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Renovation tips

4 min read

Why You Should Get Liability Insurance for Your Home Renovation Project

Renovation tips

4 min read

Why You Should Get Liability Insurance for Your Home Renovation Project

Renovation tipsWhy You Should Get Liability Insurance for Your Home Renovation Project

When you're thinking about starting up a renovation project in your home, always make sure that you are covered by the proper insurance policies in case problems come up. 

Why is insurance so important? How can you be sure that you are covered for all types of situations? is here to help make things less confusing:

home renovation insurance

unsplash: pexels

In an ideal world, home renovation projects would always run smoothly and the results would always live up to your expectations. Unfortunately, problems do happen and if you and/or your contractor don't have the proper types of insurance, the situation could turn out badly and you might lose a lot of money in the process. 

When planning to undertake a large-scale renovation project, the second person you should call (after the contractor) is your insurance company.

Ask them if your liability insurance covers this type of work. If you are completing the renovation project yourself, without the help of a licensed contractor, it is unlikely that you will be covered. Also, before you sign a contract with a contractor, check to see if they have the licences that are required for the type of work they will be doing and see if these licenses are still valid. In Quebec, you can search on the Régie du bâtiment du Québec's website.

Check that your liability insurance covers home renovations

source: pexels

Every insurance policy is different. Knowing exactly what is included in yours will help you make sure that no matter what types of changes you are making to your house, you will remain protected against any financial liabilities. Even though it might not be a fun thing to do, we recommend that you read your whole insurance contract, including (especially!) the fine print.

Insurance contracts tend to include clauses that explain how various situations could be excluded. For example, some insurance policies could be nullified if you do not live inside your house during renovations. In this particular case, you need to contact your insurance company to discuss which options are available. 

Generally,  you should be able to ask for a vacation permit. This permit will cover the period of time when you will be away so that your house is still insured.

Even if you are extremely diligent, unexpected situations may occur! You never know: your contractor could discover a few surprises when they start tearing down parts of your house. If the building is old, they might find materials which were widely used in the past but are now considered toxic (such as asbestos).

These surprises may cause your insurance fees to increase. Lastly, since the housework will most likely boost the value of your house, once the work is done, you will have to provide receipts to your insurance company. In turn, they may ask to reevaluate your insurance premiums.

The contractor’s insurance policy


source: unsplash

Once you are sure that your house will be covered during your renovation project, it's time to check if your contractor is also well protected. Your insurance will cover certain situations but in other cases, responsibility will fall squarely onto the contractor's shoulders. In Quebec, licenced contractors already benefit from a certain amount of protection. `

However, they also need to get a third-party liability insurance, which will cover them if, for example, an accident were to happen on the work site. This is particularly true if the accident is caused by the contractor or by one of their employees.

According to the Civil Code (article 2120), a contractor should guarantee the quality of their work for at least one year in case problems arise. Article 2120 says: "The contractor, the architect and the engineer, for the work they directed or supervised, and, where applicable, the subcontractor, for the work he performed, are jointly bound to warrant the work for one year against poor workmanship existing at the time of acceptance or discovered within one year after acceptance."

In order to claim this right, you need to sign a written contract with the contractor. This contract needs to include plenty of detail and both parties need to sign it and keep their own copy. This paper contract will stand as proof. 

Also, be aware that licenced contractors need to give caution money to the Régie du Bâtiment du Québec (RBQ). This caution money is given by every contractor applying for a license.

