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Home Extension

28 Jan 2024

“Home Extension”

In the ever-evolving landscape of home design, terms like home extension, home addition, secondary suites and so on have become increasingly popular, signifying the desire for homeowners to optimize their living spaces. Whether it’s accommodating a growing family or creating extra room for personal pursuits, the process of expanding a home involves careful planning and execution. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of home extensions and additions, exploring various aspects and shedding light on the significance of secondary suites and garden suites to enhance both functionality and value. So let’s expound on how to expand!

Defining and Delineating

Before embarking on the journey of expanding your living space, let’s distinguish a little. First; a home extension and a home addition. A home extension typically refers to the enlargement of an existing room or the addition of new rooms to a house. This involves expanding the footprint of the existing structure, whether it’s adding a new bedroom, a larger kitchen, or even an extra floor. On the other hand, a home addition generally involves the construction of a new standalone structure connected to the main house, such as a detached garage or a separate living space.

A secondary suite, also sometimes known as a garden suite or inlaw suite, has gained traction as homeowners seek versatile living spaces. A secondary suite is a self-contained unit within the primary residence, complete with its own bathroom, kitchen, and living area. This addition not only enhances the functionality of the home but also provides an opportunity for rental income or multi-generational living.

Preparing with Perspicacity

A successful home extension or addition starts with meticulous planning. Begin by assessing your needs and determining the specific purpose of the additional space. Are you looking to accommodate a growing family, create a home office, or establish a secondary suite for potential rental income? Clearly defining your objectives will guide the entire process, and help shape the design and layout of the extension.

The incorporation of a secondary suite within the home extension can add significant value and versatility to your property. Consider how this self-contained unit aligns with your lifestyle – whether it serves as a guest suite, an in-law apartment, or a potential rental space. Garden suites, in particular, provide a charming and functional addition, often seamlessly blending with outdoor spaces.

Engage with an architect, designer, or highly trained and professional contractor to translate your vision into a feasible plan. Pay close attention to local zoning regulations and building codes to ensure compliance. Understanding these guidelines is crucial, especially when building a secondary suite: when planning one, pay attention to local regulations governing rental spaces. Ensure that the suite complies with safety standards and consider features that enhance privacy for both the primary residents and potential occupants. Separate entrances, soundproofing measures, and distinct living areas contribute to a harmonious coexistence within the shared space.

Constructing and Executing with Excellence

Once the planning phase is complete and necessary permits are secured, the construction process typically begins with site preparation and excavation. Clearing the designated area and excavating for the foundation set the stage for the physical expansion of your home. The foundation is the backbone of your home extension, providing stability and support for the additional space. Once the foundation is in place, framing begins to shape the structure. This involves the construction of walls, floors, and roofs, providing the skeleton for the new living spaces. Attention to detail during framing is genuinely crucial, as it establishes the framework for the entire extension.

It’s recommended to work with a quality-oriented contractor, who adheres to high level of professionalism and understands the nuances of home extensions and suites – this can help the project stays on schedule, within budget, and is properly and correctly executed. For more information on the process of selecting a suitable contractor, check out our renovation contractors article. During construction, regular communication with the contractor is key – and one who implements quality assurance measures during construction ensures that the finished product meets the highest standards for the longevity and functionality of your home extension. This phase lays the foundation for years of enjoyment in your expanded living space.

It’s recommended to work with a quality-oriented contractor, who adheres to high level of professionalism and understands the nuances of home extensions and suites.

As the exterior takes form, attention turns to roofing, and interior finishes: this includes insulation, drywall installation, flooring, and the installation of fixtures. The interior finishes play a pivotal role in transforming the bare structure into livable spaces that reflect your style and preferences. For secondary suites, this is the stage where the self-contained living areas come to life. Then come the final touches that transform your home extension into a seamless integration of space and style. Landscaping around garden suites, selecting suitable furnishings for suites, and optimizing natural light can elevate the overall appeal.

