Home » Blog

Kitchen Renovation Costs in Vancouver

A kitchen renovation can revitalize your home.  As one of the most important rooms in your home, the kitchen is a place where families and their friends come together.  From daily meal preparations and dinner parties to homework time at the kitchen table, a bright and pleasing kitchen can have a huge impact on your day.  So, whether you are considering renovating your kitchen because its style is outdated or its fixtures and features are showing signs of aging, you probably have a lot of questions about kitchen renovation costs in Vancouver.  Let’s take some time to address those questions.

First, it’s important to understand that kitchen renovation costs can vary widely from one home to another.  In fact, kitchen renovation costs are impacted by a wide variety of factors from the costs of labour in Vancouver to the materials you use and will even depend on the size and scope of your project.  For these reasons, it is vital that you clearly plan every step of your kitchen renovation.  Start with a checklist of what you need to do – some renovations include a complete overhaul of cabinets, appliances, flooring and lighting while others are simple and may feature minor upgrades like new paint and a backsplash.  Ask yourself the following questions before you start budgeting for your renovation:

  • Can I salvage any materials or appliances from my current kitchen?
  • What are my “must-haves” and where can I compromise if necessary?
  • Where will my family stay during the kitchen renovation, and how will we prepare and store food?
  • Am I going to do the renovation on my own or will I need to hire a contractor?

Ultimately, once you have a clearer picture of the type of renovation you’re doing, you can start to organize your budget and plan the details of your renovation.  Remember, renovation costs can add up quickly, particularly in Vancouver where an active housing market often translates to increased labour costs.  On average, a kitchen renovation in Vancouver costs around $50,000 with high-end kitchen renovations easily exceeding $70,000.  If you start considering elements such as custom cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, marble or granite countertops, you’ll notice your renovation costs rise very quickly.

If you want to maintain a tighter budget for your kitchen renovation, there are ways to keep your costs in check.  Maintaining affordable kitchen renovation costs in Vancouver doesn’t need to be difficult – consider the current features of your kitchen and try to reuse as much as possible.  Keeping the same layout in your kitchen can also help you manage costs, as can refurbishing your current cabinets.  Another tip is laminate flooring or countertops which can still be very attractive and bring new life to your kitchen.

Why Remodelling Your Home Can Cost More

It seems everything costs exponentially more today than it did even 10 years ago.  The price of food, heating, and energy has steadily risen over this time period and there are no signs of an end to rising costs.  So then, it should not come as a surprise that remodeling your home will likewise cost more.  But why?  The impact of an expensive housing market, labour shortages, and material costs are just a few of the factors that influence the bottom line when it comes to remodelling your home.  By delving a little deeper into each of these issues, you can begin to understand why remodelling your home will cost more today than in the past.

Housing Market

Today’s housing market is expensive and competitive.  While there are fluctuations in market trends between and within geographic regions, experts note that particularly in popular areas, housing prices have increased significantly since the early 90s.  Given the cost of purchasing a new home, many homeowners are opting to remodel their current home in an attempt to save money.  This may or may not be an effective approach – experts point to labour shortages and rising materials costs as having a significant impact on the cost of a remodel.

Labour Costs

Speaking more specifically to labour and the obvious (and not-so-obvious) costs associated for remodelling, homeowners are commonly reporting that their budget for labour is much higher today.  Additionally, many projects experience delays in completion which has an added impact on the budget for a remodel.  For example, larger projects tend to be associated with even larger increases in costs.  In 2018, homeowners remodeled their kitchen at a cost 10% higher than in 2016.  In just one year, the median kitchen renovation increased by more than $3,000.


Similarly, material costs are steadily rising – likely because of increasing costs associated with manufacturing and transporting materials.  Many homeowners indicate that though they set a strict budget at the outset of their remodel, almost one fifth of these projects came in over budget.  And even this represents a significant jump from just 2 years ago where closer to 15% of kitchen and bathroom renovations ran over-budget.  Industry professionals highlight the influence of material costs on budget overruns – in most remodelling projects, experts recommend factoring a contingency for unexpected costs into your budget, but with rising material costs it is much easier to overshoot even this contingency.

Nevertheless, the potential for an improved resale value on homes entices homeowners to undergo home remodelling projects.  New homeowners see remodelling as a financial investment that also allows them to personalize their home; whereas, longstanding homeowners likely value the investment potential as well as an opportunity to revitalize their home.

How to Budget a House Renovation

Setting a budget is possibly one of the most important aspects of a home renovation.  Without a properly researched budget, costs can easily overrun what you can afford.  More importantly, developing your budget can actually help you plan your house renovation.  So, how do you budget a house renovation?  Here are some tips.

Your Bottom Line

Ultimately, your budget will reflect what you can realistically afford – so start by asking yourself how much you have to spend.  Whether you have money on hand, or you’re seeking financing, knowing your bottom line will guide all your budgeting plans.

Wants versus Needs

You might be renovating because you really want a new décor, a new room, or a new vibe; or, you may be renovating because things are in dire straits.  In most cases, a home renovation incorporates a little of both – your wants and your needs.  Before budgeting, make a clear list of all the things you absolutely need to achieve in the renovation and a list of items that are desirable but not necessary.

Once you have a sense of how you want your home renovation to unfold, start by getting a ballpark figure of costs.  For major upgrades to a bathroom, kitchen, or for additions, you’re generally looking at around $150 per square foot.  Working with a contractor or designer can help you nail down some of these more general figures.

Contractor Quotes

Unless you are a proficient DIY star, you’ll want to start researching various contractors in your area and get quotes for the work you want done.  Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations for contractors and do a bit of online research.  Once you have at least a trio of contractors identified, ask for information about their recent work (pictures speak a thousand words!) and check their references too!  After you have selected a contractor, add at least 15% to their quote for contingencies – there are always unexpected costs in home renovation projects.  ALWAYS.

Adjusting your Budget

You’ve already clarified what is necessary from what is desirable, so if your budget does not fit the project you’re considering, you’ll need to trim the fat.  You can start by seeking lower-cost alternatives, repurposing or keeping features/fixtures that are functional, or reducing the scope of your project.  Your contractor should also be able to help you identify ways to reduce your costs.

Remember, home renovations are costly and time consuming – by setting a budget in advance, you’ll find that a lot of the leg work gets done before your project begins.  Additionally, carefully researching your costs helps you make the right decisions for you and your family and also facilitates a smooth and stress free home renovation.


Home Renovation Tips

Home renovations can be stressful – they are time consuming, costly, and sometimes difficult to organize, especially for homeowners who do not have expertise with construction projects.  Still, regardless of the type, size, scope, or cost of your home renovation project, there are ways to make the process less stressful and more manageable.  Let’s take a look at a few home renovation tips that will help you keep your project in perspective.

Set a Budget

Not only do you need to set your budget, but you need to stick to it.  Regardless of how much money you have to spend, spending that money wisely and with purpose can help you achieve a successful home renovation project.  A small budget doesn’t need to equate to a cheap renovation, and vice versa.  So, when planning your project set your budget in advance and then make your choices based on what your budget allows.  When you are pricing fixtures and materials, for example, your budget will facilitate the choices that work best for you.  Your budget should include line items for everything you know your project will need from plumbing, countertops, and cabinets to flooring, lighting, and paint.  Also, always allow for at least 10% of your budget to cover unexpected costs – there most definitely will be unexpected expenses during your renovation.

Exercise Patience

You may want to get your home renovated today, but sometimes it makes more sense to wait until you have the budget and resources you need to ensure the project is completed to your satisfaction.  Even if money is no object, it’s advisable to plan your renovation project carefully and preferably with the assistance of experts.  Taking your time to properly plan your home renovation will ensure that you achieve a cohesive renovation that reflects your personal style and the functionality of the space.  Additionally, patience will allow you to carefully reflect on every detail of your renovation project and that can ultimately save you money in the long run.

Get Involved

Ok, you may not confidently manage certain aspects of your home renovation, but consider where you can do it yourself and where you’ll absolutely need the help of experts.  Particularly if you’re looking to save money, a DIY approach can make a huge difference.  Even small jobs like preparing a space or demolition and clean up are jobs that don’t require a lot of skill but can save money that can be better spent on other aspects of your renovation.  If you have more construction or design experience, you can likely contribute in other ways – but the take home message: if you can do it yourself, do it yourself!

Home renovations are exciting, confusing, fun, and stressful, but the end product can make it all worth it.  Follow these tips and home renovation is sure to go smoothly!

Bathroom Renovation Cost

Are you sitting down? On average, a bathroom renovation can cost upwards of $10,000.  Now that you’ve been sufficiently shocked, take a few deep breaths.  Bathroom renovation costs can vary significantly depending on many factors including the size and scope of the project, your style, and obviously your budget.  A minor renovation may cost as little as a few hundred dollars whereas a total overhaul with top-end features and fixtures can exceed $15,000.  So then, how can you calculate your bathroom renovation cost?

First, you need to carefully plan your renovation.  Whether you work with a general contractor or plan the renovation on your own, you need to account for every detail and carefully consider your budget before you begin a renovation.  While it may seem that working with a contractor will add to the cost of your renovation, they can also save you money.  Contractors will help guide your bathroom renovation project by asking the right questions and providing accurate cost estimates.  In fact, a contractor’s expertise can help you establish realistic expectations so that you get the bathroom you want for a price you can afford.

You bathroom renovation budget must include considerations of the size of your bathroom, the fixtures you need, materials involved, and whether floor plans or plumbing changes are necessary.  Obviously, using your current fixtures and using your current floorplan will be the most affordable approach to a bathroom renovation, but if you want a new tub, cabinets, toilet, and countertops, the cost of your renovation can add up quickly.  So then, what do you need to account for in developing a budget for your bathroom renovation?

A few features that may be included in your bathroom renovation are faucets, showers and bathtubs, flooring, countertops, cabinets, and lighting.  Additionally, plumbing and electrical work, construction, permits, and labour costs must be incorporated.  Of course, there is also a range of prices for each of these elements – on the low end of the price range a new bathtub may cost around $500-$800 installed whereas a high-end bathtub may cost upwards of $7,000 installed.  Pricing for cabinets can also range from as little as $1,000 to more than $10,000.  This all depends on the size of your bathroom, the quality of materials, and the labour fees involved.

Remember, you don’t always need to choose the most expensive fixtures for your bathroom, so carefully consider your budget and your vision when planning your bathroom renovation and you’ll likely find that you can remodel affordably.  You can even consider cost-saving approaches such as refinishing your current cabinets, painting your bathtub, and basically picking and choosing where to make the big changes.  By working with an experienced contractor, you can effectively plan your renovation so that you get a beautiful new bathroom no matter your budget.

Prebuilt Home or Build a New House?

When you are on the market for a new home, you essentially have two options – you can choose to build a custom home or you can look for prebuilt homes.  Obviously there will be pros and cons to each of these options, so it’s always helpful to gather some information first and then make the choice that’s right for you and your family.  Depending on your unique needs, your budget, and sometimes even your preferred neighbourhood, you will likely find that a prebuilt home or building a new house is more appropriate for you.

So, let’s start by discussing prebuilt homes.  One quick point of clarification should be made – a prebuilt home and a pre-fabricated home are not the same.  Pre-built homes are those in neighbourhoods that developers have constructed on site.  Pre-fabricated homes are those that feature parts that are manufactured in a facility and then shipped and assembled on the owner’s land.  Pre-fabricated homes will not be discussed here further as their construction differs significantly from prebuilt and custom built homes.

When it comes to prebuilt homes, costs can be significantly less than those associated with building a new home.  Prebuilt home prices include the cost of construction, appliances, and even landscaping, but your input or unique needs would not be considered in their construction.  Nevertheless, as the homeowner, you would have the option of renovating your home to meet your unique specifications if you can’t find a prebuilt home that suits your family.  That being said, renovation costs can be significant and may erase any savings you enjoy when purchasing prebuilt homes.

Another advantage of prebuilt homes is that they would be found in an established community; and quite often, they are in a neighbourhood with many other new, prebuilt homes.  This means you can evaluate the quality and character of the neighbourhood before you purchase the home.  And, as you would expect, prebuilt homes also come with the land they are built on which makes the process of securing your home a little more straightforward.

Alternatively, building your own home gives you total control over the build.  These are custom homes where you can work from the early design phases right up to determining the finishing touches on the home.  If you are looking to find your dream home, building your own home might be the best option for you.  Keep in mind however, there is a lot more work to be done and the process can be lengthy.  You have to secure the land on which the home will be built, hire architects, contractors, and other professionals, and you’re ultimately responsible for every decision in the construction process.  If you’re looking to get into a new home quickly, the custom route may not be best for you – but if you have a vision of your perfect home, building your own provides incredible flexibility and control.

How Long Does It Take To Renovate An Office?

A lot of hard work goes into an office renovation, and I’m not talking about the construction work here.  If you’ve ever coordinated any kind of renovation, you likely know that it can be a very stressful and overwhelming process.  That being said, with a clear vision, a well thought-out plan, and skilled craftspeople, the results of renovation projects are well worth any headaches that come along the way.  So then, when it comes to renovating an office, planning is crucial to ensuring a happy outcome.  The planning process essentially includes three components – the design, the budget, and the schedule.  So, let’s talk a little more about scheduling an office renovation and attempt to answer the question, how long does it take to renovate an office?

First, a disclaimer – every office renovation project is different and many factors will influence the amount of time the project will require.  The size and scope of your renovation, the availability of tradespeople to complete the project, and even the expertise of your contractor can influence the duration of your renovation.  But, assuming things all go well, schedules for a typical renovation can be broken down into the planning and construction phases.

During the planning phase, your designer essentially oversees project development to ensure the business owner’s vision can be realized.  The designer or architect will work closely with the owner to establish project timelines and looks to organize the project so that errors or oversights will not negatively impact schedules during the construction phase.  More specifically, the planning phase usually requires several months or approximately 16 weeks.

In the first couple weeks of the planning phase, detailed measurements of your current space are recorded.  The location of walls, windows, doors as well as structural, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing schematics is identified.  Project sketches begin to take shape based on the owner’s vision and the structural components of the office.  Throughout the remainder of the planning phase, stakeholders review and edit design drafts and zoning and permit applications are initiated.

During the construction phase, the length of the office renovation will depend on the scope of the project.  A simple redesign that relies on existing structures will be faster than a major overhaul where electrical or HVAC systems are replaced, for example.  Your contractor will be your point of contact for determining construction phase schedules.  Ultimately, the owner will collaborate with their contractor and designer/architect to ensure the project is progressing on schedule while also keeping the final renovation goals in sight.

Remember, each office renovation project is unique, so it can be difficult to estimate how long it will take.  Still, with that in mind, careful planning and effective communication among stakeholders can ensure that renovations are conducted on time and on budget.

How to Choose a Custom Home Builder in Vancouver

On a recent drive in the Vancouver area, I noticed a sign that boasted “Custom Home Builders!”  The only problem with the sign is that it was parked on the lawn of a home that was clearly not custom.  In fact, there were several homes in a row on the same street with identical facades – so at least from the outside, the only thing that appeared custom was the exterior paint.  So then, what exactly makes a custom home and how do you choose a custom home builder in Vancouver?

First, let’s define custom home.  Ultimately, it should be one-of-a-kind.  A custom home builder works closely with each individual client to build a home that is specific to that client’s needs.  While there may be some similarities between custom homes, the best custom home builders work on unique designs that meet your unique expectations.  One thing to note when considering building a custom home, is they can be quite expensive, but you have complete control over every aspect of the build (if you want it).

How does one choose a custom home builder in Vancouver?  Whatever industry or business, when you are hiring a professional, you should always start by asking friends, family, and colleagues for recommendations.  Advice from trusted people in your life can help you assess important qualities in your builder.  How is their communication style?  Did they provide accurate quotes for the work?  Were different aspects of the project completed on time and on budget?  You can gather a lot of information by speaking to people you know about their experiences with custom home builders.

Still, if you don’t have friends that can recommend custom home builders, you can also do a quick internet search and check for online reviews.  Well-regarded contractors will have a website that outlines their professional services and should also include a portfolio of previous projects.  After engaging in early information gathering, you can narrow your list of potential home builders to your top 3 candidates.

