Composite

Composite Decking, Pros & Cons|All-Craft

“Composite or Natural Wood”, this is the popular question asked when designing a deck.

Composite material has quickly become the 1st choice in decking material for people investing in their outdoor living space. Like any type of material in renovations, materials come in low, mid and high quality and pricing. Composite has a grand price tag attached to its durability and beauty compared to natural wood. This can make homeowners shy away from the upfront investment of building with it.

Over time, a composite deck can actually cost less than a deck built with natural wood because of the minimal upkeep and durability of the material.

Most people when they go with composite, the deciding factor is the low maintenance and longevity of the decking, maintaining its original beauty and rich color.

Composite

This type of decking can chalifax screen porch design and additionsombine recycled plastic, wood chips and sawdust making it environmentally friendly and durable. Some of the most popular manufactures of composite decking material are AZEK, TimberTech and Trex. Each have a vast array of colors and wood-look to their material.

So let’s have a look at the Pros and Cons of composite before you make your final decision on your decking material.

Pros

  • Low Maintenance
  • Longevity
  • Variety of Colors
  • Durable
  • Won’t Rot or Splinter
  • Easy To Clean

Cons

  • Certain Composite Products Can Look Fake and Cheap
  • Can Be Hot
  • Can Be Slippery

When designing your deck, your professional deck builder should be able to help you decide on material based on your budget and what you are looking to achieve for a look. Natural wood always looks fresh when new and has less of an upfront cost.  Composite is a luxury decking material that looks elegant year after year but your price-tag is much higher on your deck initially.

A deck is an outdoor living room, providing you a place to enjoy time outside with your family and friends.  When you contact your professional deck builder let them know your vision and your budget. Everyone deserves to walk out on their deck and take a deep breath, whether it is on natural wood or composite.

Bathroom Remodel

Composite

Renovate

Renovate With A Contract|Get It In Writing

Renovate with ease with a contract, Get It In Writing!

When making that investment in your home to renovate you need to protect yourself by getting your renovator to put it in writing!

Many individuals end up being a ‘reno-victim’ because they hire a ‘cash-only’ contractor.  These type of contractors keep it cheap for the homeowner. But without a contract homeowners find themselves paying greatly for the mistake of hiring this type of renovator, commonly known as an “underground” contractor.

Hiring a renovator that is a member of your local Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA-NS) can help alleviate some of the pressure you feel when choosing a Professional Renovator.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) launched the campaign “Get It In Writing” to help inform homeowners of how to avoid risks when hiring a renovator.

Renovate

You should never take chances when hiring a renovator, always get it in writing. Your contract should have 5 main components.

Description of the projectA detailed description of your project, including materials and products. Your contract should also have your plans that you signed off on and you received a copy of.

Payment ScheduleA payment schedule should be structured and outlined in your contract.  This helps alleviate confusion about payments and amounts.

Approximate Project Dates– In your contract you should see an approximate start date. A reputable renovator works closely with their suppliers and know approximately order timelines. After you have approved your design and material selections, your material can be ordered and a timeline set. Weather elements can affect timelines, so always keep that in mind.

Change Order Information and Process- With any renovation project you can always run into changes once the project commences, from change in materials to opening a wall and finding asbestos. Your Project Manager should always sit you down and go over cost and document a change order.  In your contract you should see a policy for change orders.

SignaturesThis is a must for both parties involved in a contract.  You should always see the signature of the renovator on your contract as well as yours.  This is what will protect you, as well as the contractor. Binding the contract and keeping everyone involved accountable. 

If you are planning a renovation project, always get a contract.  A contract protects you from being a ‘reno-victim’.

DID YOU KNOW: That if you hire a contractor to renovate your home that does not have WCB or Insurance, that you will be responsible for anyone injured on your site or any damage to your property or others.

Bathroom Remodel

Ensuite remodel

Ensuite Remodel Customized To Perfection

This ensuite remodel used all the top trends to make it a stylish and functional bathroom renovation.  With stone being material of choice, this ensuite includes an over-sized custom tiled shower accessorized with a custom 4-ft niche and corner foot shelf to help those ladies on shaving day. A grab bar was installed for the future, to help accommodate any accessibility concerns that may arise. The chrome faucets allow for relaxation under the rain head and still have everyday functionality with an adjustable shower head.

