Home Renovation Project 122 Withrow Toronto (4)

Maximizing Your Space: Home Renovation Tips for Small Toronto Homes

Toronto is a great place to live and work but real estate is expensive and leads to many people buying homes smaller than they’d like them to be. So you feel cramped in your small Toronto home and are looking for ways to make the most of your limited space?  As a seasoned home addition and custom builder in Toronto, we have lots of experience making smaller homes feel bigger and brighter.

Here we’ll explore innovative ideas for maximizing your space and making your home feel more spacious and inviting. By following these expert tips, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your cozy Toronto abode into a functional, comfortable haven that meets your needs and reflects your personal style.


Assess Your Home’s Layout

Before diving into renovations, it’s important to take a good look at your home’s current layout. Are there any areas that feel particularly cramped or underutilized? Can you spot any opportunities for improvement? Evaluating your home’s layout is a crucial step in identifying the best renovation strategies to maximize your space. Let’s break down some key factors to consider when assessing your home’s layout.

Identify Bottlenecks

Bottlenecks are areas in your home where the flow of movement is restricted, leading to congestion and a cramped feeling. Identifying these bottlenecks can help you determine which walls or obstacles need to be removed or modified to create a more open and welcoming environment. Common bottlenecks include narrow hallways, small doorways, and large pieces of furniture blocking pathways.

Look for Unused Spaces

In small homes, every square inch counts. As you assess your home’s layout, look for unused or underutilized spaces that could be transformed into functional areas. This might include corners, nooks, or spaces under the stairs. By making the most of these unused spaces, you can create additional storage, seating, or work areas without taking up valuable floor space.

Consider Traffic Flow

The way people move through your home can have a significant impact on how spacious it feels. Analyze the traffic flow in your home and identify any areas where movement is restricted or feels unnatural. You might need to rearrange furniture, widen doorways, or remove obstacles to create a more seamless flow and make your home feel more open and spacious.

Evaluate Room Functions and Sizes

When assessing your home’s layout, it’s important to consider the functions and sizes of each room. Are there rooms that feel too small for their intended purpose or larger rooms that could be better utilized? By reevaluating the functions of your rooms and potentially repurposing or combining spaces, you can create a more efficient and functional layout that maximizes your available square footage.

Take Note of Architectural Features

Your home’s architectural features can play a significant role in how spacious it feels. Pay close attention to details like ceiling heights, window sizes, and the placement of built-in elements such as fireplaces or storage units. By identifying these features, you can better understand how to work with them and make strategic renovation decisions that will enhance your home’s overall sense of space.

Open Up Your Floor Plan

One of the best ways to create a more spacious feeling in your home is to open up the floor plan. This can be achieved by removing walls, widening doorways, or combining rooms. An open floor plan not only makes your home feel larger but also improves the flow of movement and encourages social interaction. Let’s delve into some of the most effective methods for opening up your floor plan.

Remove Non-load-bearing Walls

Non-load-bearing walls are walls that don’t support the weight of your home’s structure. Removing these walls can create a more open and airy environment. Before embarking on this project, consult with a structural engineer or contractor to determine which walls are safe to remove and ensure that any necessary permits are obtained.

Combine Living Spaces

Combining living spaces, such as the kitchen, dining room, and living room, can create a larger, more cohesive area that feels open and inviting. By merging these spaces, you can facilitate better communication and interaction between family members and guests, while also making your home feel more spacious. When combining living spaces, consider using consistent flooring and color schemes to create a seamless visual flow.

Install Pocket Doors

Pocket doors are a space-saving alternative to traditional swinging doors. By sliding into the wall when open, pocket doors eliminate the need for clearance space and help create a more open, unobstructed layout. These doors are especially useful in tight spaces or when connecting adjacent rooms, such as a bedroom and ensuite bathroom.

Incorporate Open Shelving and Storage

Closed-off storage solutions, like large cabinets and cupboards, can make your space feel smaller and more confined. By incorporating open shelving and storage, you can maintain a more open, airy atmosphere while still providing ample storage. Open shelves can also double as display areas for decorative items, adding visual interest to your space.

Use Transparent and Reflective Surfaces

Transparent and reflective surfaces, such as glass and mirrors, can create the illusion of a larger, more open space by allowing light to flow freely and reflecting the surrounding environment. Consider using glass partitions, mirrored furniture, or large wall mirrors to enhance the open feel of your floor plan.

Maintain Sight Lines

Sight lines are unobstructed views from one point in your home to another. Maintaining clear sight lines can make your space feel more connected and open. To improve sight lines, consider rearranging furniture, using low-profile pieces, or opting for open or glass-fronted storage solutions. In addition, keeping windows unobstructed will allow for more natural light and create a sense of depth in your space.

Make Use of Vertical Space

In small homes, every inch counts. Utilizing your vertical space is a smart way to create additional storage and make your rooms feel taller and more open. By drawing the eye upward, you can create the illusion of a larger space, while also maximizing the functionality of your home. Let’s explore some innovative ideas for making the most of your vertical space.

Install Floor-to-ceiling Shelves

Floor-to-ceiling shelves not only provide ample storage but also draw the eye upward, making your ceilings feel higher and your space more expansive. These shelves can be used for storing books, decorative items, or even as a place to display your favorite collections. Consider using open shelving or glass-fronted cabinets to maintain a light and airy feel.

Use Wall-mounted Storage

Wall-mounted storage solutions, such as floating shelves, hooks, and pegboards, can help you make the most of your vertical space without taking up valuable floor area. These options are particularly useful in tight spaces like bathrooms, kitchens, and entryways, where floor space is at a premium. Use wall-mounted storage for items you use frequently, so they’re always within easy reach.

Opt for Tall Furniture

Tall furniture, such as bookcases, wardrobes, and cabinets, can help you maximize your vertical storage while also creating the illusion of higher ceilings. By using taller furniture pieces, you can store more items without sacrificing valuable floor space. When selecting tall furniture, consider the overall proportions of your room and choose pieces that don’t feel too overwhelming or heavy.

