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Things are moving along nicely at the Ranch, the future headquarters of the MAC Renovations team. The new space will give us plenty of room for our growing team, and the Design Centre is a convenient spot to see and feel the quality materials available for your renovation.

One of the reasons we’ve become Victoria’s Trusted Contractors for home renovations is the strong relationships we’ve created with our trades and subcontractors. We’ve built connections with local professionals over the past few decades, and together we’ve remodelled, reconstructed, and rebuilt many of the homes and neighbourhoods of Greater Victoria.

Working with the MAC Team

Since many of the projects we take on do not require whole-house construction, it’s not unusual for our client families to be at home during some or all of the renovation, which is why we require our contractors and trades to be properly ‘house-trained’.

House-trained means taking pride in their work and clearly caring for the products and materials. It’s maintaining a clean jobsite, a respectful atmosphere, and a professional attitude. It’s little things, like cleaning as we go, and big ones, such as using negative-air units to control dust during demolition and construction. Our crews understand it is a privilege to work with our clients, and together we strive to minimize disruption while maintaining a safe environment. We’re guests in your home, so we – and the people we work with – behave like good guests.

Perfection through Processes

We’ve been doing home renovations in Greater Victoria for over thirty years, and in that time, we’ve developed systems and practices to ensure every project is done well and done right. Clear communication is essential for safety and success, and to help with this, we have created a document that everyone on the project can refer to as needed. The document contains information that’s important to your specific renovation: the locations of the electrical panel, water and gas shutoffs, and lockbox information, as well as potential hazards to be aware of. There’s also information about the nearest hospital, the after-hours emergency contact information for the MAC team, and the locations of the muster station, first aid kit, and fire extinguisher. The document is taped to the front door on every project, so every person, every time, knows where to find it.

In addition to the Emergency Sheet, every project comes with a Red Book: a complete listing of everything required for your project. The Red Book goes beyond the Emergency Call Sheet – for example, as well as including the name of the nearest hospital, it outlines the fastest route to get you there. It has a full calendar for your project (which you can also find online through BuilderTrend, the software we use to keep you informed on the progress of your renovation), a habitat assessment, and the contact information for your project manager.

Between the Red Book, BuilderTrend, and the Emergency Sheet, every person on the extended MAC renovations team knows where everything is, who is responsible for each aspect of the project, and when they should – and shouldn’t – be on site.

Local Partnerships

The Ranch has been designed by Western Interior Design and our in-house interior design experts; , and the work is being completed by the same teams we use for jobs throughout Greater Victoria. The next time you visit the Ranch, you’ll be able to experience the craftsmanship of the local tradespeople in our Design Centre, touching and seeing the quality materials and construction techniques they will use to bring perfection to your renovation.

Here are some of the local teams that we like to work with:

Capital City Drywall –  Every masterpiece needs a blank canvas, and this local team provides the personalized and attentive care we expect

Creative Brushworks  – Professional painters use colours and texture to bring the design together

Decora Tile – Intricate designs and artful accents that bring beauty to your renovation

Island Energy – With the right HVAC strategy, you can ensure your home is comfortable year-round

Knights Insulation –  Minimizing noise and maximizing comfort, you’ll be amazed at the insulation options available

Mclaren Lighting – Spotlights, LEDs, and custom creations that look amazing, even when turned off

Mike McDonald – Concrete slabs provide strength and support for your home, even if you never see them

Parker Glass – Check out these shower doors that look and work great

Phil Ballam Plumbing – Local professionals who deliver smart solutions for our creative designs

Precision Marble Bath & Shower – Visit our Design Centre to see this spectacular marble shower space

Price’s Alarms – Security systems provide peace of mind without being intrusive

Slegg Lumber – We’ve developed strong relationships with local suppliers to ensure we have access to excellent materials at fair prices

Splashes Bath & Kitchen – Fixtures enhance the design, without sacrificing style or functionality

Tedford Overhead Doors – Excellent solutions to keep the people and contents of your home and yard safe and secure

