Tips & Tricks

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!

 

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!

granite countertop

 

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.

quartz countertop

 

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.

tile countertop kitchen

 

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.

stainless steel countertop

 

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.

hardwood-countertop-kitchen

 

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

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

attract-best-contractors

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.

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 

Landscaped yard with path, sod, trees and shrubs

7 Landscaping Strategies to Follow For the Perfect Design Plan

Are you one of those Saskatoon homeowners who randomly collects plants and has no real design plan when it comes to their arrangement?

You wouldn’t be the first. However, without a method for the placement of your shrubs and flowerbeds, not only does your front yard lack the cohesion that makes good landscaping attractive but you also risk liabilities that could cause you frustration in the future.

Plants have different optimal growing conditions and not taking the time to get to know their needs or the soil, weather, and light conditions of your site could mean that some of your plants will not fulfill their potential.

Having a design plan will result in a cohesive landscape that is not only beautiful but will last longer. Here are 7 strategies to follow to achieve a smart landscape design.

 

  1. Be Prepared with Equipment Access

You should recognize from the very start that a time will come when you will need to do some repairs or have projects that require the use of equipment. This means having access to everything from a hedge trimmer to a lawn mower or even a chainsaw. If you don’t have what you need, you can always check out The Rent-It Store in Saskatoon.

 

  1. Start With Focal Points and Maintain Them

Whether your focal point occurred naturally or was intentionally placed, it can be an asset to your landscape and draw positive attention to your garden. Your focal point will force your viewer’s perspective towards a particular location. It could be a specimen tree, a fountain or a colorful flower bed.

 

  1. Don’t Overdo Curves

Curves, when incorporated in moderation, can add movement and structure to your landscape design. The aim should be to have continuous flowing lines that use the circumferences of adjacent circles and ellipses.

 

  1. Create and Invite Movement

Breathe life into your garden by adding elements that summon movement. Long grasses, wind chimes, and hanging ornaments that wave and sway in the wind add a touch of whimsy to your landscape. Consider planting flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

 

  1. Soften the Edges of Your House

It’s amazing how strategic placement of plants can add appealing accents to even the simplest of homes. Thoughtful designs such as a walkway or decorative flowers can accentuate any home.

 

  1. “Right Plant, Right Spot” Mantra

It’s understandable why you’re tempted to bring home a new plant with every visit to the nursery even if you’re just there for supplies. However, remember that plants grow at different rates and bringing home a plant that doesn’t fit into your existing design plan may cost you in the future.

When designing your garden, always take into consideration what each plant’s size at maturity will be, the rate at which it will grow and how much pruning and maintenance it will demand. Also be mindful of their placement beside other plants and outdoor furniture.

 

  1. Discover New Possibilities

Saskatoon is home to many nurseries and garden centers filled with beautiful choices of plants and accessories. Paying one a visit can inspire you to go beyond what you assumed were the limits of what your existing garden could offer.

Here is a little list to help you with your search in Saskatoon, Warman and Martensville.

You may even want to invite an experienced landscaping service to assess the state of your garden and have them create a detailed landscape design for you that fulfills its natural lifespan which will bring you and your family many years of delight. Check out our Kijenga Marketplace for great offers from Panoramic Landscape Design. You can get anything from a one hour consultation to a complete consult and design which includes:

  • One hour consultation with a professional landscape designer to provide inspiration and suggest ideas for your yard.
  • Includes front and back yard design.
  • Measurements of site plan. Please supply RPR (real property report) if available.
  • Presentation of the first concept plan and you as the client will suggest revisions of your preference.
  • Presentation of final plan with 3D Renderings; full plant list and all materials identified.
  • Client provided with 2 printed scaled final drawings and a scaled digital copy.

Best of luck with your project and if there is anything we can help you with, give us a ring at 1-844-KIJENGA.

