When Do You Need A Permit For Home Renovations

Two home renovation consultants having board room discussion

If you’re considering remodelling a room by changing the windows and doors to make it more appealing, you’re probably wondering if you need a building permit. Or, perhaps, you want to reconstruct your living room into a modern, comfortable gathering space by adding square footage, but do you need a permit for that too? 

Most homeowners don’t have the slightest knowledge of building permits and sometimes they think they don’t require one when working with considerable upgrades to their home like building an addition. In reality, any home renovation projects, including DIYs, require a permit. Completing the project without the proper permit can lead to drastic consequences.

Here’s what you must understand about permits before starting your renovation project.

What Is A Building Permit?

A building permit is a formal document from the City of Hamilton that authorizes you to begin construction, demolition, addition, or renovation on your property. Your home project must meet the objectives such as health, fire protection, accessibility, resource conservation, and other standards listed in the building code.

You can get a building permit application and other permit forms from your local building department within your municipality or by visiting the ePLANS page for printable forms. Submit the application to your municipality’s permit office, not the provincial government.

Along with your application, you must include:

  • Application permit fee
  • A scale floor plan
  • Detailed construction drawings
  • Site survey

As part of the building permit process, the Hamilton Building Permit Department will review your plans and drawings to confirm that the projected work observes the Ontario Building Code Requirements, local zoning bylaw, and other applicable laws.

After reviewing your proposal, you’ll need a zoning adjustment. If the proposed project doesn’t comply with the building code, a permit will not be issued until the necessary adaption is made. If it complies with all applicable laws and building requirements, typically it’ll only take from 1-3 weeks to be issued.

Aside from the building permit, you may also need a few of the following permits:

  • Electrical permits
  • Plumbing permits
  • Gas permits
  • Ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) permits
  • Demolition permits
  • Sign variance permits

Sturdy hammer resting on nail-covered wooden board

Which Home Improvements Require Permits?

Generally, under the Building Code Act, you will be mandated to have a permit to start construction that involves changes to the structure or systems of your home. 

    • Construction of a new building over ten square meters
    • Renovations, repairs, or additions to an existing building
    • Second or third-story additions
    • Drywall repairs to fire separations in multi-unit residential buildings
    • Attach garages, carports
    • Sunrooms
    • Solariums, porches, decks
    • Finishing or partially finishing a basement or other spaces
    • Structural or material alterations (i.e., new bathroom)
    • Installing or modifying heating or plumbing systems
    • Doing electrical work
    • Excavating and/or constructing foundations
    • Basement underpinning
    • Constructing a basement entrance
    • Adding a secondary suite to an existing house
    • Structural or material alterations
    • Adding or removing walls (non-load bearing and load-bearing walls)
    • Adding new windows or doors where there were none before
    • Enlarging or relocating existing windows or doors
    • Enclosing an existing deck, porch, or patio of any size
    • Changing the use of a building (from residential to office or single dwelling unit house to multi-dwelling unit house)
    • Installation, replacement, or repairs of a private sewage system 

Construction Projects That Don’t Require A Permit

The following are some renovations that don’t need any formal documents and aren’t liable to the provisions of the building code (provided they don’t entail changes to structures or systems of the house):

      • Re-roofing
      • Adding or replacing insulation
      • Painting
      • Re-cladding exterior walls
      • Re-siding
      • Installing flooring
      • Installing bathroom or kitchen cabinets
      • Replacing of windows and doors (provided the opening is not enlarged)
      • Replacing existing plumbing fixtures in the same location

Consult with your remodelling contractor, or contact your municipal building permit office to determine if you need such a document.

Why Is A Permit Necessary?

Although arranging an authorization may appear inconvenient, this document exists for your safety and anyone on or around your property.

When you or your contractor don’t hold a permit for a project that has already begun and it appears you require a permit for that development, you will then be issued with a “stop work” order and be charged a fine. This will cause a delay in the renovating process until you acquire a permit.

If hazards are discovered within the framework against the safety codes, you might be instructed to redo it at your own expense or be told to stop the new structure completely. After that, when filing an insurance claim, you may even face future financial or legal issues.

Team of Hamilton renovation professionals smiling in full uniform

Need A Professional Help For Your Home Renovation Project?

If figuring out which proper permits you ought to have for your renovation project and complying with the necessary measures seems like a hassle, hire a professional contractor knowledgeable about Hamilton building permits such as Honest Renovations.

Our job is not only to ensure you have a final space that looks and feels spectacular but also to ensure your project follows municipal and provincial requirements. If you’re still undecided about remodelling your home, our team can present the best plan based on your finances.

