Building Custom Homes in Calgary: Step 2

Every custom home built in Calgary starts with turning a dream into a concrete vision, as we explained in last week’s post. After you’ve developed your dream plans into real, buildable details, it’s time to get down to the real work, and that brings us to Step 2 of building your Calgary dream home: finding a place to put it.

Finding the Right Calgary Property for Your Custom-Built Home

Your dream lifestyle almost certainly includes some requirements for your dream home’s location—custom building can give you anything you want inside your home, but there’s always location, location, location. Fortunately, Calgary and the surrounding area has a little bit of everything to offer the region’s homeowners, from the bustle of the city to the larger lots and friendly neighbors of Calgary’s outer limits and suburbs to the more rural paradise just beyond the reaches of the city’s spread.

How close do you want to be to the action? To the folks next door? How much space do you want your custom-built home to take up? Are there any special features you’re hoping for in your home or your outdoor areas that might require special permitting, or that might not be permissible inside Calgary city limits? You’ll need to answer these questions and more—possibly with the advice of professional custom home builders familiar with Calgary’s residential property rules and requirements—to determine the best location for your dream home.

Then of course, you get the joy of property shopping. Take into account that building where there’s already an existing structure will come with the costs of a demolition, while undeveloped properties may need to have power and other utility lines constructed, wells dug and tested, and so on. Where there’s a will for a custom home there’s usually a way to build it, just be aware of these hurdles while viewing and investigating potential properties.

Building a Custom Home in Calgary: Step 1

Your home wasn’t built in a day, and the custom-designed, custom-built, custom-styled home of your dreams is going to take at least a weekend (actual results may vary). We thought we’d walk you through the custom homebuilding process step-by-step so you’ll know what to expect when you work with one of Calgary’s most trusted custom luxury home builders.

Envisioning Your Custom Calgary Home

All custom homes start with a dream, or a dozen dreams, usually added to for a decade or more until the mental detail is staggering. A good custom home builder will help you make your dreams come true, but you’ll also need to make your dreams as concrete and substantial as possible. That’s why the first real step towards a home custom-built to your desires and your lifestyle is envisioning the real details of your home.

Who lives in your dream home? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do they need? Will guests be coming over frequently? Do you need large areas to entertain, extra sleeping areas for extended stays, or a space entirely dedicated to your own hobbies and pursuits? If you want your custom home to become a reality, you have to get specific—grand thoughts are great, but only real plans can be built.

Determine your dream lifestyle, and you’ll be able to answer plenty of down-to-earth questions about what you’ll need in a custom-built home. When it comes to design aspects, taking clipping from magazines or saving images you find online can be a great way to decide what you want and communicate it to your home-building team.

Once you have some concrete ideas in place, you can move on to the next step in the home-building process!

Custom Calgary Throne Rooms Fit for a King

Exteriors, entryways, and main-floor living spaces are areas that receive frequent attention from Calgarians looking to add a custom touch to their homes. What the neighbors see and the public areas of the home are important, to be sure, but there’s one room that, while a little more private, is at least as important when it comes to getting the home of your dreams.

Custom Bathroom Remodels Made Easy

Soaking tubs, waterfall showers, dual sinks, high-efficiency luxury commodes: there are plenty of ways to give your bathroom a personal touch and get the amenities you want. And who cares if no one other than yourself gets to enjoy them—it’s your house, isn’t it?

That being said, building the perfect throne room can be a kingly task, and without proper planning and know-how you can go from commanding your empire to watching your dreams get flushed down the drain. Make sure you understand the space requirements of the elements you want in your bathroom, and get some professional help to make sure it will all fit. If you aren’t prepared to rearrange a few walls, you might need to make a few compromises.

Plumbing, of course, is another essential aspect of any custom bathroom remodel. Accessibility and location are both key considerations; again, calling a professional for a quick assessment early in the planning phase can keep you from taking a bath (metaphorically!) later on. You can usually move your pipes around however you need, but it may require more extensive remodeling and permitting than you initially expect, depending on your current setup.

