home renovations Toronto-York Construction

How to Make Your Next Home Renovation Project Less Stressful

For many homeowners, a renovation project is usually accompanied by a great deal of stress. This definitely isn’t out of the ordinary since it’s natural for people to worry about staying within budget and getting things done right and on time. In addition, their home may be a bit of a mess during the work and some things that are taken for granted such as running water and electricity may be temporarily put on hold.

Here in Toronto, the housing boom and low-interest home equity loan rates have caused an increase in the number of home renovation projects in the GTA.   Everyone dreams of a newly remodeled home but dread the prospect of having to live through a several weeks long home renovation project.  Nobody likes to live day to day in a stressed-out state, so let’s look at some ways to get through your next home renovation project with the least amount of anxiety possible.

Be Realistic

One of the best ways to relieve the stress is to simply be realistic. As mentioned, it’s normal for your house to be in a bit of mess when it’s being renovated and you may have to sacrifice some of the luxuries from time to time. The sooner you come to terms with this the easier things will be. In addition, you should also realize the job may go slightly over budget even though you’ve planned it out as meticulously as can be. It’s generally a good idea to add approximately 10 percent to the planned budget to cover unexpected costs.

Find a Dependable Contractor

If you’re going to be hiring outside help it’s well worth taking the time to find somebody who’s trustworthy and dependable. But don’t forget the contractor also needs to be good at what they do. There’s nothing worse than hiring somebody who doesn’t show up when they’re supposed to and/or whose work is sub-par. Try and get some good leads from your friends, family, co-workers and neighbours when looking for a contractor. You can also do your own research and search the internet to read online reviews from previous customers.

Once you’ve contacted somebody you’re interested in hiring don’t be afraid to ask for references and to see examples of their work. You’ll also need to make sure they’re fully registered, licensed and insured to work in your region and find out what type of guarantee they offer on their work. In addition, get all agreements in writing and be sure the payment schedule and structure is fully understood by both parties. Basically, you’ll want to make sure you know exactly who’s responsible for what, including the acquisition of permits and the cleanup.

Work out a Satisfactory Payment Schedule

Be sure to work out a fair payment schedule you’re satisfied with. You’ll need to make a down payment before the job begins, and will either make milestone payments during construction or pay the final balance on completion of the work.  Be sure to have these conversations and agreements in place before work is started.

Staying on Schedule

There’s much less stress if you know the work’s all being completed on schedule. When hiring a contractor it’s advised that the two of you discuss a realistic schedule and print it out. If each step of the renovation is being completed on time you’ll have a lot less to worry about.  Communication is very important so work with a contractor you feel comfortable speaking with.

Be Patient

Once in a while you’ll just have to be patient when undertaking a home renovation project. Sometimes it takes time for appliances, cabinets, flooring, countertops, lighting, and fixtures etc. To arrive after being ordered. The same may go for skilled labourers such as electricians and plumbers. The really good ones are often busy and it may mean you’ll need to wait a few days before they can meet your requirements.

Make the Best of the Situation

You might as well make the best of the situation you’re in and enjoy it as much as possible. For instance, if you’re smack in the middle of a kitchen renovation you can gather up the family and make a night of it outdoors around the barbecue. If it’s the middle of the winter you may want to try ordering from the town’s newest pizza parlour or paying a visit to your favourite relatives or restaurant.

Don’t Panic

It’s natural for your home to get cool, dusty and a bit dirty during a renovation, so there’s no need to sweat about it. It’s typically just dust and can easily and quickly be cleaned up with a mop and/or vacuum cleaner.  Be sure to work out with your contractor ahead of time who is responsible for what when it comes to cleaning up the job site.

Be Flexible

If you hire a contractor to do the work you need to realize you’re more or less going to have several strangers coming and going. Everybody has their own quirks, habits, and personalities since all humans are unique. Your personality may not always work wonders with your visitors’. If the contracting crew is a talkative bunch and you love the silence then you may find them getting on your nerves. In cases like this, you may want to put up with slightly annoying things for a short period of time as it’ll be well worth it in the long run.


York Construction Company

York Construction is a Toronto based home renovation contractor that has been serving the GTA for over 50 years.  We offer a free in-home design consultation.  Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

home renovation contractors in Toronto-Toronto model home

How Much Will It Cost To Remodel The Whole House? 

It’s quite difficult to estimate how much it’s going to cost to remodel your entire house without having a professional contractor go through it and see what exactly needs to be done. However, you can still come up with several ballpark figures on your own for some of the renovation projects, especially if you plan on doing most of the work yourself. Let’s take a look at some major remodeling jobs and estimate how much they may cost you.

Home Addition

A home addition could be anything from a pre-fabricated room such as a sunroom to a manually-built room, rooms or additional storey. A full-scale home addition typically ranges between $80 and $135 per square foot. A 9 x 15-foot sunroom could be anywhere from $12,000 and up and a 24 x 15-foot sunroom could start at $20,000 before installation costs. In addition, an enclosed porch will typically run from $6,500 to $16,000.

