Author: Adriana Valentina

The Last Word: A tough lesson learned

By Herb Lagois A tough lesson learned Rain, rain, and more rain. Talk about a wet summer! All this rain reminded me of a life-altering lesson I learned many years ago. The project was managed by the homeowners. We were hired just to do the framing and siding. It was mid-September. No sooner had we started framing than the rains started. It kept on raining – and raining. At last, as we were nearing completion, the weather started to get better. I recall being on the roof; it was finally sunny, and I could see the homeowners walking up the driveway. As I looked closer, I noticed the woman was crying. Tears were streaming down her face. And I was thinking– but it’s sunny out! So I climbed down from the roof and met them at the front of the house. Cautiously I asked the woman what was wrong. “We’re moving the house,” she said.  I thought she meant they had to move for some reason. “Oh,” I said, a bit confused. “Where?” “No, not move US,” she answered. “We have to move THE HOUSE!” I was thinking: Um, this house is 80 feet long… “What?” I asked. Now they were both crying. “You can’t be serious!” The woman turned around and, holding her head and still in tears, walked back down the driveway. I asked the man what...

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Fitting function and form into everyday life

By Francie Healy With plenty of talent and solid years of experience, residential designer Suzanne Martin has reason to boast. But she doesn’t. Her renovation projects speak for themselves. They have won housing design awards (presented by the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association and the Canadian Home Builders Association) as well as SAM (Sales and Marketing) and HOUZZ awards. Most of her clients are repeat or referral. It’s not uncommon for clients, happy with an earlier renovation, to come back to do another floor. Her projects are usually major: whole floors plus a basement, for instance, or a whole...

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Should I stay or should I go: Camping out while you renovate your property

By Natalie Belovic If you are in the market to buy a property whether it be a condo or a single or semi detached, finding one where you can add value by doing upgrades will give you the best investment return possible and add value to your real estate right away. Mostly all buyers like something that is “move in” so the sad and tired properties in need of love usually sell for much less than the costs of bringing them up to date. If you can find something and add value, you’ll recoup your investment and more right...

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5 things every homeowner should know about commercial insurance before renovating

By Greg Strahl Your home is your castle. It is the biggest investment you will ever make, and your sanctuary away from a hectic world. So, when you decide to undertake a renovation it is a very big deal. The planning process alone can take months and involve a million choices and decisions. When it finally comes time to turn over your castle to a contractor who will knock down walls, rip out old wiring and perhaps make structural changes it is important that you ask for proof of insurance. Hardly a new idea, but few homeowners know what...

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Corporate profile: Laurysen Kitchens — Still in good hands

By Francie Healy For more than 45 years, kitchens in Ottawa and beyond have been transformed thanks to an innovative couple from Ottawa. Back in 1970, John and Adri Laurysen started a custom cabinet business out of their small garage. They devoted their lives to it. Their children, Bill and Caroline, did, too. The kids would come home from school and join their parents in the shop. The business grew. And grew. Now Laurysen Kitchens thrives in a 55,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility on Carp Road in Stittsville, and throughout an extensive dealership network. The “kids”, Bill and Caroline,...

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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.