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.

Summer Finished Basement Tips

Summer is upon us, which is a much-welcomed change. However, there are some special considerations for your finished basement in the summer months. These tips will help you to get the most out of your finished basement, and to ensure that it stays in the best possible shape.

 Prevent Basement Moisture

 With snow-melt and spring rains, the soil will become saturated, and basement moisture can become problematic. Make sure that your property has adequate drainage, and check for leaks in your basement.   If your basement ahs any features that are subject to water damage, such as carpeted floors, now might be the time to upgrade to something that’s more moisture-resistant.

Condensation, which appears as beads of water on the walls or as wet spots on the floor, is another source of summer basement moisture.   “Sweating” pipes, warming temperatures and inadequate ventilation can cause basement condensation, and you may need the help of a professional to identify and rectify basement condensation.

Protect against Humidity

The summer months are more humid than the spring or fall, and excess humidity is the number one factor for Toronto basement mold. Monitor your basement’s humidity regularly, and install a dehumidifier if appropriate. Additionally, make sure that you’ve taken general precautions to prevent basement mold.

Finished Basement Cooling

Although your basement may stay cooler than other parts of your home, you may need to cool it in the hottest summer days, particularly for a walk-out basement. A window air conditioner is likely sufficient in most cases, although a forced air system is another potential option for basement cooling.

Are you the proud owner of a finished basement? If so, how are you preparing to enjoy your basement the most this summer season? Tell us all about it by leaving a comment in the comments section below!

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.

 

 

Cheap Basement Finishing: Your How-To Guide for Inexpensive Basement Renovation

An unfinished basement is an untapped source of bonus square footage that can be put to good use with a quality basement finishing job.  However, basement renovation cost can add up, so if you’re on a limited budget you must plan your renovation carefully.  These pointers on cheap basement finishing will help cut your basement renovation budget without compromising quality and safety.

Cheap Basement Flooring

Because basements are typically quite large, flooring can be a major expense of basement renovation, so simplifying your basement flooring cuts costs.  Stained or painted concrete is by far the cheapest option, and is exceptionally easy to install.  If that’s not your style, consider laminate flooring or vinyl tiling.  Just steer clear of carpeting, as it can be quite problematic in the event of a flood.

Cheap Basement Ceiling Options

basementAn unfinished basement will have an exposed ceiling wherein ductwork and plumbing are exposed.  One of the most inexpensive options is to leave the ceiling open but paint it black.  You can also use sheets of faux wood paneling for a rustic look.  Drop ceilings are another option, and have the added bonus of easy access to plumbing and ductwork.

Cheap Basement Wall Treatments

Your unfinished basement likely has bare cinderblock or brick walls, which should be finished for a full basement renovation.  Framing and insulating walls provides a more finished look and is energy efficient – just make sure to solve any moisture problems and select basement-appropriate insulation.  If you’re looking to cut your budget, you can simply paint your walls, or perhaps cover them in paneling, although these options aren’t as energy-efficient.

 Setting Realistic Expectations

There are many potential basement finishing features, and at the outset of your project, it may be tempting to go for all of them.  However, if you’re on a limited budget, it’s important to carefully prioritize which features you’ll get the most use from, and leave the rest for later.  You can also opt to finish only part of your basement and use the rest as storage space.

Also resist the temptation to do everything yourself in order to save money, particularly with plumbing and electrical work.  A contractor may cost more at the outset, but it’s well worth avoiding potential safety hazards or costly damage to your home that may result from faulty work.

If you’re currently planning your own cheap basement finishing job, we’d love to hear your own money saving insights.  Leave us your thoughts in the comments section.

Bathroom Design Styles

bathroom renovation torontoIf you’re in the planning stages of a bathroom renovation, your first task is to sift through the many available bathroom design styles and find a style that fits your personal taste and practical needs, and complements your home’s décor.  The sheer number of bathroom renovation ideas can be overwhelming, but rest assured that the perfect bathroom renovation design is out there.

Modern Bathroom Style

Modern or contemporary bathrooms incorporate mid-century modern design elements, and often feature contrasting color schemes and textures for an up-to-date feel.  Angular curves integrated with flowing corners cultivate an edgy, modern ambiance.

Eclectic Bathroom Design

Eclectic bathroom styles are very popular, and keep things interesting by smoothly combining seemingly incongruent elements for a unique, playful design.  This is a great way to incorporate your own personal style into your bathroom design.

Rustic Bathroom Design

Country-style bathrooms bring the outside in with design elements such as unfinished wood or plants along with traditional fixtures such as claw-foot tubs or porcelain pedestal sinks.  The homey, comfortable style of a rustic bathroom creates a cozy atmosphere that’s perfect for unwinding after a long day.

Retro Bathrooms

Retro bathrooms incorporate a twist of funky flair for a unique look that’s all your own.  Many retro bathrooms incorporate a color and design scheme from a certain era, although some smoothly incorporate a range of pieces into a unique, eclectic look.

Euro Bathrooms

Euro-style bathrooms are quite popular, and incorporate a softer, more quirky design.  Modern fixtures are integrated with soft colors such as pinks, yellows or muted neutral tones.  Some homeowners even opt to include a bidet if space and budget allow.

When choosing bathroom design styles, be true to yourself and pick a style that suits you.  Do make sure, however, that your design scheme integrates well with your home’s existing décor to prevent a dissonance between your new powder room and the rest of your home.  If you’re currently planning your own bathroom renovation, we’d love to hear your own style selection and the factors that influenced it.  Tell us all about it by leaving us a comment.

 

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.