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Photo courtesy of Pioneer Craftsmen

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Unique Renovations

very home is unique. The shape of a living space is formed by a complex equation, where the personal mixes with the public; it becomes a gallery of a private life with hidden corners. When we entertain, it is a medium of presentation, a stage from which we work to delight our guests. But it is also at times a sanctuary, an office and a playground. With all these parts for homes to play, it is no wonder the journey to make them complete can seem never-ending. More and more homeowners are deciding that the perfect home probably isn’t out there waiting somewhere, so they set out to create it. This is when the many roles of a home become an obstacle, as would-be renovators and redecorators are forced to prioritize their lives – a new living room for the family, or a new dining room for the guests? A playroom for the little one, a home theatre for the teen and his friends, or a new en suite bathroom for mom

and dad? Since most people are only prepared to take on one major project – the building of an addition or the complete remodelling of a room – at a time, getting the most out of your efforts and making everyone happy is no easy task. In fact, when left to themselves, many homeowners will never come to a confident decision, instead opting for an imperfect compromise, or just giving up altogether as their ambition tapers off. Even though they know the professionals will have to be called in eventually, they don’t realize that today’s home remodelling teams can offer an experienced helping hand right from day one. Consulting a design and build professional about your home goes far beyond a simple ‘this is what I want’ session. Remodelling teams are experts on the opportunities and challenges presented by different homes and different families. The best way to start a project is with an in-home conYour House and Home Resource Magazine

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sultation at which the designer can take a first look at the layout and construction of your home and get a feel for your tastes and lifestyle, giving him a vivid context in which to consider your wants and needs. These might be specific goals, like a bigger, more functional kitchen, or less tangible situations that need to be addressed – the kids getting older or a busy entertainment schedule. But a unique renovation goes beyond layout, function and décor – there is a less tangible source of flair and pizzaz in some homes and it comes from the true artistic nature of good design. The best remodelling professionals will help find a renovation that expresses your personality and brings excitement and character to the house. Photo courtesy of Pioneer Craftsmen

design, but to help the experts know and understand your family and your tastes – the things that will help define every aspect of a unique and personal project. To back up the visual aid, the second thing you can do to prepare for a design consultation is categorize your goals. Instead of trying to prioritize or choose between them, start by simply dividing them into a list of unavoidable or irresistible needs, and a list of dreams: ideal, fantastic or seemingly unattainable. Compromise, though it is an ugly word, is an unavoidable part of remodelling. But why make the difficult, balance-striking decisions by yourself? An experienced designer can offer solutions and alternatives that might never occur to the rest of us.

Photo courtesy of Pioneer Craftsmen

Whatever your aspirations, there are some things you can do to help forge a mutual understanding with the designer. The first is to put together a scrapbook; odds are you’ve been flipping through magazines and catalogues for inspiration, and when it comes to the décor and ambience of a living space, a picture really is worth a thousand words. Design scrapbooks need not be limited to specifics – no remodelling professional expects to see a photo of your precise vision. Clippings might be chosen for a single colour, accent or feature they contain, or because they just inexplicably caught your eye. Even if your sights are set on your kitchen, go ahead and throw in that breathtaking living or dining room you saw. The purpose of the scrapbook is not to act as a blueprint for the final 12

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Photo courtesy of Pioneer Craftsmen

As ideas start to come together, there is a third and very important aspect to consider: budget. Since the cost of renovations is difficult to predict, with countless price-point options and hidden expenses, this becomes another area where professional assistance is indispensable, and homeowners shouldn’t be afraid to openly discuss monetary concerns with their design and build team. Hammering out a detailed budget before the drafting stage is best – otherwise the design team’s first proposal might approach or exceed your desired spending limit. This means either the extra cost of a redesign, or an uncomfortable budget that

leaves little room for the incidental upgrades and additions that make the later stages of remodelling so much fun. At the end of the initial planning phase, the design team will start to present concept sketches and 3D renderings, depicting your vision through their eyes. This is the time to evaluate your relationship – are you confident that they have a true understanding of your dreams, and can build them and bring them to life? The real pros will be asking themselves the same question, and will be honest with the answer. But ninety per cent of the time, between

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ommunicative homeowners and experienced designers, that answer is yes: a good working relationship has been forged, and its time to sign a design and construction agreement. Drafting this contract involves working drawings and specifications from your design team, as well as the selection of some or all of the products that will be used in construction. Different agreements contain different levels of detail, depending on your budget, the scale of the project, and the amount of flexibility you want to have along the way. It’s also where you should agree on a timeline for the project and discuss any possible delays – especially if you need it done in time for a special day. Finally, once the contract is signed and the final designs are completed, construction begins. The home becomes a whirlwind of activity, and the imagined becomes the real right before your eyes. The design firm will manage the contractors and tradesmen from start to finish, and will come to you for all the decisions that weren’t made in the initial agreement. Similarly, they are there to hear all of your concerns, new ideas and desired changes to the plan. At nearly every stage of the project, there is opportunity to reduce your budget, increase or decrease the scope of the work, or splurge on some last-minute touches. Unique homes deserve unique renovations – functional showpieces that excite the family, welcome the guests and satisfy a healthy streak of decorator’s vanity – and homeowners deserve to be comfortable and confident throughout the renovation process, not weighed down with stress and tough choices. From start to finish, remodelling professionals have what it takes to make even the biggest projects fun and hassle-free, so you can focus on the true goals: empowering your home in its many roles, and making your living space match your life.

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Photo courtesy of Pioneer Craftsmen

The Big Living Space When choosing a remodelling project, the first thought is often: which room should I tackle? Similarly, when building an addition, homeowners tend to first consider what its primary function will be, or which part of the home it will expand. But modern trends in renovation are quite literally breaking down the walls between different rooms. In fact, as many as 75 per cent of home remodelling projects now focus on creating a combined family and entertaining space by uniting the living room and kitchen. The formal party has taken a back seat in recent years as more homeowners realize that the true joy of entertaining is found in the warmth and personality of a home. Many find that their kitchens play central roles not only in their day-to-day lives, but at their parties and family gatherings as well. As a result, they are becoming showpieces –

rooms that people want to be proud of, often even more so than the more traditional dĂŠcor hot-spots like living and dining rooms. The best and most popular way to embrace this is with a complete overhaul of the kitchen, often including an addition and the removal of walls or wall-segments between it and the living room. Central islands become eating, meeting and working hot-spots, for the kids to do homework or the guests to commiserate. The big living space also becomes an art gallery, as picture frames and memorabilia in the living room are met by display cabinetry and designer fixtures in the kitchen. With the spaces combined, the kitchen no longer has to be rigorously functional; it rejoins the flow of the home, and becomes a delightful part of your living space. Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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Photo courtesy of NuWay Kitchens

The New Kitchen Space Today’s kitchens become a seamless part of your life by being a seamless part of your home. Photo courtesy of NuWay Kitchens

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Cabinets: custom blend mushroom stain with dark glaze Hardware by Amerock: - pulls 4424RBZ - knobs 4425RBZ

Photo courtesy of NuWay Kitchens

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hen it comes to remodelling, there are few parts of the home as consistently chosen for a major project as the kitchen: as one of the most frequently used and heavily relied upon rooms in any house, it is a natural choice for renovation or expansion. But though it has always been a popular focus, modern lifestyle trends have drastically changed its use and the priorities for its design – as a result, many homeowners are unsure what will really make a kitchen that is right for them. Kitchen specialists have been working overtime to find creative ways to meet these new demands, and help homeowners find the perfect solution. Photo courtesy of NuWay Kitchens

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The most profound change to come from this has been a total re-imagining of the kitchen as a space, not a room – today’s kitchens become a seamless part of your life by being a seamless part of your home. This means defining the kitchen space in new and unexpected ways, instead of just walling it off. Floor lines, partial walls and tactically placed furniture can all form soft barriers while retaining a smooth, visual and functional flow in and out of other rooms. Modern homeowners are discovering a tendency to live in the whole house, and this sort of open layout can make it fully possible to do so. When creating this big living space, the kitchen portion is still a major focus of attention. In today’s homes it is a designer room, with a tremendous amount of care going into every detail of its layout, construction and décor. Function is the watchword – sleek and elegant styling is important and many homeowners are still seeking a traditional feel, but it is always accompanied by modern approaches to efficiency and ease of use. Kitchen layout has evolved as the kitchen has taken on more roles: it is now a cooking, eating, meeting, entertaining and sometimes even working space; it often needs to play several of these parts at once, accommodate numerous people or allow for a constant back-and-forth flow throughPhotos courtesy of NuWay Kitchens

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out a party. Modern designers are incorporating multiple islands, wraparound counters, and walkout patio doors meet the demands that a lively, dynamic home can place on its kitchen. Remodelling a kitchen involves a long list of decisions that will have to be made over the course of several meetings with a designer at various stages of the project, from the major initial choices through to final details and impulsive additions. In all cases, there are certain key elements that help to fundamentally define the style, atmosphere, flow and function of the final product. Flooring The kitchen has certain unique flooring needs that distinguish it from the rest of the house. Spills are always common, so ease of cleaning is a top priority, and a non-slip surface is absolutely essential for safety purposes. Ceramics, slates and hardwoods are all popular, style-flexible choices, with engineered laminates as an attractive alternative that comes with its own benefits. Cabinetry Most homeowners want a lot of storage space, so cabinetry has become a major fixture of the kitchen. As such, the choice of wood, finish and hardware all make a big contribution to the overall shape of the design and Photos courtesy of NuWay Kitchens

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available on today’s market can fit into the most fashionable of décors.

décor. There are many different species of wood to choose from for cabinet construction, all of which can be finished with a variety of stains, veneers and textures.

Fixtures Choosing designer fixtures can be a fun way to add a personal touch to your kitchen. There are many styles and finishes available that go well beyond the traditional products most homeowners are used to. Whether it is rubbed bronze for a regal presence, brushed steel for a contemporary flair or an aged rust finish for an antique, country home look, there is a designer fixture out there to perfectly match your tastes.

Most high-end cabinets are equipped with soft-close hinges that dampen the last few inches of motion to prevent slamming doors, and a popular new feature is to have everything in the lower cabinets roll out – pot and pan drawers, shelves, racks and baskets – so you never need to crouch and rummage around in the middle of cooking or cleaning. All the hinges, handles and other hardware are themselves available in dozens of styles and finishes, and there are also special accents available like glass lattices and interior lighting.

When it comes to kitchen renovations, most homeowners opt for a complete redesign – even those whose initial plan only involved a few choice upgrades. A professional kitchen designer can help blend the kitchen into the rest of the home and turn it into the efficient and stress-free zone that can be so hard to create within a poorly designed space. Combined with a perfectly tailored décor, it becomes a beloved central part of the home, aesthetically and functionally, for the family and their guests alike – the modern kitchen for the modern lifestyle.

Photos courtesy of NuWay Kitchens

Countertops The choice of countertop material has a huge impact on a kitchen both visually and functionally. There are many different materials to choose from, with natural choices like granite remaining popular, as well as options like stainless steel, tile and engineered stone. Man-made laminates are becoming increasingly common, even in very high-end kitchens: their durability and ease of maintenance is extremely appealing, and the many finishes and textures

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Outdoor Living ... Inside Comfort Canadians are discovering the joy of outdoor living, and the many ways to transform the garden into a functional extension of the home.

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andscaping projects are more popular than ever. The cutting-edge work being done by local landscape architects is making its mark throughout the area, to the point that many neighbourhoods have become veritable galleries of garden design. But all this effort isn’t being spent simply to create well-manicured showpieces. Following a trend that has filtered up from the southern United States, Canadians are discovering the joy of outdoor living, and the many ways to transform the garden into a functional extension of the home. For help, homeowners and their architects are turning to expert suppliers and installers of outdoor equipment. Of course, our climate puts its own spin on the challenges involved: extending the season is of top importance, since many homeowners are reluctant to invest in an outdoor space that will only be comfortable for a few

months of the year. Thus, one of the most important areas of innovation for outdoor living is heating. The possibilities for outdoor heating extend far beyond the traditional umbrella-style patio heaters most people are used to – though somewhat effective under certain conditions, the slightest wind or a really cold night can render them useless. In some situations radiant heaters are still best, but homeowners can also choose from a variety of more interesting and exciting solutions. Options here include gas and wood-burning fireplaces, cottage-style or contemporary fire pits and faux-wood gas fixtures that look like campfires. There are even double-sided fireplaces that can be built into the exterior wall of the house, providing heat as well as a striking visual feature both inside and out. When chosen to suit the layout, style and functional requirements of a garden, an outdoor fireplace can quickly become a nexus of activity and a much-loved centerpiece. Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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Photo courtesy of Big Green Egg (Dealer: Wellington Fireplace)

The many back-yard chefs out there are probably already thinking about the other key role that fire plays in outdoor living – and they will not be disappointed. Summer barbecue parties are something of an unofficial national tradition in Canada, and building the perfect outdoor kitchen is a central focus of many local landscaping projects. Homeowners seeking more than just a barbecue on the deck will find no shortage of options. For starters, modern outdoor kitchens go beyond simple grills: smokers, warming ovens and cooking stoves are all available for the established or aspiring gourmet. The devoted entertainer can consider fridges and even beer-taps as well – a great way to create a relaxed and casual gathering spot. Whatever the appliances and features, the second

Photo courtesy of Bull Canada Tahoe - this rustic fashionable garden grill with its brown and white components, create a most attractive visual effect. The decorative copper surface gives it an exclusive

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stage of building an outdoor kitchen is bringing the whole array together in a functional and harmonious kitchen space, designed to visually compliment the home and garden. Typically, this means laying paving stones in a dedicated spot and building a fixed counter to house all the equipment, creating a garden room with all the definition and unity of a normal kitchen. Natural and engineered stone countertop products come in many colours, finishes and cuts, and working with an architect or a masonry expert opens up vast possibilities for a unique and personal outdoor kitchen. Depending on space and budget, your design might incorporate islands, bars, tables, wraparound counters and more. If an outdoor living space is to get proper use, it has to be comfortable. In addition to heating, landscape architects use decks, gazebos and semi-enclosed structures to create welcoming garden rooms. But it’s the finishing

Photo courtesy of Bull Canada Outdoor gas Fire Pit features: - Ceramic gas fire logs & lava rocks - Stucco base - Custom tile top - 48"w x 48"d x 17.5"h - rock or brick base - granite tile top and hearth surround with bull nose edge detail

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touch of furnishing that often makes or breaks a comfort zone, and the options at this stage are thankfully no longer limited to boring, uncomfortable aluminium and vinyl patio furniture. The traditional frame-and-cushion style is still popular, and chairs of this type are available in countless designer styles; there is also high-end, ultra-durable wicker furniture that holds up to rain and wind. Perhaps the most exciting new development is specialty fabrics and padding materials that dry almost instantly by allowing water to pass straight through them, which have made it possible to put upholstered chairs, loveseats and couches outside. Creating an outdoor living space starts as a landscaping project, but the task will no doubt grow to include other specialists as your list of wants and needs matures. A landscape architect can include the many features – fireplaces, hot tubs, kitchens, flower beds and more – in a cohesive design. The experts in outdoor appliances, heaters, furniture and materials will help you find the perfect products for the project, and will co-ordinate their installation work with your architect to ensure it is done easily and on time. The final product is more than a garden or an accessory to the home: it is an extension of the living space – an extension of your life.

