Home Renovation Blog

Homeowners always have a lot of questions when it comes to home renovations. What are the latest trends? How do I find the right contractor? How much will it cost?

RenosGroup’s home renovation blog is the go-to source for all your renovation needs. We provide tips, tricks, and advice from the experts to help you make your renovation project a success. From start to finish, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re looking to update your kitchen, restore your bathroom, or add an addition to your home, the RenosGroup blog has the information you need to get the job done right. We’ll help you save time and money while ensuring that your renovation project is a beautiful and stress-free experience. Let us help you turn your house into the home of your dreams.  Don’t hesitate to contact us (613)727-9427 should you have any questions

Home Renovation Company Reviews: Why They Matter

You’re probably familiar with online reviews for restaurants, hotels, and other businesses. But what about home renovation companies? Online company reviews are important for any business, but they can be especially valuable for small businesses in our industry. Here’s why home renovation company reviews are so important:

1. Provide social proof.
2. Helps attract new customers.
3. Gives valuable feedback.
4. Improve search engine ranking.

Keep reading to learn more…

1. Online Company Reviews Provide Social Proof


Social proof is the idea that people are more likely to do something if they see that others are doing it too. In other words, it’s validation from our peers that something is worth our time and attention. When it comes to home renovations, potential customers want to see that others have had a positive experience working with a business before they’ll commit to hiring.

That’s where online company reviews come in. A potential customer who sees that a business has mostly positive online reviews is more likely to trust that business than one whose reviews are all over the place or, worse, non-existent.

What’s more, social proof is especially important for small businesses because they don’t have the same kind of name recognition as a big-box store or a national brand. They have to work a little harder (okay, a lot harder) to prove that they’re worth the prospective customers’ time and money.

2. Online Company Reviews Help Attract New Customers


In addition to providing social proof, online company reviews can also help attract new customers—especially if effort to respond to every review (more on that later) is made.

Positivity breeds positivity, and when potential customers see that a company is responsive to customer feedback—both positive and negative—they’ll be more likely to do business with them instead of with one of their competitors who doesn’t bother responding at all.

Another way that online company reviews help attract new customers is by giving the company free marketing content that can be shared on their social media channels and website.

By sharing positive reviews on those channels, their increasing the visibility of their business and putting themselves in front of potential customers who might not have otherwise heard of them—all without spending a dime!

3. Online Company Reviews Give Valuable Feedback


In addition to helping you attract new customers, online company reviews also give valuable feedback that can be used to improve their business.

Even if a review is mostly positive, there’s usually at least one constructive criticism included that can be used to make their business even better. For example, if a customer says they loved their kitchen renovation but wished the project had been completed sooner, they know that timelines are something they need to focus on in future projects.

Of course, no business is perfect, so it’s also important not to take negative reviews too personally—use them as an opportunity to learn and grow!

4. Online Company Reviews Improve The Company’s Search Engine Ranking


Last but not least, online company reviews can also help improve search engine rankings—which means more people will see their website when they’re searching for home renovation companies in their area. How does this work?

Well, when potential customers search for home renovation companies and see a business listed near the top of the results page, they’re more likely than not going to click on that listing first—after all, who wants to scroll through page after page of search results?

Moreover, when Google sees that people are clicking on that listing and staying on your website (aka “dwell time”), they’ll interpret this as a sign that this website is relevant and useful—and will reward that site by moving their listing even higher up the results page next time someone searches for home renovation companies!

5. They Validate Expertise 


A significant reason why online reviews matter to home renovators is they validate their expertise in a very real way. 

After all, anyone can claim they’re the best home renovators in the world, but without actual customer reviews to back them up, those claims are about as valuable as hot air. 

By seeing numerous five-star reviews from real-life clients, prospective customers will be more likely to part way with their hard earned dollars in exchange for renovation services. 

There’s plenty of proof to back this up, too. 

According to a study by BigCommerce, products and services with positive reviews are 270% more likely to sell than those without any reviews. Moreover, if a company has an excellent reputation, customers are willing to pay 22% more for their services – according to a study by MarketWatch

That means positive reviews will not only influence more customers to do business with a home renovation company, but they’ll end up spending more than they would have without seeing any reviews. 

Glowing online reviews also influence purchasing decisions, as they’re often the deciding factor. 

For instance, if a customer is comparing two home renovation companies that are near equal in every regard, they’re far more likely to choose the one that has lots of positive reviews as opposed to one that has zero reviews. 

