How to Save Money in the Winter

5 ways to save money in the winter

As Christmas nears in Canada, most people know that cold weather is associated with a spike in energy costs. This means that you have to pay more to heat your home. Typically, the average energy bill increases 70% in January and February to keep your house warm. 

To lower your utility bills and keep the high energy costs down, I have highlighted 5 economically ways to do just that. 

1. Replace your furnace filter

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Should I renovate my home with cash or with a contract?

As many individuals enjoy spending time and money making sure that their homes are an enjoyable place to live, everyone wants to save money wherever they can. For example, if a homeowner wants to renovate their bathrooms or update their kitchen, between multiple contractors, the lowest quote could happen to be a cash deal. It might sound like a great idea to proceed with the renovation, but unfortunately you are a agreeing to a nothing-written down contract where the contractor can’t be held responsible if things go sideways.  Always be weary of a cash deal.

Why you should avoid a cash deal

Most commonly, a cash deal comes to play when someone offers to do the work for the least amount of money. They ask for cash, and nothing gets written down in the process. The business that does cash transactions will not claim the income and ultimately avoid paying taxes altogether. This process is illegal, and most likely the business won’t have the proper insurance and a legal business licence as well. 

Even though that a cash deal may be the cheapest quote, a cash deal means that there is no paper trail if legal issues arise. There will be no receipts, no contract in place, and almost guaranteed no warranty on the work completed. With no proof of payment, there is no way to hold the home contractor accountable for the work that he promised would be completed on your home. 

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Is your Edmonton home ready for winter?

A simple 7 item checklist to make sure your home is ready for winter in Alberta.

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1. Check your outdoor hose bibs

If you do not have frost free hose bibs, make sure the water is shut off to the fixture and the tap is left open. If you do have frost free hose bibs, make sure the hose is disconnected so no water is trapped inside preventing proper drainage.

2. Blow out your irrigation system

In many new builds and custom homes, the owner will install an irrigation system for their landscaping. Before winter sets in, you must make sure that the system is turned off at the appropriate valve and the system is drained by “blowing out” the water with an air compressor. Blowing out your irrigation system will guarantee no water is left inside the lines to prevent burst pipes.

3. Verify that your humidifier is working

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Poetry Homes 2019/2020 – Our Custom Home Building Process and Approach

Our Approach

Building Custom Homes in Edmonton Alberta- 2019/2020

We Pay Significant Attention To Detail

Our success depends on you loving your home forever. When we build a custom home, we view it as a reflection upon our team and our business. We pay close attention to all the details you want in a home, while helping you find other details that were not thought of at first glance. From unique safety features designed for families with children, all the way to smart home systems, our teams ultimate goal is to make a place that you and your family feel completely comfortable in. We get the details right, make a beautiful house for you, and you get a home that is yours to every last detail. 

We Ask Questions, And We Listen

We strongly believe that honest two way collaboration is key to getting the custom home you and your family has always wanted. Our company greatly values trust and integrity, which can give you confidence to put the design and construction of your dream home into our hands. We work together with you along the entire journey, and make decisions as an entire team as the project evolves. By asking detailed questions and listening attentively, you will truly get the home of your vision.

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7 Unique Features to Include in your Custom Home

7 design ideas that can make your custom home stand out from the rest

Custom Dining Room

When you decide to build and design a custom home, it is important to create a space that suites your lifestyle. The home you create should reflect your personal taste while allowing you to have a greater sense of enjoyment relative to a non-customized build. I will highlight 7 of the most contemporary options to add into a newly constructed home.

1. A Large Formal Dining Room

Probably the most elegant feature of a custom home would be to create a large formal dining room.  If entertaining guests and hosting family gatherings is something you do, setting aside a large space for a beautiful seating area will significantly add satisfaction to your new build. Adding beams, large light fixtures (in the photo above), and traditional finished carpentry, are simple techniques used to tweak the dining room to your liking. Most of our custom builds will include this feature.

2. A Spa Bathroom

Year after year, I have noticed more people building  spa-like bathrooms to have a place to retreat at the end of the day. Some of the best custom home builders in Edmonton Alberta add features such as spacious walk in showers, benches in the bathroom, large windows near the bathtubs, and even instantaneous steam units (for a steam room). Other unique features that can be added could include heated floors, ambient lighting, and multiple shower heads as well. 

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3. An Outdoor Kitchen/Patio

Consider adding a combination outdoor kitchen/patio set up to your custom build. You can create a perfect place to cook while enjoying the outdoors in the summer months in Edmonton Alberta.  Adding additional features such as waterfalls, stone seating areas, and cooktop/grilsl can make your custom home more fun and enjoyable in the warmer months of the year. You can get more ideas for an outdoor set up by reading our landscaping article as well.

4. A Home Office

If you enjoy working from the place you call home, adding a home office can offer significant benefits to your life. Dependent on the type of work you do, make sure you properly plan out an office with your home builder to guarenttee your needs are met.

5. A Wine Cellar

If you enjoy drinking and serving your guests wine, adding a wine cellar to your custom home will drastically increase your satisfaction with your new build. Most homeowners will include a climate controlled setting that can be synced to the appropriate storing temperature of the wine you purchase. Once this is set up, your wine will be kept at the appropriate temperatures until finally served. If a wine cellar is too large for your build, you should consider converting a portion of the kitchen to accommodate a wine fridge. Here is the link to a wine fridge that our last client put into their custom home in Edmonton Alberta.