Photo courtesy of DCS Freestanding Patio Heater features: - Emits and Efficient 40,000 Btu’s of Heat - Up to 20 ft. Circle of Heat - Safety Shut-off - Available for Natural Gas or Liquid Propane fuel types

Photo courtesy of Heat N Glo

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Photo courtesy of Station Earth

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High-Tech Homes Bring the experience of “going-out” into your home.

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any of the greatest possibilities in modern design lie in one popular pursuit: bringing the experience of ‘going out’ into the home. Cottages are being replaced by landscaped ponds and back-yard living spaces, and gyms are giving way to resistance pools and workout rooms. But perhaps the most exciting new trend is a field driven by the newest and most advanced technology: home theatre systems.

Photo courtesy of Station Earth

The days of clunky stereo receivers and unsightly speakers are gone. Modern equipment eliminates the need for a stack of interconnected devices, each with its own remote, plus an extra-large entertainment unit to house it all. It can also get rid of those racks of CDs and DVDs, and the chore of keeping them organized. Instead, picture a room completely unmarked by wires; a keypad next to the light switch is the only electronic device you can see. The bed does not face a television, but instead a work of art—until the system is engaged. At once the lights dim and the painting rolls up to reveal a 65” plasma screen bearing a list of movies and albums. At the touch of another button, music fills the room from some unseen source. Or perhaps the screen descends from the ceiling, or emerges from a compartment beneath the bed. The possibilities are virtually endless. The ideal time to install a high-tech, house-wide system is while building, well before the drywall stage - that way, the system designer can consult with the architect to ensure absolutely no visible wires. Since wiring at this phase is cheap and easy, the entire home can be outfitted for future additions to prevent any drilling and rewiring later.

Photo courtesy of Station Earth

For those without this luxury, a theatre design team can make nearly any modifications to an existing home, though it will sometimes mean striking a balance between the perfect system and the cost and hassle of renovations. When it comes time to consult with a designer, it’s important to consider what kind of features you want installed, and what your budget is complete installations can cost anywhere from ten-thousand to half-a-million dollars. For many homeowners, the number one goal is to have fully distributed audio—the music they want, when they want it, in any room of the house. Thanks to modern in-wall speakers and soundproofing techniques, the source can remain invisible, while the music retains a high-quality sound and doesn’t bleed Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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into adjacent rooms. A system like this is controlled from panels, either keypads or LCD touch screens, in every room. The interface marries all available media sources CDs in a multi-disc changer, MP3s on a hard-drive, satellite radio feeds and more - into one list.

A high-tech home theatre room with distriA system like this is controlled from panels, either

Programmable presets add even more possibilities. A touch of a preconfigured ‘Entertain’ button could dim the lights to a chosen level and begin a dinner party music play-list in selected rooms. Or a ‘Home Alone’ button could load your favourites and turn the volume up a few notches. The other popular goal among homeowners, especially big movie buffs and those with children, is to build a truly awe-inspiring home theatre. In recent years, modern audio and video equipment has made it possible to give up the long lines and high prices of the movie theatre without sacrificing the experience. Plasma screens are commonly available at sizes of up to 65”, projector screens can go even larger, and the widescreen format means movies can be watched unedited. An accompanying surround-sound audio system makes modern home theatres nearly identical to the real thing. At the design phase of a house, rooms like this

Photo courtesy of Station Earth

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buted audio throughout the rest of the house. keypads or LCD touch screens, in every room.

can be totally isolated: suspended within a larger room and connected by pipes coated in Styrofoam, so you can take full advantage of the sound. Of course many homeowners opt for both: a high-tech home theatre room with distributed audio throughout the rest of the house. The system designers will set everything up to run from the same core, so the same music can be accessed from every room, and the same movies are available on any television in the house. In fact, the system can also store photo albums and just about any other media, and deliver them on-demand at the touch of a keypad. At the heart of it all it is, in fact, run by that stack of interconnected boxes, but they are rack-mounted and hidden, and once they are set up, there is little need to access them again. For the kids, it is also possible to integrate a system like this with the newest video game consoles, and playing their Xbox on a wall-sized projector screen with surround sound will definitely bring smiles to their faces. Parents often find that their theatre quickly becomes the favourite hangout for their children and their friends, keeping them nearby but with plenty to do. The technology in distributed media melds beautifully with many other areas of home design. The best custom systems are combined with lighting controls, thermostats and a computer network for a truly integrated and almost futuristic home. Door sensors snap into action to light your route to the living room where your favourite show is just about to start; wall jacks and wireless coverage make homework and web surfing in any room a breeze. The luxuries of modern technology have always come with disadvantages, from awkward and limited controls to the obstacles of wires and equipment, but the newest systems available are levelling the playing field. The command of a vast media library can be embedded in the wall, and the authentic movie theatre experience can be tucked away under the bed. Photo courtesy of Station Earth

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Photo courtesy of WrightHaven Homes

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here are many reasons people consider bungalows when building or shopping for a new home. Eliminating the need to trek up and down the stairs is becoming increasingly appealing to a segment of the home buying public, especially because of age, medical conditions, or the need to care for elderly relatives. Many are simply looking for a long-term home that they can keep into retirement, and are craving the simple, functional nature of a one-storey design. 28

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But despite the attraction of bungalows, many home seekers aren't quite ready for life on a single floor. In response to this growing demographic, modern home designers have introduced a new type of living space: the bungaloft. Though it may sound like a contradiction in terms, the two-storey bungalow is a truly unique design. It allows homeowners to enjoy all the key elements of modern living


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Bungalofts Though it may sound like a contradiction in terms, the two-storey bungalow is a truly unique design.

– a kitchen, dining area, family room, guest room, den and laundry room, along with a master suite – on one floor, while making use of what would normally be the attic for all the additional functions of the home. There are many possibilities for the space: children's bedrooms, a home office or theatre, a studio or an exercise space – all rooms that benefit from being partially removed from the main flow of the home. Photo courtesy of WrightHaven Homes

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existing space is far less expensive than building an addition, and it can still be a significant boost to the value of a house. Professionals who have latched on to the trend are constantly working to perfect the art and find new design solutions for maximum efficiency, so home seekers can expect the possibilities of the bungaloft to grow even more vast in the near future. The term 'loft' traditionally refers to the attic or upper portion of a building, and has increasingly become associated with the idea of utilising a preexisting but unexploited space. The bungaloft is a powerful application of this concept, turning the attic – often neglected in existing houses, and an unavoidable structural necessity in all bungalows – into an efficient and versatile compliment to the home. Bungalow owners have been known to comment that they could 'fit a whole new house' in their attics, and the bungaloft enables them to do just that.

Photos courtesy of WrightHaven Homes

In addition to the functional advantages bungalofts present exciting design opportunities. Differing rooflines, angled ceilings, beams and other fixtures of the attic lend themselves naturally to the quaint, cozy spaces that bungaloft buyers are usually hoping to create. Beyond even that, there are possibilities like dormers and designer windows, walk-out balconies, custom staircases and openfloor areas that look down on the living room or entryway. More and more architects and builders are offering the bungaloft option, either as a new home or a remodelling project on a traditional bungalow. Even in a mid-sized home it is entirely possible to build numerous rooms and make the new loft a gift for the whole family. Converting an 30

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Photos courtesy of WrightHaven Homes

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Antique Ambience Decorating an older home.

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ohn and Stacey went out house-hunting with a very

specific living space in mind, and they found it – almost. It was a beautiful building, with an old-fashioned feel that perfectly suited their tastes, but it lacked many of the more modern living comforts that were also important to them. Moreover, it needed to be completely furnished and decorated with an eye for maintaining and enhancing the home’s antique ambience.

One thing was clearly in their favour: the house didn’t need any structural changes. With the help of a local interior designer, they were free to put all their creative energy into the décor. Their consultations started with some discussions about choice features and pieces of Photo courtesy of Sara Ness Interiors

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Photo courtesy of Sara Ness Interiors

furniture and after one long evening meeting, their scattered

“I wish I had done it sooner,” says Stacey, who had

ideas had snowballed into a cohesive plan. The living

considered doing the work in stages but is glad she didn’t.

and dining rooms were to be major focal points, along with

“I was almost afraid of the project, but I shouldn’t have

a convenient and efficient modern kitchen. John and Stacey

been. I bit the bullet and did it.”

were under a bit of stress – it wasn’t long until Christmas, and they hoped to have their home ready for the holidays

Before long, they were installing the centerpieces that

– but as the work got underway, they began to enjoy them-

now define the décor, not the least of which is the old coal-

selves.

burning fireplace that warms the living room both literally Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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and aesthetically. Next, wood furniture finished in robust, antique tones came together with stately darkleather pieces for a pervasive feel of relaxed, welcoming opulence. This is the point at which many homeowners find the options too hard to navigate and the choices too hard to make by themselves. Accessorizing an entire home with today’s unimaginably vast store of products and possibilities is no easy task without the help of an interior decorator. Through a lot of discussion and a lot of cataloguesurfing, as well as visits to their decorator’s retail store and showroom, John and Stacey were able to hone in on the accessories best suited to the old-fashioned ambience they hoped to create. The lighting is traditional and decorative with ornate wall sconces, an eclectic array of lamps, plus a Photos on these pages courtesy of Sara Ness Interiors

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chandelier above the dining room table. Large woodframed mirrors in the entryway and living and dining rooms are offset by smaller, more colourful wall-hangings and the occasional plant or flower. As subtle finishing touches, a few unique pieces with exceptional character are peppered throughout the home: a large, thick-rimmed clock, an old-fashioned, free-standing globe and a gate-like, wrought metal wall-hanging to name a few. After making all their decisions, they spend a day with the decorator arranging, hanging, placing and perfecting. By the end, a home they originally found uninviting had become warm and elegant, evoking and enhancing the many qualities that made them choose the house in the first place. Though they still have one or two decisions to make, John and Stacey are now living in their dream home with their dream dĂŠcor.

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Home Space to Work Place Office designers are able to use all the tools of interior design alongside modern furniture and technology to create a perfect working environment.

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n the age of small businesses and busy careers that don't stay confined to the traditional nine-to-five, more and more people are discovering that they need a quiet, comfortable home office. The remodelling and interior design industries are changing to reflect this need, with some specialists turning their attention to the paradoxical challenges of weaving a working space into a living space: a good home office must be both a coherent part of the home and a detached, contrasting environment that breeds concentration. There are many situations in which a professionally designed home office can be practically life-changing. Operating a small business is certainly near the top of the list, since even business owners who have office space outside the home usually find that it becomes a twenty-four hour job, with plenty of tasks, worries and loose-ends that come to mind long after the workday is over. One of the biggest problems small business owners face is the difficulty of staying focused in their houses: cramped, unwelcoming

offices are hardly conducive to work, and the home offers too many easy diversions when business becomes unpleasant and uncomfortable.

Photo courtesy of Royal City Design

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Others need a space for the work they bring home from their day jobs, or simply for their personal projects. In all cases, the reasoning is


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the same: rented office space comes with a considerable monthly price tag, usually $1000 at the very least; besides, few people want to stay at the office all evening and drive home at night – it makes for a tiring day, and even becomes a safety concern in bad weather. People find it much easier to drum up that overtime energy if they know that, when they are done, home, family and a warm bed are only a room away.

essential. The office will be highly efficient and well equipped, and it probably won't be the most decorative room in the home, but the subtleties of its ambience and visual appeal can go a long way towards making or breaking that perfect work environment. Office designers are experts on both fronts, able to use all the tools of interior design alongside modern furniture and technology to accomplish the job.

So what goes into a good home office? As in all interior design, the right balance of form and function is

The best teams offer a full turnkey solution, managing every aspect of the project from the design phase through Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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to completion. The first thing they need to know is your needs: privacy and a level of detachment are usually early considerations, as well as the necessary space for filing cabinets, storage areas, bookshelves – and sufficient room to work. The key is to make everything convenient and accessible, so the many tasks of business don't disrupt your workflow, and also to ensure that the office can do everything that is required of it. For some, a printer and fax machine table is an absolute necessity; others need a secondary desk for a book-keeper or another member of their team. Not only can an office designer install all the necessary phone jacks and power outlets and take care of other technical aspects, but they can even co-ordinate such additional needs as extra parking. Often, an office project starts with a piece of furniture that the homeowner has picked out or bought already: executive desks and comfortable chairs are the favourites. Office designers can work wonders around a centerpiece like this by building custom furniture to accompany it, or even by doing custom millwork to modify the store-bought piece. Tailoring the furniture to the space is the best way to maximize your investment and the efficiency of the final product. The fact is, though it is easy to find one or two pieces that are exactly what you want, assembling the perfect set can be nearly impossible. Not only can custom furniture match or contrast the décor as you desire, it will never waste space: tables and bookshelves run the entire length of the wall, with no useless gap at either end; credenzas and filing cabinets are sized precisely to meet your needs: no larger, no smaller.

Photo courtesy of Royal City Design

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Creating the right office décor is slightly different from decorating the rest of the home. Usually an office will have something that sets it apart from other rooms, like a different choice in colour, flooring or lighting. Fluorescent fixtures are the usual choice for home offices, since they are available in numerous styles that go beyond simple, office-like light strips. Similarly, there are several styles of fluorescent suspended ceiling lights – such as raised or embossed panels – that add a personal flair while maintaining a professional ambience. When it comes to paint, home offices need not be confined to the traditional whites and greys of the ‘business’ décor. Warm, welcoming tones, along with attractive, high-grade flooring, are a good way to ensure your office will draw you in, not drive you out. Nearly everyone has smiled, at least once, at the thought of a home office. Whether it is to do their job, write letters, manage a business, trade stocks, keep memoirs, do research or something else altogether, nobody is without a use for a well designed work area. Perhaps the biggest obstacle they face is finding the space, though there are options in most homes: an unfinished room in the basement, an underused guest bedroom, and of course the more complex but more flexible option of building an addition. Whatever you choose, a skilled office design team will employ their expertise in lighting, décor, furniture, technology and all other elements of an office to use the space to its fullest. That way, once the job is done, you can too.


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Welcome Home Homeowners are discovering the potential to create the same peaceful and rejuvenating atmosphere of “cottage life” in their own back yards.

