hire a handyman

Hire a Handyman or a Contractor?

When should you hire a Handyman, and when should you call a contractor? Everyone’s got jobs around their home that they might not have the tools, time, or talent to get done on their own. But what jobs should you hire a handyman in Toronto for? And which jobs demand a general contractor?

hire a handyman in toronto

The “Honey-Do” List

The handyman’s forte is small work, like the tasks you might put together for a “to-do list” (someday). When things break-down in the normal course of home ownership, a contractor isn’t going to get out of bed to solve your problem. Small jobs, or Odd Jobs, are a handyman’s specialty.

professional plumber

Licensed Trade Work

Any serious electrical and plumbing work requires a licensed professional. So you should hire a handyman in Toronto to handle small jobs like installing a new faucet or light fixture, larger jobs require an electrician or plumber.

If your handyman says he can rewire your home without a license, get a second opinion.

Full Scale Remodels

A handyman, even one who represents a company like Odd Job, typically flies solo. Because of this, they’re better suited to small repair work that can be done quickly.

A handyman is better at jobs like installing new piece of drywall, or tiling a floor. Handyman technicians can also handle a large number of small jobs (repairing a broken doorknob, caulking a bathtub, painting).

A contractor is for jobs that require the coordination of a large number of workers or different skillsets. Because handymen typically handle smaller jobs, your local handyman may refer you to a contractor for your bathroom reno.

Is your job Handyman-worthy? Get a free online estimate today, and make your to-do list a done-list!

Picture-hanging Tips from The Pros

Nothing makes a home look quite as homey as hanging pictures and other custom-framed objects, art, and photographs on the walls. Here are five tips that will give your home the feel of a luxurious art gallery.

Choose the Proper Hardware

There’s more than one type of wall, and there’s just as many types of hardware to use with them. Whether it’s drywall, concrete, or brick, you’ll need to use the right screw, nail, or drill bit.

Picture hanging tips from the pros. No one's got more experience than Odd Job.
Picture hanging tips from the pros. No one’s got more experience than Odd Job.

Always Measure

Measure twice, hang once. No matter how you choose to arrange your frames and other items, you’re going to want to make sure that they’re even spaced. Not all items will be the same size, but you’ll be amazed how cohesive everything can look if the space in between those items are are appropriate.

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Watch Your Weight

Different walls and hardware can only hold so much weight. Even fancy hardware specifically made for hanging pictures will fail if there are not enough of them, or the wall material is too weak or brittle to hold them. There is no “one size fits all solution” to hanging.

Picture-hanging Tips from The Pros-3

Be Aware of Your Surroundings


Have you ever noticed paper fade when placed in the sunlight? Items hang too close to a window need special glass to avoid the damaging effect of UV light. It’s probably best to avoid hanging anything irreplaceable and precious in a space that receives direct sunlight.

Picture-hanging Tips from The Pros - 4

Use Your Space Wisely

You should make sure your hangings match your space. A tiny picture should not be hung on its own on an enormous empty wall. Vary up the sizes of your items to add variety.

hire a handyman in toronto

5 Things to Know Before You Hire a Handyman

Don’t just go with the lowest bidder! Would you go on a cruise with the cheapest cruiselines? Before you commit to a handyman, make sure the convenience of cheap and fast doesn’t turn into a headache that lasts a lot longer.

Are they Insured?

This is the single most important item on this list. Insurance protects your home and property, and WSIB-insured companies provide liability for the workers themselves. Without insurance, the homeowner is responsible for any injuries that occur on the “job site” — in this case, your home.

Are they licensed by the city?

In Toronto, anyone who advertises themselves as a “renovator” must be licensed by the city. This ensures that the contractor, renovator, or handyman completes your project according to the city’s regulations and laws. There’s nothing worse than paying through the nose for a kitchen remodel, only to have to tear it all up again.

The City of Toronto’s website explains who needs a license, here.

What are the terms of payment?

On most jobs under $2000, Odd Job Handyman has payment terms of “Net 30,” meaning that your payment is due 30 days after project completion. Some service providers will demand an upfront fee on all jobs, or before all of the work has been completed. This can sometimes be a red-flag.

How long have they been in business?

Companies that have a long history of success are more likely to do good work. Businesses that cut corners or cheat their clients don’t last long. Odd Job has been in business since 2008, and has compiled a long list of reviews and accolades.

Are the technicians trained and qualified?

