Countertop Options for Your Home Renovation

Kitchen and bathroom renovations are the two most popular renovations among homeowners. Whether you are improving your closets as part of your kitchen renovation or getting a new custom-built vanity to refresh your aged bathroom, you have a decision to make. And that decision includes a countertop.

Here at Renovco Ottawa, we believe in providing our clients with all the knowledge they need to make renovation decisions that are right for them. Every client, every family, every lifestyle is different. Thus, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to choosing construction specifications. In this case, we have combined a variety of options, with different aesthetic and functional purposes to help you choose the countertop that is suitable for your home.

1. Quartz countertop

Undoubtedly, quartz countertops are the most popular choice among homeowners here in Ottawa. Over 90% of new units built in Ottawa come equipped with quartz countertops. Quartz countertops are made up of approximately 95% natural quartz and 5% polymer resins. Quartz countertops are the most popular choice among builders and owners, as they combine a great aesthetic with minimal durability and maintenance. Quartz is resistant to heat, stains, and corrosion.

2. Granite Countertop

Granite countertops are made up of natural granite collected from the ground. Similar to quartz, granite countertops are resistant to heat, debris, and cracks. To be resistant to staining, granite needs to be sealed. The adhesive will sink into the porous granite gaps to prevent damage to your tables. Importers It is important to note that unattended spills can still cause staining over time.

3. Marble countertop

A marble is a metamorphic stone that may be found in the mountains. Formed by recrystallization of limestone under heat and pressure. Veining found in the marble pieces is formed by mineral deposits, which makes every single piece of marble completely unique. These are impurities such as salts, sludge, and clays, which occurred during the recrystallization process. Unlike granite and quartz, marble is actually quite high maintenance. It is not heat resistant, can be torn down much more easily than the other countertop options on our list, and you need to be very careful when it comes to cleaning marble countertops. Generally, only products that can be used in one’s hand are safe to use for cleaning marble countertops.

4. Laminate Countertop

Laminate countertops are made up of layers of plastic, bonded to particleboard or kraft paper. Made popular back in the 60s, you will encounter laminate countertops in many elder homes. Although not as popular as quartz or granite these days, laminate countertops are certainly the most cost-effective option when it comes to building on a budget. Modern, high-pressure laminate countertops are also durable and much more aesthetically pleasing than their counterparts from the 60s. Laminate countertops are quite lightweight and easy to install. However, they are not as durable or strong as stone or marble and may be damaged when cutting in the kitchen, if a cutting board is not used to protect the surface.

5. Solid surface countertop

Solid surface countertops, popularly known as Corian (which is a brand started in 1967), are man-made stone, composed of 66% minerals and 33% fabricated polymer. Solid surface countertops are not prone to scratches, nor are they heat resistant, so it is recommended to use both dimples and cutting boards when it comes to Corian countertops. Corian is generally perceived as a cheaper alternative to natural stone and ranks somewhere between laminate and quartz in terms of price.

6. Stainless steel countertop

Although rarely seen in a residential setting, stainless steel countertops have been the surface of choice for chefs for decades. The stainless steel countertop is resistant to water, heat, and stains. Although they are not protected from scratches or damage, they are quite durable. In addition, the stainless steel table offers a unique, contemporary look when furnished in a residential kitchen. Stainless steel counters usually cost about the same as quartz countertops.

These are 6 of the most popular options when it comes to choosing a countertop. Once we have considered the composition and pros and cons of each of these options, we hope you are able to decide which product is the right option for your home.

Windows & Doors Ottawa 1

Lower my Energy Bills With a New Window

An important consideration for both existing and new homes is an energy-efficient window. Heat loss and heat gain through windows are responsible for around 25% –30% of the heating and cooling energy usage of homes.

If you are choosing windows for new construction or to replace existing windows, it is important to choose the most efficient windows you can afford and that work best in your climate.

If your existing windows are in good condition, taking steps to decrease energy loss through windows can make your home more comfortable and save you money on energy bills.

