A version of this article originally appeared in the Summer 2017 issue of OUR HOMES London and Middlesex County, p.48. Find local businesses in our London directory.
A home improvement journey often raises unwelcome surprises decorated in dollar signs. Our local experts in London have great ideas to help you avoid spending more than you’ve budgeted for.
Tell us about Lighthouse Landscape: We are a full-service landscape design, build and maintenance company with a full-time designer on staff. Our install and maintenance crews are experienced and educated landscape professionals.
How does the design process work? Most homeowners have a budget and an idea of what they want. Our designer helps guide the client through the design process and offers creative suggestions that may not have been considered. Of course, these suggestions are made with budgetary constraints in mind.
To avoid costly mistakes, what is your best advice for homeowners? Work with a professional landscaper who offers computerized 2- or 3-D designs and who employs an experienced designer and highly-skilled construction crews. A landscape design is no different than a home construction design. It serves as a better decision-making tool, documents a vision for better end results and is a blueprint for success for all.
ARNE & PEDER MADSEN
CCR Building & Remodelling
Tell us a bit about CCR: With a solid reputation in trim and cabinetmaking, Arne started the business almost 30 years ago. Peder eventually joined his father. We have expanded CCR, building on its tradition of great design and the kind of customer service that keeps clients involved in the progress of their projects and delighted with the finished product.
What are dos and don’ts to consider before building or renovating? Do keep an open mind, and be open to compromise if that is necessary for staying within your budget. Do rely on your contractor’s experience, and listen carefully to pros and cons when they’re explained to you. Don’t push for unrealistic scheduling or budgeting.
What is your best advice for avoiding costly mistakes? Plan ahead! We offer a detailed design process with our industry partners that can help you stay organized and eliminate much of the stress that can come with renovating.
The Table and Chair Co.
Tell us a bit about your experience in the world of tables and chairs: We have been making and selling tables and chairs since 1983. We are family owned and operated. We offer Canadian and American-made products with a wide variety of fabrics, wood and metal finishes.
What are some dos and don’ts for furniture shoppers? It’s best to buy North American-made products both for inside and outside furnishings. You have more selection in colour and style, and the construction is far superior.
What is your best advice for avoiding costly mistakes? Search for the style that appeals to you and consider the material you’d like to use such as wood, metal or wicker. Also, know your room size and design around that for a proper fit.
JASON & BARB HANSFORD
Triple H Paving Stone Inc.
Tell us about Triple H: We’re family owned and have been in business over 25 years. We operate a retail yard offering a wide variety of materials such as paving stone, patio slabs, retaining walls, steps, aggregates, mulches, ground covers and more. We also provide professional paving stone and retaining-wall installations by Garry Hansford and his crew.
What should people know about integrating hardscaping with a property’s natural features? Patios, driveways and walkways always enhance a home’s natural setting. If someone is going to take on such a project themselves, time and patience are required. Everyone should work to a plan.
What is your best advice for avoiding costly mistakes? Prepare the surface well. This is the most important part of any project. No matter what type of design you choose, a good base is required before installation.
System Select Realty Inc.
Tell us a bit about System Select: We bring buyers and sellers together in a cost-effective manner. Negotiating the “best price” for your property is just part of our service equation; offering low, extremely competitive commissions is the other.
What are the perils of a hot market? It leaves hopeful buyers susceptible to getting “caught up in the action.” With multiple-offer scenarios occurring regularly, buyers feel pressure and budgets are often stretched in the face of emotionally-charged language like “bidding wars” and “bully offers.”
To avoid costly mistakes, what is your best advice? Have a well-laid plan before you start. Start by choosing a realtor to represent your interests. Your mortgage provider, home inspector and lawyer should also be in your corner before home hunting begins. When an exciting buying opportunity presents itself, you will be more relaxed and empowered to make sound decisions that won’t come back to haunt you financially.