7 Things to Look for When Hiring a Contractor

When you’re ready to plan those long awaited renovations, you want everything to go as smoothly as possible. That means when hiring contractors you want to be certain you are looking for all the right qualifications and qualities. Here are a few things to look for when hiring a contractor in Ottawa:

Testimonials or References:

The internet can really help you narrow down your list. One of the things you can do is search “contractors Ottawa” to narrow down your options by looking for websites that feature positive reviews.

Testimonials speak volumes about how well a contractor works and the level of service they provide. You can also ask them for references.

Before and After:

You can also look for before and after shots on a contractors website. Seeing results is always an excellent incentive to go with someone who takes pride in their work and is happy to show it.


Even with photos and testimonials it is nice to know your contractor has plenty of experience. Experience not only means knowledge, it also often means they have had years to forge strong relationships with vendors and they can get quality materials at excellent prices.


You want someone who will come out and assess your space to give you an estimate for your project. Never go into a project blind. You might find out the hard way just how expensive something can get without a budget and estimate in place.

Work Ethic:

If you are in contact with a contractor and you have difficulty getting them to return your calls, this does not bode well. You want someone with a strong work ethic who will make themselves available. This will speak to their dependability as well.

Customer Service:

Customer service is extremely important quality to look for when hiring a contractor. You want to work with someone who takes the time to explain everything to you and who will let you know what is happening. You want to be involved in the process and be consulted when key decisions have to be made. Ask them to explain their approach and the process they use on projects so you are comfortable with the way things will work.


Last but not least, make sure they can provide you with an estimated date of completion as well as a timeline.
Looking for these qualities will help you find a contractor who is trustworthy, knowledgeable and experienced.  Please don’t wait to get in touch for a free in-home consultation, you can call us at (613) 727-9427.

Why You Shouldn’t Install Drywall Behind Shower Walls

A common problem we tend to run into a lot at RenosGroup is drywall in wet areas.  Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t install drywall behind shower walls.

While installing shower surrounds and bathtub walls over drywall is technically possible, it’s a recipe for disaster. That’s because drywall is not a material that’s intended to get wet.

In fact, drywall actively absorbs moisture – which causes it to lose its structural integrity. That’s terrible news for the framework of your home, as the compromised drywall can let moisture seep in and wreak havoc. 

Read on to learn more about what drywall does to shower walls, as well as alternative materials that work far better behind shower surrounds. 

Drywall and Moisture: A Dangerous Mix

To understand why drywall absorbs moisture, you need to learn a bit more about the material. Drywall consists of sheets of gypsum plaster held together by fiberglass. It’s used to finish interiors by placing a solid structure over the insulation and plank walls.  

Drywall is a porous material by nature, which means that it contains tiny holes capable of absorbing moisture and housing bacteria/mold. 

That’s why drywall is exclusively installed in areas that aren’t meant to ever get wet, such as your living room or bedroom walls. 

Whenever a flood occurs in a home that has drywall, the drywall will absorb the standing water – which then becomes a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria and mold. If left unchecked, the mold can cause severe structural damage to your home, costing you thousands of dollars in repairs. 

The same thing happens whenever you attempt to install a shower or a bathtub surround over drywall. 

The drywall will absorb the moisture, become compromised, grow mold, and even spread the moisture elsewhere inside your framework. It’s basically like a mini-flood occurring in your home, which you don’t want. 

That’s not all either, as it gets worse

Beyond absorbing any standing water it comes into contact with, drywall will also absorb any moisture in the air. 

That means whenever you take a hot shower or bath, the humidity released will seep into your drywall and compromise its integrity. 

A Visual Demonstration of What Can Happen

The following are a series of photos we took on a real job. The homeowner had drywall installed behind a shower surround, and look what happened.

Why You Shouldn’t Install Drywall Behind Shower Walls

Drywall Behind Shower Walls – Draper Ave

Why You Shouldn’t Install Drywall Behind Shower Walls

Drywall Behind Shower Walls – Draper Ave

Why You Shouldn’t Install Drywall Behind Shower Walls

Drywall Behind Shower Walls – Draper Ave

Why You Shouldn’t Install Drywall Behind Shower Walls

Drywall Behind Shower Walls – Draper Ave

The moisture ultimately compromised the drywall, causing it to rot and form dangerous mold. It then spread to the rest of the wall, causing structural damage to the home. 

We took photos to convey the dangers of using standard drywall behind the shower and bathtub. Trust us, the last thing you want to have to deal with is massive structural damage to your home, as the repair costs are excessively steep.

