Below you will find a collection of news that we have found interesting or useful. Come back often for updates
  • Ed and Dan of Nisby home renovations


    Ed and Dan of Nisby home renovations

    A history of Nisby Renovations

    Renovation Innovation
    More than 29 years and thousands of successful home renovations have helped establish Nisby Home Renovations Ltd.'s reputation as a thriving Winnipeg business.

    Company founder Ed Nisby has proven to be one of the city's most respected and successful entrepreneurs,winning several impressive awards and countless accolades from loyal customers, and being an active participant in the community.With more than 1,000 renovations performed annually, Nisby also continues to lead the city as a pioneer in home renovations.Homeowners can be confident that their home will receive the very best renovations possible with the workmanship of Ed Nisby and any of the company's skilled staff.

    Nisby, a native of Thunder Bay,Ont., came to Winnipeg following a career in the Calgary real estate market. In 1984, he founded Nisby Home Renovations Ltd. The company' s specialties included exterior renovation projects, such as siding,windows and doors. With positive referrals and a growing reputation,roofing business quickly progressed and the company made $200,000 in its first year. An assuring five-year workmanship guarantee became an added incentive to customer satisfaction. Outside of Winnipeg,several hundred cottage projects have been performed as far away as Lake of the Woods, Clear Lake,Gimli, Winnipeg Beach and in Northern Ontario.

    The company's knack for innovation remains true with its products,and has helped in the technology realm, as Nisby became Winnipeg's first home renovation company on the World Wide Web, with the customer-friendly Nisby is easily available

    With a modest yet impressive St.James showroom and a skilled team of 30 staff members and tradespeople,Nisby Home Renovations, a member of the Better Business Bureau, has an excellent reputation in the community. In fact, Ed Nisby is extremely proud to say that more than half of all the company's business is derived from there ferrals of satisfied customers.Winnipeggers have also become familiar with seeing the Nisby  logoin various places around the city,an animated character that is always ready to tackle a project with his trusty hammer.

    Nisby services have expanded from a specialization in vinyl siding exterior work, to becoming the ideal one-stop home renovation centre. The enthusiastic staff is willing to tackle a number of home renovation projects, offering complete retrofit and specialties with windows, doors, roofing, stucco coatings, fences and decks.

    Happy homeowners aren't the only people recognizing the work of Ed Nisby. Maintenance-free products,quality workmanship and excellent customer service have won Nisby Home Renovations various remodling awards. The business is a favourite of the Manitoba Home builders' Association, which has awarded Nisby with Renovation of the Year nods in 2003 and 2004,and Gold Awards in 2000, 2001 and2005. Also, the Vinyl Council of Canada awarded Nisby with the1991 Award of Distinction for its work on an Osborne Village home at 108 Pulford Avenue....

  • Window Visualizer


    Window Visualizer

    Designing with Windows and Doors

    Nisby customer service representatives are trained to assist you in planning window renovations.

    The sun's energy is free. Solar energy can improve the lighting and comfort of your home, and it can cut your fuel bills; it can also provide too much warmth and cause overheating, both in summer and winter, this is especially true in Manitoba, as any good Winnipeger knows. Decisions you make at the planning stage about the number of windows, their size and location, particularly in relation to the sun's orientation at different times of the year will be as important a consideration in determining your window requirements as their insulative properties or how they look.

    For example, increasing window areas on the south side of a building can increase the contribution that the sun makes to heating the home in the winter, which may offset your heating costs. But be sure to plan for sufficient eave overhang to shade these south-facing windows in the summer months to prevent unwanted solar gain.

    Until recently, an established rule of thumb in window placement was to install fewer and fixed windows on the north side of a home, to prevent excessive heat losses in the winter. Another rule of thumb recommended keeping east and west exposures to a minimum except when needed for aesthetics and daylight, in order to prevent excessive solar heat gain in the summer.

    But over the past several years the rules for window placement have changed with advances in window technology. The arrival of high-performance windows has given consumers more choice in window selection ñ whether it's for an existing home renovation or for specifying in a new home.

    Remember the following rule of thumb: keep the ratio of window area to floor area at about 1:10. That is, for every square metre of window area, make sure you have at least ten square metres of floor area. This will prevent overheating in the living space due to too much solar gain. There are also code requirements in many areas for kitchens, and dining and living rooms. 

