My father taught me to take pride in my work. “If something is worth doing, it is worth doing right!” and “Always do the best that you can do.” One day, after seeing one of my projects, he asked where I had learned all this stuff. I replied, “I thought it was from you.” Any time something was broken around our family home, My Dad would set out to fix it; with me in tow. He taught me how to analyze the problem, often why it ‘broke’ and what to do to fix it, if not make it better. From this I developed an understanding of how things are built and how they work.
On my life journey, I picked up a degree in Photographic Arts from Ryerson University. “How does this apply?” you might ask. I developed my sense of design aesthetics, proportion, colour theory and history. Countless hours in a darkroom taught me the importance of spatial design, placement of tools and mental visualization. When I look at architectural drawings, I automatically translate it into a 3-D model in my brain, within which I can move. I usually pick up on design issues before they get built.
I have been ‘building’ since I could lift a hammer. I understand what holds things up. I can watch a tradesman work and understand the process and ‘see’ the importance of how the various systems must interact with each other without interference. I love old houses. I love the craftsmanship with which they were constructed. I love the fact that they are still standing, while modern subdivision houses are falling apart. Sure these old gems may need a face lift, but that is where I come in.
While deciding the best route to resolve a renovation problem, I will often consult my library of turn of the century trade manuals to gain insight into why the problem arose in the first place. I look at the solutions and substitute modern technology where appropriate. Very often, these solutions are not specifically covered by the Building Code. I am never afraid to consult the local building inspector. This has always resulted in a relationship of trust and cooperation. The much maligned inspector is usually receptive to acknowledgement of the importance of his/her input in the building process. I address the issues and do not cover up problems. I have even been asked by City Inspectors for my input on restoration problems they have encountered on other jobs they are inspecting.
I am licensed by the City of Toronto for Rough and Finishing Carpentry, Dry Wall and Tile setting (B6829). I took the first course offered in Toronto for Hydronic Radiant Floor heating and was top of the class and certified by Rehau, in 2000. I have been doing electric Radiant heating since 1983, utilizing snow melting cable for bathrooms. I was one of the first to install PEX hydronic Radiant floor heating in 1992. I have pioneered several methods of installation and I select the best method for the job at hand. I am a certified designer and installer for Nudura Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF’s). I have consulted on a government funded HVAC certification course intended for General Contractors being developed by Blue House Energy, NS. I have taken the RETScreen International course run by Natural Resources Canada on renewable energy sources. [From this I learned that Solar and Wind energy is among the last sources that we should be considering for implementation at this point, due their high cost and stage of development! But, don’t get me started!]
I don’t forget about modern conveniences. I have been wiring houses for sound since 1990. I can include whole house ‘Smart’ wiring and automation as part of the renovation.
If you have special needs or a physical challenge, all can be accommodated.
Over my 35 years in business, I have encountered trades with all levels of skill and professionalism. Along the way, I have aligned myself with some of the best in the business. So when I take on your project, big or small, you can count on the job being done right. And done to last!