More than a Man Cave – Basement Development

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More man emporium than man cave, this basement development is a fantastic reason to never see the light of day. But you will because this walkout has a fireplace on one side framed by very good-sized windows. This is some of what you’ll find down there:

  • A golf simulator (aka swing station). To install this, we cut out the concrete, shored up the walls, jackhammered out six old footings, dug down two more feet to put in six new footings, concrete walls and sump pump. Then we poured new floors, built stairs and installed the simulator.
  • A built-in fish tank
  • Built-in speakers
  • Custom cabinets with a floating vanity and a custom-built mantle
  • A hidden liquor cabinet that James Bond would be proud of
  • A wine room that has walls sprayed with 2-pound insulation and a hollow core maple door
  • A fully finished bedroom and bathroom

From Barn to Custom Home

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Since this 1920s concrete barn was stripped down to its bare bones, the project was more of a custom build than a renovation. We worked with the owners to create a rustic, industrial style that paid homage to its history, while also creating a stunning home for its family. These are some of the steps we took and considerations we made:

  • Barn boards were reclaimed and used for stairs; the hemlock from the hayloft ceiling was used for floors; the corrugated tin roof was recycled for island cladding; and the steel trusses were also reclaimed and showcased in the ceiling.
  • To maximize energy efficiency, six-inch wood walls with spray foam insulation were paired with the existing eight-inch concrete exterior walls.
  • Additional windows were added to maximize mountain views and overlook the third green of the Sirocco Golf Course.
  • Additional square footage was added to the second floor for living space: a new media room, two offices and a playroom became part of the final 3,800-square-foot home.

Two Stories, Two Stages

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Renovating this two-storey, 1,700+ square-foot home in the Calgary community of Varsity ended up being a two-stage project. At first, we were hired to redo the basement, garage, and exterior, along with the roof. The clients were so happy with the results, they asked us back for a complete renovation of the main and second floors. Here’s what we did:

  • Turned a four-bedroom plan into a three-bedroom by converting a small bedroom into a luxurious walk-in closet and expanding the size of the master.
  • Redesigned the kitchen by removing a wall and the outdated sunshine ceiling, adding custom-built cabinetry and an island, and turning the front closet into a pantry.
  • Chose all the new fixtures and features, including flooring, tile, doors and trim, lighting, paint, etc.
  • Replaced all the plumbing and mechanical by cutting through the floor on the main. An unusual approach, but it was more effective since the basement had just been redone in stage one of the project.

Turning Small Spaces Into Big Ones

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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.

Renovating Around the Clock at the Saddledome

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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 ductwork 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.

Reworking A Basement

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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.

Renovations From Top to Bottom

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We tackled almost every corner of this 2,200 square-foot home. We removed walls, built new ones, completely redid the ceiling and the floors, added new windows, new lighting, new baseboards and casings, and even speakers throughout the house. And, we updated all the design details, like granite countertops and finishings. Here are some of the bigger highlights of the project:

  • Added a second story above the garage. This additional 200 square ft. is a fourth bedroom, with a vaulted ceiling and double barn doors that open to the closet.
  • Developed the basement, which included built-in cabinetry, in-floor heating, adding both a fireplace and a bar, and luxury bathroom.
  • Added a built-in hutch with granite countertop to the dining room, and added similar accents to the laundry room and den.
  • Remodeled one side of the kitchen, which required we match the new cabinetry to the existing.
  • Reconfigured the upper floor, which allowed for a Juliette balcony to overlook the great room and kitchen.
  • Created two separate spaces with separate entrances for a previously attached ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet in the master bedroom.
  • Increased the size of the master ensuite and made the previously hidden curved wall into a feature wall within a luxury shower. Also added a soaker tub, new cabinets, dual sinks, and marble flooring.

The Non-Basement Basement Renovation

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This basement renovation is another unbasement-like development that Malbec Homes & Renovations has done in Calgary. The large windows allow for extensive light to shine in. And the room feels spacious and open since we replaced the staircase wall with a railing. Other features we designed and built:

  • A coffered ceiling that integrates the dropped ducts but permits for more height where possible.
  • Speakers and pot lighting also sit within the ceiling.
  • The kitchen/bar has LED lighting in and under the shelving. It also has custom-made glass and aluminum cabinet doors and a ledgestone backsplash. Plus, a dishwasher, fridge, large-scale icemaker and a Kegerator (AKA sweet beer fridge with quick access tap).
  • There’s hand-scraped engineered hardwood flooring in the main area, and the media centre is all custom cabinetry.
  • Underneath the stairs, the area has been prepped for a wine room. This includes a glass window, accent maple paneling and a cooling system.
  • The bathroom has a 6×4-foot, fully sealed steam shower with body sprayers and a bench, along with large-format tiles and glass tile accents.
  • The spare room is a home gym with a rubber floor. The clickable flooring system can be easily removed.

Renovating A Heritage Home

It was exciting to renovate this elegant home in Elbow Park as it was only the second renovation in its 100-year history. Originally built in the early 1900s, the first renovation was in the 1960s. This included an addition to the front of the house and remodeling with asbestos-laden materials. As this substance is now known to be dangerous, Malbec Homes & Renovations adhered to strict standards for removal. Other major parts of our renovation included:

  • Reworking the 4-bedroom upper floor so it became 3 bedrooms with a master bedroom ensuite.
  • Removing walls and reframing the main floor to make it more open.
  • Removing the sunshine ceiling in the kitchen, and making the ceiling height nine feet, further adding to a feeling of openness.
  • Extending the kitchen cabinets and adding an island to increase storage and counter space.
  • Exposing and treating original brickwork in both the kitchen and an upstairs bedroom to make the most of heritage features.