Home renovation projects can be stressful. The noise, the mess, and the cost. If you are planning on doing home renovations but are worried about the frustrations that can come along, take a look at the home renovation tips below to help it go as smooth as possible.
Know your budget before the renovations have started. Your budget should also include a bit of extra in case of unexpected obstacles.
Have a plan in place for every detail of your renovation. Where are you going to get material from? How long until it will arrive? If you are renovating a kitchen or bathroom plan ahead how you are going to cook and bathe if your renovation is longer than a day project.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when renovating is accentuating the area’s assets. Do you have a beautiful view that could be hidden by those new windows? Are the new light fixtures as bright as the old ones? Ask yourself if what you are planning is better for the home in general or could it have a negative effect on the value or beauty of the home.
If you are hiring re-modelers for your project do some research first. Look at reviews, ask around and find out how long they have been in business for. Once you have made your selection on re-modelers do not be afraid to voice your concerns but do so in a courteous manner. The project will go smoother if everyone feels appreciated and respected.
Unless you discuss the details about your project, like which way you want your tiling to be placed, you may be disappointed. Make sure to communicate with hired professionals how you would like a project to look before they start on it. Do not make the assumption others will think the same as you.
Whichever area is being worked on, the valuable and breakable items should be removed before the project beings. Accidents happen and the last thing you would want is your inherited family heirloom in pieces from a misstep or brand new couches covered in sawdust.
A flooded basement is not fun. Issues with mold and electrical can be enough to make you want to move. Water damage is tedious to clean up and the last thing you would want to deal with after coming home from work. Below, we have compiled a list of simple tips for dealing with a flooded basement to help you get through this unpleasant experience. Note: it is always best to get a professional’s opinion especially if these quick fixes are not effective.
The very first thing you should do when you notice your basement is flooded is asses the situation. Wearing rubber boots and a mask, use a flashlight to search for any hazardous materials, figure out why the flood happened, and if any electrical wiring could be affected. If the latter is possible, contact an electrician immediately. If the water level is noticeably high enough to reach an outlet stay out of the basement until an electrician is called.
Floods usually occur due to a problem in condensation, runoff, or subsurface. To determine if it is condensation tape foil over damp spots for 24 hours. After 24 hours check to see if moisture formed on the outside of the foil. If there is, water is condensing from the air inside your home. If moisture is forming underneath the foil the water is seeping in from outside the home. To get rid of condensation air out your basement, turn up the heat during colder months, purchase a dehumidifier, add a water-proof coating to walls, insulate cold-water pipes and check a dryer vent is being properly led with no leaks to the outside of your home.
A runoff flood is from rainwater or melted snow that is not properly being led away from the home. Check the outside of your home to make sure the the ground slopes are high enough, downspout runoffs are not pooling, downspouts do not have any leaks, gutters are not full of debris, and that the runoff curbs beside your driveway are channeling to the street. To fix a runoff flood seal any cracks in the foundation and walls and any areas in the driveway.
If the flooding occurs more than just after heavy rain storms or snowfall, you could be dealing with a subsurface issue. The water table may be too high, which you can call your city to find out the level. If this is the case hiring a professional could be the best option as it can be an expensive job that needs to be done right. They can install a sump pump or inject clay into the soil and urethane caulk into cracks.
After diagnosing the reason for the flood, make sure to air out all possible items outside to dry. Unfortunately, you will need to throw out anything that could form mold such as carpet. If you find there are a lot of belongings that are damaged by the flood it is a good idea to invest in proper storage containers and shelving and to organize properly in case of another possible flood.
After the flood has been dealt with, clean and sanitize everything the water has touched before bringing items back in. For a more detailed explanation on how to properly clean up after a flood click here.
Heated flooring is a great way to keep your home warm and cozy during the colder months. Heated floors are noninvasive and can save you on energy costs. It also adds value to a home and once you have experienced it you will not want to go back! Below are the two basic types of heated flooring. If you need help deciding on which one to use in your home take a look at the simple points of both hydronic heated flooring.
Runs through an electrical current similar to a heated blanket
Placed between the sub-floor and flooring material so that the heat can rise
Works best under ceramic, porcelain or natural stone tiles
Are quick to heat up (30 to 60 minutes)
Will elevate the floor by only 1/8 of an inch
Electronic systems are great if you are wanting to add it to smaller spaces such as a bathroom instead of a whole house. Ceramic, porcelain or natural stone tiles tend to retain heat well. This means lower utility bills. If you are looking for something cost effective electric is the way to go.
To learn more about Electronic systems click on the image below.