Thomas and Birch – Cabinets contribute texture, style, and colour to your renovation, as well as smart storage

Vancouver Island Polished Concrete  – The natural features of your home are enhanced by the strength and beauty of a perfectly polished floor

Vargas Contracting Exterior – HardiePlank and trim is a great external solution for our west coast climate

Victoria Gutter Installation – Effective, intelligent gutter systems to keep your home and property dry year-round

VinylTek – ENERGY STAR windows provide beauty and elegance with security and style

Windsor plywood and Thermoproof – Quality doors offer an invitation to your home while delivering security and privacy


We have many people to thank for the progress at The Ranch, and we’re looking forward to sharing their hard work with you. Join us for our grand opening in a few months to meet our extended MAC Renovations family. Follow us on Facebook to be invited to our upcoming open house.


Remodeling for Retirement

Victoria, BC, has a national reputation as the ideal place to retire. With our temperate climate, abundance of indoor and outdoor activities, and selection of support services and shopping centres, it’s hard to imagine a place better suited for life after work.

At MAC Renovations, we’ve worked hard to become Victoria’s first choice for all home construction, providing our customers with excellent options that help them stay in the home they love. Instead of downsizing, many local homeowners are looking at innovative solutions that enable them to stay in their home as long as they want. Universal Design – also known as Aging in Place ­­– is the preferred strategy to create a home that accommodates everyone’s needs today and tomorrow.

Aging in Place

When we’re creating a building plan to incorporate Universal Design into your home, we bring in an occupational therapist to identify the key areas you might face in the years to come. Their medical knowledge, combined with our building expertise, helps us create a plan that ensures you and your family can enjoy your home for as long as possible.

Self-care Activities of Daily Living (ADL) are the tasks and functions regularly completed without assistance. There are six primary ADLs considered in Universal Design: eating, dressing, grooming, showering or bathing, toileting, and functional mobility, and an effective renovation plan should address all of them.

Now You’re Cooking

The kitchen is the heart of the home – it’s where you know exactly where everything is and how it all works. Smart features for your kitchen renovation can ensure it looks great and provides improved accessibility to everyone.

Some of the approaches we’ve used to bring beauty to accessibility include:

  • Improving wheelchair access for washing up by creating an open space (hidden by cabinet fronts) below the sink
  • Installing microwave drawers so you don’t have to reach up to access hot food or drinks
  • Choosing pull-out shelves to make it easier to reach your pots and pans
  • Using pull-down shelves for upper cabinets to bring everything to you
  • Positioning smart appliances built on Universal Design principles
  • Configuring countertops with multiple levels so everyone has a reachable workspace
  • Smart lighting to ensure you can see what you’re doing, wherever you are

Independence with Privacy

The bathroom has always been one of our most private spaces, and there are many things we can do to maintain your independence without sacrificing style: matching your needs with your design preferences. We’ve installed wheelchair-friendly basins; full-height vanities so you don’t have to stoop to use the sink; taller commodes; no-lip, no-slip showers with built-in benches so you can bathe safely and comfortably; and decorative grab bars that are aesthetic instead of industrial.

We look at every step in your typical day and then factor that into the design. This gives us smart but uncommon features – such as moving the shower controls so you can adjust the temperature before you get in, or installing low profile transitions to make it easier to manoeuvre a wheelchair between rooms without help. A little planning today can provide a world of convenience – and  accessibility – down the road.

Painless Passage

When designing a renovation with accessibility in mind, it’s important to plan things to the smallest detail. Doors and hallways should be wide enough for wheelchairs and mobility devices to pass through easily, and doorknobs can be replaced by levers, making them more comfortable to open without sacrificing design. In the kitchen we can install D-shaped handles that are convenient, and pull-out work surfaces that are functional and stylish. Offsetting the drain on a countertop vanity makes it easier for a person in a wheelchair to use the sink, and planning straight runs for stairways makes adding a stair- or platform-lift much easier if and when it’s needed.

Movin’ on Up

For clients with a multi-level home, a private elevator improves access to each level without forgoing style. Lifts can be retrofitted into an existing space, via a closet or unused room, or designed into a renovation, matching your taste and décor while improving access in your home.

