A Backyard Transformation

When you own a piece of property, maximizing your living space is always a great thing to do. But why stop indoors? Outdoor living space is a fantastic way to enjoy great weather while still being in the comfort of your own home.

In our latest project, we gave our client a much needed backyard overhaul. With a spacious new deck, updated patio stone and a maintenance free artificial turf, this entire backyard space has been rejuvenated into a beautiful new area for our client to enjoy this summer and many more to follow.

Before we got on site, grass had a difficult time growing, a small and old deck was very underwhelming and the patio had hit its expiry. Demolition was fairly simple since the canvas was already pretty blank. We were able to get our footings dug out and poured quickly, the old patio stones removed with a new retaining wall prepped and installed. Once city inspection for the deck footings were approved, we were able to move onto the installation of the deck’s structure while the rest of the landscaping was being prepared for the artificial turf. The underside of the deck was laid with river rock which we left open so our client could still use the area for basic storage.

Once the deck structure was completed we moved onto getting all the railing posts installed securely, ensuring they were all plumb and level. Next came the deck board installation along with a minor skirting we included to give a cleaner finish. Finally, we installed a black aluminum picket railing system rather than the generic 2×2 cedar pickets. Aside from a much better aesthetic finish, it also gives a more open and airy feel.

With the deck all wrapped up, new patio stone was laid, the new turf could be installed, and all the finer details could be finished so the homeowner could finally enjoy the summer with their brand new backyard oasis.

With just minor changes, this backyard received an incredible makeover and looks entirely different from before. It’s now actually a “useful” space and visually appealing. Not to mention, a major boost to the property value. This project was a pleasure to be apart of and we can’t wait for our client to enjoy this backyard for many years to come!

The Castle Knock Project

Creating usable space in your basement is great way to not only increase the value of your home, but also increase the value in your way of living. Giving yourself a full additional bathroom space can be a tremendous relief on a growing family. Take a look in how we were able to transform this basement space entirely by not only creating a new bathroom, but tying it in with a new laundry and creating a whole new finished space as well.

Before we came into our Castle Knock Project, his basement had a rather large furnace room, an unfinished laundry room, and a tight back storage area. The design concept was to unify the new three piece bathroom, the laundry room and the furnace room into one area, isolating each. We enclosed the unfinished furnace room entirely so the home owners can still have an area for storage, this also allowed us to keep all the mechanical pieces out of the finished space.

Since this space was completely brand new, we needed to install all new drainage under the concrete. New drain pipes were installed for the shower, vanity, toilet, washer and laundry sink. With five new drainage pipes installed, we were able to back fill and lay some concrete. From here, we moved onto finalizing the rest of the plumbing with all the hot and cold water lines. Next, we framed up our walls and door, then closed everything up with new drywall.

With all of the new plumbing and electrical finished up, we were able to focus on the finishings. First we laid down a grey, stacked pattern 12 x 24 tile throughout with a pure white 12 x 24 tile in the shower area. Once we installed the trim and painted, we were able to install the vanity and toilet along with all the laundry appliances.

The new bathroom and laundry area now being complete, we focused back into the original laundry room. Previously, this space was completely unfinished and we were going to install new laminate flooring throughout. The room had a big slope into a drain so we needed to level out the space with a self levelling material to ensure the new flooring material would install correctly on an even base. Once the flooring was installed, we put in new trim, built a new electrical panel and gave it a new coat of paint. This space is now completely usable for anything the home owner would like to do.

Along with giving the rest of the basement a facelift with paint throughout, we were able to completely transform this entire basement into an efficient space from front to back. While being able to maintain plenty of storage space, we also provided new livable and usable space giving the homeowners added square footage to their property and increasing the overall value of their home.

The Briar Hill Project

Finished basements are a fantastic way to add useable square footage to your home while also greatly increasing the value of your property.

With this project, we came into an already finished basement, however our client was looking to transform the powder room into a full three piece bathroom. We could have kept the size of the bathroom as it was but our client’s vision was clear and we were really excited to turn it into a reality. With a basic storage room behind the existing bathroom, we were able to remove that partition wall and steal some space from there and push the bathroom further back to make room for the new large and spacious shower area. After all of the demolition was completed, we needed to dig beneath the concrete to add in the new shower pan drain. This process took some extra caution on our part as we were dealing with existing in floor heating within the concrete.

Once the new plumbing was competed, we backfilled and laid some new concrete. In the shower area, we poured a layer of self levelling cement to give our prefabricated shower pan a nice and level platform to sit on. We were able to give our client a curbless system which isn’t seen very often in basement bathrooms.

With the concrete floor finalized, framing complete and drywall installed, we were ready for our finishes. A full mosaic floor and wall to wall penny tile wrapping around the whole bathroom gets installed. The sink received a full floor to ceiling smoked mirror along with a matching matte black finished trap which gave it a great exposed finished look. We installed a full length shower niche with a black marble stone. The shower was finished off with more matte black fixtures as well as the fixed black framed shower glass with a door excluded creating a nice big open look.

