Top home renovations Red Deer | Homestead Custom Carpentry

You’re shower doesn’t have to be something you hide behind a shower curtain. Imagine having a brand-new, remodeled bathroom shower, with bright, gleaming walls. You don’t always have time to talk a hot, soothing bath. But with the right bathroom renovation your can create a walk-in shower that is just as relaxing and luxurious. Here are Homestead’s top luxury shower tips to take your bathroom to the next level.

Maximize Natural Light

Showers can feel cramped and cave-like – you need to brighten it up to make your shower a bright and inviting place for your morning routine. The best way to do this is by combining a corner unit with frameless glass walls to get the most out of the natural light your bathroom gets. If possible, adding a skylight above the shower can bring in significantly more light and make it feel larger.

Round Out Your Shower for Small Spaces

When space is tight, the best way to make the most of a small area is by adding a corner shower. Rounded corner shower enclosures come with a fantastic feature: doors that slide on tracks, instead of swinging outward.

Open-Air Shower Ceilings

The more enclosed a shower is — the more prone the bathroom will be to mold and mildew. A great way to increase air circulation is by popping off the shower ceiling for more natural light and air flow.

Frameless Shower Door

A frameless shower enclosure uses sturdy tempered glass that does not require the support of metal around its exterior edges. One reason frameless shower doors are so popular is that they help showcase beautiful stonework, intricate tile designs and gleaming hardware.

Add a Shower Seat

What’s the best way to make a shower inviting and relaxing? Add a place to sit down and unwind! Like we said earlier – you need a bath to relax. Adding a bench to your shower gives you a spa seat, a place to prop your leg if your shaving and a shelf for additional bottles or soaps.

Multiple Shower Heads

Get maximum shower pressure and luxury by installing multiple shower heads like wall-mount, handheld and rain-style. One of our favourite shower additions is a rainfall showerhead that pours water from the ceiling and mimics rain in the most relaxing way.

Custom Tile

When renovating your bathroom, don’t overlook the tile. Tile enhances the style of a walk-in shower and is a great way to add colour and texture to what could otherwise be a bland room.

Steam Shower

Imagine it’s the end of a long day out in the cold. You get home, hop into your shower, push a button and sit in warm room of steam. By adding a hidden steam generator to your floor-to-ceiling walk-in shower you elevate your bathroom and create a spa-like experience in your own home.

Additional Shower Shelving

You know how quickly the limited shelf-space in your shower gets filled with soaps and shampoos — especially when multiple people share the same bathroom. When it comes in-shower shelving, there is no such thing as too much space.

Waterproofing

While not luxurious this tip is practical and important. Keeping water in the shower and away from subflooring, is a major issue with any shower remodel. But, you can significantly improve it by using a waterproofing membrane. No longer do you have to tile your shower with cement board, mortar and tile only.

Showers have a wide range of design options. You can go wet-room style, enclosure style, corner showers, tub-shower combos – the list goes on and on. When renovating your bathroom it can feel overwhelming but when you consider the space you have and your budget you can figure out what will work for you and design the shower of your dreams. We hope our list of luxury shower ideas have inspired you for your bathroom renovation!

Check out some of our bathroom renovation projects in our gallery.

Considering a home renovation project? Want to learn more about custom luxury showers? Contact us!

clothes hanging in an organized closet

It seems everyone is talking about KonMari method and the corresponding Netflix show, “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.” If you haven’t watched it yet, you’ve probably heard about it. Marie Kondo’s organization and decluttering methods have taken the internet by storm. The KonMari Method is Marie Kondo’s minimalism-inspired approach to tackling your stuff. Rather than organizing little by little, she advocates an epic cleaning sweep: Keep only what “sparks joy,” discard everything else, and assign a home for everything within your home.

When we binged the show on Netflix, we couldn’t help but notice that the master closet was consistently one of the most disastrously disorganized areas of the homes. As a result, we’ve been inspired to share some of our top closet organizer ideas for more closet storage.

