CHBA – Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing

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Van Manna Homes has proudly entered one of our beautiful custom homes into the 2017 CHBA – Alberta Awards of Excellence in Housing competition! These annual new home awards celebrate the most creative and professional work in the Calgary home building industry. Last year, Van Manna Homes was a finalist out of over 380 entries from builders across Alberta!

Stay tuned – finalists will be announced on CHBA – Alberta’s website and in a news release to media at the end of July!

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3 Advantages of Building a Custom Home

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Thinking of Building a Custom Home?

There are many reasons to build your brand-new custom home rather than buy an existing home, but we’ve summed up three huge benefits of building your own custom dream home with us. To Van Manna Homes, “custom” means our team works one on one with you to make sure your home fits your lifestyle so you get exactly what you want and more.

1. It’s Custom
The title says it all. The main advantage to building a custom home is that it is customized to exactly what YOU want to make it your dream home. What are the chances of finding your dream home – the EXACT home you want – on the market? Slim. When you choose to build a custom home with Van Manna Homes, you have input in every aspect of the building process; we work one on one with you so your home is perfect to you. You could buy a home on the market that you LIKE, but chances are you will end up renovating or upgrading the home to make it a home that you LOVE, which can add up quickly and end up being quite costly. You get exactly what you want – no ifs ands or buts. Your custom home should be unique to you and your family; a place designed and built specifically for you, where you create new memories and traditions over the years.

2. Low Maintenance
Another huge advantage to building a custom home is that everything is NEW! All the materials and appliances will be brand new, and our team uses the most cutting edge building methods and up to date safety codes. A custom-built Van Manna home is worth every penny spent upfront; it prevents you from spending money on costly renos and improvements down the road. When buying an existing house, there is always the uncertainty of the state of the home, whether that is the condition of the original foundation, structural integrity, or quality of the materials and appliances originally used. When building a brand-new home with us, you also have the option to build energy efficiently and use materials that will save you tons of money in the long run. Building a custom home means less time spent on maintenance/retrofitting and more time enjoying your home!

3. Choice of Location
A huge benefit to building a custom home is that you can build it wherever you want! There’s no need to sacrifice an ideal neighborhood or a school district which you likely would when buying a home on the market. Location is everything! Whether you choose to be a little more secluded for maximum privacy, you want to enjoy all the amenities of a trendy inner city neighborhood, or anything in between – the choice is yours, and there is something very satisfying about that. At Van Manna Homes, we can build your new home OR if you are already in a location you love, we can renovate your current home to make it exactly what you want.

The Van Manna Homes team always provides one-on-one service and we are devoted to perfecting your custom home. Ready to build your dream home? Contact us today!

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Building Energy Efficiently

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Building Energy Efficiently

Fact: Everyone can take part in being more energy efficient. At Van Manna Homes, we are always searching for the most energy efficient options and effective ways to build. With having your home completed with energy efficient options, there are government rebates available and mortgage insurer programs available to put cash back in our buyer’s and renovators pockets. For example, when your new home is built or renovated, an inspector can come to the property from Energy efficient Alberta and confirm the EnerGuide rating of the property. This is often based on the lights, high-efficiency shower heads, power bars, self-adjusting thermostats, windows, and various other building materials. As well, through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, if your mortgage is insured, then depending on the energy efficiency of your home or a willingness to improve your home’s energy efficiency, you may be eligible when using insured financing for a 10% mortgage loan insurance premium refund and extended amortization

Tips & Tricks from Van Manna Homes to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

At Van Manna Homes, we are always using premium quality insulation, windows, lighting, and everything else that affects the efficiency of a home. Using only quality products benefits not only the home owner but greatly conserves energy and the demand for non-renewable resources. Contact us any time with questions or to get started on building your energy efficient custom home!

