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In DIY home renovations, the devil is in the details

When it comes to home renovations it’s easy to let your imagination run wild.

However, many practical considerations need to be weighed before the hammer swings. This is particularly true when dealing with the potentially delicate renovations required for kitchens and bathrooms.

“Is that bathtub or cabinet going to fit through the front door? Will it go up the stairs or even fit between the floor and ceiling?” says Tania Winters of Orillia Home Hardware Building Centre. “One of the most common mistakes I’ve seen over the years is customers underestimating what goes into the installation process.”

Remodeling is more than simply putting on a coat of paint. It could involve flooring, masonry, electrical, plumbing, tiling, and more. Doing your homework and being properly prepared can make the difference between a fun experience and a costly home reno nightmare.

“There are some simple steps you can take on your own to get started. Make sure you set your budget, create a list of your wants and needs, pick out some inspirational photos and make sure to get some basic measurements of the area you’re renovating,” says Tania, who has nearly three decades of experience designing kitchens.

“I would advise anyone thinking of doing renovations to the bathroom or kitchen to speak to an expert before they get started.”

Getting those answers beforehand can make the difference between an okay job and a great one.

“Sometimes the unknown is what stops people from ever starting,” she says. “We can simplify the steps and help make sure they’re ready for the process.”

Professional advice
Tania is just one member of the team of experts at Orillia Home Hardware. The right tools, the right products, the right steps to take – she says talking to the pros first can save you considerable time, effort, and aggravation.

“Make sure to ask about the quality and the selection of products available,” says Home Hardware bath expert Ross Clayton. “What makes something more expensive or better, and what are the quality and durability differences? Our product experts can guide customers through the selection process so that they’re satisfied with their decisions and understand the product they are getting.”

There are myriad questions to consider with fixtures alone.

Will it be a body spray shower fixture that can massage the entire body and produce a relaxing mist? Or a rain shower head that gives the feeling of standing under a waterfall? Or something else entirely?

Will the faucet be fastened to the lavatory deck, integrated, or mounted on the wall?

What about the finishes of the fixtures in your kitchen? There are finishes both classic and trendy but it’s important to consider how they match with the overall design of your kitchen as well as the finish of the major appliances in the room.

Doing it yourself
When done properly, kitchen and bath renovations can save you money, provide the opportunity to learn new skills, and give homeowners complete creative control over projects.

Tania says she’s guided customers through all sorts of renovation projects over the past 30 years.

“I think what I like most about my job is that every person I help has different wants, needs, style and space options and each one is a new challenge,” she says.

To help simplify the process and give people a sense of the products available, Orillia Home Hardware has recently installed a new 1,530 sq ft state-of-the-art kitchen and bath showroom. The showroom features six kitchen displays, five bathroom displays, a laundry, fireplace and craft room display, mirrors, medicine cabinets, range hoods, sinks and numerous countertop samples.

“We created it to upgrade the existing showroom we had, to draw attention and create sight lines that draw the customer into this new open space and to encourage them to have a look around,” says Tania. “The showroom sets client expectations, shows off the skill of our designers and the variety of products we carry.”

The most important rooms
Kitchens and bathrooms are the heart and soul of a home, says Bill Hern, a kitchen designer with Orillia Home Hardware.

“They’re where we live, cook and gather, but also where we unwind and relax,” he says. “Historically, renovating these rooms also brings the best return on investment – no wonder they’ve long topped the do-it-yourself projects list.”

Whether you’re looking to do a fresh-faced update with paint and new fixtures in your existing kitchen or are planning a complete, to-the-studs renovation that includes a long-wished-for spa bathroom, Bill and the other experts at Orillia Home Hardware are there to help.

“You can browse products, research new design ideas and innovations, find inspiration on new colours and DIY projects, or shop,” he says. “We’ve got everything you need to bring your ideas to life.”

TEXT Matt Driscoll


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