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Renovation checklistHow to Use our Checklists
If you need a little bit of help to organize your home improvement project, we're here to help! We have prepared checklists that you can consult to help guide you through the different stages of the project.
You've seen these checklists on our blog, but you may not be quite sure how to use them or you'd like to have a place where you can easily find each of these documents? This is why we've decided to create an article that you can look at before you start using these guides, or that you can set aside according to your needs.
You may be using one or more of these articles during your remodelling project. Indeed, if you are in the process of organizing a large-scale renovation project and you have decided to act as a worksite manager or you would like to follow along throughout the different steps, even if you hired a general contractor, these articles could be very useful!
First, these guides are meant to put together useful information for the type of home improvement project you plan to organize. Instead of having to read multiple articles on our blog, you can find important information in one place.
Additionally, the article is accompanied by a useful checklist that you can adapt to your needs. This list is used to ensure that the project takes place under the best conditions, following as logical a sequence as possible. You can download and print the checklist to use it as you see fit! Our goal is to help reduce unnecessary time and spending while getting results that meet your needs when the job is done!
In the beginning, we discuss the questions to ask for the type of project in question. These questions are intended to help you make choices and ensure that the project can be carried out. Next, we generally talk about the different materials, techniques for calculating a budget and things to know when working with a contractor.
We try to include as much information as possible while making sure the article is not too long. To do this, we include numerous links to relevant articles where you will find more detailed information about certain elements. For example, if you have decided to buy a marble countertop, you can read the various articles published on our blog on this subject in order to learn more.
You can browse and use the guides as you see fit, but in general, we strongly recommend that you read the entire document and print the PDF so that you can use it in an optimal manner. We have created a logical structure that follows the normal steps for this type of project, so to find your way around it, the best thing to do is to consult them in their entirety, even if there are sections that seem less relevant at first glance.
However, the main objective of these guides is not to have a rigid and restrictive tool in hand. Instead, you should use them as needed. We truly hope that they will help you throughout the process.
In the following paragraphs, we will give a short presentation of the checklists that are currently available on our site (we are creating new ones every month):
Are you planning to renovate a single room in your house? Here are the checklists we have prepared for individual rooms:
If you are renovating the entire kitchen, you will need to be well organized! Otherwise, you risk making mistakes and spending more than you expected. This is why it is one of the first checklists that we designed:
Bathroom renovation projects generally involve major work requiring several categories of expertise including plumbing, electricity, surfaces (walls and floors) and furniture. This room can be cramped, but it includes a lot of elements, so the work is often complex and rather expensive. To help you reduce costs and work time, the checklist comes to your rescue!
Are you planning to renovate your bedroom, that of a child or your guest room? This checklist will help you choose materials for your flooring and wallcovering, calculate your budget, and consider the different aspects of lighting.
Renovating a basement can be a very big project, especially if the space is not initially habitable. There are a lot of aspects to take into account and this project should not be rushed because the basement can be too wet and poorly ventilated. If you are planning to launch a basement remodelling project, here is a guide that will help you think of everything!
Kitchen or bathroom remodelling projects are often large-scale projects, especially if you decide to change everything. However, among the big projects to be undertaken, there are some more complicated ones, including that of building a house extension or a new house. For this type of project, it is all the more important to be well accompanied and well organized. Here is our guide to home extensions that can also be used for a new construction project, before we publish a checklist on this subject.
If you are looking to build a home addition, whether the project involves adding a basement to your house, building a new floor, or anything like that, you should take a look at this article. :
If your project is taking place outside the home, you may also need help choosing the right materials, adopting the best techniques, and better knowing which direction you want to head towards. Here is our guides to help you with this:
We have also prepared guides to help you when renovating a specific element in your home. To date, we have 2 checklists that fall into this category, namely the roof and the floor. Here they are:
We discuss the stages of the project, the different roofing materials, the questions to ask before going ahead with this project and much more!
In this article, you will learn more about flooring renovations, from surface finishing techniques to materials, including installation techniques.
Finally, we have also prepared a checklist to help you with your home maintenance efforts on a daily basis or on an annual basis and so on. You can consult it and use it as needed to better organize your maintenance tasks:
RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your home renovation project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from companies that are specialized in home renovations.
Last modified 2023-10-04
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Léa Plourde-Archer • 21 Jul 2020
One of the main advantages of owning a home with a backyard is that you can create an exterior environment that fulfills your needs. The front yard greets us when we come home and is the last thing we see when we leave, whereas the backyard is a space meant for relaxing and having fun. With this checklist, we will be covering a wide variety of subjects related to landscaping and exterior renovations. Therefore, whether you've got a large-scale or a smaller project, you will find useful information to help you go through the steps and make the process easier by helping you determine your priorities. BEFORE UNDERTAKING THE PROJECT Source: Canva To help make sure that the project will be carried out efficiently and that it won't take too much time, it's important to be well prepared. Take the time to determine your needs, calculate your budget and find the contractor(s) with whom you will collaborate. Before the first shovel hits the ground, you should at least have a general plan (ideally, a detailed plan) of the steps to follow and of the progression of the project. Lastly, you should find out about any municipal rules that are currently in effect. Some rules and bylaws may affect your project and the choices you will make in terms of layout, materials and budget. We will cover this particular subject in another paragraph. EXTERIOR RENOVATIONS AND LANDSCAPING KEYWORDS Beauty For many people, landscaping is synonymous with improving the look of outdoor space. This represents adding flowers and trees, trimming hedges, installing stone walls, fountains, a pool and other types of elements and structures aiming to create a nice layout. Customized Everyone's needs vary according to their preferences in terms of hobbies and relaxation. Some people dream of an outdoor kitchen where they can prepare meals worthy of the greatest feasts. while others will prefer to use this same space to install a basin with fish. Every backyard can become a reflection of the tastes and preferences of the homeowner. This process simply requires the time and means necessary to achieve such results. Durable The materials that are used to build the structures outside the home should be durable, as they are exposed to varying weather conditions. Indeed, if the deck has to be refurbished every week, these efforts cannot be devoted to other projects. Therefore, it is always best to take into account the quality level of the materials that are chosen for the elements that are a part of the landscape design and the exterior renovation projects. HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS Are you having a hard time determining your needs in terms of landscaping? Do not hesitate to get in touch with landscaping experts, as well as landscape architects. Before you meet with them, you can create a list that contains the things you want (while consulting the other occupants of the home of course), as well as things you don't like. Look at home decor magazines, check out our blog and look at the backyards of your close ones and neighbours. This will help you find a few ideas. Following this step, experts will be there to help you identify your choices by educating you about the characteristics of each element, such as the costs, the pros and the cons. QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN PLANNING A LANDSCAPING PROJECT Source: Canva Sometimes, we know we want to launch a renovation project, but we don't know where to start. This is why we have prepared a few questions you could ask yourself to help guide your thought process: What are you planning on doing with the back/front yard? For the front yard: will you be adding a parking lot? Would you like to add plants, a porch, and some columns? For a backyard: are you thinking about installing a pool? Will you be creating a garden? What about storage? What do you dislike about its current state? It will be important to determine what you dislike to be able to correct this issue during the renovation project! If you are carrying out transformations and in the end, you are not satisfied, you will have to launch other projects in the upcoming months. What's the exact size of the yard? Even though for some types of projects, this can seem like useless information, it's always better to have clear and precise data. Having this information at hand will help things go forward more quickly. For example, one of the contractors may need this information when choosing materials and tools and you will be able to provide them with the numbers instead of having them wait a few days. What are the characteristics of the yard? When transforming a yard, it is important to know the land and its characteristics. For example, it will probably be very useful if your yard is sloped if some parts of the yard are difficult to work with since the base layer is made of stone or if the groundwater table is saturated. Of course, the advice and opinion of an expert will be essential in this situation. Will you want to add a pool? Or replace the one that's already there? With summer heat waves becoming more common and health restrictions that are leading people to stay home, residential pools are especially popular. Once you've measured the pros and cons associated with having a pool, take the time to think about your budget, the size of the pool and its location. If you already have a pool which needs to be repaired or replaced, why not take advantage of this situation to launch this project? Will you have more time and money to devote to yard maintenance? Transforming your backyard into a small paradise and your front yard into a flowery garden is undeniably great but you still have to be realistic and remember that the maintenance of these new setups will not be done automatically. Either you will have to do it yourself (or ask for help from your close ones) or hire an expert. These are costs that will have to be added to your annual budget. This could influence certain choices, namely in terms of plants or when deciding if you are going to install a basin or a pool. When choosing flowers and plants: What's the type of climate in the area of residence and how much sunlight does the backyard get? The expert with whom you will collaborate is your best ally when choosing the types of plants and flowers