Finished Basement

The cost of finishing your basement will generally depend on how much plumbing, HVAC, and electrical work needs to be done along with the flooring and drywall. Even if you do the work itself it will typically cost about $15,000 and could reach as much as $40,000 depending on the size of the area and exactly what your plans are for the room. For instance, if you plan on installing a bar and/or special lighting it will add to the cost.


Most homeowners prefer to renovate their bathrooms on their own without professional help if possible. This can usually be done between $1,000 and $15,000. However, if you plan on installing a new bathroom you’ll need to make sure the plumbing and electrical work is properly taken care of. And with a new sink, bathtub/shower and toilet needed it could cost up to $20,000. If you plan on adding a new bathroom to the side of your home this could reach about $40,000.

New Floors

Installing new floors is another project some homeowners like to tackle by themselves. Many homeowners are confident enough to try their hand at installing carpeting, wood, ceramic tile, vinyl, laminate and vinyl flooring as they’re relatively easy to lay down. The cost of sand and finish wood is about $2.50 to $4.50 per square foot with ceramic tile between $15 and $30 per square foot. Vinyl flooring is approximately $5 per square foot while carpeting ranges from about $5 to $10.
Garage Work

If you live in a region with pretty harsh winters such as the Greater Toronto Area, you may be thinking about adding a garage. A single-car unit typically costs between $10,000 and $15,000 with a double-car garage between $15,000 and $20,000. of course, the total size of the building will affect the price.

Kitchen Remodel

Again, a full kitchen remodel will depend on the size of the room, how you’d like it to look and if any plumbing and/or electrical work is needed. All new appliances will also cost more. This is another area where homeowners may want to try the work themselves to save on labour costs and the price may range from $10,000 up to $60,000.

Replacing a Roof

If it’s time you needed a new roof you should expect to pay about $2 to $3.50 per square foot for asphalt/ fiberglass shingles when installing them over the existing shingles. If you plan on removing the existing shingles then you’re looking at about $3 to $5 per square foot. In total, a roof may cost as much as $20,000.


If you’d like to simply repaint the interior and exterior of your home, perform a little landscaping and a few repairs such as refinishing some cabinets you may be looking at $25,000 to $45,000 on the low end. If you’d like to renovate the kitchen at the same time and perform a minor upgrade to the bathroom this figure will jump to between $45,000 and $75,000. If there are any sewer or roof issues or a problem with the foundation then you’ll likely be looking at $75,000 and up.

Electrical Wiring

If you need new wiring in the home it will generally cost between $3,000 and $5,000.


If you’re installing new exterior siding you should plan on spending about $15,000 on average. To replace 10 windows and their frames it will cost about $8,500 for vinyl and $20,000 for wood.
If you’re hiring a contractor to carry out your home renovation then you should add about 10 to 15 percent of the costs you’ve budgeted for. For example, a $60,000 renovation may cost an additional $6,000 to $9,000 for all the work. Of course, nothing is written in stone and these facts and figures above are just estimates. For more information on home renovations please contact as at York Construction Company at your convenience.


About York Construction Company

York Construction Company is a general contracting company based in Toronto, offering professional service with stellar customer service.  We offer free in-home remodeling & design consultations and can help create the kitchen you’ve always dreamed about.  Contact us today to learn more.

finished attic toronto

Should I Renovate My Basement or Make a Home Addition?

Renovating a basement or adding an addition to a home is often a dilemma homeowners face when they’re looking for more living space. It’s not the easiest question to answer since every home and living situation is unique. If you’re looking at price only, then finishing a basement is generally the least expensive option along with less red tape than an addition.   However, you need to realize that most basements will need preparation before finishing it, like removing moisture and water issues coming through your foundation.

Do you have room to expand?

If you’re considering an addition to your home, then you’ll need adequate space outside of the house to build it. An addition will also require a foundation, roofing, windows, and walls. Some people also considering building upwards by adding another floor to their home. In this case, the house’s foundation will have to be strong enough to handle the additional weight and a staircase will need to be added. In general, an extra story is less expensive than an addition as the foundation is already there.

Finishing a basement is a lower-cost way of building a family room, bar, games room, workout room, office, home theatre or extra bedroom etc. As mentioned when compared to an addition, the benefits to finishing a basement are the price and the existing room. The basement may be a dark and damp concrete dungeon at the moment, but the area already exists in the home. This makes it much more cost affordable than building an addition and you can often come close to doubling your living space.

The condition of your basement

It’s not always the easiest job though and not all basements are ideal for finishing. You’ll need to add lighting and ventilation and control the moisture. You’ll also have to deal with wiring, plumbing and ductwork. Of course, if you’re an experienced handyperson you can always attempt the renovations yourself. For those who don’t have the time or confidence, it’s recommended you hire a professional contractor to help you out. However, if your basement has a problem with water then it’s imperative you fix that problem first.

