How to Budget for Your Next Home Renovation

How to Budget for Your Next Home Renovation

When budgeting for a home renovation, there are a handful of important things to consider. It’s more than simply knowing how much you want to spend. You need to know the value of your home and which renovations will increase that value. Then, you have to account for extra expenses and the labour it requires to complete the renovations. You may be dreaming of renovating your bathroom, kitchen, or the entire home. Can your dream become a reality?

Step One: What Needs Renovating?

Of course, everyone would love to have a completely remodelled home. Unfortunately, that’s often not within the budget. Plus, if you plan on moving eventually, you need to be strategic about renovations. You want to increase your house’s value, but not price it out of the area’s market. Expect to compromise on some renovation wish list items and stick to your guns for others.

Decide which renovations you must have. Then, decide which ones you’re willing to budge on. For most homes, improving the kitchen and bathrooms are a sure-fire way to boost the house’s value. Adding a laundry room to the second floor, additional washrooms, and updating the exterior are all worthwhile investments.

Step Two: Compile a List of Estimates

Before you can start saving for a renovation, you need to have an idea of what it’ll cost. That’s where a handy-dandy Excel spreadsheet comes in. Create a chart with the renovations you want down the side and the estimates from various companies along the top.

Keep in mind that you aren’t just paying for materials. Labour usually takes up 20-35 per cent of the budget, plus taxes and unexpected costs that come up. When you receive an estimate, add 10 per cent to that number to account for unexpected costs.

If you’re going to buy your fixtures or appliances, add columns for those items as well. Include taxes, shipping and delivery, and installation costs for those items.

Step Three: Choose the Right Renovation Company

The best way to save money is to choose a reputable contractor that doesn’t surprise you with hidden costs. They need to be transparent and detailed in their estimates. And, they should have plenty of great reviews. If the work isn’t done properly, you’ll end up paying more for someone else to come fix it. Picking the right company from the start can save you thousands of dollars.

Step Four: Start Saving

From your list of estimates and list of must-have renovations, finalize what you need to save. Are there some aspects, like demolition, you can do yourself? Can you source materials from a family friend who will give you a discount? Are you able to paint the finished walls yourself instead of hiring painters? Look for any possible way to save money on your renovations.

Kantium Development & Construction has been providing high-quality home renovations to the Greater Toronto Area for over 25 years. To request a quote on your upcoming renovations, contact us today.

Pros and Cons of Heated Flooring

Pros and Cons of Heated Flooring

When you’re looking to replace the flooring your home there are so many options to choose from. Do you want hardwood or vinyl plank? Or maybe you want carpet? Do you want light or dark floors? All of these things can make it feel overwhelming and you have no idea where to start.

To add in another option, especially for kitchens and bathrooms, you can choose to add in-floor heating to your home. If you’re weighing the pros and cons of heated flooring, here’s a little more information to help you make your decision.

Pro: Evenly Heated Rooms

One of the biggest benefits to having heated floors, in any room, is that the systems can create uniform heating throughout the room. These systems work by first heating the entire floor and, since heat rises, it then evenly heats the affected room. People living in a home with this heating will feel warmer at a lower temperature because you won’t feel cold drafts nor will you be moving through areas of uneven heating or cooling.

Pro: Low to No Maintenance

Installing heated floors has a luxury sound to it, but luckily for you, it doesn’t come with the luxury maintenance price tag. These floors require very little, if any, regular maintenance. Many electric floor-heating systems come with 20 or 25-year warranties, so if anything does happen the work is likely covered. For the benefit they provide, the maintenance is incredibly low.

Pro: Energy Efficient

Having heated floors can be up to 25% more efficient than a forced-air way of heating. The reason? These systems don’t allow for the heat they produce to escape in the same way forced-air systems do. So, essentially it means any heat they produce is retained in the home and therefore they don’t have to keep heating after air escapes.

Con: You’ll Have to Replace Floors

Love the tile in your bathroom? Well, if you want to have heated floors in any room in your house you’re going to have to replace the existing flooring. The reason for this is that the system to provide the heat has to go underneath the floor and chances are you won’t be able to re-use any tile you rip up. If you want heated floors, you’ll have to replace the existing ones.

Con: Upfront Costs

Unlike regular flooring, if you’ve decided to install heated flooring your upfront costs are going to go way up. Typically, to install heated floors your cost will be between $10 and $20/square foot. This may also affect your operating costs, especially if you choose an electric system and the cost of electricity is high in your area.

Heated flooring is a luxury item for any house, but it is one that is pretty easy to install and requires very little maintenance to keep it working. There are some cons to having one of these systems, and it might not be right for your home. It’s important to research all your options before committing to one to make sure you’re making an informed decision.

Are you interested in getting heated flooring for some of the rooms in your home? Contact us today for an estimate.

Top 3 Things to Consider Before Renovating Your Kitchen

Top 3 Things to Consider Before Renovating Your Kitchen

After every major – or even minor – project, most homeowners will have those moments where they
feel if they had known this one thing, they might have done the whole renovation differently.