Next, you want to contact these candidates and ask for references to get a sense of the quality of their work and service.  You not only want to hire a custom home builder with expertise, but also one that has a professional style that suits your needs.  Communication is key because you’ll be working with your contractor for quite some time.  You’ll also want to ensure that your builder can oversee the entire project from early planning phases through the finishing phases including landscaping.

Ultimately, you want to speak to each of your shortlisted candidates to determine if the quality of their work meets your expectations and that you can work effectively with that individual throughout the course of your home building project.

Which Hardwood – Solid or Engineered?

So, you’re renovating your home and you’re excited to install hardwood floor.  You head to the local flooring supply and you discover that there are more options than you realized, and now you’re trying to decide whether to choose solid or engineered hardwood floor.  What’s the difference between these options, and what are the pros and cons of each?  Of course, installing new flooring can be expensive regardless of the materials you choose, so you also want to be sure to make the right decision for you and your home.  Let’s discuss some of the benefits and drawbacks of solid and engineered hardwood flooring so you can make an informed choice.

We’ll start with solid hardwood.  What is it?  Essentially, solid hardwood flooring is made from one piece of solid wood (from the top to bottom surface of the strip of wood).  Solid hardwood flooring is typically available in a range of thicknesses from ¾” to 5/16”.  Solid hardwood flooring can usually be used on or above grade and makes a great choice for high traffic areas such as family rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens.  However, seasonal temperature and humidity changes can have adverse effects on solid hardwood floors.  Extreme changes in relative humidity can cause solid hardwood floors to expand and contract causing cracks between floor boards.  Similarly, excessive moisture can be damaging to solid hardwood floors, so experts generally recommend choosing the hardest materials available (e.g. oak and ash) for areas such as the kitchen or bathroom.

Alternatively, engineered hardwood floors are constructed by layering real wood with veneers.  In other words, engineered hardwood floors feature stacked layers of wood where the grain of each layer runs perpendicularly in order to promote durability and stability.  This means engineered hardwood floors are more resilient to humidity, temperature, and moisture changes.  Additionally, engineered hardwood flooring can be installed over a subfloor or concrete which means they are suitable for basements.  Like solid hardwood, engineered floors can be installed on or above grade, but also below grade.  Though they cannot be sanded or finished like solid hardwood, they are also less likely to crack or dent due to changes in humidity, temperature, or moisture.  Solid hardwood floors are certainly easier to refinish when cracks and dents appear, but engineered hardwood can usually easily be maintained by replacing damaged strips as necessary.

When choosing between solid and engineered hardwood, it is always advisable to consult with an expert.  Some of the factors you need to consider are durability and maintenance requirements for the materials you choose, and of course your budget.  There are so many beautiful flooring options for both solid and engineered hardwood floors that you’re sure to find the ideal material for your home.

How Much Do General Contractors Charge?

General Contractors canadoo team

General contractors are professionals that oversee all aspects of construction projects.  This includes hiring and managing tradespeople, sourcing and purchasing materials, and coordinating communication between professionals and clients to ensure the seamless progress and completion of the project.  As a homeowner, you likely want to work with a general contractor to manage larger home renovations as specialized skills and knowledge will be required to manage the project.  For example, general contractors would be responsible for negotiating salaries, obtaining permits, scheduling all elements of the project, and managing budgets and timelines.  Large renovation projects can actually be quite difficult to oversee, and general contractors are made for the job.  But, how much do general contractors charge?

From initial meetings and early assessment all the way to project completion, a general contractor is a valuable resource in any home renovation project.  Especially if you are not familiar with the construction industry, general contractors are integral in organizing every nuance of your project and helping you stay on time and on budget.  The best contractors have generalized knowledge that allows them to apply their expertise at every stage of your home remodel – they can answer your questions, help you make adaptations as the project progresses, and generally handle all the stress that may come up in the project.  For these services, general contractors will usually charge a percentage of your total project budget.

What should you expect this rate to be?  As a rule of thumb, general contractors will charge between 10 and 20 percent of the total cost of your renovation or remodel.  This rate will likely depend on the size and scope of your project, your geographic location, and the materials, labourers, and permits required for the job.  There are also some general contractors that will charge a flat rate for their services.  Ultimately, it is very important as a homeowner that you negotiate general contractor fees before you sign a contract.

So then, what are your responsibilities as a homeowner when working with a general contractor?  First and foremost, you want to protect your interests.  This means you want to communicate clearly with contractors about your expectations and get quotes from at least a few different contractors before you settle.  Seek referrals and references, but also take some time to get to know your general contractor to ensure you can communicate effectively.

Additionally, it is important that you treat your general contractor with respect.  Negotiate payment terms and timelines in your contract and make sure to adhere to these terms throughout your working relationship.  At the end of the day, establishing and maintaining a positive working relationship with your general contractor will help to ensure your home renovation achieves your expectations.

Basement Renovation Cost in Vancouver

Are you ready to convert your drab, unfinished basement into a beautiful, functional living space?  Have you started to think about what that space will look like, but you don’t know if you have the budget for the project?  You’ve come to the right place for some answers.  While it can be very difficult to make a blanket estimate for basement renovation costs, we have some guidelines that will help you start to develop a budget that can allow you to turn your basement dreams into a reality.

Core Costs

Honestly, there are so many factors that influence basement renovation costs.  What is the size of the space?  How would you like to use the room?  Are you putting in a suite, adding a living room, building a new laundry room, or putting in a games room?  Ultimately, how much space you have and how you plan to use that space can significantly impact your basement renovation cost.  Some experts estimate the average basement renovation to cost between $30 and $60 including the cost of contractors, materials, and labour.  But to get a clearer picture of what your unique costs will be, it’s always advisable to work with a qualified professional.  Renovation costs will reflect the structural condition of the space, the quality of materials, your timeline, and even the trades involved.


Unless you’re in a new home with an unfinished basement, you might learn that your home has some structural problems with the foundation – which makes up a good part of your basement.  From cracks to mold or other signs of decay, your basement renovation should include the costs of repair to these structural elements.  Working with a professional contractor can help you identify these issues and build them into the total cost of your basement renovation.


Do you envision hard wood floors in your basement, or are you happy with less expensive laminate flooring?  How would you like the walls to be finished?  Do you need to run new electrical for your lighting?  There are a lot of material considerations to be made, and each choice will impact your budget.  Working with a designer and a contractor can help you visualize what you want your finished basement to be and then to identify all the costs associated with your finished design.  Fortunately, at this stage of budget development, you have a lot of control over your basement renovation costs and with careful planning you can ensure an affordable project.


Finally, depending on the timeline for your project and the professionals involved, costs will vary.  If you really need your basement renovated yesterday, the cost of the project will be significantly higher.  Likewise, if you need to bring in more tradespeople, such as a plumber or electrician, there will be added costs involved.  At the end of the day, you need to have a vision for your project to get a clear picture of basement renovation costs.

Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake

Metropolis at Metrotown

4700 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H 4N2


IZAKAYA Gon’s 権 | Denman

854 Denman Street, Vancouver

Kitchen Renovation Costs

When it comes to expense, few home renovation projects compare to the costs associated with kitchen renovations.  Considering the price tag on big ticket items such as appliances, flooring, and countertops, it should come as no surprise that kitchen renovation costs quickly add up.  Still, there are a wide range of budgets for kitchen renovations depending on the scope of the project, the quality of the materials, and the amount of do-it-yourself labour you can manage.  As such, it is very difficult to pinpoint kitchen renovation costs for every project, there are some tips you can follow to keep your kitchen renovation costs manageable regardless of your budget.

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make when they begin a kitchen renovation is underestimating their budget.  Ideally, you should work with professional designers and contractors who can explicate kitchen renovation costs clearly so that you know your budget from the beginning.  But, even if you want to manage the project independently, careful planning can help you ensure you have enough money to complete your kitchen renovation satisfactorily.

If you’re still curious about a ballpark figure for a kitchen renovation, most experts agree the average renovation runs approximately $25,000.  However, that figure will depend on many factors including what you plan to keep and what you plan to replace, whether you want to totally gut your current kitchen, and your personal preferences for materials and cabinets (i.e. are you looking for top quality or mid-range appliances).

Some of the most costly kitchen renovation costs include cabinets and countertops, appliances, and flooring.  Still, these costs can vary widely.  For example, wood flooring for an average kitchen might cost $6000 whereas ceramic flooring for a kitchen the same size would come in closer to $2000. Investing in new cabinets and countertops can cost in excess of $7500 while refinishing cabinets can represent significant savings with a price tag below $4000.  As you can see, the total cost of your kitchen renovation will depend on how you approach the renovation and the materials you choose to use.

Also, whenever budgeting for any major home renovation, you must always factor in unplanned costs.  Experts will add approximately 20% cushion in their budgets on top of project costs for labour and materials to account for the unexpected.  In fact, about the only thing you can truly expect when undergoing a major renovation is the unexpected.  You might discover leaky pipes, outdated wiring, asbestos, or other structural home features that will need to be updated during your renovation.

So, if you are trying to renovate your kitchen on a tight budget, remember that careful planning and choosing more affordable materials can save you significantly.

Condo Renovation Costs

Condo Renovation Costs

When it comes to condo renovations, there is no “one size fits all” calculator for budgets.  Indeed, there are myriad factors to consider when determining the cost of a renovation.  From the scope of the project including square footage and the rooms you plan to renovate to the ultimate design of your project including features and fixtures, you’ll have many decisions to make when calculating the cost of your renovation.  That being said, an average estimate for condo renovations where you are totally gutting a space is around $100 to $120 per square foot.  But what does that mean?

Replace or Restore?

So, the first thing you need to ask yourself is how far you plan to go with your renovation.  Are you removing everything and installing new materials?  Replacing flooring, lighting, appliance, and cabinets can represent significant costs in your renovation, but if you plan to keep any original fixtures in your condo you can expect your renovation costs to be somewhat less.  If $120 per square foot is too costly for you, you should start considering which elements of your condo are worth keeping and what absolutely must be replaced.

Adapting Structural Components

Removing walls, replacing ceilings, or installing new structures will come at a cost.  Sometimes during a condo renovation, you want to alter your floor plan, and sometimes you work with what you’ve got.  Again, when you’re calculating the costs of your renovation, you’ll want to carefully consider what does and doesn’t work for you.  If you’re trying to save money, scale back on your efforts to alter floor plans or remove or replace structures.

Do It Yourself

Not everybody has the renovation skills to complete a condo renovation on their own, but there are often jobs that you can do even as a novice.  High end condo renovation costs include professional services delivered by architects, contractors, and specialized labourers.  Sometimes, these costs cannot be avoided, but particularly with labour costs ask yourself what you can do yourself.  Can you do the painting on your own, or do you need to hire professional painters?  Do you have interior design skills, or do you want to bring in an expert?  It may seem like insignificant savings at first, but everything you can accomplish by DIY will reduce your renovation costs.

Don’t forget the Taxes!

Finally, many provinces in Canada offer tax deductions for condo renovations, particularly if you are upgrading to meet new standards or adapting your home for accessibility.  It will certainly be worth a bit of research to determine what tax deductions are available to you before embarking on your condo renovation journey.

Condo renovations can certainly be expensive, but they’re also exciting! Have fun with your project and remember to carefully plan your renovation so you can get a clear sense of your overall costs.

Hiring a Renovation Company

Home renovations can have a huge impact on the value and appearance of your home.  They are exciting projects that many homeowners dream of, but they can also bring a lot of stress and uncertainty.  As such, it is important to always work with the most qualified professionals.  So, when you are hiring a renovation company, due diligence can go a long way to ensuring your entire home renovation unfolds efficiently.  So, how do you go about hiring a renovation company?  Let’s take a look at some tried and tested tips that will help you find the right company for your needs.

Seek Advice

Friends, family, and coworkers are often a gold mine for recommendations for renovation companies.  When you approach companies based on recommendations, you enter your interactions with a lot of background knowledge about how that company operates and communicates.  You also get a sense of the quality of their work, their ability to stay on schedule and on budget, and their flexibility in working with people with unique needs.

Go to the Source

Recommendations are just the first step in shortlisting potential renovation companies.  You also want to speak to your top renovation professionals to make sure they have experience with similar projects, but also that they are a good match overall.  For example, you obviously want to know if your contractor has experience with projects of a similar size and scope, but also when they are available to start your project.  You can also ask about their relationships with their subcontractors, and wither they are fully insured and bonded.  You can even ask for more references so that you can speak to past clients about their experiences working with the renovation company.  The more information you have about your contractor, the more likely you are to establish a good working relationship.

Gather the Information

If you received references from contractors, contact the references.  Ask about budgets, schedules, communication styles and anything you think is important to you.  You can even ask potential contractors if you can have a site visit to get a clearer picture of how they run a work site.

Ask for Bids

Finally, before selecting a contractor, ask for a variety of bids.  Usually, you don’t want to choose the cheapest or more expensive bid (unless of course you’ve already established a great rapport and everything looks like it’ll be a great match).  Collecting bids also gives you a better idea of what your project should cost – any bid that is extremely high or extremely low is a red flag.

Remember that you might be working with your renovation company for weeks or even months, so it is incredibly important to carefully select your contractor.  Research and effort in advance can save you time and money in the long run.

Planning your Restaurant Renovation

ANY renovation – is planning

If you’re new to the world of renovations, I’m going to let you in on a little secret…the single most important factor in any successful renovation – I mean ANY renovation – is planning.  A meticulous plan is one that considers everything you need, everything you want, and everything you’ve got before the project is underway.  In other words, you must consider what works and doesn’t work as well as your goals and wishes for your restaurant renovation.  The following tips are designed to help you effectively plan your restaurant renovation.

Timing is Everything

It’s a cliché, and it’s true.  Not only do you need to accurately predict how long your restaurant renovation will take, you need to choose the best time to start the renovation for your business.  Obviously, you don’t want your renovation to coincide with your restaurant’s busy season – but It can still be difficult to time things perfectly.  Work with your contractor to set a reasonable timeline for your renovation and then take a look at your books and schedule the project for your slowest period.  Finally, allow some extra time for the unexpected – the only thing predictable about renovations is that they are unpredictable.

Communication is Key

You need to communicate clearly with your staff and suppliers, so everybody knows to expect a break in business.  And don’t forget to keep your customers informed too!  Clear communication with all important stakeholders can help minimize the impact on your bottom line.  Ideally, you want to get back to business as usual as soon as your renovations are completed, and effective communication is crucial in achieving that goal.

Attention to Detail

Research and attention to detail are incredibly important in planning your renovation.  First, start with what you hope to do with your renovation.  Restaurant renovations are almost always partially driven by the need to remain relevant in a changing marketplace.  What is popular today will most likely lose favour in 10 or 20 years, so take some time to see what is working well for popular restaurants in your area and where competitors are struggling.

Then, consider the scope of your project – new paint, new floors, new furniture, and new fixtures?  Or are you doing something small scale?  What elements from your current restaurant can be kept and what needs to be replaced?  Think about your floor plans and how to make most efficient use of your space.  And don’t forget, a restaurant renovation is not just a chance to bring updated style to your space – you can also introduce innovations in the restaurant business that will ultimately allow you to do better business for less.

Finally, carefully reflect on what your customers tell you – what do they like about your restaurant?  What do they wish you did better?  Listen to your customers and implement their great ideas to make your restaurant a place they’ll return to for years to come.


K residence – Condo renovation

Stem Japanese Eater | Rumble

5205 Rumble St, Burnaby

Planning Your Office Renovation

Dreary outdated décor, inefficient systems, inadequate storage, or general disorganization got you considering an office renovation?  At some point in the lifetime of any office, renovations are going to happen.  You may be considering some minor updates, or you may be aware that your office requires a major overhaul – regardless of the scope of your office renovations, if you’ve decided it’s time to make some updates, planning your office renovation is a process that requires care and attention.  Here are some tips to help you with planning your office renovation.

Now and Then

Where are you now, and where are you going?  It’s very important to set clear renovation goals before you start making any concrete plans.  As yourself some important questions:

  • What will this renovation accomplish?
  • What do you need to achieve?
  • What is working in your office now?
  • What isn’t working?
  • Why is an office renovation important?