1. Custom Drawers

For an optimally organized closet, drawers are a must. You can even take it a step further by added smaller boxes and organizers within the drawers to separate the contents. Details like this might seem small but that they can make your routine simpler by making things that much easier to find.

2. Cubbies & Shelves

Just because your closet didn’t come with built in shelves and cubbies, doesn’t mean you can’t have them! Simple shelving can go a long way. By putting up shelving units or having a custom carpenter add a built in – your organization level will immediately go up a notch. Shelves create more storage for hard to store items like shoes, bags and miscellaneous items.

3. Storage Baskets

One of our favourite closet organizer tips from Marie Kondo is to use baskets to organize wherever possible. She also has a specific ‘KonMari’ folding technique. Rather than haphazardly laying things flat in a drawer, she says they should stand upright. This allows you to see everything in the drawer and pull out what you need without pulling everything out and ruining the organization. Another tip with storage baskets is to get clear or see-through wire ones if you can. This is so you can see what’s in a basket without digging around.

4. Dirty Laundry Organization

Having a pile of dirty clothes building on the floor of your closet is probably the best way to make it feel disorganized and cluttered. Consider buying upright laundry baskets with multiple sections to organize your laundry — if you have room. Doing your laundry will be easier than ever with your items already sorted and ready to go in the wash.

5. Kid Hangers

This super simple closet organizer tip can give a lot more space! Rather than folding your pants on regular-sized hangers buy some kids-sized ones to save space. If you can find felt ones, even better! The felt keeps your pants from slipping off the hanger when you fold them over.

6. Add a Dresser & Mirror

If you have a walk-in closet, consider moving your dresser inside and placing a mirror on top. It will make your closet a room for you to get ready in every morning. It will also free up a little more space in your bedroom.

The key to organizing your closet is learning how to best use the space you have. Whether you have a huge walk-in closet with custom built-ins or a tiny closet that barely fit your clothes- we hope our closet organizer tips have helped. They might seem like small changes but trust us, organizing your closet helps you organize your life!

Check out some of our projects in our gallery.

Considering a home renovation project? Want to learn more about custom closet built-ins? Contact us!


contractor insulating home for winter using spray foam home insulation

When you live somewhere like Red Deer, losing heat in your home is no joke. Especially during the winter, when your furnace is working overtime. When you’re losing heat, you adjust your thermostat but the temperature doesn’t rise (although, your utility bill does), and you’re still not getting the warmth you need. To address this problem, we need to talk about insulation. Here are 3 things you need to know about your insulation to avoid losing heat in your home this winter.

One thing to note before we talk more about insulation is R-value. R-value refers to the capacity an insulating material has to resist heat flow. The higher R-Value, the better the material can insulate.

1. Seal Your Vapour Barrier

Vapour barriers are installed along, in or around walls, ceilings or floors to prevent moisture from spreading and potentially causing water damage. Damage from water condensation due to water vapour movement can wreak havoc on the sturdiest of homes and threaten the effectiveness of insulation.

Another key way to seal off your home from potential damage caused by moisture is by using spray foam insulation. Holes and cracks in your walls and crawl space can allow entrance to water and moisture. Spray foam insulation is impermeable to water. This means that not only will spray foam thoroughly seal and protect your home from airborne moisture and leaks, but if flooding should occur in the area, spray foam insulation will not absorb the water like other materials will. Even 2 inches of foam removes need for other sealant wraps.

2. Save on Energy with Spray Foam Insulation

There are two types of spray foam insulation: Closed Cell and Open Cell

  • Open cell foam is permeable to moisture, but impermeable to air, while closed cell foam stops air and moisture.
  • Closed cell spray foam provides the highest R-Value offering a value of up to 7 per inch.
  • Here, we will be referring to closed cell spray foam insulation.

While spray foam is more expensive than other insulation options, it is such a powerful insulator that in the long term it will save you a lot of money on energy. It has even shown to provide energy savings at an average of 50% or more, unlike other types of insulation that average a savings rate of about 30%.

