When people bring us into their homes, it's no surprise that they have a fair amount of questions associated with their projects. Here are some of the most commonly-asked questions when it comes to renovations and custom construction projects, big, or small, right here in Niagara.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?
The exact amount of your renovation is entirely dependent on a variety of factors. These can include what types of finishing you want, such as tile or countertops, the space you're renovating, what's there now, and what you want to be there when we're finished. To determine a solid approximation of cost for your project, we like to do an onsite visit where we can measure the space, get a detailed idea of what you're looking to accomplish, understand your material preferences, and plan the logistics of your project.
WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER WHEN REDOING MY BATHROOM?
When we do bathroom renovations, the main question that we're asked is if the bathroom should be renovated at all. If your space isn't serving you at its best, making it into something that will makes perfect sense! With that being said, it's important to consider a few major points that are unique to bathrooms:
DO YOU WORK ALONE?
This answer is different for every contractor. Here at J&S, we have a full service team of employees that are dedicated to your renovation's success. If we require the help of a third party (say, a crane operator, for example), we'll source only the best from our extensive network of trusted subcontractors to ensure that your job is completed above and beyond your standards.
ARE YOU INSURED? HOW CAN WE TRUST A NEW CONTRACTOR?
We sure are! We're insured with TruShield Insurance to ensure that we provide the best and most trusted service available. This means that we're not a liability, just an asset to your renovation's success.
If you're looking to others to help make your decision easier, we share our reviews online, and you can also find the most up-to-date ratings for our business on Google Maps!
CAN YOU SHOW US YOUR WORK?
At J&S, we're proud of our past and present construction projects. Everything from backyard builds, custom additions, and renovations is part of our history. You can find examples of our work, in a wide variety of categories, here. If you require more specific examples, feel free to reach out! We'd be happy to share any updated images that we have!
As soon as the sun starts to show up from behind the March clouds, you'll notice that FOR SALE signs start going up and cities liven up with the potential of a new real estate and renovation season. As you may well know, the warmer months are busy times for contractors and it's no surprise. Can you really call a home your favourite place if you haven't made it your own? Today, we tackle some of the ways that you can extend your dream living space outdoors!
Unique deck building & FENCE CONSTRUCTION
One of the ways that people in Niagara and surrounding areas love to spend their summers is on the back deck. Whether you're kicking your feet up with a beer, playing with the kids, or having a family BBQ, having a great deck to do it on adds to the experience. The J&S team is experienced in deck building, from the initial construction of your dream deck, making sure you get on/off safely with appropriate bracing and support, as well as making it work with your backyard's layout and home's connection.
Often, because people like their backyard havens to look uniform, a new deck means a new fence at the same time. Why? Putting new wood out into the world is a beautiful thing, but, over time, wood changes colour from exposure to the elements. When you're building a deck and want it to match your fence, it makes the most sense to complete these projects at the same time in order to have their wear match. We can help you from A-Z when it comes to fence construction. From using an auger to dig your fence post holes, to getting every last board lined up and spaced properly, the J&S team is equipped.
An incredibly exciting trend we've been seeing in recent years (especially in Niagara-on-the-Lake) is backyard kitchens. Instead of just putting a lone BBQ in the backyard and calling it a day, many residents are building enviable kitchens in their own backyards. What makes a backyard kitchen?
HOT TUBS AND POOLS
Yep, you heard that right! There's no place like home when it comes to kicking back and relaxing, and there's nothing like a pool or hot tub to help you do just that. From building your deck around your hot tub, to creating gazebos and coverings for sun shade and poolside dinners, we love helping our clients dream big outdoors. If you're looking to build your backyard around the water, or have a hot tub/pool installed, our contracting team can help your vision become reality.
Summer is on its way; call the J&S Construction Niagara team today for a free quote. We'd love to learn more about what your dream backyard looks like!
Are you considering a renovation to your kitchen? Being one of the most commonly-used rooms in your home is hard work, and sometimes years of delicious dinners, friends, family, and adventures begin to show through. Here are some key indicators that it's time to upgrade to a new and improved kitchen!
You Just Moved In
One of the most popular times to do a renovation is upon purchasing a new-to-you home. Whether it's because you don't like the cupboards, planned to purchase and renovate, or it turned out differently than you expected, an empty home is ideal for renovating. When the old owners move out and before you move in is a great time for a kitchen renovation for several reasons:
YOUR KITCHEN ISN'T EFFICIENT
Efficiency can come in a few different forms when we're talking about kitchens. If you're using older appliances, upgrading to newer more efficient units can save you money on your electric and water bills. Better yet, you have the option to save space, gain new features, and buy appliances that match your dream kitchen design.
When we talk about efficiency in the kitchen, you can save time chopping vegetables with the right technique and knives (that, we can't help with), or you can save time with an intelligently-designed kitchen. This means a layout that works for how your family uses the kitchen: from cooking to eating, preparation, and dishes. With a renovation, almost anything is possible (hey, after all, big or small, we do it all!) and we have a great deal of experience with custom kitchen islands, counters, layouts, and more.
You're planning to sell
Sometimes, the difference between selling your house at an impressive number and a flop can be a kitchen. Many people look to buy move-in ready homes and will overlook dated kitchen cabinets or older designs. If you're preparing to sell your house (be that this year, or within the next 5 years), consider renovating your kitchen. The expectation of high costs isn't always the case if you're working with the right contractor.
You can renovate and enjoy before selling to make the investment a little more fun, or renovate and list immediately to boast about the recent updates in your MLS listing. The benefit always seems to outweigh the cost!
