Month: February 2020

Project Managing Your New Kitchen


Managing a successful kitchen renovation or extension project is complex and involves a wide range of skills, knowledge, and experience.

Project managing a kitchen installation involves three key tasks:

  • Arranging goods and services
  • Scheduling the various tradespeople needed to install your kitchen
  • Overseeing the installation of furniture, products, and services to the right standard

You’ll find all of these attributes in a professional design-led kitchen specialist retailer. By appointing the right team at the start of your project you can be assured of your kitchen reaching its full potential. Before appointing your team check their portfolio of previous work and customer reviews to confirm their credentials.

Design and Plan

Your kitchen design should of course be in conjunction with the architectural phase, but also in relation to how your project needs to be implemented. Ultimately, you want to avoid making any off-the-cuff decisions once the build is underway.

Ensure you use a first-rate professional kitchen designer and quality products. The project management element that they offer will ensure key services such as power, plumbing, and extraction are all ready and in the right place before fitting the kitchen. Take underfloor heating as an example, the kitchen furniture and appliances cannot sit above this, meaning the kitchen footprint is required prior to starting on site.

Professional Installation

If you’ve designed your kitchen well, the installation process will go smoothly, and potential hiccups can be avoided.

Whether you are project managing your kitchen extension yourself, or designating it someone else, its complexity makes it a skilful job. You’ll find all these project manager attributes in a professional independent design-led kitchen specialist retailer.

Hiring a specialist can take some of the stress away because they’ll have done this many times before.

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5 ways a basement renovation can make your home more liveable

Blog written by Mode Contracting

Whether you’re looking to get the kid’s toys out of your living room, the in-laws need a place to sleep or you’re working from home and need an office to maximize productivity; basements can solve a great number of living-solutions! Expand on the usable square footage of your home and increase resale value while you’re at it!

Check out our top five ways that an Edmonton basement renovation can make your home more liveable!


There’s nothing more welcoming than dragging your bags next to an old fold-out sofa complete with the dreaded uncomfortable mattress right? One of the biggest requests we get is the creation of a guest suite for in-laws and out of town friends coming to spend the night. In-floor heating, cozy carpeting, calming wall colours, and luxury linens are all ways to bring warmth and comfort into a room for your guests. Having a separate space offers guests privacy and a space to unwind after their travels. Bedside tables with built-in USB charging are great luxury ad-ins. If you’re tight on space and need the room to function for other purposes when it’s not occupied murphy beds are another great option for guest rooms.


Whether you’re into Monday night movie marathons, gaming gatherings or keeping littles happy, a theatre room can turn your average evening into an experience. With big screens more affordable than ever before, you can work with your contractor to set up the space, with all the tech requirements needed for big sound and the best picture. Soundproofing is a key component to attaining those theatre style acoustics. Be sure to choose the appropriate style flooring. Carpeting tends to work better for these spaces over a hardwood or vinyl option. Add ons like an extra layer of drywall or soundproof panels will take your renovation to the next level. Finishes like comfy reclining seats or an expansive sectional and blackout curtains complete the space. Add some popcorn, a fun flick and you’ve got the perfect recipe for family night in.


Between the shower schedule, all the teeth that need brushing and everyone getting their hair situation sorted, getting ready in the mornings can be a bit chaotic, especially if your kids are getting older and there’s limited sink space in your main bathroom. Completing a bathroom remodel for your basement offers a great return on your investment for resale and it can totally change your morning routine. With basements usually sitting on the cooler side, in-floor heating is a good idea. Getting a certified plumber involved is also a must. Unlike above ground bathrooms that rely on the natural force gravity for drainage, basements require special attention and should be taken care of by professionals to ensure you avoid any costly problems down the road. Moisture resistant materials and proper ventilation are also key to creating a functional space that will hold up for years to come.