that are in the landscape. However, we still advise that you gather some information. For example, you can take a few notes about the characteristics of the plant hardiness zones where the flora is being seeded: The geographic zone The amount of shade and sunshine The insects and the type of fauna in the area Will the layout be safe for kids? Every year, we see stories published in newspapers about drownings and accidents where children have been injured or have died due to a lack of safety precautions in a backyard. The most common issue is a pool that is too easily accessible for toddlers and older children. It is important to install a good fence, locks and safety devices. Fences should be more than 4 feet (1.2 meters) high. Even for people who don't have kids, these precautions are recommended as an accident can happen so quickly! Sometimes, guests bring their kids over, or small neighbours are tempted by the pool and able to jump into the water. Other than the pool, here are a few tips to make a backyard safer: Installing a fence around the yard Choosing materials that are robust and easy to maintain (ex: guardrails around decks and balconies) Having enough storage around the BBQ so the tools are not too easy to reach Will you need to excavate the yard? Some projects require an excavation project before the other steps can be launched. For example, when installing an inground pool, paving a driveway, installing a septic tank, when building a concrete slab and other landscaping projects. Don't forget to work with experts, as if there is one task that cannot be improvised, it has to be excavating! Will you want to add a garden? When you are creating the plan for your landscaping project (with the help of a pro), don't forget to determine whether you'd like to have a garden. This is the best moment to launch this process, or at the very least, to choose the space that will be devoted to this project. You can select the best spot to grow fruits and veggies (or flowers) in terms of sunshine, exposure to water and so on. Will plumbing and electrical installations have to be updated? For some projects like installing a pool, a spa or a shed, you may have to hire plumbing and/or electricity specialists. Your landscaping contractor could be there to give you names, or you can use our service to find certified contractors. Will you be looking to add storage? We often forget to include storage outside the home. However, it's both useful and important! You will have to find a spot to store tools and materials that are mostly used outside the home. For example: Ce rangement peut être adapté à vos besoins et à la quantité d'espace disponible. Par exemple, vous pourriez installer un espace sous la terrasse, ou construire un cabanon personnalisé. Enfin, si vous manquez de place, vous pouvez aussi trouver un espace dans le garage ou dans le sous-sol. Idéalement, ces objets seront faciles d'accès. A lawnmower; A pressure washer; Pots of paint; Pool accessories; Furniture that has to be stored in the winter. Lastly, the question of the budget We will cover this subject in another paragraph further down in the article. WORKING WITH A LANDSCAPING CONTRACTOR Source: Canva Depending on the nature of the work you will be carrying out, you will have to work with at least one contractor. If the project is quite important, you will probably have to hire more than one. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the types of contractors that will work on exterior renovation projects: Landscaping and maintenance specialists; Landscape architects; Electricians; Plumbers; Deck and patio contractors; Pool/spa/Bassin contractors; Excavation specialists; Driveway paving experts; Fence specialists; Exterior painters. And so on (the list is not complete). So, where do we start? If you have a specific idea of the project you want to carry out and know that it can be done by one expert, don't ask yourself too many questions. It's better to contact the expert directly. However, if you want a more in-depth transformation of the yard, you will have to consult a landscaping specialist or a landscape architect to create a specific plan for the project. Next, you should decide whether the contractor will take on the full management of the project or if you prefer to hire each expert yourself. One important thing to remember: you must always have written contracts with your contractors. Would you like to know why? Check out our article Renovation Project: 3 Reasons to Sign an Official Contract ALL ABOUT THE BUDGET A landscaping project could cost around $500 but the budget may easily reach tens of thousands of dollars if you are carrying out a large-scale transformation. Therefore, it's hard for us to give you any precise numbers in this article. However, we want to reiterate how important it is that you take the time to calculate your budget before you start the project. This will allow you to select materials, projects and contractors while avoiding any surprises. Above all, you must not run out of financial resources along the way and cause the work to be delayed as you save up again. Therefore, you must determine the amount available in your budget. Next, to know how much you will pay for your project, you'll have to talk to contractors. We have a few useful tools that will help you get a general idea of the costs for exterior renovation projects: 2020 Home Renovation Price Guide Several articles on our blog LANDSCAPING PROJECT PLANS Who should you get in touch with for your landscaping project? Typically, this type of plan will be created by a landscaping specialist or an architect. Other types of contractors will also offer this service, but those are the two main ones we recommend to target experts who have enough experience with this type of service. THE PERMITS AND MUNICIPAL BYLAWS THAT COULD AFFECT YOUR LANDSCAPING PROJECT This is the last aspect to take into consideration before we start talking about the structures and materials that are a part of landscaping and exterior renovations. Indeed, if you don't take the time to consult municipal by-laws that are currently in effect in your area, you could have a hard time getting permits. Worst of all, if you don't have the right permits to carry out your project, you may be exposed to fines. Here are a few elements of an exterior renovation project that could be subject to municipal bylaws and the building code (beware, these are only examples): The pool; The fence; The trees; The hedges; The paint colours (if you live in a protected area); The staircases; Rooftop terraces; The balconies. Get in touch with your municipal authorities to learn more and to start working on getting the permits you will need to carry out the work. How to know which building permits you need for your renovation project DIFFERENT TYPES OF LANDSCAPING PROJECTS Source: Canva In the upcoming paragraphs, we will look at the different elements that are part of an outdoor layout. You will also find links to detailed articles for each subject. EXTERIOR STRUCTURES One of the best ways to take advantage of exterior spaces is to install a structure where we can relax, share meals and meet up with friends. These structures can take the form of balconies, decks or terraces. There is a wide variety of materials that you can choose from according to your budget, your taste and your maintenance capacities. Here are a few examples of materials that are often used to build patios and balconies: Fibreglass; Wood; Metal; Composite. Each of these materials has its pros and cons. Therefore, it's interesting to look at their characteristics and the price before making a choice. You will find a lot of useful information in the following articles to help you determine how to choose the type of structure you will build, the materials, and the layout tips. Decks and Terraces What is the difference between a patio, balcony and veranda? Which building materials should be used for a deck? How to paint a wooden deck: step-by-step instructions Wood patios: models and prices Reno Inspiration: 10 examples of original patio designs and decors The cost of building a deck/patio How to build a deck: materials and techniques How to build a floating deck Cost of Building a Rooftop Terrace in Canada How to Build a Rooftop Terrace How to dye your patio in 5 easy steps Balconies Balcony maintenance tips: cleaning and repairs How to restore an old balcony RenoQuotes.com Balcony price guide How to install a guardrail on a balcony How to restore aluminum railings on balconies 10 examples of balcony design: materials and decor The Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Balconies Sheds We've already talked about exterior storage outside the home and the role it plays in providing easy access to your tools and materials. If you have enough space available in your backyard, why not install a shed? Oftentimes, this is one of the best options to store your things in one place. Here are some articles we've published about sheds. You'll find information that will help you make a choice: 6 shed styles that will help you with backyard storage How to build a shed in your backyard RenoQuotes.com Price Guide: Sheds Gazebos and Pergolas Gazebos and pergolas are not only meant for English courtyards with sophisticated layouts. Instead, these structures can be practical when looking to create a space that allows us to be outdoors while being somewhat protected. Over the past few years, we've also witnessed the growing popularity of pergolas in small urban backyards. With this type of structure, you can install a canvas that protects the surface from the sun and can be removed if you want the rays to hit you. We can also create beautiful installations with vines, flowers and climbing plants that go up the sides of the pergola or the gazebo. We've prepared a special guide that you can check out: Gazebos: prices and characteristics Carport The carport is a structure that is usually installed on the side of the house but self-supporting carports also exist. If you're thinking of installing a carport in your backyard, check out this article: Everything you need to know about carports BBQ and Outdoor Kitchen Cooking outdoors is one of the most popular outdoor activities, which is why BBQs are so common. Some people even decide to install a fully functional kitchen outside their home, so they can make meal prepping even more efficient and enjoyable. There are several aspects to take into account when deciding whether or not you want to install a BBQ or build an outdoor kitchen. Here are a few things to remember: How to build an outdoor kitchen: 5 things to know Outdoor Steps Outdoor stairs can range from 3 steps to climbing up several floors. Once again, there exists a wide variety of materials, types of structures and staircase shapes. If you wish to add a new staircase or renovate the one you already have, here are a few useful articles: Renovating your concrete staircase: price and techniques How to fix your wrought iron staircase Columns Columns add a beautiful architectural element around the house. Although they can play a structural role, this is increasingly rare. Most of the time, they are now added to create a visual impact. Even though exterior columns are often associated with a more classical style, they are also often integrated into modern architecture. Here is an article that talks about exterior columns and that mostly focuses on maintenance: How to maintain and repair outdoor columns FENCES, GATES AND RETAINING WALLS Source: Canva Fences and gates play several roles: Delimit the property; Make the yard safer; Offer more intimacy. Moreover, these structures are meant to organize the layout of the yard, creating several zones that are well-defined. We've also put retaining walls in this category as they can be used to delineate a property. These three types of structures also have an esthetical effect that can be very interesting when it comes to creating a cohesive look in a backyard or front yard. In the following articles, you will learn more about the materials for fences, gates and retaining walls: Fences How to paint a fence The cost of a brand-new fence Gates The different types of house gates Retaining walls How to build a stone wall in your backyard EXTERIOR PAINT Outdoor surfaces are exposed to weather and experience more wear and tear than interior surfaces. Therefore, it is important to choose the right paint product, as well as the right tools and application techniques. If in the past, you've already used indoor paint for an outdoor surface (for example, a balcony), chances are that