General contractors Calgary are the people you run to when you need to have your property built from scratch or when you are remodelling your existing properties. However, do you really know the real scope of their duties? It is important that you do so that you can set your expectations and demand the right service from them.

General contractors, in a nutshell, are in charge of construction management. This means that they supervise the building of a property from the planning stages until it is completed. Hence, they are expected to interact with different types of people in the course of the project, like designers, architects, and other specialized subcontractors. This means that even if different teams handle the jobs in the different phases of the project, the general contractors are still held responsible for reporting to the clients since they are the ones running the construction companies. A general contractor can sometimes be called a remodelling contractor if the project involved is a renovation or remodelling

A general contractor’s job starts with the planning stage. Here he has to pinpoint the various phases of the construction and hire the qualified people to do the job. Some general contractors usually offer general construction services and thus have the right workers under their direct employ. Most, however, usually subcontract some aspects of the project, like plumbing, electrical, and others. The planning phase also includes setting deadlines for key phases of the construction project. This schedule should be presented to the client so that they can agree or disagree on it, then make necessary changes. Some clients, for instance, want their properties finished quickly. Therefore, the contractor may have to hire more people to meet this demand.

Once everything is planned, work will now ensue. The general contractor has to acquire the necessary permits from local agencies and once granted, he can give the go signal to the first phase of the project. He must oversee the daily progress of the job to ensure that deadlines are met and that problems that are encountered along the way are immediately addressed. He must also be in constant communication with the client to report on the progress of the project. Further, the general contractor is also in charge of making sure that workers get their salary on time.

Top general contractors are very good at managing their time and resources. They usually are well connected, so they know exactly who to hire for their different needs. Since the scope of a contractor’s job is very wide, it is but natural that he hires very qualified people to whom he can delegate some of his responsibilities. For instance, he can send an engineer to visit the construction site when he is unable to do so. Most contractors also have an executive assistant who help manage their daily schedules. Nowadays, general contractors even make use of construction management software, which are laden with various features to make the administration of construction projects go with ease.

The next time you are in need of a general contractor, be smart to go for someone that has years of experience because it really takes years of exposure in a construction environment to perfect this role. In fact, it is not surprising to find a general contractor who started out as a carpenter then slowly worked his way up the ladder to finally start his own company.

The development of Calgary infills have been popular in recent years because of the many benefits it brings to the homebuyer, thus increasing the demand for it. If this is your first time to hear about infill homes, these are houses that are built in old neighbourhoods in prime locations. Many of you have probably passed by a great community or subdivision within the city and have wished to live in it. However, with its good location, there is a good chance that there will be no vacant houses available. If there were, they could be in a dilapidated state or the previous owner must have torn it down and all that is left is a piece of land between two apartments. To make use of this space, a new home is built on it and sold as infill homes. There are plenty of Calgary infill builders who develop them now and they offer a selection of infill house plans to interested future homeowners.

Infill housing development is not easy, though. There are several challenges that infill builders Calgary have to face in order to construct a home that is livable and still appealing to buyers. First, they have to come up with an infill design that will fit a fixed lot size and shape. This means that they will have to make several adjustments to meet the custom designs demanded by their clients while at the same time working on a restricted space.

Second, since there are already installed utility lines, they should also consider this when making infill house plans. There is also the possibility that the neighbourhood is so old that the original documents reflecting the utility lines are no longer available. Hence, the developer should be extra cautious when digging to avoid hitting these lines, especially the gas line.

Third, Calgary infill builders also takes charge of demolishing existing homes or building that is still standing on the lot. Aside from making sure that their demolition team is well trained, they have to make sure that adjacent properties are not damaged during the process, too. Further, there could be local ordinances to be met, like they may be required to dispose of the old materials properly, which means that they will have haul them to a recycling center.

Fourth, there is the hazard of dealing with dangerous materials. For instance, if the old house was built in the middle of the past century, asbestos could have been used in some parts of the building, which needs special handling.

Fifth, there is the inconvenience of working in a restricted space. If the infill is going to be built in an existing neighborhood, for example, there may not be enough space to park construction trucks or store construction materials that will be used.

Finally, if one of the reasons why the client chose to have an infill built in that specific neighborhood is for its character or style, then the infill house plans and designs should also blend in with its surrounding.

