Blog

Undermount Sink with a Laminate Countertop ?

Undermount sinks have become all the rage in today’s age, as they provide a sleek appearance and are easier to keep clean (no ridge means no opportunity for grease and grime to accumulate). 

Yet, an undermount sink requires a different type of installation than traditional ‘drop-in’ sinks. 

Also, undermount sinks work better with certain materials than others. In particular, solid surface materials work best, as they can support the considerable weight of the sink and your not left with exposed edges of unfinished wood around the sink opening.

Due to their strength and durability, granite, soapstone, and concrete are all perfect countertop material options for undermount sinks. 

But what if you have laminate countertops instead? Will you still be able to install a beautiful undermount sink for your kitchen?

The answer is a bit complicated. While possible, it’s a complex job that you should leave to a finish carpenter experienced in building laminate countertops. 

If you attempt to install an undermount sink into your laminate countertops by yourself, you could end up costing yourself thousands in repairs. 

Read on to learn more about undermount sinks and laminate countertops and how to combine the two successfully. 

What are Undermount Sinks?

 

In general, there are two types of sinks used in kitchens and bathrooms – drop-in sinks and undermount sinks. 

The primary difference lies in the installation method. 

Drop-in sinks get installed by cutting a hole on top of the counter and dropping the sink in, hence the name. 

Undermount sinks, on the other hand, get installed beneath the countertop and are held in place by an extra-strong adhesive and special mounting brackets. For this reason, it’s critical for the material to be robust enough to support the weight of the sink without causing issues. 

For an undermount, the sink installs flush into the countertop, not below or above. While this provides a stylish look that’s also easier to clean – it’s what can cause problems with weaker materials, such as laminate countertops. 

Strength and stability aren’t the only issues laminate countertops have with undermount sinks, either. 

Laminate countertops contain MDF (medium-density fibreboard) underneath, which is extremely sensitive to moisture. If the MDF gets wet, it will ruin your countertops due to warping (foiling your ability to install an undermount sink in the future, too). 

So if you’re going to install an undermount sink on a laminate countertop in your kitchen or bathroom, you need to make doubly sure that no moisture can seep through into the MDF.

Why are Undermount Sinks Popular?

 

In the past, down-in sinks were virtually everywhere due to their versatility and ease of installation. 

However, undermount sinks have taken over in recent years due to a variety of attractive benefits they yield to homeowners, including:

  • A superior sense of style. Undermount sinks provide a sleek, streamlined look that’s more modernized than a down-in sink. Many homeowners desire undermount sinks for the visual appeal alone.
  • They’re more hygienic. Drop-in sinks have the unique disadvantage of having silicone bead seals around the edges. Not only are these unsightly, but they’re breeding grounds for bacteria, as they’re notorious for accumulating grease, grime, and dirt. An undermount sink has no such seal, so they’re a far more hygienic option.
  • Clean-up is a breeze. This plays off the previous benefit. Since there’s no seal around the edge, there’s nothing for water/food remaining to get caught on. As such, you can clean your countertops by funneling everything directly into your sink.
  • They add counter space. A drop-in sink will take up more counter space, limiting the area where you can prepare food and store appliances. Undermount sinks are far more compact, so you’ll enjoy more counter space as a result.
  • You can install the faucet anywhere. On a drop-in sink, the faucet can only go in one spot – in the sink basin. With an undermount sink, you’ll experience full faucet freedom. You can choose to install it on the wall, behind the bowl, to the side, or wherever else you please. 

Those are the main reasons why undermount sinks have dramatically risen in popularity in recent years. 

Laminate Countertop Concerns

 

As previously stated, laminate is a weaker material

Undermount sink with laminate countertop

Undermount sink with laminate countertop

than granite or marble – which is why it has trouble supporting an undermount sink. 

So does that mean there’s no hope for laminate countertop owners with their hearts set on undermount sinks?

Not at all, just that there are a few extra steps involved in the process (which will likely require homeowners to rethink their budget). 

We can’t stress enough that a complicated job like this is best left to professional contractors like us. Attempting to build your own laminate countertops or install a sink with mounting brackets and glue can end in disaster. 

For instance, if you get the particle board wet, it can warp your countertops and ruin them forever. 

Concluding Thoughts: Undermount Sink With Laminate Countertops

 

In summary, installing an undermount sink on laminate countertops is possible. 

While laminate is far from the ideal material to use, it’s still doable with custom laminate countertops and a thin, utterly flat sink.

We’ll be completely transparent…. In many cases, it will be more work and cost than it may be worth for you. If properly installing an undermount sink on your laminate countertops is out of your budget, we can recommend looking for good deals on leftover stone countertop pieces and using a standard unmount sink of your choice. Feel free to contact us or call us at 613-727-9427 for a free in-home consultation on your next renovation in Ottawa

Gallery of manufacturer’s pictures

Website:  Karran.com

Link to video on how a stainless steel sink is installed under laminate countertop
Link to video on how a solid surface (acrylic) sink is install under laminate countertop

Water Damage in Ottawa? Your Essential Guide to Repair

Did your home incur significant water damage in Ottawa? If so, it’s crucial to act fast – as wet surfaces and materials start to form mold and other severe issues after only 24 hours. 

As such, you’ll want to assess your damages and begin repairs as soon as possible. 

If the damage is severe and beyond your scope, don’t hesitate to call our highly trained and experienced team at 613-727-9427, and we’ll hop on your repairs immediately. 

If the damage is minimal, you may want to know if you can handle the repairs yourself. 

In that case, you’ve come to the right place – as we’ve prepared an extensive guide to repair water damage in Ottawa.  

Even if you haven’t experienced water damage in your home, it’s still beneficial to know how to deal with it properly should it occur. 

There’s quite a bit to know about water damage, and making the wrong move could spell disaster. Conversely, making the right decisions early on will go a long way toward restoring your home to its original state at a reasonable cost. 

Read on to learn the best practices involved with proper water damage repair. Along the way, we’ll cover:

  • The three different types of water damage
  • Mold inspection tips
  • How to dry everything out
  • What to throw away and what’s safe to keep
  • Restoring and replacing drywall and siding
  • Painting and caulking
  • Knowing when to hire professionals 

Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about repairing water damage in Ottawa. 

Is it Clean, Gray, or Black Water? The Three Types of Water Damage

 
 

First things first, you need to determine which type of water has contaminated your home. 

If that sentence makes you scratch your head, you should know that not all water damage is the same. In particular, there are three types of water damage, each with varying degrees of severity. 

We didn’t just make this up, either. These are official rankings from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC). They are:

  • Clean water
  • Gray water
  • Black water 

Each has unique requirements for how you approach repairs, so let’s take a closer look at them. 

Dealing with Clean Water Damage

The first and most accessible type of water damage to repair is from clean water – which is the least severe of the three, according to the IICRC. 

While it may seem nonsensical to refer to water flooding your home as ‘clean,’ it’s more about it being free of raw sewage and toxins, which will wreak even more havoc on your home and belongings.

Clean water comes from:

  • Busted pipes
  • Sinks
  • Water supply lines
  • Rain 

As you can see, these are all ‘clean’ sources of water that don’t contain excessive toxins or raw sewage. As such, this type of water is the easiest to dry up and repair without causing too much lasting damage. 

If you have clean water damage in Ottawa, you should be able to repair it by yourself relatively quickly. 

Of course, it will also depend on how much clean water damage your home has incurred. Repairs should be straightforward and pain-free if there’s only an inch or two of water on the ground. 

Dealing with Gray Water Damage 

Next on the IICRC severity scale is gray water – which is water that is slightly dirty or soiled – but not excessively. 

Gray water has more contaminants than clean water but still lacks raw sewage and severe contaminants. 

Gray water comes from:

  • Toilets
  • Washing machines
  • Sump pump backups
  • Dishwashers 

The waste and chemicals in gray water may or may not be directly harmful to humans, but it’s crucial to thoroughly disinfect your home to ensure the contaminants don’t cause problems down the line. 

You may also need to wear safety gear while repairing gray water damage to protect yourself from hazardous toxins (especially if the gray water came from a sump pump backup). 

At this point, you can still opt to handle the repairs yourself, but we recommend that you leave it to professionals like our team at RenosGroup. That’s because we’re well versed in cleaning/removing contaminated materials from bathrooms, kitchens, and basements to ensure that we restore your home to its original glory. 

Dealing with Black Water Damage 

Black water is the most severe on the IICRC scale, and for a good reason. Black water contains raw sewage and hazardous toxins that are extremely dangerous. 

You should by NO MEANS attempt to repair black water damage in Ottawa by yourself. 

That’s because black water can cause severe health complications if you aren’t wearing the proper safety gear/taking the necessary precautions. 

The last thing you want is to have to contend with a life-threatening illness while your home is flooded, which is why you should ALWAYS call us at RenosGroup to repair black water damage. 

How do you know if your home is contaminated with black water?

Here’s where black water comes from:

  • Sewers
  • Rising flood waters
  • Seawater
  • River water

If your home gets flooded by a sewer overflow or rising river waters, you need to contact professionals for cleanup as soon as possible. Black water contains bacteria, human waste, and other serious contaminants – so your home will need to undergo extensive disinfecting before returning to normal. 

Protect Your Home From Water Damage in Ottawa

Your Repair Guide for Water Damage in Ottawa

 

Now that you know about the three types of water damage, it’s time to learn how to repair damage from clean water and gray water. 

If you suspect the gray water has bacteria or contaminants in it, you should contact professionals for repairs. Yet, if it’s simply some water from a busted toilet, you should be able to handle it by yourself. 

Like anything else, there’s a right and wrong way to go about repairing water damage, which is why we’ve prepared this guide containing a step-by-step process for getting rid of water damage in Ottawa. 

Step #1: Inspect for Serious Issues

Your first step should be to assess the damage as thoroughly as possible. In particular, you need to keep your eyes open for severe issues like mold and mildew. 

What’s the difference?