you've never repeated this mistake. Indeed, this type of product is not adapted for outdoor conditions. In just a few months, the paint will start peeling and the surface will have to be repaired. Does your exterior renovation project imply paint? Here are a few articles to check out for all the most important advice: Exterior painting projects: average prices How to paint concrete The average cost for house painting projects POOLS, HOT TUBS AND PONDS Source: Canva When we plan to live in a home in the long or medium term, we often think about the elements that could have a positive impact on our quality of life as well as that of our closes ones. In this type of list, we often notice that installing a pool or a spa is one of the main priorities. In the summer, having a pool is a great asset for homeowners, whereas a hot tub can be used over several months throughout the year for relaxing moments. However, this is not a project that should be taken lightly. We have to think about several aspects such as maintenance, annual costs, installation complexity, safety and the amount of space available in the backyard. When it comes to water basins and fountains, these can be very beautiful but if they aren't well built, they can become repulsive and even dangerous. Therefore, you must always hire experts to install these types of structures, whether it's a pool or pond. In the following articles, you will find a ton of information about basins, types of pools, electrical installations and so on. Pools and Hot Tubs Regulations for swimming pool installation Installing and setting up a pool in your backyard Expectation vs. reality: installing a swimming pool in your backyard Installing a Pool And Setting Up Your Backyard Connecting a spa or a pool: everything to know Urban swimming pools: 10 inspirations for your small yards Everything to know about owning a natural pool ELECTRICITY, PLUMBING, FRENCH DRAINS AND SEPTIC TANKS We often forget that in a yard, there can be electrical wires and plumbing systems. When we carry out landscaping projects, contractors may discover things when digging out the yard, or they will have to be careful in some places. Moreover, if you're getting a pool or a spa installed, it will probably be necessary to carry out modifications within the exterior plumbing system. The same goes for electricity which will be used to power the lights in the pool, the backyard and any other tool that requires being connected to an electrical system. Lastly, other parts of the plumbing and/or water disposal system are also located outside the home, namely the septic tank and the french drain. You could take advantage of the exterior renovation project you are launching to restore these elements, as needed. Here is a list of articles that cover different aspects related to exterior plumbing and water evacuation (for articles about pools and spas, see above): Outdoor electrical projects Here are some exterior renovation projects for which you may want to hire an electrician: Lighting Hot tub and pool Wiring Outdoor kitchen Exterior electrical box This list is not exhaustive. Here are three useful articles about electricity in outdoor projects: Reasons to hire an electrician: outdoor projects Running Underground Electrical Connections in Your Backyard Connecting a spa or a pool: everything to know! Septic system and french drain What is a french drain? A short guide to septic tanks: price, maintenance and operation What is the price of a septic tank? DRIVEWAY PAVING, PAVERS AND OTHER OUTDOOR GROUND SURFACES Among other things, paving is used to create a parking spot that is usually found at the front or on the side of the house. Most parking lots are made of asphalt or gravel. For the rest of the yard, we often use stamped concrete or paver stones to create defined sections where it's easier to circulate, whether this is close to the pool, in the alleys of a garden or around children's play structures. To help you make decisions about these types of surfaces, here are our articles about this subject: Cost of paving a driveway: asphalt, paver stones and cement Paver stones: The different types of natural paving stones How to clean paver stones: step-by-step instructions Asphalt : All about heated asphalt GARDENS, TREES, PLANTS AND LANDSCAPING Source: Canva What better way to beautify a house than to surround it with trees, beautiful plants, and lush green grass? It is not necessary to turn into a gardener to be able to enjoy the benefits associated with greenery. A landscaping specialist can help you design and maintain the trees, shrubs, flowers, and plants that will be on your property. When it comes to gardens, these often take a lot of effort but in return, you get a lot of satisfaction, in addition to having pretty flowers and fruits and vegetables that grow right in your backyard. This is a very interesting prospect! 10 examples of landscaping projects Landscaping: the costs of various projects for 2020 Is landscaping a good investment? Tips for the perfect landscaping 2021: 5 landscaping trends Planning a landscaping project: what to know 5 ideas to beautify the exterior of your home Gardens Garden planning: the best plants to repel insects 5 tips for arranging your flowerbeds How to arrange a rock garden Reno inspiration: 10 examples of beautiful little backyards Vegetable plants: how to grow them? Annual or perennial: what’s the difference? Landscaping: how to choose your flowers The creation of a green wall: how to go about it? How a good garden can increase property value Grass and its alternatives Long a staple in backyards and front yards, especially in suburban areas, grass has tended to evolve in recent years. Maintaining it requires a lot of effort and in the past, it was not uncommon to have to adopt a rather intense chemical regimen to maintain its bright green colour. Now the options are diversifying. When choosing the type of flowerbed you want to install in your front and/or back yard, you can consult our articles on this subject. This will give you a better idea of the different options available on the market: Landscaping project: the cost of peat moss Working with a horticulturist: average prices and things to know Trees and shrubs To create a healthy environment around a home, it is practically mandatory to include trees and some shrubs. Of course, this is not possible in all yards, but if you have the possibility, it is highly recommended. Do you already have trees that could benefit from a little bit of maintenance to restore their energy? Take this opportunity to look into it! Here are a few articles about trees and shrubs: 8 tips to take care of your trees 10 examples of trees and shrubs for your landscaping project 3 types of shrubs to incorporate into your landscaping How to plant a cedar hedge: the steps Tree Pruning: Why, When and How? EXCAVATING DURING AN EXTERIOR RENOVATION PROJECT For major landscaping work, as well as other types of projects taking place in a yard, it may be necessary to launch an excavation process. This can involve significant costs, but this step is often necessary to ensure good results, especially when paving a driveway, or when we want to correct the sloping of a lot. Here is an article that will help you better understand how excavation works: 10 factors that affect the price of an excavation project A FEW MORE LANDSCAPING AND MAINTENANCE TIPS Source: Canva Lastly, we have gathered other articles about landscaping and exterior renovations that we believe could be useful for you: These articles share layout ideas and maintenance tips that should not be missed. We will update this guide to add any content that may be relevant. Here's hoping that it has been useful for you! 5 eco-friendly landscaping projects How to use a pressure washer 7 landscaping tips for your driveway 3 ideas for organizing your backyard Reno inspiration: 10 examples of beautiful little backyards How to prepare your land for spring Design Trends and Landscaping Tips from RenoQuotes THE IDEAL LANDSCAPING PROJECT TOOLBOX Source: Canva Whether or not you've decided to hire a contractor or to do certain things yourself, you should have a few basic tools to be able to carry out repairs and/or to help out during the project: Dill; Pliers; Oscillating saw; Multi-head screwdriver; Hammer with a short handle; Adjustable wrench; Siphon; Box of finishing nails; Tape measure; Weeder; Gardening scissors; Set of shovels; Pair of secateurs; Rakes; Hand saw; Garden hoe; Wheelbarrow; Leaf blower; Fork. YOUR GO-TO LANDSCAPING PROJECT CHECKLIST
Léa Plourde-Archer • 15 Jun 2020
As a homeowner, it can feel like our schedule is filled with boring maintenance tasks. Sometimes it can even become a kind of insurmountable mountain that we’ll tend to avoid by cutting corners or simply ignoring what needs to be done. This impulse is completely normal, as most homeowners will experience a similar situation during their lifetime. However, you have to realize that avoiding maintenance tasks will end up having financial consequences and sometimes even risks for your health and for the integrity of your home. To make this mountain easier to tackle, one of the best techniques is to create a well-organized schedule where these tasks are spread out over the year. Knowing exactly when a certain thing needs to be done will make it easier to tackle and will help you stay on top of your home maintenance management. Certain tasks can also be entrusted to experts. If you already have an annual schedule to manage the maintenance of the various property elements, you can arrange in advance to contact these experts and get a date that suits you so that the work is completed. Do you need a little help to determine which maintenance tasks should be scheduled for the coming months? We’ve prepared this article to guide you. You’ll also find a checklist/checklist document that you can use to record dates and check off what’s been done. The house maintenance list (monthly, seasonal and annual tasks) We’ve divided this article into two main sections: tasks that should be done on a monthly or bi-monthly basis and jobs that are recommended on an annual or bi-annual basis. A note will also be added to indicate whether these tasks should be performed at a certain time of the year (for example, in summer or before the first frost). Indoor monthly or bi-monthly maintenance list Source: Canva Here are the tasks to schedule once a month (or every two months). The more people there are in your home, the more likely it is that this maintenance should be done regularly. Change air conditioning filters (when used) Why is it important to regularly change the filters on an air conditioner? Here are the three main reasons: To ensure the device can before well; To avoid breakdowns; To ensure good air quality. Here are a few articles where you'll find information about the maintenance in an air conditioning unit: How to replace an air conditioning filter All about air conditioning maintenance How To Maintain a Wall-Mounted Air Conditioner Do you have a heat pump? Check out our article How to Maintain a Heat Pump? to know how to take care of your system. Inspect and clean the kitchen hood The reasons why it’s important to clean the kitchen hood are almost the same as those of air conditioners. If you neglect cleaning the hood, it won’t operate at full capacity. Change furnace filters Furnace filters should also be changed regularly. If you notice that your home smells like dust, it could be a sign that the filter needs to be changed as soon as possible. See our article: 4 things to know about electric furnaces. Remove mineral deposits from faucets and showerheads If your water contains a lot of lime, it could form a deposit in your taps and showerhead. To avoid flow problems, you should remove these deposits as they appear. To do this, there are several techniques including natural products (lemon, vinegar) and products sold in hardware stores. If the filing results in blockage, you can also hire the services of a plumber. If you find that your faucet may need a little extra maintenance, check out this article: How to repair your kitchen faucet. Inspect baths, showers and toilets to prevent or repair obstructions Also, take advantage of the previous inspection to assess the presence of other types of obstructions in the valves and piping to avoid blockages. Clean your garbage disposal If you neglect the maintenance of your garbage disposal, you may have to deal with very unpleasant odours in your kitchen. Know that this type of problem is easy to avoid. Indeed, a simple monthly cleaning should be enough to keep