reVISION Renovations Blog

Category: reVISION’s Renovation Blog

  1. Interior Designer or Decorator… how to choose? Part 1

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    The Vancouver real estate market has changed and with it the construction industry. This change has caused many people to stay in their homes and take more economical options like renovating. Renovating the home can be an overwhelming task to start and execute and is why and Interior designer can be your best resource.

    Let’s start with discussing the difference between an Interior Designer and an Interior Decorator as this gets confused often.

    Interior Decorator

    • Post-construction phase
    • Finishing touches
    • Home Staging
    • Furnishings and textural finishes

    Interior Designer

    • Pre-construction phase
    • Drawings (layouts, finishing, electrical, plumbing, etc)
    • Finish selections (hard finishes, appliances, fixtures, plumbing, etc)
    • Cabinet layouts
    • The flow of the home and how the people function in it
    • Standard sizing/heights/placement of fixed pieces (ie: plumbing/lighting/etc)
    Bathroom Tile and Fixture Elevation Created by An Interior Designer (me)

    How do I know if I need an interior designer?

    Researching ideas, materials and meeting trades will take a lot of time. Hiring an interior designer will help narrow choices down quickly and give detailed instructions to the trades. Designers know where to purchase materials/fixtures and having contacts in the industry ensures you get the best service and pricing.

    Many people are uncertain about their style. Designers are experts in drawing out your tastes and giving you a home you’ll love.

    Size of the project? Larger projects have a lot of detail and are almost a necessity to hire a designer. Consider your capacity to handle the project.

    Will there be many finishes and fixtures? Trades typically require detailed drawings. The tile installer knows will want the tile pattern and if there is in-floor heat etc. An electrician needs to know what he is wiring and mounting and how much voltage needed. The plumber needs to know the placement of fixtures on the floor and walls. Without this detail, things might get missed causing a costly fix.

    (to be continued)

  2. All Hail the New Fireplace

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    On a cool Vancouver evening, a new fireplace brings warmth and comfort to a room. When it comes to design, a fireplace brings more than function. Fireplaces make a statement and set a tone for the room. Here below are a few of my favourites.

    Ribs and Relaxation

    This king of outdoor spaces has a two-sided fireplace that brings the ambience. One side adds cosiness to the living area and the other brings romance to the hot tub. The cultured stone finish gives a grand and warm feel while still fitting in with the rest of the home.

    Kool in Kits

    I like the clean and contemporary design aesthetic of this condo’s fireplace. We cast, in place, a concrete mantle and floating bench and installed lighting strategically to show the fireplace’s best features. Lastly, wrapped the structure with light coloured large format tiles completing the clean look.


    Sleek and Contemporary this new fireplace speaks simple yet sophisticated. Accenting the large white wall, the textured tiles pull in you visually and the height of the install makes the ceiling seem almost taller.  It’s hard to imagine this home without this amazing fireplace.


    When comes to design when faced with two choices…go with the bold one


  3. A Few of My Favourite Kitchen Renovations

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    A kitchen renovation impacts the look, feel and the love of a home. Over the years, we’ve done many kitchen renovations and would like to share with you a few of my favourites.

    Come on Baby Light My Fire

    When it comes to kitchen renovations, this beauty is the is an entertainers and chefs dream with tons of space to work and host. I love the details, like the fireplace at the end of the island, the built-in appliances and the fantastic mix of materials. However, my favourite feature is the window in place of the backsplash which allows a nice view of the lush greenery outside

    Petite & Chic

    In terms of size, this kitchen is certainly not the scale as Come on Baby Light My Fire. What this kitchen does have is an incredible charm. The tile backsplash makes a visually interesting background for the floating shelves with built-in puck lights. The island is made of reclaimed antique china wood and a raised glass top. Panels installed on the fridge make the cabinets look clean. Who says bigger is better?

    The House Fit for “Sonny and Claire”

    No expense was spared for this high function and styled kitchen. The main kitchen showcases beautiful built-in appliances a cooktop and two peninsulas.  Entertain in the main area and make delicious meals in the adjacent wok kitchen. Open and clean, anything is possible in this enviable kitchen.

