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5 Questions to Ask When Looking for the Right Home Builder

an unfinished custom home in the middle of construction

Your home is probably your most prized possession. Your home is where the majority of your time is spent, and your memories are made. So, when you decide to do a home renovation project or build a custom home, it’s critical that you find a home builder that you can trust. Asking these important questions will help you find the right home builder for your project and help you bring your dream home to life.

 

How much experience do you have?

One of your requirements when selecting a home builder should be that they have at least five years of experience in your city. When a home builder has been in business for five years or more, it shows you that they have a solid reputation and the experience needed to do a good job. Also, in a province like Alberta, where we experience extreme weather conditions and changes – it’s crucial to partner with a local builder that is familiar with the specific details that need to be taken into consideration.

 

Can I see past projects you’ve completed?

If a home builder is proud of the work they do, there will be no hesitation when you ask to see some of their past projects or for references from homeowners they’ve worked with. How they respond to this request will give you insight into if they are actually credible. If it’s an option, try to visit an active worksite. This will help you see how the team operates and how organized they are.

 

What’s the warranty you offer on your projects?

What happens if you move into your custom home and the floor develops a crack, or you start to notice water damage? It’s critical that before you sign any contract, you have a firm understanding of the warranty the home builder offers.

Homestead Custom Carpentry is a proud member of the Alberta New Home Warranty Program. The Program has been protecting homeowners for over 45 years with its professional and reputable coverage. They are an independent, not-for-profit new home warranty provider serving approximately 700 Builder Members—only the very best builders in Alberta. With our membership with the Alberta New Home Warranty Program, all of our projects include the following coverage:

  • Deposit Protection
  • Builder Performance Protection
  • First Year Workmanship & Materials Protection
  • 5 Year Structural Integrity Protection
  • 10 Year Structural Integrity Protection (Optional)
  • Additional Living Expenses Protection

construction home builders working at a table saw at a job site

What will be the timeline from project start to completion?

Now, it’s unlikely that a home builder will be able to give you an exact timeline. However, if you can get references from other homeowners who have worked with them, you’ll be able to get a good idea of what to expect. Also, don’t look for the home builder that provides you with the shortest timeline. You want the timeline they give you to be an honest estimate and not an optimistic guess to make the sale. It is also a good idea to ask them what tools their team uses to track their schedule and progress. If the builder doesn’t have the tools to provide you with a detailed timeline, it’s not a good sign that they’ll be able to keep the project on track. 

Looking for more information on preparing for a home renovation project? Check out our post, on the Top Home Renovation Mistakes (and tips to avoid them).

 

How do you ensure that you stay on budget?

From the very beginning, you want to make sure that your home builder is upfront about costs and transparent about what is and isn’t included in your build. 

At Homestead, transparency and keeping clients informed is extremely important to us. Because of this, we update our budgets every week. That way, our clients always see the most up to date budgets possible. To avoid cost overruns, we typically set a reserve budget aside to handle unplanned contingencies alongside the budget. Proper planning and accurate projections are important from the beginning to schedule scope and scheduled baselines.

 

Renovating your family home or starting a custom home project is an exciting process. Like any big decision, it’s important that you do your homework when selecting who you partner with. Meet with many home builders, get several estimates and don’t be afraid to ask the questions you need to be answered.

Check out some of our Red Deer home renovation and custom home projects in our gallery.

Have a home renovation project in mind for this summer? Contact us!

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Top 4 Causes of Home Renovation Delays

As a custom carpentry company in Red Deer, we see half-finished, on-hold and delayed home renovation projects all the time. If you are planning on doing a home renovation, you probably don’t want to hear this but its almost a guarantee that your project will have delays – some avoidable and some unavoidable. Delays are caused by anything, the homeowner, the homebuilder, the weather and much more. When it comes to home renovations, delays are the rule more often than they are the exception. But you aren’t entirely powerless – you can prepare for whatever may come your way.

The best way to avoid unnecessary delays and navigate the unavoidable ones is to understand and anticipate the most common causes. Here are the top four causes of delays on home renovation projects we see in Red Deer – and some ideas to help you keep your project on track as much as possible.

