How To Prepare For A Meeting With A General Contractor

You’ve made the decision to renovate your home in Saskatoon. Now comes the task of selecting a general contractor (GC) to get the project started. Since 2013, Kijenga has been connecting homeowners who are looking to complete a major home improvement project with reputable, certified contractors. Once Kijenga has connected you with a few general contractors, you can set up meetings to see which contractor is the right fit for your project. Although we verify all contractors through Kijenga, you have to find the right fit for you. Communication is key and so make this a priority to assess in your conversations with a potential contractor for your home. Get to know their values, their process and where you fit into it. 

But how do you prepare for these meetings to make the most out of your time together? Let’s take a look! 

#1 Telephone interview. Before setting up a meeting with a contractor, get a feel for them over the phone. Once we connect you to a contractor, they will be in touch with you to discuss your project. Briefly ask about their experience or if they’ve done any homes nearby. Talk to them about their current work load, timelines and communication style. If you feel there is good chemistry, book a meeting!

#2 Block time. Meetings with the GC’s could take upwards of 60-90 minutes, depending on the size of the project. Make sure you block off time for the visit so you’re not interrupted and can ask all of the questions you need to. Depending on your schedule, you may have to take some time off work or plan to meet up in the evening when you have more time available. Most contractors are flexible on timing and if they’re interested in your job, they will make it work. Ensure that all decision makers are present at the meeting to avoid any unanswered questions and back and forth. 

#3 Preparation. You should have a good idea of what you want before the meeting. Some areas to prepare for include:

  • Timeline. When would you ideally like to have the project started and how flexible are you with the timeline?
  • Renovation goals. Be as specific as you can about your must-haves for the space. What does the current space lack? Let the contractor know your wish list. These are items you would like if the budget allows. Download and complete this Renovation Checklist we prepared for you. It’s free! 
  • Budget. Make sure the contractor knows your budget early on so they can keep that in mind when discussion options with you. Be transparent with your contractor and trust they will make the best decisions based on your budget. If you are applying for financing for a project, mention this at the meeting as it may add time to your project.
  • Your vision. Show the contractor any inspirational photos you like from Pinterest, Houzz or home magazines. This will give them a better idea of what you are looking for. You can also show them any plans or sketches you’ve created or have had done by a professional. Here are some handy tools! 
  • Condo By-laws. If you live in a condo, be sure to look into the condo by-laws for your building. They may restrict working hours or how you can alter your unit.
  • Division of labour. Let the GC know if you plan to source the material, or if you would like them to. Oftentimes, contractors can get great pricing from their suppliers, saving you time and money in the long run. 
  • Questions. What additional questions do you have for the contractors? Some ideas are:
    • What is the best way to contact them?
    • How often will they be on site?
    • Who will oversee the work on a day-to-day basis?
    • How often do they have progress meetings with clients?
    • How are change orders completed and tracked?

#4 Communication. During the meeting you will be able to see how the contractor communicates and if your feel they would be a good fit for you. Consider these questions during the meeting:

  • Does the contractor communicate clearly and effectively?
  • Does the contractor understand what I need and can they provide it?
  • Does the contractor support me in my decision making?

After the meetings are completed and you’ve received estimates from the contractors, you can move ahead with deciding on who to go with. It is important to ensure any contractor you choose is certified and licensed in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan. At Kijenga we verify all our contractors licensed and credentials, ensuring they have liability insurance, WCB insurance, business licenses, a GST number and recommendations from other homeowners.
Post your project in Saskatoon and area and let’s get the wheels turning on you project! If you have any more questions for us, let us help. Get in touch anytime! 


How To Understand and Compare Contractor Estimates

Whether you’re finishing your basement or getting your driveway poured, it’s always important to get estimates from multiple contractors to make an educated hiring decision. Sometimes, however, reviewing the estimates can make your contractor selection decision more difficult! We hope to help you better understand and compare estimates by answering the following questions.

Is there a difference between an estimate and a quote?

Some contractors consider them the same thing while others use different definitions. One contractor may consider a quote to be a set price while an estimate to be more of a best guess as to what the total cost will be to finish the job. It’s best to clarify with the contractor if the price provided is set or could be adjusted depending on the project outcome.

Why do the estimates look different?

