Important Maintenance and Design Tips for Multi-Family Residence

Multi-family residences have been a part of the Regina and area landscape for many years.  This “communal” style of living is found in practically every culture throughout human history; and, it has been estimated that approximately 35,000 new multi-family residences are built each year in North America to accommodate an ever growing demand. If this is a building structure that you are considering purchasing as a home owner; acquiring as a managed property portfolio; or perhaps developing/re-developing as part of your business plan, there are some key things to consider.  Here are some tips that will help to make your multi-family residence purchase, construction or redevelopment project a pleasant experience – not to mention financially rewarding in the long term.

Structural Systems

The majority of new multi-family residential buildings in Regina, be it apartment style condo’s, multi-unit row house structures or stacked dwellings, typically come together with three main structural components: wood, concrete, and steel.  Not only do these components need to be properly sized and connected to resist loads imposed by typical day-to-day usage; they also need to handle the less thought of and non-typical loads imposed by rare wind events, rare snowfall events, and even rarer earthquake events – the later one we hope will never occur in Regina.

When designing a building structure such as a multi-family residence, Regina Engineer’s are to take into account wind, snow loads and seismic loads caused by events that have a probability of occuring once every fifty years.  That’s actually quite something when you think about it – the majority of people would only experience events such as these only once in their lifetime.  Each area of the province has differing 1/50 year wind loads, 1/50 year snow loads and – believe it or not – 1/50 year earthquake loads.

If you are building new, you can ask your Regina Engineer to walk you through the process of ensuring that load resisting systems for the building structure are designed to handle the 1/50 year loads; however, if you are considering purchasing an existing multi-family residential structure, or renovating one, it would be a good idea to have your Regina Engineer check existing building structural assemblies to ensure it can handle 1/50 year events.  The latter scenario will typically not only help protect your asset, but sometimes may help you receive better insurance rates for your property as well.

Plumbing and Electrical Systems

Quite possibly one of the largest expenses for any multi-unit residential structure is correcting poor plumbing and/or electrical systems, or updating outdated (perhaps unsafe) existing electrical and plumbing systems.

We often times we see poorly installed plumbing and electrical systems – that don’t drain properly, don’t supply water properly, or don’t handle electrical loads properly.  When plumbing and electrical systems have to be corrected, or updated, they typically require the removal of interior finishes such as drywall, and sometimes even insulation and vapor-barrier materials; therefore, it is a good idea to ensure that you get things right the first time.

Ask your Regina Engineer to walk you through the process of ensuring that new systems, or renovations to existing systems, will perform properly.

Green Building Systems

Green technology has never been more in focus than it is today. What started out as a trend for homeowners looking to maximize their budget has morphed into an industry all its own and multi-family resident investors are reaping the benefits. The industry has grown so much that France now mandates that every structure built for the commercial industry must have some form of green technology integrated into the design. For any owner or investor, investing in solar power, gray water systems, and other green technology opportunities will add some cost in the beginning, but will entice renters to the space far more effectively than standard options.  In Canada, starting in January 2019, all new buildings or renovations to existing buildings will require greener building solutions to be integrated into structures.  Ask your Regina Engineer to walk you through the new energy code requirements to find out how your building can become greener!

Simple Ways to Improve Visual Appeal of Your Home for Potential Buyers

Humans are naturally visual creatures and when it comes to selling a home, the visual certainly matters to potential buyers. In real estate, a home’s appearance is known as curb appeal. It is basically how the property is viewed by potential buyers as they are driving around the neighborhood. A visually stunning home will entice passers by to stop and take a closer look. There is, however, no need to go to insane lengths to bring visual appeal to your home. Here are some simple ways you can add to the appeal of your home attracting potential buyers.


Homeowners can often neglect simple maintenance of a home by focusing on the larger aspects of the land and structure. Walkways can be one of the most neglected areas. Potential buyers want to have a clear path to doorways and throughout the outdoor space. A simple walkway will be adequate, but today, there are so many options for visually stunning walkways, there is no excuse to simply rely on the original piece from when the home was built. A small investment in a stamped concrete or any number of other walkway materials will pay off tremendously.