Conclusion

Whether you’re opting for a traditional home extension, a standalone home addition, or integrating a secondary suite, the key lies in understanding your specific needs, adhering to local regulations, and collaborating with skilled professionals. Witnessing your home transform into a more expansive and versatile living environment is an exciting experience, whether you choose to use the extra space for personal enjoyment or as a source of additional income. But by investing time and effort in the planning and execution phases, you’ll not only enhance your living space but also add long-term value to your home.

Questions About Home Extension?

Partnering with an experienced craftsman home construction company will ensure your home extension or addition project is executed with precision and attention to detail. DeVries Construction offers a wide variety of services in Vernon and the North Okanagan to expedite the process for you, while ensuring it is performed at the highest quality. See how!

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Home Restoration

21 Dec 2023

“Home Restoration”

Embarking on a home restoration journey is like time-traveling with a paintbrush – you’re taking a relic from yesteryear and giving it a makeover that’s nothing short of magical. But hold onto your hard hats, dear readers, because this adventure comes with its share of laughter and lessons.

 

The Plan

The journey of home restoration, as with renovation, often begins with a comprehensive assessment. Professionals evaluate the home’s structural integrity, historical significance, and any existing damages. From detecting structural vulnerabilities and decayed sections, to noting areas of ornate detailing to be preserved and enhanced, this step is pivotal. It sets the foundation for all subsequent restoration tasks. Detailed planning follows, laying out the scope of work, budget considerations, and timeline. Creating a realistic budget is crucial. Home restoration, especially for heritage homes, can be unpredictable. So factor in unexpected surprises, allocate funds for hidden gems you may discover, and remember that every penny is an investment in your home.

The home’s historical context is also important. It’s beneficial to know a little of the architectural styles, materials used during the era, and any significance associated with the property. Such insights guide restoration decisions, ensuring authenticity and respect for the home’s heritage. Restoration is not just about fixing; it’s about crafting a vision that pays homage to the past while catering to the needs of the present. Consider the style, the period aesthetics, and your personal taste.

 

The Process

One of the primary goals of home restoration is preserving the home’s original features. Whether it’s intricate woodwork, vintage fixtures, or unique architectural details, these elements encapsulate the home’s historical charm. Restoration experts may employ specialized techniques and materials to repair, refinish, or replicate these features – such as moldings, staircases, doors, and windows – ensuring they shine once again. This ensures the home’s historical essence remains not only undiminished but strengthened.

However, while preserving historical integrity is important, modernizing certain aspects can enhance the home’s livability and functionality – and structural integrity is paramount. Restoration may involve repairing deteriorated foundations, reinforcing structural components, or often upgrading essential systems like plumbing, electrical and HVAC. Homeowners can often opt for visually subtle upgrades; integrating modern amenities and necessities without compromising the home’s essential character.

As the restoration continues, attention may turn to the fine details. Inside – considering the furniture, textiles, and decorative pieces that align with the home’s context. Choosing also paints, wallpapers and finishes that echo the home’s era, ensuring a cohesive aesthetic throughout. And outside may benefit from reviving or designing gardens and outdoor spaces that complement the home’s architecture, and integrating appropriate plants and hardscaping elements. Every detail from door handles to light fixtures should be chosen with care.

Conclusion

Finally, the moment arrives – the unveiling. Your home, once shrouded in the dust of ages, stands as a testament to your dedication. Its walls hold the whispers of the past, and its renewed glory radiates through every carefully restored detail. It’s not just a process; it’s a love letter to the past and a commitment to the future. As you navigate the twists and turns of this restoration rollercoaster, remember that the destination is a dwelling that tells a story – your story and the story of the generations that came before.

Questions About A Contractor?

Home restoration is an art form that demands impeccable craftsmanship. Skilled artisans, carpenters, and craftsmen bring expertise to the table, employing both traditional and modern techniques and tools to achieve authentic and optimal results. From masonry work to window restoration, every detail should be executed with precision and passion. DeVries Construction offers a wide variety of services in Vernon and the North Okanagan to expedite the process for you, while ensuring it is performed at the highest quality. See how!

