Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

Trusted Regina Home Professionals share the Top 5 things your home designer needs to know

Just like there is no such thing as a stupid question, there is no such thing as too much information that you can provide your designer. That said, there are definitely varying levels of importance for the information you provide in relation to your custom home plans. For example, saying that you prefer drawers instead of base cabinets is needed by the cabinet company, but it does not affect the floor plan design. Also, knowing that you want dark siding with light trims is important when your finishes are being selected, but it is not something that needs to be discussed at your initial meeting. The following 5 items on the other hand, are the first things you should tell your designer in order to give them the best information to design your dream home:

5.  The amount of experience you have with home design and construction.

If you have never designed or built a home before, your designer can be a valuable resource for informing and guiding you. They can prepare you for what to expect, ensure your budget matches your expectations and educate you on new features and options available. On the other hand, if this is the third home you’ve built you will not need the same amount of guidance, but your designer may be able to get valuable insight from what worked and didn’t work for you in the past.

4.  How well you can visualize

Designers can take for granted their experience dealing with house drawings every day and their ability to visualize. Depending on your experience and ability to visualize, the presentation of drawings may seem like it’s in another language. If your designer is aware of your ability ahead of time, they can modify their approach to aid you in visualizing your design, possibly recommending to prepare the drawings in 3D, if they have the appropriate software.

3.  Your must haves

Not to be confused with your wish list, these are the things you will not sacrifice in your new home. If your ensuite needs to fit 100 pairs of shoes or your garage needs to house a small wood working factory your designer needs to know this from the beginning. Those items can be easily incorporated into the design at the early stages, but not so easily after the fact.

2.  What you don’t like

There is a lot that a designer can draw from when designing your home; what’s trending, what will help resale, the rules of architecture, and their own preferences. But the most important thing is what YOU like and don’t like. Telling your designer what you don’t like ahead of time can still offer them creative freedom while ensuring you are not utterly disappointed when they unveil your home plan.

1. Who you are

To truly personalize your home plan to you, your designer needs to know who you are. … If you  love to read, cook or paint; If you work from home, work shift work or run a daycare; If you sleep in on weekends, always entertain or have a large family that comes over for every holiday.  All of these things can help your designer add major or subtle details, to make your new home perfect for you!

Trusted Regina Home design professionals explains; What exactly is a Bungaloft?

In today’s age of newly invented words such as “double double” and “guesstimate“ I was not too surprised to first hear of the “Bungaloft”.   Like other new words it took me a while to understand what a Bungaloft was and to start using the word myself. To put it simply a Bungaloft is a bungalow with a loft providing additional living space. While I have seen the term used to describe house plans where the loft is over the main floor that house type is more traditionally called a Storey and a Half or 1 ½ Storey. The Bungaloft design that has become most popular throughout both Canada and the United States is where the loft is placed over the garage.

The loft could include:  

  • additional entertaining space/a bonus room
  • the master bedroom suite 
  • the kids’  bedrooms

While these rooms can be incorporated into the loft of a 1 ½ storey house plan the Bungaloft offers a unique feature. By placing the loft over the garage its floor is only a half storey above the main floor. This means less steps to access the rooms while still getting the separation and privacy that a flight of stairs gives. You can also combine this feature with a bi-level entry creating a high ceiling in the entrance.

The Bungaloft definitely makes for a unique house plan but,  before you decide if it’s right for you,  here are a few of its Pros and Cons.

Cons of a Bungaloft

  • While you’re not increasing the foundation or roof area there are additional costs with beams supporting the loft floor and insulating the floor. This must be carefully designed to minimize additional costs.
  • You lose the “all on one level” appeal of the bungalow.
  • If not designed properly the loft’s roof can transition awkwardly to the main floor roof behind it.

Pros of a Bungaloft

  • Creates privacy for the rooms in the loft without requiring a full flight of stairs to access them.
  • The living space above the garage does not increase your foundation or roof area, saving money!
  • Placing living space over the garage de-emphasizes the garage providing more interest to the exterior design.
  • The height of a Bungaloft is slightly less than a two storey as the loft is only a half storey above the main floor.

Trusted Regina Home designers share a tip on Contemporary Homes

The Definition of Contemporary Homes:



Not so traditional…

The Definition of Contemporary Homes: Unlike traditional architectural styles, the Contemporary style is not tied to historical construction methods and materials and often is more relatable to the way we live today. Contemporary design has reappeared after a few decades of re-working of heritage styles. These new fresh designs feature an abundance of glass and natural light, sleek finishes, open floor plans and often a minimalistic approach to furnishings and art.