There is no industry standard for estimates which is why each contractor’s estimates can look very different. From style to line items, each estimate will be unique in the way it’s formatted. 

How do I compare estimates?

Some contractors put a lot of detail into their estimates, while others don’t. It is important to compare apples to apples. Some suggestions for comparing estimates are:

    1. Ask contractors to break the estimate down into labour, materials, profit margin and other expenses. Preferably, do this before they provide you with an estimate. If you have questions on your estimate, contractors are willing to help clarify items to you – don’t be afraid to ask!
    2. Separate major work categories. Lots of the time, contractors will lay out major work categories in their estimates, such as cabinetry or demolition. Find these larger categories in each estimate and compare. It can give you a better idea of the work and time needed to complete the project.
    3. Keep consistent. Ensure what you’re asking for stays consistent between contractors. It can be hard to compare estimates when one quote has a kitchen island and the other doesn’t, for example. If your project plan changes after meeting with one of the contractors, ensure the other ones you meet with are aware of the changes to the plan so they can adjust their estimates accordingly.

Why does the price between contractors vary so much?

It can be very confusing when item details are identical between estimates but the prices are different. Most of the time this comes down to contingencies, overhead and markup. Each contractor operates differently and requires some form of overhead and markup in order to make a profit. Contingencies are there to absorb, up to a specified amount, for unknown or unaccounted for issues.

Keep in mind that choosing a contractor shouldn’t always come down to price. There are a lot of other factors that help homeowners decide on who they are going with, such as:

  • Certifications (WCB insurance, business license, liability insurance)
  • Reviews from other homeowners
  • Communication style
  • Preferred timeline

Post your project on Kijenga.com and we will connect you with multiple, certified contractors, so you can get your project done! To put the icing on the cake, in posting your project to Kijenga, you’re provided a project coordinator from our team to consult with you and answer any questions you may have when comparing your quotes. Post your project today for free! 


Kijenga Makes Insurance Claims a Breeze in Saskatoon & Area

Summer days in Saskatchewan are filled with festivals, patio beers, camping and sun! We trudge through the long winters knowing the fun we’ll have once the snow melts. However, sometimes our hot summers can bring a thrash of unpredictable weather. With high temperatures and humidity, summers in Saskatchewan can bring another meaning to “Land of the Living Skies”.  Summer storms, just like the one that hit Saskatoon, Langham, Dalmeny and Osler last weekend are becoming more and more common. And with storms, can come hail or wind damage to your home.



It is important to always check for damage to your house after a storm. Key places to inspect are your roof, siding, windows, and rain gutters. Siding, windows and rain gutters are easy to notice damage as they are visible from the ground.  Unfortunately, where it’s harder to see, the roof is typically where hail makes the most damage. To look for damage you can check for:

  • Dents
  • Circular cracking
  • Missing granules

If you notice any of these, call your insurance company immediately and file an insurance claim with your broker.  Sometimes it is hard to notice damage, especially if you don’t know exactly what you are looking for. Any damage from the storm left unfixed can lead to further exterior repairs, including a whole new roof. If you suspect you have damage, contact your insurance company.



Here are some tips for preventing wind and hail damage to your home:

  • Install impact-resistant windows and doors
  • Reinforce the garage door at weak points
  • Secure or store outdoor patio furniture, tools and toys
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed and pruned from branches that could damage property



If you’re unsure of how your insurance works, now is a good time to contact your broker to get more information on what exactly you are covered for in the event of a severe wind and hail storm, and potentially update your policy.

If you are in an area that was hit by severe hail damage such as Dalmeny and Langham, visit Kijenga.com and submit your project to get 3 free quotes for your insurance claim. Time is money and we make it super easy. We will connect you with certified contractors who have liability insurance, WCB insurance, business license and who come highly recommended from homeowners like you!

If you have family or friends needing quotes for an insurance claim, tell them to go to Kijenga and we’ll help them find the perfect contractor for their home!


Kijenga’s Top 5 Kitchen Renovation Trends for 2018


Living in an 80’s oak wonderland and needing an update? Let our experts at Kijenga guide you through our top 5 kitchen trends for 2018.