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Renovation Contractors

21 Nov 2023

“Renovation Contractors”

Ready to remake your living space from drab to fab? Ah, the thought of it – it’s renovation time! But wait, before you embark on this transformational journey, there’s a crucial task at hand – selecting the right renovation contractors. A successful home renovation project relies heavily on the expertise, reliability, and professionalism of the contractors you hire – selecting the right one can make the difference between a dream home and a DIY disaster. But this mission requires more than just flipping through the Yellow Pages (if that’s still a thing). Fear not, dear reader, for I’m here to guide you through this whimsical yet crucial selection process.

Know Thyself, and Thy Project

Before you begin searching for renovation contractors, have a clear vision of what you want to achieve. Outline your project’s goals, budget, and timeline. This will help you convey your expectations to potential contractors and compare their proposals effectively. This is covered in more detail in our Home Renovation article, previously in this series.

Search & Sift

Before diving into the depths of the contractor sea, consult with friends, family, and neighbors. Personal referrals may lead to more trustworthy contractors. Those you know may have pearls of wisdom to share about their own renovation experiences – word of mouth can be a treasure trove of information about the best renovation contractors in town. But don’t forget to peruse online reviews! Reviews and portfolios can give you more perspective on previous work. Online platforms and directories can also help you find more renovation contractors in your area! LinkedIn and Houzz can be good places to start.

Crucially – reach out to several renovation contractors to obtain quotes for your project. Make sure each quote includes a detailed breakdown of costs, materials, labor, and a project timeline. Comparing these quotes will help you understand the contractor, the market rate and identify details and discrepancies. Additionally – request references from each contractor, and follow up with past clients. Ask about their experiences, the quality of work, and whether the project was completed on time and within budget. This step provides valuable insights into the contractor’s reliability and professionalism.

Sort & Specify

So you’ve got a selection of contractor choices. Where do we go from there? For a start; conduct interviews. Arrange face-to-face or virtual meetings with the contractors you are considering. This is an opportunity to discuss your project in detail, ask questions, and assess their communication skills and compatibility with your vision. It’s also a chance to gauge their vibe. Good communication is a secret sauce in any contractor-client relationship. Are they on the same wavelength as you? Do they listen, nod thoughtfully? Do they respond promptly to your inquiries, or do you feel like you’re sending messages into a black hole? A contractor who listens and communicates effectively can prevent misunderstandings down the line – a good rapport is almost as important as the right tools in the toolbox.

Also assess their problem-solving skills. Life is unpredictable, and so are renovation projects. A good contractor should be able to anticipate potential issues and offer solutions. Ask them about how they handle unexpected challenges during a project. Their problem-solving abilities can make a significant difference in the outcome of your renovation. Flexibility is also fantastic. A contractor who can pivot when the unexpected happens is worth their weight in gold. The best contractors are like gymnasts – nimble and flexible, ready to adapt to unexpected twists and turns. But even a little flexibility can save you from renovation-related stress. 

Life is unpredictable, and so are renovation projects. A good contractor should be able to anticipate potential issues and offer solutions.

And lastly, imagine this scenario: a contractor swaggers in, chest puffed out, proclaiming “I can turn your closet into a castle!” While confidence is commendable, if it borders on overconfidence, it’s a red flag. A good contractor should not be cocky. Think of it like a well-baked soufflé – firm, but not excessively puffed up. Seek contractors who strike the right balance, as they’re more likely to deliver on their promises without any egoistic explosions!

Paper Trail Par Excellence


Once you’ve zeroed in on your potential contractor, it’s time for some nitty-gritty. First, carefully review the contract provided by your chosen contractor. It should outline all project details, including payment schedules, warranty information, and a timeline. If it’s missing, don’t be afraid to play hardball—negotiate until you’re satisfied. Don’t hesitate to seek legal advice if needed to understand the contract fully.

