About Ed Baruch

Hey there, My name is Ed Baruch and I hold a degree in Industrial and Management Engineering from Tel Aviv University, and I am a graduate of the George Brown College of Building Renovation Technology program as well. My company offers over 18 years combined experience in superior designing and implementing of both home and commercial renovation solutions. We offer a full two year warranty on renovation projects performed by our company. Whenever possible, we recommend and utilize earth and environmentally friendly products and techniques.

Luxury Bathroom Renovation

bathroom renovation torontoThe modern bathroom is ever expanding in size, form and function. Your bathroom is your escape from the hustle and bustle of your day, and is a great place to unwind. These luxury bathroom renovation features can turn your powder room into your own private sanctuary.

Multimedia

Nothing says that you have to sing a capelo in the shower. A high-end sound system in your shower provides the ultimate accompaniment. A built-in touch screen control panel provides a high-tech, customized touch.

TV has also made its appearance in the bathroom, and we have to admit that there’s nothing quite like enjoying your favorite movie from the comfort of a bubble bath. To keep nice clean lines, you can install a flat panel TV behind your mirror, so that it’s only visible when you’re ready to tune in.

His and Hers

Double sinks may have saved your marriage, but today’s luxury bathrooms take the concept of his and hers to a whole new level. Some bathrooms have separate alcoves tailored to his needs and hers. Picture a teched-out shower for him, a sumptuous spa for her, and a two-person soaking tub in between.   You can enjoy your luxury loo solo or in the company of your better half.

Steam Showers

Nothing chases away the winter chill or the aches and pains of a long day’s work like a steam shower. You can turn your shower stall into a warm, misty haven, then when you’re done, turn on your shower for a quick rinse. Steam showers open your pores and are excellent for your sinuses, leaving you nice and refreshed.

Loo with a View

Generally bathrooms have small and/or frosted windows for the sake of privacy, but strategic privacy hedges or fencing can allow you to enjoy a scenic view. You can cultivate a tranquil landscape to enjoy a nature’s bounty while you unwind.

Over to You

Are you dreaming of your own luxury bathroom renovation? If so, tell us all about us. Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.

 

 

 

 

Keeping Kitchen Renovation Cost in Check

kitchen remodelIf you’ve done your homework, you’re well aware that kitchen renovation cost is considerable. Although it will never be cheap, it’s possible to keep your kitchen renovation budget in check by planning your kitchen remodel wisely.

Don’t Compromise Quality

Before we begin discussing the right way to keep kitchen renovation cost in check, we should emphasize that it’s never a good idea to skimp on quality. In the end, low-quality construction will come back to haunt you. Because you will ultimately have to replace shoddy work and perhaps repair any resultant damage, shoddy construction is often more expensive than doing the job right the first time around.

That being said, the below guidelines will help you keep your kitchen renovation budget on track without compromising the quality of your new kitchen.

Increase Efficiency, Not Size

Today’s kitchens are ever expanding in size and function, and increasing your kitchen’s size may be desirable, especially in older homes with smaller kitchens. However, expanding your kitchen by only 200 square feet can cost up to $48,000. Increasing space efficiency through well-placed storage and making the most of wall space can increase your kitchen’s functionality while avoiding costly expansions.

Refurbish and Refinish

Cabinetry, countertops and flooring are some of the most costly aspects of kitchen remodeling. If these elements are in good enough shape to be refinished rather than replaced, doing so will cut back your kitchen renovation cost significantly.

Use In-Stock Fixtures

Special-order fixtures and plumbing cost significantly more than in-stock materials. If possible, use items that are already in stock for your kitchen renovation; they’re just as good as custom-ordered and are much more cost-efficient.

Be Realistic with Features and Amenities

Today’s gourmet kitchens are chock-full of features, luxuries and amenities. Although these amenities are convenient, they rack up kitchen renovation costs, and aren’t necessarily required in most cases. Consider your priorities for your new kitchen, and if you won’t get much use out of a potential feature, you may want to consider doing without it.

Over to YouHave you recently renovated your kitchen? If so, we’d like to hear all about your own budget-friendly kitchen remodeling ideas. Tell us all about it in the comment section.