 If you don’t have proper insulation, you could be letting a lot of heat out during the cold winter season, which will cost you and of course, the environment. As well, making sure you have quality windows installed in your home is huge on saving on energy costs. Your windows can let out a lot of heat through the winter and cool air through the summer. Switch to fluorescent bulbs for lighting in your home to drastically save energy and money. Fluorescent bulbs last way longer than the typical incandescent bulbs. And finally, make sure your appliances are energy efficient before you purchase them. Look for the Energy Star symbol or an EnerGuide label. These appliances may cost more up front, but they are worth the investment as they use much less energy.

Check out Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Instant Savings campaign running from April 18 until June 11! Click here for all the info!

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2017 Patio Trends

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Planning Outdoor Spaces for Spring

Can you believe Spring is already here?! At Van Manna Homes, we love keeping up with the latest trends in home design and décor and we thought we’d share with you some of the hottest trends for your outdoor patio for 2017!
Colors: “Life-like” – City Life, Tropical Island, Country Side
Styles: Modern, Bohemian, Coastal
Decorate: Materials, Pillows, Amenities, Accessories

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Colors
The huge trend for 2017 will be replicating scenes from real life through the colors used to decorate your patio set. For example, the “tropical island” color scheme of whites and blues which represent the ocean and the sand, and red and green accents which represent coral and see vegetation.

Styles
Modern
Modern design is popular inside homes and this year it is moving outside the home to the patio! Keeping your design simple will make it easy to decorate with bold accents and decorations.
Bohemian
World travel and a focus on other cultures is huge right now. Bohemian is a very laid back style, and patios this year should have more of the upholstered furniture and rustic wood pieces that show off this style.
Coastal
Patterns and colors (especially watercolor) that mimic the ocean and beach will be very popular as it brings out the relaxed feeling of being by the sea.

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Decorate
Materials/Textures
The go-to will always be black and brown based furniture because both pair so well with a large variety of colors and styles. Wood accenting will be more popular this year as it pairs nicely with both light or dark finishes. Open weaves and braids add flair and are a big trend for 2017, as well as wicker which always adds warmth to a patio. Wicker furniture is timeless and versatile as you can always make fabric changes to keep up with different trends.
Pillows
Pillows, pillows, pillows! This is the EASIEST way to add color to a patio set. This year will see different shapes of pillows as well as more lively patterns and prints including: abstract, stripes, botanical, tribal, animal, and tropical. A newer trend will be adding bean bag chairs to your outdoor space, giving a very laid back feel to the space.
Amenities
Add a mini fridge to your outdoor space to keep the beers extra cold this summer!
Accessories
Plants, lighting and a fireplace and/or fountain will be the finishing touches for patios. Match the bloom color of your plants and flowers to accentuate your patio furniture. A nice option is a living wall – vertical gardens of flowers (beautiful and fragrant) or herbs (fragrant and earthy) are a beautiful feature for patios. For outdoor lighting, use LED lights to save energy and enjoy the longer lifespans – less money spent and less frequent bulb changing. Mimic moonlight to set a relaxing mood by installing lights high up in trees so the soft light comes down through branches looking very natural. A classic feature is of course, a fireplace. Also, adding a pottery fountain to have soothing sounds of trickling water will make your outdoor space a peaceful place to relax.

Our Latest Masterpiece

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Van Manna Homes recently completed this custom infill in the beautiful neighborhood of Bridgeland! Our under the stairs play space in this home was recently featured on Houzz in the ideabook “3 Incredibly Creative Features for Kids.” Take a look here! http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/82061124

Also, check out the neighborhood profile below from Avenue Calgary, and take a look at the pictures of our masterpiece!

http://www.avenuecalgary.com/City-Life/Neighbourhoods/Best-of-Bridgeland/

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2017 Home Trends

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Interior Design Trends for 2017

Natural, Neutral, Nature Colors
Calming shades like green, purple and taupe
– Colors that reflect the rapidly growing “wellness industry”
– Colors that display themes of simplicity, spirituality, etc.