6. A Smart Home System

With technology advances year after year, many homeowners take advantage of adding cutting edge smart systems into their new home. As an Edmonton custom home builder, we have aded various systems that allow the homeowner to control their blinds, temperature, humidity, locks, appliances, and even cameras with a simple click on their phone. People are having the option to have more control over the various features stated above by downloading different apps on their smartphones or tablets. Many of these options are easy to install, with others being more challenging. A great music surround system that can easily be retrofitted into an existing home is the sonos platform.

7. A Rooftop Terrace/Large Windows

Having a rooftop terrace in your custom home will allow you to take advantage of the previously unused space of your roof. By simply making the roofing membrane more durable to support constant foot traffic, you can add a new terrace in your build with low cost. If your home is a two story house, a rooftop balcony will give you ability to have 3rd story views of the surrounding. For example, one of our custom homes in Lendrum Edmonton has breathtaking views of the entire University of Alberta farmland from 25 feet up. If a rooftop patio isn’t for you, you can also consider adding extra large windows to open up your home. However, as a custom home builder in Edmonton, it is important to note that adding very large windows will add significant cost to your new home. 


When building your custom, take the time to highlight all of the unique features you wish to include before the design phase begins. This will lower costs of the construction, save time and money, and bring a greater sense of satisfaction with your build. While I have highlighted a select few features that can be added into your home, there are many other additions that can be added to create a new house that fits your needs. Feel free to contact us if you have any additional questions. 

Custom Home Building Checklist – Build Your Own Home

A Custom Home Building Checklist

As a home building expert in Edmonton Alberta, we find it very important to have a drawn out list of tasks that need to be completed throughout the construction of a home. By simply overlooking or missing one of these items, you as a builder can find yourself stuck in a costly procedure to fix the issue while leaving the new homeowner unhappy. 

When building custom homes in Edmonton Alberta, regardless if it is a starter home, luxury home, or an energy efficient one, it is important that both the builder and the homeowner have a detailed list of the tasks and procedures that take place.  

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How to Landscape Your Home


Step by step landscaping design for your custom or current home

Landscape your home

Home landscaping is the process of creating an exterior environment around your home to increase curb appeal and enjoyment for the home owners and public.

Whether you have completed your own landscaping before or are completely new at it, most people can become overwhelmed by the different choices that can be made in the process. If you plan on tackling it yourself on a newly built custom home, or simply re-doing your yard for pleasure, there are a few principles that we follow as a home builder in Edmonton Alberta that work for us.

Remember, If you don’t plan on doing yourself, it is always beneficial to be involved in the design and planning. A properly planned out yard can drastically increase the property value and the owners own satisfaction.

Determine what you want

1. The first step we take as a custom builder is to determine the needs and wants of a client. We ask questions such as, does your family want a patio to entertain? Will you kids need a place to play? Does your family enjoy gardening or producing vegetables? Taking the time to determine these needs is the most crucial step. This will ensure nothing gets missed and everything that is wanted in a yard is included. Sit down with the family, make a list, and go over it multiple times.

Plan out the locations

2. Once you know what you want for landscaping, you will now have to properly plan out the location of the different features. For example, if your family is putting in a garden, make sure it is located in the most southern exposure and in direct line with the sun. For a patio, check to see if larger trees or even your house can shield the wind and rain. This is crucial to the sucess of your design.

Lastly, most yards will have a focal point when entering the area. Try to imagine where most people would look when admiring your home. Whether it is a fireplace in the back or a garden in the front, find these areas, and make sure they are designed with the greatest importance.

Get the design ideas

3. Once you have finalized the different landscape features and the location of these items, take some time to look at different design ideas. A great place to start would be houzz for example, and review different articles similar to your chosen design.

If we build a custom home for a client, we will ask them to complie groups of pictures of the features they like. We then take the time to go over list, discuss feasibility, and help finalize the final design.

Reviewing design ideas online is key. Knowing exactly what you want to put in before you start will save time and money.

Start landscaping

4. Now that the design is finalized, you can begin landscaping. If you plan on tackling the project yourself, don’t be afraid to start small. Most people who watch home renovation shows on HGTV for example believe landscaping is one of the quickest and easiest processes in a custom home build or renovation. However, it’s not. Home and garden television shows portray that a full yard to be landscaped can be completed in as little as three days. This can with done with a very large experienced crew, but will most likely end up looking messy and unfinished. If you simply acknowledge that landscaping is going to take time and patience, you will most likely be  satisfied with the end result.

Be open to change

5. Last but not least, be open to change. Whether landscaping for yourself, or getting a custom home builder to do it for you, there will be changes as the job progresses. You will realize that design ideas may not work with your yard, are potentially too difficult to complete, and can have changes in thoughts on the features you have initially picked.

By being open, patient, and accepting of change, following these simple steps will truley produce a yard that will add significant value and enjoyment to your home.

If you have any questions, you can always contact us.

How a New Construction Mortgage Works

New Construction Mortgages – How Draw and Completion Mortgages Work

Construction Mortgage

New construction mortgages are very different that that of a resale home.

Traditional mortgages on an already constructed house allows the lender to hold your home as collateral if you default on your payments. These are resale mortgages and are by far the most common type. With new houses under construction, people must remember that the lender who provides the mortgage may not even have a home as collateral for loan security. This is because the home is in the process of being built. If an issue arises with the homeowners’ job for example due to unexpected circumstances, what would happen to the lenders funds tied up in the build? A fair amount would probably be lost or the builder could be stuck with an unfinished custom home. For these reasons, this is why it may be slightly harder to get a mortgage on a new custom build.

A new construction mortgage allows a homeowner to borrow money from a lender to pay for the construction of their home throughout the building process. There are primarily two types of new construction mortgages for a custom home. A draw mortgage (the most common) and a completion mortgage.

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