1. Permit Delays

man using a ballpoint pen to fill out an application form at a wooden deskThe City of Red Deer requires that every homeowner who wishes to do a renovation project gets a Building Permit. This is pretty standard for most cities, but the process can still be frustrating and time-consuming. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to the permit process taking longer than expected. A lot of which are out of your control. Something you can do to streamline the process is making sure you have all the required plans and documents ready before you submit your application. Also, be sure to check out the City website for more details on what you need to do for your specific project and get as much of it figured out as possible before you submit your application.

2. Long Lead Times and Back Orders

Long lead times and back orders are one of the most common delays we see – but they aren’t entirely unavoidable! It’s best to order as many of your materials as possible at the forefront of your project, to avoid these delays. It might seem counter-intuitive to select a lighting fixture when you’re just starting your home renovation. But, if you wait until closer to the time the electrician is coming to install the fixtures, and the one you select is back ordered for two months, you will regret not making your selections sooner!

3. Subcontractor Schedules

Depending on the scope of your home renovation, your homebuilder will need to hire subcontractors (painters, plumbers, framers, electricians, etc.) Unfortunately, sometimes your homebuilder’s preferred subcontractor is booked when they need them to come into your project. Most builders take a lot of time to build long-term relationships with their subcontractors. So, it’s not always an option to hire another company. Their preferred subcontractors are often people they trust to do an excellent job at a fair price. So, even though these relationships may result in delays, it’s usually in your best interest to wait.

4. Weather

black umbrella outside, covered in rain droplets

Unlike everything else in this list, the weather is something both the homeowner and homebuilder have no control over. Do keep in mind that if you opt to do your home renovation during a time when it’s cold, snowy, rainy, or even uncharacteristically hot – your timeline may be affected.

 

When you hire a home builder for your home renovation project, it’s completely normal to expect them to give you an accurate schedule. However, it’s also essential to prepare yourself for the possibility of delays. Every homebuilder, no matter how skilled or experienced, can be affected by back orders or a delayed permit process. You can help the process by knowing and preparing for the common causes of delays and by adjusting your project plans and timeline as they occur!

 

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

Have a home renovation project in mind for this summer? Contact us!

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5 Reasons to Do Your Home Improvement Project this Summer

kitchen with clean white details and tulips on the dining table

The grass is turning green, the trees are budding, birds are chirping – which means summertime is upon us. These are also signs that it’s time to take advantage of the warm weather and free time and get started on those home improvement projects that have been on your mind all year. Don’t rule out your home improvement project this summer because you think the summer season is too busy.  Summer is a great time to work on home renovations – especially for bathroom and kitchen renovation projects. Here are our top five reasons why we think summer might just be the perfect time to update your home!

1. Warm Weather

One of the most significant benefits of renovating during the summer is the warm weather. It makes work significantly easier for contractors and will likely mean fewer or no weather-related delays on your project. If you have a kitchen renovation project in mind, the warm weather gives you the option of cooking outside and BBQing while your kitchen is under construction.

2. Life Is Less Busy

For a lot of families, life slows down a little bit over the summer months. School is out, a lot of sports and activities take the summer off, and as a result, your family is likely a little less busy. Many families also travel for a week or so at a time – meaning they’ll be away from home during the renovation period. With your more relaxed summer schedule, you’ll likely have more time to consider and decide on the details of your home improvement project.

3. Save Money

As contractors typically charge based on the amount of time they are on the job – weather-related delays can cause project costs to increase. It is much easier and faster for contractors to work in better weather and your home remodelling and renovations are more likely to go on without delays.

4. Spend More Time Outdoors

When you have a crew working on a home improvement project at your house – you’re going to want to be out of your house as much as possible. During the summer, it’s a lot easier to find affordable and enjoyable ways to spend your time outside of the house while the project is completed. You can head to an outdoor pool, to a park or on a hike to enjoy the outdoors while your home improvement project is completed!