Finishing a basement can as much as double your current living space, giving you more room to spread out. Whether you use that extra space for storage, entertaining or family fun – the options are endless making a basement completely customizable to suit your needs. Multi-purpose designs often include features like play-areas for younger children, a bar or games area for the adults and entertainment centres for the entire family. You can start by creating a list of must-haves and designing a basement build around those features. Some clients choose to add in a pool table, built-in shelving for storage and electrical components, as well as toy storage to keep mess contained and out of their other living spaces on the main level. It’s important to see a basement as solution central, solving some of the problems your current living space just can’t accommodate. Consider features like specialty lighting, durable flooring options like vinyl, and even carefully selected insulation options for the perfect multi-purpose space.


According to research from Regus Canada nearly half (47 percent) of Canadian employees work from outside their employer’s main offices for half the week or more. Whether you’re in need of a space for your full-time gig, an area to expand your creative endeavours or just a spot to sort through and file your household paperwork, adding an office to your basement can make for great use of space. Making room for multiple workstations will offer flexibility for shared use with your spouse or even the kids when they’re diving into their next school project. We make sure the finished layout and design are planned in advance to ensure electrical outlets are placed in accessible areas of the room. Custom additions like a barnwood desktop or wall shelving for storage and display will give the room a personalized touch for maximum productivity and inspiration.

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House Prices Aren’t Always What We Assume, New Poll Shows

It seems looks can be deceiving when it comes to house prices, as a new poll reveals that only 1% of people could correctly identify the most expensive homes in the UK. 

Property experts Housesimple polled 2,000 people on the price of homes in the UK, and within their local areas, to challenge perceptions of property costs. 

People were faced with a series of questions, all asking which of two property types is more expensive. 

In one scenario, a four-bedroom barn conversion in Blackburn was compared with a two-bedroom penthouse in London. Despite there being a near £2.5m difference between the properties — the London home cost £2.8m, compared with the £360,000 barn conversion — around one in five wrongly believed the barn conversion cost more.

In another comparison, 35% of people incorrectly believed that a five-bedroom detached house in Norwich (£500k) cost more than a six-bedroom detached house in Suffolk (£1m).

The findings reveal that many people aren’t aware of the importance of location with regards to house prices, and that aspiring homeowners may be able to get more for their money elsewhere. 

Sam Mitchell, CEO at Housesimple, commented: “Property prices are a national obsession, so it’s interesting to see from the results that the majority of Brits may not know what they could get for their money in other parts of the country.”

House Prices on the Rise

House prices are close to an all-time high in the UK, indicating the housing market’s recovery in recent years. But this is also a potentially discouraging development for first-time buyers struggling to get on the housing ladder. 

If you’re unable to afford a deposit for a home, then self build offers an cost-effective alternative. Self build not only enables you to build your a home tailored to your specific requirements and lifestyle, but can also help you save up to 30% on market value. 

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New Homes Need to be Protected Against Flooding, Environment Agency Chief Warns

New homes need to be better protected against flooding and should only be built on flood plains if there is no real alternative, the Environment Agency has warned.

The warnings follow widespread flooding caused by Storms Ciara and Dennis this year.

Currently, there are 112 flood warnings in place across England and Wales, and making homes ‘flood-proof’ to prevent future damage is paramount according to the Environment Agency.

Sir James Bevan, head of the Environment Agency, said: “First, we must continue to do what we have been doing for some years now: building and maintaining strong defences to reduce the risk of communities being flooded. The best way to defuse the weather bomb is better protection and stronger resilience. We need both.”

Making Homes Flood-Proof

One of the mitigating solutions suggested to flood-proof homes is to designate the ground floor just for garages and move living spaces up to first and second floors to protect people and their belongings from flooding. 

But Sir James added that it wouldn’t be practical to ban all development on flood plains because they cover wide areas of the country. He stressed that if there is no real alternative to building new homes on flood plains, then they should at least be more resilient to flooding.

Sir James went on to say that most people would accept that some homes should not have been built, and called for a conversation about the sustainability and protection of homes in the long term. 

Is Your Home Protected?

Six out of 10 people never check their home’s flood risk, a startling study revealed last year. This is not only dangerous from a safety standpoint but can also prove extremely costly.