the tool in good condition. Be sure to turn off any electricity before cleaning the grinder with dish soap or baking soda. You can also try the salt and ice cube technique. Clean window frames Around the windows, we tend to see an accumulation of dust and dirt from outside. If the window frame is damaged, there may also be traces of mould or other harmful elements. To avoid a long-term accumulation of grime that would be hard to remove, it's best to take a look at your windows and clean the frames. This is all the more important for basement windows, which are even more exposed to dirt than others. Check out our article: How to maintain wood window frames. Thoroughly clean your appliances (fridge, oven, microwave) If your appliances are clean and tidy, they will certainly last longer. Once a month or every two months, take a few minutes to thoroughly clean your refrigerator, oven and other appliances in your kitchen. Clean the ducts around the dryer It’s very important to clean the ducts that are connected to the dryer because if dust has time to accumulate inside them, this could cause a fire hazard. In general, these pipes can be cleaned using a sweeper. However, if in doubt, you can also contact duct cleaning experts. Check out this article: How to clean your ventilation ducts. Thoroughly clean all floors Most people will do a weekly cleaning of their floors, which provides an adequate level of cleanliness for daily needs. However, several times a year, it’s recommended to carry out a more advanced maintenance treatment. To avoid the accumulation of dirt which will sometimes withstand regular cleaning, you can use more powerful products and a technique requiring more meticulousness. Be sure to choose your cleaning products carefully, as some flooring materials are more fragile than others. Here are a few articles about the maintenance to do to preserve the beauty of your floors: Hickory hardwood floors: installation and maintenance advice Hardwood Floor Maintenance Techniques How to sand, repair and varnish your wood floor Outdoor annual or bi-annual maintenance list Source: Canva Below is a list of exterior maintenance tasks to be performed on an annual or bi-annual basis. Clean windows Windows are among the most important elements of the home. They allow air to circulate and natural light to enter your home. Once or twice a year, the exterior surface of the glass deserves a good cleaning to ensure that the windows are kept clean and that they remain in good condition for the long term. Here’s a task that you can do as an owner, but it’s also possible to hire experts who will offer you an affordable cleaning service. This option is all the more interesting when some of your windows are difficult to access, especially those located on the second floor or in a skylight. Do you have window shutters? Check out our article How to maintain window shutters to learn more about how to take good care of them. Fill out this form to be put in touch with window cleaning companies. Maintain outdoor plumbing Outdoor plumbing components, including the garden hose and sprinkler systems, are exposed to bad weather. If not properly maintained, they could have a reduced lifespan. This is why it’s important to maintain or look over them at least once a year. This should be done in the spring, as winter is when there is the most potential for damage. Watch for rust, make sure your piping is well insulated, and check that drains aren’t blocked. You can contact an outside plumbing expert for this type of project. Caulk the holes around the house (to prevent insect infestations) Several times a year, you can do a cursory inspection around the house to see if you notice any holes that are open invitations for various critters to enter your home. These holes could be found around basement windows, in foundations, in siding and so on. The techniques to repair these holes vary depending on where these openings are located, so it will be necessary to adapt your plan of attack according to the conditions to which you are exposed. Caulking experts can also guide you to see what should be done. Further, we can help in your search for experts! Inspect the condition of the patio At the end of winter, you’ll certainly be looking forward to enjoying your patio! Before you install your furniture and your BBQ, take the time to inspect its structure to make sure everything is in good condition. Once that is done, you’ll be able to determine if you need to re-paint or stain the patio and if certain repairs are necessary. Would you prefer to entrust this task to a person who specializes in the maintenance and renovation of patios? We can help you! Inspect the roof In spring and fall, it’s strongly advised that you carry out a roof inspection. Ideally, this inspection should be done by an expert. However, if you can observe the roof well from your front or back yard, you‘ll be able to do your preliminary inspection. Be very careful if you decide to climb with a ladder, because it’s one of the riskiest actions in terms of house maintenance, especially if you’re not used to this type of equipment! This is why we prefer to say that you should hire an expert for this type of task. Also, a roofer will have a precise eye for identifying potential problems. For more information, check out these articles: Why it's important to clean your roof Sheet Metal Roofing Maintenance Tips Are you looking for a roofer to inspect your roof? Click here! Inspect the foundations Foundations play a very important role in ensuring the integrity of your home. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to monitor the condition of your foundations at least twice a year, in spring and fall. Doing this will mean that you will be able to intervene quickly if problems appear, such as cracks or efflorescence. Check out these articles to learn more: How to repair a crack in the foundations? 10 signs your foundation needs to be renovated Foundation experts will be the best guides to let you know if your foundation needs to be repaired. Here you will be put in touch with foundation pros. Inspect the exterior siding There are several types of exterior siding materials. Since this article applies to everyone, we can’t give specific advice for a particular coating. However, it’s important to know that all types of sidings should be inspected at least once a year. Here are the main problems to watch out for the most common models: Brick - Bulging brick, joints in poor condition; Vinyl - Warped slats; Aluminum - Marks and dents; Wood - Mould, maintenance requirements; Fibre cement - Discolourations, cracks; Suretouch - Problems with joints. You can also check out our articles on exterior siding for more information: Exterior siding: which material to choose? Would you prefer to work with an exterior siding expert? Tell us about your project so that we can refer specialists. Remove leaves on the ground Before winter, it’s strongly advised to remove most of the leaves that have fallen from the trees to allow the lawn to breathe. If we omit this step when finishing up our landscaping protective measures before the snow arrives, we risk ending up with a bad lawn when spring arrives. There’s also another option, which is to spread the leaves and shred them with a mower-shredder, to create a layer of compost. Here you will find pros who can help with your landscaping. Clean the gutters We are aware that cleaning gutters is not the most preferred task. However, it’s important not to neglect this crucial operation aimed at ensuring that the gutters can fulfill their role adequately. In general, the gutters should be emptied and cleaned at least once a year. If your house is surrounded by trees, you’ll have to repeat this operation two or three times a year to avoid blockages. To learn more about cleaning gutters, see this article: How to clean gutters Clean the balcony Do you have a nice balcony at home where you like to enjoy a good cup of coffee when the outdoor temperature is comfortable? Read our article Balcony Maintenance Tips: Cleaning and Repairs. Clean your exterior surfaces with a pressure wash The pressure washer is a very useful tool to help you when cleaning the exterior surfaces of your house. This tool is sold in hardware stores, but you can also rent it or hire experts who offer this type of maintenance service. Warning: some materials are not designed to support the power of the jet of a pressure washer. Before proceeding, find out whether or not you should use this tool! Here’s an article about pressure cleaning that can help you: How to use a pressure washer? Click here to find pressure washing experts. Take care of your landscaping Landscaping is a general concept that encompasses several things, here is a short overview: Opening the yard in the spring; Closing the yard before winter; Maintaining the lawn/installing peat; Setting up and maintaining flower beds; Pruning trees and shrubs; Applying pest control products; Installing or repairing paving stone/concrete/tiles. We have chosen to include landscaping in this checklist to help you organize the dates when the tasks will be scheduled in your calendar. Repainting your exterior surfaces (patio, covering, shed, fence) Before you’re able to enjoy the summer, most people will want to make sure that their outdoor environment meets their expectations. Sometimes, this involves taking out the brush to paint or stain wooden surfaces, including the patio, balcony, siding, shed or fence. Here are some articles about painting and staining on exterior surfaces: How to paint a wooden deck? How to stain exterior siding Don't you feel like taking on the job to paint or stain your exterior surfaces? We can put you in touch with experts! Reopening and maintaining your pool Pools are back in style and when we’re lucky enough to have one in our backyard, it’s important to take good care of it! This involves doing basic weekly maintenance when open, but also deeper maintenance during spring and fall. Are you looking for swimming pool experts to install a new one or to repair the one you already have? Fill out our form. Clean window wells to remove any debris Window wells play an important role in protecting basement windows. However, for them to be able to do their job, they must remain in good condition. Watch for ice dams and icicles around the roof Who hasn't seen those long icicles that hang along the gutters and ledges of a roof, creating a pretty landscape typical of cold winter days? Unfortunately, the presence of these icicles indicates that there’s probably an insulation problem in your home. Here's what you need to know about ice dams: Ice dam: how to prevent ice from forming on the roof Indoor annual or bi-annual maintenance list Source: Canva Below is a list of exterior maintenance tasks to be performed on an annual or bi-annual basis. Clean the ventilation ducts If your house is equipped with a ventilation system that contains ducts with vents leading into your home, you’ll need to plan for regular maintenance. At least once a year, you should schedule an inspection and cleaning. You can entrust this task to ventilation duct cleaning experts, as they will have access to the appropriate equipment to perform this type of maintenance. Fill out the form to be put in touch with pros! Deep carpet cleaning Carpet floors are far less popular than before, but that doesn't mean they have completely disappeared! If you have carpet flooring in some of the rooms of your home, you will have to think about doing in-depth cleaning at least once a year. This will help restore the carpet to its beautiful original colours and prevent a build-up of dust from affecting the air quality in your home. There are tools you can hire to clean floor mats. Otherwise, you can also consult carpet maintenance experts. Oil your floors (if necessary) Are your wood floors oiled? A new coat of oil should be applied approximately every 3 to 5 years. In other years, you can watch for stains and repair small scratches that sometimes appear on the surface. Here’s an article about the maintenance of oiled floors: How to maintain an oiled floor Are you afraid of applying the oil incorrectly on your floor? Don't hesitate to contact floor renovation experts. Check the water heater to see if there are leaks A home's water heater has a limited lifespan. Depending on the models, it could last 10 to 20 years. To make sure that your device is working well and that it will reach the end of its expected life, you should take a look at it at least once a year. In some cases, it’s advisable to drain your water heater. You may also