Hang Artwork High

Hanging artwork, mirrors, or other decorative items higher on the walls can create the illusion of taller ceilings and draw the eye upward. Experiment with different heights and configurations to find the perfect balance that makes your space feel more open and inviting.

Utilize the Space Above Cabinets and Closets

The space above cabinets and closets is often overlooked but can provide valuable storage opportunities. Use this area to store seasonal items, luggage, or other infrequently used belongings. To maintain a cohesive look, consider using matching storage bins or baskets to keep items organized and hidden from view.

Install Vertical Gardens or Green Walls

Vertical gardens or green walls can add a touch of nature to your space while also utilizing your vertical area. These living walls not only provide visual interest but also help improve indoor air quality. Consider incorporating a vertical garden in your living room, kitchen, or even on a balcony to create a unique focal point that makes the most of your vertical space.

Incorporate Multi-functional Furniture

When space is limited, it’s essential to make the most of every piece of furniture in your home. Multi-functional furniture can help you maximize your space by serving multiple purposes, allowing you to create a more efficient and versatile environment. Here are some innovative ideas for incorporating multi-functional furniture in your small Toronto home.

Invest in a Sofa Bed or Daybed

A sofa bed or daybed is an excellent investment for small homes, as it can serve as both a seating area and a sleeping space. This versatile piece of furniture is ideal for studio apartments, guest rooms, or living spaces that need to double as sleeping areas for visitors. Look for options with built-in storage to further maximize your space.

Choose Nesting Tables

Nesting tables are a set of smaller tables that fit neatly under a larger one, allowing you to save space when they’re not in use. These tables can be easily pulled out when extra surface area is needed for entertaining or other activities, making them a practical and stylish solution for small homes.

Opt for a Storage Ottoman

Storage ottomans are versatile pieces of furniture that can serve as seating, storage, and even a coffee table. By using a storage ottoman, you can create a clutter-free environment while still having easy access to your belongings. Look for options with removable tops or built-in compartments for added functionality.

Install a Wall-mounted Desk or Fold-out Table

A wall-mounted desk or fold-out table is an excellent space-saving solution for small homes. These pieces of furniture can be folded up when not in use, freeing up valuable floor space. Use a wall-mounted desk in a bedroom or living area to create a compact workspace, or install a fold-out table in the kitchen for additional dining space.

Use a Room Divider with Built-in Storage

Room dividers with built-in storage are a practical way to create separate zones in your open floor plan while also providing additional storage. These dividers can be used to separate living and sleeping areas, create a private workspace, or define a cozy reading nook. Look for options with open shelves, drawers, or cabinets to maximize storage and maintain a light and airy feel.

Consider a Murphy Bed

A Murphy bed, also known as a wall bed, is a bed that can be folded up against the wall when not in use, freeing up valuable floor space. This space-saving solution is ideal for studio apartments, guest rooms, or small bedrooms. Some Murphy bed designs also incorporate additional storage or shelving, further enhancing their multi-functional appeal.

Play with Color, Lighting, and Texture

When it comes to maximizing the space in your small Toronto home, the visual elements of color, lighting, and texture play a crucial role. By using these elements strategically, you can create the illusion of a larger, more open space, while also adding warmth and character to your home. Let’s dive into some tips for using color, lighting, and texture to your advantage.

Choose Light and Neutral Colors

Light and neutral colors, such as whites, creams, and soft grays, can make your space feel more open and airy by reflecting natural light. Using a cohesive color scheme throughout your home can also create a sense of continuity, making your rooms feel more spacious and connected. Don’t be afraid to add pops of color through accessories, artwork, or textiles to personalize your space and add visual interest.

Incorporate Mirrors and Reflective Surfaces

Mirrors and reflective surfaces, such as glass, metallics, or glossy finishes, can create the illusion of a larger space by reflecting light and the surrounding environment. Use mirrors strategically to enhance natural light, create focal points, or add depth to a room. Reflective surfaces can be incorporated through furniture, lighting fixtures, or decorative items.

Layer Lighting for Ambiance and Function

A well-lit space not only feels more inviting but also appears larger. Layer your lighting by using a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Opt for fixtures that complement your decor and consider using dimmers for added flexibility and control over the ambiance.

Use Texture to Add Depth and Interest

Texture can add depth and interest to your space, making it feel more dynamic and visually appealing. Incorporate texture through textiles, such as area rugs, throw pillows, and curtains, or through materials like wood, brick, or stone. Be mindful not to overdo it, as too much texture can make your space feel cluttered or overwhelming. Balance is key when playing with texture in a small space.

Opt for Streamlined Furniture and Decor

In a small space, bulky furniture and overly ornate decor can make the room feel cramped and cluttered. Choose streamlined, minimalist furniture pieces that are proportional to the size of your room. Keep decor simple and uncluttered, opting for a few carefully selected items that reflect your personal style and enhance your space.

Create Visual Separation with Area Rugs and Room Dividers

In an open floor plan, using area rugs and room dividers can help create visual separation between different zones while also adding warmth and texture. Choose rugs and dividers that complement your overall color scheme and don’t be afraid to mix patterns and textures for added visual interest.

Create Outdoor Living Spaces

Expanding your living space beyond the walls of your home is an effective way to maximize the functionality and enjoyment of your small Toronto property. By creating inviting outdoor living spaces, you can extend your home’s usable square footage and create additional areas for relaxation, entertainment, or even work. Let’s explore some ideas for creating outdoor living spaces that complement your small home.

Design a Cozy Patio or Deck

A patio or deck can serve as an extension of your indoor living space, providing an additional area for dining, lounging, or entertaining. Choose comfortable, weather-resistant furniture that complements your home’s style and color scheme. Add outdoor rugs, cushions, and lighting to create a cozy, inviting atmosphere.