 

 

The Best Paint Colours For An Office Renovation

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many staff have taken to working from their home offices. But now, as it comes time to close the home office for good and return to the office, your office needs to be better than ever.

Many companies need to consider renovating their office spaces to create a functional and comfortable place that their employees enjoy. Employee satisfaction is more important than ever before, and your office space plays a huge role in retaining your employees.

A large part of making your office a comfortable space is the paint colour. Paint can transform your space and set a tone for the entire office. It is vital that you select a paint colour that will look beautiful and boost the energy level and mood of your staff.

Why Painting Is Important

According to psychologist Angela Wright, colours affect our moods. Different colours can evoke feelings like happiness, anger, calmness, and more. Some colours are even known to increase oxygen supply to the brain and lower our blood pressure.

The atmosphere of your office is a huge factor in your employees’ productivity, focus, and creativity. You need to select a paint colour that will help your staff stay focused, on task and performing their best.

7 Colours To Paint Your Office Walls For Productivity

We have selected seven paint colours that will brighten your office and boost the mood and productivity of your staff. Keep reading below to determine what colour you should paint your office.

1. Light Blue

Blue is known to keep the mind sharp and focused. It is like a breath of fresh air in your office!

If you want to keep your employees feeling refreshed, focused, and on top of their work, you should choose light blue for your office walls. Pastel blue hues will keep your staff sharp and their energy levels up.

Unsure about pastel blue? Try painting your office blue-grays. The grey tones will balance out the blue and make it feel more neutral. Despite this, you will still get added productivity and focus.

2. Forest Green

Do you work in a fast-paced, high-stress industry like the financial industry? If so, green may be the colour for your office walls, not just because it is associated with wealth.

According to Angela Wright’s colour theory, green projects feelings of balance, calm, and reassurance. It will help relax employees and help them feel centred without diminishing work productivity.

Dark green like Forest Edge by Behr will be the perfect backdrop for your office space.

3. Yellow

According to Angela Wright, yellow evokes feelings of happiness; it can brighten spirits and make people feel more creative, making it the ideal colour for creative industries.

We suggest that companies in marketing, design and other creative areas paint their office space pastel yellow to inspire their employees. A pastel hue will still offer the benefits of the colour without creating a bright, tacky room.

4. Orange

Orange is a powerful colour that has both the happiness of yellow and the energy of red. It will help you create a comfortable and productive workspace for yourself and your employees.

We recommend using orange for an accent wall because it will brighten the room without being overpowering.

5. Teal Blue

Teal is a combination of darker shades of deep blue and green, thus offering the benefits of both colours. For example, a fresh coat of blue paint can help boost work performance by keeping the mind sharp. On the other hand, Green will offer a sense of balance to your office.

By playing around with different hues, you can get the benefit of two colours at once.

6. Off White

White does not have to be boring! An off-white or eggshell white creates a sleek, clean look for your office space without feeling cold and bland. White walls also provide the perfect blank slate for colourful artwork and decor—the exact things that will give your office setting personality.

7. Light Gray

Gray can have a similar effect as white when it is done correctly.

A light gray can brighten office spaces while still feeling warm and professional. It will not feel blank either, which you risk when choosing white paint.

We recommend Silver Mist by Benjamin Moore for your office. The bright hue of the paint will keep your space light and airy, mainly thanks to its gloss finish.

Make sure to steer away from dark gray because it could make the space feel dark and melancholy.

Is It Worth Renovating Before Selling?

You may be ready to pack your things and sell your property, however, the moment you inspect your house, it may not look so winsome and marketable. Although it might have gone through minor restorations from post to pillar, generally, your house requires some tedious upgrading. You might not consider the state of your home until you think of moving out – but what’s best? There are several things to consider before making a decision.

What Do Buyers Really Want?

When you’ve decided to sell your home, your selling strategy should be based on which type of homeowners you’re targeting. Are you seeking to focus on those who need a move-in-ready place, or are you targeting people who want a fixer-upper home?

You have to construct plans based on your:

    • Timeline
    • Budget
    • Listing price intent

For buyers wanting to overhaul their own homes, saving money is the primary determinant. And, many who like to update or fix up the property simply find pleasure in beautifying their home.

 

Benefits Of Renovating Your House

Before we brood over what renovation plans are best, it’s essential to understand why you’d need to renovate your house in the first place. Making amendments you can treasure for the next several years is one thing; however, spending money on renovations directly before moving out is another.

When you opt for the correct renovation project, your house value can double and draw more potential buyers. When more people dote on your home, you can anticipate more deals, resulting in a much higher sale price.

