Author: Adriana Valentina

Renovator profile Hugh Trueman More than just a job

By Francie Healy First-class renovators are so much more than you might think. They’re patient. They’re good listeners. They’re empathetic. They’re generous with their time. They’re mind-readers. They understand human nature. They’re pleasant. They’re polite. They’re passionate about the quality of their work. They care about you, and they care about the way you want to live. Hugh Trueman, owner of two Ottawa companies – White Vale Construction and Reno Rescue – is a top-drawer renovator-designer-builder, and a RenoMark™ member. He has these qualities. Like most people who are great at what they do, Hugh believes you have to put everything you’ve got into your work. “It can’t just be a job,” he says. “It has to be a passion, a craft. You have to want to do it at a much higher level than just getting the job done and getting out of there.” Hugh knows the other end of the scale, when unskilled contractors botch up a job. Reno Rescue gets called in to clean up their mistakes and finish the job properly. Reno Rescue also specializes in smaller renovations such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Hugh’s newer company, White Vale Construction, in its second year, takes on extensive, high-end renovations and additions. It’s a design-build company and will soon be creating custom homes as well. Hugh enjoys both kinds of work, but admits White Vale is...

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Should you lend money to your kids?

By Richard Yasinski Certified Financial Planner   I often get asked the best way to help grown-up children to get into their first home. A home can be a great savings and investment strategy. But it can also be challenging for first-time homeowners to purchase without help. Here are a few things you should consider before making the decision to help, and how you might go about it: Does it make sense for them to own a home at this time? My daughter started working in Ottawa with the best of intentions of settling here. She rented an apartment, bought furniture, and began to save for a home. But life happened. Now she’s a wildfire ranger in Alberta, living in a camp all summer. (And guess where all her furniture is.) With the transient nature of employment, you need to be as sure as you can be that your son or daughter have a high probability of staying put. Be prepared with Plan B: Let’s say they move out of town for work. Your investment may need to become a rental. It might be more appropriate to renovate the basement for them to live if job security is an issue. Buying a home and having to sell too soon is costly.   How to go about it? Once you’re confident they’ll buy the most appropriate home in the right...

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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.