Tips & Tricks

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Contractor Lingo 101 – Communicating With Your Contractor

If you’re not up to speed on the lingo, you’re missing half the conversation. You may know this from talking and texting with your teenage children these days.  When you are getting quotes or having work done in your house you want to ensure you know what your contractor is talking about. Here are a few key words which are good to know:

Mud – Not referring to what pigs or 2 year olds enjoy playing in. Mud is any type of plaster, spackle, stucco, concrete or semi-liquid mixture. It is used to coat foundations, ceilings, walls or other related surfaces.

Stud – Sorry ladies, this isn’t what you think. Stud’s are fundamental in framing a building. They are vertical framing members that, can be made of metal or wood, are usually spaced between 16 or 24 inches and are used to assemble walls.

Change Order – Boring but important! Change orders are signed document that authorizes the contractor to make a change or addition to the work detailed in the original contract. Any changes in cost should be reflected on the change order.

Fascia – Am I the only one who gets soffit and fascia confused all the time? Fascia is the exposed horizontal band you see at the edge of your roof. It plays a functional role in that it protects the home’s underlying structure. It also plays a part in enhancing your curb appeal

Soffit – The soffit of your house is the underside of an arch, balcony or overhanging eaves. Soffits provide ventilation to the roof and also protect rafters from outdoor elements.

Jamb – Does not go in a sandwich. Jamb refers to the moulding around the frame of a window. “Side Jambs” are vertical while “Head Jambs” are horizontal.

Toenailing – Sounds painful! Toenailing is when you connect two framing pieces together by nailing at an angle.

Retrofit – Not Richard Simmons workout video from the 80’s. Retrofitting is installing new parts to a pre-existing fixture in order to give it an upgrade.

There you have it. A few words to throw out when you talk to someone handy.

Have a home renovation project you need completed in Saskatoon and area? Post your project to Kijenga.com today and get free quotes from certified pros we background check for you. Now that’s my jamb!

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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! 

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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.

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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. 

 

Windows

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.

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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.

 

Solar

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!

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Insulation

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.

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Flooring

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. 

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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!

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#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.

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#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!

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#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.

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Concrete Driveways in Saskatoon – Get It Done Right

When homeowners in Saskatoon build a new driveway or revamp an existing one, many turn to concrete. It’s not just the boring, old gray stuff anymore. Concrete is the one material that does it all. It’s durable, looks great, and is easy to maintain. Innovative companies like Old North Concreteworks are taking it to a whole new level as outside of their flat work, they specialize in concrete flooring, countertops and furniture. The versatility of concrete makes it a favourite amongst Saskatchewan residents.

When it’s time to get that driveway or patio poured, we recommend you consult with concrete professionals in your service area and we at Kijenga can help match you up. There are some basic construction details you should know as we connect you to our certified contractors. Regardless of whether or not you get estimates from our network of pros or on your own, use these standards as discussion points with your contractor so you can be sure your driveway is getting installed for maximum longevity and durability.

Subgrade Preparation
In order for your concrete driveway to last for years and years, the first steps in preparing the subgrade are critical. Your subgrade should be evenly compacted. 4 inches of good base gravel is a minimum and it should pack well (not sand). A tamper is recommended to ensure best results and is commonly used amongst concrete professionals.

It should be noted that ground saturated with water needs to be properly removed prior to concrete being poured. If you have a downspout draining in a certain area, make sure you get down far enough to remove this saturation prior to pouring.

Concrete
Whether you’re pouring your concrete driveway yourself or you’re hiring a professional contractor, you must ensure that a minimum 4” of concrete is being poured. Concrete is measured by its strength capacity. MPa (megapascals) is the metric measurement for psi or pounds per square inch. Your driveway should be poured with a 32 MPa duramix concrete (a specific mix from any redimix concrete supplier). There are cheaper mixes so make sure this is what is being used for your project.

Correctly Placed Joints
Joints are placed in concrete to encourage cracking to occur inside the cut (in a straight line). It’s a common misconception that joints prevent cracking. That’s not the case.

It’s recommended from our concrete professionals in Saskatoon to make sure there are angled cuts off of 90 degree corners as consensus is that it always seems to crack in this location. Cut lines can be incorporated into patterns and designs to be somewhat disguised, but they are a necessary component of the construction of your driveway. Joints should be at least ¼ of the concrete’s thickness. A 1” deep joint should be created in the concrete in a 4” thick driveway. There is also proper spacing that should be followed for the joint placement. On a 4” thick driveway, joints should be spaced no farther than 8’-12’ apart.