Check for permits: ensure that the contractor is responsible for obtaining the necessary permits for your renovation. Unpermitted work can lead to fines and complications down the line. And cross your T’s and dot your I’s – check for proper licensing and insurance. This is your safety net. It protects you from potential legal hassles and ensures the contractor is operating within the law – meeting local regulations and safety standards. Insurances can include liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. This safeguards you from financial liabilities in case of accidents or injuries during the renovation.

Lastly, stay actively involved in your project. Regularly communicate with your contractor and monitor the progress of the renovation. This ensures that the work is on track and meets your expectations. Choose wisely, and your renovation journey will be a harmonious duet, rather than a cacophonous calamity.

Conclusion

So there you have it, your guide to finding a better home renovation contractor. Remember, this is a partnership, a dance of sorts, where you and your contractor tango your way to a more beautiful home. While considering all the practical aspects, in the end, use your judgment. You’re about to embark on a very serious undertaking, and you want someone who feels like the right companion – a contractor in whose abilities you feel comfortable and confident. A good contractor is not just a professional, but a partner in turning your vision into reality. A strong working relationship can be indispensable for a successful renovation.

Questions About A Contractor?

Partnering with an experienced home construction and renovation contractor will ensure your home renovation project is executed with precision and attention to detail. DeVries Construction offers a wide variety of services in Vernon and the North Okanagan to expedite the process for you, while ensuring it is performed at the highest quality. See how!

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Home Renovation

07 Sep 2023

“Home Renovation – Renovate to Radiate!”

Are you a homeowner dreaming of a home renovation – creating a captivating masterpiece filled with charm? In today’s fast-paced world, there is a sense of nostalgia that draws many homeowners towards renovating homes. Home renovations can not only be cost-effective but also allow you to infuse modern comforts, while evoking a unique historical character. However, diving into a home reno project may feel like a daunting task for the unaccustomed homeowner.
That’s why we’re here – in this article, we’ll provide some valuable insights and advice to guide you through the journey, if you want to bring this dream from vision to reality. Let’s begin!

It Starts with a Vision

A great first step for a successful home renovation is to envision what you want your end result to be. Take the time to research different home design styles, browse online platforms such as Pinterest or Houzz to gather design ideas, and consider visiting heritage homes or even creating a vision board to capture your desired aesthetic. Explore architectural styles and aesthetics that resonate with you, and consider the elements you might like to incorporate into your renovation project. This information is not only inspiring, but will help you make informed decisions as you renovate your home – and being clear about your vision from the outset will help drive the project forward, and enable you to communicate effectively with your team of professionals.

Then Comes the Assessment

Evaluating the condition of your home is crucial. Older homes can have hidden issues that require attention, such as outdated electrical systems, plumbing problems, or structural integrity concerns. If you have to undertake this yourself, begin by assessing the condition of the property thoroughly. Look for any structural issues, such as foundation problems, roof damage, or plumbing and electrical concerns. You can create a comprehensive list of necessary repairs and improvements, categorized as immediate needs, medium-term goals, and long-term enhancements.

However, we recommend that you hire professional renovation contractors to conduct a more thorough inspection. Professional, qualified and experienced renovation contractors, architects or engineers will be better able to identify structural issues, electrical and plumbing concerns, and other potential problems that may arise during the renovation. Old homes also often come with outdated wiring, lead-based paint, or asbestos. Tests and inspections by professionals ought to also address hazardous materials, the replacement of unsafe outdated systems, and potential upgrades of security features – the health and well-being of your family should take precedence throughout the renovation process.

These assessments will allow you to anticipate potential challenges and can serve as a road map for your project, allowing you to budget and plan effectively.

And Here Comes the Plan

It’s essential to develop a comprehensive plan. Start by setting clear goals and priorities for your renovation. This information will help you make informed decisions as you renovate. Depending on the scope of your renovation, you may need construction permits or zoning variances. Engage with your local municipality to ensure compliance with regulations and obtain the necessary approvals. An experienced contractor should have the knowledge to help guide you through this process, ensuring that the renovation adheres to building codes.

