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home dream

SPRING 2017

A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO ThE

DELTA OPTIMIST

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The Delta Optimist Spring 2017

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The best time to consider upgrading any features or finishes is before home construction gets underway.

Upgrades add personal touch Builders offer a variety of features and finishes to customize any home Today’s new homes set new standards for value, character and individuality. A brand new home comes with a full range of quality features and finishes included in the base price. Professional new home builders also offer a variety of options and upgrades to suit any budget. The best time to consider any extras is before construction of your home begins. Here are some of the new home features to look for and discuss with your builder: Windows Windows are one of the most distinguishing features of a new home. Large windows bathe your home in light.

Bold designs add character, and finishing details complement your décor inside and out. And thanks to recent advances in window technology, the beauty of today’s windows goes hand-in-hand with energy performance, low maintenance and homeowner comfort. Floor Coverings Today’s floor coverings offer more than a neutral background for your interior décor. They are an integral part of the character of your home. New home builders often combine different types of flooring in creative ways, matching them to the style and intended use of each

room or area, as well as to your budget. Natural stone and ceramic tiles grace foyers, bathrooms, kitchens and informal living areas. Tough laminates find their way into children’s rooms, hallways and home offices. Traditional hardwood flooring adds the warmth and feel of real wood. Carpeting comes in a plethora of textures and colours. Linoleum or vinyl with a tile or stone look lets you maximize your budget and still get the appearance you want. Countertops, Fixtures and Faucets With kitchens and bathrooms being key to home

buyer decisions, new home builders pay careful attention to the details. From laminates to granite, they offer a number of attractive, durable counter options and upgrades. Sinks are available in many configurations, materials and colours and some are moulded right into the counters. Faucets range from contemporary practical to Victorian ornate to futuristic sleek. The cost of top-of-theline products can add up quickly. A wise approach is to set a firm budget and work with your builder to achieve the greatest overall value for your investment. MOULDING: see Page 4 Spring 2017 The Delta Optimist

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Moulding is final touch that ties it all together CONTINUED from Page 3 Mouldings One of the last finishing touches in your new home, moulding ties it all together. There is a great variety of window and door trim, baseboards and ceiling mouldings available. Visit model homes to see how different styles, sizes and profiles can affect the overall look of a home. And talk with your builder about the company’s recommended products, chosen to best complement the design of their homes. Other Features There are many other features and options to explore when you are looking at new homes, from in-floor radiant heating to the latest in kitchen and bathroom cabinets. And look into wiring your new home for security systems, home entertainment and telecommunication.

with your builder. Professional new home builders are committed to working closely with their customers to develop a clear and realistic vision of their new home. Many builders offer design services to help you fine-tune interior layout and overall look of the home, down to the smallest detail. They may have a décor centre to assist you in selecting specific features and finishes. They may connect you with their network of supplier experts, who will help you make informed purchasing decisions. Sometimes the best way to explore what’s possible is to see first-hand what others have already done. Your builder may arrange for you to visit the homes of past customers. Article provided by Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association.

The different styles, sizes and profiles of mouldings can affect the overall look of a home. Most builders include basic telephone and cable pre-wiring in their standard specs. A growing number offers a “home automation” package that lets you add a wealth of functions now and in the future, from front-door surveillance to remote temperature control, as needed and

wanted. Moving Forward Coming up with your final list of features and finishes can take time. It is also often a balancing act between what you really want and what you feel you can spend on upgrades. Don’t rush. Instead consult

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Vancouver Homeowners and Builders Turn to Local ECO Paving for Quality Rubber Resurfacing Done Right. BC-based ECO Paving is enjoying a surge of interest in its innovative, eco-friendly paving product. The company¹s success is the result of years of research and development, during which owner Brad Lavigne and his staff explored similar products in other countries and then refined the technology to the highest quality possible. Today, ECO Paving is proud to offer the leading product in environmentally friendly rubber resurfacing which Lavigne says “will instantly revitalize the look of your property.” Made of 100 percent recycled rubber, ECO Paving is slip-resistant and impact absorbing. It has a variety of applications, including driveways, patios, sidewalks, pool decks, walkways, playgrounds and even splash parks. “From a safety perspective, it really is the best product for pool areas because of its non-slip surface,” notes Lavigne. “It also feels great to walk on.” A great feature of ECO Paving’s product is that it can be installed directly over existing surfaces

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such as asphalt, brick, concrete, epoxy stone, road base and even torch-on membrane. The product is flexible and can accommodate any ground movement, greatly reducing any possibility of future cracking. This makes it a cost-effective choice when you consider the time and labour that it takes to remove and replace an existing surface such as a driveway. Lavigne adds that it is also ideal for our wet west coast weather.