1] Smart Kitchens

If you’re seriously into tech, consider getting a smart fridge for kitchen. New fridges from LG and Samsung have screens on their doors where you can download apps such as whiteboards, or recipes. The LG fridge screen can turn transparent to let you see inside without opening the doors. It also has a panoramic camera inside the fridge that you can access from your phone. Now you’ll know what you need to pick up on your way home from work in the Saskatoon rush hour. The Samsung fridge connects to your other smart home features so you can view your home cameras, doorbell and turn turn lights on and off… all from the fridge display!

Other Smart Kitchen features, which won’t cost as much include:

  • Motion sensored or one-touch faucets.
  • Kitchen lighting accessed from smartphone or tablet
  • Coffee makers programmable from your smartphone or tablet
  • Voice activated trash can



2] Practical Storage Solutions

No more piling things up! Kitchen cabinets can be custom built to include a variety of features which will optimize your storage. Some of these ideas include:

  • Pull out drawers for garbage and recycling
  • Spice rack pullouts
  • Custom wine rack
  • Custom drawer dividers
  • Vertical pull outs for baking sheets
  • Pot drawers
  • Pulldown or pull out shelves



3] Open Shelving

Floating shelves, especially around a window, can really open up a room. There are many positive features of this trend, including:

  • Inviting – guests know where your plates or glasses are without having to ask
  • Cleaning – typically people use open shelving for plates and cups which are used daily so dust concerns are limited
  • Light – By removing upper cabinets, the kitchen can appear brighter
  • Inexpensive – This option can be a lot more cost effective than cabinets
  • Test Run – Before committing, you can test run this feature by removing your cabinet doors for a few weeks



4] Appliance Styles

Stainless Steel appliances have been popular for awhile now. In 2018, matte black stainless steel is now the trendy colour choice for appliances. The sleek coloring matches a variety of kitchen styles and the softer look of black matte creates a more comfortable ambiance as kitchens become more part of the home’s living space.

Another popular feature in 2018 is smudge-proof finishes. Anyone with a child can appreciate a smudge-proof finish! Who wants to clean fridge smudges everyday? No one has time for that!



5] Island Ideas

Kitchen islands are growing larger and larger as open concept homes become the norm. The kitchen blends into the living space which allows for a larger kitchen island. Some of the other most popular trends include:

  • One level island – keep it one level to utilize for many different purposes and maintain clean lines
  • Pet Friendly – creating space for a pet centre, either a bed or feeding station
  • Waterfall Islands – keeping a contemporary look, the countertop extends to the sides of the island.
  • Two Toned – the island’s counter and cupboards do not need to match those of the main kitchen area



If you’re planning your Saskatoon kitchen renovation for 2018/2019 we encourage you to get creative with your renovation while jumping on board the hottest trends. Submit your kitchen renovation project to us at Kijenga.com and let us connect you to our certified home pros!


4 Reasons To Hire a Professional Landscaper in Saskatoon

What if Cinderella’s castle was surrounded by disheveled hedges or wilting flowers? Would people think a princess lived there, or a cold-hearted beast?  What if Snow White’s cottage had a severely cracked and uneven patio with poor drainage? Where would Dopey set up his fire pit? (He always has it snuffed out by 11PM, btw).

You have to admit, when you picture a fairy tale house or castle you also picture the surrounding landscape. The same can be said when you look at home design magazines or websites featuring the coolest trends. They always include beautiful greenery: trees, flowers, shrubs. You should want that for your home! Your house is your castle and your landscaping (and hardscaping) should make an impression. At Kijenga, we can help! 


Whether you have a new build or want to spruce up the yard of your existing home, here are some reasons why you should consider a professional landscaper in Saskatoon and area:

  1. They’re more knowledgeable. Unless you’re a horticulturalist, these people will know more than you do. They know which plants and trees will thrive and will suit the design of your yard. They know which materials are the best quality and they have access to them. They also know how to design a yard which is functional but esthetically pleasing and emphasises your beautiful home. Do you know which type of tree to put in and where to plant it in order to make your house look bigger? If not, consider hiring a professional landscaper.
  2. Hassle-Free. Not only are you avoiding the hard labour of loading and hauling wheelbarrows full of dirt and sod, you can have the professionals design a yard which is low maintenance. Depending on your wants and needs, they can design something that is practically hassle free. You can also avoid having to buy tools you will only use once but store in your garage for the next 20 years. Bonus!
  3. Boost value. It is common knowledge that having a clean, well planned out landscape design can increase the value of your home. There’s the saying that first impressions are everything and the same goes for your home. When you pull up to the house of your dreams, the outside appearance makes a huge impact in your overall impression. You wouldn’t be impressed if the blind date you met was sloppy and had poor hygiene, would you?
  4. Avoid disaster. You know those beautiful trees you spent hours picking out, hauling in and planting this summer? You want them to be alive next year. A landscaper can help decide what should go where so that your hard work doesn’t wither away into nothing. They can also help you create a plan to stay within a budget.