 

The 60” vanity with a trendy Mediterranean trough sink and granite counter top created a stylish space to get ready for your day, providing space for him and her to share.

 

Even the mirror screams “customized”.  This mirror was cut to perfection for the client’s height and accommodated the ability to share with a “Mirror Hog” because of its large size. The light fixture was mounted snug with the cut, giving off the effect that the light was one with the mirror.

 

 

Ensuite bathroom remodels are one of the top renovations for 2016-2017 in Canada.  As the children leave the nest, couples find themselves craving that time alone in a “spa” like feeling atmosphere and the bathroom is the perfect spot to make that happen.

 

 

Who doesn’t enjoy the perks of rolling out of bed and only having a few steps to your very own spa!

Contact All-Craft Renovations For Your Complimentary Ensuite Remodel Design Consultation

Ensuite remodel

Ensuite remodel

Outdoor living

Why a Screened Porch | Design and Build Halifax

Why build a screened porch in Nova Scotia…

That old fashioned meaning of “porch” has been reborn. Introducing the new trending outdoor living room, the ‘Screened Porch’

Screened porch Screened porch

A screened porch enhances your ability to enjoy your outdoor space. Protecting you from weather elements like rain and wind and provides you a place to escape the scorching sun.  Screen porches are designed to provide a functional yet beautiful living space, constructed with a roof, a structure and than screened in, usually adding a screen door.

There are various looks that a screen porch can provide depending on what your budget allows for and the design you envision. Homeowners sometimes like the idea of removable screen panels because of the screen blocking out the natural light.  If lighting is a concern, you can install sun tunnels skylights, providing natural light. Another option for a screened porch is vinyl sliding windows, providing you with a sleek look.

Some trendy ideas that you could incorporate into your screened porch design, making it welcoming and stylish are:

Modern screen porches are considered an extension of your living space. They provide you an that extra living room, just outside. Your goal when designing your porch is to make the transition seamless from the main structure to the porch area, keeping with the original architectural appearance.

Depending on the ambiance you desire, your porch can be your private cozy space or your entertaining space surrounded by gardens, lighting and decor of choice.

In Nova Scotia, a screened porch is a great investment to your homes value. Investing in your outdoor living space with a screened porch will leave buyers excited, adding one more room to the overall homes footprint.

All-Craft is a custom design and build firm, specializing in outdoor spaces. We have enjoyed building beautiful screened porches for families all over HRM, providing them a chance to enjoy 3 seasons. If you would like to receive a quote for a custom screened in porch. Contact your local deck building company,  our division All-Craft Decks and Sunrooms.

Screened porches

Screened Porch

Screened Porch

Shower, Customizing Trends – Halifax

What Is A Custom Shower?

Custom means customizing, so building to your individual specifications, or in design terms, designing to your wants and desires.

Custom showers are the trend of 2016 in home renovations.  Homeowners are craving that spa-like atmosphere when coming home from a long day at work, or even just a place to relax away from every day life.

When day dreaming about a custom shower, you need to think about what you want from your shower. Men and women can differ on this vision.  On average, the man of the house is looking for a place to get in, get out, but lets face it, as soon as he gets a taste of a custom bench with a rainhead shower drenching his body while he sits and relaxes, he will soon be envisioning the same custom shower that the woman of the castle is dreaming about, except she is thinking about the comfort of shaving her legs with a custom bench.

So this vision that leaves you in a tranquil state of mind, it could include trending features like sleek faucets, silk tile, benches, custom niches, speaker systems and could even include a 5 therapy therapeutic care unit.  The features are limitless when considering a new bathroom renovation.

Design is key, starting with showerheads. Self-control is difficult to have when trying to design your showerhead component of your custom shower, and here is where that heartbreaking word comes out, budget. The combinations are endless, from multi-function showerheads to bodysprays and steam showers.  At the end of the day, it all comes down to cost and budget.  A custom shower can be just as luxurious and relaxing with two shower heads than one with a steam shower.

For most of  us day to day bathroom users, we don’t really know what is considered a trendy custom shower. If you are trying to get that tranquil feeling at the end of the day on an everyday budget, you can dream of  a custom bench with a rainhead installed overhead, an adjustable handheld, custom niche, beautiful stylish tile with an accent border and a glass door with bold finishes, usually chrome or brushed nickel, matching your faucet selection. These main components will give you that ‘spa-like’ feeling.