Low Maintenance, High Curb Appeal

There are many things that can be done to ensure your outdoor living space looks great with a minimum of maintenance, no matter the season. By choosing composite deck materials over cedar boards, you eliminate the need to repaint or re-stain every few years. The initial cost might be a bit higher, but the durability and ease of use are substantial. Choosing a concrete board product, like Hardie Trim, instead of traditional comb-face to finish your windows is another way to maintain a great look without much effort.

If you like to show off your holiday spirit, we can install permanent LED holiday lights that look good year-round and can be programmed by your smartphone. If the thought of climbing a ladder as an octogenarian is keeping you up at night, you can rest easy and decorate for the holidays with the flick of a switch.

Adapting for the Future

A plan built on Universal Design helps you build in features you might not need today but may require down the road. Most of our Aging in Place renovations are for changes expected in 10 – 15 years, and in many cases, the features can be hidden until they’re needed. Grab bars are a common way to provide support in the bathroom for toileting or showering, so we install additional blocking to allow for a quick and easy installation of grab bars when you feel you need them – not before – and without retiling your bathroom.

We can plan spaces to allow for wheelchair access – entry ramps and wider corridors and doorways – when needed. We include this in the initial design to provide a cohesive, welcoming, and stylish look that fits your life, no matter what stage you’re at.

MAC Renovations – Universal Design at its Best

The goal of every renovation is to ensure the right balance between function and form, and this is true of Universal Design, too. Creating a space that accommodates everyone is what we do best, and we’re looking forward to helping you enjoy your home in Victoria for as long as possible.

While we often think of Universal Design for retirees and parents, it’s also a smart approach to ensure your home is accessible for people with developmental disabilities and special needs.

We’ve become the Island’s preferred team for Universal Design because we take a holistic approach that addresses your current and future needs, creating a plan that looks great today and makes it easier for you to enjoy your home in your golden years.

If you have questions or would like to know how your home can grow with you and your family, please contact us to learn more.


We’ve been proud to call the home comfort center on Viewfield in Esquimalt our home base for the past thirty years, but with only 1200 sq. ft. and a team that keeps expanding to meet the needs of the renovation market in Victoria, we’ve simply outgrown this space and realized we needed something new.


Location, Location, Location

We looked at quite a few spots throughout the region to find our new home. Downtown Victoria has gorgeous office spaces, but lacked the parking we need for the team as well as our customers. Langford offers great value and plenty of room, but since we service all of the communities of Greater Victoria, we wanted something a bit more central. Finally, in March of 2017, we closed a deal on the Ranch at 5285 West Saanich Road Victoria, BC (where Prospect Lake Road meets West Saanich). It ticked all of our must-have boxes, and with a bit of work, we knew this could be the right place for the next few decades.

When it comes to real estate in Victoria, you’re usually faced with a tough choice: choose the perfect location and fix up the building to suit your needs, or accept your dream home regardless of its location. A flawless home in the ideal location is a bit of a unicorn. There were many things we loved about the Ranch, but after years of neglect – the building has been empty for the past four years – it was obvious that changes were needed to make this the right space for our team. We evicted the rats and racoons, rolled up our sleeves, and started the renovation process.

Renovating the Ranch

Like all renovations, we started this project with a plan. Our goal was to maintain the recognizable profile the community was already comfortable with, while incorporating advanced building techniques to help us be more energy efficient. We entered the details into our project planner, BuilderTrend, and developed a strategy to transform this space.

When renovating in Victoria, there’s a chance you’ll find a surprise or two during the process. We are experts in the Victoria renovation market, but we’re still surprised with what’s hidden behind the drywall. We’ve seen DIY electrical that’s one surge away from a sparky mishap; mystery pipes that have no beginning nor end; and hidden oil tanks threatening to leach their contents into the garden.

Due to the years of neglect, multiple renovations, and outdated approaches, we soon determined that it was smarter to tear down the old structure and rebuild on the previous footprint.