Maintain the integrity of the style

There are many different directions you can take in the planning of your contemporary home. Typically these homes feature a light neutral palate of materials and finishes, but include more wood if you want to warm it up inside and out. Incorporate more stone and metal if you want it to look more modern and engineered. Balance the amount of glass you use with an appreciation for energy usage and shading. Interior and exterior trims are best traded for well detailed reveals between materials and surfaces. Exposed wall surfaces can become the ‘art’ and add character and honesty to the structure. The roof of a contemporary home is often the dominant feature and forms a critical element of the composition. This can be a flat roof with a generous cantilever or simply a cube type shape. A sloped roof may be a large mono pitched shed roof sloping up over a wall of glass or a more conventional shape in galvanized metal. The endless possibilities of roof shapes and materials keep homes in this style looking unique and bold. Regardless of the type of roof chosen, it is important that the roof is designed to accommodate your climate. Snow and wind loading will be taken into account by the structural engineering of the roof to ensure building code and climate conformance.

Don’t forget the yard

Your contemporary home must relate to the site. Consider opportunities for carefully thought-out patios, planting beds and privacy. The more connected your living areas are to patios and landscaped areas the more they will form an integral part of your living environment.

Trusted Regina Home design professionals tip on Size vs Practicality

Size vs Practicality 

We live in a world where success is often tied to the size of our house or cottage, and in many cases square footage receives higher priority than quality design and materials. When we look back to the large ‘mansions’ built a decade or two ago, we recognize the pattern of large structures with two storey spaces, lavish ensuites, numerous communal areas and exteriors that were quite out of scale with typical single family homes up to that time. With the recent increase in costs, this trend has slowed and we are seeing clients wanting spaces that are more versatile, practical and with a new appreciation for human scaled rooms.

Reasons for Downsizing

In addition to the easily understood concept that a larger home is more costly than a smaller one, there are several other obvious reasons to build smaller. A modest home will permit higher quality finishes which offer both aesthetics and durability. 


Site selection will be easier if you do not require a huge yard to construct your home. Consider using exterior living areas (as your climate and location permit) to take advantage of the sun, shade or a great view. 

Smaller homes require special care in making sure that the spaces you are designing are closely aligned to your family’s lifestyle and future needs. Rooms need to be planned to suite the furniture that you need to accommodate and if possible taking advantage of built-ins can reduce the amount of space required. Smaller spaces benefit from careful analysis of what needs to be kept and what can be used by others.


Household maintenance and cleaning are reduced on a smaller home. Taxes also are tied to value and less square footage helps to keep them low. Energy costs are reduced on a well built smaller home and the benefit to the environment is becoming increasingly important.

How do you want to live? 

All these practical reasons are not going to resonate with a future homebuilder without embracing the concept of living with less. Ultimately, this means adopting a lifestyle based, not on an accumulation of possessions, but on enjoying life in a simpler, less cluttered fashion. 




Trusted Regina Home design professionals share a local news story

Regina couple preserving a peice of city history:

An old carriage house that is currently in the process of being repaired by Regina couple Joe Michel and Tammy Kwan in Regina on August 19, 2015. Joe Michel is shown in the photo. The carriage house has been lifted as a new foundation is being built for it.



Tucked behind Regina’s busiest street, lies a remnant of a bygone era commonly characterized by horse-drawn carriages.

In the back alley of the 2900 block of Albert Street is perhaps the last remaining carriage house in the city.

The regal old building, now sitting high atop wooden planks, it is ready for its new lease on life.

Joe Michel and his partner Tammy Kwan are in the first stage of restoring and repurposing the old building.

“It was built about 1911, the same time as the house and it was a genuine carriage house designed for the horse and carriages at the time,” said Michel.

The green and brick-coloured building complement the much larger main house. The white trimmed doors and windows provide a faint hint of the home’s former country life.

A small, wooden door in a corner of the carriage house was once used as an entryway for chickens.

Rather than a double-car garage, it has double carriage doors while a hayloft doors flank the ends of the building.

Michel purchased the property three decades ago, but for years the old structure sat dormant.

Two years ago, the couple decided to do something with the building, but were unsure of where to start.

“It’s basically all original because very little has been done to it since it was built,” said Michel.

The only options were to restore it or tear it down.

Erecting something new, was just not feasible because a modern building would clash with the classic look of the main house, which they love.

In 1911, it was a state-of-the-art carriage house.

Unfortunately, it was built at a time when that technology was being phased out.

The couple received a lead on someone who could help them with the monumental task at hand.

But first, it needed to be stabilized.

As soon as the house was lifted, the sloped roof corrected itself, which was a pleasant surprise, said Michel.

The house will soon be repositioned and placed on a new foundation. A new roof, windows and doors will complete this year’s work.

Next year, the focus will be on the interior.

Kwan said she wants a private little getaway while still staying at home to read, relax and exercise.

“Like a little cottage in the woods,” she said.

Both are excited about the project and so is the rest of the neighbourhood as evidenced by the many observers drawn to the work.


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