If you’re planning on finishing a basement or building an addition to the home, be sure to check out the local bylaws and building codes regarding the necessary permits. You’ll need to abide by the height requirements for the ceiling and also consider the windows and doors that may be need to be used as an escape route in case of emergency. If you’re planning on several lower-level rooms, each one should have it’s own escape route. Stairways will also need to be considered as they may have to meet local building codes. In some instances, existing staircases may need to be replaced, which will add to the cost of the renovation.

The basement’s existing plumbing and electrical wiring can often be relocated, but will also add to the cost. In some cases, they may be hidden in a closet, wall or a drop ceiling with acoustic panels. The proper type of insulation will need to be installed to help fight off moisture and cold air. But even though basement walls need to be insulated, they don’t require as much insulation as above-ground exterior walls. As for the flooring, there are numerous options such as carpeting, tile, laminate and vinyl. Hardwood flooring isn’t as popular since moisture could negatively affect the wood. A masonry sealer should be applied though before installing the flooring.

The lighting needs to be taken care of via windows, doors and/or options such as track lighting and recessed incandescent lighting. When you’ve chosen the lighting don’t forget you’ll need a good ventilation system to keep the basement air comfortable all year long. Warm, dry air needs to be brought in and moist air needs to be eliminated. If your home already has a forced-air heating system then this is generally a small job. However, you may want to add a dehumidifier.

When it comes to home additions, the major benefit is that they can create more living space than a finished basement. Of course, in some instances you can always do both if they’re within your budget. While additions are certainly pricey, these costs can sometimes be recouped when selling the home. Your property taxes may also rise with an addition as well as the heating and cooling costs and general housekeeping. But you’ll be able to use your creativity design the living space of your dreams.  

Have questions?
If you have questions about renovating your basement or creating an addition to your home, contact us for a free in-home consultation and estimate.

Selling Toronto home renovations

Should I Renovate My Home Before Selling?

One of the most common questions homeowners ask themselves is if it’s worth spending money on renovations before selling their home. Nobody likes to spend hours of their time and thousands of dollars on renovating unless they see a return on their investment when the home is sold. There’s not much point sprucing up your home before selling it if you’re going to be out of pocket. You don’t need to fix things up that the buyer will never notice and when it comes to decorating you need to remember it all comes down to personal taste. For instance, you could spend time and money on painting and/or carpeting that the buyer simply isn’t attracted to.    

Know The Current Market

If demand outweighs the supply in your local real estate market it’s definitely easier to sell your home as it is without the need for major renovations. This is simply because buyers don’t have much to choose from and are willing to do their own renovations if they feel it’s necessary. In addition, each potential buyer is unique as some prefer to fix up their new homes themselves while others shy away from houses that need work. Of course, the price is also a factor. If a home is more expensive then most buyers feel it shouldn’t need any additional renovating. On the other hand, if a house seems like a great deal then buyers usually don’t mind spending a little more to renovate it.

There are also those who buy low, do the necessary renovations and repairs, and then sell the home for a profit. But in general, most buyers are willing to spend time and money on minor renovations such as carpeting, painting, and replacing light fixtures etc. The selling and bidding price of a home is often affected by renovations. For example, if your home is worth $500,000 and you spend $50,000 on renovations you may want to list it at $550,000 to recoup your costs. On the other hand, if the buyer realizes the home needs $50,000 worth or renovations or repairs, they may offer just $450,000. In certain situations, it’s better for a seller to do the renovations first to make sure they get what they ask for in the sale since most buyers want homes that are in move-in condition.

Major Renovation

If a home needs major home renovations such as a new roof, you’ll find the number of interested buyers may be limited. It’s recommended that the cost of renovating is weighed against the value of the home in the current real estate market. If the value of the home doesn’t go up after the work, then it’s not a good investment. However, there are some types of renovations which typically work well when it comes to return on investment and these include the bathrooms and kitchen and painting the walls. If possible, it’s a good idea to tour several other homes for sale in your area to compare the condition of their kitchens and bathrooms. For example, if the majority of kitchens and bathrooms have been upgraded then you may want to do the same.

First Impressions

If your home has several visible areas that are in need of obvious repairs or renovations it will be harder to sell as you have only one chance to make a first impression on potential buyers. Some examples of minor renovations that should be taken care of include: leaky faucets, cracked walls/ceilings, broken appliances, stained/worn carpeting or walls, and broken windows/ fans/light fixtures. However, sometimes you might be able to get away with these things in a seller’s market. If you do decide to renovate, it’s often better to refurbish what you already have rather than replace it if possible as it’s more cost-effective.