Alternative Materials for Your Bathroom Walls 

Now that you know why drywall is such a no-no for your bathroom, what materials should you use instead?

There are quite a few options, including a modified version of traditional drywall called ‘green board.’ 

Green / Blue Drywall

Green/blue board, is a drywall that’s been covered with coloured paper (to distinguish it from regular drywall) coated with a protective wax for moisture 


Denshield is an excellent alternative when traditional drywall doesn’t cut it. Denshield has a water-proof front with a moisture protect back and sides.  Similar to green/blue board it has a drywall interior.

If you can select a material to use behind a shower or tub surround, Denshield is an excellent choice. With it in place, you can run the shower all you want without worrying about mold forming inside your walls. 

Concrete Backing Board

A cement or concrete backing board is another option for your tiled areas. Typically, builders use concrete backing whenever they need to form a base for ceramic tile. 

A concrete backing board is an excellent option if your shower or bathtub surround features ceramic tiles. Grout and mortar also easily adhere to concrete backing boards, making them an ideal material to use.

Waterproofing Membranes

Membranes are now one of the more popular options today.  They even come in handy if the space you’re converting into a bathroom wasn’t one before, like a closet. Since the builders didn’t intend the walls in a closet to get wet, they likely used regular drywall. In this scenario, you would add a Schluter moisture-blocking membrane to avoid installing brand-new materials.

What’s that?

A moisture-blocking membrane is a thin felt back water-proofing material strip that prevents moisture from entering the drywall. 

If done correctly the membranes are the best option and have become the most popular form of ensuring your wet areas are sealed and mold free.
A downside is that these membranes tend to run on the pricey side.

Trust RenosGroup With Your Bathroom Remodel 

Understanding why drywall isn’t a suitable material for bathroom walls is essential knowledge for all homeowners, so please share this article on your social media accounts to help get the word out. 

You never know; you may save someone thousands of dollars in repairs by showing them this article. 

If you want to remodel your bathroom walls in Ottawa, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at RenosGroup. Our licensed team of professionals will install beautiful shower and bathtub surrounds for you, and we always use appropriate materials that won’t damage your home. 

To schedule renovations, you can either fill out our online form or call us at (613) 727-9427.

Storage Place in your Bathroom

What a fantastic renovation product for those who can’t find any storage place in your bathroom …….which we ALL know is NOT unusual.   This product can even be used in a kitchen pantry for even more storage capability.

ODL Inc. has invented On Hand In-Door Storage and Communication system. The system boasts storage on one side and decoration and communication opportunities on the opposite side. Built into an interior door, the storage side has adjustable shelving and are reversible.  It offers a glass marker board on the other side which has a removable white deco board that can be personalized and used as a marker board using dry-erase markers.

As you can see this can be used in many areas in the house where you need more storage………

Storage place in your bathroom

To learn more about ideas for storage place in your bathroom, don’t hesitate to get in touch to schedule renovations, you can fill out an online form or give us a call at (613) 727-9427.

Dance in the Shower

New Product Alert !!!   A music lover’s delight….. You can now add the sounds of your favorite songs on your smartphone to help you dance in the shower as an item checked off for your next bathroom renovation.  Kohler has come out with a shower head that has a waterproof speaker that magnetically sticks into the head.    It’s a small Bluetooth connected speaker that streams music from your smartphone.  This was tested by many at a Builder Trade show, the comments were positive ” sound quality is impressive”, “Set up and playing music from iPhone 5 within 10 seconds”.  It comes in a standard 2.5 GPM (gallons per minute) or a water saving 2.0 GPM

A great innovation from Kohler.

Don’t forget to add this to your checklist of wants for your next bathroom renovation project 🙂

Dance in the shower

Dance in the shower

Dance in the shower

To dance in the shower…..get in touch to schedule renovations. You can fill out an online form or give us a call at (613) 727-9427.

Kitchens, Bathrooms Top Home Renovation Wish List

Renovation of a new kitchen or installing a fancy bathroom tops the list of Canadians’ planned renovations, and they’re also likely to be the most profitable projects, according to a new report.

Canadians are expected to spend more than $45 billion on doing up their homes in 2011, up slightly from $44.6 billion in 2010, according to BMO Economics.

The vast majority of that money will be put to jobs inside the house, with 48% saying it will go to a new kitchen renovation and 46% planning to a bathroom renovation, the BMO poll found.

“If you’re undergoing a renovation in order to increase the value of your home, it’s important to understand that not all projects will deliver the same return on your investment,” said Katie Archdekin, head of mortgage products, BMO Bank of Montreal.