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ot everyone has time for a cottage – and that includes a lot of people who own them. After planning, packing, buying supplies and spending a whole afternoon on the 400, the weekend up north that was supposed to be an escape can feel more like a chore. For those with unrelenting schedules it can be hard to get away for more than a night or two, and it often feels as though you are already planning the trip back home the moment you arrive. The simple fact is that cottages aren’t always such a great place to relax. As a result, many people are becoming reluctant to buy property up north, while others are looking to sell cottages that have seen far less use than expected. A great deal of that time, attention and money is being redirected into landscaping projects, as homeowners discover the potential to create the same peaceful and rejuvenating atmosphere in their own back yards. Cottages are beloved for their seclusion and simplicity: there is something inexplicably energising about being intertwined with nature. A landscape contractor may not be able to recreate the dazzling stars or crisp air of a Muskoka night, but they can design a functional garden that meshes perfectly with the natural environment around your home, harnessing, retaining and even augmenting its beauty instead of ignoring or disrupting it. In order to do so, they have begun to re-examine some long-standing traditions in landscape design. Why, for example, is the deck almost exclusively positioned against the house, even on an estate-sized property? A powerful new tactic is to push the deck away from the home, surround it with gardens, trees and other natural elements, and perhaps even sacrifice a large patio space in favour of several small, floating structures. Deck space can then be incorporated into a multiroomed layout, where the landscape is compartmentalized

Photo courtesy of Montana Raven

with hard and soft barriers – flower beds, dwarf trees, masonry structures and changes in paving material to name a few – forming a series of connected areas, each with its own ambience and degree of seclusion ranging from bright and open to cozy and practically hidden. With such a design, relaxing on the deck doesn’t just mean turning your back to the patio door for a few hours, but rather escaping to a semi-private retreat, surrounded by nature, where you can feel enclosed and temporarily removed from the house. An overall natural look is essential to creating this atmosphere, and a good contractor can pick the right design elements to achieve it. One of the first and most dominant features considered is often the flagstones: natural stone is the preference, with manufactured interlocking products that simulate the natural look gaining ground as a flexible and less expensive alternative. Another common tool in modern landscape construction is wood, chosen for its innate character and beauty – a century-old barn beam, weathered and wormholed, can become any number of magnificently crafted garden centerpieces. Water features are always popular, and the current trends lean towards small, subtle installations like waterfalls and bubbling rock structures whose main contribution to the garden is pleasant white noise. Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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Photo courtesy of Renaissance Landscape Group

Landscape contractors, especially when faced with a property that is mostly flat, will suggest ways to enhance the natural topography with a variety of aesthetic and functional structures such as a low stone ‘seat wall’ running through a chosen part of the garden. Getting the most out of a feature like this is all about the details of its design: letting the top coping stone sit forward and hang over the edge of the wall will keep snow from collecting on the rest of the masonry; when combined with some subtle lighting, this becomes not only a twenty-four hour, year-round display, but one that is perhaps at its most radiant on a cold winter’s night. Plant life is often chosen for the same reason: dwarf trees, perennials, ornamental grass and other elements of an all-season garden are more popular than ever. Their positioning, and indeed the layout of the entire garden, will depend on the surroundings. Those lucky enough to have property that backs onto a natural setting, like a forest or conservation area, will want their gardens to become one with the adjacent land; those who are in close-quarters with roads or other homes may want a design that offers total seclusion. In most cases, it is a combination of both: shaping the landscape to accentuate pleasant views and 40

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favourable surroundings while blocking out or at least minimizing the impact of anything undesirable. Ontario boasts some beautiful cottage country – nobody can deny that. But it also boasts many beautiful houses and plots of land, many talented landscape contractors and many busy modern families. It’s no wonder the tendency has arisen to bring rest and relaxation close to home, instead of leaving it at the far end of a cottage-weekend marathon. In fact, the trend isn’t limited to landscaping: from home theatres to home spas, many of today’s most popular upgrades to a living space focus on replacing going out with staying in. Whether you’ve got a busy career, a small business, kids in school, a baby to care for or all of the above, odds are you’re not too enthusiastic about setting out on a six hour drive every time you have a weekend free; add in conflicting schedules, homework, sports leagues, music lessons and chores around the house and it’s often not even possible. With the help of a talented contractor the landscape can be a custom-tailored retreat that is easily accessible to the whole family, which means your new travel plans will be simple: take a stroll down the garden path.


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The Front Lawn Even the most intricate and authentic natural-style landscaping projects often include a nice, clean-cut front yard. After all, in most homes, the front yard serves a very different purpose: the main garden is a place to relax, play and entertain, while the front is primarily a display piece. This means that most homeowners want to give it a personal touch that distinguishes it from other houses on the block without spending a large chunk of their time and resources on it or letting it become flamboyant and overwrought: simplicity is the key. More and more homeowners are opting for two or three choice varieties of plant life to create an elegant, understated motif, sometimes combined with the same type of stone ‘seat wall’ and low-key lighting that are popular aesthetic features in the back yard. Landscape architects also stress that the driveway should not break up the view – too often it is a hulking, brutal slab that cuts through the grass and flowerbeds and into the garage. Blending it with its surroundings using walkways, colours and plants can reverse this effect and bring the whole front yard into harmony.

Photo courtesy of Montana Raven

Most homeowners also want their front garden to be low-maintenance, so much so that many are installing putting-green style artificial grass. Modern nylon grass products come with twenty-year guarantees and are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, even under close inspection. Though some people are relutant to give up genuine grass, there is always something attractive about saying goodbye to sprinklers, lawnmowers, fertilizers and pesticides on the front lawn.

A professional contract is important for any landscape Photo courtesy of Forestell Designed Landscapes

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Don’t forget the floor as decor! People are drawn to hardwood for many reasons. Its beauty and ambient effect may be foremost, but there are lots of secondary benefits as well.

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ardwood flooring is more popular than ever – it is a powerful fashion statement as well as a sound investment in your home. It seems that nearly every new construction and major remodelling project involves hardwood in some or all parts of the house, and suppliers of natural and engineered wood are expanding their offerings every year, opening up diverse new design possibilities. Whatever the demands of your tastes and lifestyle, there is a hardwood product that is up to the task. The flooring you choose will set the aesthetic tone of every room it is in, so it’s vital that it suits the décor you hope to create. Natural hardwood can achieve many different looks through the choice of lumber – Red Oak and Maple are always popular and abundant in Canada – and the finishing treatment, anything from simple stains to hand-scraped, wire brush effects or realistic weathering and distress. When it comes to engineered wood there is an even greater catalogue of designer colours and textures available. Most manufacturers supply flooring pre-stained in many warm, carefully crafted tones of brown, red, tan and cream that can be subtle but stunning or bold but balanced in any atmosphere. They also make use of cutting-edge research and the latest scientific advancements to create protective coatings that are UV and scuff resistant but don’t affect the appearance of the finish, helping to ensure that fading and damage won’t diminish the beauty of the floor over time. The other design element of hardwood flooring is its layout and construction. Many homeowners are combining different types and finishes of flooring to build patterns and borders that accent pieces of furniture and alter the visual flow of the home. Some opt for complex custom patterns while others want simple twists like diagonal planks or a frame around a chosen room. The options here are again somewhat more diverse with engineered wood, since it can be cut into much wider planks and laid in more complex arrangements than natural hardwood, which reacts too drastically to moisture.

Suppliers of natural and engineered wood are coming up with new design possibilities every year. The flooring you choose will set the aesthetic tone of your room. There is an ever expanding range of textures, effects and patterns to choose from. Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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Making and committing to so many long-term choices is not easy, which is why many homeowners are employing the help of flooring experts for a complete hardwood solution, rather than shopping for store-bought products and hiring a team of installers. There are many advantages to working with one group of professionals from start to finish, not the least of which is that many of these experts employ interior designers and consultants to visit your home, listen to your needs and help you with the tough decisions, or co-ordinate with your own interior designer on a larger project to ensure the flooring fits the master plan. When choosing natural hardwood, there are several technical considerations that also call for the help of an expert. Natural wood reacts to moisture and temperature, and if the climate of the house isn’t properly checked and controlled then there is the possibility of cupping, gapping, buckling and other damage to the floors. A professional team will acclimatize the wood to your home by leaving it there for around 72 hours prior to installation, thus preventing any immediate shifting as the wood settles into its new environment. They will also be able to find the places that hardwood should not be installed – on a solid concrete basement floor, above a crawlspace, or anywhere else that allows moisture to come up from underneath. When building a new home with the hopes of installing hardwood, the experts recommend putting a dehumidifier in the basement the moment it is enclosed: there are always gallons of water trapped as moisture in a newly built home, and it will be absorbed by everything – especially natural lumber. Even when perfectly acclimatized and installed, natural hardwood needs good climate control and will likely still form a few small gaps in the winter as it dries out, and tighten up again in the summer.

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Nonetheless, a little air conditioning and heating to keep the house at an average temperature is usually enough to preserve the floors in all seasons and for years to come. In homes with wood stoves or electric heat, both of which can create dry conditions, a humidifier is sometimes needed to prevent creaking or cracking – flooring experts suggest a constant humidity of around 45-50%. Although natural wood will always have a unique allure, the extra care it requires has prompted many homeowners to choose engineered wood for its superior stability. There is very little difference in price between natural and engineered products, and manufactured wood reacts far less drastically to changes in climate. This, combined with the extra-durable finishes and coatings, makes it a very low-maintenance option. People are drawn to hardwood for many reasons. Its beauty and ambient effect may be foremost, but there are lots of secondary benefits as well: real estate agents often see hardwood flooring as the easiest feature to sell a home by, which in turn means banks are ready and willing to put money up for it in a mortgage-funded construction or renovation. Whatever your motivation, the end result will be the same: a fashionable and highly personalized canvas on which to paint the décor of your dreams.


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Shopping for Hardwood Before hiring a flooring team for a complete solution, most homeowners still want to have a look around to see what is available to the consumer. Unfortunately, without full knowledge of hardwood flooring, they are left to place their trust in salespeople and catalogues when comparing products and price-points. Whether you are looking to buy or just on a fact-finding mission, there are certain indicators you can use to evaluate the products you see. As usual, the best indicator is price. This is not to say that every homeowner needs top-end designer hardwood for $17 per square foot, but they should be wary of bargain rates like $3.99. In general, good quality and worthwhile flooring starts at around $7, uninstalled.

Higher quality wood generally comes in longer planks and should have fewer knots, discolorations and other blemishes, unless it is a line specifically chosen for variation and character, so it is important to ask questions and keep a critical eye. Inquire about the finish as well: better flooring, especially engineered wood, will be much more durable and fade-resistant, and will come with a longer warranty to prove it. The problem is, there are still many factors in the quality of hardwood flooring that are difficult for the average homeowner to evaluate just by looking at a sample board. If the product is not milled properly and precisely, there will be gaps at every cross-seam, and a greater chance of problems arising because of moisture. This is one of the reasons why the advice of a trusted flooring expert is often irreplaceable. Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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Choosing A Landscape Architect Consider the following factors as you shop for and compare landscape professionals.

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hoosing a professional to work on your home can be a daunting task. The architect, contractor and other experts behind a major project will shape the changes to a living space, and many homeowners become hesitant to make a final decision. When it comes to landscaping, this is perhaps doubly true. Modern trends all lean towards getting the most use out of a garden: discreet lighting for comfort late into the night, ‘garden rooms’ for privacy and the impression of added space, and year-round designs that retain their beauty even in the middle of winter. Since many people are opting for complete garden overhauls, there is pressure to hire the best of the best: a landscape architect who can meet your needs while making you feel comfortable and confident.

Photo courtesy of Brydges Landscape Architecture

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In today’s market, homeowners can shop around and compare reputations, price points and areas of expertise – but the job is more demanding than reading labels. The lucky ones feel the beginnings of an excellent working relationship at their first or second consultation, others not until their sixth. When choosing a landscape architect, be ready to have an hour-long chat with a handful of different professionals. Much of the decision will be intuitive, depending on your impressions and comfort level, but there are also some points to keep in mind throughout the process and bring up at your various meetings. Can they listen to your needs and match your style? Some landscape architects specialize in a particular


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style or part of landscaping, such as water features, lighting, natural stone, outdoor kitchens – and the list goes on. Still, most take pride in their ability to fulfill a client’s desires without imposing their experiences or personal tastes on them. In an initial consultation, the suggestions and options they present will help you judge if they understand, and are able to match, your tastes. Are they landscape experts, in theory and in practice? Different professionals in the landscaping field offer different degrees of service: there are architects providing plans that can be passed on to a landscape contractor, as well as design and build teams that offer a complete service. Both ends of the scale have drawbacks and advantages, and finding the right balance can be tough. It is very important that architects are experts in landscaping materials, not just conceptual design. If they lack the knowledge of natural stone, concrete, wood and the other structural elements of a garden, there is no guarantee that their plan will be practical or even possible for a contractor to execute. On the other hand, design and build teams can draw up plans with a detailed knowledge of the difficulties, expenses and time periods involved, but they are rarely as experienced or adept when it comes to the nuances of garden design.

Photos courtesy of Brydges Landscape Architecture

Somewhere in the middle there are the true artisans of landscaping, who have combined their talent for conceiving a beautiful outdoor space with the knowledge and organizational skills they need to see a project through to completion. In consultations with architects, it is good to probe their technical knowledge and dedication to their work, alongside your questions about style and vision. How big is their repertoire of connections? If you find an architect who is prepared to manage the other professionals involved in a landscaping project, your next question should be: where are those Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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professionals going to come from? A landscape architect’s connections in the field can make or break the end result of the project. The best architects – those who take real pride in their work – will not only have a list of tested and trusted contractors, but will be willing and eager to work closely with them, or at least supervise construction at various stages, instead of simply handing off their designs. A large repertoire of contemporaries in different fields will also open up more possibilities for your garden. Features like pools and spas, large trees, irrigation systems and outdoor kitchens all require the involvement of suppliers and specialists; a good architect will save you another shopping expedition and quickly find the best product at the best price. Are they cognisant of budgets? The simple fact is that everyone has one, and they don’t want to feel pressured to overextend it. Many landscaping projects are major investments: potentially as high as 30 to 40 per cent of the cost of the home. You should always discuss your budget in the early consultation phase, otherwise you might end up with unfinished work or an expensive design that you can’t use. Your landscape architect should be prepared to help prioritize your wants and needs to maximize the money spent, or offer short and longterm phasing plans that can be modified 48

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over time. When it comes to budget, comfort is the most important thing, and the best professionals will strive to retain it. Will they be helpful, available and communicative from start to finish? When it comes to landscaping, the design on paper is never exact. Even if no unforeseen obstacles crop up during construction, you will almost certainly be struck with new inspirations as you watch your garden take shape. Experienced architects know this and will encourage you to express yourself at any stage of the project. Considering these factors will sharpen your intuition as you shop for landscaping professionals, and asking questions about some or all of the points will help you gather relevant information at every consultation. The architects will want to learn about you as well, in order to decide if the project is right for them, so it helps to be prepared with your ideas, your budget, and some visual aids. Combine clippings from magazines and landscape portfolios with photos you take throughout the day whenever a garden element catches your attention – even if it’s just a single colour, feature or finish. At every meeting, be aware of the architect’s experience, commitment, level of involvement, and practical knowledge. With open lines of communication, the right relationship will be unmistakeable when it forms.


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Photo courtesy of Moonlighting Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor Lighting make your garden accessible all night long Lighting is such a highly customizable, efficient way to enhance so many aspects of the garden that it should be given as much attention as all other aspects of a landscaping project.

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here may be no more sensible investment for your home than outdoor lighting. Even beyond the fact that every home can benefit from the beauty of professional outdoor lighting, there is a long list of advantages that call out to every proud home and garden owner. In today's home improvement industry there are professionals that have dedicated themselves to lighting, offering an impressive array of customized systems and products that have become an essential part of landscape design. Without a doubt, lighting increases the value of your landscape investment by making your gardens and hardscapes accessible all night, whether to use or simply to gaze

upon and enjoy through the living room windows. For many, a busy work schedule takes up all the daylight hours, and landscape lighting is the best way to enjoy their garden throughout the evenings. An hour of unwinding can move from the TV room to the patio; a late dinner can be cooked on the barbecue. Lighting extends not only the hours, but the season as well. A popular trend in modern landscaping is to have a garden that is radiant all year round; the careful use of grasses, perennials and dwarf trees to ensure picturesque fall and winter scenes is infinitely enhanced by garden lights. In fact, images of snowy nights are often the most impressive part of a lighting designer's portfolio. Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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Another major benefit of landscape lighting is security. Whether it is their first interest or not, homeowners inevitably come to enjoy the peace of mind they gain when they are suddenly able to open the curtains and look out over their property at night. Lighting experts can design and install a system that brings all these advantages to the table, while matching the variety of your landscape, taste and lifestyle. The most dominant goal in modern landscape lighting is simple: the natural look. Just as most landscape projects today opt for natural stone, wood and water features over their engineered counterparts, the favourites in lighting fixtures lean towards simple and natural finishes: elemental materials like copper and brass that blend and disappear into the landscape. In fact, the number one philosophy among lighting professionals is that you should see the effect, not the source. By using lights with shields and inground well lights, the problems with glare in your eyes are over. Gone are the days of intrusive plastic fixtures that invade the garden setting.