Distributes heated water through a complex tubing system.
There are hundreds of different types of system arrangements available.
Hydronic systems tend to distribute a greater amount of heat at a lower operating cost than electric systems.
Can accommodate any type of structure, building or facility easily.
Uses the same heat source throughout the structure.
Hydronic heating is actually most cost effective if you are planning on heating several areas as several rooms share the same components needed. If you are heating an entire floor, for example, the cost will actually be cheaper than using electric heating.
To learn more about Hydronic systems click on the image below.
There are so many options when doing renovations for your bathroom. From the colour to the material, choosing the right things can be a strenuous task. Below are some tips and ideas that can help your renovation process easier.
Deciding upon the right drain for your shower is just another detail you have to figure out when renovating the shower. Your choice should factor in the type of pipe you have in your home. Below are two different types of shower drains you can decide between.
Linear Drains: These drains are long, narrow and rectangular. They look fantastic and don’t take up a lot of space. If you suffer from vision impairment you can get LED lights placed inside the drain for better vision when there is a lot of steam.
Traditional Point Drains: These are a great option if you are afraid of the flow rate in your shower. Using a bigger drain is always better than finding out it is too small after installation when your shower floods. There are an array of different grill styles you can choose from so it will not clash with the bathroom style.
For more information on drains click here.
If you are looking to just spruce up your bathroom consider hiding the toilet. If you don’t have a door to block off this piece of the bathroom try using a divider wall or large piece of furniture. Nothing says luxury like keeping things discreet.
Using a hired professional is always a good idea, but especially so when it comes to bathroom renovations. Bathrooms consist of many different ways a DIY can go wrong. Make sure you hire the professionals for the more technical jobs, so you don’t pay for it later.
Showers tend to be used more often than a bathtub. Splurging on the shower head can actually help you want to get up in the morning. Do you prefer a top mount or a handheld? Find the shower head that best suits your wants and needs. Keep in mind the water-efficiency of the shower head as well. If more than one person is going to be using the bathroom select a shower head that has a variety of settings to keep everyone happy.
Everyone knows that the best result will always come from having a professional do any home renovations, including flooring.
A professional painter will make those chevron stripes look perfect, a good contractor will completely take the stress away of organizing the reno and using a flooring company will give you more options to make your “new” home look beautiful.
But what about when having everything done by a professional isn’t in your budget? As much as we’d all love to have an infinite amount of money to fix up our home, the reality is that most people don’t! Here are some tips that can reduce the cost of your invoice without having to give up the look you are going for.
1. Do the prep work yourself
You don’t have to be a reno-friendly person to rip out and dispose of your old flooring, move your own furniture or remove your own baseboard. While it will be easier for you to have someone else do it for you, this can save you a few hundred dollars.
*Pro Tip: leave the plumbing part to the professionals, don’t touch your toilet and sink – we will remove them properly for you.
2. Pick a more budget-friendly flooring type
Working with a design consultant to assess the “look” you are going for, you will be able to select new flooring that will achieve this, while still keeping your budget in mind. If you are wanting a rustic barnwood style for your cabin, maybe look at our wide selection of vinyl planking instead of engineered hardwood. It will look the same and save you an absolute ton of money. Can’t get past the “vinyl” thing? Try going for a high quality laminate instead. It will be much more durable and in most cases now, will look the same anyway.
3. Prioritize what is most important for you
If you have your heart set on that wide plank engineered hardwood all throughout your home, then go for it! But maybe its time to consider your options in other areas. You could try only putting it in the visible area and going for something different in the bedrooms, bathrooms and rec rooms. Maybe that means you choose arborite over granite for your kitchen countertop. Or maybe you repaint your current baseboards to freshen them up instead of getting brand new ones everywhere.
4. Split up the renovation
Instead of doing the whole house at once, try doing the living room, kitchen and dining area first. The places where you see the flooring all the time may be a bigger priority. You can do the kids rooms and bathrooms later. Or maybe the basement has flooded 3 times is in need of mega remediation – start there, the main floor can wait until you have the funds.
5. Use a professional company the first time
We get customers into our store all the time saying “my sons buddy messed up our tile installation and now everything is cracking” or “my husband really didn’t know how to install hardwood and now it has expanded and is lifting everywhere”. These people are now paying us much more money to undo the mess as well as re-install. When it comes to something technical, make sure you get it done properly the first time! For some tips on what to ask a flooring contractor, see our blog post on what to ask!
*Pro Tip: if having us do the install is not in your budget, get your product from us and we will deliver it to your home, do an on-site installation tutorial as well as be available for the odd question along the way…all for free.