Further, the inert polymer that spray foam insulation is made of allows it to have an indefinite lifespan. When you invest in spray foam insulation, you can save money over the course of years by avoiding the need to re-insulate.

3. Stay Away from Styrofoam Insulation

While styrofoam insulation helps to increase wall R-values and lower heat losses, it can also compromise your home’s infrastructure long term. In a cold climate (like Red Deer in the winter) during the heating season, moisture vapour inside a home is driven outward into exterior walls. When it reaches the surface that’s below the dew point, the vapour condenses into a liquid. Styrofoam insulation creates a vapour-impermeable barrier, so the wall has limited drying potential.

There are better ways of increasing R-values and reducing thermal bridging, than using styrofoam insulation. These include, using double-framed walls or foam board on the interior. Also, cellulose insulation and other natural materials are better than petrochemical plastics because they are more forgiving of the inevitable moisture problems a house will encounter over its lifetime.

Check out some of our projects in our gallery.

Considering a home renovation project ? Contact us!

man measuring floors for home renovation project

Top Home Renovation Mistakes

(And Tips to Avoid Them)

There are so many things to keep in mind when renovating your home. You have to juggle budgets, materials, labour, time and more. It’s no wonder that it can be easy to fall into tricky, costly and time-consuming mistakes. As a custom home carpentry company on Red Deer, we have seen a lot of these mistakes made by DIYers and less experienced contractors. We’ve compiled a list of the top mistakes we see, how we at Homestead avoid them in our renovation projects and how you can too. Keep reading to learn what you can do to keep your home renovation on-time, on budget and safe.

The Top 3 Home Renovation Mistakes

home renovation project materials

1. Setting an unrealistic budget & timeline

This is one is by far the most common renovation mistake we see homeowners make. Home renovations invariably cost more than expected and often unforeseen circumstances lead to a longer build time than you predicted.

How You Can Avoid this Mistake

We recommend padding your budget and timeline from the start. About a 20% buffer for unexpected costs and 2 weeks to account for any issues that may delay the work slightly should give you enough wiggle room.

Homestead’s Solution

From the very beginning, we are up-front about all foreseeable costs involved and will present you with a detailed and easily understandable budget for your project. This helps prevent unexpected future frustrations and cost overruns. Further, to avoid cost overruns, we set aside a reserve budget to handle unplanned contingencies alongside the budget. Proper planning and accurate projections are important from the beginning to schedule scope and scheduled baselines.

2. Choosing the cheapest contractor and materials

When you decide to bring in professional help, one of the first things you should do is collect estimates from a handful of reputable contractors. It can be tempting to try to save money and go with the lowest quote you receive. However, you truly do get what you pay for. By selecting your cheapest option, you may be cutting corners or missing out on some important services that are worth the extra expense.

How You Can Avoid this Mistake

From the beginning, make sure your contractor understands what you want. Ask lots of questions about materials, layout and the construction process. Don’t select based on price alone but on references and the feeling that you could work well with them.

Homestead’s Solution

Homestead Custom Carpentry is a member of the Canadian Home Builder’s Association and RenoMark and subscribes to the highest standards of professionalism in the renovation industry. In fact, The Canadian Home Builders Association of Central Alberta (CHBA-CA) presented Homestead with the Home Builder of the Year in 2012 and The Safety Leadership Award for Renovations. We are proud of our reputation for quality workmanship and for the high-quality materials we use. Alongside the manufacturer’s warranty on the products we offer, we back our work with a guarantee against all product and installation defects for our own work and that of our sub-trades. We seek to avoid the necessity of call-backs wherever possible.

3. Underestimating the safety risks

Neglecting your own safety will not only impede your project, but it can also cause you serious physical harm. We see this a lot with DIY projects. Home renovations can be expensive  – it’s no surprise that many think that going DIY is the solution. However, it’s only the right choice if you have the proper skills and experience. If you’re going mainly on guesswork, you could end up causing major problems to the structure of your home and to your own safety.