Incorporate a Pergola or Gazebo

Adding a pergola or gazebo to your outdoor space can create a sense of structure and provide shelter from the elements, making your outdoor living area more functional and comfortable. These structures can also serve as a focal point or a place to hang lighting or plants, adding visual interest and depth to your backyard.

Utilize Vertical Gardening

If your outdoor space is limited, vertical gardening is an excellent way to add greenery without sacrificing valuable floor space. Living walls, hanging planters, and trellises can be used to grow a variety of plants, from flowers and herbs to small fruits and vegetables. This not only adds visual interest to your outdoor space but can also provide privacy and improve air quality.

Create Zones with Outdoor Furniture and Accessories

Use outdoor furniture and accessories to create separate zones for different activities, such as dining, lounging, or working. This can make your outdoor space feel more organized and spacious while also adding visual interest and variety. Consider using rugs, planters, or screens to define different areas and maintain a sense of cohesion and flow.

Incorporate an Outdoor Kitchen or Bar

An outdoor kitchen or bar can enhance your outdoor living experience by providing a convenient area for cooking, dining, and entertaining. This can be as simple as a grill and a bar cart or as elaborate as a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen with built-in appliances and storage. Choose materials and finishes that complement your home’s exterior and can withstand the elements.

Add Lighting for Ambiance and Safety

Outdoor lighting not only creates a warm, inviting atmosphere but also enhances safety and security. Use a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to illuminate your outdoor living spaces and highlight features like pathways, plants, or architectural details. Opt for energy-efficient options like LED or solar-powered lights to reduce energy consumption.

Partner with a Professional Home Renovation Expert

When it comes to maximizing your space in a small Toronto home, partnering with a professional home renovation expert, such as Novacon Construction, can make all the difference. Our experienced design build team can help you navigate the complexities of remodeling a small space and ensure that every inch is used effectively and efficiently. Let’s delve into the benefits of working with a professional home renovation expert.

Expert Space Planning and Design

A professional home renovation expert can provide invaluable guidance on space planning and design, ensuring that your home’s layout is optimized for both functionality and aesthetics. They can help you identify potential issues, suggest creative solutions, and ensure that your renovation project meets your needs and expectations.

Access to Quality Materials and Finishes

When working with a professional home renovation company, you’ll have access to a wide range of quality materials and finishes that can enhance your home’s appearance and durability. They can recommend options that are well-suited for your specific needs and preferences, ensuring that your home not only looks great but also stands the test of time.

Customization and Personalization

A professional home renovation expert can help you create a space that is truly unique and tailored to your specific needs and style. From custom cabinetry and built-ins to personalized design elements, a professional team can bring your vision to life and create a home that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Building Code Compliance and Permit Assistance

Navigating building codes and permit requirements can be a daunting task for homeowners, but a professional home renovation expert can help ensure that your project is compliant and properly permitted. This can save you time and stress, as well as protect the value of your investment.

Project Management and Timely Completion

A professional home renovation company can oversee every aspect of your project, from design and planning to construction and final touches. This comprehensive project management ensures that your renovation is completed on time and within budget, allowing you to enjoy your newly renovated space as soon as possible.

Warranty and Post-renovation Support

When you work with a professional home renovation expert like Novacon Construction, you can expect a warranty on their work, as well as ongoing support to address any concerns or issues that may arise after the project is completed. This gives you peace of mind and confidence in the quality and longevity of your renovation.

Consider the Benefits of a Home Addition

If your small Toronto home still feels too cramped after implementing renovation tips, it may be time to consider the benefits of a home addition. Home additions can significantly increase your living space, add value to your property, and enhance your overall quality of life. Let’s explore the advantages of working with a custom home builder like Novacon Construction to create a home addition that meets your needs.

Increased Living Space

One of the most significant benefits of a home addition is the increased living space it provides. Whether you’re adding a new bedroom, bathroom, or expanding your living area, a home addition can give you the extra square footage you need to live comfortably and efficiently.

Improved Functionality and Flow

A well-designed home addition can improve the functionality and flow of your existing space, making it easier to move through your home and enjoy your daily activities. By working with a custom home builder, you can ensure that your addition seamlessly integrates with your current layout and enhances your home’s overall design.

Personalized Design and Customization

When you work with a custom home builder like Novacon Construction, you have the opportunity to design and customize your home addition to suit your specific needs and preferences. This means you can create a space that truly reflects your unique style and complements your existing home.

Increased Property Value

A well-executed home addition can significantly increase the value of your property. By adding square footage, improving functionality, and enhancing your home’s design, you’re making a valuable investment in your home that can pay off in the long run.

Cost-effective Alternative to Moving

For many homeowners, a home addition can be a more cost-effective alternative to moving. By expanding your existing space, you can avoid the expenses and hassles associated with buying a new home and relocating, while still enjoying the benefits of increased living space.

Expert Guidance and Professional Execution

When you work with a custom home builder like Novacon Construction, you can expect expert guidance and professional execution throughout the entire process. From design and planning to construction and finishing touches, a professional team will ensure that your home addition is completed on time, within budget, and to your satisfaction.

Contact Novacon Construction To Learn More

Maximizing your space and transforming your small Toronto home into a functional, comfortable haven is possible with thoughtful planning and expert guidance. By implementing these home renovation tips from Novacon Construction, you can enjoy a more spacious and inviting home that meets your needs and reflects your personal style. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and explore creative solutions to make the most of your limited space. With the right approach and a trusted home addition and custom home builder in Toronto by your side, the possibilities are endless.  Contact us to learn more.

Duplex home in Toronto

The Benefits of Home a Renovation in Toronto’s Competitive Real Estate Market

Toronto’s real estate market is incredibly competitive. With limited inventory and high demand, it can be challenging to find the perfect home. However, if you already own a home in Toronto, a home renovation could be the solution to your problem. Not only can a renovation improve your living space, but it can also add value to your home in Toronto’s competitive real estate market. In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of a home renovation in Toronto’s competitive real estate market.

