Shower with marble stone bench inside


The energy efficiency of Canadian homes has improved greatly over the years. Thanks to major advances in building science and product innovation, today’s new homeowner can expect to use only half of the energy required for a similar home built in 1950, and at the same time enjoy a far more comfortable living environment. Does…

large television shelf with drawers and cabinets


Renovations present many options for a homeowner. In the case of a Vancouver condo overlooking False Creek, faced with repairs due to water damage, the homeowners took the opportunity to update their dark, outdated condo. Hiring designers Designs by Katerina and Silvie, and builders Project Mint Developments, what initially felt like a problem, turned into…

zig zag house design with large windows and sunroof

Creating an Ultra Modern Home

Ovation Award Winner: Best Custom Home: $1.5 million – Under $3 million Ovation Award Winner: Best Interior Design HAVAN Builder: Upward Construction & Renovation Ltd. To view this project and other award-winning homes, check out   In creating the home Ultra Modern, the architects focused the on keeping the lines of the home geometric…

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Solutions to Help Reduce Energy Use this Winter.

REDUCE YOUR USE. On October 9, 2018, an Enbridge-owned natural gas transmission pipeline ruptured near Prince George, BC. While the pipeline has been repaired and returned to service, it is important to note that Enbridge plans to operate their transmission system at a reduced capacity for the next few months, starting at about 55 per…



Recreational cannabis will be legal in Canada in two days: October 17, 2018. Adults who are 19 years of age and older will be permitted to legally possess, share, purchase and grow limited quantities of cannabis for personal use in British Columbia. This will add some level of increased complexity for employers, but in some…


How to Make Your Home Look Stunning All The Time

Want your home to look pleasing to the eye, especially when you’re having guests over? We have the simple yet powerful trick. The Pillow Fluff. This trick gets missed all the time, and can make a huge impact! Firstly, you need to make sure the corners are seamless and firm. Unzip your pillow cover and…


Making the switch to LED

Everyone has heard over the past years how LED’s have a positive effect on the environment, or how LEDs can help save households money in the long run. But not everyone is sure on how to make the switch to LED. Here are a few things to consider: WATTS VS. LUMENS When switching over from…

kitchen shelves filled with decorative plants and eating ware

Kitchen Design Trends for 2019

With every new year comes new trends for the world of interior design and 2019 will not disappoint with what it has in store. Keep reading to see a snapshot of how the world of kitchen design is evolving and what we at Designs by K&S predict to be the market leaders in trends for the new year.

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Energy efficiency upgrades for your home

In the last few years there has been a National effort to reverse Climate Change and one of those efforts is to make homes more energy efficient.

The energy used to cool homes in Canada is increasing each year and efforts to reduce this will help everyone, as the energy used will usually make the environment hotter outside. 

New York home with a spiral staircase leading down to open space kitchen


Stone has long been one of the foundations for home construction. Its rounded shape and smooth texture make it the perfect decorative accent for any room in your house. Incorporating stone into your design can add a touch of modern elegance to a bedroom or a bit of rustic class to a kitchen. Your possibilities are endless when you are looking to incorporate this material into everyday décor in some of the most commonly used rooms in your home.



Make sure the Material you Choose for the Outside Reflects what you want to Achieve on the Inside.

Building a home can be extremely stressful – choosing finishes and styles, and working with builders, contractors and trades to ensure at the end of the day you and your family are choosing the best materials representing who you are.


When Time Isn’t On Your Side

WHEN TIME ISN’T ON YOUR SIDE A contractor may be asked to provide a homeowner with an estimated schedule for completion before a project starts. While there are always contingencies and unforeseen circumstances, projects can get delayed and extend well past expected deadlines. As was made clear in Sanwo Enterprise Ltd. v. Huang, 2018 BCSC…

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Metro News Ovation Awards Feature

From modest kitchen renovations to stunning whole-home transformations, and from family-oriented townhouse communities to luxurious custom-built estate homes, the Ovation Awards highlight the best projects HAVAN members have built, renovated, designed and marketed in Metro Vancouver. The annual Ovation Awards are well respected in the Metro Vancouver construction industry, partly thanks to their rigorous judging process.…


Looking Ahead

by Scott Brown, President & CEO of Fifth Avenue Real Estate Marketing Ltd. It is coming to the end of the honeymoon period for the new NDP government. I wonder if much of our industry still feels as uncertain as I do with respect to what to expect in the coming year from the government.…


Under Pressure: Putting the Job Before the Agreement

Homeowners and general contractors often find themselves under various pressures to complete work and advance the project. The rushed approach that often ensues can cause parties to overlook or postpone settling essential terms with subcontractors. The recent case of Limem Forming West Ltd. v. Stuart Olson Dominion Construction Ltd., 2017 BCSC 1485, highlights the dangers…


Gimme Shelter (Staying Behind the Corporate Veil)

 Incorporating your construction business has many clear advantages, one of which is personal liability protection under the “corporate veil”. The so-called corporate veil refers to the shelter one receives in their personal capacity when their company is being sued; essentially, they are shielded from personal liability.


The Cost of Doing Business with Friends

When undertaking a significant construction project, it often helps to know someone in the industry. However, a recent decision of the BC Supreme Court highlights the problems that can arise when doing business with friends or family.


Getting Paid and Fixing Deficiencies

It can be very frustrating when a homeowner refuses to make the final payment because of seemingly inconsequential “deficiencies”. However, the BC Supreme Court made it clear in Constructum Developments Inc. v. Hogaboam, 2015 BCSC 1490, that a homeowner may be entitled to correction of all deficiencies before they are obligated to make the final payment. In fact, a contractor’s insistence on receiving final payment before fixing final deficiencies may actually result in a repudiation of the parties’ agreement.


Going Green the Smart Way

Greater demand from consumers and regulators in British Columbia for environmentally sustainable or “green” building practices suggests potential benefits for “green-contractors”. A common strategy is to adopt a labelling system that advertises compliance with defined environmental standards. Common examples of green-labels used in B.C.’s construction industry include the Energy Star label and the Built Green seals.


The Big Issue with Fixed-Price Construction Contracts

For most home owners considering a renovation or new build, price is one of the most important factors in determining the scope of their project, the finishing’s to select and what contractor to choose. For contractors, providing a client with budget certainty can be a significant selling point; thus, the appeal of fixed price construction