need to descale the tank, examine the anode, and test for resistance. Note: if you know very little about this type of appliance, it’s strongly advised that you call in a water heater expert. To have more information on this subject, consult our article How to check the status of the water heater. Test your fire and carbon monoxide alarms This may seem obvious, but many fires that destroy homes could have been prevented if the owners had taken the time to test their smoke detectors. The same is true for carbon monoxide detection systems, where incidents could have been prevented by an assistive device. Twice a year, test your systems to see if they still react as expected. We have two interesting articles about this subject: How to choose a home alarm system Inspect your basement to avoid flooding If your home is at risk of flooding, you should monitor the condition of your basement walls, windows and ceilings. Check out this article for more info about waterproofing your basement: Steps for keeping your basement dry and waterproof Repair damaged caulking around doors and windows In winter, you can check if cold air is entering your interior through cracks around your doors and windows. These openings must be blocked, either by caulking, adding insulation or installing various accessories designed for this purpose such as weatherstripping. Click here to be put in touch with experts in doors and windows. Repair damaged caulking around baths, sinks or showers In bathrooms, caulking is used to prevent water infiltration that can damage walls and floors. If the caulk is damaged, it will not be able to work as expected. Here's an article on caulking around a bath: How to redo caulk around a bath Redo the grout around the ceramic tiles Have you noticed that some parts of the grout around your ceramic tiles are damaged? Don’t neglect the maintenance of grout, especially in rooms that are often exposed to water including bathrooms and kitchens. Here’s an article that presents some advice on the maintenance of tile joints: Maintenance tips for bathroom tiles Maintain your kitchen/bathroom countertops Countertop surfaces are among those that undergo the most daily maintenance. That being said, once or twice a year, it’s important to plan a more thorough cleaning. The cleaning tools and techniques will depend on the type of countertop material you’ve installed. You can find more information by consulting our articles about kitchen countertops: Kitchen Renovation - The Price of a Kitchen Counter The stone kitchen counter The concrete kitchen counter Inspect the chimney We see fewer and fewer chimneys on homes, but if your home is equipped with such a structure, it’s important to avoid neglecting its maintenance! Lubricate your door hinges Do your door hinges produce unpleasant noises? Take the time to lubricate all hinges with a product designed for this purpose. You’ll find this type of product in your neighbourhood hardware store. Check the condition of your electrical system In everyday life, we do not always realize that our electrical system would need to be refurbished. In this article, you’ll find signs to watch out for so that you can determine if there’s a problematic situation: The 9 most common electricity problems Electrical work must always be carried out by experts. Are you looking for electricians? Click here to fill out the form. Maintain the sump pump Is your sump pump in good working order? The role of this pump is to evacuate the water that enters through the floors and foundation walls to avoid damaging accumulation. The sump pump can be tested by pouring a bucket of water into the tank to see if the pump responds properly. If the water remains in the tank, you’ll need to hire an expert to repair the pump. Reinstall and maintain sprinklers Does your home have a sprinkler system installed to put out fires? Be sure to inspect your system regularly to make sure it’s working. This type of inspection should be done by a specialist in sprinkler maintenance, as it’s a relatively complex system. Clean the coils of your refrigerator During spring cleaning, many tend to clean the inside of the refrigerator. However, many people forget to wash the outside parts, including the coils under their appliance (or sometimes behind). The cleaning of fridge coils is used to remove dust which affects the proper functioning of the compressor. Be careful to follow these steps during cleaning: Unplug the refrigerator; Remove the grid which is installed in front of the coils; To vacuum; Clean the drip tray with soapy water; Put everything back in place. What housekeeping tasks should be left to experts? Source: Canva Throughout this article, we’ve often mentioned that certain maintenance tasks should be entrusted to experts. Indeed, tasks involving more complex systems (especially plumbing and electrical systems) should always be performed by specialists. It’s also difficult to replace expert knowledge when it comes to inspecting for potential problems. If you prefer to have more free time to spend with your loved ones and on your hobbies, don’t hesitate to call on the services of companies used to doing this work. Here are some other useful articles about house maintenance: Maintenance of a flat roof: 6 things to know Price Guide 2022: Kitchen Countertops 4 maintenance tips for an epoxy floor The stone kitchen counter Interior brick walls: cost and advice related to installation and maintenance All about the granite counter Home maintenance checklist (annual and monthly tasks)
Léa Plourde-Archer • 11 Feb 2021
Are you planning to renovate your exterior siding soon? To help you prepare for this project, we have created this checklist/guide where you can learn more about the different materials, the stages of the work and the questions to ask yourself before launching the project. Whit this type of project, it is best to hire a specialized contractor, because if the installation is poorly done, your home will be exposed to the elements. We will also share a few tips for choosing your exterior siding contractor. Would you like to jump directly to the checklist? Click here! BEFORE YOU LAUNCH THE PROJECT Source: Canva Before you start purchasing the materials and submitting your project on our platform to be put in touch with certified contractors, you should take the time to ask yourself a few questions. In doing so, you will be better prepared when the time comes to answer contractors' questions and receive their quotes. THE KEYWORDS OF AN EXTERIOR CLADDING PROJECT Durable First, it is important to choose a siding that protects the house from the elements. After all, this is the main role of this type of material. Therefore, you will have to choose a material that suits your tastes and your budget, but above all, that offers good long-term resistance. Keep these criteria in mind when shopping. Easy maintenance If you don't feel like spending time and money on maintenance, some materials will be less recommended. For example, wood shingles might look very nice, but if you want to maintain a certain colour, you will need to paint or stain them frequently. Also, you will not be able to use a pressure washer to clean the siding, which is too bad as this tool can be very useful and economical. Cohesive As for the aesthetic aspect of the cladding, you will choose your material according to your personal preferences. However, you also have to think about the fact that you might sell the house one day. Ideally, the colours and textures of the siding will be well harmonized with the environment that surrounds them. Also note that in some areas, the colours and types of materials that you can pick are regulated by the authorities, to maintain cohesion between the houses. Make sure you are well informed about this before making your purchases. HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR NEEDS Still haven't chosen your exterior cladding material? Before making a purchase that you are going to regret, you should ask yourself a few questions that will help you better understand your needs. QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN PLANNING AN EXTERIOR SIDING PROJECT Source: Canva What is my budget for the exterior siding renovation project? First and foremost, you need to make sure you have enough money available to carry out your project from A to Z and to deal with unexpected situations. In general, we are talking about 10% more than the amount planned for the work, so as not to find yourself in a bad situation if there is ever an issue during the project. To give you a general idea of the average budget to expect for this project, you can use our cost calculator. Am I going to replace all the siding or just some of it? You may also wonder whether you need to replace the entire exterior siding. Why do you want to change the current material? Is it because it's not to your liking? Is it because it is in bad shape? Does the entire siding need to be replaced, or just a few sections? If so, maybe you can get by on a smaller budget! What are my aesthetic preferences? Before making specific choices and even meeting contractors, do not hesitate to look at the different types of exterior siding available on the market. You can browse Pinterest, various websites devoted to architecture (Architectural Digest, Dezeen) and our blog to discover the aesthetic aspects of coatings. For example, here is an article that presents examples of exterior siding: 10 examples of exterior siding for the home Are there any regulations in my area for the type of exterior siding on my home? As mentioned previously, in some cities and neighbourhoods, there are regulations to follow regarding the choice of your siding. To find out if such is the case, you should visit your city's website, or contact them by phone. This is all the more important if you live in a heritage district like Old Quebec, Cabbagetown in Toronto or Gastown in Vancouver for example. WHO ARE THE EXPERTS TO CALL FOR AN EXTERIOR SIDING PROJECT? If you decide to hire a contractor for your project, which is highly recommended, you should opt for an exterior siding specialist. Note that there are contractors who only install certain materials and who are therefore even more specialized in their field of expertise. This is even more true for brick cladding, where masons will have to intervene. However, for other materials that are easier to install, such as vinyl, there will be more contractors offering this type of service and they will not need to be specialized. However, when applicable, you will have to check if they have the right licence to install exterior cladding. If you are using our platform to find your contractors, we will have already performed this verification for you. STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS FOR EXTERIOR CLADDING We have already talked about urban planning regulations that exist in certain areas and that may affect your choice of material. However, you should also know that you will have to respect the building standards for siding installation. If this is not done properly, you could put yourself at risk if you have to claim your insurance. Therefore, it's important to respect the standards according to what is listed in your local building code and according to the recommendations of the material's manufacturer. This is another good reason to call in experts for the installation, as they have the knowledge and experience to do it properly. DO YOU NEED A PERMIT? If more than 50% of the siding's surface needs to be replaced, you will likely need to obtain a building permit from your municipality. Make sure to get in touch with your city's permit office from the early stages of the project, because depending on where you live, obtaining the permit could take several weeks. To learn more about building permits, check out our article: How to know which building permits you need for your project THE BUDGET FOR AN EXTERIOR SIDING PROJECT The necessary budget can vary widely depending on the type of siding you will be installing, the size of the surface to be covered and the complexity of the installation. To give you a very general idea of the costs that you will have to budget for your project, here is an article to check out: Exterior siding: information, installation and pricing And use our cost calculator: Exterior siding You should meet with 2-3 contractors to compare their pricing. Remember to take into account the value for money they offer and the number of services included in their quote. TYPES OF MATERIALS FOR EXTERIOR SIDINGS There is a wide variety of exterior siding materials