Increased Home Value

One of the most significant benefits of a home renovation in Toronto’s competitive real estate market is the increased home value. In a competitive real estate market, homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for homes that are move-in ready and have modern amenities. By renovating your home, you can add value to your property and increase its selling price. The added value of your home could help you stand out in the competitive real estate market, making it easier to sell your home in the future while enjoying the benefits while you live there.


Customization and Personalization

Another significant benefit of a home renovation in Toronto’s competitive real estate market is customization and personalization. Toronto’s real estate market is incredibly competitive, and finding the perfect home can be challenging. By renovating your home, you can create the perfect living space that meets your unique needs and preferences. You can add a new bathroom, create an open-concept living area, or build a new kitchen to fit your lifestyle. Customization and personalization can help you stand out in the competitive real estate market by creating a unique home that is tailored to your needs.


Increased Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important in Toronto’s real estate market. Homebuyers are looking for homes that are environmentally friendly and energy-efficient. By renovating your home, you can improve its energy efficiency and make it more attractive to potential buyers. You can add new windows, improve insulation, or install energy-efficient appliances to reduce your home’s energy consumption. An energy-efficient home can also help you save money on your utility bills, making your home more affordable to live in.


Better Functionality and Livability

A home renovation can also improve the functionality and livability of your home. In Toronto’s competitive real estate market, homes that are functional and livable are in high demand. By renovating your home, you can create a more functional living space that meets your needs. You can add storage space, improve lighting, or create a better flow between rooms to improve the livability of your home. A functional and livable home can help you stand out in the competitive real estate market by creating a more comfortable living space for potential buyers.


Competitive Advantage

Finally, a home renovation can give you a competitive advantage in Toronto’s real estate market. With limited inventory and high demand, it can be challenging to find the perfect home. By renovating your home, you can create a home that stands out in the competitive real estate market. A renovated home can be more attractive to potential buyers, making it easier to sell your home in the future. A competitive advantage can also help you get a better price for your home, making your investment in a renovation more valuable.


Renovations Are a Smart Choice in Toronto

A home renovation can be a smart investment in Toronto’s competitive real estate market. By increasing your home’s value, customization, energy efficiency, functionality and livability, and competitive advantage, a renovation can help you stand out in the competitive real estate market. 

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or create a more comfortable living space, a home renovation is a great way to add value to your home and improve your quality of life. With the right renovation, you can create a home that meets your unique needs and preferences, making it a valuable investment in Toronto’s real estate market.

Contact Novacon Construction today to learn more about your home renovation possibilities and to schedule your free consultation.

Kitchen Renovation Project in Toronto

5 Popular Home Renovation Projects in Toronto

Home renovations are a popular choice for homeowners in Toronto. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your living space or increase the value of your home, there are many different projects to choose from. With the city’s diverse neighborhoods, there are endless possibilities for home renovation projects that can enhance the functionality, comfort, and aesthetic appeal of your home.

Kitchen Renovations

Kitchen Designs Forrest Hill

The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, and it’s no surprise that kitchen renovations are one of the most popular home renovation projects in Toronto. Kitchen renovations can range from a simple update, such as new countertops and backsplash, to a full-scale renovation that includes new cabinetry, appliances, and a new layout. With the high cost of real estate in Toronto, many homeowners choose to invest in their kitchens as a way to increase the value of their homes.

One of the most popular kitchen renovation trends in Toronto is the open concept layout. This design allows for better flow and more natural light, making the space feel larger and more inviting. Other popular kitchen renovation trends in Toronto include high-end appliances, custom cabinetry, and unique finishes such as marble countertops and backsplashes.


Bathroom Renovations

Master Bathroom Suite Toronto

Bathroom renovations are another popular home renovation project in Toronto. Like kitchen renovations, bathroom renovations can range from a simple update, such as new fixtures and a fresh coat of paint, to a full-scale renovation that includes a new layout and high-end finishes. One of the most popular bathroom renovation trends in Toronto is the spa-like bathroom, complete with a large soaking tub, a walk-in shower, and high-end finishes such as marble or granite countertops.

Another popular bathroom renovation trend in Toronto is the addition of a powder room. Powder rooms are small half-bathrooms that are typically located on the main floor of a home. They’re a great way to add convenience for guests and increase the value of your home.


Basement Renovations

Basement In-Law Suite Contractors in Toronto

Large basement with kitchen in new construction home

Basement renovations are a popular choice for homeowners in Toronto because they’re a great way to add living space to a home without the expense of an addition. Basement renovations can include everything from a simple update, such as new flooring and paint, to a full-scale renovation that includes the addition of a bathroom and a new layout. Whether it’s a media room, a home office, or a guest bedroom, a finished basement can add valuable square footage to your home and make it more livable for your family’s needs.

The most popular basement renovation trends in Toronto is the basement apartment. With the high cost of real estate in Toronto, many homeowners are choosing to rent out their basement apartments as a way to offset the cost of their mortgages.


Home Additions

home additions Toronto - Novacon

Home additions are a popular choice for homeowners in Toronto who need more living space but don’t want to move. Home additions can include everything from a simple addition, such as a new bedroom or a sunroom, to a full-scale addition that includes a new living space and a new layout. 

One of the most popular home addition trends in Toronto is the addition of a second story due to the high cost of real estate and often smaller lot sizes in the city. This is a great way to add living space without sacrificing outdoor space, which can be a valuable commodity in Toronto.

Outdoor Living Spaces

custom patio Toronto

Outdoor living spaces are becoming increasingly popular in Toronto as homeowners look for ways to make the most of their outdoor spaces. Outdoor living spaces can include everything from a simple deck or patio to a full-scale outdoor kitchen and living room. 

One of the most popular outdoor living space trends in Toronto is the rooftop terrace. With limited outdoor space in many Toronto neighbourhoods, rooftop terraces are a great way to make the most of the available space.