Ultimately, you want to get a sense of which problems you need to solve and how your office renovation will solve those problems.  Working closely with a project manager, you should be ready to analyze you expect from your renovation and even start to prioritize elements of your renovation.  No two office renovations are the same, you may be looking to update your décor, install new technology, improve infrastructure, expand for more staff, or all of the above.  Whatever the purpose of your renovation, communicate this clearly with your project manager so that you plan the project appropriately.


Team Work Makes the Dream Work

You always want to know you’re working with a great team for any project and an office renovation is no different.  You may even need to consider that construction professionals will be working in the same space as your office personnel.  Choose your construction project manager carefully so that you are confident that you can work well together, but also so that you know construction and office staff will be able to cohabitate, if necessary.  Even if you plan to set up a temporary office, communication with the construction team will still be important – so choose a project manager just as you would any other managing staff member.  Ultimately, your construction team will be part of your business team during the renovation.

Put your Business Skills to Work

As a business owner, you should know all about due diligence.  Before starting your office renovation, you want to conduct a thorough needs assessment and identify the current strengths and weaknesses of your office environment and hopefully identify some opportunities to improve.  Consider gathering input from your staff and even speak to other business owners about their experiences with office renovations.  Finally, bring in expert advice to ensure you have a big picture perspective as well as an attention to the details.

Aube Hair Salon | Beatty

102-835 Beatty Street, Vancouver

Budget your Office Renovation

Office renovations have many benefits.  To name just a few of these benefits, a new space can revitalize workflow, contribute to a more comfortable environment for staff and customers, and provides the perfect opportunity to update technology and organization in your office.  So, whether your business has outgrown your current office, you need to move locations, or you just want an update to an outdated space, it is time for you to start thinking about how to budget your office renovation.

One recommendation experts often make is to dream big and then scale back.  Start with your ideal office renovation and make a wish list of everything you dream you could have in your new office.  You may not be able to afford everything on that wish list, but it will be a great place to start and will actually help you prioritize your budget.  Factors that you need to consider in your wish list are the location of your office and the cost of a lease, office furniture, technology, and design elements such as flooring, paint, and lighting.  Sometimes, you can negotiate some of the design into your lease – a landlord may be willing to paint or re-floor an office space to make it habitable to new tenants.  Or, if you own the building yourself, you will obviously need to factor these costs into your budget.

Next, you want to think about whether you want to go custom with your design or furniture.  Obviously, custom arrangements will cost more, but they allow you to organize your office space to fit your needs exactly.  In a new building with basic office equipment and design (including carpet, paint, lighting, photocopier, and coffee machine) will run around $40 per square foot for a lease.  If you’re looking at more custom finishes such as wood doors or custom reception desk, you might be looking in the range of $125-$175 per square foot.  As you can see, you need to carefully consider your goals and needs.

Working with a professional architect or designer can help you ensure your office renovation fits your needs exactly while also keeping you to a budget.  That being said, there are costs involved with working with these professionals.  If money is no object, you can hire an architect or designer, but expect that around 20% of your budget will be earmarked for these services.  On a modest renovation, this could be around $30,000 or on the higher end of the scale, more than $150,000.

Finally, remember to plan for all aspects of your office renovation.  A full office renovation will include lighting, electrical, plumbing and heating, walls, flooring, bathrooms and staff kitchen or break room, and fire protection.

Tips for Home Renovations

With life’s greatest challenges often come its greatest rewards.  Even though renovations can revitalize your home, they can also be stressful endeavours that cost not only time and money but sometimes even your sanity.  When it comes to a successful home renovation, the most important factor is careful planning.  Consider the following tips for home renovations to ensure your project goes off without a hitch.


Don’t skimp on materials.  Buying cheap materials will most often result in a poor quality renovation; so if you can’t afford quality, durable materials, consider saving a little longer until you have the budget to do the job right.  Ultimately, home owners find that investing in sound materials in the beginning will save money in the long run because the renovation is more durable.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

This expert advice refers to the idea that you don’t want to be lazy with your measurements, and this is true whether you’re cutting building materials or sizing a room for furniture or appliances.  One of the most common mistakes contractors come across is measurement mistakes, particularly in the kitchen.  You’ve picked out that perfect fridge, only to learn it won’t fit in your space.  So, make sure your measurements are accurate before you invest in furniture, appliances, or materials.  Even an inch can throw off a renovation.

Salvage through Planning

Before you start tearing apart a room to prepare for a renovation, make sure you have carefully planned your project.  Maybe you don’t need to remove that wall or perhaps you have some materials that you can utilize during your renovation.  Gong gung ho with demolition can actually cost you more time and more money, so plan ahead and see what you can and cannot work around.

Know Your Limits

If you’re a handy-person around the house and you’ve got a few tools kicking around, you can probably handle some minor renovations.  If you’re doing a major reboot in your kitchen or going for an addition or other such major project, make sure you’re honest with yourself about your abilities.  You not only want to be sure you have the right skills for the job, but you also need to make sure you have the right tools.  If you’ve got any doubts about this, hire an expert.

Design for your Space

There are so many design considerations that you should make when you’re doing a renovation.  For example, if you’re installing a small bathroom you want to pick the right fixtures – not only do you need to make sure they fit in the space, you also want to make efficient use of the space so the room is functional.  Consider every element from doors, drawers, and storage to how easily you can move around in the space.

View our past projects here – http://www.canadoo.ca/gallery/


Choosing a Commercial Renovation Company

Large scale commercial renovation projects, those that involve industrial, retail, office, entertainment, education, or health facilities, require the expertise of specialized contractors, tradespersons, and professionals.  When it comes to choosing a commercial renovation company, you want to make sure that you work with a reputable contractor that understands the nuances of commercial design, building permits and codes, city zoning, and even equipment and material purchasing.

Depending on the size of your project, you may not need to seek out specialized services; but, for the most part, it is always advisable to work with professionals in the commercial renovation field because there are a wide range of issues that may arise during the course of a project that a residential contractor or renovation company may not anticipate or understand.  For example, permits for commercial projects have different requirements than permits for residential projects.  So, how do you go about choosing a commercial renovation company?

First of all, you want to work with a company that has a good reputation in your region.  Often, a quick online search will provide you with a comprehensive list of local commercial contractors, and nowadays you can even read reviews made by past customers.  This is a good starting point for finding commercial renovation companies, but you should take some time to dig a little deeper.  Are they experienced in the type of project you are undertaking?  A renovation company that specializes in restaurants is probably not the best choice for an office renovation.  So, look for a contractor with relevant experience in addition to adequate references that validate positive online reviews.

Next, you want to make sure that the renovation company is adequately licensed and insured.  Licensing requirements vary between provinces, but most tradespeople will require appropriate certification to work.  You also want to verify your renovation company holds appropriate liability insurance in order to protect your own business.  A commercial renovation company that cannot provide evidence of licensing or insurance should never be hired.

Of course, you also want to work with a company that fits your budget.  You should put out a request for bids from a number of potential renovation companies making sure that those bids include all anticipated costs.  More detailed proposals and cost breakdowns show that your commercial renovation company has put thought and effort into their bid; plus, when you review these bids you can check to see if anything is missing.

Finally, choose a commercial renovation company that demonstrates good communication.  You need to be able to communicate easily with your contractor so that you can work through any problems (and there will be problems) as they arise during your project.  Effective communication between client and contractor is the cornerstone to a successful renovation.

Tips for a Successful Office Renovation

Renovations of any variety often pose interesting challenges and deliver unanticipated stressors, but they also offer important rewards.  Office renovations can help you create not only a more productive and efficient workspace, but they can revitalize your business.  The following tips for a successful office renovation will help you complete the project effectively and with the least amount of stress possible.

Planning Makes Perfect

Well, a plan will get you as close to perfect as you can get with a renovation.  Before you begin your renovation, you should carefully plan every step of the project.  You’ll want to determine your budget and consider costs of everything from fixtures to furniture.  Research office design ideas and make sure to have a clear vision of your ideal office.  Consider your floor plan, your must-have upgrades, your style choices, and every detail to make your renovation as smooth as possible.  And don’t forget to plan for where you’ll work while the renovation is under way.

Patience is a Virtue

When it comes to renovations, you must be patient and roll with the punches.  As ironic as it may seem, surprises should be expected.  Incorporate a buffer in your budget as there are almost always unexpected costs when renovating.  Also, your renovation timeline will not be set in stone; if you’re lucky, the renovation will run on time, but it’s very possible it won’t.

Build on your Strengths

This is good advice in life and in renovations.  There may be aspects of your current office that you want to keep, and that’s fine.  You might already have excellent furniture, great lighting, or an effective layout.  Whatever you like about your current office space can be incorporated into your renovation which will likely save you money.  For example, design elements like exposed beams or brickwork can contribute to a beautiful office style.

Sell, Sell, Sell

Many office components can be sold to raise capital for your renovation.  Appliances, fixtures, and furniture are a few examples of office features that hold some value.  You might even be able to sell scrap metal or other unwanted materials to cover your costs.

Prepare to Sacrifice

Depending on your budget, you may not be able to have everything you want in your redesign.  Start with a wish list that results in your ideal office renovation and then make a realistic budget.  If you know you can’t afford everything on that list, start making wise decisions.  You can choose more affordable flooring or a different wall treatment to save money.  There are more affordable alternatives to almost every element of a renovation.

Listen to the Experts

Working with an expert contractor or designer can help you organize the ideal renovation on a budget you can afford.  You can even do your own research to get ideas about how to effectively and affordably renovate your office.

Alpha D Hair Salon

Alpha D Hair Salon

Address: #125 – 8010 Saba Road, Richmond

Home Renovation Mistakes

The key to a successful home renovation, no matter how big or small, is careful planning.  Whether you’re revitalizing your entire home or you have a specific room or addition of focus, your renovation plan should incorporate every detail from structural and building code requirements to your ultimate design and style preferences.  Still, even the most fastidious planner can overlook some common home renovation mistakes, especially when they don’t have a lot of experience with renovation projects.  So, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common home renovation mistakes so that you can be sure to plan your project effectively.

The Big Mistakes

Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make with your home renovation project is hiring the cheapest contractor.  It’s a rare occurrence that the lowest bid is the best contractor, but that doesn’t mean you need to hire the most expensive contractor either.  Ultimately, you should look for a contractor who can provide you with excellent references, a portfolio of projects that demonstrate quality work similar to the kind of renovation you’re doing, and most importantly a communication style that matches your own.  Also, when hiring a contractor, look for the details in their quote – does it include information about costs for materials, sub-contractors, installation, and permits?

Another major mistake home owners make is underestimating their budget.  The only guarantee in a home renovation is there are no guarantees – so, expect the unexpected.  Surprise costs should be considered a certainty in the home renovation game.  Once you’ve set a budget that seems to include every detail and associated cost, add 15% or more to be safe.

Kitchen Mistakes

Kitchen renovations are popular and exciting, but there are a few costly mistakes that you can easily avoid.  First, measure your cabinets very carefully.  One of the most common mistakes home renovation experts see is mistakes with cabinet measurements that mean the fridge or other appliances won’t fit.  Print specs for cabinets and appliances and double check to be sure everything fits.

Finishing Mistakes

Finishes such as countertops and flooring can make the average renovation spectacular, but it’s far too common that home owners follow trends rather than practical options for their home.  For example, granite countertops are popular and beautiful, but also expensive and not always practical.  Save money with an alternative like butcher blocks or plate steal.

Likewise, hardwood flooring is the go-to trend of the day, but homeowners with pets might regret this decision.  Hardwood floors scratch easily making them difficult to maintain in busy households.  Laminate is an attractive and more durable alternative.  And don’t forget convenience and comfort – hardwood or laminate floors need frequent sweeping and cleaning and aren’t the most comfortable to walk on, so offsetting these choices with carpeted areas in bedrooms or low traffic areas is a great idea.

So, before starting your home renovation project remember to carefully plan for every eventuality.  Speak with your contractor about what they recommend for your home so that you can get the most from your home renovation.

B Residence – Bathroom Renovation

Ensuite and Second bathroom renovation in South Vancouver.

Blenz Coffee | Delbrook Community Recreation Centre

BLENZ COFFEE – Delbrook Community Recreation Centre

Address: 851 West Queens Road, North Vancouver

Office Space Design Trends

What can I say about traditional office design?  Get some desks, some computers, maybe a plant or two and you’re done.  Offices are for work, and design was typically an afterthought.  On the other hand, modern offices are more and more frequently designed to reflect not only efficiency but style as well.  Colour schemes, floor plans, lighting, and ergonomics are crucial considerations when designing an office space that brings balance to work and employee satisfaction.  And since satisfied employees are happy employees and happy employees are productive employees, it should come as no surprise that many business owners today are taking office space design much more seriously.  So, let’s take a look at some of the top contemporary office space design trends.

We’re Living in a Digital World

It’s the 21st century and the most efficient offices are embracing technology like never before.  Cloud-based storage is replacing clunky, space-wasting, unattractive filing cabinets.  With all that extra space, office designers are discovering more creative ways to make an office space more efficient and appealing to its workers.  More conference rooms, break rooms equipped with modern conveniences, and fully-equipped kitchens can replace unnecessary storage space and help to cultivate a collaborative company culture.

The Desk of Now

In many offices, staff members are looking for modern updates to the traditional desk.  For example, as we become more health conscious, standing desks are becoming increasingly popular as a healthier alternative to sitting all day.  But, if we’re going down the road of a standing desk, consider the possibilities.  Treadmills at desks, adjustable desks that allow for sitting and standing, and even wireless desks are modern alternatives to traditional desk spaces.

Plus, as we become more mobile, many business owners are moving away from large, cumbersome stationary desks dedicated to individual employees to “hot-desks” which are small workstations that are shared among mobile staff members.

Strike Natural Balance

Bringing natural elements into your office space can be a great way to invigorate your employees.  Natural lighting is a great alternative to standard fluorescent bulbs which (if you ask me) zap staff of energy and contribute to a dreary work environment.  Large windows and skylights provide natural light, but if these are not feasible designs for your office, there are other ways to bring in some natural balance.  Recycled woods, living walls, and green patios can be incorporated into the design of almost any office space.

Plan Ahead

When designing your office space, don’t think just of what you need now, but also where you’re going in the future.  A flexible office design incorporates modular workspaces, adaptable meeting spaces, and current technologies so that your office can change as your business needs change.

See what we did for travel agency.

Choosing a General Contractor

General contractors are construction experts that manage medium and large projects.  As their title suggests, general contractors oversee all aspects of a build from purchasing materials and hiring tradespeople and subcontractors to applying for permits and maintaining project timelines.  It should be obvious by now that hiring a general contractor is not a process one should enter lightly.  If you want to ensure that your job is done well, on time, and on budget, your general contractor can make or break a project.

The first rule of choosing a general contractor is finding somebody with whom you can work easily.  Communication skills and integrity are important qualities of a good contractor.  But even the most reputable general contractor may have a working style that doesn’t fit your personal style, so take some time to get to know your contractor before you make your final decision.  You can assume that there will be bumps along the road for your project, so the right fit between owner and contractor is incredibly important.

Next, it’s important you understand the roles of your contractor.  Early in the process, potential contractors will bid on your job and this will usually include an estimate for the project.  Beyond negotiating their own contract with the owner, general contractors will also hire and negotiate contracts for tradespeople and subcontractors.  General contractors obtain permits, arrange inspections, manage payments to subcontractors and other workers, order and pay for materials, and provide general supervisory duties.  As the owner, it’s your responsibility to negotiate your rights and expectations before making an agreement with a general contractor.

When you are choosing your contractor, choose wisely.  Arrange for bids from competing general contractors who have experience with the scope and scale of your project.  Ideally, choose somebody you’ve worked with and have established a good relationship with in the past.  If that’s not possible, choose a contractor who offers an appropriate bid but who also has established roots in the community and can provide references on request.  Trusted referrals are also a good way to find a reputable contractor.

Finally, ask your contractor specific questions before making a final decision.  This might mean you ask for examples of past projects that are like your own, but you may also consider asking more hard-hitting questions.  For example, ask your contractor to describe a project where they experienced cost overruns or delays and what happened.  Challenging questions will force your contractor to think on their feet while also providing you an opportunity to assess their expertise.

