Tuesday, 28 December 2010

HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo 2010: Photos from the Show

HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo + Construct Canada photos from, by Olga Goubar, wobuiltScreenshot: HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo + Construct Canada photos Toronto, Dec 2, 2010 @ Olga Goubar,

We continue publishing of the series of articles about attending the HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo 2010 - Canada's largest construction industry trade show.

Elida shared with us an article entitled "What Is Coming up in 2010 National Building Codes? Find out How This Will Affect Your Business" and Lonya published an article about upcoming kitchen design trends.

Here are several photos from the construction expo floor taken by Olga - see the slide show at

Enjoy and mark your calendar - the 15th Annual HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo is coming to Toronto on November 30 - December 2, 2011.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Season's Greetings and Holiday Wishes from Wo-Built!

Happy Holidays and Season's Greetings from Wo-Built; Christmas Gingerbread House, by MS ClipArte-card: Season's Greetings and Holiday Wishes from Wo-Built Inc.
Credit: MS Office ClipArt MH900440289

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

Thank you for all your support throughout the year.

We would like to wish you a joyous and memorable holiday season, with the hopes that the coming New Year continues to bring you happiness and success!

Warmest Holiday Regards,

Wo-Built's Team

Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

To view the e-card, please click on the following link:

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Home Decor: Hailey's Hot Tip of the Week: Save Energy and Money This Holiday Season

Home Decor: Save Energy and Money This Holiday Season: Hailey's Hot Tips, by wobuilt.comSave Energy and Money This Holiday Season
Credit: MS Office ClipArt MC900439781, MC900445432
2010 @
Save a bundle over the holidays using these simple energy saving ideas:
  • Cold water for laundry
  • Timers for lights
  • House temperature down
  • Full load (dishwasher / washing machine)
  • Water heater temperature down
[ V ] Do all your laundry using only cold water (unless you are sanitizing items like cloth baby diapers).

[ V ] Make sure your porch light and holiday lights are all on timers.

[ V ] Turn down the thermostat as low as you can adjust to. We keep ours at 69 degrees rather than some homes at 72, and we use each other and cozy clothes to stay warm.

[ V ] Don't run your dishwasher or your washing machine until you truly have a full load, as you'll use the same energy either way.

[ V ] Turn down the temperature of your water heater. Wait an hour. Stand at the tap; let the water reach it's hottest point, and test it with your finger, carefully, and then your wrist. If it's too hot to bathe in, why waste energy and money heating the water that hot, only to have to cool it down. Instead, lower your water heater temperature until the hottest temperature you can get from your taps is just perfect for bathing or showering, without needing to cool it down.

Enjoy the season!

Hayley Snider
Snider Homes

2010 © Hayley Snider

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Why Venus Creations in the Neighbourhood Is Doing Great Work for Our Community?

Wo-Built at Vivid Pizzeria Toronto Venus Creation, November 24, 2010, photo Olga Goubar, wobuilt.comPhoto Collage: Building the Friendship of Neighbours in Business
Wo-Built at Venus Creation in the Neighbourhood Gathering
Vivid Pizzeria (1067 St. Clair Ave West, Toronto), November 24, 2010
2010 @ Olga Goubar,

Shopping locally, we support our neighbors. Sharing marketing ideas, helping each other do more business, and bringing new customers to the area, we stimulate local growth.
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build
In November, Iain Morrison wrote an impassioned article about what Venus Creations In the Neighborhood is to him. If you didn’t get last month’s issue, Iain is new to the area and after meeting with Joe Furtado of Amar Flowers; he found neighbours with whom he now does business at least every other day. Joe introduced him to merchants on the street who in turn introduced him to others and now Iain is an active part of this very vibrant community.

But, this article is not about telling ‘A Day in the Life’ story of Iain, even though he is a nice guy and you should meet him. Instead, it tells the story of what YOU can expect from being part of Venus Creations in the Neighbourhood.

First, to be clear, Venus Creations in the Neighbourhood is NOT Joe Furtado. Joe quarterbacks a lot of the efforts to put it together, but he would gladly share the heavy lifting with our community. Venus Creations in the Neighbourhood isn't just for making Joe's business better - it's for making all our businesses better. Joe had the inspiration to start Venus Creations in the Neighbourhood and brought together neighbouring businesses that collectively ARE Venus Creations. This includes every business owner who attends our monthly gatherings and who advertise in the monthly publication – in short it’s YOU. That’s a big difference and an important one. Venus Creations in the Neighbourhood is a community of neighbors - businesses who benefit from knowing each other in different ways.

