Tips to Avoid a Renovation Nightmare

If you’re investing in a home renovation, the last thing you want is problems stacking up on top of one another. It’s becoming increasingly common to buy fixer-uppers in today’s real estate market, which means renovations are on the rise. Many home owners see the value in buying an older, run down property in an ideal area, and sprucing it up with their tastes and needs in mind.

Your home renovation experience should be enjoyable and rewarding. The only problem is, renovations aren’t always easy, and if you don’t plan properly, there’s a big chance it could turn into a renovation nightmare.

Here are 4 tips to ensure your renovation runs smoothly.

1. Hire the Right Help

You may be a pro when it comes to choosing paint colours and matching hardware with cabinets, but if you have no idea how to tear down walls and replace tile, it’s time to enlist some help. A professional designer and contractor are two of the most essential players to your renovation, and you don’t want to rush the hiring process. The right designer will help you design your space properly to maximize the function of your home. And a good contractor will ensure there are no loose ends when it comes to the integrity of your house.

Don’t know where to find a contractor? Gentek works with professional contractors across the country to ensure your renovations meet all your expectations!

2. Be Picky When It Comes to Your Home Exterior

You want the best of the best when it comes to your building materials, especially for your home exterior. Choose a siding that’s weather resistant, durable, eco-friendly, and low maintenance, so you don’t have to worry once the siding’s installed. Gentek has a selection of siding options from aluminum siding, to fiber cement siding, specialty siding and more. Your local Gentek retailer can help you find the best siding for your home reno to make sure it doesn’t turn into a renovation nightmare!

3. Know and Stick to Your Budget

If you’re not strict on your budget, your renovation has the potential to land you in mountains of debt. There are many affordable, quality products available these days, whether you’re looking for light fixtures, windows, siding, or kitchen backsplash. Create a budget for each room in your house, and make sure you do as much research as you need to find products that fit your budget.

4. Determine Your Home Style

Working with a professional designer/decorator to determine your ideal home style is key to a successful renovation. Without having a vision for what you want your home to look like, a lot of time and money can be wasted trying to figure things out. The right designer will direct you so you’re using proper colour palettes, maximize spacing and lighting, while also keeping your personal style at the forefront.

Are you planning a home renovation? Make sure to take these tips into consideration to avoid a renovation nightmare!


5 Tips to Picking the Right Colour Scheme for Your Home Exterior

The exterior of your home is the first impression your guests and neighbours get of your residence. It’s important to keep curb appeal at top of mind, and that’s where choosing the right colour scheme for your home exterior comes in. Picking colours that complement each other, as well as your neighbourhood can be the difference between getting stares that are flattering and not so flattering.

At Gentek, you have your choice of exterior colours, from your siding to your doors. Plus, you can get the ICI/Dulux paint codes to complement your Gentek siding to a T! If you’re stuck on how to pick the right colour scheme for your home exterior, check out these 5 amazing tips!

1. Look to Your Neighbours

You don’t want to copy what your neighbour has done with their home exterior, but you can look to them for inspiration. You may want to use similar colours or contrast them completely. You want your home to stand out, without clashing with the homes around you. If your home is on a huge lot, with trees and nature surrounding it, borrow from nature and let it influence your exterior colour scheme.

2. Consider What You’re Not Changing

Aspects of your home exterior such as your roof shingles and driveway likely won’t be changing unless you’re doing a complete exterior renovation. Plan your exterior colour scheme around these aspects as they can help inform your palette. For instance, if you have dark roof shingles, you may want to contrast with a lighter siding colour for your exterior. Or if your roof shingles and driveway both have grey undertones, you can consider using contrasting grey tones throughout your exterior colour scheme.

3. Choose 3 or More Different Paint Colours

3 is usually the magic number when it comes to filling in a colour scheme for your home exterior. The exterior scheme has three different parts: field color, which is the dominate colour; accent colour, usually found on the doors and shutters; and trim colour, used for things like window casings, railings and trim work.