Call the Bathroom Remodeling Experts

As long as you have the room you need and the willingness to do what must be done with your plumbing, a team of custom bathroom remodeling experts should be able to get you everything you want in your shrine of porcelain-and-tile. Get a professional opinion before your dreams get too detailed, and we’ll have you sitting like a king in no time.

Custom Home Building, Calgary Style

Calgary and the Calgarians who call it home have their own style. We’re laid back but we love a good natured competition; we live large but try to keep things environmentally friendly; we’re proud of our pioneering and ranching heritage but we enjoy all of the modern luxuries available to us.

Calgary homes ought to reflect Calgary culture as well as the individual lifestyles of the Calgary citizens who occupy them. More often than not this involves a bit of custom building, either from the ground up or in making renovations to existing homes to accommodate growing families and newly available amenities.

We like to think we can help.

Custom Built Homes Keep Calgarians Happy

When it’s done right, a custom built home should keep a Calgary homeowner, couple, or family happy and cozy for decades. With custom home builders who truly know what they’re doing and know how to listen to their clients, you should get the space you want carved into the rooms you need and with colors and materials you will enjoy just as much years down the line as you do when they’re first installed.

The design process and construction phases definitely aren’t the time to be laid back and Calgary-casual—those are the times you work closely with your professionals, and your professionals work closely with you, to make sure you get the house you want. A house as luxurious as it is efficient, as spacious as it is convenient, and as perfect for your family as it is for the larger Calgary community.

No one in this city deserves any less.

Reworking a Walkout

It’s great to have a basement development project that’s also a walkout as it gives us lots of natural light to work with and, of course, a brighter space for the residents to enjoy. Our biggest challenge was starting with a floor that was concave. So here’s what we did:

  • Filled the floor with self-leveling concrete to get an even surface before installing a combination of carpet and tile.
  • Created two generous living areas from one large space by installing a double-sided media wall of custom cabinetry and a fireplace.
  • Custom made sliding doors that act as a feature wall yet maintain the consistent look of the five-panel shaker doors.
  • Built a large bar with custom cabinetry of aluminum and glass doors.
  • Added a speaker system that runs throughout the basement, along with pot lighting.
  • Refurbished the bathroom with a floating vanity and LED under-lighting.

Renovating Around the Clock at the Saddledome

Our work isn’t limited to residential clients. Our latest commercial project was a renovation of the Ensign suite at the Saddledome. We had just eight days for the renovation – which was major – and we had to work around hockey and concert schedules during that time. By taking advantage of all 24 hours in those eight days, we were able to get everything done on time. This is what we did:

  • Ripped down the old T-bar ceiling, extended the ceiling, added duct work and a bulkhead to it, and changed the sprinklers to bring them up to code.
  • Updated all new lighting.
  • Installed all new cabinetry.
  • Added granite countertops with a waterfall edge.
  • Re-tiled the floor throughout.
  • Created the millwork frame around Ensign’s promotional back-lite panel boards.
  • Refurbished the bathroom to keep it in line with the new design.

Turning Small Spaces into Big Ones


We wouldn’t call this renovation a total overhaul, but it was very close. In this 1,640 square-foot home, we tackled the basement, main floor and second floor. Our biggest challenge – and success – with this project was making a relatively small main floor appear and function like a large space. Here’s what we did from one floor to the next:

Redesigned the kitchen, which included changing the plumbing and adding a large island as a new focal point.

  • Removed a corner pantry in the kitchen to increase the usable space, providing more counter and cabinet space.
  • Installed a built-in microwave to save space and maintain a clean look.
  • Patched and refinished the hardwood floor in the kitchen, matching the wood grain as we couldn’t source the original hardwood.
  • Reused the fireplace in the great room, but made it far more impressive with a split-stone wall and wood mantel.
  • Reworked the wiring in the ceiling to add pot lights, which added to the clean design.
  • Replaced the railings in the entire house on a small budget.
  • Updated the basement to appear more spacious despite its low ceiling height of 7’8”.
  • Redesigned and refreshed two bathrooms with new materials and fixtures.