As well, you’ll want a realistic budget – renovating an old home requires careful budgeting, and establishing a realistic one is indispensable to ensure you don’t overspend or cut corners. Consider all the costs associated with the project, including permits, materials, labor – and unforeseen expenses. You can consult with your renovation contractors and construction professionals to obtain estimates for materials, labor, and how to handle any unforeseen challenges. Once you have the estimated cost, allow for a contingency fund to accommodate the unexpected expenses that may arise along the way. Home renovation loans may also be a viable option for financing your project.

Start by setting clear goals and priorities for your renovation. This information will help you make informed decisions during the renovation process.

Now It’s Time for Some Nitty Gritty

The choice of materials plays a crucial role in achieving a high-quality traditional aesthetic. Opt for timeless materials like natural stone, exposed brick, and hardwood flooring that evoke a sense of character and history. Elements like stained glass windows, ornate mouldings and metal fixtures also contribute significantly to the timeless aesthetic of the property. Select unique, high-quality finishes that enhance your chosen design aesthetic. Lighting fixtures, door hardware, and decorative accents can elevate the ambience, making your old home truly shine. Don’t rush this; invest time and effort into sourcing the perfect elements that reflect your personality and style. Consider also that suitable traditional color palettes applied to both interior and exterior spaces creates a cohesive overall design.

As you renovate, consider implementing energy-efficient upgrades such as insulation, double-glazed windows, and LED lighting. Consider replacing outdated electrical wiring, plumbing systems, and HVAC units to ensure efficiency and safety. These not only enhance your home’s efficiency but also reduce long-term energy costs. And incorporating sustainable, energy-efficient design is not only beneficial for the environment, but also for your home’s long-term value. If you want, it’s possible to prioritize materials and techniques that meet modern energy efficiency standards, while minimizing impact on the home’s traditional aesthetic. Collaborate with your renovation company to find possible modern alternatives that replicate some of the appearance of heritage fixtures, switches, and vents, and remember also that you can create a beautiful space that honors the past while embracing the future. 😉

Extend the aesthetic to your outdoor spaces by investing in thoughtful landscaping. Preserve existing trees and landscaping that contribute to the home’s aesthetics and create natural shade, reducing the need for excessive cooling. Consider incorporating traditional elements like picket fences, stone pathways, and well-curated gardens. Revive your front facade by restoring or replicating period-appropriate details such as porch railings, ornamental brackets, or intricate woodwork.



And Be Water, my Friend

Renovating an old home is a labor of love that rewards patience and flexibility. Unexpected challenges and delays may arise during your home renovation. Embrace these hurdles as opportunities to learn and grow. Keep an open line of communication with your team of renovation contractors and be willing to adapt your plans if necessary. Don’t worry, it’ll be worth it – renovating an old home is an exhilarating journey that combines respect for history with a vision for your future.

Conclusion

With these steps and and a trusted team of professionals, you can create a timeless gem that seamlessly blends the charm of yesteryear with the comfort and functionality of today. Embrace the adventure, and you’ll find yourself with a unique home that truly reflects your vision and personality. Remember to enjoy the process, and revel in the rewards of your renewed space! Transform your home, embrace history, and create a legacy in the process – start your craftsman or heritage-inspired home renovation project today.

Questions About Home Renovation?

 

Partnering with an experienced craftsman home construction company will ensure your home renovation project is executed with precision and attention to detail. DeVries Construction offers a wide variety of services in Vernon and the North Okanagan to expedite the process for you, while ensuring it is performed at the highest quality. See how!

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Building Your Home

25 Apr 2022

“Building Your Home”

How to build a home… it’s a big undertaking. Whether you’re upsizing or downsizing. But like many big undertakings, it’s proper to plan the essential steps. DeVries has you covered here, for building your home big or small. Let’s break it down to build it up.