available on the market. We will show you the materials that are most often used in Canada so that you can compare them. More often, we also see a mixture of coverings, which is an option to explore if you like to create a unique look. Check out these articles for more information: Exterior siding: which material should you choose? Exterior siding: information, installation and pricing Vinyl exterior siding Source: Canva Vinyl siding is one of the most widely used siding materials as it is affordable and easy to install. In addition, this type of siding is light, and it is available in several colours, which means that it can be well suited to all tastes. Among its disadvantages, it should be known that if the installation of the siding is poorly done, the material may warp. Also, when exposed to the sun, the colours may fade. Finally, temperature variations can cause contractions, thus leading to cracks. However, in general, vinyl is easy to replace. How to restore vinyl siding How to install vinyl siding Aluminum siding Source: Canva Aluminum siding is another great option, as it is generally affordable and stronger than vinyl in most cases. Aluminum siding can be painted to suit your colour preferences. It is resistant to wind and temperature changes and does not shrink. However, it can be damaged if hit, and it doesn't offer good protection from fires. The pros and cons of aluminum siding Wood siding Source: Canva Wood is a highly versatile material, as it is used as much for contemporary-style homes as for heritage buildings. It can be painted and stained to change the look of the house. Wood siding can be relatively affordable initially. However, it requires a lot of maintenance, between oil treatments, staining, painting and replacing certain parts. In addition, wood has poor resistance to fires and must be treated to prevent mould. Wood siding: is it worth it? Fibre cement panels Source: Canva Fibre cement panels are made from a mixture of cement, sand and cellulose. There are smooth or textured models, depending on your preference. Manufacturers claim that it offers great resistance to bad weather and pests. However, certain organizations such as the Order of Architects of Quebec warn against its use, as they have noticed many degradations over time. If you are interested in this material, you will have to see if this order of caution is still in effect and if the manufacturers have made adjustments to deal with its defects. Wood fibre boards (canexel) Source: Canva Canexel panels are increasingly popular. This is mainly because they are easy to maintain and are more resistant to humidity and sunlight than other types of wood siding. It is also a highly resistant material that is respectful to the environment. One can choose from a nice variety of colours and textures. Wood panels are made from a blend of engineered wood, wood fibre, resin and wax. Acrylic coatings Source: Canva Acrylic coatings are manufactured in a factory from a mixture of concrete or expanded polystyrene with an acrylic base. They are resistant to bad weather and offer a nice look to a contemporary-style home. You should know that acrylic coatings must be installed by a professional. Finally, if you are concerned about the environment, know that this is not the most eco-friendly material. Suretouch Source: Canva If you like the look of brick and stone, but don't feel like spending a lot of money on your project, Suretouch can be a good option. This material is recognized for its insulating abilities and is quite easy to install. When the installation is well done, it is a highly waterproof material. Also, know that you can just as easily apply Suretouch on an old house as on a new house. Among the less positive aspects, given that this material has only been around for a few years, there is little documentation of its durability. However, thus far, the feedback is positive! Do you want to learn more about the subject? Read our article What to know about Suretouch exterior siding. Brick or stone exterior cladding Source: Canva We end with a timeless classic, brick and stone! Although installation and materials can be expensive, brick and stone are known for their durability. If the installation is done properly, brick or stone siding will be very resistant and will require little maintenance. Among the disadvantages is the price, which is usually among the highest compared to other materials. It's also important to make sure your house is sturdy enough and ready to accommodate a heavier material. If this is not the case, you may have to pay additional amounts. Here are a couple of articles to check out: Price guide: masonry work and bricklaying The 6 most common masonry problems Painting exterior brick: what type of paint to choose? How to install exterior brick siding MAINTENANCE OF AN EXTERIOR SIDING SURFACE When it comes to maintenance, the process will depend on the type of material you have chosen. Some materials are easier to maintain than others. For example, if your siding is made of vinyl, you can use a pressure washer to wash the surfaces. However, if your siding is made of wood, this tool is not recommended. To know how to maintain your siding material, do not hesitate to consult with the manufacturer. This will ensure that you use the right technique to clean and renew the colour of the material. How to clean exterior siding How to stain exterior siding Here are some other articles published on our blog that you may find useful: 10 examples of exterior cladding materials for your home A CHECKLIST OF THE STEPS TO FOLLOW FOR AN EXTERIOR SIDING RENOVATION PROJECT
Léa Plourde-Archer • 05 Nov 2020
The floor is one of the basic surfaces to be considered when designing the layout of a room. You have to think about practicality, the resistance of the material you've chosen and the aesthetic aspect of the surface. In most rooms, the floor is subject to a lot of wear and tear as we walk on it, move furniture, drop objects on its surface and so on. Therefore, whenever possible, it is best to choose a flooring material that is tough and will not show signs of wear too quickly. We have designed this checklist to help you get through the different stages. Whether your project is to restore an old floor, install new flooring, add underlayments and so on, this article and the accompanying checklist will certainly be very useful! This is an essential tool that can help you from start to finish, whether you are working with a contractor or doing the work yourself. We will also present you with the different materials for all the floor layers as well as the finishing products. Before your start the work Source: Canva Before getting to work, it's important to ask yourself a few questions about your budget, the materials you are going to choose and the result you are looking for. In the next few paragraphs, we'll introduce you to concepts and questions that can help you make decisions. The main keywords of flooring renovation projects Durability Unless the space where you are going to install the floor is low-traffic, you should choose a material that will be able to withstand everyday wear and tear without needing to be replaced in a few months. Therefore, the floor must be strong and this will affect both the choice of material and the installation techniques. Installation Some flooring materials are relatively easy to install and you might be tempted to do it yourself to save a certain amount of money. However, if you do it wrong or make mistakes, the result will not look as good and the durability of the floor could be affected. Appropriate materials Does your project involve installing new flooring in a bathroom? Be sure to choose a type of coating and underlayments that are suitable for this type of environment. Otherwise, you might face issues quite quickly. We've talked about the bathroom, but this advice applies to most rooms in the house, including the kitchen, hallway, bedroom, and any area in a basement. In fact, it also depends on how you use the rooms. We will cover this topic in more depth in another section of this article. Questions to ask when planning a floor renovation project Source: Canva Does the current floor need to be replaced or can it be restored? The first question to ask yourself and which you may not have thought of: why not just restore the current floor? Of course, this is not always possible, but people tend to want to cover the old floor with new material, instead of carrying out restoration work. For example, if you have a badly damaged hardwood floor, maybe it can be repaired by a contractor who knows it well. What is my budget? One of the first questions that can help you make decisions for your project is to have a more or less precise idea of the amount you are willing to spend. This will let you know which materials are accessible and how much area can be covered. To help you determine your budget as well as the amounts to plan, head to the section of this article where we discuss this topic. What are my aesthetic preferences? There is an endless variety of colours, finishes and textures for flooring materials. You may be overwhelmed by the number of choices that lie before you. To simplify the process, we recommend that you do your research upfront. You can check out our reno inspiration articles on floors and create a Pinterest account where you can save your favourite floor images. Then you can go to the store to consult with experts and finally talk to your contractor. What is the type of space where the floor will be installed? As mentioned before, the type of floor you are going to choose must be well suited for the room where it will be installed. For a kitchen, the material should be highly resistant and easy to maintain. This material needs to be water repellent and able to withstand shocks. For the living room, you will have more flexibility, but you still have to think about what type of use you make of the room. For example, if you have children, you might want to avoid surfaces that are too slippery or too messy. Do I hire a flooring contractor? Some projects can be done by everyone without too many problems. However, it can take time and in the end, it is sometimes less economical than working with experts. For a resistant floor that is well installed and often offered with warranties, it is always preferable to call on specialized contractors. Do I buy my own flooring materials? Have you fallen head over heels for a material that is on sale? If you know the dimensions you will need, this may be a good idea. On the other hand, if you decide to consult your contractor beforehand, you will be able to reduce the chances of making mistakes, for example, regarding the sub-floor, the quantities, the finishing products and so on. Also, specialized contractors sometimes have access to better prices because of the volume of materials they purchase. Will I have to live elsewhere during the project? If the floor you are going to renovate covers a large surface area, you may have to leave the house for a few days. In general, renovations are not very long, depending on the stages that will be part of the project. For example, you may need to reinforce the subfloor structure or apply a finishing product that takes a few days before you can return to occupy the room. Check with the contractor to find out how many days they plan to work. This can help you decide if you should move elsewhere. Working with a contractor that is specialized in flooring renos In the previous section, we already touched on working with a floor renovation expert. It should be noted that these experts are often specialized in the installation of certain types of floors. For example: Installation and renovation of hardwood floors Installation and refurbishment of ceramic or stone floors Installation and repair of heated floors And so on. Many flooring contractors will be able to offer services for all types of materials, but you may benefit from signing a contract with professionals who have developed specific expertise for the material you have chosen. The question of the budget for a floor renovation project The final amount associated with this type of project can vary dramatically, depending on the type of material, the size of the room, the complexity of the installation and the contractor's rates. Therefore, it is rather difficult to present you with exact figures so that you know in advance how much you are going to pay. However, we do have articles and tools that show average prices for materials and installation techniques. This information can help you get a general idea of how