Author: Adriana Valentina

After the storm…

Story and Photography  by Patrick Langston When tornadoes swept through Eastern Ontario and Gatineau last September, the destruction was massive: families displaced, neighbourhoods mutilated and insurance costs that skyrocketed to almost $295 million, most of it on the Ontario side, according to the Insurance Bureau of Canada. Six months later, many homes remain uninhabitable, their windows boarded up, “no gas, no hydro” scrawled on plywood sheets across front doors. Surprisingly, it’s all had little impact on the lo- cal renovation industry. That’s despite some fears at the time that resources would be drained away from kitchen upgrades and new...

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An invitation to the renovators’ RENODAY symposium on April 11: How the reno greats stay great

Professional renovators love to learn. You’d think they’d know everything there is to know about the business of renovating, but to the pros, learning is a habit. The greats know that to succeed you need to be continually learning about new products and new innovations. To grow your business, you need to continually develop and improve your business management skills. RenoMark® renovators are always taking advantage of new learning opportunities that are available through the program and GOHBA’s Renovator’s Council. They stay on top of things on a regular basis. This spring, for the first time ever, GOHBA is...

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A Renovator Answers: How do we know (the tradespeople) can be trusted in our home?

Adam Mallett, Chief Administrator and Co-Owner of Westend Bath and Kitchen, has been connected to the business for a long time, right from the time he was a child, when his parents bought the business in 1987. He joined the family business 15 years ago. From the beginning, Westend Bath and Kitchen has been restoring, rebuilding and modifying residential buildings of all ages and all types throughout Ottawa’s many neighbourhoods. Dear Renovator, We’re ready for a complete kitchen renovation. We’ve seen your website and your ads, and two of our neighbours recommend you. So we figure you’re probably a good...

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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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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. If you do not plan...

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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.

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