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October 31, 2014

Don't Put Your Home or Your Family's Safety at Risk: Hire Qualified Contractors for Your Kitchen and Bath Renovation

At Monarch, we understand that remodelling a kitchen or bathroom can be an exciting time for homeowners. After all, a new design usually means new cabinetry, appliances, furniture, lighting and more.

While you're focusing what your new space will look like, a qualified kitchen and bath design team will also be thinking ahead to what issues might arise once the tear down process begins.

At the top of their list of concerns? Electrical.

"During tear down, improperly installed electrical wiring is often the best concealed--and most dangerous--issue we have to address," says Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre president Neil Samson.

Whether you're hiring a full service design firm to manage your renovation or handling the hiring of tradespeople yourself, it's critical to ensure that the people you hire to work in your home are licensed professionals.

As reported in The Toronto Star recently, hiring an unlicensed electrician can result in "numerous electrical hazards." And in this case in particular, it also meant significant fines and jail time for the contractor. 

Normand Breton, ESA registrar and director of contractor licensing and powerline safety, said there area a "significant number" of people who violate the Electricity Act each year. "The underground economy is alive and well," he said -- but for the public, it means "when you hire an unlicnensed contractor you are taking a lot of risk."

Don't put your home or your family's safety at risk. What lies beneath your walls needs to be addressed by a qualified and experienced contractor.  

Here are some examples of what Monarch's team runs into on a daily basis:

Illegal electrical joints hidden behind drywall.
And to compound the problem even further, there is a joining of aluminum and copper wiring: this is not only illegal but it also a major fire hazard. There is a very strict protocol when joining copper to aluminum.

In this Pickering home, we found seven electrical infractions which are against the Ontario Building Code. The exhaust hood fan in this home was connected to a 4" plastic dryer hose. Not only is this a fire waiting to happen but it's also illegal.
"Sadly, these are not isolated incidents," admits Neil. "Our team uncovers these problems quite regularly. As a homeowner, you need to be aware of the potential safety hazards that might be lurking behind your walls."

"If you have any aluminum wiring in your home, we recommend you have a qualified and licensed electrician check all of the connections in your electrical panel on a yearly basis," advises Neil. "The screw-down connections on aluminum wiring can loosen; and for that reason, aluminum wiring is no longer approved for use in Canada."

When it comes to working with electrical, only a licensed electrician will do. "Don't hire a handyman to do an electrician's job," says Neil. "As the old saying goes: Jack of all trades, master of none. Insist that the electrician obtain a permit, and make sure that you receive a copy of the ESA (Electrical Safety Authority) inspection certificate. You will probably need it when you renew your home insurance."

Monarch ensures that each home renovation they perform that involves electrical work will have an ESA permit and inspections performed. Once the final inspection is complete, Monarch clients receive an ESA approval certificate.

Drop by the Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre showroom to learn more, or call 905-686-2001.

October 10, 2014

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre Honoured with Business Excellence Award from Ajax-Pickering Board of Trade

We're thrilled to announce that last night, Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre was honoured with 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. All award submissions are evaluated by an independent panel of judges.

“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," said president Neil Samson after first learning of Monarch's award nomination in July. "We are incredibly proud and humbled that our client felt so strongly about the quality of our service to nominate us for this award.”

On the eve of this Thanksgiving long weekend, we wish to give thanks to all of our clients for trusting us with their kitchen and bath design dreams.

Our Thanksgiving weekend showroom hours are as follows:

Saturday, October 11th - 9am to 5pm
Sunday, October 12th - closed
Monday, October 13th - closed
Tuesday, October 14th - regular business hours resume

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre

October 2, 2014

Ready to Renovate? Monarch Celebrates Kitchen and Bath Month with a Giveaway!

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) has declared October as Kitchen and Bath Month, and Monarch Kitchen & Bath Centre's design team is ready to celebrate with you. If you're planning a new kitchen or bath design, Monarch has the incentive you need to kick your renovation plans into full gear!

Celebrate with Monarch!
Book a kitchen or bath design project with Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre before October 31st, 2014, and receive a free faucet or sink (up to a maximum value of $500).

How to Qualify:
  1. Any kitchen or bathroom renovation project contracted with Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre is eligible to receive a free faucet or sink, to a maximum value of $500.
  2. The giveaway is available from October 1st to October 31st, 2014.
  3. Only one giveaway per project.
  4. Your Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre contract and deposit must be signed and collected prior to October 31st, 2014.
  5. By participating in this giveaway, you are giving Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre, or its representatives, the right to use your image, drawings, and project images for use in advertising.
Monarch Kitchen and Bath Centre is committed to your complete satisfaction. Drop by our showroom today and let us know how we can make your renovation dreams a reality!