Countertops add value

the value of quality countertops

Quality countertops are definitely not a fad

For well over a decade, homebuyers have been showing their love for high end countertops.  When you consider that many homeowners don’t start thinking about spending money on updates and upgrades until it’s time to put up a “For Sale” sign, it shouldn’t be a surprise that one question homeowners frequently ask is  “should we put in granite countertops?”

Can a countertop add value?

That depends on the material. Standard ones, the kind you’ll find in cookie cutter new home construction and on the shelves at your local Home Depot or Lowes are laminate- a composite material covered in a decorative paper and melamine coating. They’re definitely at their prime during the first 5 years of their life (or until someone forgets what a cutting board is for) and are prone to nicks, cuts and burns by regular use or accident. With careful use, they can look great for decades but very few make it through a growing family without taking a hit or two. Even a new laminate counter many not add the value you would expect since it’s the bare minimum that buyers expect. Solid surface and stone countertop options are considered to be definite upgrades and tend to add value because their function and lifespan are so appealing to Buyers.

An alternative to a full kitchen reno

Most homeowners dread tackling kitchen renovations. The thoughts of spending tens of thousands of dollars and living without a functioning kitchen for a week or two can be overwhelming-emotionally and financially. The good news is that it may take you longer to select a new countertop than it will take to have it installed. Just like other renovation projects, the more prepared you are the better. Perhaps that new granite counter will be best served with a new under mount sink and that sink will probably be best served with a new faucet and maybe, that faucet is going to need new plumbing. You may want to accent your new countertop with new back splash and perhaps even a new slide-in range. The key is to make a plan and set a budget, keeping in mind that the end result will be well worth it.

Buyers love quality countertops

There’s absolutely no doubt in this Realtors® mind that decor and staging definitely helps sell a home, but one of the most fascinating trends I’ve seen over the past decade in the Hamilton real estate market, is Buyer attraction to quality countertops like quartz, granite and brand names like Corian and Caesarstone. And, it doesn’t matter what the price range of the home is, buyers seem to be willing to look past other issues when the kitchen and baths have awesome countertops. At first I thought it was a whole kitchen thing happening, but I don’t believe that’s the case. Seems like refurbished, painted or even original cabinetry take on a whole new life once they’re capped with a high quality counter.

Enjoy your countertop investment

At $60-$90 a square foot, decking your kitchen out with quartz, granite or one of the other materials may seem to be an expensive option especially if you’re going to be moving out of the house in the near future. But then again- why wait until you’re moving? Select the right product and it’ll look just as good 5 years from now as it does the day you have it installed. The true value may be in you getting to enjoy your investment.

Countertops & Technology

If you’re going to start shopping for counters make sure you check out Dupont’s charging stations- one of the solid surface technologies we’re bound to see more of in the future.

Speaking of HGTV- their 13 favourite countertop materials

Check out the difference in countertop materials at Popular Mechanics!







Landscaping tips with Sherry Hayes

Note that this information is outdated.

Landscaping tips with Sherry Hayes

Our Meet and Greet with coffee, tea and delicious treats begins at 7:00 p.m on March 14th 2016.; followed by our guest speaker at 7:30 . Guests are $2.00. Draw & 50/50!

Sherry is the founding owner and lead designer of Landscaping With Style. You will, certainly, recognize her name and face! Sherry’s accomplishments include writing landscaping and design articles for the Hamilton Spectator, and hosting a weekly landscaping and gardening show on Hamilton’s Cable 14.

Sherry is, also, an accomplished landscape artist and will have artwork available for purchase. “My exclusive ‘Photo-Painting’ On Canvas is now part of my Artscapes By Sherry Hayes Series. Through a technique that I developed I bring photography and art to life on canvas. When personalized, it is the perfect way to capture a special moment; place or subject in an extraordinary form.”

When/Where: Royal Canadian Legion – March 14th 2016

Easy fix for chewed baseboards

Anyone who’s welcomed a little puppy into their home has probably experienced that exciting moment when they realize that little Fido was born to chew; anything and everything. It may be devastating enough when you discover your beautiful leather shoes have been turned into little poochies “chews”, but love is taken to a whole new level when you discover that your adorable little puppy has spent an hour or two nibbling away at your 100 year old baseboards. Before you know it, he’s moved onto the bottom corner of a door-perhaps another bit of baseboard and finished his hectic week off with a taste of the stairs.

Most dogs grow out of the chewing stage, but it’s not unusual that the damage to baseboards, stairs & doors linger around for years. It’s also not unusual for homeowners to overestimate the cost of repairing this type of damage and leave dealing with it until it’s time to sell. If you’re a homeowner who doesn’t quite know what to do with the gouges out of your woodwork, rest assured, you’re not alone.  Rest assured, there is an easy fix for chewed baseboards, stairs or anything else made from wood and it’s easier than trying to fix the chewed leather on your shoes!

Baseboards, doors, railings and anything else wood are not difficult to repair, but it does take some practice and patience.  Unlike drywall fillers, wood filler products actually contain wood, have incredible bonding abilities on wood surfaces and are very easy to work with. Once you get the knack of working with the wood filler, you’ll see how easy and affordable it is to make these repairs.

Puppy Wood Chew Repair Kit:

  • wood filler (sold at any hardware store)
  • sandpaper
  • putty knife
  • 6″ section of 1/8th “doweling or very thin pencil)
  • plastic ruler
  • paint or stain to match existing baseboard.

Chewed corners on decorative baseboards:

1) sand the damaged section of the baseboard until everything is flush with the non damaged section. Use a medium sandpaper for this part. Make sure that you’ve sanded until there are no loose pieces , but there’s no need to smooth down to a smooth surface. Your dog has usually made sure that only the wood is exposed. Brush out any loose dust with an old toothbrush.

2) With your putty knife or finger, apply wood filler onto the area that’s missing. Don’t worry about being too exact. Use a thick straight edge like a plastic ruler to make sure the area you’ve filled will be in line with the rest of your baseboard. If it’s an outside corner, so the same on the other side.

3) Before the wood filler is completely hard, mold curves and edges with your ruler or dowel. Let dry according to product instructions

4) Sand until smooth- if it’s not perfect, apply a bit more filler and repeat the sanding.

5) Stain or paint to match existing baseboard.

Chewed Stair treads

1) Sand out loose material and any pieces that are sticking up above the natural line of the stair tread.

2) Apply generous amount of wood filler. Use putty knife or small trowel to spread filler out over chewed area.

3) Let dry and sand smooth with rest of baseboard.

4) Paint or stain to match existing stairs. (if you’re staining, you may have to experiment with your stain color to get a near perfect match)



  • make sure the repair area is finished flush with existing baseboard, trim or door by laying a ruler or flat edge on it. For a beautiful invisible repair, make sure it’s perfectly flush.
  • Select the correct wood filler product. This will depend on whether your baseboard is stained or painted.
  • Take your time. If you have a lot of damaged areas, there’s no need to repair them all in one day. Each repair will take you anywhere from half an hour to a couple hours to properly finish.
  • make these small repairs part of your regular home maintenance and don’t wait until it’s time to sell!

Elmers Wood Grain filler

Minwax Stainable Wood Filler

Minwax High Performance Wood Filler

LePage Wood Filler