Contact Novacon Construction Today

There are many different home renovation projects to choose from in Toronto. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your kitchen, bathroom, basement, or outdoor space, there’s a renovation project that can meet your needs. By choosing the right renovation project, you can increase the value of your home and create a space that you and your family will love for years to come.

Novacon Construction is a design-build contractor in Toronto, specializing in major renovation projects and custom home additions. Contact us today to learn more about the many home addition options available to you. You can view our project gallery of part work here.

Kitchen Design Toronto

How to Choose the Right Contractor for Your Toronto Home Renovation

A home renovation can be an exciting but daunting undertaking. Whether you’re updating your kitchen, adding a new bathroom, or finishing your basement, the success of your renovation project depends on choosing the right contractor. 

Doing your research beforehand, which includes choosing the right contractor for your Toronto home renovation is crucial to ensuring that your project is completed on time, within budget, and to your satisfaction. For a major home renovation, there are many moving parts and lots of opportunities for things to go astray so the pre-planning stages are vital to a successful home renovation project.

Do Your Research

The first step in choosing the right contractor for your Toronto home renovation is to do your research. Start by asking friends and family for recommendations, they will often give you the pros and cons of the contractor they have used in the past along with some valuable tips for managing such a big project.

You can also look for contractors online using Google or a number of home improvement review sites such as Houzz or Homestars. Once you have a list of potential contractors, do some research on each one. Check their website, read their reviews, and look for examples of their work. MOst reputable home renovation contractors will have project galleries of past work you can view as well as the ability to give references from past clients. This will help you narrow down your list of potential contractors.

Check Licenses and Insurance

Before hiring a contractor for your Toronto home renovation, it’s important to check their licenses and insurance. In Toronto, contractors are required to be licensed by the City of Toronto. You can check a contractor’s license by visiting the City of Toronto’s website. You should also ask the contractor for proof of liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. This will protect you in case of any accidents or damage that may occur during the renovation.

Some contractors may not carry the necessary insurance for performing a home renovation project and may not have their employees properly insured either, which leaves the liability on the homeowner if something goes wrong or one of the workers gets hurt on your property.

Look for Experience

When choosing a contractor for your Toronto home renovation, it’s important to look for experience. Choose a contractor who has experience with the type of renovation you’re planning. Ask for references and photos of their previous work. This will give you an idea of the quality of their work and their ability to complete your project.

Past work and a trail of happy clients will give you the confidence a contractor has the experience to do great work as well as providing great customer service.

Get Multiple Quotes

Before hiring a contractor for your Toronto home renovation, it’s important to get 2-3 quotes from contractors that you have narrowed down through your research. This will give you an idea of the cost of your renovation and help you choose the right contractor for your budget. When getting quotes, make sure to ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs. This will help you avoid any surprises later on.

Some contractors may provide low-ball initial estimates, which may not include many of the finer details and expenses that go into such a large project, just to get the job and then surprise you with a long list of additional expenses once you have committed to them.  Be sure your estimate includes everything needed to complete the project before signing a contract. A front heavy planning process is the only way to ensure all the details are accounted for, so an estimate that someone provides after an initial meeting is not sufficient for major renovations as it will then just be a guestimate rather than a planned out budget proposal.

Check Communication Skills

Communication is key when it comes to a home renovation project. When choosing a contractor for your Toronto home renovation, make sure to choose someone who communicates well. They should be able to explain the renovation process to you in detail and be responsive to your questions and concerns. They should also be able to communicate with other contractors and suppliers to ensure that your project runs smoothly.

Ask them about their processes and how they work/communicate with their clients throughout the project.  Also check their website to see if they have a standard process they use, this will ensure that they are serious about their communications and gives you something to expect from the contractor once you begin working with them.

Check the Contract

Before hiring a contractor for your Toronto home renovation, make sure to check the contract. The contract should include a detailed description of the work to be done, the cost of the project, and the timeline for completion. It should also include information about any warranties or guarantees. Make sure to read the contract carefully and ask any questions you may have before signing.

For a major renovation or home addition project, there may be many steps and stages to work through, be sure you understand what each stage entails before signing a contract and paying money to the contractor.  A good contractor will be very upfront and open with their processes and when/where contracts need to be signed and when money will need to be paid.

Trust Your Gut

Finally, when choosing a contractor for your Toronto home renovation, trust your gut. If something feels off or if you don’t feel comfortable with a particular contractor, it’s okay to move on. Choose a contractor who you feel comfortable with and who you trust to complete your project to your satisfaction.

A contractor may produce wonderful renovations projects but be poor in communication skills or may have a conflicting personality to yours.  A major renovation or home addition project will often be a months long journey so you want to make sure the contractor you choose not only produces great work, but is someone you get along with and communicate with well.

Choosing the right contractor for your Toronto home renovation is crucial to the success of your project. By doing your research, checking licenses and insurance, looking for experience, getting multiple quotes, checking communication skills, checking the contract, and trusting your gut, you can choose the right contractor for your project. Lots of research and pre-planning is crucial for a successful project and this will help ensure that your renovation is completed on time, within budget, and to your satisfaction.

About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a custom home builder and renovator in Toronto.  We are a design build company that has a long standing reputation in Toronto for creating beautiful homes and renovations. Contact us today to learn more and to schedule a free consultation.  You can view our project gallery here.

Renovation Project Gallery Thornhill - Novacon Construction

How to Find a High End Custom Home Builder

When constructing a high-end custom home, the selection of the right builder for your project should be viewed as an essential part of the process. No matter what type of home you’re planning on it’s very important that you deal with a skilled and reputable building company which has a reputation for quality work. 


Do Your Research

One of the best ways to compile a list of local builders is to perform an internet search. You can look at Google Reviews, as well as other review sources such as Homestars, Yelp and Houzz to see what past customers have to say about each home builder.  In addition, you may be able to get some references from local real estate agents, family members, friends, colleagues and co-workers etc. 