Factors To Consider

State Of The Real Estate Market

Homes that sit on the market, even for a few days in a hot market, earn many offers and even bidding clashes. You can often escape fewer fixes in a seller’s market before selling, but a home that requires mending will still offer a lower value in any market. In a slow housing market, buyers might not even burden themselves with viewing a home that requires work.

Real Estate Agents As A Resource

It’s essential to hire a local real estate agent who has expertise in selling homes and, primarily, in your residential area. Homes in your suburb listed in the same price bracket must be the benchmark by which you raise your own home. Suppose these homes have elements and luxuries that yours doesn’t; this could suggest the necessity for certain renovations. A real estate agent must be able to give a comparative market analysis which will help you gain insight into whether your property delivers more (or less) than equally established homes.

Timeline For Remodeling Project

Your home remodel projects will take longer than predicted, so be ready and provide what is needed to prevent frustration. For example, replacing the old flooring can take a few days, but a decking installation can take several weeks.

Plan out your short-term and long-term renovation projects. Short-term home improvements could only take a few days to complete (e.g. painting a room), while long-term endeavours (e.g. a complete kitchen remodel) could require hiring a contractor over several weeks. Likewise, you mustn’t expect to include your fixer-upper property for the same value as the squeaky-clean, move-in-ready home.

Be practical about the renovation procedure and timeline and choose your new upgrades before discarding the existing materials. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of each remodel option and decide appropriately.

Return On Investment

Will you earn any money back from it at the date of selling? It’s essential to remember the cost vs. value philosophy as to renovations.

Some repairs and modifications will bear more fruit than others; thus, higher return on investment (ROI) regarding resale and property value. More extensive refurbishments are not always better as paying more does not guarantee a higher value yield. Home prices are likely to correspond to local home buyer preferences and the price they’re willing to pay.

What Home Renovations Are Worth Doing Before Selling?

Although you’re thinking of renovating your home, you still have to work on some obvious repairs and upgrades. Remember that renovations must be able to hold off market changes and an array of preferences. You may not gain more money, but it’ll make a difference. If you don’t provide obvious repairs or upgrades, you may need to lower your selling price. We’ve listed some renovations we’d recommend you address before selling your property:

General Repairs

General repairs involve revamping anything that has been destroyed or damaged. When a potential buyer explores your home and sees anything damaged, they interpret that the house is inadequately kept. Likewise, first-time buyers lack some knowledge about home repairs to pinpoint if something’s major or minor.

Replacing or refinishing your flooring and painting the walls are the fastest and most affordable ways to restore a house. However, don’t cover hardwood floors with new carpeting. Another good investment is finishing a basement as it will yield a higher ROI.

Adding a new roof, replacing a damaged roof, and renovating old outlets will enable you to carry on the sale of your home. During review and appraisal, having those upgrades done will boost the home value and lower the probability of being obliged to make repairs or revise pricing later in the process.

Kitchen

Kitchen renovations are critical because that space is a gathering place and a strong selling point in any home. An old or gruesome kitchen can destroy a home sale. While this doesn’t suggest you invest in luxury appliances, a minor kitchen remodel might be profitable, like replacing outdated cabinets and countertops.

Bathrooms

The bathroom is generally one of the smallest areas in the house, though its value is higher than most homeowners would assume. It’s where most buyers can picture prepping for the day and relaxing at night. An outdated, leaky faucet or standard showerhead will dissuade potential owners. Replace these old fixtures with modern ones. If there is ample space, consider placing dual sinks – a focal point buyers love in a bathroom that they’re sharing with their family members.

DIY Projects To Increase Profit

A do-it-yourself plan can help save on labour expenses and improve your DIY capability. You can decide on multiple small- to mid-scale tasks with little to no help from an expert:

      • Replacing doors and windows that are leaking or letting in breezes allows you to revamp your home’s appeal and conserve on electric bills.
      • Paint makes a home appear more extensive and adequately maintained. When doing this, remember that you must use fresh paint in neutral colours like white, beige or grey since you don’t know your buyer’s taste.
      • Well-lit rooms make it easier for clients to visualize a comfortable life in your space. Have two 50W halogen bulbs for every 10 square metres as general guidance. There is no need to install beaming spotlights in every room. Opting for different lighting sources (ambient, task-specific, and accent light fixtures) based on the room’s features is invaluable.

Enhance The Exterior

71% of future homebuyers state a home’s curb appeal is a paramount factor in their purchasing decisions, and that suggests your home’s exterior has to be in the best condition.