Without reviews, customers will feel a heightened sense of risk which can lead them to back out and choose someone else. Undergoing major home renovations is a significant investment for a homeowner, which is why positive reviews are a must for renovation companies. 

6. They Expand Reach and Influence


Another huge perk of online reviews is they expand the reach and influence of home renovation companies. 

How do they do that?

They do by broadening your online presence beyond your website and social media profiles. Third-party directories such as Yelp, Angi, and Google Business Profile list online reviews for all sorts of businesses, home renovation companies included. 

Beyond that, they each have massive online audiences, which place home renovation companies in front of the eyes of tons of new prospects. Yelp and Angi are always appearing at the top of search engine results pages, which is why it’s so beneficial to allow customers to post reviews there. 

What’s even better is companies can directly interact with their audience on these directories, which is a plus. That means renovators can directly respond to reviews, answer questions, and address any potential issues. 

That kind of customer interaction further builds trust, as it shows the company is willing to reach out to its customers and address their issues to ensure their total satisfaction. 

Also, customers are more likely to trust these reviews because they come from third-party websites, which means they’re impartial. 

Last but not least, listing a home renovation website on local directories like Yellow Pages and Yelp doesn’t cost a dime. As a result, home renovation companies can enjoy free promotion and advertising from positive reviews listed on these types of websites.  

As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons why every home renovation company should care about online reviews, they provide social proof , attract new customers , give valuable feedback , and improve your search engine ranking. And there’s no time like the present to start giving those five-star reviews.

So reach out today to leave your honest feedback about your experience working with a business on Google , Yelp , Facebook , or wherever else they prefer to leave their reviews will only take a few minutes of their time and could really benefit your business in the long run ! Thanks for reading!  Don’t hesitate to reach out for a free in-home consultation or give us a call at (613)727-9427


Home Renovation Costs on the decline?

Are home renovation costs truly starting to decline?

According to a study done by Remodeling.hw.net, home renovation costs are currently on the decline.

This is good news for homeowners who have been wanting to renovate their homes but were put off by the costs. Let’s take a look at what is driving this decline in costs and what types of renovations are being affected the most.

One of the main reasons cited for the decline in home renovation costs is the decrease in labor costs.

With more people out of work, there is more competition for jobs, which has driven down wages. This is good news for homeowners who are looking to do large-scale renovations that require a lot of labor hours such as adding an addition or gutting a kitchen.

Another reason for the decline in home renovation costs is the decrease in material costs. With the economy struggling, many manufacturers are offering discounts on construction materials in order to move inventory.

This is especially true for high-end materials such as granite countertops and hardwood floors. So if you’ve been wanting to upgrade your home with luxury finishes, now is a great time to do it!

Speaking of granite countertops, not only are they eye-grabbing & beautiful, but they provide numerous other benefits for your kitchen.

For one, keeping granite clean is effortless, as it’s naturally resistant to bacteria and dirt build-ups. To take things a step further, you could get the granite sealed to make it completely non-porous.

That means nothing will be able to dirty your countertops – and cleaning them will be as simple as using a soft cloth and some cleaning solution.

Granite is also exceptionally durable, so you won’t have to worry about unsightly chips, cracks, and scratches showing up on your countertops. Sealing the granite will further reinforce it, making it resistant to heavy impacts.

The material is also heat resistant, so if you place a white-hot pan on it, the granite won’t burn or warp.

Adding luxury finishes to your home is not only visually pleasing, but it will increase your property value.

That’s especially true for your kitchen, as it’s one of the major selling points of any home. Bathrooms and basements are also important, so you’ll want to add luxury materials to those rooms while the prices are low.

Renovation Spending on the Rise



Despite national inflation and a volatile market, renovation spending has also been on the rise. Over the last 12 months, Canadians that underwent indoor renovations spent an average of $13,000 – which is up from $8,000 in 2021.

It’s also predicted that homeowners will double their total spending on renovations in 2023, reinforcing that it’s a great time to renovate.

Material and labor costs are low, and Canadians are eager to improve their homes, which is a match made in heaven.

If you’ve been planning a large-scale renovation for your home, doing it within the next 12 months will allow you to capitalize on these plummeting prices.

When polled, 80% of would-be renovators reported that they already have the cash on hand for their projects. That’s a clear sign that Canadians are serious about investing in their homes, both for the added property value and for their own benefit.

For instance, 76% of respondents said they have no intention of moving for at least the next year within, so many Canadians are planning on staying put and improving their current homes.