Turn that yard into a beautiful oasis! Post your landscaping project today at Kijenga.com to receive free quotes from certified professional landscapers.



Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly in Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, just because the majority of people oppose the carbon tax doesn’t mean everyone can’t see the benefits of reducing the carbon footprint of our homes. From the financial benefits to environmental benefits, it’s a great idea to update your home to be more eco-friendly. Here are some ways that you can update your home to become more green and healthy in Saskatoon and area. 



Having older windows can sometimes mean your hard earned money is literally going straight out the window. New, high-performance windows that are energy efficient will save you money on your energy bill. Windows that save energy have features such as multiple glazing, gas fill, low-e coating and insulating spacers.


Professional Landscaper

Hiring a professional landscaper can help you create a more eco-friendly yard. They take care of the logistical planning. The landscapers can plant and  install a variety of plants, trees and shrubs which provide fresh oxygen, manage water retention and can help with summer shade as they grow.



This is probably the most obvious option when people think of an eco-friendly house. Although the initial cost can be high, solar panel systems provide an excellent source of clean, renewable energy to your home. Having a solar panel system installed will mean lower electricity bills and a healthier planet!



Heating and cooling contribute to a large portion of your home’s energy consumption. Having a properly insulated home can save energy and electricity costs.



If you’re looking to update your flooring, consider some renewable materials. For example, reclaimed wood. It’s renewable, versatile, durable and no additional trees had to be cut down! Cork is also an excellent option as it provides great insulation.

Some suggest considering flooring that is free from formaldehyde.


If you’re interested in making your home more eco-friendly, post your project for free at Kijenga.com and we will connect you with our certified contractors in Saskatoon. 


6 Reasons To Finish Your Basement in Saskatoon

What’s waiting in your unfinished basement? No, it’s not one of the “ghosts” of Saskatoon. It’s the potential for under-utilized, valuable real estate!

When you think of a finished basement, I hope you are no longer reminded of dark, faux-wood-paneled spaces with Grandma’s old furniture. Homeowners are now utilizing the basement to expand the living space, functionality and comfort of their home – all with the potential for added value! So why wait? Here are the top 6 reasons to hire a Kijenga certified renovation specialist to finish your basement!

#1 Beat the Heat (and cold)
Saskatoon weather can fluctuate from +30 degrees to -30 degrees within the same year. For those that are greatly affected by extreme temperatures, comfort and sleep can be hard to manage. Having a quality basement renovation will allow you to have a space that keeps you from overheating in the summer while keeping you warm and cozy in the winter.

#2 Kids Only!
The basement can be a perfect place for kids to let out their energy! With many homes having an open-concept, it can be harder to aesthetically manage toys. It’s also nice to have a separate area for adults to entertain while the kids can let loose, be loud and play. With our long winters in Saskatoon, having a separate place to play for kids can help manage cabin fever!

#3 Guest Space
Sick of using a blow up bed in your living room for guests? I’m sure they are too! Having a special bedroom for guests can reduce stress for everyone. The extra bedroom will give your guests more comfort and privacy while keeping your living room open for socializing! This space also has potential to be used for visiting adult-children, billets or exchange students.

#4 Recreation Space
A recreational space in your basement can be used for many things. Many people utilize their basements as an added living room with couches and a TV. (Now Dad isn’t forced to watch the Kardashian’s anymore – bonus!)

A recreation space can also increase room for entertaining, which is great if you love hosting family for seasonal events. Maybe you want to build a home theatre, a gym or an office. Blizzard today? That’s ok, just head down to the basement!

#5 Storage
Even though it’s a constant battle to reduce the amount of “stuff” we have, there will always be “stuff”. Utilizing the basement for storage can help to keep your other living spaces clutter-free and stress-free. A storage space doesn’t need to take up the whole basement, which can leave the rest of it open for fun!

