ACR Conference (Sept. 18th, 2021)
Standards for Trust:
Build Trust: Fire Ant has built trust with all stakeholders – engineers, property managers, customers, suppliers, sub-trades. Repeat business and collaboration to ensure quality projects, is the foundation of partnership with these stakeholders.
Advertise Honestly: Fire Ant’s participation in trade shows and home renovation events allows potential customers to meet the owners and supervisors as a first step in developing a trusting relationship.
Tell the Truth: Telling the truth not only results in repeat customers and referrals, but is integral to living the values the company lives by.
Be Transparent: Fire Ant wants fairness for both the customer and the company. Quotes are prepared and presented to the customers and if accepted followed up with a contract which outlines all expectations and parameters.
Honour Promises: Trade agreements are signed by all sub-trades and warranty documents are provided to all customers. At the start of a project schedules are made and communicated to the customer and sub-trades. If there is a change of schedule, this too is communicated and explained. If there are unexpected costs, these are approved ahead of the work being completed.
Be Responsive: Feedback is responded to and resolved as soon as possible with all stakeholders.
Safeguard Privacy: The privacy of all stakeholders is respected. Any pictures of projects or project information that is shared has the proper permission and releases.
Embody Integrity: Fire Ant encourages all employees, as well as the organization to be accountable for actions and results, and take responsibility for all transactions.
Buildings, including our homes, account for 18% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, so helping Canadians make where they live more energy-efficient supports environmental objectives while making homes more comfortable and more affordable to maintain.
Announced in the Supporting Canadians and Fighting COVID-19: Fall Economic Statement 2020, the Greener Homes initiative is available to homeowners retroactive to December 1, 2020.
The Greener Homes initiative is an opportunity for homeowners to invest in their home, making it more comfortable to live in and reducing costs. It is also an opportunity to become better prepared for changes that will come in future with more stringent building codes, including for existing homes and buildings.
These actions will also help Canada meet its 2030 climate change commitments and significantly contribute to Canada’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, while increasing the health and wellness of Canadians.
Retrofitting existing homes — such as replacing windows and doors and improving the building envelope, including by adding insulation — is one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Greener Homes initiative will provide homeowners with up to $5,000 in grants for the purchase and installation of qualifying equipment or for the implementation of qualifying measures. The details are currently being finalized. They could include some heating and cooling system retrofits, envelope measures such as windows and insulation and some renewable energy measures.
To participate in the initiative, a homeowner’s primary residence must be eligible for an EnerGuide home evaluation. These residences include:
*Commercial multi-residential units (over 3 storeys or over 600 m2 in footprint) are not eligible homes under the initiative.
Homeowners will be required to demonstrate that the home they are registering is their primary residence.
Step 1 – Get an EnerGuide Evaluation
To be eligible for reimbursement, participants in the Greener Homes initiative must obtain an EnerGuide home evaluation before the retrofit and then a post-retrofit evaluation once renovations are completed. The home evaluations will help homeowners identify eligible measures, plan their retrofits and understand the performance of their homes following the retrofits.
Independent EnerGuide energy advisors, registered with NRCan, carry out the home evaluations. Once completed, the evaluation report will give you information to inform your decisions about what retrofits to undertake to reduce energy use. You can start this step now. The cost of the initial home evaluation varies depending on the size of home, but a typical 2,000 sq. ft. home would be approximately $450.00.
Some approved local energy advisors are below. There are others that you can also research.
Verdatech Energy Management & Consulting – 403-251-0683
AmeriSpec of Canada – 403-257-4820
4Elements – 403-250-5514
Step 2 – Document Your Retrofit Journey
To be eligible for retroactive payment, you must document your retrofit journey. The journey must begin with your EnerGuide home evaluation.
Keep all copies of invoices for the home evaluation and invoices for your retrofit work. Your energy advisor will take photos before and after your retrofit work.
