Home Renovations

The latest in news updates for our Toronto home renovation projects. Keeping Woodsmith Construction at the fore front of Toronto home renovations Toronto’s leading home renovation experts

Leslieville fallen home

    What happen to this Leslieville Fallen Home?


 You might have heard about the Leslieville fallen home on the news or read about it in the paper(Star Article Link) We thought that, given this happened right in our own backyard so to speak, it presented a perfect opportunity to explain to everyone what really happened here and how this could very well happen again. We are actually surprised it doesn’t happen more often given the way most new homes and additions are framed or left once framing has been completed.

With this Leslieville fallen home, it all came down to lack of proper framing techniques and how the materials were not designed to withstand those high wind forces on their own. At the end of the day, this was completely avoidable if a little more care had been taken with the framing of the building itself. 

We will walk you through a site photo and list off the various areas that failed due to improper workmanship. Each item is numbered so you can fully understand what we are referring to. 


Leslieville Fallen Home Explained


5 Key Factors

As you can see we have highlighted 5 key factors that contributed to the home falling down. They are by no means the only factors but I do believe they were the main ones. Now we must keep in mind that I am not putting these in any particular order and of course none of these […]

Toronto Home Renovation 2017

Houzz 1k Shares Badge  

Another year is upon us and here at Woodsmith Construction, we are wasting no time in hitting the ground running.We thought we would first share a huge milestone achieved with our Houzz profile. We have broken through the Houzz 1k shares threshold. This is a great achievement and further a nod to the amazing quality of our finished projects. We look to continue this trend with even more great photo’s to share with everyone in the coming year. Thank you again for your continued support and  we look forward to our most exciting year yet.


As always we want to make sure we deliver the best in customer service. So this year we are adding to our cloud client care system. Clients will be able to track projects from any device and get up to date account information at anytime. Our new shared site logs feature will let our clients look in and see what is happening onsite each day. Our cloud budget will now also provide more features to better track project expenses. All of this on top of our already great customer service staff, makes for a home renovation experience that will not disappoint. 


Thank you to everyone for your continued support of Woodsmith Construction, in it’s efforts to make home renovations and enjoyable and rewarding process. We continue to work hard to be the very best in all aspects of what we do and look to pass those […]

Loft Basement Logan Ave

Project : Logan Loft Basement Renovation


Goal: Take what was once just your average 6ft 5″ semi detached basement.  Try to create an industrial loft feel in a basement. With all the features we love in lofts, such as high ceilings, exposed brick and exposed wood joists

Progress Pics


This basement project has not been without it’s challenges. But we have soldiered through and the result is starting to show something truly special. These progress pictures give a you hint to the incredible space. That has been created and speak to how remarkable this basement will be once completed.


The Start

As I mentioned earlier, we Started out with a normal 6ft 5″ basement. We then proceeded to underpin the entire home close the 3ft in depth. As you can see from the pictures, the house itself is not very wide. The added depth with the underpinning has given some much needed volume to the space. As a rule high ceilings will make any space feel bigger than it really is. Once we had excavated and poured all the new underpins our loft basement really started to take shape. 

The Challenges

The first challenge was to find a way to have some exposed floor joists as a ceiling treatment, without it looking like a mess of wires and plumbing. We ended up settling on the rear portion of the home as there were the least amount of things in the way and the joists themselves were in […]

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 […]

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 […]

Riverdale Home Renovations

Riverdale Home renovations

Riverdale home renovations are a special part of what Woodsmith Construction does. Being located in the Leslieville area ourselves. A lot of our work is in the Riverdale area of Toronto. The homes in this area are beautiful and were built with a lot of care. The years however, have not been kind. With the wear and tear of 100 plus years of use, comes the need to make sure that the home renovation you are planning, keeps your Riverdale home lasting another 100 years.


With that in mind, we at Woodsmith Construction have prepared a bit of a check list for you to think about on your next Riverdale home renovation

Riverdale Home Renovations Check list

  •  Always plan to removal as much interior cladding as possible. ie wall plaster, wood lathe etc
  • The reason behind this is that you need to see what is behind your walls in order to make sure what you are about to put in front of them will stand the test of time. Many Riverdale home renovations try to skate over this point and repair crumbling plaster work or drywall over it. This will only serve as a band aid solution because what you don’t know or cant’t see in any home renovation, can and will hurt you.

            2.  If you have brick take care

    With many of […]

    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 […]

    Fulton Home Renovation

    Woodsmith Construction Project Journal: Fulton Home Renovation


    Our Fulton home renovation, was located around the Pape and Danforth area of Toronto. This neighbour is a very sought after place to live and for good reason. Whether it is the great schools or the shopping and food on the Danforth, everything is right at your door step in this community.

    To continue our discussions on various projects and how to better formulate renovation budgets. I thought this project would be a great one for anyone considering doing a basement renovation. This project actually started out on the small side and ballooned, as they sometimes can because of what we found under the floor and in the walls.

    As with any successful renovation we do our goal is two fold. Firstly we want to make sure that whatever problems are found, get fix properly. Secondly we want make sure we leverage all additional funds as much as possible.  Making sure we end up with more finished product throughout the home at the end of the project. 

    There were two areas on our Fulton home renovation that came to light during the job and forced us to increase the scope of work. The first was water infiltration and the second was mold.


    Water Infiltration


    This basement project started out as a simple laundry room rework and an existing basement entry fix. Simple enough it would seem but once we start to remove the existing wall cladding. We realized we were […]

    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 […]

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