much to set aside for your project. Here are the articles to consult: Kitchen floor price guide 4 ways you can save money on flooring renovations Price guide: flooring materials 9 Factors That Determine the Price of a Flooring To give you a very general idea of the amounts to be expected, test our price calculator: Cost calculator for a flooring renovation project Do I need a permit for a floor renovation project? In the vast majority of cases, interior floors don't require obtaining a permit. However, you should never take anything for granted and you should still check your municipality's website or contact them by phone to verify that this statement is still valid in your case. To learn more about work that requires a building permit, see these articles: How to know which building permits you need for your renovation project The different types of sub-floors Source: Canva When we talk about flooring renovations, the first thing we tend to think about is the material on the surface. However, do not neglect the underlayment layers! Indeed, the sub-floor has several roles: Insulation Soundproofing Resistance Durability of the structure If you hire a contractor, they will be able to advise you on the best subfloor choices for you. However, you should still know about the different materials and types of installations possible. Check out this article to learn more: A short guide to the different types of sub-floors and sub-layers of floors Flooring materials In this section, we will give a general presentation of the main flooring materials available on the market and most often used in Canada. Slate Source: Canva Slatestone floors are very durable and their aesthetic appearance adapts well to many types of decor, from more modern styles to classic environments. Easy to maintain, they are more expensive than some other materials, but their durability means that the price/quality ratio is quite good. Bamboo Source: Canva Bamboo is not one of the most common flooring materials in Canada, but it is still an interesting option to consider. Waxed concrete Source: Canva Waxed concrete is a floor covering that is more often found in spaces such as the kitchen, garage or entryway. However, if you love the look of concrete that suits a contemporary or industrial style wonderfully, you don't need to limit yourself to these rooms! Hardwood Source: Canva What could be more classic and timeless than a hardwood floor? This type of floor can be made from several types of wood, which means that the cost of hardwood floor materials can vary by a lot. Hardwood can be installed in most rooms of the house, although it is less recommended in humid spaces like the bathroom or basement. Ceramic Source: Canva Ceramic tile is a versatile material, mainly used in rooms such as the kitchen, bathroom or hallway. In Europe, ceramic floors are often seen in other rooms of the house but are less common in Canada. It is probably a question of climate because ceramics tend to create a cold surface. Of course, it is possible to install a heating system under the ceramic surface. It is still a material that is found more often in rooms that are highly exposed to water and dirt. There are different grades of ceramic and a virtually endless variety of textures, colours, patterns and shapes for tiles. Marble Source: Canva Do you have a penchant for noble materials and luxurious decorations? Consider installing a marble floor! It should of course be noted that the cost of a marble floor will be rather high and that you will have to treat it very well to keep it in good condition. Marble is a tough material, but it can also be finicky when it comes to cleaning products. Make sure you are well-informed before making this choice! And be aware that if you love the look of marble, but don't have the budget to buy it, you will find ceramic or vinyl reproductions. Floating floor Source: Canva Floating floors are an attractive, often economical, option that can suit many types of decors and environments. Oftentimes, this type of flooring takes on the appearance of wood, but this is not always the case. Its installation process is relatively simple and therefore accessible to neophytes, although it is always better to call in experts. Vinyl, linoleum, marmoleum Source: Canva Here are three materials that have already had a bad reputation, but which have been rising in popularity in recent years! Indeed, the manufacturing process has been improved in all three cases and the materials are now more resistant. In addition, the "look" of these materials, once considered old-fashioned, has undergone a major metamorphosis. There are now hundreds of models on the market in all colours, with a great variety of finishes and patterns. You can even opt for vinyl or linoleum siding that recreates the look of wood, stone or ceramic. To help you choose, here is an article to consult: How to lay vinyl tiles: step-by-step instructions Other types of flooring There are of course other flooring materials, but we haven't had time to devote any in-depth articles to them yet. On the other hand, we have other articles which mention them and which present some of their characteristics: 10 affordable flooring materials 7 flooring materials (that are alternatives to wood) Floors according to room types We also have several articles that introduce you to the best types of floor coverings for certain rooms: 6 flooring options to transform your foyer What floor covering should you choose for your garage The best types of flooring for your bathroom 8 great kitchen flooring options 10 flooring materials that work best for the bedroom What are the best industrial flooring materials? How to Choose Your Kitchen Flooring Material: 6 Top Materials Flooring problems Unfortunately, floors can be affected by various problems, including situations that do not necessarily have to do with the floor itself. Here is a very common example of a flooring problem: How to fix an uneven floor Repairs and finishes (varnish) We cannot approach this type of work without talking about the finishes that will be applied to the surface of these materials. With finishes, we must also talk about sanding and repairs. Indeed, to restore a floor in good condition or to create a finish that is resistant in the long term, it is important to employ the right techniques and use the right products. Here's an article about floor sanding: How to sand, repair and varnish your hardwood floor And our articles on varnishes: Choosing a varnish for your wood floor Wood floors: all about crystal varnish Finally, we also have a few articles that share some useful tips for refinishing floors: How to strip a hardwood floor How to renovate a bathroom ceramic floor How to Replace a Few Tiles in your Kitchen Floor How to remove a floor Do you need to remove a floor before installing a new one? This is a process that may turn out to be more complicated than it might seem at first. Make sure you check out this article before going ahead with this project: How to remove a floor and subfloor A few maintenance tips for floors Once you have completed the work, you will need to think about the regular and semi-regular maintenance to be done to keep it in good condition. Here are articles that specifically address floor maintenance for certain types of materials: How to maintain an oiled floor Hardwood Floor Maintenance Techniques What to know about heated floors Source: Canva Finally, we must also address the subject of heated floors! This type of system works either with tubes transporting liquid (heat transfer or hydroponics) or with an electrical system operated with infrared heat. To learn more about the different models and the advantages and disadvantages of these types of systems, see this article: The pros and cons of heated floors The different stages of a floor renovation project The stages to follow will vary depending on the types of work you are going to perform. Of course, for a restoration project, the steps will not be the same as if you are installing new flooring from A to Z. However, we can still determine a few crucial steps to take to make things go smoothly. Here are the steps: Determine what type of floor renovation project you want to achieve Contact contractors to receive quotes (if applicable) Choose materials and products Prepare the ground (remove furniture, protect certain surfaces, prepare products and materials) Start the work (repair, installation, etc.) If necessary, allow a waiting period (so that the finishing products have time to dry or the floor covering can adapt to its environment) Finalize the work How a floor project could have an impact on your everyday life If your project takes place in one room, you will probably be able to stay put for the duration of the work. However, if you plan to repair and/or change your floor in multiple rooms, you may need to move around for a few days. To ensure that the work takes place in the best conditions, here are 2 articles to consult: From the ground up: the stages of a renovation project 6 tips for managing stress related to renovations The toolkit for a floor renovation project If you want to do some renovation or floor installation work yourself, you should have a few tools at your disposal: Trowel Flat bar Scraper Level Tape measure Miter saw and/or jigsaw Threshing block Rubber mallet Spacers Jigsaw Pneumatic floor nailer Air compressor Drill and bits Sponges Pliers The checklist for your flooring renovation project
Léa Plourde-Archer • 30 Sep 2020
Most people have carried out residential paint jobs at some point in their lives. It's one of the most common renovation projects, and it's an efficient and relatively affordable way to transform a surface. However, it still pays to be well prepared for a painting project, whether it's exterior work or interior work. That's why we wanted to create a checklist for residential painting projects. This tool will be useful for different types of work associated with painting. We will discuss the preparation to be completed before carrying out the work, a presentation of the main steps of this type of project, the best techniques for painting different surfaces and the products to choose to get the best results. Would you like to jump straight to the checklist? Click here! We also have a version that is already filled out to give you an idea of how to use it (click here). Before launching the work Before starting your project, you need to go through a few preparation steps. The following paragraphs will serve as food for thought so that you can make the best decisions and ensure that you are satisfied with the results. The keywords of a residential painting project Quality of the products and results If you want painted surfaces to stay beautiful for the long haul, be sure to choose prep and finish products that are of good quality. Even if you are on a budget, it is best not to buy products that are too low in quality. Initially, this choice might be more economical, but over time, you will need to repaint the surfaces much more quickly than if you had chosen a good product. In this case, it is best to watch out for special prices for paints and other products that you will need. Colours and finishes that are best adapted to the room You may have thought of a few colours that you like, but have you given any thought to the fact that these hues might not be suitable for the rooms you want to paint? For example, if you or a loved one is sensitive to their surroundings, it is best to avoid overly stimulating colours, especially in certain rooms such as the bedroom. Even if you have a very specific idea for a red and orange bedroom, it might be better to save this colour combination for another part of the house to avoid regrets. As for the finishes, it's all a question of aesthetics, but also of maintenance. Certain finishes are better than others, depending on the types of rooms and surfaces you are going to paint. In general, matte finishes are best for ceilings, gloss finishes are recommended for damp rooms and semi-gloss for other types of rooms. We will explore the matter further later in this guide. To continue exploring this subject, read this article: 3 things to know about color psychology. Easy maintenance Last, but not least, it's important that walls and other painted surfaces are easy to clean. This is especially true in rooms where the walls are exposed to dirt and stains, such as the foyer, the kitchen and the bathroom. How to determine what you need Are you still at the very beginning of the process, that is, just now deciding that you want to paint one or more