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July 31, 2014

What's Open and Closed on the Civic Holiday

Happy Civic Holiday Long Weekend from Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre
Are you considering a kitchen or bath renovation in your home, condo or cottage? Drop by the Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre showroom this weekend-- our designers would be happy to discuss your design plans with you.

Here are our Civic Holiday long weekend hours:

Friday, August 1 - 9am to 5pm
Saturday, August 2nd - 9am to 5pm
Sunday, August 3rd - closed
Monday, August 4th - closed
Tuesday, August 5th - regular business hours resume

Below is a list of what's open -- and what's not -- around Toronto on Monday.

  • Tourist attractions (ROM, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto Zoo, Ripley’s Aquarium)
  • Major malls (Eaton Centre, Yorkville, Fairview, Sherway Gardens, Square One, Vaughan Mills)
  • Select Beer Store locations
  • LCBO
  • Movie theaters
  • Tourist attractions (AGO, TIFF Bell Lightbox)
  • Banks
  • Government offices
  • Post offices and mail delivery
For a full list of what's open and closed, click here.

We hope you enjoy a safe and happy Civic Holiday long weekend!

July 22, 2014

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre Nominated for APBOT Business Excellence Award

At Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre, we understand that our success depends solely on the satisfaction of our clients. Recently, we received word that a past client (and business associate) had nominated us for a Business Excellence Award from the Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade.

The Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade (APBOT) is the voice of the business community in Ajax and Pickering. Established in 1955, the 500-plus members represent a wide array of business sectors. The APBOT Business Excellence Awards were established in 1994 to recognize the achievements and excellence in business performance. An independent panel of judges evaluates the nominees based on three categories – one to nine, 10 to 49, and 50+ employees.

“As a longstanding APBOT member and an active member of the Ajax-Pickering business community, it is an honour to be recognized for our commitment to excellence,” says Monarch president Neil Samson. “But most importantly, we are incredibly proud and humbled that our client felt so strongly about the quality of our service to nominate us for this award.”

The winners of the 20th Annual Business Excellence Awards will be announced at a special ceremony on October 9th, 2014, at the Ajax Convention Centre.

July 10, 2014

What Lies Beneath: Monarch Helps Homeowners Fix Home Builders' “Surprises”

At Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre, we perform renovations of all kinds, shapes and sizes. One of the most common renovation requests we receive from homeowners involves transforming the popcorn ceilings in their home to flat ceilings.

The tear down of this homeowner's ceiling
revealed the absence of joist hangers
Because drywall often becomes aged and tired over time, we prefer to tear down the existing ceiling and reinstall fresh drywall. We find this method provides a better end result and it usually looks crisper than a scrape-and-plaster skim coat on the ceiling.

While undertaking this renovation at a client’s home recently, our contractors were shocked at what they found when they removed the popcorn ceiling drywall. Monarch president Neil Samson was called to the job site to confirm what our experienced contractors had noticed immediately. During the construction of the home, some very important pieces were absent: on an entire section of joists, the joist hangers were missing! There was nothing holding the joists to the structural beams except a few nails.

Here is an example of how the structural beams in a home should look like. Notice the metal brackets holding the joists to the beam.

Joist hangers are metal brackets that secure joists to the beams.
Required by code, these joist hangers are a crucial piece of the house-building puzzle. Due to the lack of joist hangers, the joists had dropped about half an inch. It’s frightening to think about what could have happened to the home over time; however, crisis was averted and our installers jacked the floor joists back up in place then installed the joist hangers. Usually when we undertake a renovation, we expect some small surprises. Missing joist hangers is certainly not a small issue, but unfortunately it was not the only item on this job that gave us some concern.

More surprises were found in the bathroom!
There were more issues again with the joists and the structure of the home being compromised. Upon installation of the bathroom plumbing, our contractors discovered that someone had cut out three-quarters of a floor joist to allow for the bathtub p-trap. Once again, this is against building code, against safe practices, and most importantly could have caused some dangerous, life-threatening scenarios. As you can see from the photo, the plumbing had been leaking for some time and had caused mold to appear on the flooring.

Working with a contractor or renovation company that you trust is very important. At Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre, we respect our customers’ homes, their families and their safety. Monarch president Neil Samson visits all job sites on a regular basis to ensure “surprises” are dealt with in a timely manner, ensuring the safety of your family and your home.

Ready to renovate? Call us today at 905-686-2001 or drop by our showroom and speak with a member of our design team.