Breathe safely indoors Most people think air pollution applies only to outdoor air. But the air inside your home and workspace could be two to five times more polluted than the air you are breathing outside. We Canadians spend approximately 90 per cent of our time inside. And most of us are not aware of the effects poor indoor air quality can have on our health. Toxic substances, introduced to your home, go unseen. And yet they pose the single greatest threat to our daily health. A typical home today contains more than 60 toxic biological and non-biological chemicals....Read More
Author: Adriana Valentina
CloudLab comes to Vanier An Ottawa-based design firm called prototypeD Team Inc, and the Quartier Vanier Business Improvement Area had an exciting joint venture opportunity this past summer. In July prototypeD launched the first of its innovative new CloudLab mobile studios in Vanier. This is a net-zero energy mobile space that can be used for a variety of community purposes including educational workshops. They can be transported anywhere within North America. The mobile spaces are self-contained, solar powered, self-sufficient and loaded with the technology such as 3D scanners and printers and virtual reality goggles. Each CloudLab studio is only about 400 sq.ft. but offers a series of other amenities such as public meeting spaces, planting beds, outdoor patio and rooftop gardens. The CloudLab studio in Vanier held workshops on urban transformation and beautification and architectural conceptual design for key properties along Montreal Road in Vanier and the surrounding area. Help design your dream kitchen OakWood has created its first custom mill work design centre specializing in kitchen designs. It’s one of the first high-end cabinetry showrooms in central Ottawa. The showroom, which was designed by two award-winning designers, allows clients to visualize four different design styles and features that are unique to that style. Customers can design their own kitchens or the millwork for vanities and entertainment units. By any other name… Habitat for Humanity has a...Read More
By Francie Healy When autumn winds start to blow, we know what’s coming. Winter. Snow. Cold. And the energy bills we have to pay just to keep ourselves comfortable. But there’s good news. All you have to do is look out the window. Or rather, at it. Dave Sneyd of Window Works says one of the most valuable things you can do if you’re considering a renovation or addition is to pay close attention to the kind of windows you choose. Good windows decrease energy costs in a huge way. They make a home cozy and warm in winter and cool in summer. He began at Window Works in Ottawa back in the 80s; two and a half years ago, he bought the company. With that much experience in all situations including heritage restorations, he knows the beauty and practicality of really great windows – his company sells Marvin Windows, primarily – and their impact not only on comfort as well as energy costs but on house resale values. He says there’s a vast selection of styles of windows, but the really important thing to consider is the glass. Window glass is rated according to the number of metallic oxide coatings it has. There are different options including triple glazing, but the most common one, says Dave, is Low-E2 for year-round performance and comfort. It has a double metallic...Read More
By Herb Lagois How to find the right renovator Tired of the old kitchen? Is your family outgrowing your home? Maybe it’s time to start thinking about renovating. It’s really fun to consider all the ways you can make your home more functional for your family. Seeing the changes happen right before your eyes is very exciting, but it doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it takes several months, starting with selecting the right renovator. Doing your research upfront and taking the time to interview potential remodelers will be well worth it in the end. Research your project Take the time to research the average price, scope of work, return on investment, and material options for your remodel. Ask a professional Renomark™ remodeler for guidance for a better understanding of price ranges and how to set an appropriate budget. When you’re comparing estimates from professionals, be sure you completely understand what you’re getting. Every estimate must be in writing. Does each estimate include complete installation, finishing details, on-site supervision, quality materials, and a warranty? A lower price may look attractive, but may cost you more in the long run if installation is not done properly or if low-quality materials are used. If you are on the fence about whether to move or remodel, speak with a real estate agent who knows your community. Find out what your...Read More
By Francie Healy You’re thinking of a major renovation. It’s a big decision, perhaps a turning point in your life. How on earth do you find a first-class renovator? All the experts warn, over and over again, not to hire just anyone. The worst thing you can do, say too many frustrated victims of renovation scams, is to sign someone up because they offer you a “sweet deal”. Most homeowners find the renovator of their dreams by first doing their homework. They get to know what kind of people will be spending time inside and outside their home. They find the people who fully understand the project they have in mind, people with long experience and excellent references, people they can trust right to the finish line and beyond. Researching renovators can take a lot of time, but so it should. The stakes are too high not to. One helpful step in the “homework phase” is awaiting you Sun., Oct. 18 from 11am to 4 pm. It’s Ottawa’s first annual RenoMark Renotour, presented by the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association. Several renovators will be holding an “open house” at seven recently-renovated homes in Ottawa, and will be on hand to chat or answer questions. All proceeds from ticket sales ($10 each) will go to Habitat for Humanity for Greater Ottawa; so besides learning about participating renovators, you can add...Read More
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How to find a renovator
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.