      • Have a neat, fresh coat of paint on the front door
      • Make sure you replace old exterior lighting and add new fixtures
      • Install a new garage door
      • Replace siding and switch to a more durable roofing material
      • Add privacy fence
      • Add pops of colour with flowers and a few potted plants
      • Declutter the yard

Deep clean

Having your home deep cleaned inside and out can add incredible value. A clean property makes it easier for prospective owners to catch any structural damage or upgrades that must be fulfilled. Clean your exterior siding and interior walls. Pressure wash your gateway, sidewalk, and other pathways. You can complete the task yourself or employ professionals.

So, Should You Remodel Your Home Before Selling?

Remember to never over-renovate your home. If you need more information on renovating your property before selling it, call us and ask us about our various renovation services. Our experts promise excellent handiwork to increase the value of your home.

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The Best Flooring For Basement Bedroom

Fully-furnished basement bedroom with quirky decor and hardwood flooring

Most unfinished basements have a concrete slab as a floor. While it is solid, flat and durable, the concrete surface can be unhospitable. It is not aesthetically pleasing, nor is it warm and welcoming. In fact, your family may dread going down to the basement because of the chill of the concrete basement floor.

A finished basement floor will make any basement space warm and inviting; your family will be excited to use the downstairs bedroom once you have installed a finished surface.
There are many basement flooring materials to choose from when it comes to finishing your basement. We will discuss different flooring for basements to help you decide what is best for your home.

7 Basement Flooring Options

There are a wide variety of basement flooring options available. Each type of flooring presents its own pros and cons. We will discuss each type of basement flooring below to help you decide which is best for your basement.

1. Laminate Flooring

Laminate is a durable, affordable flooring material. It is much cheaper than ceramic tile and solid hardwood, but it can be designed to look and feel like either. Additionally, laminate floors are easy to install because the planks have interlocking joints. Almost any do-it-yourselfer can learn how to install laminate floors in their basement.

Laminate promises durability; it is a resilient flooring that is less likely to scratch than other types of flooring. However, it is prone to water damage. Laminate flooring can mould, warp, and twist in wet or moist conditions.

2. Hardwood Flooring

While hardwood is a classic choice for your floors, it is not recommended for basements. Hardwood is easily prone to water damage, and it can even warp and twist in moist environments. Basements tend to be wet and moist areas, so your hardwood floors will likely not hold up.

Never fear, there are many other flooring options for your basement renovation!

3. Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is making a comeback as an affordable, durable type of flooring for basements. Except, people are ditching sheet vinyl and using vinyl planks instead.

A luxury vinyl plank is more expensive than sheet vinyl, but it will make all the difference when it comes to making a stunning space; it is a beautiful option that looks like real wood. Vinyl plank flooring also is installed like wood thanks to its interlocking joint system.

Vinyl planks are connected using an interlocking joint system; each vinyl plank slides and locks into place next to an already placed plank, making installation relatively easy. Just like real wood, vinyl should be installed over cork flooring for added cushioning.

Vinyl flooring is water-resistant, meaning you do not have to worry about your floors being ruined if you are unfortunate enough to have your basement flood.

4. Epoxy Flooring

Epoxy is a 2-part coating that can be applied over your concrete floor—it is not a floating floor option.

Expoxy helps make your floors smoother, thicker, and easier to clean. It is ideal for people who have a wet basement or want to use the main living space as a home gym. We recommend another type of flooring for a basement bedroom.

5. Tile Flooring

Tiles come in all different shapes, styles, and sizes. You could opt for the traditional square tile or choose a modern hexagon option. Rather than using one colour tile for your entire floor, you could create a pattern with several colours mixed in. The options are truly endless when it comes to tile!

While a tile floor is a beautiful addition to your home, it can be expensive. Ceramic tile can be costly, ranging anywhere from $0.50 to $25 per square foot. If you are concerned about the cost of your basement floors, ceramic tile may not be the best option. Choose vinyl tile or interlocking rubber tiles for a more affordable option. Vinyl tile costs approximately $1 to $5 per square foot.

6. Carpet

Basements can be cold places. Heat rises, and having a tile or wood floor can make your downstairs family room feel colder. Wall-to-wall carpeting is a good idea if you would like to make your basement feel warm and welcoming.

A basement carpet will feel softer and warmer underfoot than vinyl or porcelain tile. It will also muffle sound, making the space quieter; this is perfect for homeowners looking to have a guest bedroom in their basement. Guests will have a warm, quiet and cozy space to call their own.

7. Engineered Hardwood Flooring

Engineered wood is a type of floor that has been specially engineered by bonding a layer of solid wood to plywood or compost board. Every plank has a factory-applied finish to prevent scratches and give your floor a clean, glossy appearance.

Although some manufacturers say that an engineered hardwood floor can be installed directly over concrete, our experts do not recommend it. It should be installed over a radiant heating sub floor for added warmth and a moisture barrier.

