Blog

The “Association of ME” – is word of mouth on Social Media becoming-the NEW Contractor Associat

The “Association of ME” – is word of mouth on Social Media becoming-the NEW Contractor Associat

“Who’s really watching the kids?”

Don’t get me wrong. I love “Associations” as much as the next guy, sort of. Associations make us feel good! They make contractors feel validated and customers feel safe. The right ones have great educational components, safety updates and industry insights. But as a “stamp of approval” or ” trust these guys” type of service, are they really still relevant?

As a contractor, we have nestled nicely into the web….errrr “umbrella” of loads of different associations…

FREE Estimates? FREE Quotes? FREE Designs? The Search for the right

FREE Estimates? FREE Quotes? FREE Designs? The Search for the right

One of the most commonly asked questions of a contractor, even if it is EMBLASONED on the side of their F-150, has to be the question……”do you give free estimates?” Yes, next to, “hey where did you get that cool shirt,” the old standard inquisition of the “milk without the cow” question pops up like a pimple on your forehead right before that first big date!

In fact, dating and relationship dynamics are a great analogy for working with a renovator, a comparison to wit I will try and do some justice at this juncture. Lets face…

Five Sure fire Ways to Kill Productivity on a Job Site!

Five Sure fire Ways to Kill Productivity on a Job Site!

As contractors we work so very hard to treat our clients better than they have ever been treated before. We watch the way we speak to them, we follow through with promises and we thank them repeatedly for their patronage. But, do we do the same to our own colleagues? Is the way we speak, at times, to the trades we work with and the people around us on a job site different than we speak to our clients? At times are we short on patience when we should maybe work a little harder to understand? Renovations are challenging prospects for anyone in the loop, let alone the men and…

Stay-cation…how about Reno-vacation??

Stay-cation…how about Reno-vacation??

Ren-o, Ren-o, it’s off to the basement we go….

You have heard of the Vacation, then, of course the “Stay-cation”….now how about the “Reno-vacation.” No, not a retreat to sunny Cuba for the duration of a renovation but rather, the retreat to another part of the home during said renovation!

This week as promised, we briefly discuss the survival tactics of those brave hearted souls who decide to weather out the storm and live in their homes whilst undergoing the most invasive of invasions….THE KITCHEN RENOVATION.

A great deal can be…

Indiana Jones and the Renovation Trail

Indiana Jones and the Renovation Trail

It is well worn into the fabric of social folklore that moving house or undergoing a renovation is second in stress level, only to the loss of a loved one. (I have heard that said about being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan as well, but that is for another blog!) The experiences of people who make the commitment to having a major remodel or renovation carried out on their homes are as varied as the contractors, designers and trades out there doing them. I have always wondered as a designer and contractor what REALLY makes the experience a positive and productive one for some people and a complete…

Gold, Frankincense and…Mirth??

Gold, Frankincense and…Mirth??

From “finding” septic tanks ( thanks Diago and Brock) to crazy Post Hole guys (duck Nikki!) , to snow on weekdays and sun on weekends (thanks Sean and Kev), we have our share of “events” where we can choose to catastrophize or to cope. Thank goodness that I am surrounded by excellent staff and supportive clients who work as a team to accomplish our end goals with efficiency and kindness.

Together as a team, we have developed a client base and a following that truly epitomizes our “Habits of Excellence” creed and consistently helps us to work towards…

“The Best gifts in life are…sneaky??”

“The Best gifts in life are…sneaky??”

“The intention was simple, the results have been exponential”

I love when a “gift” is more than a gift and especially when it is a surprise!

Every year at JWS Woodworking, I offer our cabinet makers and Outdoor Carpenters the opportunity to work on their own personal projects in the shop. We cover their shop expense and within reason – their materials and they happily build, cabinets, wall units, mantels, tables and odds and ends for either themselves or their families. Of course, the cabinet-makers typically have had enough of cabinet making by the time…

Long Island – Not so Medium

Long Island – Not so Medium

As most good designers know, and as any Christmas party attendee will testify to, the Kitchen is the new “heart” of the home, and this “Long Island” in the Westbrook home in Conestogo, Ontario is certainly proof of that! This custom 14′ beauty was carefully designed in house and then fabricated in our shop and assembled specially on site. The result? As well as visually stunning, it is a custom cook space, a family gathering place, an island of calm to share meals, a major player in all the latest gossip, a coffee shop, a…

What the renovation industry can learn from our 16 year olds…

“Our homes are filled with 16 year old teenage strangers and we don’t know what to do about it!”

The 16 year old of today is certainly not the same as when we were 16 year olds. No way, times sure have changed! That glazed look that used to be so cool, the weathered or distressed look that used to fill hearts of cabinet shoppers with joy and experienced cabinet makers with dread, ( you want me to do WHAT to the Cherry Kitchen cabinets I just made for you…) are up for discussion and sometimes heated debate! The dark oak, then the light oak,…

Monty Python and The Holy…Boat?

Monty Python and The Holy…Boat?

“King of Swamp Castle: When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that’s what you’re going to get, Lad, the strongest castle in all of England”

When I was a kid living in Oshawa, Ontario, we lived on a street that had a creek at the bottom of it called, appropriately I…