Thursday, 3 October 2013

Basement Renovations, The Rage in Windsor & Barrie


Visions of basements in pop culture have not been charitable. They're usually places where monsters hide, junk accumulates, or hangouts for unsavory characters to hatch devious plots. In reality, having a below ground level in your Windsor home is a huge asset. It raises value to your property when properly maintained, it is the safest place to be in a natural disaster, it can be used as a showroom, game room, or a general sanctuary from the chaos above.

Finishing the basement in a standard two story home can potentially increase your useable floor space by almost 35%. If you have an unfinished basement and are considering a move to a new home because you need more space, an upgrade to the basement will prove to be much more economical than purchasing a bigger home.

A basement is something to be nurtured. If you let neglect it, or fail to maintain it, it will invariably act up - springing leaks, gathering dust, becoming a nuisance. But with the right care and attention, it can truly do wonders for your home.

 Lakeside Interiors is Windsor & Barrie’s basement renovations specialists. No matter the state of things down there, we have seen it all, everything from upgrades to floods. If you have a dream vision, or even a vague idea of what you’d like in your basement, talk to one of our basement specialists about your options, we’ll work with you to perfect your vision and make your dream of what your basement could be, come true. From adding a fresh coat of paint, to creating top of the line showrooms with custom display cases and rotating platforms, we have done it all. No job is too large, small, or specialized for our basement renovations specialists.

With the stress and pressure that everyday life brings, one must find peace. Whether you seek a classic "man cave," game room, sports watching paradise, gathering place for friends, art studio, music studio, rehearsal space, document storage or whatever it may be, we can create it for you. Life is too short to regret not having spent more time cultivating that perfect space.

We offer the most competitive prices for basement renovation in the Windsor or Barrie areas. If you have an idea, give us a call, and we'll do the rest. We will give you a space you can always take pride in.


This article was published by:

Keith McGorlick,
Author, Blogger,
Home Improvement Expert &
President of, Lakeside Interiors
Windsor & Barrie Ontario
705-881-4456 in Barrie or,
226-946-9651 in Windsor or,
To receive this blog in your inbox,
Insert your email address at the
top of this page.
To receive our FREE newsletter click here.

5 Common Kitchen Planning Mistakes in Windsor & Barrie

You've finally saved enough money to complete your kitchen remodeling project, only to discover it's worth a fraction of what you've invested. What went wrong? Homeowners need to get smarter when it comes to renovations.

Kitchen remodeling is one of the best and wisest home investments you can make - if you do it the right way. Too often people don't put in enough research or let a general contractor make all the decisions for them. If you want to be sure to make the most out of your money, here are five common mistakes to avoid. 

1. Poor Planning
Kitchen remodeling isn't always about flashy center islands and granite countertops. Functionality should be the top priority when organizing the layout, but too often people get so caught up in the latest trends that they forget how they actually use the area. What's the point of having a dishwasher installed at the opposite side of the room from the sink? Are the drawers and cabinets easy enough to access and fill? Think in terms of practicality first before you start picking out tile patterns. 

2. Too Trendy
There's already starting to be a huge backlash against some of the more recent kitchen remodeling trends such as excessive use of granite slabs, stainless steel appliances, and maple cabinets. Why are these trends faltering? When a large segment of homes all contain these features, they suddenly become very dated as time goes on, essentially cementing the home within an era. Ever seen wall-to-wall dark carpeting and wooden paneled bedrooms and thought how 70's it all looked? Good luck trying to sell your home that reeks of early millennium. 

3. Overpriced 
You spent how much on that double door refrigerator with built-in television? Unless you're living in the lap of luxury and the rest of your home reflects that, don't overcompensate for an average Middle American home by investing all of your money into kitchen remodeling. You'd be better off spreading your budget around to ensure the entire home gets a small update rather than just concentrating on the biggest and the best for a single area. Just because you spent $10,000 on appliances, doesn't necessarily mean that your home's value will also shoot up to match the investment. 

4. Poor Quality
While some people spend too much money, other people are too cheap. You can't fake a quality remodel with cheap accessories and a modern fa├žade. If your cabinets are rotted from the inside out, don't simply replace the door and call it a day. If the plumbing is shot, you aren't going to get away with adding a fancy new faucet rather than replacing the old pipes. If you can't afford everything you needHealth Fitness Articles, perform the job in stages or readjust the design to save money. Working appliances are much more valuable than a nice countertop. 