Engineered wood flooring is, without a doubt, one of the best basement flooring options out there.

Fix Your Concrete Floor

Do you have cracked, uneven, or stained concrete floors? These issues will need to be fixed before adding floating floors. Concrete flooring needs to be smoothed and levelled. Cracks in the concrete will also need to be repaired. This work is essential to creating a solid base for your new floor.

Get A Stunning Finished Basement

A basement floor is only one part of your basement renovation. Make your basement a warm, inviting space with the help of our skilled contractors at Honest Renovations. We can help you decide on a basement flooring option and install it to ensure you have a finished basement you will love!

How To Renovate Your Commercial Space After COVID

Two shoppers browsing jewelry store in Hamilton shopping mall

It’s safe to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every area of our lives. From grocery shopping and working out, to our daily 9-5 and nights out, we’ve really had to adjust. If your remote workforce is slowly transitioning back to your office space, some renovations will likely need to take place to minimize the spread of germs and maximize safety. The building owner and business owners can collaborate in order to reduce disease spread amongst employees by integrating specific renovations that can prevent widespread circulation.

If your commercial property is in need of a few COVID-friendly updates and office renovations, here are 3 things you might consider as you begin your reopening efforts.

1. Create Distinct Spaces To Promote Social Distancing

As offices reopen and people return to working in a building together, there will definitely be a need for more space for physically distanced “bubbles”. Creating distinct rooms might mean that you spread out cubicles, divide break areas, update your current benching systems, have separate conference rooms, and use more substantial partitions than what was used in the past.

New, enclosed spaces can ensure employees maintain proper distance and have their own space to work safely. An office renovation should see separate areas as a major focus in order to limit contact between employees. Rearranging desks, creating separate benching systems, and putting up barriers can act as a physical reminder to adhere to COVID guidelines and distancing.

The main goal for this renovation is to naturally facilitate physical distancing between employees and guests by spacing out the office.

Another space renovation that can be considered is to dedicate separate rooms for visitors, deliveries, and other guests. These rooms can help adequately spread out people and reduce outside traffic in the commercial or office space.

2. Install Hygiene Systems For A Cleaner Environment

If there’s any time to make some upgrades to your sanitation systems, it’s now. Ensuring that the air and the office environment are as clean as possible is a vital step that should be taken as you return to work. No matter what kind of commercial space you have, HVAC systems are definitely something to consider.

Upgrading HVAC systems can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your office space. Since COVID is a virus that travels through air particles, it’s important to carefully filter the air in your commercial space so that you are breathing in and spreading clean air. Installing tools and safety equipment like HVAC systems can help curb the spread of the virus amongst office workers and can boost the health of the office.

Another consideration when it comes to office renovation is lowering high-touch surfaces. While many spaces now use automatic doors activated by buttons or sensors, there are still updates that can be done to lower the number of high touch areas in the office. This can be done by installing more motion sensors on doors, door handles, bathroom hand dryers, or faucets. For surfaces that can’t be automated, use easy-to-clean materials so that you can maintain the cleanliness and hygiene of the office.

3. Upgrade Current Technology In Office Space

Boosting office health and energy doesn’t stop at hygiene and social distancing. Another renovation consideration involves upgrading your technology in order to accommodate seamless collaboration between in-person and remote workers.

The pandemic has made remote teams the new normal. With most employees working from home over the past year, it is likely that many of them will continue to do so in the coming months or even the rest of the year. In order to enhance virtual collaboration, now is the perfect time for technology in the office space to be updated.

Technology updates would include upgrading your space’s wifi connection, installing large monitors in the conference areas and moving around the other office furniture in order to make collaboration possible.

When you rearrange existing furniture, you are showing your employees that teamwork is essential and needed, regardless of where your employees are. The main goal here is to make working in teams still a reality, even if some employees are working remotely.

Honest Renovations

If you’re looking at getting your commercial or office space ready for your employees, we’ve got you covered! Based in the Hamilton area, Honest Renovations is your one-stop shop for home and office renovations. We serve clients in Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford, Oakville, Mississauga, Niagara, Stoney Creek, Dundas Flamborough, and the GTA! Our team of building consultants will help you cover all your bases and aid you in overcoming any challenges these renovations might bring.

Top 5 Reasons To Build A Home Addition

Home renovations contractor sawing board for home addition

The reasons to build a home addition are often based on both a lack of space and increasing a house’s value. While it may be easier for people to buy a new home and move, most find that relocating will cost them more money and doesn’t guarantee the features that they want and need. Instead of moving, homeowners can add an addition to their house. An addition is one of the many home renovation projects that can add value to a home and help owners get the space they need.

