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All Things Renovation

Series 3 - Talking Shop

In this series, we interview key players from all the trades involved in the renovation process. Scroll down to find a topic that you're interested in learning more about!

Have questions or frustrations about your renovation? We're happy to help - contact us.

In case you missed it in the first series, Episode 1 is an introduction to your hosts, Brandy Kawulka (The Boss Lady) and Paul Keller (The Wood Magician).
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Brandy Kawulka
Paul Keller
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Whether you're a first time home buyer or already own your own home, it's often confusing to figure out what your options are for financing potential renovations. In this episode, Brandy interviews Krista Klein, a top-performing mortgage broker from Vancouver, to try and make sense of all the possibilities. 
Krista Klein
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Krista Klein
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What are some of the investment strategies that you can use to raise the money that you need to renovate your home? Brandy interviews Glen Dodd, a financial planner at The Dodd Financial Group, to find out what the best options are.
Glen Dodd
Glen Dodd
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Brandy interviews a local realtor, Roland Kym, to talk about which renovations actually add value to your home and which ones you should avoid. Also, what should the timing of your renovations be if you are planning on selling in the future, and what are the current trends that buyers are looking for? 
Roland Kym
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Roland Kym
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People can get caught up in the excitement and planning of the renovation process but how do your renovations affect your current homeowner insurance policies and do you need extra insurance to cover the changes? What about your contractor? Brandy interviews Sonja Blackburn from Shaw Sabey Insurance Brokers to find out what you need to know before you start. 
Sonja Blackburn
Sonja Blackburn
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Brandy interviews Josephina Serra-Puharich and Lauren Webb, interior designers at Form Collective, to explore how clients can benefit from hiring their services when planning their renovations, where they find their inspiration, and what the current design trends are for 2021. 
Josephina
Josephina Serra-Puharich
Lauren
Lauren Webb
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Switching over to a tankless hot water on demand system, or combining your space heating and domestic hot water with a Navien combi boiler system can have real benefits. It saves energy, which then saves you money! There are also incentivizing rebates from Fortis BC to consider. Brandy interview Matt Gyorfi, from Pro-West Sales, to explore the benefits of switching to these systems. 
Matt Gyorfi
Matt Gyorfi
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Every homeowner should have a basic tool kit. This week, Paul the Wood Magician goes over what you should include so that you're prepared for most of the simpler repairs that come up around the house. 
Wood Magician
Paul Keller,
aka The Wood Magician
 
People often don't know how or where to start packing up their homes for a renovation. Brandy interviews Linda Chu, owner of Out of Chaos, specializing in professional organizing solutions. Linda discusses the types of materials you need, how best to pack different types of items, where to store everything, and what to consider keeping readily accessible if your items are going into storage. 
Linda Chu
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Linda Chu

 
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Brandy interviews Victoria Ballantine of Allegiant Inspections to find out the circumstances under which people should engage a home inspector, what things are looked at during an inspection, and what is included in the report. They also discuss some small, inexpensive things that homeowners can do to maintain parts of their home to mitigate damage, as well as some red flags to look for when purchasing a home.
Victoria Ballantine
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Victoria Ballantine
 
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Electric vehicles are becoming more and more common so Brandy interviewed Quinn McLaughlin from MJR Electric to find out more information about the logistics of charging one up. How do the three levels of charging work, and what do you need to do to make sure your home has the capability of taking on that kind of power draw?
 
Quinn McLaughlin
Quinn McLaughlin
 
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Renovating can be a stressful process, especially if you and your partner don't agree on what you want out of your space. Brandy interviewed Susan Semeniw, a professional matchmaker and love coach at Divine Intervention, to find out how to advocate for yourself effectively with your contractor, and how to emerge from the renovation process with your relationship intact.
Susan Semeniw
Susan Semeniw
 
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Getting the Love You Want
Recommended Reading
In this episode, Brandy discusses a recent renovation that was done to turn a basement suite in West Vancouver into a rental unit. A lot of people worry about scope creep, how that impacts the budget, and what happens when something in the house creates a problem that we have to deal with. There’s a lot of fear around the unknown, and this case study showcases that yes, sometimes things happen, but there are ways that we can address it and at the end of the day, we still get a project done.
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cut beam
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Testimonial Video from the Client

