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Thinking about building a home? With so many options out there, choosing the right home builder can be overwhelming. Here are five places you can start to narrow down the selection to the best custom home builder for your project!

  1. Your Interior Designer can recommend builders they have worked with successfully in the past.
  2. Your Real Estate Agent can recommend builders based on quality of past work they’ve seen.
  3. Your banker can recommend builders they have worked with who have done work on time and on budget.
  4. Do research online to find ratings, video clips, image galleries and other information about builders you are considering.
  5. Ask friends and family for recommendations for builders they have experience working with in the past. – Ranjit Rai, www.raicon.ca

The post How To Find a Custom Home Builder appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Canadian Home Trends | Canada's Home.. by Canadian Home Trends - 9h ago

A few ideas and expert advice to help give the exterior of your home a makeover.

Curb Appeal with Carson Arthur

When preparing to sell your home, add a little bit of lighting in front of your home. We now know that buyers will park in front of a house after work and make a decision whether they want to buy it. That is often at night and by lighting up the favorite parts, maybe it’s a bay window or a red maple tree, those are the things they’re going to remember. – Carson Arthur will appear in Season 4 of Home to Win, premiering on HGTV Canada this fall.

Watch This Full Segment And More On Demand At MarcAndMandy.com

Landscape Lighting Edmonton Landscape Lighting

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A PROFESSIONALLY DESIGNED AND INSTALLED LANDSCAPE LIGHTING PLAN?

Investing in a professional landscape lighting plan will improve the overall ambience, extend the use of space and boost the perceived value of the property. A lighting professional brings experience to the table to offer artistic and creative lighting effects that really bring your outdoor space to life after the sun goes down. Working with a lighting professional is the best way to ensure your landscape lighting is effective, environmentally friendly and tasteful. – Tony Peters, www.edmontonlandscapelighting.ca

PVC Decking

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PVC DECKING AND HOW DO I ENSURE IT WILL LAST?

Synthetic decks fall into two groups: composite and PVC. The main difference between the two is that the core of the composite board typically contains organic material as a filler; sawdust, for example, is a very popular option. This filler has the potential to absorb moisture which leads to swelling, deterioration, and mold growth. On the other hand, the core of a PVC board is made entirely from high-density cellular PVC with no organic compounds. This completely synthetic material will not retain any
moisture and will remain totally unaffected by our variable climate. Additionally, the capstock – the colored portion that wraps around the core and is exposed to everyday use – is acrylic. This is a highly resilient and durable material that is perfect for high-traffic areas like a deck. For the reasons listed above, All Season Fencing is committed to producing only the highest-quality PVC decking. Combined with the fact that we are centrally-located in Toronto, are competitively priced, and keep a high level of inventory, we are an excellent option for the contractor or DIYer considering PVC decking. – All Seasons Fencing, www.allseasonfencing.ca

Water Features

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TOP TRENDS IN WATER FEATURES THIS YEAR?

FALLING WATER Water features with fast flowing and falling water including long streams flowing into a pond and multi-tier waterfalls with cascading drops and curves are quite popular right now.

LIGHTING Using lighting to highlight the curves and shapes of a water feature is a popular choice. Today’s lighting options are much more affordable and customizable, allowing outdoor features to be enjoyed late into the evening.

PONDSCAPING Decorative landscaping with hybrid tropical plants and low maintenance grasses in an array of colors add personality in and around a water feature or pond. – Jordan Ninkovich, Fraser Valley Ponds, www.fvponds.com

Roofing Materials

WHAT DO YOU PREDICT THE POPULAR CHOICES FOR ROOFING WILL BE THIS YEAR?

LIGHTER COLORS Recent trends have seen more homeowners choosing lighter colored shingles. It is important to remember that you will have these same shingles for many decades. Choosing a neutral color will allow more flexibility in the future.

TIMELESS QUALITY There are now roofing products available that have a 50+ year lifespan. To ensure your shingles last through the decades, start with a fresh coat of plywood sheeting for better installation of your new shingles to ensure they last longer.

