Hide and seek

The broad appeal of secret-room renovations

If you love those scenes from old movies where a wall opens to reveal a secret room, you can now put yourself squarely in the picture. Hidden rooms in houses – usually custom-built homes, rather than existing structures – are growing in popularity, and for good reason.

“The demand for these rooms is huge right now, partly because thieves aren’t taking televisions or stereos anymore – they’re going after your identity,” said Sandy Scheiris, CEO of Nulock Builders Inc.

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Mid-century makeovers

Calgary’s established suburbs are full of vintage character and reno potential

There are tens of thousands of Calgary homes built from the 1950s through the early 1970s in what were then new suburbs. One thing many of those homes have in common is the need for updating to modern tastes.

When Lewis Cowie bought a home in Kingsland about six years ago, it was as if time had stood still in the classic, 1950s bungalow. Most of the home was still original, right down to the bathroom fixtures, so a major renovation project was in order.

Luckily, Cowie is a director with Corefront Custom Homes & Renovations, and his company was ready for the challenge.

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Mission possible

Renovations on a $5,000 budget

At first glance, doing meaningful home renovations for $5,000 is akin to those travel guides for “Europe on $10 a day”: easier said than done. Yet, like the backpacker who squeezes every penny from their budget to travel the globe, affordable renovations are not out of reach if you spend your nickels and dimes wisely.

According to Bob Weir, vice-president of operations with Calgary’s Reborn Renovations, making improvements with $5,000 certainly narrows your options, but it can be done.

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A touch of colour

Tips and tricks for DIY room painting

Before running a paint roller over any wall in your home, Ryan Tantzen, manager at Anilin Decorating Centre, says you should first “figure out your needs for the project.”

“Whether you’re looking to sell your home, or stay in it, will dictate those needs,” he said.

The general rule of thumb? If you’re looking to sell a house, it’s advisable to use a light colour.

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