Field colour and trim colour work best when contrasted. If you choose a light dominate colour go with a darker trim colour. Your accent colour can be bold, think: a deep red or pastel blue door that pops against a white house with black trim.

4. Look to Your Interior

A great place to find inspiration for your exterior colour scheme is your interior colour scheme. Your interior and exterior should look and feel like they’re a whole. Your goal is to harmonize your home and it should flow smoothly from the outside in. If your interior is filled with white and grey furnishings with a pop of black here and there, think about using these three colours for your exterior as well.

5. Experiment

Never leave your choices to chance, and never rely on paint chips alone. Bring home paint and siding colour samples to see how they look on a bigger scale. Just like you wouldn’t paint your entire living room without sampling the colour, you’ll want to experiment with your exterior colour scheme as well. Make sure the colours you’ve chosen work well together before you go full force with the updates.


From Dingy Garage to Tiny House: An Amazing Transformation

Do you have a dingy shed in your backyard? Why not transform it into a tiny home for a friend or family member? Tiny homes are all the rage right now, and for good reason. The typical tiny house is 100 to 400 square feet and they’re made for easy and more minimalistic living. With environmental and financial concerns as two of the top reasons for tiny house living, the trend shows no signs of slowing down.

With the right planning, upgrades and décor, you can turn your garage into a cozy abode someone will be happy to call home. One of the best parts? It’s an affordable way to repurpose an old garage with beauty and functionality.

If you’re looking to transform your dingy garage into a tiny house, check out how to do it effectively with these 5 awesome tips!

The Ground Work

Even if your garage has good bones, you’ll have to do some updates to make it a livable home. You’ll likely need upgraded ceiling panels and flooring, and be sure to install new insulation and indoor siding. You can use speciality siding from Gentek for walls and ceiling application. It’s maintenance free, highly durable and will look amazing in your tiny home.

A Green Door

The door for your tiny home can totally transform the exterior and make it evident that it’s no longer a garage. At Gentek you can customize your tiny home door with an energy efficient First Impressions’ door. With a built-for-you door, it will be fit precisely to your door opening and elevate the quality and comfort of your tiny home. They’re also designed to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, so you can rest assured your tiny house is green.

Exterior Siding

Along with a new door, you may need to update the exterior siding of your garage to give it a more homey vibe. Whether you want vinyl, aluminum, steel, fiber cement, or specialty siding, you can have your pick at Gentek! Figure out what’s most important to you in terms of insulation, energy efficiency, durability maintenance and aesthetics, and your Gentek retailer can help you choose the best siding for your tiny home!

Think Big and Maximize Space

Just because the house is tiny doesn’t mean you want it to look tiny. Make it look as big as possible by maximizing space and keeping the walls and ceilings white. This will enhance the light in the space, making it appear bigger. Another way to do this is with mirrors. Multifunctional pieces will also be key to maximizing space in your tiny home. Get baskets that fit on your bookcase for extra storage, or an ottoman with built-in storage.

Keep the Windows Simple

The last thing you want in a tiny home is big weeping drapes on your windows. This will make it look cramped and busy. Keep the window coverings simple and let the light shine in to give your tiny home some depth.

Ready to transform your dingy garage into a tiny house? Get to it!


How to Replace an Exterior Door (The Right Way)

2017-07-10

Is it time to replace your exterior door? Whether you’re switching things up for aesthetic reasons or your door is in serious need of improvement, there’s a right way to replace your exterior door. Your exterior door is a key part of your home, when it comes to both design and durability, so it’s important to do it right. A problematic door can let in drafts from poor insulation and even start deteriorating.

Luckily for you, you’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to replace your exterior door! Gentek has a selection of gorgeous exterior doors, so you’re sure to find the perfect replacement for the one you have now!

When to Replace an Exterior Door

If you’re replacing your exterior door for aesthetic reasons, it’s another story, but there are signs that you need to replace your door for practical reasons. Your exterior door likely needs replacing if the wood has started to deteriorate or rot, or if the exterior of the door won’t hold a finish. If your door is uninsulated or doesn’t provide a good seal, it can lead to trouble for your home. And if the joints on your door are coming loose, it’s certainly time to replace it.