  4. Going up? Bringing Basement Ceiling Height to Your Remodel

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    Last post we started the discussion of adding basement ceiling height to your remodel. We discussed the strategy of digging down to gain height in the basement. In this post, we talk about up by lifting the house to gain basement ceiling height.  As mentioned in the last post, these strategies have a high degree of difficulty

    First and foremost you have to check what the city zoning will allow. A few things to look for are how will house raising affect your floor space ratio and will the new height be above what’s allowable. Providing you are able to check all the city boxes and get a building permit, then we get to the good stuff.

    Let’s Get that House Airborne

    Have your qualified contractor and structural engineer inspect the condition of the home ensuring it can sustain a house lift and the additional weight. Next disconnect services like water, gas, electricity and sewage. In the basement demo the existing interior walls. Confirm subgrade condition for stable placement of jacks and support cribs.  Cut holes in the foundation to allow beams under the building. Jacks are placed under the beams and the house is raised and crib supports take the place of the jacks. Now that the building is off the foundation, its time to build the structural supports between the foundation and the bottom of the home. Lower the home onto the new structural supports and voila you have a taller basement. Now you are ready for framing, plumbing, electrical etc.

    Questions? Please feel free to contact me and I’d be happy to help out.

    Beams Placed for House Lift

    Support Cribs Under Beams

    A View of the House Above the Foundation


  5. Bringing Height to Your Basement Remodel

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    Thinking about a basement remodel and need a little headroom? There are a number of reasons to gain some height in your basement. Be it to make a legal basement suite or a more comfortable primary living space. Whatever your reason, I have two basement remodel strategies for you that we have successfully compleated many times. These strategies are major construction with a high degree of difficulty. Sorry DIY guys.

    Let’s Dig down

    The first piece of business is figuring out how deep the foundation goes below the floor slab. You can figure this out by finding a spot (preferably two) to dig on the outside of your home and keep digging until you find the foundation footing.  The top of the foundation footing is the lowest you can install the bottom of a new floor slab. Providing that a new lowered slab will meet your height requirements and city bylaws then you can move onto the difficult part

    An opening in the foundation wall for the excavator

    The difficult part entails a complete basement demolition including the concrete pad. First of all, the foundation walls are maintained, modified or replaced with beams (see engineer). Next start digging the basement by hand or excavator (if you can bring one in). At the same time, determine if you will lower your existing exterior drain tile system (very evasive and rarely practical) or install an interior weeping tile system.

    Once you’ve got to your desired depth, install the interior weeping tile system, prep and pour the pad and install strip footings (per structural engineer). Upon completing the concrete work, you can begin the process of reinstalling mechanical, framing walls, plumbing, electrical etc.

    In part 2 I’ll explain the system which involves lifting/raising the house from its foundation

  6. Condominium Renovations-What you need to know

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    Condominium and Townhouse Renovations in Vancouver seem like a snap but they present their own challenges that single family homes don’t have. Here are a couple of quick tips to hopefully save you from a few surprises, expense and time when embarking on a condominium renovation

    Love Thy Neighbour

    Condominium Kitchen Renovation Before

    Your neighbours will be involved and affected in some way. From demolition and construction noise to accessing the neighbouring suite to make plumbing adjustments for your new sink. Making friends with the neighbours well in advance will go a long way to making the project run much smoother.

    No one is above the law

    Read the strata bylaws very carefully before starting your renovation. Look for flags like restricted work hours (ex 10 am to 2 pm) or strata approval for minor things (like flooring). You can pretty much count on design approval and building permit required for a typical renovation. Breaking bylaws will land you a bunch of fines and/or a stop-work order, so take them seriously

    full interior renovation kool-in-kits-after-renovation-1

    Condominium Kitchen Renovation After

    Sorry but some things are a little more expensive…

    Delivery and access are two big challenges when doing a condominium renovation. Many things will be moved by hand from a truck, up the elevator, down hallways… well you get the idea. Waste disposal is another problem because using a dumpster is rarely an option. Consequently, many trips with a trailer are required to remove waste from a condominium renovation

    Hopefully, you found these tips useful and if you have any questions please feel free to contact me directly


  7. Where Our Designers Like To Shop For Homeware

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    The finishing touches can make or break your renovation. When it comes to furnishing your renovation it’s important that items complement the changes you have made. Navigating your way through homeware stores can be challenging. We asked our designers where they like to shop and where they recommend our clients look for home decor items.  

