Ideas For Renovating Your Toronto Garage

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Room For Your Car? 

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Have you noticed that garages are being used for more than just cars? It begs the question - what is actually in the garage? 

Toronto is a vibrant city, and it's attractive for many reasons - cultural diversity, first class restaurants, a thriving theatre & live music scene to name a few. However, you will find that there are concessions to be made for big-city living - smaller square footage being one of them. 

In an effort to create more space, many have turned their focus towards their garage

Storage is often in short supply - especially in older homes, many homeowners have resorted to using their garage as a cluttered and haphazard storage area. In this article, we'll explore some innovative garage renovation ideas as well as offer clever ways you can maximize the storage in your home. 

Option #1 Convert Your Garage

If you are able to park your car on the street or in your driveway - consider converting your garage into a living space. 

Garage Conversion Ideas

You can convert your garage into any room you feel your home is lacking. Essentially, there are no limits. 

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  • Bar/lounge

  • Extra living space

  • Bathroom

  • Bedroom

  • Granny/Nanny suite

  • Home gym

  • Extending current living space with an open concept

Related Article:  Do you think you could benefit from a basement renovation? Read some of our top ideas for basement renovations in our article. 

The best garage conversions will make it seem as though the area was never a garage in the first place. Unless of course, you intend to incorporate some of your garage's elements in the design. 

Be sure to communicate with your renovator/designer regarding building permits. Make sure the space is built to Ontario Building Code standards and is energy efficient. Ensure the following items are incorporated into the renovation: 

  • Fully insulating the walls, floors and ceiling/attic

  • Replacing the garage door with a solid wall or wall of windows

  • Adding code compliant windows and doors

  • Adequate heating and cooling for the space

Option #2 Create More Space

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If your car is your prized possession and your 'baby', then getting rid of the garage may be out of the question. 

Many North Americans say their garage is too cluttered to park their car. If your goal is to have enough room for your car, then a new storage plan may be required for not only your garage but the rest of your property as well. 

We recommend vertical storage solutions, like the ones available through big box stores. Custom-built storage are wise solutions as well. If you have room in your basement - you could store items efficiently down there. Could you benefit from adding a shed in the backyard? Sheds are often a better place to store seasonal items such as: seasonal decorations, tires and gardening tools. 

After all of the above considerations you may decide that your best solution isn't in the available square footage you have, then a home addition is a great way to get the extra space required by you and your family. 

Related Article: Explore some of the different types of foundations for your home addition in this article. 

So, What's Your Plan? 

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Whatever you are planning for a full garage conversion or are looking to renovate your home to create more space, having the advice of trusted, experienced design and build experts will help provide you with more insight and alternatives to explore. 

Contact the Toronto home renovation experts with over 40 years of experience at Bryant Renovations to see how you can improve your home today. 

 

Family-First Home Renovations

What to Consider When Renovating Your Family Home 

As your family grows, their needs change. You love everything about your neighbourhood, the location, the schools, and the neighbours.  You’ve decided to stay but, you’ll need to make significant changes so you can be happy in your home.  This is a great opportunity to assess how your family uses your current space and identify ways to improve it.

We’ve assembled a list of areas to focus on before you consider a home renovation.

1. Sightlines

Can you see your children from your kitchen?  Parents’ like to have their children within visual range.  Whether they are in the backyard or in the family room. Often this can be achieved by creating a Great Room – with clean sight lines over most of the main floor and the backyard. Ask your renovator to convert your current space to allow for great flow and better sightlines.   

2. Entryways

Is your entryway welcoming?  Or is it congested and inhospitable?  Your entryway should be able to accommodate several people arriving at once.  This is often accomplished with a Mud Room – an area for guests and family members to remove shoes, muddy boots, wet coats, and umbrellas.  It really helps to keep dirt from being tracked into your home.

3. Entertainment

As children grow older, their need for privacy grows as well. They have their bedrooms of course but, you may want to consider a hang-out space for them.  Certainly, they would appreciate an area to watch movies, play games, and hang with siblings, friends or family.  

4.Storage, Storage, Storage

 i. Kitchen Storage

Do you have sufficient pantry storage? Often while your family is growing - you may find that you’re buying items in bulk – you’ll notice your needs for grocery storage grows as well.  If you’re considering a full kitchen renovation, think of expanding the space to include a pantry – walk-in preferred. 