The money can be used as compensation if you can prove that the results of the work completed by the contractor aren't satisfactory. The amount of money required by the RBQ is $10 000 for general contractors and $20 000 for specialized contractors

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Last modified 2023-01-17

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10 min read 13 Dec 2022

Everything About Demolition-Issued Materials

Did you know that some developed countries recycle up to 90% of their demolition materials? In Quebec, it amounts to 1.85 million tonnes of construction, renovation, and demolition debris, which is subsequently recycled every year. The main recycled materials found in the 50-odd sorting centres scattered about the province are wood, asphalt shingles, and gypsum. However, do these materials have equal or identical qualities as new materials? Are they cheaper? Where can they be purchased? Here’s all you need to know! Are Recycled Materials Quality Materials? Source: Canva Yes, but not always. Concrete is the perfect example congruent with this uncertainty since the quality of recycled materials depends on two factors: the original state of the material and its in-factory processing method. Together, these two factors make for resistant and durable materials. Those that correspond to the above-mentioned details can very well serve to build entire structures, as required by the city of Zürich, in Switzerland, when it comes to recycled concrete. Nevertheless, in Canada, just like in the United States, this material doesn’t have a favourable opinion. Companies would rather stick with pavement or granular fill. It's because recycled concrete replicates the weaknesses of the original material. Deteriorated concrete that’s subsequently recycled will give way to a structurally weak material that won’t respond well to seasonal temperature changes, freeze-thaw weathering, or rain and varying humidity levels. For such reasons, in Quebec, used and recycled construction materials issued from sorting centres are first and foremost wood, drywall, and asphalt shingles. What does that mean in terms of quality? Is Recycled Wood Quality Material? Yes, since its use depends solely on its condition. As such, wood planks that are already sized and perforated with nails, screws, or other metallic objects are used as fuel (firewood). Wood from flooring and framing trusses are processed in the same manner, with or without the metal connectors. Decorative wood can be used for resale, but only if it's clean and unpainted. As for painted wood, it'll be used as firewood, except in cases where lead-based paint was used. Consequently, reclaimed wood sold in stores is of utmost quality, otherwise, it would’ve ended up in your wood-burning stove. Are Recycled Asphalt Shingles Quality Material? Yes. They’re used for a wide range of settings. They're used as road pavement, asphalt roofing, temporary roadways, and fuel. Nevertheless, to ensure that recycled asphalt roofing retains its properties, the United States Department of Energy deemed that shingles shouldn't contain more than 20% recycled asphalt. Is Recycled Gypsum Quality Material? As a material, gypsum is often used as drywall. The latter can easily be recycled, so much so that manufacturing companies can reclaim the material to produce new partitions. Much like asphalt shingles, the amount of recycled gypsum found in drywall panels is roughly between 10-20%. Demolition Material Density Naturally, purchasing recycled materials can pique your interest, but resale post-building demolition might be worth considering as well. In either case, knowing the density of the demolition-issued material is super important. Here’s the density of the main materials: Material Density (Imperial Units) Density (International System of Units) Asphalt shingles 1 yd³ = 419 lb 1 sq. ft = 3 lb 1 m³ = 249 kg 1m² = 15 kg Bricks 1 cu. ft. = 112 - 125 lb 1 m³ = 1,794 - 2,002 kg Cinder blocks 1 cu. ft. = 90 - 110 lb 1 m³ = 1,442 - 1,762 kg Fibreglass insulation 1 yd³ = 17 lb 1m³ = 10 kg Solid gypsum 1 cu. ft. = 142 lb 1m³ = 2,275 kg Stone & gravel 1 cu. ft. = 95 - 100 lb 1 m³ = 1,522 kg - 1,602 kg Wood 1 yd³ = 375 lb 1 m³ = 222 kg Wood shingles 1 sq. ft. = 2 lb 1 yd³ = 435 lb 1 m² = 10 kg 1m³ = 258 kg Iron 1 cu. ft. = 450 lb 1m³ = 7,208 kg Half-inch thick plywood, (12.7mm) 1 sq. ft. = 2 lb 1m² = 10 kg Demolition-Issued Material Categories & Prices Source: Canva Wood A 1.25" X 28" X 49.63" (2.54 cm X 71.12 cm X 124.46) birch panel costs only $9. Should you prefer a 2" X 27" X 27" (2.08 cm X 68.58 cm X 68.58 cm) panel, it'll only cost you $5. 