Jimmy The Renovator: I Want a Good Cheap Contractor

Jimmy The Renovator: I Want a Good Cheap Contractor

Forget the title. It doesn’t exist. I don’t want to pay a lot when a renovation job needs to be done.

I come from a construction background and the do it yourself mentality is in full effect in my family. I also know that a lot of contractors rip off their clients and like the Real Estate Agent industry has gotten a bad name over time.

So when a job needs to be done, how do you find a cheap contractor to perform the task at hand?

The answer is you really don’t.

The reason why is that like the housing industry with houses, there is not enough contractors to fulfill the need of all of the people that are trying to do work. People buy a house and most houses need some sort of renovation, so a contractor is needed. The problem is, there are thousands of people that need that as well. The demand is so high that the prices of good contractors is sky high as well. If you are good at what you do, you can charge more money and people will pay.

The problem now is that people don’t really know who is good and who is bad, unless they come from a referral, so what happens is that the bad gets lumped in with the good. I also notice that good contractors overbook themselves because they get greedy from all of the potential and can’t deliver on their promises as well. This is where the good starts to get bad. Its a vicious cycle.

So sometimes the best option is the do it yourself if at all its possible. Depending on the job you might be able to do a good job and learn how to do a craft, but honestly, the best thing is to do your research, get some referrals, and hire a good contractor and drop the hay.


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Will the Market Bounce Back This Year?

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Jimmy The Renovator: Get Your House Ready Now!

Jimmy The Renovator: Get Your House Ready Now!

Up here in Canada its a deep freeze. Nobody wants to do anything right now, let alone go look for houses. Some people have no choice. The people that have a choice and are thinking of selling your house in the spring should start getting your house ready.

If you have a small renovation, that could take a few months, especially if there are some unforeseen issues once your start doing stuff.

Paint now, don’t worry about fumes, spend some money on the good stuff and you won’t smell a thing.

Contractors are not busy its cheaper to hire them.

There are still a lot of boxing day specials at stores, which will end next week but you can still find some at the big box stores.

The market might change on a dime and there could be a scarsity of inventory, so if your house is ready you can put it on a moments notice.

You can start to interview agents now. It could be a lengthy process.

Jimmy The Renovator: Lower Your Bills

Jimmy The Renovator: Lower Your Bills



This method will take some investment on the homeowner but in the long run it will pay off.

1. High Efficiency Furnace: Get the latest furnace to hit the market. The newest ones are really great at driving cost down.

2. Windows & Doors: Get the latest high effic
iency windows and doors to keep the cold out. They have come down in price but it will still cost a great amount to get these installed. This is a big one that will payoff in the long run, aesthetically as well.
3. Insulation: Get the newest insulation that will not allow heat or cold to enter, and the same goes for the summer, will not let cold to leave and heat to enter. Do the roof and basement if possible.
4. Tankless Water Tank: If you remove your tank, and get one of these units it will reduce your monthly heating costs.
5. High Efficiency Washer & Dryer: The newest washers and dryers do not use a lot of water and electricity, they are also very good at minimizing the amount of detergent you use.
Jimmy The Renovator: Lower Your Bills

Jimmy The Renovator: How Much Are My Renovations Worth?


Renovations are like Art, some people might like them, and some people will not. Make sure you do it right, or the you could actually decrease the value of your house.

This is how: When an educated buyer walks into a house, and they don’t like the renovation, and they know they have to re-do or demolish the renovation, that is an added cost. Take for instance a basement, if your basement is not finished, it just needs to be finished. If the basement is finished badly, then it will cost more money to demolish the basement and then start from that point. The same scenario goes for the whole house.

Percentage recovered upon resale
Kitchen upgrade: 75% to 100%
Bathroom upgrade: 75% to 100%
Interior painting: 50% to 100%
Roof replacement: 50% to 80%
Replacement of furnace or heating system: 50% to 80%
Expansion (addition of family room): 50% to 75%
Doors and windows: 50% to 75%
Deck: 50% to 75%
Installation of hardwood floor: 50% to 75%
Construction of a garage: 50% to 75%
Fireplace (wood or gas) 50% to 75%
Central air conditioning: 50% to 75%
Finished basement: 50% to 75%
Wood fence: 25% to 50%
Interlocking paving stones on driveway: 25% to 50%
Landscaping: 25% to 50%
Asphalt driveway: 20% to 50%
Pool: 10% to 40%
Skylights: 0% to 25%

Here are some hot renovations trends this year to think about:

– Home theatre
– Hardwood floor in kitchen
– Laundry room on main floor
– Whirlpool bath
– Built-in kitchen appliances
– Office on the ground floor
– Kitchen island

stats taken from homeatstyle.com

Jimmy The Renovator: Lower Your Bills

Before You Start an Energy-Efficient Retrofit : Mechanical Systems

One of the best ways to make your home more comfortable, healthier and less expensive to operate is top grade the heating, cooling and Jimmywithpipeventilation systems. Energy-efficient equipment upgrades can be expensive, but can be offset by lower operating costs.
Before you decide to upgrade mechanical equipment, it’s also critical to understand how the overall performance of the house will be affected. Keep in mind that your lifestyle, the number of occupants, their age, the climate and the insulation levels of the all have an impact on the performance of mechanical systems. This type of upgrade will require professionals to do it right and to avoid causing other problems in the house. It’s important to weigh the benefits against the costs. Healthy Housing Renovating is an ideal time to make your house healthier for you, the community and the environment. When upgrading your mechanical systems to increase their efficiency, be sure to consider:

Occupant health—venting strategy for combustion appliances, adequate ventilation for occupants, addition of air filtration.

