Tag Archives: renovation

Maximize Functionality in Your Condo Bathroom

transitional-bathroomYour condo bathroom is undoubtedly one of the most important rooms in your home.  Unfortunately, designers and architects may not always give this highly functional space the attention it deserves to maximize each inch.  Before considering reno ideas you need to identify any limitations that may exist through your condo strata.

The most popular design theme for bathroom renos is a spa-like atmosphere, complemented by low-maintenance features. When working within the restrictions of limited condo space and strata guidelines, it may be best to work with an expert, to maximize every inch of that tiny space.

The following are a few tips to create a spa-like atmosphere and maximize your bathroom space:

bathroomGlass-enclosed showers/tubs

The shower typically takes up one-third of the space, based on a standard-sized tub. By eliminating the shower curtain, the visual space extends through the entire room. Sleek, minimal fixtures create a low-maintenance barrier, while creating a spa-like feel.

Shower seats

Seen in luxury bathrooms, seating is becoming more commonplace. The built-in seat lends itself to relaxing in the shower, with the added functionality of storing products.

Neutral tones and natural materials

Soft neutral colours in the white and beige categories help create that spa atmosphere. Stone and wood add a soothing touch of nature. With this smaller space the overall cost will be far less,  compared to installing stone tiles in a kitchen. The use of natural stone and wood also add a touch of luxury, while adding value to your condo design.

Wall-mounted vanities and toilets

These extend the site line, creating a sense of increased floor space, without detracting from storage space. Rimless toilets also add to the spa-like effect with a minimalistic style, while increasing ease in cleaning. Work with your builder to determine what is possible with the existing plumbing and strata guidelines.

Get Excited about Shower-heads

The options are plentiful when considering fixtures to turn the shower/tub space into a total spa experience. Think beyond the traditional and visit showrooms for the complete array of options when designing your condo bathroom.

Tip: Installing a steam shower will require special insulation so be sure to consult your builder and strata before purchase.

Before you splash out, reach out to a certified builder or designer experienced in condo bathroom renovations. Strata rules, and common walls and plumbing will determine the parameters of your renovation. Using a builder knowledgeable in strata rules and bylaws will save you time and money, with maximum results.


How to Renovate Condo Kitchen on a Budget

saveThe Vancouver condo market is hot and kitchen design is sizzling too! As condo square footage decreases, kitchen space is changing. Condo kitchens today are often more of a culinary wall in the great-room concept, with an island serving as the eating station, and extra storage and work space. With this new trend, condo kitchen renovations will most likely require wall removal, upgrades in appliances, cabinetry, and flooring, and maybe the addition of an island. To keep costs down, keep the following in mind when renovating:

  • Roll up your sleeves and pitch in with the demolition. And, for that matter, you can help with rubbish, recycling and general cleanup too. This can save you upwards of three to five per cent of your overall renovation costs.
  • Existing appliances can be resold or recycled. Check with BC Hydro for appliance rebate programs in your area. If not available, list them for free, and eliminate removal costs.
  • Culinary walls typically feature flush-mounted appliances, adding to the seamless, opening living feel. Tap in to your certified builder or renovator’s contacts. Chances are they will get better deals on appliances, saving you money to upgrade.
  • Re-use existing cabinetry. If cabinets are in good shape, door panels can be replaced or recovered.
  • Cabinet space-saving systems can exponentially increase your existing usable space per square foot, eliminating the need for excessive cabinetry.
  • If you are removing walls, the space will naturally lighten up. Look to under-cabinet lighting to warm up darker corners versus more expensive, recessed overhead lighting.
  • If you don’t have to move the kitchen sink, don’t. It will save you plumbing costs, and potential issues with your strata/bylaws. If however, you are working with a plumber, and have access to include natural gas in your kitchen, this would be a cost-efficient time to upgrade.
  • Open-concept living generally features a single floor covering. Buy in-stock flooring rather than making custom orders. This will save you on both time and money. And, make sure wall removal is complete before installing. Have your plans in place.
  • Countertops often become the statement piece in open plans, with a focal point around the island. You might like to splash out here, given all of the other dollar-saving ideas.
  • Finally, but most importantly, work with a professional contractor/renovator with condominium knowledge. There will be strata rules to consider, city bylaws, and limitations with common walls, supporting walls, and windows, just to name a few.

When buying older units, make sure to do your due diligence: know the bylaws, use a building inspector and most of all, be sure to use a certified builder or renovator, and get the agreement in writing.

Source : http://www.rew.ca/news/how-to-renovate-your-condo-kitchen-on-a-budget-1.2071143#sthash.nexx6JUo.dpuf

Seven Easy Renos to Modernize Your Home

If you are concerned that your home may look dated. Read on for 7 easy renos that can increase your home’s value without breaking your bank account.

Kitchen backsplash: Modernize your kitchen with a new backsplash.  A backsplash uses minimal tiles which means you may be able to splurge a bit to instantly improve the appeal of your kitchen. If you are on a tight budget, a clip-and stick-adhesive backsplash may be a good option as you can install it on your own.

Fresh coat of paint: A fresh coat of paint can work wonders for a room. Consider using an environmentally-friendly paint, there are many options on the market now that are cheaper than regular paint. Selecting an accent wall is also a good way to add a burst of colour to liven up a small space without overwhelming your audience.

Enhanced bedroom lighting: Change the look and mood of the room with flattering lighting. Rather than splurging on a chandelier a beautiful semi-flush pendant light will do the trick. It will add some instant elegance and doesn’t have to be centred over the bed to get the right look.

Fireplace: Cozy up your living space with an electric fireplace. No need to go with the chunky built-in ones, consider a sleek, chimney-free electric fireplace, which can be installed by you. It can be placed against a wall or mounted on an entertainment stand. Installing one at eye level will allow for viewing from greater distances.

Laminate wood floors: There are some great laminate floors on the market that are durable and look like the real deal. Laminate is a good alternative to a worn carpet and gives the home and instant modern appeal.  If you cannot afford to redo your entire home, focus on the living and dining areas.

Accent wallpaper: Drastically change the look of a space by creating an accent wall with patterned wallpaper. Wallpaper has resurfaced has an excellent way to glam up a dull room. The life span of wallpaper is around 15 years, which means it is worth the effort to install.

Paint kitchen cabinets: Refresh tired looking cabinets by sanding them down and painting them. Add some extra punch with some fancy knobs or sleek handles for an updated look.