All FAQs

  • Do you need a permit to renovate a kitchen?

    If your kitchen renovation will change the structure of your home, then you’ll likely need a permit to renovate in Edmonton. Permit requirements vary by city and province. However, you can expect to need a permit for any largescale renovation, including removing walls, adding windows, etc. As well, renovations that deal with wiring, plumbing or natural gas will also require a permit. In these cases, specific permits are required in addition to your building permit. The purpose of these permits is to guarantee that your renovation, and your renovation contractor, comply with provincial codes and bylaws. Keep in mind that, as the homeowner, it falls on you to apply for and receive the permits you require for your home renovation. Luckily, in Alberta, it isn’t too difficult to figure out how and where to apply for permits to renovate your home. If you have any questions, feel free to ask the renovation specialists at Nord Alta. Read More...
  • Does a new kitchen add value to your home?

    A kitchen renovation will add value to your home. In fact, kitchen renovations are one of the most popular home renovations in Edmonton. This is because the kitchen is one of the most important areas of a home and the room that potential buyers will be most interested in. By ensuring that you incorporate high-end finishes and a well-thought-out space, you can attract more buyers and receive top-dollar for your home. To add value to your kitchen remodel, consider incorporating a unique backsplash or adding interesting lighting above your kitchen island. Above all, when you’re renovating your kitchen you’ll want to ensure that you don’t stray too far from the current kitchen renovation trends in Edmonton. By sticking to these trends, you can ensure that you will love your kitchen and that anyone looking to buy your home does as well. Read More...
  • How often should you renovate your kitchen?

    It is recommended that you renovate your kitchen in Edmonton every 10 to 15 years. This will ensure that your space is up-to-date and on-trend. However, above all, this is the amount of time that it commonly takes for appliances and finishes to experience wear and tear that requires replacement. Regardless of this time frame, there are a few other signs that it may be time for a kitchen renovation at your home. For example, if you notice that your kitchen is outdated, if you need to change the functionality or flow of your kitchen (e.g. you need more storage space or to be able to accommodate more people), if elements of the kitchen are damaged, broken or worn-out, or if you plan on selling your home and would like to increase its value, then it’s likely time to consider renovating your kitchen. Read More...
  • What is the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel?

    Typically, the most expensive part of a kitchen remodel is the cabinets. Cabinets are the most expensive feature for several reasons. This includes the fact that kitchen cabinets are commonly the most significant aspect of a kitchen - they take up the most space and are the most important and necessary part of any kitchen. In addition, kitchen cabinets are often designed to fit your specific needs and space. Therefore, they are commonly made-to-order and cost more as a result. Of course, as a homeowner, you can determine your budget and adjust your requirements to alter the cost of your kitchen remodel. After the cost of your cabinets, the most expensive part of a kitchen renovation will be the appliances and then the countertops. Read More...
  • Is a kitchen renovation worth it?

    A kitchen renovation is worth it for many homeowners in Edmonton. If you are considering selling your home, a kitchen renovation will increase the value of your house, it will draw more attention from buyers and will help you sell your home faster, in many cases. However, even if you don’t plan on selling your home in the near future, a kitchen renovation is still worth it. The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home and most commonly the area where friends and family gather for a good time. Therefore, a newly renovated kitchen that is both functional and beautiful can bring a lot of enjoyment to you and your family. Plus, kitchen renovations don't need to be a hassle, especially if you follow certain steps to make your kitchen reno a breeze. Read More...
  • Should I contact my insurance company during a renovation?

    Absolutely. Make them aware of the project. Also ask if it will require any further coverage. You should also make sure that the contractor you are hiring is insured for general liability and workman's compensation. Read More...
  • Should I build a main floor addition, or should I add a second story?