You have two broad options if you are hoping to reduce the amount of energy lost through your windows and improve the comfort of your own home:

  • Update existing windows to improve efficiency
  • Replace your windows.

Update existing Windows to improve efficiency

If your windows are in good condition, taking steps to enhance their efficiency may be the most cost-effective option to boost the comfort of your home and save money on energy costs. Here are some things you can do to enhance the efficiency of your existing windows:

  • Check existing window for air leaks
  • Medical and weather belt. 
  • Add window treatments and coverings.
  • Add windows or storm panels
  • Add the solar control film
  • Add exterior shades, such as canopies, exterior blinds, or overhangs.
  • With any efficiency improvements, take steps to ensure appropriate installation and check again for air leaks after you have made the upgrade.

Replace your Window

If you decide to replace your windows, you will have to make some decisions about the type of windows you buy and the type of replacement you will do.

You may have the opportunity of replacing the windows in their existing frame; Discuss this option with your vendor and window installer to find out if it will work for you.

You will also have to choose which features you want in your windows. You will need to choose on the following:

  • Types of frames
  • Type of polishing
  • Gas fillings and separators
  • Types of operation

Selection process

In addition to choosing the type of window, you should also consider the modeling, use, and labeling of power, warranties, and proper installation.

First, when buying new windows look for the ENERGY STAR label. Then review the ratings on the energy performance label from the National Windshield Assessment Council (NFRC) to find the most efficient windows for your needs.

NFRC ratings are included in all ENERGY STAR-certified windows and provide a reliable way to determine the energy properties of a window and compare products. 

Efficient Windows Collaboration gives a choosing process for both new construction windows and replacement windows:

  • The selection process for window replacement
  • The process of selecting windows for new constructions

Tips for choosing window

  • Request ENERGY STAR and NFRC tags.
  • In colder climates, consider choosing gas-filled windows with low gear to reduce heat loss. In warmer climates, choose cladding windows to reduce heat gain.
  • For better thermal resistance in colder climates, pick a low U factor; factor U is the speed at which a window conducts the flow of non-solar heat.
  • Look for a low solar heat growth coefficient (SHGC). SHGC is a measure of solar radiation received through a window. Low SHGCs decrease heat gain in warmer climates.
  • Choose windows with low U factors and low SHGC to maximize energy savings in mild climates with cold and hot seasons.
  • Look for the U-factors and SHGCs of the whole unit, rather than the U-center glass factors and SHGCs. Integer numbers more accurately reflect the energy performance of the entire product.


Even the most energy-efficient window must be correctly installed to ensure energy efficiency and convenience. Have your windows installed by trained professionals according to the manufacturer’s instructions; otherwise, your warranty may be invalid.

Window installation varies depending on the type of window, house construction (wood, masonry, etc.), exterior cladding (wooden siding, mortar, brick, etc.), and type (if any) of weather – limiting barrier.

Windows, ignition, and air closure have to be installed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations to perform correctly.

accessible bathroom

5 Ideas How To Make Your Bathroom More Accessible

Accessible bathroom remodelling is not limited to disabled or elderly adults locked in a wheelchair. Homeowners renovating their bathrooms need to reevaluate design considerations to better suit their needs as they age in their home. Common aspects of a bathroom like wet shower tiles and a low toilet can pose a threat to the elderly. However, installing suitable showers or bathtubs can turn a space into an accessible bathroom.

Choosing on-site ageing models can maximize investor return to homeowners and bypass the inevitable need to install an accessible shower. Before moving on to a bathroom renovation job, consider these five ideas that will make your bathroom more accessible.

The Renovco Ottawa team assesses the specific needs of each client and designs the bathroom with this in mind. An on-site certified ageing specialist (CAPS) assists in reviewing and selecting achievable parts. Our team will ensure that your new bathroom is aesthetically pleasing and functional, no matter who uses it.