“Raw” Surfaces
Trends are heading in a more “raw & primal” direction with deep silver metals and dark tactile stones
– These are replacing rose gold and high shine metals from last year
– These trends are moodier and artistic; conveying feelings of calmness and comfort

According to Houzz, these will be the decor trends:
– Pendant lights taking place of table lamps
– Wood accents in kitchens with white cabinets and backsplashes
– Walls of tile in kitchens instead of backsplashes of tile, making it more dramatic and extending the tile all the way to the ceiling
– Contemporary style bar stools to give kitchens a more modern look

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One of our beautiful custom homes in Bearspaw, showing examples of wood accents and white cabinets in the kitchen, and some pendant lighting. We are always keeping up to date with the latest trends; contact us anytime to get started on building your dream home!

 

Spray Foam

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Spray Foam Insulation

At Van Manna Homes, we are constantly looking at the most energy efficient and effective ways to build. Thank you so much to Gary and his team at Prima Foam for all the great work you’ve done for us!Springbank exterior

Quick Facts
Spray Foam: Quick expanding insulation used in homes.
R Value: The term given to thermal resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value of an insulation product, the more effective the insulation properties.
Reasons to use spray foam and why it’s your go to alternative to other insulation:

– 2lb closed cell spray foam is designed to have superior properties and is a must if you’re building or renovating a custom home.
– The integrity of spray foam will be noticed right away. Its rigid properties will keep the heat in and the cold out. The closed cell creates a product that is non-air permeable. The benefits of this are to keep pollutants out. Thus, keeping the heat or air conditioning in. This is huge in the savings of your energy bills.
– Spray foam will not sag or lose its original insulation properties, making it a life time product worth investing in.
I.E. You have a garage suite or attached garage and you leave your car running in the garage below – the non-air permeable spray foam prevents those harmful fumes from seeping up into the garage suite or through into your house.

Why Spray Foam?
Prima Foam – “There is no other choice to do your installation because when we combine the R-value with the air sealing qualities of spray foam insulation, all other insulation pales in comparison.”
“There are so many reasons to choose spray foam but number one for me is that it actually works and does what it says it does!” -Gary Mai, Prima Foam

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Accessibility Renovation Rebates

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Attention Baby Boomers: Don’t Sell… Adapt!

All you need to know about the government rebates to keep you in the comfort of your own home and how The Van Manna Homes Team can make this happen!

“Ottawa is addressing the large cohort of baby boomers who wish to remain in their homes as long as possible, with a tax break for mobility-focused upgrades. Seniors, their spouses, and those who qualify for the Disability Tax Credit can claim 15 per cent of eligible home improvements up to $10,000 up to a maximum benefit of $1,500 under the Home Accessibility Tax Credit.”

-http://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/business/5-tax-changes-that-will-impact-your-2016-return-1.3282774

So, you’re thinking of renovating and want to know if you’re eligible for an accessibility renovation rebate? We’ve summarized the basics so you can quickly tell if it’s in yours or your family’s best interest to consider these home renovations.

First off, the renovations that will be eligible for a government rebate are 1) those which allow the qualifying individual (someone who is eligible for the disability tax credit for the year or someone who is 65 or older at the end of a year) to access the home or be mobile or functional within the home and 2) decrease injury risks to the qualifying individual within the home or in gaining access to the home.

A qualifying individual OR an eligible individual (spouse or common-law partner of the qualifying individual) who is making a claim for the qualifying individual can claim an amount for eligible expenses in a qualifying home renovation. Your home is considered eligible if it is 1) located in Canada AND 2) is either owned and normally lived in by the qualifying individual or owned and normally lived in by the eligible individual and the qualifying individual.

Follow the link below for more details on how to qualify, which expenses are eligible and ineligible, and what documents are needed to support eligible expenses!

 http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/tpcs/ncm-tx/rtrn/cmpltng/ddctns/lns360-390/398/398-eng.html#qlfng ndvdl

If you are thinking of renovating, let Van Manna Homes help! Contact us anytime for any and all of your renovation questions, concerns and needs!