#6 Income
There is always the potential for extra income if you are able to use all or part of your basement for a suite. With mortgage rules tightening and interest rates predicted to continue to rise, added income is a definite benefit to homeownership these days!

A finished basement has so much to offer and can be made to suit your families needs. The result is always an inviting, practical space that your family can enjoy!

Post your project today on Kijenga.com and get free quotes on finishing your basement by Saskatoon’s certified renovation specialists.

bathroom countertop

Choosing the Countertop That Is Right For You

With so many popular countertops to choose from for your kitchen or bathroom, weighing the pros and cons of each is recommended if you want to find the one that is right for your home in Saskatoon. Before you make your final decision, consider your preferences for aesthetics and function. Choose the best material for your space – and your budget!



It remains the top choice of most homeowners.  Traditional granite countertops offer a high-end look that adds to your kitchen’s value while providing a durable prep surface. Because granite is a natural material, variation in the stone’s pattern is common and, for most people, adds to its appeal but can make matching up slabs tricky. In Saskatoon, the cost of granite and quartz are comparable but natural granite requires a bit more care than manufactured quartz to keep its good looks — wipe up all stains quickly, especially oils, wine, acids and soda, and follow a regular sealing routine — typically once a year. Granite has a timeless appeal. It’s not only beautiful but it’s eco-friendly and durable. Granite resists heat very well and is not susceptible to scratches. It’s one of the number choices of designer kitchens and immediately adds value to any home.

On the downside, it’s one of the more expensive countertop material options. It’s also vulnerable to cracks and chips and because of its porous material it requires sealing every year.

If you’re looking for a granite countertop for your kitchen, check out Michelangelo Marble & Granite Co. in Saskatoon. They have a long history of outstanding quality and amazing customer service and they are a Kijenga Certified Pro!

granite countertop



If you want maintenance free, a quartz is a great option! It’s not that you don’t have to care for it but engineered quartz countertops are stain, acid, scratch, heat and impact resistant and, thanks to their non-porous surface, don’t need to be sealed like natural stone countertops. They are available in a wide range of colors and patterns to fit your space. Quartz typically ranks close in popularity to the perennial top choice of granite.

quartz countertop



Tile countertops are a great choice if you want an inexpensive material that’s easy to maintain. It’s simple to coordinate with or mix and match with different design styles. Best of all, if you’re handy, a tile kitchen countertop is a do-it-yourself project that you can tackle in a long weekend. You’ll find tiles in a variety of materials such as porcelain, glass or ceramic. They also come in an extensive range of colors and sizes, allowing you to design a truly unique countertop for your kitchen or bathroom. The problem with tile is that it does require some maintenance and care. Tiles can get easily scratched and tile grout gets dirty and stained, particularly if it’s white.

tile countertop kitchen



Do you have a specific shape in mind for your countertop? Concrete can be poured into any mold and your countertop can take any shape you want. Concrete countertops are highly customizable — you can choose any stain color and texture. Concrete mixes well with many different materials, such as glass, tile and marble to create a one-of-a-kind look. Aside from its eye-pleasing appearance, it is energy efficient — when the temperature in your home rises, concrete captures the heat and releases it when the temperature cools down. Concrete is becoming more and more popular inside your home. The biggest question homeowners ask themselves is “who is going to do this for me in Saskatoon?” Well, luckily for you, Old North Concreteworks specializes in concrete furniture and countertops and they’re based right here in Saskatoon. If you’re considering concrete in your home, give these guys a call or post your project today and we will hook you up!

concrete countertop


Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is the countertop of choice for an industrial style kitchen. It’s incredibly easy to clean with soap and water and tough on high temperatures. The most appealing characteristic of this material is its ability to inhibit bacterial buildup, making it the most hygienic countertop available. Unfortunately, stainless steel is susceptible to dents and scratches. And because of its material, handprints and smudges can be easily seen, requiring it to be constantly wiped down.

stainless steel countertop



Hardwood countertops give off a natural vibe to any kitchen, making it warm and welcoming. It’s an excellent way to bring in an earthy element into your home. You’ll have a lot of wood types to choose from such as maple, oak, birch, and cherry; to name a few. Many homeowners like the hardwood option for being so reasonably priced.