Remodelling a bathroom with universal access as the advantage presents both design challenges and opportunities. Involve an on-site certified ageing specialist to obtain a careful inventory early in the planning process for all the skills, preferences and tastes of the target users. While the universal design better accommodates users in wheelchairs, it can make a more comfortable bathroom for all users without sacrificing style.

1. Generous Dimensions and Smart Fixture Placement

The first consideration when building a wheelchair bathroom is the dimensions of the bathroom door. An accessible room for wheelchairs should have a door with a minimum width of 32 inches. It requires a 5-meter turning radius for a wheelchair. It is also important to consider the placement of appliances (toilet, shower, bathtub, sink) inside the bathroom to make it maneuverable for an individual in a wheelchair. The toilet should be placed between two support rods 36 inches apart to make it easier to lower and raise. Toilet seats 17 inches off the floor are the ideal height for someone in a wheelchair.

2. Curbless Shower Stalls and Suitable Shower Benches

When designing an accessible shower, it is important to make sure that design defects are not barriers that restrict use or require help from a person with a disability. Those shower stalls should be at least 3 feet deep and 5 feet wide. The shower should have no braking or, if unavoidable, a rubber edging that a wheelchair can rotate. Moreover, a bench in the shower is a simple way to make your bathroom more accessible. A bench provides a secure surface for personal adjustment and can allow individuals to relax if they feel disoriented or lightheaded during a shower.

3. Hand-held Shower Head and Stability Grab Bar

A shower head held with a sliding bar increases the possibility of entry and allows to maintain autonomy during the shower. The inclusion of a thermostat-controlled and pressure-balanced valve prevents individuals from accidentally burning themselves. A grab bar to aid stability when entering and exiting the shower is an easy installation that makes a bath more accessible. If you want to avoid a sterile, institutional look, you can choose a coloured grab bar that matches the other accents in the bathroom.

4. Add Clearance Beneath the Sink

An accessible sink for wheelchairs requires at least 27 inches of clearance under the sink in order for the individual to be rolled up. If there is no clearance under the sink, then the individual feet will crash into the appliance and he or she will not be able to access the faucet. The top of the sink needs to be 32 to 34 inches off the floor. It is also important to remember to hang the bathroom mirror as low as an individual in a wheelchair to see for themselves. A bathroom remodel is the perfect option to place faucets on the side of the sink to make them easier to reach for a seated individual.

5. Slip-resistant Tile Floor

Choosing a floor with a structure in the bathroom can help prevent dangerous trips, slips and falls – especially when the floor is wet. Grip-friendly mosaic tiles are not only aesthetically pleasing but provide numerous design options that are compatible with any style. If you choose smaller tiles or larger tiles with lots of grout in the middle, a small structure can provide enough friction to prevent a dangerous slip.

Growing Old in Your Home Doesn’t Have to Be Hard

People need to make conscious decisions about retirement years, especially when deciding whether to stay in their own homes or transfer to a retirement home. More and more people are choosing to grow old in the comfort of their own home rather than deal with the hassle of moving. It’s more cost-effective for a client to rebuild their ageing home than to move to an accessible facility.

Remodelling of the Accessible Bathroom

The designers of Renovco Ottawa want to address any potential concerns that may arise for an accessible bathroom. We will analyze your space and budget and present a variety of options for your bathroom renovating project, such as:

  • Wide doorways, clearance of pathways, shower openings to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers
  • In-law suite bathrooms that keep your elder guests safer when they’re staying with you
  • Safe changes in floor level
  • Reach and height standards in accessible-living bathrooms
  • Grab bars and built-in or fold-down seating
  • Wall-hung lavatories
  • Barrier-free showers with no sill or obstruction
  • Faucets that are easy on/ easy off
  • Walk-in tubs
  • Slip-resistant flooring
  • Easy maintenance surfaces
  • Low open shelving vs high, deep cabinets

If you need an accessible bathroom or anticipate needing it in the future, contact us today. Call 613-727-7070 and a specialist will ensure that your new bathroom will contain all the special features that make it more accessible.

basement remodeling ottawa

Basement Renovation Checklist

If you have long dreamed of having a finished basement, one that you can use as an amusement room, entertainment area or as an extra bedroom, now may be the perfect time to start planning remodelling and renovation. If you are not sure where to start with your project, this checklist can help you. This will guide you through every step of the way, understanding how to pay for the project to give your finishing touches to your finished basement.

