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We are looking for another construction manager to help us deliver an outstanding experience for homeowners in Victoria.

The posting is available on indeed, so please apply there, but here are the details.

 

Construction Manager for MAC Renovations

Construction Manager PHILOSOPHY:

The Construction Manager is the key to fulfilling the promises we make to our customer(s). The company’s brand and financial performance relies on the proper execution of the responsibilities of this role. The Construction Manager works closely with the Operations Manager, supports the production field team through all construction phases, establishes the production calendar, and manages resources to achieve success across all renovation projects. The Construction Manager is responsible for ensuring projects are completed safely and within scope and schedule requirements.

Our Company Values (We live by these and are true to them):

  • Collaboration
  • Continuing Education
  • Integrity
  • Care

Deliverables (include and are not limited to):

Training and Professional Development of Field Production Team

  • Foster an environment where MAC Renovations Ltd. (MAC) values are held paramount
  • Support positive employee relations, morale and company culture
  • Ensure production goals are clear to the Field Production Team. (Give the team the WHY).
  • Support the development of the Field Production Team core competencies through coaching, professional development, team meetings, and quarterly/yearly reviews
  • Develop and administer the apprenticeship program

Production Schedules and Quality Management

  • Manage and optimize the production calendar
  • Work with Lead Carpenters and Project Managers (PM’s) to identify any delays and advising of any corrective actions required
  • Communicate with the Operations Manager regularly to ensure work is being completed as required and notify of any issues or, job-related concerns that would impact schedule, financial performance, or quality of work.
  • Oversee Material Take Off
  • Perform site audits
  • Maintain an updated inventory of tools and equipment
  • Review and approve project cost sheet
  • Review and provide guidance on change order development

Updates to Administrative Tracking Systems

  • Quarterly/yearly reviews Field Production Team
  • Update BuilderTrend, as needed
  • Actively participate in management meetings
  • Oversee MAC’s COR Certified Safety Program
  • Review expense reports

Customer service (Maintain above 4.5 Star Google Reviews)

  • Coach the Production Field Team to be aware of the items in the client expectation guideline
  • Ensure the Field Production Team is communicating with customers in a professional and polite manner

Skill Set & Experience Needed:

  • Minimum 10 years experience in residential construction
  • Minimum 5 years’ experience as a Lead hand/Supervisor supporting a construction crew in the field
  • Proficiency in all aspects of residential framing, carpentry, interior and exterior finishing
  • Strong background in safety culture and implementation
  • Detailed knowledge of municipal building codes
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills, strong emotional intelligence, interpersonal and leadership skills
  • Ability to learn to be proficient in Google Docs and the construction management CRM systems (i.e., BuilderTrend)

To be considered for this opportunity please apply through this posting on Indeed.com. We ask for no phone calls and no recruiters.

Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Benefits:

  1. Dental care
  2. Extended health care
  3. RRSP match

Schedule:

  • Monday to Friday

Ability to commute/relocate:

  • Victoria, BC (preferred)

Education:

  • AEC / DEP or Skilled Trade Certificate (preferred)

Experience:

  • site supervising: 5 years (preferred)
  • residential carpentry, interior and exterior finishing: 10 years (preferred)
  • detailed knowledge of municipal building codes: 10 years (preferred)
  • Google Docs: 4 years (preferred)
  • Google Sheets: 4 years (preferred)
  • Google Drive: 4 years (preferred)
  • BuilderTrend software: 1 year (preferred)
  • learning new software: 3 years (preferred)
  • similar role: 10 years (preferred)
  • residential construction: 10 years (preferred)

Licence/Certification:

  • Drivers License (preferred)

Work remotely:

  • No

This opportunity is only available via Indeed.com. Please submit your information through their portal so we can schedule a conversation with you.

Occupational Therapy + Home Renovation

When you think about aging-in-place concepts, you probably envision grab bars in the bathtub, curb-less shower stalls, taller toilets, and other accessories designed to increase mobility for a typically older crowd. And while these concepts are part of an aging-in-place strategy, they’re only part of the equation.

Wider hallways, electrical outlets that are just a bit higher and light switches that are just a bit lower, under-vanity lighting, wider doorways, and eliminating tripping hazards on the exterior doors are a few of the approaches we can take when making a home more inclusive.

By using universal design concepts, we can make homes safer, more enjoyable, and in many cases, more valuable. 