1. Expand Your Kitchen

Mess of All kind of Painting Equipment in the Kitchen and Discouraged Man

One of the most common reasons people think about building a home addition is to expand their kitchen. Small kitchens can make it difficult to move, cook and host family and friends for a meal. This can easily turn mealtime into something that homeowners dread. Rather than remodelling and removing space from adjacent rooms in your home, consider adding a new addition to provide space for a new kitchen.

A kitchen addition can be expertly designed to fit a family or aspiring chef’s needs including a large pantry, open floor plan kitchen and extra counter space for meal prep. If you find yourself constantly asking family members to leave the kitchen or the design of the space simply doesn’t work for hosting, it may be time to build an addition.

2. Add Living Space

Modern bright interior . 3D rendering

Families living in a home without a finished basement might be restricted to having their living and entertaining space on their first floor alongside their dining room and kitchen. While a remodel may seem like a great solution, it often fails to add the square footage that a home needs. Home additions can create an extra area and add value to a home. This will provide families with the large floor plan they need to host guests or create an expansive entertainment area.

3. Create Additional Room For An Expanding Family

 

Beautiful Master Bedroom in New Luxury Home. Features Elegant Pendant Light, Hardwood Floors, and View of Ensuite Master Bathroom

Families and couples that adore their current home but find it lacks the room for a new baby or an elderly relative should consider a room addition instead of remodelling. A home addition is a great way to add a bathroom or bedroom for new occupants while also seamlessly matching the current design.

4. Add A Sunroom

A light and airy furnished sun room (conservatory) with view of trees in the background

Many people express their desire to spend more time outside throughout the entirety of the year, but Canadian winters can make this difficult. Room additions such as a covered porch or sunroom can offer a warm and sheltered space to experience the outdoors inside.

Not only will an addition help bring the outdoors inside, but it will also make a wonderful area to relax and host guests. Every homeowner will love being able to relax and experience nature in the comfort of their own home with a sunroom or covered porch project.

5. Build A Master Suite

Master Bedroom Interior in New Luxury Home

 

In a small home, a master bedroom can often feel less than glamourous, especially if it lacks a master suite that owners may want. Rather than searching the real estate market for a new home, think about going the construction route.

Remodelling and adding a walk-in shower, double vanity or jacuzzi tub can turn a master room into an oasis. Building a first-level master suite can also make it easier for ageing homeowners to access the bathroom without needing to climb a flight of stairs.

Start Your Home Improvement Project Today

One of the most common reasons to build a home addition is that a house is too small for a family’s needs. Home additions can help homeowners get the square footage that they want with ease.

Are you ready to start building a new home addition? Honest Renovations is a home remodelling company that can design and construct a home addition according to your budget and preferences. Call us to speak to a contractor about your project.

What Is A Load-Bearing Wall?

Wooden load-bearing wall with six support beams

If you are thinking about renovating your house, you could be thinking about removing a wall or two. It is important to identify a load-bearing wall before you begin your project. At Honest Renovations, we have lots of experience with load-bearing walls, and will explain what a load-bearing wall is, what it does, tips on how you can identify one, and more in this post!

What Are Load-Bearing Walls?

First, a load-bearing wall (also known as a bearing wall) is a wall that is critical to the structural support of the rest of your house. They help transfer the wall load, bearing the weight from the roof, through the walls, and down to the foundation of your house.

Load-bearing walls will exist on every floor of your house, often right on top of one another. This is because loads (the weight) are transferred from one level to another, meaning that the framing posts holding up your room on the top floor are redistributing the weight down to the first floor and foundation of your house.

Removing a load-bearing wall can cause serious structural issues to your home both in the short and long term. To ensure that you do not remove a load-bearing wall, it is important to know how to identify which wall is load-bearing and which is not.

The Structure of Load-Bearing Walls

If you remove a piece of the ceiling or, even better, look at the blueprints to your building, you should be able to see the layout of your walls and floor joists. This provides crucial information to determine what are bearing walls.

When the wall runs parallel to the floor joists above (they run the same way), the load is typically not load-bearing. If the wall runs perpendicular to the floor joists (meaning they run the opposite way), the wall is likely load-bearing and is redistributing the weight from above it.

Another way to tell is by looking at the floor joists. Typically, if the floor joists do not span entirely across the wall, it may be load-bearing. This is not a certain determinant in whether walls are bearing the weight of your house or not. It is best to consult a structural engineer to determine what walls are load-bearing.