Building to a Higher Standard

Energy efficiency is an important design consideration for renovations and new construction in Victoria, and we’ve planned our new building with this in mind. We’ve upgraded the existing heating system, insulated the concrete slab and walls, interior and exterior. We’ve installed energy-efficient windows and doors to minimize air changes and maximize our energy efficiency, and we’ve pre-planned for solar panels, so we can install them when the technology catches up to the installation best-practices for our region.

Designed for Design

One of the new features we’re looking forward to sharing is our interior design and product selection room, where we’ll be showcasing a great selection of products and styles. We’re a design-build company, and soon you’ll be able to stop in to see and feel the materials to get a solid idea of what it could look like in your space.

Part of the Community

MAC Renovations has been an active part of the Greater Victoria community for thirty-seven years, and while we’ve moved to a new community, our commitment to helping our neighbours hasn’t changed. We’ve designed our new space to fit in perfectly with the residences and businesses nearby, and we’ll continue to donate our talent and financial support to the local causes we believe in. We support local sports teams, we’re members of the associations that keep your homes safe and secure, and we’re proud supporters of Habitat for Humanity and ReStore.

Stop by in 2018

We’ll be holding an open house to officially meet our new neighbours in late spring or early summer – once we’ve had a chance to get everyone moved in and adjusted to the new space.


We’d love to hear your stories about the Ranch – did you have your first date here when it was the Roadhouse Bar and Grill, or maybe you worked in the kitchen when it was El Rancho? Whatever your connection with the Ranch’s interesting history, we’d love to hear about it. Visit our Facebook page and tell us your story.

Kathy Funfer, sitting, loves how her new round kitchen peninsula, topped with blue pearl granite, allows guests and family members to interact while meals are prepared.

