Trying to find a contractor can be hard. Google is full of what seems like options, but finding someone with availability or who will even call you back can be tricky. Take it from the pros, there are some serious musts and must nots when it comes to choosing a contractor. Here's what to look for:
A Contractor that Calls Back
It seems simple, but trying to find a reliable contractor that answers your call or calls you back can be hard. Make sure that you're being communicated with properly, from point A to Z. Everyone is busy, especially contractors during the building season. That's no excuse not to call you back whether the job is a fit or not! Find someone who answers, or calls back within a reasonable timeframe to chat about your job.
A Local Contractor
The trend of shopping local shouldn't just apply to candles and fancy scarves. You don't want to hire someone who is going to have an incredibly long morning commute just to get to you. Why? They'll have been up later, awake earlier, and probably tired! On top of that, you're creating an opportunity for people to get stuck in traffic and potentially have a travel cost associated with their services. When you hire a local contractor, you're hiring someone close in case anything goes astray, and avoiding travel costs. It'll also be easier to find reviews and even word-of-mouth feedback from others in your area, as well as Google reviews (results are based on your location!).
Anyone can be a handyman. That doesn't mean they have what it takes to build an addition onto your home or refit your fancy NOTL bathroom. Look for someone who has the background, history, and examples of their work to back them up. Ask questions about how different aspects of your renovation will go. Get them to explain the different steps needed to get the job done. Do they know other Niagara tradespeople that they can rely on for additional expertise? The answers will always tell if they know what they're doing or not. Remember: your home is never a "just wing it" job. You deserve work with strong attention to detail and quality.
Beyond these top tips, it's important to trust your instincts and work with someone you feel comfortable with. Did they not remove their footwear when entering your home? Respect is important and it's a two-way street. Always work with someone who you can trust and enjoy having in your home. We always aim to work with honesty and integrity in-mind. If you'd like to meet and obtain a quote, contact us today.
Niagara offers a perfect balance of family-friendly neighbourhoods and buzzing nightlife. With new Canadians joining the region every day, it’s important to know who to contact for renovations and what to expect from your general contractor.
As a leading construction company in Niagara, J&S Construction works with clients across the region to bring home design dreams to life. One of the questions we receive often as a Niagara-on-the-Lake contractor service is, “How long will my renovations take and why?”
Here, we’ll shed some light on this question, and offer a better understanding of the renovation timeline.
Permits and Project Size To plan a renovation project deadline, you need to know the size of the project. Large projects take longer, but they may also take longer for not-so-obvious reasons, such as building permits and legalities.
In Ontario, any project including a new building over 10-feet requires a permit. Building permits are also necessary for internal renovations, such as:
These applications can be processed in as few as 10-days but, could take quite a bit longer depending on the size of the project.
Sourcing materials for your renovation is an exciting part of the process because these are the things that will add character to your home. When you renovate a home, you have the freedom to choose paint, flooring, countertops, windows and more. When you select unique, hard-to-source items, it may take longer for your contractor to gather necessary materials.
You can avoid long wait times by partnering with your contractor to determine which materials are easier sourced. J&S Construction is fortunate to be well connected in the construction industry. Working with our partners we can often source design and construction materials quickly and affordably.
Pauses and RoadblocksOccasionally, unforeseen circumstances beyond anyone’s control will delay the renovation process. This may include things like family emergencies or having issues with financing. Inclement weather also has the potential to slow things down, but we are usually able to overcome these obstacles by keeping lines of communication open and working quickly to make up for lost time.
The final estimate on time will include all the factors above. Renovations on a small home can be as quick as 7 to 10 months, while a large home renovation may go up to 15 months or longer. These timeframes are only accurate if all zoning and permits are in place before construction commences, and there are no unforeseen circumstances halting your build.
Working with your Niagara-on-the-lake contractor, you can create a schedule that is both efficient and realistic for you and your construction team.
Contact J&S Construction for Renovations Today
Interested in learning more about J&S Construction and our experienced Contracting company? We invite you to book with J&S today. Call 289-697-5757 or use our online contact form to get in touch.
One of the most common questions we're asked, yet the most difficult to answer is: how long with a project take?