For a warm, cottage kitchen look, opt for butcher-block-style wood countertops. Both decorative and functional, this hardworking surface is ideal for food prep — properly sealed, wood countertops are sanitary even for chopping meat. Unlike other budget-friendly options, like laminate, wood is highly heat-resistant so you don’t have to worry about putting hot pots and pans on the surface.

Hardwood countertops will require some care as they will stain. They’re also susceptible to scratches and dents. Expect to have to refinish your wood countertops after 10-20 years.



Marble Countertops

With timeless appeal, this stone gives any kitchen a decidedly high-end look and, although the cost is comparable to some granites, marble is porous so staining can be a problem. Regular sealing and special care with anything acidic to prevent etching will keep the creamy surface looking its best.

marble countertop



Laminate is easily one of the least expensive options for a countertop. It’s very easy to install and you can even install it over an existing laminate countertop. By far the most budget-friendly option, laminate countertops are enjoing a resurgence in popularity thanks to new patterns that resemble natural stone, wood or even quartz at a fraction of the cost. Retro, mid-century looks like the ubiquitous boomerang and bright, saturated colors are other trendy choices to consider.

The downside is that it damages easily. Your hot pans can melt the top layer and it is susceptible to scratches. It also doesn’t add much to the resale value of the house. However, if you’re on a tight budget, laminate is the way to go.

laminate kitchen countertop


Find The Best Contractors in Saskatoon with a Detailed Project Description

Do you want the best home professionals in Saskatoon submitting bids for your project? When planning a major renovation project whether it’s revamping your kitchen or remodeling your bathroom, you will want to consult with multiple contractors. The general rule of thumb is to get 2-4 quotes for your project to ensure you’re well educated on the process, the price, the schedule and what it’s all going to look like when it’s all said and done. To ensure you get multiple bids from the best contractors that match the work you want completed in your home, you will have to make sure you write a detailed description of your project. Make it a priority. Do your homework as the more prepared you are, the better for everyone. Know what you want and provide as much detail as possible.

Now before you go any further, determine the type of contractor you’re looking for. Are you wanting to hire a general contractor that manages their own trades or are you wanting to project manage the job yourself and hire out each individual trade required? A lot of people would like to take on the project themselves but for those bigger jobs, hire a general contractor and do it right the first time. If you consider yourself a DIY homeowner, maybe you can get away with hiring out the electrician and plumber while taking care of the flooring and the vanity or cabinetry. Figure out what is best for you and plan around that.

Once you’re sure that the right pro will be receiving your request, it’s time to write the project description that you can then enter into the details when posting your job for free to the Kijenga matchmaking service. If you want to spark the interest of the best contractors to then respond to you to discuss your project, remember that the more detail you provide, the more likely they are to understand what you need and determine if it’s a good project for them to potentially take on. As much as contractors try to sell themselves to get projects, as a homeowner, you have to make sure your project is attractive. The more you look like a qualified homeowner, the better chance you have of getting multiple opportunities to connect with the best of the best home professionals.

Here is a guideline to follow.

Properly introduce yourself

When you provide your name and contact info in the online submission form, make sure it’s accurate. The contractor will automatically relate to you as a real person who is making a legitimate request.

Inform the professional about your goals

Accurately explain to the professional what your desired end result is with your project. Provide them with photos and drawings of what you hope the project will look like. There are a number of great resources both online and offline to help you build out what you’re looking to do in your home. Don’t be afraid to attach photos of that drawing you did on your own either. Yeah you may not be the best artist but everything helps! By preparing the contractor with a description and images of your expected outcome, they can more accurately tell you how much and how long it will take to achieve.

Provide as much detail as possible

This is where your honesty pays off. Be upfront with the contractor about the state of the space they are remodeling or renovating. Don’t say you need a couple quick fixes when in reality, you need the entire room gutted and built out again. Include everything in your description that you know the contractor should be aware of when looking at your project.

Know your budget range

For homeowners, it’s the scariest question in the world. What’s your budget? Don’t look at it as this big daunting question. With Kijenga, you’re dealing with professionals who know their stuff and aren’t in this to screw you over. Be honest and give your contractors a price in which you want to use as a benchmark for your project. It’s vital to the success of your job. Give it some serious thought and have a range and a ceiling you can share openly with these contractors. Don’t say your budget it $50k when it’s actually $30k and make sure you manage your expectations. Materials and labour aren’t cheap and the higher end you go, the more it’s going to cost. With renovations, you never know what’s behind those walls so make sure you give yourself some cushion as you will likely spend more than you think.