How You Can Avoid this Mistake

Before deciding to make your home renovation a DIY project ask yourself: Have I done any large-scale home maintenance projects before? Do I have the specialized knowledge required to tackle tasks like electrical work and plumbing? If you answered no to any of those questions, you should probably bring in the professionals. If you feel confident in your DIY abilities – always wear protective clothing such as work boots, safety goggles, hearing protection and gloves when working.

Homestead’s Solution

Homestead follows a strict adherence to Red Deer home builder safety guidelines. We are fully insured, to protect our employees, sub-trades, and your home and family. Our employees attend safety certification courses and are committed to maintaining a safe and organized job-site.

A well-thought-out home renovation should give you the aesthetic and space you’re after. We hope this list of mistakes to avoid will help you achieve a safe and successful renovation – before you start swinging hammers and tearing out drywall.

Check out some of our projects in our gallery.
Considering a home renovation project? Contact us!

renovated open concept living with large windows

Your living room is one of the areas in your home that your family spends the most time in. For a lot of us, it’s where we host friends, have our morning coffee or play games and watch movies on family nights. If your current living room isn’t designed for how your use – maybe it’s time to consider a living room remodel.

As it is such an important room in your home – this can seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry! At Homestead, we’ve seen a lot of living room remodels in Red Deer. With everything we’ve seen we’ve compiled a few tips to help you spruce up your living room and design a space perfect for your whole family.

Before You Begin Your Living Room Remodel

First things first, to ensure the final product is just how you want it, take these three things into account before you begin your living room remodel.

Research and plan

One key step in a successful renovation is doing the research so you know what you want and what you need to do to get it. This is especially important if your remodel includes structural changes to the room. Look online, get inspiration and make a plan!

Consider your lifestyle

As you create your living room remodel plan, consider your lifestyle. Do you enjoy hosting large parties? Would you rather have a small intimate group over? Or, is your living room mainly just for relaxing as a family? Also, consider the stage of life you’re in and the one to come. What you need from the room may change in a few years. If you can plan with your future needs in mind – you can save yourself future expenses!

Consult a professional

Once you have an idea of what you want and a rough plan, talk to a professional. Talking to a custom finisher or renovation company like Homestead about your Red Deer living room remodel can help you gather lots of important information. You will get a clearer idea of a timeline, what you need to budget and what you will need to hire a professional for.

Once You Start – Living Room Remodel Ideas

Once you know what you want and how to get there – here are some ideas to ensure you get the most of our your space.

Expand

Create more space with an open floor plan. If there is an adjoining room you don’t need or don’t use often – remove an interior non-load-bearing wall and take over the area!

New  Windows

Living rooms are where the action happens with your family and guests. Brighten and liven it up by replacing your old windows with new ones to let more light into the room.

Can’t expand? Create the illusion of more space.

  • Paint the ceiling white to make it seem higher.
  • Place a large area rug with 10 to 20 inches of bare floor space between the edges of the rug and walls. If the rug is any smaller it will make the room feel less big than it is.
  • Mount shelves high up on your walls to pull the eye upward.
  • Add a statement piece! A large statement piece like a chandelier captures the eye and makes a room feel larger.

A living room is often one of the most used areas in the house because of all of is uses. It’s where we entertain guests, relax, play games and socialize. Some living rooms are also used for watching television, eating and homework. We hope our tips and tricks have offered you some insight as to how to spruce up your own living room and make it perfectly suited for whatever you need.

Check out some of our home renovation projects and services

In need of a living room remodel in Red Deer? Contact us!

interior basement renovations red deer basement ideas

According to recent data from the Pew Research Centre, young people today are more likely to rent than ever before. In 2016, 74% of millennials were living in rental properties and only 22% owned a home. With millennials dominating the workforce and the real estate market, developing your basement ideas into your rental property has never been more lucrative.