In most cases, there is no need to even think about fixtures when considering a lighting installation – they are the tools of the experts, used to set the desired scene. It is much more important to decide what role the lighting will play, what chores it will perform and what luxuries it will supply – in short, how it will change your setting. The Functions of Outdoor Lighting A professional will devise a practical plan to meet your goals by dividing the elements of the lighting system into three main categories of functions. The first, task lighting, covers the parts that make your garden more functional. These are the fixtures that light walkways, barbecues, decks, hot tubs, pools and children's play areas – each task light has a specific purpose and meets a distinct need. The proper planning and installation of task lighting makes the landscape safer and more convenient. But many of these lights go far beyond their simple duty and contribute ambience and character to different parts of the garden. Others are installed with only this impact in mind, and perform no particular tasks. These aesthetic elements fall under the heading of mood lighting, and are an integral part of a good installation. A common trend in landscaping is the creation of garden 'rooms' by using barriers like trees, walls, walkways and the natural topography to break up the outdoor space, and carefully placed mood lighting is an excellent way to achieve and enhance this effect. The right installation can create separate atmospheres around the garden, adding weight to the natural barriers and increasing the impression of privacy and detachment. Curb appeal is heightened through architectural lighting: fixtures selected and positioned to highlight the exterior of the home. These are especially popular in the front yard, where they can single-handedly create a warm and welcoming frontage that will please the family and their guests alike. For many people, the primary role of their garden is to highlight and enhance the appearance of their home, so architectural lights become the most important part of their installation. Of course, many elements of landscape lighting transcend the borders between two or all three of the function categories. A task light on the porch, for example, might feature a bulb chosen to create a specific mood, and be positioned to illuminate the walk-out patio

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doors, bay windows or some other feature of the house. There is also a wide selection of specialty lights that can add final touches: things like perforated hanging fixtures that cast a 'starry night' pattern on the flagstones, lighting from behind waterfalls or within pools and streams, and floating fixtures that mimic lily pads. Customized Designs One might think that controlling a comprehensive system like this could be complicated, but landscape lighting professionals offer a range of central control systems, all customizable to individual needs. At the basic level, there are simple 'All On / All Off' switches, or systems that divide the lights into a handful of separate areas. More advanced controls allow the creation of presets to deal with different outdoor situations: settings that activate the mood lighting around various features – hot tubs and barbecue pits, or just certain flowerbeds, benches and other choice areas – as well as the necessary task lighting to reach them. A single button, on a keypad or even a remote control, can prime your outdoor space for any event, whether it is a family barbecue, a big garden party or a relaxing evening on the patio. With all the options for landscape lighting solutions, it is virtually impossible to create the perfect effect without the help of a professional. Lighting installers have access to a range of high-end fixtures and, most importantly, bulbs – products that are not easily found in stores. There are upwards of 40 types of bulbs to choose from when designing an installation, each with a different beam, intensity and

colour, and the experts know how to bring these tools together to set the best scenes possible with optimal effects. The essential things to prepare for a consultation is a list of needs and wants, and a firm idea of your budget – complete installations cost an average of five to ten thousand, but can easily soar much higher for larger properties or more intricate designs. A lighting installer can even plan a phased project with constant room for expansion. In fact, most homeowners opting for a complete solution can benefit from this tactic as well. The landscape is not absolute, and it's often worth paying a little extra up front to make sure the lighting won't be either. The pros can install an adaptable system that is geared towards future alteration and expansion as you add new features to your outdoor space, or as your schedule, habits and lifestyle change. Lighting is such a highly customizable, efficient way to enhance so many aspects of the outdoors that it should be given as much attention as all other aspects of a landscaping project. Even on a limited budget, the extra time you can spend in a well-lit outdoor area makes it a worthwhile investment, and if necessary it is often worth sacrificing some other plans to allow for the perfect lighting solution. Many Canadian homeowners are paying added attention to landscaping in recent years, with a distinct focus on maximizing use and convenience. If you are one of these people who recognize the benefits of outdoor lighting, then a pro- fessionally designed and installed landscape lighting system is the perfect step to creating that warm, hassle-free outdoor space for the whole family.

Photo courtesy of Moonlighting Outdoor Lighting

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An Alternative to

Photo courtesy of Tri-City Solar Solutions

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Window Replacement Window Films are a refreshingly fast and easy way to upgrade your home and achieve an immediate, noticeable effect.

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nstalling new windows can be an expensive and disruptive renovation, and when it only involves upgrading to better glass, it’s not the most exciting or creative project either. Many people with old homes or low-grade builder’s windows could benefit from modern, energy-efficient replacements, but just aren’t willing or able to invest the necessary time and money. Homeowners in this situation can consider the alternative of window films: adhesive sheets applied to the existing windows for better performance. Many people associate this idea with tinted windows, but today’s sunfiltration technology can in fact be incorporated into transparent window films that are designed to be virtually undetectable. Window film specialists can provide quick, easy and seamless installation throughout any home. There are many potential benefits to window films, and several different products are available to meet the needs of different households – your choice will dictate the final effect in your home. Some of the advantages come with all high-quality films in varying degrees, while others are built only into specialty products for those with specific requirements. When shopping around or consulting a professional, remember the five main functions of window films, and balance them against your goals. Protecting your Décor

conditioners – often accounting for as much as 70% of the total load – but they also create hot spots that are frustratingly difficult to eliminate. High-quality window films combat this effect by screening out about three quarters of solar heat, allowing you to enjoy the brightest summer days instead of closing half the blinds for the sake of comfort. Most homeowners experience a significant improvement in the temperature consistency and a drop in air conditioning bills. Getting the Most out of your View A clear day’s sunlight reflecting off the pool or a fresh blanket of snow is a beautiful sight – or rather it would be, if you could see it through the glare. Homeowners with lots of windows know that the sun can be so bright as to even be painful when it catches their eye throughout the day – yet another reason they are so often forced to block out the light rather than enjoy it. Many window films on today’s market can take the edge off the harshest glare spots, so you’ll be able to gaze outside without squinting. Altering the Ambience Though the improved power of today’s clear window films has made them the most popular choice, there are many situations or parts of the home where a tinted film is still desirable. New products in designer colours have made tinted window films an element of design, instead of its

Colour fading has plagued decorators for all of history, and unfortunately it’s a fact of science that can never be avoided – at least not without sacrificing the lively, sun-filled rooms that are a homeowner’s joy. Luckily, window films offer a way to slow down the process by filtering out large portions of the solar heat and ultraviolet light that together account for about 65% of fading. Visible light is responsible for about 25%, so a tinted film will go even further to preserve your décor, but clear window films are still the choice of many homeowners. Modern technology allows even virtually invisible films to block all but one or two per cent of ultraviolet light: the top culprit when it comes to fading. Improving Climate Control In the summer, windows let a lot of extra heat into a home. Not only do they increase the general toll on air

Photo courtesy of Tri-City Solar Solutions / Bekaert Specialty Films

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Strengthening your Windows, Safeguarding your Home All high-quality films have the added advantage of protecting your windows from daily use and the elements, strengthening them and preventing scratches and scuffs. before Meanwhile, some are designed with extra safety in mind: specialty products that reinforce the glass and hold it in place if it shatters. These safety films protect your windows from the unstoppable forces of nature like wind, hail and young kids, and eliminate the potential hazard of flying glass shards in an accident. Moreover, they are an excellent deterrent to thieves: even though they aren’t as resilient as the high-security films used on businesses and storefronts, the additional obstacle they create is enough to send most would-be burglars on to their next target. 54

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A window film specialist will help you find a product that combines these factors to meet the needs of your home. Installation can be finished in a day, and requires no more preparation than clearing a path to the windows. Amidst the many large and complex renovations that weigh on most homeowners minds – some that seem urgent, others merely tempting – window films are a refreshingly fast and easy way to upgrade your home and achieve an immediate, noticeable effect. after

Photo courtesy of Tri-City Solar Solutions / Bekaert Specialty Films

enemy. Options like bronze, silver and slate grey offer gentle ways to complement the décor or create a new mood, while still reaping all the practical benefits of tinted windows.


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New Home Fever CUSTOM HOME DESIGNERS Many of today’s designers offer packages that bridge the gap between a fully custom house and an off-the-shelf builder’s house.

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ntario has a case of New Home Fever. Communities, subdivisions and rural homes are springing up practically overnight, while builders are expanding and updating their design portfolios to meet the needs of modern families and fashions. Rarely have there been more options for the hopeful shopper, touring showcases and model homes. But variety, no matter how great, cannot satisfy every home-seeker, and choosing your home for years or decades to come is still as difficult as ever. This doesn’t mean the perfect living space is out of reach: some are patient enough to track it down or lucky enough to stumble across it, others opt to create it in an old

house by redecorating, remodelling and building additions. For those committed to a new home, house-hunting on a deadline, bearing specific needs or all of the above, the same exciting word inevitably comes to mind: custom. The fun and uniquely rewarding option of a custom home is no longer exclusive to those with the means to hire an independent architect and contractor. Many of today’s designers offer packages that bridge the gap between a fully custom house and an off-the-shelf builder’s one. This is accomplished with a large selection of flexible building plans that can be combined, extended and modified, in most cases without the need for complete redesigns or whole new architectural drawings. It gives you Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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the opportunity to tailor the size, layout and configuration of the home and choose many of the features, design elements and materials, all within a prepared framework that is devised to be as customizable as possible. 56

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If you’re in the market for a custom home, odds are you’ve visited a few model homes, looked through some magazines and toured various neighbourhoods, and now you have a pretty good idea of what you want. Nonetheless, the first step – communicating those mental images to a home designer – is a challenge. But like so many home design challenges, it’s also an exciting and engaging activity. As an understanding emerges and the ideas begin to flow, specific decisions will have to be made. Certain features make the top of nearly everyone’s list: large, luxurious en suites with whirlpools and built-in showers are a popular added room, and hardwood is chosen as a dominant or accenting material in the majority of today’s homes. Builders offering customizable designs are especially prepared to accommodate these and other common requests. The kitchen is a major focus for many, and builders have made it one of the most highly configurable rooms in their plans, with hundreds of upgrades to choose from. Extra windows are also popular for the many improvements in lighting, ventilation and ambience they supply. Apart from offering several design options, custom builders will also ensure the windows meet the airflow and insulating needs of the home – just as they will help solve all the functional challenges of other desired features: half-walls, breakfast bars, custom staircases, arches, columns and glass doors to name a few.

they will from the initial consultation right until the day you turn the key. The first step to getting the most out of a custom home – and enjoying yourself in the process – is a more fluid budget with specific allocations and buffer zones for different stages: fundamental things like square footage, layout, windows and utilities; fixtures and built-in elements like flooring, lighting, showers, cabinets, counters and fireplaces; and the finishing touches from paint to furniture to accessories. Though some specific dreams will, no doubt, be hardwired into the whole plan, the freedom to change your mind or leap on an unforeseen opportunity will result in a more personal home. Designing or revising such a budget is yet another task that calls for the designer’s help. With their intimate knowledge of products, price-points and construction methods, and your list of finance and lifestyle needs, they can help ensure you are spending money where you will get the most use and joy out of it, never wasting it on things you won’t need or appreciate. With a comfortable financial foundation, a good custom builder and the right design choices, your home can be not only perfect, but distinctly and uniquely your own.

The designer’s advice is equally irreplaceable when it comes to the size and layout of the various rooms and the hallways that connect them. Too many new-home-seekers compare plans on the sole basis of price and square footage, without paying close attention to where the space goes and how well it is distributed through the home – which is ultimately the more important factor, since some interiors can feel larger than those with more square footage but inferior design. Even if you are aware of this consideration, odds are you don’t have the necessary experience with floor plans to properly judge and visualize actual rooms based merely on measurements and two-dimensional renderings – but the designer does. With information about your lifestyle, the way in which you use your home and your specific desires for various rooms and features, they can offer guidance in choosing or customizing a plan with the best division and layout of the available space. Before you embark on the trip to a custom home, there’s one thing you can do to prepare that will pay off every step of the way: set up a detailed, comfortable and above all flexible budget. Simply setting a firm dollar total for the whole project will only lead to stress and disappointment as unexpected possibilities and concerns crop up – as Photo courtesy of Fabbian Fine Homes

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here may be nothing more desirable in a landscape than trees. They are one of the most potent and adored symbols of nature, and their beauty, character and longevity have captivated minds the world over for centuries. Many people embarking on a major landscaping project look into planting one or more trees as a way of shaping and defining their gardens. Ontario’s nurseries and tree services are there to meet the needs of any plan. In most cases, your landscape architect will be coordinating the installation of large trees, often with a tree service they already know and trust. But since trees are such a central part of a landscaping project, as well as a large portion of the expense, it is also common for the homeowner to consult directly with an expert from that tree service and pick their trees by hand. Making a decision that is right for your property means entering the world of trees: a fascinating and expansive field of study that is near-impossible to navigate without the help of a professional. Even though in the Caledon Mountain area and other colder parts of Ontario there are fewer exotic, imported trees that can survive, there is still a wide selection of species and varieties to explore. Favourites include the white spruce or pine, the sugar maple, the Colorado green or blue spruce, and of course the Crimson King: the red leaf maple. Part of choosing a tree will always come down to its aesthetic qualities and your personal taste, but there is usually a practical side to keep in mind as well. Large trees can be used as tools to accomplish many different garden effects: blocking out one part of the view while framing another, offering privacy from a neighbouring property, shading a chosen area or creating a natural barrier in a garden with several ‘rooms’. Of course, this means there is also the possibility of mistakes on these fronts. The wrong tree in the wrong place could grow to disrupt a favourite view, or cast its shade over a deck, pool or other unwanted spot. The experts have an intimate knowledge of the many trees available – not only of their state at the time of planting, but of the way they will develop, grow and change over the years and decades. With their help, the trees you select will be sure to become seamless and elegant parts of the landscape. There are also various possible obstacles that are unique to every piece of land and must be investigated by the tree service before a final decision can be made. Different soil types can partially limit the choice of species, gas and water lines must often be relocated or worked around, and the 58

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Nature’s Trees are a wonderful gift, not only to yourself They are remarkable expressions of style, for they often drift between these states with the passing available means of accessing the property can even make delivering trees a challenge. For all these reasons, planting one or more large trees always starts with an on-site consultation involving the tree service, the homeowner and the landscape architect. Despite the many factors at play in these projects, every homeowner finds themselves with dozens of viable ideas for employing trees in their garden. Those with large estate properties have an especially long list of options: some major installations in the area have involved as many as 150 and even 300 trees – planted along the perimeter for total enclosure and privacy, or clumped to form a veritable private forest. Such projects often continue for years, with ongoing grading and construction, the building of retaining walls and the steady addition of new trees. But even those with strict space limitations may be surprised by the many grand and stately trees that could be meeting their needs. Even a single tree has a drastic effect on a landscape, and there are many more species of narrow, disciplined trees than people imagine. Tree services present such options as an English Oak, an Emerald Cedar, a large


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Finest and your family, but to future generations. can seem grand, playful, mournful or noble and of the day or the changing of the seasons. juniper, a pyramidal maple tree like the Armstrong Red, or something that grows tall and narrow like a Serbian Spruce. Once trees are planted, they require very little in the way of maintenance. Weekly watering is important, and many professional irrigation suppliers offer special drip fixtures, specifically designed for watering large trees, that can be incorporated into a garden system. Sometimes a little fertilizer will help spur a tree along, and removing the cones from a freshly transplanted pine or spruce can help by directing more energy into its growth, but for the most part trees are wilful and tenacious enough to take care of themselves. Trees are a wonderful gift, not only to yourself and your family, but to future generations. Every tree has a unique presence and character, and each one quickly becomes a familiar and friendly face in the garden. They are remarkable expressions of style, for they can seem grand, playful, mournful or noble – and often drift between these states with the passing of the day or the changing of the seasons. Trees can bring the full beauty of nature to bear on a landscape, and help complete the paradise that everyone seeks to forge in their garden.