Related article: Remodeling your kitchen? Read our handy Kitchen Renovation Guide.

 ii. Storage Throughout

Do you have areas in your home that are clutter magnets? Ask yourself if you could benefit from extra storage. Often, the answer is a resounding – Yes!  Built-ins are an excellent solution to your storage issues – especially if it’s custom built to suit your home and lifestyle. Consider built-ins in any underused section of your home, such as under the stairs or that awkward space in the basement.  Efficient storage solutions are so effective – they may surprise you.

In the bedrooms, if you don’t have the space for a walk-in closet – speak with a closet designer to give you great tips and advice on how to redesign your closet, so you can accommodate more items.  

iii. Garage Storage

It’s incredible how often garages - especially in Toronto - are used for anything but parking the car. They often tend to be filled with seasonal items, such as hockey gear, bicycles, Christmas decorations.  It’s a great idea to get smart about your garage storage. Many big-box stores carry solutions that will help you effectively store items and park your car!

5. Bathrooms

Is the bathroom available when you need it or is it always occupied?  The recommended ratio for bedroom to bathroom should be no lower than 3 beds to 2 baths. We propose parents have their own private ensuite - this should make for less chaos in your daily routine. The ultimate goal for a bathroom design is to have them be able to handle the needs of the whole family. 

Related article: There is so much that goes into even the smallest bathroom renovations. Read our 2018 Bathroom Renovation Checklist. 

6. Laundry

It is always worthwhile to invest in laundry appliances that can handle the everyday dirt, mud, and more that your family may track in.  Consider rearranging the laundry room so that you will have more available storage space. Your laundry room should comfortably accomodate - the washer and dryer, a folding space, a space for hanging clothing, as well as workspace for ironing and/or steaming.  Often times interior designers have the Mud Room and Laundry Room together.  

Before you renovate your home, make sure you have all the bases covered so you and your family can get the most out of it. The Toronto design + build experts at Bryant Renovations have over 40 years of experience in delivering the right balance of style and function.

Contact us today to see how we can give your family the home they deserve.

Accessible solutions allow elderly homeowners to age in place

GUEST POST - By 2030, almost 25% of the national population will be retirement-aged. The greying of Canada’s population means there will soon be more adults aged 65+, most of whom will require caregiving and support. Much of this population want to stay in their current home and community as they grow older. Unfortunately, this is not always an option for those whose homes are not adequately equipped.

With age, needs change, and mobility often becomes a concern. Simple tasks like doing the laundry may become daunting challenges. Seniors may be tempted to sell their home and move into a retirement community, but this transition can be expensive and emotionally stressful. Consideration can be given to proactive solutions to optimize a home’s functionality, such as adding ramps, stair lifts, and grab bars; or widening doorways and renovating the most important rooms in the home to make them more accessible.

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Traditional renovations can be costly, time-consuming and messy, especially when involving plumbing work. For senior homeowners and their families, this can be a major factor in the decision to stay or move. Thankfully, SANIFLO®, offers the perfect solution to add or renovate a bathroom, kitchen or laundry room to make it more accessible, without the need for major construction or breaking the concrete.

SANIFLO® manufacturers macerating and grinding toilets, and drain-water pumps that can be used to install toilets, sinks, showers and other plumbing fixtures anywhere in the home. Access to water and an electrical outlet is all that is needed to move laundry facilities to the main floor or turn unused space into an accessible bathroom.

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The SANICOMPACT® is a self-contained unit that can be used to install a half-bathroom with ease. It features a tankless vitreous china toilet bowl with built-in macerator/pump, and does not need to be connected to a vent stack. With this product, a closet or unused space can easily be transformed into a safe, accessible half-bathroom. For elderly homeowners with mobility needs, this creates convenience and independence.

For those wanting to age in place, pre-emptive home modifications can help make the transition easier for seniors to reside where they are most comfortable – in their own home.

For more information on how you can use SANIFLO® products to increase the accessibility of your home, visit us online at saniflo.ca and follow us on Facebook!

Transform your basement into a rental suite with these two above-floor plumbing solutions

Transform your basement into a rental suite with these two above-floor plumbing solutions

If you live in a desirable area and you’ve been thinking about transforming your basement to attract renters, now may be the perfect time. In today’s housing economy, converting your basement into a rental suite is an excellent way to help pay off your mortgage, while providing affordable living accommodations for low-income renters. Not only that, the addition of a basement apartment is a home improvement project that provides one of the highest returns on investment and adds value for resale purposes.