surfaces in your home? Before you start, it is important to ask yourself certain questions in order to better plan out the following steps. First, you have to define your goals. Here are a few examples: Make the room brighter Fix and renew a surface that is worn out (staircase, cupboards, walls, furniture) Add colour Change the decor style Define the spaces of the house By answering the following questions, you will probably be better equipped to define your goals. Questions to ask yourself for a residential painting project What surfaces need to be painted? This may seem like a silly question, but before you start meeting painting contractors, you should make a precise list of surfaces to be painted. This way, you are well prepared for the initial presentation of the project and to receive more precise quotes from these contractors. What is the best time of the year to carry out this type of project? For exterior painting projects, the answer is simple: it must be done between the end of spring and the middle of autumn (except for meteorological exceptions). Otherwise, it won't be possible. However, for interior painting, things are much more flexible. You can paint indoors during the winter. However, some interior work will be a little more complicated in winter, especially due to the fact that the windows cannot be opened to ventilate the areas. That being said, professional painters have all the experience they need to be able to do the job year-round. And if they ever think it would be better to wait until summer, they'll tell you and you can reserve your spot in their schedule. Should I work with an expert or do things myself? Some would say that painting jobs are among the easiest projects to do yourself, as a non-professional. It is true that this is a relatively accessible task, especially if you are not a perfectionist! However, by calling in experts, you will probably have better results, both in terms of finishings, protection and preparation work. Also, experienced painters are more efficient and faster than unqualified painters. If you decide to do the work yourself, your time is at stake. Perhaps this time could be useful for more profitable activities or for hobbies. As a result, even the financial aspect of doing things yourself can be less attractive. That's something to think about! Should I buy the products and materials myself? Some contractors prefer to buy the products and materials, while others are used to working along with the customer. You will need to discuss these options with the painters you meet during the bidding process. However, it should be noted that if you opt to buy through the contractor, you might be able to save some money, as the pros often have access to discounts and lower prices than those in stores. Should I opt for a turnkey service? On a related note, you can always decide whether you want to carry out some of the tasks yourself in order to save a bit of money, or if you prefer to save yourself the worries. Time is money, so even if you do some things to keep the bill lower, remember that your time is valuable. The amount you saved could therefore be less attractive, depending on your perception. If it makes you happy to participate, go for it, but if it is a chore for you and your loved ones, maybe it would be worth opting for a turnkey service where the contractor takes care of everything. Will I be able to stay or will I have to move away for a few days/weeks? Depending on the scope of the work, you may have to move away for a while to make the site easier to navigate for the contractor and his team. Not being in the way as the workers carry out the tasks will make the workflow easier. However, it is not always necessary to leave home during painting jobs, especially if the project is focused around a single room (or surface) or if the expected duration is only a few days. Together with the contractor, you will need to assess whether it is better for you to leave or if you can stay. Working with a contractor for a residential painting project As mentioned before, most people have carried out a residential paint project at least once in their life. It is often one of the first projects for which people decide to do things themselves instead of hiring a painting contractor. However, there are several reasons why it may be worthwhile to hire an expert for this type of project. Here are a few: They have more experience and are therefore faster and more efficient The results will probably be better They know the products and will be able to make better choices Would you like to better understand the role of a painting contractor and what are the advantages of using this type of service? Check out our article How to prepare for a house painting project The budget for a residential painting project In general, painting jobs are among the most affordable and accessible projects, while also having a strong impact on the look of the surface. The amount you will pay for them will depend on several factors: The condition of the surfaces (do you need to make any repairs) The number of surfaces to be covered The number of layers to apply The workforce (how many people, how long) The type of product that will be used The complexity of the work (angles, mouldings, different colours) Here are two articles to read for more information: The average cost for house painting projects Exterior painting projects: average prices For a general idea of the amounts to set aside, test our cost calculator: Painting project cost calculator Do you need a permit for a residential painting project? Note: before we go on, it is important that you know that for permit matters, you should always check with your municipality, as the information may vary from city to city. The information shared here is valid in most cities. Some exterior painting jobs generally don't require a permit: painting the balcony, porch, gallery, terrace or staircase. Be careful, however, to make sure that there are no regulations in your area regarding colours. If you wish to repaint highly visible surfaces such as siding or roofing, please inquire as to whether a permit is required. When it comes to interior painting, in most cases, permits are not required. Some important information to know to be well organized We have gathered here a few useful articles to check out to make certain choices for your painting project: LAYERS OF PAINT: How many coats of paint are necessary? IDEAL CONDITIONS: House painting projects: what are the ideal conditions BRIGHT AND DARK COLOURS: Paint: how to cover dark colours! PAINTING A CEILING: 8 tips for painting a ceiling How to prepare a surface before painting When you do your own painting, all too often, the surface preparation step is omitted. Damaged sections need to be repaired, sanded to even out the surface, and then possibly covered with at least one coat of primer. This step is very important in the long term because the end result of the work will be much more resistant and beautiful. If you call in paint experts, they will make sure to prepare the surfaces adequately. Check out the articles that will be linked in the following paragraphs to discover the different preparation techniques before painting. Most paint jobs are about covering interior walls. However, paint can also be used to cover other types of surfaces, including metal, wrought iron, ceramic or wood. Here are articles that provide you with useful information for preparing for this type of project: How to stain exterior siding: step by step instructions How to paint a fence How to paint kitchen cabinets How to paint concrete surfaces Painting metal: a step-by-step guide How to paint a wooden deck: step-by-step instructions Wall decor: things you should know about paint Paint products : a few tips when choosing If this isn't your first time starting a paint job, you already know that there is a wide variety of products on the market for you to choose from. First, there are the colours you will need to choose from. At major paint manufacturers like Benjamin Moore, you can choose from over 3,500 shades, which gives an idea of the variety of colours that are available on the market. Next, you have to think about the type of finish. Here are the finishes that are most often used: Velvet, Pearl, Satin, Semi-gloss, High gloss, Matte, Ultra-mat. Some products are also designed for different surfaces, including kitchens and bathrooms, metal, wood, exterior surfaces and so on. If you decide to buy the paint products yourself, be sure to seek expert advice. Present the work to be done, show pictures of the surfaces and follow their advice. You could also decide to entrust the task to your contractor while agreeing with them on the question of colours, textures and finishes. Interior or exterior paint: how to choose the colours Here are some articles to give you ideas of colours to choose for your interior painting jobs: 10 unique paint colours to paint your bedroom 10 best kitchen paint colours 2020: colour trends in residential paint 10 original paint colour ideas for your living room 10 Paint Colour Ideas for your Bathroom Painting project: 3 things to know about colour psychology The colour trends for 2022: bright, hopeful and nostalgic How to Paint a Wooden Deck : Step-by-Step Instructions How to choose interior paint products These articles talk about the different products to use: Kitchen and bathroom paint: 5 useful tips How to prepare for a house painting project Paint and wall covering materials: products and techniques How to choose exterior paint products And here is an article to help you know more about exterior paint: What products should you use for exterior painting? The main steps of a residential painting project Residential painting project: the typical process You will see in the checklist below that we have outlined the main stages of the project, but here is an overview: Buying the products and materials Preparing the area: protect furniture and surfaces that will not be painted Installing painter's tape if necessary Repairing damaged sections of surfaces Applying primer Applying the paint (wait between coats) When finished, cleaning the tools properly Making sure there aren't any stains on surfaces that have not been painted Exterior painting project: typical steps For an exterior project, most of the steps are similar to those mentioned previously. However, you must also take into account the weather for the day you'll be working and even the days to come. Indeed, if the forecast indicates that it will rain in the upcoming 48 to 72 hours, it is better to wait for sunny days. If you do not meet this criterion, your paint may have difficulty adhering to surfaces. Here is an article that tells you more about this subject: Advice and instructions for exterior wall painting The toolbox for a residential painting project Decoupage tape (and other tools for decoupage such as stamps) Quality brushes and rollers An extension handle (for the rollers) A paint bucket A spin rack for the rollers A painter's outfit Tarpaulins to protect the floor and furniture How a residential painting project could affect your everyday life Typically, this type of project is one of the jobs that tend to be shorter. However, if you decide to repaint the entire house, it could take days or even weeks. In addition, paint can be a disturbing element for the occupants of the house, because of the smell, but also because it takes time to dry. For larger painting jobs, it may therefore be advisable to live elsewhere if possible or to reduce your living quarters so you can avoid rooms that are being painted. Are you looking for ideas to help you get through your project with peace of mind? Check out this article: 6 tips for managing stress during home renovations Potential issues Even though painting is a relatively "simple" project that will go well in most cases, there can still be some problematic situations. In these articles, we discuss the mistakes not to make during the course of the project to avoid having bad results or problems that appear after a few months. How to Paint a Living Room: Tips and Mistakes to Avoid What is paint chalking? How to restore and repair a painted surface Sometimes you will have to repaint due to a problem with a surface in its current state. For example, if you notice paint peeling off in your basement or bathroom, simply applying a new coat of paint on top of it won't be enough. Here is an article where you will find tips on repairing a painted surface: What to do if the paint is peeling off your bathroom wall The checklist for your residential painting project