Despite these challenges, many builders are still willing to take on the job in support of the government’s community development programs and to provide homeowners with affordable new homes within the city.

Would you want more indoor or outdoor space? Or would you want a balance of both? There are people who are happy to live in a small home and enjoy a sprawling open space where they can take a walk, start a garden, or build a pool. There are also people who would rather have wide living rooms, large kitchens, and multiple entertaining areas in their homes. Aside from these choices, you should also try to assess any plans that you may have, like would you want a green house in a year or two or a 4-car garage for your future car collection? Knowing all of these factors and more can help your contractor in coming up with acreage house designs that will suit your exact needs.


Unfortunately, huge lands usually are situated in the countryside, so there is a possibility that you will not have direct access to electricity and water. Hence, your builder should prepare house plans acreage that will address these concerns. For instance, he can install a rainwater recovery system or a solar panel. Living in the country could also mean that you cannot enjoy the perks of having a regular waste collector dropping by your home. Your contractor can solve this by building your own waste treatment facility.


One of the benefits of living in the country is that you can enjoy an abundance of fresh air. You can take more advantage of this by placing windows strategically to promote air circulation. However, there are locations that are prone to tornadoes or get a lot of rain throughout the year, thus your builder should also make a house design that can withstand these natural perils.

Landscape Ideas

Acreage house plans should also include the exterior of the house, especially since you are certain to have a lot of outdoor space. Therefore, ask your builder to prepare a landscape design as well. If this is not his expertise, then you may have to hire a separate designer for this.

Possibility for Expansion

When building homes for acreage, you should also consider your plans for expansion. For example, if you plan to have more kids, then there is a possibility that you would have more bedrooms built in the future. Hence, your current acreage house plans should be designed with this in mind so that you will not have to tear down an entire wing of your acreage home to make way for those expansions.

Acreage homes usually take longer to build but if you choose an efficient contractor and if you address these considerations from the start, then mistakes can be prevented and you can have your home built in a shorter span of time.

More and more people are now interested to own a condo unit because they are much cheaper than house-and-lot packages, and condo buildings are usually situated in the city near offices and schools. Condo units, however, often offer limited space, which is why one of the first things owners do is to have a condo remodel project to make the place give an illusion of a wider space and to customize its design. Condo renovations are a bit challenging, though, simply because you will be working within the space you own and some developers have limitations on the changes that you can do. This is why it is still best to hire a builder who is experienced on condo remodelling projects.

Once you have found a builder, it is time to brainstorm on possible condo remodelling ideas. Here are some that you may want to consider applying to your unit.

Pull-Out Cabinets

These are great for the kitchen. Since you are less likely to have space for an island counter top, have pull-out cabinets installed instead. These cabinets slide smoothly under your counter top, then when you need more space when preparing the ingredients for you dishes just pull them out and you will instantly have more surface area to work on.

Use the Right Colors and Lines

The best way to make rooms look larger is to paint the walls with light colors, like white and pastel shades. You may add some accents like straight lines that run across a wall, but stick to thin lines and it would be better to paint them vertically to give the illusion of a high ceiling.

Built-In Storage Spaces

Avoid buying bulky cabinets. Instead, make use of that space below your existing closets. You may also add an elevated floorboard and install drawers on the sides. You may even build a pull-out bed from under it. Speaking of bed, there are beds for sale now that have drawers installed under them. For your living room, find a sturdy storage box that can also be used as a center table.

Add Vertically

You can extend your cabinets vertically until they reach the ceiling. These will serve as great storage spaces for things that you seldom use, like that delicate chinaware that you reserve for special parties. It would be best if the cabinets meet the ceiling seamlessly, as any space in between them will only be a harbor for dust and dirt.

Aside from these condo remodel ideas, you can also be creative with your interior decorating. For instance, instead of placing your curtain rod right on top of the window frame, you can extend it higher to give the impression of larger windows.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that you can do during your condo renovations to improve whatever little space you have. As for the condo remodelling cost, you can always ask your builder to work on a budget. You may also work on one room at a time to give you a chance to save some money in between.