Exterior Walls

Exterior walls are the outermost walls of a building. Typically, exterior walls are load-bearing because they support the roof of your house. Think of it this way – what are the first walls that are built during construction? Exterior walls’ posts are always built into the foundation of your home to support the roof that is constructed on top.

While some outer walls may not be completely load-bearing, parts of them are still used to support the structural integrity of your house.

How To Tell If A Wall Is Load Bearing

Confined masonry. Load-bearing clay block wall confined at the corners with reinforced concrete tie-columns.

If you have an interior design or renovation project that you would like to take on, there is a chance you are wondering how to know if a wall is a load-bearing wall or not. Unless you are familiar with home construction and structures, it is a good idea to contact a professional builder or structural engineer. They can easily help you determine which are load-bearing walls and which are not.

Open Your Wall To Inspect The Trusses

A great way to figure out if a wall is load-bearing is to remove the drywall so you can see the wood beams. This may not be possible for everyone, but if you are renovating several rooms in your home.

When the wall is open, you can look at the beams ceiling/floor joists above it are perpendicular to the walls. If the joists are parallel to the wall, then it is non-load bearing and the wall could be removed.

Take a Trip To Your Attic

You can figure out the structure of your walls without needing to tear up your ceiling! If you have an attic, you can easily figure out what point of your wall is structurally important.

Your attic will allow you to look at every beam in your ceiling. This is important because a beam can tell a lot about each wall. If a beam has braces from the rafters of your attic, this is a tell-tale sign that the wall would be holding the weight of your building.

Go Underneath Your Home

You can identify a structurally important wall through your unfinished basement just as you would a ceiling. Visit your basement or crawlspace to inspect your floor’s joists without needing to rip it up. You can see if there is a wall or other supporting infrastructure (beam, column, jack posts, etc) that are directly below and following the wall above.

Just like load-bearing walls, a beam or jack post is bearing wall load sent from your roof to your floor.

Before Opening Up Your Space, Call A Professional

Load-bearing walls play an important role in ensuring that your home is structurally sound, but they can be difficult to point out in your home. If you want to determine if a wall is holding the weight of your home, it may be best to hire a structural engineer’s services. This is especially true if you want to remove a load bearing wall.

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How to Repair Screw Holes in Drywall

Female home contractor drilling screw holes in drywall

Whether you have moved into a new home or are renovating your current house, you may notice that there are holes in the drywall. A drywall hole can be caused by hanging a picture, shelf or another wall hanging using nails or screws and wall anchors. Drywall screws can also cause holes that should be covered. Even a small hole can be an eyesore and make your wall vulnerable to cracks, dents or further damage. Honest Renovations can guide you through all of the steps you need to follow to patch drywall holes quickly and easily.

What You Will Need:

  • Putty knife or 4-inch drywall knife
  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Paper towels
  • Joint compound / Drywall patching compound
  • Sandpaper
  • Wall paint

Filling Holes Caused By Drywall Screws

a man with a screwdriver in his hand fastens drywall to the wall

1: Inspect The Area

The first step in a drywall patch is to assess the area and plan your next steps. Small holes caused by a nail, push-pin or screw are relatively easy to repair. Large screw holes in drywall left by drywall screws take longer to fix but will look just like new after everything is done.

2: Cut Any Loose Face Paper

If you notice that there is a fraying happening around the screw holes, that is the face paper of your drywall that has frayed or ripped. No new compound can be spread over this area because the paper will rip further and settle into the compound. This will cause your wall to look uneven, even after you have taken the time to fix it.

Carefully trim the paper’s edges with a utility knife. If there are tears from inside the wall, use a screwdriver or nail to push them back into the holes in the wall. This will work for any difficult-to-cut pieces. If you are filling a small nail hole and don’t see any tearing, skip to the next step.

3: Fill The Drywall Knife With Joint Compound

Next, dip the edge of the putty knife into the joint compound (also called mud). The compound will be thick and look almost like putty. There should be a small amount of mud on the edge of the knife; it’ll be just enough to patch the hole but not enough to leave a thick layer on the wall’s surface. If you fear that you have too much on your knife, get a paper towel or cloth and use it to wipe away any extras.

repairman works with plasterboard, plastering dry-stone wall, home improvement

4: Apply 1-2 Coats and Let It Dry

After you have prepared your knife, it is time to fill the hole! Using the putty knife, hold it at an angle to the wall and with the compound side facing the wall. Press the front edge of the knife to the wall and slowly drag it across the hole. You will smooth the patching compound across the hole and patch it. Make sure not to get the mud on any nearby wood or other larger areas because it can crack and dry.

