Placelift Renovations is a full-service renovation company servicing both residential and commercial property.

We understand it’s a big decision. As choosing to have a renovation done is one you haven’t taken lightly, neither will we.

From conception to completion, we pride ourselves with working closely with our clients to deliver projects on time— and perhaps more importantly, on budget.

It’s more than just quality workmanship to us, it’s finding the balance that exists between effortless functionality, true longevity and beautiful design.

Perhaps it's time for a placelift.

General Manager,
Matt David Johnson

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In the Autumn of 2013, Lydia invited us to improve the living space and kitchen in her new apartment. Having seen on our website what a great improvement having your cabinets refinished can be, she decided on a finish we feel was quite striking, and that turned her kitchen it into the centrepiece of her condo. Here’s the before: 

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This is a common design practice in the area— but these days the ‘sunshine ceiling’ feels more oppressive and heavy than light and breezy. 

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It’s worth mentioning solid wood cabinets can be a small fortune new. If your cabinets are in good enough shape, you might want to consider this approach. 

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Giving the wood a good scrub with the deglosser. 

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Removing the cabinet doors affords the most control over the final finish. We simply set all the hardware and hinges aside for re-installation after.

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Naturally, with careful timing you can benefit from proper organization of the renovation work-flow. Knowing the flooring was due for replacement allowed us to use the carpet as a drying stage. 

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Glazing works magic. After carefully ‘washing’ the surface of the wood to bring back the grain, we use the same glaze to define the millwork edging and deepen the illusion of shadows. 

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After installing under-cabinet lighting, we chose a backsplash tile composed of multi-hued glass and travertine: a nice splash of boldness to anchor our design.  
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You may find it easier if attempting this finish yourself to install the doors before applying the final glaze and topcoat. (The cabinet boxes can be completed beforehand.) This approach provides more control over the complete palette, so to speak.

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Whirlpool Improvement

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Ian and Rosemary were growing tired with the limits in functionality found in their main floor washroom. Out-dated and tired, it was time for an upgrade. Both retirees, exploring ways comfort could be integrated into the overall design was an important factor. 

Seated around a table, we reviewed design options: cabinet finishes, hardware, fixtures. Once Rosemary noticed the bathtub we were considering came with a whirlpool option, there really was no stopping her. Naturally… we ordered one up. 

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Diverse Flooring in Maple Ridge created these great sample boards that helped us confirm our main and accent tile choices. 

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Small quarters can make for a challenging project, and continuous organization is key. Like all chefs know— clean as you go

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The three-quarter offset in the tile flooring as a nice deviation from the standard brick pattern.

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I love the detail in this shower surround. The difference in width between the larger tile and mosaic creates a gorgeous shadow line. The eye drinks in detail, and the sharper and more ‘truer’ your edges can be, the richer the appeal.

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Dual-head sliding shower bar from Phister in brushed nickel. 

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Cutting the countertop on site. 

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Small quarters can also encourage creativity. This linen tower design snuggled up nicely against the vanity without overtaking the room. 

Along with new baseboards, soft-closing hinges, a matching Phister faucet and custom mirror, it’s fair to say this project turned out a swirling success. That’s a whirlpool reference, in case you missed it ;)  

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Vancouver Special

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In this unique project, our friend Wayne had a rental home that needed a little updating. New flooring, cabinets, trim mouldings and fixtures throughout— including a new stair railing. A stairway without a railing is a dangerous situation..

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Hemlock spindles are a modern classic, painted or stained. 

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In the end, this renovation found the perfect balance between functionality, aesthetic appeal and budget. 

Ranger Lodge

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BC Parks Service approached us explaining that one of their ranger stations needed some attention, to see what we could do to make things more comfortable for the seasonal rangers that lived onsite. This project combined multiple elements with a focus on plumbing. 

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Our mandate? Install a new shower. Perhaps a minor addition in the long run, but we like to make sure we do things right. 