Your kitchen is a big deal, and it is usually considered the center of the home for most families, so if
you’re doing a renovation to that area, you’ll want to make sure you do it right. You’ll likely need to
know a lot about renovating, especially if you’re doing it yourself, but here are our top three things you
need to consider before you take that first swing of the hammer.

Get a Designer
You might think you need to be doing a $60,000 renovation to have a designer for your kitchen, but that
isn’t true. A designer – who doesn’t work for a home improvement store – has experience and
knowledge in the best ways to maximize the space you have. Refacing your kitchen won’t make you feel
better about it if you hate the way it functions now.

Paying for a designer to take the space you have and make it into something that works better for your
family will (very likely) be worth the money you spend. Wondering how much a designer will be? Well, it
can vary but budget to spend about 5-10% of your total kitchen renovation budget on the design. The
more complicated and larger space, the more expensive it will be.

Electrical and Plumbing Set Up
Have you always thought your kitchen sink would be better on the opposite side of the kitchen? It will
probably cross your mind during your kitchen renovation especially since you’re buying new counters
and cupboards anyways.

The physical location of items like sinks, stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers have been placed based
on the available hookups for those services in your home. If you’re planning to move any of these items
to a different location as part of a renovation, you’ll need to make sure you move the service along with
it. To do this, it is strongly recommended you hire a professional plumber and/or electrician. Checking
these things out before you start renovating or ordering items could save you a lot down the road.

Set Your Budget
Do you know how much you’re going to spend on your kitchen renovation? Chances are you have
thought about the finishes you want, the appliances and the cost of those pieces individually but have
you thought about the overall cost? During the process of planning your renovation, before you start,
you should know exactly how much you’re going to spend. Within that budget, it would be wise to set
up a contingency amount too.

For example, if you can spend $25,000 on your renovation don’t go out and spend all that money. Plan
to keep about 10% (or more) for emergencies. If you decide to move plumbing services and things don’t
go as planned, you might need to pay your plumber more than initially anticipated. During a renovation,
anything can come up so it’s important to know how much you want to (and can) spend and how much
you have for emergencies.

Are you planning a kitchen renovation in the near future? Kantium Developments has the skills and
connections to talk you from design to electrical planning. Contact us today to arrange for a

Renovating Your Home for Senior Living

Renovating Your Home for Senior Living

With an ageing population that is increasingly choosing to live out their days from the comfort of home, it is more important than ever to consider how your home can be modified to accommodate that.

As this is becoming such a hot issue, many people planning to build new homes are choosing a universal design that will allow them to age-in-place. Essentially what this means is they are incorporating safety and comfort features in the design of their home to accommodate for all people of all abilities. Taking into consideration the long-term needs of your family as it grows and ages is definitely becoming a priority for new home builders.

This, of course, does not mean that you have to build a new home to age comfortably. In fact, ageing-in-place in the home that you already have is also entirely possible by making a few modifications. The sooner you start, the sooner you can feel at home in your space again. It’s no fun when the home you love is no longer supporting you in the way you need it to.

Here we will look at some of the ways you can easily renovate your home for senior living, so you can live out your days as independently as possible.

Throughout Your Home

Depending on your individual needs, there are many things you can do to make your home more accessible for senior living.

  • Widen all hallways and doorways to accommodate easy wheelchair access
  • Replace door knobs with levers
  • Install non-slip flooring
  • Ensure flooring colour is consistent (this reduces the number of falls for those with depth perception issues)
  • Secure any area rugs or floor runners
  • Install handrails on both sides of stairways
  • Increase lighting
  • Use non-slip tape on stairs
  • Install chair lifts on the stairs
  • Install door alarms


A few modifications can make all the difference when it comes to safety and comfort in the bathroom.


  • Installing comfort height toilets make it easier to get on and off independently
  • Automatic flush toilets can help those with mobility and dexterity issues as well as those who may just forget to flush
  • Install a grab bar beside the toilet


  • Install step through tubs and walk-in showers for seniors with mobility issues
  • Have a shower chair
  • Install a grab bar in bathtub/shower
  • Install an accessible vanity (lower with an open-concept for wheelchair access)
  • Install anti-scalding temperature controls


Maintaining independence, and safety in the kitchen is a high priority for most.

  • Install drawers that are easily reached from a wheelchair
  • Lower counters with an open-concept for wheelchair access
  • Lower the cooktop
  • Install door pulls instead of cabinet knobs
  • Replace traditional faucets with motion sensor, or lever-handle faucet
  • Replace traditional oven with an induction cooktop stove to reduce the chance of burns or a wall oven that opens to the side

If you want to age at home, or you want to support your older family members as they age in your home making a few modifications can make the transition easier for everyone. Contact us today if you are ready to renovate your home for senior living.