The pandemic seems to have had an effect on homeowners’ spending habits, with more money going toward home renovations instead of travel and entertainment. Despite COVID-19 restrictions easing off, homeowners have yet to return to their pre-pandemic way of life.

That means they’d prefer to stay home and add a wine cellar to their basement instead of traveling the world or going to concerts.

What types of renovations are Canadians getting done?

For the second year in a row, the most popular type of renovation was an outdoor cabana with a complete chef’s kitchen. It’s a clear sign that homeowners are eager to recreate the resort experience with renovations instead of traveling to faraway places.

Exterior Renovations & ROI

Exterior renovations have also been on the rise, and according to the 25th Annual Cost vs. Value Report from Zonda, renovations to the exterior of the home yield the largest ROI. 

What types of exterior renovations are the most popular & profitable?

Here are the outdoor home tweaks that topped the list:

  • Replacing the garage door
  • Manufactured stone veneer siding
  • Fiber cement siding
  • Vinyl replacement windows
  • Wood replacement windows 

The exception to the rule was number 3 on the list, which was a minor kitchen remodel (it was discovered that simple kitchen touch-ups provided a significant ROI for homeowners).

Renovation Ideas to Capitalize on Low Prices


Since you know that costs are going down, now is the time to make any changes to your home that you’ve been dreaming about. 

Do you dream of gutting and redesigning your kitchen with luxury finishes and top-tier appliances?

That dream may finally now be possible, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a quote. 

If you want to improve your home but aren’t sure what changes to make, here are some renovation ideas to get your creative juices flowing. 

Reimagine Your Basement 

Your basement is a blank canvas that you can transform into literally anything. Want to build a home movie theater? No problem. Would it be great to have a dedicated playroom for your kids? Why not use your basement?

Guest room suites, wine cellars, and bars are popular basement renovation options. 

If your basement isn’t finished, you’ll benefit from at least finishing it with drywall, heating, and lighting fixtures. If you have the budget, you can get creative and have fun with it. 

If you go the guest room route, our team at RenosGroup has the expertise and the equipment to add a fully functioning bathroom to your basement. 

With the declining costs of labor and materials, you can finally build the basement of your dreams. 

Home Additions 

Are your parents or in-laws moving in with you? If so, then a home addition is a great way to accommodate them and preserve your existing space. 

If your family isn’t getting bigger, home additions can still enhance your home. 

For instance, if you need a home office, an addition is a fantastic choice. You’ll be able to build a designated space for getting work done from the ground up, which will help you rid the area of any and all distractions. 

Other ideas include expanding the kitchen for more cooking space or adding another garage for more vehicle storage. 

Reinvigorate Your Kitchen 

Is it a total chore to cook meals at home? Then a makeover is what you need to add some life and joy to your cooking space. 

Since labor and materials aren’t too expensive, you can opt for granite countertops, mahogany cabinets, an island, and open shelving. 

These touches will transform your kitchen from a dull prison into a cheery cooking paradise. 

You can also redesign your kitchen so that you have everything you need to cook a meal right in front of you (i.e., building shelves and adding shelving, so all your utensils, appliances, pots, and pans are always within reach. 

Then there’s the lighting, which plays a significant role in the aesthetic of your kitchen. You can get creative with ornamental pendants, lanterns, LEDs, and more.  

Finally, many contractors are also offering discounts on their services in order to stay busy during these slow times. So if you’ve been considering any type of home renovation, now is a great time to start getting quotes and shopping around for the best deals.

If you’ve been wanting to renovate your home but were afraid of the cost, now is a great time to take advantage of the current market conditions. With labor and material costs on the decline, you can get more bang for your buck when it comes to home renovations. So start planning your project today and enjoy your newly renovated home before everyone else catches on and prices start going back up!  Don’t wait, contact us today (613)727-9427

15 Things to Do Before Starting Any Home Renovation

Planning a home renovation can be an exciting time.  After all, who doesn’t love the idea of coming home to a brand-new kitchen or bathroom? But before you start tearing down walls and selecting fixtures, there are a few things you need to do to set yourself up for success. Here are 5 things to do before starting any home renovation.

1: Set a Budget


One of the first things you need to do before starting any home renovation is to set a budget.

This will help you determine what projects you can realistically afford to take on and also help keep costs under control during the renovation process. When setting your budget, be sure to account for both the cost of materials and labor.

2: Choose the Right Contractor


If you’re planning on doing any major renovations, chances are you’re going to need some help from a professional contractor.

