Saturday, July 25, 2009

BC Building Safety Branch seeking Kelowna Input

The Building and Safety Policy Branch is seeking public input on three proposals for changes to Provincial building regulations:

High-Efficiency Toilets - Building Code requirement for high-efficiency toilets (including dual-flush units) and urinals in new construction. The requirement supports greening the BC Building Code and Living Water Smart, BC's water plan.

Solar Hot Water Ready - Local government option to require Solar Hot Water Ready construction for new single family houses, which supports the 100,000 Solar Roofs Initiative and the Province's commitment to reduce GHG emissions.

Letters of Assurance - Update to the Building Code's Letters of Assurance. The update responds to industry requests and supports the Modernization Strategy's shift toward more clearly defined
responsibilities and accountabilities.

It is important that we hear from you. You are invited to comment on these proposals through the public review until September 14, 2009. The public review is available online through the Building and Safety Policy Branch website at:

Please feel free to forward this information to your colleagues and other stakeholders.  We look forward to receiving your

Best regards,

Teegan Meuser

Policy Analyst
Building and Safety Policy Branch
Policy and Research Division
Ministry of Housing and Social Development

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Kelowna Design - Inspiration by Nadine Andrews

I've been very fortunate to work with Nadine Andrews on several projects and she has helped my clients and I over come space issues in both new and renovation projects. This article revolves around finding inspiration in the design process.

Looking for inspiration for a new decorating or design project can be a very daunting process. Inspiration is a personal and individual thing, therefore, what might prove to be inspiring for one person won’t necessarily be inspiring to another. However the process of looking for inspiration isn’t something that changes with personalities. Below are some of the most common areas to look for inspiration and how to pull together the ideas from what you see.

• Inspiration can be as close as your clothes closet. Look inside to see which colours you purchase the most of. These colours are generally the colours that you are most drawn to. Usually you will see a colour pallet come through.

• Themes are a good way to become inspired for a specific room or area of the home. Basically a theme is the main idea of a room. For example “fairies” could be the theme for a little girls bedroom, or “old world library” could be the theme for a home office. Choosing a theme allows you to pose the question “Does this fit with the theme?” towards all of your potential decorating ideas and purchases for the room. If the answer to the question is no, then you can quickly put down the object in question and continuing searching for the perfect piece.

• Fabric stores can provide great sources of inspiration for a decorating project. Having a theme before going to the fabric store can help to narrow down the choices, but if you haven’t gotten that far just start browsing the different textures and colour combinations. Purchase small samples of fabrics that you like, including any coordinating fabrics (stripes, checks, plaids, or solids) that you might be able to use for accents and trims.

• Interior design magazines provide a source of photos from a wide range of decorating styles. They are also a great source for looking at current trends. When looking through the magazines, don’t spend too much time analyzing what it is that you like about a picture. If you like the look or feel of a room shown, tear the page out and move on. Once you have accumulated a pile of pages you can go back through to see whether you are still feeling inspired by the picture. You should begin to see a common thread between all of the pictures that you have accumulated. For example, the majority may lead towards a more traditional style of decorating, or they all might have dark coloured hardwood floors.

• Other places of inspiration can include showhomes, websites, friends’ homes, photos, area rugs, and artwork. Take pictures of items or designs that you like and make sure that you ask specific questions about paint colours or the place of purchase.

• Compiling all of the sources of inspiration and ideas into a scrapbook or design file will allow for quick and easy access when you want to look back at an image. Divide the file into sections such as pictures, samples, furniture, etc. Glue or tape samples onto white pages and insert into the file or scrapbook. Make sure that you make notes about what the piece is or why you’ve included it. For example, “Really like this faucet” or “These colours remind me of Hawaii.”

Remember that sources of inspiration are truly just that, inspiration. It is the personal interpretation of this inspiration that will inject your space with personality and truly make it your own.

Nadine Andrews D.I.D.
Design Evolution
250 864 9848

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Design - When Building dreams meet Reality

This topic follows up an earlier article “Design - Start with a Goal and a List” from the November Newsletter - No Better Time to Start your Building Plans.

Moving from your “wish list” to developing a budget is when dreams meet reality or when the rubber meets the road and when many people may become discouraged. Many people are shocked to find out the 600 sq foot addition they’ve been dreaming about may cost as much and take as long to build as it did their split level Kelowna special did 25 years ago. Read more …

Can I suggest that when thinking about renovating or building your dream home you keep in mind the quality – quantity – cost – triangle. This is a project management term that was made popular by Sarah Susanka author of the “Not so Big House series”.

In short, Sarah suggests that after a “wish list” has been created, take a piece of paper and draw a triangle and at each corner place a circle with quality, quantity and cost in each one. Write a dollar amount that you set as your bench-mark in the centre of the triangle. If your budget is fixed then quality or quantity will have to give. If you are planning on keeping your home for some time then Quality may override Quantity, which may result in a down scaling the scope of the project or phasing it.

Keeping this triangle in mind will also help you stay focused on the budget and ultimate goal. It can be very tempting during the build phase to splurge on one item and then find you have to cheap out on your finishes or landscaping to stay within budget.

So remember – one of the three will have to give to achieve your dream:

Cost – how much are you willing to spend to accomplish your dream? Can you do some of the work to help the bottom line?

Quantity – how much space do your really need? Can you spare a square?

Quality – what are you willing to sacrifice or are you willing to risk quality by cutting costs. Will quality be sacrificed if you do the job yourself?

For more information contact
Ken Kunka
Flywheel Building Solutions
250 859 6062