Choosing a general contractor can be a time-consuming process, but you should never rush.  Hiring the lowest bidder can be fraught with problems, but you’re not safe by simply choosing a more expensive option.  Choosing a qualified contractor with whom you have established a comfortable working relationship will save you money in the long run.

Should your General Contractor be BBB Accredited?

Whether you’re building a new home or conducting renovations, you may be asking yourself whether it’s necessary to hire a Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited general contractor.  This is likely an exciting time in your life filled with anticipation of what your new home will be like, but it can also be a very stressful time.  There are many decisions to make, budgets to consider, and plans to develop, so it can be a real bonus to work with a general contractor that can take some of the burden off your shoulders.  Finding a good contractor may seem like a simple enough task, but the fact that there are likely hundreds of builders serving any community can make it difficult to find the right fit.

Indeed, not every general contractor will offer the same quality of services at the same price.  Once you start getting quotes, you’ll quickly realize that there can be a vast discrepancy between the services and costs offered from one contractor to the next.  Ideally, you want to work with a builder that has the right experience and skills, the proper license and insurance to operate, and a variety of references that demonstrate their abilities.  One way to help refine your search is to start looking only at builders with BBB accreditation.

Why is BBB accreditation important?  Namely, in order to maintain good standing with the BBB, a contractor must demonstrate trust in the market by creating and maintaining a positive record of business transactions.  In fact, to be accredited by the BBB as a general contractor, all builders must adhere to a very strict set of standards.  Not every builder can be accredited, they must be bonded, licensed, and covered by adequate insurance before they can even get their foot in the door.

In addition, once a general contractor has been accredited, they must demonstrate sound business practices in order to keep their accreditation and also to achieve higher standards of accreditation.  Complaints to the BBB are investigated thoroughly and contractors must resolve disputes effectively and in a timely manner.  While not every dispute is valid, the BBB takes them seriously and works with consumers and contractors to seek reasonable solutions.

Ultimately, BBB accreditation is not the only factor you should consider before hiring a general contractor, but it is a good place to start.  Particularly if you’re feeling overwhelmed in your search for a reputable builder, it is always advisable to refine your list to those that are accredited by the Better Business Bureau.  From there, make sure to vet each of your builders carefully, seek references, and ensure that they have the skills and experience for the type of work you need done.

Building a Deck for your House

Building a Deck for your House

Long summer nights spent entertaining guests on a deck are the epitome of Canadian summers.  Who among us can’t conjure happy memories with friends lounging, barbecuing, or partying it up on an epic deck.  If you are interested in building a deck for your house so you can create some of these amazing experiences, the keys to success are planning, planning, and more planning!  As with any home renovation project, building a deck can be a great addition to your home.  But keeping on time and on budget while getting the deck of your dreams can be challenging.

Know Your Budget

Maybe the most important first step in any home project is setting the budget.  Let’s be honest, you know how much money you have to spend building a deck for your house, but you might not have any idea what building a deck costs.  Simple decks will typically cost around $15 or $20 per square foot to build, but that’s if you’re building it yourself.  If that’s not your style, a contractor can help you figure out costs.  Keep in mind that extra features such as a fire pit, built-in benches, and planters will add to the cost of your deck.


So yes, you’ve decided to build a deck.  Whether you’re a DIY guru or you’re working with a professional, the first thing you’ll want to do is get your hands on some plans.  There are a wide range of easily adaptable free deck plans available online.  You can use these just to get some ideas of the style of deck you want to build and also start planning for costs.  In fact, many of these deck plans will include a comprehensive list of required materials and even advice from expert builders.

Some homeowners get lucky and find the perfect plan for their home, but you should carefully consider the layout of your home and yard before selecting a plan.  Is your deck going to be the entry point to your yard or is it going to be a separate, enclosed feature?  Think about traffic entering and exiting the deck, the dimensions of your home and yard, and even how you’ll eventually arrange furniture and features on your deck.

Follow the Rules

Finally, your municipality will have building codes and permit requirements even to build a deck.  For example, some codes stipulate the clearance required under a deck, whether you’ll require railings and the minimum height of railings, and the necessary support requirements for a deck of a given size.  Ultimately, to get the proper permits to build your deck, you’ll need to follow municipal regulations.  Fortunately, following these procedures and getting permits will help to ensure the quality and safety of your deck for the long term.


How Much Do People Spend on Bathroom Renos?

Next to kitchen renovations, the bathroom reno is the most popular home renovation of them all.  It seems homeowners want their bathrooms to offer a stylish, spa-like experience that represents a relaxing escape from the hassles of daily life.  Not only do we spend a considerable amount of time in our bathrooms, bathroom design fads tend to change frequently.  In order to keep up with the latest trends, many homeowners rely on bathroom renovations.  Unfortunately, bathroom renovations can also be quite costly depending on the scope of the project.  So, how much do people spend on bathroom renovations?

The question of cost when it comes to any renovation is always a little tricky to answer.  Some homeowners throw on a lick of paint and call it a renovation which is likely to cost only a couple hundred dollars.  Most homeowners are a little more comprehensive in their bathroom renovation, so there are many factors to consider before determining cost.  Which finish you select, whether you’re replacing or revitalizing fixtures such as the toilet, sink, and bathtub, and whether you’re installing new flooring or lighting will clearly impact your renovation costs.  Indeed, the cost of a bathroom renovation can easily vary from as little as $2000 to more than $50,000.

But let’s get real, on average a homeowner spends about $9000 on a bathroom renovation.  Determining your budget is one of the most important steps in your bathroom renovation, so to get a clearer picture of overall costs before you start the project you need to breakdown costs based on the size of your bathroom (small, medium, large, or master bathroom) as well as the options you’re planning to renovation.  Here’s a list of just a few options you might include in your renovation:

  • Bathtub/shower
  • Toilet
  • Sink
  • Cabinets
  • Countertops
  • Flooring
  • Lighting

Now consider this: each of these options will vary significantly in cost.  A low end bathtub might cost a few hundred dollars, but a large Jacuzzi tub with all the bells and whistles could cost several thousand dollars.  Likewise, a basic toilet might run around $150, but you could easily spend closer to $1000 if your budget allows.

Generally speaking, a smaller bathroom will be cheaper to renovate because there is less square footage but also fewer features to update.  There are also many cost-saving approaches you can take to keep your renovation costs manageable.  Refinishing a porcelain bathtub will likely be significantly cheaper than replacing it, for example.  Also, consider using your current floorplan to reduce renovation costs – if you plan to move your sink, toilet, or tub, you should also plan for significant costs with respect to the plumbing.

So, to make a long story short, bathroom renovation costs vary widely depending on your unique renovation.  Take some time before you begin your project to set a realistic budget and then look at the costs associated with all the changes you want to make to keep yourself to that budget.

Bedroom Renovation – Planning

There are many reasons homeowners undertake home renovations, from adding value to their home to revitalizing outdated décor and bedroom renovations are no exception.  When it comes to the master bedroom, an added benefit is creating a peaceful relaxing space in your home where you can truly unwind at the end of the day.  Indeed, bedroom renovations are often the ideal opportunity to create a retreat from your hectic work and family life; and they don’t need to be overwhelmingly expensive renovations either.  Whether you simply want to update colour schemes or you’re planning a major overhaul, bedroom renovations can be a lot of fun.

Scope of Renovations

There is a lot you can do with a bedroom renovation, so it’s important to set your goals in advance.  For example, if your master bedroom features an en suite bathroom that you plan to renovate as well, you’ll want to factor in the costs of this aspect of the renovation.  In addition, you may decide to revamp or expand closet space, put in new flooring, install energy efficient windows, and throw on a new lick of paint.  Beyond the structural components of your bedroom, you may be considering purchasing new bedroom furniture as well.  Design experts always recommend planning your entire renovation in advance so that you can create a sense of unity and flow throughout your bedroom.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when planning a bedroom renovation.  Setting clear expectations at the beginning of your project will help you determine the extent of your renovations as well as keep you on budget throughout the entire project.

Planning for the Future

Another consideration to make when renovating your bedroom is to consider the purpose of the project.  Perhaps you’re planning to sell your home and you want to improve its marketability.  On the other hand, you may be planning on retiring in your home, in which case you should consider the impact of aging on your bedroom design.  Either way, the ultimate purpose of your renovation will normally dictate how you approach the project.  For resale value, a quick paint job and some inexpensive carpet might offer the best bang for your buck.  However, if you know you’re staying in your home for the long term, you may want to consider bedroom and bathroom accessibility in your renovation.

Rely on Experts

One final word of advice before beginning a bedroom renovation is to work with expert contractors and design specialists, particularly if you’re planning a major renewal.  Even a short consultation can help you get a clear picture of the best way to achieve your renovation goals, especially considering the experts often have decades of experience to utilize when giving advice.

Bathroom Renovation on a Budget

Bathroom Renovation on a Budget

We’ve all heard the renovation nightmares that start with a fairy tale vision of what your home can be and end with the homeowners scraping together every penny they can find to complete the project.  Many owners feel overwhelmed at the prospect of a desperately needed renovation because they have a limited budget and they don’t know how best to allocate funds.  But you needn’t feel daunted!  Home renovations can be completed within a strict budget if you simply take the time to carefully plan for your pennies.  Today, let’s take a look at some tips to keep your bathroom renovation on budget.


Countertops can easily turn your budget renovation into a luxury renovation, so choose wisely.  The most modern countertop styles (such as granite) come with a price tag, though it may be worth it to you.  If you’ve got your heart set on luxury style, you can still save money.  Neutral colours tend to be more popular and more expensive, so compare the cost of the various colours of your material of choice.


Bathroom fixtures include lighting, faucets, towel racks, drawer and cupboard handles, and medicine cabinets or shelving.  Fixtures can usually be updated on a very small budget, and you can choose what to update as your budget allows.  You can even get creative with your bathroom fixtures and repurpose old plumbing pipes for towel racks!


Repainting is an inexpensive renovation that really packs a bang for your buck.  If you want to make a quick impact on a small budget, grab yourself some paint that is designed for bathrooms or areas with high humidity.  High quality paints with satin finish make a great choice for bathrooms.

Caulk and Grout

Like paint, re-caulking or re-grouting your bathroom can make a significant impact on its visual appeal without damaging your bank account.  Most moderately experienced DIY enthusiasts can even do the job themselves.


Tile is an attractive and functionally important feature in a bathroom, but it’s also potentially very expensive.  One way to keep your bathroom renovation on a budget is to restrict how much tile you use.  Decide whether it’s more important to have tile on your floors or inside the shower and stall walls – what will make the most visual impact?

Refinish or New

The most expensive updates to bathrooms involve replacing tubs, showers, toilets, and sinks.  You should be sure to price out these updates thoroughly before you begin a bathroom renovation to be sure your budget allows it.  If you have your heart set on replacing these items, consider some alternatives that will keep your costs down.  Refinishing your bathtub is often a much cheaper option than replacing it with a new one.  Also, consider buying used tubs, sinks, and toilets that are in good condition, or even to bring a vintage appeal to your bathroom.


Budgeting for Renovating a Kitchen

When it comes to changing the look and feel of your home, there are few renovations that have the impact of a kitchen remodel.  With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that kitchen renovations also tend to be the most expensive.  Still, a new kitchen can really revitalize your home, so follow these tips for budgeting for a kitchen renovation so you can get the most from your project.

Make a Plan

The most elegant kitchen renovations will average around $70-90,000 for a remodel – we’re talking top end stuff here.  These upscale projects include top-of-the line countertops, appliances, tile, flooring, and lighting.  If you’re still in shock by that price tag, take a step back.  Many kitchen projects come in at significantly less than that, and a quality remodel might only cost $20,000 or less.  Ultimately, you need to ask yourself exactly what you want to achieve and how much you can afford to spend.  Then, set a budget and stick to it.

Break Down your Costs

The biggest cost associated with a kitchen renovation are cabinets – expect cabinets to eat about a third of your costs.  Next, you’ll pay between a fifth and a quarter of your budget on labor, and about the same on appliances.  Windows, fixtures, fittings, lighting, and other costs will typically take up the rest of your budget.  Make sure you break down all your costs before you start your project.

Expect the Unexpected

Read these words very carefully – EVERY renovation project will have hidden costs.  Whether you’re renovating a bathroom, building a deck, or remodeling your kitchen, there will be unexpected costs and you need to budget for them.  Ideally, you want to factor about 20% of your kitchen renovation budget will go to unexpected costs like outdated wiring, rotten flooring, or even late stage changes to your plans.


Do you have your heart set on stainless steel appliances?  Or, would you really prefer those beautiful marble countertops?  Sometimes you can’t have everything you want in the budget you’ve set (and you’re sticking to that budget…right?).  This means you need to set your priorities so you know where you can cut costs and where you can’t.

Food Costs

So many homeowners fail to consider how they’re going to eat during their kitchen renovation, but the reality is if you plan to stay in your home during the renovation, you’re not going to have a kitchen to cook in.  This means you need to add in extra food costs to your budget because you’re likely to be eating out a lot more.  And since I’ve mentioned it, if you’re not going to live at home during the project, you’ll need to consider temporary housing costs as well.

There’s no way around it, kitchen renovations are expensive.  But, if you know what you can afford and you plan ahead, there’s no reason you can’t complete the project on budget.

Have questions? Talk to us! http://www.canadoo.ca/about/


Choosing a Renovation Company in Vancouver

Home renovations can be equally exciting and daunting.  Regardless of the specific nature of your home renovation project, choosing a reputable renovation company in Vancouver is the first step to a stress free (or at least stress reduced) homeowner experience.  But how do you decide which renovation company to work with, especially when there are so many operating in and around Vancouver?  Careful research can help you make an informed decision that will ultimately ensure your renovation is completed on time, on budget, and with the fewest mishaps along the way.

When it comes to researching potential renovation companies, you want to answer the following five questions:

  1. What experience does the renovation company have?
  2. What do their references have to say?
  3. Do you have good rapport with your contractor?
  4. What solutions does the company offer?
  5. Is their quote and timeline competitive?

Before we look at each of these questions in more depth, it is important that you take time to review multiple renovation companies so that you can compare your options and choose the best company for your needs.  Let’s get started.


Ultimately, you want to review potential renovation companies’ portfolios to ensure that they have experience that matches your renovation needs and expectations.  A sound portfolio displays previous jobs and shows that your contractor or renovation specialist not only talks the talk but walks the walk.


Always, always, ALWAYS ask potential renovation companies for references and take the time to vet those references.  In fact, a great place to start your search for contractors is referrals from family, friends, or colleagues.  Ask references specific questions about the company’s work ethic, integrity, communication style, and customer service skills.


Whether you’re engaging renovation companies for a quick weekend project or a more comprehensive overhaul of your home, you want to make sure you can work effectively with your contractor.  Do they listen to your goals and inquire specifically about your home and how you plan to use the space?  Are they easy to communicate with?  Do they demonstrate passion in their work?  Ideally, you want your values and goals to be reflected in the values and goals of your renovation company.


Another question to ask potential renovation companies relates to the solutions they offer.  Do they use the most recent tools and technologies in their renovations?  Are they aware of advances in energy efficiency?  You can also get information about your renovation company’s experience and practice through references, referrals, and their portfolio.


Finally, you want to choose a renovation company that is at least competitive in their quote and timelines.  You don’t need to go with the most expensive company (unless you are very impressed), but you don’t usually want to choose the lowest bidder either.  Select a company that is specific, realistic and competitive with their quote and timelines.

Dental Office Renovation Costs

It should go without saying that a dental office is a specialized spaced that requires careful planning and organization to develop or renovate.  Not only will you need to install unique equipment, but even the layout of the office is critical to running an efficient dental practice.  As such, it is always highly recommended that you work with a professional contractor with experience in dental office renovations no matter the scale or scope of your project.  Of course, whenever you’re planning a renovation project under the supervision of a contractor, budget is one of the first considerations you’ll make.  So what can you expect about dental office renovation costs?  Let’s take a closer look.

We’ve already established that a dental office renovation is like no other.  Nevertheless, there are some aspects of renovation such as permits, business growth, and accessibility that absolutely factor into the cost of any renovation.  So, while it can be very difficult to apply a cookie-cutter approach to estimate the costs of a dental office renovation, we can at least start by examining the costs associated with these renovation necessities.