Sometimes, it's just time to update. It can be as simple as installing new facing on your cabinets to as extensive as removing walls, islands, and creating a new layout entirely. If any part of your kitchen is showing age, discolouration, damage, these are warning signs that it might be time for some new eye candy.
Lastly, if you're just looking for a change or something new, that's okay too! Renovations can be exciting as we get to stretch our imaginations and enhance our space. I
TRIM LINES, or LACK THEREOF
When your contractor cuts your trim or moulding, it's important to know that they're doing the cleanest job possible. When looking at examples of work, look for clean lines, or better yet, look for lack of lines! When trim is finished properly, especially once painted or filled, you shouldn't be able to easily see cut lines on midsections or corners. Ensure that corners like those on window trims fit together without any gaps. Trust us, you'll be happy to see crisp window lines keeping your renovation looking fresh.
CLEAN WORK AREAS
Trust us, we're no strangers to how dusty work areas can get. While no worksite is ever going to look like a finished job or the way they look in a magazine, seeing how your contracting team works will give you a reasonable idea of the quality of work being completed. Do they sweep up after dusty jobs? Do they bring their own brooms, garbage bags, and other cleanup gear to get rid of debris? Is waste compiled in one central area to be transported to the dump at a later date? Keeping the work area isn't only important to avoid accidents and injuries, but also to show pride of workmanship. Make sure that you're working with a team (such as the crew here at J&S!) that will keep your property, new build, or renovation clean as work is completed.
FILLING THE GAPS
That's right. Nothing is worse than finding a hole in almost anything. With nail guns, drills and screws, and all sorts of equipment available to us when renovating homes, we really enjoy putting holes in things! If you've never demolished a wall, it really can be therapeutic!
Despite how fun it is to put things together or put holes in projects, how contractors cover them up is just as important as how they make them. Make sure that your contractor is filling nail holes in wood or trim, keeping drywall holes clean and flat with nice mudding jobs, and sealing all gaps with caulking or another appropriate material. You don't want to go to the bother of having a beautiful kitchen renovation completed, only to find that the corner edge of your sink wasn't sealed! Make sure you're working with professionals that take care of all the small details.
Here at J&S, whether your job is big or small, we do it all! Contact us today and we'd be happy to provide you with a quote to make your renovation or building dreams come true.
CABINETS AND KITCHEN CABINET INSTALLATION
When people consider renovating their kitchen, one of their biggest concerns is cabinetry. Custom cabinets can indeed be expensive, and there are some truly impressive options out there. With that being said, you don't need to spend an arm and a leg to get great-looking cabinets. Here's why:
That's right. Picking out a sink is the fun part, and then installing it is where we come in. From drop-in sinks to high-end cast iron solutions that provide the luxury of not having a lip to deal with, we can install them properly.
It's also important to consider how your chosen sink fits into your existing countertop, or how it will work with a new countertop if you're replacing more than just the sink. It's important to choose the right cut-outs with the help of a knowledgeable contractor, or to have a custom counter solution built out for you!
ISLANDS AND WALLS
Do you have more walls than you need, or too few? Whether you're looking to create a more open concept kitchen or create the edges that will make your kitchen stand apart on its own, we can help!
In addition to the framing, walls, and trim installation that you may need, our team is also experiencing in create custom kitchen islands that are perfectly suited for your style and space.
FULL KITCHEN RENOVATION DREAMS COME TRUE
Whatever your kitchen goals, we can help. Contact our team to arrange a free quote. Even if you're just looking to see if your big ideas can become a reality or if your space suits the equipment you're considering, let our team know. We're always happy to tear down some walls while building new relationships!
Just because it's the winter, it doesn't mean that your home renovation dreams can't come true. When you book a renovation in the winter, despite our crew being extra careful on the slippery driveways of Niagara, there are actually many perks to booking off-season!
We Work Faster
That's right. Summer can slow everyone down. While we always aim to be as efficient as possible, summer does mean that we require a little extra hydration and tire more quickly. We're human! For projects that involve a lot of heavy lifting, that elbow grease is best-used when it's a little colder, or when we've recently bought a new pack of water bottles.
In addition to the physical impacts of heat, there are also seasons to contracting and construction services. Many people prefer to buy/sell homes in the spring and summer, from April through to September before the kids go back to school. As you'd expect, these purchases often come with renovation dreams and changes to be made before move-in day. The summer is the busiest season, which means that booking in the winter naturally has a quicker turnaround time for your project. When you book in the winter, you'll more-than-likely have your project start sooner.
The hardest part about building or renovating in the winter is the ground. The ground can freeze and become increasingly hard to dig. Manual digging, such as that required for egress windows can be almost impossible. Foundation or open-space digging away from your home with machinery is easier, and still possible during most of the winter!
We usually see deck projects come through in the summer when people are starting to get back outdoors. While we have built decks and outdoor structures during the winter, we'd recommend doing it in the summer. This is because the wood will settle best in the temperatures that are more common in the summer, and we avoid digging into the ground when the temperatures fall.
The one thing that is best (and only possible) in the winter: snow removal. This is a service that is new to J&S this year, as we've added a plow to our toolkit! Contact us to book snow removal for 2019!
There isn't an indoor project that we can think of that we haven't worked on in the winter! The cooler season doesn't prohibit much when it comes to indoor renovations like bathroom and kitchen renovations, cabinets, wall demolitions, floor installations and almost anything else, the sky is the limit! Whether we're working on a new build or an existing home renovation, having the structure around us makes working in even the coldest climates, like here in Niagara, a breeze.
Here are some examples of interior projects:
If you're ready to get started on your renovation project this winter season, reach out! We're always happy to provide a free quote and stop by to see what you're working with!
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.
Insights from the front lines, J&S is here to help make your projects run smoothly as both a resource a construction company.