In a nutshell, mildew forms on surfaces, and mold grows inside walls and dark places. So if you see a gray, white, or light brown growth around your home, it’s likely mildew. If there’s a growth inside your pipes or walls, it’s mold. 

Remember, mold and mildew can begin forming within 24 hours of incurring water damage. You need to assess the damage as soon as possible to stop them in their tracks. 

What do you do if you find mold or mildew?

Both are toxic and can be pretty dangerous to humans. If you notice severe mold/mildew in your home, your best bet is usually to call us to dispose of it safely and securely. You should also vacate the house and shut down the airflow (to avoid further contamination). 

For minor occurrences of mold/mildew, cut out the material it’s growing on, bag it, and dispose of it immediately. 

Step #2: Dry Everything Out 

Once you’ve completed a full assessment of the damage, it’s time to dry up all the moisture lingering in your home so you can return to normal. 

If you’re dealing with a small leak, you should be able to dry everything out by using heavy-duty fans. Not only will they expedite the drying process, but they’ll circulate the air in the affected area, which can help prevent foul odors. 

Your goal here should be to suck up every ounce of moisture left in the affected area. 

If your flooding is more on the severe side, you’ll need to rent a high-capacity dehumidifier to dry your carpet, wood, ceiling, and belongings. 

If you don’t feel like bothering with all that hassle, you can hire professionals like us to dry out your home. We have access to premium quality fans and dehumidifiers we can use to ensure we dry out every inch of your home. 

Step #3: Dispose of all Porous Materials 

Next, you’ll need to remove anything porous that got wet during the flooding. 

What are porous materials?

They contain tiny holes (like pores in your skin) that absorb moisture, dirt, and bacteria. Wet porous material can grow dangerous mold or mildew if left unchecked.

This may be a difficult step, as you likely won’t want to part ways with your carpet or specific pieces of furniture. 

Yet, it’s a necessary step, as water often permanently damages porous materials. For example, when wooden furniture gets wet (which is porous), it can permanently warp the wood – ruining it forever. 

That’s why it’s best to cut out wet porous materials and replace them. That includes carpet, fabric, insulation, wood furniture, and concrete. If you aren’t sure if something is porous or not, a quick Google search will let you know. It’s crucial to be vigilant here, as the last thing you want is to hold onto something porous that will grow harmful mold down the line. 

Step #4: Disinfect Everything You Keep 

Even the nonporous things you keep will need to go through disinfection to ensure they’re safe for your home. 

Water damage in Ottawa will affect everything it touches, which is why you must leave no stone unturned when repairing it. 

Why is disinfecting a necessary step?

It is because you never know when a few mold spores are left lingering on the floor or in a piece of furniture. All it takes is a few spores to start forming harmful mold that will be expensive to remove. 

That’s why you’ll want to disinfect everything with bleach (or a homemade solution) to completely wipe out all the bacteria, dirt, and mold spores. 

For clean water damage, lightly spraying the floor with a disinfecting agent and wiping it dry is all you’ll need to do. For gray water damage in Ottawa, you’ll need to go to more drastic measures when disinfecting the area. If you have black water damage, you should call us instead to avoid exposing yourself to harmful contaminants. 

Step #5: Repair Ceiling Panels First 

If your ceiling got wet from the water damage, it should be the first spot that you repair. That’s because ceilings are the most susceptible to sustaining structural damage due to gravity. 

Start by removing all ceiling panels that were affected by the leak. It would help if you also did some work to ascertain whether the leak originated from the roof or not. 

Important note: The leak from your roof may originate in a spot that’s far away from the actual water stain – so be thorough in your search. 

You should also check your beams and rafters to see if they got wet or incurred any damage from the leak. 

For any ceiling panel that got wet, throw it out and replace it with a new one. If your beams and rafters show signs of damage, you should contact us to repair them professionally. 

Step #6: Replace All Warped/Rotting Wood 

There’s no saving warped or rotted wood – so you’ll need to get rid of it all. Warped wood is not only ruined forever but can also form harmful mold inside, which can be detrimental to your health. 

Do your best to pry each wood panel apart so you can clean underneath it before replacing it. 

That’s because some excess moisture below the wood may cause problems down the line if you don’t clean it up now. 

If the wood in question plays an essential structural role in your home, you must be extra careful when pulling it out and replacing it. Your home’s structure relies on a precise balance of support, and you may disrupt that when ripping out structural wood. If you don’t want to be on the hook for expensive structural damage, leave the work to professionals like us. 

Step #7: Install New Flooring 

Water is particularly harsh on floors, as it can cause carpets to grow harmful mold and bacteria, and the moisture will swell and warp wooden floorboards. 

As such, the chances are high that you’ll need to replace your floors – or at least check underneath them to ensure the underlayment and padding don’t have any water damage (both can absorb moisture which will cause issues). 

The bright side is that this allows you to install waterproof flooring, which will protect you from water damage in the future. 

Popular waterproof flooring options include:

  • Ceramic tile
  • Porcelain tile
  • Vinyl planks
  • Sheet vinyl
  • Certain types of engineered wood
  • Polished concrete 

These are all adequate flooring options that are highly water-resistant, which will protect you should another leak/flood occur. To further protect your floors from water damage in Ottawa, you could opt for a protective sealant coating to waterproof the surface. 

Step #8: Replace Drywall and Siding

If any walls were affected by the water damage, you’ll need to either repair or replace the drywall. 

How do you know when a sheet of drywall is too far gone?

The rule of thumb is that if more than 3/8ths of an inch has swelled or sagged due to moisture – you should replace the entire sheet. Make sure to cut out the entire affected area and dry it out before installing fresh drywall. 

You can generally salvage the sheet if less than 3/8ths is affected. 

It would be best to inspect your external siding for water damage. If any water seeps behind your siding, it can cause permanent damage to the sensitive materials inside. 

If your siding has water damage, you’ll want to remove it as soon as possible to prevent rot from setting in underneath. Besides siding, moisture can also penetrate any faux stone surface, so it’s crucial to be as thorough as possible when inspecting the outside of your home for water damage in Ottawa. 

Step #9: Apply Fresh Paint and Caulk 

The final step is to either touch up or apply a fresh coat of paint to all the affected areas. That includes floors, walls, ceilings, and external siding. 

If the damage was minimal, you could get away with touching things up. If it was more extensive, you’re better off with a fresh coat. 

Once the painting is done, caulk all the materials (toilets, tile, etc.) to seal them and protect them from future water damage. 

Final Thoughts: Repairing Water Damage in Ottawa

 
 

Nobody wants to contend with water damage, but you never know when it will rear its ugly head. Luckily, this guide has your back should a leak or flood occur in your home. 

Remember to identify which type of water damage you have as the first step because if you’re dealing with black water – you need to call us at RenosGroup instead of attempting to repair the damage yourself. 

Our trained team of professionals has the know-how and top-tier equipment to make quick work of your water damage, no matter how severe it is. If you need water damage repair services or are renovating your home in Ottawa, don’t wait to reach out to us for a free in-home consultation at 613-727-9427.

Kitchen Remodeling in Ottawa: Cabinetry Guide

Whenever we consult with a client about kitchen remodeling in Ottawa, cabinetry is almost always the first subject that pops up, and it’s easy to see why.

Your cabinets are often the central focal point of your kitchen, as they’re what catches the eye first. That means the cabinetry you choose will make or break your kitchen depending on their quality, color, finish, and style.

The same is true for bathrooms, as well as basements that have guest rooms and kitchenettes.

Yet, there’s quite a bit to know when selecting cabinetry for your home. Hundreds of designs, styles, materials, and finishes exist.

You’ll also need to consider your budget and the overall feel you want your kitchen, basement, or bathroom to have.

Considering this, we’ve compiled this extensive purchasing guide for kitchen cabinets. That way, you’ll know exactly what to ask for when consulting with a kitchen contractor in Ottawa – including a realistic price range, so you don’t exceed your budget.

Stick around to learn everything you need to know about buying cabinets for your basement, bathroom, or kitchen remodeling in Ottawa.

The Different Types of Cabinets

First, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the different types of cabinetry to determine your needs.

Regarding kitchens, the design typically consists of base cabinets, wall cabinets, and pantry cabinets.

The most popular bathroom options are Vanities, shaker-style, and louvered cabinets.

Basements tend to feature wall cabinets and ample storage cabinets – but they can also feature base cabinets and pantries if they have a kitchenette.

To discover what will work best for your renovation project, let’s take a more detailed look at each cabinet type.

Base Cabinets

Base cabinets serve two purposes; to provide storage space and to serve as a foundation for your kitchen’s countertop or sink.

For countertops featuring materials like granite or marble, base cabinetry needs extra reinforcement to provide proper support.

Kitchen sinks are also heavy and require a strong foundation, which is where base cabinets come into play. They hold up your sinks and countertops so you can work at standing height and provide convenient storage space for appliances, cleaning supplies, and more.

In particular, there are two types of base cabinets:

  • Sink base cabinets. These cabinets are specifically designed to support a kitchen sink – which is why they have an open back and a false drawer in front (it’s to work around your plumbing without drawing attention to it). They also provide storage space, and they come in a wide variety of colors and styles.
  • Corner cabinets. These are the cabinets that occupy the corners of your counter space. Several types of corner cabinets help you get the most out of your kitchen. Blind cabinets feature half a standard cabinet, with the other half being the corner of the adjacent cabinet. Lazy susan cabinets have rotating bases so you can easily access items in the back.

On average, base cabinets are around 24-inches deep with a few different options for width. Without a countertop, they average 34 inches in height. With a countertop, it jumps up to 35 to 36 inches.

Wall Cabinets

As the name implies, wall cabinets mount to the walls in your kitchen. Since they’re up high, these cabinets matter the most for visual appeal. They’re the focal point of the entire room, so it’s imperative to select the right style and material for them.

They come in various heights and widths, as some wall cabinets are shorter and hover over appliances like microwaves and refrigerators. Others are taller and typically reach up to 40″ inches in height.