Remember: you will always get a better outcome from having a professional do your home renovation, but there are many ways to reduce the cost of it. Ask us how!
Last week we taught you some important questions to ask yourself and your potential flooring contractor before choosing to hire independent over us. Part 2 include the most important questions. To let us know what you think or if want some more tips, facebook us @paulsfloorslethbridge.
3. Are you insured in case something happens while you are working in our home?
“I’m hiring a grown man, he’s not going to fall. Plus if he does, I wont be liable”. Unfortunately, if you thought something like this, you may be in for a surprise. We all know that Lethbridge can bring huge temperature changes which means ICE when you least expect it. You’re installer can’t help that he can’t see it when he steps outside with his hands full. Or what if your dog tracks some snow in and the “grown man” takes tumble. However, youre right – chances are, a decent person would recognize that it wasn’t your fault and they would chalk it up to them being clumsy. But what if that doesn’t happen? Think about the possible implications of hiring someone to work in your home who is not insured and doesn’t have workers compensation – you could end up being on the hook! All of our staff are fully protected by Insurance and WCB to ensure that that won’t happen. Plus we train them to be extra careful!
4. I bought my product from Paul’s Floors and I have warranty on that, but do you warranty the labour in case something happens or I am unhappy with the finished product?
This is one is one of the more important questions to ask. Suppose you hire someone you met on Kijiji and they seem awesome? super cool to chat with, covered by WCB, were able to educate you on how to do your kitchen splash to match the new hardwood and gave you a lesson on how to protect the product for the next 10 years. Now suppose they lay the floor the wrong direction, or a few boards lift, or you find a small tear in the vinyl? Then what? You will end up having to either pay them or someone else to come back in and fix it, or deal with the issue. This is a huge reason why going with a store to install your product is so important! At Paul’s Floors, you not only get a manufacturer’s warranty on your product, but you get a 1 year warranty on labour as well!
5. Are you trustworthy to be in my house unsupervised?
Here’s a hint: IF YOU DOUBT EVEN 1% ON THIS ONE…GO WITH YOUR GUT!! This is true whether you hire someone from a store or an independent contractor. Did you know we recently had a customer call JUST to say “omg can i adopt him?!” about one of our junior installers (we think she was kidding?). If you aren’t having these thoughts (or a normal level of appreciation), maybe you need to reconsider who is in your house. Do you really want to be confined to your house for a week straight just to hover over your contractor? That sounds pretty horrible if you ask me! About 80% of our clients trust us enough within ONE MEETING to have keys to their home and to just come and go as we please until the job is complete. Why? Because we assure them that we vet every single person that we hire to ensure that their home and possessions are fully secure when we are in there working!
Don’t forget, if and when it doesn’t work out perfectly, we will be here to save the day – although its much better for everybody if you do it right from the start!
Most people will admit they probably wouldn’t know how (or want!) to install their own flooring. However, most people know someone’s brother, uncle, buddy, neighbour etc. who is a self described “installer”. This usually means they’ve tiled some backsplashes, or they are generally pretty handy or they watch a lot of “Property Brothers”. You’re right, it is usually a few dollars cheaper to get an independent person to install your flooring. But have you factored in the cost of having to get it redone when they don’t finish it properly? Below are 5 questions you should ask the potential person (and yourself) before taking the plunge
1. How long have you been installing “insert type of product”?
Maybe your contractor knows how to install hardwood, but does he know how to clean it, how it reacts with certain products, what sort of air quality you should maintain in your house, how to prevent scratches or what might happen with sudden changes in weather? The answers to all these questions doesn’t come from knowing how to install something, it comes from years of experience, hours upon hours or training and hundreds of customers who have given feedback. When you have Paul’s Floors install your product, we answer any and all questions and we make sure you know exactly how to maintain it long term.
2. Do you have any ideas about how we can complete the rest of our home to complement this flooring?
You might think it’s silly to ask something like that-after all, it’s not like it is a requirement that all flooring installers also be interior designers. But it sure doesn’t hurt. By asking something like this, you will know that a) your contractor has years of experience behind him in the industry and can pull ideas from that and b) if someone has an eye for detail in that sense, chances are, they have an eye for details in their own work. That means you probably won’t find gaps in the tile, or bumps in the wood or bubbles in the vinyl if they are a detailed-oriented person. Our installers all have a keen eye for detail, an avid sense of what is on trend in the industry and all jobs are checked over by Paul to make sure each area gets his seal of approval.
For more tips on what to ask a flooring contractor, tune in next week!