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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.

 

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!

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Homestead’s Smart Home Holiday Gift Guide

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!

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Pinterest-Worthy Home Improvement Tips (For Both Practical & Extravagant Projects)

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.

renovation_improvement_building home improvement

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.

 

under cabinet drawers home improvement

2. Extravagant Home Improvement Tips to Enhance Existing Spaces

new living room pinterest design home improvement

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.

reusing existing spaces home remodel renovation design pinterest home improvement

 

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

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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!