“‘Tis The Season” Series – #4 – Summer

NO, NOT CHRISTMAS…SUMMER!

SUMMER (Jun/Jul/Aug) is the season when all you may want to do is kick back in the sun with a tall drink and a good book!  However, holiday time aside, your “inner-homeowner” is probably whispering something about pre-planning for that fall/winter month kitchen renovation or basement development.

Building contractors tend to shift their focus more to interior work once the weather makes exterior and foundation projects more difficult, so you can expect their availability to be greater through the winter months for your interior upgrades.  So, put down that book and start roughing out how you want that potentially renovated space to work for you and your family!  Help is just a phone call or email away, if you need guidance from a design professional who can advise on space planning, concept design and contemporary detailing.  A full-service contractor can provide this expertise (or work with your chosen designer), as well as the pricing, scheduling and project management skills to ensure a positive outcome for you.

Whether you have just begun thinking about plans for a fall/winter project or have completed plans for a summer project and need a contractor for that, keep Channel Custom Builders in mind.  When it comes to renovations or new home builds, we are good to go…summer, fall, winter or spring!

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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

“‘Tis The Season” Series – #2 – Winter

NO, NOT CHRISTMAS…WINTER!

WINTER (Dec/Jan/Feb) is the season when NEW is on many minds…for example, what will the NEW Year bring?  A NEW Custom Home perhaps?  Or a complete NEW Home Renovation?  If that IS what’s on your mind, making the choice between building new or renovating can leave you totally torn!

There are many factors to consider, but the first should always be LOCATION.  Do you want to stay where you are, or would another neighborhood be more desirable? Is your current property more suited to renovation or redevelopment?  If you do choose to source a more suitable property, would you renovate or build new there?  Once those questions have been answered, a Realtor may be needed if your decision is to relocate.  In either case, a design professional (architect, architectural designer or interior designer) and a builder will need to be engaged.  It’s often a good idea to begin with a full-service residential builder such as Channel, as we have access to a selection of designers and can recommend one that seems best suited to your project.  Also, a builder can provide early-stage advice regarding comparative project-type costs, timelines, design & technical issues, as well as the often complex permitting process.

The FALL & WINTER months are a good time to begin serious planning for either a new build or a major renovation, and with typical lead times of 4-8 months, either type of project could well be underway before year’s end.  Take the guesswork out of the equation and give Channel a call…there is no charge for consultation meetings!

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“Before-You-Build” Series #4 – Interior Tips

Given the popularity of the “open-concept” these days, it’s wise to consider the impact of removing interior walls prior to getting too far along with planning your interior renovation. If your plan does include wall removal, what are those important structural issues that need to be addressed?

 
From a cursory inspection of both basement and attic, an engineer or experienced builder can tell you if your wall is “load-bearing”. For example, if there is no beam or teleposts below this wall in the basement, odds are that there are no upper loads (roof, truss, upper level) being transferred down to the foundation through your wall, and it can be removed without structural risk. If there are teleposts and a beam, your wall is definitely carrying upper loads, but don’t despair! The wall can usually be removed, but with the introduction of a ceiling beam that transfers the upper load(s) off this wall onto new “point-load” locations. This new beam will either be a “drop-beam” (visible) or a “flush-beam” (up in the ceiling). All a bit technical, but this is why there are experts to advise you.

 
Safety and structural integrity considerations require that you obtain an engineer’s report and a building permit for this type of work. Also, similar “loading” issues can come up when planning to remove/reconfigure walls in a basement or second story, or when planning a main, second level or bonus-room (over-garage) addition, so be sure to consult a design professional who has the appropriate technical skills.

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

Interior renovation in the Calgary community of Woodbine

Interior renovation in the Calgary community of Woodbine

Interior renovation in the Calgary community of North Glenmore Park

Interior renovation in the Calgary community of North Glenmore Park

“Before-You-Build” Series #2 – Bathroom Tips

Bathrooms have evolved in recent years, from purely functional spaces to those of relaxation & retreat, particularly in the case of the Master Ensuite. Sure, the 2 piece powder room and the 3 piece bath for the kids tend to be more spacious and attractive now, but still have function at the core of their design.

The rise in popularity of the well-appointed Master Ensuite demonstrates a desire for a little well deserved self-indulgence! Features such as his & hers sinks, separate toilet room, jetted soaker tub and a big glassed-in shower with multiple shower heads, body sprays, bench seating and steamer are much in demand, space permitting.  But where is that 100 + square feet going to come from? If you are lucky, the bedroom is large enough to steal some space from, or maybe a closet or adjoining bedroom can be taken over in its entirety? Or perhaps an addition? There may also be room for a nice walk-in closet in the new layout.

Whatever your needs and budget, the Master Suite is an investment that will provide a return second only to a kitchen renovation. And, while you continue to own the home, your comfort and enjoyment are the best return!

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

Bathroom renovation in the Calgary community of North Glenmore Park

Bathroom renovation in the Calgary community of North Glenmore Park

“Before-You-Build” Series #1 – Kitchen Tips

As most realtors will tell you when buying a home, the importance of location cannot be overemphasized. The same thing can be said of appliance placement when designing your new kitchen.

Once chosen, your appliances should be the first elements thoughtfully located on your space-plan. This will ensure that traffic patterns are optimized in this very busy area.  Although the traditional “work-triangle” concept is less stringently followed now, you will still want to maximize your kitchen’s functionality by planning around these appliances, while keeping in mind the equally important “form” (as in “form-follows-function”) that will create your kitchen’s visual impact. Another benefit of choosing your appliances FIRST in the planning process, will be accuracy of “fit”. Armed with the exact make & model specifications, your designer can plan for correct “opening” sizes and adequate peripheral “landing” areas to service each one.

And don’t forget, a kitchen renovation, more than any other home improvement project, will provide the highest return on your investment at the point of sale, not to mention the most enjoyment for you in the meantime!

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

Kitchen renovation in the Calgary community of North Glenmore Park

Kitchen renovation in the Calgary community of North Glenmore Park. See more at www.channelcustombuilders.com