Step 3 – Get a Post-Retrofit Home Evaluation
Participants must obtain a post-retrofit home evaluation after the work is completed. This evaluation helps homeowners understand the performance of their home following their retrofits. The post-retrofit evaluation documents the changes to your home’s energy performance and completes your retrofit journey. The approximate cost for a 2,000 sq. ft. home is $250.00
Below is the link to the government website.
As mentioned, this initiative has not been totally rolled out with details of what work will qualify for the grant and what processes and forms are required. We will stay apprised and communicate as we get further information.
The Spring Issue of Insite to Condos is now available in a digital format!
CLICK HERE to read the magazine.
Our first-ever virtual Alberta Condo Expo was held last week on April 23rd & 24th.
Over 300 people joined us for this event! It was a great Expo, with tonnes of informative and engaging presentations (despite the odd technical glitch). We would like to thank our sponsors, speakers, volunteers and staff for their work behind the scenes and on camera to put together the event. We would especially like to thank all of you who attended this year's Expo and joined us navigating a virtual event. Registered attendees have access to the video on-demand library for the next 3 months so you can revisit any sessions presented. Stay tuned for a more thorough recap in the Summer Issue of Insite to Condos.
Engagement Opportunity with the Residential Property Manager
There will be an Online Engagement Session on May 19th at 9 am (MT)
You are invited to participate in an online engagement session with the Residential Property Manager Industry Council. This session will be hosted by the Industry Council Chair and held on Zoom. It will include:
Register no later than May 18th, using this link.
"Building Science Perspective is the official publication of the Alberta Building Envelope Council North and South (ABECN) and (ABECS). The inaugural spring 2021 issue features stories on the MacKimmie Complex Redevelopment Complex, designing and modifying the ETFE skylight system for the Calgary Zoo's Panda Pandemonium exhibit, and more. " - DEL Communications Inc.
FIRE ANT CONTRACTING COVID-19 COMMUNICATION:
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, Fire Ant Contracting has been working hard to ensure the health and safety of our team, their families and our clients while still working to provide quality, timely services. We have put internal policies in place that are consistent with local, provincial and federal efforts and mandates to prevent the spread of the virus. Although the situation changes daily, below is a brief summary of what Fire Ant Contracting has done to date:
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, Fire Ant Contracting has been working hard to ensure the health and safety of our team, their families and our clients while continuing to work at providing quality, timely services.
Although the situation changes daily, we feel it is important to let you know that business is operating as usual. We do not foresee any cost implications or schedule delays to our upcoming or existing projects.
For the 10th year in a row, Fire Ant Contracting has sponsored the Kids Cancer Care Gala's Parents Quest for the Cure. Ed and Sara are inspired by the amazing families that are affected by this terrible disease, their strength and hope are heartening to see. We hosted a table of 8 of our favourite renovation clients and enjoyed the delicious Gaelic food and entertainment. Thank you Kids Cancer Care for hosting another fantastic evening and all the amazing sponsors who make the evening possible.
Friday 15th March 2019
We are delighted to announce that Fire Ant have been nominated for their 11th BILD Finalist project! (Since 2011!)
BILD AWARDS FINALIST: Renovators Choice, Cranston Wine Cellar
Design by Method Design Renovation by Fire Ant Contracting Ltd.
This beautiful wine cellar which we completed in 2018 within a new basement development can house over 150 bottles of wine (room temperature, cooled and chilled) and is finished with luxury finishes such as walnut cabinetry, 'hardwood' tiles, soapstone countertops and ledgestone walls. The basement development contains a wine cellar, gym, table tennis, living area and storage room.
Thank you to everyone at BILD AWARDS who voted for us! We are looking forward to the Gala in April for the winners to be announced.
Thank you to everyone who came to visit us at the 2019 Calgary Renovation Show. We had a very successful show and are looking forward to meeting lots of new clients at thier homes and creating their dream spaces.