5. Mismatched
A home should have a cohesive design sense from the exterior into and throughout the interior. A decadent Italian style isn't going to fit in with a small craftsman bungalow. An ultra-modern and sleek design will not best compliment a ranch-style home. Your home should be considered in its entirety before committing to a specific design plan.

If you would like advice concerning your kitchen project or you would like a cost estimate for a project you are considering, please dont hesitate to contact us.


This article was published by:

Keith McGorlick,
Author, Blogger,
Home Improvement Expert &
President of, Lakeside Interiors
Windsor & Barrie Ontario
705-881-4456 in Barrie or,
226-946-9651 in Windsor or,
To receive this blog in your inbox,
Insert your email address at the
top of this page.
To receive our FREE newsletter click here.


We are now available on facebook as well as on linkedin. Like us on facebook and follow us on linkedin!

While you're here, on our site, there are navigation buttons at the top of the page, feel free to look around and download the FREE E-book there to help you with your bathroom renovation plan, more books are in the planning stages, but I started with bathrooms.


Get all the latest tips and articles delivered right to your inbox by signing up for our free newsletter. 

If you have any questions you'd like answered or you would like to see an article on a particular subject, there are comment windows for you as well as a form for you to fill out to send a message directly to my personal inbox.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback you may have, especially any ideas you may have concerning future articles you would like to see.

If you would like advice concerning your summer project or you would like a cost estimate for a project you are considering, please dont hesitate to contact us.

Lakeside Interiors dedicates a portion of its profits to the community we work in by using our skills to assist the elderly or underpriviledged free of charge. If you know of someone in your area who could use our assistance, please let us know. 

The Benefits of Hiring a Professional for your Kitchen Remodel

Thinking of remodeling your kitchen? Hiring a kitchen remodeler carries several benefits, including saved time, saved money, and professional expertise.

When your eating and cooking space needs to be redone, you can either tackle the task yourself or hire a professional kitchen remodeler. While it may seem like doing it yourself is the most cost effective option, this may not be the case. Before you make the decision, take a closer look at what is at stake.

Save Your Time
When you hire a professional for this task, you do not have to spend every spare minute working on your space. The fact is, remodeling this part of your home takes a tremendous amount of time, if you are going to do it right. Unless you are currently not working, in which case you likely do not have money for this project anyway, you have little extra time. If you want to spend every night and weekend working in your home, then take on the project yourself. If you value your time, hire a professional.

Even if you have a lot of extra time or do not mind spending your weekends working on projects, remember that doing the job yourself in your spare time is going to drag out the project for an extensive period of time. Hiring a professional kitchen remodeler often makes the project finish faster. If you need your space to be ready at a specific time for an event, hire a professional.

Save Your Money
Yes, hiring a kitchen remodeler adds cost to the project, but these professionals are likely going to do the job with minimal mistakes, and will eat the cost if they do make a mistake. If you lack the skill necessary to do the job right, it may end up costing you more in the long run to do it yourself because of your mistakes.

Similarly, if you do not have all of the tools you will need for the project, you will want to compare the cost of these expensive tools over the cost of hiring someone else to tackle the task for you. You may find that hiring a professional is more cost effective if you will need to buy a lot of equipment. Also, professionals can purchase supplies at wholesale prices, so your costs for the wood, paint, and other supplies may be lower when you hire someone.

Use His Expertise
Have you tackled one of these remodeling projects before? You may not have the same level of expertise as a professional. By hiring a professional, you benefit from that expertise. Your kitchen remodeler will know what types of wood work best for different needs, which countertops will handle your family’s normal wear and tear, and what flooring works best for kitchens. This expertise is often worth the slight additional cost of using a professional, because it will take you many hours to do the research on information you receive in just a few minutes of talking to your professional. With all these benefits
Article Search, it soon becomes obvious what the better choice is for sprucing up your kitchen.




Lakeside Interiors specializes in renovating existing kitchens as well as bathrooms and basements so, if you aren't looking for a "full contact" DIY experience, get together with us and we'll make your dream kitchen a reality for you!

