Renovation vs New Construction: What to Consider

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Why Build?

Sometimes a large renovation will end up costing more than building a brand new home, even though minor fixes and upgrades seem more cost effective than investing in a whole new build. Renovating doesn’t add as much value to the property as building new would. With a new build comes many new upgrades including higher ceilings, open floor plans, ensuite bathrooms, energy efficient products & materials, and new technological features. Newly built homes will have a significant resale advantage if it comes time to put your property on the market. Many minor fixes can add up very quickly when renovating, and unforeseen circumstances can arise and unplanned expenses may end up pushing you way over your budget. With building a brand new home, you start from scratch. You get exactly what you envision in your home – your ideas and concepts are planned for YOU. Upon completion, you get to live in your dream home and won’t ever have to settle for something you don’t absolutely love.

Other factors to consider when thinking about building:

  • Building lots are available in your neighborhood or a neighborhood you really like.
  • The cost of remodeling your home will outpace its resale value.
  • You want a home with changes that can’t be added to your current home.
  • A new home is less likely to have the health concerns/toxic materials of an older home.
  • New addition to homes will have to meet all modern building codes.
  • New homes can be more energy efficient than older homes.

 

Why Renovate?

If you’re home has special value to you because of the old age and period features it contains, you may want to consider a renovation rather than building new. You want to restore or enhance the home but not take away from its unique beauty and history, so it is a good idea to consider keeping with the original design and craftsmanship of the house. Perhaps people of great significance once lived there or substantial historic events happened there. Perhaps you have lived there your entire childhood and are now raising your own family there. Sometimes even if it is not as cost effective to renovate, it is worth the extra expense because it is special to you and to history. From a sustainability point of view, cities prefer to see people maintaining as much of their homes as possible, rather than demolishing the whole house and sending piles of that waste to the landfill.

Other factors to consider when thinking about renovating:

  • You love the neighborhood you currently live in.
  • There are no building lots available in your neighborhood.
  • You would rather invest money in your existing home than in building a new home.
  • Property values in your neighborhood are rising.
  • Your home value is not at the peak for the neighborhood.

 

Leave it to the experts! Contact Van Manna Homes today if you are thinking about building your dream home or a major home renovation.

Neighborhood Profile: Killarney

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Killarney is a beautiful Southwest Calgary neighborhood boasting rich heritage and a combination of suburban and inner-city vibes. This trendy community offers all the amenities and conveniences of classic inner-city lifestyle, and is just a 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.
From Avenue Magazine, these are the top places to shop & eat in Killarney:

Eat
Bow Bulgogi House (3515 17 Ave. S.W.)
Cassis Bistro (2505 17 Ave. S.W.)
Coffee Cats Café (2765 17 Ave. S.W.)
Creteus (2623 17 Ave. S.W.)
Little Lebanon (3515 17 Ave. S.W.)
Spiros Pizza (1902 33 St. S.W.)

Shop
Casel Marché (2503 17 Ave. S.W.)
Filipino Market (12, 3803 26 Ave. S.W.)
Café Francesco (3413 26 Ave. S.W.)
Heritage Bakery & Deli (1912 37 St. S.W.)

Read more about Killarney: https://www.avenuecalgary.com/Neighbourhood-Guide-Killarney/

Van Manna Homes is building in Killarney! Our latest project is a psychologist’s office. Being built to fit in with the gorgeous neighborhood, the interior will have doctor’s offices that look and feel like your own living room so patients feel comfortable and at home.

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Killarney 1

 

Quick Tips to Winterize Your Home

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It is important as a homeowner that you take precautionary steps to prevent damage to your home during winter. With a cold Calgary winter just around the corner, you need to be prepared. Here are a few of those proactive steps you can take to winterize your home before it’s too late.

Change Furnace Filters
Make sure you’re replacing or cleaning your furnace filters monthly. The dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy demand.

Check for Leaks, Seal Cracks
Thoroughly inspect the interior and exterior of your home for any damage like cracks or leaks. Seal them appropriately.

Water Lines & Garden Hoses
Be sure to disconnect and drain your garden hoses. Shut off the water lines going to the exterior of your house and drain them to avoid freezing.

Clean Your Gutters
Ensure all of your gutters are free of gunk and debris before the cold weather hits, to avoid all the debris from freezing and eventually damaging the eavestrough. Also ensure all down spouts are draining away from your home; you don’t want drainage to be sitting around the foundation of your house and then freeze there.

We are here to help! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns about winterizing your home.

1. Front Exterior

Let Van Manna Homes Complete Your Renovation Project

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In a recent article from Home Builder Magazine, blogger Bob Weinstein explains the risks of taking on DIY home renovation projects.

