Cool Products – Basement Development Innovation – DRIcore Smartwall

Building Science is now telling us that the traditional method of perimeter wall wood framing, batt insulation and polyethylene vapour barrier for residential basement developments leaves much to be desired from a “home-health” point of view.  External forces such as Hydrostatic Pressure can cause moisture in the adjacent soil to be drawn through porous concrete foundation walls and slabs by way of capillary action. Despite the prevalence of current water mitigation techniques (Foundation wall damp-proofing, polyethylene vapour barrier, etc.), water can still be drawn into your basement, most notably through the unprotected bottom of your concrete foundation wall footings. This is a phenomenon known as “Rising Damp”.  Due to these and other factors, homeowners have often been faced with unknown moisture building up behind their basement walls, promoting the growth of unhealthy mold…not good for the home, not good for the occupants!

Enter DRIcore, with its’ new SMARTWALL System.  Designed to replace standard perimeter wall framing, insulation and vapour barrier methodology, this unique new system consists of:

-        2’x2’ interlocking DRIcore Subfloor panels with a built-in air space underneath that allow moisture migrating up through the concrete floor to dissipate without affecting the flooring (optional, but recommended component).


-        2’x8’ (or 10’) interlocking wall panels with built-in Vapour Shield Technology that eliminates all air pockets and creates an effective insulation R-Value of R-17.


-        Tapeless joint technology allows DRIcore “Patch-Pro” to be applied directly to the panel joints without tape.  Simply apply, sand, paint.

-        The SMARTWALL Panels have built-in Easy-Wire Channels for feeding electrical wiring, as well as specialty panels with pre-installed switch & plug boxes.


What a great idea! Not only is there a significant time savings with a SMARTWALL installation, but this highly superior system also adds value by defending against moisture incursion, which in turn promotes “home health” quality and helps retain your home’s long-term worth. Considering our mutual goal of a warm, dry, comfortable basement living space, we recommend taking a close look at SMARTWALL! Go to for full detail on how the SMARTWALL System works, then call Channel Custom Builders for a no-obligation basement renovation & remodeling estimate using the SMARTWALL System.

Problem Solved – Custom Closet Organizers & Designer Doors

If the closets in your home still have a single shelf with a hanger-rod running from one end to the other, you may be in serious need of some organizational expertise!


Today’s internal organizers may be as simple and reasonably priced as the wire shelving systems (in white or titanium finish) that accommodate for single & double row hanging, open shelving towers (some with baskets), drawer/open shelf cabinets and tie/belt/jewellery racks.  Or, consider the much more attractive upgrade of custom, built-in cabinetry.  From flat or wood-grain melamine to higher –end wood species, this type of cabinetry offers a more attractive, finished look that also delivers the form/function essential to any closet storage space.

Finish off your classy new interior renovation with custom bypass door panels or a unique “barn” door!


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 renovation awaits!

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

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

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 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. (, 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