Steps for Replacing Your Exterior Door

1. Measure Your Existing Door

You want to make sure you’re replacing your door with a new door that’s the correct size. Measure the width and height of your old door, rounding up to full inches. Then measure the width of the door jamb between the interior and exterior door casings. Finally, measure the exterior door casings around the door frame.

2. Choose Your New Door

Is there anything better than a custom door? At Gentek, you can select a First Impressions’ door specifically built for you. They’re custom made to fit your door opening, so once you have the measurements, you’re good to go! With elegance and strength, you’ll get all-weather protection and interior comfort. You’ll also enjoy low maintenance upkeep without having to worry about rot, split, corrosion or warping. Plus, they’re energy efficient! Whatever style you want your exterior door to be, you can easily have it with Gentek.

3. Remove Your Existing Door

You can always get a handyman to help you with this, but if you want to remove your door yourself, make sure you do it right! Before getting started, protect your floor with a drop cloth. Using a hammer and nail set, tap the hinge pins loose, swing the door open and lift it off. Remove the old interior trim and pry off the exterior trim with a pry bar. Next you want to remove the jambs. You can do this with a handsaw by cutting through the side jamb, prying the jambs loose and pulling them out.

4. Insert Your New Door

Once you’ve chosen your First Impressions’ custom door, it’s time to place it in your door opening. You can hire a professional contractor through Gentek to help you with this so that your new door is replaced without flaw.

In four simple steps you can replace your exterior door with ease!


Buying a Cottage and Plan to Renovate? Build the Right Team, First!

2017-07-04

 

Having a cottage is the dream for many, and as we head into the warmest season of the year, many are planning their summer retreats. But if you’re thinking of buying and renovating a summer getaway home, make sure you’re prepared with a team of knowledgeable experts so there are no hidden surprises.

Having a cottage comes with its own unique group of issues, some which don’t apply to your house in the city. There are costs and concerns related to your cottage, such as figuring out your sanitation infrastructure and form of heating that you must make sure are covered.

You don’t have to do it all on your own, though. Just make sure to build the right team so buying and renovating your cottage goes off without a hitch and it’s transformed into the dream retreat you’ve always wanted.

Wondering where to find the professionals? Gentek is partnered with elite contractors and renovation professionals to ensure your remodel goes smoothly. Take a look at how to build the right team for your cottage renovation!

A Home Inspector

Hire a home inspector that has experience with cottages and other recreational properties. They’ll know what issues to look for when you’re purchasing, and will be able to identify any problems that could arise during your renovation concerning your heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical systems. Getting your cottage inspected by a professional will save you from unseen costs and surprises down the road.

A Design Team

The design you want for your cottage will likely be a different style from your city home. Hire a design team that can capture your cottage vision and bring it to life with colours, furniture, décor and the perfect finishes. A great design team will help you get your dream cottage at the right cost and will make sure to take the inspector’s notes into consideration.

Whether you’re renovating the interior, exterior, or both, Gentek has gorgeous siding, window, door and colour options to choose from!

A Contractor

Once you’ve nailed the home inspection and have decided on your summer getaway home, make sure to find an expert contractor. The right contractor will ensure your renovations are smooth sailing from start to finish. They won’t cut corners and will make sure that your expectations are blown out of the water. They’ll take the designs and bring them to life with quality craftsmanship and detail.

How to Choose Your Team

 

To decide on the right inspector, designer and contractor, conduct interviews and meet up with your top choices face to face. Make sure to ask for specifics on budget and schedule, and get references from past clients. You want to ensure the team you hire is the right team for you from beginning to end of your purchase and renovation process.

If you’re buying a cottage and plan to renovate, make sure you build the right team first. A team of qualified professionals will ensure you get the cottage you’ve always dreamed of with minimal problems popping up along the way!

 


Why Cutting Corners on Your Reno Never Cuts Costs

2017-07-01

If you’ve ever considered a home renovation, you know how costly it can be. From gorgeous fixings to hidden problems, the price can quickly add up. But if you’re not ready for the high price tag, you might want to hold back on giving your home a facelift.

