Get ready for spring renovations - Metro US

Get ready for spring renovations

Come spring, winter-weary Canadians tend to focus their thoughts on outdoor projects in anticipation of those hot days of summer. Here are four popular home renovation projects.

All decked out
Decking is the No. 1 home renovation project of choice, says Liz Martin, a project guide with Rona, which offers customers free in-store deck designs, from basic to sophisticated, in an assortment of materials.

“Spring is about extending your living space,” says Martin. “You’re opening your doors and making the outside inviting.”

A basic pressure-treated 10-by-10-foot deck will cost around $1,000 for the do-it-yourselfer; a 20-by-20-foot deck would run $2,800.

A decking material homeowners should consider, says Martin, is interlocking stone, which is maintenance-free, has a longer lifespan than wood and generally offers more privacy as stone platforms are typically built lower to the ground.

Curb appeal
Now’s also the time to think curb appeal. Consider an asphalt driveway to neaten up your existing gravel or dirt driveway. The beauty of asphalt is that it’s far more flexible than concrete so it’s less likely to crack. It’s also cheaper than concrete and sets faster.

Asphalt driveways are not likely a do-it-yourself job. Be careful when looking for a paving contractor, as the profession doesn’t have the best reputation. Try looking for contractors at handycanadian.com, a website that helps consumers connect with reputable contractors.

The cost of a new asphalt drive will cost from about $2 to $3.50 per square foot, says Kevin Guidolin of Upper Canada Asphalt.

Landscape to perfection
Major landscaping is not a job for the faint of heart. Not only do you need time and patience, but if you’re doing it all at once, it can be costly.

There are ways to break up the expense. A step-by-step approach, whether professionally installed or planted by hand, helps spread out the cost, according to Home Depot.

Before planting anything, you’ll need to install your drainage and consider irrigation.

Map out your paths and patios. Think about vertical focal points such as trees, gazebos or pergolas.
With these in place, you’re ready to fill in your landscape canvas with beds, shrubs and other plant materials over time.

About the garage
Extending your indoor living space into the garage is a good idea if you’re short on funds or can’t stomach the disruption of a major addition.

The first thing you need to do is check with your local building inspector to ensure the coast is clear for the conversion. Many garages already have existing plumbing and electricity in place so that’s not as expensive as installing from scratch. This is probably the most cost-effective means to add a few hundred square feet to your living space.

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