We are now available on facebook as well as on linkedin. Like us on facebook and follow us on linkedin!

While you're on the site, feel free to download the FREE E-book there to help you with your bathroom renovation plan, more books are in the planning stages, but I started with bathrooms.

Get all the latest tips and articles delivered right to your inbox by signing up for our free newsletter. 

If you have any questions you'd like answered or you would like to see an article on a particular subject, feel free to ask in a comment window or contact us directly.

If you would like advice concerning your summer project or you would like a cost estimate for a project you are considering, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Lakeside Interiors dedicates a portion of its profits to the community we work in by using our skills to assist the elderly or disabled free of charge. If you know of someone in your area who could use our assistance, please let us know. 

This article was published by:
Keith McGorlick,
Author, Blogger,
Home Improvement Expert &
President of, Lakeside Interiors
Windsor & Barrie Ontario
705-881-4456 in Barrie or,
226-946-9651 in Windsor or,
To receive this blog in your inbox,
Insert your email address at the
top of this page.
To receive our FREE weekly,
"Home Maintenance Tips" 
newsletter click here.

Bathroom Planning Tips


If you are tired of your bathroom and are looking to give it a more modern look, a renovation just might be in order. 

Imagine how nice your bathroom will look with new counter tops and perhaps a tub or shower along with shiny new fixtures!

But, before you commit to such a daunting undertaking, there are a few things to consider, with proper planning and the right attitude, you can get the bathroom of your dreams.

The most important step is proper planning. If you fail to plan everything precisely, you could end up with a disaster. 

There can be several contractors involved, depending on the scope of your renovations. You could potentially need a plumber to route the piping and connect fixtures, an electrician to handle the wiring duties, a tile expert for your new tiles, a building expert to redo walls and the ceiling, and a painter. Unless you want to deal with all of these people on your own, you may want to use a general contractor to manage the project and schedule all the specialty contractors.

That's why it's very important to have the design detailed precisely and signed off by all parties involved. You don't want to leave room for any finger-pointing later if something goes wrong.

As you can see, depending on the scope and complexity of your renovation efforts, this is not going to be a trivial expense. Get written estimates from everyone involved, you need to make sure there are no misunderstandings later. 

There are things that you can control to help you keep costs in check. You are renovating for a reason, so take advantage of the opportunity to get the design and features that you want, but remember, it will always save money to keep as much of the basic layout as you can. By keeping electrical outlets in the same places, or very close, as well as the plumbing, you can minimize the amount of work to be done and help cut costs.

Once you have the layout designed, you can start to focus your attention of the items that make your bathroom look great. Your lighting, the counters, storage space, mirrors, and fixtures.  There are many online sources and, of course, the local home improvement  stores with many styles and materials that you can use to get your perfect look. Take some time and make sure that you are getting items that you really want to live with for years. Your budget will play a major role in the selection of these items. There are many fantastic choices in a wide range of prices. Take your time and you will surely find the fixtures you want that fit within your budget.

These tips should be enough to help you understand just how complex a renovation project can become. But with the right planning, the right design, and the right fixtures, your renovation project will be a success and your will be thrilled with your new bathroom.



Lakeside Interiors specializes in renovating existing bathrooms as well as kitchens and basements so, if you aren't looking for a "full contact" DIY experience, get together with us and we'll make your dream kitchen a reality for you!

We are now available on facebook as well as on linkedin. Like us on facebook and follow us on linkedin!

While you're on the site, feel free to download the FREE E-book there to help you with your bathroom renovation plan, more books are in the planning stages, but I started with bathrooms.

Get all the latest Home Maintenance tips and articles delivered right to your inbox by signing up for our free newsletter. 

If you have any questions you'd like answered or you would like to see an article on a particular subject, feel free to ask in a comment window or contact us directly.

If you would like advice concerning your summer project or you would like a cost estimate for a project you are considering, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Lakeside Interiors dedicates a portion of its profits to the community we work in by using our skills to assist the elderly or disabled free of charge. If you know of someone in your area who could use our assistance, please let us know. 