“Not only is it safer to walk on, it does not attract moss or go green, it looks great year-round and it’s easier to maintain.” Unlike asphalt or concrete, the rubber finish will not fracture or crack, virtually eliminating additional long-term cost. ECO Paving also provides a five-year warranty against defective materials and cracking, which is generally five times longer than concrete warranties.

ECO Paving currently services the Lower Mainland, the Okanagan Valley and parts of Vancouver Island. Longer term, the company is looking to expand elsewhere in the province and then across the country. Lavigne says, “We are looking for franchise owners who believe in carrying on our quality and standards for the long term. We truly believe in the product and our staff. Check out ecopaving.com for more information.

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Letting light shine in is only natural Maximizing natural light in a home is a smart and sometimes low-cost renovation. Homes that are dark and drab can drain energy levels and reduce productivity. In addition, dark rooms may not be inviting places to gather as a family or when entertaining. Certain factors contribute to a dark home. Houses that face north or east may not get the same level of sunlight as those that primarily face south and west. The style of a home and its attributes also may create dark conditions. Deep house eaves as well as small windows or too few windows can contribute to a deficit of light indoors. A major remodel certainly can remedy the situation. However, there also are other less extensive strategies to improve natural light: • Assess the situation before

Large windows and skylights that let in natural light make rooms far more inviting. renovating. Walk around the house and determine which rooms get the most light and which conditions may be contributing to the problem

in other areas. Dark floors and walls may be absorbing natural light and compounding the situation. You may find that only one or two

rooms need attention, saving you the cost and effort associated with a major home overhaul. THERE: see Page 7

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There are many ways to brighten a dark house CONTINUED from Page 6 • Lighten up window treatments. Heavy drapes or thick blinds can be replaced with translucent alternatives. Translucent shades will allow light into the room without compromising privacy, say the experts at HGTV. • Use mirrors strategically. A mirror placed opposite a window will reflect light all around the room. This can make a small room seem larger and a dark space instantly brighter. • Install new windows and doors. If the budget allows, installing larger windows in a home will allow more natural light in. French doors or sliding doors also may make a home’s interior brighter. Think about adding windows to a side of the house that has none, or increase the size of the windows on the side of

the house that gets the most light. • Maximize sunlight from above. Skylights will bring light into a home as the sun passes overhead. Tubular skylights can bring natural sunlight into spaces where you may not expect skylights to be practical. • Use reflective decor. Reflective surfaces, including glass and metal, can brighten up a room and diffuse light around a room. Glossy backsplashes, pendant lighting and shiny metal that reflect light can increase the natural light, balancing out dark spaces. • Prune trees regularly. Cut back branches and keep trees tidy to maximize sunlight. Avoid planting tall shrubbery in front of windows. • Routinely clean windows and glass doors.

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Pizzazz and practicality Walking into the show home of a professional new home builder is bound to elicit a few “oohs” and “ahs” from home buyers. With their dramatic entrances, sweeping vistas, soaring ceilings, gleaming floors and bold colours, today’s new homes are designed with flair and creativity. Professional new home builders understand their customers. They know that every home buyer is looking for that “special home” that’s just right for them. They spend a lot of time developing designs that capture the imagination — homes that combine design pizzazz and practicality, reflect today’s lifestyles and are great to live in.

With the incredible selection of styles and designs available today, it can be a challenge to narrow your choice down to a single home. As you visit model homes and look over builders’ plans, take time to consider how various designs would work for you and your family. Layout and Function Imagine living in the model home. Think about your daily routines and what’s important to you. • Does everyone rush out the door in the morning at the same time? • Where will the children play, study and watch TV while you are preparing meals? • Do you require a private space for work or relaxing,

Today’s new homes are not only stylish but they’re functional, inside and out. away from everyone else? ily a problem. Many models Talk with your builder who are available in different will show you the homes designs and layouts. Also, that are most suited to your new home builders are often lifestyle. What if you love able to customize plans and a particular model but the can advise you on cost and bathroom simply won’t work construction implications. for you? This is not necessarDESIGN: see Page 10

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Design puts an emphasis on flow CONTINUED from Page 8 Traffic Patterns Movement in, out and inside your home is an important aspect of design. • How easy is it to get grocery bags from the outside to the kitchen? • Is it easy to let the dog into the backyard? • Can kids take off their outside clothes without trekking mud into the house? • Do some areas serve as “corridors” to other areas, thereby limiting privacy and furniture placement? • Can everyone get around the whole house safely and easily? Space Many new home designs stress spaciousness rather than square footage. Smaller, well-designed homes can have all the details and