    If you combine traditional passive solar design principles with high-performance windows you can get much greater net solar gain while reducing your energy consumption for space heating and cooling.

    And remember, doors also play an important part in the energy performance of the home, especially if you have a lot of patio doors. Depending on the condition of existing doors, energy-efficient replacement units may contribute to increased comfort and reduced energy bills. An added bonus of energy-efficient doors is that they tend to be heavier and more robust than conventional doors, thus enhancing the security of the home.

    Nisby customer service representativeís are trained to assist you in planning window renovations.


  • Kaycan Siding


    Kaycan Siding

    Vinyl Sidings and your home

    How can I justify an investment in vinyl siding? 
    When compared to wood, brick or stucco, vinyl siding is an economical alternative that's growing in popularity around the country for homes of all sizes and styles. In fact, it's the siding of choice in 44% of installations today. If you love the look of wood, you can achieve a natural appearance with vinyl siding, without wood's maintenance costs and hassles. Its low maintenance, durability and attractive look add value to your home that you'll feel good about for years to come. 

    Does vinyl siding provide insulating protection for my home? 
    Our products are available with Fullback Thermal Support System that have a 5.0 R rating, thermal efficiency and significant energy savings) The money you save with this improved energy efficiency  each year can actually pay for new siding with Fullback that adds to the lifetime value of your home. Note vinyl siding with Fullback Thermal Support System maybe eligible for the Power Smart Residential Loan . Please contact us for further information.

    What about long-term maintenance costs?
    Vinyl siding doesn't need painting, so you save time and money in maintenance costs. There's never a need to scrape paint, patch stucco or replace rotting boards. To keep your vinyl siding looking like new, simply spray it occasionally with a garden hose. For tougher dirt, we recommend cleaning with a mild soap solution. 

    How does it react to temperature change?
     With dramatic changes in temperature, vinyl siding will expand and contract -- approximately one-fourth of an inch for every 12-foot panel. However, a professional installation guards against noticeable changes due to expansion and contraction. That's why it is essential that vinyl siding be installed correctly. 

    Can I install vinyl siding myself? 
    Installing siding is not a simple "do it yourself job" and is better left to siding installation professionals who have the necessary skills and equipment to do the job right the first time. If vinyl siding is installed incorrectly, you may notice buckling or warping over time due to incorrect nailing. 

    How many colors do I have to choose from? Will my home have an attractive distinctive appearance with  vinyl siding? 
    Our product line offers many different vinyl siding lines. Design options include horizontal and vertical siding; traditional clapboard and authentically detailed "shaped" sidings; wide and narrow panel exposures; and smooth, subtle and deep wood grain textures. Plus you can choose from a wide assortment of traditional and contemporary colors. 

    What accessories are available? 
    When you design the exterior of your home, you should think about more than just siding. You'll need trim for windows and doors, and at inside and outside corners. You also may need soffit to finish the underside of eaves, or for a porch ceiling or entry overhang. 
    Nisbyís  offers a wide range of accessories, including trim and J-channels, available in colors to match your vinyl siding. Or choose accessories in complementary colors to give your home a more distinctive look. 

    What kind of warranty do your vinyl siding carry? 
    The Mitten and Royal Building Products have a Lifetime non-prorated Warranty to the original owner the warranty is transferable to a pro rated warranty for new owners. The warranty includes labor and installation (Authorized Installers ìNisbyî ) Please see the Mitten Warranty or Royal Building Products Warranty 

    Will the vinyl siding scratch and show a different color? 
    The color you see on the surface goes completely through the vinyl siding - so you will not see a different color if the siding is scratched. 

    Will vinyl siding look as good years from now as it does today? 
    Durable construction means from our manufacturers ensures vinyl siding will stand up to the elements, no matter what type of climate. Over the years, you won't have to worry about additional upkeep costs because vinyl siding won't rot, peel, warp or harbor insects like wood or dent like aluminum. 

    Can vinyl siding withstand harsh weather conditions? 
    Vinyl siding is known for its ability to withstand the elements, so it is an appropriate choice for a variety of climates -- from intense sunlight in the to freezing winters with snow storms . Unlike aluminum siding, vinyl resists denting or other damage from hail or harsh weather. 