In addition, you need to remember you’re renovating a home that you’ll never set foot in again after it’s sold. If you’re going to spend on renovations they don’t have to be to your personal taste. It’s recommended that you speak to a real estate agent to find out what most buyers are looking for. If most buyers prefer hardwood floors and you prefer carpeting, then hardwood floors may be the better option. It’s not easy to decide which areas of a home should be renovated before selling and that’s why it’s a good idea to speak to a realtor and/or general contractor. But perhaps the best way is to put yourself in the shoes of the buyer and make a list of the things you’d be looking for when buying a home.

York Construction Company

York Construction Company is a home renovation company located in Toronto.  We offer custom home renovation projects delivered by professionals focused on customer service.  If you are looking to make renovations to your home before listing it on the market, contact us for a free consult today.

Toronto home renovations

How to Estimate Home Renovation Costs

It’s not easy estimating the cost of anything these days and that includes home renovations. You can come up with a budget that includes materials and labour, but there are sometimes unseen factors which could add to the price. Of course, the extent of the work involved will affect the cost as will the size of the room and how much time it will take to complete if you’re hiring a contractor. We’ll take a look at some common renovating projects and how much they may cost.

Knocking down walls for additional living space

INterior home renovations Toronto

In general, it will cost up to $500 to knock down an existing inside wall. However, you may need the assistance of a structural engineer for load-bearing walls since it helps to support the house. This will add to the cost and walls with electrical wiring, HVAC ducts and plumbing in them are also more expensive to remove. The same can be said for walls with lead paint. Typically adding living space can cost between $5,000 and $100,000 depending on the extent of work and materials being used.

Finishing the basement

Basement renovation company Toronto basement

Turning your dark, damp basement into a bright new living area can be a big job in some cases as it may include plumbing, electrical work, flooring, lighting, installing walls and furnishing the area. On average, a basement renovation costs about $30,000, but some homeowners spend more than $60,000 depending on the specifics. The main factors here are the size of the room and materials. The price will rise if a plumber is needed when adding a bathroom downstairs.

Cost of hiring help

General contractors Toronto

Depending on where you live plumbers may charge up to $70 an hour or they may quote you a price for the entire job. An electrician may be a little cheaper as they generally charge up to $65 per hour and a structural engineer will cost a total of approximately $500.

Cost of permits

Building permits Toronto

Nobody wants to run afoul of the law, so be to include the cost of building permits when estimating the cost of your home renovations. Most localities will want to make sure everything is done according to their building codes and you may also have to pay for an inspection. The national average for building permits is approximately $1,500.

Specific renovation costs

Kitchen Drywall

Most renovation costs are budgeted for the kitchen, bathrooms, roof, basement, HVAC, and appliances as these are typically the areas which will cost the most. The exact costs depend on the difficulty and quality of the renovation project.


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The average homeowner spends $20,500 on remodelling the kitchen, but it may cost as little as $10,000 and as much as $70,000 depending on what it consists of. When breaking down the costs, it’s estimated that most homeowners spend 7 percent on flooring, 10 percent on countertops, 14 percent on appliances, 17 percent on installation costs and 29 percent on cabinets and their hardware. The quality of materials used will have the greatest impact though.


New countertops in Toronto

Stock cabinets are generally the least expensive as they run between $80 and $400. Semi-custom cabinets are next at about $150 to $1,000 apiece with custom cabinets running between $500 and $1,500. Refinished cabinets typically cost a total of $1,400 to $3,500.

Kitchen countertops will cost between $1,200 and $2,000 for laminate options with solid surface being $1500 to $3,000. Concrete countertops are usually between $2,600 and $5,300 while stone surfaces are from $4,000 to $7,000.

When it comes to the kitchen floor you can expect to pay about $1,000 for vinyl flooring, $3,500 for ceramic tile, $2,500 for laminate and approximately $4,000 for wood.

Popular kitchen renovations

Small kitchen renovations toronto

A small kitchen renovation generally costs between $10,000 and $20,000 and it consists of environmentally-friendly windows, appliances, lighting, and faucets. Other small jobs include adding storage space, extending the countertop or removing a wall to combine dining and kitchen areas.

A medium-sized kitchen renovation generally costs between $15,000 and $30,000 and could include a tile backsplash, new sink and faucet, painting the ceiling and walls, and refinishing existing cabinets or install stock models. You may be able to complete some of this work yourself and hire a contractor for the tougher tasks. Countertop choices at this price usually include tile, vinyl or laminate. If you’d like to pay between $15,000 and $30,000 you could install metal, wood, stone or granite counters and custom cabinets.
If you plan on spending more than $30,000 for a high-end renovation, you can install granite counters, custom cabinets, energy-rated appliances, hardwood flooring, a new faucet and sink and new lighting.