First and foremost, any building project will require a variety of permits.  Every municipality will have their own permitting requirements, codes, rules, and timelines for securing permits.  As such, it is important to do your research in advance, because while the permits themselves can be inexpensive, there are frequently delays in acquiring permits; and time is money, as they say.  Generally speaking, permits will cost somewhere between a few hundred and a few thousand dollars (depending on the project), but if there are any delays in getting the permits, your costs will be higher due to lost income from your practice and the cost of maintaining your office space.

Business Growth

One factor that adds to the cost of a dental office renovation now and in the future is business growth.  What does that mean?  Well, a smart dental practice will plan for a growing practice.  That means your renovation plan must incorporate space and equipment for more patients in the future.  On the other hand, if you base your renovation on your current patient load, you’re not allowing room for growth.  More importantly, advances in diagnostic technology may require that you purchase and install new equipment.  Will your renovation account for these kind of updates?  If not, you can expect extensive future costs to accommodate an advancing field of medical practice.


Finally, one factor that many business owners (never mind dentists) may not consider is accessibility for patients living with disabilities.  While you may not have any such patients in your roster, there will still be strict building requirements if you’re updating a space or building a new office.   From ramp access to accessible washrooms, you will be required to create an accessible dental office.

As you can see, many factors will impact your dental office renovation costs, and it can be very difficult to define the bottom line without some specific information about your renovation project.  Most medical office renovations are quite costly, exceeding $100,000 for a very basic project.  Since you are making such a sizeable investment, make sure to work with a qualified, experienced, and honest contractor.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a New House in Vancouver?

The Vancouver real estate market is hot and getting hotter.  With so much competition among home buyers, many people are considering building a new home that will not only meet their specific needs but may also allow them to avoid the real estate bidding wars that are becoming commonplace in this market.  But how much does it cost to build a new house in Vancouver?  Let’s take a closer look.

First, it’s important to understand what is included when you discuss the cost of building.  Typically, contractors will quote a price per square foot to build a new home, but you should be aware that this price does not include the cost of land or the cost of building permits, architectural plans, surveys, or structural engineering fees.  Keeping that in mind, you can expect the average price to construct a new home in Vancouver will typically vary between $150 and $250 per square foot.

Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself why there is such a huge range in the average cost to build, especially considering land is not included in the estimate.  Ultimately, finishing work is what distinguishes homes at the lower end from those at the higher end.  Finishing refers to items such as tiles, cabinets, molding, doors, windows, fixtures, and landscaping.  If you enjoy the finer things in life, you can expect higher construction costs.

New home construction is obviously a huge project and there are major steps that need to be considered along the way.  Clearly, you need to have a good sense of your budget so that you can make the best decisions for you and your family at every stage of the construction process.  This budget must include the cost to purchase property, but will also incorporate labour and construction methods, design and architectural plans, permits and inspections, and even insurance.

The costs associated with building a new home can be overwhelming, but there are many benefits.  Indeed, building a new home is usually more expensive, but you also get the peace of mind knowing that yours will be the first family to occupy the home.  In addition, new homes are usually covered by a comprehensive warranty so that if anything goes wrong as the result of faults with labour or material, repairs are covered.  You also benefit from the flexibility to create a home that perfectly matches the needs of your family.

So, if you’re considering building a home in Vancouver, make sure to speak to an experienced contractor that can review all the costs associated with the project.  Depending on where, when, and what you build, you’re sure to find a lot of variability in how much it costs to build a new house in Vancouver.

Office Renovation Costs

As you would expect from any renovation, office renovation costs can vary widely depending on the scope of the project.  There are many factors to consider in your office renovation, each of which will ultimately impact your overall costs.  For example, the size of your office, contractor rates, and material and equipment costs will all have a significant impact on the overall costs of your office renovation.  In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that it is impossible to estimate office renovation costs without a clearer picture of some of these details.  Let’s break down some of these costs so that you can at least come up with a ball park figure for your office renovation.

Size Matters

When we are talking about construction or renovations, the size of the space will always impact the cost of the project.  On average, a home office renovation that includes new shelving and cabinetry, increased storage, new flooring and drywall, and improved services (i.e. electrical) costs around $185 per square foot.  Since the typical home office is somewhere between 150 and 250 square feet, you could expect a comprehensive renovation to cost between $25,000 and $50,000.  Obviously, these costs are gross estimates and your renovation may actually cost much less or much more depending on what you need.

Contracting Contractors

It’s always advisable to work with a contractor that has direct experience with office renovations.  Contractors have the resources and contacts available to ensure your renovation goes smoothly.  However, it’s not always cheap to work with a contractor as on average they’ll charge you between $40 and $100 per hour.  A general contractor will oversee your entire project and will hire tradespeople as required for your renovation.  Not only will you need to cover the costs of a general contractor, but each tradesperson will usually charge hourly as well.  For example, electricians usually cost between $60 and $80 per hour, carpenters charge around $65 per hour, painters come in at $20 to $40 per hour, and plumbers cost somewhere around $50 per hour.  Also, keep in mind that these rates tend to be higher in urban centres as the cost of doing business tends to be higher as well.

A Material World

When we’re talking about the materials that go into your office renovation, we’re talking about things like drywall, insulation, doors and windows, flooring, etc.  In addition, you need to factor in the cost of design.  Hardwood flooring is considerably more expensive than laminate or carpeting.  You also need to consider whether you require any office equipment upgrades – printers, computers, or even new air conditioning systems will obviously impact your renovation budget.

As you can see, determining the costs of an office renovation can be difficult, especially if you do not have experience with office renovations.  Working with a professional contractor and/or renovation expert will help you get a clear idea of the costs of an office renovation as it pertains to your specific needs and goals.

K Residence – New construction in Vancouver

K Residence – New construction in Vancouver

The Cost of Restaurant Renovations

If you are trying to budget your restaurant renovation and you’re hoping to find some hard and fast rules for estimating the cost, I’ve got bad news for you.  The cost of restaurant renovations will vary widely depending on a number of factors including the size of the space, your design materials, the scope of the project, and even the cost of labour in your market.  So, instead of defining actual costs, let’s take a closer look at the elements of a renovation and how you might expect that to impact your budget.

Relevant Design and Equipment

The restaurant industry is highly competitive, and the reality is that it’s not just your food and service that will determine your success.  Especially in busy, urban centres, restaurants must be stylish.  If your restaurant features outdated décor, chances are you’re struggling to bring in clientele.  If you’re planning a restaurant renovation, you should first ask yourself how much updating needs to be done.  If you’re looking at a total makeover, costs are going to be higher.  For example, if you need to replace kitchen equipment, your budget will easily need to exceed $20,000.  However, if you’re making minor updates such as new lighting or paint, you can probably get by with a more conservative budget.

I always recommend that you hire a professional with restaurant design experience to help with renovations and remodels.  Just as the restaurant industry is competitive, it’s always changing.  A professional designer can help you make the best choices to remain relevant in your market.


When we’re talking about equipment, we’re talking about big bucks.  Refrigeration units run in the tens of thousands of dollars, installing gas lines will tally a few thousand more, just to give a couple examples.  You’ll also need to consider labour costs.  Hiring a general contractor is a great idea to ensure your project is finished on time and within a reasonable budget, but you’ll need to carefully consider those costs.  That being said, a good contractor will also have access to excellent tradespeople (plumbers, electricians, and painters to name a few), so working with a contractor can often save you money in the long run because the job will be done right the first time.

Budget for the Unexpected

It’s probably more the rule than the exception that renovations run over budget.  Sometimes you can’t prepare for every eventuality, so it’s always important to budget at least and extra 10 or 15% to cover the costs of the unexpected.  Even if you don’t end up needing the extra budget, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Ultimately, there are a lot of things to consider in your restaurant renovation.  Working with experienced renovation professionals can help you get an idea of the total costs before you begin your renovation.  Always start with a goal of your dream renovation, and then scale back as your budget requires.

BC Home Renovation Tax Credit 2016

Did you know that as an individual over the age of 65 or as a person with a disability that you might be eligible for a home renovation tax credit?  In British Columbia, the Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities is designed to help people with the cost associated with permanent home renovations required to make your home more accessible or functional.  In other words, if you need to make home renovations for your home to be more livable, you may be eligible for the Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities.

Dating to April 1, 2012, the program was originally only available for seniors and family members living with seniors.  However, as of February 17, 2016 this tax credit has been extended to persons with disabilities and/or those family members living with persons with disabilities.  To reflect the broader group now eligible for the credit, the program has been renamed the Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities.


How do you know whether you’re eligible for this tax credit?  That’s simple!  Eligibility to claim the credit for any tax year requires that on the last day of that particular tax year you are a resident of BC and either a senior or family member living with a senior (a senior is somebody over the age of 65 years), or a person with a disability or a family member of a person with a disability.

Any individual who qualifies for the Disability Tax Credit is also eligible for this Home Renovation Tax Credit.  If you are not eligible for the Disability Tax Credit but you must pay for attendant care or nursing home care, you may also be eligible.

Another component of eligibility for seniors or family members living with seniors requires that renovation expenses were incurred on or after April 1, 2012.  Those expenses that date before April 1, 2012 do not qualify for the Home Renovation Tax Credit for Seniors and Persons with Disabilities.

As for persons with disabilities or family members living with persons with disabilities, all home renovation expenses must be incurred on or after February 17, 2016.  Earlier expenses will not qualify for the tax credit.

Sharing the Credit

One benefit of this tax credit is it can be shared between eligible residents of the home.  Any amount up to the maximum amount of the credit can be claimed, with the maximum amount of the credit being $1000 per tax year.  However, keep in mind that only 10% of the qualifying renovation expense can be claimed.  For example, a maximum of $10,000 in total expenses can be claimed as the maximum refundable tax credit of $1000.

Qualifying Renovations

Finally, let’s take a closer look at the renovations that qualify for this tax credit.  First, the renovations must be made to your principle address (i.e. the home in which you live primarily and not a seasonal home).  Moreover, the renovation must fit one of the following criteria:

  • The renovation improves access to the home or land for the senior or person with a disability.
  • The renovation improves mobility or function within the home or land for the senior or person with a disability.
  • The renovation reduces the risk of harm in the  home or on the land for the senior or person with a disability.

If you believe you have qualifying renovations, claim the tax credit on your T1 income tax return and complete the British Columbia Seniors Home Renovation Tax Credit Form (Schedule BC(S12)).


2016 Office Design Trends

If I stepped into your office would I feel like I’d stepped into a time warp?  Is your office space neatly organized and optimized for efficiency?  Would I discover an environment that’s conducive to productivity or one that ensures stagnation?  There are many reasons to redesign your office – impressing potential clients, improving workflow, and inspiring staff are just a few of these reasons.  Indeed, the best workspaces implement alternative design strategies that not only make workers happier and more effective, but also tell your potential clients you mean business.  So, let’s look at some of the top office design trends of 2016.

Let’s Get Natural

Fluorescent lights are inexpensive and effective insofar as they create light.  White walls do not distract.  Plastic plants take care of themselves.  Unfortunately, as our office spaces have become increasingly artificial, they’ve also become much less inspirational.  The move toward incorporating nature in the work environment is aimed at making the workplace a more refreshing place to be.  Reclaimed wood panelling, real plants and flora, and access to natural light are examples of ways to make the working environment a much more natural one.  Natural elements create a cozier, more comfortable environment that can actually be invigorating for staff.

Shake It Up

Hierarchy has established itself as a mainstay of the office.  Executives get the fancy corner office with a view while mail room staff toils in a dingy basement.  Ok, this may be an exaggeration, but in 2016 offices are moving away from assigned seating, cubicles, and designated offices for middle management toward a truly open concept with multipurpose workstations, casual break areas, and circular meeting tables.  You should even consider installing adjustable desks that allow staff to work from a seated or standing position.

A Splash of Colour

Incorporating splashes of colour into the workplace can promote creativity and happiness at work.  Even office furniture can benefit from a burst of colour.  One of the more interesting applications of colour in the office relates to the everyday desktop items we store – consider a vibrantly coloured IN or OUT tray, brightly adorned desk chairs, or a filing cabinet that pops with colour.

Think Community

Ultimately, your office is a place for people who work together to collaborate on projects and ideas.  In 2016, office design trends are all about how to promote community and interactivity in the office.  Community tables are popular in modern restaurants, but they’re a great idea for the office too.  These tables represent an evolving workplace where anybody and everybody can come together to share ideas, challenges, and solutions.  You can even consider designing shared lounge spaces where your staff can step away from a difficult problem to relax and refocus as a team.

Incorporate some of these truly progressive design ideas into your office in 2016 and see how much a new perspective on office style can inspire and invigorate your staff.

Planning a Bathroom Renovation

Any successful bathroom renovation is contingent on good planning, and this is particularly true of bathroom renovations.  The bathroom, after all, is a very important room in your house.  Even if you’re not reliant on just one or two bathrooms for your family, bathroom renovations can range significantly in the scope and cost of the project.  Careful planning is critical.  So, this bathroom renovation checklist will help you get the most from your renovation.

Project Scope

Probably the very first consideration you need to make involves the scope of your renovation.  Before you can map out your renovation, you need to know what you plan to do.  Are you gutting your bathroom, or simply making minor updates?  Are you replacing fixtures?  Ultimately, determining the scope of your project will allow you to create a budget, determine timelines, and make other decisions along the way.


You absolutely must set your budget at the beginning of the project – this will affect all your decisions throughout the renovation.  Setting a budget will help you decide which updates to make, how much you can spend on fixtures, and where you can cut back to save money.


You should also carefully consider the amount of time that will go into your bathroom renovation.  A new coat of paint and updated flooring can be installed in a day or two, but more major renovations can sometimes take several weeks.  Planning timeframes will not only help you organize your life, but it will help you organize your renovation.  Set milestones so you’re prepared at every stage of the renovation including when to purchase flooring, fixtures, and cabinets.

Style and Function

During the planning stages of your renovation, you should consider what you want to achieve with the remodel.  Obviously style is an important consideration – from the colour palette to flooring and cabinet materials, there are a lot of style choices to be made.  In addition, consider the functionality of your bathroom.  You want to ensure that your bathroom serves the needs of your family.  For example, do you want a full bathtub, or just a shower?  In addition, you should think about functionality insofar as it impacts the resale value of your home.  If your home lacks a bathtub, you might consider installing one during your renovation, for instance.

Professional Help

Finally, you’ll want to take some time to think about who will complete your renovation project.  Certainly, bathroom remodels are a popular project for the DIY enthusiast, but working with a professional contractor has distinct benefits.  Not only can a contractor arrange all the necessary services and ensure your new bathroom adheres to relevant building codes, but their expertise may also save you money in the long run.  Working with professionals ensures that mistakes are avoided, while also helping you to make the best decisions based on your budget and desires.

M Residence – Japanese style bathroom

Commercial Renovations: KAHVE

Canadoo Enterprises Inc. is a leading Vancouver-based renovation company specializing in both residential and commercial projects.  Adopting a client-centred approach, Canadoo focuses first on a client’s vision and then utilizes the expertise and knowledge of renovation professionals to provide a variety of services that ensure client satisfaction at every stage of the project from planning and design to budgeting and implementation.  Recently, Canadoo completed the Kahve Café project in Kitsilano.

The Kahve Café serves exquisite coffee and in-house made food to their trendy neighbours in Kitsilano.  This unique space melds timeless European design with contemporary Vancouver lifestyles – natural wood elements help create a calm and inviting atmosphere while the focus on single-origin coffees and organic, locally sourced ingredients appeals to the sustainability-minded Vancouverite.  Indeed, Kahve Café offers baked goods and chocolates from local artisans, a careful selection of sandwiches, salads, and soups made from the finest ingredients, and the renowned Elysian Coffee which is locally roasted using the highest quality coffee beans from around the world.

The Kahve Café renovation project was no small feat for Canadoo Enterprises.  Coffee shops are a dime-a-dozen in Vancouver, so we wanted to design a space that challenges Vancouver-based coffee-shop clichés without losing the essence of a café.  We wanted to embrace the inherent features of the building, so we started with exposed ceilings.  The tall ceilings provide an airy atmosphere, while exposed pipes and rafters blend comfort and sophistication.  Next, we wanted to embody the beauty of Vancouver and its surrounding nature.  In homage to the rainforest, we chose light-wooden fixtures in the shelving, tables, and front counter.  Finally, we wanted to pay tribute to local families and the weekday worker alike – our designs provide a simple and relaxing spot for local families looking for a place to convene on the weekend while creating an engaging environment for the 9-to-5 crowd in need of an excellent coffee.

