5 Simple Basement Remodeling Ideas

Remodeling your basement gives your home several advantages. If you’re looking to sell the home, a remodeled basement can add a ton of value. If you plan to stay at your home for a while, a finished basement can give you a few extra bedrooms, a family room, a game room, a home theater, or whatever else you might want. Follow these steps and tips to remodel your basement in the most practical way.

Basement Remodeling

1. Repair Water Damage

Before you do anything else in your basement, you must repair water damage. Be sure to seal off any cracks where water can enter. Have your foundation thoroughly checked by someone with the skills to do so. You have to ensure that the basement will stay clean and safe during and after the remodeling process.

2. Consider Suspended Ceilings

Suspended ceilings remind people of offices, but you could choose from plenty of different styles to suit your tastes. Suspended ceilings provide style and practicality to a home. You can keep plumbing and electrical lines hidden from view, but you can also access them easily with the removable tiles.

3. Recessed Lighting

If you choose a suspended ceiling, then recessed lighting would be a great option for you. Recessed lights don’t take up space like other light fixtures do. You might need that space for something else. Another advantage is that recessed lighting is very easy and effortless to install. It’s a good value for what your basement needs.

4. Heated Baseboards

Everyone knows that heat rises. That’s why it makes perfect sense to put heaters into the baseboards of the walls. Make sure you can pull this off with your current HVAC system in your home. You don’t want to utilize space heaters in a space such as a finished basement, so it’s definitely a good idea to use real heating if possible.

5. Add Bookshelves

Bookshelves can come in handy for a lot of reasons. The basement can be a good place for bookshelves. You can store office materials, children’s books, and your own books there. Bookshelves add a look of sophistication as well as a comfortable vibe to a finished basement.

Remodeling your basement is easy with these simple tips. You and your family will cherish this new space for as long as you live in the home. And if you ever want to sell your home, you’ll be able to use the finished basement as a bargaining chip to get a higher sale price.

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Tips for Finding a Good General Contractor

Home improvement projects can add value and comfort to your home. However, since these are often costly projects, it is important to ensure that you choose the right contractor for the job. Take a look at our top tips for finding a good general contractor so that you can go ahead with your home improvement projects with total peace of mind.

Tips for finding a good general contractor


Experienced contractors with years or even decades of experience in the field have expert knowledge of the specific requirements of homeowners in your local area. A varied portfolio is a good indicator of the contractor’s experience too. Another reason to choose an established contracting company is that these firms are more likely to have formed networks with well-known suppliers, which means that homeowners can benefit from discounted prices on products and services.

Mission and values

Contractors that are proud representatives of their company’s mission and vision will make every effort to deliver impeccable results and will be willing to go the extra mile to exceed customer expectations. Check the contractor’s website to learn about their ethos and philosophy.

Insurance and professional membership

Because there is a risk of things going wrong even when working with experienced professionals, always make sure that your chosen contractor has adequate liability insurance. It is also important to ensure that they are registered with the relevant national or local professional body, as these organisations require members to show a commitment to abide by the established codes of practice.

Customer service skills

The best contractors offer personalised attention and care about individual customers instead of just caring about sales. You will also want to ensure that their communication skills are top notch and that they are able to answer your questions using a clear and unambiguous language. Other things to look for include:

– Free, honest, and accurate estimates to guarantee that there will be no surprises when it comes to the final cost of a home improvement project

– A written guarantee on all work carried out

– Contractors that listen to your needs and act accordingly

– Contractors that give customers the widest possible choice by not limiting their product range to a few suppliers or brands

– Flawless customer service throughout, from the initial consultation and until a project is complete. Contractors who truly stand out from the rest will also be genuinely interested in your feedback and suggestions

What do others say?

Check out the testimonials or feedback section of a contractor’s website to make sure they have a track record of delivering what they promise. Positive online reviews and professional awards are also good indicators of a contractor’s professionalism.

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In A State to Renovate?

There is a point in every home owner’s residency when they begin to think seriously about renovating their property. Sometimes it feels sooner than it should, but inevitably things wear out, lifestyles change, or simply, enough money is saved to go ahead with plans that had been made years ago.

In a state to renovate

Whatever the reason, now may be time to raise your standard of living and Royal Home Improvements is here to help. With your own project manager providing a turnkey service and free initial assessment and quote, you will soon know whether what you want done, for what kind of price, is possible.

Royal Home Improvements have been building new spaces for almost half a century around the Toronto area. We pride ourselves on adding to the quality of our clients’ homes, providing an all-in-one service, whether you need help with designs or are just looking for a specialist tradesman to come and realize your household dreams.

