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Constructive Suggestions From Construct Canada

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 07 December 1999 00:00

Last week, more than 850 exhibitors displayed the latest building products and services during Construct Canada '99, a three-day, three-in-one event that included Property Managers Expo and Homebuilder & Renovator Expo. Here are a few show highlights:

  • What Does It Look Like?

    Wandering the aisles, the strongest impression was "appearances can be deceiving." Rocks, stones and bricks were made of everything but rocks, stones and bricks. Lots of wood that wasn't. Clay tile roofs that were really steel and ceramic tiles that were made of glass. Cedar roof shakes supplanted by lodgepole pine shakes. But deception was not the motive. Improved strength, reduced costs, lower maintenance and mold reduction are just a few of the reasons for the transformation of building materials that shows no sign of slowing. But this does mean, look closely at what you are getting when you buy a new home or renovate. Some substitutes are less durable and of lower quality so ask a lot of questions and don't be shy about checking with manufacturers.

  • Knowledge by Association

    Everything from doors, roofing and kitchens have trade associations and magazines these days. If you are interested in finding out more about local suppliers and manufacturers, look under 'Associations' in your phone book, check the Internet or call the local chapter of the Canadian Construction Association.

  • Getting Wired

    "Phone and cable lines have been obsolete for six years but builders are still putting them in as it's cheaper," said Blair Robin, president of Automated Home Technologies . "They sell you a home that is technologically obsolete before you move in."

    Robin suggests asking builders if they use "structured wiring" and if they are using at least category 5 wiring. He says this difference allows you to install a phone system and set up a network within your home and it may also mean a faster Internet connection speed. He also suggests at least roughing in a few rooms for automation if you're building a new home since it costs only about $100 per room during construction and at least four times that later.

  • Celebrating 2000 with aluminum

    Mississauga's Iron Eagle Industries Inc . of Mississauga introduced its innovative aluminum "wrought-iron-style" fence at the show to help property owners fight the battle against street salt. President Nick Leone cautions the aluminum fencing cannot have fleur-de-lis on top as the aluminum alloy has strength but not the flexibility necessary to get fancy.

  • Kitchen Furniture

    Representatives of the National Kitchen & Bath Association had this to say about kitchens: "The kitchen is not just a kitchen anymore. It is a playroom, it's a den, it's an office. It's not just a room for the stove. The kitchen is the hub of the house so now it's filled with furniture -- kitchen furniture, paneled appliances. Now, people don't want their kitchen to look like a kitchen."

    This means stainless steel is in. A mix of counter top finishes is fashionable and practical. If you are planning a renovation with the idea of resale, talk to your local realtor and kitchen renovators to find out "what's hot and what's not" in your area before you start ripping out cupboards.

    More Canadian News & Issues:

  • Canadians Shouldn't Take "No" for an Answer
  • Garden Suites: An Innovative Option for Canadians
  • The Canadian Snowbird Migration -- Along Interstate-75
  • Canadian Housing: Affordability On The Rebound
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