Most importantly, in working with Justine Rhee, owner of the Kahve Café, it was clear from the start that Canadoo needed to complete a renovation that was representative of the unique interests of its owner.  Kahve is a new business venture for Rhee who previously operated Enflux gift shop in West Point Grey and wanted to integrate a coffee and gift shop.  As such, a portion of Kahve Café is dedicated to the sale of a variety of gifts from jewelry and décor to housewares from European designers such as Alessi, Georg Jensen, and Ittala.

If you have been looking for a coffee shop in Kitsilano that serves some of the best single origin coffee locally roasted in Vancouver in an elegant, yet comfortable atmosphere, you should look no further than the Kahve Café.

Kitchen Renovation Materials

Kitchen renovations are among the most challenging for home owners because there are a lot of considerations to make – from flooring and countertops to cabinets, lighting, and fixtures, you have a lot of decision to make.  Indeed, home owners interested in renovating their kitchens have a lot of kitchen materials to choose from depending on personal preferences and budget.  These kitchen renovation material FAQs will help you make the best choice for your project.

What kitchen materials are available for countertops?

More than 10% of your kitchen renovation budget will likely be spent on countertops, and there are a number of materials to choose from including:

  • Laminate
  • Wood
  • Ceramic
  • Marble
  • Granite

Typically, laminate, wood, and ceramic countertops are more affordable than marble or granite and you can choose from a wide range of colours and patterns.  Moreover, many of these countertops are as durable as marble, though tile can be more difficult to clean.

What kitchen materials are available for cabinets?

There are many different styles of kitchen cabinets that will generally fall into either contemporary or classic designs.  More contemporary kitchen cabinets can be constructed from wood, glass, or synthetic materials or some kind of combination of materials.  Classic designs tend to be constructed from wood.  Cabinets made from solid wood tend to be quite expensive; so, if you’re on a budget but like the look of wood consider laminate as a more affordable alternative.

Modern kitchen cabinets are much more convenient than in the past.  Long, deep drawers are a great option for accessing all your kitchen materials – you can even have drawers with a cabinet-like façade that are perfect for storing pots and pans.  Ultimately, when you’re designing your kitchen cabinets, take some time to think about storage and how you can make your kitchen more convenient.

What kitchen materials are available for flooring?

Similar to countertops, kitchen flooring materials include ceramic tile, wood, laminate, rubber, quarry tile, natural stone tile, and vinyl flooring.  Laminate and vinyl flooring options are more affordable, but tile flooring tends to be attractive.  Still, vinyl and laminate is also highly durable and easy to replace.

Wood flooring is also a popular option, but homeowners should take care when choosing wood flooring as you’ll need to ensure the materials can stand up to kitchen abuse.  Wooden flooring is available as plank wood, strip wood, or patterned wood flooring.  Natural stone tile flooring is available in limestone, marble, and slate.

As you can see, whether you are choosing materials for countertops, floors, or cabinets, there are many kitchen materials from which to choose.  Ideally, you should work with a professional kitchen renovation specialist who can help you choose the best materials for your home and your budget.

Restaurant Renovation Tips

Keeping your restaurant design on pace with the times is an important strategy for maintaining relevance in a very competitive industry.  Customers will judge the quality of your restaurant as much by its appearance as its food.  In fact, experts in the field recommend remodeling your restaurant at least once a decade as a method for not only attracting new customers but to keep loyal customers interested.  These restaurant renovation tips will help your restaurant maintain its competitive advantage.

Plan, Plan, Plan

The most important part of any renovation, restaurant or otherwise, is adequate planning.  Setting goals will help you set a budget and a timeline, both very important for keeping your business in the black.  Profit margins in the restaurant industry are tight, so you need to plan your renovation carefully to ensure you keep the project on budget.  Similarly, you can’t keep your business closed for an extended period of time, so planning will help ensure a quick and efficient remodel.

Let’s Talk Money

Ok, so you’ve got a budget in mind, but have you got the financing secured?  Never start a renovation until you’re certain you’ve got the funds to cover it.  If you run out of money mid-project, your restaurant will most certainly be closed for longer than you anticipated.  This will subsequently result in lost business.  Secure your financing before your remodel, and always make sure you have wiggle room in your budget.

Out With the Old?

Hold on a second – if you’ve got a successful restaurant and loyal customers, you don’t want to go too extreme with your remodel.  You must consider your current customers before you remodel.  Not only do you want them to be informed about renovations and how this will impact them, you want to be sure that they’re still comfortable in your space after the renovation.  Ambiance is an important part of the restaurant experience, so don’t completely abandon your style during the renovation.  You can even consider speaking to your customers for input.

Oh No, Not Research

Visit new restaurants in your area, find restaurant trends on the internet, consider the demographics in your neighbourhood, and plan your remodel accordingly.  When you know what the most successful restaurants are doing and what people in your neighbourhood enjoy, only then will you be ready to create your design.  A restaurant in the business centre of a city should not be modeled after a suburban family restaurant.   Research may seem tedious, but it will help you fashion the perfect restaurant for your patrons.

Trust in Professionals

Finally, work with professional restaurant designers and contractors for your remodel.  This will help you keep on top of trends and also ensure an efficient remodel so that you’re back in business as soon as possible.



Tips for Kitchen Renovations

Kitchen renovations are at the same time the most common and most expensive of home renovations.  When you’re making such a sizeable investment into your home, it’s worthwhile to take some time and carefully plan every aspect of your kitchen project.  So what are the main things you need to consider when you’re planning a kitchen redesign?  From budget to construction, there are many choices to be made and these tips for kitchen renovations will help you get your dream kitchen.


First, let’s take a moment to talk about planning.  Not every kitchen renovation is the same.  Depending on your budget, the current condition of your kitchen, and your ultimate goals, your kitchen renovation may represent a major overhaul or some simple tweaks.  Regardless of the scope of the project, make sure you answer some basic questions before you start:

  • What is your budget?
  • Which fixtures do you plan to replace?  Cabinets, countertops, appliances, and lighting?
  • Can you refurbish some of your current fixtures?
  • What are your ideal timelines for the project?

If you’re not experienced with DIY, it makes sense to work with a contractor.  They can help you plan every aspect of your renovation so that you get the kitchen you want at a price you can afford.  Now, let’s get to the nitty-gritty.


Cabinets are one of the most noticeable features in a kitchen, and you have a lot of options.  You can go with traditional wood cabinets which can be painted or stained.  You can choose modern designs constructed from stainless steel or even laminate if you’re on a budget.  In addition to deciding which materials you like, you also need to think about your cabinet height and choose from a variety of styles of cabinets.  You’ll find large cabinet drawers are a great addition to lower cabinets as they allow you to easily access items at the back of the cabinet.  If you’re going to replace your cabinets, you want to install a variety that is both functional and attractive.


Countertops can really pop.  Choose an elegant countertop that brings warmth to the room, but don’t forget about function.  Stone countertops look great, but they can be difficult to maintain.  For example, granite is a popular choice for modern kitchens, but these countertops must be sealed regularly to avoid stains.  Tile is an inexpensive countertop option available in almost limitless styles and colours, though an uneven surface can make it difficult to work on.  Laminate is affordable and easy to maintain, but prone to scratching and burns.  So, when choosing a countertop, it’s important to consider your habits as much as your style and budget.


What can we say about appliances?  They can break the bank, but they don’t have to.  Sure, you may have a large renovation budget, in which case feel free to install appliances with all the bells and whistles.  But, if you’re on a tighter budget, don’t shy away from basic models – you’re better to focus your budget on other features such as lighting or countertops as these make a bigger design impact.


Finally, don’t forget your kitchen lighting.  Ideally, you want to have plenty of lighting in your kitchen – and natural light is always ideal.  But even without a lot of natural light, there are lots of ways to brighten up your kitchen.  Accent lighting under cabinets are a great addition, but you can also install larger fixtures throughout your kitchen – each with individual switches to optimize your lighting control.

Now that you’ve read these tips, go out and have some fun.  Kitchen renovations are truly exciting!

10 Tips for Bathroom Renovations in Vancouver

Before diving head first into your bathroom renovation, you should take some time to consider all your needs.  There is no cookie-cutter solution to make every bathroom renovation work for every homeowner, so you should carefully consider your needs, your budget, and your stylistic preferences before beginning any project.  When it comes to bathroom renovations in Vancouver, you’re sure to find a plethora of qualified contractors and bathroom supply stores to meet your needs.  So today, we’re going to consider 10 tips for bathroom renovations to help you design the perfect bathroom for you and your family.

Think Quality and Style

You’re not likely to update or renovate your bathroom every couple years, so you want to make sure to do it right the first time.  Use quality fixtures and cabinetry, and choose a style that will last through the years.  You don’t need to spend a fortune, but you do need to consider how the room will be used and choose products that are durable enough to meet your family’s needs and stylish enough that they don’t quickly become outdated.

Measure your Space

We can’t stress this enough – carefully measure your bathroom and allow adequate space for fixtures and features.  You want to be able to easily reach the toilet paper holder, and you want to ensure for proper storage in the bathroom.  Consider working with a designer that can show you multiple floor plan options so that you optimize your space.

Bathrooms are Wet

This is obvious, so don’t overlook using materials that are durable and waterproof.  Drywall, tiles, and waterproofing membranes need to be rated for use in bathrooms.  Installation is important too – from the plumbing to the paint, you want your bathroom to withstand the damaging effects of water.


Always, always, always install proper ventilation.  It not only helps reduce water damage, but also prevents mould and mildew.  Plus, ventilation helps manage bathroom-related odors.


Ultimately, you want bright lighting in the bathroom – consider shower lights as well as good vanity lighting.

Take your Time

Make sure you allow plenty of time to complete your bathroom project.  Rushing renovations make mistakes more likely, so even if your timelines are longer, you can rest easy knowing the renovations are done right the first time.

Jack of All Trades

You might choose to work with a contractor to oversee your bathroom renovation, but you should not hire one tradesman to do the whole job.  Specialized tradespeople should be used for every aspect of your renovation including plumbers, electricians, drywallers, and flooring specialists.

Budget Effectively

First, calculate your budget including all materials, fixtures, and labour; then, give yourself some wiggle room.  In all likelihood, there will be some costs that you don’t consider when planning your renovation, so you want to ensure there are extra funds in your budget.  More importantly, budget your renovation based on the value of your home.

Plan Ahead

Always carefully plan and design your renovation in advance so that your project can proceed with minimal hassle.

Treat Yourself

Depending on your budget, indulge in some kind of bathroom luxury – a Jacuzzi tub, makeup vanity, or even a television make great additions to a new bathroom.

Kitchen Renovation: Backsplash Design Ideas

Kitchens are one of the most frequently renovated rooms in the house.  While kitchen renovations can be quite expensive, there are plenty of smaller projects that are more affordable but still make a drastic impact on the design of your kitchen.  A new paint job, new countertops, new fixtures, or even a new backsplash are a few projects that can be completed independently to revitalize your kitchen on a budget.  Obviously, a complete overhaul can help you create the kitchen of your dreams, but if budget is a concern you can always break up your total kitchen renovation into several mini projects.  Today, let’s take a closer look at kitchen backsplash design ideas.

With backsplash design, you have an incredible degree of creative potential.  There are a wide range of styles and materials available, so whether you’re planning a total kitchen makeover or a simple backsplash redesign you’ll have a lot of options.  Whereas traditional backsplashes were almost always made from tile, today you can install a range of materials for an interesting and beautiful design.  Stone, glass, and metal backsplash materials give you a great deal of flexibility to find the perfect addition to your kitchen.

Some General Tips

Consider your personal style when choosing your backsplash.  If you’re a minimalist and you like a simple, clean look, match your backsplash material to your countertop.  Using the same materials for your counters and backsplash creates visual continuity.  On the other hand, if you prefer a more striking design, you can choose a brightly coloured material for your backsplash.  Moreover, certain materials lend more easily to a contemporary design while others are more traditional.  For example, rustic kitchens with stressed-wood features match well with traditional tile backsplashes.  Glass backsplashes are especially versatile and a great addition to a modern kitchen.  Finally, stone designs can be matched to almost any décor, whether you want to match or contrast your countertops.


Now that we have some design tips, let’s have a closer look at some of the more modern materials.  We all know that there is a great variety of tile backsplash options, but newer kitchens (regardless of their décor) are often fitted with stone, glass, or metal backsplashes.


Stone backsplashes are an excellent choice to bring texture and nuance to your kitchen.  An increasingly popular choice for backsplash materials, stone pairs easily with any kitchen décor.  If you have stone countertop, you can match your backsplash or install a contrasting stone.


Glass backsplash designs provide nearly infinite possibilities.  A great choice for the modern kitchen, glass options can be painted for a smooth, solid surface or feature a variety of patterns.  Bold colours and off-the-wall patterns make glass backsplashes a unique choice.


Finally, metal designs for backsplashes are also increasingly popular nowadays.  Embossed metals are an excellent backsplash addition in a rustic kitchen, or bronze designs create a classic charm.  On the other hand, stainless steel backsplashes are the contemporary designers go-to for clean, cool appeal.

Waterproofing in your Basement

If you’ve decided to finish your basement, or you just want to ensure the area is well-maintained, you likely need to consider waterproofing in your basement.  Because they are below ground, basements are considerably more susceptible to flooding or even gradual water seepage from the outdoors.  Eventually, water entering your basement can have a number of consequences including mold and mildew growth or in severe cases weakening of your home’s foundation.  Especially if you live in a colder climate, water seeping into your basement can freeze and melt and cause significant damage to the concrete foundation of your home – a very costly repair that cannot be overlooked.  So, what do you need to know about waterproofing in your basement?

First, as the homeowner you can save yourself some money by thoroughly inspecting the outdoor area around your home.  If you notice dirt or soil around your home sloping toward the basement, this should be cause for concern.  You’ll need to fill this slope; not doing so can result in significant seepage or even flooding.  In fact, after a long dry spell or even a heavy rainfall, the earth around your home may not absorb water effectively.  As such, the water will run down this slope into your basement.

Another easy homeowner fix is to ensure all gutters and drains are clear and operating properly.  Remove leaves and debris from gutters, as clogged gutters can overflow with water and also lead to unnecessary water entry into your basement.  You’ll also want to be sure that all downspouts are properly installed, at least 5 feet from your home.

Next, consider hiring a professional to inspect your basement and make any necessary repairs.  A qualified contractor will thoroughly check your foundation and remedy any leaks or other problems before they are a serious concern.  If you are already having problems with dampness in the basement, your contractor might recommend costly repairs.  Unfortunately, basement repairs involve the foundation of your home, so they should not be ignored.  While they tend to be among the most costly home repairs, ignoring leaks in the basement will eventually cause significant and even more expensive problems that can compromise the structural integrity of your entire home.

Should your contractor make repair recommendations, don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion.  Still, as already mentioned, you really need to address leaks into the basement immediately.  In more extreme cases, your contractor may recommend digging up your basement floor to install a sump to automatically discharge water when levels get too high.  A French drain is another wet basement solution that essentially consists of a drain system running under your basement floor.  Once major problems are solved, consider waterproofing basement walls with Drylok, Xypex or another commercially available waterproofing product.


Main Reasons to Renovate your Business

There are many reasons business owners consider renovations.  Whether your interior design is outdated or your office space is inefficient, renovations can have a major positive impact on your company by improving productivity by making the space more organized, improving health and safety factors, or even motivating employees with a brand new work space.  You can even use business renovations to improve your relationships with customers.  Indeed, the main reasons to renovate your business include impressing clients, improving efficiency, maintaining competitiveness, being modern, and improving your image.  Let’s take a closer look.

Impressing Clients

Whether you want to admit it or not, we sometimes judge a book by its cover.  Imagine walking past two restaurants – one is old and dilapidated and the other features modern accents and design.  At which restaurant would you be more willing to eat?  Even if you’re not running a restaurant, your first impression is an important one.  You want to impress your clients and hold their attention – and sometimes the state of your offices is all they need to make a decision about your business sense.  A recently renovated office looks cleaner and more organized, and you can utilize design for that “wow” factor.