See us next at the Calgary Home and Garden Show 28th February - 3rd March 2019!
Contact us anytime to disucss your home renovation projects!
HardyPlank® is the leading brand of fibre-cement siding products which have only recently become popular throughout North America. By recently we mean within the last decade. It comes from a mix of cement, clay, sand, and wood dust. This innovative technology was developed to produce an extremely durable product – no chipping, no dents, no scratches. As a new product, growing in popularity, it is mostly seen in Calgary’s newest communities, but it is also popular for retrofit jobs on existing homes and buidings.
The Downside: Fibre-cement compositions are heavy and difficult to work with. Installation requires specialized tools and techniques. The material itself comes at a higher price-point, and the specialized labour can add to the cost.
First of all, do not panic! If you have any water damage in your home, or questions about water damage, you can call us to speak with an expert. Water damage is one of the most common issues in Calgary buildings and homes. What makes it especially troublesome is that it can easily go unnoticed, leading to extended damage over time. Every property manager and homeowner should have systems in place to detect damage at the earliest stages. We want to make sure you know where to look and how to tell if you are having any water issues in your home.
A clear sign of leaky windows is pooling or staining on the window sill, but often times water penetration can go unnoticed. Check for rusty screws on your window hardware. Look for stains in and around the sill and frame. Check the drywall beneath the windows for soft spots or bubbling in the paint. Open up the window and check the assembly for chips and staining. Look for staining in the stucco around the exterior of your window. These are all typically signs that water might be penetrating the window and leaking into the wall beneath. Knowing the full extent of damage may require further investigation.
Once water penetration becomes an issue it is important to identify the extent of the issue as early as possible. A general contractor has additional moisture detection tools that can help you know what might be happening inside the wall, but the best way to know will be to remove a section of interior drywall or exterior sheathing to see exactly what is going on. A professional should be able to provide a minimally invasive solution. Make sure that any window installation quote includes restoring any damaged materials. Never install new windows without removing and replacing all damaged material.
The risk of a plumbing leak will change with the age of your home and the materials used. Calgary has hard water, meaning that it has a high mineral content. This accelerates the natural wear and tear on your pipes and plumbing components. Copper pipes will develop pin hole leaks over time with normal use. Valves and joints may also be affected. Check each plumbing fixture at the connection points for pooled water or staining. Feel for drops of water around your toilet and sink shut-off valves if you have any. Look under the sink for stains or soft spots. Check your washer-machine connections for any wetness, as well as refrigerators with water taps. Check the ceiling below each bathroom for watermarks.
If you do notice a problem, it is important to deal with it as soon as possible. Replace all faulty equipment and ensure there is no more leak. Remove any building materials that have been damaged beyond repair. It is a good idea to test your systems prior to making final repairs. A good general contractor will be able to help you know the extent of any damage and what items need to be replaced. Once the immediate leak is dealt with, get a fixed-price quote for the rest of the repairs.
Check the tile grout in your showers, especially in older homes. In some cases, the tile grout is the only water barrier between your shower and the susceptible building material. If your tile grout is cracked or falling out, water could be getting into the walls. Keep an eye on your roof. There are multiple scenarios in which a roof could potentially fail and leak water into your house. Make sure the roofing materials are intact and in good condition, especially during the rainy season. Look out for ice buildup in the winter. Look for stains on your ceiling, and if you are feeling brave, get up in your attic to look for damp spots in the insulation.
Water will instantly weaken the structure of building materials that are not designed to be water resistant. Any organic materials will begin to decompose, becoming weaker and weaker over time. This includes the wood framing that holds-up your house. The dark moist environment inside your walls becomes conducive for mold and bacterial growth which can have devastating effects on your health. For your own safety, and in consideration to the value of your home, do not procrastinate water issues.