This article was published by:
Keith McGorlick,
Author, Blogger,
Home Improvement Expert &
President of, Lakeside Interiors
Windsor & Barrie Ontario
705-881-4456 in Barrie or,
226-946-9651 in Windsor or,
To receive this blog in your inbox,
Insert your email address at the
top of this page.
To receive our FREE weekly,
"Home Maintenance Tips" 
newsletter click here.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Renovating an Older Windsor Home

Replacing a GFCI outlet in an older Windsor home.....What could go wrong??

Recently I got a request to replace an exterior GFCI outlet for a client, sounds simple, right? Well, in an older home, (this particular home was built post WWII as veterans housing), nothing is simple.

Over the years, all sorts of wannabe handymen have been attempting to fix various problems whether they knew how to do so or not.

Well, to begin with, I took the face plate off the outlet & removed it only to find the hot side completely burned with the wires melted off, as seen below.





That should have been my first clue, but I continued to investigate to find out what had happened, I started by going inside the house and removing a small piece of drywall behind the outlet. As soon as I did that & opened the vapour barrier, I knew I was in trouble, the insulation was completely soaked. Now it was time to do a more thorough investigation, after clearing it with the client and informing them of the possible implications. Once the drywall was removed from the inside face of the wall, l discovered that the wall cavity below the window was completely covered with mould. Unless you know what you're doing when dealing with mould, never tackle its removal yourself! Mould remediation is serious business & improper handling can result in all kinds of health implications for you and no........bleach won't bother it, bleach turns it white.



Also, if you look closely at the above picture, you'll notice the interesting wiring configuration. It was installed by puncturing the vapour barrier at every stud and bringing the wire outside the cavity at each one, rather than drilling through the stup (apparently, this electrician forgot to bring a drill). He even went so far as to staple the wire to the stud so it couldnt move, then applied the drywall right over it, pinching the wire between the studs & drywall. Of course, the outlets were installed by simply hacking a hole in the vapour barrier, rendering it completely useless. For a closer look, see below. 



Next it was time to remove the vapour barrier & insulation to see how the structure beneath had fared with all the moisture intrusion.......not so well!! 






As you can see, there was mould everywhere, the exterior sheathing was eaten completely through and the structure itself was infested with carpenter ants. The picture below shows more closely the damage that carpenter ants will cause when presented with moist wood. 






This damage was all caused by the improper installation of the replacement windows above (which were installed without flashing and using butyl caulking around the perimeter, which cracks over time leaving gaps allowing for moisture infiltration. The illustration below shows how the water got in between the window & siding, running down the wall to eventually short out the electrical outlet. 





Subsequently, all the structure below the 8 foot window needed to be removed & replaced, while holding the window up with bracing so it wouldn't move out of position. This was followed with new wiring properly installed, new OSB sheeting to the exterior, new insulation, and a properly installed vapour barrier which sealed the interior electrical outlets, making them airtight, as seen below. 





The 6 mil plastic you see in the above shot is the vapour barrier around the electrical outlets which is later sealed to the rest of the vapour barrier using tuck tape, something not found anywhere in this wall when it was dismantled. The finished vapour barrier installation is seen below. 






On the exterior, the sheeting was replaced followed by the original foam housewrap & then the siding was re-installed....then and only then was the GFCI outlet replaced, which was the object of the original exercise. The following shows the progression outside from start to finish. 



Above, how the wall looked underneath the window after the siding was removed. 



Once the structure had been rebuilt & the new sheeting applied. 



The original housewrap re-installed (it's non-organic so mould & ants can't eat it). 



And, finally, all the siding re-installed and the new GFCI outlet properly installed. Also, new window flashing was manufactured & installed to all the windows which were installed in this addition and they were all subsequently sealed with exterior grade silicone to prevent a further occurrence. 

Above is sown the new flashing installed below the window, this will eliminate the possibility of any future water infiltration. If this had been installed originally, as it should have been, this problem would have been completely avoided.


After the flashing & sealant were installed, the only things left to do were to move back inside & install new drywall, properly finish it, and then prime the repairs followed by new paint to the entire room. 

All told, this simple GFCI installation took four days of aggravation as well as a good deal more expense for the client than expected. So the next time someone asks you to just run in & replace an outlet for them, and you think "easy peasy...15 minutes, in & out". Not so fast! In an older home, it's NEVER what it looks like!