For those looking to self build or buy a home in a flood zone, it is essential to research the risk of flooding and plan in mitigation solutions at the design stage where possible.You should also establish a flood defence strategy, including a plan of what to do should a flood occur. 

The builders of this oak frame property knew that their plot was prone to flooding so they had the house raised up one meter above the ground to prevent flood damage.

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Affordable, Sustainable Homes to Feature in New Eco Town

Plans for a 1,500-home eco town have been revealed and will feature energy-efficient homes within a sustainable infrastructure.

The first 169 eco homes to be built in Cornwall will be part of a garden village on a development the size of 290 football pitches. 

The energy-efficient homes will be available “to suit everyone from first-time buyers to retirees”, and integrated to “create an innovative and truly sustainable community”. And 30% will be affordable homes.

Outline planning permission has already been granted for the wider development, with work on the project expected to begin later this year, providing a reserved matters application is accepted. 

There will be a focus on using renewable energy for the village — a solar farm is already situated on the site — and there are plans to ensure the village is carefully integrated with the green infrastructure and landscape.

The project, titled West Carclaze Garden Village has been drawn up in partnership between Orascom Development and Imerys – creating a new venture called Eco-Bos, which is now progressing with implementing the development. 

Eco-Bos also plans to introduce a network of cycle and footpaths, with 350 acres of the site designated as open space for use by residents of the garden village and the wider public. 

Benefit of Sustainable Homes

Developments such as West Carclaze are welcome additions for improving the energy efficiency of homes. Earlier this year the English Housing Survey revealed energy efficiency in homes has improved over the last two decades, but has slowed down in recent years. 

For self builders, building a sustainable home allows you to install the latest renewable technology for heat and power which can help to lower your energy demand, thus reducing costs in the long term.  

(MORE: Self Build: The Complete Guide)

The Scottish government has pledged to make all new homes energy efficient by 2024, and the homebuilding industry is continually exploring new ways of improving sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.

Earlier this month a study revealed that timber frame construction could store up to 700 million tonnes of carbon a year. 

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Kitchen Cabinet Color Ideas for a More Appealing Kitchen

Before you proceed with kitchen cabinet refinishing Toronto, here are the most appealing kitchen cabinet color ideas we came up with to make your kitchen shine.

Are you tired of your kitchen? Maybe you’ve hated it from the day you moved in. You aren’t alone; about 43% of people can no longer stand their old kitchen, and it inspires them to do renovations.

You don’t need to remodel your whole kitchen to change the look and feel of it. You can paint the kitchen cabinets and give your kitchen a bright, fresh, new feel.

Try these kitchen cabinet color ideas when working with your cabinet painters in Toronto.

Classic White

White kitchen cabinets are timeless and never go out of style. It remains the most popular cabinet color year after year. If you have color elsewhere in your kitchen, then white cabinets will help those colors pop.

If you have a smaller kitchen, then white cabinets will reflect light and help your kitchen feel larger. If you have your heart set on colored cabinets, try using white on the upper cabinets and color on the bottom. This will let you enjoy colored cabinets while also benefiting from the room-enhancing white.

Neutral Gray

If you’re looking for a neutral color but want something softer than white, then consider gray. Dark gray can look beautiful on accent cabinets. Try using it on the island cabinets or a small separate section of cabinets.

If you prefer light grey, then try pairing it with a pastel color. Consider the rest of the colors in your kitchen and home to choose the best pastel color.

Beautiful Blue

Blue looks beautiful when paired with white and gray. Try a deep navy blue on your lower cabinets and white on the upper ones. Or use blue to create an accent piece by painting the kick wall under your bar height counter.

Calming Green

Another trendy color this year is green. Similar to the dark blue, you can paint the lower cabinets hunter green. For a warm look, try using an off white or cream color with your green paint.

Pastel shades of green can give your kitchen a country farmhouse look. Aim for an earthy sage that will look beautiful with either gray or tans.