New bathroom renovations Toronto

Most bathroom renovations cost from $10,000 to $25,000 and will depend on the quality of fixtures, counters, and cabinets. For instance, cabinets could cost just a few hundred dollars up to $10,000 or more. A basic bathroom renovation consists of stock cabinets, tile or laminate counters and basic tubs, toilet, shower head, lighting, and sink etc. Mid-range and high-end renovations will naturally cost more, but you’ll also have more options. In general a tub can cost anywhere between $400 and $8,000, cabinets from $1,200 to $13,000, counters between $900 and $6,500, flooring: from $800 to $7,000, a sink between $200 and $6,500, lighting between $120 and $4,000, a shower from $450 to $10,000 and about $130 to $800 for a toilet.

When planning on a high-end bathroom upgrade you’ll be able to install custom cabinetry with exotic wood finishes as well as quartz, stone or granite countertops. Also, multiple shower heads and jetted bathtubs are popular.


new kitchen appliance package Toronto

You’ll have a lot of options when choosing appliances since you can purchase costlier Energy Star models or stick to the basics. The high-end models will save you money on energy costs in the long run and they typically come with good warranties. The colours are plentiful with stainless steel being the trend today. Energy Star appliances typically cost between $800 and $3,500 depending on what it is, but you may pay between $1,000 and $10,000 for custom built-in models.


New Home Construction Framed With Wood Studs

Energy-efficiency brands will be more costly to buy, but will save on electricity bills. You want to keep the heat in during the winter and out during the summer. You should expect to pay up to $5,000 for HVAC items such as a furnace or air conditioning unit. You may also need to pay about $2,500 to have ducts and vents installed. You could install solar heating and this averages about $20,000, but may be worth it in the long run.


New roof install toronto

If your roof needs replacing or repairing you can usually choose between copper, tile, asphalt and slate for the material with copper lasting the longest. The average cost of a new roof is about $7,000, but it will depend on the size of the home. Asphalt shingles are generally the least expensive, but you could pay up to $50,000 for metal.

When asking contractors for estimates regarding renovations, be sure to request a price on every single option that’s available to you as well as a list of the pros and cons. With this information, you’ll be able to come up with a detailed plan and budget. In addition, be sure to get a quote for your project from a few different contractors.


About York Construction Company
York Construction Company is a Toronto based home renovation company that has been serving the GTA for over 50 years.  We provide professional services with a focus on customer service.  For more detailed information on renovating your home in the Greater Toronto Area and how to go about it economically, please don’t hesitate to contact us at York Construction Company.

Beautiful Toronto Home Contracting

What Renovations will Increase the Value of Your Home

Not all renovations are equal when it comes to increasing the value of your home when you’re ready to sell it. There are some remodeling jobs that will certainly be more attractive to potential buyers and these may be the ones you want to focus on when spending money on renovating. Below are some tips you may find useful when your goal is to increase the resale value of your home.

Before setting aside your time and money on renovating your home though it’s never a bad idea to hire an inspector first to see if there are any necessary repairs that need attended to. For instance, if there’s dry rot in the home or it needs a new roof you should take care of this first as it will detract from the value of the home. Once you have the home inspected and take care of any problems it will pass with flying colours when the potential buyers have it inspected. If they know they don’t have to spend any money on repairs and it’s move-in ready, the home will be much more attractive to them and it’ll will be easier to receive your asking price.

Come up with a plan and budget

Your upgrades will have a far better chance of increasing the home’s value if you take the time to plan them out intentionally instead of completing them just on impulse. Also, don’t rush things as there’s no need to get the job done as quickly as possible unless you plan on selling immediately. It’s recommended that you work on one room at a time. Make a list of the areas you’d like to update or change and don’t be afraid to get some input from a local realtor as they will know what buyers are looking for in your area. You also need a realistic budget as you don’t want to spend $100,000 in renovations while the value of the home goes up by just $20,000.

Small Upgrades

Window replacements Toronto

Not every renovation project has to be a huge one. You can add value to your home by taking care of smaller things too such as faucets, windows, doors, artwork and furniture. Your house will be more attractive to buyers if it’s bright and clean compared to being dull and a little dingy. Be sure to keep on top of regular maintenance and don’t let clutter and dirt build up.

Curb Appeal

Landscaping improvements Toronto

You only have one chance to make a first impression on a prospective buyer, so take the time to look at your home from the street and as yourself if it looks attractive. If not, you may want to spruce up the outside of it before renovating the inside. Don’t forget to inspect your home from all angles as the sides and back of it are also important to buyers. Therefore, make sure any fences, decks, pools, and ponds etc. are in good shape.

The Kitchen

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One of the first rooms buyers will look at is the kitchen since this is where much of a home’s social activity takes place. An up-to-date, attractive kitchen with modern appliances can definitely add value to your home and this may be where you spend the majority of your time and budget. Along with the appliances, you may want to consider the flooring, an island, the walls, lighting, sinks and cabinets. Keep in mind that many buyers are interested in stainless steel appliances these days.


