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Senior Accessibility: A Guide to the Ontario Renovates Program

Is your home in need of some repairs or modifications for improved accessibility? Well if you’re a senior or a person with disabilities living in Ontario, you could be eligible for funding offered by Ottawa’s Housing Services branch. Here is a guide to the Ontario Renovates Program to help you learn how you could potentially have your home repairs covered.


What is the Ontario Renovates Program?

This program was created under the City Housing Services branch to provide limited funding to low-income seniors and persons with disabilities to assist with home repairs.


What Type of Repairs Does This Include?

The Ontario Renovates Program only provides funding for repairs and modifications that are necessary for improving accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities who are living within their own home. This aims to provide necessary support to assist with independent living.


What are the Eligibility Requirements?

To be eligible to receive funding through this program, low-income seniors must be 65 years of age or older. It also pertains to persons with disabilities, along with families who have a member of their home who meets the criteria of being 65 or older, and or with a disability of some sort. There is a maximum annual gross annual income which varies depending on the number of residents. For instance a single-person household may have a maximum gross annual income of $36,075, while a two-person household may have a combined gross annual income up to $44,160 to qualify for the program.


What are the Eligibility Requirements of the Property?

To be eligible for the program, your property must be your sole and primary residence located in the City of Ottawa. It must also be valued at or under $376,300 as determined by the province and verified by the owner’s most recent property tax assessment.


What Type of Repairs Can Be Included?

The purpose of this program is to provide funding to assist in making the home a safer place for seniors and persons with disabilities to live independently. Some of the potential repairs that are allowed include:

  • Doors and windows
  • Repairs to foundation, roofs, walls, floors, and ceilings
  • Plumbing, septic, electrical, and heating systems
  • Fire safety features
  • Installing handrails and ramps
  • Chair and bathlifts
  • Height-adjusted countertops

There are many other items that qualify under the program. You can check out more details here.


What About Funding?

Funding is delivered in the form of a forgivable loan. The funding may also be provided in the form of a grant for eligible applicants up to a maximum amount of $18,500. There are certain stipulations when it comes to the details of the scope of funding, which can also be found here.


How to Apply for the Ontario Renovates Program

To apply for the funding program, head to the City of Ottawa website to access instructions, details, a checklist and the application form.

The duration of the program runs until March 31st, 2018 or until the funds have been fully spent. So if you think you qualify for the Ontario Renovates Program, be sure to check out their website for all of the details so you can apply before it’s too late. Applications will be accepted until March 31, 2018, or until allocated funds run out.  

Adding a Half Bath to Your Home

Planning to add a half bath to your home? It’s an excellent way to increase the value of your home and to add more convenience for your family and guests. If you’re ready to get started, here’s everything you need to consider when adding the perfect half bath to your home.



There are lots of potential areas in your home that can make for a perfect half bath. If you have a stairway with unused space underneath, a large garage, or spare closet space, these areas can make for good potential locations.



Once you have some potential options in mind, consider how much space you need. When adding a half bath, it doesn’t need to be large, just enough space for a toilet, sink, mirror, and vanity. You also want to make sure people can move around in the area without feeling claustrophobic, and a smart design can make this happen.



For your half bath to work you need it to be close enough to plumbing connections that are already in place. Otherwise, you will be spending money expanding your indoor plumbing and pipes, costing you more than you might have bargained for. An ideal plumbing scenario is run piping from the nearby laundry room or kitchen.



You may also require ventilation in your half bath to control odours, improve air quality, and reduce the risk of growing mildew or mold. Consider adding a window or an exhaust fan to the space. You don’t have to get fancy, but there are lots of different designs when it comes to fans, so shop around for the best prices.



Lighting is of course, a necessity but can also be a great way to add some style and design touches to the room. You can add dimmer switches, elegant lighting fixtures, or battery-operated candles to jazz up the space.



The half bath is often the only room guests see besides your entertaining spaces. So why not decorate to impress? Skip the basics and add marble sinks, potted plants, wood accents, and other luxury décor items.