ADDING A SUNROOF Today’s sunroofs offer superior quality so you can bring natural light into the home without worrying about heat loss or leaks. – Army Roofing, www.armyroofing.com

Roof Repairs

9 SIGNS YOUR ROOF NEEDS ATTENTION

  1. Missing Granules
  2. Rotting
  3. Ceiling Spots
  4. Missing Shingles
  5. Blistering
  6. Curling
  7. Buckling
  8. Algae Growth
  9. Damaged Flashing

If one or more of these issues is present on your roof, it’s time to contact a roofing professional to have your roof repaired and reshingled before the damage gets worse. – David Churchill, www.goldhillroofing.com

The post Exterior Redo appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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NATIONAL DESIGN EDITOR GLEN PELOSO SHARES SOME OF HIS FAVORITES FROM HIGH POINT MARKET.

  • Century Furniture
  • Century Furniture

High Point Market, also known as the “World Furniture Market,” is a ten day event that showcases the latest and greatest from top furniture manufacturers across North America. As a designer, High Point always brings plenty of inspiration for upcoming projects and offers the perfect opportunity to scout out new products for Grafus Studio as well!

  • Moen
  • Modern Living Design Store

This year has been all about luxurious textures and finishes, improved performance and functionality and of course, bold color! Marble and stone finishes, both real and imitation, add a luxurious look to everything from backsplashes to dinnerware. Gold continues to be the finish of choice for glamorous, sophisticated spaces and this year, we’re seeing a lot of combined gold finishes, mixing a variety of gold shades from rose gold to soft golds for a more dynamic look.

  • Hudson Valley Lighting
  • Jill Seale Design Studio,

Luxurious fabrics like velvet are also a popular choice, adding a classic touch to upholstery and accessories with high performance fabric options expanding to allow more options even for the toughest situations. Other hot trends at this year’s High Point Market included the use of the color green in various shades and the use of bench seating rather than chairs.

The post Trend Spotting: High Point Market Review appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Experts answer your questions to help better your home!

WHEN STARTING A HOME RENOVATION, WHAT SHOULD I PRIORITIZE FIRST?

Start with the outside and work your way in! What matters is what you don’t see. Is the roof in good condition? What’s behind the walls? Is it insulated properly? Those types of core issues need to be dealt with before you start on the pretty things inside. – Mike Holmes JR will appear in Season 4 of Home to Win, premiering on HGTV Canada this fall.

Watch This Full Segment And More On Demand At MarcAndMandy.com

What is a Passive House?

This is the most ecologically friendly and sustainable construction. The main cause of loss of energy in traditional homes are thermal bridges that allow the easy transfer of heat or cold energy. Passive Homes feature continuous insulation around the outside of the building with no thermal bridges, resulting in dramatically reduced energy costs, improved air quality and increased comfort. – Rick Stacey, www.rascomgreenbuild.ca

How do I ensure my glass shower enclosure won’t leak?

Choose a 3 Point Anti Leak system that includes hinges, side seal gaskets and a threshold. The hinges overclose by 5%, pushing the door against the gaskets for a nice, tight close. The threshold runs across the opening of the door with a slight slope to roll water back into the shower. – Tara Hreljac, www.doorsandmore.ca

What materials are available for kitchen cabinets?

Classic kitchen cabinetry is usually made from solid wood, painted wood, laminate or thermofoil. Modern kitchens are using more wood, glass, and synthetic materials or a combination of materials. Designs are also more convenient than in the past, offering more options for storage and customization! – Shinya Mikawa, www.canadoo.ca

What steps can be taken to ensure accuracy when framing a home?

One important step is to create in-depth shop drawings. They are created specific to our scope of work including supplier details of materials and structural items being used, issues unique to the site and the like. We essentially build the house on our software before commencing the project. This allows us to identify all irregularities before construction begins. These drawings allow construction to move quickly, minimizing errors and producing a high quality of work. – Wall-Up Carpentry, www.wall-upcarpentry.ca

I have a four bedroom house. Will combining a small bathroom and bedroom into a larger bathroom affect my home’s value?