Apothics FC

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Van Manna Homes is a proud sponsor of The Apothics FC, a Calgary Women’s Soccer Team with CWSA (Calgary Women’s Soccer Association). Van Manna Homes has sponsored this team since its inception in early 2012! The girls dominated in a 3-2 win last week!

Why is Humidity So Important in Your Home?

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The drastic change in outdoor temperatures through our cold winter season can pull the humidity right out of our homes. Since cold air can’t hold moisture like warm air can, it feels much drier through wintertime because the air is less saturated with humidity. Low humidity levels in winter can cause several annoying problems, including:

Colds/Respiratory Problems
It is very common to become sick easier than normal in the winter – and there is an explanation: low humidity levels! Our noses and throat dry out easily in the cold winter months, making it harder to remove bacteria, dust, dirt, etc. before they are breathed into our lungs. Keep your throat and nose moist and avoid those colds by increasing the humidity in your home!
Static Electricity
That dreadful shock that comes when you touch an object or a family member… that is directly related to low humidity levels in your house. If you increase the humidity in your home that static charge won’t build up, and you won’t be shocked.
Dry Skin
As I’m sure you’ve experienced, dry skin can be a serious issue in the winter. Low humidity levels cause skin to easily chap and break. Same goes for your scalp – causing flaking (dandruff). Pet dander becomes more predominant in dry homes in the winter, too. Moist air within the home will help keep the skin moisturized to avoid these issues.
Household Damage
When the air within your house is lacking humidity, it will try to find moisture elsewhere. The dry air can pull moisture from wooden furniture or structures in your home, even causing the annoying squeaky floors I’m sure you’ve heard in some rooms. Again, increasing the humidity could help this.

Call us any time for more information on a home humidification system!

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Van Manna Homes Awarded Best Of Houzz 2017

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Van Manna Homes of Calgary

Awarded Best Of Houzz 2017

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Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

 

CALGARY, Canada, January 18, 2017 – Van Manna Homes Inc. of Calgary, AB has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The custom home building company was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2016. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2017” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of  their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.

 

“We’re so pleased to award Best of Houzz 2017 to this incredible group of talented and customer-focused professionals, including Jason Manna,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz. “Each of these businesses was singled out for recognition by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts for helping to turn their home improvement dreams into reality.”

Follow Van Manna Homes on Houzz.

About Van Manna Homes

Van Manna Homes was founded in 2005. Jason Manna is the proud CEO of the company and runs the business with a very hands on approach; it is tough to be at a job site and not see Jason conferring with his trade partners, making on-site decisions, as well as designing with clients.  Since inception, they have been building timeless, luxury estate homes, inner city properties and completing high end renovations. Van Manna Homes is a custom builder who treats each build like they were building their very own family home.  With over 10 years in business and a team with decades of experience, building in many of Calgary and area’s most successful and prominent communities and surrounding areas, Van Manna Homes is consistently recognized as one of Calgary’s top premier custom builders.

 About Houzz

Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.

Trend Alert

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ACCOMODATING THE RENTERS TO ACCOMMODATE YOUR MORTGAGE PAYMENTS

“Mortgage Helpers” is a huge trend as of late and the demand is high for rental properties in the inner-city. This has resulted in more development of multi-family properties, more permits being requested from the City and more legalized suites being added to existing properties. The trend of focusing on secondary suites helps with one’s mortgage payments and facilitates the common goals of affordable inner city living and being mortgage-free faster. We are seeing more and more clients purchase R2 Zoned properties, building a duplex to occupy one side and renting the neighboring unit. Or, adding a carriage suite over their garage (i.e.: Currie Barracks and Garrison) to accommodate rental income. Does being mortgage-free faster sound like something you’re interested in? Van Manna Homes is here to help and provide simple solutions for maximizing your investments. Visit www.VanMannaHomes.com for more information about your future income property!

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