Before committing to a basement renovation and to opening your home to a young stronger, it’s important to consider your potential ROI. ROI for a rental property can be measured in a few different ways: the equity you build into it, the type of tenants you attract and the cash flow you generate. With the right renovations and finishing touches you can add value to your basement and increase your overall ROI. Our basement ideas focus on the right finishes, durable materials and features that add value to the renter. Put these basement ideas into practice and you’ll have a profitable rental property in no time!

Adding the Right Finishes to Your Basement Suite

New Hardware & Lighting

This simple change can have a huge impact. By switching out the original or builder-grade hardware and light fixtures to something more stylish and modern you instantly make your basement feel more current and valuable. Also, as ceiling height can be an issue in basements, pot lights are a good option to get uniform lighting that doesn’t lower the sightline.

Fresh Paint

When painting your basement the least expensive option is to make everything white or a light neutral colour. Also, white or light neutral colours make the space feel bigger and brighter. This is especially important for a basement suite.

Use Durable Products & Materials

Cabinets

When developing or renovating the kitchen in your basement suite, we recommend going for mid-grade cabinet materials. By selecting cabinets that are slightly nicer you are ensuring they last. Keep in mind the general wear and tear they will experience and the fact that renters are less likely to pay the same attention to the care of materials and appliances as you would.

Counter-Tops

When it comes to countertops for your basement kitchen, quartz is the way to go. Compared to natural stone materials, quartz needs far less maintenance. Compared to other synthetic materials it is much more resilient, durable and expensive-looking.

Value-Adding Basement Ideas

Dishwasher

One key basement idea for renting is making room for a dishwasher – no matter how small the space is. This addition can give you a competitive edge against other basements for rent. It also weeds out the renters who are looking for the cheapest option out there.

Insulation

This value-adding basement idea is the only one without an aesthetic impact. It’s one of the most practical changes you can make. By topping up the insulation in your basement suite, you add value to the renter by making the space more soundproof. You also make your home more energy efficient. It’s win-win for you and them!

Developing or renovating your basement for renting is one most cost-effective home improvement projects. Hopefully these basement ideas have shown you the benefit of having a rentable space in your home and the ways to increase the value and your ROI.

Keep in mind, there are a lot of details you need to consider when developing your basement into a rental property that you don’t have to worry about with other renovation projects.

First of all, legal basement suites are required to meet Alberta safety codes which are designed to protect tenants in emergencies. The three mandatory safety features are:

  1. There must be at least one window in each bedroom that you can open from the inside.
  2. Each unit (bedroom and common areas) must have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors that are connected.
  3. Each unit must have one exit leading to the outside.

Further, to build a legal basement suite in your home you need to apply for a building permit.

  1. Make sure you have prepared the items set out in the building permit complete application requirement checklist.
  2. Book an appointment online.
  3. Fill out the application forms and submit it for review at the Municipal Building.
  4. After completing the steps, you may begin construction on your legal basement suite. Make sure the suite is built according to the legal requirements outlined in the building regulations assessment checklist.

We’ve provided a few key things to consider, but before you start a basement suite development project, be sure to do your research to make sure your potential ROI is worth the initial investment.

Check out some of our basement renovation projects and services.
Have a project in mind? Contact us!

moving van uhaul in front of house during home improvement project

When you’ve called your house home for a long time but have start to outgrow it – it can be hard to say goodbye. You ask yourself, should we put it up for sale and upgrade with a new build home? Or do we start a home improvement project and remodel it to meet our needs? To move or to improve – that is the question. To make this decision you will have to think about how attached you are to your home, what your budget is and if your home is a real fixer upper – would it even be worth the investment. We know how big of a decision this can be to make. That’s why we encourage you take all of these considerations into account before making a final decision.

Do you need more room or more rooms?

home improvement project interior design room

A common motivating factor for wanting to move is needing more space. If your family has grown and your home needs to accommodate more members, you can get away with just a smarter layout. By renovating your home to add another room, but not necessarily more square footage you can avoid moving entirely. Talk with a custom carpentry company or designer and see if this is an option for your home. If you can’t find a spot for another room, it might be best to sell and buy new.

