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!
When it comes to updating your home, many people believe that summer is the only time to do so, but that's simply not the case! We're here today to share some winter renovation ideas to inspire your inner designer.
From wainscotting to shiplap, and even a simple paint job, and accent or feature wall is a great way to give any room a sense of style and newness. Opting to focus on feature walls is a great project that's 100% indoors for the winter. This way, you'll be able to have your job completed in a timely manner during the winter!
KITCHEN & BATHROOM RENOVATIONS
Two of the most important renovations that you can complete in a home: bathrooms and kitchens are big jobs. With that being said, completing them in the winter is a great time to do so, as contractors like J&S are often less busy during the winter than the summer months. In the winter, home purchases tend to slow down and eager homeowners are slightly less common, or less likely to be renovating.
Bathrooms and kitchens are (usually) mostly indoor jobs which lend well to transforming a home. When it comes to bathrooms, tile, countertops, and shower enclosures can make the biggest difference in the overall appearance of the space. With kitchens, cabinetry, countertops, and tile are the way to visually and functionally transform a space.
Flooring installation is one of the projects that many folks are capable of, yet reach out to professionals like the team here at J&S Construction. Why is that? With flooring, there are more considerations than people are often aware of:
Want more tips? Let us know in the comments what projects you're looking to work on, or reach out directly! We're happy to help year-round.
When it comes to taking care of your home, it often can be the little things that make the largest difference. From maintaining stain or paint on the deck to controlling airflow for an allergy-free sleep, we're here to help with simple updates that will make you feel both productive and handy, without breaking the bank (or a leg)!
REPLACE YOUR FURNACE FILTERS
This is one of those things that people don't realize may be impacting the health of their family. We've encountered the filters installed backwards, people who have never changed them, or people who thought they were changing them regularly once a year. Most experts suggest changing the filters anywhere from every 60-90 days, or at a minimum, seasonally. You can find packs of 6 filters online, often for the cost of a few at most big box stores. There are also versions with enhanced filtering capabilities for individuals with allergies!
Swapping your furnace filter is easy: slide out the existing one, and replace with a fresh one. We like to write the date on the filter when we replace ours, and set a reminder for 60 days ahead in our calendars to ensure that we know we're staying on-schedule.
RE-STAIN OR PAINT YOUR DECK
No deck? We can help with that! Building decks and fences are some of our team's favourite springtime projects. Why? Nothing beats the smell of fresh lumber combined with the warm spring sun - before the heavy heat of Ontario summers!
If you already have a deck but it is showing the sun's impact from years passed, there's no better time to make it look fresh again! If you're on lockdown, places like Canadian Tire and Home Depot are doing curbside pickup for orders, so there's no excuse for not having paint or stain!
CLEAN THAT GARAGE
That's right, we said it. Cleaning your garage can look different for everyone. For some, the garage might be a home gym. For others, you might park your vehicles in there (yes, people still do that!), and to others, it might be storage or a unique combination of purposes. Whatever your garage is used for, we rarely encounter one that isn't in need of some type of tidying! You can add hand-made storage racks out of construction-grade lumber, buy plastic ones, or even hang bikes and equipment from the walls and roof to make more floor space!
WASH YOUR WINDOWS
Nobody wants to wash their windows in our tough Canadian winters. With the lake effect, Niagara can get pretty windy. It's not always safe and it's definitely not always fun. Once spring hits and the worst of the pollen debris is over; it's time for window washing! It can be like getting glasses when you didn't know that you needed them!
We suggest washing the inside of your windows first, followed by the outside. There are a variety of commercial and homemade cleaning product options - we'll leave the selection up to your preferences! Once you do the inside, hit the outside. That way, you'll be able to find any missed spots easier and address them.
When you're finished: nothing beats opening all the windows to let the fresh air recharge your home!
FIX WALL DINGS
That's right, it's easy but yet oh-so-hard! Grabbing the paint for that one little spot can be annoying, we get it. Take the time to fix any dings or scuffs that your walls may have received over the years. For tiny spots, a Q-Tip can be a great way to blend paint with that around it when a roller would be excessive. Outside of that, nothing can beat a roller for its ability to blend layers of paint together without making it look like a chop job!
Whatever your project, we'd love to hear about it! If some of your project ideas are out-of-this world, we can help make them a reality. Contact us for a free quote on any of your construction, renovation, or home maintenance projects!
