Mud Rooms: What Are They and How to Best Utilize Them in Your Home

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Mudrooms are old-school spaces that are definitely back on the rise. The mudroom is typically a home’s secondary entrance, used for keeping the house clean and organized. It’s one of those rooms that many of us yearn for, and rightfully so; it’s great for keeping the family tidy and efficient. Here are the crucial elements to utilize an efficient mudroom in your home.

1. Coat Rack & Hooks
Jackets, hats, scarves, umbrellas – they all need somewhere to hang. Having a row or multiple rows of hooks maximizes wall space.
2. A Bench
The first thing you want to do when you get home is sit down and take off your shoes. Add a boot tray underneath to keep the mudroom extra clean & tidy, and for extra storage, use a bench that has a flip up seat.
3. Cubbies/Cabinets
The ultimate element to optimize your mudroom is a set of open cubbies or cabinets. Having one for each family member lets everyone have their own designated space for storage and organization.
4. Closet
A mudroom is basically one giant closet, but having a designated closet in the room is fantastic for storing bulky outerwear, sports equipment, utilities and cleaning supplies, or any items you just want out of sight.
5. Laundry
Quickly and simply throw dirty clothes and linens straight into the wash without dirtying up the rest of the house.
6. Utility Sink
Having a sink right in the mudroom is perfect for gardening, cleaning up after painting/crafts, or quick washing of a stain in your clothes.
7. Tile Floor
Tile is the most sensible flooring option for a mudroom as it is durable and easy to clean. Add in-floor heating in your mudroom for those cold winter days.

Thinking of a mudroom addition for your home? Contact us today for more info!

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Finding the Right Neighborhood for Your Custom Home

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Calgary is a city often referenced for its suburban sprawl and accompanying lifestyle; however, urbanization is on the rise with a multi-demographic nod towards more central living as the city begins to cultivate an urban center that boasts increasing levels of arts presence, cultural significance, and lifestyle vitality. The appeal of building a new home on an inner-city lot within a neighborhood with established infrastructure and more readily available amenities has caught the interest of both home owners and builders in Calgary. Van Manna Homes thrives in this environment and salvages any opportunity to bring modern style to richly proven neighborhoods. VMH is building custom homes primarily in inner-city communities in Calgary, so we’ve summed up some of our favorites below that we’re sure you and your family would love to live in.

Mount Pleasant: Formerly sleepy wartime neighborhoods like Mount Pleasant are becoming the new neighborhoods on the rise, with an increased presence of new art and lifestyle features and business. What was Rembrandts on 4th street and 23rd Ave NW for years has now become The Block, and is currently one of the most talked about restaurants in central Calgary. This area also boasts 4th Spot, Shigatsu, Sura, Flavours, Velvet Café and John’s Breakfast making it an area rich with density of culture.

Bridgeland: As one of Calgary’s oldest inner-city neighborhoods, Bridgeland boasts an energetic yet small town feel with tons of new, trendy restaurants, shops & boutiques. People have always been attracted to the area and its old charm, and this growth will continue with all the nearby amenities and new trends coming to this neighborhood. Read more from Avenue Calgary here: http://www.avenuecalgary.com/City-Life/Neighbourhoods/Best-of-Bridgeland/

Currie Barracks: Currie Barracks embodies the classic inner-city lifestyle, with all your must-have amenities just a few steps away. And of course, downtown Calgary is just a short drive away! Another huge perk to living in the Currie Barracks community is easy access to tons of trails and pathways, with amazing views and gorgeous new homes. Visit www.currielife.ca for more information on this amazing neighborhood.

Killarney: Killarney is a beautiful Southwest Calgary neighborhood located very close to a variety of amenities and all the conveniences of classic inner-city lifestyle. Another huge appeal of this neighborhood is the short trip into downtown Calgary. With quick access to shopping, groceries, great restaurants & pubs, Killarney appeals to many families looking for the perfect neighborhood to build their next home in.

Crescent Heights: Boasting one of the most famous views in the city, Crescent Heights is one of the best candidates for inner-city custom home building. Large lots and established infrastructure appeal to custom home planning while the neighborhood itself promotes a genuinely unique personality. Bound by several key NW and NE thoroughfares, Crescent Heights features the busy business districts of centre street and the Trans-Canada, gorgeous strolls like McHugh Bluff which runs beneath Crescent Road, and permanent fixtures like the famed Peter’s Drive-in. Read more about Crescent Heights in our blog: http://vanmannahomes.com/neighborhood-profile-crescent-heights/

Renfrew: The northeast inner-city community of Renfrew is slowly but surely growing in popularity and development. Some amazing restaurants that are a huge attraction to Calgarians include OEB Breakfast Co. for brunch lovers, Diner Deluxe for some delicious comfort food, or the world-famous milkshakes from Peters Drive-In; right on 16th Ave NE! As well, downtown Calgary is only a short 3km trip away for access to tons of shopping, restaurants, boutiques, services and much more.

