Home Renovation Tips

There are currently 11 blog entries related to this category.

Do you have a renovation project in mind – and wonder how much value it will add to your home? Remodeling Magazine recently did a study of renovation projects, comparing costs to added value. Here are the Top 5 results:

1) Replacing a main entry door.  This has a return on investment of over 95%. After all, the entrance to a home is one of the first things a prospective buyer notices.

2) Adding a new deck. Depending on the materials used, you can expect to get back three-quarters of the money invested.

3) Replacing or installing a Garage door. This once again demonstrates the importance of a home’s “curb appeal.”

4) Basement renovations create a lot of value because of the additional room it can create.  One can use the basement for guests, recreation or

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Does your spouse like to practice the drums in the evening? Does your teenager like to play video games, with the volume turned up high? Are there other sources of noise you'd like to minimize?

There are many ways to soundproof areas of your home to reduce noise. Here are some ideas:

  • Furniture placement. Surprisingly, where you place furniture can dramatically reduce incoming noise. For example, a bookshelf covering a third of a wall can muffle sound from an adjoining room by 25%.
  • Noise harmonization techniques. Soft music, air fans, and other sources of rhythmic noises can actually reduce the unpleasantness of incoming sounds.
  • Area rugs. Adding an area rug, even on top of existing carpeting, can significantly reduce noise
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Whether you’re considering minor updates to perk up a room, or a full-scale renovation of your entire home, it’s important to be aware of how renovations might affect your property value, especially if you’re thinking of selling in the near future.

Since most renovations resolve an issue or improve quality of life, many people automatically assume that they also increase a property’s sale price. That’s often true— but it’s not always the case. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada, “If the value of your house exceeds the average market value in your neighbourhood, your renovations will not yield much return. But if your house value is below the average, you can recover a larger part of the renovation costs.”

That being said, there are

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If you don't own one already, you may be tempted to purchase a widescreen digital television to enjoy your favourite movies, shows and sports programs. However, it can be difficult to select the right screen size, especially if you've been accustomed to viewing a TV with a traditional 4:3 screen.

When it comes to size, there are many factors that come into play, such as screen resolution and personal preference. However, the last thing you want is to purchase an HDTV that is too small for the room, or so big that it dominates the space.

Here's a tip:

The rule of thumb is to take the distance you'll be sitting from the television and multiple by five to get the screen size you need. So if you'll be sitting eight feet away, you'll want to look at

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If you're considering a bathroom update, you're probably familiar with the typical approaches, such as replacing a countertop or toilet, or removing all the fixtures and finishes to complete a floor-to-ceiling renovation.

However, there is another, far less expensive way to make an older bathroom look brand new: using overlays.

An overlay is simply a new surface applied over an existing one. For example, instead of replacing an old and worn bathtub – which is costly – you can purchase an overlay system (called a tub liner) that fits on top of the existing bathtub. It's a little like giving your tub a facelift!

You can do the same thing with your bathroom countertops and floors.

Overlays come in a wide variety of styles and finishes – some of which

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There are so many horror stories about disreputable or incompetent home improvement contactors that television shows have been made about them. Unless you want to be a guest on one of those programs, take steps to ensure you find a good contractor.

Here are some tips that will help:

  • Ask for references. Speak to the references.
  • Get a detailed written estimate of the work to be done, and make sure you understand all the terms and conditions.
  • Be wary of contractors who insist on large payments upfront. The payment plan should be reasonable and tied to work as completed.
  • Ask if the contractor is a member of any professional associations.
  • Don't deal with a contractor who offers you a no-tax, cash-only deal.
  • Ask the contractor to get the
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Have you ever watched those TV shows where some lucky homeowner gets a room redecorated by a professional? To have something similar done in your own home you would have to make a serious investment, or become a TV show guest!

However, there are ways to re-decorate a room and make it look great – even spectacular – on a budget.

Say, for example, you want a living room makeover. If your sofa is worn you can buy a fitted sofa cover that will make it look almost new. Table cloths on worn end-tables and other surfaces can have a similar affect.

Don't forget the most economical redecorating trick of them all: Paint! A fresh coat of paint can bring a room to life!

Hanging a few new pictures can also have a dramatic impact on the look of a room. You

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Finding storage space in the home is becoming increasingly challenging. These days, we all just seem to have more stuff!

Fortunately, you don't necessarily need to rent a storage locker or add a new room to your home to fit everything. There are many innovative ways to increase the capacity of the storage space you're already using.

For example, there are storage bins you can buy that are designed to fit neatly under a bed. Some have wheels, making the bins easy to pull out and access.

You've probably seen closet organizers at your local home improvement centre. These can easily double the storage capacity of a closet, while making the space look neater and more organized.

Finally, there are storage units available that are camouflaged as

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When people renovate or remodel a room, they almost always overlook the door. However, changing the style of an interior door, or adding a new one, can dramatically change the look of a living space – often for the better.

The most common type of door is the traditional solid 6-panel door. But there are many other choices available. Want to add light and a greater sense of space to a room? Consider a door with glass panels. Do you have an interior door that gets in the way when opened? Change it to a bi-fold door, which cuts the distance of the swing in half.

There are also specialty doors that are designed to block noise, and sliding doors that tuck neatly into the wall when opened.

Interior doors are typically much less expensive than their

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