State your availability

Let the professionals know what your timeline is for this project of yours. Just because you are inquiring about quotes now doesn’t mean that you expect the project to get started on right away. One of the reasons you may be asking for a quote is because you need time to save up or you may need to take out a loan. On the other hand, if you need to get started right away, make sure your description shows that. If you have to meet a deadline, please ensure that’s included. Lastly, manage your expectations. Things don’t happen overnight. Big renovation projects take time and the contractor you want to hire may not be able to start for a few weeks. Not only that but that tile you want is coming from Italy and it’s going to take 12 weeks to get in. There are a lot of times when material is the hold up on a lot of projects.

In closing, it’s crucial not to be vague in your description. Provide measurements, a realistic timeline, your contact details, and best times to reach you. At Kijenga, we connect you with reputable home pros in Saskatoon. All you need to do is provide us with the details of your project, and we will match you with certified and verified home professionals in your area. It’s free and it’s super easy. Give it a go and post your project today!

Pet damage to your home - dog on couch

Tips on How to Repair Pet Damage in Our Homes

We Saskatchewanians sure love our pets. But really, who doesn’t? They’re cute, cuddly, and they make our lives happier and ultimately more whole. However, pets can do some real damage to any home. From the time you first brought Benji the dog home, he has probably left his mark everywhere in the form of scratches, stains, gouges, and tears.

Whether you’re now moving out of your apartment, selling your house, or you’re simply wanting to address all the pet damage, we’ve got tips for you for the areas of your home that your pet likely uses most often.


The Floors

The state of your floors is probably the biggest proof that you have a pet. Depending on the type of flooring you have, you may have scratches due to untrimmed claws and urine stains from the early days before they were housebroken.

If you have hardwood floors, scratches made on the surface level can be easily covered up with a stain-filled marker. If you have deeper scratches and gouged-out wood, you’ll need to use wood filler, sand it down, and re-stain the floor. If you’re looking for one of the best hardwood refinishers in Saskatoon, check out FineLine Developments – a Kijenga Certified Pro!

For urine stains, you’ll need to sand the area if you want to get rid of the discoloration and the stench. Once you’ve sanded the area, thoroughly clean it with wood bleach before you refinish it. Unfortunately, dark urine stains that have gone deep into the wood may require to consult a carpenter who may recommend that you change the boards completely.


The Furniture

Dogs can make a chew toy out of just about anything. And cats can turn your favorite chair into a scratch post. Wood furniture is a little easier to repair; all you need is to sand down the bite marks or scratches. If they’re deep, use wood filler, sand it down, and apply a layer of stain that matches.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do with cat-scratched upholstery on a sofa except being creative about covering it up with doilies, fabric patchwork, or a slipcover.


The Walls

Pets are such frisky critters. As they run around the house, they leave marks everywhere. Yes, even the walls. And depending on whether you have a cat or dog, this could mean urine stains, scratches, and you may or not be surprised to hear that some dogs have been known to chew on the walls. Mmmm drywall! Yummy.

If the damage has been done to the drywall, you’ll need to go over the damage to get rid of any debris. You can repair the drywall yourself or leave it up the professionals that know what they’re doing. Check out the Kijenga Marketplace for great handyman services in Saskatoon.


The Lawn

The nitrogen content in your pet’s waste has probably caused significant damage to your lawn particularly if you haven’t been watering it regularly. If you haven’t been doing this, there’s still hope for you to rejuvenate your lawn.

Your pet probably relieves themselves in the same spot, causing patches in the grass in that specific area. Rake the patchy areas to remove the dead grass. Apply a layer of extra-fine ground limestone on the area and water it to help the limestone absorb the soil’s nitrogen content. After a week, cover the patches with topsoil and sprinkle grass seeds. Before you know it, healthy grass will start to grow again.

No matter the damage that our pets cause on our homes, we still love them. And fortunately for us, there are plenty of home professionals in Saskatoon that we can turn to for the animal damage that is too challenging for us to tackle ourselves. Check out the Kijenga Marketplace to find carpenters, flooring professionals, landscapers, and all-around handymen for other home repairs.