Tile Backsplash: A Trend That Won’t Die

Tile Backsplash: A Trend That Won’t Die 

beautiful tile backsplash

Some popular interior design bloggers have been referring to 2015 as “the year of the tile” and we have to agree! 

Partial BacksplashPeople won’t stop requesting tile backsplashes – and not just in their kitchens and bathrooms anymore. People want them covering entire walls: take a look at the results of a backsplash project that left client “Darren S.” loving Odd Job!

We’ve probably installed more than a hundred of them since the birth of our company in 2008, and along the way we’ve learned a lot about just how important they are. Many homeowners have told us that the first compliments they receive from guests almost always regard how gorgeous their backsplash is.

The possibilities for yours are virtually endless. There’s a reason why every classy restaurant from Subway to Starbucks has done everything but make them a part of their policy, and it’s because they are the very definition of eye candy!

Your kitchen can look like this too.

Your kitchen can look like this too. Book us today!

The backsplash serves the homeowner in two ways:

(1) It protects your wall from water and accidents such as cooking splatters. Mishaps that would normally cause permanent damage to your wallpaper or to your painted walls suddenly become easily removable when they collide with the stark tile surface of your backsplash!

(2) Backsplashes are incredibly beautiful, and can truly enchant your space with an incredibly powerful mood – one of your choosing. The tiles you choose will determine the vibration of your room – whether you opt to go for traditional, modern or anything in between!

One fact that remains undeniable is that adding a kitchen backsplash will raise the value of your home. Elizabeth Gatlin, a commercial real estate consultant in Nashville, Tennessee, emphasizes their importance in an article entitled Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Home Value Now:

“I recently recognized the value backsplashes can add while co-chairing the LSNA Celebration of Home Tour this past year. One of the houses intentionally requested a home partner that helped with tile so they could install a backsplash.”

“The home partner, Louisville Tile Distributors, supplied all of the tile and tools, the home owners had to help with the labor, and it turned out to be gorgeous! After hearing of this steal of a deal from the home owner, I took the time to notice if the other homes had a backsplash. Though some did and some did not, and all of the homes on the tour were incredible, the kitchens that stood out all had beautiful backsplashes.

A good tile backsplash makes an impression.

Back to Backsplashes: Odd Job Style

backsplash behind sinkWhy should you call Odd Job for your backsplash project? Because we know what we’re doing.

In the last two years, we’ve successfully completed more no less than thirty of these projects. In every case, the clients were left extremely satisfied – and why not?

You don’t need to take our word for it either. Just take a look at any of the photos featured in this post if you ever find yourself wondering “What in the heck is Odd Job Style?” 

One project was particularly memorable. It was a breezy summer day when our office received a call from a young man who was quite unhappy with the appearance of his kitchen. Was anything broken or scratched? No. Stains? No. He wasn’t calling for repairs – he wanted an upgrade. 

Before Backsplash 1“The walls are kind of, you know, blah,” said the male voice on the other end of the phone line.

Alex and his mother Ruby had recently moved in to their pleasant little home. It was in good repair and they had not yet had to make the dreaded trip to Angie’s List or Homestars. They had always found the soullessly white walls of their new kitchen to be rather boring, however, and it was starting to get to them – particularly Ruby.

“I feel like I’m in a mental hospital!” Ruby had complained to her son. It had gotten to the point where the two were eating out just because no one really liked being in that room.  Because of those walls, she said, it “just didn’t feel like home.”

After Backsplash 1We pointed out that the counters and cupboards were all dark in colour, and that a mosaic tile backsplash could work beautifully in the room. After showing them a few pictures not unlike those featured in this post, they were completely sold. “How soon can we do this?” asked an excited Ruby. The team arrived a week later with the tiles and the tools.

After several visits, our team wrapped up the project and Alex and Ruby were now telling anyone who would listen about their beautiful backsplash – a mosaic composed of glass, granite and metal tiles. What do you think?

Beautiful Backsplash

Notice how the tile backsplash jives perfectly with their countertops! The walls aren’t exactly “blah” now, are they?