5. Longer Days

One of the best parts of Alberta summers is the long hours of daylight. Not only is this enjoyable for evening walks or family bike rides but the long days also give contractors more time to work. As the sun sets later and later, your home improvement crew has more time to put in on those days where things need to get done before the sun sets.

Summer is one of our favourite seasons here in Red Deer. We recommend that you take advantage of the warm weather, slower pace and long days and get started your home improvement project. You’ll love entering the next season with a new and improved home.

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

Have a home improvement project in mind for this summer? Contact us!

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Top 5 Home Improvement Projects for Summer

Person using electric drill on a piece of wood for their home improvement project

If you’ve been thinking of starting a home improvement project this summer, don’t delay! The cold weather will be back before you know it. There’s no better time than during the warmer summer months to work on outdoor projects (or indoor projects that require a well-ventilated workspace). Summer home improvements can range from small repairs to major remodelling projects. All of these projects require that you invest varying amounts of money to complete them but will ultimately enhance the overall value of your home. Here are just a few home improvement projects that we think are perfect for summer.

Replacing Windows

Old windows can be a significant cause of heat loss during winter. The longer you wait to replace them, the more you will be paying in heating costs. When you replace your windows, you can also find a new window style that uniquely suits your home and budget by choosing a more energy efficient option. Some more energy efficient styles include windows with multiple panes of glass for better insulation and low-E glass windows which have special coatings to reflect infrared light and keep the heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer.

Re-Siding Your Exterior

Old siding often develops rot, mould and mildew over time which make a new paint job insufficient for addressing the problem. Also, if your siding has loose or missing boards your home is likely less weather resistant and (like old windows) this can contribute to higher heating costs in the winter. The consistently warm weather that comes with summer makes it the best time to take on this outdoor project. When you decide to re-side your home, not only will it make your home look brand new but it will offer structural benefits as well.

Replacing Your Roof

A roof in the middle of a home improvement project where the shingles are being replaced.

With the heavy snowfalls we get in Alberta your roof has probably endured a lot over the winter. The average roof last 15-20 years before it needs to be replaced, if you’re in that window of time or over, we suggest you consider replacing your roof this summer. Some other indicators that your home needs a new roof are: if your shingles are curling, missing, cracked or covered with moss, if you notice your roof is sagging at all, or if you can see any sunlight from your attic.

Installing New Countertops

As an indoor project, a kitchen renovation like replacing your countertops might seem like something you could do any time of the year. However, because the old countertops need to be moved out and the new ones moved in this can be an extremely difficult task to complete during the winter when sidewalks are icy and the air is frigid. The best signs that it is time to replace your countertops are when your countertops no longer match the design of your kitchen, are too difficult to maintain and/or are damaged beyond repair. However, before you go shopping for new countertops, do some research and have a good idea of what countertop best suits your kitchen work habits, the care involved for the material and proper measurements so you can estimate material costs.

Paint Your House (Interior and/or Exterior)

open paint cans with brushes.

Painting a house is one of the fastest ways to increase both its value and aesthetic appeal. This is probably the easiest way to update the look of your home in the least amount of time. Aside from picking the perfect colour, the next hardest decision is whether to hire a professional painter or do it yourself. If you do it yourself you will eliminate the labour costs but don’t underestimate the time commitment and amount of work involved.

Summer home improvement projects are all about updating the look of your home and preparing it structurally for the fall and winter months. If you put the time and money into any of these projects, they will likely add significant value to your home, and some will help you save on energy in the long run. Not all of these projects will apply to you, and you don’t need to worry about all of them! We hope our list of ideas has inspired you for your summer home improvement project and helped you become more aware of ways you can increase the value of your home this season.

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

Have a home improvement project in mind for this summer? Contact us!


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Elevate Your Bathroom with these Luxury Shower Ideas

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!

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Transform Your Closet with these Closet Organizer Tips

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!


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3 Things You Need to Know About Your Home’s Insulation During Winter

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!

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What Could Go Wrong in a Home Renovation?

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!

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When to Move & When to Start a Home Improvement Project

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!

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Quick & Easy Ways to Save on Your Home Energy Bill

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.

 

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