Tag Archives: edmonton

The more you know: Navigating the switch

Navigating the switch from Employee Status to Independent Contractor.

Everyone dreams of being their own boss one day, and yet so many believe that this dream is unattainable.

In reality, all you need is a little determination, some time, a few dollars saved up, and a whole lot of planning.

Whether you’re working in a kitchen, on a construction site, or in an office, navigating the switch from employee status to independent contractor is possible, despite how intimidating or far-fetched it may seem.

Why Do People Want To Become Contractors?

There are a number of reasons why individuals wish to leave behind employee status is exchange for contract work. Some of the desirable aspects of contract work include:

  • Improved work/life balance – more and more, individuals are craving more flexibility in their schedules. The 9-5 is no longer cutting it for many people, and they seek positions that allow them to spend more time at home with their families, travel more freely, or simply keep their life balanced to ensure they don’t burnout. Being a contractor typically offers a lot more flexibility than that employee work does, as your work is calculated hourly rather than on fixed terms.
  • To earn more – one major draw to transitioning from an employee to a contractor is the opportunity to earn more money. As contractors hire out their services per hour and are their own bosses, they can set their own pay rates. Now, setting your own pay rate, especially at a high rate, only makes sense (and will only be successful) if you hold a higher skillset than others in your industry or offer unique or niche services that are more difficult to acquire. If this is the case, however, being able to set your own pay rate can have a great pay off, and the potential to earn more than you would as an employee is high.
  • To semi retire – the traditional path of working until your 50’s or 60’s and then settling into retirement is becoming less and less common, as many individuals choose to work longer or are unable to afford retirement. For either of these cases transitioning from employee to contractor may be beneficial. This transition can allow you to work fewer hours and have more flexibility, allowing you to enjoy your later years while still supplementing your lifestyle with some form of income.

As you can see, contract work definitely comes with its fair share of benefits – but that does not mean it is the right path for everyone. There are a variety of benefits to being an employee that you will lose if you transition to contractor, and in a sense being a contractor comes with extra duties you will be in charge of, such as handling your own taxes, insurance, etc.

Be sure to do your research and determine whether the pros and cons of switching from employee to contractor are in your favour before making any big decisions.

Contract Work and Accounting

As stated earlier, transition from employee to independent contractor is possible no matter what industry you work in – take accounting for example. There are many reasons why those working in accounting may want to make the switch.

Perhaps you are feeling stuck in your cubicle working the traditional 9-5 Monday through Friday, and feel that with your skills set, education, and experience you could find work in the industry that is more exciting, offers a change of scenery, and even higher pay – you’d be right. You just have to know what to do and where to look.

You Have Options

Accounting isn’t just the cut and dry tax preparing work that many believe it to be. The industry is diverse, offers a range of potential types of work, and is global, meaning that you can essentially find work in accounting across the world.

If you are interested in transitioning to a contractor, you first need to determine what area of accounting you are the most skilled in, the most educated in, and has the largest market and job availability for independent contractors. Some career path options include: financial accounting, audit accounting, tax accounting, consulting, and even forensic accounting.

The more unique your skillset is and the more diverse your experience is, the higher chance you will find quality contract work and the higher the rate you will be able to charge.

The Best of Both Worlds

Being an independent contractor in the world of business, especially in accounting, is a great way to blend traditional skills with a more modern approach. It’s a great way to utilize a business education all while being able to network, build up your own business, diversify your skillset, and live a life free of the typical office job constraints.

Services Available to You

Often times if you are just starting out as an independent contractor, you can first offer your services through an agency. This is a great way to get your foot in the door and begin building your resume as an independent accountant.

By hiring yourself out with the help of an agency you have a larger pool of job options that may not be available to you (or you simply may not be aware of) if you were searching on your own. Even if these starting jobs are not ideal, they are a great way to spread your name, build your resume, and make contacts in the industry – all of which are incredibly important when working independently.

The Time Is Now

It’s never too late to take control of your career and your future if change is what will make you happy. The idea that escaping the mold, being your own boss, and having the financial and physical freedom to live the life that you want is more attainable that you may think. No matter what industry you are in, what type of work you do, or where you live, making the switch from employee to contractor can be your next step if you just work for it.

