Love Your Space
Countless pages of this magazine have been dedicated to the importance of a trusting bond between client and contractor, when it comes to home design and renovations.
There are the usual aspects that need to be agreed upon; price, work and payment schedules, and contractual guarantees. Beneath the surface, however, there should be an understanding that the contractor shares the spirit of a project, as well as possessing the ability to expertly execute it.
Caroline Paquet –owner and designer with Cover-Ups Carpet and Flooring in Arthur – sums it up succinctly when she says a contractor needs to “actively engage in the project. In this way, we may be able to offer better suggestions.
“We definitely need to have that conversation.”
A carpet and flooring dealer, in business in Arthur since 1992, Cover-Ups was taken over by Caroline and her husband, Gord Blyth, eight years ago. During that time, an additional store was opened in Fergus.
While the stores are a key component of the business, Caroline points out that about 90 per cent of the company’s activity is geared towards renovations and installing the flooring and tiles they sell. “My husband is well-versed in all the steps involved in renovations, and customers are confident in our workmanship,” she says.
Teamed with an equally committed and knowledgeable staff, the couple can open a client’s eyes to a wide range of design concepts, as well as to ensure that the final product is structurally sound and performs to expected levels.
While Cover-Ups can offer expert advice and installation on any room in a house, we will concentrate on a bathroom renovation to best illustrate the methodology behind a successful project.
Bathrooms, of course, are all about moisture and the steps required to prevent it from adversely affecting the room’s infrastructure.
Products such as cement board and moisture-resistant drywall are what they are intended to be—water resistant. Cover-Ups deploys innovative systems from Schluter, in particular, which come much closer to providing actual waterproofing.
Keeping in mind that tiles and grout joints in showers are not inherently waterproof, the installation of Schluter Shower Systems has been found to be very effective in managing moisture and preventing mold growth.
The system is an integrated group of products working together to form a fully-bonded, watertight assembly for tiled showers. Along with other waterproofing products, the systems include a pliable membrane suitable for showers, bathtub surrounds, and intermittent-use steam showers. The system also comes with a lightweight XPS foam panel that combines substrate installation and waterproofing.
As it is with any renovation project, it is vital that things stay within budget. Therefore, many clients forego the higher-priced tiles they truly want, in order to keep costs down. Caroline maintains that, in many cases, this might not be necessary.
She would encourage the client to look at the cost of the overall project. The few hundred dollars incurred by a tile choice the customer falls in love with normally represents a very small difference on a renovation project final bill.
“In most bathroom projects, we work with very little square footage. Most of the expense is in the correct preparation of the surfaces and of course the labour. We can be very creative and design a feature wall or an inset on a shower floor, which will greatly impact and balance it with a more affordable tile or another material in other areas in order to stay within budget.” They can also suggest some slight modifications in configurations, or even just in the way the surfaces are prepared prior to the finishing material, which can lead to other savings.
“We want you to have a unique space in which you will love to spend time,” insists Caroline, “and that is possible no matter what your budget is!”
When it comes to flooring renovations, Caroline has noticed that clients are as concerned with comfort, as they are with style. “People want to spend more time enjoying their homes, and less time cleaning and maintaining them.” In the 1980s, the famous Me Decade, folks tended to be geared more towards keeping up appearances, and less practical, in their design choices. Dark wood flooring, made shinier with multiple layers of lacquer and urethane, was in vogue because it had that regal look. Unfortunately, the thinnest layer of dust or minute speck of dirt would stick out like a sore thumb.
Today, the trend is toward choosing more forgiving colours and designs that have a higher hide factor and require less upkeep.
Comfort is also the reason behind why people are still purchasing carpet. “They want that comfort,” explains Caroline. “People still like the soft, plush feel of carpet in family rooms, basements and bedrooms. The main change is now they are choosing multi-toned carpets where lint and other particles are less visible. ”
Whatever the project is, it comes down to the client collaborating with, and trusting, the dealer they work with. With this in mind, this guarantee can be found on the Cover-ups website.
“Like any small business in a small community, our guarantee is your satisfaction. Without it, we could not stay in business. Life is not perfect, and things happen, we will work with you, our customers, to make sure every project is completed to your satisfaction.”
Written by: Dan Pelton