During a business renovation, you should be working with experts that can help you make use of the newest tools and technology to improve your efficiency.  You might implement new storage options or incorporate ergonomic desks and chairs that improve worker health.  Ultimately, business renovations are the perfect way to improve the overall efficiency of your office.  You can also rearrange office space so that you get more bang for your buck too – speak to your renovation expert about how to most efficiently use floor space so you can expand as your business grows.


If your business is growing, a renovation can help you make more room for staff, but also gives the impression of success.  Obviously, your renovation can help you be more efficient and improve employee productivity at the same time, but a renovation will help you maintain competitiveness in your market by allowing you to implement new strategies and tools for success.


Your business renovation makes you look good and work better, but it can also make your customers more comfortable.  In your renovation, you should consider upgrading or creating new boardrooms that are optimally lit and well-organized.  You have the power to create a state-of-the-art facility that makes customers and employees happier.


A business renovation will give you an opportunity to coordinate your workspace with your company’s brand.  You can install company logos and paint walls to match the colours in those logos.  A consistent brand image is an important element of a company’s success; so if your brand and your office design are out-of-sync, it might be time to renovate.

What to Look for in a Home Renovation Company

Looking for Home Renovation Company?

There are no shortage of home renovation shows on television; in fact, there are more than a few dedicated only to fixing botched renovations.  When it comes to a home project, you should never underestimate the importance of finding a reputable, qualified, and skilled home renovation company.  Indeed, ensuring that your project is not only completed on time and on budget, but also to your vision, you want to find an excellent contractor.  So, what should you look for in a home renovation company?

First and foremost, before you even think of contacting potential candidates, you need to be very clear about your goals.  Are you making aesthetic changes only, or are you envisioning more significant structural changes as well?  What room or rooms are you planning on renovating?  What is your budget and ideal timelines?  Ultimately, answering some of the basic questions for yourself will help you find the ideal contractor much more easily.

As it turns out, there are likely a wide range of potential home renovation contractors serving your community, so identifying your own goals will help you find a professional that can meet your specific needs.  You should try to find one company to manage the whole project from the planning and design phases to sourcing appropriate labour, sub-contractors, and ultimately the project construction.  Working with a single contractor to manage and organize the entire project will ease the burden and help to ensure the project moves along in a timely fashion.

Once you’ve identified a few home renovation contractors with the skills and experience you require, you’ll need to start vetting your options.  First, start by reviewing their portfolios.  You’ll get an idea of the quality of their work but also their style, design, and overall experience.  When you’re looking at these portfolios, also ask for some references from past clients so you can verify the quality and cost of the work being done.  You might even get a list of qualified home renovation experts from friends, family, or colleagues – there’s no better reference than one from a trusted friend.

At this point, you should have narrowed your search to two or maybe three renovators, and it’s time to ask for estimates.  You should be very clear with the contractor about what you want to achieve in your home renovation project.  Make a detailed list of all the changes or updates you want to see so that there are no surprises that will ultimately impact the budget at a later point.

Finally, make sure you can easily contact your renovation specialist and that communication is easy and respectful.  Depending on the scope of your project, you could be working with this home renovation contractor for weeks or even months.  If you cannot easily work with this individual, your project is sure to be stressful.  Once you feel you’ve ticked all the boxes, make sure to develop a detailed, written contract that includes payment schedules, overall budgets, and timelines.

Is It Time to Renovate your Restaurant?

The restaurant business is highly competitive – margins are small for owners and choices are aplenty for customers.  In order to operate a successful restaurant, you need to utilize every possible advantage; as such, it’s important to offer excellent food, great service, but also attractive décor.  If your restaurant doesn’t offer an inviting environment, it might not matter how good your food is, customers just won’t come.  Is it time to renovate your restaurant?  Let’s look at the top reasons restaurant owners should consider a makeover.

Health Hazards

Perhaps the only reason to renovate that cannot be overlooked health hazards such as asbestos and mould must be addressed through proper renovation.  Unfortunately, humidity and resulting mould are common problems for restaurant owners.  Kitchens use a lot of water and it can be difficult to keep moisture levels in check in order to prevent the growth of mould.  Likewise, older building often utilize asbestos for electrical or building insulation, and should it become exposed it must be removed professionally because of its links to fatal lung illnesses such as cancer and pneumoconiosis.  If you have any concerns about similar health hazards in your restaurant, it’s time to renovate.

Outdated Décor

The next most common reason for restaurant makeovers is outdated décor.  If your restaurant has not been renovated in a long time, you’re simply not putting your best foot forward.  Modern, fresh design conveys an image of modern, fresh food and will not only encourage existing customers to return, but new customers to visit as well.  Even if you have a small budget for renovations, a new paint job and some fixture upgrades may be all you need.  Still, any restaurant seemingly designed in the 1980s will likely need more significant upgrades – for example, new furniture can help you maximize the use of space, new light fixtures create your ideal ambiance, and new flooring can completely revitalize your restaurant.

Creature Comforts

Ultimately, your restaurant needs to be a comfortable space for your patrons.  The best restaurants are kind of like a customer’s home-away-from-home.  Staff members are friendly and build quick rapport, but the furniture and overall environment needs to be comfortable too.  Uneven chairs and tables, damaged upholstery, and hard wooden chairs are just a few examples of problems that can make your restaurant less comfortable than desired.  It’s time for a renovation if your customers can’t be at ease when they visit your restaurant.

Unsavory Patio Space

Finally, an upgraded patio can be a great advertisement for your restaurant.  New patio furniture, outdoor heaters, and beautifully lighting can not only affordably expand your seating space, but an inviting patio will also attract passersby.  You should certainly consider renovating if your patio is nonexistent or unattractive.

Main Reasons for Renovating your Office

Your office is a reflection of your business – and there are many good reasons for renovating your office.  Whether you’re considering minor upgrades to furniture or fixtures or a major office redesign, renovations have a positive impact on productivity and even your customers’ level of satisfaction.  So what are the main reasons for renovating your office?

Judging by the Cover

It doesn’t matter what we learned as kids, a first impression makes a lasting impression.  Think of your office as the cover and your business as the book.  Regardless of whether you’re operating a well-oiled machine, if your offices are outdated and drab, customers and business associates will judge your business harshly.  Similarly, if you’re undergoing a rebrand, an office renovation may be a critical component of the process.  Indeed, renovating your office can help you attract new customers and project a new mission or vision.  More importantly, a fresh, new office space can have a positive effect on your employees’ morale.

Organized and Efficient

Another major reason a business owner decides to undergo office renovations is to make the space more organized and efficient.  Professional designers and contractors can help you get the most from your space.  Modernized storage ideas and functionally-designed floor plans can help make your office much more productive.  Ultimately, a disorganized workspace can be a major distraction from the job at hand.

Health and Safety

Another hidden benefit of office renovations that will impact worker productivity is the opportunity to make the space more ergonomic.  While you may find yourself spending a bit more on furniture, you can customize spaces to the needs of your workers.  For example, consider installing adjustable desks that allow employees to work from a standing or sitting position.  You can choose office chairs that are adjustable so that even if your staff changes, they can make their workspace comfortable.  Ideally, you want your office renovation to improve productivity today and in the future.

You can even use your renovation as an opportunity to remove potential health and safety hazards.  Old carpet is a source of bacteria and dust that can compromise the well-being of even your healthiest employees.  If you’re in an old building, you may find it’s insulated with asbestos which can be removed during renovation.  Likewise, during your renovation, you can choose materials and paint that have fewer chemicals thereby improving air quality in your office.

As you can see, there are many great reasons to renovate your office.  Regardless of your goals or your budget, there are also a wide range of positive outcomes associated with a renovation including improved organization and productivity.  You’ll even benefit from creating a healthier environment for your staff and customers. Commercial renovations 


Hidden Costs of Home Renovation

Any home renovation can be a major undertaking that comes with a considerable price tag.  If you’re planning a home renovation, let me stress the importance of planning.  Whether your project is something seemingly simple like a new fence or something more serious like a new kitchen, there are many considerations you need to make.  Maybe you’ve already started contacting contractors, designers, and architects or you’re thinking about your end-of-project goals and which materials and finishing elements you’d like, but you should also be aware of some hidden costs of home renovation.

Permits and Building Codes

Most home renovation projects require building permits and regular inspections to ensure the project is up-to-code.  If you’re working with a contractor who is telling you that permits aren’t necessary, proceed with caution.  Even if you’re doing interior work on your home, permits are a must!  Permits are essentially designed to outline building codes that must be met for any project while also protecting homeowners from unsafe construction.  Even decks and fencing will likely require permits and there will be a cost associated.  You’ll also have to factor in the cost of regular inspections.  Contact your municipality for more information about permits and their associated costs.

Living Costs

Sometimes, home renovations add to living costs in unexpected ways.  For example, if you’re remodeling your kitchen, there is likely to be an extended period of time when you can’t cook in it.  Whether you’re barbecuing all your meals or eating out more often, you’re likely to see increased food costs.  Other major home renovations may prevent you from living in your home.  You might have to stay in a hotel or find alternative living arrangements.  Work closely with your contractor to limit the impact of your project on your living costs.

Changes or Surprises

If you’re the fickle type and you make changes to your renovation project after it has started, you should expect increased renovation costs.  Wherever possible, you need to plan your project in advance and then stick to that plan.  Still, sometimes, surprises make it necessary to deviate from your original plan.  Perhaps your contractor discovers asbestos or that your electrical wiring requires significant upgrading to meet code.  Whatever the change or surprise, it’s important to factor in the unexpected and include contingencies in your overall renovation budget.  In the end, if everything goes to plan, you might have a bit of unexpected money left over!

Home renovations aren’t always predictable but with adequate planning and good communication with your contractor you can usually finish on time and on budget.  Always get quotes from various contractors and review the quote carefully to see what costs they expect.  You might find that some contractors are more thorough in their quotes, and though they might be more expensive, they’re probably more accurate.

We’ve moved!!

We’ve moved our office to a new location!!

>>  New address: #120 – 3855 Henning Drive, Burnaby BC V7C6N3

We hope you will get acquainted with our new location soon.


Canadoo team at the new location


Commercial Renovation Costs

Maintaining a neat and organized office is important for optimizing employee efficiency and for making a great impression on your customers and clients.  If you have determined it’s time to upgrade your office space, you’re probably asking yourself, “How much will this cost?”  While commercial renovation costs can vary significantly depending on the scope of your project, there are some ways you can at least estimate your overall budget.  But remember, depending on the amount of space being renovated, the extent of demolition and construction, and your ultimate decorating goals, these guidelines can vary in accuracy.

Commercial Renovation Cost Per Square Foot

Most experts estimate the average office renovation will cost between $180 and $200 per square foot.  Included in these estimates are the costs for new cabinets and countertops, improved storage space, updated flooring, new drywall, and improved electrical.  To calculate your square footage, you should multiply the length of your office by the width.  You do not need to account for internal walls in this calculation, but remember that if you need to move or remove walls, the commercial renovation cost per square foot will likely be higher.

Commercial Renovation Cost Breakdown

Ultimately, your overall commercial renovation costs are impacted by three factors: the rate for contractors, the price of materials, and which upgrades are required.  Let’s take a closer look.

Contractor Rates

Whether you’re working with carpenters, electricians, plumbers, or painters, you’ll need to pay them according to their own rates.  Typically, carpenters charge between $70 and $80 per hour, electricians will run between $60 and $90 hourly, plumbers from $40 to $70, and painters between $20 and $40 per hour.  It can be very difficult to estimate the amount of time each contractor will spend on the job, so it’s the professional’s responsibility to make this estimate before you sign a contract.  Many business owners will with a project manager who will coordinate the entire office renovation so that they don’t have to contact individual contractors and arrange multiple estimates.  Regardless, once you have spoken to each contractor you need, you’ll have a better idea of the overall cost of the job.

Material Costs

The main way that you can keep your commercial renovation project on budget is through material costs.  You may choose to the highest quality materials for your new office, or you can choose more affordable materials.  When working with a project manager or contractor, you need to be clear about your design ideals but also your budget so you can choose materials that work for you.


Finally, if it has been 50 years since your last office renovation, you’ll likely need to spend a lot on upgrades.  When we’re talking about upgrades, we may be referring to introducing more modern storage fixtures or improving lighting, but we may also be talking about rezoning issues, seismic upgrading, installation of new HVAC systems, or even achieving code for disabled washrooms and access.  If you already know these upgrades are required, you should expect your commercial renovation costs per square foot to exceed $200.

Kitchen Renovation FAQs

Kitchen renovations are always an exciting project because they have a major impact on one of the central meeting places in your home.  However, kitchen renovations also tend to be among the most expensive, so it’s important to carefully consider and plan your project to ensure you get the kitchen of your dreams.  The following kitchen renovation FAQ will help you get the most from your project.

How should I start my kitchen renovation?

Before you begin any actual renovation work, you need to carefully plan out your project.  Homeowners will look through home design magazines to get ideas for different kitchen projects, but they should also sit down with a professional kitchen designer to see how they can implement some of the kitchen ideas they have.  An expert designer will know how to reconfigure your kitchen space to make it more efficient and to optimize storage and work space.  Moreover, an expert designer can help you better understand how you use your kitchen so that it can be configured for your individual needs.

How can I keep my project on budget?

Again, planning is key – so before you begin your kitchen renovation, you want to know exactly what you expect to spend.  You can achieve this by choosing materials like flooring, countertops, and cabinetry in advance.  Once you have designed your new kitchen, it should be easy to calculate the cost of materials and labour.  Ideally, you want to minimize changes to your renovation plans to avoid unforeseen costs.  Again, working with a professional kitchen designer can help you make the best choices for your kitchen, your budget, and your lifestyle.

What timelines should I expect for my kitchen renovation?

Depending on the scope and extent of your renovation (i.e. are you removing and replacing all cabinetry or are you looking to make some quick aesthetic improvements?), the typical kitchen renovation project will last between 3 and 6 weeks.  But remember, if you make changes to your kitchen redesign during the construction phase, you should expect the renovation to take longer.

Can I continue to live at home during the kitchen renovation?

Of course, most homeowners decide to stay at home whether they are doing the renovation themselves or working with professional contractors.  Nevertheless, you should always account for some disturbance to your normal activities.  There will likely be some times that your kitchen appliances cannot be used, which can be an inconvenience.  Still, most kitchen renovations are completed within a few weeks, so inconveniences are minimal.

Should I work with professional contractors?

Absolutely!  Unless you are a very skilled do-it-yourself renovator, it is always advisable to work with professional plumbers, electricians, and carpenters.  Not only will the job be done according to code, but working with licensed professionals gives you added piece of mind knowing if something goes wrong it will be fixed.

Hardwood Floor Restoration

Over the past couple of decades, hardwood floors have experienced a renaissance.  This traditional flooring was the standard until the 60s and 70s when wall-to-wall carpeting became the standard for home design.  Nowadays, hardwood flooring has risen in popularity partly because of its unmistakable beauty and partly because of its ease of cleaning.  Whereas in the past home buyers might see an old hardwood floor and think of how to cover it,  home buyers today are often excited to discover hardwood under carpet and try to think of ways to restore it.  Refinishing these floors can be a challenging task, but there are few design challenges that have such a striking impact as a newly restored hardwood floor.

So, what do you need to know about hardwood floor restoration?  Let’s take a closer look.

Safety First

As is the case with any home renovation or restoration project, you want to take the necessary safety precautions.  With respect to hardwood floor restoration, you’ll be using sanders and refinishing products so you should expect to work with dust and fumes.  Invest in some dust masks and always wear ear plugs when operating equipment.  Similarly, when you’re applying sealers and finishes, always wear a vapour respirator, gloves, and eye protection.

Choose Your Sanding Equipment Carefully

If your hardwood floor has significant signs of wear (including scratches and scuffs), you’ll probably want to sand it first.  If you’re not experienced with restoring flooring, you want to choose a sander that is easy to use but effective.  Most restoration experts will use a drum sander as they are the most efficient, but also require the most experience to operate properly.  For a do-it-yourself project, random orbital sanders are easier to control and can be moved either with or against the wood grain.