Starting the Conversation

Before we begin any renovation project, we have a conversation with the homeowner to understand the motivations for their reno, whether it’s a kitchen upgrade, a bathroom remodel, or even adding a new section to your home. “When I visit a home,” explains Ed McDonald, co-owner of MAC Renovations in Victoria, “I like to dig deep with the homeowner to find the true change they’re looking for. They may have asked us to come out to remove the bathtub, and then in conversation, I’ll find out that the husband had hip surgery and can’t climb into the tub anymore. In this situation, we’ll recommend they have an occupational therapist walk through their home with them to identify issues they might have around mobility today, as well as 5-10 years from now.”

Professional Help

Claudia Walker is a local Occupational Therapist we refer to for many of our clients when they’re concerned about their ability to stay at home. “Claudia is an independent occupational therapist,” shared Ed, “which means she’s qualified to assess the homeowner’s needs for now and for the future.”

“Occupational Therapy focuses on functional performance,” explained Claudia. “It’s about your ability to do what you want to do safely, and for different people, that means different things. When I visit a home, I’ll look at the flow: the path people follow as they go about their day, room to room. I look at the intersection of the place and the person to understand what they want to do in their environment. Then we’ll develop a strategy that recommends safe and effective changes to prevent falls, maximize their independence, and maintain their dignity. It’s not enough to just be safe in your home: you need to live in it too, with the ability to do the things that matter to you.”

Bathroom vanity - top ten - MAC Renovations

 

Removing Barriers

“Much of universal design is about removing barriers to everyday living,” said Claudia. “Walk-in showers, slip-resistant flooring, higher toilets, and grab-rails in the shower are a great start. And outside of the home, making sure the pathways are clear, the sidewalks are level, and installing well-designed ramps can help people remain independent in their own homes, whether they’re in a wheelchair or using a walker.”

Removing Fear

“The fear of falling can actually be as much as a health issue as the fall itself,” explained Claudia. “Many seniors start retracting into themselves, withdrawing from the things they love to do because they fear they’ll get hurt while attempting it. A home renovation that incorporates universal design principles and aging-in-place concepts can give people the confidence to live their life.”

Advanced Technology

The aging population means there are more inventions and resources available to help people enjoy their home. “In some of our builds, we’re putting in automatic lighting with voice controls,” explained Ed. “And where it makes sense, we’re installing elevators into some homes. These tend to be best for larger houses with three or four floors. In homes with smaller footprints, stairlifts are usually a better solution. Another smart feature is microwave drawers, which eliminate the risk of spilling hot food onto yourself when you’re reaching up to take something out of the unit mounted above the stove or under the cabinets.”

Contractor for Life

We’ve been doing home renovations in Victoria for over 40 years now, and we’ve done repeat jobs for many of our clients. “When MAC was just a new company,” shared Ed, “we were hired to add a sunroom to a home in Gordon Head for a doctor and his wife. As their kids became teens, we were invited back to expand the primary bedroom to give them more living space, away from the loud — but lovely — teens. And once the kids had grown up and moved out, we came back in to do a full kitchen renovation to allow the parents to enjoy the entertainment stage of their life. That’s what a contractor for life does – helps you incorporate the changes you need to enjoy your home, no matter how old you are. Trends and lifestyles change over the years, so having a team that knows your home and your family is a smart way to ensure you love where you live as long as you want.”

 

If you’d like to know what needs to be done to help you enjoy your home for as long as you want, contact us to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

How to choose the right lighting for your home renovation in Victoria, BC

When you think about your upcoming home renovation, you probably imagine the sparkle of the cabinets and countertops in your new kitchen, the bright and beautiful updated bathroom, and maybe how that artwork you bought on holiday will fit perfectly in your redesigned living room layout. In your mind’s eye, the lighting is flawless — just like what you see in your favourite design blogs. But if the real space doesn’t have an effective lighting strategy, it won’t look as good as it should.

Home and room renovations completed by the MACreno team in Victoria look amazing because our designers consider and select the lighting to match how you’ll use the space, then make educated decisions to inform your overall lighting plan.

Mike McDougall, a lighting professional at McLaren Lighting here in Victoria, explained, “in your living rooms and kitchens — the main areas of your home — using the right lighting showcases the quality of the components you’ve chosen. While some of the builder-quality, value-focused options may provide some lumens, they aren’t the best choice for general lighting. We’ve seen some kitchens where the homeowner splurged on nice countertops then tried to save a bit with economy lighting. The lights gave off too much glare, taking the focus away from the new surfaces. We provided a better solution, but it would have been more cost-effective to have planned it right from the start. One of the reasons we like working with MAC Renovations is that they include a lighting scheme that ensures the renovation looks great every time you look at it.”