In addition to being insured and licensed, you need to make sure that a company is skilled enough to complete your job. Several certifications exist, including the Association of Canadian Handyman professionals (ACHP) and the “Red Seal” qualification for tradesmen. Several technicians have diplomas and certificates from construction, engineering, and trade schools.

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3 Ways Your Handyman Can Actually Make YOU Money

You usually look for a handyman when something breaks: sometimes you’re just looking for a quick and clean end to a problem door, chipping paint, or leaky faucet.

But did you know that a handyman can also add value to your home or condo? Getting a small update today may be just the thing to score a big payday later, no matter the state of the housing market.

Choose the Practical Over the Flashy

Do you know what the number one way to improve your home’s value is? Replace the insulation. This one job can return more than 108% on its cost, and can benefit your own family for years to come. New insulation will reduce heat loss, stop drafts, and lower your energy bills. You’ll save money while living in your home, and make more money once it’s sold. What a smart thing to do.

electrical service

Modernize

You don’t need to replace everything at once, but updating the look of your kitchen or having new appliances installed can go a long way. A minor kitchen remodel can bring about a return of 80% or more, and it’s super easy for a team of professionals.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

New paint is fast, easy, and worth it: painting can return up to 60% on its cost when you decide to sell your home. Plus, a new colour on your walls might just reignite the excitement of coming home.

Check out even MORE tips for how to improve the value of your home here, “31 Home Improvements That Add Value to Your Home.”

Want to learn about 19 more specific projects that will pay off? Subscribe to our email newsletter and get access to our guide instantly. You’ll also be getting insider tips like this every month.

That’s a relief.

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Tips For Getting the Most Out of Your Handyman Visit

Planning on hiring your first handyman? Your goal is to reduce the stress of a home project, not add to it! Here are a few pointers for making sure your to-do list is a thing of the past.

Set Expectations for Your Handyman

Odd Job Handyman Services maintains a high level of expectation and satisfaction from our clients, but it’s helpful if we know exactly what you expect of your handyman on any job. If you’d like your technician to install new light fixtures and change the bulbs for you, that’s no problem at all — but we need to know what the dream looks like in your mind before we can make it a reality.

Prepare a To-Do List

Sometimes you have a lot of little things that need to get done, and you might ask your technician to tackle them while he’s there. This can create unexpected expenses if the handyman has to source extra materials or bring a tool that they don’t usually have with them. If you know exactly what you need to cross off your honey-do list ahead of time, everyone’s going to have a much better experience.

Take Photos

Remember that old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, sometimes a photo can be worth a thousand dollars. Not all handyman jobs are the same. The age of a house, the location of a problem, the type of feature that needs fixing or replacing… these can all be factors in whether a job can be finished in an afternoon, or take two weeks longer than expected. The more information you can provide to your technician, the less time they have to spend on the job site, and the less money YOU have to spend to get the job done right.

Empty Drawers and Shelves

Make sure your drawers and other storage items being moved are emptied ahead of time. Remember, you’re paying for your handyman’s time, so any cleaning they have to do is coming right out of your pocket.

Clear the Area

The job will go much more quickly and smoothly if you can clear out the area that the handyman will be working in. If you have a painting or drywall job, it’s easier to move things out of the room than it is to wrap things in a drop cloth or plastic.

 

Now you’re ready to book your first handyman!

 

Handyman Services In Toronto

The Coolest Tiles in the World

The Coolest Tiles in the World

the coolest tiles

“Tiles, tiles on the wall.. which are the coolest tiles of all?” 

People love tiles. Take a look at the bathroom above and ask yourself what it would look like without the beautiful tiling that coats its walls.

The true power of tiles is that you can make any space extravagant, and the virtually limitless selection of colours, designs and materials allows the homeowner complete creative control.

It wasn’t always like this, though. Despite the fact that tiles have been with us since the beginnings of human civilization, only a few variations of the standard ceramic tile were easily available until fairly recently. With the passage of time and the evolution of technology, this has drastically changed.

Their popularity exploded in 2015, and we have been flooded with requests for tile backsplashes. We’d like to help our friends and clients take it to the next level, and so tonight we’re going to begin our search for the coolest tiles.

Ceramic Tiles

Ceramic Tiling 2When someone refers to tiling in any way, an image these classical, subway-style ceramic tiles are usually what first comes to mind. Used to decorate the walls of New York City’s subway system during the early part of the 20th century, they’ve earned a special place in people’s hearts as “subway tiles.” 