Bathroom renovation saskatoon blue and white countertop

The Right Approach to Starting Your Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling the bathroom is the most common home improvement project according to a recent study of Canadian homeowners. It doesn’t come as a surprise to most people. Renovating a bathroom is great for re-sale and it’s a room you use most often in your home. Improving your bathroom can shoot up the value of your house and so you see a lot of real estate investors putting some cash into ensuring the bathrooms are well done. Whether you’re planning to put the house on the market or you’re now an empty nester and looking to create your bathroom oasis, there are a number of reasons that homeowners in Saskatoon are looking to remodel their bathroom. Maybe you have no choice because your bathroom is no longer safe to use or has too many plumbing issues.

Whatever your reason, a bathroom remodel can be fun and exciting when you approach it the right way. If you find the process daunting, here is a guide to getting your bathroom remodel project started.

 

Finding a Contractor

This is where Kijenga can play a key role in your bathroom 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 bathroom 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.

 

Preparing Your Budget

There are a few factors that determine the cost of your bathroom remodel – size, shape, and materials. The higher the quality of the materials you hope to use, the bigger the budget you should prepare. Your budget will also depend on the level of renovation. Will the bathroom remodel require demolition and removal? Are you gutting the existing plumbing and having them replaced entirely? Are you completely re-tiling?

If you need help planning out your renovation, it’s best to consult with an expert. Luckily for you, we have a great offer on our online marketplace. Check it out. 

You want to renovate your home but you have no idea where to start. You have ideas and the wheels are turning but you aren’t going anywhere. Don’t worry, we know the feeling and you’re not alone.

If you’re planning a home renovation project but you need a professional to come into your home to discuss options, offer advice and be there along the way, this package is a perfect fit for you. 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.

 

Requesting Estimates

The recommendation is to request quotes from at least 3 contractors so that you can not only compare pricing but also determine which of the contractors you will have the best working relationship with. 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 bathroom 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.

 

Signing a Contract

Once you have accepted a contractor’s bid for your bathroom 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 waivers for the subcontractors
  • Payment schedule
  • Contractor’s license number
  • Both of your addresses

Get it in writing!

 

Project Preparation

Because your bathroom that is undergoing renovation will be out-of-order for the duration of the project, make other bathroom arrangements.  If you only have one bathroom, set up a temporary bath and toilet somewhere else in your house or ask a neighbor if you can use their facilities.

Whether your bathroom remodel was long overdue and necessary or it was because you simply wanted a change, a new version of your bathroom awaits you once the project is completed. And if you follow this guide, you’ll be able to approach it with confidence.

vinyl-tile-flooring

Deciding Between Luxury Vinyl and Laminate for Your Home Flooring

Are you shopping for the perfect flooring for your home and debating between luxury vinyl and laminate?

Both are incredibly versatile in colour to the point that they can pass off as everything from stone to hardwood. Both materials are significantly less costly than natural materials such as hardwood and tile and yet offer durability.

But while both materials do have their similarities, luxury vinyl and laminate do have differences that may sway your decision towards one or the other. Here is a more detailed look at the two flooring products you can find at local home centres in Saskatoon:

Luxury Vinyl Flooring

Luxury vinyl flooring is different from standard vinyl flooring for its ability to mimic the look of natural elements such as stone or wood. This look is achieved by using a realistic photo-created image as a surface layer. That combined with textures results in a product that very closely resembles the real thing.

But beyond its appearance, the flooring handles moisture well and can even handle being completely submerged in liquid – a characteristic unique to luxury vinyl flooring. Additionally, it has a layer of urethane that offers maximum protection from high foot traffic.

And because luxury vinyl flooring comes with all these benefits, expect to pay more for this material.

Laminate Flooring

Today’s advancements in printing technologies have enabled manufacturers to create a wide variety of laminate visuals that are so close to the real thing that it surprises many to realize it’s actually laminate.