Play with Symmetry

Take some time to look at the front of your home and instead of looking at paint color or the landscaping, investigate the symmetry of the home itself. That might sound a bit odd, but it actually pays off considerably to take symmetry into account. It is human nature to take satisfaction in things that are symmetrical. Even if your home is not completely symmetrical, certain areas can be designed in that manner to add to their appeal. An entrance way is one of these areas and the homeowner can choose to add symmetry in something as easy as potted plants on either side of the doorway or go a little further and add in symmetrical elements such as windows on either side of the doorway.

Unique Mailbox

When driving around any community, mailboxes are the first thing seen sometimes even before the home itself comes into view. Unique mailboxes have a way of drawing people into the home itself. An unkempt mailbox can make the home look dilapidated even if renovations have been completed. It may be a small thing, but it is often the small things that have the most impact.

Homes come in a range of different styles and each buyer has the potential to find their ideal home, but the seller must get them to stop and look at the property first. With these simple tips you can add visual appeal to sell your home quickly, so why not start today and get more money with minimal effort?

Choosing Pre-Fabricated Homes: Wise or Foolish?

Pre-fabricated homes which are further classified into Modular, Panel-built and Pre-cut Homes, have a prevalent and proven edge over traditional construction methods such as stick-built homes. Some of them are:

  • Cost-Effective

Stick-built homes are constructed from scratch which requires considerable building material while having to employ and pay labour for an extended time span which could be around 12-18 months. However, modules are prepared in advance and only require on-site assembly which means reduced labour costs. Modular homes usually cost almost 15% less than traditionally constructed homes which are further reduced by choosing a locality close to the manufacturing area. Pre-Fab houses can ideally be sited close to a location where skilled labour, electricity and cables are readily available so that investment can be as abridged as possible.

  • Fast-Paced Construction

Since 80% of the manufacturing elements are completed within the factory premises, on-site assemblage requires minimum time. In urgent cases, pre-fabricated homes are set up in as less as 24 hours. For a stick-built home, materials often need to be imported from different areas around the country which leads to a delay. Since modular homes are factory-built, builders are prevented from facing weather delays during construction, so reducing site cramming.

  • Not Mobile

It is essential to understand that modular (pre-fab) homes are not mobiles homes; mobiles homes are portable but lack quality production, whereas modular homes retain high-quality structure. In case you wish to leave and move to a different locality, you can re-integrate parts of your former modular home into a new one.

  • Quality is not Compromised

Often, the quality of modular homes can be better than stick-built homes because the core construction of modular homes occur within a factory environment where it is easier to control quality. On the contrary, most builders are not keen on shielding the timber used in stick-built homes, and they tend to incorporate the same material even if impaired.

Wise or Foolish?

Firstly, potential home buyers who are into customising homes according to their desires, pre-fab dwellings may not appeal to them. Nevertheless, as the trend gains popularity, a huge chunk of pre-fab homes will begin to look alike so lacking any uniqueness. Secondly, the modules are colossal and require transportation, strong cranes and measurement equipment which can be costly. So, either you be prepared to expend on conveyance, or you find a locality close to the production site. Lastly, most buyers raise one initial question when you put out an advert for selling your pre-fab home: “Why buy a pre-fab home when you can buy a traditional home?” It isn’t necessary for you to be concerned about this to a great extent; you can hope that the way you appreciated the pros over cons, another buyer will be able to do the same when you are on the seller side.

A major reason that makes pre-fabricated homes a wise choice is your contribution towards the environment. Pre-fabricated homes are one of those inventions of architects which reduced environment deterioration that was, otherwise, caused by traditionally built homes. Architects are emerging with innovative pre-fab home designs, equipped with appealing features, in fractioned cost as compared to a traditional house purchase; this reassuringly makes pre-fab homes a wise choice. A primary concern that arises is that of its inability to resist tornadoes and natural disasters very well; a matter as such can occur with any edifice under calamities. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wise to decide on one downside.

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