Posts Tagged 'renovations'

Home Repairs? Renovations? Beware!

Does your home need to be repaired or renovated? Think SAFETY FIRST

Hire a professional electrician to make any improvements or additions to the electrical system. Even tasks that appear simple, such as the installation of a baseboard heater or additional electrical outlets, can be more difficult than they appear.

If your are constantly blowing fuses or popping circuit breakers, it is time for you to contact your electrician. These are signs of electrical problems that could cause a fire. Do not take risks.

During your renovations, remember that you can avoid risks by scrupulously respecting the following tips offered by Hydro-Québec:

  • Do you need to hammer nails or cut an opening in a wall? Shut down the electric circuits that serve the room where you are working.
  • Before repairing an electric device, disconnect it!
  • The circuits of your power distribution panel should be clearly marked to show the rooms and items serviced by each circuit.
  • Do you need to work in rooms containing water – like the kitchen or bathroom? Because water is an excellent conductor of electricity, you should take the required precautions: ensure that all surfaces are clean and dry, ensure that your feet are dry, connect your electric tool to an outlet equipped with a differential circuit breaker, and ensure that electric cords and extension cords do not make contact with any pool of water.
  • Do you need to replace a fuse? Before replacing a blown fuse, be sure that you have a replacement fuse of the same rating, place the master switch in the OFF position, and, before restoring current, reduce the load by disconnecting a few electrical devices. If a circuit breaker pops, this same technique must be used, and the short circuit must be found.

If you are considering a home renovation in the Saskatoon area make sure to get a professional. For a free estimate visit


Build the ultimate outdoor retreat

outdoorretreatWhen renovating a home, people often forget one of the most important components: the outdoor space. If done right, your yard can become more than an extension of your home – it can be your very own private escape! An outdoor space needs to be designed and decorated with the same care and attention as a kitchen or bedroom. From choosing the right furniture, to adding the right decorative compliments, here are a few key considerations to keep in mind when creating an outdoor retreat.

Why sit when you can lounge?

Do you want to use your space to host parties, relax in a zen-inspired garden, or give your children a space where they can play? How you plan on using the space will determine what type of furniture you need. And with outdoor furniture, you can be a little more creative: chairs can be replaced with recliners, swings, loungers or even hammocks. Decorative accents are also essential: throw a few colourful pillows on your outdoor furniture or put an area rug under your outdoor patio set. As long as fashion meets function, almost anything goes.

Be wary of the weather

While you don’t have to worry about rain resistant finishes on your living room couch, the same cannot be said for your patio furnishings. It is important to keep the climate in mind when choosing your outdoor furniture. For example, if you live in a windy area, select heavier furniture as lighter plastic chairs are likely to turn up on your neighbour’s lawn! If you experience heavy, regular rainfall, try to stay away from materials like rod iron that are more likely to rust. And to lengthen the life of your outdoor pieces, make sure to store your patio furniture when weather isn’t in your favour.

Sneak it away

The days of hiding outdoor pillows in a boring and old plastic bin are long gone. If you build storage needs into your outdoor design, your weather sensitive pieces – such as pillows and tablecloths – will have a home all season long. And today you don’t even have to worry about finding the perfect match as many outdoor furniture sets include beautiful deck boxes that help pull the look of your outdoor space together.

Set the mood

Like any room in your house lighting is key and when it comes to the outdoors, solar powered lights are a great option. Solar lights are environmentally friendly – which is great news for the green-minded consumer who’s looking to save on their energy bills. Installation is also easy as there is no wiring or plugs to worry about! And with so many styles to choose from, you are sure to find the perfect one to brighten up your own outdoor space.

With the right tools and tips, setting up a fun and functional outdoor space doesn’t need to be an overwhelming project. For more tips on how to create the ultimate outdoor retreat, visit

To get a quote on your outdoor retreat in the Saskatoon area contact Willick Contracting.

Two ways to help offset your home renovation costs

attic1Thinking of renovating your home this summer? Before you ‘nail-down’ your renovation budget and write down your priority list, make sure you include an attic re-insulation project to the mix.

