Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Do you really need to prime before you paint?

For most people priming the walls before painting is an afterthought.  Since this is usually close to the finish of your renovation or addition project, the feeling generally is, ‘let’s just get it done’.  But the proper application of a primer coat before painting is a key step that will ensure your enjoy years of satisfaction. 
Primers provide a foundation for paint. Ordinary paint is formulated to provide rich, beautiful color in your home-but don't expect paint to do a primer's job. High-quality primers are much richer in resin than ordinary paint and stick to the surface to provide a firm base for paint. In fact, research shows that one coat of tinted primer and one coat of paint will give you a better-looking, longer-lasting paint job than two coats of paint.
Gregory Roe of Superior Painting in Collingwood, one of our trusted trades puts it this way, “Primers make your colors look better...they create a sealed, stain-free surface for paint, primers make your colors look vibrant and beautiful”. 
Primers prevent common problems. Because primers are formulated to prevent problems such as cracking, peeling and blistering, they'll make any painted surface more durable, washable-and last much longer!  Roe adds, “They hide previous colors-even dark blues and reds-and prevent them from showing through your new paint job”.
Primers also save you money. One gallon of high-quality paint costs more than one gallon of high-quality primer. Tinting your primer towards your paint colour uses less paint and provides all the benefits of priming, without adding an extra step.
Give me a call before your next renovation or addition.
Rob Abbott. 877-866-3202  robabbott@villagebuilders.ca

Friday, March 18, 2011

7 tips to revitalize your home this spring

We get asked a lot about things that you can do to ‘freshen-up’ your home in the spring.  

There are lots of sources out there but here are some things that you can do that will give you a lift right now:

1.      Create an accent wall.  Choose one wall and paint in a deep saturated colour.  Russets, pumpkin and nut shades are all excellent.

2.      Warm up furnishings.  ‘Cozy up’ your couch with a plush throw and some plush pillows.

3.      Swap area rugs.  Replace a warm-weather rug with a softer thicker one.  Bold geometric and over sized patterns add drama and warmth.

4.      Envelop the space.  Dress windows in light drapery panels.  Hang them floor to ceiling recasting windows as walls.  Choose jewel tones to add punch.

5.      Dim the lights.  Invest in dimmers if you haven’t already to add drama to rooms to counter the pale winter light.

6.      Bring style with still life’s.  Choose memorable displays for tabletops, bookshelves or sills.  Think in multiples:  logs stacked by a fireplace, oranges amassed in a bowl, an occasional table loaded full of crystal.

7.      Make over your photos.  Re-framing your photos and family artwork gives them a whole new lease on life.  Gold achieves a luxurious and warming feeling.
These are just some of the ideas you can use to spice up you home this spring.  If you find yourself challenged for more ideas give us a call. 

Rob Abbott  877-866-3202  robabbott@villagebuilders.ca

Friday, March 11, 2011

Renovation Checklist

I get this question asked all the time: “How do I plan properly for my renovation?”

Planning a renovation can be time consuming and stressful.  Everything from researching and choosing your builder, securing the financing to choosing finishes requires staying on top of the details.  Here is our simplified 8-step checklist to help you through the process:
1.                   You need to decide what you want, do you want a renovation, an addition or both.  What part of the home are you renovating?  You need to decide what your wants are and what your needs are. For example you might want a new deck, but the roof is leaking.  The deck is a want and the roof is a need.  You need to fix the roof before you bother with the deck.  This will help you set your rough budget for the project.
2.                   Pick your builder.  It might sound premature without having plans drawn, but a lot of builders have in house design teams that can help you come up with a plan.  If the renovation requires an addition, this in some places requires a design number registered with the government so that you can summit the drawings to the township for a building permit.  You would need to have a draftsmen or architect draw them.  The builder you choose will either have a person on staff to do this or will be able to direct you to a qualified person that they trust. 
3.                   Price.  Now that you have drawings and a builder that you trust, you can have the builder give you a proper detailed quote.  If you are going to get other prices from other builders you will have to be careful.  Comparing renovation quotes is not like comparing new home quotes. Renovations have so many variables in it; they cannot be seen until you start in the project, so builders have to make assumptions of what problems will come up as the project proceeds.  Since builders on a renovation take a lot risk of the unknown they all price differently.  That is why it’s more important to choose the builder that you feel comfortable with and not the builder that has the lowest price.
4.                   Investigate your builder.  Referrals from customers are a great place to start.  A reputable builder will not hesitate to supply you with names of customers who will talk with you about their experience.  Also check out the GuildQuality Guildmaster Awards at this link:  http://www.guildquality.com/guildmaster/qualifications/

5.                  Get it in writing.  An experienced and reputable builder will provide you with a detailed layout of exactly what is included and what is not included in your project. They will explain the rules about change orders, the start to finish dates and the payment schedule.

6.                  The preconstruction walk through.  Before the project commences, you’re going to want to do a walk through with the builder and preferably the builder’s project manager.  You need to set rules of access, storage of furniture and personal items.  You will also want to decide what you want them to save or dispose of during demolition.   Talk about what areas of the home require protection and what kind of protection they will be using.  If you are living in the house at the time of the renovation you will have to come to agreements of how late or how early work will start and end.  Also how many days a week do you accept them to be on site.  Some people do not want workers on site certain days such as the weekend.  You need to discuss if a job sign is permitted, some neighbourhoods or municipalities do not allow them.

7.                   Be prepared to make decisions.  A good builder will ask you endless questions while doing your renovation.  This is not a sign of incompetence.  In fact it’s the mark of a good builder; a builder who asks you to make endless decisions is making sure that you are getting exactly what you want.  A good builder will also give you the options available to you and give recommendations on which one is the best choice.  But the final decision always rests with you.

8.                  The Post construction walk through.  Once the project is completed, before you hand over the final amount owing on the contract, you and the builder should do a final walk through.  This is the time to point out anything that has been overlooked.  From paint touch ups to functionality of all fixtures and hardware.  If anything needs to be addressed then the value of that item should be deducted from the final bill and paid out after the item is corrected.    This way the contractor gets paid what is owed to him and has some incentive to come back and finish the touch ups.

We want you to be completely satisfied with your renovation.  Call me to get started.  Rob Abbott. 877 866 3202 robabbott@villagebuilders.ca

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Welcome to my blog

Welcome to Rob's Blog.

My vision for this format is to be able to answer questions, state opinions, give advice and dispel any misconceptions of the construction industry.
I will attempt to give information and opinion that will be as accurate as I can possibly make it.
My background comes from being in the construction industry literally most of my life.
When I was 5 years old my Father would bring me on his construction sites and give me a child's size hammer. He would then give me a block of wood with a bunch of nails already started. I would sit there all day tapping nails into that block of wood while my father pounded real nails in the next room.
Every summer of my child hood was spent whole or in part on construction sites. At 12 years old I was cleaning up construction sites all summer and by 14 I was working on them. I was helping frame houses by 16 and at the age of 17 I was hiring my friends to work with me on a roofing crew, that re-shingled houses for the summer. At 18 and 19 I renovated houses, built decks, framed houses and basically did all matter of construction duties.
In my early twenties I was given a new challenge when I hung up my tool belt and moved into management. For the past 10 years I have been managing men, material, sites and sub-contractors. I've had to enforce safety and set quality standards. The biggest part of the job comes when dealing with clients (the good and the bad).
So you can look forward to me writing stories, commenting and answering your questions.


Rob Abbott
Operations Management
Village Builders Inc.