Most wall cabinets feature adjustable shelves, with the height determining the number of shelves you can have.

Depending on the width of the cabinets, they can be a single door, double door, or even triple door if there’s enough room.

Like base cabinets, there are also corner wall cabinets – the most popular type being angled corner cabinets.

They’re typically 12-inches deep and 12 to 42-inches wide.

There are many ways that we can add visual flair to your wall cabinets through our Ottawa kitchen remodeling, such as:

  • LED lighting arrangements
  • Artistic glass inserts
  • Decorative framing and door designs

It’s also possible to raise or lower wall cabinets for accessibility reasons.

Pantry Cabinets for Ottawa Kitchen Remodeling

Pantries start at the floor and are usually quite tall. Typical heights range from 84-inches to 96-inches, with widths ranging from 12 to 36-inches.

Besides serving as a pantry, these tall cabinets also work as a way to house wall ovens and refrigeration units.

Yet, the most common use is as a pantry, and they usually have two doors and up to three adjustable shelves. A pantry is necessary for any Ottawa kitchen remodel, as you want plenty of room to store all your non-perishable (and perishable) food items.

Without one, you likely won’t have enough storage space for all your food, which leads to unsightly clutter (such as cereal boxes stacked on top of the fridge).

It’s common for pantries to have top and bottom sections. The top has three adjustable shelves, and the bottom is either open or has more storage options like pull out shelves.

Shaker-Style Cabinets

In our experience with Ottawa kitchen remodeling, shaker-style cabinets are among the most popular for both kitchens and bathrooms.

They provide a timeless appeal that never goes out of style and work great for achieving the farmhouse kitchen look.

A shaker-style cabinet features five components:

  • Two stiles
  • Two rails
  • A recessed panel in the middle

Shakers mix well with glass inserts, and it’s easy to spruce them up with millwork to add some visual flair.

Glass-Front Cabinets

Do you want to add ritz and sophistication to your kitchen cabinetry?

If so, there’s no better way than by adding glass-front cabinets. They’re popular for wall cabinets, base cabinets, and cabinets under kitchen islands.

While you probably don’t want to use glass-front cabinets for every cabinet, it looks stylish to mix and match.

In particular, glass-front cabinets work well if you want to display something, such as prized bottles of liquor or wine or expensive china.

Glass cabinets are also more effective at keeping your valuables safe from grime, dust, grease, and dirt. Another perk is that they will reflect the ambient light in the room, brightening everything up. That means you won’t have to turn on as many lights in your kitchen, which will help save money on your energy bill.

To add a little extra pizazz, you can add window films that can turn the glass into different colors or add stunning etched patterns.

White Cabinets

White cabinets are the preferred choice for homeowners after the all-white farmhouse kitchen look. White cabinets are timeless, as white transcends all trends.

Why is that?

It’s because white as a color works great as a backdrop for other hues, themes, and styles.

As such, white cabinets are a safe option if you want to have the freedom and flexibility to renovate again in the near future. If you decide to try out a new color scheme for your kitchen, you can keep the white cabinets the same, and they’ll look fine.

Kitchen Remodeling in Ottawa: Cabinetry Guide

Kitchen Remodeling in Ottawa: Cabinetry Guide

Cabinet Materials

Equally as important as the type of cabinet you choose is its material. Cheaper cabinets use poor materials, such as flimsy, low-grade particle boards that won’t last very long.

Besides poor materials, you should keep an eye out for:

  • Staples
  • Notched butt joints
  • Corner gussets and braces made of plastic
  • Thin panels
  • Cheap glue, screws, and nails

These are all tell-tale signs that the cabinet is of poor quality. You get what you pay for when it comes to cabinets, so it’s crucial to include enough in your budget for high-quality cabinets with durable materials.

Which materials work best for cabinets?

There are quite a few, so let’s take a look at each one.

Moisture-Resistant, High-Grade Particle Board

While particle board has a bad reputation, and primarily for a good reason, it’s not entirely useless. Like other materials, there are grades of particle board, and higher grades are more durable and resilient.

Besides being high-grade, the particle board also needs to be moisture-resistant.

Why’s that?

It’s because of how particle board reacts to getting wet. When exposed to moisture, standard particle board will expand and fall apart. That means if your particle board cabinets get wet, they’re essentially done for. Moisture-resistant particle board doesn’t have this problem, so it’s what you want.

Yet, even high-grade particle board still has a lot of issues when used in cabinets, such as:

  • It doesn’t take fasteners well
  • It doesn’t respond well to glue
  • It’s hard to perform joinery techniques

For these reasons, it’s best to avoid particle board if you have the budget.

Plywood

Plywood is one of the most commonly requested materials in our experience with kitchen remodeling in Ottawa.

That’s because it’s affordable yet doesn’t struggle with the same issues as particle board.

It’s a stable building material that’s perfect for cabinets because of how well it responds to glue, fasteners, and joinery techniques. Plywood is constructed by gluing together thin layers of wood veneer.

You’ll want to ensure that the plywood you use is finished on both sides. Typically, plywood is only finished on one side, which makes it vulnerable to absorbing moisture on the unfinished side. As long as both sides are finished, you won’t have problems with your cabinets absorbing moisture.

Medium-Density Fibreboard/Combi Core

Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) is a manufactured wood product constructed from broken down hardwood and softwood fibers.

It’s stronger than particle board and plywood, and it’s the most stable option out of any material.

Yet, MDF has the same moisture issues that plywood and particle board both have. It will easily absorb moisture and begin to warp if it’s unprotected.

The good news is that there’s waterproof MDF on the market. In fact, modern forms of MDF are so waterproof that you can soak them in water for DAYS with no warping effects.

Combi Core is another resilient option that features layers of wood veneers and two thin layers of MDF.

Both materials are excellent for cabinets; just ensure you get the moisture-resistant versions.

High-Density Fibreboard

If durability is a critical factor for your cabinets, it’s worth springing for high-density fibreboard (HDF).

It’s the king of durable cabinet materials and stronger than MDF by a considerable margin. It also contains a lot of resin, which makes it even more durable.

If you expect your cabinets to see quite a bit of wear and tear, HDF is your best bet if you want your cabinets to have a long lifespan.

What’s the Difference Between Framed and Frameless Cabinets?

When browsing Ottawa kitchen remodeling websites for cabinetry, you may have noticed the option for framed or frameless cabinets.

What’s the difference?

It refers to how they’re constructed, how they look, and the design options available.

  • Framed cabinets have an overlay or ‘frame’ attached to the front side of the cabinet. Typically, the frames lay up to 2-inches over the top of the counter box. The frame adds strength and stability to the construction and provides a decorative look. 
  • Frameless cabinets do not have a frame but, instead, have a sleek and seamless look. They often have drawer slides to make them easier to open. Frameless cabinets are also called European cabinets because they originated and became popular in Europe.  Frameless cabinets are the most popular option for kitchen remodeling in Ottawa.

It’s up to your personal preference whether you choose framed or frameless cabinets for your home – as it’s entirely subjective. Both construction methods are entirely equal, so one isn’t objectively better than the other.

Instead, you’ll have to determine whether you want a frame or not entirely based on the way it looks with your existing theme.

If you’re a fan of the minimalist style, you’ll probably enjoy frameless cabinets. Conversely, if you’re after the all-white farmhouse feel, you’ll want to use framed shaker-style cabinets.

Selecting a Door Design

You’ll have several options available for your cabinet door designs:

  • Raised panel doors. These cabinets feature a raised panel in the center, hence the name. They work for both traditional and modern kitchens, so we get a lot of requests for them as kitchen contractors in Ottawa.
  • Cathedral doors. Similar to a raised or recessed panel door, a cathedral or arch door has a rounded arch at the top of the middle panel.
  • Shaker doors. Shaker-style cabinets feature flat panels surrounded by a frame of rails and stiles.
  • Beaded panel doors (Beadboard). These doors have inset panels that mimic planks separated by ridges.
  • Slab doors. This cabinet door style is entirely flat and has no raised or recessed features. It works best if you’re after a modern feel and are using frameless cabinets.
  • Louvered doors. In the past these were popular for bathrooms, louvered cabinet doors have vertical frames with horizontal slats running between them.

As with framed and frameless cabinets, this choice is purely visual and subjective. There’s no advantage or disadvantage to any construction technique, so you can make a decision based entirely on personal taste.

Colors and Finishes

Whenever we do free in-home consultations for clients on kitchen remodeling in Ottawa, we’re always sure to mention the colors and finishes that we have available.

That’s because these two details are easy to forget when you’re in a hurry to remodel your kitchen. Yet, they’re two more ways that you can further customize and personalize your cabinets to reflect the exact look that you want.

As far as colors, you have the entire rainbow at your disposal, so it can seem a bit daunting with all the options.

Here are some professional tips on how to select a color for your cabinets:

  • Consider the overall color scheme of your kitchen.
  • If your kitchen is too dark and you want to add more light, using the color white will naturally reflect more ambient light.
  • Don’t forget to factor in your personal preferences. If a color is a little loud or clashes with your overall theme, you can still use it if you like it – as the choice is ultimately yours.

You also need to consider which cabinet finish you want for your Ottawa kitchen remodel.

Finish Types

Unfinished cabinets don’t feature any painting, varnishing, or staining. The material gets left in its natural state, which provides the casual, rustic look that some homeowners enjoy. That’s especially true for unfinished wooden cabinets.

If you want your cabinets to appear polished and refined, you should opt to have them stained. Spray-on stains provide a uniform finish, while hand-applied stains have more of a varied color effect. Both are available for our kitchen remodels in Ottawa.

Painted cabinets will provide the most options for colors. Yet, a painted cabinet with a matte finish will require more maintenance than a stained one. That is, unless you go with a semi-gloss or satin paint finish, as they’re easier to keep clean.

