The Calgary Home Renovation Show 2019: January 11-13, 2018

 

January 11-13, 2018
BMO Centre, Calgary

 

Visit us at booth number 209!

Buy your ticket here and Save $5 Promo Code: LITWILLER

 

Hours:
Friday, Jan. 11; 12pm – 9pm
Saturday, Jan. 12; 10am – 9pm
Sunday, Jan. 13; 10am – 6pm

Location:
BMO Centre, Stampede Park
20 Roundup Way SE
Calgary, AB

 

It’s official — we’ll be back again at the Calgary Home Renovation Show in 2019!  We love being able to meet and talk to people about their upcoming projects.  Whether through a simple conversation, or something more, we are excited and passionate about helping Calgarians with their home renovations.

 

The Calgary Home Renovation Show is a great time to grab a coffee, walk around, and meet tradespeople and suppliers who can help you with your home renovation. You will learn about the latest developments and advancements in the industry, as well as the best new products on the market.  Get inspired for your own project as you browse through the latest styles and trends for the upcoming year.

 

The Calgary Home Renovation Show showcases contractors of all sizes, from simple handyman services, small contractors looking for small jobs to huge companies capable of complex, large-scale work. Litwiller finds itself in the middle of this spectrum, best suited for projects with a budget of between $50,000 and $500,000 and specializing in whole house additions or alterations in the $200,000-400,000 range.

 

With so much competition today, researching, finding, and interviewing several potential contractors can be a lengthy and daunting task. The show is a great opportunity to meet with several general contractors all in one day and gain a preliminary understanding of their individual business models in order to choose the best fit for you.  A home renovation is a big undertaking and finding the right contractor that you can trust is always worth the effort.

 

Make sure to stop by our booth #209. We would love to get to know you and answer any questions you may have!

3 Things to Keep in Mind When Planning Your Next Kitchen Renovation

When it comes to home improvements, kitchen renovations are by far the most popular. Whether you’re looking at modernizing your existing kitchen or turning it into a more functional environment, there are a few things to consider before jumping in. In this article we’ll be looking into three things important to every kitchen renovation; your budget, the planned layout and appliances.

BUDGET

Without a doubt you’ll want your new kitchen to be as functional and beautiful as possible, however you need to be realistic and be honest with yourself about what you really need and can afford. Take some time to think about what you’d like and their potential costs. A kitchen renovation can be one of the most expensive home renovations you’ll ever undertake. As an example, custom cabinets alone can easily cost over $10,000.

With the amount of work that needs to be done, materials needed and time taken, the cost can quickly add up. Treat the renovation as an investment, since a well laid out kitchen can significantly increase a home’s value. If you need help deciding much to budget for a kitchen renovation, a local realtor should be able to let you know how much your planned renovation will add to your property’s value.

LAYOUT

Once your budget has been set, it’s time to start formulating a clear, concise plan. Are you looking for a larger kitchen or a brighter, more functional kitchen? Do you plan on keeping your existing appliances or upgrading? Consider your true goal for your kitchen renovation. As always, keep your budget in mind. For example, one great way to save money is to keep the kitchen’s existing layout. This doesn’t necessarily mean that everything must remain in the same place but you’ll save money by utilizing existing water, electrical and gas systems without having to change them too much.

If you’ve decided to go for a new layout consider the costs and possibilities of any structural modifications you may have to make, as well as any additional costs associated with modifying the above-mentioned systems. At this stage, it’s highly recommended that you consult with a certified kitchen planner or architect to make sure your plans are feasible.

APPLIANCES

Appliances can play a significant role when planning kitchen renovations. Do you plan on keeping your existing appliances or would you rather upgrade to newer, more modern appliances? If you’ve decided to upgrade your appliances bear in mind any specific requirements like any utilities that would need to be connected to it. One example is the addition of a dishwasher. A dishwasher will need a water supply and drainage facilities. Can your existing kitchen layout accommodate for this or will you need to modify any existing systems? Heavy appliances such as large, commercial ranges may require additional support work to be done on the floor below to accommodate the added weight. Smaller appliances like microwaves may need custom cabinets or specialized shelves, unless you plan on setting these appliances directly on your counter.

 

The above are just a few things you need to keep in mind when planning a kitchen renovation. The list can go on and on and for this reason we highly recommend you get in touch with a specialist like Litwiller Renovations when planning your next kitchen renovation. Serving the Calgary region for over 30 years, we’re happy to share our knowledge with you so contact us today for a free consultation and find out how we can help turn your dreams into reality.