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This particular shower kit required elevating the  base upon a raised skirt for proper support. Here, we’re seating the shower drain in relation to the vent stack.

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Fast forward a few days later; a fresh coat of wall paint, an epoxy-based floor covering (and a few bells and whistles), and the good rangers now have a fully-functional shower available for the ‘bear’ necessities. 

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Cabinets at Creekside

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In February 2013, Cliff approached us inquiring about the kind of options he had surrounding a kitchen renovation he was hoping to see completed in the upcoming weeks. Like so many properties in his area, the kitchen was filled with those classic, hardwood maple doors. Quality stock, sure, but far too out-dated to entice buyers, or bring warmth and comfort to what should be a friendly gathering space. 

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Just… lacking something, but just tossing out perfectly good cabinetry just doesn’t make sense. So when all else fails— refinish them! 

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Setting to work, we created a mockup to demonstrate what colours and styles would work best with the overall look and feel of the kitchen. Grey? 

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Earth tone? 

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Whatever we chose, that microwave shelf had to go. With plans to replace the hood fan above the microwave with a microwave/ hood fan combination, we could play around a little. How about a horizontal glass cabinet? Better yet — how about we light it? 

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It was very generous of the prior builders to provide sooooo much cabinet space, but this overhead course was bulky and unused. Out it went, donated to Habitat to Humanity

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Cabinet lighting purchased from Ikea went a long way to improve the overall kitchen. We hardwired these puck lights to switches in the wall. 

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Integrating cabinetry from different suppliers can sometimes be a challenge. In this case, our Ikea cabinet had to snuggle up beneath the existing box and look more than just convincing— it had to be seamless. With some careful clamping and a filler strip absconded from the removed cabinets, a marriage was made.  

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Adding a microwave/ hood fan combination appliance is a great way to save space, but it’s important to provide enough space between the appliances.  

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We rebuilt the cabinet box, added supports and then secured the bracket. Undermount cabinet lighting is also being added to this side of the kitchen, as well.

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Back to the cabinet finishing. After reviewing all colour options, we chose to go with a dark grey. It’s a five-stage process transforming cabinets to newness and shine. Here’s how the cabinet body appears after the second base coat has been applied, following the de-glossing process.

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Glazing is a medium used frequently by faux finishers. It’s not exactly  paint, and it’s not exactly forgivingbut it works wonders, deepening the natural grains in the wood and giving these cabinet doors richness once again. 

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Cliff also had a great idea to turn this bland half-island (Er… peninsula? Promontory?) into a nice focus point. As the following photograph illustrates, I quite agree. Beadboard is a nice, inexpensive way to add a luxurious touch. 

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Our cabinets new look! Though only so much comes through in the picture, it really turned out well. Rustic, yet still somehow contemporary— almost a brushed-steel finish. Wonderful. We’re pleased to say the least, and liked it so much we decided to carry the idea over to the bathrooms. And as you can see in the bathroom (at the right of the photograph), it’s a good thing we did. 

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For the guest bathroom and subsequent ensuite, we opted for a lighter tone… 

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New countertops, fixtures, mirror trim and paint. 

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Undermount sinks: what you’re looking at is a heavy bead of construction adhesive around the outermost edge, followed by a thick bead of silicone on the inner. Clamp it to your secured countertop with a 2x4 and let dry overnight. Once affixed, use plumbing straps the further reinforce the vessel. 

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The business of backsplashing. A lot of times your backsplash is the final element that pulls it all together. Our tile choice had touches of stainless steel, granite, glass and varying tones of diffused glass that complimented our cabinets/countertops beautifully— without being overstated. 

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Add a little cabinet hardware, beefen-up the trim around that partition window in the kitchen and I think we made something to be proud of. Here are the finals. Before… 

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— and After

Thanks for reading along. 