Bold Red

This is a bold choice, and people will either love or hate it. Red is a smart choice for a kitchen, though. It can work well in farmhouse, modern, or eclectically styled kitchens.

If bright candy apple red is too much for you, try something a bit more subtle. Try a maroon shade that will look beautiful with natural wood and white accents.

Try These Kitchen Cabinet Color Ideas

When choosing the best paint for cabinets, think about the decor and style of your home and kitchen. You should choose a complementary color.

Take into account if you intend to sell your home soon. Choosing a bold color may make it more challenging to sell your home or require you to repaint the cabinets before you put the house on the market.

Request a free quote from your cabinet painters in Toronto and have your cabinets painted.

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Canada’s 8 Best Furnace Brands

Are you in search of a new furnace? With Canada’s colder climates, a properly functioning furnace is a key feature in any home to get you and your family through the winter season. There are so many different models and brands out there, and it can be hard to decide which is right for you and your home. This article will provide a detailed list of 8 renowned furnace brands out on the market. With a little research, you should be able to narrow it down to a furnace that will suit your needs best.

Lower Cost Furnaces

The first category is the value brands. Value brand furnaces are made to be more affordable and are standard makes and models. They probably don’t have all the bells and whistles that a mid-range or premium might, but they will still get the job done without breaking the bank. These brands tend to have furnaces with a lower AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency), but will still effectively heat your home.

Value Brand #1: Goodman 

Goodman is a reliable brand that has been providing customers will quality furnaces for many years. They have made a name for themselves, and are known for their energy-efficient and budget-friendly options to choose from. They also offer a lifetime warranty and 10-year parts and unit warranty, on models that have a 96% AFUE and above, to ensure that you get and can maintain a properly functioning furnace.

The top model choices that they provide are as follows:

– Entry-level: GMSS92 single-stage furnace with 92% AFUE
– Mid-range: GMVC96 two-stage furnace with 96% AFUE
– High-end: GMVM97 modulating furnace with 98% AFUE

The average cost of a Goodman furnace is between $2,500 and $4,500, including installation. Each model is found to be at a price that is affordable, while still giving your home the quality it needs and deserves. Goodman furnaces are a great choice for any home because they are reliable, and make sure that you get the best quality furnace to keep you and your family comfortable. With their affordable prices and energy-efficient products, they are a brand worth considering.

Value Brand #2: York 

York is a reliable brand that has been in business for quite some time. They aren’t new at this; they know how to get things done to fit your needs and have your home heated in a convenient way. Their furnace systems are new and improved, having features such as Wi-Fi capabilities in order to control your furnace from your phone. This way, anytime you need the heating to be changed, it’s at your fingertips.

The top model choices that they provide are as follows:

– Lower cost: LATITUDE TG9S single-stage furnace with 95.5% AFUE
– Mid-range: LX TM9V two-stage furnace with 96% AFUE
– High-end: AFFINITY YP9C modulating furnace with 98% AFUE

The average cost of a York furnace is between $3,000 and $5,000 including installation. The price depends on whether you purchase an entry-level or premium model. No matter which model you were to go for, you know you’ll find a furnace that won’t break the bank, and will be the perfect fit for your home.

The models that are made from York are affordable options that provide high-quality functions to fit your needs. They are durable and high-efficiency, ensuring that every dollar you spend on your new furnace is worth it.

Value Brand #3: KeepRite

Another value brand of furnaces is KeepRite. KeepRite furnaces are made to keep your budget intact, while still offering different ranges of heating systems. Some models not mentioned below do have a lower AFUE but have been certified by ENERGY STAR as a furnace that buyers can rely on.

The top model choices that they provide are as follows:

– Lower-cost: Performance N9MSE single-stage furnace with 98% AFUE
– Mid-range: ProComfort G9MX two-stage furnace with 96.5% AFUE
– High-end: ProComfort Deluxe G9MAE modulating furnace with 98% AFUE

The average cost of a KeepRite furnace is between $2,800 and $6,000 including installation. Some units can come to be a bit more expensive, but that’s typically due to the extended warranty added on top of the sale price. Most furnaces come with a 10-year warranty for unit replacement, and a lifetime warranty on heat exchange parts.