4 Simple Home Additions That Could Transform Your Home

Have you ever felt like your home is lacking something? Or maybe you’ve felt like its current layout isn’t fully meeting your needs? If you can answer yes to any of these questions it may be worth considering a home addition. A home addition can add increased living space and functionality to your existing home and will surely enhance your everyday life. Litwiller Renovations are happy to share home addition ideas and through this article we’ll be sharing a few simple additions that could significantly improve your overall quality of living.

 

A Bedroom Fit for a King

Ever felt like your bedroom could be larger? If you’ve got extra unused rooms near the master bedroom, why not expand your existing bedroom? Even a small addition like a walk in closet or even an en-suite bathroom could completely transform your bedroom and the way you feel about it, turning it into a great space for personal relaxation.

 

 Bring Your Kitchen Up to Date

With the kitchen being one of the most used rooms in a household, it’s easy to see why a kitchen expansion or remodeling is one of the most popular home additions. Older houses tend to have a smaller kitchen, separate from the dining and living rooms whilst modern kitchens are leaning more toward an “open concept” style – combining living, dining and kitchen all in one. This allows for easier socializing between people in the person in the kitchen area and the rest of the family/guests, and generally creates a more “open” environment, giving the feeling of more space.

 

Make Room for Your Growing Family

If you’ve ever felt like you needed a bigger home to give your growing family some more space, but can’t bear the thought of moving to a new home or area, a simple home addition might do the trick. Such home additions could include things like extra bedrooms for the kids or even a simple family room where the whole family can relax and spend time together.

 

Enjoy the Great Outdoors Year Round

Another home addition idea could be a conservatory. Adding conservatory or a sunroom would allow you to enjoy the natural light and beautiful scenery surrounding your home year round. Think of it as an extended summer season! A conservatory is a perfect place to entertain guests, spend more time with your family or simply relax with the added benefit of expanding your functional indoor living space.

 

Whether you’re thinking about adding one of the above ideas to your existing homes, or have some home addition ideas of your own; Litwiller Renovations are here to help. Contact us today to find out how our decades of expertise can help turn your home addition dreams into reality.

Surviving a Home Renovation

A home renovation will typically involve replacing old windows, cabinets, walls or other parts of your home that were intended to be permanent fixtures. Just the thought of a renovation can trigger anxiety, or memories of stressful times in those who’ve experienced one in the past, but honestly, when planned and executed properly a house renovation shouldn’t be an overwhelming experience!

If you plan on living in your house whilst it’s being renovated or remodeled, a little disruption to your daily routine is to be expected, however with a bit of proper planning you can minimize potential inconveniences. Below are a few tips to get through any possible stress or anxiety brought about by a home renovation.

Take it One Step at a Time

Renovating the entire house at once could potentially leave you lacking basic facilities necessary for everyday life, like kitchens and bathrooms. When living in a house that’s being renovated it’s highly recommended that you take it one step at a time.

Prepare as Much as You Can

Even though you might not be directly involved in the construction portion of your home renovation, some degree of preparation on your end will be required. A good tip is to pack like you’re moving. Wrap, pack and store loose belongings and valuables to avoid having them damaged or covered in dust during the renovation process. Even in carefully sectioned off homes, a bit of dust is inevitable.

Plan for Everyday Living

Setting up base at a hotel or nearby relative’s house is not always possible, especially with long projects. Along with packing and storing any valuables, you need to think about how you’ll go about your everyday tasks when undergoing renovations. Simple things like moving basic kitchenware and appliances to an area of the house that won’t be renovated will help save you a bit of home renovation anxiety. Plan ahead. For example, if you’re expecting to have your water shut off during the renovation its worth stocking up on bottled water or finding a suitable location to shower. A spare room or garage can quickly become a makeshift studio apartment if needed.

Take a Break

Renting a hotel or motel room nearby for even one night can be a simple, yet effective remedy for home renovation stress and can give you the additional boost of energy needed to complete the project. Know your options beforehand in case you need to escape in a hurry.

Be Flexible

Last but not least, you need to be flexible. Delays and additional expenses are sometimes very hard to predict.  A home renovation might take a little bit longer or cost a little bit more than initially quoted. Keep a positive attitude and don’t be shy to ask for additional help when needed.