For example, at our last get-together at Vivid Pizzeria (“Go there” “Try it” “It was great – thanks, Peter!”) a new member, Mary Scalia of Bare Me Skin Care Clinic, shared a recent marketing effort she did that brought 500 new customers to our area! That gem of an idea was worthwhile and shared freely. This is just one example of the upside of having dinner together with friends. Another benefit is that we meet businesses we haven’t known before. When we can, we try doing business with our new friends. By visiting each other’s businesses and telling acquaintances about local merchants and services, we stimulate local growth. Venus Creations in the Neighbourhood is about joining together; sharing with our neighbors and helping each other do more business, share local interests and concerns, let the local community know what they would like to provide or advertise to their local business partners in a particular month, or simply, just meet and mingle.

In the course of meeting with the local businesses, I found great shopping at good prices - even some ‘Friends Priced’ deals. Since relocating our construction business to the area, I bought clothing, shoes, groceries, baked goods, catering, restaurant food, hardware, banking services and much more in the St. Clair West’s area.

Yes, I could have got all of this elsewhere, but shopping locally, I supported my neighbors while looking after our everyday needs. And, guess what??? They do the same for us. By doing business with friends and neighbours you benefit from getting what you need. But more than that, you make your business familiar to those who will find you when they need your products and services or when their other friends have those needs.

It’s pretty simple - people do business with people they like. Meeting with friends each month over food at local restaurants (at no cost to you… but just remember to tip the servers!), you get acquainted with the neighbours and they with you. Simple. Knowing you are there, what you do and how you can help them and their friends, you make a very direct and personal marketing connection that helps grow your business or at least survive rough times.

People have choices about where to shop. So why not make your business interesting to people who work all around you? Some call it networking. Others call it referral marketing. All you really need to know about Venus Creations in the Neighborhood is: you meet neighbors, talk, have an enjoyable night out and invest in making your business visible to the people who pass your front door daily.

We at Venus Creations in the Neighbourhood wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Ari Berman
Management Consultant
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build
"Management Advice When Your Decisions Matter"

Thursday, 16 December 2010

A Great Evening Celebrating CAWIC's (Canadian Women in Construction) 5th Anniversary

Booklet: CAWIC - Canadian Association of Women in Construction
Leadership - Mentorship - Membership - Partnership
Enhancing the Success of Women in Construction

CAWIC Announces 5th Anniversary Celebration
The Canadian Association of Women in Construction (CAWIC), whose mission is to facilitate the success of women in the Canadian construction industry, is excited to commemorate its fifth anniversary of independent operation in Canada on November 17, 2010 commencing at 6 pm with an exciting evening of fun, food, fond memories and footwear as we walk through CAWIC's five years of success starting with a self-guided museum tour through the Bata Shoe Museum located at 327 Bloor Street West, Toronto, followed by delicious hors d'oeuvres and refreshments.


CAWIC's membership consists of women of all ages and experience involved in many areas of the construction industry. CAWIC is proud to support its members through its core values of leadership, mentorship, membership and partnership.

On November 17, I attended - together with Martina Ernst - the end of the year event organized by CAWIC. The goals of the Canadian Association for Women in Construction have always been very close to Wo-Built's Inc corporate goals. We wanted to participate and congratulate the organizers for elevating the profile of women in the construction industry.

The event was organized at the Bata Shoe Museum, a very appropriate location since the majority of the attendees were women. We all enjoyed and learned quite a bit about the social significance of shoes in history while perusing through the Museum and completing a quiz. This activity also gave us the opportunity of interacting with other attendees from various backgrounds: project managers, designers, construction companies’ administrative staff, and architects.

During the cocktails and hors d'oeuvres’ part of the event we re-acquainted ourselves with Angela Wilson, a past-president of CAWIC and, as always, an inspiration for us all; Ann Wilots representing George Brown College; and one of the young women recipients of the CAWIC annual bursaries, also from George Brown College.

During the speeches it was very interesting to hear the President of the Toronto Construction Association who talked about the future possibilities for women in construction filling in the shortage of project managers, superintendents, a various other positions where the Construction Industry foresees a future demand for new employees.

A very well appointed dessert table and auction completed the evening which serves not only as a fundraiser but as an important celebration of achievement for the organization and the women who run it on volunteer basis.

Elida Huignard
Wo-Built - Innovative Design and Build

Screenshot: Canadian Association of Women in Construction celebrates fifth anniversary
by Patricia Williams, staff writer
Photo: CAWIC - Debbie Wadsworth, CAWIC past-president, Mira Fabian, president, and Angela Wilson, founding president.