Kitchen Renovation for Resale

kitchen remodelAn updated kitchen is a major selling point for a home, and can make your home sell faster and for a higher price.  Kitchen renovation cost brings a greater return on investment than most other major home improvements.  If you’re planning to sell within the next five years, carefully planning your kitchen renovation for resale can boost your home’s selling potential and ensure the maximum return on your investment.

Think Practical Upgrades

Updates that add storage space and functionality to a kitchen are likely to appeal to a broad array of potential buyers.  Functional features such as pantry drawers, soft close cabinet drawers and doors and space-efficient upgrades aren’t flashy, but they’re likely to score big points with buyers.

Choose Appliances Wisely

Updated appliances are a big bonus, so replacing any older or malfunctioning appliances is very helpful for resale.  Stainless steel or black appliances fit most décors, so are likely to be appealing.  Although high quality makes a difference, professional-grade appliances are probably taking things a step too far for your average buyer, meaning that you’re less likely to recoup the additional cost.

Don’t Compromise Your Home’s Architecture

A sleek ultramodern kitchen may be what you have in mind, but if it would be at a dissonance with the rest of your home, its overall effect won’t be a good one.  Try to find a middle ground wherein your new kitchen’s décor is a design that you find pleasing, but doesn’t clash with your home’s exterior and other rooms.

Avoid Being Trendy

Although today’s design trends may be at the forefront of your mind, some trends are likely to come and go, and will appear outdated in a few years’ time.  Chances are that many of these trends will be passé by the time you’re ready to put your home on the market, so will be unappealing to buyers.

Select Neutral Color Schemes

A purple kitchen might make your day, but it’s unlikely that buyers will share the same sentiments.  If you plan to sell your home prior to your next renovation, select neutral color schemes such as earth tones or gray.

Are you currently engaged in a kitchen renovation, or perhaps in the market for a new home?  If so, please tell us your own insights on kitchen renovation for resale in the comment section.

 

 

Seven Budget-Friendly Kitchen Updates

kitchen remodelIf your kitchen needs to be updated but kitchen renovation cost just doesn’t fit in your budget, it’s possible to freshen things up a bit without breaking the bank.  These budget-friendly kitchen updates will reinvent your space for less.

Cozy it up

A bright or patterned rug will instantly give your kitchen a pop of color while also adding warmth.  Position your rug in an area where you spend a lot of time on your feet such as next to the stove, sink or refrigerator.

Freshen Your Color Scheme

A fresh coat of paint can liven things up, or improve the looks of cabinetry that’s seen better days. Try an accent wall for added color if things are a bit drab.  Just be sure to mask your baseboards off properly and put a drop cloth down to avoid stray drips of paint.

Add Some Wall Art

Wall art adds color and personality to your space.  If you’re on a budget, try picking up some art at an estate or garage sale in your neighborhood.  If you’re patient, you can find original works of art for a fraction of the cost.

Upgrade Lighting

Many kitchens look dingy because they’re insufficiently lit.  Upgrade your lighting either by installing additional fixtures or replacing old fixtures with something a little more current.

Replace Cabinet Hardware

Replacing outdated cabinet hardware can make a surprising difference in your kitchen’s overall appearance.  If you’re on a tight budget, try picking up some discount hardware on eBay.  Just be sure not to compromise quality.

Install a Tile Backsplash

A tiled backsplash adds color and personality to your kitchen, and can be installed over a weekend by handy homeowners.  Try using smaller tiles so that you don’t need to use a tile saw, which is one of the more difficult and time-consuming aspects of tiling.

Treat Your Windows

Window treatments liven things up inexpensively, and also conserve energy by preventing heat loss through bare windows.  Try curtains that fit your kitchen’s décor, or perhaps mini blinds.

Are you currently updating your kitchen on a budget?  Tell us all about your own budget-friendly kitchen updates by leaving a coment.

 

Eight Unique Bathroom Remodel Ideas

bathroom remodeling torontoYour bathroom remodel is not only a chance to update your bathroom and make it more functional; it’s also a chance to add a taste of your own personal style.  These bathroom remodel ideas are off the beaten path, and can help make your bathroom uniquely you.