Condo bathroom renovation Toronto

Your home’s bathrooms will also have a big impact on buyers and it’s well worth beautifying them before selling. You can focus on the plumbing, fixtures, mirrors, lighting, cabinets and countertops etc. and heated flooring is quite popular.

The Basement

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A finished basement will add considerably more living space to your home and that’s something buyers are often looking for. It’s a good selling point since the work has already been completed and most homeowners aren’t looking forward to spending time and money on doing it themselves. An attic conversion is another way to add living space and attract buyers.

The Laundry Room

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You may find that buyers are more receptive to an upstairs laundry room located near the kitchen or master bedroom. By moving your laundry appliances to one of these areas you could increase the resale value.

Energy Costs

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Low energy costs are always appreciated by buyers and if the furnace, heating system and water heater are all energy efficient and in good working order it will impress house hunters. The same can be said of high-efficiency windows as they’ll cut down on heating and cooling costs.

The Roof

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Nobody wants to move into a home that needs a new roof, so if yours needs upgrading it’s well worth the money and it can be recouped by adding it on to the selling price.

The Yard

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If your home has a yard you can always raise the value with attractive landscaping and perhaps a patio, deck or even a garage if you don’t have one.

Security System

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A reliable security system is a good way to give you some peace of mind while living in the home as well as upping it’s value when selling it.

The possibilities are more or less endless when renovating or upgrading a home before selling it and this is why you should take the time to speak with a realtor. They’ll know what specific things buyers in your community are looking for and are willing to spend their money on.  If you are thinking about making renovations to your home, contact York Construction Company today.  We offer free, in-home consultations and will work with you on creating the best design projects within your budget.

Renovation project in Toronto

What Home Renovations Require a Permit Toronto

Home renovations are quite popular in Toronto, but before you start planning the project it’s important to know if any building permits are required. Without the necessary permits you may be faced with fines or legal action. In some instances, the completed work may even need to be removed. According to the City of Toronto’s Building Code Act, a building permit is needed for the demolition or construction of any new building as well as for the material alteration of all existing structures and buildings.
This means there are laws in place for home renovation projects as they need to comply with the local regulations concerning zoning, electrical, plumbing, and building work. If the projected renovations meet with these bylaws then a permit will typically be issued. In addition, City of Toronto inspectors will look over the job to make sure everything is done according to the permit.

When a Permit is Needed
These are some of the more popular renovating projects that require a permit in the City of Toronto.
You’ll need a permit if you plan on renovating your basement by adding an entrance or a room as well as for altering or installing plumbing/heating systems. Other types of structural work also require a permit such as underpinning and excavating.
If you plan on building a pool house, solarium, workshop, garden shed, carport or detached garage you’ll need a permit if the structure will be bigger than 10 square meters. The same is true if you want to add an attached garage, porch, sunroom, or additional floor to the house.
A permit is needed for a deck if it’s more than two-feet above the ground as well as for enlarging doors and windows and removing or adding walls. In addition, you also need permission for installing a wood-burning stove/fireplace/chimney as well as making environmentally-friendly improvements including installing a green roof, solar systems, and storm-water systems.
If you plan on changing the use of a structure, such as turning your home into an office or changing it to a multi-dwelling building then you’ll require a permit.

When a Permit isn’t needed
There are some instances in which a building permit isn’t needed such as replacing or adding insulation or building a retaining wall which is under a meter in height, but the renovations still need to respect the local zoning bylaw.
You don’t need a permit when renovating a basement if you’ aren’t adding an extra room, new plumbing, or doing any material/structural work.
If you’re building a freestanding deck outside your house and it’s a maximum of two-feet above the ground then you don’t need a permit.
If you plan on installing sky-lighting in a home which is under four stories high and only one rafter needs to be removed, you won’t need a permit.

Permit Fees
Building permits come with fees and you’ll also be charged an hourly rate for an inspection. For the most up-to-date costs, it’s recommended that you contact the City of Toronto.

No-Permit Penalties
If you begin renovating your home without the required permits you could face financial penalties over $25,000, depending on the nature of the infraction. In addition, your renovation work may be stopped and any project that has already been completed may have to be removed.
It’s certainly better to be safe rather than sorry when it comes to obtaining building permits for renovations. This is just a general list and it’s highly recommended that you check with the City before starting any renovation projects. Or better yet, if you need help with your home renovations please feel free to contact us at York Construction Company and let us take care of all the required permits.

Have questions?
Have questions about your next renovation project?  Contact York Construction today, we can walk you through the process and advise you on permit needs.  We also offer a free in-home consultation.

Home Renovation in Toronto

How to Finance Home a Renovation Project

Whatever the reason is for renovating your home it’s always a good idea to make sure the project can be properly financed. Some remodeling tasks can be quite expensive and you may want to look into your options when it comes to financing the job. Depending on the size and complexity of the home renovation, you may need to borrow the funds to see it through. It’s recommended that you have the funds in place before beginning the work. You may have a financial advisor who can help you out and there are various places to borrow money from these days.

