Drummond House Plans dhp

Winter blues? Why not start a remodelling project?

February can be a long and sometimes depressing month for some people. It can be quite a grim month where as in March, we finally get a glimpse of milder weather and temperature. Thank God February has only 29 days this year! Using one's creativity has long been proven to be a method that is helpful in chasing away the blues. And speaking of creativity, why not start that remodelling project you've been thinking of for so long? Or why not start looking at colors you may want to change in your home? This exercise can be very beneficial and healthy. It is even said to be healing. Here is what Cricket Demarais states in an article written about "Letting Color heal you":

Lack of Color Causes Depression

How we "feel" about color is more than psychological. The last decade has proven that lack of color, or more specifically, light, causes millions to suffer each winter from a mild depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Because of the complex way in which exposure to various colors acts via the brain upon the autonomic nervous system, exposure to a specific color can even alter physiological measurements such as blood pressure, electrical skin resistance and glandular functions in your body. And they most certainly can affect how you feel on a day-to-day basis. Learning about color's qualities and putting it to use can enhance your spirit, improve your health, and quite ultimately, expand your consciousness. You may also get a glimpse on the different meanings and symbolisms of colors. Here is relatively good web site that talks about it: http://www.squidoo.com/colorexpert. Finally, another handy way to sweep away the winter blues is to surf the net in search of ideas and inspiration for remodelling projects, ideas and tips. Here are just a few I found: www.hgtv.com/hgtv/remodeling www.getdecorating.com/ www.homefixpro.com/home_remodeling_and_renovating_article.php?artID=19 www.superkitchens.com

Integrating natural gas into your project

You’re about to build the home of your dreams? Take advantage and give it a touch of blue to improve your comfort and quality of life. Known for its comfort and effectiveness, natural gas is present in more than 200 residential projects in Quebec. The advantages are numerous: Wall to wall comfort Not only is it energy, it is the peak of comfort and peace of mind you dream of. The blue flame enlivens your home and adds a plus in each room: more heat, more pleasure, less work. A reliable resource Natural gas is delivered to you by continuous subterranean lines; you’ll never have to worry about the whims of Mother Nature for your deliveries. And, in case of power failure, many appliances can still function. Practical and reassuring, isn’t it? Gaz Métro has different offers available to facilitate integration of the blue in your home. Here is a glance of financial aid granted: • $1750 for the purchase and installation of a hot air high-efficiency heating unit (Energy Star rated) and a water heater; • $100 per outlet for each natural gas appliance, such as a range, dryer, fireplace, barbecue, pool warmer • $30 for a programmable thermostat. A friendly word of advice The integration of natural gas into your new home should be done as soon as your choice of architectural plans is made. From the beginning of your project, you should have a representative for new construction from Gaz Métro involved. The consultant can guide you through the steps as your project advances. Good to know In order to integrate natural gas into your home, it is of utmost importance to choose a central heating system. As you draw up your home plans, plan openings for heating and the location of the mechanical room in the basement. Here is a glance of steps to follow for a blue home: 1. Access to gas lines: The first step consists in ensuring that natural gas lines pass at less than 30 meters of your future home. Contact Gaz Métro customer service at 1 800 567-1313 for more information. 2. Implicate Gaz Métro : Your representative for new construction at Gaz Métro can refer you to a heating professional who is a Certified Gaz Métro Partner. These professionals are independent contractors, members of the Corporation des maîtres mécaniciens en tuyauterie du Québec, and are subject to most rigorous quality controls. 3. Connecting your home: Construction is coming along well, your heating system is installed and connection of gas lines to your appliances is complete (water heater, range, dryer, fireplace, barbecue, pool heater) Expect about 6 weeks for Gaz Métro to proceed with connection of your home to the main gas lines. Once this is completed, gas will be brought into your home by your Gaz Métro Authorized Partner jointly with a Gaz Métro technician. All that is left to do is take advantage of the soft comfort provided by natural gas. For more information, visit www.gazmetro.com

FlexHousing, building for adaptability

What if the home you are planning to build could be your family home for the rest of your life?  What if, with a little planning, your new home could adapt to meet the needs of your family and change as your family does?