This is an excellent decision as bathroom and kitchen upgrades add substantial value and reducing from 4 to 3 bedrooms won’t negatively affect your value. If you had fewer bedrooms, the opposite would be true. – Marcia Bergen, www.marciabergen.com

How can I ensure a quick sale in a competitive market?

Make sure your home is move-in ready, up to date and in good condition. Potential buyers can be very picky and finding one small hidden problem will actually lower their perceived value of your home overall. If funding is an issue, speak to a home equity loan specialist about using existing home equity to fund the repairs needed so you can sell your home for a higher value, faster. – Amit Anand, www.Tribecca.ca

Why is it important to survey for water before drilling?

Way too many homeowners spend thousands of dollars on drilling that results only in expensive dry holes or very low yields. Using research with Seismo-electric technology (Seismic Ground Water Detection) and equipment prior to drilling allows you to minimize risk and maximize yield. – Gary Kehler, www.waterfind.ca

What is involved in a truly sustainable build?

When building a sustainable home, we have to consider more than just energy efficiency. Truly sustainable building includes reducing waste during construction, building with healthy products with minimal chemical off-gassing, choosing local or recycled materials and investing in materials that will last longer and require minimal maintenance over time. Our goal is to reduce long term costs for heating and maintenance while reducing environmental impact. – Cal Dueck, www.dueckbuilders.com

How can I fit a tub and separate shower in a small space?

In this small bathroom, well placed lighting and a glass shower enclosure allows light to move so the space feels larger. The freestanding tub is placed at an angle which allows a larger tub to fit in the space and looks decorative at the same time! – Shawn Jones, www.thehomeimprovementstore.ca

The post Expert Advice for Your Home appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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As a homeowner, you’ve probably handled your share of inconvenient plumbing messes. From cleaning toys of the toilet to waking up to a cold shower, there are plenty of situations that an experienced repair person can resolve on their own. However, there are several situations that should lead you to call in an expert. It isn’t always the work that’s complicated but the potential for hidden dangers that is the difference between DIY and professional repairs.

1. Slow-Moving Drains

These early warning signs could be an indication of a simple clog to pipes that are full of buildup. There may even be trouble with the grading of the drainage system. Don’t underestimate the amount of trouble that could be hiding within your plumbing system. Worn pipes, deeply buried clogs, tree roots, and similar situations could become very expensive if they aren’t spotted in their early stages.

2. Frequently-Occurring Clogs

There are several drains throughout the home that are easily clogged when hair, pasta, and inappropriate items are washed into the pipes. You can avoid a lot of trouble by monitoring what goes into the drains and with consistent maintenance. If, however, you are constantly working on a clogged drain in the shower, it’s time to call a professional. It may be that you just aren’t getting the entire clog, or maybe there is trouble further down the line.

3. Multiple Drains Clogged at Once

If, one day, you realize that the kitchen sink is clogged and so are the sinks and tubs in the bathroom, don’t waste any time in contacting a plumber. These clogs indicate that something is going on deep within the drain system. Neither plungers nor chemicals can reach that far, and chemical drain cleaners may actually cause further damage.

4. Bad Smells

The unpleasant odors associated with sewer systems should never come from any of the drains in your home. If you do notice any of these smells, there may be debris and pollutants built up causing the stink, or there could be broken sewer pipes. In a worst-case scenario, there may be problems forcing sewage back into your home.

5. Overflows and Flooding

These are probably some of the worst situations you can face with your plumbing system. Whether there’s standing water in the basement near a floor drain or water gushing from a toilet, the potential for damages is high. Act quickly to avoid contact with contaminated water. First, turn off the main water supply to the home. Second, contact a professional who is qualified to provide drain repair services.

There are plumbing situations you can probably handle on your own. When you recognize early warning signs of trouble, don’t take chances. Calling a professional at the right moment could help you prevent much more expensive cleanup and repairs.

The post Five Warning Signs of Serious Plumbing Concerns appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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In today’s housing market, a well planned landscape is pure gold; offering improved curb appeal and setting your home apart. Water features are a popular choice for new homes but it is important to keep maintenance in mind when designing a pond or water feature for your home!