“Not only was the work complete, but it was done so well. And not only were the folks who came here so friendly, but they were fast as well. There’s really nothing to complain about, and I will definitely be bookmarking oddjob.ca!”
– Ruby A.

“These guys are the real deal. They don’t stay longer than they have to, and they keep you in the loop at every step of the way. If you’re looking for a handyman in Toronto, you’ve got to check out Odd Job!”
– Alex A.

Happy Splashing!

Stunning Backsplash

Another stunning backsplash, courtesy of your friends at Odd Job!

The tile backsplash is one of those trends that never dies. It’s been ‘in’ for as long as anyone can remember, and there’s no sign that this will change.

So if you like the work you’ve seen in this post and have an idea for your own backsplash, give us a call at (416) 520-1161 or just take a minute to fill out our online booking form. Bring your vision.. we’ll take care of the rest!

Hiring Technicians: Join Us

Hiring Technicians:
Do You Have What It Takes?

hiring technicians

Odd Job has been serving the City of Toronto since 2008. From the beginning, we’ve been developing a reputation as the city’s best handyman service – for clients and employees alike!

As the celebrated “season of home improvement” is coming closer and closer, we are hiring technicians.

Do you have what it takes?

Odd Job Style

DSC_0035

Aren’t you tired of putting up posters and hoping for enough calls to make ends meet? Or working for a company where you’re little more than a number and the upper management is barely aware of your existence?

Odd Job is not simply a company – it’s a team. While we’re bettering homes and businesses every day, we’re also working to better each other. 

Would you like to meet and work alongside awesome people who are good at what you’re good at and can help you get better? 

Would you like to be a valued part of a family instead of one more gear in a massive, borg-like machine? 

Then you might be in luck: we’re hiring technicians. At Odd Job, you will:

  • Receive training in the areas of work we perform.
  • Work alongside the company’s leadership, to whom your opinion will matter.
  • Meet and help people around Toronto every week – beats putting posters up on telephone polls!
  • Be provided access to power tools and construction materials for all standard projects.
  • Travel from project to project in a sweet-looking mobile workshop with everything you need!

All applicants must have have their own tools, must live in Toronto, and must have a valid drivers license (G). 

What is a Senior Home Technician?

home service technician

Don’t worry – you don’t need to have eight arms like Dwight!

Our senior home technicians form the core of Odd Job Handyman Services. With extensive skill and experience in all of the services we offer, they are our first line of defence. If we were an army, they’d be the generals. If we were a law firm, they’d be the senior partners.

Since we aren’t any of those things, the role of the senior technician within the company is a cross between the baseball team’s most valuable player and its head coach. They should have at least 10 years of experience and they should be very good at what they do.

We are looking for candidates with a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, and who are highly skilled in organization, interpersonal communications and time management. We want to see a high attention to detail, and an exceptionally high level of accuracy.

The position is physically demanding, and involves bending, crouching and kneeling. You will be required to lift heavy loads up to 35 lbs., sometimes moving heavy furniture, equipment or supplies.

As a senior home technician, you will also specifically be expected to:

  • Perform a wide variety of handyman tasks, including (but not limited to): drywall, flooring, tiling, hanging, interior and exterior painting, furniture assembly, shelving installation, basic plumbing and basic electrical.
  • Coordinate multiple small projects in a single day and take a leading role in larger projects, supervising one to several junior technicians.
  • Maintain professionalism and friendliness in all communications with clients – after all, they’re your neighbours who you haven’t met yet.

What is a Junior Home Technician?

JuniorHandyman2

Our junior home technicians assist the team by playing a vital support role to senior technicians in virtually all of the capacities listed above. They should have at least 3-4 years of experience and should be skilled in the use of all hand power tools and workshop tools.

A good candidate will have a strong work ethic, a positive attitudea high level of accuracy and great attention to detail. They will be excellent at taking instruction, and will have excellent interpersonal skills that should be used both in communications with clients and with other technicians on site.