Financing Figuration

First, you will want to understand how much you can afford to spend on your project and how you will cover the costs.

Set a budget

There is a wide range when it comes to the cost of remodelling a basement. How much your project will cost counts on the size of your basement and how much you want to make. How much work you do yourself vs what you hire someone else to do also affects the overall cost.

Depending on the purpose of the project, the average cost to complete a basement can range from $ 6,500 to $ 18,500. Remodelling the basement to make it livable and usable can cost an extra $ 10,000 to $ 30,000.

You can use the value of your home as a guide when deciding how much to spend on renovating your basement. Usually, the cost of finishing a basement should not be more than 20% of the value of your home. How long you plan to stay home also affects how much you spend. If you plan to move for a few years, it makes more sense to limit the cost of your project, as you will not have much time to enjoy it and may not reimburse the cost when you sell the house.

How to pay for the renovation

You have several options to cover the costs of your basement project, depending on your current financial situation.

1. Pay in cash

If you have certain savings for large home improvement projects, it may make sense to pay for basement renovation with cash. Using your savings is a good option if the cost of the project will not completely dry out your account and if you do not want to take on extra debt.

2. Use a Personal Loan

Another choice is to apply for a personal loan and use it to cover the cost of renovating your basement. The terms of many personal loans often include fixed payments spread over up to five years.

3. Tap on the equity of your home

Depending on how long you have lived in your home and how much of the mortgage you have paid, you may have created a significant amount of your own capital. Equity is the value of your home less the amount left in the mortgage. If your home is worth $ 250,000 and you have a $ 100,000 mortgage left, you have $ 150,000 worth of equity.

You may be able to borrow against that capital to pay for your basement project. You can get a home equity loan, which is similar to a personal loan once you get the amount into a lump sum and repay it in a few years.

Another way to access your home equity is to apply for HELOC (home equity line of credit). A HELOC is like a credit card for renovating home projects. You can borrow against your equity, repay what you borrowed and then borrow more if needed.

While you may get a lower rate on a home equity loan or HELOC compared to a personal loan, your home is loan collateral, which means you can lose your home if you borrow too much.

Schedule inspections

Once you understand how much you spend and how much you will pay for your project, the next step is to look closely at the basement to see what is going on down there and what it may need.

1. Test for moisture

Moisture can enter the basement in several ways. It can:

  • Penetrate from the saturated soil around the house.
  • Come from the humid air outside.
  • Come out of the humid air inside the house.
  • Get into the air leaks.

Damp basements are common, and some estimate that up to 60% of basements have moisture problems.

To keep moisture and water from causing problems in a finished basement, it is important to test for moisture before doing anything. A home inspector can check your basement for signs of moisture problems, such as marks on the walls and skin paint. They can make recommendations for closing the basement or otherwise lowering the humidity level.

2. Check the Foundation

Your home inspector should also look closely at the foundation. They will let you know if they find any cracks or issues that are a concern and can recommend steps to take to fix the problem.

3. Schedule a Radon Test

Radon gas occurs naturally and is colourless and odourless. It often travels from the ground home through cracks in the foundation and can be found at high levels in homes across the US Since radon can cause cancer, ensuring that it does not have high levels in your basement is important before starting a renovation project.

Plan and Hire a Contractor

Once your basement has passed the inspection or you have taken the steps to fix any issues detected by the inspection, the next step is to start planning.