There are companies that put in control joints with a groover when the concrete is wet, and others cut them in with a concrete saw the next day. Both have their pros and cons but be sure to ask your contractor what they do and ask them why. It’s also recommended that you get addresses of past clients from your contractor so you can take a look at their actual work.

Bottom line is concrete cracks. That’s just the nature of the beast. We do everything in our power to control how much it does crack and how visible those cracks are. If you see some cracks in your driveway, don’t panic. It happens. That being said, you should inquire if there seems to be excessive cracking or if the cracking seems to be spreading.

– Dan with Old North Concreteworks

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Reinforcement
A freshly poured concrete driveway should have reinforcement with a minimum of 10m rebar placed at 16” on center. It can be placed at a further distance on a sidewalk, but not a driveway. If the contractor you’re receiving a quote from is offering wire instead of rebar, it’s a red flag. Wire is not good enough for Saskatoon and Saskatchewan given our climate.

Steel bars are often placed in a grid pattern and should be placed on blocks or lifted when pouring to keep it in the center of the concrete. Reinforcing your concrete does not prevent or eliminate cracks.

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Proper Drainage
To eliminate standing water or puddles, all concrete driveways should slope ¼” per running foot away from the home. If proper drainage cannot be constructed, a drain should be installed at the lowest point of the concrete to collect the water.

Now when it comes to getting that driveway poured, do you go with a broom finish, exposed aggregate or stamped concrete? Everyone has their preference and it all depends on the style of your home, the neighbourhood, your budget, etc. We consulted with our Kijenga Certified Pros and here is a breakdown of the top three options.

Broom-Finished Concrete
A gray, broom-textured concrete is the most basic outdoor concrete finish and in Saskatoon, it’s by far the most popular. It is commonly used for sidewalks and driveways and, as the name suggests, involves dragging a broom across the surface of the wet concrete to give it a ridged texture. Not a bad idea for the cold, icy winters of Saskatchewan.

Its popularity lies in the fact that it is a durable and economical finish, as well as one that provides good traction in wet or snowy conditions. For a little extra interest, a colored pigment can be mixed into the concrete to give it a tone other than the basic gray.

Make sure that if you are colouring the concrete, the colour is being added to the concrete truck and not just coloured on top or with a tinted sealer. Eventually, these just flake off and you’re left with a spotted driveway that doesn’t look very appealing.
– Dan with Old North Concreteworks

Saskatoon Average Price: $8-10 per square foot (add $2-$3 for colour)

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Exposed Aggregate Concrete
To give concrete an exposed aggregate finish, the surface of the wet concrete is treated with a chemical that stops the outer layer of cement from curing. That outer layer is then washed off, revealing the aggregate within the concrete. Exposed aggregate concrete features a bumpy, pebbled texture, which creates excellent traction when wet. The aggregate, however, often has sharp or pointy edges which can dig into bare feet, making it an uncomfortable choice for a backyard patio. It is a popular choice in certain neighbourhoods throughout Saskatoon.

Our suggestion is that if you want to go this route, make sure the company you hire orders an “exposed aggregate concrete mix” as this has pea gravel instead of large rock and it’s a lot easier on your bare feet. The smaller, smoother stones offer a much better look as well.
– Dan with Old North Concreteworks

Saskatoon Average Price: $11-13 per square foot

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Stamped Concrete
Because of the extensive process for finishing stamped concrete, its final appearance can vary. Stamped concrete typically has a pigment mixed into the concrete itself to give it a base color. Additional pigments are often applied to the surface of the concrete to give it depth and character, and then large rubber stamps are pressed into the wet concrete. The concrete takes on the texture of the stamps, which can be patterned with organic or geometric shapes that mimic stone or other material.

The stamping process gives the concrete a very smooth surface that can be slippery when wet so it’s not for everyone. The smooth surface shows wear much more easily than a more textured finish, which may give the concrete a shorter aesthetic lifespan but it looks amazing when properly taken care of.

Stamped concrete doesn’t have to be slippery. It got a bad reputation for being slippery because of concrete companies finishing it too smooth before stamping. If a hand textured finish is applied to the concrete before the stamping takes place, it becomes much more grippy.
– Dan with Old North Concreteworks

Saskatoon Average Price: $12-15 per square foot

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How Do I Maintain a Concrete Driveway?
Concrete driveways are very durable and require minimal maintenance. However, we do live in Saskatchewan where we have a number of factors to consider – freezing winters, temperature fluctuations, snow/ice, road salt and more. Properly maintaining your driveway is the key to it’s quality and longevity. It’s a commitment but without taking good care of your investment, you will see a decline in its look and structure.

