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Home Renovation Budgeting

Much to do about Home Renovation Budgeting


home renovation budgeting

With each new client’s home visit at Woodsmith Construction. We seem to come across, time and time again a real lack understanding on what good home renovation budgeting is. Most people obviously understand intellectually what a budget is and how important it is to the proper planning of any renovation. The real problem lies in the details, as they always seem to do. Now one would think that we would all be sensible and prudent with our numbers. Making sure we add for variables and to keep good buffers on trade costs. The reality of how people seem to do with their home renovation budgeting is very different. Everyone always has a list of wants with any home renovation project, as they should.  The problem starts when the wants outweigh what is realistically affordable to them .

The root of this problem lies in the fact that most contractors don’t want to be the bearers of bad news. So when people should be told that they simply can’t afford to have whatever it is. Instead the budget gets adjusted to make it look like they can. This is usually by having much needed buffer removed or to take trade or material costs down to unrealistic levels. Now because the client has no idea of what is or isn’t […]

Home Renovation HST Rebate

What to do with home renovation HST rebate


Home Renovation HST Rebate

HST is apart of all of our lives, we deal with it on virtually every purchase we make. When it comes to your home renovation. The HST does not have to be the elephant in the room. With proper invoicing techniques from your contractor and a whole lot of forms to fill out. You can get a large chunk of that HST you paid during your home renovation, back. To get an HST rebate on your home renovation you must meet certain requirements. Mainly you have to meet their definition of a “Substantial Renovation”. Please click on link provided to get more information as to what the really means. Once you meet those requirements the next step is two fold. Firstly you have to have detailed invoicing that can substantiate what was done in your home renovation . Secondly you must fill out the required forms, which can be done by a third party for a fee. We will cover both of these requirements in this article.



A home renovation HST rebate has to be able to prove that a “Substantial Renovation” took place. In short more than 90% of your home must have been renovated and you have to be able to show that with the appropriate bills. At Woodsmith Construction we always provide detailed invoicing […]

Home Design Plan


home design planA Home Design Plan That Works


Whether your are planning a small home renovation or a completely new home. You always need a good home design plan. Sometimes the process can be so exciting that you want to jump right in and get down to the design itself. The results from taking this approach are usually less than desired. A good home design can only be achieved with a good home design plan.  There are three key areas that you should pay close attention to during this planning phase. If you check these boxes off, I can assure you. Your home design will be the very best it can be.


Wish List

The first one probably has already been done by virtually every person looking to redesign their home. Usually living in it for years has brought many of your homes limitations to attention. This usually creates a desire to change them that is always strong. This doesn’t just have to focus on the big ticket items. Always make sure your wish list is as detailed as possible. Make sure to include specialty electrical requirements and  maybe heating and air conditioning ones also. We have gone to many client meetings, where we ask how does your heating in the existing home. The response is always it doesn’t work so well and we had not thought […]

Upper Beaches Home Renovations

Upper Beaches Home Renovations Tips


Living in the Upper Beaches is to be part of one the most rapidly changing neighborhoods in Toronto. The amount of store front development on Kingston road alone, would make anyone’s head spin. This segment of Toronto is not without its home renovation challenges but as we all know, neither is any other section of our city. However Upper Beaches home renovations need to have a few more considerations, than say a Lawrence Park home renovation.


The Upper Beaches area is all uphill so to speak comprising a few main artery streets such as Kingston road and Gerrard. Which provide your East and West travel but most of the homes are located on the North-South residential streets. All of which have a serious slop to them, which comes from being on the leading edge of the actual Beaches area of Toronto. What was once the lake is now your street. With these large changes in grade , Upper Beaches home renovations have to make sure they address two key areas. The first being drainage and the second being shoring.