Part of our new look is a completely reworked company website as well as a completely reworked company blog, there are many new pages added as well as bi-weekly articles on the blog to help you plan any projects you have around the house. These articles will be written by me as well as by "guest" bloggers from around the area.

We are now available on facebook as well as on linkedin. Like us on facebook and follow us on linkedin!

While you're on the site, feel free to download the FREE E-book there to help you with your bathroom renovation plan, more books are in the planning stages, but I started with bathrooms.

If you have any questions you'd like answered or you would like to see an article on a particular subject, there are comment windows for you as well as a form for you to fill out to send a message directly to my personal inbox.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback you may have, especially any ideas you may have concerning future articles you would like to see.

Thank you, once again for your business and I hope to hear from you again soon!

Sincerely,

Keith


This article was published by:
Keith McGorlick,
Author, Blogger,
Home Improvement Expert &
President of, Lakeside Interiors
Windsor & Barrie Ontario
In Windsor, call 226-946-9651 or,

 lakesidewindsor@gmail.com
In Barrie, call 705-881-4456 or,
 lakesidebarrie@gmail.com

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Preventing Basement Flooding in Windsor, Are you Ready?


 

Weather in Southern Ontario is kind of hard to predict but overall, the weather here is quite a bit like a pendulum. But one thing you can usually be sure of is that it will rain in April!

This is going to cause major problems for those homeowners who haven't prepared for it. In the past, homes were built with the eaves trough downspouts leading directly into the ground and hooking up to the weeping system around the foundation of your home, as below:



This presents a problem when there is a particularly large volume of rain added to the system because the floor drain in your basement and the sump pit (if you have one) are directly connected to it. When all that water is suddenly injected into the system, it can't get away fast enough through the storm sewer hookup and there's just no way the sump pump can move that much water that fast. The only place left for all that water to go is straight up through your floor drain or sump pit.

This is in fact such a huge problem that it is now against local building codes in most areas to hook the eaves trough to the weeping system of new home construction.

Fortunately, this is fairly easy to deal with for the average DIY'er. All that is involved is to cut the downspout off and re-direct the water flow away from the foundation of your home, and then fill in the resulting hole in the ground either with cement or with a vinyl cover. A very good example of the proper re-direction method is seen below:





If you're not very adept at taking care of this type of project, don't worry too much. There are now a selection of various vinyl products on the market to make it easier for you to accomplish this very important improvement. The example shown below is available at most hardware outlets for less than $10.00 and can just be added to the shortened downspout after you cut it off. Then just add a vinyl cover to the hole that's been left in the ground, and you're finished! Easy peasy!




If you would not feel comfortable however, attempting to take care of this project, then by all means, feel free to call us here at Lakeside or send us an e-mail & we'll be happy to come to your home and take care of it for you. But, whatever you do.......don't leave it un-attended to, because when the spring rains get started, you may end up doing the backstroke in your family room!


Part of our new look is a completely reworked company website as well as a completely reworked company blog, there are many new pages added as well as bi-weekly articles on the blog to help you plan any projects you have around the house. These articles will be written by me as well as by "guest" bloggers from around the area.

We are now available on facebook as well as on linkedin. Like us on facebook and follow us on linkedin!

While you're on the site, feel free to download the FREE E-book there to help you with your bathroom renovation plan, more books are in the planning stages, but I started with bathrooms.

If you have any questions you'd like answered or you would like to see an article on a particular subject, there are comment windows for you as well as a form for you to fill out to send a message directly to my personal inbox.

I would greatly appreciate any feedback you may have, especially any ideas you may have concerning future articles you would like to see.

Thank you, once again for your business and I hope to hear from you again soon!

Sincerely,

Keith

If you would like advice concerning your summer project or you would like a cost estimate for a project you are considering, please dont hesitate to contact us.

Lakeside Interiors dedicates a portion of its profits to the community we work in by using our skills to assist the elderly or underprivileged free of charge. If you know of someone in your area who could use our assistance, please let us know.

Check out the latest blog posting, who knows, it might just be the information you've been looking for!