DIY Renos Can be Illegal & Dangerous

“Many homeowners don’t think twice about knocking down walls to create an open floor plan, he noted. But homeowners fail to consider that removing an unwanted wall could jeopardize the integrity of a home’s structure. The repercussions could be devastating and dangerous. The website Doityourself.com, also points out that some actions can be illegal. Removing old insulation or aging drywall, for example, could mean breaking laws concerning the disposal of asbestos. Potential health problems from asbestos exposure include scarring of the lungs and even lung cancer, according to the Government of Canada. For most homeowners, hiring a professional contractor is not only a smart move—it could be the safest decision.”

Read the full article here: https://www.homebuildercanada.com/news/news180827-DIY.renos.htm

Leave it to the experts! Contact Van Manna Homes today if you are thinking about a major home renovation.

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Top Four Things Homebuyers Want

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The Top Four Things Homebuyers Want

https://www.homebuildercanada.com/news/news180711-Four-top-things.htm

Staying on top of the latest trends is at the top of Van Manna’s list. We are constantly working hard to give our clients the most value.
According to Homebuilder Magazine, these are the top four home design trends in the housing market right now.

1) Open Space
Open, versatile kitchen/living areas. Open-concept designs with kitchens smoothly opening up to large living spaces with no dividing walls, creating a large shareable space.

10. Main Floor view from stairs Optional #2

Van Manna Custom Home in Richmond Hill

 
2) Entertainment Kitchens
Large islands being the focus of the kitchen, with barstools along the opposite side of the chef.

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Van Manna Custom Home in Springbank

 
3) Luxury Showers
Deep, walk-in showers with large rainfall-style shower heads. Luxury showers are replacing traditional bathtubs.

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Van Manna Custom Home in Varsity

 

4) Color Splash
Blue-greys are especially in style, with rich colour walls that make the interior design pop.

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Van Manna Custom Home in Richmond Hill

The Renovation Money Room

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According to Home Builder Magazine and a recent cross-Canada survey, a kitchen renovation has the potential to boost a home’s value by more than 12.5 per cent.

Read their article here: https://www.homebuildercanada.com/news/news180710-Kitchens-reno.htm

Your kitchen is the center of your family’s day-to-day living; a bonding area that ties your home together. We believe a kitchen is one of the most important features of a home – here are some of our favorite custom Van Manna Homes kitchens:

Kitchen 9401 11A STREET-12404 HAWKS NEST GROVE-6

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Kitchen 4

Thinking of upgrading your home with some major renovations? Van Manna Homes is in your community completing custom home renovations! Contact us today to transform your house into your dream home!

New Home Warranty

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Peace of mind is everything and when building your home with Van Manna Homes, we give you that and so much more.  Van Manna Homes has been a member in good standing with National Home Warranty for over 10 years.  National Home Warranty is one of Canada’s top warranty programs.  With the 2-5-10 year program you can be assured that your home is well covered.

What is the 2-5-10 year program?

New homes built in Alberta are protected by 2-5-10 home warranty insurance, as set out by the New Home Buyer Protection Act of Alberta. Mandatory warranty insurance includes the following coverage’s:

2 years’ coverage on labour and materials as follows:

12 months’ coverage for defects in material and labour

24 months’ coverage for defects in material and labour for delivery and distribution systems (heating, electrical, plumbing, etc.)

5 years’ coverage for defects in the building envelope.

10 years’ coverage for structural defects

This is one of the largest investments you will make in your life and the right coverage is important.  Have a look at the performance guidelines outlining all the coverage on your new home at www.nationalhomewarranty.com  

 

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Project Development Options with Van Manna Homes

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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. Here are your project development options when you build with us:

Contract Build or Renovation: Van Manna Homes completes your project from demolition stage through to new home possession stage.  You decide on your Building Specification package and home design; Van Manna Homes then gives a set price to build as well as estimated timeline.

Cost Plus: The land owners have control of the budget, home design, and building specifications.  Van Manna Homes manages the construction of the project. Be prepared for a longer possession timeline than option 1 as this scenario can be more time consuming.  Management fees are based on cost plus a percentage on all aspects of the build.

Joint Venture between Builder and Landowner:  Van Manna Homes and land owners agree mutually on a marketable home design and Building Specification package.  The land owner contributes the land at a fair market value.  The Builder contributes the project construction and management at a determined value.  Holding costs after construction are the landowner’s responsibility.  Once the new home sells each party is repaid the contributed values and the remainder is split 50/50.

Contact us today if you are ready to build your dream custom home!