Getting Set Up in A New City

Moving to a new city is simultaneously exciting, nerve-racking, and tedious.

Exploring the new streets, shops, cafes, and sights that your new home has to offer is sure to take up most of your free time after the move, but you can’t forget about the behind the scenes necessities amidst your new metropolitan affair.

What necessities you may ask?  Well, we are sorry to break it to you, but getting set up in a new city will require more than just unpacking a few (dozen) boxes.

First Things First

There are a number of things you will have to do when you arrive to your new home, but two of the most important things you will have to take care of are getting your finances changed over, and ensuring your mailing address is properly updated.

Managing Your Finances

Ah yes, the most tedious business of them all: managing your money.

Managing your money is important all of the time, but even more so when going through a big move.

You may or may not need to change your accounts over to a new bank or other financial institution, depending on where you currently bank and what is available in your new area. Although online banking is continuously growing in popularity, it is still a safer bet to have a local branch that you can visit if necessary.

You may also need to consider finding a new accountant. It’s something most people only think about once a year (oh, tax time), but if you wait until the last minute, many local accountants may be too busy to accommodate a new client, or you may not be able to find an accountant suitable to your needs.

This is something you should research before your move. That way you have ample time to find an accountant you are comfortable with and can have your files transferred over from your current accountants office in time for the upcoming tax season.

Changing Your Mailing Address

You never truly realize how many subscriptions, accounts, bills (ugh), or contacts that you have until it’s time to change your mailing address.

Your first step should be heading to the post office and arranging mail forwarding – this means that anything being sent to your old address past your specified moving date will be redirected to your new address.

And then comes the fun part – you’ll have to go into, call, or go online and change your address for anything you’ve had to use an address for. This checklist is the best way to ensure you don’t miss anything, because there are a lot more things you will need to change than you expect.

And Finally

Once you’ve successfully settled in your new home, you can finally start to allocate your time and energy into really enjoying your new city – join some classes, start volunteering in the local communities, or just get lost wondering your new “backyard”.

The Story of Polar Park Brewery

One of Edmonton’s newest breweries is getting ready to hit the ground running and it has a backstory that will have you getting comfortable and sitting down for a beer. If you are familiar with the private animal park once also known as the Alberta Game Farm, then you’ll know why they kept the name Polar Park for their brewery. It’s a legacy.

Now hold my beer while I tell you a little bit about Al Oeming. That man was a legend. His boyhood neighbour, the one and only Stu Hart was a big part of his life. Growing up the two served in the Royal Canadian Navy During the Second World War. The two would feed off of each other’s love for strength training and wrestling. After the war was over, they moved to Harlem, New York. Stu was like a big brother to Al, and their move to New York was to enable them to fight in the National Wrestling Alliance. They fought under “Toots” Mondt who would later become the co-promoter for the W.W.F. (now W.W.E.).


After some time, Al and Stu were able to buy the Alberta rights for the wrestling organization. This was known as Stampede Wrestling promotion. When Al was a boy, his father had instilled a love of animals and wildlife, but it was when he met his proffessor, that his passion really took off. As Al and Stu promoted wrestling events, Al majored in ornithology at the U of A and obtained his masters in Zoology. Al’s professor, Dr. William Rowan, one of Canada’s top world renowned zoologists was who really sparked his interested in zoology. Al went on to become the Edmonton Zoological society’s inaugural president while selling his share of the wrestling venture to Stu, and using his investment to create the Alberta Game Farm which was later known as Polar Park.

Al Oeming is known for his love for animals, and for presenting to kids and large audiences and sharing his love for animals all over the country. Polar Park, while distant to someone my age, was a well known destination for those older than me. It’s amazing for me to think that I missed out on this Park because the passion for the animals is evident. The vast space and freedom that the animals had was unique to Polar Park.