Doing a historic home renovation is not an easy job. Unlike with new homes, where builders can construct from scratch, thus giving them the freedom to follow their own designs, heritage home restoration comes with many restrictions. The most obvious of which is that the builder has to follow the original design of the home. Should there be any changes, it will have to be minimal, or else, the home may lose its original character. To understand it further, here are some of the steps that a home restoration builder has to take.

First, he has to make a thorough inspection of the property, from top to bottom. This will give him an idea of the true physical state of the home so that he can then create a list of the things that he has to do for its renovation. Things that need to be checked, for instance, are the integrity of the foundation, presence of infestation, physical condition of the different parts of the house, and the state of the utility lines, just to name a few. Since it is an old home, there is a good chance that the builder will see multitudes of problems. However, he cannot just tear down a rotting wall to replace it if he has to keep the original heritage home design, especially if it is an exterior wall. He may have to find ways to fix or replicate it.

Second, he has to do an extensive research on the original heritage home design of the structure. This means that he will have to dig up its blueprints, which would include the initial plans and subsequent plans if the home has already undergone some prior renovations. As a builder, he would need all these data when he builds on the existing structure. Another piece of information that he has to know is whether the heritage home is listed in the historical society. If so, there may be restrictions in place regarding the amount of renovation that he can do.

Third, here comes the hard work. During the heritage home renovation process, a builder will have to make maybe hundreds of decisions. For example, should he reposition and change the style of the windows? Would that have a big effect on the exterior look of the home? Which parts should he discard? Which should be preserved? Although most of the concern would involve maintaining the exterior design of the home, there are also clients who would want to have most of the interior preserved. He must also face the challenge of upgrading the plumbing and electrical system, or building a modern kitchen on old structure. This is why a builder who specializes in historic home renovation should be very skilled and has a thorough knowledge of architectural arts.

In summary, a heritage home restoration is a task that can only be successfully done by an experienced builder. Such a project takes time and it usually involves a huge budget too. Hence, both the client and the builder should brace themselves for the long work that looms ahead when restoring a historic home.

Is your kitchen desperately in need of a kitchen remodel? If your cabinets seem like they are about to fall off or your appliances no longer function as well as they should, then it is indeed time for some serious renovations. The first thing that you should do is to find a contractor who specializes on kitchen renovations Calgary, more specifically someone who has previous experience on building luxurious custom kitchens. Before you worry about kitchen renovation costs, you should understand that having an elegant kitchen could greatly improve a home’s appearance, not to mention that it increases a home’s worth. So if you plan to sell your home in four or five years, you can be sure that you can ask for a higher price for it. Besides, a luxurious kitchen does not necessarily mean that you will go bankrupt. With the right contractor, you can implement the right strategies to get the high-end look without spending too much.

After finding a contractor, ask him to show you several kitchen designs. You can both then do some modifications to suit your family’s needs. For example, if your family loves to stay in the kitchen and if you have several kids, then the material for your kitchen floor should be able to withstand heavy traffic. If your current kitchen is a bit dark for you, you may also ask your contractor to enlarge your windows or add some lighting fixtures. Another good example is if your current cooking range only has three burners and you often find yourself cooking several dishes at the same time to host parties, then it is time to get a 5- or 6- burner range. This is why you should never hesitate to air out your concerns when you are talking to your contractor while designing your new kitchen.

Now, how do you make your kitchen look elegant for a reasonable cost? The ways are endless. For instance, since granite stone is expensive, you can opt to use granite shell to lay over your existing countertop. You can get the same finish, but since you will not be buying a whole block of granite, the cost will be significantly slashed down. Here is another tip, use wood laminates on your floors instead of real wood. You can hardly distinguish the two unless on close inspection. Wood laminates may cost less but they are resistant to water and they do not scratch easily, which makes them a great alternative. Further, a kitchen renovation does not always necessarily mean that you should throw the old stuff away. Good contractors can find ways to restore your old wooden cabinets to give them a new look. Sometimes a paint job is all they need and they can then meld easily with your new kitchen theme.

A builder who is experienced on kitchen renovations Calgary can definitely suggest more ideas and designs to help you achieve that luxurious kitchen for a quarter of a cost. Once the job is done, you will realize how a change in a single room can drastically give your entire home a brand new look.

