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Category Archives: Renovations

A row of houses with pristine rooves

3 Tips to Make Your Roof Last

By | Energy Efficiency, Renovations, Roof Inspection, Roofing | No Comments

It is of the utmost importance that you make sure your roof is in the best possible condition. If not, you run the risk of having to do a complete tear off and replacement. This kind of intensive project can cost you countless thousands that you could have spent elsewhere.

Thankfully, it isn’t all that difficult to maintain your roof (the roof you have right now) to help stretch its longevity a bit. This is especially true when you know exactly what you’re doing or hire a trusted Ottawa roofing company like Lucas Contracting. We are going to give you three different tips to make your roof last and last. These tips are going to save you a boatload of money (not to mention time, headache, and hassle) just by putting them into action.

Shall we jump right in?

Clean up your gutters every four months or so

One of the easiest things that you’ll be able to do dramatically extend the longevity of your roof is to simply clean out your gutters on a routine basis. Swabbing out your gutters every four months or so means that you’ll have to give up three weekends a year to really get the job done right. But you’ll be able to save thousands and thousands of dollars on costly roof repairs. It’s definitely worth it. If you’d rather spend your weekend lounging, an Ottawa roofing company like Lucas Contracting can handle the task with ease.

Remove debris from your shingles

No matter where your home is situated, the odds are pretty good that you’re going to have at least some debris collect upon your roof every year. Leaves, animal drops, dust, and random neighbourhood debris collects on your roof.

While a bit of debris isn’t going to be a nightmare situation, if you allow the debris to continue to collect things can really start to spiral out of control. Make sure that you’re power washing off the debris on your roof every year (hopefully right after spring), and your roof will last at least a couple of years longer than it would have otherwise.

Get rid of any growth

Finally, it’s important that you make sure there is no living organic material on your roof that could cause it to weaken structurally or as far as weatherproofing is concerned.

Moss growing on your roof might not seem like all that big of a deal at first, but if it continues to grow, it’s going to work to destroy your roof from the outside in, causing leaks and structural problems all over the place.

These three tips and the help of your Ottawa roofing company will ensure that your roof lasts for years – even decades – to come.

Ottawa Bathroom Renovator, Bathroom Tile Replacement, Sinks, Bathtubs, Showers. Plumbing Contractors Ottawa, Custom Bathroom Renovations

A Guide To Choosing The Right Bathroom Flooring

By | Bathrooms, Flooring, Renovations | No Comments

Are you looking for the right bathroom flooring? Let’s take a moment to review what options are available through the brief guide below.

  1. Consider The Basics

Regardless of the material you choose for your bathroom flooring, it should satisfy a few criteria. First, the material should be moisture-proof.  Your bathroom is frequently exposed to high humidity and wet conditions that other parts of your home never experience. As a result, the flooring will have to be particularly resistant. In addition to being moisture-proof, it will help you a great deal to get something that is stain-resistant as well. Like it or not, bathroom floors are exposed to a lot of chemicals and the right set of conditions to make staining commonplace. A final basic consideration is that your bathroom flooring be skid-resistant. This means that even when your bathroom floor is wet, you shouldn’t slip easily on the surface.

  1. Consider The Cost

One of the biggest drawbacks about going cheap is durability. The cheaper you go, the shorter the length of time will go by before you have to replace the flooring again. Vinyl usually falls under this category. While cheap and backed by a warranty, they are generally a poor choice for bathrooms due to the moisture. Ceramic bathroom tiles are a preferred choice. While more expensive, they are resistant to chipping, scratches, and cracks. The downside, however, is that they can feel cold in the morning. Glass and glazed ceramic is also popular, though it frequently comes the tiles are frequently sold at far higher cost per square foot than anything listed above.

  1. Consider The Use

Will this bathroom be used primarily by kids? If so, then you may want to go for ceramic tiles, as they are very water resistant. However, if your primary concern is safety, then glass or glazed tiles with an anti-slip glaze on top can work wonders in providing the security you require, even in the wettest conditions. In addition, if you are designing a bathroom floor around an aging parent, then having this extra grip on the floor may be crucial for their safety as well.

  1. Consider Your Style

If you have a particular vision for your bathroom and it requires a less-than-optimal flooring option, then go with it. There are always things you can use to make up for any deficiency in the floor, including anti-slide mats for slippery floors and water collectors for flooring that does a poor job at handling moisture.  Simply put, where there is a will there is a way.