    How much does it cost to side a home? 
    Because we offer siding at a number of price points to fit any need and any budget, and because every home and siding job is unique, there is no way to immediately answer this question. The best thing to do is call Nisby Renovations to visit your home so we can measure it accurately and discuss other needs you may have.  FREE ESTIMATES

     Isn't it less costly to just repaint my home? 
    If you plan to move within the next two to three years, the answer is probably "yes." But if you plan to stay in your home longer than that, you should be strongly considering vinyl siding. According to Remodeling magazine (October 1996), investing in new siding can prove to be an excellent choice in terms of payback. In the Winnipeg market , a homeowner can sometimes recoup more than the cost of siding in terms of resale value.  

    Are there any other materials that are better than vinyl? 
    Not when it comes to siding. Vinyl siding's outstanding features and benefits have made it the most popular siding material in North America today. And because vinyl is the preferred siding for more and more homeowners, it retains most of its installed cost . 

    My home is partially brick and partially wood siding. Can I still use vinyl siding? 
    Yes. Vinyl siding is extremely versatile and can be used with just about any exterior building material --brick, cinder block, even natural logs and field stones. 

    Is one season better than another to have my new siding installed? 
    No. You can have your vinyl siding installed in any season, as your schedule and budget allow. 
    See image KAYCAN SIDING:

    1 Double-Thick Cyclone System™ Nail hem provides extra rigidity to withstand winds up to 251 mph.
    2 Richmond Ultra™ self-aligning locking system is designed to snap together for extra fastening strength.
    3 Protection from harmful UV rays, Richmond Ultra™ color doesn’t fade and has a fade resistant warranty.
    4 Heavy gauge thickness and double sized insulated panels reduces noise by up to 30%.
    5 The extra thick paneling and insulation keeps air and insects out and its superior insulation keeps your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
    6 The Richmond UltraTM mechanical fastening system allows for a more resilient insulated siding that protects your home from extreme weather conditions.




