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

How to Remodel a Bath for Accessibility

An architect explains how he plans to remodel a bathroom for accessibity

 

by Duncan McPherson

Remodeling an existing house presents many design challenges. Modern living requires different functions and spaces than a house built 50, 20, or even 10 years ago. Designing homes and remodels that consider long-term livability has become a greater priority in residential design as we embrace an aging baby-boomer population.

Whether you’re looking to age in place in your current home, to accommodate aging family members, or simply to consider resale value and appeal to a broad market, issues of wheelchair access and accessible design are critical. Even if you don’t require accessible spaces today, you can design spaces that are functional, comfortable, and flexible enough to accommodate any accessibility needs that arise in the future.

Recently, I was charged with redesigning the existing full bath in the Fine Homebuilding Project House to create a more accessible master suite. This 1950s ranch has a floor plan common to many homes of a similar style and vintage. By looking at the problems with the existing bath and the solutions in the new bath, you’ll easily be able to recognize the flaws and opportunities in your own projects.

 

Identify problems with the existing bathroom

 

The existing bathroom has several problems. A narrow doorway leads to a claustrophobic space only 3-1⁄2 ft. wide at its widest point. All the services—the toilet, the tub, and the sink—would be extremely difficult to access if the user had limited mobility or were confined to a wheelchair. Adding grab bars to improve the functionality of this bath would be a hit-or-miss proposition because the blocking is missing from the appropriate locations. Also, despite the need for it, the bathroom doesn’t contain any storage for toiletries or towels.

A A bathtub is difficult and dangerous to navigate into and out of if mobility is limited.

B A narrow doorway inhibits easy access into and out of the bathroom, especially if a thick threshold is in place.

C A narrow floor plan prevents wheelchair-bound users from being able to turn around.

D
A toilet in a narrow nook without grab bars is difficult to access from a seated position.

E
A linen closet is outside the bathroom, but storage should be integrated into the bath space.

F
The hallway is too narrow to navigate easily in a wheelchair and is unnecessary in the new master-suite plan.

 

Create an accessible plan with integrated solutions

 

The first step in designing flexible spaces is determining which design elements need to be included initially and which can be installed later if they are needed. For example, building a bathroom with access to a 5-ft. clear turnaround area that improves wheelchair maneuverability should be incorporated initially, because it would be difficult and expensive to make accommodations for such a space later. Below are the elements that make this new bathroom accessible while still maintaining a comfortable, style-appropriate aesthetic.

A Doorways have a minimum 32-in. clear width to accommodate wheelchairs.

B Swinging doors with levers, not knobs, are used instead of pocket doors because they’re less challenging to open from a seated position.

C Hallways and passageways are 48 in. wide to improve access.

D A 5-ft. clear turnaround circle integrated into the floor plan of the bath is best. If this isn’t possible, create a turnaround circle just outside the bathroom, as shown at right.

E A removable shower screen/partition provides better access to the shower if necessary in the future.

F Blocking for a future fold-down seat is integrated into the shower wall adjacent to the shower controls. Typical seat height is 18 in. above the floor.

 

Design an elevation that can adapt to change

 
The psychological influence a home can have on its residents is profound. Having a fully accessible bathroom before it is needed can be a looming reminder of aging and the loss of mobility. Well-designed spaces can create more positive responses, however. Like all properly designed accessible spaces, this bathroom is meant to be adaptable to change. For example, a vanity that is in tune with the modern style of the bath is built so that its middle cabinet can be removed, allowing easier wheelchair access to the sink. Until that need is necessary, the vanity reads as a contemporary cabinet fit for any home.

A Vanity provides plentiful storage that can be used from both seated and standing positions.

B Vanity is built so that the middle cabinet is removable to allow for knee space below the sink.

C
Shower valves, light switches, and thermostat controls should be from 38 in. to 48 in. above the floor.

D
There is less than a 1⁄2-in. transition between the bathroom floor and the shower floor to enable roll-in access.

E
Blocking is integrated into the walls so that grab bars can be installed around the toilet and shower in the future. Typical grab-bar height is from 33 in. to 36 in.

F
A linen cabinet integrates additional storage opportunities in the bath where none had existed previously.

G
Two light fixtures mounted at eye level provide adequate illumination at the vanity.

 
Drawings: Duncan McPherson
From Fine Homebuilding228 , pp. 90-94 May 17, 2012
 
To learn more about how to remodel a bath for accessibility, don’t hesitate to get in touch, you can fill out an online form or give us a call at (613) 727-9427.

Storage Place in your Bathroom

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

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

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

Storage place in your bathroom

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

Dance in the Shower

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

A great innovation from Kohler.