Marda Loop: One of the most appealing inner-city neighborhoods in Calgary is the hub of shopping and café life that is the Southwest’s Marda Loop. What was once a bustling turnaround point for the Marda streetcar line in the mid-20th Century has grown in the last decade into a high-profile lifestyle area for home-owners. Fully self-contained with amenities like grocery stores, a post office, gyms, major drug stores and retailers, Marda Loop also features signature touches like quality record stores, pet boutiques, café’s, deli’s and even local mechanics. The area is also well established with parks and green spaces, situated a short walk away from the sprawling and popular River Park. The community of Altadore claims the south side of the Marda Loop district, bordering the Elbow River and surrounding Sandy Beach Park and River Park — both perfect spots for a nice walk or picnic on a relaxing day off. Read more about Marda Loop on our blog here: http://vanmannahomes.com/neighborhood-profile-marda-loop-2/

 

Think you’ve found the perfect neighborhood for your next home? Contact Van Manna Homes today and let us build your custom dream home!

What to Expect When Building a Custom Home

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Your Step-By-Step Guide From The VMH Team

Building a home can be both an exciting and stressful experience for all home buyers. Van Manna Homes prides themselves in the support that they provide their customers at every stage of the building process and believe that their team and trade partners are second to none in excellence and customer service.

1. Building Decision & Initial Steps
One of the biggest decisions of one’s life is deciding to make a move and build a custom home. Once you and your family have decided when the right time is, and you’ve done your due diligence in selecting your builder, the first steps would be nailing down which type of build you’d like to do, the planning stages, arranging your mortgage financing and finalizing the Purchase Agreement.

2. Planning, Design & Permits
Next, it’s time to determine the interior and exterior look of your home. During this stage, you’ll meet with one of Van Manna’s preferred architects and designers, or opt to use your own. Now, you would be introduced to your client liaison who helps guide you through the steps. This process can take weeks or months with many informative consultations along the way. Once the design has been completed, the permits and planning with the City or County begin. At this time, you will be set up on the Van Manna Homes customized software which is accessible by your smart phone, mobile device or desk top computer. This software keeps you current with real time information from all trades, your project manager, the progress of the home, design selection, ideas and your budget. This software is complete with photos and options as well. This is one of the key features to help guide you through the stages of activity and ensure that your budget stays intact with any custom selections or changes throughout construction.

3. Construction Process
Once your city approval, permits and the blueprints are complete, construction of your new home begins. The construction process unfolds in five main stages: excavation and foundation, framing, drywall, finishing and lastly occupancy. Throughout construction, Van Manna Homes hires a third party licensed home inspector which completes detailed reports from the start of your build right through completion. As well, with your own scheduled visits, you’ll get to experience our hands-on approach of exploring the build site, meeting the trade partners and designer, and watching your custom home come to its glory.

4. Nearing Completion
At this stage, the finishing work on your home is underway, the home inspector is completing their last inspection, and you’ll also receive written confirmation of your possession date. This means it’s time to arrange completion of your finances, book your moving company, update your mailing address, and wrap up any final design and landscaping details. You will also get to attend your homeowner walk-through with the Van Manna team. This is your pre-occupancy meeting, during which time we’ll familiarize you with your new home and all its key features.

5. Possession Day!
On the date of possession, you will be given the keys to your new home along with your welcome package and fully completed home inspection. Now and during the final possession walk-through Van Manna Homes will go through any seasonal items left to be complete and if there are still items to attend to, a “trade day” will be set up that works with your schedule. All that’s left for you to do, is move-in, pop the champagne and enjoy your brand new custom-built Van Manna Homes Dream Home!

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Why Build with Van Manna Homes?

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Why VMH?

With nominations, awards, and a fantastic reputation, Van Manna Homes has become a household name. Their legacy – born from hard work, a devotion to quality and outstanding customer empathy; is built on very humble beginnings which leads true in the craftsmanship and attention to details in every step of a custom-built Van Manna Home.

Van Manna Homes understands that purchasing a new home is a large decision and are dedicated to ensuring your home building experience is a positive one. The Van Manna difference consists of:

– Extensive selection of home designs to choose from or the elect to work with an architect to design the best home for you.
– Exceptional value and quality craftsmanship with flexible building specifications.
– Over 10 years of award-winning home building experience.
– Consumer Login access to a state of the art software to help with your custom home design, budgeting, and communication.
– Preferred financing rates and terms through preferred Brokers.
– Extensive home owner guide provided upon possession, completed by a licensed home inspector throughout your build.
– A thorough orientation of your new home prior to taking possession.
– Detailed demonstration of the features in your home and maintenance reviews.
– Personal client liaison and in-house Designer partnered with you step by step from the design stages, through development, selections and occupancy.
– Proud member of the National Home Warranty program.
– Proud Member of the CHBA (Calgary Home Builders’ Association)

 

Ready to build a custom home with VMH? Contact us anytime – we’d love to start building your dream home with you!
Also – find us on Instagram to follow the VMH story & stay up to date with our latest projects and news!

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VMH Sponsors The Heavy Horse Pull – Stampede 2017

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The VMH Team sponsored The Heavy Horse Pull at The Calgary Stampede this year to support its favourite charity Community Key. Horses Ginger & Bailey pulled a huge weight of 10,600 lbs and came in 7th place this year!

Click here to see the results!

Community Key helps families that are caring for a seriously ill or critically injured child in paying their mortgage or rent payments, allowing them some relief from one of their largest financial burdens. Their aim is to ‘key’ as many families in need as they can, so those families can focus on what’s truly key — family.

Read more about our favourite charity here!

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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!