Daily Commercial News and Construction Record, December 3, 2010

links: Proud to be partners with CAWIC
"As an association executive, I know that the name of the game is membership. Myself and my colleagues in the construction and related sectors are always trying to expand our membership bases, knowing that there is strength in numbers...."
by Stephen Dupuis
METRO CANADA, December 09, 2010

news on twitter from @wobuilt:
Leaving for CAWIC (Canadian Women in Construction) 5th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION at the Bata Shoe Museum.- Congrat's Ladies for 5 great years. 5:41 PM Nov 17th via web from Corso Italia, Toronto

@lornaparsons In #Toronto we had a great evening celebrating CAWIC's (Canadian Women in Construction) 5th anniversary. Worthwhile event. 5:24 PM Nov 18th via web from Corso Italia, Toronto in reply to lornaparsons

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Home Decor: Hailey's Hot Tip of the Week: Add a Little Bit of Magic into Your Home

Home Decor: Magic into Your Home: Hailey's Hot Tips, by

Home Decor: Hailey's Hot Tips
Add a Little Bit of Magic into Your Home
Credit: MS Office ClipArt MR900116588

2010 @

Hailey's hot tip of the week:
  • Add holiday flair around the home this season
  • Make affordable decor changes to suit the season
  • Add a little magic to any tree in your home
  • For those of you who are missing the tropics and the warm weather
For holiday flair around the home this season, try these tips:

[ V ] After dinner each night, or anytime your oven is on, cut apples into wedges, put them on a baking tray, or into a glass Pyrex baking dish, drizzle with orange juice, sprinkle with plenty of cinnamon and a touch of maple syrup, then bake at 350 degrees until they're soft and your entire home smells like fresh baked apple pie.

[ V ] For affordable decor changes to suit the season, visit your favourite paper store or art store and pick up a few sheets of seasonally inspired wrapping papers, or Japanese/handmade paper. Use this to fill frames around the home.

[ V ] Add a little magic to any tree in your home! Have some extra holiday lights and no where to put them? Why not give your potted plants a glow this year and light them up too! It uses less electricity to light your home in the evenings by the glow of your trees, then by turning on those halogen pot lights above you.

[ V ] And for those of you who are missing the tropics and the warm weather that now seems so far away, take a visit to your local Loblaws, Super Store, or Fortinos for a gorgeous fresh tropical floral bouquet at only $19.99. With vibrant reds and greens, not only are the colours perfect for the season, but it's more original than Hollies on the table and will remind you that warmer days will be back again soon.

Happy Decorations.

Hayley Snider
Snider Homes

2010 © Hayley Snider

Home Décor: Hailey's Hot Tip of the Week: Intro

Home Decor: Hailey's Hot Tips
Photo: Hayley Snider, Snider Homes and SMS Interiors

2010 @
A while back we mentioned that Wo-Built went into partnership with Snider Homes to be able to give great value to renovation projects. As a Design & Build Contractor we love to partner with companies that have the same values as Wo-Built and help us serve our clients well. From Snider Homes each member is bringing something special to the mix. We were well impressed with Hailey Snider's ability of home-staging, interior decorating, room organization, decluttering, and rebranding your personal or business space.

We know you'll enjoy tuning in every Wednesday, for Hailey's Hot Tips of the week, to help you truly love your home or work space. From decor ideas to cost saving tips, and a chance to get free online advice for our top 3 reader responses - it's worth taking a minute out of your busy week, to stop by the site and see what's new!

From all of us at Wo-Built Inc and Snider Homes we wish you all the magic of the season, and a wonderful New Year!

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Upcoming Kitchen Design Trends

Kitchen & Bath Design Trends for 2011 Seminar Sold Out at HomeBuilder @ Renovator Expo, photo by Olga Goubar,

Photo: HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo 2010
Seminar Kitchen & Bath Design Trends for 2011 - Sold Out
Dec 2, 2010 @ Olga Goubar,
Kitchen Designs + Upcoming Trends

We all know that when renovating, a kitchen update adds some of the best value to a home especially when you're looking to put your home on the resale market. Even if you're not looking to add to the resale value of your home, a kitchen update will always help refresh a tired looking home.

Having just attended the Kitchen & Bathroom Update at the Homebuilder & Renovator Expo in the past week, we had the opportunity to see some of the latest trends coming out of Europe, and how they are influencing kitchen designs in the North American market. What we saw were kitchens that were very utilitarian; almost on the verge of an office space design. Some kitchen appliances such as fridges seemed to be conspicuously missing, but the fact was that they were now being hidden behind cabinets and walls which gave kitchens a very open look. Other design elements that were seen were floating shelves and lots of base cabinets which were in keeping with the open concept. Countertops and islands were sometimes stacked with other countertops of different thickness giving them an asymmetrical look. And the kitchen colors that were predominantly used were cream, white (it seemed to be everywhere) and gray. Stainless steel was still a big design element and was seen quite often in the designs.