You don’t always have to choose the most expensive option, but you do have to make sure your reno is done right, with quality materials and service. The other option is cutting corners to save costs. But this can land you and your house in heaps of trouble, and end up costing you more in the long run.

It’s best to do it right the first time around, because cutting corners never actually cuts costs. Here are 4 things you can do to ensure you’re not cutting corners on your home renovation!

1.Use Quality Materials
You don’t have to choose the most expensive materials for your reno, but you do have to do your due diligence and ensure you use quality materials. Gentek has an abundance to choose from, here are a just a few examples of what you can do!

Replace your old windows with Amherst Windows for easy upkeep, high performance glass and energy efficient design; Add a gorgeous entry door that displays style and quality; Create a feature wall with Sagiper Siding that’s highly durable, easy to clean and even easier on the eyes!

2. Find the Right Contractor
A great contractor will never cut corners to speed up the process or cut your costs. Sure, saving a few weeks and a couple bucks may seem awesome, but if they don’t do the renovation the right way from the start, it’s going to come back to bite you, and your bank account.

With Gentek’s Contractor Locator you can search for a contractor in your geographical area. Located across Canada, all Gentek’s elite contractors meet strict quality, performance and insurance rules and ensure your reno meets your needs and expectations!

3. Get the Right Permits
Make sure you do your homework and acquire the building permits you need to do your renovation. Permits protect you, your home and your neighbourhood and confirm your renovation follows all regulations. If your contractor is willing to do work without permits to save you costs, it’s definitely a red flag! Ensure you have the required permits in place so you don’t run into trouble (and money pitfalls) down the road.

4. Remodel in Stages
If you’re worried about costs, remodel your home in stages rather than trying to do it all at once and cutting corners because you don’t have the budget. Look at your renovation as a whole and decide what’s the most urgent and what you can hold off on. Remodeling in stages will help you cut costs without cutting corners. And if you hire the right professional renovator, they can help you figure out what to do now and what to save for later.

If you’re starting a renovation, make sure to follow the tips above so you get the most out of your remodel and don’t end up spending more down the road!


How to Hire a Contractor

2017-06-16

 

Hiring the right contractor can be the difference between getting the house of your dreams and blowing your savings on a subpar job that’s nothing like you imagined. Unfortunately finding a quality contractor isn’t as easy as it may seem, and choosing the first one you come across isn’t the best way to go about it.

A great contractor will ensure everything is taken care of and can foresee major issues before they arise. The last thing you need is to work with someone who embellishes their services and pulls off more than they can chew. You want the job done right the first time, without any hidden fees or issues.

Luckily, Gentek works with quality contractors across Canada who will blow your expectations away! They meet strict quality, performance and insurance rules to ensure top standards every single time. Check out their elite contractors here.

Here are 5 more awesome tips for hiring a contractor.

Get a Referral

One of the best ways to find an amazing contractor is to get a referral from your family or friends. If someone you know has experience with a great contractor firsthand, then you’re in luck! You can also see for yourself what caliber of work they do by visiting your friend/family member’s house and checking out the end result!

Get Multiple Estimates

Once you’ve done your research and narrowed it down to 2 or 3 of your top choice contractors, meet them face to face and ask them for estimates. Don’t just go with the lowest estimate to save money. You want the job done right, with no corners cut! Make sure their estimates are all inclusive, covering costs for the exact hardware and flooring, install costs, permit costs, warranty of the work, etc. If they leave things out to keep the cost down, that’s probably a red flag.

Look at Samples

Samples let you see a contractor’s previous work to ensure it’s up to par for what you’re looking for. You can check out their quality of work as well as their creativity and the variety of work they’ve done. Although this isn’t the only thing you should base your decision on, samples are a good indicator of what kind of job you can expect.

Visit Their Jobsites

You want to ensure you hire a contractor who is going to respect your property. The best way to know this? Visit a couple of jobsites they’re working on currently to see how the contractor works. Is the jobsite safe and clean? Are the workers respectable and careful around the house? If you go with a referral, you can ask them how the contractor treated their house. These are important things to consider when choosing a contractor since they will be in your house for a substantial period of time.

