, , , , , , , ,

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!

Tips for Planning the Perfect Garden

Person planting garden using garden tools to scatter soil

Whether you’re an avid gardener or first-time grower, developing a green thumb isn’t as challenging as you might think. With the right soil, gardening tools and a few key tips you can nurture a garden to produce fresh and flavorful fruits and vegetables and vibrant flowers. Before you know it, you’ll be eating fresh, organic produce from your own backyard! Not only will this make your meals a little tastier, but growing an organic garden is also a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Here is everything you need to know to plan your perfect home garden.

Supplies

Before you decide what to plant, you’ll need to make sure you create an environment where your seeds can thrive. To get started you will want to pick up some mulch – which will help protect the soil in your garden. You’ll also want to make sure to keep the area free of weeds. A layer of mulch on top of the soil helps, but you should also pick up a handheld weeder from your local hardware store.

Plant things you want to eat

Before you go crazy buying seeds, think about what you might want to grow and what you and your family will actually. A few classic favourites to cook with that are also easy to grow are tomatoes, carrots, peppers and snow peas.

Plan for warm and cool weather vegetables

Warm weather vegetables are wonderful but when summer ends, so do they. Think about planting fruits and vegetables that will keep producing well into the fall. Beets, carrots, broccoli and pumpkins are a few of our fall favourites!

Don’t plant more than you can handle

Once you start gardening, it can be hard to know where to stop! As things begin to grow and it comes time to harvest, you don’t want to have more than you can manage. If you have too many plants producing at once, you could end up with tons of rotting produce in your garden.

Sow your seeds indoors early

In Alberta, our winters always seem to last longer than expected. After all, it’s not uncommon to have a few final snowfalls in May! If you’re anxious to get your garden going, get an early start by sowing your seeds indoors. You can nurture your little seedlings in egg cartons, making sure they get enough sunlight and transplant them to your outdoor garden when the weather is less likely to turn for the worse one more time.

Choose the right spot

Vegetables need at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. So make sure to plant your garden in the sunniest area of your yard. Also, try to keep some distance from trees and shrubs as they tend to compete for water and nutrients in the soil. If you have a lot of trees and shrubs in your yard, you might want to consider a raised garden bed.

Add your personal touch

A great way to make your garden your own is by adding decorations and garden art that reflects your style! Incorporating elements that you love, like art, particular plants or even certain colour combinations can take your garden to the next level and make it the focal point of your yard.

Give yourself a spot to enjoy it

Your garden shouldn’t just be a place you associate with weeding, watering and work. Make sure you give yourself the chance to sit back, relax and enjoy your beautiful garden. You don’t need to build a grand deck or elaborate patio, even a few Muskoka chairs in a shaded spot make a great relaxing space.

No matter your experience level, gardening is a wonderful hobby for the spring and summer. There’s nothing like adding a few fresh veggies from your garden into your salad or home-grown herbs to your dinner. We hope our list of gardening tips help you get started on your own backyard project!

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

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

, , , , , ,

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!


, ,

8 Affordable Backyard Ideas to Get Your Yard Ready for Summer

backyard patio with lawn furniture and umbrella

As Canadians, we have a tendency to wait until the heat of the summer to transform our backyards. By the time we finish our backyard projects its often just in time to pack up for winter. With how short our Alberta summers are, all of us at Homestead think it makes more sense to get the outdoor projects out of the way in spring so we can enjoy the space all summer. We also want to emphasize that backyard projects don’t always have to be construction projects. There are many cost-effective ways to enhance your yard. So, we’ve made a list of our top 8 affordable backyard ideas to get your yard ready for summer now, so you can make the most of the short months of sunshine!

1. Stain or paint your deck.

Sometimes all it takes is a fresh coat of stain or paint to give your deck the facelift it needs.  Likewise, painting your outdoor chairs, table and planters can completely enhance your yard and make it feel brand new!

2. Add pillows to your outdoor furniture.

Don’t forget that your yard is more than a place for your kids to play, it’s a place to relax and lounge! Add pillows to your outdoor furniture or buy ready-made floor pillows for your deck. Keep in mind, everything can be a little bolder outside, don’t be afraid of bright colours and patterns.

3. Plant flowers.

Adding planters and hanging plants to your backyard is an incredibly affordable way to take your yard to the next level. Depending on your time and budget you can build your own raised planter beds or buy them new. When you fill them with flowers or vegetables your yard will get an instant pop of colour and beauty that will make it more enjoyable to spend time in.

