The Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association Renovators’ Council RenoTour 2015 on Oct. 18 introduced approximately 200 visitors to renovation projects at seven homes – and feedback from participating renovation contractors and designers has been exceptionally positive.
“We’ve had people in here all day,” said the host as visitors crowded Home Inc.’s demonstration renovation project in the Glebe at 195 Patterson Ave. A Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa volunteer at the door said she had counted 146 visitors since the doors opened at 11:00 a.m. – and there would still be more than an hour to go before the day wrapped up at 4:00 p.m.
Habitat for Humanity received all the money raised from the $10 Passports visitors purchased to gain access to the homes.
In New Edinburgh, Roy Nandram reported that about 30 people had shown up in the first hour – an indication of a positive day ahead, where renovation contractors and potential clients could meet and see different styles, technologies, and challenges in completing successful renovation projects.
Nandram offered visitors free hot dogs, hamburgers and veggi burgers, in part he said because his demonstration home at 30 Ivy Cr. in New Edinburgh was away from the other homes. (However, the most ‘remote’ home was Just Basements’ site at 5704 Watterson St. in Manotick.)
While the food was free at Nandram’s site, there was a tin to make voluntary contributions to Habitat for Humanity, and the tin was filling up with coins and bills as the noon hour passed.
In Wellington West, Steve Barkhouse and designer Chuck Mills said they were impressed with the crowds and the opportunity to meet potential clients as visitors pulled up to the house at 42 Granville Ave. in Wellington West.
The event received advance publicity in The Ottawa Citizen, Metroland Media and, most significantly, Ottawa Renovates magazine, which devoted nine pages to describing the houses and the event.
“We’ve been talking about doing this sort of thing for many years,” one renovator said, recalling work within the GOHBA Renovators’ Council marketing committee. “We finally did it.” Based on the results, it looks like the RenoTour will become an annual event.
Event sponsors included Deslaurier Custom Cabinets Inc., Financially Sound Life Planning and Tego Bathroom Solutions.