Sound Insulation

Adding sound insulation is a must when it comes to half baths that are located near living rooms spaces or areas where people gather. So, during the installation project, add some sound absorbing materials to the walls, pipes, and drains.

A half bath can be an easy project if you have the right plan and contractor for the job. Before you start your new project, talk to RenosGroup.ca – we can help you with everything you need to get the perfect half bath for your budget and home design.

2017’s Hottest Basement Trends

Basement renos and remodelling have grown in popularity over the past few years as homeowners become more inclined to make use of that entire square footage. Whether it’s an entertainment hub for the family, a place for the kids to hang out, or your own special spot to have the friends over for cocktails, here are some of 2017’s hottest basement renovation trends that are leading the way this year.


Open Concept

Think the open concept has passed? Think again! When it comes to basement floor plans, the open concept is a keeper. Tearing down those dividing walls and taking advantage of the expansive space is not only beneficial from a design standpoint, but also for promoting air flow and allowing as much natural light to filter in from the windows.


An Integral Part of the Home

In the past, the basement was often a forgotten space. It was commonly used for storage, setting up an extra spot for extended family to stay during the holidays, or an unfinished den where your teenage kids would retreat to with their friends in tow. Well, not anymore.

Now, we’re seeing an increasing trend where homeowners are honing in on that once forgotten space. It’s now being transformed into an integral part of the home and an extension of the upstairs living space. So naturally, you will find just as much attention to detail, design, and décor throughout the basement layout as you would in the main living room.


Home Theatre & Media Room

Some homeowners are even taking full advantage of the basement space by cranking up the luxury factor and adding in elements they can really indulge in like an enclosed home theatre and a media room. This is where the serious media enthusiast can get pampered.


The Basement Bar & Sports Center

Imagine having your own personal sports bar, right in your own home! If you’re bored with the idea of creating another bedroom or zone for the kids, why not make it your own space to kick back and relax with your friends while you take in all the sports action? You can create the ultimate sports lounge with a customized bar, paired with some exceptionally comfy seating, a widescreen to blow your mind, and even a few entertainment pieces like a pool table.

If you can dream it, you can create it – and that goes for your basement. If you’re bored with the idea of wasting it on storage or another bedroom that you simply don’t need, claim that space and transform it into something you truly want. When you’re ready, contact RenosGroup.ca to help make your vision a reality.

Does Your Laundry Room Need a Makeover?

Is your laundry room driving you a little bit crazy? Is the room cluttered and disorganized so much that your clothes end up piled up without room to organize? If this sounds like your struggles, maybe it’s time for a laundry room makeover. Here we provide some secrets on how you can better utilize your laundry room space and make the most of your weekly cleaning.

New Efficient Machines

If your clothes are coming out worse than when they went in, it’s probably time to upgrade your machines. Washing machines take a lot of abuse over the years, and you should consider replacing them every five or so years depending on the make. If you want to utilize your laundry room space, try purchasing a stacking dryer and washer. With the savings in energy usage, they’ll pay for themselves over the years!

Storage Space

For better space utilization, you should try installing more storage units. Consider implementing a pull-out hamper, narrow sliding cart, or closet organizer. Rigging your laundry room with additional storage can really help to free up more needed space and keep your belongings organized. Take it to the next level with custom storage perfectly fitted to the space by your general contractor.

Laundry Sink

Not everything should go into the washer. That’s why having a laundry room sink is handy for hand-washing any delicates or hard-to-clean textures. It’s also convenient when you need to immediately rinse off stains or soak items. This can also free up the kitchen or bathroom sink when you need to hand-wash any items.

Folding Station

When it comes to organizing laundry, nothing is handier than a having a folding station that you can take advantage of when your clothes are fresh out of the dryer. If you’re short on space, you can add a fold-down table to the back of the door. You can also utilize this area for ironing and stacking clothes once dried.