Maintenance requirements for most types of concrete driveways includes simply cleaning the surface thoroughly once a year with a pressure washer. Then the surface should be sealed. The best way to protect your concrete from moisture penetration, freeze-thaw conditions, color fading, deicing chemicals and abrasion, etc is to seal your driveway annually. If you aren’t sealing your driveway, put it in your calendar and get it done. There are a number of companies in Saskatoon sealing driveways for $0.75 to $1.00 per square foot. Here are a couple vouchers you can find on our online marketplace.

It is best to discuss what type of sealer to use with your concrete contractor. Some contractors offer routine maintenance schedules to care for your concrete. This is beneficial so that the maintenance of your concrete will automatically be taken care of, which reduces the risks of you forgetting or avoiding the process.

Here are the three most important tips that Old North Concrete offered up when it comes to caring for concrete.

  • Wash and seal annually
  • Take care of it in the winter
  • Manage your downspout water

Our winter season in Saskatchewan is the biggest enemy to our concrete. Be diligent in shovelling your driveway and not driving over the snow that is packing it down.

You must do your best to never salt your concrete! It’s extremely important. We have even seen “concrete safe” salt have very adverse effects on concrete.

In terms of downspouts, use extensions. The more water that penetrates under your concrete in summer, creates a greater risk of the concrete heaving in winter and ice building up as a result.

If you’re planning on a concrete driveway this summer, post your project to Kijenga and let’s get you a few quotes from certified contractors, doing it right the first time! It’s totally free, making it super easy to get connected to the best concrete pros in Saskatoon.

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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!

 

Granite

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!

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Quartz 

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.

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Tile

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.

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Concrete

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.

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Hardwood

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.

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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.

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Laminate

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.

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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!

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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.

Kitchen renovation project modern

Steps to Ensure You Have a Stress-Free Kitchen Remodel

Let’s face it, your kitchen is one of the most used and loved rooms in your entire home and it makes perfect sense that you would want to invest in making it beautiful and functional. Many homeowners in Saskatoon dream about remodeling their kitchen one day and fantasizing all of the cool features they would want in their ultimate kitchen.

However, many homeowners hesitate to get started because they think of it as a huge project that requires a lot of preparation and planning. While all this is true, many find that all the time and effort is well worth it once they have a gorgeous new kitchen to enjoy.

Here is a guide of the steps you need to take towards ensuring your kitchen remodel is stress-free.

 

The Right Contractor

This is where Kijenga can play a key role in your kitchen renovation project. 89% of homeowners in Saskatoon are frustrated with the process of finding and hiring contractors. We make it easy as pie with our online matchmaking service for Saskatoon and surrounding areas. Simply post your project. Our project coordinator will contact you to finalize some details before matching you with certified and reputable contractors that specialize in kitchen renovations. We make sure all our contractors have liability insurance, WCB, a valid business license, GST number and references. We do the homework for you. Once we connect you to our verified pros, they provide quotes on your project and voila. We help you from posting your project details to making the hire and it’s all done from the comfort of your own home. Simply post your project for free and let’s get things started on the right foot.

 

The Perfect Design

Maybe you’ve put a lot of thought into the design of your kitchen; maybe you haven’t. If you haven’t, an experienced contractor will also be able to help you discover your desired aesthetic as well as make recommendations based on your kitchen’s existing shape, space, and potential. Let us help you. Check out this awesome offer from Krawchuk Construction in Saskatoon. It includes a 2 hour in-home consultation with an experienced and professional contractor to discuss your project. Together you will customize a plan with a detailed project budget and report tailored for your bathroom renovation. You will receive professional 2D and 3D drawings and blueprints to give you a visual representation of your project. It’s truly the best place to start when planning your kitchen remodel.

 

A Prepared Budget

If you have, in fact, put a lot of thought into your kitchen remodel design, you should have a budget prepared. Your contractor will tell you if your desired specifications will work with the amount of money you are willing to spend. Remember that materials and appliances are significant factors in determining the overall costs of your kitchen remodel.

If you need help planning out your kitchen renovation, it’s best to consult with an expert. As mentioned above, we have a great starter package on our online marketplace. Check it out. 