    In no particular order here are some of our favourite places to shop for homeware.


    Budget: $$

    What they do well: Structube has fantastic furniture for very reasonable prices. Raw and natural style pieces, this store provides furniture that will fit into many styles of renovation and will stand the test of time.


    Budget: $

    What they do well: We couldn’t make a list and not include IKEA. Yes, it’s budget, however, there are just some items that you don’t need to spend $$$$ on. For example, clever storage solutions, hooks, perhaps basement suite or rental furniture. We rely on them for items such as basic frames and mirrors.


    Budget: $-$$$$

    What they do well: A bit of everything! Textures such as towels, bedding are a fave of ours from Wayfair. It’s also a great website to check out if you need furniture or lighting. It doesn’t pigeonhole itself into a certain trend, Wayfair provides furniture to please all tastes.


    Budget: $$$

    What they do well: Very modern and sleek, it’s the perfect store to get everything from furniture to decor items. Luxe style items for the modern condo or home.

    Union Wood Co.

    Budget: $$$-$$$$

    What they do well: Custom Wood furniture that is really stunning. Union Wood can build items that fit perfectly into your home and style. They recently build custom items for our latest loft renovation – Sugar Coated

    Budget $-$$

    What they do well: Bedding and decor items! Homesense is our guilty pleasure. It’s the perfect place if you want to add some decor to your home but hasn’t got a huge budget. Now and again they also have great furniture on sale. Since all the stores are different, it can be total potluck.


    Budget: $$$

    What they do well: Simple, no fuss, impactful furniture. As it’s online you can make some great savings on items that would normally cost you significantly more. We are in love with their sofas.

    Van special

    Budget: $$$$

    What they do well: This high-end store embodies Scandinavian design and Japanese minimalism. We wouldn’t recommend buying all your homeware from this store unless you’re made of money. However, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a big ticket item that you love.

    The Cross

    Budget: $$-$$$

    What they do well: Romantic decor. This store is like a fairytale dream. Soft colours and textures, this store is perfect for a more feminine lighter decor. Our Designers love the candles and throws. Think shabby chic interiors.

    Urban Outfitters

    Budget: $

    What they do well: Young, fun and playful decor items. Boho style decor which can brighten up for your apartment. A hipster’s dream.

    Restoration Hardware

    Budget: $$$-$$$$

    What they do well: Industrial, rustic style items. Industrial furniture pieces are at the heart of this store. Our Designers also really like the lighting here.


  8. Reignite Your Love For The Bathtub

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    Bring Back The Bathtub!

    The bath has been slowly pushed out of the bathroom to make way for double showers, double sinks and more bathroom storage. We’re about to make you question why you wanted to remove the cosy bathtub. Trust us, on a rainy PNW night your going to thank us when you’re soaking your cold toes in that luxurious bathtub!

    Here is a list of bathtub styles to reignite your love for the tub.

    The Modern Sleek


    This one is for the minimalist out there. Bathtubs don’t need to be dated or boxy. We love this simple design with a matt black simple tap. Consequently, the placement of the tub, away from the wall allows the shape of the tub to grab your attention.







    The Wooden Tub


    Ok, we know this is very different! Feel like your floating down the river in your own personal boat. This masterpiece is certainly a showstopper. Perfect for bathrooms with natural materials are the center.







    The Copper Tub


    A stunning classic. This bathtub is perfect for heritage homes or bathrooms with the richer decor. Moreover, this tub will always be timeless and incredibly comfortable.








    The Colourful Pop


    You may want to go with a more traditional style tub with a shower for practical reasons, but it doesn’t mean it can’t pop. Use tiles to make your bathtub the center of attention. This girly Moroccan style tile is a big hit with us! Classic style tubs don’t have to be boring.







    The Space Saver


    The main reason the bathtub gets the kick is space in the bathroom! Introducing the sit-up tub that saves space while still providing a relaxing spa to enjoy. This is great for smaller homes or condos.