Because of the amazing bathroom material selection available, it is always good to hire a professional renovation company for design/build and material selection assistance to reinsure you are stress-free with your custom bathroom renovation.

Click here for our gallery to see custom shower projects

or if you would like to schedule a quote, please contact the professional at All-Craft Renovations.

Do the Research Before you Renovate

Do The Renovation Research!

Renovations start with prioritizing, and prioritizing means doing your research, starting with how to find the right professional renovator.

 

More than 3 out of 4 Canadian homeowners renovated their homes in 2014 or plan to renovate in 2015. Homeowners top priority is to enhance the design and function of their homes, and in doing so, the confusion and stress becomes overwhelming. The renovation process can present many questions and decisions that a homeowner can’t answer. Time for RESEARCH!

 

Unfortunately, with homeowners watching reality renovation shows, they are left thinking a quality renovation can be complete in days and they think the renovation costs they see on television should be roughly what to expect for their renovation, but, T.V. shows do not include labour costs,  leaving false misrepresentation of professional renovations and costs.

 

So, are you wondering how to not be one of those “reno gone wrong”? The key is to research, use technology to find out information and use some old fashion reading to find out who is the right fit for your project.

 

4 key questions you have to ask yourself when you are starting your renovation process, whether it be a small room like your bathroom or an entire basement renovation:

  • What – Your house is your castle, when you walk through your front door you take a deep breath and feel a sense of relaxation. When you look around, your always thinking about what to change, so first step is to make a definite decision on what you want to renovate.
  • Who – Biggest question of your renovation. We all have heard horror stories, and seen them. One way of finding a renovator is through your local home building association and through BBB. The internet is another source to view renovators portfolios, through social media and their professional website. Always, and that means, always, hire a professional with the following, WCB, Insurance, Warranty’s, and that provide written contracts.
  • When – When hiring a professional, it is the norm that a good renovator is booked months in advance.  If you have a renovator that can start your project ASAP, think twice.  Renovations are a process, starting from design to material selection.  So never rush. Pick a time frame that is feasible to your schedule for working with your professional on color and material selection.
  • Why – Dated, Damage, Want, Needs….these are all reasons to renovate. Now, it is you that has to decide the reason to renovate.  Whether it is for energy efficiency, a home addition because the family is growing or just for a trendy new living space, you need to decide before starting your journey. Usually budget plays a role, it helps determine a “need” from a “want”.

It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Nothing is more rewarding than watching your vision become reality, watching your space transform into a new, improved living space. It is just icing on the cake when you can do it with peace of mind that you have the top professional renovator working for you.

 

If would like to receive a quote for a renovation project, please contact the professionals at All-Craft Renovations.

Danna Van Campaign | All-Craft

Danna Van Campaign

Rare is Beautiful!

Danna Van Campaign

The All-Craft Princess

Meet Danna, Danna is the granddaughter of our own team member Murray. Danna is a 16 year old brilliant ray of sunshine who suffers from a condition known as Bilateral Open Lip Schizencephaly, the second rarest known brain malformation caused by an in-utero stroke. This condition has a probability of 1.48 for every 100,000. From the moment we met Danna we instantly recognized how intelligent, strong and inspiring this little teenager was and the love and support the entire family gives to each other so evident it was almost physically palpable.

Danna was predicted with failure to thrive at 6 months old and medical professionals gave her 1 year to live … And here it is 16 years later and she is defying the odds, continuing to grow and enjoy life. How Danna is continuing to grow and gain weight is a miracle in itself, however the strain on the family physically is a challenge they need to overcome.

Every year the All-Craft family extends their supports in means of giving back to the community. Brian, Project Consultant, has years of experience as head organizer for the Halifax Terry Fox Run and Justin, Project Manager, raises awareness and donations every year for the Heart and Stroke foundation BMO Hockey Heroes weekend.

As Danna’s family is currently lifting her from her wheelchair to the car seat and lifting the wheelchair into the back of the car to transport her we immediately recognized the strain on the family and wanted to help, therefore a wheelchair accessible van is what we set our hearts on achieving for Danna and her family. The support of a wheelchair accessible van will ensure the ability to transport Danna safely in her wheelchair and protect the family from physically lifting her which all together means Danna can stay at home in her circle of love and support versus having to be relocated to a continued care facility that has access to lifting equipment.