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If you don’t have the necessary painting materials on hand, you can find paintbrushes and other tools for only $1. A Door for Less Than $90? Absolutely! A 24- to 26-inch (61 cm to 91.4 cm) by 80-inch (203.2 cm) steel door is available starting at $70. Add a door handle with a cylinder and the total for your front door will still only be $82. Interior Decoration Revamp your home’s entire decorative features by investing in floating shelves, storage cubes, and other inexpensive decorative elements. All you need is $6.95 to start shopping. From the kitchen to the bathroom, you can spruce up your decoration without needing to break your piggy bank. Decorative elements for the bathroom: shelves, bath mats, or shower curtains are yours starting at $10.50. You can even drape all the windows in your house with opaque or sheer curtains for only $11 apiece! Moreso, you can choose between a wide variety of colours and patterns. For example, bicolour day/night shades are yours for $35 apiece. Let your imagination run wild on account of used materials at the best possible prices. Are you looking for experts for your demolition project? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Why Are Few House Building Materials Recycled? Source: Canva Several issues surround the recycling of used building materials. It requires: Choosing used instead of new; Demolishing a building in a non-traditional manner; Materials must be free of any contaminants (asbestos, lead, etc.); Upcycling network; Linking supply and demand. The Government of Quebec is working on these aspects, intending to recycle more and more materials derived from construction, renovation, and demolition. However, companies must bridge the gap between supply and demand. To help you find the right companies, here's a list of Quebec-based companies that specialize in salvaging demolition materials and selling recycled construction materials. List of Companies in Quebec/Ottawa Where to Buy, Sell, or Donate Demolition-Issued Materials Company Donate Buy Sell Location Material ÉCO-RÉNO X X Montréal All AIM Recycling X X Charlemagne Steel Artisans recycleurs N/A N/A N/A Sainte-Lucie-des- Laurentians Carpentry Baldwin récupération X Bury Wood (Barns) BF Recycle X X St-Christophe d’Arthabaska All Bois d’Antan X X St-Casimir Carpentry Veser Antique Woods N/A X N/A St-Cyprien-de-Napierville Antique Wood La boutique rustique X X N/A Rigaud Accessories De tout pour tout X X X Terrebonne Metal, Everyday Objects ECOBOIS X X Ste-Marguerite-du-lac- Masson Wood Écocentres MRC de la Rivière-du-Nord X X Laurentians All Éco-Dépôt X X Montréal Furniture Madera éco-meuble N/A X N/A Montréal Furniture RGMRM X X Manicouagan All Material Library X X Îles-de-la-Madeleine Everyday Objects, Clothes Material Library X X St-Cyrille de Lessard Wood Matériaux et surplus Lefebvre X X St-François-du-Lac All Matériaux récupérés de Portneuf X X St-Casimir Wood Écochantier X X Saint-Pascal/Rivière-du-Loup All Les Magasin Habitat pour l’humanité (ReStore) X X Montréal All Habitat for Humanity (ReStore) X X Ottawa All Matériaux seconde vie X X L’Assomption Wood Furniture Matériaux usagés de l’Estrie X X X Sherbrooke All Démolition Panzini N/A N/A N/A Saint-Zotique Demolition On-Site Recycling Québec Aubaines Recycle X X X Québec All Recyclerie des Matériaux X X Ste-Agathe-des-Monts Everyday Objects Recyc-Antique X X Cowansville Barn Demolition Wood Réuse inc X X Sherbrooke Ktichen/Living Room Roger Bois de Grange X X Rigaud Barn Wood Vieux Bois X X Ste-Agathe-des-Monts Demolition Wood The Wood Source N/A N/A N/A Ottawa Wood