Do Your Homework

Make sure you’re educated when it comes to your home renovations. Know what permits you need and what regulations need to be followed. Your contractor should know and follow all of these. Also check up on your contractor’s certifications. You must hire a licensed, bonded and insured contractor and make sure their credentials are legitimate.

When it comes to hiring a contractor, keep these 5 tips at front of mind! It’s better to do it right from the start than to start all over again after a bad renovation.


How to Pick the Siding Colour for Your Home

2017-06-13

Choosing the right siding colour is key to designing a beautiful home exterior. The colour you choose will impact how you see and feel about your home, and will undoubtedly influence its value. Your siding colour should complement your roof, and other key aspects of your exterior, such as your landscaping and neighbourhood aesthetic.

It’s not a decision that should be made quickly or without careful consideration. Take your time deciding on the perfect siding shade that you’ll be happy with for years to come. Make sure it’s something you love to come home to everyday, and that it suits the architecture of your house as well as its surroundings.

Gentek offers an array of colours to choose from for all your siding needs, as well as custom colour options to ensure you get the exact shade you’re searching for.

There are a few things you should keep in mind when it comes to picking the perfect siding colour for your home. Here are our top 4 tips!

Think About Landscaping

Whether you’ve already invested in landscaping for your home, or have something in mind, make sure to add it into the equation when picking your siding colour. Look to your landscape to help narrow down your colour choices. It ultimately depends on whether you want something more natural, sophisticated, or dramatic, but whichever style you choose, your landscape style and home exterior should complement each other.

Consider Your Roof Colour

The siding colour you choose must go with your roof colour. If the two don’t mesh well, you won’t be loving the look of your exterior and the value will likely take a hit as well. If you have a dark roof, a lighter or more neutral siding will provide a nice contrast. If you have a light-coloured roof, a darker, richer siding hue may be the perfect one for you.

Check Out Your Neighbourhood

Take a walk around your neighbourhood to really get a feel for the neighbourhood aesthetic. Unless all the homes in your borough are eclectic and unique, you should consider a siding colour that fits the vibe of your surroundings. You want to pick a shade that looks good in your particular location, while still keeping your own style in mind.

The Big Picture

The siding colour isn’t the only colour you have to worry about when it comes to your home exterior. You also have doors (front and perhaps garage), windows, a roof, a porch, and maybe even other exterior materials such as a brick chimney. It’s crucial to make sure all these colours work together to create a stunning home exterior. You don’t want to mismatch your door and siding colour, just as much as you don’t want your porch colour clashing with your roof.

Choosing the right siding colour for your home isn’t an easy task, but with the right tips and our expert advice, your home exterior is bound to be as beautiful as you envision it.

 


Grayne Engineered Shake & Shingle: FAQ & Painting Tips

2017-06-10

Searching for shake and shingle with charm and long-lasting durability? Look no further. As a natural cedar replacement, Grayne has the beauty of aged cedar without the maintenance. It’s pre-finished and unsusceptible to moisture, making it easy to install and resilient through any climate.

When it comes to design, Grayne is the perfect accent for fiber cement, engineered wood, stucco, or natural cedar. It also offers a cellular PVC trim as a low-maintenance accessory package, so you can customize your home exterior to your desire. For the most authentic look possible, the graining patterns create natural depth, and its sharp edges create a striking aesthetic.

If you’re thinking about using Grayne engineered shake and shingle for your home, there are a few things you should know. Dive in to our FAQ and painting tips to see just how amazing this product is!

FAQ

Grayne is a multi-layer rigid PVC composite, manufactured in the Tapco Franklin Facility near Cincinnati, Ohio. It’s designed to last with rigidity, low thermal-expansion, impact resistance and long term colour protection. It’s not susceptible to moisture, and with a ¾” projection from the wall and cavity back design, it’s strong enough to take blunt force impact from heavy objects like baseballs, rocks, and hail.