If you would like to be added to our  newsletter mailing list, just click HERE

Like Renovation Updates on Facebook  

This article was published by:
Keith McGorlick,
Author, Blogger,
Home Improvement Expert &
President of, Lakeside Interiors
Windsor & Barrie Ontario
In Windsor, call 226-946-9651 or,

lakesidewindsor@gmail.com
In Barrie, call 705-881-4456 or,
lakesidebarrie@gmail.com

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Maximizing a Small Kitchen Layout in Windsor & Barrie



Do you think your kitchen is too small to do anything with? Do you often find yourself wondering how you can make your small kitchen layout work better? Is bringing in a contractor to redmodel your kitchen not an option? There are some things you can do to help yourself out. 

Identify and Plan Accordingly

First, take a good look at your kitchen. What is the layout? Most small kitchen layouts are galley, two-way galley, L-shaped, and U-shaped. You need to identify the type you have.  A galley layout is one where your kitchen is positioned along one wall. The two-way galley has appliance, cabinets and countertops on two sides of the room, with an aisle running through the middle. The L-shaped and U-shaped layouts are pretty self explanatory. 

While each of these layouts has its pros and cons, each can be used very efficiently. Keep in mind the natural flow of traffic in each room. Do not put extra furniture or utensils in the way of this natural movement. For example, if you have a galley layout place dishes in the cabinet closest to the table, so short quick steps with get you there. This will allow you to move about the small kitchen nook without blocking the aisle where others may be entering. Remember to take the "work triangle" into consideration during your planning. See (Designing Your Kitchen to Fit Your Needs).

Place the Fridge at the End

If you have a family with children or teenagers the most commonly used appliance in the kitchen is probably the refrigerator. You can make the best of your small kitchen layout by placing the refrigerator next to the entrance of the kitchen. This will allow anyone to come into the kitchen and get a drink or snack from the refrigerator, without disturbing the person who is preparing the meal. Also, and easy way to not take up space, is to make sure the refrigerator door swings out towards the entrance it is next to instead of the into the kitchen.

Add a Workstation

If you find that your small kitchen layout works fine to feed your family of four but is not big enough to prepare a meal for a larger group, add a portable workstation to the area for the evening. There are many different types of workstations available, including those that have cabinet space underneath or those that will fold up and go into a closet at the end of the night. 

Find one that works for your specific situation. If your small kitchen nook just needs some extra space to chop or put ingredients, get a workstation that has wheels and can be moved throughout the kitchen as you work. Another option is to get one with hooks or a drawer to hold utensils so you can keep the station out of the way, but still use the available space.

Efficiency is most important in a small kitchen layout. If you are able to identify the type of kitchen you have you can make it work for you. Just keep your utensils close to where you will use them and allow traffic to move naturally,Free Web Content and you will minimize your problems.



Lakeside Interiors specializes in renovating existing kitchens as well as bathrooms and basements so, if you aren't looking for a "full contact" DIY experience, get together with us and we'll make your dream kitchen a reality for you!

If you would like to learn, we will be happy to have you work with us and acquire a few new skills as well as reduce the labour costs for your new kitchen.

We are now available on facebook as well as on linkedin. Like us on facebook and follow us on linkedin!

While you're on the site, feel free to download the 
FREE E-book there to help you with your bathroom renovation plan, more books are in the planning stages, but I started with bathrooms.

Get all the latest tips and articles delivered right to your inbox by signing up for our free newsletter. 

If you have any questions you'd like answered or you would like to see an article on a particular subject, feel free to ask in a comment window or contact us directly.

If you would like advice concerning your summer project or you would like a cost estimate for a project you are considering, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Lakeside Interiors dedicates a portion of its profits to the community we work in by using our skills to assist the elderly or disabled free of charge. If you know of someone in your area who could use our assistance, please let us know. 

This article was published by:
Keith McGorlick,
Author, Blogger,
Home Improvement Expert &
President of, Lakeside Interiors
Windsor & Barrie Ontario
705-881-4456 in Barrie or,
226-946-9651 in Windsor or,
To receive this blog in your inbox,
Insert your email address at the
top of this page.
To receive our FREE weekly,
"Home Maintenance Tips" 
newsletter click here.