The reason this question is so difficult to answer is because there are 101 different moving pieces that go into renovating or building a home. Some of these factors depend on your contractor, while others are external to yourself and your construction partner. To shed light on the topic, we're going to elaborate on some of those below.
Permits are granted by commercial and residential building authorities in the home's physical jurisdiction. Some permits are simple to obtain and require nothing more than submitting + paying online. Others require manual review by the governing body responsible for granting the permit. This can take a great deal of time, and was only amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the best of times, this can be a trying process. This is why it's important to begin planning for permits as early in the renovation/building process as possible.
The burden of many businesses is weather. For a great deal of projects, the weather can impede the best intentions of homeowners and builders. Weather doesn't only impact exterior projects like fences and windows, but can impact projects like additions, garages, basements, and other projects where important materials must travel through the elements. Nothing is like a great Southern Ontario two-week-rain, right?
Products & Materials
From custom windows with the correct sizing and glass dimensions to lumber and doors, wait times can vary. The more standard, or typical, a product is, the easier it is to source for a renovation or construction project. The more unique a part of your project is, it's likely that it will take longer to custom order or source from a building supply store. Depending on the unique needs of your project, vendors of these products have varied wait times. As with permits, it's important to begin ordering supplies for projects as early as possible to ensure timely execution of your project.
Do you have other questions about building projects? We're happy to help! Chat with our team to book your 1-1 consultation today!
When it comes to trends, it's important to know what you're getting yourself into. This is especially true with home designs. Today, the J&S team is breaking down the trends we believe will last, or throw your home back to the past.
Adding angled, or patterned walls to your space can make it feel incredibly modern. Some people choose to add 1-onch wooden "slats" or boards to a flat white or black wall. We believe these neutral colours will last the test of time when it comes to textured walls.
Big, bold, coloured accent walls with texture; we aren't so sure. Colour choices can really date any space - especially one with a focus on design. Stay away from going to bold, and you'll generally make a lasting decision.
We've seen shiplap kitchen islands, every type of shiplap wall, and even shiplap furniture over the last few years. A simple design choice for even the most novice carpenter, we believe that this trend is already seeing overuse and will fade quite quickly.
Because of its simplicity to execute (even if poorly), the accessibility factor will make it overused quickly. You're likely to see this trend in cheap flips: stay away!
Board and Batten
We're big fans of board and batten for all types of projects. Board and batten has been used like plaid: successfully, spanning decades. Board and batten cottages were popular in the 1950s, and now we're seeing a resurgence of its use in high-end homes and accent exterior renovations.
Board and batten adds a simple touch of elegance and class to any project. We believe that this gorgeous trend is a safe bet that will last the test of time, even beyond Tik Tok (pun intended).
Colour Wheel Choices
It's common to have users share the paint colours on their wall. Those with cult followings are more than guilty of slapping some fresh Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams on their walls and making that colour choice explode.
With many simple off-whites, greys, and neutrals out there: it's hard to go wrong. Pairing your neutral walls with simple interior design choices can do wonder for your space's appearance, resale value, and overall mood.
J&S is here to help this back-to-school season with playroom Renovation ideas for kids in Niagara Spaces!
Sometimes renovations can seem daunting or confusing to plan, especially with so many enviable spaces online. The J&S team is here to help with experience and ideas for renovating Niagara Falls bungalows to Niagara-on-the-Lake estates.
Kids Need Storage
With most of our team members being parents, we know how hard it can be to wrangle all that kid stuff! The best way to ensure your home looks like home without looking like the toy aisle is to have well-designed storage solutions.
How Do You Design and Build Those Solutions?
One of our favourites is in-wall storage. This can look like shelves that are built-in to the wall or custom cabinets for any space.
Another way is to bring storage into your space without breaking down walls. This can be done with shelving, organized bins, or choosing a room with existing cabinetry.
Kids Need Space!
It might seem simple, but knocking down a wall or connecting two adjacent rooms is one of the easiest (at least to us!) ways to create more space without needing to "build" anything in particular. Our team ensures that any walls being taken down are non-load-bearing walls so that your family and kiddos are safe through every step of the renovation process. From there, we close off and drywall the space needed and can move onto the creative parts of your project!