Choosing the right contractor is crucial to ensuring that your renovation goes smoothly. Be sure to get multiple bids from different contractors and ask each one for references from previous clients.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, be sure to have a detailed contract in place that outlines the scope of work and sets expectations for both parties.

3: Get Your Permits


Depending on the nature and scope of your renovation, you may need to obtain one or more permits from your local municipality before work can begin.

Failure to do so could result in costly fines or even stop your renovation in its tracks. If you’re unsure whether or not you need a permit, your contractor should be able to advise you.

4: Prepare Your Home


Once you’ve chosen your contractor and obtained all the necessary permits, it’s time to start preparing your home for the renovation process.

This typically includes moves such as clearing out closets and removing carpeting or other flooring. It’s also important to make sure that any furniture or valuables that will remain in the house during the renovation are properly protected from dust and debris.

5: Pick Out Materials


One of the most exciting parts of any home renovation is picking out materials such as flooring, fixtures, cabinets, etc.

But before you head out to your local home improvement store, it’s important to do your research and select materials that fit both your budget and style preferences. Once you’ve got an idea of what you want, be sure to get samples so that you can see how they look in person before making any final decisions.

6: Know Your End Goal


Before starting your renovation project, you need to have a clear end goal. 

For example, are you renovating to raise the resale value of your home, or do you plan on staying put for many years to come?

Are your renovations for comfort above all else, or do you want to add more functionality? (i.e., adding more space to your kitchen or reimagining your basement into a guest bedroom suite). 

It’s imperative to know precisely what you want before you get started. 

Also, take the condition of your neighborhood into account, as that will help you determine which renovations are appropriate and which would be overdoing it for the area. 

7: Ask for References


If you’re selecting a contractor to handle your home renovations, don’t be shy about asking them for references. 

A reliable contractor will have no issue with providing references as well as a copy of their liability insurance. If they refuse your request, that’s a sign that they aren’t trustworthy. Besides asking for references, you should also look up customer reviews for their business on third-party websites. 

The last thing you want is to wind up with a general contractor that does shoddy work or doesn’t have insurance, so make sure you do your research. 

8: Pack Up Your Things


It’s best to declutter the renovation space to ensure your renovations go off without a hitch. Make a pass through the area and pack up anything that’s in the way. 

For instance, if you’re renovating your kitchen, pack up all your cooking utensils, silverware, spatulas, as well as any appliances that may be in the way. Also, check for any wires sticking out that may serve as trip hazards and tuck them out of the way. 

Your contractors will definitely appreciate being able to work in a clean, decluttered space. That also reduces the risk of trips and falls, so packing up is a must. 

9: Audit Your Personal Belongings


For insurance purposes, it’s wise to audit your personal belongings before the renovation process begins. 

It serves as a way to protect yourself should anything get broken or misplaced during renovations. Beyond that, it’s always good to have a list of your valued items on hand should anything happen, whether it’s related to your renovations or not. 

Creating a list of all your belongings will also make the renovation space easier to clear out. 

When taking inventory, decide if there’s anything that you want to get rid of to add more space. Doing so will make the renovation space nice and tidy while helping you get rid of unwanted junk, so it’s a win-win. 

10: Consider Your Pets


When undergoing renovations, it’s crucial not to forget about your pets. If they’re going to stay home while the work is getting done, consider their needs. 

Dogs and cats may find the experience stressful, or they may want to bother the new visitors to your home. 

That’s why it’s a good idea to have a friend or family member pet-sit for you while the renovations are underway. You can also designate an area of the home where you’ll keep your pets, such as a bedroom or the basement. To ensure they aren’t stressed, have one of your family members stay in the room with them. 

11: Designate a Home Base


Home renovations can sometimes be chaotic due to the loss of a key room (and function) in your home. 

For example, kitchen renovations will make it difficult to prepare meals while the work is getting done. 

To remedy this, designate a space in your home that will be renovation-free, and set up a ‘home base’ there. If your kitchen is out of commission, then you can equip your living room or bedroom with a hot plate, kettle, and microwave to compensate. 

Ultimately, it’s good to have a designated spot where you and your family can unwind and relax while the renovations are in progress. 

12: Schedule a Cleanup


This tip is if you plan on handling the renovations yourself, as most professional renovators will clean up before leaving your home. 

The last thing you want is to leave your home in a state of disarray, as that can potentially be dangerous. For instance, leaving power tools lying around is a trip hazard, so don’t forget to put them away when you’re done for the day.