After, check that the spackle has filled the hole, then do a second pass with the knife at a different angle. Continue to do this until the hole is filled, then let the first coat dry for at least one hour before going back to apply a second coat. It is important to note that 2-inch or larger holes in drywall will typically need at least one layer of compound to patch it correctly. Remember to let each layer dry thoroughly, then continue to fill it with mud.

5: Sand

After the mud is dry, use a piece of sandpaper to sand the wall. Sanding will help fix any uneven spots on the wall’s surface and ensure that it is smooth. We recommend that you use a 220 grit piece of sandpaper because it will finely sand down the mud.

6: Paint

After sanding the area, dust it off and apply a coat of paint. If you didn’t just install drywall and were fixing a preexisting wall, make sure that your new coat of paint will match the old one.

Benefits Of A Finished Basement

Newly-renovated basement interior with white pillars and wooden staircase

When it comes to transforming your home, there are many benefits of a finished basement. An unfinished basement can feel cold and uninviting whereas a fully finished basement can be welcoming and a nice chill space for you and your family. Creating a finished basement can be tricky, but it’s worth it to get that home office, extra bedroom or secondary living room.

Traditional Interior of Finished Basement In A Renovated House Located At Suburbs.

For residents in Hamilton, Ontario, homes with finished basements are a hot-ticket item and learning how finishing a basement can positively impact the value of your home can help when it comes to selling. Taking on a project that helps finish your basement can help you lower your living costs and helps you invest your income long-term. The benefits of a finished basement are endless, but these top reasons may make you decide to take the plunge and contact trusted basement finishing professionals.

1. Gives You Extra Space

The main benefit of a fully finished basement is the extra storage space you’ll get. Finishing your basement allows you to use the space in your basement for storing various items you may not use year-round. By finishing your basement, your adding room and creating a functional space in your basement that you’ll want to spend time in. You could even put up walls and add a new bedroom to increase space in your upper levels too, which could help you earn extra income.

Fully Finished Basement of Newly Renovated Home With Traditional Type of Staircase.

2. Reduces Your Energy Bill

Another one of the main benefits of a finished basement is that it adds insulation and warms your cold basement in a short timeframe, which ultimately reduces your overall costs. If you currently have a concrete floor in your basement, consider the benefits of putting tiling, vinyl, laminate, carpeting or other great basement flooring options down. In terms of added insulation, a new floor can help keep you comfortable and lower the energy bill in your home.

3. A Finished Basement is Versatile

Finishing a basement is a great way to add additional rooms in your home that you can use for a multitude of reasons. You could use your new basement as a storage space, workout space, or you could finish your basement and utilize the area as a large new master bedroom. Many people are using the extra space in their finished basement as a home office or a recreation room for their family to spend time in. Finished basements are one of the most versatile spaces in any home and having a space that can transform into a variety of spaces will ultimately add value to your home.

A Recreation Room Located In The Finished Basement Area of A Luxury House.

4. A Nice Space To Spend time

When you create a beautiful living space in your finished basement you create a cozy atmosphere and a great place to spend time with your family. Basements are a place people want to watch movies or for children to play. An unfinished basement can get in the way of spending quality time with your family and taking advantage of the added space can help you make the most out of your property. Creating a functional area in your basement that adds value to your home and makes you want to spend time in basements.

5. Increases your Home value

The best benefit of taking on a basement renovation project for homeowners is the value that gets added to your home. Finishing your basement is an easy way to increase the value of your property and many buyers are looking for homes that specifically have finished basements. Completing any renovation is a great investment for homeowners but working to finish your basement or add an extra room may be the best route to take if you’re looking to seriously up the value of your home.

Beautiful Interior of A Living Room In The Unfinished Basement Area With Large Corner Sofa With Blue Pillows And Vintaage TV Cabinet.

Reaping The Benefits Of A Finished Basement

When it comes to basements, you need trusted professionals who help take your unfinished basement and turn it into a great space by adding high-quality details to transform your living space. Simple things like adding insulation, creating an extra room or building a new storage area can add value to your home and positively impact your life. When it comes to working on your basement, consider what you want the overall outcome to be, and contact trusted professionals to give you an honest quote. Finished basements are in, and it’s time you got in on this trend! 

Top 5 Inexpensive Ideas For An Unfinished Basement

Renovations contractor placing white laminate flooring in Hamilton basement

Do you have a large unfinished basement you aren’t sure what to do with? Is it visually unappealing? Those exposed wooden beams and pipes … that cement floor … 

With a few simple renovations, you can get a lot of value out of your unused basement. You can clearly envision how you want it to look, but if you’re on a tight budget, it can be rather difficult to bring those visions to life. With these five easy inexpensive ideas to finish your basement, you’ll have it renovated and ready to use in no time.

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