Choosing the right lights

There are three main lighting categories: general, task, and accent. Choosing the right light for each application is an essential part of the design process, so here are some things to consider discussing with your designer.

General Lighting

Lighting that floods a room, typically from the ceiling, is called general or ambient lighting. It’s usually artificial but often supplements natural lighting in a smart design. Your lighting scheme for ambient light might include chandeliers, recessed lighting, track lighting, and wall-mounted fixtures, or even floor or table lamps if they fit the design scheme.

Task Lighting

When you’re doing something that requires direct light, this is generally done through task lighting. It makes chopping carrots in the kitchen, crafting a favourite memory, or curling up in a comfy chair with a great book much more enjoyable. Your designer will look at how you use the space and recommend task lighting where it will be most beneficial and effective.

Accent Lighting

Using lighting to enhance a specific spot in your home lets you bring the focus where you want it. Paintings and sculptures are obvious spots to feature smart accent lighting, but they’re beneficial in other places in your home as well: in-cabinet accent lighting to showcase your favourite collection, under-cabinet lighting to subtly make a space warmer and more welcoming, and even under-vanity options, so you don’t have to turn the overhead lights on in the middle of the night to use the washroom.

Light Emitting Diodes (LED)

There are very few lighting considerations that can’t be addressed through an LED-based solution. You can find an LED fixture or bulb to rival any incandescent, usually delivering more benefits: offering many more years of beauty, requiring minimal energy consumption, and providing an exceptional colour range. LEDs are a smart solution for general, task, and accent lighting, indoors and out.

Full Control

“When I’m doing a lighting plan, I choose switches that have dimmers,” said Azu Saavedra, an interior designer at MAC Renovations. “If all of the lights are on full bright at the same time, it can feel like a hospital room. Layered lighting works better, making the space more comfortable by letting you choose how much light to give the space.”

Do you know what designers hate to see? Light switches. And with today’s technology, it’s possible to create a design that uses a central controller with strategically placed keypads and voice controls, giving you the ability to control the light in your life: enjoying it where you want it, when you need it. The leading controllers integrate well with Google Home and Alexa and should play well with future technologies as they come to market. Another benefit of smart lighting systems is the ability to control them from your smartphone. You can improve your home’s security from the beaches of Hawaii or your office in Saanich by providing the illusion that people are in the house.

 

Whether you’re looking at lighting options to enhance your new living space or interested in energy efficiency upgrades to reduce your carbon footprint, give us a call to find the right lighting strategy for your renovation. We’ve been remodelling homes in Victoria for nearly 40 years, and we’re looking forward to helping you love where you live.

As we celebrate our 40th year of home renovation in Victoria, we thought we’d share one of the secrets to our longevity and successcarefully choosing the right professionals to work with.  

As businesses develop and grow, they often get to a point where they have too much work and not enough people, oan influx of projects outside of their core strengths. These companies then have to decide between hiring more staff or subcontracting other crews to finish the job. In a profit-driven world, it can be tempting to choose the cheapest labour, tack on a premium, and then hope the contractors deliver the quality the company is known for. Unfortunately, this rarely works well. Cheap labour is unreliable and usually involves shortcuts in training or materials, and often both.  

At MAC, we hire people based on their talent and professionalism, as well as their focus on customer satisfaction. Whether it’s a new person joining our administrative team or a new crew providing the construction services we need to complete a renovation, we choose the best so we can continue to deliver the best to our clients throughout Greater Victoria. At first glance, it might look like it’s more expensive, but we’ve found that the right people doing the right job means it gets done right the first time, saving our clients time, money, and frustration throughout the project.  

Follow the MAC Renovations Facebook page to see who we’ve recognized through our #TeamworkTuesday posts – where we share a little love for the talented local businesses we have the privilege of working with. 

How did we become known as a contractor you can trust in VictoriaWell, there are many reasons, but it all boils down to teamwork. We have a phenomenal internal team, and we work with talented local tradespeople so we can do the best job for our clients.  

What makes the MAC team so effective? 

  • Communication – we’re great at letting each other know what needs to be done, who needs to do it, and when it needs to happen. We don’t let egos get in the way of getting the job done the way it’s supposed to be.  
  • Diversity  our team is made up of people with all kinds of lived-experiences, some born and raised in Victoria, and others who eventually found our community and decided to call this great place home. It’s this eclectic mix of experience and ideas that helps us provide innovative and creative solutions for the local homeowners who choose us for their renovation. 
  • Fun-focused – we love what we do, and it shows. Whether it’s on the job site, making things happen on time and on budget, or at staff events, like the annual summer BBQ, our people genuinely enjoy working with each other. 
  • Leadership – a great team is only possible with a great leader, and we’re lucky to have two. Ed positioned the company as one with high standards and a reputation for excellence, and Blaise is bringing us into the future, with defined processes, well-communicated goals, and training opportunities to stay safe, informed, and effective. 