    The first thing to consider is the residence and the property on which it’s located. If your property is within a city or town, there could be restrictions, such as the square footage of the buildings allowed on the property as a percentage of the land available. With most property in the Edmonton area, a property owner is allowed to build site coverage of 40%, of which 28% is the main residence and the other 12% would be for outbuildings such as a garage. In most situations this percentage is well within what most homes are originally designed for, although with lot setbacks and side yard setbacks, driveways and easements, it takes careful planning to fit the home within the existing lot, especially if the lot is pie shaped or irregular. Other things to take into consideration might be living in a mature neighborhood where you may face demands to conform to existing architecture or the historical flavor of the neighborhood. Once you have determined how much room is available to develop, it makes sense to sit down with your family and discuss your family's needs, wants, and other factors that you will have to consider when planning an addition. Read More...
  • What are the different kinds of windows to choose from, and how do they differ in price and performance?

    Essentially there are three types of windows available today – vinyl, fiberglass and wood metal clad. Vinyl The most common, mainly due to cost. Being inexpensive to build, vinyl windows are quite reasonably priced. The disadvantage is that vinyl can’t handle a lot of weight so they do have size limitations. Fiberglass Superior to vinyl in that the frames are very strong, they can support much more weight. If color on the exterior is required, a generous color selection is usually available. Some manufacturers even laminate a pine veneer on the inside to simulate a wood window. Cost is generally somewhere in the middle and performance is considered good. Wood Metal Clad Can usually fit most budgets depending on the features chosen. With these windows you get the natural beauty of wood, with different wood species available. Wood lends itself to some intricate milling that vinyl or fiberglass does not. If your decorating budget calls for stained wood, this is the product for you. Most wood windows come with metal clad on the exterior for a good color selection and a maintenance free exterior. Any of the above products are more than acceptable for either new home construction or replacement. At Nord Alta, we suggest that the customer always look for an Energy Star Rated window product with the following options: Low-E coatings, argon gas filled, and triple glazing. Read More...
  • When is the best time of year to get started on a renovation?

    The best time is now. Although some things, such as exterior painting, are best left to warmer weather, most renovations can occur year round. Even window and door replacements can be done in the winter. Installations are planned to minimize the time the interior of your home is exposed to cold weather. Read More...
  • Who in the company does the work? How much of the work is subcontracted out?

    At Nord Alta, we are actively involved in developing your project. We work as a team in conjunction with select sub-trades. We are either directly involved or supervising our sub-trades. This allows us to keep tabs on the work being done and: Avoid any uncertainties or difficulties that may arise Keep the work schedule on track Read More...
  • Can we visit one of your work sites?

    We are more than willing to show you our work provided we have the homeowner's permission. We do, however, keep a library of photos of our previous work for you to look at. Read More...
  • Do you use products that meet relevant building codes?

    Yes. We use only products of the highest standards that meet or exceed building codes. There are few, if any, substandard products in today’s marketplace. Where contractors run into trouble is when they try and use products not designed for a specific application. We make sure this does not happen. In addition to using correct products for their intended use, we make it a habit to inform our clients that using the cheapest product in not always value for money. In some cases, using a higher quality, more expensive product can lead to significant savings in the long run. Read More...
  • What does the warranty cover and for how long?

    Our warranty is for one full year on labour. Product warranty is dependent on the manufacturer's warranty. Please note that cases arise where a homeowner chooses to supply materials for a project (e.g. a homeowner buys plumbing fixtures for a plumber to install). In this case, any warranty issues that arise from a defective product are the responsibility of the homeowner. Read More...
  • Do you use a written contract?

    Yes. A contract should be mutually beneficial to all parties. Therefore, everything is completed in writing so there are no surprises. The benefit of a contract is that all the project details are spelled out, whether it is the scope of the work to be performed, the amount of time in which the contract is to be fulfilled, or the terms of payment. The contract also outlines the duties and responsibilities of each party. At one time, everyone relied on a handshake to seal the contract. Today we still have a handshake, but because there are so many details, it's important to get it in writing. Not all contracts are the same. However, each one should include: Scope of work Timetable of start date and completion Cost When progress payments are to be made Warranties, and mechanisms to arbitrate disagreements. With these details, a customer can be assured that their best interests and those of the contractor are taken into consideration. Read More...
  • What licensing, contract insurance etc do you carry?