Without proper drainage, living on a hill can pose some serious risks to your home. First thing to always do when looking at a renovation to your home, is to have a look at the lay of the land so to speak on your property and see if you are high or lower than both neighbours or just one. In […]

Logan Home Renovation

Woodsmith Construction Project Journal: Logan Home Renovation



Our Logan home renovation project has finally come to an end. What started off as simple third floor interior alterations. Became a whole home face lift from top to bottom. As challenging as every Toronto home seems to be, the reward was the smile the owner gets everyday she uses her new master suite. Maybe from this recap of what we did you might be able to grab a few ideas for your next renovation project


Third Floor Work

Our Logan home renovation as mentioned started with the existing third floor. We gutted the entire floor and ended up rebuilding all of it brand new.  Third floors are tricky because in almost every case, clients want to save the rest of the home that lies underneath. Now that can go south pretty quickly, once your roof is off and the weather takes a turn for the worst. Always make sure that in budget planning you allow for the potential for some damage to carry through the rest of your home. Making your third floor a master suite, seems to be the best use of space, if you have enough of it. This option has successfully created many an oasis, too which happy parents can escape the day and have a nice quiet hot bath or watch some TV.  A separate master suite can give you that sense of calm and collected, when the rest of the life might not. Sometimes […]

Ossington Home Renovation

Woodsmith Construction Project Journal: Ossington Home Renovation


Renovating homes in the west end of Toronto is something the Woodsmith Construction team has become very familiar with. With street after street of townhomes and semi detached homes, there is no shortage of work to be done. These homes have not received a lot of love over the years and in the vast majority of cases they are showing signs of major deterioration. If you own a home in this area, here are a few tips you should keep in mind based on our last project in your community.


First a little background on our Ossington home renovation. This home was your standard semi detached home with a semi renovated interior. The renovations were done poorly and the major work which had not been done, like sagging floor joists, leaking roof or bad foundation, was really starting to come apart at the seams. We were fortunate enough to get the green light for a complete home renovation. Which means a complete gut back to foundation and structure and start fresh from there. As a rule this is always the best way to go about any renovation to an older home. Especially one that seems to have had shoddy work done to it in the past.


There were however a few interesting things that became apparent once things got removed, that are worth sharing.


Third Floor

Although most of the homes in the Ossington area have third floors built […]

High Park Home Renovations

Woodsmith Construction Project Journal: High Park Home Renovations


High Park home renovations aren’t like any other home renovations in Toronto. This beautiful area of Toronto has so much to offer for anyone that chooses to live there. Whether it’s the shops on Roncesvalle or a walk in High Park itself. There is always something to do and see.  We have had the great fortune to have worked on many homes in and around High Park, over the years. Our experiences have always been good ones but there are a few things we have learned along the way. Some of them might just prove to be helpful to you with your next renovation project.


Most of  the High Park home renovations that we have done, fall into two categories. The first is the open concept first floor. While also trying to squeeze a decent bathroom in on the second. The second category, is the full third floor master suite. Each project can have massive resale benefits along with also really helping the comfort level of living in the homes.




Open Concept

With the open concept High Park home renovations we have done. I would say the main stumbling block is usually the outdated and undersized mechanical systems in the home. HVAC is usually an old gravity fed systems that does little in the winter and less in the summer. The plumbing is a web of copper that no one knows where it goes. The end result […]

Beaches Home Renovations

If you live in the Beaches area of Toronto you have probably thought about  Beaches home renovations and what possibly could be done to help you make the most of what you have and keep you in one of the nicests areas to live in Toronto, for as long as possible.  Beaches homes usually contain a laundry list of potential renovation projects, much like any home throughout Toronto. There are however a few key factors that only apply to homes in the Beaches. I thought it might be useful to focus on some of these factors so that you can make sure they are included in your next Beaches home renovations budget. 



    Beaches Home Renovations Considerations


Given the Beaches is such a popular place to not only live but also to visit. You can almost guarantee that parking, especially during the busy renovation season, will be in short supply. This has always been a problem with any of the Beaches home renovations we have dealt with. It doesn’t make the job any easier when you are trying to get material into a small rear yard to build an addition and the street is full of cars. Make sure your contractor understands this challenge because on many projects we have had to block traffic to unload and park most of our vehicles off site and walk to and from the project. Sometimes as far as two blocks away.  This can at […]

Design Build Interiors : Decoration and Construction Methods

Design Build Interiors


Construction of a house starts from planning and sketching the exact position in the area or location where you want the house to stand. With our design build interiors, preparation of the materials and hands-on craftsmanship is next. The installation of pipes, electricity and other activity regarding constructing will follow. When the construction is done, the house is already on its way but there is still the interior work remaining.

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