“Many homes in Canada don’t meet the recommended attic insulation standard of R-50,” says Cheryl West, Insulation Expert at Owens Corning. “It may not be a project homeowners often consider, but when you explain that this easy upgrade can help achieve savings on monthly heating and cooling bills*, they begin to pay more attention to the insulation in their attic.”

Before upgrading your attic insulation, research the following two government incentives that can help save you money in rebates and tax credits.

ecoENERGY Retrofit Grants

To receive the maximum amount of $600 provided for an attic insulation retrofit, the attic must achieve a minimum insulation value of R-40. Keep in mind that the grant amount will vary according to the existing level of insulation already in place. Install 15 inches of PINK FIBERGLAS Batt Insulation or 18 3/4 inches of PROPINK Blown Insulation to achieve the recommended insulating standard of R-50 for optimal thermal resistance. This helps to save a half ton** of greenhouse gas emissions every year, year after year. Visit for more information on how you can qualify for a government retrofit rebate when insulating your attic.

Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC)

The temporary tax credit enables homeowners to claim a 15 per cent non-refundable tax credit up to a maximum of $1,350 on eligible expenses when renovating the home. For an attic re-insulation project, this means insulation materials, equipment rentals and hired contractor services in respect to eligible expenses can qualify. For example, if an attic insulation project costs an estimated total of $3,500† in contractor and material expenses, a 15 per cent tax credit is available on $2,500 of the total amount – a credit of $375 – considering the $1,000 minimum threshold. That’s added flexibility and money available for home renovations down the road! Visit and for information on how to claim your credit for the 2009 taxation year.

With great incentives offered by the federal government, there’s no need to delay those planned home improvement projects. Get going on your attic re-insulation project today and take advantage of all the benefits available now.

* Savings vary depending on the original amount of insulation in your home, climate, house size, air leaks, and personal energy use and living habits.

** Based on an average attic size of 1700 SF with existing R19 insulation, averaged over seven cities in Canada

† Costs will vary based on the size of the home

The colour PINK is a registered trademark of Owens Corning © 2009 Owens Corning. All Rights Reserved.

Three Reasons to Insulate Your Attic Now

attic2The newly proposed Home Renovation Tax Credit offers a short window from now until February 1, 2010 for homeowners to renovate their homes and take advantage of the non-refundable 15 per cent tax credit. Michael Macey, Insulation Expert at Owens Corning offers homeowners three more reasons on why it’s important to re-insulate their attic today:

1. You can qualify for a government grant of up to $600 as part of the ecoENERGY retrofit program when you insulate your attic to a value of R-50. Visit for details.

2. You can help reduce your monthly heating and cooling costs* by slowing the escape of cool air from your home in the summer and hot air in the winter.

3. You can help create a more comfortable environment for you and your family, while also helping to save the planet. By insulating your attic to R-50, you can do your part and help save a half ton** of greenhouse gas emissions each year, and every year after!

There’s no better time than now to get going on your attic insulation project. For more information on the new Home Renovation Tax Credit and how to insulate your attic, visit and

* Savings vary depending on the original amount of insulation in your home, climate, house size, air leaks, and personal energy use and living habits.

** Based on an average attic size of 1700 SF with existing R19 insulation, averaged over seven cities in Canada

The colour PINK is a registered trademark of Owens Corning © 2009 Owens Corning. All Rights Reserved.

Saskatoon is a great city to be investing in housing upgrades, and with our cold winters one of the best investments is additional insulation.

Renos Done Right

The dos and don’ts of planning a job on the home front

By Rachel Naud, Canwest News Service February 28, 2009

Chris Meyers was determined to transform his family home into a dream home, but not before he plotted every step along the way.

Meyers, a 48-year-old engineer, was eager to double the square footage of his Oakville, Ont. home. He and his wife began thinking about the project in 2006, and started by hiring a designer. That working relationship didn’t pan out, but the designer’s advice helped focus Meyer’s thoughts about the type of home he wanted.

From there, Meyers bought 3-D software that helped him conceptualize different strategies on how to make the space bigger. He began searching for a contractor in April 2007 and took his time finding one. It wasn’t until early 2008 that he hired a company to do the job.

“I started searching online, first on sites like,” Meyers says. I sent different contractors questionnaires to find out if they were competent enough and knew what they were doing to warrant their consideration. After that I conducted phone Continue reading ‘Renos Done Right’