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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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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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4 Custom Cabinet Design Ideas For Small Kitchens

window above sink with maple wood cabinets and drawers in kitchen with grey granite countertops and real wood cabinets interior kitchen renovations red deer

One of the biggest trends in home renovations and custom home builds are huge, open kitchens. As experienced custom carpenters, we want to debunk a kitchen remodel myth. You don’t need a massive space to create a functional and beautiful kitchen you love to be in! If you’re renovating your kitchen but don’t have a lot of room to work with – don’t worry. Based on our custom carpentry experience, we have the custom cabinet design hacks so your kitchen doesn’t feel cramped or cluttered – no matter how small it is.

Storage, Storage, Storage! 

Custom cabinet design for small kitchens

  • Recess Storage

    • When renovating, tuck your pantry, shelving or cabinets into the wall to keep from obstructing the flow of the kitchen. These recess storage units are a great way to make the most of a small space. These can be trimmed and finished by a custom carpenter to match the woodwork of the rest of the kitchen.
  • Hidden Storage 

    • When designing your custom cabinets for your small kitchen, find sneaky and creative ways to include some extra storage. One way is building a corner appliance garage into the cabinet design on your countertop. An appliance garage conceals small appliances like toasters or coffee makers and eliminates clutter while keeping everything easily accessible. See some of these small space solutions.

Materials Make a Difference

  • Glass Panelled Cabinet Doors

    • By designing your custom cabinets with glass panels in the door, you let the eye travel deeper. This is an easy way to make your small kitchen feel more expansive and the walls farther away. Keep in mind, this design idea works best when contents of the cabinets are orderly and colour-coordinated. Visible clutter can make the room feel crowded. 

Colour – Keep it Cool

  • Choose One Colour or Shade

    • By painting your cabinets the same colour as the kitchen walls, you erase visual boundaries that naturally stop the eye. When picking your paint, stick to a low contrast colour scheme, so the eye doesn’t trip over sudden shifts from light to dark. Here are some interior inspirations.
    • Light Colours

      • Whites, creams and greys reflect light and make any space feel bigger. If you choose a white colour scheme for your kitchen, try mixing several shades of white and contrasting textures to keep the room from feeling sterile and cold. A great way to add texture is by adding recessed-panel cabinets and crown moulding details in the cabinetry.
    • Dark Colours

      • Light colours are safe but don’t be afraid to go dark as well! Deep tones like navy blues and charcoal greys can give the impression that the walls are farther back than they actually are.

Clean & Crisp Design 

  • Clean Lines

    • Panelling and crown mouldings add texture, but be careful to avoid ornate details that make the room feel chopped up. In small kitchens, sleek and smooth details give the room more space.
  • Open Shelving

    • The extremely popular trend of open shelving is your best friend in designing custom cabinets for your small kitchen. Floating shelves keep the walls more open and create the illusion of a more expansive space.
  • Draw the Eye Upward

    • You don’t need to start a full kitchen remodel for this design hack! By decorating the space above your cabinets, you naturally draw the eye upward. By giving the eye a vertical path to follow you make the ceiling feel higher than it really is. Find framed prints, decorative plates, plants or anything that reflects your unique style and taste! Just make sure the objects harmonize with the background rather than stand out against it. 

 

Don’t let your small kitchen constrain your design dreams. By applying a few of these tips and tricks to your cabinet design, any kitchen can feel spacious and roomy!

 

Check out some of our custom cabinetry projects in our kitchen renovation gallery.

 

Want to talk custom cabinet design? Contact us!

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How To Avoid Hidden Renovation Costs

How To Avoid Hidden Home Renovation Costs | Homestead Custom Carpentry

Home renovation projects can quickly become overwhelming, stressful, and costly. Whether its a bathroom, basement, whole home remodel, or kitchen renovation, hidden renovation costs can add up. At Homestead Custom Carpentry Red Deer, we work on home renovation projects daily. We see homeowners troubled with picking materials, hiring professionals from different trades and finalizing design plans. With a project as significant and treasured as your home, it’s important to organize what you need and plan the process to avoid unnecessary costs and issues. He re are some tips on things to remember when renovating the different rooms in your home to avoid making costly mistakes and stay on budget.

Kitchenkitchen renovation before and after

  • Countertops & Flooring – Installation Costs Vary

When picking your countertops and flooring, keep in mind, installation costs vary from material to material.

  • Installing solid-surface and stone countertops costs exponentially more than laminate countertops.
  • Similarly, laminate flooring is less expensive to install than a ceramic tile.
  • The most cost-effective flooring materials are floating floor systems, like cork planks or tiles. These are significantly less expensive to install than glue-down or nail-down systems. Check out NuFloors Cork Flooring
  • Identify Load-Bearing Walls

If you are thinking of opening up your kitchen space and need to tear down a wall, identify load-bearing walls first! Look in your attic or basement to see where the pipes or ducts are running into the wall and look for registers and radiators. This will help you avoid ruining existing electrical wiring or plumbing when removing a wall.

  • Think Before Switching Between Gas & Electric

Nothing makes a kitchen feel luxurious and gourmet like new, state-of-the-art appliances. If your kitchen renovation includes buying a new stove or oven it can be really expensive to switch from gas to electric or vice versa. Before ordering the new appliance, remember, a gas line upgrade or extension or running a new circuit to the switchboard can quickly add costs.

Explore our kitchen renovation services.

Bathroom

A bathroom renovation white checkered linoleum toilet countertop, plant, and baby blue wall and window

A complete bathroom renovation

  • Remember Wiring When Making Changes

If you want to change the design of your bathroom layout, keep in mind that it could affect where you need lights, outlets and light switches. To be budget-friendly, consider the cost of hiring an electrician to upgrade the wiring when planning your layout.

  • Waterproofing!

Baths, showers, toilet malfunctions or even your kids splashing in the sink, make your bathroom the wettest place in your home. It’s important to be especially diligent with waterproofing your floors and walls and making sure they are warrantied and certified. This step might be more expensive immediately but long term you will save big on maintenance.

  • Think About Drainage With A New Tub Or Toilet

If your bathroom renovation or remodel involves buying new or relocating the bath or toilet in your bathroom, take special consideration of where the drain is (middle or end in the bath). With anything new, make sure the drain can be connected to the existing drainage point so you don’t have the additional expense of adding a new drainage line.

Explore our bathroom renovation services.

Basement

interior basement renovation basement red deer

an interior basement renovation basement red deer

  • The Rooms You Need

Consider the rooms you need in your basement space. Open spaces are a lot less expensive to renovate. Separating your basement into a bathroom, wet bar, office or bedroom means more materials, wiring and plumbing.

  • Carpet – Your Best Companion

When developing or renovating your basement consider carpet, rather than hardwood, laminate or tile. In the case of flooding or any serious water damage, carpet can be replaced multiple times and is significantly less expensive to install than any alternative. We work with Alberta Tile One in Red Deer

  • Prevent Water Damage

Basements tend to naturally be more humid and moisture prone than the rest of the home. Before renovating, look for signs of moisture problems (like mould or watermarks) and inspect your foundation for cracks that may be contributing to the issues. Fixing these may incur more initial costs but will help you save long term with future water damage repair costs.

interior basement renovations red deer

Explore our basement renovation services

Home renovation projects can be daunting but there is nothing more rewarding than the final project. Relaxing with your family in your newly remodelled dream home is the best feeling in the world. The only thing that can take away from that feeling is a price tag that went way over your initial budget. If you stay organized and consider the details of each room, you should be able to save on unforeseen expenses and stay under budget on your next home renovation project.

Check out our GALLERY of completed home renovation projects