Although these furnaces are a bit more expensive for the value category of furnace brands, the company assures you that you won’t regret your decision. This company is known for its excellent customer service, in order to give you a great experience and provide you with quality units.

Mid-Range Furnaces

The second category of furnaces is mid-range. These furnaces are the middle ground between value and premium. They are also reasonably priced, though they are more than value brands. Nonetheless, they are a great choice for any home, as they are made to save energy and maintain a warm home. These brands tend to have a higher AFUE than the value furnaces.

Mid-Range Brand #1: American Standard 

American Standard has been a trustworthy brand for several years. They are known for their affordable pricing options, and the ability to provide you with the best service possible. Their products are known to have a long lifespan, ensuring that you won’t have to worry about replacing them any time soon.

The top model choices that they provide are as follows:

– Lower-cost: Silver 95h single-stage furnace with 95% AFUE
– Mid-range: Gold S9V2-VS two-stage furnace with 97% AFUE
– High-end: Platinum 95 modulating furnace with 97.3% AFUE

The average cost of an American Standard furnace is between $3,500 and $5,500 including installation. Each of the furnaces can be controlled remotely, allowing for easier functionality and the ability to track any errors that may occur. They are easily maintained and installed. Another bonus to these furnaces is that they will keep your energy bills low since they are known for being incredibly efficient.

The models American Standard makes will surpass any standards you may have. They offer a warranty that can last for up to 20 years or 10 years for certain parts of the furnace that may need replacement. Their furnaces will stand the test of time, save you money, and keep your family comfortable during those colder times of the year.

Mid-Range Brand #2: Bryant 

Bryant furnaces have newer, technologically advanced features to make sure that your furnace runs easily and smoothly. Many features can be dictated through the thermostat along with temperature regulation, including the furnace fan speed. Their furnaces are reliable with the correct installation and maintenance provided. Bryant furnaces are high-efficiency, and have a good Energy Star rating, meaning that you will save more on heating and energy costs in your home.

The top model choices that they provide are as follows:

– Lower-cost: Legacy Line 915SA single-stage furnace with 95.5% AFUE
– Mid-range: Preferred Series 926TA two-stage furnace with 96.5% AFUE
– High-end: Evolution 987MA modulating furnace with 97% AFUE

The average cost of a Bryant furnace is between $3,000 and $6,000 including installation. Each furnace comes with a lifetime heat exchange and a 10-year warranty for certain parts. The warranty doesn’t change between the furnaces like the other brands; it’s the same for each one. Some see this as a downside because the warranty on the premium furnaces will cost you more but come with the same perks as the entry-level furnace would.

Despite the lack of variance between the warranty among the furnaces, Bryant is a reliable brand that will provide an energy-efficient, reasonably priced furnaces for you and your loved ones.

Mid-Range Brand #3: Trane 

Trane is known for providing its customers with a variety of furnaces that are of high quality. Trane furnaces are built with innovative technologies that make heating your home easier and affordable. They have many different models that will fit to any budget, while still maintaining an excellent performance value throughout them all. They also have a high rating on Energy Star, proving that their products are worth looking into and considering.

The top model choices that they provide are as follows:

– Lower-cost: XB90 single-stage furnace with 92% AFUE
– Mid-range: S9V2 two-stage furnace with 96% AFUE
– High-end: XC95M modulating furnace with 97.3% AFUE

The average cost of a Trane furnace is $3,000 and $4,500 including installation. This also can include a warranty for up to 20 years for a model replacement. With so many pros to these furnaces, it’s hard to go wrong with the Trane brand, but there are other things to consider before buying, because some features may increase the purchase price. While sometimes the price may be a bit higher, you can count on the fact that the furnace will maintain itself for years and years. You won’t have to worry about its efficiency; you can instead check it off your to-do list.