Laminate is constructed in layers. Compared to luxury vinyl flooring, laminate is more rigid because of its main layer that is made of high-density fiberboard. But unlike luxury vinyl flooring, laminate does not handle moisture well at all. Moisture and humidity can cause severe damage to laminate floors. And remember that Saskatoon has its share of hot weather and high humidity days.

A benefit of laminate flooring is that the installation process is easy because of its click and lock assembly that does not need to be glued or nailed to the subfloor.

Luxury Vinyl vs. Laminate

Ultimately, laminate’s biggest advantage is that it’s cheaper than luxury vinyl. You’ll pay less upfront. However, the lifespan of laminate is approximately 10 years, and you’ll find yourself needing to replace them. Luxury vinyl, on the other hand, can last you about 20 years.

And in terms of warranty, laminate is warrantied for 5 – 10 years while luxury vinyl comes with a warranty of 15 years or more.

However, if despite laminate’s limited warranty and short lifespan, you are still considering it because it costs less, do know that recent studies have revealed that laminate floors produce formaldehyde emissions, a dangerous carcinogen that if inhaled daily, could be potentially hazardous to anyone living in the home.

So while both flooring materials are similar in cost and appearance, it’s clear that luxury vinyl is the better choice for being safer, warrantied for longer, and having a longer lifespan.

deck-blog1

Rebuild vs. Resurface: Breathing New Life into Your Old Deck

With Saskatoon winters reaching temperatures of below freezing and the wet season lasting 124 days of the year on average, it’s no wonder why your deck has taken quite a beating over the seasons and the years.

And beyond the weather, your deck, whether wood or composite, has seen lots of traffic from active kids, frisky pets, and welcomed guests who all equally love spending time out there laughing or lazing around on a warm summer day.

You wouldn’t trade the wonderful memories for anything. However, now you are left with a deck that is weathered and not exactly appealing to look at anymore. Not only is it no longer as beautiful as it once was, you fear that it may not even be safe to stand on anymore. Deck repair services is actually one of the most sought after services in Saskatoon throughout the summer season.

Depending on the condition of your deck, you’ll have two options – rebuild or resurface. How do you know which is the right solution for your home?

Why You Should Rebuild

For those who have plenty of time and money, the first instinct is to rebuild the deck completely. And there are those who assume they have the time to choose between rebuilding or resurfacing when the reality is, rebuilding is the only option.

If your deck’s structure is unsound and a disaster waiting to happen, then you must rebuild immediately. Wooden decks will naturally decay over time because of the weather and climate. They are prone to rotting, mold, carpenter ants, termites and so much more.

Starting over with a new deck can be costly, but it does have its upsides. Not only do you have the opportunity to start fresh and have complete freedom in designing an entirely new deck, but you have the option to choose better quality materials like steel that is guaranteed to last much longer than the old wooden deck – a lifetime, in fact.

Why You Should Resurface

Rebuilding a deck can be considered a major renovation and one that you’re just not prepared for both financially and time-wise.

Resurfacing an old deck which has a solid substructure and framing will still result in a beautiful deck that feels brand new. Despite following the same lines and foundation, you can dramatically change the aesthetics with your choice of color and other elements. You may even want to swap out the deck railing to something more modern.

Compared to tearing out the old deck and rebuilding, resurfacing means huge savings. A contractor would be able to assess your existing deck’s substructure and framing to tell you if you absolutely must rebuild or if resurfacing is advisable. Getting a quote from more than one deck contractor in Saskatoon would be ideal in this case.

Ultimately, whether you decide to start over altogether or put some extra love in your old one, you’ll still get the look and feel of a new deck that you and your family will love through many years of fun outdoor barbecues or lazy days of lounging.

Post your deck project today for free and get matched to certified contractors in Saskatoon. Get Quotes!

home-ownership-blog

The Actual Costs of Home Ownership

When it comes to the roof over your head, everyone is different. You might have a growing family who needs more space or you may be someone living in a basement suite and hate the fact that you can hear your neighbour work out at 6am on Saturday mornings. Whatever your reason for considering home ownership, it is understandable that owning your own home is the ultimate goal for many of us in Canada.