As a junior home technician, you will be expected to:

  • Assist with a wide variety of handyman tasks, including (but not limited to) tiling, carpentry, drywall, interior and exterior painting, basic plumbing, and basic electrical.
  • Work efficiently with minimum supervision, both independently and as part of a team.
  • Participate in a multiple small projects around the city in one day, or participate in a larger project.
  • Maintain contact with the office and keep them informed as to any issues and as to what you and the team on site needs.
  • Be able to use all workshop tools and power tools.

Apply Now

Handy Army

Odd Job is known for many things – for quality, consistency, and complete honesty and transparency with our valued clientele. We are increasingly becoming known as Toronto’s premier handyman service, with scores of ten-star reviews.

We are also becoming known unofficially in local professional circles as “the handyman service that won’t stop growing.” We tripled in size last year, and we’re hiring technicians now because we know there is awesome talent out there that we have not discovered yet.

Tell us about yourself, and include your resume. Send an e-mail our way: help@oddjob.ca

Weathering the Storm: A Guide

Weathering the Storm: Your Guide

How are you weathering the storm? A “special weather statement” was in effect for Toronto in effect until 3 PM on the afternoon of February 25, and we listened to heavy rains for the remainder of the night. Freezing rain warnings went into effect in cities all over the GTA.

Weather Warning - Environment Canada

The following weekend was almost unsettlingly warm. Those of us who were outdoors in the early morning hours last Sunday began to wonder if spring had really come early as we unbuttoned our coats. A storm warning was once again issued for our city last night, and similar warnings have gone out across Ontario.

weathering the storm

           Welcome to Ontario!

The weather is fluctuating wildly, and spring is but weeks away. Homeowners across the city are weathering the storm in anticipation of the celebrated “season of home improvement.”

If you’ve ever wondered some of the basic things a handyman might do on their in a storm, then you’ll want to read on. A few members of our team were brainstorming about this very subject, and since “the season of home improvement” is often the season of rain as well, I thought you might be interested.

Avoid Electricity

electricityinthehome

You aren’t outside, but your power lines are. Using the water or electricity during the storm isn’t a good idea – using a corded phone, a desktop computer, or using power tools are all dangerous risks to take.

Environment Canada warns:

Once indoors, stay away from electrical appliances and equipment, doors, windows, fireplaces, and anything else that will conduct electricity, such as sinks, tubs and showers. Avoid using a telephone that is connected to a landline.

If there is a power outage, one of the very first actions you should take is to unplug everything. When the power is returned, you don’t want everything to turn on at the same time. This is a recipe for power surges, and it could very easily destroy your electronics.

It’s true that weathering the storm – for thousands of us, at least – has always involved a desktop computer with games, movies and all of the information in the universe. To stay safe, really rough it and open a book.

Avoid Water

StayAway

The brave souls who are weathering the storm outdoors should treat it with respect and refrain from taking unnecessary risks.

Many people – especially children – are injured trying to cross through moving water during a storm. Do not underestimate the strong current of the water – it’s stronger than it looks.

The City of Toronto states:

Do not walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.

According to the U.S. National Weather Service, the second-largest cause of flood-related deaths “is due to walking into or near flood waters.”

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to cross through water, walk where it is not moving and use a stick to test the firmness of the ground.

Car Upside Down in Water

One place you shouldn’t be weathering the storm is your vehicle. Your car is not as unstoppable as it looks, and driving during or immediately after a storm greatly increases your chances of having an accident.

Never drive through flooded roadways. Six inches of water will generally cause you to lose control of your car and will cause it to stall. A foot of water will cause the vehicle to float. Two feet of water is enough to carry any passenger vehicle away. 

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control:

On average, flooding claims the lives of 89 people each year. Most of these deaths occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways.

If you find yourself driving at the onset of a severe storm, you’ll want to make it home as fast as possible. The only problem is that everyone else on the road will have that same objective, and the laws of the road will seem to mean much less than they did when the sun was shining.

Driving through storms, in other words, forces you to fare with both unstable weather conditions, wet roads and the reckless behaviour of many other vehicles. The best vehicular strategy is really to plan ahead and avoid the road.