    Nord Alta carries several legal requirements that protect our clients, those who work with us, and ourselves. These include: Workmen’s Compensation Liability insurance with two million dollars of coverage for each occurrence (we have never had to claim) Municipal license to operate in the City of Edmonton GST registration Licensed and bonded as a prepaid contractor by the Province of Alberta Should you require more details we will be happy to provide them. Read More...
  • What is your area of expertise?

    Nord Alta is a full service general contracting company. We provide both residential and commercial renovation services. These include kitchen, bathroom, living room, basement and home office renovations, as well as commercial lease hold improvements, custom home projects and barrier free remodelling. We only use licensed sub-trades for licensed sub-trade work. We guarantee that a plumber will be doing the plumbing work and an electrician will be doing electrical work and not the other way around. This philosophy ensures that our work gets done by qualified, experienced personnel, many of whom have worked with us for years. Read More...
  • How long has the company been in business and how long have you been operating in the Edmonton area?

    Nord Alta has celebrated over 37 years in the Greater Edmonton area as a family owned and operated business. Our longevity in the industry is due to our commitment to our clients in providing great value, and a quality finished product. Read More...
  • Should we wait until the weather is ‘nice’ to change our windows and doors?

    No! We can replace windows and doors all year round with minimal interruption to your home. While it may be cool in the house for the day we do it, the potential energy savings over the winter are worth the disruption, no matter the weather. Read More...
  • What makes a good window?

    The manufacturer of the product certainly matters - triple pane, gas filled with coatings/glazings are things we always recommend (and that our preferred window manufacturer does as standard). But even more important than the window itself is the quality of the installation - the best window will not solve a bad installation. At Nord Alta Windows & Doors, we go the extra mile to make sure your windows are installed properly so they do not leak or let in drafts. You’ll love the results we give/ Read More...
  • Should I come up with designs before contacting you to repalce windows and doors?

    It’s important for you to tell us why you want to replace doors and/or windows. Is it because they’re old and leaking? You want your home to look its best? Are they costing you money because they’re not sufficiently energy efficient? So why do you want these improvements and where? Is accessibility an issue? Read More...
  • Can we continue to work or operate in our building while you work on it?

    The size of the renovation and the impact that it will have on your building usability will ultimately dictate whether or not you can continue to work there through the construction process. Small projects can usually be completed with minimal interruption to your building or your staff. And if necessary Nord Alta Construction can work on projects after hours to minimize the impact. Read More...
  • Are there elements that should be considered in every commercial renovation?

    Yes. But depending on the overall scope of your project these can vary wildly between projects. Everything from lights, to flooring, to entrance and flow and so many more elements need to be considered that the best way to do it is to look at your original plan and work through it with us. We are happy to help you through this process and pride ourselves in being able to help our commercial clients work through each element before the renovation project begins. Read More...
  • Should I come up with designs before contacting you to start my commercial renovation?

    Yes. Commercial renovation and construction projects require additional planning, engineering, and/or designs. The more information you can provide in regards to your project, the easier it is to come up with an overall project scope and reasonable timeline for completion. Read More...
  • Are there elements that should be considered in every basement renovation?

    When renovating a basement, it's important to determine how the basement is going to be used. If you plan on including a bedroom or two in the basement, the windows must be large enough to meet building code for egress purposes. If you are looking at turning your basement into a secondary suite, there are many alterations to the space that may need to be made to meet the proper building codes. Read More...
  • Should I come up with designs before contacting you to start my basement renovation?

    If you feel comfortable drawing out some ideas for a new basement, then by all means. However, it's not necessary for you to come up with drawings. It is useful, however, to go through and put together a wish list of things you'd like to see in your basement. This information will help us come up with a basement design that is right for you. Read More...
  • Should we continue to live in the building while it’s under construction?

