Nov 22, 2012

Renovation Financing

Looking for information on Renovation Financing?  Check out this article in Canadian Woodworking with contributing advice from Eurodale's Brendan Charters prior to discussing your options with your financial institution.


Oct 22, 2012

Lasting love in your Renovation

Check out Brendan Charters article that ran this past Thursday in the Toronto Star full of tips on what to factor in and consider on your renovation to ensure lasting love.  Good spatial planning, consideration of health and social comfort and enjoyment value are all things to review and consider.  Starting your search with a Renomark and finding qualified and licensed contractors and designers will set you off in the right direction.  You can read the full article here.

Oct 10, 2012

Giving Back | Educating the next generation of builders

Last week we had the pleasure of taking a handful of George Brown students through one of our latest projects, talking to them specifically about the methods of wood framing.  Brendan Charters and the home's project manager Sarah Baltare toured the students through, pointing out some of the details of the structure and also outlining the bridge between design and construction.  We wish the students the best of luck with their future careers.

Jul 26, 2012

2012 Race for Humanity

On July 19th, the team at Eurodale Developments competed for a third year in the annual Race for Humanity, presented by the Toronto Star and In2ition Marketing Insights.  Along with 24 other teams, the race took us from downtown to Toronto Island and back, where we crisscrossed the city competing to finish 10 Challenges, which included suicide wings, lots of trivia, supersized basketball, cookie decorating and sandcastle building.  Although the EuroRacers managed to complete all 10 assignments including the bonus rounds, we fell just short of the title, but had a lot of fun in the process.  We did however manage to win an award for ensuring that all the volunteers stayed well hydrated throughout the day!

Following the race, more than 500 BILD members congregated at BILD headquarters for the annual Charity BBQ and Silent Auction.  The two events raised over $36,000 for Habitat for Humanity, once again an incredible feat!  Thank you to everyone at In2ition, Toronto Star, Habitat for Humanity Toronto and BILD.

Jul 23, 2012

Design Lesson | Kitchens

Check out our top trends and guidelines for your kitchen renovation - written by Brendan Charters for Reno & Decor Magazine - we've got tips from our Architectural Designer Sarah Baltare, Interior Designer Laura Thornton of Thornton Interiors and our cabinet maker Jimmy Zoras of Distinctive by Design.  You can read the full article in the August/September issue of Reno & Decor on newstands now.

Jul 6, 2012

Magnificent Media Rooms

Did you catch the feature in yesterday's Toronto Star on our clients' Home Theatre and tips and advice when planning and designing Media spaces from our designer Sarah and our consultant Jordan Hermant from Zedware?  If you did - read the full article here.

Jul 5, 2012

The Good Reno

Check out our latest project at 33 Kelso Ave on the front page of the Toronto Star Restyle Section.  Here Brendan Charters talks about the HAAS (House As A System) approach to building.  You can read the full article here.


May 18, 2012

Are you a “House” Hunter or a “HAAS” Hunter?

Our city and the surrounding suburbs are dotted with rooftops providing shelter to its occupants from the harsh Canadian climates. The bone numbing cold in the winter and the sweltering heat & humidity in the summer, the wind and the rain are all kept at bay from our glorious homes. The problem however, is that some do a better job of it than others, and some much more efficiently than most.

Every day we design and build additions and renovations to older homes to improve them in some fashion, to create a solution to a perceived problem. For the most part, those fall to space challenges in smaller city homes, and to vane desires to keep us in step with the “Joneses”. Far too often, the key components that drive the real deep values of a home are not properly addressed to make way for that show stopping granite counter top. I am referring to the systems of a home, the ones that keep us safe from the elements and comfortable inside, no matter what Mother Nature is doing on the outside. As professional renovators, we look at a house with a different eye than the consumer. We look at the “House As A System” or HAAS for short.

Left: original ‘house’ – opposite right: renovated HAAS (House renovated with the ‘house as a system’ approach) Visible in the photo are the large overhangs which shield high summer sun and allow for passive solar gain in the winter when the sun is at a lower angle in the sky, reducing the need to use fossil fuel heating. The home is now listed for sale at $1.824m. An energy audit before and after renovations ensures the renovation initiatives were done properly.

You see, everything from air management, to moisture management to ventilation and insulation works to keep us comfortable and healthy in our homes. Without the proper training and implementation of changes to these systems in a renovation project, you are not truly improving the home. It’s like putting new rims on your car, but not changing the oil or brakes. You’re setting yourself up for future disaster!