Traditionally, subway-style ceramic tiles are white and 3 x 6 inches. Today there are a multitude of sizes and colours to choose from, allowing you to incorporate your own style into a design that has stood the test of time.

Many would argue that subway-style ceramics are the coolest tiles simply because they’re the classics. After all, retro is always in – even if you weren’t around for it. The calming nostalgia that this design evokes is universal, and it is beautiful in its uniform simplicity.

Ceramic Tiling 4Ceramics can’t expect that they can ride their subway style all the way to our title, though! There are downsides – mainly, ceramic tiling is high maintenance. It’s the least durable of the three types featured in this post.

Because they are composed of porous clays, the tiles are highly absorbent and highly susceptible to staining. They’re also very prone to wear, and when exposed to cold temperatures for any significant length of time they will start to chip and crack. Don’t write them off, though – just know where to use them. These tiles will best serve you in low-to-moderate traffic indoor areas. 

On the upside, they’re very inexpensive. They won’t set you back more than $3-4. They’re also very thin, and therefore easy to cut. Are you an amateur planning your first D.I.Y. tile installation? If so, ceramics are the way to go. 

If you’re simply looking for a more frugal option, ceramics are still a great choice. Just know where to use them – and if signs of damage become visible, your friends at Odd Job would be more than happy to take care of the repairs!

Stone Tiles

Marble Tiles 1

What’s more romantic than tiling your walls and ceilings with marble stone? We aren’t the only ones who think so, either. Like tiling itself, marble has been heavily used in architecture and decor for thousands of years. Evidence of this stands in the form of buildings like the Washington Monument and the Taj Mahal, and some might suggest that this alone makes them the coolest tiles.

Marble tiling is dense, and so it provides far more protection from moisture than ceramics. They’re generally much more difficult to break, depending on the age of the stone. That said, this is far from the most resilient tiling that you can find.

Marble Tiles 2As it turns out, marble is not entirely resistant to moisture. Just how resistant your tiles will be depends on the grade of the stone, but in any case they will only absorb a small amount of water. They are highly susceptible to dilute acids like vinegar, citrus and other substances found in the average kitchen. Like ceramics, marble tiles will best serve you in indoor areas with low-to-moderate traffic.

Marble tiles are usually highly expensive. It’s possible to find them for a relatively low price, but this is usually because they  ranging from $40 to $150 based on the grade, colour and others.

If you’re interested in saving money or shielding high-traffic spaces like your family kitchen, you should probably look elsewhere. If you’d like to make a unique and powerful statement, however, then this choice offers far more than the other types ever could. 

Porcelain Tiles

Porcelain Tiles 1

The world of tiling can be a little confusing to the uninitiated, and a perfect example of this can be found in the differentiation between ceramic and porcelain tiling. Both types of tile are made from ceramics, but don’t be deceived. They are very different.

Porcelain Tiles 2Non-porcelain ceramics, as we’ve seen, are generally incredibly fragile, and as such, are far less expensive. Porcelain tiles, on the other hand, require much less maintenance and are arguably the more economical choice in the long run. Made of refined white clay and fired at high temperatrues, they’re far tougher than ceramics.

They’re also much less absorbent, making them perfect for high traffic areas – kitchen backsplashes, anyone? These qualities make them highly resilient to stains, scratches and frost. 

These qualities make porcelain tiles ideal for floors and walls that see a lot of traffic. They also make them virtually impossible for an amateur to properly cut, though. And while they may be difficult to stain or scratch, they are often so hard that they are brittle and can easily break if handled by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Porcelain Tiles 3To put it simply, porcelain tiles are more expensive and far more difficult to cut and install. What you get for that cost and effort is a very strong, low-maintenance tile and one that, like purely ceramic tiles, can be modified to serve your wildest style ideas! 

Pick a tile.. any tile!

Tiling has been the choice of kings and queens for milleniums, and it isn’t hard to see why. Their appearance and texture are naturally appealing to us, and they allow us to truly control the underlying style of our space. 

With the soaring popularity of tiling, you don’t want to fall behind the trends. You’ve seen three of the most popular tiling options made available to homeowners today, and we’d like to know which you think are the coolest tiles!

Give us a call at (416) 520-1161 or use our updated “book-a-handyman” form and schedule the tiling project you’ve been dreaming about today!