Trane furnaces are dependable and will keep you and your family comfortable. They offer reasonable prices and excellent models that can specifically fit the needs of your home.

High-End Furnaces

The last category of furnaces is the premium furnaces. These ones are higher-end, making them a pricier choice. However, by being more expensive, you’re looking at more perks or things that may not have been offered in the previous categories. These brands tend to have the highest AFUE.

High-End Brand #1: Lennox 

Stepping into the premium category, the first brand that will be mentioned is Lennox. Lennox is a brand known for its high-efficiency furnaces that are assured to work for your home. They offer furnaces that are not only functional but have bonus traits to make it that much better. These include things like making the furnaces to be 50% quieter through variable speed motors and making their motors to be 33% more efficient than their average competitors.

The top model choices that they provide are as follows:

– Lower-cost: Lennox Merit Series ML193 single-stage furnace with 93% AFUE
– Mid-range: Lennox Elite Series EL296E two-stage furnace with 96% AFUE
– High-end: Lennox Dave Lennox Signature Collection SLP98V modulating furnace with 98.7% AFUE

The average cost of a Lennox furnace is between $3,000 and $7,500 including installation. They also come with a warranty of 10 years for parts and a lifetime guarantee for base model heat exchanges. Depending on how much you spend on the unit, the warranty may increase the number of years its valid. For example, if you were to purchase the premium unit listed, your warranty may be extended to be longer than if you were to purchase the entry-level furnace.

Lennox furnaces are quiet, efficient, and can help save you money on your energy bills in the long run. Though it may come at a higher price, a Lennox furnace is a great option for your home if the budget allows it.

High-End Brand #2: Carrier

The second premium brand that will be discussed is Carrier. Carrier is no new player to the furnace business, and have made a name for themselves with their efficient, quality products. They ensure that their furnaces maintain a temperature that is comfortable for your home year-round, and that your energy bills are reduced. Their furnaces have many features, including a system that controls the humidity of your home, and the ability to dictate the speed of your furnace’s fan.

The top model choices that they provide are as follows:

– Lower-cost: Comfort Series 59SC5A single-stage furnace with 95.5% AFUE
– Mid-range: Performance Series 59TP6A two-stage furnace with 96.5% AFUE
– High-end: Infinity Series 59MN7A modulating furnace with 98.5% AFUE

The average cost of a Carrier furnace is between $3,500 and $7,500 including installation. People who buy furnaces from the Carrier brand tend to notice a decrease in the price of their energy bills, and that their homes are more comfortable with all the features they offer. The warranties don’t change between the models, but each has a 10-year warranty for parts and a limited lifetime warranty on the heat exchange part.

Installing a Carrier furnace in your home may be a pricey task, but with all the different features and bonuses that they come with, the price can be worth it.

Find a RenovationFind Certified furnace company in your city!

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Tile, laminate, vinyl tile and vinyl plank: the best flooring choices

There’s a lot that goes into choosing a new floor, not just the design aspect, but the benefits each type offers. Depending on your home, your needs, or what rooms you have in mind, it’ll affect flooring choices. That being said, when it comes to the best flooring to keep in mind, there are four clear, timeless winners.

Paradigm Surfaces in Vancouver are a professional, high-end flooring and wall coverings company. They share why our tile, laminate, engineered wood and vinyl planks are the prime choice of floors for your custom projects:

Tile: luxury and eco-friendly

Tile is favoured for being a highly durable and low maintenance floor choice, but it’s also eco-friendly. Both ceramic and porcelain tiles are made from clay, which is highly sustainable. Quarried stone, such as marble, has become more sustainable, thanks to technological advances. Quarries are reclaimed fast and with less environmental damage as well, making them environmentally safe.

The luxury benefits and practicality of tile aside, it also offers benefits to everyday quality of life. Tile stones tend to remain cool even in direct sunlight, so even during the summer, rooms will stay cool. Unlike carpets, tile doesn’t retain dirt or allergens, making it a great choice for cleaner air quality! Best of all, radiant floor heating is compatible with tile floors. So, for a cool summer option and a warm winter, tile is a perfect choice.

