Magazine for professional home renovators.


On-site fire extinguishers: Yes, you have to have them, even for a small renovation job

Very few professional renovators give much attention to the issue of fire safety on the jobsite. Did you know that you are required to have fire extinguishers on your site, in locations that are plainly labelled, and that everyone on your site has to know how to use them?

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From pilot to contractor: (21) Completing the puzzle

21 posts later, pilot-turned-contractor John Bleasby has shared with us every decision he had to make as a GC, from his windswept, snow-covered empty lot to his completed new family home. Here he wraps up his post-mortem on the build.

Paid $14,000 to have an indoor waterfall every time it rains

“My daughter’s contractor even poured a concrete pad in the middle of her driveway with the extra concrete from the basement because he thought she could build a shed on it. He never asked and now she has to remove it before winter so she can park on her driveway.”

Maybe with an election coming, we could see the Home Renovation Tax Credit reinstated?

Jim Baird, an Ottawa-area renovator, is just one of a large number of Canadian contractors who are urging the return of the Home Renovation Tax Credit. It should be an election issue next year – or right now, they say.

There is no such thing as a small electrical mistake

The ESA’s “Hazardous Homes” website invites the public to look at how various electrical accidents happened. They get to play detective, and think about how easy it is for a homeowner – or a poorly electrical-code-educated contractor – to set up a potentially fatal piece of mis-wiring.

As a painter I am by no means of the same calibre as Craig Lowe…

Craig Lowe was only 42 when he died while scuba diving off the coast of Cape Breton just over 2 months ago. The Holmes Group has set up a Trust Fund to accumulate some funding for his four daughters.

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Ontario College of Trades (OCOT) in the red last year by $3.5-million

If your business runs at minus 26 per cent profit, you’ll be pumping gas pretty soon. But don’t expect to see Ontario College of Trades registrar and CEO David Tsubouchi asking to check your oil down at your local ESSO.

More thoughts on competing with cash operators, and what the government needs to do about it

Ottawa’s Home Renovation Tax Credit not only stimulated renovation projects, it helped the government collect significant tax revenue it would not otherwise have received. It’s high time such a tax credit system was installed permanently.

Bleasby (20) pic

From pilot to contractor: (20) The clarity of hindsight: Design and Budget

John Bleasby’s dream home is 99 per cent finished and in this blog he begins his ‘post-mortem': Looking at what he got right – and what he was challenged by – during this, his rookie build.

I didn’t realize when I went into the electrical business there would be 4 partners: me and three that get a free ride – bank, government and the ESA

“Even leeches know when to get off a sick and overburdened host. I can hardly wait to pack it in and retire.”