So how do I know?

There are a few ways you can tell if your home could do with renovating. You can ask yourself the following questions to make the process easier:

Am I looking to increase the value of my property?

Renovating your property can be a great way to add value to a property if you are looking to sell sooner rather than later.

Has your family dynamic recently changed or is soon to change?

Perhaps you have family plans with space to make your house more child friendly, or the kids have grown up and now you have some extra space. With the right advice, the best way to reinvigorate your property can be found.

Is there going to be a lot of paperwork involved?

Planning permission is always required, but good companies will do this on your behalf, so there should be no extra work involved for you as a client.

Are my plans realistic?

Even if you have all the money and ideas in the world, if you don’t have the space to add anything to your home then you may have limited options. Royal Home Improvements will ensure your project is achievable, letting you know in the free quoting process what is realistic for your home.

Can I be sure I won’t be left with just a big hole in my house?

This will only happen if you employ the wrong company. Royal Home Improvements were winners of the Home star Best of ’13 due to the amount of positive reviews we have accumulated. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and have done so since our beginnings in 1969, not only striving to meet clients’ expectations, but surpassing them, meaning that your house will be in recognizably safe hands.

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How to Make Cottage Renovations Painless

Cottages and lakeside cabins are quite popular, but they are another residence to maintain. At some point in owning a cottage, you’ll likely feel the need to renovate. After all, a significant part of the summer might be spent at this location and it makes sense to make this home away from home as comfortable as possible. Here are some ideas that can make renovating your cottage a pleasant experience.

Know your Limits
This is worth stating early on. Take a few moments to decide what you think needs to be done, then a few more minutes determining if you can do the work yourself. Simple things like changing fixtures, painting, or even adding floorboards might be within your expertise, but things like building a professional looking deck may not be. Know what you can do and know when it’s time to call in an expert to do the work for you. Doing everything yourself might seem cost effective, but not if the work is done inadequately and requires being re done.

Small Space, Space Savers
Typically space is a premium in a cottage. When looking to renovate, look for places where space could be better utilized. In the kitchen consider things like two legged tables that can be folded down against the wall or turning windows into seating for a breakfast nook. Compact appliances (stove, microwave, oven and fridge) can be installed to conserve space in the kitchen as well. Add bunk beds in bedrooms or consider turning the attic into a loft to allow for more sleeping space. Stacking a dryer and washing machine can save some room where you do laundry.

Small Things that Make a Big Difference
There are few things that offer the same bang for the buck as fresh paint. Paint is an easy fix to renovate and bring new life into an old space. Other simple changes are bathroom and kitchen sink and shower fixtures. Lighting fixtures in the kitchen, bedroom and bathroom are also relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Consider replacing the pulls on drawers and cabinets, a very simple fix that can change the look of a kitchen. These things are all doable by even an aspiring handyman.

Larger Fixes
For the ambitious renovator, consider removing walls to open up the space, just be sure to pay attention to anything that might be load bearing and do not replace that. Opening up a space can make it appear much larger than it is. Roofing and siding are more extensive renovations as well, but can improve the outside look of a cottage immensely.

Grow your Home’s Value by Using a Residential Contractor

There are many reasons why people sometimes leave a home that they have lived in for years. If it’s work-related, then there is not much you can do, but if it is because you feel that you have outgrown it, then there is another way. Maybe you have just started a family, or have just become bored with the space that it offers. You can save more money and save yourself the inconvenience and expense of removal costs by just unlocking the possibilities your home offers. You can do this by using a residential contractor to create your ideal living space.

Choosing to develop rather than leave

By using a residential construction service, you can add extra functionality to the space you already have, or create additional space. Putting an extra room in your home, building decking, or just redesigning what you already have, is all possible, and at a cheaper price than you imagine.

Home additions                                                                                 

An addition is not only a terrific way to add space, but will also add value to what is more than likely your biggest asset. You can build an area for an aging relative or new member of the family. If you have a large family, then maybe a larger family room is what you require, a gourmet kitchen, den or study. Lofts and basements are ideal places to start thinking about extensions, and, of course, don’t forget utilising your garden.


If you want to make your home worth more and also create a relaxing ambience, then you could start outside with a brand new deck area. A deck is great for making use of what space you already have, and can be as fancy or simple as what suits your needs. You could have a covered deck to offer you shade, or something to surround a pool or garden water feature. It is always wise to examine the possibilities of what can be done in the house where you are living. Even if it is small, a residential construction contractor can give you ideas on how to make the best use of the room available.