Creating a low-maintenance pond and landscaping design ensures you will be able to enjoy the features without a lot of extra work. It also protects your future home value as high-maintenance features can make a home harder to sell. A well designed pond will be easy to clean and user friendly, reducing the work and costs needed to maintain it down the line.

Plan your landscaping around plants that can last from season to season and focus on greenery and rockscape to keep maintenance to a minimum. A shallow pond with gurgling rocks and not water plants is a great choice if you want a streamlined, modern look with very low maintenance! If you are going for a more lively pond with fish, take the time to invest in a design that accommodates the needs of the fish and offers the right filtration to ensure longevity and low maintenance. – Jordan Ninkovich and Robert Anderson, Fraser Valley Ponds/Cambie Water Gardens, www.fvponds.com

The post Low-Maintenance Ponds and Landscaping appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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When it comes to custom homes, it is important to have a well thought out exterior lighting plan. You should enlist the help of an experienced electrician who can work with your landscaper to make sure your lighting plan is perfectly suited to your individual needs and lifestyle. When building a new home, you can save yourself stressful changes later on by having a plan in place for all your exterior lighting needs.

Safety and security are both important concerns to consider when planning your exterior lighting. Motion lighting for security, or pathway lighting to allow you to see where you are walking at night are examples of safety and security lighting. Of course, outdoor lighting can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. For example, driveway, entrance, pool, cabana and pathway lighting can be designed for added safety while also illuminating architectural details. Accent lighting can also be used for purely decorative purposes, highlighting masonry and other exterior features of your home or garden. – Hotwire Electric, www.hotwire-electric.com

The post Exterior Lighting for New Homes appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Our contributors share some of their favorite finds for outdoor living spaces.

Lights, Pottery Barn; Pots, CB2

I love a planter garden. This gives an opportunity to play with new ideas every season. Last year, I planted each pot with a different herb for a modern look. Of course, no garden is complete without string lights to set the mood for that backyard bash or intimate outdoor dinner. – Shirley Meisels

Light, Lumens; Pouf, CB2

Lighting can turn an ordinary outdoor space into something magical. In a garden or around a pool, this Pearl LED Lamp looks amazing when displayed in multiple sizes. I also love indoor/outdoor pouffes. They make great little side tables when you put a tray on top, or can be used as an extra seat if needed. – Christine Elliot

  • Tonic Living
  • Wayfair

Keep your drinkware and cocktail supplies in one place with a bar cart that has a cooler/ice storage. Outdoor fabrics have also come a long way! Add color and interest to your outdoor space with pillows and cushions in interesting fabrics and textures. – Robbin Caskenette

Photo, Toja Grid

Protection from the elements is key! Enjoy the outdoors longer with covered lounging, dining and cooking areas. – Trish Knight

  • Odeme
  • Photo by Spindrift Photography

Stylish melamine plates that won’t break if a party gets too wild is a must. We also recommend stemless glasses that won’t tip on outdoor furniture which tends to be a bit less stable when placed on uneven ground pavers and grass. – Amanda Hamilton

I love to add a personal touch to my outdoor living space with decorative DIY projects that add a hint of whimsy. You can find some of my favorite DIY accents on the Marc & Mandy Show or online at www.MarcandMandy.com! – Marc Atiyolil

  • CB2
  • CB2

Treat your outdoor living space like a living room and don’t forget to add an area rug. I also love the look of palms and plants in an outdoor space to create an oasis. Put them in fun planters for a creative touch. – Karla Dreyer

  • CB2
  • Paloform, Photo by Jeff McNeill

A great feature in an outdoor living space is a concrete fire table. Available in gas or propane, these upscale campfires help you stay warm on cool summer nights and are ideal for after dinner lounging. When not ignited and combined with the cover, this table also functions as a coffee table. I also love a stylish insulated rolling cooler which allows guests to enjoy ice cold beverages outdoors! – Jillian Straky

The post Essentials for Outdoor Living appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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What is the difference between a sunroom, patio room and liferoom?