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5 min read 26 Apr 2023

How to Troubleshoot Your Heat Pump's Cooling Function

Is your heat pump’s air conditioning function not working? It might not be that difficult to fix. Whether it be a faulty fan or a leaky heat pump, we’re delving into all these malfunctions, and sharing some DIY fixes on the unit itself when possible. A Heat Pump’s Faulty Air Conditioning Function Source: Canva Rest assured, most often, heat pumps function very well, and their materials are long-lasting. However, at times, heat pumps can fail to operate as intended. Not unlike a sick patient, one has to consider all the symptoms to find the cause of the ailment. Here’s a list of issues that can occur with heat pumps that may cause the air conditioning feature to malfunction. My heat pump is noisy If you can hear whistling or a sort of bubbling sound coming from your unit, it means that the refrigerant level is low. The AC function isn’t blowing cold air Source: Canva Heat pumps require some general upkeep, especially when it comes to their filters. 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Cynthia Laferrière 13 Feb 2023

How to Maintain a Pergola

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Albeit most lumber is already treated against pests, mould, and fungi, pergolas made with such material are vulnerable to wear, fade, and grooves. These are some of the most widely used and hard-wearing wood species: Bamboo Oak Cedar Treated pine Teak Step number 1 consists of inspecting your structure to spot any anomalies, imperfections, breaks, cracks, etc. To determine whether there's evidence of rot or not, push the tip of a small tool such as a screwdriver into the wood. If the latter is easily driven as if the wood was rendered soft, look no further. If this issue seems to be affecting a greater part of a board, consider replacing it altogether. Should luck be on your side and only a few minor areas are affected, these can be repaired with wood putty. Leave it overnight before sanding and continuing maintenance. Then, check the sturdiness of your pergola by gently shaking the structure. Tighten screws and fixings as you see fit. Now comes step 3, meaning the cleaning stage. 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Shade fabric If your pergola is fitted with a PVC or fabric shade, note that it’s pretty resilient, and thus can be cleaned just as you would the rest of the structure, meaning with water and soft soap. Use a sturdy ladder and a broom or a long-handled brush. Allow it to dry properly to prevent mould stains. Blades To clean the blades, flatten them out and use a pressure washer to remove dirt stains. You can also lubricate the joints to maintain their smooth motions all summer long. Last but not least, besides the odd spot checks for breaks, open the blades after every rainfall to avoid water build-up. Also, note that once you've used it for the last time, you should lock the blades in a vertical position to prevent snow from damaging them.