Not only that, but wood shavings and debris can make it difficult for your family to breathe, so it’s worth firing up the vacuum to get them out of the way. 

If your renovations are going to make quite a mess, it can be worth hiring cleaners to come and tidy up once you’re done. 

13: Plan for Outages


Certain types of renovations will involve shutting off the water and power to specific areas of your home. 

That means you may be without running water or electricity for a period of time during your renovations. As such, you should prepare for these in order to maintain your daily routines without any encumbrances. 

If you’re going to be without water, plan ahead and fill up some containers for drinking, bathing, and flushing the toilet. You can also fill up your bathtub to have a reservoir of water to use during the renovations. 

For no electricity, stock up on candles and flashlights so you’ll be able to see when it gets dark. You can also use a backup generator to power one area of your home while work gets done elsewhere. 

14: Check the Weather


While it may seem unnecessary, checking the weather forecast for your renovation days is a crucial step. 

Even if you’re going to renovate during the spring or summer, you can’t expect perfect weather for your renovation days. That’s why you need to check both the long-term and short-term forecasts before booking your renovations. 

Also, if your renovations will require losing electricity, it’s best to avoid doing that on days that are excessively hot or cold, as you’ll be without AC/heating. 

15: Consult the Calendar


If you don’t plan your renovations in advance with a calendar, all sorts of complications may arise. 

For example, the last thing you want is to be in the middle of monitoring renovations only to realize that you have to leave for an urgent work conference halfway around the world. 

There are also holidays and vacations to consider, so always consult your calendar before booking renovations.

Planning a home renovation can be an exciting time but there are definitely some things you need to do beforehand to set yourself up for success. From setting a budget and choosing the right contractor, to getting permits and picking out materials, following these 5 tips will help ensure that your next home renovation goes off without a hitch!  Why wait, contact us today (613)727-9427

Home Improvements That Pay Off When You Sell

If you’re thinking about selling your home, there are a few things you can do to increase its value and make it more appealing to buyers. By making some strategic home improvements, you can recoup your investment and even turn a profit.

Here are seven home improvements that will help you sell your home for top dollar.


1. Kitchen Remodel


A kitchen remodel is one of the most effective ways to increase your home’s value.

A well-designed kitchen with high-end appliances and finishes will appeal to buyers and help you fetch a higher price.

Even if you don’t have the budget for a complete gut renovation, making smaller changes like painting the cabinets, installing new countertops, or upgrading the lighting can make a big difference.

Beyond the visual appeal, kitchens with convenient layouts will catch the eye of buyers, especially if they enjoy preparing their own meals. 

Add-ons like islands, cabinets, and open shelves provide more options for storage space, which is great for buyers with lots of cooking utensils and appliances. The positioning also matters here, as you’ll want to ensure you have everything you need to cook a meal right in front of you. 

If you have to make six 180s just to put together a grilled cheese sandwich, opting for a more practical layout will generate more interest from home buyers – not to mention it will make your life easier before you sell.

It is possible to go a bit overboard with upgrading your kitchen, which may end up having the opposite effect than you intended.

If you go with a mega-sized refrigerator and top-tier garbage disposal, the cost may rise higher than most buyers are willing to pay (of course, this is entirely up to you, as if you do find a buyer, you’ll end up selling your home for more).

Your best bet to get the most bang for your buck is to renovate your kitchen with high-end appliances, cheery lighting, and an optimized design to make preparing meals a breeze.

2. Bathroom Remodel



Like the kitchen, bathrooms are another important selling point for potential buyers. A bathroom remodel can be relatively simple and inexpensive, but it will make a big impact on buyers.

If your bathroom is outdated or in need of repairs, consider renovating it before putting your home on the market.

Above all else, bathrooms should feel clean and pleasant. 

Sometimes, a refresh is all a bathroom needs. 

What’s that?

A bathroom refresh is where you make several essential touch-ups to reinvigorate your bathroom. This includes things like a fresh coat of paint, a new vanity or mirror, and replacing busted towel racks.

Other times, a more extensive renovation is necessary to make your bathrooms attractive to the market.

The lighting in your bathroom can make a huge difference to some buyers, especially those that enjoy unwinding by soaking in a dimly lit tub. Adding a light dimmer is always a good idea, as is experimenting with different lighting combinations.

If your bathrooms are tinier than a broom closet, adding more space with an addition or by moving around your sink and tub will help boost their appeal. While a tiny bathroom in connecting areas is fine, it’s better to have larger bathrooms in major areas, especially the master bedroom.