Kitchen design in 2018 is all about contrast, texture, statement appliances, and the ongoing trend of adding color in the kitchen. We’re finding clients seeking more variety and opting for braver colour and style choices. The mix of striking solid colours and wood grains will continue to prove popular, as well as adding more interest in the form of tile and metallic finishes to create striking kitchens.
Design Trends Presented By:
The BILD Calgary Region Awards recognize professionals in the local home building industry for their creativity and the quality of their work. Formerly known as the SAM Awards, these prestigious awards are highly coveted and sought after by any serious contractor in Calgary. It is an honour to be nominated and a true mark of excellence for the winners. We have been nominated for three awards this year for two of our major renovation projects. Our categories include: Best Home Renovation (with Addition); Best Kitchen Renovation - up to $89,999; and Best Kitchen Renovation - $90,000 and over. Both of the projects are amazing and would not have been possible without the clients who shared their dreams with us, the designers who helped provide vision, and the Fire Ant Team for turning it all into reality.
Every year the Houzz community nominates professionals for Best of Houzz. The Best of Houzz Customer Service award honours professionals that stand out with positive client reviews for projects completed the previous calendar year. In 2017 we had the opportunity to work with some amazing clients. We are deeply grateful for their reviews, but even more so for their trust and the relationships we have built. It is our honour to receive the Best of Houzz 2018 Service award! We owe it to fantastic clients and an incredible team.
With comments like “every single one of our neighbors went out of their way to tell us how courteous and pleasant all of Fire Ant employees and trades were” and “my dog misses all the belly scratches from all the guys” we know that it is the team that makes us look good. We have the best employees and subcontractors that anyone could ask for.
This whole home renovation wouldn't be complete without the beautiful white granite countertops supplied by Caesarstone. See the full story on Caesarstone's website.
Peace and serenity at home often varies with different stages of life. Sometimes it can be hard to come by. Everyone needs an occasional retreat from their busy day-to-day lives to focus on their own mental state and wellbeing. Creating an oasis within your own home makes rest and relaxation that much more accessible. It was this idea that sparked the popularity of master ensuite bathrooms. Here are some of our suggestions to turn your ensuite into a personal spa.
1. Connect with nature by using natural materials where possible. Natural wood with granite or slate countertops is a stunning combination. Consider a pebble stone shower base and alternative materials like bamboo and grass to finish and decorate the room.
2. Use neutral tones, especially with the walls and ceilings. Colour and texture are added with accessories. ‘Natural Linen’ and ‘White Dove’ by Benjamin Moore are popular for creating a serene, soothing space.
3. Soft fabrics bring an element of comfort. Create some privacy with some natural cotton or linen drapes. Make sure there is plenty of space for soft towels and face cloths.
4. Oversized showers with frameless glass help maintain a fresh-air atmosphere. Multiple shower heads and body-sprays create a waterfall experience as they massage your body. Rain heads give the feeling of warm soothing rain.
5. Steam showers combined with a shower bench create the ultimate spa experience. Sit quietly and mediate in the warmth of your private steam room.
6. Heated floors are growing in popularity. The warm surfaces are extremely comfortable and add to the spa experience.
7. Add your own private salon with a designated makeup area. A well-lit mirror and vanity can be integrated with a hair dryer, curling tongs, and storage for a straightener. Remember to include additional power outlets in your design!
A selection of our custom renevation projects from 2017.
When it comes to your windows, how much do you actually know? There are a variety of building materials used in window construction, and they each have their own features and benefits. Knowing what you have can help you properly maintain your windows and achieve their maximum useful lifespan. Knowing what is available will help you know what you want in your home when it is time to replace the windows.
Hybrid windows are a combination of aluminum and PVC, bringing you the best of both materials. The aluminum exterior provides additional strength and can be produced in virtually any colour. The interior comes in white or off-white and is low maintenance and easy to clean. Hybrid windows are also generally less expensive than traditional aluminum clad windows.
Both the PVC Windows and the Hybrid Windows are able to incorporate a wood jamb interior. The wood can be painted or stained to match your existing themes.
