Well, it’s going just fine for us at Channel Custom Builders, thanks in part to HOUZZ.  For all you fans of HOUZZ.COM, a quick look at our page on this amazing site will reveal our new “BEST OF HOUZZ 2017” Award for CUSTOMER SERVICE, based on reviews posted by a selection of our many satisfied Customers.

We are very grateful to the HOUZZ Team for selecting Channel for this unique honour, as well as for the HOUZZ Badges that together reflect our ongoing dedication to excellence in design, quality of construction and of course, superior Customer Service.  For you, the home improvement enthusiast, the HOUZZ site has become an invaluable resource for all things to do with home design, construction, renovation and decoration.  Our presence on HOUZZ indicates our confidence that this vast compilation of home design and upgrade information will continue to be very useful for anyone planning on BRINGING GRAND PLANS TO LIFE for their home.

Thanks again to the HOUZZ Team for this vote of confidence in the Channel Team’s efforts!  We will continue to strive to excel in all aspects of what we do for the benefit of our valued present and future Customers.

Martin Kathrens in Calgary, AB on Houzz



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!



Bus Benches – Channel now has street-cred

One of the many ways we try to introduce our renovation & new home design/construction services to you is through Bus Bench Advertising.  As you travel around Calgary each day, you may now spot one or more of our bench locations that are intended to catch the eye and spark your interest!

So, here’s the thing…in the manner of “Where’s Waldo”, if you can put a street or avenue location to one of the photos below and contact us to book a complementary in-home consultation for a project you are planning, we will install a free Radon Detector in your home during our consultation visit (go to DNAscience.ca/radon or RadonWest.com online for the dangers of Radon in the Calgary area).  And as an added bonus, you will receive a $500 credit off the cost of your project, if you should choose to book with Channel Custom Builders.

All good, right? So jump in, have fun, get to know us!


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!


Unique Structural – Piling & Grade-Beam Foundations for Home Additions

If you are planning a main-level home addition, most renovation contractors will ask if you are considering a full basement under your new addition. This will be a decision based on cost, living space requirement and construction equipment accessibility. The question will be – do you really need that extra square footage, despite significant extra cost and yard destruction?

If the answer is NO, you then have a few other less costly options. The first would be to excavate a four foot deep trench around the perimeter of the addition area, then install a concrete footing and “frost-wall”, then backfill. This is the most commonly used approach, but still a costly one, an invasive one and one that could require a complete rebuild of your yard.

The next option, and a much less costly and invasive one, is the piling/grade-beam foundation system. This system consists of the augering of a series of six foot deep holes which then are filled with concrete and rebar, with a three-ply 2×8” pressure treated grade-beam being placed on top of the piles around the perimeter of the addition.  Channel Custom Builders has been advocating and implementing this methodology for more than twenty years, with great success, while these engineered piles have been widely utilized in commercial construction (and less so in residential) for over one hundred years.

However now, with the advent of the helical “screw-pile”, we are beginning to save our Customers time and money by replacing the concrete piles with a series of engineered, thermal “screw-piles” that are simply drilled into the ground. No excavation, no muss, no fuss. The process is pretty much the same from that point on. The grade-beam is placed on top of the screw-piles, then a shallow “pony-wall” with the floor joists being placed over all to complete the basic foundation/floor structure. The interior of this shallow space (can’t really call it a “crawl-space”, as it will typically be very low in height) would have thick rigid insulation panels covering the grade area, with black poly sheeting over top that is then sealed to the grade-beam/pony-wall assembly. Fourteen mm. washed rock is then spread over all at a depth of approx. four to six inches to complete the insulation value required. The perimeter wall and joist-end assembly is then sprayed with two pound expanding foam to the R-value dictated by the building code.

You now have a clean, dry, sealed under-floor space that can be economically heated to maintain warm, comfortable floors in your new addition! Finally, everything from the floor up is standard construction where you can put more of your hard-earned cash into nicer finishings, instead of into the ground.

Contact a Channel Custom Builders representative today for more information about this slick new system!







