Author: Adriana Valentina

The Last Word By Herb Lagois – Finding the right fit

Remodelers come in all shapes and sizes, from large to small companies, to handymen, to general contractors, to project managers. So how can you possibly figure out who is best suited for your project? A renovation can affect your family and your day-to-day life. The investment can be quite large. How do you find a fit you can trust? Many of us have been conditioned to get three estimates. And yes, that can work…but how do you disseminate the information once you have it? You can say it’s important to compare apples to apples. But what do you do...

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Perseverance gets you there By Francie Healy With characteristic grace, Herb Lagois of Lagois Design-Build-Renovate calls his company’s recent Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association “Renovator of the Year” win “an incredible award that speaks to our team.” He is proud of his team of eight and the evolution of his company that began more than 30 years ago, in 1984. Back then, it was called Lagois Drafting and Construction. Herb started it soon after he graduated. Right from the start, he learned from his business mistakes. “My first lesson?” he muses. “You need the proper things in place before...

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Green renovation by Roy Nandram

WHAT’S LURKING IN YOUR BASEMENT? Don’t let mould and other culprits hurt you What’s lurking in your basement can affect your health. Although it’s true that a finished basement can be the most economical way to add living space to your home, what most homeowners don’t realize is that indoor air quality in the entire home can be seriously compromised by incorrectly finishing a basement. Here’s why. Basements in older homes generally have insufficient insulation or they are not insulated at all. Making a basement energy-efficient and comfortable involves insulating the exterior walls. Unfortunately, this is where the problem starts....

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Top 7 tips for building a custom home

By Rob Haslett 1. Create a custom home building journal as soon as possible. This is very helpful if you have a home building project or if you just want to organize your details in one place. You can track essential home details such as ownership information, budgets, renovations, improvements and more. 2. When you’re deciding on a contractor or custom home builder, examine the homes they have built, in person. Reach out to references and past clients and try to learn more about the builder. Are there any complaints or reviews on Facebook or Better Business Bureau? 3. Insist on a home that is built to last – not a quick-and-sell build. Let’s be honest, it’s one of the most expensive things in your life, but it’s not the best time to be frugal. Quality and time will produce the best results. 4. Don’t overbuild. Compare the home you’re planning with others on the same street. You don’t want to be the most expensive house on the block; you won’t get your money back when you sell. 5. Don’t select a builder based solely on bid amount. Don’t necessarily select the one with either the highest or lowest bid. A high bid doesn’t guarantee a superior product, and the lowest bid could mean that you’ll be hit with extra costs as construction progresses. Often, the low bid is...

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Green renovation

Roy Nandram What is a true Green home? The energy efficiency of Canadian homes has increased greatly in recent decades. In fact, according to Natural Resources Canada, energy efficiency in the residential sector improved 45 per cent between 1990 and 2013, saving Canadians $12 billion in energy costs in 2013 alone. Why is it happening? For many reasons, including upgrades to the building code as well as advances in both design and building materials. Over the next decade, the picture should get even better as various levels of government accelerate energy-efficient requirements in building codes. But there are many...

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What is RenoMark™?

RenoMark™ renovators are held to the highest industry standards. They have to do the big things – carry $2 million liability insurance and enforce strict workplace safety – and the smaller things that give you comfort: pledge to call you back within two business days, for instance.

RenoMark™ renovators must pay a fee to be certified. They must also follow detailed guidelines. In addition to insurance, safety and courtesy, they must:
• Give you a detailed written contract for all jobs, big or small
• Provide a minimum two-year warranty on all work except minor repair
• Carry the proper licences and permits
• Keep their worksite organized and safe
• In the Ottawa area, be a member in good standing of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association (GOHBA) and abide by the GOHBA Code of Ethics.
• Stay current, through consistent and continuing education, in their professional knowledge of building codes, permit procedures and technical skills.