 
In this episode, Brandy and Grant discuss some of the most common types of flooring choices: engineered hardwood, luxury vinyl tile (LVT), carpet and underlay, and eco-friendly options such as cork and Marmoleum. What are the maintenance requirements of each type? Are certain types of flooring more appropriate in certain rooms than others?
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Grant Bergman

 
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A surprising number of home elevators are installed across North America this year, for a variety of reasons ranging from mobility concerns to the pure luxury of having one in your home. In this episode, Brandy interviews Graham Kawulka and Calvin Austrom from Good Gate, a company based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, that manufactures residential elevator carriage gates. She wants to know what things there are to consider about their design and aesthetics, how much they cost, and are they safe?
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Graham Kawulka
 
Calvin Austrom
 
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Have you ever wondered what exactly an architect does and how they do it? In today's episode, Brandy interviews Danielle Berwick, of Berwick Architects, to find out how the role of an architect differs from that of a designer, how much input clients actually get, and what the process looks like after you have engaged an architect to help with your project.
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Danielle Berwick

 
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Brandy goes through four easy ways to renovate your home that don't necessarily require a lot of time or money but have a big impact: 

1. Paint, 2. Replace Doors and Hardware, 3. Lighting, and 4. Flooring.

In today's episode, Brandy interviews Heather Davidson, a landscape architect from Heather Davidson Design in Vancouver. They discuss how her job differs from that of a landscape designer, and the concept of natural materials playgrounds. Heather also provides some ideas for which plants you could consider putting in your garden to maximize the look throughout all the seasons as well as ones that will survive better as the climate changes. 

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Heather Davidson
 
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Plant Hardiness Zones
Plant Hardiness Zones
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PLANTS THAT WERE MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE:
Bearberry
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Western Sword Fern
Bearberry (Kinnikinnick)
 
Deer Fern
 
Western Sword Fern
 
Russian Sage
California Lilac
New Zealand Flax
California Lilac
 
New Zealand Flax
 
Russian Sage
 
Laurel Hedge
Dwarf Mugo Pine
blue oat grass
Laurel hedge
 
Dwarf Mugo Pine
 
Coral Bells foliage
Coral Bells with flowers
Blue Oat Grass
 
hostas
Coral Bells foliage
 
Coral Bells in flower
 
Hostas
 
black eyed susans
Cone Flowers
crocuses
Black-Eyed Susans
 
Cone Flowers
 
tulips
daffodils
Crocuses
 
alliums
Daffodils

 
Tulips

 
Alliums

 

In today's episode, Brandy interviews Michael Barillaro, the owner and operator of PWPC Electrical Services. When renovating your home, what do you need to consider from an electrical standpoint? Does your house have enough power to accommodate all of your needs? What is the big deal around the discovery and subsequent removal of knob-and-tube and aluminum wiring in your house? And an answer to a frequently asked question - how many pot lights should you have in your kitchen?

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Michael Barillaro
 
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A Simple Electrical Circuit

 
A helpful video for understanding how electrical circuits work in your home

 

Brandy and Paul discuss how unrealistic reality renovation TV shows actually are, and then talk about a couple of shows that they really enjoy because they show a much truer experience, but are still entertaining to watch. 

Brandy chats about picking up some weird and wacky mementos from their travels and how that can add a personal touch to your home décor.

A few of the pieces that Brandy & Paul have picked up on their travels:
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The Good/Fast/Cheap Triangle can be applied to many industry sectors. In this episode, Brandy discusses how it applies to the construction industry, and some suggestions for how to proceed if you have a clear scope of work but the quotes that you receive exceed your budget. 

Good & Fast isn't Cheap!
Fast & Cheap isn't Good!
Good & Cheap isn't Fast!
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In today's episode, Brandy and Paul discuss a great Canadian invention - the Robertson screw! For those of you who don't know, this screw is the one with the square hole. Who invented it and why? And why is it so commonly used in Canada but not in the United States? Listen and find out!
 