Once you begin to remove the old finish, take it slowly.  Start with coarse-grit abrasives and move to gradually finer grits until you achieve your desired level of smoothness.  Approach floor sanding as you would mowing your lawn by sanding in rows and overlapping slightly from one row to the next.  Also, don’t neglect the corners or edges of the floor by using a palm sander near baseboards and recesses.  After you’ve done all the sanding, be sure to remove all dust, hair, and debris by vacuuming and then wiping the floors clean.

Seal and Stain

Once the sanding is complete and you’ve cleaned the floor you can apply a sealer coat.  Sealing the floor is not always necessary but helps to ensure an even stain.  Always make sure to apply seal and stain evenly and work in small areas.  It is best to apply thin coats of stain and apply more coats in order to achieve a smooth finish.

Hire a Professional

Ultimately, restoring your hardwood floors is a job that can be done yourself, but if you haven’t got a lot of restoration experience, you might want to hire a professional.  The increased cost will be justified when you see professional results.

Kitchen Renovation Tips

Kitchen renovations are among the most costly home improvement projects, but they also tend to make the biggest impact.  As with any renovation project, the key to success is careful planning and budgeting.  When you’re mapping out your kitchen renovation, you have a number of important considerations.  Let’s take a closer look.


Have you ever been in your kitchen and thought, “I wish the pots were closer to the stove?”  Or, “This fridge door opens the wrong way.”  Or, “I need more storage space.”  Every criticism you’ve ever had about your kitchen can be corrected during your kitchen renovation so it’s critical to think about function and efficiency.  Your primary question needs to be “How can I make this space the most efficient?”

You want to make your space attractive but also functional.  Ideally, the fridge, oven, and sink should all be in close proximity as these are the 3 points used most.  Then think about storage and how you could ideally arrange your kitchen – pots next to the stove, glasses and dishes near the fridge and sink, pantry items next to food preparation spaces.  When you’re planning your kitchen renovation you have the perfect opportunity to create a fully functional, efficient, and attractive living space.


Lighting is a high impact design element.  Many home owners don’t take enough time to consider the impact of lighting, but few elements are as important.  You want a comfortable level of light for food preparation without creating a surgical atmosphere.  You also want even lighting in the kitchen, so surface-mount fixtures where the bulb is below the ceiling are recommended.  Also consider under-cabinet lights as they are attractive and functional.


When choosing new appliances for your kitchen, start with the stove and work from there.  Your oven/stove is a highly visible appliance but it is also the most commonly used.  You want your appliances to match, but you can narrow your options by picking a stove in the right colour and style.  You’ll also want to get a hood for your range both to improve ventilation and for its design impact.  When installing your stove, you want to have counter space on either side to improve the efficiency of the space.

Cabinets and Counters

Finally, you need to take some time to choose your cabinets and countertops.  These are among the most expensive kitchen renovation elements but they also set the design tone for the whole project.  Open shelves are an inexpensive and increasingly popular design alternative to cabinets.  Many new kitchen projects also feature deep drawers instead of cupboards as they make it much easier to access dishes, pots, and cooking supplies.

With respect to countertops, you want them to align with your overall style but also fit your budget.  There are a wide range of countertop options nowadays and stone alternatives are among the most popular (and expensive).  Nevertheless, with the variety of countertops available, you should easily find something that fits your style and your budget.

Final Words

Remember, renovating your kitchen can be a lot of fun and give you the flexibility to create the perfect space for you and your family.  Plan ahead and consult professionals and you’ll be sure to get the most from  your kitchen renovation project.

Restaurant Renovation Costs

Restaurant renovation costs can be difficult to define.  Depending on the size of your space, materials being used, the scope of the renovations, and the labour involved, renovations can cost upwards of $100,000.  So, while we may not be able to tell you exactly what your renovation will cost, we can give you some information about what impacts renovation costs, some considerations you should make, and even some tips for budget renovations.

Factors Affecting the Cost of a Renovation

First and foremost, your renovation costs will depend on the existing conditions of the restaurant.  If you just want to upgrade a few elements or put up a new layer of paint, the total cost will be low.   However, if you need to purchase new equipment, especially in the kitchen, you are likely looking at an extra $30,000 or more.  For example, exhaust fans run from $15,000 to $50,000, a walk-in refrigeration unit around $20,000, and installing new gas lines may run upwards of $10,000.  Finally, if you are hiring contractors, plumbers, electricians, painters or other trades-people, you’ll need to factor in several thousands of dollars for labour.

Factors to Consider

Before you begin a renovation, you should spend some time crunching all the numbers first to make sure you have an adequate budget for the changes you’d like made.  Also, always give yourself a bit of wiggle room as there are always unforeseen expenses throughout the course of a renovation.  You should also consider the timing of your renovation. If you’ve waited until you’re desperate to renovate, the costs will be significant, but regular upgrades every 5 to 7 years help to make renovation costs manageable while keeping your restaurant trendy.

Another factor to consider is your target demographic.  If you are operating a greasy spoon with a lunch time crowd, you probably don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on upgraded interior design and mood lighting.  Regardless, always consider your clientele when you are planning renovations.  Even go so far as to frequent some of the more popular restaurants in your neighbourhood to get some ideas about the styles and designs that are most likely to attract patrons.

Tips for Budget Renovation

If you’re on a tight budget, here are a few tips for upgrading your restaurant without breaking the bank:

  • Replace tables, chairs, and table settings for a relatively inexpensive upgrade.
  • Give the restaurant a facelift with a new paint job.
  • Install new upholstery in booths and on chairs.
  • Update fixtures such as light fixtures, door handles, and other decorative elements.
  • Change dining table sizes to allow for more seatings and increased revenue.

Ultimately, the cost of your renovation depends on your vision.  Some renovations are relatively inexpensive, and some are a major investment, it’s up to you.


Kitchen Renovation Tips on a Budget

Kitchen renovations are the most expensive of all.  When it comes to fitting new appliances and cabinets, it should come as no surprise that kitchen renovations can make a major impact on your bottom line.  Still, there are many ways to upgrade your kitchen without spending extravagantly, so here are just a few kitchen renovation tips if you’re on a budget.


You can spend an absolute fortune on countertops, and with today’s trends toward granite or other stone features, you’re probably already aware of the cost of countertops.  Nevertheless, there are attractive countertop alternatives that aren’t so difficult to stomach budget-wise.  For example, wood is an extremely appealing countertop option that is also budget-friendly.  Not only is wood durable, but it can be a beautiful addition to your kitchen.  A spar varnish (commonly used on boats) can further enhance the strength and durability of your kitchen countertop.

Another budget-conscious option for countertops is Carrara marble.  Especially if you’re partial to stone finishes, Carrara marble is less expensive than other stone countertops, and can even be purchased as tiles that can be installed over a wood countertop.  Keep in mind, Carrara is a softer marble and more prone to scratches, so consider a honed finish that will better hide imperfections.


Cabinets can also be an expensive upgrade in the kitchen, especially if you’re considering replacing them entirely.  However, if the boxes for your cabinets are sound, you may consider just replacing cabinet doors or even refacing or refinishing the doors.  Another inexpensive choice for updated cabinetry is simply painting your current cabinets.  You can obviously do this kind of work yourself, but you might want to hire a professional painter who will likely do an excellent job of uniformly painting and installing the doors.


The sink and backsplash are two important considerations to make with respect to fixtures in your kitchen.  You probably want to coordinate these upgrades with countertops as well.  With respect to the sink, you want to consider whether you need a single or double-basin sink, but instead of buying brand new, consider lightly used options.  You may even consider your current sink in the context of other upgrades.  With respect to your sink/countertop combinations, light countertops work better with light-coloured sinks; alternatively, dark countertops work well with stainless steel sinks.  Also, think about your faucet, there are a lot of beautiful options nowadays from brass or brushed bronze to high-gloss stainless steel.

Finally, your backsplashes should always be replaced along with your countertop in order to maintain a consistent design.  Fortunately, you’ll often find a wide range of inexpensive tiles for a backsplash that will match just about any countertop.  For example, subway tiles are simple, but elegant and you’ll find them in a wide range of styles, sizes, and colours.

The most important step you can make to a budget-friendly kitchen renovation is planning home renovation.  If you carefully plan your renovation, you can ensure all your choices fit your budget.  Follow some of the above tips and you can certainly upgrade your kitchen even on the most conservative budget.

Important Elements for Commercial Renovations

When it comes to design elements for commercial renovations, there are many considerations that need to be made.  Achieving your ideal style and vision is not a one-size-fits-all goal.  Nevertheless, there are some design elements in commercial renovation that can help you achieve your desired effect, whatever that effect.  Wood, glass, and metal can be employed to create a sophisticated design whether or not you’re looking for a modern or traditional style.  Here’s some food for thought.


Wood is certainly a traditional element, and it’s been used for centuries in construction and design.  Nothing really shouts sophistication quite like a beautiful wood finish, and you’ll notice its design versatility in almost every commercial sector.  A quick stroll through high-end shopping stores and you’ll see that wood can have a wide range of impacts.  Modern wood finishes tend to be lighter in colour, while traditional design relies heavily on deep colours and distinct contours.  Either way, wood creates elegance in commercial renovations without dominating the design theme – unless that’s what you want.  The natural tones of wood create warmth and depth, and this design element can be utilized inexpensively.  In fact, modern designers often utilize faux wood veneers to utilize the benefits of wood design elements at a fraction of the cost.


Glass is certainly a more contemporary design element, but there are classical applications of this medium as well.  Consider the impact of ornate coloured glass elements compared to clear-glass cabinetry.  One evokes an image of old-world elegance while the other has the potential to create modern, edgy style.  Glass is obviously a great choice for showcases, but when combined with other design elements it can have distinctly different style impacts.  You can even consider lighting and how it affects glass design elements.  If you are taking a more modern approach, you probably want to employ clean lines and backlighting.  If you prefer something more traditional, chandeliers or iron light fixtures are a great choice.


So since we started discussing iron, it seems like the perfect time to talk about metal design elements.  As with wood, metal design can be distinctly modern or distinctly old-world.  Which metals you use as well as their finish will significantly impact your commercial style.  Metallic, especially reflective surfaces are eye-catching, and make a common component of modern architecture.  Yet, finished slightly differently, perhaps with a duller appearance, and your metal finishes suddenly evoke traditional design styles.  Indeed, matte and brushed metallic finishes are subdued but effective design features.

Ultimately, your design elements will reflect your personal preferences.  Work closely with your designer and have fun with wood, glass, and metallic elements to create the perfect commercial space for your business.

Planning Home Renovations

Home renovations can be a costly and time consuming endeavour, but for most homeowners the payoff more than justifies any hassle they may encounter.  Nevertheless, careful planning of home renovations help to ensure that your project stays on budget and on schedule, while also helping you to avoid unnecessary and sometimes costly mistakes.  So what do the experts have to say about planning home renovations?  We asked a group of professional renovators about their design and planning advice, and here’s what they had to say.

Ask Yourself Why

Before you start any renovation project, you need to ask yourself why you are doing it.  Are you addressing particular problems?  You might need another bedroom to accommodate an expanding family, or maybe another bathroom.  Most renovations are instigated to solve practicality issues, but you may even just want an updated look in your home.  Regardless, knowing why you are renovating will help you identify your needs more clearly so you can draw up an accurate budget and plans.

Evaluate your Home

Your renovator can help you evaluate the current condition of your home and list repairs that may be required in the near future or even over the long term.  Since you’re already planning a renovation, you can use this opportunity to make essential improvements, even if that means foregoing some of the lifestyle changes you were hoping to make.

Consider your Strengths

Knowing the features of your home and its strengths will help you save time and money on renovations.  For example, some older homes may have beautiful hardwood under carpet that was laid much later.  You can refinish trims or moldings, resurface cabinets, or repurpose furniture.

Don’t Overcomplicate

Keep your renovations simple.  Complex design not only requires extensive construction, but the opportunities for problems are also greater.  No matter how big or small your renovation, you should consult with a professional to determine the most effective and efficient methods for achieving your goals.

Renovation is an Investment

The initial costs of renovations can overwhelm homeowners at times, but you need to realize that these projects are ultimately an investment in your home.  Still, you should carefully consider the time, energy, and money you put into a renovation and compare it to the overall costs of maintenance as well as the renovation’s impact on your home’s value.

Follow your Own Trends

Home design trends come and go, so when you are planning your renovation you really should think about what you want and need.  What colours and styles do you like?  What changes would make you happy?  Plan your renovation around your own comfort and ease of living and you’ll be happier with the results.

Careful renovation planning is the key to a successful project, but it will also help you envision your completed renovation.  More importantly, planning ensures your renovation is affordable and effective.

BLENZ COFFEE – Davie St x Bute St


BD-01 before

BD-02 before

BD-03 after

BD-04 after

completed !

BLENZ COFFEE – Steveston Richmond

ble1-003 ble2-0059 ble3-0079

ble4-09653 ble5-09648 ble6-09890


completed !

La Prep Cafe @ Waterfront Station

LP1-9640 LP2-9643 LP3-9646

completed !

Washroom Renovation


Washroom Renovation


Squamish Update (May 28. 2013)

DSC07934 DSC07905
Sushi Restaurant in Squamish has completed !


Squamish Update (May 09. 2013)

Sushi Restaurant @ Squamish

Squamish Update (May 04. 2013)

Sushi Restaurant @ Squamish

Squamish Upadate (May 02. 2013)

Sushi Restaurant @ Squamish

Squamish Update (Apr. 29. 2013)

Sushi Restaurant @ Squamish

Squamish Update (Apr. 12. 2013)

Sushi Restaurant @ Squamish

Squamish Update (Mar. 26. 2013)

Sushi Restaurant @ Squamish

Squamish Update (Mar. 22. 2013)

Sushi Restaurant @ Squamish

Squamish Update (Mar. 08. 2013)

Sushi Restaurant @ Squamish

Squamish Update (Feb. 08. 2013)

Sushi Restaurant @ Squamish

Squamish (Nov. 19. 2012)

Sushi Restaurant @ Squamish- New Project started!!!

Custom made dining table


Granite counter top & stainless legs with mobile cabinet.

Canadoo will do small project to big project whatever the customer want.

Improvement of LifeLabs: Completed

We completed the renovation of LifeLabs in Oakridge Mall. It would be Added on to Gallery soon but I just upload the brief photo .

Heating system cost

I attended to Home Builders’ Association seminer last week .
New tec will be high initial cost but long tearm it will save money.

Approx rough Cost ($/SF) for heating system & Operating cost.
High initial(capital) cost Low to High
1. Electric Baseboard $0.9 -$1.75
2.Forced Air $2.50 -$3.50
3.Hot Water Base board $3.50 -$4.00
4.Hot W. Radiant Floor heat $5.5 – $7.25
5. Heat pump $6.25 -$10.50
6. Intergrated system $6.5 – $10.50

Operating Cost Low to High
1. Intergrated system.
2. Heat pump .
3.Hot W. Radiant Floor heat .
4.Hot Water Base board.
5.Forced Air
6. Electric Baseboard

95 c/ litter

I went to Tsawwassen for reno meeting today.
Cliant house is set to Point Robert.
so, I cross bordar to fill gas( Of cause I bring my passport ).

95C/litter for regular gas. $CDN/ $USD.
our price today is $1.25/l.
I heard, week end will be long line up to cross bordar, but can save money.

House Wrap

Recently I see some House wrapping(Covering) in Vancouver Area.
This is good idea and good system for winter season exterior renovation such as additional floor work,
dormer. specialy good for rainy vancouver.

I do not know how much cost for this system, if cliant could affoard this house wrap, I would like to try to use
in our future projects.

Clothes Drying Rack

we did laundry room Reno last september.
House owner using simple lope for cloth drying rack when she did not use elec dryer.
we mentioned to hed folding clothed rack whic we found by internet.

It was from Toronto area and this products price was about $200.
House owner was very happy with this product.
When she does not use it,she can fold as photos. Very cool !.
If you have enough space at your laundry room , should try ..

First Blog

This is our first Blog for new home page.
hoply many our valued &new customer would see this home pages.

we will add/ up date gallerys photo as much as possible.
also would like to show new renovation trends, photos


We’ve redesigned the website!
Hope you’ll continue to visit us.