We will be at the Calgary Home + Garden show this year with our brand new Fire Ant Contracting Booth. The show promises a stellar lineup of speakers and celebrities with exhibitors from all over Calgary. Come see us for the latest in home renovations, including virtual tours of our recently completed projects.
Click the image to get $4 off admission to the show!!
We look forward to taking part in the Calgary Renovation Show this year from January 12th to the 14th at the BMO Centre. The show promises to bring together inovative products and hundreds of experts all under one roof. Come by our booth and pay us a visit. We have some some exciting new ways to show you what we've been up to and what you can do in your home!
Click the image to get $4 off admission to the show!!
The RenoMark checkmark is a badge of honour for home renovation contractors in Canada. It identifies renovation contractors who have agreed to a specific Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct. The benefit for homeowners is that they get to choose from contractors that are all committed to the same standard of excellence and customer service. But what exactly is different about Renomark contractors?
Window failure is a serious concern that leads to water penetration and wood rot. The longer it is left unchecked, the more damage it causes. Certain homes in Calgary have been built with windows that contain an inherent flaw. This flaw allows water to penetrate beneath sheething into the wooden framing components of your home.
If you suspect any problems with your windows or have questions then don't wait to get in touch! Our team will come by and provide a detailed report of your current window conditions and any required remediation.
Contractors are required by law to provide a one-year warranty on labour. The industry standard is two-years, which promotes better workmanship and longer-term relationships. A contractor should be able to provide you with warranty information with a written commitment that it will be honored.
A Certificate of Recognition is given to employers that meet the provincial standards for health and safety. To become COR certified an employer has to put a program in place and have it audited by a qualified specialist. The certification is maintained by repeat audits after the first year and then every three years. Health and safety has always been a major priority for Fire Ant Contracting. We are proud to carry the COR badge as of May, 2017.
Our health and safety management system considers every individual who steps foot on our jobsite. With our sign-in sheets we know who is coming and going and who is still on-site. We keep safety equipment including fire extinguishers on-site at all times and in multiple locations if necessary. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) must be used by all employees and any persons visiting the jobsite. Signage is put in place to identify hazards and promote procedural safety measures.
We believe that jobsite safety is facilitated through education. Training and proper supervision within our own team reduces mistakes on every level. We also work with homeowners so that they know what will be happening in their home at all times and what will be expected of them while work is taking place. Another key factor is communication. We maintain open lines at all times for homeowners and building residents. If something appears unusual we want to know about it right away. Our team members are also trained to identify issues and proactively get the word out.
If you have any questions about health and safety during the renovation process please don’t hesitate to ask. In the end safety depends on cooperation on all sides. Our COR certification demonstrates our commitment.
Take a tour of a recent whole-home renovation in Wildwood, Calgary. This dated 1970s bungalow was transformed into a contemporary masterpiece. Make sure you stop by the kitchen, master-bathroom, and basement wetbar to see some stunning features!
Fire Ant Contracting Ltd is very proud to announce we are listed as an approved, participating contractor for the Energy Efficiency Alberta Home Improvement Rebates programme.
This great initiative was launched to encourage Alberta homeowners to make energy efficient home improvements with a CASH back incentive!
Windows - Upgrade to new, ENERGY STAR® triple pane, low-e, argon windows at valuable savings. Installed correctly, window upgrades increase home value, increase air-tightness, reduce energy loss, and reduce road noise. Upgrading to ENERGY STAR® triple pane, low-e, argon windows will provide greater energy savings as the area of the home covered by windows increases and based on the current windows you have in your home.
Insulation - Improve the insulation in your attic, on your above-grade walls and in the basement for a more comfortable and energy-efficient home. Investing in insulation upgrades will increase your family’s comfort, reduce your energy expenses, and increase your home’s value. Best of all there’s typically no maintenance: just energy savings and better comfort for decades.