Cabin fever, anyone? While we're all about improving the homes of our customers. Right now, construction on certain projects is on hold because of the current world health status. Whether that means that your home "edits" are on pause or you're just stuck at home because of work, we have some simple, beginner-friendly ideas that can help you bring some springtime brightness to your home.
NEW LIGHTSWITCH COVERS
This is one the the easiest and cheapest ways (aside from a fresh coat of paint!) to make your home feel like a fresh new reno. Whether yours are old and yellowed, cracked, or simply dated in colour, a set of new lightswitch covers throughout your home is a breath of fresh air. Most covers only require 1-4 simple screws to replace and can be found on Amazon so that you can keep your distance from hardware store patrons. Newer options can even integrate your Alexa or snap onto the wall instead of screw in.
Yes, a new coat of paint is an incredible way to completely change a room. Fresh paint is simple, obvious, and a way to add (or remove) personality from a home. With that being said, we know how much of a pain taping and painting can be, as well as how easy it is to run out of brushes and need to rush out. If you want to take the even easier route, our secret contractor tip is touch-ups! If you have small dots and nooks, the tip of a clean Q-Tip or cotton swab is a way to update that spot without making it look obvious! The texture of Q-Tips is so similar to a paint roller that the spot quickly vanishes without lines like you'd get using a brush!
PAINT YOUR TRIM
This one isn't for the faint of heart, but is one that non-professionals can certainly tackle! With a little patience, a little trim, and a bucket of paint, you can make your whole home look like it's from a different decade. White trim is still very current in modern design, and taking honey oak or brown trim and painting it white can entirely change the look of a home. We'd suggest asking a pro or looking up some tutorials online, as some folks like to paint the trim while it is on the wall and others remove it prior to painting. Be sure you're ready and remember which pieces go where by marking them on the backside and get cracking!
STOP THE SQUEAK
Check your home for squeaks and oil them up! This small annoyance being solved can be such an incredible relief. Think door hinges, fridge, dishwashers, door jambs and floorboards. Stair steps can be a next-level culprit, but if you're able, fixing this is a great way to avoid being blamed for the chocolate chip cookies being eaten as a midnight snack!
THAT NAGGING PROJECT
You know, that one? The one that you see almost daily but keep neglecting? The broken door on the garbage bin, the door that squeaks, or that piece of trim that needs a new nail in it? That project! Not the ambitious build-a-deck project (though, there's no time like the present!), but the simple projects that take 20 minutes to fix but you keep pushing off? Address them! Most of the population is now spending more time at home, and while we're not saying it has to be all productivity and no chicken wings, we think a mix of both would be great!
We're all in this together. When we come out on the other side and you need a contractor for the heavier work, we can help!
When it comes to renovating your home, or building an entirely new one, it takes a village. When we say a village, we mean a lot of skilled workers with specialties in their crafts. Below, you'll find a breakdown of what a general contractor can do to make the process smooth and easy to manage.
Project management might be the single biggest differentiator that us general contractors offer. Why? If you're looking to renovate your kitchen, you're going to need someone to put down flooring, do trim work, install tiles/backsplash, build or install cabinetry, set stone, paint, and more! Imagine trying to put this all together yourself! With a general contractor, we take one of two approaches to managing this. For most renovation and building services, we have members of our team that specialize in that area. If we don't, for something less common or more niche (such as setting bricks around a new window), we will subcontract a brick worker to complete the work for you. We handle setting it up and finding someone to do it.
WE KNOW A GUY
We have a network of qualified and trusted partners that we trust to get the job done right if it is something we don't have a team member for. This takes the stress out of comparing and contrasting reviews and trying to find someone yourself. We make it easy by having partners in various trades that specialize in unique skills to do the best job possible.
WE'RE YOUR GO-TO CREW
When it comes to your vision, we want to make sure that we get it right. We'll work with you and plan with you to make those reno dreams come true. Our team can help share ideas, explain how different processes or approaches may look, and will also plan ahead so that each step of the project connects seamlessly. Along the way, our team is equipped to answer questions about next steps, processes, and more. We're able to help select the right materials for the job and ensure that the materials used all work together.