Credit Cards
If the renovation project is relatively small you may want to simply pay for it without having to apply for a loan. This means you can access the funds in your bank account or pay for the materials and/or labour via a credit card. Just remember to work out a payment schedule though so you don’t end up paying high-interest charges on the balance.

Line of Credit
A line of credit can be used for financing a home renovation and it allows you to access the money whenever you need it without having to apply for a loan. For example, if you have a $50,000 line of credit you can take whatever you need when you need it until you reach the limit. The interest rate is typically lower than a credit card and it’s only charged on the funds you have already accessed. In addition, you can pay off the loan of credit whenever you choose.

If you don’t like the option of paying cash or credit for the project or if it’s simply going to cost more money than you can readily access you may want to consider a personal loan. You’ll have to pay the principal as well as the interest during the period of the loan, but it will likely be lower than then interest charges on your credit card. The monthly payments will depend on the length of the loan and you may be able to choose from variable or fixed interest rates. If you find you need more funds for the project after the loan is paid off you’d need to apply for another loan.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)-Secured Line of Credit
A home equity loan and secured line of credit are similar to a personal loan or line of credit, the home’s equity is basically used as collateral or security. They usually include appraisal and legal fees as well as set-up charges, but also come with lower interest rates. In many cases, you may be able to borrow up to 80 per cent of the value of your home.

Refinancing your Mortgage
If you’re planning on a major home renovation you may want to consider refinancing the mortgage on your home. This allows you to pay the loan back over an extended period of time with the interest rates being the same as a mortgage. Like a home equity loan, there will be fees and set-up costs and you may be able to borrow up to 80 per cent of the home’s value.

Adding Renovation Costs to Mortgage
If you’re renovating a house that you’re about to buy you can inquire about adding the costs of the project to the mortgage. It’s a good idea to contact CMHC Mortgage Loan Insurance for more information on this option. They will let you know exactly how much you can borrow and how much of a down payment will be required.

When planning to finance your home renovation project you should always keep some extra funds aside for unexpected costs or if you decide on additional remodeling once you get started. If you already have these funds set aside it means you won’t have to apply for another loan or rearrange your existing financial plans. Also, the provincial and federal governments in Canada often offer rebates and grants for certain energy-saving remodeling tasks and Energy Star-rated appliances. It’s always a good idea to look into these as you could save money as well as help the environment at the same time.

About York Construction Company

York Construction Company is a Toronto based home renovation company that has been serving the GTA for over 50 years.  We provide professional services with a focus on customer service.  Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.

Home renovation project in Toronto


At one point or another most homeowners decide to dabble in renovating their homes. You might realize that your house or condominium unit needs a little bit of sprucing up due to age and the natural wear and tear process. Or you may just renovate it to increase your home’s property value. In any event, you’ll often find that it’s hard to just embark on one renovating project and that’s when it gets tricker on how to start and where to finish. We’ll try to help out by offering a few tips below. You’ll need to consider the costs and time of the renovations as well as the functionality.

Renovation Needs vs Wants

It’s always a good idea to ask yourself if a certain area of your home needs to be renovated or if you’d just like to renovate it.  It’s usually best to tend to your needs before your wants when it comes to renovating. Do what’s necessary first and then take care of the rest afterward. Once you’ve decided on what needs to be accomplished, try to concentrate in just one renovation at a time. It’s best to completely finish one job before starting on the next. It’s also a lot more rewarding and satisfying to complete something and it will add confidence to your next chore.

When looking through your home to see what needs to be done you may want to start with the easiest renovations first such as low budget jobs like painting and updating fixtures. Some areas which may need to be looked after including the exterior, furnace, plumbing, electrical system, roof, flooring, walls, windows, and doors etc. If things are falling apart you’ll need to take care of them to protect the investment you have in your home.

Once all of your necessary renovations have been completed you can now turn your attention to your wants and remodeling wish list. You can prioritize these by creating a budget for your renovations and then estimating the cost of each individual job. Once you know the approximate cost of each renovation you can decide in which order you’d like to do them. In some instances, you may need the assistance of professional contractors and you should always ask them for estimates and guarantees on their work.  They can also give you accurate cost estimates based on what type of renovation project you are interested in.

Renovations For Return On Investment

If your renovations are being carried out solely for the return of investment in the future when you sell the home, it’s always a good idea to do some research on the subject. For example, you may find that renovated bathrooms and kitchens are the most common ways to recoup the investment costs. You may also want to contact a real estate agent when it comes to this as they may have some helpful suggestions on where exactly to focus your time and money regarding renovations.

You can typically add value to a home as well as more storage space when adding on square footage via something like a mudroom. But in the long run, your prioritizing will usually be ruled by your budget. You simply can’t renovate the things you can’t afford unless they’re absolutely necessary or need to be done for safety reasons. If that’s the case, you’ll need to get financing help.