In North America, where kitchens are somewhat larger and are more traditional in their styles, designers are doing what is called transitional styling. They are taking some of those modern European design elements and mixing them with our more traditional styling to come up with some very unique spaces. All in all it was a very inspiring seminar, and one which gave us lots of wonderful ideas to create kitchens with innovative design elements and still retain their functionality.

We at Wo-Built Inc. are excited about all the new trends that we saw at the seminar and are ready to apply some of these designs to create the kitchen of your dreams!

Lonya Miller,
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build
Information About Seminar
HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, December 1-3, 2010
Metro Toronto Conventional Centre

Seminar: Kitchen & Bath Design Trends for 2011
Category: Design Trends for Residential Buildings
Code: T211
Description: Kitchen and bath design has been elevated to an art form, with infinite options and new technologies to maximize both comfort and space. See how both kitchen and bath aesthetics are evolving and influencing design, materials, finishes, and colors. How can the latest trends in cabinets, countertops, lighting, and fixtures be incorporated to create a functional and luxurious space?
Speaker: Margaret MacDonald, Senior Designer AYA Kitchens and Baths Ltd.

Here are several photos from the construction expo floor:

HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo + Construct Canada photos from, by Olga Goubar, wobuiltScreenshot: HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo + Construct Canada photos Toronto, Dec 2, 2010 @ Olga Goubar,

links: Kitchen Designs – Are We Missing the Boat? Kitchen Upgrade – Plan Yours Today!

Thursday, 9 December 2010

What Is Coming Up In 2010 National Building Codes? Find out How This Will Affect Your Business.

Collage: Build for Tomorrow: 2010 National Building Codes of Canada, wobuilt.comCollage: Build for Tomorrow:
2010 National Building Codes of Canada


Recently, I attended the seminar “Significant Changes in 2010 National Building Codes Affecting Part 9 Buildings” at the Toronto Construction Show. This presentation was held by the Institute for Research in Construction from the NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL CANADA.

This is a guidance list for designers and contractors to check on the specific changes while working on designing and building residential projects.

Changes to foundation systems:
  • Extra requirement of gravel and vapour barrier in basements and heated crawl spaces
  • Changes related to the appearance of Radom gas now mandatory
Changes to insulation and heating systems:
  • Use of foams as vapour barriers
  • Hydronic heating better specified
  • Fire and sound resistance ratings
Other changes:
  • Range Vs cooktop ventilation requirements
  • Ratings for wood products with phenolic adhesives
  • Spans for Steel beams
Smaller changes:
  • Washroom door sizes
  • Starter strips
  • Exhaust venting systems
  • Location of Co Alarms
  • Ducts for cooking equipment

Building codes are clearly an important basis for insuring good quality in structures. And we, as a design and build company working with our designers, architects, and engineers, design and specify interesting and innovative buildings taking all the codes requirements into account. The building code is the baseline for construction and we utilize innovative materials and methods that may provide better performance than the building code calls for to ensure best solutions for our clients.

The site where to check or request the building code is or

Elida Huignard
Wo-Built - Innovative Design and Build

Here are several photos from the Construction Expo floor:

HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo + Construct Canada photos from, by Olga Goubar, wobuiltScreenshot: HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo + Construct Canada photos Toronto, Dec 2, 2010 @ Olga Goubar,

National Research Council Canada: Significant technical changes in the 2010 National Model Construction Codes

Our Achievement Lunch

Invitation: Wo-Built's Construction Achievement Celebration 2010 at AGIO Ristorante,TorontoInvitation: Wo-Built's Achievement Celebration
Friday, December 3, 2010 at AGIO Ristorante
1351 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6E 1C5

On Friday we held our annual staff celebration at Agio’s, a great Italian restaurant at the edge of Corso Italia. We called it our ‘Achievement lunch’ since we had a lot to celebrate, even though this was a tough year. How better to celebrate this with than three amazing starters, a lovely salad and soup, Osso Buco and Pomegranate Sorbet. We were in heaven.

In summary we had a lot of good things this year happen to us this year.

We finished two home additions, both very special to us in their own way. One had great innovative design elements, such as a trap door and eye-catching stairs, two huge decks which look amazing and the other provided us with the opportunity to create an architecturally interesting building that was challenging to build, but provided amazing spaces. We also completed several smaller projects, such as kitchens and a deck.

