Renovation products spring to life at show
I’VE always thought renovation and spring are synonymous because they both refer to revival and rebirth. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word renovation is derived from the Latin renovare, meaning to make new, impart new vigour or revive. The word spring, when used to denote a season, is a time when Jews and Christians celebrate salvation and rebirth. It is also a time of renewed energy and hope when leaping, jumping, bounding, vaulting and, yes, renovating, are prerequisite to herald the return of life. The joy of renovating was alive and well when I attended the recent Home Expressions Show at the RBC Convention Centre. Travis Dreger, a young entrepreneur and vicepresident of QC Quality Concepts of Morden, exhibited a line of screened enclosures and gazebos that are aesthetically pleasing and very practical. One of the designs I particularly liked was a free-standing pergola with a motorized open/ close screen designed to keep the enclosure bugfree on summer evenings, while allowing direct access to the out-of-doors during the pest-free months of spring and fall. Dreger pointed out there are multiple applications for his screened structures, including customized free-standing sizes and shapes, attachments to a home, covers over a pool, hot tub or outdoor fireplace or screening an existing veranda area. “Aside from bug-free outdoor living, our products add value and curb appeal to a home as well as the option for homeowners to spend more time in the healthy outdoors,” he said, adding the metal frames and heavy-duty screens are built to withstand Manitoba winters; for a little more money, a retractable roof system that protects enclosures from snow loads in winter is also available. For homeowners who want to transform an existing addition into expanded outdoor living space, Dreger said his company offers a variety of motorized screens. They come in a variety of heavy-duty weaves and subtle colours and include a choice of white, bronze, beige or ivory metal frames. “They’re ideal for a garage, porch or cabana where the opening can be covered with a retractable screen at the touch of a button, keeping out bugs but allowing fresh air to circulate inside the enclosure at the same time,” said Dreger. The motors and electronics that operate the screens come with three- and two-year replacement warranties, respectively. Another intriguing product sold by Quality Concepts is Eze-Breeze porch and patio-glazing material. “Many homeowners have patios that are great for parties and family gatherings but their use is limited by bugs and bad weather,” said Deger. His suggestion is to cover the area with vinylglazed panels with full-length screens that are light, strong and especially suited to small outdoor spaces. (The 10-mm vinyl is strong enough to withstand a punch by a large man without breaking and then return to its original shape.) The vinyl panels are available in vertical fourtrack configurations that can be applied from floor to ceiling. Three of the four panels can be stacked over the fourth to allow 75 per cent ventilation, or all four can be removed and stored, leaving the screens in place to allow 100 per cent ventilation, said Deger. Horizontal side sliders are also available with two or four track options on neoprene rollers; frames on all products have a lifetime warranty and a 10-year warranty on vinyl, screen and moving parts. Installation costs are low because reframing is not required as the panels are custom-made to fit existing openings. Standard or custom-built single or double Cabana doors in vertical four-track or fixed lite styles can be purchased to match enclosures. For further information, contact Dreger at 204-712-6775 or check the company website at qualityconcepts.ca. Another product that caught my eye was residential fencing constructed of concrete. One style looked like cedar-stained wood panels commonly sold at lumberyards in sixor eight-foot-high horizontal or vertical-board panels. Andy Stumborg of DDS Consulting, the Canadian manufacturer of the custom precast fences and entries, said the company’s products can be stained any colour and it will last 20 years. “For homeowners who are tired of re-staining every three or four years, this low-maintenance feature is a real bonus,” said Stromberg, adding the concrete has an indefinite lifespan, many times that of treated wood or solid cedar. To date, many of the company’s fences and entranceways — manufactured in numerous custom designs — have been used as eye-catching perimeters for residential subdivisions. However, Stromberg said DDS Consulting is
Above, Alan Harder (left) and Andy Stumborg of DDS Consulting exhibited a whitestained concrete fence with a 20-year warranty. The cedarstained concrete fence panel in the background has been used extensively to enclose large residential developments. Now, Stumborg says, the company is producing railtype fences that appeal to individual homeowners because they look like wood timber but are virtually maintenance free. At left, a backyard pergola by Quality Concepts has a motorized screen that can be opened or closed with the touch of a button.