Left: the original veneer kitchen was replaced with formaldehyde free painted cabinets and quartz stone counters selected for their low VOC off gassing properties. That and they still look fantastic.

On a recent development project we built in Bedford park (33 Kelso Avenue) near Avenue Rd and Lawrence in Toronto, we took a more holistic approach to ensure we treated moisture and air management through waterproofing and air/vapour barrier, created air sealing and insulation upgrades to existing non-insulated masonry walls with high density spray foam (to avoid potential mould issues with cellulose based insulation) and also increased efficiencies dramatically with a high efficiency boiler to heat floors and domestic hot water, allowing for a reduced dependency on the forced air heating system and the elimination of a wasteful traditional hot water tank. Complete air sealing with foam and caulking and tape in areas of air and vapour barriers, as well as at new energy star window and door installations changed were a sizeable replacement to the old leaky units which were just pressure fit into crumbling brick openings. Now that we had a tight home, we addressed air quality with material selections such as formaldehyde free cabinetry and low VOC paints (volatile organic compounds) paints (to reduce off gassing). The ventilation systems in the home were also improved to ensure we generate proper exchange of air inside the living space for the health of the environment to the occupants.

The old inefficient wood burning fireplace (left) was replaced with a sealed gas unit (right) reducing the chance of back drafting in the more tightly renovated home, creating a toxic environment to the occupants.

Because of the upgrades that we made in this project a house, which has received a sizeable addition in floor space will now actually cost the new owners less to live in it than the former smaller less efficient home. It will also be more comfortable as there will be less of the exterior forces of nature able to affect the humidity levels and temperatures inside the space.

When the existing home was gutted back to the brick (left), we were able to bring the non-insulated original home up to current insulation values with high density spray foam (right) . This ensures the addition and original home functioned the same, avoiding energy loss and uncomfortable conditions from one area of the house to the other so common in older homes.

All of these considerations are important when shopping for a new place to call our home. In a hot real estate market like this, location may not prove to be everything – you need to start looking at how the house works as a system. This will impact how your family lives in the home and will impact everything from your monthly energy bills, to the comfort you feel in the space and the health of you and your family.

Remember – you are looking for a HAAS, not a House!

Apr 18, 2012

Advice for the Eco-Renovation

In honour of Earth Week, the Toronto Star published this article on ways to incorporate eco-options to make your home healthier and more affordable.  Our own Brendan Charters was one of the many contractors across the GTA providing advice.  Read the article here.

Mar 29, 2012

Homeowner Question | Renovate or Rebuild

Many homeowners struggle with the decision or renovating or rebuilding their home.  Reno & Decor magazine approached Eurodale and Brendan Charters with this very question from one of their readers in their April issue of the magazine.  See below how we advise our clients and assist them with making this decision.

Mar 22, 2012

PROJECTS | Mid-Toronto Custom Home Completed

After approximately 10 months of construction, the home in Midtown Toronto went from this...

to this....

The exterior is a modern blend of rough-sawn Indiana Limetone, Boston brick, James Hardie siding and cedar shakes and canopies.  The showpiece of the home is the double height dining room that highlights the open stairwell and bridge at the second floor.  The stairs are open riser white oak, with heavy white oak curbs and handrail with glass and steel railings.  The hardwood floors throughout are 5" white oak that have only been clear coated to highlight the beautiful graining.

A double sided fireplace clad in metallic tile separates the dining room and kitchen.  The kitchen is a story in grey and white and the gleaming appliances pick up on the fireplace tile.

The multi-purpose room on the second floor really does serve multiple purposes.  It is an office, sitting room, exercise room and laundry room - a full laundry suite is housed behind the bifold doors.  This room also boasts a generous walk-out balcony with some great views of the city.

The guest bathroom at the front of the home is cool and comtemporary and with the corner wrapped windows has one of the best views in the house.

The stairwell to the third floor is illuminated by the double skylights that also act as a passive chimney - exhausting the warm air from the house.

And the ensuite bath is carrera marble and glass mosaics - with custom glass door to the water closet - is a private sanctuary on the third floor.

Mar 20, 2012

PROJECTS | Brick & Stone on the Custom Home

With a March that has offered weather that seems more like July, we're taking full advantage and putting up the masonry at the Markham Custom Home Site.  The house is predominately brick with a 4' stone base which is a mix of artificial and natural stone for a truly unique custom look.  We have used a traditional deep burgundy brick in a large size to match the massing of the house and Indiana limestone sills create a polished look.  With a clear, warm forecast for the next week - we plan to be complete in a few days time, so check back soon.