Natural Light

You should also consider adding more natural light if possible. Installing a window or sunroof can really help with the quality of your washing – say goodbye to mixing up colours in the dark. But if your house won’t permit a build-out, you can always purchase new and brighter lighting and bulbs for the room.

Your laundry room is one of the most essential rooms in your home. So why not make it both functional and easy to navigate? By following these tips, you can easily save plenty of space and upgrade the features for more efficient use.

5 Reasons to Buy a Fixer-Upper

Buying a fixer-upper has many advantages for purchasers. And it doesn’t matter how well or poorly the market is performing, you can buy a fixer-upper at any time. With a fixer-upper, you can make a decent profit off the purchase price if you put some quality work into it. But that isn’t the only reason why you should consider buying a home with upside potential. Here we outline some attractive benefits you can obtain when buying a home that needs some work.

Renovate Key Rooms

Maybe it’s an older design that hasn’t been updated in decades, or the previous owners started but didn’t have the money to finish the upgrades. Whatever the condition, a fixer-upper is the perfect purchase for those who love to renovate and create. By focusing on the key rooms of the home, like the living room, kitchen and master bedroom, you can flip the house from drab to fab in no time.

Make It Your Own

Sure, you can buy a brand-new home with all the latest designs, appliances, and fixtures. But you probably won’t have any money left over to truly make it your own. With a fixer-upper, you can renovate the home to suit your needs and make it the dream house you’ve always wanted.

Save Money

A house with some imperfections will sell for a lower price than a newer build or upgraded property. If you aren’t too fussy about living with some wear and tear initially, you can save a lot of money. Especially if you have a particular neighbourhood in mind that is out of your price range. Going with a fixer-upper can help you get a place in the area you prefer for less than what you would normally pay.

Make Profits

Fixer-uppers usually come at a bargain price. And when you take advantage of buying at a low rate, it can help you rake in the profits when it comes to putting it back on the market. You don’t even have to renovate if you don’t want to, you can simply wait for market conditions to improve and sell it at a profit.

Add a Home Addition

With all the money you can save from buying a fixer-upper, you could put on a whole new addition on your home. And the options are endless to what you can create – a second floor, a sunroom, a double car garage – if you can dream it, you can build it.

There are so many advantages when you buy a home that you can upgrade. Yet, fixer-uppers may not be for everyone, but if you’re someone who likes to design, renovate, and build, then it’s the best way to go.

6 Reasons to Put a Bedroom in Your Basement

If you have a basement that is not being utilized, you’re missing out! There are plenty of great things you can do with the empty space in your basement. And putting a bedroom downstairs is one of the best ways to implement any unused area in your home. So, if you’re getting low on space or would like to make some extra income, read on to as we delve into some of the reasons to put a bedroom in your basement.

Need a Guest Room

If you have family members who live out of town or friends who like to visit, then creating a guest room may be the perfect option for the basement space.

Having a Baby

When your house is already full and you have a baby on the way it can be stressful figuring out what to do with the nursery. Creating a bedroom in the basement is a great way to move one of the older children downstairs and free up one of the rooms closer to you.

Teenager Preference

As a teen, it’s really cool to have your own personal space in the basement. It may also be better for you too, as you won’t have to listen to their loud music or chit chat with their friends right next door to your room.

Family Assistance

A returning college grad might need a place to live to get back on their feet. And maybe you have an aging parent who may need extra assistance. Creating an extra room to help family members have a free rent space for a while is a great reason to add a bedroom in the basement.

Get a Tenant

If your home has a separate entrance to the basement you may even be able to make some extra side income. Basement apartments are an easy way to make money through long term rentals. All you need to add is another small bathroom and kitchen area and make sure it has a separate entrance and you are ready to rent.

Increase Resale Value

Adding an extra bedroom to your home can also be an easy way to increase the resale value. In most homes, it doesn’t take much money to remodel a quality living space downstairs compared to the payback you will get. It’s also an excellent way to add more square footage without doing having to build a costly extension on your home.

Basements are often underutilized spaces where old belongings pile up. So why not put it to better use by simply doing a remodel and adding in an extra bedroom?