At Litwiller Renovations & Custom Homes we have over 30 years’ home renovation experience. Contact us today to find out how we can help your next project.

Essential Questions to Ask Any Home Improvement Contractor before Hiring

When undertaking any new project involving working with contractors, the initial research process is a crucial, yet often overlooked stage. Asking the right questions can help you determine whether you’ve found the right contractor for the job and end up saving you time, money and headaches down the line. To help make this process easier for you we’ve compiled a list of some of the most important questions to ask when hiring a new contractor.

 

 

Q: What is your history?
This is a great first question and will help you gain a primary understanding of the contractor’s experience. Ask about their background and any relevant education or training they’ve received; this will help you determine whether the contractor has both the technical and business knowhow required to provide a quality service and run a solid company.

 

Q: What services do you offer?
Asking about the range of services offered by a contractor will help you better understand what exactly you’ll be receiving. You should have a clear understanding of the specific services a contractor can provide for the project at hand. As an example, some contractors may include design services whilst others will work with sub-contracted designers. If they make use of independent sub-contractors, it might be worth looking into them too to find out if you’re comfortable with them working on the project or not.

 

Q: Have you undertaken similar projects before?
It’s important to know whether the prospective contractor has experience with similar projects or not. This is especially important when working with contractors who offer more generalized, rather than specific services. If the answer is yes, ask about their experience and if they’re willing to provide any examples (photos, designs, etc) of work in the recent past (up to 5 years).

 

Q: Can we talk to some of your past clients?
Talking to past clients is an excellent way to find out whether you’ve chosen the right contractor. If the contractor refuses or is unwilling to provide past references, you might as well end the interview at this point. A professional contractor should take pride in their past work and shouldn’t hesitate to provide contact information from past projects.

 

Q: Can we visit one of your current projects?
If the contractor has a current ongoing project it is worth spending some time to visit the work site. Visiting the site will give you an idea of how the contractor operates – are they organized? Is the site clean and tidy or a big mess? Is the ongoing work affecting other areas not involved in the project?

 

Q: Do you carry Workers’ Compensation and business liability insurance?
Professional contractors should have no problem showing proof of business liability insurance as well as Worker’s Compensation coverage. A contractor who is not properly insured is not only unprofessional, but could also land you in serious legal or financial trouble should an incident occur on the job site.

 

Q: Will we get a written contract?
It goes without saying, but if the answer to this question is no, then it’s time to look for a different contractor. A contract serves as written evidence of the agreement between you and the contractor. Without this, there is no proof of agreement. Apart from the price being paid, a good contract should also include details such as a description of the work to be carried out, responsibilities of both parties, and the materials being used among others.

 

Q: What warranty do you offer on your work?

Nowadays, every contractor is expected to provide a detailed, written warranty specifying exactly what is covered and for how long. When checking references, be sure to ask past customers about their experience with the contractor’s warranty service. Was it required? How quick was warranty work carried out? Were they satisfied with the quality of the warranty work provided and are they confident the issue has been resolved? These are just a few of the questions that can be asked when discussing the topic of warranties with past customers.

 

Q: How would you deal with our project?
It is important to understand the contractor’s approach to the proposed project. Any professional contractor should be able to provide a clear construction/renovation timeline and plan along with relevant information such as start and end dates and the work schedule. Apart from this, it’s worth asking other questions too, like will a design need to be drawn up before you’re able to get a firm price? Who will be responsible for obtaining any necessary permits? Who is responsible for the cleanup? Will they assist/consult you when it comes to product selection? If any/how much is the work expected to disrupt your household?

 

These are just a few suggested questions that can be used when interviewing a new contractor. By the end of the interview, you should be feeling confident that the contractor has understood your needs and is able to help you accomplish them. If not, you may want to consider looking for alternative contractors that might be able to better suit your needs. Our own David Litwiller has recently been interviewed by Global News on the importance of asking questions when selecting a new contractor:

Adding a Deck to Your Home

Adding a deck to your home can be a great way to enhance your home’s exterior beauty as well as its monetary value. Something as simple as a deck can completely transform your home’s looks whilst providing you and your family with extra living space; without having to move or make any drastic changes to your home’s structure.

 

Why Should I Add A Deck to My Home?

There are plenty of benefits of adding a deck to your home. We’ve compiled a list of four major benefits of adding a deck to your home.