Kids in Niagara Love Creativity
Here in Niagara-on-the-Lake and in other parts of the region, our kids are treated to some unique experiences that you can't find elsewhere. Creating real-life scenarios with play environments can be a great way to learn and foster creativity in our children. Building pretend schools, grocery stores, kitchens, and more can enable their imaginations to run wild, all while learning practical skills.
Plus, isn't it way more fun to pretend cook than actually cook? We sure think so!
Booking Your Renovation in Niagara-on-the-Lake Can Be Easy
In Niagara, there are many options to choose from when it comes to your home renovation. Finding a reliable and reputable builder is another story. Enter J&S Construction! We are proud to call Niagara-on-the-Lake home.
Here’s how to book your playroom renovation with us, and what that process looks like:
1. Complete our quick and easy contact form
2. We’ll reach out to you directly with any pre-visit questions
3. We will meet with you in-person or online to better understand your costruction project and any contextual information needed such as measurements and material preferences
The Niagara Region, especially our home here in Niagara-on-the-Lake, is home to unique soil conditions, climate, and of course: wine country. When building and renovating in Niagara, it's important to take these factors into account to create spaces that will last the test of time and help you to get the most out of our local environment.
With Niagara being one of the warmest parts of Ontario, considering basement conditions is crucial for enjoying a home. If you want to build a home theatre or playrooms and bedrooms: a raised basement can make your basement feel less restrictive and more welcoming. Raised basements allow for additional lighting, larger windows, and improved temperatures. When renovating, especially with many older homes, raising your basement requires underpinning. It sounds big and scary, but underpinning is a common practice to effectively raise basements and create improved living spaces. For new builds, we plan the basement & foundation height accordingly from step one.
OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES
We have a full post about some of our favourite outdoor projects for Niagara living for you to check out. Creating a space in your back (or front) yard that allows you to experience the enjoyable temperatures and lake breeze anywhere from Grimsby to Niagara Falls is nothing but fun! These projects create a way to have fun outdoors while also bringing additional value to your home if you choose to sell in the future.
We couldn't talk about renovations in Niagara without mentioning wine cellars! If you look at some of our completed reno projects, you'll notice that wine is a great way to add personality to your home. Building basement wine cellars and including built-in wine fridges in your kitchen renovation projects make your preferred wine varietals fit with your home.
LARGE WINDOWS & LAKEFRONT VIEWS
With Niagara being located on Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and with different water features available, it makes our job easy when it comes to creating beautiful views for the homes we work on. Using large, spacious windows allows for natural light and stunning views of the beautiful nature that surrounds us here.
When you're ready to work with a builder and renovator that knows Niagara, look no further than J&S Construction. Contact us to start your project today!
When it comes to creating your ideal space, we understand that it's a very personal project to take on. Summer is a unique time in the construction and building industry, as home sales tend to increase in the spring through to the early summer. This rise in home-buying creates an influx of projects for renovations: large and small alike! Today, we're sharing some of the best summer projects to work on and why our Niagara-based team loves them!
Over the last 5 years, we've seen in increase in requests for building pergolas. These unique, multi-faceted structures create a feeling of ambience and outdoor comfort for backyards of all sizes.
Folks here in Niagara-on-the-Lake tend to prefer pergolas directly attached to, or close to their home. This allows for rain and sun coverage around the clock. Pergolas are typically made our of wood and can last for a long time in the elements.
Bathrooms and kitchens are funny places. Not ha ha funny, but funny because of how important they truly are when it comes to making any home your own. At times, bathrooms can be forgotten in a renovation budget when compared to kitchens or exciting living rooms.
Today, we're here to share 4 genius ways to make your bathroom renovation pop!
1. Big, Bold Mirrors.
Mirrors are a simple way to bring a design together. Mirrors can do so tying-in the accent colours of your bathroom or making the room look larger and amplifying the affects of other design elements.
When you work with the team here at J&S Construction, we'll make sure to plan for your chosen mirror designs and assist in hanging them safely, securely, and better yet: evenly.