Once you have a list you can visit the builders’ websites to get an idea of the type of work they do and their portfolio of past projects. . Look for reviews and testimonials and gather as much information as possible. It may seem like a lot of work when trying to narrow things down, especially if you have a long list of potential builders. But remember, you’re entrusting them with the construction of your home, which could very well be the biggest investment you’ll make in your lifetime. 

Be sure the homebuilder is in good standing with whatever industry associations that govern the industry in their area.

Renovation Project Gallery Thornhill - Novacon Construction (10)

Ask Lots of Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask potential builders any questions you may have and you should also ask for references and to see some of their previous work such as a portfolio. If they fail to provide any of these you may want to skip down to the next person or company on the list. 

If references are provided it’s a good idea to drive by homes the builder has constructed in the past and speak with the homeowners if possible. This will give you an inside view on what it’s like to work with the builder and if any problems arose during the construction of their homes.

Many homeowners take this recommendation with a grain of salt as they realize builders aren’t going to give the names of dissatisfied customers as references. Therefore, if you’re able to find out which local homes the company has erected you may get a more accurate picture of the builder by speaking with the homeowners. 

Most people will be glad to share their experiences with you and inform you what they did and didn’t like about the builder. One of the key questions to ask a homeowner is if they would work with the builder again. 

When looking over a home, be sure to examine the construction quality of items such as trim work, painting, cabinetry and flooring etc as well as anything else you can think of. Again, don’t be shy when it comes to asking tough questions and taking notes.

Some of the questions you may want to ask should regard things such as warranties, cost, timeline, how long have they been in business and how many homes do they build a year. You can also ask about their design and building process as well as if they anticipate any challenges during the construction and how they would deal with them. 

Simple questions will typically lead to further questions and conversations which may reveal important information about the builder and their methods. It will also give you a good idea about their communication skills. 

Once you decide on a builder for your home be sure to read the contract thoroughly and have a lawyer go through it before signing anything. Don’t add your signature if you’re not clear about anything or are having second thoughts. A good custom home builder will be open and transparent, explaining everything in plain language.

Building a new custom home doesn’t have to be an overwhelming process and it usually isn’t as long as you’re working with a dependable and professional builder. Your home building experience can certainly be a positive one if you’re working hand in hand with a trustworthy and skilled builder with a strong reputation.


About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a custom home builder based in Toronto. We have a reputation for high quality workmanship and stellar communications with clients. We serve the entire GTA and offer free consultations. Contact us today to learn more.

Renovation Project Gallery Thornhill - Novacon Construction

All Contractors Are Not Created Equal – Key Differences Between a Good Contractor and a Great Contractor

Like everything else in life, home owners and buyers will soon come to realize there are good contractors out there to choose from and there are some great ones as well. With that being the case, there’s no need to settle for a good one when a great one is available. There are certain situations and aspects that can help you differentiate between the two. 


How do you find a great contractor in Toronto?

When hiring any type of  contractor you should always ask for referrals, check out their credentials, professional designations and references, make sure they’re properly licensed and insured, interview potential candidates, check to see if they have an established presence in the community and try to find out if they have a trustworthy reputation with their peers and clients and are members of any trade organizations etc.

It’s also important to know if the contractor and employees are properly trained and if subcontractors will be used to perform any part or all of the project. And if so, what quality control criteria exists between the contractor and subcontractors.

Great contractors are well organized, always plan things out meticulously and document them for their customers. Great contractors will use an online client portal/CRM for their project communication so the homeowner knows exactly how the project is progressing at all times. All aspects of a job should be thoroughly covered, placed in writing and presented to the client well before any contracts are signed and work begins. 

A great contractor will be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to their projects as they will concentrate on preventing problems rather than trying to fix them. They have the knack of answering important questions before they’re asked and have the foresight to deal with potential complaints before they’re made. These contractors discuss all of the issues that are important to their clients and to themselves. In a nutshell, proactive communication is well planned, flexible, and delivers on its objectives.


Great Contractors Are Proactive & Experienced

Good contractors may tend to be reactive in nature instead which means they react to a specific situation. This is typically something that is unexpected or something they didn’t foresee happening and wasn’t planned on. This type of communication and work habit basically takes place after the fact when something has already taken place. The result can sometimes be defensive and disjointed as it has taken them by surprise.

Great contractors are ready and well prepared for all types of scenarios and are prepared to nip any potential problems in the bud before they have a chance to grow. 

It’s also important to know if the contractor is specialized in your type of project since not all contractors can efficiently handle large scale jobs. You definitely don’t want to hire a company which will be in over its head when it comes to properly performing the work.  

Some contractors are basically jacks of all trades which means they can handle all types of projects well but don’t excel in one certain area. Depending on the nature and complexity of the project, you may want to hire a contractor who specializes in a specific skill. For example, if you’re having a problem with your vehicle’s transmission you need to ask yourself if you should have it checked out by an auto shop which specializes in transmissions or take it to a general mechanic. You need to ask yourself the same type of question when choosing a contractor for your project. 

When interviewing potential contractors, another key question to ask is if they provide dedicated project management and site supervision. To have the job go smoothly and to provide you with peace of mind, it’s important that the contractor has somebody on site at all times to properly supervise the entire project from start to finish. This way, if anything unforeseen happens it can be handled immediately, which will ultimately save you time and money. 

Nobody wants to see their finished project turn out differently than what they imagined but ultimately, the homeowner is responsible for the quality of materials chosen for the job. A great contractor should present you with several options to choose from such as a selection of high-end, mid-range and lower-end materials and let you know the pros and cons of each of them. 

One of the major keys of being a great contractor is to always communicate clearly and to prove you’re trustworthy and reliable by doing what you say. If you make a promise be sure to keep it. These contractors do their utmost to satisfy their clients and that can often be enough to separate them from good contractors. 


About Novacon Construction

Novacon Constructions is a contracting company in Toronto specializing in custom home additions and major renovations. WE are one of the most highly rated contractors in the GTA and are known for the quality of our work as well as our great communications with our clients.  Contact us today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation.