Also, before committing to moving or improving, see if you can declutter and uncover valuable unused space in your home. If lack of space is your main issue, sometimes clearing out the unnecessary junk and organizing your home can buy you more time where you are.

Do you have the time for a renovation?

clock time for home improvement project

When weighing the pros and cons of each option, remember the time and inconvenience factors that come with each. In both scenarios you will have to uproot your family and life for at least a short amount of time. A home improvement project can be long, arduous process that demands patience and flexibility. On the other hand, if the thought of packing up and leaving the comfort of your current home seems overwhelms you, the discomforts of a renovation might be preferable.

What will be your ROI?

home improvement project coins next to wooden home return on investment roi

Before deciding whether to remodel or sell, factor in the potential ROI you could see on either option. A lot of home improvements don’t pay for themselves in the form of a higher sale price. When it comes to moving, you need to consider if you would be in the new home long enough to offset the moving costs and a new mortgage.

Figuring out which option will be more beneficial to financially depends on many factors. Your ROI on renovating or moving will depend upon your home, your budget and your needs. In cities where homes are less expensive, it is often cheaper to buy than to build. In cities and neighborhoods that are in high demand, it may be cheaper to build an addition or renovate outdated spaces.

Location, location, location.

location marker graphic iconfor home improvement project

When it comes to evaluating the worth of your home – don’t forget it’s sentimental value. If you live close to friends and great neighbours, moving can be hard on everyone. Also, consider the schools close to your home or the convenience of your commute. If your current home is lacking in any or all of these areas – a move might be ideal.

Also, consider your location before investing in a big home improvement project. If you put a lot of money into your home but it’s not in a highly-desired neighbourhood, you could have trouble selling in the future.


If you find yourself at a crossroads and are trying to decide whether to move or improve – weigh out all of these factors. There is no one size fits all answer to this question. Whether you buy new or start a home improvement project, all of us at Homestead are here to help.


Check out some of our projects in our gallery.

Considering a home improvement project ? Contact us!

lightbulb save on energy

Winter in Alberta can be magical.

There’s ice skating, warm nights by the fire, sledding with the kids – and much more. Unfortunately, we all know there are drawbacks to our long, chilly and ‘magical’ winter months. One being, the spike in our monthly energy bills. By making your home a little more energy efficient, you can avoid those outrageous utility bills.

Contrary to popular belief, making your home more energy efficient doesn’t have to mean a huge home renovation. There are lots of quick and easy things you can to increase your home’s energy efficiency and save on energy. Whether you hate winter or love it, this list of energy-bill saving suggestions will make the season that much more enjoyable.

  1. LED Lights

led lightbulbs save on energy

Compared to incandescent lights, LED lights use 80% less energy and last up to 25 times longer.
LED is an extremely energy efficient lighting technology. Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in Canada! If you don’t want to switch all your lights, consider just replacing the lights in the highest traffic areas of your home. Like your kitchen or living room.

  1.  Faucet Aerators

Using a faucet aerator can decrease the flow of water from your tap from about 20 litres/minute to 2 litres or less/minute!

Faucet aerators are one of the most cost-effective solutions to improve your rate of water conservation. These are simple screens that you attach to the bottom part of your faucet. They work by reducing the rate of the flow of water, therefore reducing the amount of water you use. They work effectively – without changing the functionality of your faucet! These little devices are your energy efficiency superheroes – they are inexpensive, easy to install and extremely effective in helping you save on energy.

  1.  Low-Flow Shower Heads

Low-flow shower heads can decrease water consumption by 40% or more. This can result in total water and energy savings of 60-90$ per year.

In the average home, showering accounts for 20-30% of household water usage. As a result, the shower is a great place to start to make a large impact on your overall hydro costs. Now, you might think low-flow means low-pressure – it doesn’t! The technology behind these devices has advanced greatly over the last few years. Now, you can have both an energy efficient and enjoyable shower. With the amount of water you save, a low-flow showerhead will likely pay for itself within a year of use!