Renovation Details: The Calgary Kitchen of Your Dreams

Whether you’re feeding the whole stampede on game day or prepping a candlelit dinner just for you and your other half, you want the kitchen in your Calgary home to be functional and stylish, efficient and inviting. Knowing what you want and making it happen are two different things, though, so take a look at these three kitchen renovating tips before you begin ripping out counters and cabinets.

1. Choose Materials Carefully

Making things look the way you want is a major reason for almost any renovation, but don’t get carried away by aesthetics. There are materials available in the Calgary area and the world over that can help you achieve the look you want, with widely varying qualities and costs. Use your functional demands to narrow down material types, then look for options that catch your eye.

2. Measure Early and Often

Better yet, get professional Calgary home builders and renovators to do the measuring for you. Trust us—you want cabinets and counters built for your space, and built with precision. Anything less will noticeably detract from the look and the performance of the finished product. Avoid wasted space, ugly gaps, and unsightly overhangs by making sure your kitchen’s accoutrements are custom-built for your kitchen’s space.

3. Plumbing is All About Location, Location, Location

Decide how extensive you want your kitchen renovation to be. Leaving your sink and other kitchen appliances in their current positions can make things easier and cheaper, but if you don’t end up with the kitchen of your dreams it won’t be worth the savings. If you decide to run new plumbing, you might need permits from the City of Calgary—again, professional Calgary kitchen renovators are good folks to have on hand.

Calgary Homebuilding Without the Headache

Ah, new construction. Every Calgary homeowner’s dream—a home designed for their lot, location, and lifestyle and built to their exact specifications.

It’s a dream that can all too quickly become a nightmare, though. Here’s how to keep that from happening.

Plan Your Homebuilding Project with Professionals

It’s easy to come up with a timeline for a home building a project—pull out a calendar, slap on some stickers, and presto! A realistic timeline that helps you know what you can actually expect to be accomplished when…that’s a little trickier.

Unless you have extensive personal experience dealing with homebuilding in Calgary, including getting permits from the City of Calgary, working with suppliers and vendors in the Calgary area, and getting down to the nitty-gritty of actually building a home, your timeline won’t be especially accurate or useful. Get professional homebuilders in on the ground floor to help you plan, and you’ll save yourself a lot of disappointment.

Focus on the Built Home, Not the Homebuilding

When you have a health problem, you might do some research so you can ask your doctor intelligent questions and make sure you’re getting the care you need, but you leave the heavy lifting to the folks with the medical training.

Approach homebuilding the same way: make sure the home being built is the home you want, but let the professional doing the building be the one to worry about how it’s getting done. It’s your project, but that doesn’t mean you should be worrying about each individual process.

Find the right custom Calgary homebuilders to partner with, and avoid the homebuilding headaches.

Give Your Calgary Home the Makeover It Deserves

Your Calgary dream home isn’t a dream come true until the last details are as perfect in reality as they are in your head. Something as simple as the wrong colour on a bedroom wall or kitchen backsplash can make your house feel a lot less like the home you wanted, and that’s something no homeowner should have to put up with. 

Trust Your Project to Calgary Home Makeover Professionals

There are some home makeover tasks you can tackle yourself over a weekend without much fuss, especially during the sunny stretches of Calgary’s short summer months. For more extensive makeovers of your kitchen, bathroom(s), patios, and other areas, you want to bring in the professionals.

A home makeover can change from beautifying to horrifying with surprising speed without the right tools and the right know how on the job site. And unlike a personal makeover, where you can wash yourself clean and start again if things go wrong, a home makeover gone wrong can leave you seriously inconvenienced, cash-strapped, and with a potential eyesore for you and your neighbours to enjoy.

Go over your materials with your home makeover team and make sure they not only have the look you want, but also the durability and functionality that will make them positive additions to your home for years to come. You want your makeover to last as long as you’re in your home, so think in terms of value instead of just price and remember, you get what you pay for.