You can finish and renovate your own basement, but you may find that hiring a professional renovation contractor makes the process go more smoothly. When you work with a professional, it is very likely that your project will end quickly and be less stressful for you. A licensed contractor will understand the rules in your area, work with you to get the right permits and help you hire others to handle specialized projects, such as electrical work and plumbing.

General Contractor

Why You Should Hire a General Contractor?

basement renovation

2021 Home Addition Costs | Toronto vs Montreal

While a home addition may be the best choice you make for your home, several factors are worth considering.

Are you thinking of addition for aesthetic reasons? Want more space? Is it to boost the value of your home? Is it something completely different?

Your needs and desires will determine the type of follow-up and the cost of the project in question.

Average Home Addition Costs

Although different types of home supplements incur different costs, here are the prices we are used to seeing in the quotes our customers receive from contractors:

Types of Home Additions Average costs (incl. material & labour)


Average costs (incl. material & labour)


Storey addition (unfinished) $215 to $270/sq.ft. $260 to $325/sq.ft.
Storey addition (turnkey) $250 to $300/sq.ft. $300 to $360/sq.ft.
Garage addition (unfinished) $165 to $195/sq.ft. $200 to $235/sq.ft.
Garage addition (turnkey) $200 to $250/sq.ft. $240 to $300/sq.ft.
Carport $60 to $80 $75 to $100
Home addition on piles (unfinished) $215 to $245/sq.ft. $260 to $300/sq.ft.
Home addition on piles (turnkey) $250 to $275/sq.ft. $300 to $350/sq.ft.
Home addition on foundation/slab (unfinished) $260 to $295/sq.ft. $315 to $360/sq.ft.
Home addition on foundation/slab (turnkey) $290 to $325/sq.ft. $360 to $400/sq.ft.
4-Season sunroom on piles (unfinished) $250 to $280/sq.ft. $300 to $350/sq.ft.
4-Season sunroom on piles (turnkey) $215 to $240/sq.ft. $260 to $360/sq.ft.


*Many factors can affect the total cost of renovations, involving, but not limited to, the type of work to be done, the type of building, the area of the city, the power required, the materials needed, the safeguards, project length (faster = higher cost) and contingencies.

Consequences f COVID-19 in The Construction And Renovation Sectors

Keep in mind that some unforeseen events due to COVID-19 can affect the cost of renovation projects without warning. For example, the industry has encountered a treated timber shortage since the first lockdown, resulting in a massive price fluctuation. Other building materials are likely to experience similar issues.

The Cost of a Home Addition to a Foundation

The cost of a home addition with a turnkey foundation is approximately $ 285 and $ 350 per square foot. If you are looking for adding a lot more space to your home, this type of addition is a great choice. You will greatly expand the main floor of your home, but you will also expand the footprint of your basement. On average, finishing a basement costs $ 30 / sq.ft. Extending your existing foundation is also warmer during winter, compared to additions in piles.

When planning a home addition, one of the biggest challenges your architect or technologist faces is coming up with a plan that will integrate seamlessly into the current architectural design of your home.

The Cost of Home Addition in Piles

If you plan to get a home addition in piles, the estimates you get are likely to be somewhere around $260 and $350 per square foot – it all depends on whether you are looking to get a closed, full key addition. Going into this type of home supplement will allow you to save costs, compared to a home supplement made on a concrete slab. Choosing to add in piles has quite a few advantages. A house on piles is very resistant to unstable terrain, making it quite easy to build. Also, the machinery required to perform the job is much less invasive and costly than those needed for a foundation.

However, it is important to note that your energy bills may be slightly higher during the winter months as the additive on the piles is not as insulating as concrete. To avoid large heat losses, it is important to properly insulate the floor of your additive with special insulating materials.

The Cost of Home Addition in a Concrete Slab

Extending your home to a concrete slab is another choice you can do. The cost of this additional home option is somewhere between $240 and $350 per square foot. It’s ideal if you do not want to dig to add a new foundation, and it is also more insulating than additions on piles. Your extension will basically be built on monolithic concrete (concrete poured only once), which has 2 roles – the foundation of this new addition and the floor of the space. Insulating this type of flooring is much easier than insulating a piled floor as concrete slabs retain heat during the winter months. If you plan to continue with this kind of addition, you will need to check if your property can withstand this type of structure.

