The Basement is Finished!

About a year ago when my son was really starting to move around, my husband and I decided that we wanted to finish our basement.  We didn’t necessarily need more space, but we really wanted to have a playroom for him, and most importantly (in my opinion) a place to hide all the toys and STUFF!

Rewind a few months to the quoting process…like any good purchaser does, I started calling many, MANY contractors. Some were referred to us by friends and neighbours, a couple I found online, and some were family friends.

Let’s just say that out of about ten companies/people I contacted, only about seven got back to me.

Two of the contacts completely fizzled and they never ended up even making it here to quote our project. Ok two down, eight to go…

Two companies came to our home, got to know us, spent time with us coming up with a plan and a design and then didn’t ever wind up calling us back with a quote! What a waste of everyone’s time.

We had 3 reputable companies though, who after coming to meet with us and looking at our basement gave us quotes on the job.  Just to make our job as the purchaser harder, the quotes were all over the place and there was about a $15,000 range between the cheapest and the most expensive.  So how do you decide?  Do you go with the cheapest and hope for the best? Do you go with the most expensive because you want it to be high end? Or do you go down the middle because you don’t want to be cheap and can’t afford the expensive guy…

Well here is how we decided…

The company that we chose to work with is a family run company and had about a 15 page quote.  Every single hard earned dollar that we were about to put into this project was outlined for us.  From the flooring to the electrical, to the potential foundation cracks that we might have to fix, you name it and it was in the quote.  We knew what this job was going to cost and there should be absolutely no surprises at the end.  And surprise surprise, they lived up to it!  We are so happy with the work that finishedbasements.ca did for us and would highly recommend them to anyone looking to have their basement finished.  This company was referred to us by a neighbour who recently had their basement done so we also knew what their work looked like.  Another reason why I chose finishedbasements.ca is because they have a very large team of contractors who work for them so the job was done in two weeks!!  Living through the construction dust is a bit of a nightmare so I was happy to only have to deal with it for a short amount of time.

Finally - I also really liked the fact that they had a design centre.  I’m such a visual person, so it was very helpful to be able to go to their design centre to pick out all of the finishings.  Their staff is amazing and very helpful so I really felt confident from day 1 that we picked the right company for us.

If you’re thinking of doing any reno project I highly recommend talking to as many contractors as possible. While the task may seem very daunting at first - it really pays off in the end. This was the last contractor that we had quote on the job and I definitely saw the value in this company after having so many previous quotes.

Here are some pictures for you and good luck with any projects that you may be working on or thinking about doing! Home reno projects go such a long way and can definitely add a lot of value to your home - the key is trusting who you hire!!


Stouffville Monthly Housing Report - OCTOBER 2015

I get a lot of requests from friends and family for a monthly housing report so I’ve decided to start one and will be posting them on my website the first week of each month.

October was a busy month!  We celebrated Thanksgiving and Halloween - the fall foliage was spectacular this year and of course Stouffville was still a hot real estate market!

There were 84 new listings, 55 solds, with an average DOM (days on market) of 17.

Average Townhouse Sold Price - $521,486
Average Semi Detached Sold Price - $564,775
Average Detached Sold Price - $753,885

Stouffville is clearly still experiencing a sellers market as the sales-to-listing ratio for October is 65%. A buyer’s market occurs when the sales-to-listing ratio is 35% or less. A seller’s market, on the other hand, occurs when the sales-to-listings ratio reaches 55% or more. 

With winter fast approaching I thought I would mention some home maintenance to do’s!

  • If you haven’t had your furnace serviced in a couple of years I highly recommend having someone come in. You don’t want to be without heat this winter and having a professional come in to clean it might prevent you from having to replace the whole unit.
  • Change your air filters every couple of months.
  • If you have a wood burning fireplace make sure you have a professional come in to do a chimney sweep.
  • November is a good month to put up your Christmas lights! You don’t have to put them on, but it’s still fairly warm outside so why not?
  • Not housing related but don’t forget to book an appointment to have your snow tires put on. The snow is coming whether we like it or not!