Grading Trees Every professional tree service has its own scale for grading the quality of any given tree, but all are based on the same basic factors. When browsing the trees at a tree service office or a nursery, it can help to remember the factors that affect the appearance and health – and thus the grade and cost – of a tree. The highest quality specimens will always display the same qualities:

One main leader Except in the case of clump-style trees, it is generally desirable for a tree to have one primary trunk from which the limbs grow. Good branch structure The branch structure is evaluated based on both its visual appeal and the presence of any weak unions that are likely to break under a load of snow or as a result of ice damage. No blemishes on the trunk The finest trees are free of any dead branches, scars, mechanical wounds or other visible imperfections. Dark leaves A full, dark leaf colour is not only more attractive, but indicates health and strength as well. No girdling roots Some species are prone to ‘girdling roots’ that wrap around the main stem of the tree and restrict the flow of water and nutrients. A specimen that is already forming them at the time of transplanting has little chance of survival. It is vital to choose only healthy trees, since a weak specimen will only remain that way or worsen after transplanting, looking stressed and sick for years. As trees begin to decline, they attract the pests and diseases that are what usually finishes them off. Tree experts have extensive knowledge of all these factors, and can help minimize the chance of any problems arising. Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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Things Are Looking Up

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Make an investment that covers your whole house.

hen it comes to investing in a home, there are certain areas that call for extra care and attention. Somewhere near the top of that list is the top of your home: the roof. It is a popular choice for a home upgrade since, of all the major structural elements of a house, the roof is the most readily accessible for modifications or replacement by a skilled professional.

With many homeowners focusing on eliminating chores and maintenance around the house, steel is constantly gaining popularity as a roofing material. Modern steel roofing is incredibly resilient, featuring a PVC coating that resists the elements better than any other material. The range of finishes – along with matching screws and washers from the best suppliers – means a steel roof can match any home; since the colour is in the PVC coating rather than painted on, it will never fade and need replenishing. With your roof, as with anything else, you get what you pay for: steel roofing is more expensive than asphalt and shingles, but its quality and durability make it a far more solid investment. There was a time when shingles could last upwards of twenty years, but that was when asbestos was still used in their construction, and before recycled core materials were introduced. The pro-rated warranties offered by most suppliers only cover them for a few years, and the ever-rising cost of oil means that replacement shingles are likely to be more expensive, since they are a petroleum based product. Steel roofs, on the other hand, are essentially maintenance free and come with warranties that cover them for as long as fifty years. Their longevity is their number one selling point, since many homeowners – from young couples with budding careers to retirees seeking relaxation – simply don’t want to worry about maintenance issues like budgeting for a re-shingling ten years down the road. Steel roofs offer unparalleled peace of mind. Unless you are building a new home, odds are you already have an asphalt and shingle roof over your head. Another main attraction to steel is that it can be installed right on top of the existing roof, without the need to strip so much as a single shingle. The best installers use a ‘cross-strapped’ construction, where layers of perpendicular beams create a natural ventilation system with no pockets of trapped air. This method adds structural integrity, levels out uneven roofs, reduces air conditioning costs and offers excellent soundproofing – although the belief that steel roofs are noisy in the rain is itself a myth.

There is also a long list of secondary benefits that come along with a steel roof. They shed snow quickly and easily, without any intervention, which is an important consideration wherever there is heavy snowfall; blockers can be installed above doors, paths and driveways to keep them sheltered. Steel roofs also tend to lighten the load on your eaves troughs – most homeowners dig out a lot of shingle pebbles during their annual cleaning. When combined with mesh guards that block debris while allowing water to pass through, a steel roof can drastically reduce the difficulty and the frequency of eavestrough maintenance. Since steel roofing is a major investment – one that has a significant impact on the structure and value of your home – it is worth spending the money on superior quality materials and installation. Obviously you’ll want to get the best product within your budget, and when it comes to steel roofing the best way to do this is by shopping locally. Many roofers get pre-fabricated steel from suppliers in the United States, despite the fact that these products have several drawbacks. For starters, if a warranty claim is ever necessary, it means dealing with distant offices and long wait times. Also, many U.S. manufacturers lack the specific knowledge and expertise that is relevant to our colder climate: their long steel sheets have been known to pop their fasteners when they shrink in the winter. The best Canadian steel roofers manufacture their product in house, and have altered the methods of construction to meet local challenges, using smaller steel panels that allow for expansion and contraction. Ontario has an abundance of steel suppliers, so these roofers shorten the entire circuit by shopping locally for their own raw materials as well. Any warranty claims or repairs can be dealt with quickly, and replacement materials are easily obtained. An investment in your roof quite literally covers your whole home, and steel is one of the smartest choices, offering unmatched quality and durability and increasing a home’s resale value considerably. A high-end Canadian made steel roof means decades of confidence and peace of mind, without the need for maintenance or, usually, any second thoughts at all.

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Stone Forever The variety of finishes and styles available means there is a place for stone in nearly any décor, whether it is put in a dominant role or saved for accents and finishing touches.

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here are very few things that stick around unchanged for centuries, but the art of masonry – just like the ancient castles and other architectural marvels that bear its signature – is one of them. Modern masonry professionals sometimes sum it up in two words: Stone Forever. It is beautiful, long-lasting and maintenance-free, and it remains hugely popular in today’s home and landscape industry. Masonry is a natural choice when trying to create that old-fashioned atmosphere in a home, but the variety of finishes and styles available means there is a place for stone in nearly any décor, whether it is put in a dominant role or

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Sequatchie Flagstone

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saved for accents and finishing touches. The sheer number of visual options has prompted a change in design trends to include blended decors, where two, three or four different stone finishes are used in different parts of the home and garden. The first decision to make when it comes to masonry is between natural and artificial stone. This is one area where the changing of the times has made its mark: in the past, no manmade product could rival the appeal of natural stone, but modern engineered stone has achieved impressive new levels of reality, even with extra thin veneer products. There are many advantages to engineered stone, not the least of which is the savings. Despite an abundance of quarries in Ontario, natural stone remains expensive because it is a labour-intensive product – in fact, stone imported from foreign countries is sometimes cheaper than stone coming from places as close as Owen Sound. Manmade products beat out both.

can have a drastic impact on the balance and atmosphere of a room. In the garden, flagstones present similar opportunities. Square-cut natural or engineered stone is available in a variety of sizes, patterns and colours for a contemporary look; another popular choice is a mosaic surface, with broken pieces of all sizes mingling haphazardly but harmoniously. Often, different construction styles and types of stone are used in different areas to help create the ‘garden room’ effect so sought after in modern landscaping. Masonry, with the long list of available styles and finishes it presents, is a possibility for nearly every homeowner. Even those with structural or monetary limitations – or just unique, hard-to-match decors – are sure to find engineered stone products that meet their requirements, and will likely be surprised by their beauty. Whether it is in the garden or the home, stonework comes with a sense of permanence, strength and quality that is hard to match, while still being adaptable to any homeowner’s taste.

Artificial stone also boasts the attraction of being lightweight, which in turn increases the number of opportunities for masonry around the home. An attractive veneer – chosen from one of the fifty plus types of manmade stone available – can be easily added to a fireplace or ‘feature wall’ without the need for foundation reinforcement or other structural alterations. Nonetheless, given a sufficient budget and the time and energy for a larger project, a lot of homeowners will still choose genuine stone. The natural variations in shape, texture and colour that characterize real masonry give it an appeal that may never be matched by artificial products. Combinations of the two are a common solution, especially outdoors: natural stone walls, water features and flagstones are an utter delight in the back yard, where they will be used, appreciated and enjoyed, but high-quality manmade stone is usually enough to serve the front yard’s simple and primarily aesthetic purpose. Many of the different visual effects in masonry, both natural and artificial, are not achieved through the choice of material and finish, but rather through the style of construction. Each tile can be textured and edged differently, either at the manufacturing stage or during installation. Options range from a clean, chiselled edge to a roughened look with chunks of stone removed, or a bulging face that can be trimmed back even further for added depth. The method of mortaring can be altered to accommodate different styles as well. Neat, even, recessed mortar adds to a formal décor and leaves the focus on the stone, while messier ‘bag joints’ – where the mortar is smeared up onto the edges of the stone – become their own attraction in an old-fashioned design. Natural stone expands the possibilities to include the uncut, ‘country home’ style of construction. Here even the placement of individual pieces becomes a design tool – rotating or moving one large stone Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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8 Reasons to Replace Your Garage Doors The garage door can represent over a quarter of the entire front of the house, and it almost always draws the eye either in a good way, or not.

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here are some parts of the home that seem to slip from the owner’s mind quickly and easily, falling into disuse or disarray as they miss out on the proper care. One of the greatest culprits, and the greatest losses, is the garage - a large and valuable space that often never gets used for much other than last-resort storage. It might be because garages tend to be cold, insecure, boring or just plain ugly. Reclaiming a lost garage starts with changing how you feel inside it, reducing the chores and enhancing the comfort so you can be enthusiastic about 64

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putting it to use. Other homeowners already make extensive use of their garages, as workshops or otherwise, but are still hindered by the maintenance required and the conditions inside. There’s an easy first step to meeting these challenges: replacing the garage door. A lot of houses still have the builder’s doors, which are rarely top-of-the-line and, in older homes, tragically out of date. Whether you push the garage from your mind or spend time there every day, there are several reasons to consider buying a new garage door: 1. Give your garage a personal flair Your garage door does not have to look like every other one on the street. High-end manufacturers offer over a dozen pre-finished, baked-on colours. The doors themselves come in a wide variety of modern styles, and can be


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accented with a choice of windows and other finishing touches. It’s easy to find something that blends perfectly with your home, your front lawn and your personality. 2. Lower your heating and cooling bills Insulation technology is constantly moving forward, and modern garage doors take control of the latest advancements to reduce heat transfer. Metal is the material of choice, and a top of the line door includes a thermal barrier between the outside and inside surfaces, PVC weather strips, and a rubber seal along each edge. Combined, these features create a seal that will protect the garage’s contents from extreme weather conditions and cut heating and cooling costs. For those who use their garage as a workshop or recreation room, or who have guest bedrooms or other living spaces above it, this can mean extensive savings. 3. Reduce maintenance time and cost Wooden garage doors need a yearly scrape, patch and paint routine to keep them in good condition. It’s a lot of work, and without it they quickly become weathered and unattractive. The best metal doors, with their wide selection of durable pre-finished colours, are low to no-maintenance and require only soap and water for cleaning. For an additional boost, a coat of spray-on car wax in the spring and fall will keep the door looking its best for years. 4. Increase security A well insulated metal door weighs in at least 1 3/8” thick - much harder to kick in or drill through than its un-insulated counterpart or a wooden door. With so many vulnerable builders’ doors around, it’s a near-sure deterrent to thieves. Modern remote door openers are programmed to use rotating signal codes, so the more measured approach won’t work either. With a good garage door, you will never worry about keeping tools, equipment and other valuables there, and it won’t create an easy entrance to your home.

theatre or music room could fill all that empty space (or replace all that clutter.) 7. Increase the value of your home Even with a single car garage, the door can represent over a quarter of the entire front of the house, and it almost always draws the eye - either in a good way, or not. Real estate agents will confirm that it’s easier for them to sell homes with clean, stylish, maintenance-free doors. From their point of view, the first thing a potential buyer sees when they pull into the driveway is very important. 8. Reduce the risk of injury or damage Most old garage door openers are not equipped with photoelectric eyes, which have now become mandatory. These sensors will restrain the door of they detect something in its path - standing in the way, or moving through the entrance as it closes. A garage door can do a lot of damage to a car or seriously hurt a person, and it’s a risk every homeowner should eliminate. Perhaps the best reason to invest in a high quality garage door is to get it done early. Even if you can live with the limitations of your builder’s door for now, odds are that won’t be the case forever - and shopping for home renovations is always best done before the urgency sets in. A top end insulated metal door with a durable baked-on finish will last for years without any maintenance beyond the occasional wipe down, and will make your garage more safe, secure, comfortable and eye-catching for life.

5. Get the benefits of local products Canada is home to its share of high-end garage door manufacturers. Owning a garage door from a Canadian manufacturer can cut costs and make repairs or finding replacement parts much easier in case anything goes wrong. 6. Make some use of the place! If your garage is just wasted space, a new door can really kick start you into action. Once the garage becomes a more pleasant place to look at and work in, it becomes hard for homeowners to decide which of their many plans for it they should put into action. For those who have a two or three-car garage that isn’t full, or who simply don’t keep their car there, the possibilities are almost endless - a workshop, art studio, playroom, heated storage room, home Photo courtesy of Automated Door Systems Ltd

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Remote Irrigation Management Whether you want to beautify your garden, save on your water bill, or just cross one more job off your list - remotely managed irrigation can do it.

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urturing a garden to its full potential all season long is a full time job, and most people are not lucky enough to have time for it. From planting to tending to fertilizing and more, there’s almost no end to the chores a beautiful outdoor space can entail. For those who have busy schedules, estate properties or both, a new and ingenious concept in lawn and garden care has arrived to lift one giant weight - watering and irrigation - off their shoulders. Water management systems have been around for some time, but their inefficiency and need for attention leave something to be desired. Without constant manual adjustments, they will continue to irrigate the lawn with the same amount of water every night. But soil moisture is not that consistent: it depends on the amount of water that is absorbed versus the amount of water that evaporates, both of which are variable and depend on a number of factors. This is why high-end irrigation systems suppliers are now offering Remote Irrigation Management services, letting you turn the task of watering over to a central computer.

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Remotely managed irrigation takes all the factors that effect soil moisture into account to ensure maximum efficiency and ideal soil conditions throughout the season. The information is gathered in two stages. First, a rainfall monitor on your property sends daily precipitation data to the off-site control centre. The management service’s computer combines this information with up-to-date local weather factors such as temperature, humidity and wind speed, all of which have an impact on water absorption. The calculations also include pre-programmed data on the unique soil composition and slope of your land.