WE'RE A FULL-SERVICE COMPANY
When you renovate or build with a general contractor like J&S Construction, you're getting access to a whole team of professionals. This means that you can count on us for everything from building your fence to demoing walls, from framing your new addition and setting up tiling. This means that you'll have a consistent point of contact for your whole job. We offer a wide range of construction work that we're confident will not only meet your expectations, but exceed them.
Ready to get started? Contact us and we'll be happy to provide a free quote for your next project!
We've all see it at one point or another: a door that sticks when the seasons change, a drafty window or exterior door, and entry areas getting wet from boots and coats! Here are a few quick tips and tricks to help keep your home working as it should and keeping you comfortable all winter long!
TEST THE SEAL: EXTERIOR DOORS
An easy way to see if there's any gap in exterior doors is to use a flashlight. If you go on one side and have a family member on the other, you'll be able to quickly tell where any openings are that can lead to a draft. Point a flashlight at the bottom of all of your exterior doors; wherever light comes through is where there are gaps. Fixing these before it's freezing out not only saves you from chilly fingers, but also makes for easier caulking. These gaps can be caused by: old caulking which can be replaced, poor hinge installation (doors are heavy and hinges that are improperly installed can lead to unwanted gaps and drafts), or old/worn weatherproofing. These are easy fixes! A quick YouTube of any of these and a trip to a hardware store may be all you need. If you're not comfortable trying to fix it yourself or you're not sure which problem you have, call an expert! We're happy to reinstall doors, or install brand new ones. Upgrading your exterior doors can even be a great way to save money on heating and cooling expenses with eco-friendly options that better-retain your indoor temperatures.
KEEP YOUR WINDOWS TIGHT
Just like doors, windows can be pests when it comes to letting out your HVAC's hard work heating and cooling your home. With the right, updated windows, your home can remain draft free. Any window will feel cool to the touch when it's colder outside, but you should never feel a draft or breeze. If you do, check to see:
-If the window is slightly ajar
-If the window is locked
-When locked, does the window create a seal and fully close?
-Is the window stable and secure in its housing/frame?
If any of these seem off, that's when you might need to dig a little deeper and consult a professional. From installations of new windows, demolition of old ones, or adding a new window to an existing wall, our team at J&S can help.
REMEMBER THAT WINTER RENOS CAN SAVE YOU TIME AND MONEY
If you look to the real estate market, you'll see that people often buy and sell their homes more in the spring, summer, and fall than winter. This is for a variety of reasons, such as keeping kids in school or the ease of avoiding ice and snow while moving. People also like to renovate before they move in, or before they get settled, which is important knowledge for you to have. Why?
When you renovate in winter you can save money on materials simply by purchasing out-of-season! There are also often deals on overstock items and even outdoor furniture for those brave enough to buy in the winter.
On top of just material costs, many businesses are less busy in the winter months, which often results in savings. With fewer renovations happening during the winter, you also save time on these materials. Why? Let's use a custom egress window or a glass shower wall. For these items, a glazier needs to have custom glass cut and sized for your project. These orders are placed in a queue-type fashion, and produced in the order that they are received from contractors. If there are fewer custom windows being ordered, you're likely to get that window much faster than if you ordered in during the busy summer months. Think of it like hopping in the shortest line at the grocery store!
The short answer, is a resounding 'yes!'
Here at J&S, we built our name on renovations and new builds. The difference between our business and many other builders that you may come across, is that our custom-built homes are exactly that: custom. We help you design and build your dream home from idea to reality, using our trusted and competent team of industry professionals.
How Does it work?
We'll be honest: building a new home is a lot of work. From deciding what you want, where you want it to what everything should look like, there are a lot of steps. From idea to execution, our team takes every measure to ensure that you're satisfied with the process, as well as the new home construction itself. While there are small, niche steps that may be unique to each build, here's how the process works:
What SHOULD WE CONSIDER?
Every custom-built home is different, and that's the point. Each family has different needs and wants which should be considered when planning both the layout, materials, and style of your home. While the biggest thing to think about is function, here are some of the most interesting considerations that we suggest, which you may not have previously thought of:
We're here to help every step of the way! Check out our work to view our projects from customs to bathrooms, kitchens, renos, and beyond! When you're ready, let's chat about your custom build.
Insights from the front lines, J&S is here to help make your projects run smoothly as both a resource a construction company.