May 11, 2012
Silvana Longo chats with Peter Khatami, co-owner of Nostco Construction, to get the lowdown on home renovations, how to get started and when to surrender your tools to the pros.
Q With a winter that almost didn’t happen this year, it has us thinking even more about the summer months ahead and how best to enjoy them in our outdoor space. What if the state of your deck needs an overhaul or perhaps a complete teardown? What type of condition can you repair your existing deck and what would you need to do to bring it back to life?
A Most decks are built with pressure treated lumber (PT), cedar or composite wood. Wood decks should be power washed and sealed annually to ensure a long life. If the deck has become weathered, try restoring it with an environmentally safe cleaning chemical prior to power washing and resealing. If the wood shows significant signs of cracking, splitting, separating or rotting, remedial measures should be taken beyond the surface treatment of chemicals. Consult with a deck and fence company in your area. Most will offer an assessment of the existing deck. A growing trend in the deck industry is the use of engineered wood composite in place of traditional PT/cedar lumber. The initial cost is offset by a virtually maintenance-free life for your deck and something you may want to look into.
Q If someone wants to add a sunroom to their home so that they can enjoy the outdoors throughout the year from inside their house, what is involved (building permits, inspections, etc.) from start to finish? Would you say that sunrooms add the most value to a home than any other outdoor investment? How much do they range from and is it overall worth the investment?
A You will need a permit to construct a sunroom. As the addition proposes to increase the footprint of the home on the property, you will first require clearance from the zoning department. You will also require the clearance of the conservation authority having jurisdiction over the property. Once obtained, you can apply for a building permit from the city. After the permits are issued, you may construct and order inspections at the required stages until completion. A sunroom can be either heated or not heated, if heated, you may want to factor in whether that will have an effect on the property assessment on the home. I hold the opinion that the investment you make in a renovation, be it a sunroom, deck or landscaping, should be viewed in relation to the existing home and seen on an individual basis, should return on investment be a significant factor in your decision. Your real estate professional should be able to offer insight and direction in this regard. The cost of a sunroom varies, as with all additions, however there are companies that specialize in modular sunrooms that will offer a complete estimate and some have showrooms you can visit as well.
Peter is co-owner of Nostco Construction, a design/build, project management and contracting firm serving residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA. With more than 10 years of industry experience, Peter prides himself in working tirelessly on behalf of his clients to transform vision to successful reality on every project. nostco.com
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