Weathering the Flood?

nightmare flood

Weathering the storm is a little difficult if you’re also contending with a nightmare like the one you see above. Unfortunately, every home is at risk of basement flooding – every single one.

The City of Toronto has a really informative webpage that explains the causes of basement flooding and how you can reduce the chances of it happening to you. But what if it already is?

First, make a call to your utility company and tell them to shut off your gas and your electricity. The flooding often damages gas lines and causes gas controls to malfunction.

Similarly, when the power returns the floodwater may very well be electrified. As such, you should make no attempt to clean it up yourself until you’ve been assured that the power has been disconnected.

When it is time to clean up, protect yourself with rubber boots and gloves. The floodwater in your basement is highly toxic, containing sewage backed up from your drains and likely a number of harmful chemicals from various products stored downstairs.

Preparation is Key

CO_detectorWeathering the storm is quite difficult, and preventing it is absolutely impossible. Preparing for it is easy, and will save you a lot of stress and loss.

I went to members of our team and said: “Think fast – what would you stock to prepare for a really bad storm?”  I got some interesting answers.

“CO Detector” was a common first answer, and I soon realized why. One of the first things many people do when weathering the storm is to draw heat from as many possible sources as possible, including heaters, fireplaces and gas stoves.

All of these – and anything that burns, really, produce carbon monoxide. This is why power outages often lead to carbon monoxide-related deaths. For example, a 52-year-old man and his 72-year-old mother in Ontario were tragically found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in December 2013, after an ice storm that led to an extended power outage. According to CBC:

Police say a gas-powered generator was running in the garage to help heat the home. Though the garage did not have access to the house, the CO fumes managed to seep in.

You have every right to heat your home during a power outage, but be sure to equip your home with CO detectors – available at every home retailer – and keep your generator outdoors, at least ten feet from your house.

water-supply-storage

Crazy or well-prepared?

Other common answers were “gas,” “cash,” and “water.” Many people do not realize how different the world is without electrical power.

At the risk of sounding slightly like a “prepper,” you should keep a supply of water. In an extended power outage, you’ve been cut off from your source of water.

Even the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency and the American Red Cross advise in their publication Food and Water in an Emergency:

Store at least one gallon per person, per day. Consider storing at least a two-week supply of water for each member of your family. If you are unable to store this quantity, store as much as you can.

The best containers to use are the ones specifically designed to hold water, available at camping supply stores. Wash these with dish-washing soap and then thoroughly rinse them before use.

If you choose to use plastic bottles, disinfect them with a teaspoon of non-scented chlorine bleach mixed with a quart of water, and then rinse extremely thoroughly. 

ATM Out of Service

Why gas? The gas station cannot use fuel your vehicle – which is your emergency transportation, your charging system for cell phones and other mobile devices, and very possibly your only heated space.  It’s therefore highly useful to have a supply of gas in the event of an extended power outage.

Why cash? If you do not have a supply of gas, water and anything else you might need, you’ll have to make a run to buy them. You will not be able to withdraw money from the bank, and the machines used by the stores to process credit card and debit payments will obviously not be in operation either.

Rebuilding

End of the Storm

Your house isn’t simply where you live, eat and sleep, but it’s where you retreat for protection from events such as violent storms. When the sun shines through the clouds and peace returns once again, take a look at how your house fared.

Odd Job has been servicing the entire City of Toronto for eight years, and we’ve encountered countless storm-related home maintenance issues over the years.

Our fully licensed, bonded and insured team of professional handymen is highly experienced in responding to many of the issues examined in this article – flooded basements, for example:

drywallrestorebeforedrywallrestoreafter
BEFORE                                                    AFTER

Were there plumbing and/or electrical issues? We maintain a small team of highly experienced plumbing and electrical technicians who are ideally suited to assess some of the issues

Were the interior walls damaged? Our drywall technicians will fully restore any damaged or discoloured areas. If you like, we’d be happy to send our painting technicians to fully refresh these areas.

Don’t wait – have your home fully repaired at the first opportunity, because you deserve it. Give us a call at (416) 520-1161 or fill out our online form and schedule your visit with us today!