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How Do You Modernize a Split Level House?

If you’re planning on modernizing your split level house you’ll be glad to know that just about any split level  home can be renovated to make it more modern, open and functional. In addition, you may be able to continue living there while the work is being carried out due to the structure’s multiple levels.

Toronto has thousands of aging split level homes in the city and it’s become very popular to take one of these dated designs and add a modern spin to them. You’d be surprised just how beautiful you can make an older split level home.


Types of Renovations For Split Level Homes

Some of the most common renovation ideas for split level homes include removing non-weight-bearing ground floor interior walls to create an open floor plan between living room, dining room and kitchen. In addition, you can build an island between the dining area and kitchen to create additional gathering and work space. To slightly separate the kitchen from the living area you could also retain a half-wall with built-in display or storage, a railing or glass barrier.

Some homeowners like to install cathedral ceilings to the ground floor, build a guest bedroom, sunroom or master suite at either end of the home and optimize the natural light by adding windows to the sides of the home or skylights to dining and living rooms. Carpeting and flooring could be replaced with wood flooring and a cozy fireplace may be added to the living room. Also, windows can be replaced with larger ones or new windows added to blank sides of the home. Skylights and solar tubes are other options if you’d like to brighten up the inside from above.

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Exterior Renovations For Split Level Homes

Other popular modernizing ideas for a split level home include converting the garage into an expanded family room or bedroom and then build a new garage at the back of the property. You can also update older garage doors with more modern options. 

Home exteriors can also be updated with modern-looking surfaces such as a new paint job or new sidings such as cedar clapboard, stucco, or natural stone. You may decide to add details such as trellises, shutters, corner boards, trim or a pergola or shutters. The wide horizontal siding could be swapped in favour of vertical siding, architectural panels or narrow lap siding. 

You could also vary the pattern, material texture or color of the materials to create visual interest.

The roofing may be updated with contemporary material and you could always create additional space for gatherings with a deck or four-season porch at the rear of the home. Trim can be installed under the soffit, which is the roof overhang on the home. When trim is added and painted a color which contrasts with the siding it creates a bold highlighting effect.

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Interior Renovations For Split Level Homes

When it comes to the interior of the home, the trim and molding could be painted a light color for a modern feel. You may even want to remove some of the trim around doorways and retro wood paneling can be painted. 

Some homeowners reconfigure their HVAC system so the home has a separate thermostat in different areas while others install an in-house audio system which can entertain each room. At the same time, you may want to increase the security and safety by installing a smart security system as well as additional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout.

Split Level Home Renovations Toronto Contractors

Hiring The Right Contractor For Your Split Level Home

You’ll need an experienced renovation contractor to modernize your split level home and one who understands exactly what you’re looking for before getting underway.  With a creative mind and a little hard work the most dated split-level homes can be transformed into attractive, highly functional and modern living spaces. There are numerous modernizing options for a split level home but be sure to contact a professional designer/contractor to make sure your ideas are feasible for your existing home.   

Novacon Construction is a design build renovation contractor in Toronto. We specialize in modernizing older split level homes and have a stellar reputation when it comes to our craftmanship and customer service. If you are located in the GTA and are interested in renovating your split level home you can contact us today for a free consultation.

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Should I Remodel or Build a Custom Home?

Should I remodel a home or build a custom dwelling is a question many homeowners ask themselves. The cost to fix up a few rooms is certainly always the less expensive option but if you’re planning on a large-scale renovation from top to bottom you may want to reconsider your choice.


 Cost Considerations

Of course, the cost of remodeling will depend on the age, condition and size of the home and what you plan on doing with it. If new siding and/or roofing is needed then the cost will definitely increase substantially.

However in some cases, remodeling a home can cost more per square foot than building a new one from scratch. When building a new home you’ll typically be able to use modern materials and concepts and the home is likely to be more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.


 When Remodeling Makes Sense

Remodeling a home is often a good choice when you already own the home and don’t want to leave your current neighbourhood. Building from scratch if typically done if the cost of renovating the home outweighs its resale value.

Some older homes have been constructed with higher-quality wood and can possess a  lot of character with features and finishing touches such as marble window sills, solid-core doors, crown moulding and arched doorways etc. If you’d like to retain the original features and characters of a home you are more likely to remodel it rather than build a new one.


 Condition Of The Home

If the current home is in poor condition though and the heating system, utilities and plumbing all need an upgrade you may want to build. A tear down enables you to custom design a new home as long as you have permission to knock down an existing home.

In addition, if a home has structural problems, water damage or a crumbling foundation it may not be worth renovating. It’s recommended that you enlist the aid of a structural engineer for a professional opinion to help you decide which route to take.

You also need to consider the unexpected costs involved in remodeling. For example, once things are being ripped apart you could discover a few unwelcome surprises such as mould and rot or electrical and plumbing issues etc. In this case, building a new home is usually a more straightforward and easier process.


 Remodel or Build New?

Deciding whether to remodel or build a custom home is a case-by-case choice. It’s a good idea to call in some professional help and get some quotes to see which option will give you the most value for your money. Architects, builders, renovation experts and structural engineers can all provide you with their valuable opinions.

In general, if you plan on retaining 60 to 70 per cent of the existing structure, finishes and systems of an existing home you may want to remodel if it’s structurally sound and up to date. If you’d really like something new and completely different you may feel more inclined to simply focus on designing a custom home and having it built from scratch.


Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction specializes in major renovations and custom homes in Toronto and the surrounding GTA. For more information on remodeling options and designing and building custom homes please feel free to contact us today for a free consultation 

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How To Renovate Your Home For An Elderly Parent

If you plan on having an elderly parent live with you there are specific things that need to be taken care of to get your home ready for them. These include, safety, comfort, mobility, security and self-sufficiency/reliance. 

You need to make the home as safe and easy to navigate as possible for the elderly while still enabling them to have their independence. However, your parents will need to realize things may be different from what they’re used to.