Bathroom and kitchen upgrades are the most profitable of home renovations, according to the Appraisal Institute of Canada. Property owners can recoup between 75% and 100% of the cost upon resale, compared with 50% to 100% for a paint job and just zero to 25% for additions such as a swimming pool.

Canada’s property market continues to march ahead despite warnings prices may have peaked and may even be set for a fall. The average house price rose 8.6% in May from the same month last year, according to a recent report by real estate giant Royal LePage.

The BMO poll also found that Canadians may be heeding official warnings on debt and not borrowing to upgrade their homes.

About 57% of poll respondents said they preferred to rely on savings to pay for their upgrades, compared with 19% who said they would take out a loan. Only 5% said they would use a credit card, which tends to be the most expensive form of borrowing.

Other popular home improvements include landscaping, with 39% of homeowners saying they planned changes to the outside of their homes. Thirty-eight percent planned to improve their basements, while 25% are turning their attention to the bedroom.

The least popular home renovation projects included installing a swimming pool and adding an extension, the poll found.

The survey was conducted by Leger Marketing using its online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1,508 Canadian homeowners 25-45 years old.

* Sharon Singleton, Ottawa Sun

When you are ready to upgrade the value of your home, please don’t wait to get in touch for a free in-home consultation, you can call us at (613) 727-9427.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Use a Professional for Your Bathroom Renovation

Discover the RenosGroup difference and take the stress out of your bathroom renovation.  During the life time of your home, the bathroom will be the most trafficked room in the house. You’ll require quality materials and know how to ensure your bathroom renovation can handle the wear and tear of a busy family.  While your bathroom may not do much entertaining, it presents its own challenges.  With multiple plumbing areas, electrical work, and confined work spaces, bathroom renovations are a challenge that requires a professional team of renovators.  Here are the top 5 reasons you should use a professional for your bathroom renovation


Just because we make bathroom renovations look easy doesn’t mean it is.


The team of bathroom renovators is made up of multiple professional trades people and designers who bring all the necessary renovation skills to the table. Having elite craftsmen is the best way to ensure your bathroom renovation gets done on time, on budget and in the manner you envisioned it.


Anyone can offer a free quote over the phone.


Each bathroom renovation presents unique challenges; after all, each of us has a personal vision for our home. Embracing your vision is the key to giving you a successfully bathroom renovation.  It can’t be captured in one phone call or email. What you need is a free consultation.

Upon your request our designers will meet with you to determine your needs and specifications. Working with you, we’ll create a design plan to ensure the proper use of space in the area to be renovated. Our contracts are written out in layman’s terms free of industry jargon…this way you’ll be able to understand your renovation contract and be protected against escape clauses.


Reasons You Should Use a Professional for Your Bathroom Renovation






Professionals don’t allow costs to soar out of control.

An in-home consultation with a bathroom design specialist will allow your renovator to inspect the area to be improved. Your free consultation will be used to define the scope of your bathroom renovation project. We’ll collect vital information on your plumbing and electrical needs, room measurements and carpentry space. None of this is possible with a simple phone call or in a showroom.

Once we’ve defined the scope of your renovation project, we’ll present you with a responsible pricing quote with a schedule of work and design plan. This amount of detailed pre-planning is the best weapon against cost over runs. The more you prepare in the beginning the less likely you are to run into obstacles along the way.


Cheaper isn’t always better.


Many independent contractors simply can’t perform the quality work they continually boast about.  They offer cheaper services…but it’s not usually the best option.  Hiring a professional team of renovators will protect you and your home from unexpected complications. The team of experts has the knowledge and experience to handle any situation onsite as they may arise. You won’t have to wait three days for the plumber to show up and you won’t have to worry about a carpenter fixing your electrical wiring.


Professional renovators remove the uncertainty from bathroom renovations


The professional renovation team works as a unit. Our schedule is created according to your needs as set out in the design plan, which you will help to create during your free consultation process. Our team of bathroom professionals work from specific work plans, containing daily targets towards your bathroom renovation completion. This unique system has given an unparalleled record for completing renovation projects on time and on budget.

Your home is an investment of more than just money, it’s where you’ll raise your family and share the memories to last a lifetime. Those reasons you should use a professional professional for your bathroom renovations are the best way to ensure your memories are of a home you always loved being in.

Realistic Schedules, Trustworthy Contracts, Reliable Workmanship…It’s the Difference – Contact Us Today for Your Free Consultation, or give us a call at (613) 727-9427

Acrylic Bathtub Liners and Bath Walls

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