Have any more questions about bathroom flooring? At Lucas Contracting, we’re here to help.

 

 

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.

weatherproof roof

The Detrimental Effects of Weather on Your Roof

By | Professional Tips, Renovations, Roofing | No Comments

The Ottawa area is home to some unkind weather for most of the year. From the worst of winter snow storms to windy spring days and scorching hot summers, your roof must endure many different weather conditions. Here are some of the effects that weather can have on your roof if you don’t weatherproof:

Temperature Fluctuations

Especially in the spring and fall, temperatures can vary wildly in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario. One day it could be -10°C, and the next morning the temperature could approach 20°C. These temperature fluctuations make it hard enough to choose your outfit, but they are even harder on your roof. They can cause micro-tears in the waterproofing membrane of your roof, possibly leading to leaks and water damage. We can repair these micro-tears, or install a new roofing system that is resistant to tearing and cracking no matter the weather.

Hot Temperatures

During hot summer days in Ottawa, temperatures can reach the high 30s. If you have a black asphalt roof, it can’t help but absorb the rays of the sun, causing overheating. If you find you constantly have to crank the A/C during the summer, it may be time to invest in a roof which reflects away sunlight instead of absorbing it.

Heavy Snow

It’s no secret that we often have heavy winter snowfalls here in Ottawa. This snow piles up on your roof and can be quite a load to bear. If your roof has weak support or sagging trusses, it could lead to big problems, including roof collapse in very severe cases. We can repair sagging trusses to protect your roof.

Rainwater

Rainwater can penetrate through your roof and trickle down, causing water damage to your attic or wood beams. Improper installation, poor material choice, or shifting conditions due to wind can cause slipped flashings, cracks, tears, and other problems. We can fix any roof problem to prevent future leaks and keep your home safe on those rainy days.

Wind

Heavy winds can cause shingles to blow off or flashings to shift. This can make your roof vulnerable to water damage from rain, snow, and ice. If your roof suffers wind damage, we can repair it right away before the next round of turbulent weather hits.

You can help protect your roof and home against weather damage by investing in roofing products that are resistant to rain, wind, snow, and hail. Contact our friendly sales team today for more information.

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Choosing the Right Roofing Product for Your Home

By | Eco-Friendly Options, Metal Roofing, Professional Tips, Renovations, Roofing | No Comments

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense, protecting the structure of the home and all of your belongings against the elements. There are a lot of roofing products on the market, from the most basic asphalt to metal roofs and solar panels. How do you know what roof to choose for your home? Follow this guide to help inform your decision:

Price

Roofing products range in price depending on the quality, durability, and aesthetic value. The choice is entirely up to you, but the old adage that you get what you pay for often holds true. Traditional asphalt shingles are affordable, but come with drawbacks in terms of wear and longevity. Green roofs are more expensive to install, but pay off in the long run with savings in heating and cooling costs.

Durability

Roofing products have differing lifespans depending on their material composition. You want to choose a roofing product that can withstand harsh Ontario weather conditions without wearing, chipping, peeling, rotting, or leading to leaks and water damage. Metal roofing products can last over a century with proper care, which means your new roof could be the last roof you ever have to purchase.

Appearance

Appearance should be no small consideration when it comes to choosing a new roof. If you have the opportunity to enhance the look of your home, why wouldn’t you? We install roofing products in a wide range of colours, styles, and designs. Whether you like the Mediterranean style of Decra Villa Style metal shingles, or the classic look of wood roofing made with synthetic and eco-friendly materials, you can find a roofing product that suits your style.

Maintenance Requirements

Most of our roofing installations are performed to require the least maintenance possible. Still, some roofing products require more or less maintenance than their counterparts. Wakefield Bridge shingles are virtually maintenance-free, while a green roof with vegetable gardens and vibrant plants will require more labour to keep it maintained.

Environmental Impact

Nowadays, we have the benefit of many eco-friendly roofing options. Euroshield shingles are made out of used rubber tires, finding a way to recycle materials that were destined for the landfill. Metal roofs reflect away sun beams, keeping your home cooler in the summer. Green roofs absorb rainwater and use it productively. If you are eco-conscious, there are many roofing options from which to choose.