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Once the calculations are complete, instructions are sent back to the site and all necessary adjustments to the watering rates are made. If there is a situation that requires attention, a warning will be raised on the control panel in your home - but even this is rarely necessary. The management system is capable of creating very detailed programs, customized to run the gamut of conditions that might assail your garden. The two primary benefits of Remote Irrigation Management are the impact on your garden, and the huge reduction - up to 40 or 50 per cent - in water usage. On large estate properties this can reduce the need for ground staff and slash water bills significantly. Sometimes such properties present special challenges, especially when they include things like hilly areas, large trees or ponds and waterfalls. To overcome these obstacles, a supplier can employ additional measures like extra rainfall monitors and localized soil-moisture sensors for inconsistent areas. Communication with the central station is wireless. Most providers can contact your site by phone or internet, and many have their own private radio networks stretching across their primary area of operation, dedicated to managing the properties of their clients. Installation of a Remote Irrigation Management system need not be a hassle. Suppliers can co-ordinate with your landscape architect during a new project, or they can skilfully install a system in your existing garden, leaving it clean and virtually seamless. The best in the business come armed with skilled engineers, advanced equipment and the ability to bury wires and pipes directly without digging trenches, or burrow under a driveway without ripping it up. Since the central computer is in daily contact with your site, it can manage the maintenance and repair of the system

Photo courtesy of AWS Irrigation Management

alongside the irrigation levels. If any part of the installation shuts down or behaves strangely, it is immediately deactivated, an alarm is raised at the management centre, and a repair team is dispatched to your home. Remote Irrigation Management tends to expedite service calls on large properties, where repairmen would traditionally have to trudge back and forth from the indoor control panel to test the different outdoor components. Now, with the help of a cell phone, they can instruct technicians at the central site to activate and deactivate the various sprinklers, pumps and sensors as they make the rounds. The majority of the time, Remote Irrigation Management is a set-it-and-forget-it solution for your garden. Many homeowners are astounded at the difference it makes to the beauty and vigour of their garden, or delighted when they get their first water bill after installation. Most are just grateful to scratch the job off their list of chores. Any one of these notions might attract you the most, but with remotely managed irrigation, every homeowner will reap the benefits of all three and soon come to wonder how they ever tended their properties before.

Photo courtesy of AWS Irrigation Management

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Custom Stair Design eople take a lot of pride in their entryways. A guest’s first sight upon coming through the door is a matter of top concern for decorators, and they choose from a variety of centrepieces – a piece of antique furniture, a plant, a grandfather clock – to draw the eye. But there is one centrepiece at the front of many homes that will be there whether you like it or not: a flight of stairs.

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Though they are functional necessities, staircases can be designer delights as well. Today’s custom stair builders offer a long list of options for the renovator and the new home builder alike. A custom staircase adds a powerful stroke of character to a home, and the array of choices available at every stage of the design means the final product will speak loudly – or softly – of the homeowner’s personality and taste. For those building a new staircase, either in a new home or an addition, there are many possibilities for shape, style and construction. The choices are more limited when remodelling an existing staircase, since they almost always serve as critical structural elements of the house. Nonetheless, a custom stair designer will present several options depending on the home’s layout and construction, and the scale of the project you want to undertake. Whatever your situation, the first consideration is the staircase’s construction. The three general types of staircases are closed stairs, with a wall on either side, open-sided stairs, which run against one wall with the other side open, and double-open stairs, without a wall on either side.

Photo courtesy of Stairworks

New builders can consider all three options, as well as more decorative constructions like flares and curves. Renovators can look into the possibility of removing one or both walls on all or part of a staircase. Those with open-sided or double-open stairs often have several options in terms of flairs and other features. In all cases, openings, curves and flairs must be carefully designed so as to be structurally sound and adhere to building codes. A good professional designer will come armed with this knowledge, and can co-ordinate with your architect and other hired professionals on a large project.

Photo courtesy of Stairworks

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take your home to new heights Even if your house, your budget or the degree of work you are willing to endure limits your options for the design, there are plenty of ways to make a staircase your own. In fact, choosing the materials, railings, hardware and accessories can be the most enjoyable part, since these things often contribute the most to the visual impact of the stairs. The first choice is the species of lumber. Native hardwoods like oak and maple are favourites as always, but more exotic options like jatobá wood are available too. The choice of wood helps define the overall look of the stairs, so it’s a great way to blend and balance them with the rest of your décor. The chosen wood might match a favourite piece of furniture or the accents in other rooms, or it might be something completely different – a bold and unexpected statement at the heart of the home. Once the stairs themselves are beginning to take shape, its time to consider the railings and, for those with segments of open-sided or double-open stairs, the posts and balusters. This is where the options become almost countless, with dozens of materials, styles and finishes to mix and match. Wooden railings are a popular option, and modern staircase designers are offering combination designs in which metal balusters are capped with wooden rails, without the need for fully welded metal rails underneath. Both materials come in a wide array of finishes, and the various combinations can create distinct styles. The railings can be built to match the primary lumber, or a different wood can be chosen to compliment, contrast and accent the stairs. The metal balusters, which are typically made of steel, can be thoroughly customized to match any décor. Blacks and browns are favourite colours, especially on decorative balusters with an old-fashioned appeal. At the other end of the spectrum, simpler balusters with modern finishes, like hammered steel for a veined metal texture, can create a sleek, contemporary look. For those with closed stairs, most

Photo courtesy of Stairworks

of the same options are available for the mounting brackets and other hardware. Custom stair designers offer many ways to further customize your staircase. Even before the choice of finish, there are balusters and brackets with various ornamentation and other features to choose from. For wooden posts, there are different finial caps that give a decorative touch, available in metal or wood and in many different styles, from simple shapes to things like acorns and pineapples. It’s also possible to choose accessories like pet and baby gates, in materials and finishes to match or just co-ordinate with the stairs, posts, balusters and railings, doing away with the need for imperfect, store-bought solutions. Of course, some homeowners have a more personal and elaborate vision. With the right patience, space and budget, a custom staircase designer can bring those dreams to life. Many complicated ideas can be realized, and professional designers have turned out such creations as a rustic, cottage-style staircase with massive stringers, no risers between the steps and uncut, branch-like railings; other projects have included things like glass stairs and freestanding staircases. Many of these ideas were sparked by magazine photos and designer portfolios – two of the best sources of inspiration when it comes to custom renovations. Homeowners looking to add some flair to their stairs will find designers willing and eager to help sort out the jumble of likes and dislikes into a comprehensive design that fits their home and budget while being structurally sound and up to code. Even a simple redesign – new railings and balusters, or just new finials to dress up the existing posts – can make your staircase something to be proud of. If your stairs seem to get in the way of your décor, there is no need to avoid, ignore or distract from them. A custom staircase has the opposite effect: it deserves and draws attention, and is a fun and effective way to take your home to new heights.

Photo courtesy of Stairworks

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Who Doesn’t Want A Fireplace? Start planning now to ensure that next year’s snow falls on a warm and cozy family

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s winter comes to a close and homeowners start to embark upon their summertime renovation projects, a desire tends to arise in a large number of families: a fireplace. Today’s fireplaces have achieved new levels of efficiency in delivering heat to a home, and the many different designs available, combined with the infinite possibilities for mantles, masonry and other finishing, makes them a sure winner as the centerpiece of any room. Depending on the situation and the needs of a given home, there will be a different list of possibilities for the basic type of fireplace. Built-in fireplaces are the most sought after, and modern developments have made this option more readily available than ever before. In the past, building a fireplace into the wall meant finding enough room to leave a considerable amount of insulating space around it, to account for the heat it would put out in all directions. The advent of zero-clearance fire boxes has eliminated this need. Their heavily insulated steel

Photo courtesy of Fergus Fireplace

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shells can be inserted into a standard framing construction in the wall, without the need for extra space or any special precautions. Many older homes have beautiful wood fireplaces that go unused because, as is often the case, they are inefficient and too much hassle, or in a state of disrepair. In this situation, homeowners have the option of a fireplace insert that brings all the benefits of modern technology while making use of the existing construction. All homeowners can also choose a freestanding stove with its own flue system. Regardless of which type you are installing, there are dozens of fireplaces to choose from, each with a unique style and character, as well as the possibility of customizing and accessorizing for a truly personal piece. Whatever your decorative vision, you’ll have no trouble finding a fireplace to match it. A European-inspired ‘clean face’ look has become increasingly popular, especially for built-in fireplaces. These designs opt for sleek, simple fire boxes, often with a single, unbroken pane of glass and no ornaments or louvers – an understated style that is usually balanced by putting extra focus on accents like the mantle and surrounding decora-


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tions. Equally popular is the more traditional Victorian style, tailored to suggest coal-burning stoves. These intricate and ornate fireplaces are themselves a work of art.

them do this is by bringing floor plans to the initial consultations, along with a list of your own design ideas and a scrapbook of clippings from magazines and catalogues.

Custom designs, especially when it comes to free standing constructions, are also common. Starting with a simple steel box, homeowners can dress and decorate the fireplace with their choice of glass fronts, handles, hardware, ornaments and finishing – to blend with or act as the starting point for a room’s décor.

Visiting showrooms is a source of design inspiration and a chance to see different fireplaces in action – to mentally situate them in your home amidst fresh memories of a radiator winter. But it’s important to remember that the raging amber flames of a warehouse-sized sales floor might not be practical in the house. For starters, yellow fire is an indication of low efficiency – it’s impossible to get the biggest bang for your heating buck without the blue flames that indicate maximum output and minimum waste. Moreover, huge roaring fires will quickly overheat most homes and become uncomfortable despite their visual attraction.

Whatever style of fireplace you choose, it’s only half of the final piece – the surrounding finishing and accessories are every bit as important. The balance between the two can be struck at many points, from simple, low-profile fireboxes with eye-catching mantles to elaborate freestanding fireplaces backed by understated stonework. In all cases, it is the interplay between the two that will dictate the final visual impact. Still, there is a common trend towards installations with minimalist fireplaces wherein the finishing is the main decorative element. The reason for this may be as simple as the sheer number of exciting possibilities for fireplace finishing, made possible by today’s professional installers: by co-ordinating with product suppliers, masonry experts and other trades people, as well as your architect or decorator in a large project, they have made it easier than ever to create the perfect piece. Stonework, as always, is one of the most popular finishing choices – either to house a built-in fireplace, or as backing and a raised dais for a free-standing one. Many styles can be evoked through the choice of stone and the construction method, but the weight of natural stone can sometimes present a structural obstacle. For those who would sooner avoid costly and time-consuming reinforcement work, or those whose tastes and décor call for a very specific colour and texture, there is a wide variety of designer engineered products to choose from, including ultra-thin veneers that are a breeze to install. Tile is another popular finishing, and it is even being combined with stone in many modern designs. Both tiling and manufactured stone come in countless styles, colours, textures and patterns, and can be installed in several ways to achieve different effects. To go in a different direction, some homeowners have incorporated wooden elements like old barn beams for a country-home appeal. There is also the option of a wooden cabinet mantle that houses a firebox, placing the fireplace into the décor like a piece of furniture. There are of course many important technical aspects of choosing the right fireplace. Professional retailers and installers not only have showrooms to exhibit the many styles available, but can also help choose the right fuel source and BTU output, find the best spots to install a fireplace, and suggest ways to improve air flow and heat distribution throughout the home. The best way to help

Luckily, these obstacles can be overcome and full aesthetic prowess of a fireplace isn’t off limits, even to smaller homes. A high-end fireplace, properly installed with a well-designed flue, offers a great deal of control. A tight, hot flame can take care of all your daily heating for quick adjustments and constant comfort, but can be quickly tailored into a roaring centerpiece for a dinner party or a cozy winter’s evening on the couch. Of course, this means using a less efficient yellow flame as well as opening up the flue to vent excess heat outside – both of which result in higher heating costs. But the close control offered by modern fireplaces, along with their efficiency during other heating hours, means a few extra dollars can buy several hours of exquisite, if slightly indulgent, warmth and beauty. Whether a fireplace is to be your sole installation or the starting point for a summer-long project, the spring is a great time to start shopping. There are so many choices and design avenues to explore at every stage of the project that the only way to find the perfect fireplace is to be careful and comfortable throughout the process, not rushed by the turning leaves and looming winter. With a little inspiration and the help of the professionals, a fireplace will rejuvenate you home, energise your décor and ensure that next year’s snow falls on a warm and cozy family. Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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very day, more and more homeowners are choosing to remodel, renovate and expand rather than buy or build a new home. Unfortunately there are many cases in which building an addition is an unattractive option because of space limitations, the price or - especially when it comes to old family homes - a desire not to disrupt the original architecture.

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But many homeowners forget the potential that lies right beneath their feet: an unfinished, underused basement. A professionally remodeled basement comes with a lower price tag and less hassle than an addition, but still adds value and square footage to a home. And you can forget the common mental image of a basement: dark, dingy, wood paneled and depressing. Like every other focus of interior design, the basement has become an art form, with its own subset of professionals dedicated to making it a part of the home to be proud of. There are lots of good reasons to go to a professional when finishing a basement. Home-spun jobs, while often satisfactory, can only take a basement so far. An experienced team can overcome the many limitations often found in basements, like steel columns and duct-work, and blend them seamlessly into the final design. They will also take care of hiring and coordinating the many other trades people involved in a major project, choosing only from their list of trusted, reputable professionals. In general, a good design team will take on the majority of responsibilities throughout the renovation, ensuring the work doesn’t fall behind schedule, soar over budget, or come out all wrong.

Photo courtesy of Harrison Design-Build / Tigerlily Designs

Choosing the best team for your basement can be tough. For starters, there are so many possibilities to consider for all that neglected space: will it become a well-equipped home office? A hi-fi theatre

From The Ground Down room? A fully stocked wet bar? Those with larger basements can even consider multiple rooms or complete guest houses. Walk-out basements, which are very popular when the property permits, feature doors that open directly into the back yard. Your needs, wants and dreams will shape your initial consultations, but when shopping for professionals in your area, there are several things to find out and take note of in order to make the best decision. How much experience do they have in basement renovations? Remodeling a basement can differ from renovations in the rest of the house. There are many things to take into consideration when choosing finishes, including products specially designed for use in the basement or anywhere else that dampness can be an issue. A team with a long history of related work will adeptly meet the unique challenges common to basements. Are they insured, professional and above-board? Renovation specialists are no different from any other professional, and it’s important to make sure they have all the proper licensing and liability insurance for potential accidents. A good team will also provide building permits and be well versed in the building codes ad bylaws of your area. Will they provide design assistance to help you make your ideas a reality? Designing basements to function well is one of the most important and challenging steps in the renovation process. The best professionals can take your list of desires and turn it into a fullyrealized, working layout, drawing on their experience to offer guidance and alternatives when the need arises.