 

  1.  ENERGY STAR Appliances

ENERGY STAR certified washing machines use about 50% of the water that regular washers use!

This one is a bit of an investment – especially if your existing appliances are still in working order. But, if you’re in the process of a home renovation or new build, this is the perfect time to choose appliances that save on energy and will save you money in the long run! When choosing the right appliances, be sure to check the EnerGuide label to find the annual energy consumption and select one that uses the least amount of energy overall. You can use this calculator to find out the lifetime cost of an appliance by using its EnerGuide rating and the cost of electricity in your province. Energy efficient appliances not only result in savings on your utilities, but they can add a lot of value to your home.

There are so many simple ways to make your home more energy efficient without breaking the bank. Although, things like energy efficient appliances can feel like a big investment. These changes may seem more expensive in the short-term. However, often the long-term energy consumption price of regular appliances is significantly more expensive than the energy efficient models. If you are still concerned about the cost of implementing energy efficient changes, Energy Efficient Alberta offers a Residential Retail Products Program where they provide rebates to homeowners who make energy-saving home improvements.

If you are interested in seeing more ways to make your home more energy efficient and how you can save on energy, check out this home efficiency tool.

 

Want to see some of our work? Check out some of our home renovation projects in our Gallery.

Inspired to renovate? Contact us for a Quote!

smarthomeillustration

Google smart home voice assistant

The future of home improvement is smart. A lot of us have a list of devices that we would love to add to our home but often hold back. We talk ourselves out of them because they may seem impractical, expensive or extravagant. However, it’s quite the opposite. Smart home gifts are the most practical gifts to buy. They often increase your homes’ value and make your home more energy-efficient and technologically advanced. Whether you’re making a list for yourself or shopping for someone who is impossible to buy for – there’s something for everyone here. Here is Homestead Custom Carpentry’s Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide.

Smart Thermostat

nest Smart Thermostat

This gift is a little bit of a splurge, but what better way to stretch your budget than with a device that saves money in the long run? Living in a city like Calgary, we all know how expensive heating and cooling can be. Smart thermostats, like the Nest thermostat, are an amazing option for controlling household temperature and saving on your electrical bill. The Nest thermostat has the ability to connect to Wi-Fi which means you can control your household temperature when you’re out from your mobile device! For those design-lovers, it’s also not hard on the eyes. The sleek round case and high-resolution color display are also a major aesthetic upgrade from most thermostats.

 

Smart Outlets

These days, even the modest wall outlet is getting a high-tech upgrade! Take a look at this smart outlet from Belkin. Once it’s been plugged into an outlet and connected to your home’s Wi-Fi, you can control it from your smartphone. Whether you’re home or away, you can turn things on and off with a few simple taps. All you have to do is plug the Wemo Switch Smart Plug into an electrical outlet, plug a device into the Smart Plug, and control your device using the free Wemo app. When paired with Nest’s smart thermostat, Nest’s “home” and “away” modes can sync with your Wemo Switch for automatic control. The thermostat can tell Wemo when you’re home, so your fan, lights or anything else can turn off to save energy when the house is empty.

 

Smart Home Voice Assistants

Google smart home voice assistant

Google’s newest addition the Home Mini, or the new Echo Dot from Amazon are useful gifts for just about anyone. These little smart home voice assistant devices can make life so much easier. You can ask them to play a song or playlist or set a timer while cooking dinner. You can even ask for the weather report, check the traffic and tell it to create a to-do list! Also, if you have compatible devices in your home, like a smart thermostat or outlet, you can even ask ‘Google’ or ‘Alexa’ to turn down the lights in your room or turn up the heating.