We stand behind all of our roofing products. Whether you prefer a traditional asphalt roof, a modern and elegant metal roof, or an eco-friendly green roof, we have the skill and experience to install any new roof and enhance the look of your home.

home renovations ottawa

Pros and Cons of Open Concept Designs

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

There is something very appealing about the idea of knocking down walls and creating an open concept living space. With your kitchen, living, and dining room areas combined in one bright and inviting space, homes can instantly feel larger. Yet, there are also a few drawbacks that might turn some people away. Ottawa contractors advise you to consider these pros and cons before making a decision:

Pro: Keep an Eye on the Kids

An open concept design that merges the kitchen and living room space allows you to watch the kids easily and ensure they play safely while you are preparing dinner. Homemade meals are a good way to gather the family together every night, but in a closed concept kitchen, you are walled off from the family while you prepare meals. The open concept design lets you interact with your kids and still have time for delicious home cooking.

Con: Noises

Walls don’t just separate space; they also help to dampen sound. While open concept designs can look extraordinary, sometimes they show their flaws when it actually comes time live in wide open space without noise dividers. Some people might be annoyed by the sound of the dishwasher running or meals sizzling on the stove.

Pro: Entertain While Cooking

An open concept design is great for entertaining guests. There’s nothing worse than hosting a dinner party yet being separated from the conversation when you’re in the kitchen cooking. This issue is eliminated, and you can join in the fun social talk while preparing amazing hors d’oeuvres and entrées for your guests.

Cons: Visible Mess

On the other hand, untidiness or messiness is easily visible from all vantage points in an open concept design. While you can hide away pots and pans in an enclosed kitchen, not so with an open concept design. Ottawa contractors can minimize this a bit thanks to great shelving options or a breakfast bar that can block the view of the sink, but it’s still something to consider.

Con: Less Effective Cooling/Heating

As visually attractive as open concept designs can be, the larger space means it takes longer for the room to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. Smaller rooms can circulate air more efficiently and more speedily heat or cool the space.

Pro: Natural Light

One amazing benefit to open concept designs is the increased amount of natural light. Without walls to block light from outdoors, your living room, dining room, and kitchen instantly feel brighter and airier.

Whether you choose an open concept design or wish to remain with a traditional closed concept, you can have an incredible home renovation built by professional Ottawa contractors.

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

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.

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:

Under-budgeting

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.

Timing

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.

Tools

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.

Measuring

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.

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.

Creating a Beautiful Bathroom

By | Bathrooms, Ottawa, Renovations | No Comments

Bathroom renovations offer you the chance to enjoy spa like luxury in your own home every day. When considering bathroom renovations in your home there are several things you can add to achieve a stylish, luxurious look:

Walk in Shower

A walk in shower has become a bathroom must for modern homes. In fact, shower rooms are even more popular. Large spacious showers allow you to enter the shower without fear of tripping. You will have plenty of space to luxuriate in the warm water with the addition of multiple shower heads and even a steam shower option. If space allows many homeowners appreciate the addition of a built in bench. Benches provide the perfect place for tasks such as shaving legs and for overall relaxing. A bench is also ideal if you have a steam shower feature as you can sit and relax much like a sauna. Your entire shower experience will be changed with the addition of a walk in shower complete with stunning tile detail and glass walls and doors.

Soaker Tub

In addition to your walk in shower it is always nice to have a soaker tub for the perfect retreat at the end of a long, hard day. Soaker tubs come in a number of styles and can become a stunning focal point in beautifully designed bathrooms. Tubs have become sculptured and molded as a major design feature in bathroom remodels. They even come in a number of different materials including copper, stone, faux stone and other interesting colours and designs. You can create an even more striking focal point by hanging an elegant chandelier overhead or consider interesting lighting effects surrounding the tub to help set a relaxing mood.

Deep Sinks

Deep sinks are all the rage in designer bathrooms. A deep sink can be designed as part of your counter tops or installed as an undermount in a number of different styles and materials. Make sure you have the space below for deep sinks. Consider the potential loss of counter space and storage space in cabinets and drawers. They also work well for floating vanities as they add a feeling of substance to the room. Deep sinks can be custom designed to meet your needs. Some homeowners are even installing industrial style sinks designed for use in restaurants.

Creating beautifully designed bathrooms is easy with these three stylish features.