I hope everyone has a wonderful November! If you haven’t bought tickets yet, The Stouffville Home For Christmas House tour is the first weekend in November - I can’t wait to see all the homes so beautifully decorated for Christmas!  www.stouffvillechristmashometour.ca

November 11th is Remembrance Day - don’t forget to buy a poppy! I’m going to spend the day with my Mom this year, we are are going to go to Old City Hall to watch the ceremonies and then commence the Christmas season and spend the afternoon shopping in Toronto.

November 28th is #shopthehood - so instead of going to that big box store - head downtown and buy something local! Whether it’s fresh produce from Reesor’s Market & Bakery or your favourite latte from Red Bulb - think about our Stouffville vendors and #shopthehood!

To receive my monthly housing report, don’t forget to like my Facebook page and if you have any questions or would like a free market appraisal done on your home, please feel free to connect with me anytime!


Happy Outdoor Spaces

If youre anything like my family - we absolutely love the outdoors. Come Spring its rare for us to even eat dinner inside.  We have such a short season in Canada to actually enjoy the weather so we definitely make the most of it. (We are also those people who BBQ when its -30 outside!)

When we bought our house two years ago there wasnt any landscaping - a Juliet balcony from our kitchen that led to nowhere and not a single plant in the ground!  In a matter of weeks we had a beautiful deck built off of our kitchen which added an extra 200 square feet of dining space. We live out there!

There is still a major landscaping job to do so while we save for that big job, in another year or two, I try to beautify our space by planting pots of flowers and herbs. I cant believe the difference that just a couple of pots make.  In addition to making me happy every time I look at them, they liven up the outside of our home and really maximize the curb appeal! 

I love Frankie Flowers and his book, Pot it Up provides tons of ideas from the expert and great tips for novice gardeners like myself!  My pots turned out great this year and are still looking fantastic except I have a pesky bug that is eating my potato vine.  Ive found a natural remedy that should hopefully work to get rid of the annoying little pests that are putting holes in all the beautiful green leaves.  Here is the link in case anyone else is experiencing the same problem at home. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/rid-lawn-pests-dish-soap-22458.html

To keep your pots blooming and looking lovely all summer, make sure to deadhead your plants and water daily (if there isnt enough rain).    The type of flowers you planted will determine how to remove your flowers after they have bloomed but here is a great video from Better Homes and Gardens to help you with your deadheading. http://www.bhg.com/videos/m/98586921/tips-and-tricks-to-keep-plants-blooming.htm  I also find that changing pot locations or just turning them to allow the sun to shine in different spots help my pots to thrive in the hot summer.

I hope you are managing to get out and enjoy the beautiful outdoors despite the fact that this has been a very rainy spring   lets hope that the summer weather doesn't disappoint!


The Storage Battle...

A woman can never have enough shoes, purses, diamonds or STORAGE!!! 

Two years ago my husband and I moved from our 1300 square foot townhouse into a 2750 square foot home - we felt like we were moving into a castle!  Although we loved the house, and still do, I knew before moving in that storage was going to be a major issue.  

Picture this… our crazy front closet is the size of a broom closet and a second main floor closet near the entry from the garage is also smaller than the average closet.  Now that we’re settled and our family has expanded to include a beautiful 14 month old baby boy who comes with a whole lot of stuff, I’m just about ready to lose my mind!   

We are tripping over shoes, diaper bags, briefcases - the closets are cluttered and so is the hallway and the foyer, and it’s only going to get worse.  Another baby (what if it’s a girl with a shoe fetish like mine), school backpacks and sports equipment.  After a whole lot of worrying about what we were going to do, I decided it was time to bring in the experts...

I reached out to a company called Closets by Design and I have ordered custom organizers for both of the main floor closets as well as for my son’s bedroom closet (which, by the way, is also smaller than average).  Shelves and cubbies and double hanging spaces should make a huge difference and I can’t wait for them to be installed in June!

I’ll share before and after pictures and let you know what I think.  A little creative thinking should help to add value to our home and lots of functionality to our space!!

Until next time,

Stephanie