Energy efficiency—energy-efficient appliances, high efficiency motors for fans and furnaces. _ Resource efficiency—upgraded insulation and draft proofing to reduce heating needs and

allow installation of a smaller heating system.
Environmental responsibility— energy-efficient appliances to reduce the home’s environmental impact.

Affordability—energy-efficient fixtures to reduce ongoing operating costs.
Common Situations All equipment has an optimal life span. Older furnaces and boilers may need replacing simply because they have outlived their useful life, or because they may not have been regularly serviced. If you have noticed a sudden change in fuel bills, it may be because you have started using the house differently—perhaps the temperature settings have been increased because a new child has entered your life or an elderly person has moved in.
Older homes often have areas that are cold because of poorly laid out heating and mechanical systems. Perhaps you are undertaking other renovation work that requires some adjustments to your present mechanical systems. In this case, you can also consider upgrading your mechanical equipment to take advantage of new, more efficient products. This may also be an opportunity to install a proper ventilation system where one does not exist. It is important to note that mechanical systems must not change the balance between the air pressure inside and outside the house—since high pressure differences can lead to combustion spillage problems from furnaces, hot water heaters or fireplaces. If there are no fuel burning appliances of any kind in the house, then this is not a significant issue.

About your House as a System

A house is much more than just four walls and a roof, it’s an interactive system made up of many components including the basic structure, heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, the external environment and the occupants.
Each component influences the performance of the entire system. A renovation provides an opportunity to improve how your house performs.

Energy-efficient mechanical systems such as gas furnaces, usually have a sealed combustion chamber that isolates the flue gases from the house. Direct vent gas fireplaces can be a decorative heat source too, while not compromising the indoor air quality. New appliances may require special provisions for makeup air if the combustion appliances are not the “sealed combustion” or “induced draft” type. Avoid Surprises Knowing the properties and operating characteristics of your heating system will help you to determine the changes you may want to consider. You will want to hire a professional heating contractor to make changes in the mechanical systems. Thinking about what changes you’d like to make or anticipating problems ahead of time will help the heating contractor address the shortcomings of your home’s system. Here are some of the likely situations that people encounter.

Solar or photovoltaic collectors
Central exhaust system
(if not using heat recovery ventilator (HRV))
Correctly sized equipment
Heat recovery from exhaust air streams
• Minimal reliance on electricity • Central air conditioning • Central vacuum • Water purification system Improved filtration
Sealed combustion appliances
Combustion air as required
High efficiency appliances Upgraded
Controls Sealed ducts
Insulated hot water pipes
Ask yourself . . .
How old is the furnace or boiler? service done?
Is it more than 15 years old?_ When was the last maintenance
Consider your options . . .
Replace the furnace, depending on its age and condition. Furnaces typically last 15 to 20 years, while boilers may last up to 40 years if maintained correctly.

Older furnaces have very inefficient motors and the heat exchangers are not as efficient at extracting heat compared with newer furnaces.
Hot water based heating systems may have inefficient boilers and pumps. New equipment is much more energy-efficient than the older equipment likely to be in your home.

Have your heating system maintained regularly to keep it operating safely and efficiently. Filters must be cleaned or replaced regularly. Combustion system components must be maintained as outlined in user manuals.

Choose more energy-efficient appliances that may make it possible to eliminate existing chimneys. This is worth considering if the chimney is located on an exterior wall or mostly outside. These types of chimneys can contribute to back drafting of combustion gases.

Many existing furnaces are oversized. Choosing a new properly sized furnace can lead to a smaller, less expensive furnace and possible gains in efficiency.
. . . and if you don’t _ Inadequate maintenance will mean a shorter life span for the equipment and can lead to premature failure, incomplete combustion of fuels and back drafting of combustion gasses. Clogged filters and flues are a fire hazard. Cracked heat exchangers allow combustion gases into the home’s air.

Newer, combustion-fuelled, energy efficient equipment requires venting and combustion air supply directly to the unit. This may also have an impact on the overall environment within the house.

Many new furnaces, because they are significantly more efficient, may require some modifications to the original heating ducts.

If only one appliance is upgraded and removed from a flue, then there may have to be modifications made to the chimney so that the remaining appliance is vented correctly.

For more information and know how contact us at G. I. Home Inspections LTD we will be more than happy to help you make the right decision.

905 608-0141


Jimmy The Renovator: Lower Your Bills

Jimmy the Renovator: The Best Upgrades According to ME!

I’ve been selling Real Estate long enough to have a good opinion of what to renovate in a house. I’m a good observer of what impresses buyers and neighbours when walking through my open houses. Here is a list of upgrades I notice regularly.

jimmy-and-granite1. Hardwood: Putting in Hardwood, is a pain in the ass. Yes it is, its messy, and while you are not personally doing it, people know the value of a good floor even at its cheapest. While there are new materials being used these days, a good hardwood floor is still a top seller in my mind.

2. Granite Everywhere: Even thought other cheaper products are entering the market, when buyers see granite, their eyes open up because they know how much it costs to install. Granite in the washrooms are great too.

3. Finished Basement: Now, this is a finished basement that is done properly. Not just some drywall and studs. A finished proper basement. There are not many out there, and many people do this themselves which will actually lower the property value.

4. Walkout-Basement: Why do people want this, so they can rent this obviously, or have their kid live there when they are too old, or have a nanny apartment.

5. Kitchen: This will include new cabinets, appliances, and proper flooring. A well done kitchen can sell the whole house, because this is probably the most expensive area, and most spent.

6. Washrooms: Washrooms, are another pain to renovate, because without out one, you must use the other and congest it. A proper clean and renovated washroom, sells a house.

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