How many times have you been thinking about renovating your house? Maybe it’s about time you did something about it. Of course the first step is to decide on the renovation you want the most. This is quite important as some of the home renovation companies specialize in certain types of work. For instance some of them do only exterior renovations, while others do interior renovations only. If you notice businesses using only certain brands in their work be sure those offered better results over the years. Further more, their team will know exactly how much of each product will be needed to successfully finish the project on your home.

When choosing a home renovation company you must pay attention to its years of experience, accreditation, as well as completed work. Usually pictures of before and after work speak for themselves so you better ask for some. It is not uncommon for pictures of the completed work only to be provided. Home owners are warned against accepting offers that sound too good to be true from various contractors posing as Calgary renovators. These scammers usually appear more in spring time.

In order to avoid scams, it is best to check the Calgary renovation companies against the Better Business Bureau’s records. Many homeowners were pushed into signing many papers that usually are not needed. Often times these papers were for loans with high payments. Additionally no such company will all for full payment upfront. Usually the payment is partially done as parts of the projects are completed.

When a business gets accredited by the Better Business Bureau, shortly BBB, it means there are very few complaints against it, it advertises honestly, is responsive, transparent, and honors its promises. Additionally any private data that is being collected by these companies is protected against fraud and other types of mishandle. Even if the business received its accreditation recently, it doesn’t mean it won’t adhere by the standards.

Take for instance Lynn Donaldson & Associates. This company has over 25 years of experience in interior renovations, especially bathrooms and kitchens. While this company renovated many exteriors with impressive designs, you will most likely be more impressed by the projects done inside people’s homes. Their website has many pictures of completed projects. There are many images showing the before look as well. This company worked with almost the same team over the years. This is an important aspect to pay attention to because each team member knows what he is supposed to do, thus there are few misunderstandings.

If the renovations company you want to hire won some awards, or was nominated for some, you can be sure you chose the right one. The more awards the company won, the more you can be sure the finished work will exceed your expectations. Of course constant communication before and during the project are very important for both parties. Good communication ensures the project will be faced will little stalling. Some details might change during renovation and you must be informed on these changes so you can approve them or not.

It can’t be pleasant living in an old or boring looking house. Taking care or remodelling your house can be expensive or difficult at times, especially if you don’t know what needs to be done or how to do it. Home renovations should be left to professionals especially when the needed work is extensive. Canada is well known for its harsh winters, thus most older houses could need renovations to offer more warmth during the cold season. However some homeowners want a garage, a verandah, patio, hot tub in their backyard, a new, modern looking bathroom, or even new windows to all the rooms. All these projects are usually completed by qualified personnel.  

It is important for those who need house renovations in Calgary to find reliable and licensed workers. The best workers to perform home remodelling and renovations in Calgary must have agreed with the Code of Ethics of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s and with the renovation-specific Code of Conduct. It is best if homeowners ask for proof of licensing, and about warranty and insurance on the performed work. Just like with any other type of business it is best to first consider an experienced company. Such companies are very easy to find. Just by performing a simple search with “renovations Calgary”, you will be faced with hundreds of options. As a hint, search for those who have a BBB accreditation or those who are a RenoMark™ member.

Some house renovations need approval, especially when it comes to house additions and remodelling. Before hiring anyone make sure you can see photos of their previous work. It is ideal to see what the house looked like before getting a facelift. This can give a lot of information on how skilled the employees are. Keep in mind that some companies made a name for themselves in exterior renovations, others just for some house parts, like the kitchen, basement, or bathroom, and so on. Some businesses would only work with certain products, this can have a bigger impact on the renovation costs. However this could also mean that the final project will be of better quality because the employees are experienced in working with them. Remember that different brands will deliver different results.   

Some people are hit with natural disasters or accidents that ruin their lovely homes. An experienced house renovation business is able to return the place to its former state. They should not turn down any type of work needed to improve home living. Tiles, fixtures, faucets, cabinets, a new patio or verandah, and other works should all be provided and treated with the same level of professionalism. If you encounter a company having performed commercial restorations you should know their work is to be trusted.

Make sure to have somebody giving you an approximate price for the needed work and materials. Learning about how much time it will take to complete the project is another aspect that needs to be discussed before making any decision. This way you will know what to expect and there is little room for unexpected and unwanted expenses.