    The size of the renovation and the impact that it will have on your living and sleeping quarters will ultimately dictate whether or not you can continue to live there through the construction process. With barrier free renovations it may be possible to do the required work in stages, allowing you to stay in the home during the renovations. Read More...
  • Are there elements that should be considered in every barrier free renovation?

    When retrofitting a barrier free space there are a number of elements that must be considered: Access to other areas of the home If the home is all on one floor then it’s important to clear away obstacles to clear flow. You want wider doorways, no cabinets or counters that stick out, thresholds that allow smooth movement from one room to another, or to the outside. If the home has a second floor and a basement and access is required, do you consider a chairlift? What other options might you have, such as relocating a washer-dryer from the basement to the main floor? Exterior Is there easy access to the front door, or to a garden, or a garage? Is there a level walkway available from the home to the sidewalk? Is a ramp required? What about railings? These are some of the issues that should be addressed Read More...
  • Should I come up with designs before contacting you to start my barrier free renovation?

    It's not only important to consider you current needs for accessibility, but it's also important to anticipate your future needs. Nord Alta Construction will discuss each room in your house - kitchens, bedrooms, bathroom, entrances, and more - to make sure your renovation covers all areas of accessibility for your family. Read More...
  • Are there other factors that can affect how my bathroom renovation unfolds?

    The age of the home and the last time the bathroom was renovated could determine whether you need to upgrade the electrical or plumbing. As well, materials chosen for the project could affect how long the project takes to complete. A good example of this would be a solid surface counter top. The top has to be templated after the vanity is installed. This generally adds a couple of weeks to the renovation process. Read More...
  • Are there elements you need to consider when renovating a bathroom?

    The three most important items to consider when renovating a bathroom are: Function Do you have small children or pets that require the use of a bathtub or would a walk in shower with a bench be more appropriate to your lifestyle? Safety Do you require a comfort-height toilet with grab bars to assist with using the toilet? In fact, consider installing grab bars in strategic locations to help prevent a slip or a fall. Make sure the floor is non slip, non skid. Moisture control Ensure that proper ventilation and waterproofing are used to prevent mold and mildew from causing problems in your bathroom. Read More...
  • Will I be able to use my bathroom during the renovation?

    Depending on the scope of your bathroom renovation, you may or may not have use of your toilet, sink, or shower/bathtub for a period of time. If you only have one bathroom in your home, arrangements will need to be made ahead of time to ensure that you still have access to a shower and a toilet. Read More...
  • Should we continue to live in the building while it’s under construction?

    The size of the renovation and the impact on your living and sleeping quarters will ultimately dictate whether or not you can continue to live there through the construction process: If there are structural changes or if insulation or drywall is used, it would be smart to move to a safer environment. You may sacrifice private time with your family with construction under way. Read More...
  • Are there elements that should be considered in every kitchen renovation?

    When retrofitting a kitchen for today's needs there are a couple of elements that are often overlooked and should be included, even if you are only replacing cabinets: Insulation If the existing cabinets are mounted on the outside walls and you home is pre 1970, this is the very best time to upgrade that wall insulation. The benefits are tremendous with today's energy prices. Electrical Many older homes pre-date the use of small appliances and the electrical requirements are often insufficient. It's also a great time to revisit your kitchen lighting, especially around food preparation areas. Under-cabinet lighting, above-cabinet indirect lighting, pot lights, or traditional fixtures are all available. And consider new LED light fixtures for energy savings. Read More...
  • Should I come up with designs before contacting you to start my kitchen renovation?

    If you feel comfortable drawing out some ideas for a new kitchen, then do so. However, it's not necessary for you to come up with drawings. It is useful, however, to have answers to important questions around usage, styles, and overall expectations. Some great questions to consider are: Who will use the kitchen? Who does the cooking? Do you entertain large parties? Or entertain in the kitchen? Are there any mobility or height issues? Read More...