    RENOVATIONS: Up for the challenge

    There's a big difference between renovating a house and building one from scratch.
    "Renovations tend to be more challenging because there is always a glitch," said Kim Schroeder, owner of Charisma Design in Winnipeg.
    For example, her company is remodeling a 25-year-old home in St. Vital that requires new hardwood flooring and an up-to-date fireplace, among other design changes. The flooring seemed a straightforward job until a large hump was discovered in the floor, hidden by the dining room table.
    "When we removed the table, it became evident that the crown in the floor would have to be leveled before new hardwood could be laid," Schroeder said.
    Jen Derrett, of The Floor Show in Winnipeg, said the problem was fixed by removing the original sub-floor, then replacing it with sheets of plywood shimmed along the joists to create a level area base for the new floor.
    "We used American black walnut manufactured in Canada by Mirage because the people at Charisma Design are perfectionists who demand the best-quality materials available," said Derrett, adding her company refers to Mirage products "as the Lexus of hardwoods."
    The 3ü"-by-3/4" tongue-and-groove solid walnut is pre-finished with a special elastic "nanotechnology" coating that will absorb the impact of a dropped object without smashing or shattering, and also contains UV protectors.
    Moreover, Derrett said American walnut is easy on the feet as it is a medium-dense hardwood weighing about 40 pounds per cubic foot compared to 45 to 50 pounds per cubic foot for Canadian rock maple, another hardwood used extensively for flooring.
    Freshly cut walnut is a cocoa colour that turns a rich black-brown when a finish is applied. The sapwood from the outer layers of the tree is a creamy colour that contrasts handsomely with the dark heartwood, evident in the 1,200-square-foot floor installed in the St. Vital residence. With the floor problem solved, another glitch appeared when the traditional brick fireplace was removed, Schroeder said. "We uncovered a wall that looked as if it was either charred or covered with black mold."
    The area was sealed with six-mil poly to prevent the substance from spreading. "In the spring when the weather is warm, we'll cut through an outside wall so we can extract the sooty-looking material," she said.
    The new fireplace was installed by Alsip's Building Products and Services of Winnipeg. The natural gas unit, manufactured by Montigo, is capable of cranking out 80,000 BTUs or the equivalent of an average-size furnace, said an Alsip's spokesman.
    With the unit's linear design, the exhaust can be power vented under the floor and out a side wall, so there is no bulky chimney required inside the house, he said. Also, fresh air is drawn into the burner from outside the house, making the unit energy-efficient.
    The Alsip's spokesperson said the model installed in St. Vital residence is considered a luxury unit with a 61-inch-long by 18-inch-wide glass opening, and glass stones to refract light from the burner's flame. The price for this model is $12,500, plus about $5,500 for installation, he added.
    Porcelain tiles of differing sizes, supplied by Ames of Winnipeg, cover the wall that surrounds the inset fireplace. Depending on a person's point of view, the burnished tiles reflect copper and bronze hues that complement the black walnut floor.
    "We also installed a series of pot lights on the underside of the fireplace frame to draw the eye to the area and to illuminate tiles that form a ledge in the front of the Montigo," said Charisma designer Brennen Bilyk, adding that a small alcove to the right of the fireplace and lit from above is intended to showcase a sculpture or special piece of art.
    Bilyk said a 60-inch flatscreen TV will be installed above the fireplace, but without the normally conspicuous array of audio-visual devices.
    "The electronic devices are hidden in a nearby cupboard where they can be controlled by a single remote control. This leaves the screen with a clean, modern look that echoes the stark lines of the fireplace."
    Other renovations to the home include the addition of a larger black granite countertop to an existing kitchen island, the removal of wallpaper from most of the downstairs, and a foyer highlighted by a curved stairway with red oak rails and banister.
    Since most of the lower floor was being renovated anyway, owners Ruth and Ted decided to redo a small bathroom close to the home's front entrance and, for good measure, replace two chandeliers. Ruth said the final decision on what the new chandeliers will look like is still being debated.
    "We suggest to clients what we consider are the most appropriate options," Bilyk said. "But we are more than willing to listen to and accept their proposals."
    "It's a business of compromise and overcoming those inevitable glitches," added Schroeder. "But that's what makes it interesting."
    With more than 30 renos currently on the go, she and her staff of two can look forward to many more challenges.
    For her part, Ruth said she's pleased with Charisma Design's attention to detail, quality of workmanship and top-of-the-line products and materials.
    "I only have one misgiving," she added. "If I'd known how much dust and noise was involved in a renovation, I'd have moved to B.C. and stayed with my sister for the duration."

  • Richmond Brick Red vinyl siding is another local product manufactured by Winnipeg's Kaycan.


    Richmond Brick Red vinyl siding is another local product manufactured by Winnipeg's Kaycan.

    Selecting the right siding

    This may seem an odd time of the year to discuss the type of siding you plan to use in renovating the exterior of your house come spring.

    But considering the manifold choices of vinyl, wood and composite sidings available to today’s homeowner, right now is an excellent time to review, consider and possibly decide on the cladding that fits your budget and esthetic requirements.

    There are many things to contemplate when choosing a house covering, such as maintenance, cost, personal taste and the curb appeal of your home. Let’s look at a few of the choices available.

    Vinyl siding has been on the market since the late ’50s when an inventor discovered how to extrude polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into long lengths that resembled wood siding. But the early attempts to create a colour-stable, maintenance-free product were not particularly successful, because the siding was manufactured as a single layer or mono-extruded piece.

    It wasn’t until the late ’70s. when  double-layer or co-extruded PVC siding was perfected, that vinyl gained a reputation as a reliable, stable and inexpensive product. Today, it’s the most commonly used cladding in North America.

    Project estimator Graham Stewart of Windsor Plywood said his store sells more vinyl than any other siding.

    “It’s one of the least-expensive products on the market, and it’s a DIYer’s dream material because it’s so easy to install,” he said.

    Moreover, because installation can be done quickly, professionals can complete an average-size house in a few days, saving homeowners on labour costs associated with other cladding products.

    Vinyl siding retails for about 80 cents to $1.10 per square foot for light colours, and about $1.60 and up for dark or mixed colour combinations. These prices don’t include corners, J-trims, starter strips, sill trims and other pieces sold separately.