Final Thoughts: Purchasing Cabinets for Kitchen Remodeling in Ottawa

If you’re remodeling your kitchen in Ottawa, you should have a better idea of what your cabinetry needs are now.

Whether you’re remodeling your kitchen, basement, or bathrooms, cabinets play a central role in the room’s color scheme, style, and layout. That’s not to mention the practical value they add via the storage space they provide.

If you need a basement, kitchen, or bathroom contractor in Ottawa, don’t wait to reach out to us at RenosGroup.

Unlike other contractors in the area, we offer totally free in-home consultations for all our new clients. Our #1 goal is to provide you with the most accurate estimates and plans for your remodel so it turns out exactly the way you want. To schedule a consultation today, complete our online form or you can give us a call 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


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.

An Extensive Guide to Carpentry in Ottawa

If you want to renovate your home, the chances are high you’ll need to find skilled carpentry in Ottawa.   Carpenters are involved in everything from building custom cabinets to doors and window frames.

If you’re seeking quality renovations, you’ll need to know a bit about the basics of carpentry.

This knowledge will help you find and hire the best contractor in your area (as well as the right specialty.)

It may not seem like there’s much to it. Yet, carpentry is an expansive field that’s as old as time. You’ll need to know about carpentry’s essential skills, specialties, and training. That’ll help narrow down the search when looking for a carpenter in Ottawa. If you don’t take it seriously and hire a cheap/unskilled carpenter – your results will look less than stellar. 

That’s why it’s worth learning more about carpentry to ensure your renovations come out looking fantastic. Finding a skilled carpenter will also help you save money in the long run since you won’t have to pay for expensive repairs to fix mistakes. 

Here’s an example of what we mean, does your project need a farmworker, framer, or cabinet maker? If you aren’t sure, you’ll need to do a little homework first to avoid wasting your money. Luckily, we’ve prepared this handy carpentry guide to fill you in on everything.

 

Nailing the Basics: What is Carpentry? 


Let’s begin with a plain English definition of carpentry. It’s the art of working with wood to construct buildings, frames, and other objects. Woodworking and joinery also fall under the umbrella of carpentry. Here’s a breakdown of their subtle differences:

  • Carpentry is a trade that strictly uses wood for construction. It primarily refers to the construction of buildings with timber.

     

  • Woodworking is the craft side of carpentry, such as constructing cabinets and furniture.

     

  • Joinery is constructing frames and panels by creating and installing fittings.

There are carpenters, woodworkers, and joiners to go along with these crafts. (That’s not to mention the different specialties within each, but more on that later.)

Let’s consider a few examples to make things easier to understand. In example #1, you need a professional to construct a custom nightstand for you. 

Would you need:

A.) A carpenter

B.) A woodworker

C.) A joiner

If you guessed B.), you’re correct. Woodworkers specialize in handcrafting furniture, cabinets, and other wooden objects. As such, if you want a custom nightstand, you need to call a talented woodworker. A joiner or a carpenter won’t have the necessary skills – unless they moonlight as a woodworker. 

In example #2, you need someone to construct an entire shed in your backyard. 

Would you need:

A.) A carpenter

B.) A woodworker

C.) A joiner

In this scenario, A.) is the correct choice. A carpenter will have the skills and wherewithal to construct the entire shed on-site. A woodworker lacks the know-how to build a building from scratch. Instead, they focus on creating objects and furniture. 

All right, in example #3, you need someone to build a new window frame for you. 

Would you need:

A.) A carpenter

B.) A woodworker

C.) A joiner

The answer is C.), as a joiner constructs frames, doors, and other joinings. They tend to work isolated in their shops and don’t work on location. 

By now – you should have a better understanding of the difference between the three crafts. While they’re all technically forms of carpentry – there are tiny differences – as these examples have shown.

Carpentry in Ottawa - Basement Framing in Orleans

Carpentry in Ottawa – Basement Framing in Orleans

The Different Types of Carpentry 


Within carpentry, there are various styles and specialties. In particular, there are two primary types of carpentry that we’ll focus on in this section. They are rough carpentry and finish carpentry. Here’s a detailed breakdown of both. 

 

Rough Carpentry 


If the carpentry work doesn’t need a brilliant finish, there’s no need to waste time and money applying one. For instance, if walls and paint hide the carpentry work – a rough job will suffice. This type of work is rough carpentry, and it’s more about doing quality work than making it look pretty. 

Most of the time, rough carpentry refers to structural work. Structural carpenters erect rafters, posts, and beams for a new building. With this type of work, efficiency and sturdiness are what matter most. There’s no need to make the rafters and beams aesthetically pleasing – as no one will see them. 

Rough carpenters find lots of work in roofing and framing new buildings. A structural carpenter puts together the skeleton of a building. They also have to pay close attention to safety codes and regulations. Remember, if you’re after a visually pleasing job, you don’t need a rough or structural carpenter. You will need one if you’re constructing a new building and need a solid foundation for it.

 

Finish Carpentry 


A finish carpenter is the polar opposite of a structural carpenter. Finish carpentry is all the work that will be visible once a building gets completed. That’s why finish carpenters put a lot more effort into making their work look excellent. 

Finish carpenters boast great attention to detail. They install trim, molding, decks, staircases, and so much more. 

If you want a carpenter to build an elegant staircase with a stunning finish – you need a finish carpenter. They will go to great efforts to make their work look outstanding. 

For constructing a new building, you’ll need rough carpenters and finish carpenters. The rough carpenters knock out the foundation, while the finish carpenters make it look pretty. You’ll want to hire both if you’re constructing a building from scratch.

 

Trim Carpentry 


Is your Ottawa home in need of a new fireplace mantle? If so, you’ll want to give a trim carpenter a call. They specialize in creating wood trims and moldings for homes. That includes fireplace mantles, ornamental trim, skirting boards, and so much more. Other types of carpenters may not be as familiar with installing trim, so it’s best to use a trim carpenter.

 

Green Carpentry 


Have you seen someone advertising ‘green’ carpentry services? That refers to carpenters that use eco-friendly methods and materials. If you’re someone that’s highly environmentally conscious, you’ll want a green carpenter. They will perform the same tasks as any other carpenter but in a sustainable way.
 

Scenic Carpentry 


Do you need someone savvy enough to create wooden sets for a high school play? Then it’s time to hit the yellow pages (or Google) for a scenic carpenter in Ottawa. These are carpenters that specialize in constructing and dismantling sets for stage and screen. 

As you can see, there are many types of carpentry. It’s essential to consider the kind of expertise you’ll need with your carpentry job. 

For example, do you need rough or finished work done? Do you want your carpenter to use sustainable materials? Are you thinking about installing a new skirt board? 

Once you know what type of work you need, you should look for a carpenter that specializes in it. That’s the most reliable way to ensure that the job gets done right the first time.

 

Carpentry 101: Basic Carpentry Skills to Know


Before any carpenter can tackle complicated work, they need to master the basics. If you don’t know basic carpentry skills yourself, you won’t be able to tell apart a master from a novice. That’s why it’s worth familiarizing yourself with the essentials. You never know; it may lead to you taking up carpentry as a side hobby. 

 

Safety First! 


By far, the most crucial aspect of carpentry is doing it safely. There are countless hazards to contend with when working with wood, and some aren’t entirely obvious. For example, keeping your work area tidy is the best way to avoid trip hazards. It may not seem like it, but there are many ways to trip and fall when doing carpentry. 

When hiring carpenters, pay attention to their reviews

Do they work carefully and safely? If not, it’s best to find carpenters who follow health and safety regulations

That’s best for the health of the carpenter and the integrity of your home. If a carpenter does a haphazard job, they may do severe damage to your house. 

Wearing proper safety gear is also a must for any type of carpentry work. You’ll want to wear goggles, gloves, steel boots, and a hard hat. Make sure that any carpenter you hire takes safety seriously and follows the best practices. 

 

Measure Twice, Cut Once


A tape measure is a carpenter’s best friend – but it can also be their worst enemy. Taking precise measurements is a core component of all types of carpentry. If a carpenter takes off measurements – their work will suffer as a result. An ideal carpenter is one that double or triple checks each measurement. 

Being as accurate as possible with measurements leads to flawless work and saved money on materials. If you mess up a measurement and cut the material incorrectly, you’ve wasted money. That’s why accurate measurements are so crucial to carpentry.
 

Be the Jack of All Tools 


Carpentry work is very tool-intensive. Carpenters use everything from pen and paper to saws, power tools, and more. Beyond knowing how to use a tool, it’s also essential to know when to use them. Strive to hire carpenters that really know their way around their tools. 

 

Let the Saw Do the Cutting 


Lastly, an accurate measurement won’t mean anything if you can’t cut straight. An often-repeated phrase on job sites is ‘let the saw do the cutting.’ If you notice that your hands/arms are growing tired – you’re pushing too hard. That will increase the chances of wandering off course and making an uneven cut. Lay off the pressure, relax, and let the saw do the work for you.

 

Hiring a Carpenter in Ottawa


Since you know more about the trade of carpentry, now you’re better equipped to find a carpenter. There are a few qualifications to look out for when searching for carpenters. You’ll want to hire someone with the necessary education, training, and experience. Here are the top things to look for when searching for a local carpenter.

 

Adequate Training


You don’t need a college degree to become a carpenter. Instead, apprenticeships are how the trade passes from one generation to another. Apprenticeships happen in many places, including trade schools, shop classes, and on the job.

After the apprenticeship is complete, the carpenter is now a journeyman. However, to become an official journeyman, they’ll need to complete a test. It’s given by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

They’ll have to work as a journeyman for a period of years after passing the test. After roughly 10 – 15 years in the field, they earn the title of a master carpenter. That means they can tackle just about any carpentry job with a reasonable skill level. Master carpenters will charge more than journeyman carpenters. Yet, it’s crucial to remember that the title of master carpenter is an informal one.

 

Licensing


You should never hire a contractor that doesn’t have a license. As stated above, even if the carpenter is a ‘master carpenter,’ that’s an informal title, so they still need a license. In some states, hiring a carpenter without a license is illegal.