Energy Efficiency Alberta’s rebates are available for insulation added to a home’s attic, main walls, basement or pony walls. Your rebate will be based on where the insulation is applied, how much insulation is added, and how many square feet receive the upgrade
Tankless Hot Water Heater- An ENERGY STAR®-approved tankless water heater gives your home the incredible advantage of never running out of hot water—and it’s the most cost-effective way to heat water to boot. Tankless hot water systems take up less space, waste less energy and may even provide hot water faster than conventional systems. Domestic hot water upgrades to ENERGY STAR® tankless systems present a tremendous energy-saving opportunity over older, storage tank systems, especially those equipped with standing pilot lights.
We are very pleased to share this new photo with you!
We recently completed this basement development in NW Calgary, it was an extra special project as it contained an existing built in safe which we incorporated into this beautiful basement development.
Cindy of Purple Turtle Design produced drawings for this lovely, open plan living area with ample storage (I have never seen that many built in cabinets in one basement!), a guest bedroom, full bathroom and safe room. An oversized custom sliding door was installed on custom wall tracks which slides along the length of the wall to cover the safe door. Dark stained maple was used throughout for two large built ins, the custom door, the stair railing and the bathroom vanity. A light, neutral wall colour was painted on all walls in the basement to provide a light, airy feel.
There is lots of room for this young family to play!
We work with the best crafts men and women in the Province!
We are lucky enough to work with some specialist craftsmen who sometimes invite us to try out the trade! Mark at Mystic Forge taught Ed some blacksmithing skills at his awesome workshop in rural Alberta.
Wow, what an experience!
Mark creates the most amazing custom pieces, from staircases and tables to railings and gates, all custom, all handmade.
Contact Fire Ant Contracting for a quote on incorporating a custom piece into your next renovation.
Visit the Mystic Forge Website for some inspiration!
Thank you so much Porcelanosa Calgary for hosting our NKBA Prairie Provinces Chapter industry event. These NKBA events are a great way to network amount industry professionals and learn about a subject of interest; as we were at Porcelanosa we had a seminar on the manufacturing of tile. We were shown fascinating videos taken from their tile factory in Spain, Europe. We also learnt more about the on-trend extra large format tiles which are currently being installed throughout the City.
Thank you NKBA - looking forward to the next event!
Sara was honoured to be invited to join the 100 Women Who Care founders Christy and Alison for the cheque presentation to The Calgary Counselling Centre. Wow $22,100 to this amazing centre where everyone can reach out for help, even if they don't have the financial means. We were taken on a tour of the beautiful down town facility and saw directly where our members donations will be used to expand essential services.
Ladies - Join us at the next 100 Women Who Care meeting on 22nd February 2017 at 7pm, Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club, Fire Ant will be providing delicious treats!
What a great team!
We are very proud of our group of guys and girls that make up the Fire Ant team.
We are a diverse team of talented people from a variety of back grounds, many of which who have been with us for many years. Lots of our return clients love seeing the same faces come back to complete further phases of their home renovations.
Our team is divided up between the office and various job sites in Calgary and the surrounding areas.
Thank you Team Fire Ant for the great job that you do!
Dedicated to our customers.
As proud members of the Calgary Construction Association we were invited to an exclusive behind the scenes tour of the construction site of the Rocky Ridge Recreation Facility. The contemporary structure is truly impressive!
The new facility is due to open in 2017 and will house 2 ice rinks, 2 swimming pools, a library, gyms and a theatre.
We are excited to visit again when it opens next year.
Thank you to CCI for organising this informative tour.
We had a very successful few days at the 2016 Calgary Home and Design Show at the BMO Centre.
Here are a few photos from the great weekend meeting new clients, chatting with trade partners and talking renovations!
Thank you to our wonderful booth sponsors for making our show so successful.
We featured a contemporary custom walnut and painted kitchen with quartz countertops and a striking stainless steel backsplash.