Home buyers won’t like to see older-style toilets, so you should update them if they’re ancient.

That’s because older toilets waste much more water, leading to a larger bill. Modern toilets are more efficient and save water, so it’s always wise to retrofit your bathrooms.


 3. Finished basement 


A finished basement is a great way to add extra living space to your home without having to build an addition.

If your basement is currently unfinished, consider finishing it with drywall, flooring, and lighting fixtures. You could also add a bathroom or wet bar to make it even more appealing to buyers.

An unfinished basement is wasted potential, as it’s part of your home’s square footage that you aren’t using. After all, you have to pay 100% of your mortgage, so why not use 100% of the space you have available?

The best part is you can essentially add a brand-new room to your home without having to construct an addition.

Would-be homeowners want to see your basement put to good use, and you have so many options.

You could transform your basement into a kid’s playroom, a guest suite, a movie theater, or even a second living room. New homeowners love guest rooms, and having one will instantly make your home more valuable.

There’s another benefit to transforming your basement into an extra bedroom besides increasing your property value – as it can generate passive income for you. By renting out your basement bedroom on platforms like Airbnb, your spare bedroom can make money for you before it’s time to pack up and sell your house.

That’s not to mention that basements also make excellent wine cellars, man caves, and libraries.

Not only will finishing your basement make your property value skyrocket, but it will also provide you with a great new space to enjoy in the time before you sell.

If your basement is really exciting and attention-grabbing, you may start an all-out bidding war – which is 100x better than home buyers deciding without taking a second thought to skip on your property due to an unfinished basement.

 4. Deck or Patio 


If your home doesn’t have an outdoor living space, now is the time to create one.

Adding a deck or patio is a great way to add extra square footage to your home and make it more enjoyable for entertaining guests. And since many buyers place a premium on homes with outdoor living spaces, you’re likely to see a return on your investment when you sell.

There are many ways to create an exciting outdoor space with your new patio or deck – and they don’t all involve going into debt.

For instance, creative outdoor LED lighting, a digital projector screen, and some comfortable seating will turn your deck into the hottest spot in the neighborhood, and none of those things are too expensive.

Another way to make your deck or patio stand out is to pick a color theme for the furniture and accents. For instance, teal pillows, umbrellas, and tables will provide a lot more visual flair and ambiance than plain metal furniture.

 5. Landscaping


First impressions matter, so make sure your curb appeal is up to par before putting your home on the market.

Trimming shrubs, planting flowers, and mowing the lawn are all simple yet effective ways to improve your home’s appearance and boost its value at the same time.

 6. New Windows


Old or drafty windows can be a major turnoff for potential buyers, so replacing them is worth the investment if you’re looking to sell soon.

Not only will new windows improve your home’s appearance, but they’ll also provide energy savings that will appeal to cost-conscious buyers.

 7 . Paint Job


A fresh coat of paint is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to freshen up your home before selling it.

When selecting paint colors, opt for neutral shades that will appeal to a wide range of buyers. Avoiding bold or unusual colors will help ensure that your home appeals to as many people as possible.

8. Deep Cleaning


If there’s one thing 82% of realtors can agree on, it’s that you should get a professional deep cleaning done on your home before listing it.

In fact, decluttering and deep cleaning your home can boost its value by 3 – 5%, so it’s a crucial step not to ignore.

A good scrubbing will communicate to home buyers that you took care of the property and kept it clean. It will also make your home more visually stunning, and if you properly declutter and arrange the furniture – it will make the entire house look much larger than before.

Cleaning your house just might be the catalyst that pushes a prospect to make an offer, so it’s worth hiring professionals to really make your home sparkle.

You’ll especially need to spring for deep cleaning if you’ve lived in your home for many years. It’s only natural for carpets and drapes to fade over time, as well as accumulate pet smells and other foul odors that you may not even notice.

A good steam cleaning and shampoo will get rid of those odors for good, along with accumulated pet hair, dirt, and dust that’s built up over the course of years.

If the carpet is too far gone (i.e., torn shag, matting, and lack of padding), then we recommend pulling it out and replacing it.

While that may be a hefty investment (you can expect to pay between $400 and $6,000 depending on the type of flooring material), your house will sell for a lot more if it has fresh, clean carpet.


 Investing in some strategic home improvements before selling your home can be a great way to boost its value and improve its chances of selling quickly. By focusing on projects that will appeal to buyers, you can make sure you see a return on your investment when it’s time to sell.  Don’t wait, contact us today (613)727-9427.

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 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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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 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. 



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

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