The home renovations required will more or less depend on the person’s state of health, level of mobility, daily living activities/habits and lifestyle. Depending on your home, sometimes these renovations may be minor, other times they may be larger such as adding another room to your home. 

Questions you may need to ask are: 

  • Are they confined to a wheelchair or do they need the aid of a walker? 
  • Will I need to renovate or add a room for them?
  • Are there stairs or other potential hazards that could make navigating the home harder for them

You should then go through the house to assess each room to see what needs to be done. You can also spend a day with your parents to see how they manage their daily routines.

The following are some common renovations that could be used to help for a smooth transition into a new home for the elderly.



If your parent needs a wheelchair or other type of mobility device you’ll likely need ramps and extra wide doorways wider than 32 inches to accommodate the device. You may also need to remove floor rugs if they hamper the movement of a wheelchair or walker.


2- Grab Bars

Grab bars to prevent falls should be installed in the home’s bathrooms either permanently or temporarily with strong, portable suction-cup grab bars. Specially-designed sit-down showers can be installed as well as bathtubs designed for the elderly. Also, elevated toilet seats with arms are available.



Making the home brighter is often a good way to welcome elderly parents since their eyesight may not be what it once was. This can be achieved with more powerful light bulbs, additional lighting and brighter paint on the walls. In addition, stairways and hallways should have light switches at both ends.



If your guests use a wheelchair be sure the flooring doesn’t inhibit the movement. However, if they don’t use a wheelchair it’s important to make sure your home’s flooring isn’t slippery. Dull with a good slip-resistant grip is a better option.



If you don’t reside in a single-level home, all of the stairways should have strong, sturdy handrails installed on both sides. In some cases, you may want to install automatic chair lifts or an elevator to take your parents up and down stairs if needed.


6-Lift Chairs

These are power chairs which use a motor to recline and gradually lift the occupant to a standing position. These can be found in a variety of styles, colours, sizes and fabrics to match most types of decor.


7-Bed Rails

Some elderly people may also benefit from bed rails to help them getting in and out of bed.


8 – Wheelchair Accessible Curbless Shower

Wheelchair accessible curbless showers, also referred to as roll-in showers or Barrier free showers, provide safe and independent access for wheelchair users. Curbless showers are also safer for individuals who walk into the shower and make it easier to manage the transition into and out of the shower.


9-Lever Door Knobs

Standard round doorknobs can often be difficult for seniors to turn due to the required twisting motion. An easier option could be to install lever-style handles.


 10-Lower Kitchen Countertops

Most kitchen countertops are approximately 34 inches from the floor. However, if your parent uses a wheelchair it’s easier for them to access countertops and cabinets that are about 30 inches in height.



It’s also important to remember the outside of the home as you may need brighter lighting and wider, clear. Be sure the areas are clutter-free for added safety and ramps may also be needed if there are currently steps in place.


Novacon Construction

When renovating your home for elderly parents it’s generally recommended that you work hand in hand with a design professional, construction contractor or licensed architect to make sure everything is installed safely.

If you will need to renovate your home or need to make an addition to your home, Novacon Construction can help.  Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Don’t Be Lured In By Low Base Prices

The SQFT base price most builders provide homeowners for Custom homes, Additions and Major Renovations may appear to be quite reasonable but you could be in for quite a shock when the final cost of the home has drastically increased. The reason for this is due to the fact that most base price quotes don’t include many essentials.

It’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into before signing any contracts. You need to know exactly what is and isn’t included when it comes to the base price since many quotes leave out additional costs.

There are many builders and renovators which appear to offer fantastic deals due to their relatively-low base prices. However when it comes time to build, you may find it doesn’t fit into your financial budget. In fact, some homes may even end up costing double the provided base cost.

It’s generally considered a much better idea to deal with a builder who provides DESIGN-BUILD services and  includes all costs of the project in their quote and a very detailed scope of work. This provides you with a realistic number from day one and you’ll know right away if you can build it within your budget.

With all costs included in a quote you’ll soon realize it may be higher than many base prices you’ve seen, but you’ll have the peace of mind knowing this price won’t change along the way. The price you’re quoted will basically be the price you pay which makes it much easier to plan for financially.

Base prices can be misleading

Like most salespeople, contractors usually advertise a low base price to attract the attention of potential clients. The lower the price, the more people who are usually enticed into a deal. A low base price will almost certainly rise when the builder has included all aspects of the finished project.

You may want to compare building and renovating your home to purchasing a new car with a low base price. As you may well know you’ll suddenly be asked to pay for things such as rustproofing, heated seats and steering wheels, a CD player, and freight and storage etc. Your new car may rise in costs by as much as 20 per cent from the advertised base price and newly-built homes are often similar.

Builders who construct custom homes are often perceived to be more expensive than those who offer low base prices but that isn’t really the case when you consider the final price of the project. The big difference being that low base prices don’t include everything.

Examples of this could be hardwood flooring, carpeting, stone tiles, kitchen backsplash, plumbing fixtures, windows and appliances etc.  When choosing specific items with your contactor, you may find an upgrade cost will be added to the bill.

What is a base price?

The advertised base price is basically the minimum cost of building the home. It’s considered to be the starting point and it typically includes standard or basic items and features only. Each builder may consider different items to be standard however, so it’s important to ask exactly what’s included. Those with fewer basic items will typically offer lower base prices.

It’s important to know if things such as Municipal fees, permits, site costs, flooring, design fees, and the driveway etc are included in the base price. Most home buyers prefer to deal with a builder who provides them with a fixed price when it comes to site costs and other items.

So the next time your attention is grabbed by a low base price from a contractor, be sure to find out exactly what is and isn’t represented in the cost before agreeing to anything.

About Novacon Construction

As a leading custom home builder and renovation service in Toronto, our mission is to build gorgeous houses from the ground up. We want our clients to live comfortably and safely in the home that fits their needs and lifestyle. Instead of purchasing a cookie-cutter home and having to adjust it to their needs. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.