‘Project Danna van’ is about increasing awareness around brain malformations and supporting All-Craft’s extended family in purchasing a wheelchair accessible van.  For every project built, All-Craft is donating a percentage of revenue to the Danna Van Campaign till the dream comes true.

Danna

Van

Custom Bathrooms Halifax

Toilet to Throne | Custom Bathrooms in Halifax

Toilet, commode or commonly known as “The Throne”, never forget to take care of your tushy when you are picking out bathroom materials for your bathroom renovations.

Never assume a toilet isn’t important when picking out custom bathroom materials for your bathroom renovation, toilets are more than just a ceramic bowl, they add style and functionality to your bathroom and should never be ignored during a bathroom remodel.

With all the new toilet tech, you might want to think about whether you want the ‘Rolls Royce’ of toilets or just the standard ‘Sedan’.  The new upgrades available in what we consider an eye sore in a bathroom can transform your toilet into a luxury throne. There are so many bathroom renovation ideas to choose from!

The best toilets are the ones that take that one flush to do the job, conserving thousands of water a year while still delivering a clean bowl. You have to look at options including different heights, bowl shapes and flushing technologies when making your selection.

 

So the question is “how do I choose a commode?”

Start with the basic needs:

Toilet Shape and Height: Standard toilet height is around 14 1/2”. This height is preferable for children, so a standard size would be a choice if the bathroom is going to be used by the children of the house.  In recent years toilet bowl height has increased to 16 1/8” floor to rim to assist people with back and leg problems and those with physical disabilities and/or the elderly. This height is also ideal for taller people. Sitting high has become the popular choice and is also a great choice when your renovation is based on a universal design.

Toilets come in round and elongated sizes. Round is ideal for ‘squeezy’ spaces and elongated provides more sitting room and provides comfort.

 

The style you select is a matter of personal taste, and you can choose from a variety of styles, ranging from contemporary to traditional.

If you are looking to make your toilet the talk of the tushy, some accessories you can add are a seat heater, toilet illuminating strips, hydraulic hinge (avoiding any 2 a.m.toilet slams) and, though the common lever is chrome plated, you can change it up to match all of your faucets and finishes of your bathroom.

Design: The three basic designs you will hear are 1. One-Piece (Tank and bowl are fused together), 2. Two-Piece (Tank and Bowl come as two separated pieces and 3. Wall Mounted(Mounts to the wall and eliminates need for a toilet foot or base).

One-Piece: May save space, easy to clean and is sleek.

Two-Piece: Most common type, easy to find replacement parts, generally more economical.

Wall-Mounted: Ideal for accessibility, wheelchairs or walkers, does tend to be on the more expensive side. With this style toilet, the drain must be on the wall rather then the floor.

All toilets can come in different colors and shapes, its a personal preference what you desire as your throne. WHITE never goes out of style, so it is a safe color to go with.

When you are shopping for your toilet of choice, always ask about water efficiency and flush performance.  A toilet with a higher flush performance will ensure that all waste is cleared within one single flush, and minimizes the chances of clogging. “What is the MaP Score”?-this is what your question should be to the Sales Associate. Basically, these scores indicate your flushing performance, it is safe to say any toilet between 600-1000g will provide you great flushing.

 

Dual Flush vs. Single Flush, oh decisions!

Dual flush and single flush can be misleading, the terminology actually refers to the mechanisms on the toilet itself. When talking dual-flush, you will notice two buttons on the top of your toilet, usually with symbols of a moon, representing liquid waste and solid waste. Dual-Flush toilets are known for their ability to save water consumption. But before making that upfront investment in the dual-flush system, you need to do some research, learn ‘fact’ from ‘marketing’.

 

“FLUSH” is the flow of water that removes the waste and leaves your bowl clean and sparkling and pushes the waste through your pipes…you don’t want it sitting there waiting for the next flush!