Spandex,  leg warmers, acid wash jeans — all 80’s fashions that definitely left an impression. The equivalent in kitchen finishes of the time might be vinyl tile, oak-trimmed cabinets, and laminate countertops that the Funfer’s had in their kitchen. Being hobby musicians, Kathy and Dennis Funfer may have an appreciation for 80’s music, but they certainly didn’t want to be reminded of the era every time they stepped into their kitchen. After 20 years, it was time for a change.Kathy first expressed her desire for change to Terri, one of MAC’s kitchen/bath designers, at a Homeshow booth. “We just hit it off,” says Kathy, a former librarian. “Terri was as excited about our kitchen’s potential as I was. And of the three companies we had bid on the project, she was the only one to come out in person and visit with us.”The collaboration led to a mixing of ideas on everything from the floor tile selection to paint colours. “Both my husband and I are decisive people — we know what we want,” says Kathy, smiling. “I was leaning towards a blue paint to match the floor and counters, but Terri talked us out of it. She urged us to go with gray, and I’m glad we did. It gives a much classier and more contemporary look.”The highlight of the kitchen is an angled kitchen peninsula that ends in a circular countertop, an ingenious design that allows room for three chairs in a relatively small floor space. In fact, the whole kitchen is a marvel in space planning, enabling, says Kathy, three cooks to maneuver at once. “Myself, my husband and my oldest daughter can move around without bumping into one another.”Kathy and her family also love the way the natural and artificial light mixes in the kitchen. To keep the budget manageable, Kathy and Terri agreed that the existing track lighting was sufficient for the floor space, while custom-made, battery-powered led lights are used under the cabinets to brighten spot areas. Meanwhile, large, South-facing windows behind the peninsula bathe the range and cooking area in natural light.Numerous little innovations like the custom pull-out spice rack next to the induction heat stove are a life-saver, says Kathy. Around the corner, every cook’s dream is the custom storage pantry for pots and pans. Magnetic strips allow quick access to cast iron and stainless steel pans (a mandatory for the induction range).Kathy and her family, who all love to cook, lived in the house while the reno went on. Evidently, it wasn’t as disruptive as expected, with MAC making sure all the subcontractors were efficient and cleaned up after themselves. “We cooked out on the BBQ, and we used a bar fridge in the garage, and the sink was down in the laundry room. It was a challenge to coordinate everything, but MAC was flexible. We didn’t go out for dinner once, and yet we still managed to eat well.” 
  Sandra Wiles sits in her eat-in kitchen, one of three major renovation projects MAC has done for her family since 2010.In 2010, Sandra Wiles moved back home to Victoria’s Cadboro Bay to take care of her father after her mom passed away. Her parents had purchased an unassuming two-level home built in 1983, and had made only a few updates to what she calls the previous owner’s “Whitehouse” style.“Everything was white. From the siding to kitchen cabinets to the wall-to-wall carpet. It was not me at all,” says the former librarian.While browsing through a local magazine, Sandra saw an ad from MAC. She immediately connected with the style of the bathroom photos in the ad. She combined this with her growing ideabook on Houzz, which she later shared with her MAC designer. The Scandinavian modern style was what she had grown up and fallen in love with because of its subdued, simple aesthetic.“I prefer to let the artwork be the focal point, rather than the finishings. I had lived in Arizona for years, and was bombarded with over-the-top home decor. There, you don’t just buy a chair, you purchase a throne.” Sandra shows one of the photos from Houzz that guided her kitchen design discussion with MAC.Mac’s first project for the Wiles was an update to the ground floor office and laundry rooms. New environmentally-friendly bamboo flooring was added throughout, as were new shelves to display Sandra’s large collection of books. In the laundry area, an old closet housing the washer and dryer was moved to the outside wall, and built-in shelves and drawers were added to store Sandra’s prints and artwork. The space gives Sandra plenty of room to do her art, which ranges from gallery-quality paintings to pottery to wood crafts.For the second project, MAC replaced the stairs in the front foyer. The bamboo flooring was carried from the entrance way up the stairs, replacing wall-to-wall white carpet. The previously non-compliant railings were brought up-to-height with some handsome metal balusters topped by an oak handrail. Today the lower and upper floors tie together seamlessly, and the entrance feels warm, airy and light, more in tune with Sandra’s tastes.After living in the space for a few years, Sandra finally felt ready to tackle the biggest project of all — the kitchen. “You have to understand that prior to the other renos, I was a first-timer at this renovation thing,” she says. She had some trepidation, because it was a much bigger project than the last two. “But with MAC I felt confident once we talked it through. I asked a million questions, and Blaise, Jennifer and Ed all came out to visit me at different times. It was wonderful to know I was in good hands.” The kitchen features maple cabinets, environite countertops (made with recycled glass), and gloss white appliances.“One of the things I love most about MAC was they didn’t try to change my mind as much as tell me what would work and what would not, what was safe, and what was not safe. Jennifer saved me so much time. I told her the look I wanted and she brought three samples back to me, and we made the decision right there. It was easy.”She was relieved by the highly organized nature of the renovation. “The first day of the project you get to meet everyone who is going to be working on your job (including subcontractors) and they get an introduction to the house and all the emergency shutoffs for water, gas, etc. You may not see that person again for 8 weeks, but at least you have met them so there are no surprises.”I appreciate that I can call one person at MAC, and have any questions answered. Of course Blaise and Jennifer, my designer, is dropping by all the time to check up on everybody. You also see the MAC project manager everyday.The kitchen layout remained essentially the same, but the doors were widened and some poorly supported walls were shored up. The old white melamine cabinets were replaced by new maple ones and extended to the to the ceiling. Built-in seating was added to the corner to take advantage of some bright windows, and a new white enamel fridge, custom-ordered from Europe, was added to match the existing appliances.A focal point in the space is the quartz-like countertop. It’s made from Environite, a resin-based material interspersed with tiny specks of recycled glass. The company that makes it is locally based, and so “The glass is probably from our own recycle bin,” says Sandra, smiling. New large-scale natural tile replaced the old pinky white trivet-sized tiles, giving the room a unifying look and feel. 

Laura & Dan Whitehorne talk about their home renovation adventure.