Laminate: versatile mimicry 

Laminate remains a popular flooring choice as both a highly durable floor and a hardwood alternative. It is highly resistant to scratches or impacts, making it safe for children or pets. Unlike hardwood, it doesn’t stain or fade and it’s moisture resistant. As laminate technology has advanced, it is now able to imitate a greater range of different floors. From stone, slate, or exotic woods, such as Brazilian cherry, laminate can copy each one. Take a look at these interior designs using laminate flooring, for some inspiration and ideas. If you aren’t sure about choosing between laminate or tile, just base it on the room. Laminate is still prone to water damage, so bathrooms, for example, aren’t the best fit.

Vinyl tile and plank: versatility in any room

Vinyl is still popular as a budget-friendly floor, but its quickly becoming known for its versatility too. Unlike other flooring options, vinyl is completely waterproof, so it’s not limited to any rooms. It is just as easily installed in bathrooms, kitchens or basements without worry. Design-wise too, vinyl tile and plank are made to resemble the look of real wood or stone. So, if you like the idea of a budget-friendly marble floor for your bedroom, it’s possible!

Engineered hardwood: risk-free luxury

Real hardwood floors are undeniably beautiful and one of the most popular floor choices in many homes. Unfortunately, hardwood is susceptible to water damage, so it has its limits on what room you should install it in. Engineered hardwood, though, brings all the luxuries and benefits of real hardwood, but without the limits. It is resistant to moisture, meaning bathrooms, kitchens or laundry rooms can all have engineered flooring.

Engineered even looks just like real hardwood, making it just as attractive to buyers and just as home value-boosting. Plus, because engineered is easier and quicker to install, it’ll cost less than real hardwood. Any texture, colour, types of wood or finish can be used on engineered hardwood for a customized finish. As another bonus, radiant floor heating is compatible with any engineered hardwood floor.

Flooring Companies in Vancouver

Paradigm Surfaces prides themselves in offering the highest quality flooring and wall coverings for their customers. With years of experience, they have the skills and knowledge to help you choose the finest flooring for your residential and commercial projects. Paradigm Surfaces provides designer ceramic and porcelain tiles, natural stone mosaics, laminate, engineered wood and more. So, no matter your flooring needs, they have a solution for you!

Contact Paradigm Surfaces now for all your flooring needs!

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Should You Add Cabinets to Your Kitchen? What You Need to Know

If you’re tired of overflowing pantries and drawers and countertops (oh my!), then you may be considering adding new cabinets to improve your kitchen’s storage space. Cabinets can be a great investment, but depending on the space, they may not be the best option for your kitchen.

So should you add cabinets? And why or why not? Before you start your cabinet shopping, here are a few things to consider about your own kitchen first: 

When to Add Cabinets to Your Kitchen

If you have upper wall space

Adding upper cabinets is a great use of bare wall space above existing countertops or lower cabinets.

If you don’t mind moving a few pieces of wall art around, this is an easy way to increase your kitchen’s storage space without making too many major changes. 

If you want to close off the area

Open-concept kitchens are great, but it is possible to over-do it.

If you want your kitchen to have a little more separation between, say, the nearest bathroom or kids’ play area, adding cabinets with an overhang countertop is a great way to do it.  

If you want to add a permanent kitchen island

Tired of trying to slice veggies on your wheeled kitchen cart? Adding a permanent kitchen island with base cabinets is a great way to lock down your kitchen’s center workspace while increasing your kitchen’s storage and counter space totals at the same time. 

Note: Keep in mind that permanent kitchen islands are usually required to have electrical outlets installed for safety reasons. This is to prevent kitchen appliance cords from being run across walkways.

For help installing your base cabinet kitchen island, contact a remodeling professional and/or experienced electrician

If you need more counter space

If you have lower wall space and also need more countertop to work with, adding cabinets might be a good option for your kitchen.

By adding floor cabinets with countertops, you’ll be able to knock out two birds with one stone, just like with your kitchen island. 