On a personal note, we moved into a great office space with windows!! That made everyone really very happy, more productive and enabled us to have much closer team work.

We created WoBinna and Friends, our animated spokesperson. WoBinna represents our outreach to the younger generation to persuade them that the trades are a viable career option.

And finally we went into a strategic partnership with Snider Homes to be able to serve our clients even better than in the past. We were very pleased that Sandy, Zack and Hailey from Snider Homes were able to celebrate our achievement lunch with us.

We have of course many more things which we celebrated, such as the friendships we forged with our suppliers and clients, something very personal and dear to us. Often when things are tough we forget that we are still very fortunate in being part of an innovative, caring and successful company.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build
Wo-Built's Construction Achievement Celebration 2010 at AGIO Ristorante,Toronto, photos: Olga Goubar,
Collage: Wo-Built's Achievement Celebration
Friday, December 3, 2010 at AGIO Ristorante
Photos: Olga Goubar
2010 © Wo-Built Inc.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

What Is Special About Our Design And Built Construction Company?

Wo-Built Residential Construction and Renovation, Toronto, Ontario, CanadaPoster: Wo-Built Design @ Build Construction
2010 @

We would like to share our thoughts and expertise about what makes us special as a construction company in prior to opening the 14th Annual Residential Construction and Renovation Trade Show (December 1-3, 2010).
Wo-Built Inc, is a one-stop shop design and build construction company.

We specialize in home additions and extensions, and we have extensive expertise in residential renovations. One of our most popular renovation services is kitchen design and remodeling. As a company we provide our clients with innovative designs and excellent construction practices. Each project starts with our unique "dream home assessment", and is a wonderful starting point for evaluating the pros and cons of any project that our client has in mind.

As a female-led construction company we believe that women have a special talent for providing care & attention to detail and we use the distinctive talents of women whenever possible. We call this our unique "Women's touch". We are also looking to bring Wo-Built's expertise to include commercial projects as well.

When we started the company we did so with a social mission in mind. We wanted to provide women an avenue to explore the trades as a viable career option. We are presently in collaboration with George Brown College to establish a course outline for a training program for women in the trades.

We also play a mentoring role for women as well as providing them an opportunity to work on our various projects and hone their skills in the trades to fulfill their dreams. In addition we have created a cartoon character called WoBinna in the hopes of encouraging more young women to consider a career in the trades as one of their choices.

As a company, we embrace "green" building whenever and wherever we can, and in each project that we undertake, we strive to minimize our ecological footprint as much as possible.

For more information, please contact us

Elida Huignard, President
Martina Ernst, CEO

Wo-Built Inc
Suite #3, 1287 St. Clair Ave West
Toronto, ON M6E 1B8, Canada
In the heart of Corso Italia

phone: 416-402-2679
ph/fax: 416-354-2555

Follow us on social media sites

blogger: wobuilt
twitter: @wobuilt
facebook: Wo-Built
linkedin: Wo-Built Inc

Links to Media Publications about Wo-Built:

Toronto Star: Women at Work - Driving home the message
"Wo-Build and the Canadian Association of Women in Construction are working with the Pink Nail Project . The proceeds go towards bursaries to aid women entering the trades."
by Shauna Rempel
Published Jun 29, 2007

Toronto Star: Women and Education - Trades program offers lesson on repairing lives
by Daniel Girard, education reporter
Published Aug 27, 2007

Toronto Star: Breaking Down Barriers - Building on women's skills
photo by Jim Ross: Martina Ernst and Elida Huignard at the Pre-Apprenticeship Training Institute, founded Wo-Built.
"Women, if you're good with your hands, detail-oriented, like watching renovation shows and don't mind getting a bit dirty, then maybe a career in the finishing trades is for you. Painting, drywalling, carpentry and cabinetmaking are part of the vast array of skilled trades that don't often register on women's radar."
by Donna Laporte, real estate reporter
Published Apr 19, 2008

SNAP Bloor-West Village: Craft Market Hosts Home Design Series
Photo: Martina and Deborah from Wo-Built Inc. with Mary (middle) of Wise Daughters Craft Market
"The ladies from Wo-Built Inc., a local design and build company, brought their expertise and knowledge to Wise Daughters Craft Market at the beginning of April for the first of six interactive talks centering around making changes in the home, a major focal point at this time of the year."
Published May 2009

Proud FM Radio: Wo-Built's Interview on 103.9 FM
Published July 8, 2009