Renovation trends reflect the changing needs of Canadian home owners whether it’s creating room for aging parents, a home work space or simply a more enjoyable living environment. At the same time, quality and long-term value are paramount.
Professional renovators keep in close touch with the marketplace. You can expect them to be knowledgeable about the latest consumer trends and able to give you solid advice on appropriate designs, products and regulations, no matter what kind of renovation you want to undertake.
Multi-generation housing – The younger generation is delaying final departure from the parental home; at the same time, aging parents are moving in with their adult children. Self-contained in-law, or secondary, suites may be accommodated within the existing house or built as new additions. Depending on the regulations in your community, a secondary suite may be used later as a rental unit.
Accessible housing – Whether renovating for yourself or adding an in-law suite, it’s a good idea to include accessibility features-wide doorways and halls, grab-bars in the bathroom, non-skid flooring, lever-type handles and so on. Many of these features simply make good sense; they make life easier and safer for everyone at reasonable cost.
The home office – Canadians are working out of their homes in record numbers, whether they are operating their own business or telecommuting. Renovating your home provides the ideal opportunity to create an attractive and efficient work environment with acoustical insulation, pre-wiring, built-in work station, shelving, storage space and, possibly, lots of natural light.
Home entertainment centres – It takes more than the right electronic equipment to make a good entertainment centre. The design of the room must be carefully planned. Acoustical insulation in the ceiling and floors and proper sound-resistant framing in the walls make sure that people in the rest of the house are not disturbed. Custom-built shelving makes it easier to organize your equipment.
Energy retrofitting – Upgrading the energy performance of your home is generally less costly when you piggy-back energy improvements onto other renovation work. From insulation to energy-efficient heating systems, windows, appliances and lighting, your renovator can advise you on options to reduce energy use and increase your savings.
Healthy indoor air – Do you regularly experience headaches, respiratory problems or allergies at home? They could be signs of poor air quality. Professional renovators can help diagnose the problems and improve your indoor air quality, whether it’s fixing a leaky foundation or installing a mechanical ventilation system. They can also suggest healthier products and techniques to minimize air-borne pollution and chemical emissions.
Home security – If you’re concerned about the safety and security of your home, consider installing an alarm system as part of your renovations. There are two basic approaches: 1) a full-perimeter system with contacts on all doors and windows, and 2) door contacts only with a motion detector (the latest motion detectors have overcome earlier problems of pets setting off alarms). Your renovation contractor can explain your options and advise you on the best choice.
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