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Wisdom Wednesday

My name is Vince and I have worked for Shane Homes for over 22 years, primarily in Estimating and Purchasing but I have also worked in Construction.  I am the Senior Cost Control Estimator, Purchasing and Cost Control Department.

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I have built several homes over the years. The last house we built with Shane Homes was 15 years ago and we are still living in it today.  It has survived the test of time and is full of wonderful milestones and memories for my wife and I and our family.

One of the most important things we kept in mind when we designed our current home is the realization that at some point in the future we would be starting a family and we wanted our home to be ready for it!  So when our first child arrived 3 years after we moved in, we were glad that we planned and designed our home for a family lifestyle.  We also focused on incorporating low maintenance features, especially on the exterior, so we could spend more quality time with each other and less time working on home maintenance.

10 things I am glad we did during the build of this home:

Planning

1. Location, location, location.  I hate to use the cliché, however, after living in several areas and building before, we knew we needed to be in close proximity to schools and to have a south facing back yard which backed onto a green space.  Whenever I told my wife of a new community Shane Homes was building in, I knew we were headed down the path to build when she asked me to bring the area map home. From experience we knew that purchasing in the beginning of a phase  increased our chances of getting everything we wanted on our ‘wish list’ for our ideal lot.
2. We added extra rooms. When we first designed the home we added extra room upstairs and designed the basement development in advance with extra rooms. My wife is not from Canada and we have many guests from out of town with children.  This way we can accommodate many visitors.
3. Redesigned the front entry. We deleted the front entry closet and re-designed the mudroom/laundry area to add a large walk-in closet for coats and shoes. This made the front entry feel about 20 square feet larger, and also created more space for a large walk-in closet for our expanded coat and shoe collection. I am still astounded at how many shoes we have accumulated since the arrival of our two daughters.
4. Extra storage. We added an extra linen closet in the kids bathroom and an extra linen closet in an unusable space in the hallway. We also designed a large closet in the basement exclusively for rubber maid containers which is great for storing seasonal items and holiday decorations. Finally, I added usable storage under our deck for storing outdoor seasonal items.

Design Features

5. Angled front entry stairs. The angled front entry staircase was designed to open up the area and create an open inviting environment without taking up too much square footage on the second floor.

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6. First impressions. We created a budget with a total cost of the house through to landscaping. We allocated more of our upgrade budget on the exterior for first impression than we did on previous builds. We are glad we upgraded the exterior façade, and added impressed and exposed concrete on the driveway and patio to tie into the landscape design.
7. Default the choosing of the interior design upgrades and features to my talented wife. The first house we built, I led her to believe we wouldn’t be able to upgrade any design features for the house (for budget reasons). This kind of backfired when she discussed our house with the other wives at the Shane Homes Christmas party where she was informed that yes in fact you can upgrade cabinets, plumbing fixtures and pretty much anything you want. Ever since she has had carte blanche and she does an incredible job with the design choices in our house!

Low maintenance

8. Water Softener. The water softener reduces the wear and tear on appliances reducing maintenance. It also makes cleaning showers, bathtubs and sinks much easier with less mineral deposits while also improving comfort during showers.
9. Tile Flooring. We opted for tile flooring with a classic style in the front entry through to the nook area. The tile has held up extremely well in terms of design and function with lots of wear and tear from kids, pets and family gatherings.
10. Low maintenance exterior. We designed our home with a low maintenance exterior to minimize the need to paint the house.  Our deck has vinyl covering with aluminum rail which requires minimal maintenance compared to the first house we owned which had a wood deck that had to be painted once a year to keep it looking good. Finally, with our busy lifestyle I installed underground sprinklers to reduce time to maintain the yard and to conserve water.

Vince Exterior