Experts on hand to offer all your home building and reno advice

Sign up now to see HAVAN’s Ask the Experts stage at the Vancouver Fall Home Show, October 24-27, and you could attend the show for free

If you’re planning a gorgeous home renovation or building an entire house, you’ll need a lot of expert advice — and that’s before you even hire the professionals.

Luckily, a host of expert designers, renovators and builders will be on hand in a series of panel events, dedicated to offering you all the advice you need, at the Vancouver Fall Home Show, taking place at the Vancouver Convention Centre October 24-27.

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Homebuilders Association Vancouver's (HAVAN) Ask the Experts stage, sponsored by Trail Appliances, will give show attendees much-needed information on the renovation and design-build processes, how to source materials to stay on budget, current design trends, solutions for micro-living, energy-efficient construction and design, and how to manage contracts to ensure you are protected.

There will be a series of 12 panel discussions across the four-day show, each tackling different topics with experts in that particular field (see Ask the Experts schedule below, or get more information here). You can also access the individual panel members for a free one-on-one consultation, whether you need advice on construction, materials, design or contracts.

Todd Best, owner of Best Builders who is speaking on the Design/Build Process panel, said, “It has to start with interviewing contractors. So many people get caught up in the wrong thing, whether that’s price or design flair, or being charmed by a salesperson trying to get a contract, they don’t ask the questions that are important. That’s what we’ll be talking about — the important questions, the ones that the more knowledgeable contractors will be able to answer, and it will reveal their true intent.”

He added, “I also want to show people how to make home building fun. It can be an intimidating process but once they’ve chosen the right contractor, they’re comfortable and they understand, it can be an enjoyable process.”

Lucila Diaz, interior designer at Harmony Sense Interiors and a speaker on the Kitchen Design panel, said, “It is not only about the questions you need to ask of the professionals, but also what information you need to give them. You need to ask yourself, what is my budget, what am I trying to achieve, what is the function of the space? People like to follow design trends, like replacing all upper cabinets in a kitchen with shelves, or doing a much taller backsplash, but what if you can’t then reach what you need?”

She added, “A lot of people really don’t understand what’s involved in renovation, like permits, and the unforeseen things that can happen. Understanding your budget and setting aside an amount for contingencies is important.”

Best and Diaz are both among the experts who will be available for free one-on-one consultations. “Bring your dreams, your expressions of yourselves, anything you’d like to see in your home,” said Best. “Then we can find a way to put it to purpose and create it. We want to sit down and spend the time to understand exactly what it is that would make their home unique. In a time when everyone is ‘build it quicker, faster, cheaper,’ it’s the same thing over and over again. We want to take the time to get to know people and design a home that makes them really happy.”

HAVAN is the Lower Mainland’s resource for trusted, local homebuilders, and all the panellists are accredited members, so there’s no better place to go for the advice you need than its Ask the Experts stage.

Plus, HAVAN is offering a great deal right now. If you are one of the first 100 people to register for one of the Ask the Experts panel discussions, you will automatically receive two free tickets to attend the entire Vancouver Fall Home Show! Click here to sign up today.

The Vancouver Fall Home Show runs from Thursday October 24 to Sunday October 27 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. For more information and tickets, click here.

Ask the Experts stage schedule

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24

5:15pm: Get it in Writing – Practical Legal Tips for Homeowners
Speaker: Anne Cochrane, Kuhn LLP

6:30pm: Year-round Outdoor Living: Integrate your indoors and outdoors
Panelists: Chris O’Donohue, The Great Canadian Landscaping Company Ltd; Paul Bulat, Citywide Sundecks and Railings; Greg Baarts, Grenor Homes; moderator: Stephanie MacDonald, Editor-at-Large, New Home + Condo Guide, Editor, Home Décor & Renovations magazine

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25

1:30pm: Kitchen Designs: Design/Build recipes for success
Panelists: Katerina Vastardis and Silvie Pantsios, Designs by KS; Greg Baarts, Grenor Homes; Lucila Diaz, Harmony Sense Interiors; moderator: Jamie Banfield, Principal Designer, Jamie Banfield Design

3:30pm: Micro Living: Big Solutions for Small Spaces
Panelists: Robert Capar, maison d’etre design-build inc.; Sandro Stefanucci, Abstract Homes & Renovations Inc.; Mila Djuras, Intermind Design Inc.; moderator: Meme Brooks, Principal, Meme Brooks Design

5:30pm: Year-round Outdoor Living: Integrate your indoors and outdoors
Panelists: Chris O’Donohue, The Great Canadian Landscaping Company Ltd; Paul Bulat, Citywide Sundecks and Railings; Greg Baarts, Grenor Homes; moderator: Stephanie MacDonald, Editor-at-Large, New Home + Condo Guide, Editor, Home Décor & Renovations magazine

7:00pm: Design/Build Process: Strategies to build your dream home
Panelists: Todd Best and Aron Combs, Best Builders; Mike Freedman, Hi-Fi Centre; Mark Cooper, Shakespeare Homes and Renovations Inc.; moderator: Kathy Yuen, President, Phase One Design

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26

11:00am: Micro Living: Big Solutions for Small Spaces
Panelists: Robert Capar, maison d’etre design-build inc.; Sandro Stefanucci, Abstract Homes & Renovations Inc.; Mila Djuras, Intermind Design Inc.; moderator: Meme Brooks, Principal, Meme Brooks Design

1:00pm: High-Performance Homes: Energy Efficiency and Healthy Homes
Panelists: Graeme Huguet, My House Design/Build Team Ltd.; Shaun St-Amour, 475 High Performance Building Supply; Steve Kemp, Kemp Construction Management Ltd.; moderator: Larry Clay, President & Founder, Clay Construction Inc.

3:00pm: Kitchen Designs: Design/Build recipes for success
Panelists: Katerina Vastardis and Silvie Pantsios, Designs by KS; Greg Baarts, Grenor Homes; Lucila Diaz, Harmony Sense Interiors; moderator: Kathy Yuen, President, Phase One Design

4:30pm: Home Renovations: Building It Right
Panelists: Laurel James, Novell Design Build; Charmaine Lang, Charmaine Lang Design Inc.; Elton Donald, Kerr Construction; moderator: Cheri Stefanucci, Operations and Public Relations, Abstract Homes and Renovations Inc.

7:00pm: Get it in Writing – Practical Legal Tips for Homeowners
Speaker: Anne Cochrane, Kuhn LLP

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 27

11:00am: Home Renovations: Building It Right
Panelists: Laurel James, Novell Design Build; Charmaine Lang, Charmaine Lang Design Inc.; Elton Donald, Kerr Construction; moderator: Cheri Stefanucci, Operations and Public Relations, Abstract Homes and Renovations Inc.

1:00pm: Design/Build Process: Strategies to build your dream home
Panelists: Todd Best and Aron Combs, Best Builders; Mike Freedman, Hi-Fi Centre;Mark Cooper, Shakespeare Homes and Renovations Inc.; moderator: Kathy Yuen, President, Phase One Design

3:00pm: High-Performance Homes: Energy Efficiency and Healthy Homes
Panelists: Graeme Huguet, My House Design/Build Team Ltd.; Shaun St-Amour, 475 High Performance Building Supply; Steve Kemp, Kemp Construction Management Ltd.; moderator: Larry Clay, President & Founder, Clay Construction Inc.

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