    The Wet Room

    By combining the shower and the bathtub it not only saves space but ticks two boxes, bath and shower. We created this beautiful wet room which makes use of feature tiles and a linear drain. 





    The bedroom bath

    Why does the bath have to be in the bathroom? Put your bath in your bedroom and free up space in your bathroom. Bedrooms tend to be bigger spaces, therefore you will feel far more relaxed laying in your bath with all that open space.







    purgeFeature Blog: Edmonds Fine Appliances

    Houzz released their 2018 U.S Houzz Kitchen Trends Study which outlined the biggest trends for kitchens right now. Sure enough, decluttering was one of the big trends, we’re taking a look into how you can declutter your kitchen, with the help of appliances, as well as general tips and tricks you can utilize:

    1. Keep Your Tasks Small

    One of the challenges of decluttering is the time and energy that it generally takes to tidy up your space. Similar to any large project, cleaning a full kitchen in one day can be daunting and unrealistic. Instead, if you break your clean-up project into smaller tasks, the project will be done quicker and more effectively.

    1. Multi-Purpose Appliances and Cookware

    Many appliances and cookware of today have been developed with decluttering in mind. If you’re in the market for new appliances, one of our decluttering recommendations is to look for appliances that have dual purposes, like a steam oven that combines a conventional oven with a healthy steam option.

    1. Clearing Space on Your Countertops

    The top kitchen obsession when it comes to decluttering is with regards to countertops. To decrease clutter on your countertops, we recommend utilizing space on your wall instead.

    1. Flush-Install and Counter-Depth Appliances

    Flush-install appliances are those that align with cabinets and countertops Counter-depth installation appliances result in the door sticking out a bit from the wall. Utilizing flush installation provides a clean, contemporary design, as everything aligns flawlessly together.

    1. Incorporating Minimalism into Your Life

    Another way to decrease clutter in your home is by incorporating minimalism into your lifestyle to create clean, open spaces.

    Any of these methods will help towards decluttering your kitchen, and most importantly, keep it decluttered longer! For  the full article please have a look at Edmonds Fine Appliances website or click on this link

  10. Renovation Awards: 2017/18

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    Any renovator will know that being recognized for your work in the industry is a big deal! Consequently, with all the finalists now revealed for this years renovations awards we are proud to say we have some very strong finalists!

    Every year we enter the array of renovation awards for many reasons. Firstly to gain approval and validation for the fantastic renovation work our team has completed throughout the year. Secondly to provide future clients with the piece of mind that our renovation projects are considered some of the best in British Columbia and the country.

    With this in mind, take a look at our finalists renovation projects this year…

    2017/18 Renovation Award Finalists:

    renovation-awardsOvation Awards 

    Come On Baby Light My Fire [Best kitchen over $125,000]

    Play Me A Tune [Best Renovation $400,000 – $699,999]

    Sugar Coated [Best Townhouse/Condo Renovation under $300,000]

    Winner announced 29th April 2018 



    renovation-awardsGeorgie Awards

    Play Me A Tune [Best Residential Renovation $300,000 – $500,000 and Best Kitchen Renovation under $125,000]

    Come On Baby Light My Fire [Best Kitchen Renovation Over $125,000]

    Winner announced 10th March 2018 

    renovation-awardsCHBA National Awards for Housing Excellence

    Come on Baby Light My Fire [Kitchen Renovations over $100,000]

    Winner announced March 23rd 

  • I want to thank you again for the great service you have personally provided from start to finish of our project. It has been very much enjoyed and appreciated.

    I would be happy to speak with any future prospective customers on your and your companies behalf.

    , Vancouver
  • We have undertaken several projects over the past couple of years using your company’s services and have found you to be attentive to our needs and concerns, responsive to our requests, and as efficient as the busy construction industry can under existing conditions.

    , Tsawassen
  • When our renovations were complete, we were very pleased with the quality and detail of the work that had been done. Also the estimated time in which Todd quoted at the beginning was accurate.

    , Richmond
  • Todd is very organized and detail-oriented as well as being incredibly reliable…Todd represents a high level of professionalism within the work being done as well as on a personal level.

    , Vancouver
  • A special thanks is due to Todd for seeing to it that the work progressed efficiently, with materials and trades people arriving when needed.

    , Langley
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