If you can match your existing cabinets (or replace all of them)

Lastly, only add additional cabinets if you can match them to your existing ones, or if you’re replacing the existing ones anyway.

You may think the slight differences won’t matter, but they may detract from your home’s value if you plan on selling your home down the line (or they might drive you crazy for years to come). 

If your original cabinets were installed years ago and you can’t find a good match, consider scrapping all of them before adding new ones, or going with another storage option like accent shelving or a custom pantry build. 

When Not to Add Cabinets (and What to Try Instead)

If you have a small kitchen

Adding cabinets will make an already-small kitchen feel even smaller. If you need more storage but you’re low on space, try adding open kitchen shelving along the walls to keep the area open and airy. 

If you can improve your kitchen’s organization

Believe it or not, a little decluttering can go a long way in terms of making your existing cabinetry work.

Before investing in new cabinets, see if you can scale down your kitchen inventory and make the most of your space. 

When decluttering, think about the things that you use on a regular and seasonal basis.

If there are things you never use – like that old vegetable dehydrator you got for your wedding 10 years ago  – consider donating or selling them, especially if you haven’t used them in the last year or two. 

If you can install recessed custom shelving

Depending on the makeup of your kitchen, you may want to opt for recessed shelving instead of cabinets.

Cabinets tend to be large and bulky, taking up a lot of physical – and visual – space in your kitchen. 

Recessed shelving, or shelving that’s set into your walls, is a great option for small kitchens that have room within the walls to do it. Call a shelving professional to see if this is an option for your kitchen. 

Need to improve your kitchen storage?
Call Handyman Connection

Whether you want help hanging a few stylish floating shelves or need full-scale remodeling services to tear out and add new cabinets to your cooking space, call Handyman Connection. We’re your local connection to the top remodeling, carpentry, electrical and plumbing experts in your area. We offer a wide variety of handyman services to help you transform your kitchen exactly how you need, and we’ll help you implement the best solution for your needs. 

Find a location near you today.

The post Should You Add Cabinets to Your Kitchen? What You Need to Know appeared first on Handyman Connection.

Over One Million Homes With Planning Permission Yet to be Built, LGA Reports

More than one million homes granted planning permission in the last 10 years in England have not yet been built, according to new figures from the Local Government Association (LGA).

More than 2.5 million homes have received planning permission from local authorities since 2009/10, but only just over 1.5m have been built — representing a completion rate of only 60%. 

Councillor David Renard, LGA housing spokesman, said: “The planning system is not a barrier to housebuilding. But no one can live in a planning permission, or a half-built house where work on a site has begun but not been completed.”

More Power to Councils

The LGA has called on the government to address this backlog of unbuilt homes, and wants councils to be afforded powers to take control of dormant sites with planning permission. 

These powers, the LGA suggests, could include making it easier to purchase land where homes remain unbuilt, and charging developers full council tax for each unbuilt development from the point that the original planning permission expires. 

The LGA also says that with additional funding, councils can play a prominent role not just in clearing the backlog but having a larger influence in creating more affordable homes. 

“If we are to solve our housing shortage, councils need to be able to get building again and resume their role as major builders of affordable homes,” said Renard.

Is the Planning Permission Process Working?

While housing completions totalled close to 178,000 between July and September 2019 – an increase of 9% on the previous year – there was an 11% dip in the number of new build homes started between July and September 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

But the LGA is confident that the planning permission process is not to blame for these figures. And with councils now approving nine in 10 planning applications, the LGA has stressed how important it is to ensure the planning permission process continues to work efficiently.

The LGA added: “It is also vital that the planning process is protected, so that councils and communities can ensure we realise the government’s ambition of building beautiful homes, which includes the necessary infrastructure and affordable housing.”

Should the government’s plans to fast-track beautiful homes be approved, it could make it easier for housebuilders and indeed self builders to get planning permission if their builds are attractive and use high-quality materials.

(MORE: Self Build: All You Need to Know About Building a Bespoke Home)

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