Life in Black and White

Black and white is a classically elegant yet bold color scheme.  Carry this into the bathroom with black walls, white doors and a few pops of color to keep things lively.  Just make sure that your bathroom is well lit, so that it doesn’t become dreary.

Maintain a Theme

Themed bathrooms add a bit of fun accent to your house.  Try an oriental theme or perhaps a teched-out loo for the technologically advanced among us.

Wall-Mounted Sinks

Wall-hung sinks are secured to the wall with no cabinets or visible plumbing below.  This creates and ultra-modern, sleek feel and also conserves space in smaller bathrooms.

Get Creative with Lighting

Bathroom lighting is typically pretty standard stuff, but a creative flair can add some personality.  Consider using a chandelier over the tub or perhaps pendant lighting over the sink.

Add Some Greenery

If you have the room, adding a few plants can freshen up your bathroom’s looks.  Consider species that do well in humid environments such as African violets, Christmas cactus or even bamboo.

Re-purpose Old Furniture

This is both a creative and an economical bathroom remodel idea.  Try using old furniture pieces, say an antique dresser, as storage space or even as vanities.  This adds a unique bit of personality on a budget.

Go Bold with Picture Windows

Bathrooms typically have small or frosted windows for the sake of privacy.  However, picture windows can provide an open-air feeling without compromising privacy if used in the right setting.  Only consider this option if your bathroom opens to a privacy-fenced backyard, and consider planting a thick hedge, for example bamboo, a few feet away from the window.

Add Color to Your Shower

Bold colors throughout a room can become somewhat overwhelming, but an intense pop of color here and there can add texture and personality without being too loud.  Consider boldly colored tile in the shower or tub area for a bit of extra style.

Are you currently renovating your bathroom, or planning to do so in the near future?  If so, we’d love your feedback.  What unique bathroom remodel ideas have you incorporated in your own bathroom renovation?  Tell us all about it by leaving a comment.

Bathroom Renovation for Resale

bathroom renovation torontoBathroom renovation is a big investment, and one of the most important questions to ask yourself as a homeowner is whether the investment is worth it to you, and how much of your bathroom renovation cost you’ll recoup when the time comes to sell your home.

There’s no easy answer to this question, as a lot of this depends upon the age of your home and how recently your bathroom has previously been renovated, although the average value added to your home is 60-70% of the original bathroom remodeling cost.  However, if you’re renovating with resale specifically in mind, it may be best to emphasize certain features, as buyers are likely to value some updates more than others.  Here are some of the amenities that are most likely to add long-term value to your home.

Storage Space

Bathrooms are relatively small spaces, but are called upon for a host of purposes.  It’s therefore practical to have ample and well-designed storage space.  Upgrading cabinetry to increase storage space or make it more efficient will pay off long-term.

Lighting

Upgrading your lighting is relatively inexpensive, but makes a big difference in your bathroom’s overall appearance.  Overhead lighting tends to cast shadows so isn’t the most effective option for bathrooms, so install ample wall-mounted lighting, especially around mirrors.  This is both practical and makes your bathroom appear roomier.

Energy-Efficient Water Supply

An updated hot water heater will make sure that you have ample water for your new shower and tub, and is also an amenity that buyers will value.  Consider a tankless hot water heater, which is more energy efficient and will also supply as much hot water as is needed, on-demand.

Soaking-Depth Tub

Whether you opt for a whirlpool tub or a simple soaking tub, a tub deep enough for a good bubble bath is a major amenity that will catch the eye of potential buyers.  Who doesn’t love a good hot bath after a long day? If you have a small water heater tank you might run into shortage of hot water for your bath. In this case you might consider a tankless water heater by Consumers Comfort Inc. They specialize in all types of water heaters.

Neutral Design Scheme

Even if chartreuse is your favorite color and seeing it on your walls would make your day, it’s unlikely that you’ll encounter a buyer who feels the same way.  If you’re looking to sell in the near future, try to pick more neutral colors that will appeal to a wide variety of tastes.

If you’re currently remodeling your bathroom or are on the market for a new home, we’d love to hear your own input.  What bathroom renovation ideas are most important to you as investments?   Leave us your thoughts in the comment section.