To recap, you’ll need to know which renovation jobs you can handle yourself and which ones will require professional assistance. Be sure to estimate the costs and ask contractors for written estimates and guarantees. Do the necessary repairs and renovations before simply cosmetic ones and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance and/or ideas from professionals. Another set of eyes and ideas could help you save a great deal of money and time in the long run.

York Construction of Toronto offers free in-home consults for all of your renovation projects.  Contact us today to schedule your consult and let us help you prioritize your home renovation project to-do list.


Home owners dream about the remodels and renovation they’d love to do to their house. Year after year circumstances comes up which unfortunately take financial priority, and their plans to renovate kitchens, add an income suite, or even given some out-dated features a makeover get pushed aside until “next year”.

Renovation and remodelling projects are within everyone’s budget, no matter the circumstances.  You just need the right guidance on how best to finance your situation, as winding up in debt can ruin your chances of getting larger loan approvals in the future.

Save Up

Placing a Piggy Bank on top your your fridge and adding to it each time you skip a Starbucks Latte or the amount you saved on your Walmart trip is a great way to accumulate money for home remodelling projects which is easy and planning-free. Even setting aside large amounts of money per pay-check takes a considerable amount of time to pay for labour and materials. This option is great for simple remodelling such as painting and less expensive upgrades rather than a full-room renovation or home addition.

Credit Card

A credit card is a good option for new home owners who wish to do a few small remodels to make their place more ideal. Without a huge line of credit or approvals for larger loans, you can use a credit card to pay for your project upfront. The downfall is that this only works on projects which do not exceed your credit card’s limit, therefore it’s best for simple, less expensive projects. You will also want to make sure you have a plan to pay it off quickly because retail credit cards have high interest rates.

Personal Line of Credit

When you apply for a personal line of credit, you’re essentially granted a predetermined loan based on your previous credit history, and agree to pay off a minimum amount each month. The good thing is you don’t have to pay interest charges until you begin using it, and they have lower interest rates than regular credit cards. You also have continuous access to the remaining funds without having to reapply. So what’s the catch? They take a while to pay-off, so this is a good option for long-term, ongoing renovation projects.

Home Equity Loans

A home equity loan is kind of like a line of credit, except they use your house as collateral. For extreme home renovation projects this may be a great option, as they offer the best interest rates and have higher limits- sometimes allowing you to borrow up to 80{898c5adb771c4fc3375688a3b4e0e1ab76f0a2c95a58d2679a6f6197c49cb1fb} of your property’s value! However, since the Housing Crisis in 2007, lenders are now required to verify your finances, which can accumulate hefty lawyers fees out of your pocket. And since you’re using your house as collateral, if you don’t end up paying off your loan you’ll lose your home…there goes a waste of an awesome renovation project!

Mortgage Financing

If you’re a home owner, chances are you’ll be paying for your home using a standard mortgage. When you purchase a new home with plans to renovate it you can add the estimated costs to the mortgage you’re applying for. If you’re renovating your current home you can refinance your project budget into your preexisting mortgage. Mortgages are great because they typically have better interest rates than home equity loans and lines of credit. However, have you ever heard the term “a slave to your mortgage”? You’ll be paying off the charges for a long time, and you may feel more obligated to stay put to justify the time, efforts, and costs put into your renovation.

Don’t Stress… Financeit!

If you’re uncertain about what option is right for you, let your contractors advise the best fix for you! Reputable Construction Companies will assist you in finding a person financing plan which works for your budget and your renovation project.

York Construction Company works with Financeit- a marketing-leading solution that allows home owners to apply for flexible and affordable monthly payment plans for their renovation projects.

With such flexibility in your payment plans, Financeit works with contractors and their clients on customizable solutions to make their home improvement projects come true quickly with payments organized in a comfortable time frame.

  • Costs are split into monthly payments over a compromised term – anywhere from 12 to 180 months (1 year to 15 years)
  • Interest rates are between 7.99{898c5adb771c4fc3375688a3b4e0e1ab76f0a2c95a58d2679a6f6197c49cb1fb} and 11.99{898c5adb771c4fc3375688a3b4e0e1ab76f0a2c95a58d2679a6f6197c49cb1fb} depending on your credit history
  • The amount of your loan can be up to $50,000!

The great thing is, you don’t need to stick to the minimum monthly payments, and are free to pay if you have the extra $$$. Get a big bonus at work, inherit a little money, win a jackpot? You can put use it to pay off your balance without penalties.

So what are you waiting for?

How you choose to finance your home renovation projects all comes down to you! If you’re good with saving, you may choose to pay upfront. If you’re diligent paying off loans, a simple line of credit may suffice. But let’s be real. A majority of us have big plans to remodel and make our home perfect, and money should not be a deal breaker. Suitable finance plans are available for almost everyone. Do your research, ask your contractor, and find out which is best to make your dream renovations come true!