— M

Cambie Bridge Condo

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Here was a great little project located near the Cambie Street Bridge in Vancouver. Along with some interior renovations, two gentlemen were interested in having both washrooms renovated with new bathtub installations, full shower surround (and half-wall) and cabinetry. Neil Mark took the reins on this one, handling almost all of the prep-work and the general contracting, but Placelift was more than pleased to shoulder the tiling duties. Enjoy these shots from the project. More to come! 

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Citadel Parade

This neat spot boasted a very cool view of Vancouver, B.C. from the east edge of the downtown core. As was customary with many residences in the area, the flooring was common-grade maple laminate, held up beneath the thinnest of underlays. Tissue, really. Undertones of cat pee, no less. Yuck. We tore up and threw out the old stock so fast we failed to take proper shots. Trust us — hideous. 

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As a general precaution against dust and debris, carpet protector is laid upon the common areas to keep tenants happy. It’s tricky enough keeping peace with your neighbours once renovations are underway; who needs an unhappy strata too? 

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Choosing our trim moulding options. What you see are considerations for  baseboard, casing and header. In the end we chose to install the casing everywhere— even as a baseboard— resulting in a very contemporary look for the living space. For further jazz, we mitred the corners where baseboard meets the casing to accentuate the groove.

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Merry Christmas, flooring has arrived. An entire palette-full, thank you very much. It snowed considerably that day, which not only made things nicely festive, but added much needed weight to the vehicle. It’s the little things. image

Ah… there’s always something. Choosing to remove the old tile from the solarium so new flooring could be continued throughout meant its solemn destruction. However… being as this building was relatively new, removing said tile proved slightly, um, impossible. So much hammering…and chiselling… and knuckle-brusing bashing took place, it’s a miracle we didn’t find dinosaur bones. But we did it… we did it. 

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If you’re paying attention, you may have noticed the partition wall to the solarium had been removed in the photo below. As plans were to turn this space into an office and thus accommodate a desk, keeping a doorway where none was needed seemed a poor usage for space. Instead, new drywall columns were framed and painted to match the existing room.

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Subfloor readied, we installed the underlay — 6mm, as per strata code—and then set to work laying the flooring. A beautiful product.

Many flooring installers choose to run the flooring lines in the direction light hits the room, but instead I chose the longer course, allowing for unimpeded flow into the bedroom without need for a transition. If that makes sense, I applaud you. :) 

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This was slightly unusual. And here I was wondering if I was getting weak in my old age…

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View from the balcony. Kids doing donuts in the snow. 

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A nice trim detail. 

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From Subway to Treetops

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This is one of those fantastic projects that only comes along once in awhile. Our client Emma knew exactly what kind of look she wanted to achieve within her outdated washroom. When I was handed the following photograph as a ‘jumping off point’ I knew this was going to be a fun one. 

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A traditional, subway-style tile pattern is a cost-effective solution to updating your tiling. Traditionally, clean white ceramic tiles are usually the least expensive to acquire. The state the room was in currently was, ahem, worrisome. Not as bad as a New York City subway, mind you, but getting there. 

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And as it turned out, it wasn’t just one washroom that needed polishing — but two. In the master the flooring needed replacing, as well. Like we do, we set to work. After removing the old, sickly tile and drywall, we hung plastic sheeting, sealed between the studs and installed cement board upon which to affix the tile. 

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Once we had all the prep work done, it was time to tile. Smaller tile means more detail work, which takes time. Here you can see the first few runs, including allowances for the shower diverter. 

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The first side is complete. Sometimes making considerations beforehand for things like storage allows you time for unique additions. Here, much like we Robert Gibson’s project, we built an alcove right into the wall while we had the opportunity. Looks awesome. 

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In the ensuite, we followed the same technique. Fiberock for the floor and after pre-cutting the floor tile, installation began.

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Emma also asked us to assist with the cabinet installation as well. We found a way to use an economically-priced Ikea cabinet in a way that worked with the limitations found within the guest bath.

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After adding some hardware, a nice framed mirror, under-mount sink and new countertop Emma was left with a beautiful new washroom for her son and visiting company.

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