If you are sick of your outdated bathroom or kitchen, then professionally renovating them can deliver some amazing results. Good restoration will liven up your house and make it feel new. From creating an open plan effect to getting rid of old carpets and replacing them with pine floor boards, getting together with a residential contractor makes sense financially.

Examples of work that can be done

Loft conversions
Kitchen and bathroom renovation
Garden design
Basement conversion
Garage conversions

The best news of all, is that by doing work on your home, if you do decide to sell, it will be worth more money.

Tips for Buying a Condo

Condo living is a popular choice for Canadians as it is a relatively hassle-free option. Most real estate agents have a list of condominiums for sale in most major cities. This guide will give you some basic information about buying condos and what you should know before taking ownership.

What you will pay

Condo owners often pay the same taxes as other homeowners for garbage pickup, road repairs, and snow removal. However, some municipalities consider condominiums as private communities and may not offer these services in your region. Before buying, it is best to ask the local municipal office about the types of services that are carried out or you may need to pay an independent contractor instead.

Are there any monthly fees?

In addition to municipality taxes, you may also need to pay monthly condo fees as part of your share of the common property. The monthly payment covers upkeep of the communal grounds, building insurance, utilities, and snow removal. Some of the money you pay every month will be put aside as a reserve fund in order to cover the cost of future repairs and maintenance.

Check the boundaries

It is important to know where your unit’s boundaries are situated prior to purchasing. For instance, you should determine whether you will be paying for exterior repairs of your condo’s bricks or window washing as some condominium corporations accept responsibility. Some condo units include the ownership of the land so you would be responsible for a portion of the entire building including the lawn, roof, and walls. Your appointed real estate lawyer can find out this information on your behalf through a professional surveyor.


It is important to know how much you need to set aside to purchase your condo. It is best to shop around and compare the prices of different condominiums as well as the monthly fees for each unit. Be prepared to view a variety of different designs such as low-rise or high-rise units with or without amenities. You should also check the reputation of the builders to ensure the condos are built to the highest standard.

How are prices determined for new condo units?

Most developers sell units at a price based on square footage; however, this is not based on the interior measurements. The measurements of the unit are determined by outside walls as well as the middle partition walls. The difference in size between the footage and the sale price can be between 8 to 12%.

Your role in a condominium community

When you become a condo owner, you have certain responsibilities in the condominium community. One of your main rights is to vote at general meetings that relate to the condominium. There are also regular meetings held by all syndicates which you must attend whenever possible.

Any Time Is the Right Time for Basement Renovations

The basement is often used in family films to portray a dark scary corner of the house where spooky creatures hang out and eerie noises come from at all hours. For many people, the reality isn’t far off, without the spooky creatures of course. Basements are mostly used as dumping grounds for old exercise equipment, luggage and anything that doesn’t fit in the closet upstairs. This is mainly because people see the renovation of their basement as a chore, but knowing when it’s time to renovate could save you a small fortune.

More Space

We live in a world where the need for living space is increasing but wages and jobs aren’t providing the financial resources to allow families to move into larger, more spacious homes. A basement renovation offers a fantastic opportunity to increase the space available to your family, and as most of the pipes and drains come into your house from underneath, it’s a cheap way to create an extra bedroom or living space. However, be careful of the following possible unforeseen costs:
• Extra headroom – most basements aren’t deep enough to comply with modern building regulations, so you may find yourself having to dig out the floor first in order to add the extra feet needed.
• Diverting drains and pipes – you’ll need to find out exactly where all the drains and pipes are underneath your home before you start to renovate because redirecting them, especially the main waste pipe, can be an expensive process.
• Installing additional windows – while it’s tempting to create a closed off cozy space under your home, you’ll need windows to act as ventilation to allow the flow of air through the space. This can be expensive if you don’t plan their placement correctly.

Damp Problems

A main reason to undertake a basement renovation is problems with damp and mold. Unless you’re on a large slope, your basement will most likely be fully underground, making it susceptible to incoming water. The waterproof coursing in most basements lasts for around 10 years at its full capacity, meaning that you should renovate the space frequently to prevent damage to the foundation walls.

Minimizing Heating Expenses

It could be time to renovate your basement if you’re finding your heating bills are rising rapidly. An unsound basement can lose a lot of heat very quickly, requiring you to pay more to heat a space that is rarely used. Turning it into a more practical space not only allows you to justify heating the rooms, but also gives you the opportunity to rethink the heating system for your entire house.

Basement Renovations can be costly projects, but they will bring many positive changes to your home and should be undertaken in a timely manner to avoid them becoming even more expensive.

Kitchen Renovations

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