Check out our teamthen read about a day in the life of our designers and carpentersLet us know when you’re ready to begin your home renovation in Victoria. Our team is looking forward to working with you. 

When you visit our website or our profile on Houzz, you’ll find a huge selection of photos of projects we’ve done and rooms we’ve renovated. We’re proud of the work we do, and we like to share the results to help other homeowners develop ideas for their own space. You might think it’s impossible to update a particular room in your home, but chances are, we’ve done something similar for someone else in Victoria. And we have the photos to show you what your space could look like with help from our professional design team and master craftspeople.

We’re regularly asked if the pics we share are real homes or just mock-ups from our design studio. People don’t believe it because of the way the room is staged, but they’re real homes with real people living in them. You might not see the chipped cookie jar on the counter or the overflowing junk drawer in the hallway, but moments after the photos were snapped, these homes go back to their natural state: keeping everyone warm, dry, and happy. That’s the magic of home staging.

Staging a Home in Victoria

Staging isn’t decorating – it’s depersonalizing. The goal is to remove the customizations that you’ve made so the viewer can imagine how the space might be used, and where they can add their creative touches to make it their own. 

“The first thing we do is declutter the space – taking away all of the personal items, so people can imagine what it could be like for them,” explained Azucena Saavedra, Interior Designer/Project Manager at MAC Renovations. “It used to be about making it super-clean and empty – and that’s still a part of it – but now it’s more about making it homey and dreamy. Removing the ‘lived-in’ look and creating a space that stands out and inspires ideas.”

“As the in-house designer at MAC Renovations, I do the staging for all of our projects,” said Azu. “If I’ve designed the home, I’ll have a good idea about what I’d like to focus on, and for projects designed by the rest of the team, I’ll go to HomeSense and find things that I think will work – colours and textures that enhance the room. The funny thing is, sometimes the homeowners like the items I bring for the staging so much that they buy them from us because they fit the space so well. I’m like their personal shopper.”

Capturing the Moment

The staged home is ephemeral – just the briefest moment in time. To effectively preserve that instant, we rely on talented photographers to focus on what’s important and ensure everything else is kept out of the shot.

“Lighting is an important consideration,” said Dasha Armstrong, one of our favourite photographers. “Usually, the homeowners’ first instinct is to turn on every light to make it as bright as possible, and that might work, but I prefer to play around with the light, using a balance of natural lighting and shadows. As a professional photographer, I have the ability to make the light do what I want, using reflectors and different light setups, but using natural lighting often gives the best results. I find it’s best to start with minimal artificial light, then add it where it’s needed.”

“Another thing that can make a big difference is to get creative with your angles and perspectives,” said Dasha. “Look at the shot from different vantage points to find the best way to present the design.”

After the Click

“There are many things that can be fixed by someone skilled with Photoshop,” explained Dasha, “such as removing outlets or vents, but for most things, it’s much easier to remove them before taking the picture. I carry a cleaning cloth with me for every job, because a few seconds of scrubbing can prevent a few hours of touching up in post. In terms of brightness, we’re able to blend different exposures and use brightness from different parts of the room to put the focus where we want it.”

 

So the next time you see a staged photo, you can rest assured that in the split second of the camera shutter click, the house really did look like that. Shortly after, it went back to the real world, where people live and love the spaces we complete for them.

Check out the pics in our gallery to see what we can do to make your home beautiful, and to find out how we can do to help you love you home, give us a call

Asbestors abatement in Victoria, BC

How to protect yourself and your family while renovating your home in Victoria, BC

With nearly 40 years in the home renovation business, we’ve seen many new products come and go. Few have been as controversial as asbestos, a product that was once a lifesaver, but in many cases turned out to be a significant hazard. So what can you do if you have asbestos or other hazardous materials in your life?

Asbestors abatement in Victoria, BC

Do homes in Victoria have asbestos?