 

Automated Kitchen Appliances

Automated Kitchen Appliances

Have someone in your life that loves staying up to date on the latest technology but likes practical things that make their daily life easier? These gifts are for them! For the caffeine-addict, there are smart coffee makers that can be synced to their home voice assistant, like Amazon Echo. They can ask Alexa to start brewing their coffee while they’re still in bed. Know a busy mom or dad that has trouble balancing work and getting dinner on the table? There are crock pots and ovens that you can control the temperature and cook time while you’re stuck late at work from an app on your smartphone.

A big ticket gift for the technology-loving cook in your life is the new Family Hub refrigerator from Samsung. This fridge has a tablet screen built into its door. This screen is accessible from any connected device. You can create and share shopping lists, integrate calendars and schedules and even play your favourite cooking music.

 

These smart home gifts will instantly improve your home without you having to plan a major home renovation. At Homestead, we know you want to buy things that are practical and have a lasting impact. We hope our Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide has given you some ideas for some gifts that are sure to impress on Christmas morning.

 

Want to see some of our work? Check out some of our home renovation projects in our Gallery.

Have some renovation inspiration and want to chat? Contact us!

new living room pinterest design home renovation

The most-searched category on Pinterest is ‘Home’ and ‘For the Home’ is the number one most used Pinterest board name. People are looking and there certainly is no shortage of home improvement tips and renovation ideas on the internet. The challenging part can be finding the ones that you can picture working in your own home.

Most of us have Pinterest boards ourselves. Our boards are filled with images and links that inspire us for our dream homes. These images are stunning but sometimes they can leave you feeling discouraged that these ideas won’t ever come to life for you. That’s why we’ve separated our home improvement tips into two categories: 1) One is for those who are looking for practical inspiration for their home project. 2) The other tips are for those crafting their dream home wish list.

 

Whichever list of tips you lean towards, both will give you ideas on how to transform your house into a pinterest-worthy dream home.

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1. Practical Home Improvement Tips to Make Your Life Easier

Baseboard Vacuum System

Sweep things under the rug…or better yet – into the baseboard! Installing a baseboard vacuum system in a high traffic area, like your kitchen, will make keeping your home tidy that much easier. Install the vacuum and all you have to do is sweep and push it into the suction of the baseboard system, no dustpan or effort required!

Motion Sensor Light Switches

Motion sensor light switches are super helpful when your hands are full or dirty. Not only are these switches convenient but they are super sanitary! By getting rid of traditional light switches, you help prevent the spread of sickness and germs in your home. 

Under-Cabinet Drawers

One home improvement tip to instantly make any space more practical is adding storage space. A great way to do this is by adding drawers underneath your kitchen cabinets (where your baseboards are). These drawers can store baking sheets, muffin tins, Tupperware, or anything you can’t fit in your other cabinets. It’s a simple tip but an easy way to declutter your kitchen and ‘pinterize’ your space.

 

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2. Extravagant Home Improvement Tips to Enhance Existing Spaces

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Transform Your ShedA_modern_shed_made_from_recycled_materials

Need more space but don’t want your home renovation project to affect the flow of your daily life? Consider transforming your shed into a functional and charming space. More than just an outdoor storage space, your shed can be a room dedicated to a hobby (or business) you’re passionate about. Greenhouse, workshop, art room – whatever your passion – the sky’s the limit! 

Create A Secret Room With A Bookcase Entrance

Satisfy your childhood fantasy by transforming a normal room into a secret space by using a bookcase as a hidden entrance rather than a traditional door. This fun addition instantly adds character to your home and makes the space feel a little more extravagant and special.

 

Add A Balcony To Your Master Bedroom

An easy way to add a little luxury to everyday life is by adding a balcony off of your master bedroom. There is something about walking directly out of your room and into the fresh air that makes home feel like a holiday.

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Your home should be a blend of the practical and extravagant. We hope these home improvement tips have helped show you that it’s in the little details that you can create a practical space designed to meet your family’s needs while also feeling like a luxurious get-away. No matter your budget you can make your house Pinterest-worthy in every sense.

 

 

Check out some of our home renovation projects in our gallery.

 

Have some renovation inspiration and want to chat? Contact us