Reigning in Your Basement Renovation Budget

Basement renovation Once you’ve planned out your dream finished basement, the price tag can be staggering.  Although cutting corners in construction to save money is a sure bet for problems down the road, reassessing your priorities can keep your basement renovation budget reasonable while still maintaining a high-quality basement remodel that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

In the end, the most important amenities will depend upon your intended use for your basement.  However, because some features are more costly than others, it’s advisable to think long and hard about which amenities you’ll get the most use from.

Basement Bars

If you’re a hardcore entertainer and regularly throw large get-togethers, a fabulous full basement bar may be just what you need.  However, if you only have guests occasionally, consider toning down your bar a bit.

The sink is the most costly component of a full bar, so if you don’t anticipate frequent use, you can cut costs by simply installing cabinets and a fridge.  This setup still allows you to serve drinks, but doesn’t require plumbing work.

Guest Bedrooms

A guest bedroom is frequently something you’ll only use a few times a year, such as for holidays or other special occasions.  If you don’t plan on having overnight guests all that often, a basement guest bedroom may not be for you.  However, if you frequently have guests or plan to expand your family, an additional bedroom may be just what you need.

Separate Rooms

The expense of doors, studs and drywall needed to create separate rooms quickly adds up.  Having one large space is much cheaper, so unless you have a specific need to close certain areas off, this is a feature you might be able to do without.

Downsizing

Many basements span the entire floor plan of the home, and are thus very large spaces.  It’s therefore entirely possible that you won’t need all of the space in your finished basement; just because it’s there doesn’t mean you have to use it.  Downsizing your plan will cut your budget, and you won’t enjoy your new space any less.

Purchasing Standard Sizes

Buying prefabricated, standard-sized cabinets and countertops avoids the extra cost of custom work.  If it’s possible to use standard sizes for these features, be sure to do so.

Are you currently undertaking your own basement finishing project?  If so, what factors influenced your final budget, and what are your own suggestions about reigning in your basement renovation budget?  Leave us your thoughts in the comment section.

Best of Kitchen Renovation Trends 2013

Kitchen RenovationKitchen renovations are some of the most popular home improvements, and for good reason.  A full kitchen renovation creates a great space in both form and function.  The kitchen remodeling market is ever-evolving, with new kitchen renovation trends surfacing all the time.  Here are some of this year’s most popular kitchen remodeling ideas.

Stainless Steel

Up to 63% of new kitchen remodels now include stainless steel elements in the sink, stovetop, appliances and even countertops.  Stainless steel has long been a fixture in industrial kitchens, and is both attractive and functional.

Chef’s Stoves

High-end stoves are a must have for many of today’s homeowners.  Many chefs prefer gas ranges, as they provide quick, even heating.  If you’re looking to go ultra-modern, consider an induction range.  Induction ranges use a magnetic field to directly heat your pots and pans rather than simply heating the area underneath like conventional gas and electric stoves.  This allows not only for ultrafast heating, but also leaves the range cool to the touch once pans are removed, preventing burn hazards.

Let in the Light

Today’s kitchens typically have many more windows than in the past.  Efficiently designed storage space frees up more wall space for windows, allowing a more open, brighter kitchen.  If your kitchen opens directly to the outdoors, you can also opt to install glass doors to let in some light without making major renovations.

Think Green

Environmentally friendly materials have surfaced on the home renovation market, including in kitchen remodeling.  Greener options for flooring, paint, cabinetry and countertops are increasingly popular, as are more eco-friendly appliances.

Glass Backsplashes

In the past, tile backsplashes have been the norm, but glass backsplashes are now increasingly popular.  Art glass backsplashes are an excellent way to add some color and personality to your kitchen, making it a style all your own.  Glass is also easier to clean than tile, and doesn’t need to be re-grouted.

Over to You

Have you remodeled your kitchen in 2013?  If so, we’d love to hear what features you included in your kitchen remodel, and your own take on current kitchen renovation trends.  Tell us all about it in the comments section.