Dan and Laura Whitehorne bought their 1916, one-bedroom heritage home in Victoria’s Oaklands neighbourhood in early 2013. Every room had a different type of flooring, ranging from linoleum to laminate. To go upstairs you had to first go down. To get to the back yard, you had to go for a 10-minute tour through the house before exiting a side door. There was no dining room. And, like many house of the era, walled in spaces made the home very dark. In short, the house was a maze of past DIY projects that made the home feel disjointed and dysfunctional.“We knew what we were in for when we bought this space, but once we had our daughter Ella, it started to feel claustrophobic,” says Laura, who works for the government. Getting rid of the wall between the living area and the kitchen became a priority. “But we are also on a tight budget, so we weren’t sure how it would play out.”After getting some names of contractors from their home inspector, Sandra went on MAC’s website and filled out the contact form. Within hours, Ed, the founder, phoned her. They arranged a meeting and Sandra explained what they wanted to do.“We had other contractors visit, and all wanted to get us to start designing new plans, do a whole bunch of new things. Ed was different. He listened to us, and kept it simple. Remove the wall, keep the lines clean and simple. That’s it. We didn’t want anything intricate. It was exactly what we were looking for.”“We liked Ed, personally,” says Dan, a cabinetmaker. “He offered a lot of options without telling us what to do.” Laura adds that Ed’s team’s experience was key for her. “It was clear that Ed had the experience. My dad, who has done tonnes of renovations, came over to kind of vet what Ed was saying. He got a good feeling from Ed too.” Laura, Dan and Ella standing in front of the transformed space that is their living room, kitchen and dining area.The Whitehorne’s also wanted the work done before year end. It was already late September. MAC’s size allowed them to quickly pull together a team and commit to finishing everything within six weeks.The work started with the wall removal. Previously the couple’s only seating option was a tiny 4-person table in the kitchen. This limited the entertaining they could do, as anyone else would have to sit at the couch in the living room.While the MAC team was putting in a beam to support the roof, they noticed a sagging section, and realized the beam they had planned to do was no longer sufficient. The roof needed additional support. Laura said this was the first of several change orders, which were made easier by the online BuilderTrend project tracking software that MAC uses.“I was on maternity leave at the time, and we were living in the house while the renos went on,” says Laura. “It was great to be able to log in in the morning and see what was going to happen that day, whether it was an electrician coming in or a carpenter. I could then take Ella out for the afternoon if the work was going to be to loud.” The new dining area flows into a outdoor deck, which also gives access to the back yard.Another surprise was when an oil tank was discovered in the side yard while they were excavating to build a deck. “Our hearts sank when we heard that, because we had heard so many nightmares about underground oil tanks and how expensive the clean up was,” says Laura. “But it turned out to be filled with water and the soil tested negative for contamination. Mac coordinated all the inspectors — fire department, hazmat, tank removal — and it was all done in a half day. it was amazing. We really felt we dodged a bullet on that one.”The house today bears no resemblance to the dark disjointed home they moved into. The open floor plan is contemporary and offers space for entertaining and easy access to the BBQ, deck and backyard. Light floods the entire space, and there is a natural flow between the rooms thanks to the new flooring and paint.“The functionality of this space has really transformed our lives,” says Dan. Laura points out that their already saving for their next project, which involves updating a couple new bathrooms. “We would hire MAC again in a second.”

The other day I was with my friend when he picked up his toddler from daycare. I asked her how her day went, and she joyfully blurted out that her daycare teacher had to “execute” a hamster that morning. Now I’m not necessarily the world’s biggest hamster lover, but I was pretty shocked. Even more disturbing was the way she was smirking — like hamster execution was something cool.

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Welcome to the new Mac Renovations website! We teamed up with the crew at The Sign Pad and McNamara Communications to put together a website that reflects what our clients are looking for. Being one of Victoria’s oldest and most trusted renovations companies, we’ve heard and seen it all. We wanted a site that allowed us to help our clients make informed decisions before they started a renovation. By having the right information before you start, you can save both time and money. With our new site we’ve got all the information you nee do to kick start your project, be it large or small!

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