A license means that the carpenter is up-to-date on industry standards and has liability insurance. Those are two things that you want from any carpenter – which is why a license is a must.

 

Insurance


If a carpenter doesn’t have liability insurance – you’ll be on the hook for any damage they do to your home. That can spell disaster if you hire a carpenter that doesn’t have much experience. To save yourself from this headache, always ensure the carpenter has liability insurance.

That’s not the only form of insurance they should have, though. You’ll also want to make sure they have worker’s compensation insurance. That will save you from covering their medical bills if the carpenter has an accident on the job. Lastly, you’ll want the carpenter you hire to have a bond. That will protect you if they fail to meet the terms of your contract.

 

Summarizing Thoughts


We’ve covered a lot so far, so let’s recap. Carpentry is an extensive trade that houses many specialties and crafts. There are many types of carpentry, such as rough and finished carpentry. When looking for a carpenter, try to find one that has excellent reviews, fair prices, licensing, and insurance.

If you want to make things easy on yourself, you can use us at Renos Group. We’re home to licensed, skilled, and experienced carpenters that will do a fantastic job on your renovations. If you’re interested, feel free to reach out for a free in-home consultation or give us a call at (613)724-9427

Ultimate Guide to Bathroom Renovations in Ottawa

Are you thinking about renovating your bathrooms in Ottawa?  Renovating a bathroom is a considerable investment, so it’s worth doing it right.  That’s why we’ve created the ultimate guide to bathroom renovations in Ottawa.

The last thing you want is to spend thousands on a subpar renovation that looks worse than the original.

Yet, that can easily happen if you don’t know what you’re doing.

That’s why it’s worth doing a little research before getting started. Luckily, we’ve compiled everything you need to know in this handy guide. Read on to learn what it takes to set up a successful bathroom renovation in Ottawa.

 

Start with the Basics: Create a Wishlist


Before you do anything, you need to determine what you want out of your bathroom renovation. You may know that you want renovations but haven’t pinpointed the exact modifications you wish to make. Now is the time to do that, and you can do so with this questionnaire:

  • What do you not like about your bathroom the most?
  • Which modification takes precedent over the rest? (i.e., installing a new shower to get rid of mold is more important than a new sink)
  • Is the layout of your bathroom convenient, or could you make some changes? (i.e., new shelving or layout to make the most efficient use of space)
  • Do you like your current color scheme, or would you like to change it?
  • What would your dream bathroom look like?
  • Does your bathroom have accessibility issues? (i.e., an elderly resident has trouble standing in the shower)
  • How many people use your bathroom, and do they have enough space?
  • Do you want a portion of your bathroom to be private?
  • What aesthetic changes would you enjoy the most? (i.e., new tile, vanity, color scheme, etc.)

These questions will help you narrow things down in terms of renovations. From there, make a list of the modifications that you want the most. That will help you during the next step, which is determining your budget.

 

Be Realistic With Your Budget


This step is easy to screw up, even if it doesn’t seem that way. You’ll want to create a realistic budget within a specific ‘sweet spot.’

You want to pay enough to get quality work done, but you don’t want to go broke in the process. At the same time, going with cheap contractors is never a good idea.

Consider how much money you have available. You’ll want at least $15,000 – $20,000 available for the renovation to achieve desirable results. That’s the average price range for a single bathroom renovation, considering you don’t want to change the layout or plumbing.

Once you know how much money you have, it’s time to start comparing prices for the job. Here are some tips for discovering how much your project will cost:

  • Check out online trade shows and slideshows. Renovation companies often have trade shows/slideshows available for their products. They’re a great place to start researching how much your renovation project will cost. Try to find at least 5 to view the Ottawa area to see how much the prices differ.

     

  • Flip through renovation magazines and websites. There are plenty of publications out there that list bathroom renovation products. You can use them to determine how much sinks, toilets, showers, and new tile will cost.

     

  • Get quotes from contractors. Next, you’ll want to contact local contractors in Ottawa. As with the slideshow, reach out to at least five contractors and more if you can. The idea is to compare their quotes not only against each other but against your prior research. Since you’ve done some digging and know how much the components will cost – you’ll have a better idea of what contractors should charge. 

Taking those steps will help you find contractors that charge realistic rates. Of course, price isn’t everything when finding a contractor. You’ll also want to look closely at their reputation and past work.

Try to find an online gallery containing photos of their completed projects. Also, find several websites listing reviews of their services. The ideal contractor charges fair prices and has an impeccable reputation.

 

Plan for the Unexpected


Our final budgeting tip is to leave a little wiggle room in it. Provide yourself with a 10-20% cushion just in case you run over budget.

Why’s that?

It’s because it’s very common to spend at least a little more than what you planned on renovations. You may find that you want to add extra fixtures and finishes during the process. You can add them without any headaches if you have that budget cushion.

You’ll especially need a budget cushion if you’re making significant changes to your layout.

When the contractors begin tearing down walls – they may find mold or need to do expensive drywall repairs. That’s why it’s always a good
idea to add that 10-20% cushion just in case something pops up.

An Overview of Bathroom Renovation Fixtures and Finishes

You can do and change a lot with a bathroom renovation. Many components go into renovating a bathroom. There are various fixtures, finishes, vanities, cabinets, and more. Here’s a look at the elements you can change with a renovation.

Cabinetry & Vanities (Storage Options)

First, you’ll need to decide what to do with your storage. Does your bathroom have enough room to store all your toiletries and accessories? If not, you’ll want to add additional cabinetry or a vanity.

A vanity should have storage areas for makeup, towels, and a mirror.

Cabinetry is ideal for storing toiletries and grooming items. You can choose from framed or unframed cabinets. Also, it’s possible to hide the hardware and fixes for a more contemporary look.

Next, take a look at the feasibility of your layout. Is there anything inconvenient that you want to change?

An example would be that you have to walk to the other side of the bathroom to get your hair straightener. That’s an inconvenience, and renovating can remedy it. Ask your contractor to install a shelf, medicine cabinet, or vanity closer to your sink.

It would be best always to consider ways to make your layout more convenient when renovating. It’s all too common for homeowners to get hung up on aesthetic and visual upgrades. Yet, renovating for feasibility is just as effective and can make your life easier. Once everything has a space and a convenient layout, you can move on.

Countertops


The countertop for your sink is a mainstay of your bathroom. It’s also one of the first things visitors will notice when they enter the room. That’s why your countertops need to make a stellar first impression.

There are many options for countertops, including:

  • Quartz. This is an ideal material if you want a seamless surface. Quartz has next to no pores, and it’s also resistant to scratches.
  • Glass. If aesthetics are your #1 concern, a glass countertop can look especially stylish. It will take a lot of maintenance to keep it looking sharp, though.
  • Ceramic tiles. You can use ceramic tiles to create brilliant patterns on your countertop. Multiple colors are also available, so you can get as creative as you want.
  • Marble, granite, and limestone. Natural stones are visually pleasing and highly in-demand. A noticeable downside is that they require proper insulation, or they won’t look right.
  • Laminate. You can do a lot with laminate in today’s age, including imitating wood and natural stone. It’s also affordable and won’t scratch.
  • Polished concrete. If you choose polished concrete, it will look stunning, won’t scratch, and will last for years. It’s a tad expensive to install, but there’s a lot of versatility and variety.

You should carefully consider your budget when selecting a countertop material. That’s why doing your research during the budgeting phase is so crucial. The last thing you want is to settle on an expensive countertop material only to realize you can’t afford it.

Floors


Bathroom flooring gets overlooked but is one of the most critical components of the room. Nailing your flooring will go a long way toward filling out the entire space. There are many options for bathroom flooring, including:

  • Hardwood. These can look classy and elegant but need unique coatings to protect them from water. If they’re exposed to water without protection, the floors will warp and become uneven.
  • Vinyl. This is one of the most popular bathroom flooring options due to its water resistance. It also comes in a wide variety of colors and is relatively affordable.
  • Natural stone. A stone bathroom floor can look great but is a slip hazard without proper coatings.
  • Polished concrete. A polished concrete floor will be resistant to water and slips/falls. Yet, it’s rather expensive to install. If you want to go with polished concrete, make doubly sure that you’ve factored it into your budget.  

Remember that bathroom floors tend to get slippery at times. The ideal bathroom floor doesn’t get slippery and still looks stunning.

Bathroom Walls


Your walls can make or break your bathroom. You’ll want to trust the professionals to install new wall materials for your bathroom. If you mess it up with a DIY installation, you could wind up costing yourself thousands in repairs. That’s why it’s worth leaving it to professional contractors with years of experience. Here’s a list of some of the most common bathroom wall materials:

  • Tiles. Wall tiles are a popular choice for bathrooms, and they can even match your floor. You can choose from porcelain, glass, stone, or ceramic tiles. They come in a wide variety of different colors, shapes, and patterns.
  • Traditional paint. This is the most affordable option, but that doesn’t mean it has to lack pizzaz. If you choose a semi-gloss paint with a stand-out color – a painted wall can look amazing.
  • Vinyl covers/plastic panels. Some homeowners prefer sturdy plastic panels on the walls. There are also vinyl covers that provide the same protection but can look trendy and stylish.

It’s up to you what you choose for your bathroom walls. Remember to carefully consider your budget as well as your personal taste when making a decision.

Sinks


A sink is a core component of any bathroom and an absolute necessity. If your sinks don’t work, your bathroom is essentially useless. If you want to change your sink, you’ll have a few options. These include:

  • Sink consoles. This old-school sink can provide a fun vintage look if installed correctly. Sink consoles typically match your cabinetry and have metal or wood legs. It takes a savvy contractor to install a sink console – as you need to find a way to hide the pipes.
  • Wall-mounted sink. If you want to add extra storage space to your bathroom, using a wall-mounted sink is a great trick. It uses special brackets to stay fixed to the wall. Underneath, you can add additional cabinetry for more storage.
  • Pedestal sink. If you have a tiny bathroom, a pedestal sink is ideal. You can install a pedestal sink in a small area, and they come in a wide variety of colors and styles.
  • Vessel sinks. These sinks actually rest above the countertops. It’s an unorthodox style, but it can look aesthetically pleasing to some. It’s not recommended to use vessel sinks in a home with someone disabled, as it’s harder for them to use.