  • A deck can increase your living space. One major advantage is the significantly lower costs of a deck when compared to the cost of a similar sized brick and mortar building extension. Moreover, since decks are installed outdoors, the disruption to your daily routine is far less compared to a brick and mortar extension of the actual building.
  • A deck can help bring the feeling of being outdoors closer to home. Relax on a pleasant spring afternoon or dine al fresco on a warm summer night, it’s a multi-functional part of your home with plenty of uses that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
  • Built around your home’s existing design and custom made to your specifications, decks can help hide unsightly garden areas or even be built over any uneven ground that was previously unusable.
  • Last but not least, a quality, well-constructed deck will add significant aesthetic value to your home that will surely be appreciated by your family and any visitors you may have.
What’s the Best Decking Material?

A deck’s building material can be customized to your liking to match seamlessly with your home’s existing design. Decking material can be natural or composite and with the proper care and maintenance, can remain looking beautiful for years. The choice of materials is a crucial step when adding a deck to your home and depends on a lot of things, including budget, climate and personal preference. The best and most recommended method of choosing the right decking material for you is by seeking advice from a qualified deck expert. This makes sure the right material is being used and you’re not wasting your time and money. After the design and materials have been settled upon, decking can usually be constructed relatively quickly by an experienced installation crew.

Getting the Most Out of Your New Deck

Some people have the luxury of enjoying their deck year-round, however in the colder Canadian climate, this may not always be possible. To get the most out of your deck you need to make it a point to add it to your regular home maintenance schedule and only make use of reliable, trustworthy companies to service and maintain it. This will ensure that it remains in a perfect condition for years to come. Contact us today and find out how we can help you transform your home.

Litwiller Renovations is BUILT GREEN® Certified

Litwiller Renovations is committed to building green, sustainable homes for clients in the Calgary Area. We are proud to have received our BUILT GREEN® certification. BUILT GREEN® Canada is a national, industry-driven organization committed to working with builders interested in responsible sustainability practices within the residential building sector.

 

Why are the benefits of having a house certified through BUILT GREEN® Canada?

 

Better for your wallet

A certified BUILT GREEN® home comes with a reduced monthly operating cost, eligibility for an automatic 15% mortgage loan rebate, and more. A more efficient home means you benefit from savings on utility bills; such as water, gas and electricity. An increase in durability also means you have to renovate less often, saving you more money in the long run. Homes with green certification are also likely to sell for on average 10% more than non-certified homes. On the topic of sales, in certain jurisdictions where energy assessments are conducted before a home is sold; having a home certified through BUILT GREEN® Canada can save the homeowner around $300-500 depending on location.

 

Improve your health and comfort

For those with allergies, a BUILT GREEN®  certified home provides additional benefits in the form of less stress on your respiratory and immune systems. Improved air quality can be attained by choosing options like VOC and formaldehyde free building materials, third-party certified floor coverings and special heat recovery ventilators that circulate air whilst removing allergens. The Build Green certification program pays special attention to a home’s airtightness and ventilation which ensures the least amount of dust and toxins enter your home and generally improved air quality. Additional options like triple-paned windows also provide an extra layer of air tightness as well as having their own benefits like superior insulation (increasing energy efficiency) and a significant reduction of outside noise entering the house.

 

A more durable home

One of the most overlooked aspects of a sustainably built home is durability. BUILT GREEN® homes benefit from a wide variety of features that improve a home’s durability; from specially engineered warp resistant lumber, 30-year lifespan roof shingles to specially waterproofed foundation walls. We aim to make sure that the homes we built won’t require significant renovation work done every few years.

 

Increased energy and resource efficiency

BUILT GREEN® certified homes are built to be resource efficient in the construction phase as well as in the everyday operation of the home. A few examples of how our homes are built more efficiently include the use of energy efficient furnaces and air conditioners, special windows and Energy Star rated appliances. The use of Light Emitting Diode (LED) as well as Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) linked to timers and motion sensors also help improve a home’s energy efficiency. Features such as xeriscaping, water-saving toilets, low-flow showers and faucets among others also help our homes become more water efficient. All of this and more contribute to a more efficient home with less environmental impact when compared to traditionally constructed homes.

Calgary Home + Garden Show March 1-4, 2018

March 1-4, 2018
BMO Centre, Calgary

Visit us at booth number 382!

 

Buy your ticket Online and Save $3

 

The Calgary Home+Garden Show is a great opportunity to meet and visit with a range of tradespeople and suppliers, all in one, convenient indoor location. You’ll be able to learn the latest developments and advancements in each field as well as the best new products and grab a sneak peek of the trending styles for the next year.