Tips for Surviving a Kitchen Renovation  

Taking on a kitchen renovation can be one of the trickiest projects to live through. Without having access to your kitchen sink, stove, and other necessary amenities, it takes some planning in order to make it as practical and stress-free as possible. The inconvenient factor is something that’s next to impossible to avoid, but with a little strategizing beforehand, you can avoid having a remodel impede your lifestyle during the process. If you’re wondering what the best approach is to make your project as easy as possible on you and the family, here are some tips for surviving a kitchen renovation.

Create a Stand-In Kitchen Zone

Getting around using the kitchen sink usually means taking over the bathroom sink. Alternatively, you can use a basin to fill and empty for wash dishes in. But with a little space, you can place a simple table, folding chairs, and even a hot plate that you can use for cooking up some stovetop meals. Turning to fast food and take-out is always a part of the reno process, but if it’s a large undertaking that will take some time, it can get tiring very quickly and put a significant dent in your budget.

Creating a simple makeshift stand-in kitchen zone can be practical with just enough space and amenities to help you and the family survive without living completely off of fast food.

Plan Out Your Meals

Having a plan on what you can make that will be easy and practical can save you time and help you avoid resorting to fast food when you don’t feel like putting effort into meal prep. Before you begin the renovation, make a practical and easy meal plan for each day of the week so you know what to do which can help take the guessing game out of what to prepare and make.

Take Advantage of the Grill and Crock Pot

When your kitchen is under construction, it’s the perfect time to take full advantage of those appliances that can make your life a whole lot easier. Depending in the time of year, the grill can be the perfect substitution that will let you grill up some delicious BBQs. Also, the crockpot lets you throw on meals well in advance so you can have dinner simmering away so it’s ready when you are.

Preparation is key to surviving a kitchen renovation. And with these three tips, you can sail through that project without having it cause a major huge impediment to your meal times throughout the process.

3 Simple Design Features to Elevate a Room


Improving the look of a room or even your entire home doesn’t require a professional Interior Designer. You can do it yourself! When it comes to design, it’s really the smaller details that can enhance a space and tie it all together. So if you’ve been eager to spruce up a room in your home, follow these simple and effective design tips that can help add that design spark to elevate the look of your home.

Choose a Focal Colour

Colour is one of the easiest ways to really add that much-needed spark to a room. This doesn’t mean that you need to start considering repainting the walls that you just completed in soft beige. You can keep your neutral walls while still accentuating a specific, vibrant colour. You can choose just one feature wall to paint, and incorporate it into the room through smaller décor items, such as throws, vases, art pieces and pillows. This is super simple but so effective at kicking up vibrancy of any room.

Create a Decorative Feature Wall

Aside from choosing a colour to place on a feature wall, you can really get creative with that wall that stands out amongst the rest. Whether it’s a partition wall or the wall that’s located directly behind the couch, think of ways to add in your own personal touch. For example, you could create a collage of your favorite photographs, have them framed and then place them on display. Or, you could create a collage of mirrors, mixed with other items, such as art pieces, framed photos, and quaint hanging décor items that speak to your overall style.

Create a Theme

No matter which room it is – bedroom, living room, bathroom – choosing a theme to inspire you can add so much character to a space. If you love boats, why not choose a nautical theme to incorporate into your room? You can add in some rustic wooden pieces with striped patterns, anchors signs and ocean blue accents to add in a splash of colour. Focusing on a certain mood or theme is great way to help you achieve the right ambiance that suits your style.

Enhancing a room is much easier than you think. And best of all, you can do it without breaking the bank. Think about colours and themes that you enjoy, and then select a feature wall to create an exciting focal point in the room. By incorporating small accent feature through pillows, throws, and décor, you can spruce up any room throughout your home in no time at all.

4 Most Popular Home Additions

Just because you’re in the midst of change – maybe it’s a baby, maybe your kid is coming back from college, or maybe you need to keep an eye on your aging parents – it doesn’t mean that you have to start house hunting. More and more people are realizing that by staying put and instead, creating an additional space in their current home, they can save money, have more room and still enjoy their own neighbourhood and the home that they’ve worked hard at creating over the years.