Building Your Home

Selecting your Lot

This is interesting – where do we build? Whether you’re a long-time resident or looking to relocate, you’ll want to spend some time viewing different areas with lots for sale for potential builds. You may have a specific subdivision or neighbourhood in mind. But whether your desired area is familiar or foreign, always spend some time searching around the area first – to get an impression of prospective lots in person. While there, look at the overall shape and grade of the lot, and consider it in context with your home. Consider also the lay of the land: hilly lots may require considerable levelling, and lots with crags or hard rock deposits may require blasting to clear. Both will add additional costs. Landscaping requirements in general – think of retaining walls for example – are a worthwhile factor to consider, where cost is concerned.

And what of the weather there? The prevailing wind and the strength of wind, for instance. Is there a good amount of sun exposure, and any south-facing? You may want a south-facing garden for the most sun, or an east-facing deck for the least heat. Humidity, rainfall, runoff and even snowfall (How load-bearing does your roof need to be?) are also relevant, and you may want to consult an engineer to address some soil conditions. So overall: carefully consider your use of the home in its environment holistically; all this will influence the home build.

Selecting your Lot

Designing your Home

This is where the fun begins! And here our first priority is to distinguish wants from needs. So how many bedrooms or bathrooms do you need? A builtin A/C, a sound or alarm system, office space, garages, decks and pools, oh my! The choices can be dizzying, so we should prioritize, and separate wants from needs – that way you know where to trim the budget and where to allow for more. And how about your home’s style: country, contemporary, or coastal perhaps? Style is more than merely aesthetics, so again we consider your environment – certain styles came about in certain regions after all.

And we consider your current and future needs. For instance, the life stages and family in your household. Retirees, children, anyone working at home and just the size of your household are all important factors for your home’s overall design and style. So a rancher with level entry could be a good option if anyone is disabled or elderly, and an in-suite basement is suitable for a suite to rent. This is, fair enough, one of the most crucial steps in building your home. As such, it’s highly advised you consult your home builder on all your home design and build options. They can inform you and provide, or refer you to selection of services like home design plans, 3D models of your home, and architects.

Designing Your Home

Co-ordinate When Building Your Home

Now it’s time to talk financing, some fine details, and finding accommodations – along with some more general recommendations. To bring back the subject of budget: setting out your budget is critical for success, and helps to frame the entire project. There ought to be a bit of headroom in it; an amount not allocated to any part of the build but to cover for future possibilities like upgrades – or unforeseen expenses. Meeting a good real estate lawyer to oversee appraisals during the build, or finding a build-experienced mortgage broker to discuss disbursements with you could be quite valuable.

…setting out your budget is critical for success, and helps to frame the entire project.

On to accommodations! Here we hone in on your home away from home, while you’re building it. First, you may have the option to sell your old home just ahead of your new home’s completion. You should coordinate the sell with your realtor to achieve this. Not all of us are lucky enough to own both our old home and our to-be new home at the same time… so assuming you’ve sold your old house, where then should you live? Renting an apartment is an obvious choice. Be careful to ensure that your lease both allows for enough time and a needed degree of flexibility for uncertainties and delays. Check your obligations to give notice, and talk to the landlord. Another option would be an RV or motorhome, if your new lot or street allows for parking one. An advantage of these is on-site access to your build, though the noise ought be considered. An RV is a significant purchase to make if bought, but may be worth it as the build may be 6 months, 12 months or more. Renting an RV may be cheaper however, so consider both options in context.

East Hill Heritage Home

Summary

Building a home can be the largest investment many people will make. While it can be a frustrating process at times, an experienced and caring home builder can help to mitigate potential hazards by keeping your project on track and within budget. We understand the potential pitfalls of home building, and know first-hand the joy our clients feel when moving into their new home! DeVries Construction is here to make your home building journey a stress-free and enjoyable experience – contact us to learn more.

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