SHOW HOURS:

Thursday, March 1: 12pm – 9pm
Friday, March 2: 12pm – 9pm
Saturday, March 3: 10am – 9pm
Sunday, March 4: 10am – 6pm

 

We are going to be in booth number 382 and we’d love to see Past, Current and Potential clients come by for a visit.

The Calgary Home Renovation Show 2018: A Success for Litwiller Renovations

Back from the Calgary Renovation Show, we’d first like to thank everyone who took the time to visit us at booth #359.

Prior to the renovation show, our very own David Litwiller was interviewed by Global TV Calgary News. During the interview he discussed two topics near and dear to his heart; the importance of consumers gathering and checking references and the importance of getting agreements in writing. Both steps are imperative for a positive renovation or construction experience.

Our booth at the show garnered many positive comments and feedback from visitors on both design and presentation. Designed and built by Jim Wardell of Made to Design Woodcraft, this positivity was well received, and we look forward to many years of working closely with Jim and Charlene on projects throughout the Calgary area.

During the Calgary Renovation Show we had the pleasure of meeting with plenty of positive and sincere people searching for the right contractor for their home improvement projects. We met with folks looking for all types of projects from small jobs like bathroom renovations, to full scale home construction and everything in between. As is typical of Litwiller, we rarely pass on any project referred to us or being contemplated by a past customer. No matter the size of the project, we’re here to help as best we can.

The team at Litwiller Renovations & Custom Homes are committed to delivering a dynamic and worry-free home improvement experience to all of our clients. So as part of this commitment, we’ve been keeping busy since the renovation show staying in touch with potential clients and following up with individuals who’ve shown an interest in working with us.

In conclusion, we’d like to once again thank all those who took the time to visit our booth at the Calgary Renovation Show and discussed their future projects. For those of you who weren’t able to make it, don’t forget to visit us at booth #382 at the upcoming Calgary Home and Garden Show. The show will be held at the BMO Centre Stampede Park from the 1st to the 4th of March. Stop by and meet our wonderful team of professionals and in particular meet Paul Monk, the man slated to become the new face of Litwiller Renovations and Custom Homes Ltd.

Challenges and Opportunities when Remodeling an Older Home

Older homes are both distinctive and charming. Many are also built with great pride and integrity, which is shown in their craftsmanship and materials. You are also doing your part to help the environment by purchasing an existing home versus clearing trees and land and using new materials to build a new home. Homeownership overall is an investment, whether your home is a new construction or an antique property. Even new homes require maintenance and receive remodeling attention shortly after they are built, but older homes come with unique challenges and opportunities that you should keep in mind when considering remodeling. When you’re ready to remodel your older home, you should consult with renovation experts, like the team at Litwiller Renovations. Here are some things to consider:

 

Decisions: Do You Want to Maintain the Character of the Home?

There are ways to bring modern technology and more efficient materials into your home, while maintaining the historical integrity of the home based on the time period it was built. Partner with a renovation team that respects the style you wish to maintain in your home.

 

Electrical

Have you ever noticed a wall plate that looks like it should have a light switch or electrical outlet, but is completely solid? That’s a good sign that you have electrical wiring that is old, outdated, or obsolete. We knew a homeowner of a property that dated back to the 1860s that had original gas lighting fixture in the ceiling. While the wiring was redone, when they went to change the light fixture itself, they had a glimpse into history because the old wiring was still there, disconnected, but still in the walls. When your remodel involves electrical, you’ll want a professional involved. A local professional like Litwiller Renovations will not only ensure your wiring is up to code, but will also keep you safe.

 

Plumbing

Many renovation projects involved plumbing work. Older homes often utilized galvanized pipes. If you’ve been experiencing clogs or leaks, your old plumping could be struggling to keep up with modern utilization. A local expert will likely advise you convert some of your plumbing to PVC or copper.

 

Health Hazards: Lead and Asbestos

Almost any home built more than 30 years ago is likely to have lead paint somewhere. It could be an antique window frame or custom door. While you may want to preserve either, you’ll want to work with an expert who can take care to detect and abate these materials safely and legally.

An older home is one to be cherished and cared for because they can last for lifetimes to come. However, as you can see, renovating one to meet the needs of how we live today requires appropriate attention. If you’re ready to remodel your older home call Litwiller Renovations in Calgary at 403.275.2588 today!


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