Asbestos was — and is — quite common throughout Canada and the US, so it’s pretty likely that you have lived or stayed in a house with asbestos in it somewhere. It’s commonly found in vermiculite insulation, popcorn ceilings, drywall and drywall compound, heating ducts, window putty, flooring tiles, and more. The big issue with asbestos is when it’s disturbed, which causes the harmful fibres to be released to the air, possibly contaminating the surfaces in your home and creating the risk of being inhaled by you and your family. If it’s been in place for years, it’s not an immediate concern, but keep in mind that you will need to disclose any known asbestos when you’re selling a home, and there are rumours of imminent changes in the insurance world that may require disclosure as well. 

If you’re going to renovate or demolish your home, you need to plan for the safe and effective removal of your asbestos. Even if it’s as simple as replacing some floor tiles or updating your heating system — the white tape around ducting typically has a high concentration of asbestos — it’s best to assume that asbestos is present. It’s far more affordable to have the experts test and remove instead of risking it and contaminating your home. 

How do I find out if my home has asbestos?

If your house was built before 1990, assume that you probably have some asbestos materials in your home. Before you start your next project, contact a qualified environmental consultant to have them do a hazardous material assessment, confirming where and what you have for asbestos and other materials.

“The number one call we get,” explained Summer Green, co-owner of Victoria-based Removall Remediation Services, “is from a homeowner who has had a friend or family member come over to ‘help’ with a job, only to discover that the materials they were removing are asbestos-containing. And while it’s great that they called, much of the damage has already been done. The fibres may spread throughout the home, and could require extensive cleaning to prevent possible exposure.”

Is asbestos the only hazard to be worried about?

While asbestos is a high-profile concern, there are other potential hazards in homes in Greater Victoria, such as lead paint and crystalline silica, which may be present in homes built since 1990. Choosing a crew that is aware of and experienced with safe handling of hazardous materials will prevent unnecessary risk for your renovation project.

Asbestos exposure is the number one killer of workers in B.C. and was the contributing factor in 47 work-related deaths in 2018, or about 36 per cent of all work-related deaths in the year. – WorkSafeBC

How do you choose a professional team to remove your hazardous materials?

Like many things in life, you will find that the price of hazardous materials abatement can vary substantially. When you are ready to make your selection, price shouldn’t be the only factor. The costs of disposal of hazardous materials, testing, PPE, and insurance have increased substantially over the past decade. “If you receive a quote that is substantially lower than the rest,” explained Summer, “you should question the business to ensure they are equipped and prepared to safely remove your hazardous materials.” 

Choose a contractor with a track record of positive service, ideally with many years of service to your community. At MAC Renovations, we’ve built strong relationships with local contractors who have proven they have the skills, service, and experience to deliver the calibre of performance our customers in Victoria expect from us. 

District of Saanich Hazardous Materials Report Form

Do I really need a professional to remove the hazardous materials?

The short answer is – yes.

The long answer is – definitely yes. WorkSafeBC regulations state that a hazardous materials inspection for any worksite is required, and many municipalities will not issue a building permit without proof that the inspection was completed. 

If you, or the crew you choose to complete your abatement, don’t complete a hazardous materials assessment, you may be issued a stop-work order, creating an expensive pause or a permanent loss for your project. 

Here are some examples of when a stop-work order may be issued (via WorkSafeBC):

  • The employer allowed workers to disturb asbestos-containing materials without necessary precautions to protect workers.
  • Asbestos-containing materials identified in the hazardous-materials were not safely removed.
  • An inspection for hazardous materials had not been conducted before demolition or renovation work began.

It’s not just WorkSafeBC that might issue a stop order – municipal enforcement has the ability to stop or pause a project if they suspect that procedures aren’t being correctly adhered to.

 

The Importance of Paperwork

Once the assessment of the hazardous materials has been completed, and any hazardous materials have been safely removed, you will be issued a clearance certificate. The clearance letter documents that abatement of the hazardous materials was conducted in accordance with regulatory requirements, such as the Worker’s Compensation Act, the WorkSafe Occupational Health and Safety Regulation, and the BC Ministry of Environment regulations. This abatement contractors’ checklist outlines what is required in the written confirmation letter. 

Dealing with Asbestos

Asbestos is a fact of life for many of the homes in Victoria, but with the right crew following the proper procedures, it can be taken care of effectively, efficiently, and safely. If you are considering a renovation, remodel, or demolition in Victoria, set yourself up for success by choosing a trusted professional.

At MAC Renovations, we test for hazardous materials as part of our pre-construction process, so we can develop an informed strategy to protect you and your family, as well as our crew. This investment in everyone’s safety is an essential part of a home renovation in Victoria and just one of the many reasons we’ve earned a reputation as a contractor you can trust. We do it right from the start. 

Contact us to find out how we can make your home safer and better.