional space or can work with wasted space you never considered, a breakfast area is a wonderful place for casual family dinners and people to gather during parties.

Ceiling Detail

The perfectly designed kitchen features ceiling detail that completes the look. From elegant, deep coffered ceilings to interesting textures reflecting the look of traditional tin, the kitchen is the perfect room to add interest to the detail of your ceiling. Think of beams for a cottage feel or barn board for a rustic look. Cape Cod loves bead board and modern kitchens are ideal for deep set overhead lighting to set a contemporary mood.

Eclectic Flooring

Hardwood is always a lovely touch to any room, however it can get a little boring. The kitchen is the perfect place to have a little fun with the flooring using checkerboard tiles, interesting insets and even rustic painting techniques. You can go upscale with marble or stone or create a mosaic using tile. Sheet vinyl can also be cut into interesting, artfully inspired patterns.

Double Appliances

The ultimate host has double appliances to accommodate cooking a gourmet meal. Double ovens and cook tops keep everything cooking without having to reheat anything. Double dishwashers makes clean up a snap and double fridges store all the fresh foods and drinks you need even for larger parties.

Sustainable Materials

Sustainable materials are popular for the kitchen renovations Ottawa homeowners undergo. From bamboo cabinets and flooring to recycled glass and paper countertops, being eco-conscious during your renovation can make you feel good about your kitchen once it is completed.

Natural Light

Natural light can make your dream kitchen bright and airy for easy food prep and lower energy bills. Consider adding more windows, skylights or knocking out a back wall to add garden doors out to the deck.

These innovative ideas help make the kitchen renovations Ottawa home owners undergo well planned and dream worthy.