 

Detailed Estimates

It is recommended that you request quotes from at least 3 contractors when planning your kitchen remodel. Recognize that whoever bids the lowest price doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best company for the job. They might be but do your due diligence. They may be cutting corners or using low-quality materials. This is why you should always ask for a detailed estimate that breaks down all the costs from materials to labour. The estimate should also include the payment schedule and project timeline. Although at Kijenga we certify and verify all our contractor members, it’s best to figure out which contractor is best for you and your project. Once we connect you with these kitchen renovation contractors in Saskatoon, make sure you ask the right questions and leave enough time for them to come by and provide a detailed estimate on the project.

In your first meeting with each contractor, don’t be hesitant to ask for their expected payment schedule and process, how long they have worked with their subcontractors, and a predicted timeline for the project.

 

The Written Contract

Once you have accepted a contractor’s bid for your kitchen remodel project, a written contract should be signed by both parties, and it should clearly state the following:

  • Project description
  • Details of materials used including costs and warranty
  • Permit information
  • Workmanship warranty
  • Lien waiver for subcontractors
  • Payment schedule
  • Contractor’s license number
  • Both of your addresses

Get it in writing!

Before your project starts, remember to prepare the site by moving aside all of the things you’ll need while the construction is ongoing. Plates, kitchen utensils, and other items you use frequently should be moved to another area. Consider transferring your microwave too so you and your family can still use it while the remodeling crew does work in your kitchen.

While a kitchen remodel is considered a major project, it doesn’t have to be a stressful one. If you find a contractor that you can trust, you’ll find the process enjoyable as you witness your kitchen transform as the work progresses.

 

 

plumbing pipes

Guide to Keeping Your Plumbing Project on Schedule

Over time, the pipes in your house will gradually corrode, rust, and decay. Your plumbing will eventually get leaks and could potentially cause a flood of water or worse, raw sewage that will cause thousands of dollars in damage to your beautiful home.

There are small plumbing fixes that can be completed in a day or two. However, complex plumbing projects like removing lead or polybutylene pipes or replacing deteriorating pipes will require planning and the skills of a licensed plumber. If your looking for a great plumber in Saskatoon, look no further than Marz Plumbing and you can check out her great offers on the Kijenga Marketplace.

Only a licensed plumber has completed the required government tests and regularly undergoes re-certification testing. This ensures you that they’re competent enough to tackle any plumbing issue and are updated on the building codes in your area. And only a licensed Saskatoon plumber can apply for any of the building permits that your project requires.

Here are the factors that you need to keep in mind to ensure that your plumbing project goes smoothly.

 

Budget

The costs of your plumbing project will depend on what needs repair, renovation, and replacement. Many plumbers will charge an hourly labor rate. Inviting a plumber for an in-home estimate is the best way for you to get the most accurate quote and gauge if your budget is appropriate for your plumbing schedule.

The costs of your plumbing project can range significantly depending on the type of project. Small projects like repairing a toilet, replacing a sink or other bathroom fixtures are jobs that will only cost a few hundred dollars and may be finished in a day.

 

Materials

Fixtures may impact your timeline as they need to be purchased and so do their correlating piping. Communicate with your plumbing contractor regarding any materials that need purchasing so that you can ensure you stay on schedule.

 

Scheduling

You might be considering scheduling your plumbing project around the holidays because it means you have more time to oversee the renovation. However, everyone else may have the same thought, and while your plumber may be able to squeeze you into their busy holiday schedule, the job may be rushed.

And while you cannot predict when you will have a plumbing disaster, it is also best to put off any plumbing projects that can wait until after the coldest time of the year. During the Winter, Saskatoon plumbers are likely getting plenty of calls about frozen pipes.

 

Permits

A plumbing permit is required whenever a plumbing system is being constructed, changed, renewed or repaired. The City of Saskatoon states that “plumbing installations are governed by the Saskatchewan Plumbing Regulations, as adopted and enforced by the Building Standards Plumbing Inspectors.”

To obtain a permit, only a licensed plumbing contractor registered with the City of Saskatoon can submit a Plumbing Permit Application to Building Standards. Inspections are then carried out, with a final inspection required before the new system can be put into service.

 

Project Timeline

Plan your timeline in advance if you want to ensure that your project stays on track. You and your plumber need to agree on your expectations for completion. The timeline should be included in the contract you both have signed.

The timeline should include any work that needs to be done first like unclogging sinks and toilets or other plumbing jobs that are minor.

Keeping your plumbing project on schedule is ideal, but there are all sorts of mishaps that may occur that could throw it off course. Be prepared and keep a level head. If you follow this guide, you will be in a better position to see that your plumbing project is completed on time.

If you’re planning a project, hire a certified professional. Get matched to verified contractors at Kijenga.com  and browse for great offers on our marketplace at shop.kijenga.com