While it is true that you should be budget-conscious when having your homes built or when undergoing renovation projects, there are instances when a luxury home renovation should be your choice. One good and obvious reason is that you want to live in your dream home. If you have the means to build a 6-bedroom, 3-story home with a 3-car garage and a swimming pool, then by all means indulge yourself. Dream homes do not necessarily have to stay in the world of imaginations. You can actually live in them and enjoy all the comfort and luxury that they bring.

Another good reason to have a luxury home renovation is to increase your home’s value in preparation for a sale. This does not mean that you can get back the total investment that you shelled out for the renovation. According to recent estimates, the payback could only range from 50% to 80%. Still, this is a good strategy because luxury home designs would attract more potential buyers. At the current state of the real property market, some homes take years before they get sold. If you want to sell your property fast at a higher value, then it is time to invest on luxury renovations.

When embarking on this project, it is best for look specifically for luxury home builders. Even contractors have specialized fields of expertise, so do not expect a builder that offers cost-efficient home plans to be able to provide you with amazing luxury home plans. Once you find the appropriate builder, discuss your options so that you can also avoid spending too much. For instance, if the purpose of your renovation is connected with your plans to sell your home, it does not necessarily mean that you should renovate every single room in the house. A good builder can give you suggestions on which part of your home needs improvement. It could just be your kitchen or the master’s bedroom. However, if you are building your dream home from scratch, then ask your builder to prepare several luxury home floor plans in order to provide you with several options.

To give you an idea on the possible projects that you can do for a luxurious renovation, here are some good tips. In the kitchen, replace your old countertop with granite or marble. They will give your kitchen a unique and elegant look instantly. Granite is more preferred by many, though, because of its durability and resistance to staining. For your bathroom, try installing a Jacuzzi, some modern fixtures, and custom lighting to give it a very modern and relaxing look. Your garage can have its share of luxury renovation too. For example, you can change the design of the garage door to enhance your home’s appearance. Insulated doors can also improve the energy-efficiency of your home, while epoxy coating on the floor will make it more resistant to oil and grime. For your home’s exterior, you can have your garden landscaped or add a swimming pool in your property.

To get more amazing ideas, consult with reputable and experienced luxurious home builders. They are well updated on new design breakthroughs that can definitely give your home a major upgrade.

Are you planning to have your own home built soon or adding more rooms to your existing home? If so, then you should start looking for the right home contractor to do the job. You will be surprised to find an abundance of contractors out there and this might confuse you. Hence, take note of the tips that are listed here to help guide you in hiring the right home contractor for your project.

Assess Your Needs

To find a contractor that is fit for the job, you should first assess your needs. For example, if you are planning to renovate your home, then restrict your search among home renovation contractors. On the other hand, if you are building a home from scratch, then what you need to look for are custom home contractors.

Get Referrals

Ask your friends or family if they can recommend a contractor to you. You can trust them to refer contractors whom they trust, thus saving you from the trouble of working with unprofessional builders that construct low quality homes. If you cannot get any referrals, then try searching on the web. Read through their sites so you can have a vague idea on the kind of service that they provide. Choose at least five, preferably those that are situated in your city or state. Local contractors have a personal concern towards the people in their community, not to mention that they are easier to get in touch with.

Meet Your Prospects in Person

This is your chance to interview them regarding their past work and their methodologies in getting their work done. While at it, remember to ask for their credentials and licenses too. You should remember to work only with contractors that are licensed to operate in your state. This implies that they have done nothing illegal that may cause the local agency to hinder them from doing their business. Insurance coverage is equally important. A renovation contractor, for instance, will be able to compensate for any damages incurred in your property during the course of the renovation if he has insurance coverage.

Ask for Samples of Past Work

Home improvement contractors usually keep a portfolio of their finished projects. Browse through them to assess how good they are. You may even visit those properties or call their past clients to get more information about their work ethics.

Close the Deal with a Contract

Everything that you have agreed on should be put into writing for the protection of both camps. The contract should contain all the details of the project, including the payment schedules.

As you can see, it is easy to find a contractor who is fit for the job as long as you are properly guided. On top of the tips listed here, it would also be wise to go for a home contractor whom you are at ease with. You could be working together for months, so entrusting the job on a person or team that you are comfortable with would make those months bearable and stress-free. Furthermore, avoid contractors that have very low bids. Chances are, their work is just as cheap as their pricing.