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Why Your Custom Build with Van Manna Homes Will be Stress-Free

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Deciding to build a custom home is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. It can be a daunting experience if there’s a lack of support and communication from your builder, or if there’s limited access to information and updates regarding your custom project. Your home is your sanctuary, the place you will create a lifetime of memories, and one of the largest investments you’ll ever make. Therefore, it’s not only essential to select the right builder who appreciates your vision and understands the custom build process inside and out, but who guides you to help you understand this process and provides you with the tools you need to have a positive building experience from start to finish. At Van Manna Homes, we use state of the art software to assist our clients with everything about home design, budgeting, and communication.

Co-Construct is the construction management software we use to keep our clients informed, in charge and connected to every aspect of their new custom home. Your project is uploaded to Co-Construct so you can monitor the step by step progress of your home construction. Through this cutting-edge software, our team notifies you at the various stages of the build in which your custom selections are required, and we provide deadlines for each of these selections, ensuring your project is being completed efficiently and on time.

Communication is key during this process. Co-Construct’s messaging system provides a platform for smooth and easy communication between you and your builder and their whole team. This secure software is accessible to you from any device, any where, any time – so you are always up to date with the most recent details of your project. You will also have access to all progress photos, updated plans and important files.

The Van Manna Homes team is one who treats each build like they’re building their very own family home. We pride ourselves on the support that we provide our clients at every stage of the building process and that was the basis behind our decision to use the top of the line software that is Co-Construct.

Contact us today to start building your custom dream home!

Co-Construct

 

How Plants Help You Sleep Better

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In a high-stress world, it can be tough to get a full seven to eight hours of sleep. However, design and decor can go a long way to creating the relaxing atmosphere you need to rest well. Houseplants can be used in an infinite number of ways to not only accentuate the layout of your bedroom but also give you maximum health benefits.

Natural Stress Reliever

Nature has a way of relieving stress while relaxing the mind and body. Studies have shown that spending time outside decreases activity in the prefrontal area of the brain, where anxious or depressive thoughts begin. Bringing nature into your bedroom can have a similar effect.

Everything from the shape of their leaves to the color of their leaves contributes to stress relief. They bring in the comforting scents of earth while naturally giving your bedroom an organic element. The touch, feel, and the smell of a plant isn’t something you can duplicate through synthetic flowers.

Cleaner Air Equals Better Sleep

Plants do more than look beautiful. They take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, cleaning the air inside your home. Through this process, they can rid your home of dangerous chemicals like:

Trichloroethylene: This toxin makes its way into the air from printing inks, paints, adhesives, and varnishes.
• Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is found in paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, particle board, and paper towels.
• Benzene: Dyes, detergents, and plastics may contain benzene.
• Ammonia: This chemical is commonly used in cleaners and fertilizers.

Though most of these toxins are found only in trace amounts in the home, they can build up without proper ventilation. That’s one reason that people recommend airing out a mattress before sleeping on it. Many mattresses release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when new. To minimize these effects, look for GreenGuard or CertiPUR-USⓇ certified mattresses and furniture marked as low emissions.

The Best Plants to Use

NASA  conducted a study to find the plants that work best to remove biotoxins from indoor air. A few of their recommendations include:

• Dwarf date palm
• Chinese evergreen
• Peace lily
• Florist’s chrysanthemum

How to Choose

Your first consideration should be your climate. Some plants do well in dry climates while others are more sensitive to moisture levels. Do a little research, so you know what kind of plants thrive in your environment.

Maintenance should be your next concern. Some plants need water every few days while others don’t need it for weeks. Whatever type of plant you choose, be sure you know how often it should be watered and whether or not it tolerates direct sunlight.

When it comes to decor, consider the size and shape of the plant. If you have an empty bedroom corner, a tall, thin plant might be what you need to fill the vertical space. On the other hand, if the only space available is a windowsill, a small pot of English ivy might work best.

 

Bed with plant Small houseplant Hanging plant

 

Article written by Samantha (Sam) Kent of SleepHelp.org

Update: Bayview Demolition

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Van Manna Homes has just completed this beautiful custom home in Bayview; a complete demolition, rebuilt from the foundation up.

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BEFORE

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AFTER

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Bayview is a small luxurious residential neighborhood located in the south-west quadrant of Calgary right on the southern shore of the Glenmore Reservoir. Bayview boasts stunning views, vast green space, parks & pathways and features a playground, marina with boat docks, a mall, and skating rinks for the community. This neighborhood is perfect for anyone looking to settle down in a small, quiet community.

Ready to build your custom home with us? Contact us today!

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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9. Mud Room Optional#1

Finding the Right Neighborhood for Your Custom Home

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Mt Pleasant

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: https://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: https://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: https://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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