Monthly Archives: July 2015


Creating a Renovation Budget

posted in Tips

creating a renovation budgetDeciding to undertake a home renovation is a big decision that takes a lot of factors into account. The biggest factor that you need to consider is your budget. Your budget will determine what you can and cannot do and will shape the outcome of your renovation.

One of the biggest mistakes we see homeowners making is basing their budget off what they see on television. The budgets shown on popular shows you see on HGTV and on other networks are often very unrealistic and you don’t know what actually goes into them. A lot of times these numbers don’t include labour or design fees, and often they get donated materials and labour from contractors who are willing to do the work for exposure.

In order to get a realistic budget for your renovation you will need to do some research. Look around at home improvement stores, lumber stores and flooring stores for materials. Take a look at appliances and cabinets that you really like. Once you have an idea of the types of items you want included in your project then we can help you prepare a proper budget. There are many “behind the wall” costs that go into a renovation and we can help factor those into the overall budget.

Once you determine the scope of your renovation, you will need to think about financing. Some experts suggest putting away 5% of your monthly income in order to save for home renovations and remodelling. You will need to consider if you have enough money in your short-term savings to pay for the renovation or whether you will need to consider different financing options.

When your renovation budget is complete, it should cover the following categories:

  • Labour
  • Materials
  • Permits
  • Cleanup

One of the main benefits of working with a contractor is that they can usually get the job done much more quickly than if you take on the renovation as a DIY project. Our budget that we provide you with will be complete and show you exactly what things are and are not included in your project.


Eco-Friendly Renovations

posted in Sustainable Renovation

eco friendly renovationsIf you’re going to undertake a renovation in the near future, there are many good reasons why you should aim to be as eco-friendly as possible. An eco-friendly home will save you money over time due to reduced energy costs and is a healthier place for you and your family to live. Plus, this type of renovation is great for Mother Nature and helps reduce your carbon footprint.

Here’s our list of simple things you can do to stay environmentally friendly during your next renovation:

  • Buy reclaimed, like reclaimed wood. Reclaimed wood is an ideal choice for flooring and walls. Using reclaimed products saves time and energy that would be needed to create a brand new product.
  • Don’t demolish your home. Before you tear down walls and lift up flooring to start your renovation, walk around your home and see what can be salvaged and reused. Not only will you save yourself money by doing this, you’ll help the environment. Salvage things like light fixtures, tile, brick, cabinets and more.
  • Donate unwanted items instead of taking them to the dump. The light fixture that you used to love might look great in someone else’s home! Consider getting in touch with Habitat for Humanity, they will take all your unwanted materials and sell them, using 100% of the profits to build homes for those who cannot afford good housing.
  • Look for energy efficient appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens. You’ll be able to recognize them by their Energy Star logos. Although these eco-friendly products might cost more initially, you’ll save money on reduced energy costs in the long run.
  • Beware of the Phantom! Some electronics will still draw electrical power even when they are turned off. You can plug some of these items into power bars that you can switch off to save energy.
  • Prevent heat or cold air from leaking out of your home due to poor insulation. Use weather strips and caulking to seal up doors, windows, electrical sockets and baseboards. Boost the insulation in your attic and basement and use high quality insulation products throughout your renovation. Getting an energy audit completed on your home will show you exactly where you can improve the building envelope for energy savings.
  • Use solar energy. Taking advantage of solar energy can help you reduce your water heating bill with the help of solar hot water panels. Solar electric panels can give you enough electricity to sell back to the main electrical grid through a special contract (Clean Energy Standard Offer Program) and connection with the Ontario Power Authority.
  • Water conservation is important as well but it is often overlooked. Chose water saving shower faucets and a good quality 4 litre flush toilet to save the most water.

Some of the smaller things you can do to be eco-friendly right now, without having to complete an entire renovation, are easy. Install energy-efficient lighting like CFL or LED bulbs and use a rain barrel to capture rainwater so that you can use it to water your garden. Once your renovation is complete and you’re looking to accessorize your new space, consider shopping antique stores to find one-of-a-kind pieces.

For more information on how to keep your renovation as eco-friendly as possible, contact the experts at Menno S. Martin.


Renovation Guide: The Complete Package

posted in Renovation Tips

If you’ve been following our Renovation Guide series and want to print out all the handy PDFs at once, this is the spot to do it. Our Renovation Guide covers everything you need to think about before completing a successful renovation. It includes things like considering your family’s lifestyle and use of the space, putting together your design inspiration and the all questions you need to ask your builder before the project begins. You’ll also find a range of other important things you should think about too!

Complete renovation guide


If you have any other questions about home renovations or would like to book a consultation with us, please contact us today.


Renovation Guide: Renomark Guide

posted in Renovation Tips

This part of our renovation guide series is the Renomark Renovation Guide. Inside you’ll find everything you need to know before you renovate. From making a plan, choosing your contractor and following all the building codes, this guide will help you do it all.

Renomark renovation guide


Take a look at some of the renovation and construction services we provide our happy clients with so you feel confident in our process and results.


Renovation Guide: The Pre-Construction Meeting Agenda

posted in Renovation Tips

This part of our renovation guide outlines some important things to consider before starting a home renovation. At Menno S. Martin, our goal is to make the renovation as least intrusive as possible on your family and lifestyle.

Pre construction renovation agenda


Take a look at our renovation gallery and see some of our finished projects that our customers have loved!