However, if you’re a first-time homebuyer in Saskatoon, you may not be fully aware of the real costs of acquiring a home. Home ownership is not only a huge responsibility but the costs involved when accumulated can be considerable. Owning a home is not cheap especially given our current economy in Saskatchewan.

Before you start making arrangements towards moving out of that apartment you have been renting, it is crucial to have a good understanding of all the costs involved in purchasing a home.

Down Payment and Mortgage

Unless you can afford to pay the total amount of the home you are interested in upfront, you’ll need to understand the breakdown of your down payment and how that affects your mortgage.

In Saskatchewan, you will need proof of income, verifiable down payment, and a good credit rating to determine if you qualify for a mortgage. The City of Saskatoon will screen your income and provide you with home ownership training. How much you can afford to pay as a down payment will determine what your monthly payments are.

Insurance and Taxes

Another cost you need to be prepared for is insurance as lenders will require you to have home insurance that covers things like flood or fire before you can loan money. While it is typically outlined on the home listing, property tax is another cost to be ready for as a new homeowner.

Utilities and Operational Costs

Owning a home means you’ll need to pay the costs of basic utilities like water, heat and electricity that you may not have needed to pay for when you were renting. Oftentimes, these basic services can be included in your rent.

Other utilities you may be paying as a homeowner are cable, internet and garbage fees. You have to remember that a larger home means your gas and electricity bills will be much higher as you’ll probably have more electronics and appliances and you’re heating and cooling a bigger space.

Winter in Saskatoon generally lasts from early November to mid-March and you have to expect to pay more for electricity due to the added heating costs.

Appliances

Unless the home you’re purchasing is fully-equipped with all the basic appliances, you’ll have to buy a refrigerator, washer and dryer, microwave and maybe even a water heater. New appliances can be expensive so keep this in mind as well.

Furniture and Decorations

While furniture shopping and decorating is fun, prices will add up. Your larger home will have more rooms that you’ll need to fill with the right furniture. A new couch that is the right size for your now bigger living room can be surprisingly expensive.

Maintenance

While there are a lot of home maintenance and cleaning tasks that you can do yourself, you’ll still have to invest in tools and supplies.

Unlike with renting an apartment, you’ll be responsible for fixing your toilet’s broken flush, changing the air filter in your furnace, or repairing broken locks. Some of these tasks you can certainly tackle yourself, but for others, you’ll need to seek the help of a home professional. Luckily for you, we have the online marketplace where you can find a contractor or home professionals offering these services in Saskatoon, Warman and Martensville.

You probably don’t realize that keeping your home clean will cost as much as it will because you’re doing most of the work. However, consider the added costs of cleaning supplies and equipment.

And for the areas that need serious attention, you’ll need to hire a home professional for services like carpet cleaning, exterior cleaning of gutters and sidings. Browse deals today! 

Landscaping

Part of desiring to have your own home probably means dreaming of a big lawn and backyard. To manage the landscaping yourself, you’ll need to purchase equipment like a lawnmower, shovels, clippers, and other equipment. Even the simplest yards will need some maintenance.

And if you want flowers, plants, a pathway, and a fountain, a landscaping professional could design what is best for your lawn space. And for a fee, they could maintain it regularly.

Upgrades and Improvements

Whether you are purchasing a starter home or buying a home, you plan to live in forever, making improvements and upgrades are inevitable. Even if you intend to sell the home someday, you’ll need to keep it well-maintained if you expect to sell for more and faster.

Improvements such as a swimming pool or an outdoor kitchen can significantly increase the value of your home. And upgrading the kitchen with the state-of-the-art appliances and granite countertops can dramatically give your kitchen that touch of luxury.

Buying your own home can be exciting and still something you want to do despite the reality of what it really costs. What is important is that you are acutely aware that there are things to pay for well beyond the down payment and mortgage.