Five Keys To A Successful Renovation – #2 – Hire Wisely!

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The renovation contractor you hire will be spending a lot of time in your home, so you will want this company’s project manager, site supervisor and crews to be friendly, efficient, honest and respectful of your home and family. This is especially important if you plan on living in the home while the work is being done. With that in mind, be sure to check all credentials to confirm that all claims being made can be backed up. Eg. – Municipal & Provincial Licensing, BBB Member In Good Standing, Customer & Trade References, Insurance Coverage, Warranty Program, Builder’s Association Membership and Renomark Program.

Now, let’s say you plan on requesting Bids based on your plans/specs. Ask for “line-item” product & service descriptions and related pricing. This “cost-plus” Agreement will be the most transparent, allowing you to assess all detail, including the amount of the Builder’s Fee. Although you may feel that a “fixed-fee” Agreement will give you more financial certainty, you will likely see no pricing detail, other than an “allowance” list for product choices. Proposals – One contractor may submit a high Bid (do they really want your job?), one may come in low (low Bidders sign more work, but often end up with unhappy customers, for an assortment of reasons, especially cost over-runs), then another may fall somewhere in the middle. Ideally, you want all Bids to “cluster” fairly tight together, usually confirming that your specs are being interpreted consistently. Bid detail should be examined closely to ensure that no one is missing anything.

Once hired, your preferred contractor should prepare a detailed schedule, a “decision-point” list to guide the timing of your product choices and a logistics plan for regular site meetings, family comfort & safety and the all-important mess-control! How best to do your share in this partnership? See our next FIVE KEYS installment – MANAGE YOUR HOUSEHOLD.

**CHANNEL CUSTOM BUILDERS is a full-service design/build contractor with 25 years of dedicated service to our many valued customers.  Contact us today for a free in-home consultation.

Cool Products – Freestanding Bathtubs

If you think back to when tubs were made of copper, filled by hand with buckets and much resembled horse watering troughs, then to the iconic cast-iron claw-foot tub and indoor plumbing, much has changed in the world of bathing! But what was old is new again, with the modern day version of the Freestanding Bathtub.

Freestanding tub/bathroom renovation in the Calgary community of Lakeview Village

Freestanding tub/bathroom renovation in the Calgary community of Lakeview Village

No longer made of copper or cast-iron, most of these current tub offerings are of one or two piece formed acrylic, which are much lighter to handle and warmer to the touch. There are many attractive design choices that reflect traditional and contemporary styles, but the common theme is soaking comfort! And for a gentle, relaxing massage, add in a soothing bubble-jet feature. Plumbing fixtures can be highly decorative when installed outside the tub in a floor-mounted “stand” configuration, or internally plumbed with deck-mounted taps, filler and even a telephone spray head. It takes some planning and co-ordination between plumber and flooring installer to ensure the kind of professional “fit & finish” desired, but this extra effort will be worthwhile.

Freestanding tub/bathroom renovation in the Okotoks community of Downey Ridge

Freestanding tub/bathroom renovation in the Okotoks community of Downey Ridge

If you are curious about the world of relaxation bathing, have a look on Channel’s website “Shopping” page for links to a variety of manufacturers’ products. Or give Channel Custom Builders a call about the bigger picture…your new bathroom, kitchen, basement renovation, addition or completely new home plan!

Freestanding tub/bathroom renovation in the Calgary community of Hidden Valley

Freestanding tub/bathroom renovation in the Calgary community of Hidden Valley

JUST WHAT YOU WOULD EXPECT… FRESH IDEAS FROM A 25 YEAR OLD!

Looking back, it’s hard for us to fathom that Channel Custom Builders has been involved in residential design & construction for a quarter of a century!  And believe it or not, we are just as excited now about our creative mandate as on that day in 1991 when our doors first opened.

That excitement still translates into fresh ideas for all manner of projects that come our way, from interior & exterior renovation work to “from-the-ground-up” custom homes.  When a higher standard of design has been established before you build, it doesn’t really cost much more, but when combined with fine craftsmanship, this commitment to quality does deliver amazing value!