4. Buy or build a firepit.

People love to gather around a fire. By investing in a fire pit, you are preparing your yard that much more for the memory-making summer has in store. You can get crafty and build your own or buy one that suits your outdoor decor!

5. Create ambience with string lights.

Is there any better backyard idea that sets the perfect mood than string lighting? You can string lights along your fence, on your deck and throughout trees to add some charm to the space for those summer evenings shared with friends.

6. Add an outdoor carpet to your deck.

Durable outdoor carpets are a great way to add a pop of colour to your outdoor space. They also make your deck that much more comfortable to walk across — with or without shoes!

7. Set up a hammock.

A hammock is the perfect backyard addition for both kids and adults. When you set up a hammock on your deck or between trees in your yard, it will instantly feel more relaxing and inviting.

8. Set up lawn games.

Complete your backyard makeover by setting up lawn games. Croquet, bocce ball and ladder golf are just a few of the games you can add to include recreation in your outdoor space. What better way to spend a summer evening than by playing yard games with the whole family!

By following these 10 backyard ideas, you can create a backyard oasis on any budget before summer even arrives!

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

Have a backyard makeover project in mind? Contact us!

, , , , , ,

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

, ,

Improve Your Outdoor Look: 4 Ideas for Your Patio or Deck

Improve Your Outdoor Look | 4 Ideas for Your Patio or Deck

From BBQing and sharing laughs with friends to making smores and stargazing with family, your patio or deck is an integral part of your home. If designed and built thoughtfully, backyards, decks and patios can be places defined by fun, community and memories-made. Homeowners often overlook their outdoor space when renovating or building their home. Here are some tips to insure your patio or deck is not forgotten and serves as a backdrop for memories for years to come.

Consider Deck Construction Materials

deck-wood-girl-sitting outside-lines

When it comes to decking, all materials are not created equal. To make sure you’re choosing the material that best suits your budget and needs, multiple factors (including cost, maintenance and durability) should influence your decision.

o  Pressure-treated lumber– This is the most popular material, it gives the classic softwood look and only requires maintenance if you decide to stain it or paint it

o  Redwood or Cedar– These woods are slightly more durable than most others, but they are more expensive.

o  Composite– Plastic or composite material requires very little maintenance after installation and is weather resistant but can be limited in colour options.

Consider Your Deck’s Purpose 

Do you want different areas of your deck or patio to be designed with different purposes in mind? Eating, relaxing, playing or entertaining – there are many ways to create functional areas for these activities in the design of your space.

  •     Add levels– By added levels to your deck you are able to clearly give different areas unique functions as well as make the space more dynamic and aesthetically pleasing. [link to Curved Stairs blog post as example of added levels https://homesteadcustomcarpentry.com/curvedstairs/]
  •     Add furniture – By adding furniture to a space you make the purpose of the area crystal-clear. By adding outdoor couches and cushions, you create an extension of your living room, a place for conversation and relaxation. By adding a table and chairs you create an outdoor dining area.

Plan Around Outdoor Entertainment 

patio and chairs outdoors with green grass

If you envision yourself hosting outdoor dinner parties, BBQs, campfires or family nights – there are many ways to plan for that in the design and build of your deck or patio.

o  Speakers From fun summer songs for the kids while they play outside to soft dinner tunes, nothing adds ambience like music in the background from outdoor speakers.

o  Outdoor kitchen– If you love to BBQ and eat outside, consider creating space for an outdoor kitchen.

o  Firepit – Outdoor gas firepits add style to the space and come in many different shapes and sizes.

o  Deck furniture Lay out tables and chairs like you would a living room to promote conversation.

o  Outdoor lighting Lighting can serve multiple functions for your patio or deck. By adding lights to walkways or stairs you provide greater safety for your family and friends. Garden lights, lanterns, and string lights make your outdoor space more inviting, charming and magical.

Create Shade and Shelter 

outdoor pergola deck

Really create an inviting outdoor living space by providing areas of shade for those hot afternoons or cozy covered corners for chilly Alberta evenings.

o  PergolaFor something permanent, consider building pergola into your deck. Not only does it shade you from the sun but it’s a place to hang lights, speakers or plants. 

o  Umbrellas If you want something less permanent, consider getting a standing umbrella you can open when needed or an outdoor table with an umbrella.

o  Patio Heaters Winter, spring, summer fall — any season is patio season when you have heaters as an added feature in your outdoor space.

We hope these ideas have given you a new vision for your deck or patio. Any space can be improved and elevated with a few simple changes or additions

Here’s to many more years of memories-made in your outdoor spaces!

P.S.

You Might also like: ‘5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Home’s Value’

[VIEW DECK RENOVATIONS]