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

Dance in the shower

Dance in the shower

Dance in the shower

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

Renovations That Maintain Seniors Independence

As our health and lives change, so do our housing needs. Across Canada, the overwhelming majority of seniors prefer doing renovations in order to continue to live safely and independently in their own homes for as long as possible.Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has a number of tips on how to renovate a home to keep pace with changing needs, so seniors can stay safe, independent — and in their own home — longer, including:Repair holes or uneven joints in walkways that could cause tripping.Replace steep slopes with steps or a low-slope ramp.Add a ramp to bypass existing steps.Install light fixtures or floodlights with easily accessible switches to illuminate entrances, steps and walkways.Repair all unsafe stair handrails.Install handrails on both sides of the stairways.Replace worn or loose coverings and mark the edges of stairs with a permanent stripe in a contrasting colour.If you are planning a renovation on the stairs in your current home, or building a new home that has stairs, make sure that the back vertical portion of the step (the rise) is not too high and that the horizontal part of the step (the tread) has adequate depth.If you live in a two-storey home, consider creating a bedroom, a full bathroom, and having the clothes washer and dryer on the ground floor.Reduce the height of, or eliminate, high door thresholds at room entrances.Use a contrasting colour or texture on the edge of the floor wherever there is a change in the floor level.Adjust sinks, counters and cupboards to a more convenient height.Create a knee-space underneath sinks to allow you to work from a seated position (making sure to insulate any exposed hot-water pipes first).Install grab bars within easy reach of the bathroom sink and toilet and in the bathtub.Install non-slip flooring in the bathroom and in the bathtub.Install single-lever faucets to more easily control water flow and temperature.Add or lower rods or shelves in closets, and add off-floor shelves near entrances for shoes and boots.Repair windows and sliding doors so that they can open and close easily.Consider installing easy-to-grasp door handles, easy-to-operate door locks, as well as security grilles at windows that are vulnerable to forced entry.Lastly, if you have an aging parent, relative or friend, you may want to consider adding a garden suite on the same lot as your home. Garden suites are small, prefabricated, portable and self-contained homes that enable seniors to live close to their relatives or friends, while maintaining their independence and privacy — and giving family members or friends greater peace of mind.For more information or free copies of the CMHC Self-Assessment Guide Maintaining Seniors’ Independence Through Home Adaptations, the fact sheet Preventing Falls on Stairs fact sheets on universal design ideas that can make your home safer and easier to live in, or for general information on CMHC’s renovation programs, including those for garden suites, call CMHC at 1-800-668-2642 or visit CMHC’s Web site at www.cmhc.ca. For over 60 years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada’s national housing agency, and a source of objective, reliable housing expertise.To get in touch to schedule renovations, you can fill out an online form or give us a call at (613) 727-9427.

Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Renovation Program for Persons with Disabilities

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers financial assistance to allow homeowners and landlords to pay for renovations to make their property more accessible to persons with disabilities. These modifications are intended to eliminate physical barriers, imminent safety risks and improve the ability to meet the demands of daily living within the home.  CMHC delivers renovation programs for persons with disabilities in Prince Edward Island, where the province cost-shares on a 75% federal / 25% provincial basis and in Yukon Territory.

In other jurisdictions, Provinces and Territories may choose to design and deliver renovation programs that are cost-shared with the federal government. Information on Provincially/Territorially designed and delivered housing programs are provided under Provincial and Territorial Affordable Housing Links and Agreements.
Who Can Apply?

Homeowners and landlords may qualify for assistance if the property is eligible. Your property may be eligible for RRAP-D if the property:

is occupied, or is intended to be occupied, by a low-income person with a disability;
is rented and the rents are less than established levels for the area; or
is owned and the house is valued below a certain amount; and
does not have major deficiencies to the structure and systems.

Eligible Renovations

Renovations must be related to housing and reasonably related to the occupant’s disability. Examples of eligible renovations are ramps, handrails, chair lifts, bath lifts, height adjustments to countertops and cues for doorbells/fire alarms.

If the cost for renovations is more than the maximum forgivable loan available, the owner will be required to cover the additional cost.
Ineligible Renovations

Therapeutic care, supportive care, and portable aid equipment, such as walkers and wheelchairs, are not eligible for funding.

Renovations carried out before the RRAP for Persons with Disabilities loan is approved in writing are not eligible.
Financial Assistance

Assistance is in the form of a fully forgivable loan and does not have to be repaid if you adhere to the terms and conditions of the program. Landlords must enter into an agreement that establishes the rent that can be charged during the life of the agreement and restricts occupancy of the self-contained rental unit(s) to households with incomes below a set CMHC level. Homeowners must agree to continue to own the house during the loan forgiveness period, which could be up to five years.

The loan amount you could receive varies according to the three geographic zones and if you are a homeowner or landlord

To learn more about renovation program for persons with disabilities don’t hesitate to get in touch, you can fill out an online form or give us a call at (613) 727-9427.

Kitchens, Bathrooms Top Home Renovation Wish List

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Sharon Singleton, Ottawa Sun

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Anyone can offer a free quote over the phone.

 

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

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

 

Reasons You Should Use a Professional for Your Bathroom Renovation

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

Cheaper isn’t always better.

 

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

 

Professional renovators remove the uncertainty from bathroom renovations

 

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

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

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

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