That’s the idea behind FlexHousing.  A FlexHouse is a home designed before construction begins to be user friendly to its occupants at all stages of their lives and to make future renovations easier and cheaper for the homeowner to complete.  FlexHousing can eliminate the need to move from house to house as the requirements of your family change over time.

WHY FLEXHOUSING

The first home for many couples is often referred to as a “starter” home, which is typically small and easy to maintain.  Then, as children come along the first home is too small and that requires the costly and disruptive choice of moving.  When the children are grown and on their own this second home becomes too large for only two people to take care of.

As the population ages, half of all homes in Canada will house people 55 yeas old or older by 2017.  Also, with a declining population, fewer new homes will be built each year.  So homes that are flexible will be in big demand.  This flexibility not only is beneficial to the home, but if families don’t have the need to move, they stay in the neighbourhood longer, creating a stronger sense of community.

PRINCIPLES OF FLEXHOUSING

A FlexHouse isn’t a type of home style like a bungalow or two storey, it is the way it is designed prior to construction and is based on four principles.

• Adaptability
• Accessibility
• Affordability
• Healthy Housing

Adaptability:  The home is designed to be renovated to suit changing needs.

A large bedroom can be made into two smaller rooms and used as either another bedroom or home office.

A space such as the basement can be renovated to become a separate apartment by roughing in plumbing for a kitchen and bathroom that will bring in extra income later on or be used by an aging relative.

Bathroom walls can be given extra strength during construction to allow for the installing of grab bars and other special items to assist less mobile residents.
Install counters and cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom that can be adjusted vertically on brackets or that can have sections that are lower so that people in a wheelchair can reach with them.

Building such features into a new home during initial construction saves time, money and inconvenience when changes are needed or desired down the road.

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Hiring a contractor

Deciding on which contractor will build your home is a critical step in making your dream a reality.  There are many things to consider when making your choice.

ROLE OF THE CONTRATOR

The contractor’s role is to control the construction process and manage all aspects of the job from start to finish.  They will work from your floor plans, obtain the necessary permits for construction in your local area, and arrange for materials to be delivered to your site from your local lumber yard when needed.  The contractor will also manage other necessary trades people (excavation, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, drywall installers, etc.) that will work on your home so that they arrive when needed and complete their jobs efficiently and quickly.  All this will be done in a time frame that you agree on and at a quoted cost.

Contractors should be members of the provincial or local home builders’ association which requires them to conform to a code of ethics as well as attend courses on the latest techniques, building code requirements and technologies to remain in good standing.  They should also be licensed to work in your area and you should be able to see these licences upon request.

Contractors should also carry insurance in case of an accident during construction or in the event of a dispute.  You should be familiar with the rules required by your local government, your home owner’s insurance policy and your bank to ensure that you understand the liabilities involved with building a home and how to protect yourself.

LOCATING A CONTRACTOR

It takes more than just looking in the phone book to find a contractor.  A good place to start is often with friends, family or neighbours.  Ask them if the contractor they used lived up to expectations and delivered what was agreed to.  Ask if they had any problems with the contractor and, if so, how they were resolved.  Most importantly, ask if they would hire the same contractor again.  You want to know they have a good reputation and a history of satisfied customers. 

Your local home show can be a perfect place to look for local contractors who do the type of work that you are planning.  You will be able to talk with several contractors and see photographs of their projects while learning about construction materials and getting advice from professionals.

You can also approach the Canadian Home Builder’s Association (visit www.chba.ca). They will be able to put you in contact with contractors from your local area that are members in good standing.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Before you begin hiring, take the time to do research.  Go online to familiarize yourself with the materials and local requirements for your job.  You can’t expect to learn as much as the professionals, but by educating yourself you will more likely be able to identify a contractor that may not be fully competent (or even dishonest).  Educating yourself now will also save you time and increase your confidence later when it comes to making decisions like picking fixtures and making choices on items such as flooring materials that will have to be done when construction is under way.

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