6 min read 14 Dec 2022

Chromalox: Top-Notch Heating Systems

Are you looking for an electric heating system, but aren't sure which brand to turn to? Well, look no further, Chromalox is the answer! With over 100 years of expertise, Chromalox is a full-service technology-based company that provides a complete line of electric heaters to customers worldwide. Read on to find out everything there's to know about its various heating systems, their prices, and features. About Chromalox Source: Wikimedia Chromalox is a technology-based company that specializes in the manufacturing of heating and electric monitoring systems. This internationally recognized company designs innovative thermal technologies for industrial heating, thus providing superior results to the great satisfaction of its many clients. Chromalox offers a wide range of heat-producing products. The company strives to find solutions tailored to all problems, even the most complex and challenging. Whether it's maintaining operational temperature, heating long pipes, heating foundations, melting snow/ice, or protecting pipes, valves and equipment from freezing, these units are designed to ensure precise temperature control. It offers quality and durable products. Chromalox Heating Systems Over the years, a range of Chromalox heating systems have been designed, all of which are equally effective: Thermal fluid and air heating systems, and a whole line of electric boilers; there are various products. The most common Chromalox units are oil and gas heating systems, petrochemical processes and industrial gas (oxygen and chlorine), but there are more. Pipe heaters: Chomalox has a wide range of cables, systems, and other products to monitor and gauge heating designed for industrial and commercial use. Here, products aren’t chosen at random: they depend on the desired use. Is it for a building? A concrete foundation? Snow or ice? Or to protect plumbing pipes? Heating equipment: Units can reach temperatures of up to 1095°C. The Inconel 600 plate works efficiently at very high temperatures. Chromalox has high-quality heating elements that can be adapted according to needs. Few Examples of Chromalox Heating Systems Source: Canva Chromalox hot water electric boilers and premounted steam boilers are excellent sources of heat. They produce high-pressure steam or hot water, ​​both for space heating units and for industrial and commercial processes. These boilers are used wherever steam is needed and electricity is available. There's no issue here of burning fuel, as is customary. The output is produced by heat transfer at constant pressure. Heating system boilers are easy to install because they’re pre-engineered units operating at normal voltages. 2500 W Eclipse Chromalox convector: This electric baseboard heater is capable of heating up to 40% faster than a conventional baseboard heater. It's designed to increase comfort by allowing air to flow as quickly and as far as possible into the room. It has built-in overheat protection and is made of 20 gauge steel before being coated with scratch-resistant polyester epoxy. It runs about $104.99. Usually, you’ll need 10 watts per square foot when using electric heat, but this rule can vary depending on many factors, such as the number of windows and their sizes, the quality of the insulation, etc. Industrial heat trace cables or “thermwire”: These cables are designed to help prevent significant damage to gutters, cables, roofs, and downspouts, as well as HVAC compressors. HVAC pipes or compressors may be exposed to very low (near freezing) temperatures or melting snow, which can seep under the roof and freeze again, thus causing gutters and downspouts to lift, shift, or break. "Thermwire" trace cables prevent this inconvenience from happening. Electric radiant heater: Used for many purposes (paper and cardboard, textiles and fabrics, or non-woven metals). Operates at higher temperatures than metal plate units to help increase the processing speed of certain systems. Processed radiant heaters are ideal for situations requiring immediate operating temperature and/or reduced heat during non-working hours. The electric radiant heater has a minimum output of 350W and a maximum output of 36,000W. Industrial convectors: These are versatile electric heating systems that use natural convection forces for heat transfer. Industrial convectors don't require a fan or motor and are almost noiseless while in operation. Furthermore, they don't need much maintenance. This type of heating system is generally used in small spaces but can also heat larger spaces if combined with other heating systems. Industrial trace connection kits: These consist of all the necessary components to connect to supply T-splices or strand splices, to seal the ends and ensure water resistance. These kits protect pipes and tanks from freezing, support roof and gutter de-icing, protect fire sprinkler pipes from freezing, accelerate the melting of buried snow, prevent frost heave, and maintain the temperature of hot water and floor heating systems. The connection kits and accesses are suitable for both ordinary and hazardous areas. Also, they're straightforward and easy to install, and they operate reliably and safely. Heat trace controls: These are used in both regular and hazardous areas. Chromalox control and distribution systems provide temperature control, monitoring, and energy management. The powerful IntelliTRACE and weatherTRACE control software can be easily installed on a desktop computer and address your every heat tracing need. Hot oil and process liquid vaporizers: These are built to transfer thermal energy at fast speeds. They're used in all industries that require high operating temperatures and low operating pressures as part of the manufacturing process. The system units vary from 15 kW to 300 kW and can be ASME (American) or PED (Europe) pressure certified. Tube bundle and instrument enclosures: These are typically used to protect viscous materials from freezing, and to avoid gas condensation. They maintain temperatures and protect instrument samplings as well as impulse lines. These tube bundles provide safe and reliable heat trace systems to ensure the absence of ice buildup in the drain lines. They're manufactured with quality, durable materials that meet industry standards; stainless steel, copper, high alloy steel, and fluoropolymer tubing are available. Are you looking for experts for your heating project? Fill in this form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Advantages of Chromalox Heating Units Chromalox heaters are the result of years of innovation and development. Electric heaters are an ideal solution to control overheating, as their power is immediately available and can be thoroughly controlled to meet real-time needs. The use of such heating units emits nothing environmentally toxic. And, as a bonus, Chromalox heating systems feature a variety of undeniable assets: In-house manufacturing of parts ensures a more efficient and much less cumbersome design. Welding, pressure testing, and certification are performed according to ASME standards. Chromalox power supply control can be fitted to the control skids together with the heater. This results in a complete set. Engineering tools include AutoCad 3D, SOLIDWORKS, and PV Elite.

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