Photo courtesy of Harrison Design-Build / Tigerlily Designs

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Do they guarantee their pricing? In home renovations, the final cost is rarely identical to the initial budget, but a certain degree of consistency is still important. Your remodeling team should work with you to draw

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Photo courtesy of Harrison Design-Build / Tigerlily Designs

up a detailed budget long before starting the work, with an itemized list of every expense included in the project. As the work progresses and other decisions have to be made, a true professional will be ready with information and options to help you make any choices that affect the final price tag. What about their time estimates? A reliable timeline for the project will help you plan your life around the disruptive renovation period. No project of this scale ever goes exactly as planned, but a good design and build team will offer a detailed schedule, work vigilantly to power through any delays, and finish the job on time. Will the rest of the home be protected while they do the work? In nearly all cases, the builders will be entering and leaving the basement through other parts of the house, so there is a lot of potential for dirt and damage. The team should come equipped with drop clothes, plastic sheeting and anything else necessary to safeguard other rooms, and should have a good cleaning policy for when the job is done. They should leave the basement and the rest of the home clean and neat, with no damage to any of your furniture or finishing. All these factors are important when choosing a professional team to finish your basement, so that means asking questions - on first contact and at initial consultations, but

the best way to decide if a design and build team is right for your basement is by looking into their work history. True artisans will have expansive and impressive portfolios that include recent work, and you will probably want to lean towards those with significant experience in basements. Every team will have a unique portfolio, and not only is browsing them fun, it will no doubt give you new ideas for your basement (and maybe the rest of your home). Even more importantly, the best professionals will supply long lists of references - usually at least ten. Don’t be afraid to call some or all of their former clients, since they have the best insight into the design firm, its reliability, its quality of work, and how it conducts itself. Clients who have had truly good experiences will be eager to recommend a professional, and those with bad opinions will be happy to save you from making the same mistake they did. Many basements are just wasted space, and few reach their full potential within a home. Since professional remodeling often tallies up as little as $30 per square foot, a freshly finished basement is an extremely cost-effective shot in the arm for your living space, and with the right design team nearly anything is possible. So when you’re looking to update and expand your home, consider starting from the ground down. Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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Glass in Your Home

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Don’t let it go unnoticed.

here are a handful of materials that come together to form a home and the fixtures, accessories and pieces of furniture that fill it. Concrete, wood, brick, stone, steel and brass have all been around in some form for decades or centuries, and every house is built and decorated with some or all of them. Though a well-designed and cared for home is always more than the sum of its parts, the impact of the basic materials on the final piece is undeniable, so selecting and applying them is a top concern in all new homes, additions and remodelling projects. Many of these choices are structural and technical, with limitations dictated by the professionals. Some materials will be highlighted or eliminated because of your budget or your tastes; some will already be dominant in an existing home. But in every case, one material will almost certainly play a role: glass. When most people think about glass, the first things that come to mind are windows and patio doors – and indeed,

these areas have undergone a revolution in form and function. Designers are offering creative new styles and constructions, and modern technologies are achieving never-before-seen levels of energy efficiency. But after some consideration, most people realize that glass is a larger part of their home than they initially thought: from door inserts to mirrors to furniture, it’s everywhere, often going quietly unnoticed. Many homeowners seek wood and stone-work for their natural character, but forget that glass is also one of the oldest and most elegant basic materials, with just as much decorative potential and its own practical advantages. A common approach is to make glass the dominant material in one or two chosen rooms. This can produce a powerful effect, especially in the bathroom where one can employ so much glass it feels as if the whole room were made of it – precisely the delicate ambience many look for in a master en suite or a guesthouse bathroom. One favourite new feature in such bathrooms is the frameless glass shower: a floor-to-ceiling shower box with all-glass walls and no additional framing or support structure. Glass sinks that sit above the countertop are popular for the same reasons: they are extremely easy to clean and present fewer of the nooks and crannies that become breeding grounds for bacteria; they are visually stunning, and when combined with lighting, mirrors and accessories, they can lift the bathing experience to new levels of luxury. Glass is also a popular motif in the kitchen, where it can be incorporated in many ways: glass lattice on the cabinet doors, etched glass or mirrored trimming beneath the counter and cabinetry, and thick glass blocks behind stoves and sinks – it is sleek and easy to clean, and can tie the kitchen décor together with display cabinets and glass kitchenware. Some trends from en suites have also found their way to the kitchen: the glass sink has made an appearance in a few modern designs as an accessible extra sink positioned on a central island.

Photo courtesy of Merit Glass Ltd / All Weather Windows

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There are many ways to bring glass out of a single room – to string it through the home as a fundamental theme, just as one might with hardwood flooring or a pervasive colour scheme. One of the best means to this end lies in glass doors and partitions, which present many decorative and functional options in and around the home, not just for walk-outs and patios. The frameless construction used in shower boxes can be applied to partial or full room dividers and to interior doors throughout the hallways and between rooms.


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When most people think about glass, the first things that come to mind are windows and patio doors. But glass is a larger part of their home than they initially thought: from door inserts to mirrors to furniture, it’s everywhere, often going quietly unnoticed. The main reason glass is such a prime choice for a house-wide door and partition material is its ability to meet a wide range of functional and aesthetic demands – important, since the list of such demands is always diverse: a simple door to the study, a double-wide walkthrough to the breakfast room, a privacy screen in the guest bedroom and a walkout from the kitchen to the patio all serve very different purposes. Add to this the fact that each is in a different room with a subtly or drastically different décor, and choosing partitions with any sort of theme seems nearly impossible. Glass is one of the few materials that can rise to meet this challenge. It can be insulated with gas-fills and low-E treatments where heat loss or gain is an issue. It can be big or small and thick or thin, and as a door it can be sliding or swinging and framed or frameless, allowing it to overcome many structural obstacles. It can be tinted, etched, sandblasted or colour-coated to the most exacting specifications, striking the perfect balance of privacy, sunlight and ambient effect in any situation while remaining an open canvas for colour, texture and pattern – the basic aesthetic elements that are the foundation of every décor. But in all its manifestations, even when it is installed with generous variety throughout a home, it is always unmistakeably glass.

a single room, but they have been mostly discarded in favour of a variety of framed accenting mirrors, positioned care-fully in relation to furniture, lighting and other accessories. As anyone who has looked through a few decorator catalogues knows, these accent mirrors are available in literally hundreds of shapes, sizes and styles. As an interesting twist, some homeowners mount sheets of etched glass on the walls instead. Such a sheet can play the role of a simple, patterned veneer, or it can be intricately designed and hung like a painting or tapestry. These design possibilities only scratch the surface. Glass has found its way into some stunning projects – as three hundred feet of deck railings surrounding a boathouse, or as the brass-trimmed, half-inch thick walls of a glass walk-in closet. Such ideas arise from the collaborations between ambitious homeowners, skilled decorators and the experts in glass for construction and décor. Beautiful homes must embrace the materials that comprise them; glass, far from being an obstacle to this, is a source of limitless creative potential.

Built in fixtures, surfaces and partitions aren’t the only way to bring glass into a home. Those who prefer glass as a secondary, accenting material, or those looking for subtle ways to bring a larger glass motif into certain rooms, will find that it is an equally powerful material when it comes to accessorizing. One of the most popular examples of this is the glass table: an old favourite that is undergoing a modern renaissance. Glass tabletops today are often as thick as threequarters of an inch, giving added weight and presence, and the list of possibilities for exotic edges and fashionable finishes is unprecedented. Again, its ability to retain its character while running the gamut of style – as well as the fact that it is functionally effective as a dinner, kitchen, patio, coffee or end-table – makes glass a great choice for those seeking that difficult balance between the consistent and the eclectic. Another common means of accessorizing is with mirrors – a functional necessity in some parts of the home, and a delightful addition to others. Mirror walls were once a highly-sought favourite, typically as the dominant feature of

Photo courtesy of Merit Glass Ltd / C.R. Laurence

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Beautiful by Nature, Reliable by Design

Cedar Decks

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any of the best features of modern landscapes have been made possible by newly developed, man-made materials. Some elements of construction and design have been improved, while others have simply been made more accessible and affordable. Though it’s obvious that engineered products are powerful tools, with potential applications in nearly every garden, a quick look at past and present tastes and trends makes another fact equally clear: natural materials aren’t going anywhere. There may be no better and more time-honoured example of this than wood. Engineered stone presents attractive advantages as a paving material, and some homeowners are installing front yards of near-perfect artificial grass, but solid Canadian cedar has held its title as the material of choice for decks and patios – and not without reason. The functional and aesthetic advantages of cedar have yet to be matched by even the best man-made alternatives. Right at Home The Cedar is a tree of wetlands and swamps; it held up to insects in British Columbia when spruce and pine were falling apart; it meshes perfectly with local landscapes – in other words, it belongs here. As a deck material, the advantages of this are twofold. It’s durable and inherently acclimatized to this environment, enabling it to outlast most other materials under pressure of the elements. It’s also an aesthetic extension of the natural landscape: one of the most sought after qualities in a material for modern garden designs, which favour harmony and a gentle touch when building garden retreats and places to gather with family and friends. Built to Last Though manufactured products attempt to build all the necessary strength and durability into the material itself, any good architect or builder knows that it still means very little without proper design and construction. When it comes to wood and other natural materials, their inborn quality is evoked by skilled craftsmanship – as it must be, and has been for centuries. A good cedar deck is designed to eliminate all the places that water might get trapped – seams are minimized, and those that are necessary are sealed with caulk. As long as the structure doesn’t hold water, the cedar will be immune to warping, swelling and other water damage. Fabricated deck kits consisting of water-treated materials tend to forgo this level of care in their design, and are often fastened with clips instead of screws at many points. The 76

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result is a deck that not only traps water – sometimes even still resulting in damage several years down the road – but that can also feel cheaper and less solid beneath your feet. Genuinely Maintenance Free When the natural quality of cedar is combined with attentive, efficient design, the final product is long-lasting and self-sustaining. In fact, these decks don’t even require an initial coat of stain or sealant to be completely maintenance free. The only deterioration, visible or otherwise, is the gradual, natural greying of the wood over time. Six or seven years down the road, there is the option of a light, biodegradable stain to reawaken the surface and restore its lustre, while the cedar itself remains as sturdy and reliable as ever. If you’re looking into composite materials, plastic woods and other decks that are labelled maintenance-free, it’s worth checking the details of this promise. Many products turn out to require annual, bi-annual or otherwise regular treatments that are somehow justified as reasonable upkeep for a ‘maintenance-free’ deck. Flexible and Fashionable Within the framework of a proper, water-releasing structure, there are still countless design options for the shape and appearance of a cedar deck. The best decks are made from much larger planks – generally two-by-sixes, and often as long as 20 feet – for two reasons. Firstly, larger planks come from older, stronger trees and as such are an indicator of high quality – but they also improve the deck’s appearance. Shorter planks, especially when used in large decks, will frequently need to be lain end-to-end, resulting in a seamed and disjointed aesthetic, while 20 foot planks can span large portions of the deck and easily be cut to fit small or intricate areas. Since some seams will always be necessary, deck builders have developed many creative ways of laying out the surface planks to create pattern and flow among the planks. The deck can be further stylized through the choice of railings, from simple wood designs, possibly accented with latticework or post-toppers, to more contemporary fashions involving combinations of wood, metal and even glass. In all cases, the best-made railings will leave few or no visible screws and fasteners.

Photo courtesy of DecKing Around

Decks, patios and other wood features are increasingly popular elements of landscape design: modern architects are thoroughly exploring their potential beyond the traditional house-adjacent walk-out. Wraparound decks, boardwalks, bridges, gazebos and floating patios are dispersed throughout many of today’s gardens – but despite the diversity of design, most of these features are installed with common goals: they must be low-maintenance and long lasting, and they must merge with a subtle, naturedriven décor. Cedar is tried, tested and home-grown; when combined with skilled design and craftsmanship, it’s the perfect addition to a fashionable, functional landscape. Your House and Home Resource Magazine

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Guelph & Wellington

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Belwood Rd

Garafraxa St

1st Line Rd

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Gartshore St

18

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Beatty Line N

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East Mill St

Bridge St

Elora & Guelph Rd

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Colborne St

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Showcase

Gilkinson Rd

Geddes St

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Finest New

519-856-9580 Where do you want to live?

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Where do you want to live?

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Small Town

WrightHaven Homes is a premier builder, well known for exceptional building quality and design. We take pride in creating homes that satisfy homeowners now, and for generations to come. Our commitment to you continues long past move-in-day. We have an excellent service rating under Tarion Home Warranty Program and have been nominated four times for the Emest Assaly Builders Award Program for excellent customer service. At WrightHaven Homes, we are working for you every step of the way. Let us build the “Wright� home for you!

100 McQueen Boulevard, Fergus

WrightHaven Homes

519-787-6699

L I M I T E D

or visit us at www.wrighthavenhomes.com

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Warmth &Beauty WrightHaven Homes L I M I T E D

Quality Workmanship WrightHaven Homes is presently building in Southern Ontario’s most desirable locations:

Highland Ridge in Fergus and South Ridge in Elora. We have many premium lots to choose from including greenbelt and basement walk-out properties.

Where do you want to live?

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WrightHaven Homes

captures the market

Advertorial

If you’re looking to purchase a new home in charming Fergus or Elora, chances are you’ll decide on a WrightHaven Home. With the opening of their 2 new sites, Highland Ridge (Fergus) & South Ridge (Elora), WrightHaven Homes captures the market with location, beautiful home sites, excellent quality, outstanding service and a reputation that is second to none. WrightHaven Homes is a local area builder well entrenched in the community. From meagre beginnings in 1990, Steven Wright of WrightHaven Homes has grown his company into one of the premier builders of the Fergus / Elora community. Wright says, “the foundation of his company is based in the premise that by providing an excellent quality product and good value for the dollar and combining it with great locations, hard work, honesty and pride in what you do, then the market will make you the most desired.” It appears he is right. Whether you are moving up, moving down, just starting out or retiring, WrightHaven Homes has a location & product that is just “Wright” for you. Highland Ridge the first of the two new sites is a collection of 35 single-family bungalow and bungaloft homes on 50 foot and larger lots in a quiet crescent type setting uniquely located in the south end of Fergus. House sizes will range form 1300 sq.ft. to 2000sq.ft. With close proximity to shopping, downtown, hospitals, schools and a newly updated community centre, it is easily the prime location of Fergus. The site is embraced with common element areas adding to the uniqueness and flavour of the community. It will include footpaths with landscaping, exquisite perimeter fencing with stone entrances, landscaping packages, mature trees…both existing and to be planted, decorative lamppost streetlights, optional home maintenance packages, and professionally manicured common element grounds. The site will also feature the preservation of the original Cherry Hill Orchard homestead…the residence of the first postmaster and the master of education for the community, James McQueen. This unique new enclave is a must see if you are considering a new home in lovely Fergus.

The Dundee 1,485 sq.ft.

The unveiling this spring of the second site, the South Ridge Subdivision(Elora) is WrightHaven’s largest undertaking to date. This 220 lot subdivision in the south end The Galloway 1,865 sq.ft. of Elora will have all the beauty and charm of the village itself. Sensitive to the mystique and old world charm of the village, WrightHaven will capture the natural aspects in the community with winding walking paths, naturalized areas and footpaths throughout the subdivision leading to the Cataract Trail adjacent to the site. Parkland and landscaped berms will feature the entranceway that will lead you into the most exquisite subdivision ever built in the area. This site will offer 45’ – 60’ lot frontages with all styles of homes available from spacious bungalow townhomes to executive single detached two storeys. House sizes will range from approximately 1200 – 3000 square feet. WrightHaven’s latest collection of prime subdivisions will surely continue to contribute to the companies great success. It will provide opportunities for future new home buyers to the quality, value, and pleasurable experience so entrenched in the WrightHaven name. Owning a WrightHaven home is a solid investment. A decision the company respects greatly and works hard to ensure is never compromised. WrightHaven’s track record of never missing a closing and the homes in communities to which they are built have proven themselves and have stood the test of time. The pride put into the construction of your home will be yours to be shared and felt each and every time you pull into your driveway. Visit WrightHaven’s newest model home in Fergus in their Highland Ridge site and come and see for yourself the wonderful opportunities they have to offer.