Whether you need the extra space or simply want it for a home improvement upgrade, here are a few of the most popular home additions that might provide you with the inspiration that you’ve been waiting for.

The Kitchen

The kitchen is the focal point in just about any home. It’s also one of the best upgrades you can invest in that can provide a solid ROI in the future if you ever do plan to sell. If you’re interested in opening up your kitchen space, take comfort in knowing that it’s an investment worth making.

The Bathroom

Aside from the bathroom also being one of the most used rooms and profitable areas to upgrade, it can also be one of the most necessary ones. If you have other family members staying with you and only one bathroom to share, this can quickly turn a living situation into an uncomfortable nightmare. With a great ROI and an even greater reason to build – you can’t go wrong with this one.

The Bedroom

If you’re expecting a baby, or if your kid is all grown up and moving back home from college then an extension to a bedroom might be necessary. Plus, this is always great for family or guests when they need a place to stay during the holidays or special occasions. Aside from the bedroom, you can even upgrade your master suite and create that luxury bedroom that you’ve always dreamed of.

Second or Third Storey

If you’re really keen on having more room, but are set on staying, adding on a second or third storey can still be well worth the investment rather than engaging in the process of moving. And with an average ROI that’s around 70 percent, you can create that additional income suite or even a den for the kids to enjoy knowing that’s it’s a worthy investment.

You don’t have to consider moving when you’re in need of more space. If you’re attached to your current home and neighbourhood, then why not consider a home addition instead? You can avoid the hassle of moving, increase the value of your home, save money in the long run, and create the home of dreams.

Is It Time for a Master Bath Upgrade?

Over the years, our senses can become dull to our common everyday surroundings. And that includes areas throughout our home. For example, your master bathroom that gets used multiple times a day is particularly susceptible to us overlooking many stark signs that would tell others that it’s desperately time for a few upgrades. Bathroom design has evolved dramatically over the last few years. So if you’re wondering whether it’s time to consider a master bath upgrade, here are some signs that will tell you it is!

Your vanity and toilet are older than your kids

If you try to think back to when you had your bathroom vanity, sink and toilet installed and realize it was before your parenting days – this is definitely your wake up call for a much-needed upgrade. Aside from the dated design – plumbing, toilets and just about everything else has changed so much. You can install a low-flow toilet to conserve water, along with touchless faucets and even touchless toilets.

Your tiling and grout make you cringe

Over the years, the tiling and grout throughout your bathroom and along sinks and tubs can easily discolour, making your entire bathroom look dated and dirty. Sometimes mold can even start to develop if you notice black spots along the grout. If this is the case in your master bath, give it a refreshing facelift that it desperately needs.

The lighting is a one-size-fits-all situation

Bathrooms are where proper lighting is important. Whether it’s to do makeup, pluck your eyebrows, or shave – the one-size-fits-all lighting that barely illuminates the space has got to go.

Your toiletries have no home

If you have your toiletries constantly scattered along the counter or on any surface you can find because you just don’t have the proper storage for them, then new cabinets can make all the difference. You can clear out the clutter and create sufficient storage space with some new, space-efficient designs.

You feel slightly embarrassed to let others see your master bath

If you do having feelings of shame whenever someone needs to use your bathroom when the guest one is occupied, then this should be enough reason to bite the bullet and make this reno project a reality. If the colours, patterns, and tiling all scream 1980, give yourself the luxury of being able to finally feel proud about your space.

As life changes and evolves, so should the designs and features throughout your home. This is especially true for areas that get used the most, like the master bathroom. Aside from the convenient factor, the whole point of a master bath is to feel that tinge of spa-like luxury. So if you’re not feeling those vibes each time you use it then it’s time for an upgrade. At RenosGroup.ca, we have qualified professionals that can take care of the entire project for you to give you that spa-like master bath you deserve!