    On the downside, darker colours such as reds, deep browns and blues will fade more quickly than lighter colours such as white, sage and clay. And though most vinyls come with a no-maintenance guarantee of about 25 years, the UV protectors will eventually break down, resulting in an faded, chalky finish. When this happens, the siding may have to be replaced or painted with a water-based acrylic paint, available at Cloverdale Paint in Winnipeg for about $40 per gallon.

    Chris Legault of Cloverdale recommends washing down the old vinyl with TSP or a mild soap solution, then rinsing well with water before applying the paint.

    “People should know that you can’t cover light-coloured siding with dark paint because solar-heat absorption will cause the vinyl to sag and warp,” he said. “However, you can put a light-coloured paint on a dark siding.

    Many consider wood siding, especially western red cedar, to be one of the most beautiful claddings available. Windsor Plywood sells a tight-knot cedar with a bevel profile that is very much in demand.  

    “Our eight-inch-wide cedar was so popular that it sold out this year, but we will be well-stocked with it again in the spring,” Stewart said, adding the siding is also available in six- and 10-inch widths by special order.

    Priced at about $2.50 per square foot, the eye-catching cedar is competitive with most other sidings on the market. Natural oils also make the wood rot-resistant — that’s why those West Coast totem poles have survived outdoors for centuries.

    Stewart said the downside to cedar is maintenance — if the homeowner wants to retain the natural colour of the wood by applying a clear or semi-transparent finish.

    For fans of oil-based protective coatings for wood, a few choices are still available from Western Paint in Winnipeg, according to a company spokeswoman.

    “We’ve got a stock of a linseed-based product called Para TimberCare which, assuming supplies last, will be available until 2014 when the government will ban the sale of oil paints and stains,” she said.

    A hybrid product, Flood CWF-UV, composed of oil and water, is an alternative to oil-only stains and has the advantage of cleaning up with soap and water, she added.

    Both products cost about $43 per gallon and will protect the natural look of wood siding for about two years before re-coating is required.

    There are also several composite sidings on the market that vary in price, durability and longevity.

    Hardie board, a fibre cement-based product, is an attractive siding that can be purchased either primed or pre-painted with a baked-on finish.

    “This product has a lot of good things going for it,” said Chris Rioux, president of Xcalibur Roofing and Siding in Winnipeg, noting that his installation business has doubled every year since he began installing Hardie board.

    Hardie board is fire-resistant and is manufactured in numerous shapes and profiles that can resemble anything from lap-board siding to cedar shingle siding.

    The siding also comes with a 50-year limited transferable warranty if it’s installed to Hardie’s specifications, which include properly sealed joints, a Tyvek-covered substrate and 16- to 24-inch on-centre strapping if foam insulation is installed behind the siding. 
    Problems with the material are its weight and lack of flexibility, making it difficult to heft into place on a wall and easy to snap a board or panel in half in the process.

    Also, the product “usually requires repainting every 15 years with an environmentally friendly water-based paint like Ecologic,” said Rioux.

    Though the cost is higher than some other sidings — anywhere from $7 to $10 per square foot installed — you won’t find a more weather-resilient and, at the same time, esthetically pleasing cladding on the market, according to Rioux.

    There are a several engineered sidings on the market composed of wood fibre or strands, exterior-grade resins and zinc borate to discourage insects and rot.

    Kaycan Nature-tech KWP is available installed from Chateau Roofing and Siding in Winnipeg.  
    President Gerry Laurin said in his opinion, Kaycan’s KWP will last as long as Hardie board and comes in similar profiles and shapes.

    “The installed price for KWP is about $8 per square foot, depending on the size of the house and the number of corners and gables,” he said.

    Engineered siding is easier to handle than Hardie board and the pre-painted material does not have the blotching and other paint defects often associated with cement-board products, he said, adding KWP comes in about 16 colours. 

      Windsor Plywood will order in many of the engineered sidings on the market.

    L.P. SmartSide is a quality brand that retails for $3 to $3.50 per square foot, depending on the amount ordered, Stewart said.

    For homeowners with large budgets, there are real stone sidings available that can be installed for $25 to $30 per square foot, said Laurin.

    There are also faux-rock products made of pre-painted, high-density moulded foam that come in 18-inch by 36-inch panels that are considerably cheaper and easier to install than their real counterparts, according to Stewart.

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