Author: Netmani F

Message from the Chair: The real world of renovation

If you haven’t seen them, you’ve probably heard about them: Home Renovation shows on TV. There are perhaps a hundred of them or more. They have a huge audience, of course, and that’s why they’re so successful. Like cashews,they’re addictive. The plot is pretty much predictable. Walls get torn out; there are a few “Oh, no!” moments; everything gets solved; and voila: nice new house and everyone’s happy. This is the world of entertainment, and it’s fun to watch. The best shows recommend getting professionals to do the job, or they have professionals as actual hosts. They give estimated...

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Ways to give your house a lift

By Francie Healy Some people get their hair cut. Some get a whole new wardrobe. And when spring comes to Ottawa, some take the plunge and get a facelift…for their house, that is. It’s an exciting and creative way to make your home look like a whole new person –er, house. The facelift can be dramatic as well as practical. You can make your home look years younger, more vibrant, more elegant. You can make it quieter. And, and at the same time, you can save on heating costs and maintenance. Suzanne Martin, designer and co-owner of Luxurious Living...

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Penny Southam: A dance of spaces

By Francie Healy Ask her what she does for “down time”, and there’s a pause. “Down time?” she repeats, as if she’s never considered it. “When?” Registered interior designer Penny Southam is the Principal of Southam Design, Inc., Ottawa, as well as the founder and partner of Studio S Interiors. She admits she’s “turbo-charged” from the time her feet hit the floor in the morning to the moment she kicks off her shoes at the end of the day, has a nice glass of wine, and makes dinner for her children. This is not a complaint. No way. This...

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John Wenuk: Renovator of the Year — Trust and happiness come first

By Francie Healy People will say John Wenuk’s passion is building and making beautiful spaces. And it is. His work over the past 30 years proves it. But John Wenuk, owner of Sandy Hill Construction in Ottawa, has another passion, one that might not be quite so obvious. John is devoted to people: to his staff, his clients, his regular tradespeople, his family. His dedication extends to volunteer work with disadvantaged people and their families in crisis in India and around the world; and with some of Ottawa’s disadvantaged people. It tells you something about him that is perhaps...

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Taking the mystery out of Green Renovations

By Roy Nandram “Green” has been a buzzword over the last few decades. We are bombarded with reality TV shows, websites, magazines and product descriptions that often give conflicting information about their green claims. For builders, sorting through these conflicting claims can be challenging. For home owners, it’s worse. It can be both confusing and discouraging. What’s more, we are faced with green words and phrases that further compound this problem – words such as environmentally friendly, no- or low-VOC, renewable, eco-this and eco-that, LEED® compliant, and sustainable. Some of these terms are being misused. This is “greenwashing”: where...

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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.