Tips and Ideas from a Toronto Building Pro

Jan 2016

Your Deck is Only as Good as its Foundation.

By Rosario Ungaro

What you don't see may be more important.Supporting your deck properly is key to its structural integrity, durability, and safety. Toronto's weather and changing seasons are also a factor. The deck/structure has to be protected from frost heaving caused by freezing and thawing and "lift-off" in the event of a windstorm. 

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Dec 2015

Dress Your Deck for Success with Trex

By Rosario Ungaro

Trex railing with Deck lightingImagine… There are two distinguished gentlemen standing side-by-side. Both are wearing dark blue suits and similar-looking ties. Yet, you know immediately one looks better than the other. You can't put your finger on it. The suits, to your layperson's eye, look the same. The gentlemen are equally distinguished. What's the difference? 

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Nov 2015

Basements are an opportunity to add something great to your home.

By Rosario Ungaro

Whether your current basement is finished or not, if you are not currently using it you have an opportunity to add living space, utility, enjoyment, and possibly even additional income, to your home.  

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Oct 2015

Secondary Suites and Basement Apartments: Is Yours Legal?

By Rosario Ungaro

In our Blog Post, “12 Ways to Steer Clear of a Bad Contractor”, we wrote about a new client that came to us because her construction project had been suspended by the Building Inspector because the contractor she hired had failed to get the appropriate building permits. In this post—more of a curated piece than original work as we wanted to make sure we got it as accurate as possible—we’re going to discuss the ramifications of having, or planning to have, a secondary unit in your home—also known as a secondary suite, basement apartment, second unit, accessory apartment, in-law apartment, etc.—and why paying strict attention to adhering to all legal building and zoning requirements is so important. 

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Sep 2015

Maintaining Your Deck will Protect Your Investment

By Rosario Ungaro

Today’s backyard decks can range from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars. They can be made from exotic woods like Ipe, Mahogany or Teak or more comon woods like Cedar, Redwood, pressure-treated or not wood at all like composites or PVC. Regardless of what your deck is made from, it will need to be maintained. 

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Aug 2015

12 Ways to Steer Clear of a Bad Contractor

By Rosario Ungaro

While one bad apple does not spoil the whole barrel—most builders are professional and ethical and adhere to best practices—the bad-apple contractor WILL definitely spoil your day. 

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Jul 2015

For Builders AND Chefs, the Right Tools Make All the Difference

By Rosario Ungaro

As a professional builder and tradesman, I know a lot about tools—the quality of my work and the satisfaction of my clients depend on it. I choose tools that help me do the best job possible. But, it's not just the tool's exacting specifications I'm looking for. I want a tool that gives me confidence; I want a tool that enhances my work experience and inspires me to deliver quality work—a tool I feel good using.  

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Feb 2015

CUTEK Sample Sizes Now Available

By Rosario Ungaro

Cutek is one of the best wood protection products available. Our customers never have buyer's remorse after they've purchased it. 

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Feb 2015

The Markham Home Show is on Now!

By Rosario Ungaro

Come and visit us at the Markham Home Show.  

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Jan 2015

Benchmark Building Services will be at the Markham Spring HomeShow

By Rosario Ungaro

Markham Spring HomeshowCome and see us and talk to us about your 2015 deck building project. Or, just stop by and ask us some questions about what you're thinking you might like to have done.  

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A word from Rosario…

Our Blog is about sharing some of what we have learned along the way. (Many contractors even call us for ideas or advice.) We hope it is informative and shows our commitment to continuous learning—something we do so we can bring the very latest and best to our customers. 

You've probably heard the phrase: 

"Some people have twenty-five years of experience. Others have one year of experience, twenty-five times over." 

If a contractor doesn't stay up-to-date on the latest building codes, trends, styles, tools, materials, and products, they'll soon find themselves in the latter category. We work hard to make sure that we are not. We regularly talk with our suppliers, go to industry trade shows, and share information and ideas with our peers to make sure that we stay on top of our game and can continue to bring you the very best in building craftsmanship and knowledge.

I welcome the opportunity to chat with you about your next building project.


Rosario Ungaro
Benchmark Building Services Inc.


Relax… we'll build it right!