After the bathroom was all wrapped up, we focused our attention to the main floor area of the basement and the stairs. The existing floor was fully carpeted and our client wanted to go with a cleaner hardwood finish. We quickly ripped out all the carpet and underpad, exposing the concrete. Next we installed a Dri-core subfloor system. This system is great for any finished basement for a multitude of reasons. They offer an air barrier between your finished floor and concrete which keeps your floors warmer and also protects them from water. In most instances, basements aren’t also level and even which was the case here. The subfloor gave a nice even platform to secure the new hardwood flooring to.

Once all the flooring was finished, we turned to the stairs. We capped the existing treads with new oak pieces and also installed new risers. Finally, we stained the treads to match the new hardwood and painted the risers and stringers with a satin black finish. The existing railing will remain for the time being to give our client some time to debate on which type of new system they would like to go with.

All in all the Briar Hill project gave this basement a major facelift and much needed full bathroom. We’re incredibly happy with all the finishes here and more importantly, so is our client!


Project Gladstone

As like many of our renovations, this downtown Toronto home needed to give it’s bathroom an update into our current century.

Our clients for this project had a few design ideas they wanted to follow through on which included a cool and funky concrete patterned tile floor and a basketweave style subway tiled walls. They also wanted to have their wall mounted medicine cabinets to be inset within the wall to create less of an intrusion within their bathroom.

Along with new tiles and cabinets, we removed to old cast iron claw foot tub and replaced it with a brand new, modern style bathtub along with a Riobel three piece shower system. We had also removed the old pedestal style sink and installed a new floating style vanity. This was necessary as this was the only bathroom in the home and added storage space is a must in todays home.

After the demolition, we did the required framing to fit in the new tub and also framed out the exterior wall so we can provide the client with an insulated wall. Once the framing was completed, we installed all the new plumbing and electrical lines to get ready for drywall and plaster. As always, we use a waterproof fibreglass board in all of our shower units.

Next, we lay the concrete floor tiles. With these types of tile, they are very porous and require a sealing stage to be perform prior to any grouting or usage of the bathroom. We carefully applied the sealer and allow it to dry for a full day before we apply a second coat.

Finally, wall tiles get installed, grout gets filled, trim and painting get finished and then we finalize everything with fixture installations so everything ready is ready for delivery to the clients.

Brighten Up!

This small bathroom was simply just in need of a little “personality”

It lacked excitement and just that overall great feeling when you walk into your bathroom. Luckily in this case it was a pretty simple and quick fix.

We removed the existing tile from the floor and walls and replaced it with a beautiful bright white polished porcelain tile on an offset brick pattern layout.

We also rerouted the plumbing system behind the shower controls to accommodate for the new Riobel three piece shower system. The system came with the shower control and diverter in one easy to use component along with a tub spout, 8” rain head and also a hand held piece with 5 different settings.

Needless to say, this simple yet drastic change has improved not only the appearance of this bathroom, but also the functionality of the shower system as well.

Project Woburn – A Beautiful New Kitchen

We just completed a gorgeous to-the-studs kitchen renovation. The clients had several complaints about their old kitchen including lack of light, a cramped feeling, and an uninviting space for social gatherings. The cabinetry, appliances, counters and other accessories also all needed to be replaced. We did several things here to address all of these issues:

1) The addition of pot lights washes the entire room in light.

2) We were able to completely remove the wall that cut off the kitchen from the hallway, dramatically opening up the space.

3) The addition of a center island instead of a small peninsula provides an ideal spot for guests and family to gather.

Marble Fireplace Mantle & Custom Built-ins


Our client had a fireplace in their living room that they were not happy with because of its messy appearance (mostly due to media wires & components) as well as lack of functional storage space.

ImageThey were looking to redesign their fireplace with a couple of goals in mind:

1)      Must be functional – The wood-burning fireplace must still be       operative.

2)      Design – Clean and modern look. Light aesthetic as to not appear too overwhelming in the open concept family/dining room. All wiring to be hidden.

Storage capabilities – Desired shelving for mementos as well as concealed storage for media components and other goods.

First Steps

We helped design a floor to ceiling mantle for the client, with plans in place for media wires to be run behind, straight into a cabinet on one side. Built-in shelves and cabinets will satisfy all the client’s requirements. First steps included building a new frame for the fireplace mantle, as well as covering this frame with fire-resistant cement board.


ImageCustom Built-ins

The customer had specific space requirements, both in terms of widths for respective sides and depth of shelves. The cabinets needed to be deep enough to house the relevant media equipment, but we suggested the depth of the shelves be reduced, in order to minimize the imposing feel of the structure in the room.

Tiling & Painting

Now is the exciting part – you get to see the vision truly start to appear in reality! We used several thin coasts of CIL Smart3 Furniture and Cabinet Melamine on the built-ins and chose a gorgeous Carrara Marble tile for the face of the mantle. We wanted the mantle to give the feel of a slab of marble, so we set tile spaces at 1/16”. We would also note that while we in no way get any compensation for mentioning specific products on this blog, Lash Tile Leveling Clips are one of the best inventions we have encountered in this business. They are a little bit pricey, but make tiling effortless and ensure a beautifully smooth and flat surface. This is especially useful when you are working on a vertical surface.


The Final Touches

Once the TV is mounted and some personal items are added to the shelves, the effect is breathtaking. All in less than 5 days work!