Energy Efficiencies – Expanding Foam Insulation

Energy consumption in homes is certainly a hot-button topic these days, with high-efficiency furnaces, tighter building envelopes and upgraded insulation all combining to deliver the most cost effective options for both new homes and home renovation projects

As an example, expanding foam can deliver tighter seals in perimeter walls than batt insulation, thus cost savings over time due to reduced heat loss (and gain).  Consider two BASF products, Enertite and Walltite Eco, that are installed in Calgary by Beyond Foam Insulation (beyondfoam.com).  Enertite is an open-cell ½ lb. foam (pale yellow in color) that delivers approximately R-20 insulation value in the 2 X 6” stud walls of a typical new home. This product requires a 6 ml. poly vapour barrier over it.  Walltite Eco is a closed-cell 2 lb. foam (purple in color) that delivers upwards of R-20 in the 2 X 4” stud walls of a typical older home (see photo) built before the Building Code required 2 X 6” perimeter walls for residential construction.  This product has a built-in vapour barrier, so 6 ml. poly is not required.  Both of these applications meet the current Building Code requirement of  R-20 insulation value for new walls.

Walltite Eco color has changed from blue (above) to purple

Walltite Eco color has changed from blue (above) to purple


So whether you are building new or renovating, expanding foam can provide significant benefits in the above applications and many others.  These products are also eco-friendly and once installed, produce no off-gassing.  Most new homes being built today offer a combination of batt insulation and expanding foam because the foam products are more expensive, but if you are thinking long-term energy savings, foam may be the way to go!


Awesome Accents – Snap-together Decking Tiles

There are not a lot of choices when it comes to improving the appearance of balcony and rooftop terrace walking surfaces, especially when these areas are above living space.  These surfaces need to be sealed with asphalt roofing or in some cases, vinyl decking, but not everyone is impressed with the appearance of these products as a final finish.


Enter MoistureShield!  This manufacturer can supply their EcoShield Deck Tiles at about the same price-point as installed tile or hardwood flooring.  Easy to install over almost any flat surface (including asphalt roofing or vinyl decking), these 12 X 12” tiles snap together to create your choice of three attractive grid patterns that are offered in four basic colors, great for any exterior renovation project.  Made with 90% recycled content, these non-toxic EcoShield tiles require no maintenance and are structured to allow moisture to flow-through to existing balcony and roof drains.  They can also be cut to fit an odd shaped space or around obstacles.

Regardless of the type of unsightly surface you want to cover (roofing, vinyl, concrete, wood), this product will certainly stand the test of time and enhance your new home or renovation project! Go to moistureshield.com for more information.


Contemporary Electric Fireplaces

Fireplaces have come a long way over the centuries, beginning with the original wood-burning variety that could heat entire homes and more than a few castles!

With the advent of natural gas as an economical home fuel source in our part of the world, gas fireplaces became just as decorative as they are practical.  Encompassing a wide variety of sizes and designs, these gas fireplaces can also generate significant heat when needed, without the hassle of stocking, chopping and hauling wood.  You may also remember the odd-looking little electric-heater style units in the corner of Granny’s basement “rumpus” room!

Well…are you ready for the latest electric fireplace as a cool fashion statement?  One example we have installed in an upscale contemporary style home is the Dynasty LED Wall-Mount, sold in Calgary by Hearth & Home Fireplaces.  Based in Richmond B.C. (dynastyfireplaces.com), Dynasty manufactures numerous models that simply mount on a finished wall with plug-in below and no ventilation required.  Features include high, low or no heat, stylized LED flame and optional LED background light, pebble or log bed and remote control for heat, flame and lighting.

These fireplaces are easy to install and operate and are very well priced. Check them out for your next renovation or new home project, and check us out at www.channelcustombuilders.com

Upscale Semi-Detached Infill Homes – Look us up in Altadore!

Channel Custom Builders is nearing completion of a dramatic pair of semi-detached homes in the popular southwest community of Altadore.  Featuring contemporary architectural styling, high-end detailing, energy efficiencies and a fabulous inner-city location, these unique homes offer superior space planning over four levels, topped off by lofts with large balconies.

With 2531 sq. ft. (North Unit B) and 2845 sq. ft. (South Unit A) over 4 levels, these spacious homes’ major features include amazing kitchens, large windows, glass stairwells, 9’ ceilings (main& lower levels), 2 balconies and 4 bathrooms per Unit, stone rear-yard patios and 2 car garages.  You will want to arrange for your personal guided tour by contacting our listing agent, Dave Cousins at Re/Max First, 403 278-2900.