How to Make Your Custom Build Feel Like Home

How to Make Your Custom Build Feel Like Home

The best part of doing a custom build is designing it exactly how you want to. It should feel like home. Whether you love modern, open spaces or quaint and cozy homes, your custom build is your oyster. Before the construction starts, compile a list of all the things you want. What would make this brand-new house feel like your family’s home? Do you want grandiose marble columns or bamboo cabinetry? Vinyl crown moulding or wood? To help you make this important list, consider the following design features.

1. Lighting
A popular trend in custom builds is floor to ceiling windows. An entire wall of glass gives you ample natural light and views of the scenery around your home. However, some homeowners would prefer more privacy, especially if they have neighbours nearby. Either way, some natural lighting is important. Consider using skylights, bay windows, or double hung windows for additional character.

2. Colours
The colour scheme of your home can completely change its personality. Colours make it feel like your home, not just a model home for showing. A recent trend in home décor has been to embrace the dark side. Black walls, dark tiling, and interesting textures are all the rage. Moody jewel tones are especially trendy, like emerald green and deep teal. Consider using colour to express your style, and don’t be scared to go big.

3. Eco-Friendly Energy
If you and your family care about the environment and sustainability, your custom build should adhere to those values, too. Kantium regularly installs solar energy panels in custom builds because more and more homeowners care about using renewable energy. If you have more ideas for making your home greener, discuss them with your builder. Your new home can be built in alignment with your values.

4. Special Interest Rooms
Are you a film-buff with a passion for cult classics? Why not build a custom movie theatre in your new house? Special interest rooms are spaces built for you and your family’s unique hobbies. Perhaps you’d rather have a state-of-the-art fitness area or a room with staggered built-ins just for your cats. Whatever your hobby or special interest is, let your builder create a space just for that.

5. Art
For many homeowners, what hangs on the wall makes them feel at home. Pictures of the family, concert ticket stubs, or stunning works of art. Consider the personal touches you want to add to your custom build. Do you have a massive oil painting that deserves its own wallspace? You can discuss with your builder the kind of space your art and other hangings will need.

The beauty of getting a custom-built home is that you can make sure it feels like home. For some, that’ll mean a unique colour scheme and furniture pieces. For others, it means having a home gym and space for their cars. Decide what features will make this custom build feel like a home to you and your family. When it’s done, all you’ll have to do is unpack.

At Kantium Developments, we believe in getting our client relationships off to the best start possible with thorough and detailed contracts that inspire trust and confidence. If you would like a consultation on your home construction or renovation project, call us today.

What You Need to Know About Your Construction or Renovation Project

What You Need to Know About Your Construction or Renovation Project

Whether you are starting a new home construction or a renovation of a single room, it is important to
know what your rights and responsibilities are, as they pertain to your contract. Once you have chosen
which contractor you are going to work with, it is important to make sure that all the necessary details
are included in the contract (in Ontario, they must legally provide you with a contract for any work
costing more than $50). 1

Contract Basics

Any contract for home construction or renovation should contain the following basic information:

  • Contractor’s name, address and contact information.
  • A detailed description of the work that will be performed and the materials that will be used.
  • Details about any warranties.
  • Total Cost
  • Terms of Payment
  • A work schedule that includes when work will commence and the date of completion.
  • Who is responsible for clean up.
  • Any sub-contractors that will be hired and who is responsible for paying them.

Written Estimates and Additional Costs

By insisting that the contractor includes an estimate in the contract, you will be protected against the
actual cost getting out of control. According to the Consumer Protection Act 2 , the final cost for your
construction or renovation cannot be greater than 10% more of the original estimate unless you agree
to a change and sign a new contract.

If the contractor finds a problem that needs to be fixed during a renovation, or if you request changes
that will cost additional money, your contractor will sit down with you and provide you with a new
estimate and contract.

Can I Change My Mind?

If the contract has been signed in your home, you are legally entitled to back out of the contract within
10 days of signing it without being subject to any cancellation fees. If work has already started within
that 10-day period, you will be required to pay the contractor for any labour and materials that have
already been put in.

Bylaws, Permits and Rebates

Many contractors will take care to ensure that you have all the necessary permits and that you are in
compliance with all relevant bylaws when they undertake a construction or renovation project. Legally,
however, it is your responsibility to ensure this. Therefore, if your contractor has said that they will take
care of these things, you need to make sure that it is spelled out in your contract.

The same holds true if your renovations are eligible for government rebates. Legally, it is your
responsibility to ensure your renovations qualify and it is your responsibility to apply for any grants. It is
fine to have the contractor do this, but make sure you have it in writing in your contract.

What Should I Be Weary Of?

While there are many great contractors out there, it is still important to watch for any red flags that
might indicate a contractor is acting unethically. If a contractor is not willing to include all the necessary
elements in your contract (or worse, they try to tell you that you don’t need a contract), that should be a
clear signal to show them the door and look for someone else.

You should also be wary of a contractor that gives you an estimate without looking at your space or
asking a lot of questions. And remember a deal that sounds too good to be true probably is.

At Kantium Developments, we believe in getting our client relationships off to the best start possible
with thorough and detailed contracts that inspire trust and confidence. If you would like a consultation
on your home construction or renovation project, call us today!