2. A Smart Layout
Especially with an ensuite bathroom, a smart and airy layout can made a massive difference. When it comes to planning your bathroom, we love to help ideate and design around current plumbing, or help fully construct a brand new layout from scratch. At J&S Construction, we have the contracting expertise and experience to make any bathroom a breeze.
Layout elements such as glass enclosures, separated toilet areas, and well-planned vanities are important elements that should be planned carefully and executed by professionals.
Technology in the bathroom? Yep! Some of the creature comforts that we know and love are based on technology! From smart heating and thermostat control, to in-floor bathroom heating and towel warmers, tech doesn't need to take away from a relaxing ensuite or spa experience!
Working with a trusted Niagara-on-the-Lake contractor can help you bring your bathroom amenities from concept to reality in a timely and professional manner. We can also help you apply for smart home heating and other rebates when and if they're applicable to you!
4. Double Vanity Installation
We know, vanities are heavy and expensive. With that in-mind, it doesn't always need to be that way. When you work with a trusted construction team, we're able to pass our industry discounts on to you to help you save on bathroom vanities and beyond.
When we begin planning any bathroom build or renovation, one of the first things we consider is who is using the space. For couples, we almost always recommend double sinks in a vanity to allow for space and convenience of use. This luxury can help save you time and frustration while creating the ideal self-care experience.
When you're ready to take your bathroom to the next level, look no further than J&S Construction Niagara and contact our team today!
When it comes to renovation and construction projects, there's nothing worse than the weather getting in the way. Spring can be wet in Niagara, to say the least, and we want to choose projects that aren't going to be obstructed.
Fences: New and Revived
There are more choices than ever before for fence designs and the J&S team is skilled and experienced in both high-end, upscale fence designs, as well as standardized privacy fences. From design to execution, there's more than meets the eye when it comes to building fences.
We've been called upon many times to repair sunken, tilting fences that weren't assembled properly by keen DIYers or under skilled contractors. That's not how we do it! Starting at your measurements, all the way through to sinking your fence posts and beyond, the J&S team knows how to build a sturdy fence that will last the test of time (and that Niagara climate!).
Decks: From Start to BBQ
Decks are one of the most unique and surprising projects that we work on.
Why? Because each deck is unique to its home, its owners, and their outdoor dreams. Anchoring, securing, and constructing decks out of different wood types is one of our favourite projects, especially in nice spring weather!
Building cement decks is an often underrated way to avoid the need to re-stain a wooden deck in the future, but are harder to modify in the future.
Whether you're looking to build and stain a custom patterned deck, or are looking for a simple way to get outside and BBQ, a deck built with care from the J&S team is the way to go!
Beyond deck and fence projects, our team has unique experience with outdoor pergolas, sun rooms, and even custom-built homes. When you're ready to build your dream oasis, we'll be ready too. Book your build today!
When it comes to building a new home, the team at J&S Construction realizes that it's a big commitment. Our goal is to make it as easy and enjoyable for every family that we work with to create their dream home.
We make the steps clear and simple from the moment you contact our team. Here's how:
1. Call us or Reach Out Online
We'll review the details and ask you initial questions to understand where you're at in the build process. Whether you have an existing lot, are taking steps to find one, or are demolishing a structure in order to build, we're able to help point you in the right direction.
2. We'll Meet With You
Whether that's online, over the phone, or in-person, our owner will personally meet with you to understand the importance wants, needs, and nuances of your new home build.
3. We Will Share Examples
The J&S Team will help you create a vision by sharing examples of previous builds and renovations that our team has completed. In addition to being a great way for you to gain ideas and inspiration. It allows allows us to demonstrate our skills to ensure you're comfortable.
4. We'll Review Your Budget Together
If you have a budget in mind, we will review it to ensure that it aligns with your new home build in Niagara in terms of accuracy, flexibility, and duration. If you don't have a budget in mind, we will help you decide on what that should be, where to make changes, and any other considerations to plan for.
5. We'll Make it Happen
Once we have a clear vision, we'll begin making it a reality. We'll obtain the necessary prints, permits, and designs to start building that dream home!
Ready to go home? We can help!
Insights from the front lines, J&S is here to help make your projects run smoothly as both a resource a construction company.