Different sink styles vary in price, so do your homework when formulating a budget. Also, you’ll want to take accessibility into account. If you have someone disabled in your home, specially-made lowered sinks are what you need.

Bathtubs and Lighting


The last two components are your bathtub and lighting arrangement. Bathtubs use various materials, such as cast iron, marble, and acrylic. Of course, each will vary in price and aesthetic appeal.

Size is one of the most significant factors to consider when choosing a bathtub. You’ll want a large enough tub to comfortably fit everyone in your home.

As far as lighting goes, split it up into three parts. They are your task lighting, ambient lighting, and accent lighting.

Task lighting illuminates areas where your regular activities take place. That means lighting up the sink, shower, tub, and toilet.

Ambient lighting is the general light that usually comes from the ceiling. Accent lighting is additional lighting that adds to the feel of the room and pulls focus to certain areas.

In Summary


By now – you should have a better idea of what it takes to renovate your bathroom. You need to identify your core areas for improvement, set a realistic budget, and find the best professionals in your area. For more information on this ultimate guide to bathroom renovations in Ottawa or if you’re thinking about renovating, reach out to us for a free in-home consultation or give us a call at (613)727-9427

Bathroom Renovation Ottawa - Edwin Crescen
Bathroom Renovation Ottawa - Edwin Crescen

Creating the Perfect In-Law or Guest Suite Basement

Whether you are designing a basement suite for guests or to accommodate your in-laws, the basement renovations Ottawa families require need a solid plan to make the space as comfortable and functional as possible. For guest suite basements, sometimes a good place to start is to look at hotel suites or even retirement home layouts, as they share some distinct similarities, such as:

 

A Living Space


The majority of the
basement should be open for a comfortable living space. It’s essential to consider the needs of your guests occupying the suite. That will help create a living space that they enjoy and appreciate.

If you’re creating an in-law suite in Ottawa, what do they usually like to do? If they’re into movies, including a TV and a sofa is a good idea. If they prefer reading instead, some recliners with ample lighting are the way to go.

Conversely, if you’re designing a granny suite – mobility and accessibility are concerns. You’ll want to make sure the living space contains no trip hazards or items too far out of reach.

You’ll also want to consider building code requirements, ceiling heights, insulation, and more. These will all play a part in your renovations, so it’s crucial not to ignore them. (More on regulations and insulation in a bit.)  

From there, you can then determine if a kitchen is realistic.

 

Kitchen/Kitchenette


If the space allows, a
kitchen is ideal as it will give guests or in-laws complete independence. If you’re limited on space, you may be able to squeeze in a kitchenette. A refrigerator and microwave are all you need for your suite most of the time. After all, that’s what most hotel suites include as a kitchenette.

If you have more space, you can go for a full kitchen. That means an oven, stove, counter space, and possibly more.

If your in-laws/parents enjoy cooking, they’ll appreciate having a kitchen to use. That way, they can prepare their own meals if they prefer not to bother you upstairs.

Common appliances for kitchenettes include:

  • Mini-fridge
  • Coffee maker
  • Teapot
  • Hot plate
  • Microwave
  • Sink
  • Toaster

Larger appliances such as an oven will require a special outlet, so bear that in mind. Ultimately, it will all depend on the amount of space you can dedicate to a cooking area. 

If you want to add extra storage space to the kitchenette, think vertically. If you don’t have room for an island or counter – you can add shelving above (or below) the kitchenette. If you have elderly parents, it’s a better idea to include the shelving beneath rather than above. 

 

Built-ins


Built-ins are a great idea as they can take the place of furniture that might be cumbersome and use up much-needed floor space. You can use
built-ins in a buffet style with a sink and built-in microwave and bar fridge if there is no space for a kitchen. 

A fold-down dining table can also be added for eating as well as recreation. You can also use built-ins around a fireplace or desk space providing shelves for needed storage. Built-ins can be used to hold decorative items or to store collections of movies.

When renovating your basement, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to add built-ins. Try to keep a keen eye open when analyzing your basement space. Could you add a built-in dining table that folds down from the wall?

Or would it be better to add a built-in bookshelf for all your in-laws’ books?

You can create built-in benches that attach to the walls to add more seating. That can add extra seating for a dining room table or just for general lounging/reading.

The catch of a built-in is that you’ll be stuck with it for life. As such, you need to put plenty of time and thought into what you want from a built-in. The last thing you want is to get stuck with a built-in that has no function and is an eye-sore. 

 

Sleeping Area


If space for a door swing is not practical, you can consider a number of options for privacy in the sleeping area. Pocket or sliding doors offer privacy and take up less space. 

You can also consider using partition walls for separation. If the light is sparse and the bedroom area is near one of the only windows consider using frosted glass partitions so you do not block out the needed natural light.

Whether it’s an in-law suite or granny suite in Ottawa, they’ll need a place to sleep. It’s wise to consult with them beforehand to learn what they prefer bed-wise. Do they sleep best on memory foam-style mattresses? Or can they not sleep a wink unless they’re in total darkness on a water bed?

Once you know their needs, you can begin constructing the sleeping area.

The good thing about a basement is that it stays nice and dark. Yet, that might not be very comforting for some. The lighting plays a big part in the construction of any sleeping area. If your in-laws don’t like total darkness, night lights or lights with dimmers are what you need.

If you don’t want to use an open floor plan – you’ll need to find a way to separate the sleeping area from the living space. Besides partition walls, rugs are a reliable way to separate each area visually. 

 

Bathroom


Especially in the case of an in-law suite you want to consider the
mobility of your parents. This will play an important role in the type of shower or tub you choose. A good compromise is to add a shower stall with a bench and handheld showerhead so it is easy to bathe, but can also then be used by other family members or guests should your in-laws move.

Every in-law suite in Ottawa needs a bathroom. That’s doubly true if you’re designing a granny suite. Elderly parents often have mobility issues that you need to take into account.

If they have trouble reaching things in the bathroom, you can lower all the fixtures.

Other modifications, such as adding handicap rails in the bathroom, are a good idea.

If your elderly parents are fragile, you’ll want to make the entire suite as fall-proof as possible. You can add non-slip flooring and cushion sharp edges around the suite.

Another consideration is if you want to include a shower or tub in your granny suite in Ottawa. If so, you’ll need to determine which type you need. If your in-laws don’t have any accessibility limitations – you can go with a regular shower or tub. If that’s too much of an expense, you can have them use the shower/tub upstairs. 

 

Soundproofing Insulation Between Floors


If your in-laws are in the basement cranking their entertainment system to 11, you probably don’t want to hear it. The reverse is also true if your in-laws are trying to sleep and you’re square dancing upstairs.

Sound has a pesky habit of migrating between floors, which can be a pain for everyone.

Luckily, there is a solution to this problem. Installing soundproof insulation between floors will significantly reduce sound migration.

With proper insulation, your in-laws won’t hear your steps, and you won’t hear their sound system.

To block the sound, you’ll need to separate the surfaces. That’s because continuous materials act as an acoustic bridge. In other words, if the same material is on the top and the bottom, it carries sound.

That’s why you need to separate each floor with different materials.

The most common solution is to use a dense material in the joist spaces between the floors. Popular options include Rockwool insulation and fiberglass. To install it, you’ll need to remove your existing ceiling drywall.

From there, place the insulation in the open joist spaces. You’ll have to contend with electrical wires and other obstacles, so be careful. After the installation is complete, you’ll need to add new ceiling drywall. The process can be a bit cumbersome, but the results are well worth it.

 

Soundproofing Material Options


Besides structurally separating each floor, you can also use acoustic foam or polyethylene foam. These won’t achieve as effective results as separation, but they’re better than nothing. A quality acoustical underlayment, for example, will deaden most sound vibrations.

Other options include plywood underlayments and cement boards. If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll appreciate the affordability of plywood.

The downside is that plywood is only a semi-effective sound blocker. On the other hand, a cement board is a bit more pricey, but blocks sound better than plywood. It’s crucial to consider your budget and specific needs when selecting a soundproofing material. 

 

Drywall Building Code Requirements for Separate Units


You’re under new building code requirements as soon as you add an in-law suite in Ottawa. You’ll need to stay in compliance to avoid fees and other penalties.

Why are there such strict building codes for two dwelling units?

It all has to do with fire safety. For drywall, you’re required to have 2 layers of 5/8 drywall on both sides of the ceiling/floor for your new unit.

That will provide the one-hour fire rating between both dwelling units. In other words, if a fire breaks out up top, your parents/in-laws will have an hour to evacuate before it gets to them.

That’s why the drywall needs to be so thick – with two layers of 5/8 drywall. This type of thick drywall is also called fire-resistant drywall, as they’re effective at slowing down fires.

A 5/8-inch thick panel is far less likely to sag between joists than thinner panels. That adds not only fire resistance but also extra durability. You can add a heavy surfacing material, such as popcorn texture, to further reinforce the ceiling.

You’ll want to ensure that you install this thicker drywall before constructing the rest of your granny suite. That will ensure that you’re in compliance, so you won’t have to worry about building codes. 

 

Adding an Egress Window (Required)


Since we’re speaking of requirements for basement living spaces, an egress window is another necessity.

What’s that?

It’s a window that’s large enough for someone to escape through it in case of a fire. It’s a requirement for any basement that you intend to transition into a living space.

Besides being an emergency escape, egress windows add other benefits. They bring natural light into your basement, as well as ventilation. If your in-laws get hot and muggy, they can always open the window for some fresh air.