Kitchen Cabinets: Refinish, Reface or Replace?

kitchen remodelKitchen cabinets are one of the big-ticket items for kitchen renovation, but updated kitchen cabinets can go a long way towards freshening up your kitchen’s décor.  However, if your kitchen cabinets are in reasonably good shape, it’s possible to refurbish pre-existing work to freshen up your look without breaking the bank.

Painting Kitchen Cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets and replacing hardware is relatively easy and inexpensive.  However, before you start picking out colors, be sure that your cabinets are paintable.  Solid wood, wood veneer and metal cabinets handle paint well, but laminate and melamine cabinets aren’t paintable, and refinishing these two types is best left to a professional.  Luckily for kitchen renovation Toronto homeowners have many excellent contractors available for small and large jobs alike.

Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

If you’re looking to do something a little more than skin deep, you can also reface kitchen cabinets.  Kitchen cabinet refacing involves either installation of a thin veneer over existing cabinet doors or alternatively replacing doors but leaving the cabinets intact.  This is a little pricier than refinishing, but may be ideal if your doors are dinged up or if you’re looking to update the woodwork itself.  Just make sure that the underlying cabinets are in good repair and that you’re satisfied with the layout before your invest in refacing kitchen cabinets.

Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

If your kitchen cabinets are in rough shape or if you’d like to change the layout of your kitchen, replacing your kitchen cabinets may be the way to go.  Stock or modular cabinets will be cheaper than custom cabinets, although some homeowners prefer custom cabinets that are tailored to their needs and to the home’s décor. Whatever your choice, be sure to purchase cabinets made of high-quality materials that will stand the test of time.

Updating your kitchen cabinets will be a huge improvement to your kitchen’s décor, and you’ll be glad you’ve done it.  The extent of the job is up to you as a homeowner; consider your budget, personal preferences and the condition of your existing kitchen cabinetry before moving forward.  Also don’t be afraid to seek the help of a professional in both the planning and construction phases of your project.

 

Best of Bathroom Renovation Trends in 2013

bathroom remodeling torontoAny savvy real estate agent will tell you that bathrooms are big business on the housing market these days.  In the past bathrooms weren’t much bigger than a walk-in closet and were limited primarily to the fundamentals.  It seems that bathrooms in new homes are bigger each year, and for good reason.  The bathroom remodeling market is ever expanding with new concepts, and today’s bathroom is packed with amenities.  Here are some of the year’s top trends.

Ditching the Jacuzzi

In the 1990’s and early 2000’s, a hot tub-style Jacuzzi was the picture of modern luxury, and was a must-have for many homeowners.  Jacuzzis still do look nice and can even be nice to use, but if you’ve ever used one, you’re familiar with the not-so-luxurious noise.  Many homeowners are replacing noisy Jacuzzi tubs with quiet, energy-efficient soaking tubs.

His and Hers

Double sinks have long been a staple for couples, but recent bathroom renovation trends have taken the concept of his and hers to a whole new level.  Many couples with the square footage and budget are opting to have both a common two-person soaking tub and separate showers and vanities tailored to gender-specific tastes and needs.

Multimedia

We are living in the digital age, and our powder rooms are no exception.  Many homeowners are installing full entertainment systems in their bathrooms, including TVs, stereos and even gaming systems.  Some prefer to angle TVs so that they can be viewed from the tub, or to go ultra-modern and install flat panel TVs behind mirrors.  Either way a teched-out bathroom is a sure ticket to luxurious relaxation at the end of a long day.

All Steamed Up

Steam showers are perfect for Toronto’s cold climate, and are one of the more popular current bathroom renovation trends.  Imagine coming in from a bitterly cold winter day, summoning up a haven of tropical moisture with a touch of a button in your shower, and sitting down on a bench to enjoy. Finish off with a refreshing rinse, and you’ll step out feeling like you’ve spent a costly hour in a spa all from the comfort of your own home.  Steam showers can be retrofitted to your existing shower, and use very little water.  Sounds like a deal!

Consult with a reputable bathroom remodeling contractor to begin planning your luxury bathroom upgrade.  You’ll be well on your way to an ultramodern, luxurious space that you’ll enjoy with your family for years to come, and your home will stand out from the rest when the time comes to sell.