SUNROOM Essentially a sunroom is a room with lots of windows and a solid roof. It can be a seasonal sunroom or a year round heated sunroom.

PATIO ROOM This is a seasonal room generally used in summer or spring. These tend to be out of the box type kits, built on existing decks or patios and have single glazed windows or plastic glazing, limited design options and limited usability. They tend to become storage spaces in the fall and winter.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

LIFEROOM Essentially this is a patio cover or screen room on steroids. It has motorized screens that keep bugs and pollen out of your patio space. It comes with a misting system that makes it feel like an ocean breeze, it’s an outdoor entertainment space and can be designed with a projector to host all sorts of outdoor parties and even sporting events. Finally, it comes with mood lighting and optional radiant heating. – Matt Jacewicz, www.fourseasonssunrooms.com

The post Sun, Patio or Life Room? appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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For most of us here in Canada, winters can be long and harsh and those precious summer months beg us to spend as much time outside as possible. It’s not surprising that outdoor living spaces continue to be an important part of our homes. Creating an outdoor space that you love to spend time in and can enjoy for as long as possible allows us to maximize our summer enjoyment and increase the equity in our homes. Here are a few tips to help you create the perfect outdoor living space!

Photo Source: HomeSense

Start With a Plan! Every outdoor living space, from a small balcony to a large backyard, can offer a place to sit back and relax. Ask yourself what activities you’d like to incorporate into your space and then create a plan that incorporates those functions. One big mistake homeowners make is adding a single detail – like a pool or a deck – to their yard without thinking about how it will work with future landscaping plans. Even if your budget does not allow you to overhaul your entire yard this year, start by creating a plan for what you’d like to final layout to be. You can always finish your space in stages but having a plan will ensure that you don’t have to make expensive changes later on because something doesn’t fit.

Consider Care & Maintenance! A beautiful outdoor living space that eats up all your free time to maintain over the summer defeats the purpose of having the space in the first place. There are plenty of options today for low-maintenance products, plants and materials that can be used to create a space that you can actual have time to just enjoy. Consult with a professional landscaper and fence/deck builder as you go to ensure you understand the maintenance requirements as you go. Some common outdoor living choices like hot tubs and pools come with maintenance requirements so ensure you understand the time and cost that will be involved in maintaining these features before you decide to add them into your plan.

Plan to Entertain! If you like to entertain, this will be a big consideration when planning your outdoor space. You will want to include places to sit and visit, places to prepare and serve outdoor dinners and the like. This may be as simple as a deck with a BBQ, dining set and conversation area or you may want to incorporate a full outdoor kitchen with all the conveniences of the indoors right at your finger tips.

Extend Your Season! The biggest reason our outdoor season is cut short is weather and while we can’t control the weather, we can prepare for it to ensure we can enjoy our outdoor time for longer. Things like well planned landscape lighting, a fireplace, outdoor heaters, gazebos, sunrooms and even movable walls can be incorporated into your plan, allowing you to enjoy the space on cooler evenings, on rainy days and longer into the fall season.

Plan for Future Growth! How long will you be using this space? How do you envision your lifestyle changing over those years? If you’re planning to move in the near future, you will want to focus on features that will add value to your home while avoiding high maintenance features that may make your home harder to sell later on. If you’re planning to have children or have small children who are going to become teenagers, considering their future needs and your future needs will ensure the yard is something you can still enjoy even down the road. A pool is a prime example: while an open pool may seem like a great idea now, it may be a nightmare down the road when you have little ones. Keeping this in mind, perhaps a plan that incorporates safety measures now can save you the headache of expensive changes in the future.

Get Started! Summers are never long enough so don’t lose those precious days to procrastination. If financing the updates you wish to make is the next step, consider a home equity loan which will allow you to access the funds you need to complete your updates and allow you to begin enjoying your new outdoor living space now! Talk to a Tribecca home equity specialist to find out what options are available to you today!

The post Creating a Luxurious Outdoor Living Space appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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