Once you install an egress window, you still aren’t done. Beyond the window, you’ll need an egress window well. An egress window well is a lot larger than a typical window well. It’s an excavated portion of the earth that’s typically in a half-circle or rectangle.

Its purpose is to give inhabitants a safe place to escape, protected from dirt, rocks, and moisture. If the window well is especially deep, you must have a ladder for easy access.

Here are some other requirements for an egress window:

  • It has to have an unobstructed opening that’s at least 5.7 square feet.
  • That same opening must be 24 inches tall and 20 inches wide (at least.)
  • The bottom of the opening can’t exceed 44 inches from the floor.
  • It must open and shut without the use of any tools.

You’re good to go as long as your egress window checks all these boxes.

 

Adding a Separate Entrance


Lastly, you’ll need to add a separate entrance, also for fire safety reasons. Whether you’re constructing an in-law suite or granny suite in Ottawa, fire safety is necessary. Building codes dictate that each dwelling unit needs its own entrance/exit.

It would be a disaster if your in-laws/parents got stuck in the basement when a fire broke out.

If the exit to the upstairs is hot/blocked, they’ll need another place to escape. Beyond an egress window, you’ll need a dedicated entrance for the dwelling unit.

You’re all set once you have 2 layers of 5/8 drywall, an egress window and well, and a separate entrance. Your new dwelling unit will be in full compliance, and your occupants will be able to escape in case of a fire. 

 

Five-Star Basement Renovations Ottawa Families Can Rely On


The basement renovations Ottawa families require should be laid out with the basic requirements for comfortable living to make guests and in-laws feel welcome and at home.

To reach out, schedule renovations, you can fill out an online form or give us a call at (613) 727-9427

How to Avoid Mold & Mildew in Your Home

Once your bathroom renovation is complete and your home looks stunning, you want to keep it looking in mint condition for as long as possible. These care and maintenance tips will extend the longevity of your bathroom renovation and help you avoid mold and mildew growth:

What are Mold & Mildew?


Mold and mildew are collections of small organisms (called
spores) which thrive in wet and moist environments – like your bathroom

If you don’t clean your bathroom properly, mold spores start to grow and are eventually released into the air. 

You then inhale these spores into your lungs, which can be problematic for people with compromised immune systems or breathing conditions like asthma. Common health effects include difficulty breathing, coughing, sore throat, and headaches.

Mold causes the most problems during the summertime – as it thrives in humidity. Yet, if the conditions are right, mold can wreak havoc in the winter as well.

Mold and mildew will contaminate your indoor air quality. If you’ve been having trouble breathing inside – mold may be the culprit. Beyond coughing and wheezing, extreme cases can cause neurological issues and even death. That’s why every homeowner needs to take mold seriously.

It’s crucial to know how mold forms and where it can pop up. That will help you prevent mold from forming in the first place, which is always the best solution. Once mold shows up, it can be challenging to get rid of entirely.

What’s the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?


While mold and mildew are both forms of fungi – there are subtle differences. For one, mold is a prevalent component in household dust.

Mildew, on the other hand, tends to grow on flat surfaces. It appears on organic materials, such as paper, leather, wood, walls, and ceilings.

The two also differ in appearance and odor.

Mold tends to be black, blue, red, or green. It also has a notoriously slimy texture and can at times contain fuzz.

Mildew starts off as white – distinguishing it from mold. In its later stages, it starts to turn shades of yellow and brown. Instead of slime or fuzz, it’s very powdery in texture.

Both require organic material in order to form. It’s what serves as a food source for fungal growth. That’s why mold and mildew always form on materials such as wood, leather, paper, and textiles.

You can tell the two apart by their smell. Mildew’s odor is pretty mild and smells musty. It’s often compared to damp laundry that hasn’t dried.

Mold’s odor is a lot more pungent and powerful. That’s because as the mold continues to grow, it forms microbial volatile organic compounds or MVOCs.

The final distinction is mildew forms on surfaces while mold burrows underneath. So if you see fungal growth on the surface of your cabinets, that’s a dead giveaway that it’s mildew.

Mold always forms beneath the surface – inside walls and in crevices and holes. That makes mold harder to locate – which can lead to it growing out of control.  

The Conditions Where Mold and Mildew Thrive


Any time there’s high heat, a food source (organic material), and a fair amount of humidity – mold, and mildew can form. For this reason, June through August are the most problematic months. It would be best if you kept a close eye on your walls, ceilings, and underneath sinks during these months.

Yet, if you’re running your heat in the winter and there’s humidity – mold and mildew can form then, too.

If temperatures are between 77° and 87°, and humidity is between 62 and 93 percent, you’re in the danger zone. Bear that in mind whenever you’re inspecting your home for mold and mildew.

Here’s a list of the most common molds that show up in homes:

  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
  • Chaetomium
  • Cladosporium
  • Fusarium

No matter what type of mold forms in your home, they all have one thing in common – they need to go. All kinds of mold can be dangerous, which is why you need to eliminate them. The good news is there are ways to prevent mold and mildew from forming in the first place.

Areas to Check for Mold & Mildew in Your Home


You’ll need to know where to look for mold and mildew in your Ottawa home. Otherwise, you won’t even know that you have a mold problem. That’s the last thing you want, as out-of-control mold can do some severe damage to your home. Not only that but eliminating it will be a costly endeavor. The best thing you can do is regularly inspect your home to prevent its formation.

Here are the most problematic areas you should check during hot/humid months:

  • Your ventilation ductwork
  • The area surrounding your HVAC system
  • Underneath sinks
  • Areas around sinks and faucets in bathrooms and kitchens
  • Tubs, showers, shower curtains
  • Any area that sees a lot of moisture (i.e., cabinets next to the shower)
  • Dishwashers and laundry machines
  • The areas surrounding your dishwasher
  • In and around your refrigerator

As long as you keep a close eye on these areas – you’ll prevent most mold and mildew from forming. Yet, mold can form inside of your walls and other areas that you can’t see. That’s why it’s a good idea to learn how to do mold testing for your home.

Mold Prevention Tips


All right, now it’s time to learn how to mold-proof your home. After all, that’s the best way to avoid all the headaches that go along with mold and mildew infestations. 

If you do your due diligence – you won’t have to worry about contending against mold or mildew. Here are our top tips for preventing mold and mildew from forming in your Ottawa home.

Keep Your Humidity Levels Down


As stated before, mold and mildew thrive in humidity. If your home or apartment is especially humid – you can bet that mold and mildew are forming somewhere.

Since we know that mold and mildew love humidity – an excellent prevention technique is to keep your humidity levels low.

Specific activities will elevate the humidity in your home. In particular, anything that brings excessive moisture will add to the humidity. To prevent this from happening, you should ventilate during the following activities:

  • Cooking hot food (the steam generates humidity)
  • Running a hot shower (steam)
  • Using the bathroom

During these activities, turn on your ventilation fans. If you don’t have fans in these rooms, consider buying dehumidifiers. They’re an affordable option for lowering the humidity in rooms without fans.

If your home has an attic, installing fans up there can significantly reduce the humidity. If you already have attic fans, use them during the hottest times of the day.

Most modern HVAC systems contain humidification systems built into them. You can use them to moderate the humidity levels in your home. Some models even let you know the humidity percentage – which comes in handy for monitoring humidity levels. Running your air conditioner during humid days will also circulate the air and dry it out.  

Let Fresh Air Help You


Unfortunately, our indoor environments are far more polluted than the outdoors. After all, there’s a reason why it’s called ‘fresh’ air. The good news is you can open your windows for some much-needed natural ventilation.

Fresh air is also an excellent way to lower the carbon dioxide levels in your home. If your home has high carbon dioxide levels – you’ll start to notice adverse side effects. In particular, it will decrease the flow of oxygen to your brain.

How long has it been since you’ve opened a window?

If your home has been on lockdown for months – the chances are your carbon dioxide levels are high. You can remedy that by opening a window every day for at least 15 minutes.

Beyond lowering carbon dioxide, fresh air is a great way to prevent mold, too.

Fresh air will dehumidify and dry out damp areas in your home. It will also reduce odors and get rid of stuffiness. If you’re tired of feeling stuffed up – try opening your windows. It may surprise you how good it makes the air feel in your house. 

Remove All Excess Moisture


A great way to stop mold from forming is to regularly dry areas that get wet. It’s common for homeowners to clean surfaces but neglect drying them. Yet, that’s the most crucial step if you want to prevent mold.

That’s why you need to get into the habit of drying certain areas in your home – especially the bathroom.

After you take a shower, a large portion of your bathroom will contain moisture. That includes not only the inside of the shower and tub – but also the sink and cabinets. As soon as you get out of the shower, dry everything with a clean towel. That’s one of the most reliable ways to ensure that mold never gets a chance to form.

Beyond the bathroom, there are other areas that you should dry off, too. It’s common for A/C units to form moisture on the surface.

Whenever you have wet clothes or bath towels out – don’t let them stay out for too long. Either stick them in the dryer or hang them up to dry. If you keep them on surfaces or bundled together – mold and mildew can form relatively quickly.

Leaks are another cause for concern. If you have a leaky sink or pipe – it could spell disaster for your home. All it takes is one moist spot for mold to start forming. If you notice a leak or damp spot on your carpet, you need to clean and dry it within 24 hours. Otherwise, mold/mildew may have already started to form.

Here are a few more tips for removing excess moisture around your home:

  • Clean, dry, and repair all gutters and spout systems. If you have wet gutters, mildew can form quite quickly. Also, check your sprinkler heads and downspout systems.
  • Seal all window and foundation leaks. All it takes is one leaky window for rainwater to get in your home and start forming mold.
  • Install a basement sump pump. A reliable way to keep your basement high and dry is to use a sump pump. It’s a pit that will remove all water that forms in your basement.

As long as you keep your home dry and not too humid – you shouldn’t have trouble with mold and mildew. 

