Category Archives: Renovation

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Time to Remodel the Basement

Years have passed and it seems your basement is in need of a little TLC. Or, you may have witnessed last spring’s catastrophic floods, which are expected to happen over and over again, so maybe you want to keep your basement dry next year? If so, follow this guide.

While you are at it, why not check the radon level in your home. Is this cancer-causing gas seeping into your basement? The detection device is sold in large shopping centres and hardware stores. If you do not believe this gas is present in your home because you have not smelled it, think again. Radon is odourless and colourless. If the level is high, the Écohabitation organization has designed a system, supported by drawings, to evacuate the gas.

On the Écohabitation website, you will find the basic steps to waterproof your basement in a sustainable manner. Here is a quick summary. Continue reading

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Outdoor Renovations

May is certainly the best time to undertake outdoor renovations in the hopes of taking better advantage of the long summer evenings ahead. Here is general advice to create or renovate a recreational space, such as a patio, deck or garden.

Before building a deck, consider all the relevant factors. There are quite a few. Are you looking for more sunlight or more shade? What scenery would you like to see every day? Would it bother you if the neighbours could see in your backyard? Do you want the garden or the kid’s play area to connect with the deck? Would you rather have a deck close to the home or farther away?

Bricks, concrete blocks and terracotta tiles are the best materials for building a patio: they will give you the possibility to leave space to plant vegetation. That is what we call a green patio. Designing green spaces between hard material not only looks stylish, it also creates a cool oasis, however small it may be, for your recreational space during hot summer days.

Wood is a material that is accessible to everyone, or almost. Building a wooden pathway is relatively easy. As for a wooden deck, a handyman can eventually extend it every year by installing joists, if need be. Continue reading

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What to Upgrade First?

Most people renovate their homes for more space or more comfort. Some also remodel their homes in order to sell their property more quickly while getting the desired price for it.

But you shouldn’t start renovating carelessly. Follow these guidelines.

  • It would be irresponsible to carry out overwhelming work in order to sell your home quickly. Disaster will probably strike. Some upgrades, worth a few hundreds or thousands of dollars, should do the trick.
  • Check every nook and cranny in your home to find any defects. Neglecting this step might give the future buyer the wrong impression. Imagine if he or she arrives with a building inspector? Omitting to inspect your home is not the best way to go, even if you end up selling your property for the desired price. If the future homeowner ends up dragging you into court for latent defects, not only will you see your profit melt away, but your quality of life will diminish.
  • Start by facing your home and put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Is the frontage appealing? Is the front door impeccable? A neglected exterior usually implies a careless homeowner in the minds of future buyers.
  • Go outside and walk around your property and think of the things that would bother a buyer and try to address the problem. For example, you live in a noisy neighbourhood because of the traffic. Find out how much building a green wall or a solid wall would cost to reduce the noise.

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Installing Moldings

You’re on a tight budget and changing your home decor is not a possibility right now. Did you think about molding? It’s cheap, easy to install and it can transform the entire appearance of a room. Here are a few tips.

  • There is a variety of decorative moldings out there, not to mention various types of wood. Take the time to research: ask vendors, search the Internet or look through books at your local library.
  • To install baseboard molding, take the time to find all the studs behind the wall and mark them as you please. That’s where you’ll nail the baseboard and the moldings will fit snugly together.
  • Do you have to remove old molding? With a flat tool, pry the molding away from the wall by sliding the tool between the stud and the molding.
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  • Identify the areas where the floor is uneven before you install the moldings to avoid unpleasant surprises along the way.

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Winterizing a Window

One of your windows is in poor condition. For whatever reason, you couldn’t replace it before the winter season’s arrival. Here are a few guidelines to help you prevent damage or a hike in heating costs.

  • Weatherstripping is the key element in heat loss prevention. Make sure it is in mint condition.
  • Clean every part of the window with a brush or a vacuum cleaner. It can actually make a small difference.
  • If the caulk breaks when touched with a screwdriver or any other tool for that matter, it needs to be replaced.
  • Window films can reduce heat loss up to 50%. It is applied to the inside of the window on the surface of the glass and can be installed by anyone.
  • Adhesive foam tape isn’t the most durable, but it will last through a winter season.
  • You can buy draft stoppers that attach to the outside of the window on milder days.

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