 

Before making the PLUNGE in the dual flush system, you need to take in a few considerations, starting with hygiene. Dual-Flush toilets tend to hold less water in the bowl, in which case can cause streaking and can leave waste on the sides of the bowl to harden. Multiple flushing to clean the streaks defeats the purpose of a dual-flush system and actually ends up using more water than a single flush toilet. Though streaks are not esthetically pleasing they also provide a place where germs can hibernate.

 

User Friendly, this is another important consideration to think about. Dual-Flush toilets tend to have buttons that can be difficult to push, for most users this isn’t an issue, but for users with physical limitations and users that suffer from painful health conditions, this is a barrier in flushing.

 

Most single flush toilets today are low-flush, but can still use more water then a dual-flush. When deciding on which flushing system to use in your bathroom reno, weigh in some factors, like family size, age groups in the home (children tend to play with the buttons on the toilets more then just a simple flush on a single-flush toilet) and initial cost of the appliance, including installation cost.

Do The Deed and Do The Research

 

If you are looking for bathroom renovations in Halifax, then please contact the professionals today!

Renomark

Professional Renovator has RenoMark | All-Craft

A Renovators Mark of Excellence

Choosing the right renovator in Halifax can be difficult, stressful, some say even painful.  It truly doesn’t have to be, all you have to do is look for the “hammer check”, or as you would see it, the Renomark logo.

 

When a professional home renovation company displays this symbol, it identifies that the Renovator has agreed to a very specific Code of Ethics as well as a renovation-specific Code of Conduct, providing warranties and a customer service standard that sets the benchmark.

 

When you hire a Renovator Professional that is Renomark certified, you are guaranteed that the renovator has access to the current trends, the latest materials and new regulations and safety standards. A Renomark Renovator maintains a safe work environment for both their staff as well as the client on a project site, keeping the site organized and clean. You can be guaranteed that you will have a written contract, including scope of work, warranty, liability insurance and WCB.

 

To obtain your Renomark Designation, a professional has to provide references for project experience, as well as references of suppliers and sub trades. They must be in good standing as a member of the NSHBA, have 3 years or more experience in the industry and it is mandatory that they attend courses in safety and education regarding construction industry, like National Building Codes, CAPS (Certified Aging In Place Specialist) and Leadership in Safety Excellence.

 

When you hire a Renomark Renovator, you can have the confidence that you have hired the best of the best in the industry, a renovating team with integrity and work ethic.  All-Craft is excited to be A Renomark Renovator. We want our clients to have confidence in their project and their renovating team, from design to build till the day their vision becomes reality.

If you are looking for a Renomark certified contractor in Halifax, then contact the professionals at All-Craft Renovations

Click here for information on Renomark and your personal Reno Guide.

Footings

Deck Footings|Big Foot Is In N.S.

Decks are more than just floors and stairs, building a deck means working from the ground up, starting with your footings.

To make sure you have a safe deck, a sound foundation is crucial, this includes supports like your ‘footings’. Footings support the load of the deck so there is no sinking. Concrete pillars with footings resist frost upheave and in Nova Scotia, lets face it, they need to resist wind uplift as well. With proper footings, you can consider your deck to be anchored down, for all seasons!

Footings use to be back-breaking work and could take days to complete, until the day arrived, when it was finally spotted, Bigfoot!

Best Foot Forward

The BigFoot, which proudly was developed in Nova Scotia, was designed in a tapered cone shape with sizing at the top to fit any size footing tube, commonly known as the SonoTube. With this new design there is no need for forms to be built, this minimizes workload and time when building a deck.

In Nova Scotia it is required that the footing extends past the frost line, ensuring a firm foundation for your deck. The footing tube is placed into the hole allowing the concrete to be poured smoothly and forming a concrete column and footing at the same time.

The Big Foot comes in four sizes and fits from 6 inch to 18 inch tubes. The Bigfoot system can be used to support:

Now, most DIY decks use ready-made blocks or also know as, deck blocks as footings. These type of blocks rely on soil conditions and if the soil condition’s are bad, can cause sinking or with frost cause the deck to rise. They also have no hold down capacity against wind uplift, which is a weather element known for weakening decks in Nova Scotia. These type of footings can only be used on a deck that is less than 600mm off of the ground and is not attached to a dwelling or building. You should always contact your local building official for clarification of your deck design if it is not designed and built by a professional.

Lets keep your deck safe, All-Craft believes in Big Foot!