Our Suggested Daily Routine

 

  • If possible, always leave a window open when showering or bathing. This will allow hot damp air to exit your home instead of building up as condensation on the walls of your bathroom.
  • Turn on an exhaust fan prior to showering, and leave it on for at least 15 minutes following your shower. This will suck up some moisture instead of allowing it to fall on the floors or settle on the walls of the bathroom.
  • After showering or bathing, rinse the walls, floors, and other wet surfaces with clean water. Pat all surfaces try with a towel after showering.
  • Use a squeegee to wipe down the shower glass door after showering.
  • Always leave shower doors and bath curtains open after a bath or shower to allow moisture to dissipate.
  • Hang up towels and allow them to air dry. If they are just stuffed into a laundry hamper or left in a heap on the floor, they may not dry properly.

Weekly Routine

 

  • Wash and dry your bath mats on a regular basis.
  • Use special cleaning products specifically designed to remove mold and mildew.

Regular Inspections

 

  • Inspect the caulking around your shower and tub and make sure there are no leaks. If so, it’s important to get them repaired right away before the water has a chance to seep behind the walls.
  • Make sure exhaust fans are vented toward the outside, not just rerouting moist air into your attic.

Your bathroom renovation is a big investment, so you need to treat it right. These preventative measures can help stop mold and mildew in your home, threatening the health of your family.  To get in touch to schedule renovations, you can fill out an online form or give us a call at (613) 727-9427.

General Contractors in Ottawa: Why RenosGroup is the Best

Are you thinking of undergoing home renovations?

If so, you need to hire reputable general contractors in Ottawa that places your needs and total satisfaction above all else.

That’s how we feel at RenosGroup, which is why we continue to offer free in-home consultations for every new client.

For us, it’s a matter of common decency.

After all, nobody can possibly give you a realistic estimate without setting eyes on your property first – which is something that a growing number of general contractors in Ottawa will charge you for.

Unlike them, we’ll show up at your home completely free of charge. More importantly, we’ll give you plenty of time to let us know precisely what you want. Leave no stone unturned, as we’re never in a rush when we consult with new clients.  Our team will measure everything, answer your questions, and write a detailed estimate for the project’s total costs.

The best part?

The free in-home consultation is completely obligation-free. If you decide that you don’t need renovations (or would like some time to think about it), that’s no problem for us – and you won’t incur any charges.

Thanks to our expertise and years of experience, we provide flawless:

Whether you want to transform your basement into a studio apartment or lower your bathroom fixtures by a half-inch, we do it all at RenosGroup. Read on to learn more about our home renovation services in Ottawa.

Ottawa’s Finest Kitchen Renovations and Products


It’s hard to drum up the desire to cook in a kitchen that isn’t:

  • A) Visually pleasing
  • B) Laid out practically

You need a better layout if you have to do three laps around the kitchen to grab pots, pans, and appliances before you can start cooking.

At RenosGroup, the only limit is your imagination. We can incorporate many clever storage options such as open shelving and kitchen islands. Our team will ensure that you have everything right where you want it, even if we have to restructure your kitchen completely.

For visual appeal, no other general contractor in Ottawa can touch the quality of our kitchen products, custom cabinetry, and quality craftsmanship. We also have an in-house interior designer that you can consult with to completely rethink the way your kitchen looks.

Top-Tier Bathroom Renovations


Your
bathrooms are some of the most used rooms in your home, so it’s crucial not to neglect them.

That’s why we offer the whole gambit when it comes to bathroom renovations, including:

  • Countertops
  • Cabinets
  • New fixtures, sinks, and toilets
  • Custom showers
  • Tile

Our team boasts exceptional knowledge of the bathroom renovation process, which tends to be a delicate one. An easy example, we know never to install drywall behind shower and tub surrounds due to its tendency to absorb moisture and grow mold.

Our trained, licensed, and insured professionals know how to safely renovate your bathroom with zero issues or need for repairs.

Polished Basement Renovations and Transformations


Are you only using basements to air-dry your laundry? If so, you aren’t making the most of your available square footage.

Your basement is a very much usable room in your home, and you can transform it into whatever you want with our help. We’re the best general contractors in Ottawa at turning dull basements into:

As you can see, your basement is more of a blank slate than it is storage space.

Helpful Mobility Renovations in Ottawa


Do you live with an older loved one that has trouble getting around? If so, don’t wait to reach out to us to renovate your home to make them more comfortable.

We offer all manner of accessibility renovations, including:

  • Raising and lowering fixtures
  • Adding rails
  • Installing lifts and elevators
  • Making showers and tubs more accessible/easier to get into

Our team will go to rigorous efforts to ensure that your home is adequately mobile-friendly to keep your loved ones comfortable and safe.

Our unwavering commitment to our customers is a big factor that sets us apart from other general contractors in Ottawa.

Stunning Home Additions


If you don’t feel like moving, but your current Ottawa home isn’t cutting it for you, don’t wait to check out the home additions that we offer.

What would make your home more convenient, appealing, and comfortable?

A spacious sunroom where you can entertain guests, or an addition to your garage to add more storage space?

Or would you prefer to add a bump-out to your kitchen to make it more spacious and beautiful?

No matter what you want to add to your home, our talented team at RenosGroup can knock it out at a fair price for you.

What Sets RenosGroup Apart from the Crowd?


At RenosGroup, we’re trusted general contractors in Ottawa that are licensed,
insured, and experienced.

We have a team of renovation professionals, including plumbers, electricians, and even an interior designer.

Every new client gets an obligation-free in-home consultation, and our showrooms are entirely online (we never try to upsell clients using pricey products in showrooms).

We have a flawless reputation, years of experience, and a large gallery of work showcasing our excellence. So if you need a general contractor in Ottawa, don’t hesitate to fill out our form or give us a call at (613) 727-9427.

Basement Renovation Costs to Be Sure to Expect

Renovating your basement can be a daunting task, and can come with some unexpected costs. It’s all too common to find that a crack in the wall or foundation may require a costly external sealing project or drain installation, or that the best way to open up that dark space would be to cut a window or patio door into the basement wall.

Thankfully, basement renovations can be one of the more economical ways to add value to your home, and the already-present space provided by your basement can make it a viable option for many renovation designs. In order to avoid the burden of unexpected costs or do-overs in your renovation project, it’s best to be prepared for the different expenses you may face, and what you can do upfront to avoid renovations. Here are a few basement renovation cost factors to consider.

Humidity levels


Before designing the layout of your basement, it’s crucial that the basement be properly sealed to prevent excess moisture from infiltrating through cracks in the walls or foundation. Otherwise, you may end up with a newly renovated basement only to find that it will have to be refinished due to humidity or mold damage. The cost of properly sealing your basement can vary depending on the severity of moisture infiltration, with minor dampness only requiring a coating of sealant on the walls, while more serious moisture issues may require the installation of a drainage system or external sealing. Most sealing projects cost an average of $4,334, with minor leaking issues costing little more than $600 to more serious infiltration problems requiring a drainage system installation costing $10,000 or more. Be sure to consult your contractor to make sure your basement is well-heated and guarded from any excess moisture.

Layout


Once you’ve made sure that your basement is properly ventilated and sealed to prevent moisture damage, you can begin making this space your own. The more elaborate you choose to make your basement, the greater the cost will be, but here are a few options some of our clients have gone with to transform their basement into the living space of their dreams.

  • apartment for a parent or relative
  • homework station for the kids
  • office space for working from home
  • man-cave for watching the big game
  • recreation room for catching up with friends

Many families opt to install a bathroom into their basement, or may have one already and would like to remodel that too. Doing so can be more expensive due to the need for pipes to be run through the home’s foundation, but can still be more economical than adding a bathroom to an upstairs unit, with average basement bathroom renovations ranging from $10,000-$20,000 and main floor  renovations spanning $18,000-$30,000 (bathroom renovation costs). Basic renovation designs for living spaces alone will certainly be less expensive than ornate add-ons like fitness centers or wine cellars, but because of the versatility as a living space that your basement provides, your options for renovation are limited by little more than your imagination and your budget.

Material Selection


Now that you’ve decide what to include in your renovated basement, you’ll now want to get down to the particulars: color scheme, lighting fixtures, hardwood or carpet, etc. Here are three major categories you’ll need to factor in for your budget, and how to to plan for them.

  1. Flooring –  Carpet can be helpful for muffling noise and giving a softer surface if children will be using the space, but is more likely to soak up moisture, which can lead to mold. The resistance of hardwood to moisture infiltration coupled with its more luxurious look typically make it the flooring material of choice, even though it may come with a higher price tag at approximately $10+/sq.ft.

  2. Ceilings and windows – There are 3 primary ceiling styles that most renovators choose: gypsum, suspended, and architectural, with prices averaging $2-$3, $5, and $7+ per square foot, respectively. To increase overhead spaciousness and reduce any claustrophobic feel, consider leaving some piping exposed to make for higher ceiling space. Windows and patio doors are other great options for improving upon natural lighting in a basement structure, but cutting into basement walls to add them can cost upwards of $2,000 – and of course, it would need to be accessible as an emergency exit.

  3. Paint – Sealants and paint coatings are frequently priced according to the size of the basement. While  square footage and the quantity of paint used are usually the determining parameters for the cost of a paint job, we’ve found that the average cost ranges from about $1,000-$1,600

With so many different parameters to consider, basement renovation costs can vary greatly. Overall, we’ve found that most homeowners spend an average of $25,000-$65,000 on their basement makeovers, or $40-$75/sq.ft. More creative renovation projects such as wine cellars or walk-out basements may cost substantially more, but the versatility and availability of your basement makes it a blank canvas to turn your home into the living space of your dreams. Just account for the preliminary steps of sealing it properly, make use of  inspirational basement galleries to get a vision for the kind of layout you want, and choose your renovation materials, and you’ll have a clear picture of what it will take to make your basement renovation a reality!  To get in touch to schedule renovations, you can fill out an online form or give us a call at (613) 727-9427.

Scroll to top