Performance

What about wind? Grayne performs remarkably in wind, exceeding 170MPH wind load, so no matter what weather comes your way, Grayne is a sturdy choice. Not to mention, it has achieved a class 1A Fire Rating, which means it passes Flame Spread and Smoke.

Easy and affordable to install, Grayne is backed by a 50-year warranty for manufacturing defects and 5-year warranty on labor. It won’t splinter, rot, or swell and performs exceptionally against nature.

Profiles

The two most popular profiles are 5” Shake and Shingle and 7.5” Red Cedar Shingle, but Grayne offers 6 warm cedar colours. Each of which is made to mimic the natural look of cedar and each offers a unique colour palette and exposure. If you don’t find your perfect match, Grayne is also available in a paintable version so you can customize with any colour you like!

Painting Tips

If you decide to go with the paintable version of Grayne, you must paint the product within 90 days of installation. Make sure you use 100% acrylic exterior latex paint, and if you opt for a shade with an LRV less than 55%, go with 100% acrylic exterior paint formulated for PVC.

Don’t paint it when wet, ensure the surface is clean, dry and dust-free. And make sure you don’t use stain, powder coating or oil/alkyd base paint, as these don’t work with Grayne paintable products.

Your finish coat should be painted following the paint manufacturers instructions. This will ensure the coverage, application methods and application temperature are exactly how they need to be.

Now hop on over to the Gentek site to see what type of Grayne product is best for you!

 


Avoid These Top Renovation Mistakes

2017-06-07

Renovating your home is an exciting endeavor, but don’t let all the excitement blind you to common renovation mistakes. If you’re upgrading your house, you want it to be exactly that, an upgrade. Don’t fall for mishaps that will leave you palming your forehead at the end of the day.

Renovations aren’t always easy, but when done right, they’ll leave you with the home you’ve always dreamed of. Whether you’re renovating your interior, exterior or both, there are a few things you need to keep in mind for the renovations to go smoothly. Before you get started, take a look at 5 of the top renovation mistakes to avoid and have a happy renovation.

1.Not Going Green

There’s a common misconception that renovating your home with environmentally friendly materials will be way too expensive. But it’s a mistake not to go green. Going green is a smart investment that ensures energy conservation, optimal material use, and products that outlast any others. Gentek offers a range of eco-friendly green products from vinyl windows and patios doors, to an array of siding options. With environmental stewardship in mind, your renovation is sure to be durable, energy efficient and high quality.

2. Cutting Costs on Handiwork

You have to be extremely careful when choosing a contractor these days, and it could be a red flag if the quote for their work is cheap. The last thing you want is a contractor who cuts corners or renovates your home with low quality products. Do your due diligence when choosing a contractor. Ask your friends and family for referrals, and get estimates from multiple contractors before making your decision. Your contractor should be including costs for the specific work they’re doing, including the exact hardware and flooring, install costs, permit costs, warranty of the work, etc. If the estimate isn’t all-inclusive, it may be best to look elsewhere.

3. Measurement Mistakes

Make sure you, or whoever is taking the measurements for your renovation, is meticulous. Even half an inch can make a huge difference and jeopardize the look and feel you were going for with your renovation. Whether you’re measuring for cabinets, appliances, a bed frame, or sink, measure multiple times to make sure your measurements are 100% accurate. Taking more time to get specific will save you time and frustration in the long run.

4. Going Too Trendy

The thing about trends is, they come and go. This not only means you may fall out of love with your trendy design in the future, it can also bring down your home’s resale value. Trendy furniture is fine, but when it comes to the design of the kitchen, bathrooms and other rooms with appliances, counters and cabinets, it’s best not to go too wild. 

5. Skimping on Materials

If you’re going to renovate your home, what’s the use in skimping? The truth is, you get what you pay for, and although that doesn’t mean you have to spend your life savings on renovating your house, if you can’t afford to renovate with good quality materials, wait until you can. You may end up spending more money repairing cheap materials, and you’ll likely be underwhelmed with the look and functionality.

Are you looking into a home renovation? Make sure to keep these tips in mind!