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The Delta Optimist Spring 2017

Formal and separate rooms have given way to open concept living in today’s homes. amenities you could want. High ceilings, sloped or cathedral ceilings and twostorey rooms add to the sense of spaciousness. This also allows for larger windows that extend your home visually

and bring in more natural light. Open Concept One of the enduring and popular design trends in new homes is the move away from formal and separate rooms

on the main floor. Eating, kitchen and living areas are integrated into a single “great room.” From the front entrance you can often enjoy a view to the rear of the home. GREAT: see page 12


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Great room challenges CONTINUED from Page 10 The open concept brings its own challenges for home owners. • Where to hang pictures? • How to add visual interest? • How to delineate different living and working areas without closing up the space? New home builders offer lots of possibilities. Bulkheads and other ceiling treatments provide visual interest and delineate spaces, while a mixture of lighting (ambient, task and accent) lets you create distinct atmospheres within the great room. Your choice of flooring can have a big impact; ceramic tile throughout the entire area, for instance, offers a different feeling than “mix and match” flooring. Columns, partial walls or glass-block walls can help to define private areas without taking

Even a large room can present challenges when it comes to furniture placement. away from the overall sense of open space. Furniture You need to consider how your furniture will fit into the home. A foot can make a big difference when it comes to putting a table in the breakfast nook or your couch in front of the fireplace. Know the dimensions of your furniture and bring a measuring tape so you can figure out

quickly if a particular model or layout has enough room. Also consider the placement of windows, doors, and perhaps fireplace, as well as traffic patterns. Even a large space can present challenges. Storage Without adequate storage, a home can become cluttered and harder to keep tidy. Look for closets located near the entrance door, not awkwardly

down the hall, and in every room as needed. Check that you have enough space for linen, seasonal clothing, sports equipment and so on. There is a wealth of storage solutions, from prefabricated units to built-in customized systems. Ask your new home builder for advice. Article provided by Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association.

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The Delta Optimist Spring 2017


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For over a decade AJ’ss Electrical has been lighting up the lower mainland, improving the look and value of homes. With experience in design, lighting aesthetics, energy savings, and customizing to the needs of our customers.

With bC Hydro rates continually rising AJ’s offers different and innovative energy saving options. With only LED bulbs and dimmers, we guarantee that these two options will make a difference in your monthly electrical bills without compromising on lighting quality. LED bulbs are documented to consume roughly 10% of the power required to produce the same amount of light as regular incandescent light bulbs. Dimmers are another way of increasing your power savings, by increasing the life of your light bulbs, and decreasing your electricity bills. the insulation of a dimmer will automatically reduce power consumption by 15%!

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Give landscaping an aquatic touch Homeowners can employ many different design techniques to create one-ofa-kind properties. Adding a water feature to a landscape is one such technique. Water gardens, koi ponds or fountains have been home landscaping trends for the past several years. Although water features can add an element of relaxation to landscapes, such features require maintenance to keep them attractive and running properly. The right design Homeowners should create a water feature design that is fitting with the scale and style of their homes while also keeping their lifestyles in mind. Ponds are popular water features and, like pools, come in both in-ground and above-ground styles. Aboveground ponds are easier and faster to build than in-ground

A fountain can add elements of elegance and relaxation to a property. ponds and may be safer options for parents of young children. Streams and waterfalls also

are popular and can make use of natural variations in property grading. Fountains can be freestanding struc-

tures or a component of a pond or another body of water. KEEP: see Page 15

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Keep safety, upkeep in mind when deciding on location CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14

Recognize that the location of the water feature can impact its maintenance. For example, a fountain or pond located directly under deciduous trees will require more frequent cleaning to remove leaf and tree debris. Ponds that receive direct sunlight may have more pronounced algae growth. Homeowners should work with a skilled water garden expert in planning the feature’s design and location with safety and upkeep in mind. Maintain pumps Water features require the constant flow of water to prevent stagnation and proliferation of mosquito and other insect larvae. That requires a pump to push the water around. The pump should be securely situated on level ground so vibrations

will not cause the pump to move around and eventually loosen fittings. Even pumps protected by an intake filter or screen can become clogged with debris. It’s necessary to routinely inspect the screen and the pump filter and remove any obstructions. Otherwise, the pump motor can overheat and malfunction. Keep in mind that debris also may include animal life, such as frogs and snakes. Finding balance The wrong balance of conditions in the water can cause problems. Controlling nutrients, which may involve watching the levels of nitrogen compounds and phosphorous, will help control the algae. Avoid locating the feature where lawn and garden runoff will find its way into the water.

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