For information on these opportunities, feel free to call locally (519) 787-6699 or visit their website at www.wrighthavenhomes.com

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Air Conditioning Contractors Fergus Fireplace And Home Comfort 180 St Andrew St W, Fergus 519-843-4845 ..................888-871-4592 (See our ad under Fireplaces)

Savard Mechanical RR2 Ariss savard@bellnet.ca ..........519-886-6894 (See our ad this page)

Appliances-Major-Sales & Service Vernon Smith Furniture & Appliances 5461 Highway 6 N, RR5 Guelph .........................................519-824-0382 (See our ad this page)

Builders-Homes

Air Conditioning - Builders

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Builders - Concrete

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Builders-Homes

Concrete Contractors Meadowville Garden Centre Edinburgh, Guelph .........519-822-8208 Hwy 24 N, Guelph ..........519-822-0840 (See our ad opposite page)

Decks & Patios DecKing Around Box 1041 Puslinch ..........519-821-9584 (See our ad this page)

Hickory Dickory Decks www.decks.ca Guelph 519-829-3224 ..................800-263-4774 (See our ad this page)

Decks

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Electricians - Fireplaces

Electricians Nelson Electric www.nelsonelectric.ca info@nelsonelectric.ca Guelph.............................519-710-9783 (See our ad this page)

Fireplaces Fergus Fireplace And Home Comfort 180 St Andrew St W, Fergus 519-843-4845 ..................888-871-4592 (See our ad this page)

Wellington Fireplace & Leisure 138 Main St N Rockwood .......................519-856-0498 (See our ad opposite page)

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Fireplaces - Flooring

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GoldSource Flooring Bigelow Flooring www.guelphflooring.com 450 Woodlawn Rd W Unit 5 Guelph.............................519-821-0256 (See our ad this page)

D. Centurione Guelph Classic Tile 705 Speedvale Ave W Unit 2 Guelph.............................519-822-2215 (See our ad this page)

Zimmerman Custom Flooring www.zimmermanflooring.ca 17A Industrial Dr Elmira ..............................519-669-3933 (See our ad previous page)


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GoldSource Florists-Retail Sublime Flowers & DĂŠcor 215 St Andrew St W Fergus .............................519-843-1560 (See our ad this page)

Furniture Dealers-Retail John Thomson And Son Furniture Ltd www.johnthomsonfurniture.com 157 & 173 St Andrew St W, Fergus .............................519-843-1502 (See our ad next page)

Morette's Furniture Inc www.morettesfurniture.com 519-855-4905 ..................519-855-4906 (See our ad this page) Continued Next Page

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GoldSource Furniture Dealers-Retail Vernon Smith Furniture & Appliances 5461 Highway 6 N, RR5 Guelph .....................519-824-0382 (See our ad this page)

Furniture

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Garage Doors

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GoldSource Garage Doors Automated Door Systems Ltd www.automateddoor.net adsl@bellnet.ca 1-567 Silvercreek Parkway N, Guelph.............................519-829-3777 (See our ad this page)

Gazebos Bosman Home Front Teviotdale........................877-343-3456 (corner of Hwy 109 & 23) (See our ad opposite page)


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Gazebos

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GoldSource Glass & Mirror Barber Glass 167 Suffolk St W, Guelph.............................519-824-0310 (See our ad this page)


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GoldSource Granite City Stone 8-620 Davenport Rd Waterloo .........................................519-885-0999 (See our ad this page)

Granite Gallery 871 Victoria St N Unit 12 Kitchener .........................................519-742-1452 (See our ad this page)

Granite

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Home Cleaning - Home Decor

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GoldSource Home Cleaning Services Homemaid Cleaning Service 519-848-6243 ..................519-835-3215 (See our ad opposite page)

Home Decor Items Duncan-McPhee - The Gift Collection 1 Quebec St Guelph 519-821-1260 ..................888-262-7787 (See our ad this page)

Sublime Flowers & DĂŠcor 215 St Andrew St W Fergus .............................519-843-1560 (See our ad opposite page)

Home Designers Accuvision 2000 Inc www.accuvision2000.com 380 Sheldon Dr Ste 8, Cambridge ......................519-624-9446 (See our ad this page)

Home Decor - Home Designers

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Home Theatre - Hot Tubs

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Home Theatre Rooms Autosonics Stereo Plus www.autosonics.com 10 Speedvale Ave E, Guelph.............................519-837-9330 (See our ad this page)

Station Earth Inc 766 Tower St S Fergus ...519-843-3474 (See our ad opposite page)

Hot Tubs & Spas Pollock Pools And Spas www.pollockpools.com pollockpoolsandspas@bellnet.ca 3 Watson Rd Guelph ......519-780-1777 (See our ad this page) Continued Nex Page


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Hot Tubs - Interior Designers

GoldSource Interior Designers Tigerlily Design 5 Douglas St Unit 301, Guelph.............................519-780-2415 (See our ad this page)

Irrigation Systems & Equipment AWS Irrigation Management www.awsim.ca info@awsim.ca .........................................519-826-5752 (See our ad opposite page)

Hot Tubs & Spas Wellington Fireplace & Leisure 138 Main St N Rockwood .........................................519-856-0498 (See our ad this page)

Interior Decorators Sara Ness Interiors 134 Wyndham St Guelph.............................519-763-3334 (See our ad this page)

Interior Designers Duvet & Pillow Company, The 32 Wilson St Guelph .........................................519-763-7651 (See our ad this page)


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Kitchen Cabinets

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GoldSource Kitchen Cabinets Almost Anything Wood 205 Breadalbane St Fergus .............................519-843-7500 (See our ad opposite page)

BND Woodworking Inc www.bndwoodworking.ca sales@bndwoodworking.ca 66 Arrow Rd Unit 1.........519-836-9028 (See our ad this page)

Nu-Way Kitchens 5 km. North of Guelph on Hwy #6 ...........................519-836-1832 (See our ad opposite page)

Roberts Creative Cabinetry RR4 Arthur ......................519-848-3223 (See our ad this page)

Kitchen Cabinets

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Landscape Architects - Landscape Contractors

GoldSource

Landscape Architects Brydges Landscape Architecture Inc Member ASLA, CSLA,OALA paulbrydgesla@sympatico.ca .........................................519-766-1331 (See our ad this page)

Landscape Contractors & Designers Alterra Contracting Serving Guelph & Area .........................................519-831-5692 (See our ad this page)

Dreamestate Landscaping Office ...............................519-823-9287 Mobile .............................519-835-9287 (See our ad page 112)

Forestell Designed Landscapes www.forestell.com info@forestell.com Guelph.............................519-362-1194 (See our ad page 110)

Meadowville Garden Centre Edinburgh, Guelph .........519-822-8208 Hwy 24 N, Guelph ..........519-822-0840 (See our ad page 111) Continued Next Page


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Landscape Contractors

GoldSource

Landscape Contractors & Designers Renaissance Landscape Group www.rlgroup.ca RR#1 Puslinch ................519-822-8668 (See our ad page 109)

Speedside Construction Ltd ......................................519-836-5959 (See our ad this page)


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Landscape-Lighting Moonlighting Outdoor Lighting .........................................519-767-6774 (See our ad this page)

Landscaping Equipment & Supplies Guelph Building Supply 500 Maltby Rd Guelph .........................................519-780-0400 (See our ad this page)

Landscape Lighting - Landscape Equipment

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Lawn & Garden - Ponds

GoldSource

Lawn & Garden Equipment & Supplies A&W Recreation Hwy 6 N Guelph .............519-767-1434 (See our ad this page)

Masonry & Bricklaying Contractors Beam Masonry 7 Patrick Blvd, Elora........519-846-6610 (See our ad this page)

Ponds, Waterfalls, Water Gardens & Fountains


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Renovations

115

Renovations & Home Improvements About The House www.aboutthehouse.ca 519-848-3128 ..................519-831-6662 (See our ad page 118)

Emerald Renovations & Construction Inc RR6 Guelph .....................519-821-8946 (See our ad this page)

Harrison Design-Build 26 Ontario St Unit 113 Guelph.............................519-830-9159 (See our ad page 117) Continued Next Page


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GoldSource Renovations & Home Improvements Nelson Construction www.nelsonconstruction.ca info@nelsonconstruction.ca 24 Green St Guelph........519-767-5766 (See our ad this page)

Pioneer Craftsmen Ltd 1244 Victoria St N, Kitchener .........................519-743-4461 (See our ad opposite page)

Reno Diva 24 Green St Guelph........519-710-5766 (See our ad this page)

Royal City Design RR2 Elora ........................519-846-8772 (See our ad opposite page) Continued Next Page

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Renovations & Home Improvements Scott Hoegy Building hoegybldg@golden.net RR2 Elora ........................519-846-0163 (See our ad this page)

There are certain areas in and around your home that will need periodic maintenance to help prevent deterioration. It is easier to get into a routine of doing the simpler home maintenance projects by checking and cleaning, Than it is to try and sort out a situation when the problem has really set in. There are also things that only a professional can check and repair.

Gutter Cleaning • how often you need to clean your gutters will depend on where you live, the climate and the trees • a general rule of thumb is at least a twice a year clean out with a careful look over during the rainy season

Roof Maintenance • be on the look out for tile movement and discoloration - especially during a windy season • missing tiles or visible dips in the ridge beam of your roof support should be dealt with immediately and professionally

Home Winterizing Home Winterizing is often overlooked, yet it is an important part of the upkeep of your home. Fall is a perfect time for these projects. Sealing windows, unused doors, appliance vents and window air conditioning units can significantly lower your heating costs. Outside, once the trees have lost their leaved, clear all the debris from your yard and eavestroughing. If you have a pond or water feature be sure to remove the leaved from it as well to avoid clogged filters.


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GoldSource Roofing Contractors Superior Steel Roofing Systems www.superiorsteelroofing.com sales@superiorsteelroofing.com 107 Malcolm Rd, Guelph.............................519-822-4818 (See our ad this page)

Roofing Contractors

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Septic Systems - Stair Builders

Septic Systems Pioneer Septic Solutions Inc Guelph.............................519-763-3349 (See our ad this page)

Sprinklers-Garden & Lawn

Stair Builders Stairworks Ltd www.stairworks.ca info@stairworks.ca 295 Southgate Dr #8, Guelph.............................519-823-1921 (See our ad opposite page)

Siding Contractors G Frey Contracting 415 Arthur St S, Elmira ..............................519-503-7378 (See our ad this page)


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Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool Contractors & Dealers Pollock Pools And Spas www.pollockpools.com pollockpoolsandspas@bellnet.ca 3 Watson Rd Guelph ......519-780-1777 (See our ad this page)

GoldSource


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Tree Service - Upholsterers

123

Tree Service Douglas Wood Large Tree Service www.douglaswood.ca 1-800-353-3019 ...............519-856-2771 (See our ad this page)

Upholsterers Lewis Upholstery 800 York Rd, Guelph.......519-821-8927 (See our ad this page)


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GoldSource Window Treatments Tri-City Solar Solutions www.tricitysolar.com 1486 Victoria St N Unit 1 Kitchener .........................519-743-0163 (See our ad this page)

Windows & Doors Merit Window & Door Design Centre www.meritglass.com info@meritglass.com 61 Arrow Rd Guelph.......519-822-7470 (See our ad opposite page)


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Windows

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ADVERTISER / CATEGORY INDEX

Air Conditioning Contractors Savard Mechanical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87 Appliances-Major-Sales & Service Vernon Smith Furniture & Appliances . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87 Builders-Homes Charleston Homes . . . . . . .87, Builders Showcase 78-86 Fabbian Homes . . . . . . . . .87, Builders Showcase 78-86 Wrighthaven Homes . . . . .89, Builders Showcase 78-86 Concrete Contractors Meadowville Garden Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88 Decks & Patios DecKing Around . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89 Hickory Dickory Decks . . . . . . . . .89, Inside Front Cover Electricians Nelson Electric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90 Fireplaces Fergus Fireplace And Home Comfort . . . . . . . . . . . . . .90 Wellington Fireplace & Leisure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91 Flooring Bigelow Flooring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 D. Centurione Guelph Classic Tile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 Zimmerman Custom Flooring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91 Florists-Retail Sublime Flowers & DĂŠcor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93 Furniture Dealers-Retail John Thomson And Son Furniture Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . .94 Morette's Furniture Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93 Vernon Smith Furniture & Appliances . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95 Garage Doors Automated Door Systems Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96 Gazebos Bosman Home Front . . . . . . . . .97, Masthead sponsor 7 Glass & Mirror Barber Glass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98 Granite City Stone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99 Granite Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99 Home Cleaning Services Homemaid Cleaning Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100 Home Decor Items Duncan-McPhee - The Gift Collection . . . . . . . . . . . .101 Sublime Flowers & DĂŠcor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100 Home Designers Accuvision 2000 Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101 Home Theatre Rooms Autosonics Stereo Plus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103 Station Earth Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102 Hot Tubs & Spas Pollock Pools And Spas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103 Wellington Fireplace & Leisure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104 Interior Decorators Sara Ness Interiors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104 Interior Designers Duvet & Pillow Company, The . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104 Tigerlily Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104

GoldSource

Irrigation Systems & Equipment AWS Irrigation Management . . .105, Front of Magazine Kitchen Cabinets Almost Anything Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106 BND Woodworking Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107 Nu-Way Kitchens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106 Roberts Creative Cabinetry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107 Landscape Architects Brydges Landscape Architecture Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . .108 Landscape Contractors & Designers Alterra Contracting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108 Dreamestate Landscaping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112 Forestell Designed Landscapes . . . . . . .110, Back Cover Meadowville Garden Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111 Renaissance Landscape Group . .109, Back Inside Cover Speedside Construction Ltd . . . . . . .112, Opposite Page Landscape-Lighting Moonlighting Outdoor Lighting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113 Landscaping Equipment & Supplies Guelph Building Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113 Lawn & Garden Equipment & Supplies A&W Recreation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114 Masonry & Bricklaying Contractors Beam Masonry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114 Ponds, Waterfalls, Water Gardens & Fountains Renaissance Landscape Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114 Renovations & Home Improvements About The House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118 Emerald Renovations & Construction Inc . . . . . . . . . .115 Harrison Design-Build . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117 Nelson Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117 Pioneer Craftsmen Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116 Reno Diva . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117 Royal City Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116 Scott Hoegy Building . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118 Roofing Contractors Superior Steel Roofing Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119 Septic Systems Pioneer Septic Solutions Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120 Siding Contractors G Frey Contracting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120 Sprinklers-Garden & Lawn AWS Irrigation Management . . .120, Front of Magazine Stair Builders Stairworks Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121, Front of Magazine Swimming Pool Contractors & Dealers Pollock Pools And Spas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122 Tree Service Douglas Wood Large Tree Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 Upholsterers Lewis Upholstery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 Window Treatments Tri-City Solar Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .124 Windows & Doors Merit Window & Door Design Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . .125


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Livingspaces Spring 2007  

Bringing you the best of Central Ontario

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