On both the design and construction sides, we try to stay current on trends, products, materials and methodology, all of which contribute to superior results for all projects, large and small.  Regardless of project type or scope, this focus on inspired solutions has served us and our past customers in the Calgary area very well for…you guessed it – 25 years!

So, a big thank you to all our valued customers from past years, and a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to us…25 years young and looking forward to providing YOU with fresh ideas sometime in the NEXT 25!

CHANNEL CUSTOM BUILDERS – BRINGING GRAND PLANS TO LIFE SINCE 1991 

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“Before-You-Build” Series #5 – Exterior Tips

With all the problems being experienced in recent years with water infiltration and subsequent rot/mould behind residential, exterior cladding materials, you don’t want to take the chance of creating, rather than solving this kind of problem when upgrading your home’s exterior.

 
A complete, top-to-bottom cladding replacement will give you the opportunity to not only modernizing your home’s appearance, but also to address any problem areas and ensure that all current building codes are being observed.  From roofing to prefinished metals to stucco, stone, wood detailing and various siding materials, there are many attractive options, but beneath the surface, what is protecting your investment?  Ideally, good building-envelope design, including properly layered black building paper and/or rubber water-shield membrane and various metal flashings for the roof areas.  Vertical walls will typically have layered building paper or “Tyvek” wrap over the wall sheeting and into all window/door openings, metal flashings above all windows/doors and all mechanical protrusions to wick water away and “peel-and-stick” membrane strips around all elements that “break” the building envelope (ie windows/doors).  If you have chosen acrylic stucco, you may also have rigid insulation panels as part of your package, that act as a stucco substrate and also provide increased R-Value.

 
Window & door replacement is timely when renovating an exterior, not only for appearance, but also for the benefit of weather-resistant materials (metal cladding) and an increase in R-Value in all glass areas.  Your qualified building contractor will certainly be aware of and will oversee the correct installation of all these materials.

 
Why not contact a knowledgeable Channel Custom Builders representative for more timely thoughts, BEFORE-YOU-BUILD?

Exterior renovation in the Calgary community of Lakeview Village

Exterior renovation in the Calgary community of Lakeview Village

Exterior renovation in the Calgary community of Varsity Estates

Exterior renovation in the Calgary community of Varsity Estates

New Channel Custom Builders Website

We are very pleased to announce the recent launching of the new CHANNEL CUSTOM BUILDERS website! This simplified and refined site is intended to reflect our commitment to providing comprehensive content in an easy to navigate, user-friendly format. We encourage you to visit channelcustombuilders.com for a quick browse, provide us with feedback on our new website’s content and functionality, and contact us with any questions you may have about your renovation project or new home construction.

In addition to viewing past postings on social media, please watch for our upcoming “BEFORE-YOU-BUILD” blog series. These timely tips could prove useful in the early stages of developing your GRAND PLANS for a new custom home or major renovation project!

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Excavation Erosion & Collapse

When excavating for the foundation of a new home, particularly at an inner-city location where the hole must be dug close to the property line, there is often risk of soil-wall collapse and damage to adjacent properties.  This problem can be due to unstable soil conditions, erosion from water run-off, or a combination of both. In the first photo, fencing had actually fallen into the excavation due to water run-off and was later replaced with temporary safety fencing.

In addition to the most immediate safety concerns, this kind of problem can be very expensive and time consuming to resolve, as in the construction of a temporary but substantial retaining wall.  Luckily, a very effective alternative is available.  Quickly installed and cost-effective, a “shot-crete” application is often the answer.  Once the collapsed debris has been removed, the pumping equipment set up and hoses deployed, a slurry of concrete can be sprayed or “shot” onto the excavation wall soon after the collapse.  Generally applied to a thickness of 3-4”, this material sets up hard like regular concrete, stabilizing the soil quickly and safely.

Not a problem you would want to have to deal with when building a new home, but it’s good to know that safety and schedule don’t have to be compromised when an event like this takes place!

www.channelcustombuilders.com