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The Robertson Screw

 
Paul's latest project - garage with decorative shingle design

 
These days, having a home theatre is not just for the wealthy. But when you're building and designing your own theatre, what should you consider? Brandy interviews Sandy MacDonald, from La Scala Integrated Media, about everything from room dimensions and drywall, to system components and heat mitigation. 
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Sandy MacDonald

 
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Something we all have in our home are windows! They help to bring the outdoors in and to illuminate our spaces with the all-important natural light. There are a ton of available options so in today's episode, Brandy interviews Brayden Stephenson from North Shore Door to try and make some sense of what's our there and what you need to think about when choosing windows for your home. 
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Brayden Stephenson
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Farmhouse Windows

 
Have you bought a property in a new city or a recreational property far away from where you live that you want to renovate? Brandy has some handy tips for what to keep in mind when renovating remotely.
Value engineering is a systematic, organized approach to providing necessary functions in a project at the lowest cost. Value engineering promotes the substitution of materials and methods with less expensive alternatives, ideally without sacrificing functionality. It keeps in mind a client's non-negotiables, but looks for secondary functions that are not critical and could be compromised. In this episode, Brandy outlines the steps in the process so that you can get greater value for your dollars in your next renovation. 
Nowadays, many people are turning their focus to the outside of their homes, partly because they are spending way more time at home due to the pandemic, but there is also a growing awareness that this is a really underutilized area of our property. In today's episode, Brandy interviews Matthew Herbert, the founder and general manager of Sherwood Outdoor Kitchens, to find out what kinds of things are possible in an outdoor kitchen, things to consider, and of course, the budget.
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Matthew Herbert

 
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Choosing new doors for your home can involve a surprising number of decisions. What material is it made of? What hardware do you like? What are the dimensions that you need? In today's episode, Brandy interviews Brayden Stephenson from North Shore Door to help answer some of these questions for you.
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Brayden Stephenson
 
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Often renovations focus on the interior of a home, but there's a lot to consider with your outdoor landscaping.  In today's episode Brandy interviews Marc Holley of Second Generation Landscapes to talk about design elements for your exterior including lawns, hardscape walkway and pathways, retaining walls and lighting. 
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Marc Holley 
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Smart home technology can improve your home's comfort and convenience by integrating everything from lighting to electronics to security and even lowering energy consumption. In today's episode, Brandy interviews Mike Chorney of La Scala about home automation and the integration of it in our homes.
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Mike Chorney 
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Asbestos was widely used in building materials and can be found in everything from firefighter suits, various manufacturing processes including automobile, construction products, power and chemical industries. What is asbestos and where is it found? What do you need to know as a homeowner? In today's episode Brandy interviews Lindsay Rice from Fairway Demolition to learn more about it and the abatement process.
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Lindsay Rice 
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Recently Brandy met with a client who stated that her partner always seems to want to start a renovation just prior to Christmas which can be stressful so this might be a good time to chat a little bit more about deadlines and especially those around milestone celebrations like at birthdays, babies being born or
holiday festivities.
Brandy spoke with Michael Pilato, Technical Lead for Electrical Technology at Technical Safety BC, about common safety issues in home renovations. Permitting, finding licensed contracts and resources to find your own answers are all discussed with this expert on All Things Renovation.
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Michael Pilato
Environmental hazards are a real thing in construction – asbestos, lead, oil tanks to name a few. Brandy welcomes Laura Pettersen who owns Lotus Environmental and we're going to dig into these topics. Laura is an environmental technologist who's become an expert in the field of Underground Storage Tanks. 
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Laura Pettersen

Continuing last episode's discussion, Brandy gets down to the nitty-gritty of removing underground oil tanks with Laura McEwan-Groves of TankTech. This local, family-owned contracting business has 30 years of wisdom to share.

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Laura McEwan-Groves

Meet Simon Dauphinee, author and entrepreneur with 20 years' experience in Ontario, Canada's residential renovation and construction industry. His first book, "Home In Good Hands" is an informative, succinct, go-to guide for any homeowner planning to renovate or build a home. 

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Simon Dauphinee

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