The Cost of a Solarium or a Sunroom

A sunroom can be constructed on piles, on a foundation, or even on a concrete slab. Generally, homeowners tend to get a 4 season sunroom in piles, given the lowest price. The cost for this type of home addition varies between $200 and $300 per square foot. A sunroom addition should be insulated, ventilated and heated like the rest of the house or any other type of addition to the home. On the other hand, a sunroom or sunroom with 3 seasons, is not necessarily considered a home addition. If you decide to get a sunroom addition that looks south, getting slightly tinted windows is not a bad idea as the indoor temperature of the space can rise quite high in the summer months. You will also likely need air conditioning in this new space during the summer.

The Cost of Adding a Second Storey

An extra on a key floor can cost anywhere between $240 and $300 per square foot. This is one of the most popular home addition choices for many reasons. First, you can expand your living space without taking up too much space on your property. It also significantly boosts the resale value of your home. Although, like any other home supplement, you will need to check the rules and regulations in your city. You will also need to be ready for 2 to 3 months of work planning, then, depending on how complex the work is to be done, plan for another 3 months of construction.

The Cost of Adding a Garage

Adding a garage not only permits you to add dedicated space for your workshop or cars, but some people also choose to add more living space above it. The cost of an additional key garage is somewhere between $ 200 and $ 240 per square foot.

Basement Addition Cost

Adding a basement to your home is not something simple. This option is quite costly, as it involves many costly steps. Building a house costs approximately between $16,000 and $20,000, then the foundation can cost anywhere between $30,000 and $45,000, and lastly, you will need to add the cost of finishing your basement which is approximately $35 per square foot. it all depends on whether you will include a bathroom, kitchen, etc. The total cost of adding a basement can vary considerably. It can be up to $80,000 but easily exceed $250,000. Of course, if you already have a basement and are looking to expand it or have a crawl space, costs will change as support processes take place.

It is also important to note that not all homes are ideal for this type of supplement. Houses with wooden constructions and light exterior siding are much easier to work with compared to houses covered with masonry. Sometimes, homeowners decide to set up a basement to create a rental apartment. In such a case, a walkway (i.e. a separate entrance) should be included, as well as plumbing, electrical etc. For this type of project, there are many rules and regulations that must be followed according to the Building Code of your region. It is not as simple as finishing your basement. However, adding a rental space will certainly increase the resale value of your building. Keep in mind that you will need to check with your city if such a project is feasible.

Cost to Convert Your Attic

Converting your attic is also a great idea! However, if the roof is not at least 7 feet above the base (or “floor”) of your attic for at least 50% of the space area, you will need to raise it. The cost to do this varies between $30 and $45 per square foot, which is about $30,000 for an average-sized bungalow. Note that the previously mentioned height should be taken into account without including the ceiling and the actual floor materials. Given that this type of work affects the overall structure of your home, you will need to hire a structural engineer to check the feasibility of the project.

We know the best home addition contractors out there!

We are proud to say we have the best verification process in the entire industry. Each and every contractor we work with has endured a rigorous 360° verification process. We check their financial solvency, their legal history, customer references, their licenses, their insurance policies and much more! When you decide to receive quotes from our renovation contractors, you receive their updated verification reports. Your risks when pursuing these renovations are minimized, as you will not have to check contractors. We have already taken care of it for you!

A renovation advisor with you every step of the way

In addition to having a database of 360 ° Verified Contractors, we also have updated consultants dedicated to guiding you through every step of the way. They will take into account your needs and desires and will take up to 3 home contractors to compete against each other and provide you with quotes. They will help you understand their ratings, so you will certainly end up with fair price ratings.

Contact us now to get in touch with our Renovation Advisors!