If there is one thing I can tell you about the Oeming family, it is that they are extremely ambitious. When I went to the brewery for my tour, I got to meet Al Oeming’s son, Todd Oeming. Al Oeming passed away in 2014 but in the years where he needed the help and support, Todd brought his busy life in the commercial real estate industry back home to be around and to support his father. In the years since Al’s passing, Todd has been battling against cancer. His son, Robert has returned home to support him, just as Todd did for Al. The legacy of Polar Park lives on. There will always be a love for Wildlife in the Oeming family. It is just a piece of their legacy which will become the Polar Park Brewery.

What sets Polar Park Brewery apart from any other in Edmonton is their ability to create a broad selection of beer. They are well equipped with a great deal of custom fabrication and attention to detail. If you like nitro brews, they will have you covered. Their space at the top floor of the building has been reinforced to allow a weight capacity to accomodate events such as wedding receptions, networking events, parties, etc. Their bar is meticulously planned with the little details in mind, the atmosphere will be unique. Their brewmaster has a vast experience in the industry and they’ve got shareholders such as the likes of former Oiler, Andrew Ference. It’s a very exciting time to drink beer in Edmonton. Stay tuned to their social media, as their opening day is projected to be only a matter of a few months away.

Chris Liddle

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/christianliddle/

Strength Within A Community

Strength Within A Community

When you look at your lifestyle, what are your biggest limiting factors? What holds you back? What makes you feel self conscious, and what would you say that you are not good enough at?

You can frame yourself any way you like but it is inevitably influenced by the people you integrate into your lifestyle. Key word, integrate, you control the people variable. You are able to manipulate your future success by placing successful people, or the people who consistently succeed within your midst. You can actually change your attitude to becoming more progress-oriented and motivated simply based on who surrounds you. People power.

When Do You Feel Self Conscious?

Maybe it’s that feeling you get when you go somewhere for the first time. Think about who is present with you, and who you are looking to for support. This is something that is not to be overlooked when creating your best life, and trying out a gym for the first time.

You will inevitably be in positions throughout your life where you try something new. You want to be in a community where your self conscious feelings are put at bay and where you are able to be yourself. When someone goes through a series of learning curves, trial and error, and tough lessons, it is those people that have a sense of learned compassion because they know what it’s like to be new, to be uncomfortable, to fail, and to be wrong. You need to learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and it’s easier to do when you have the right kind of support. It’s okay to look silly, it’s okay to not know how to do everything, to be new, or to not be the best.

Remove The Toxicity

Have you ever heard people talking about how they needed to remove toxicity from their life? This doesn’t just pertain to social media posts and people you follow.

Mental health is the foundation to which our actions in life are built on. If your mental health is unstable, your actions are inconsistent. You want to be in a community that thrives off of you seeing personal success, and not a community in which your success is compared to the success of others.

When you are passionate about something, are you being supported towards your goals within that passion or are you being mocked for the passion you chose? If it is important to you, you will need to find people who share the same passion as you in order to move forward. No matter how strong you are, you do not need to set yourself up with a barricade of opposing values. An individual focused on nutrition will not become more nutritious if they spend all their spare time around someone does not have nutrition as top of mind in their wellness goals. Same goes for implementing training into your routine. Those who are consistent, make commitments, and those who do not make those commitments are not consistent. Your people need to be just as committed as you are.

Find Your People

So at the end of the day, the takeaway from all of this is that you need to find a community that is strengthened by the wins of each of its members. You need to be in a place where when one person succeeds, everyone feels good. You want to find people who have learned the tough lessons, who know what it feels like to fail or to feel uncomfortable. Your best interests need to be in alignment with the best interests of others in the community. So if your best interests are living a nutritionally balanced and active lifestyle, then your community has to have that as one of its pillars. If you can check all these boxes, your goals will be attainable, your success will be sustainable, and you are going to be celebrating your wins with people who make winning feel great. Find your people and conquer your plans in life.

Chris Liddle


Audiology For Everyone

Have you ever gone to a concert, come home and then the next day at breakfast been like “WHAAAAAT did you SAAAAAY??”. Face it, most of us probably have. The struggle of being wild and free is real. To be more clear, ringing in the ears post being around loud noises is called tinnitus – and there is a direct correlation between tinnitus (ringing or buzzing in the ears) and hearing loss.

We can’t take for granted, our hearing capabilities are a huge part of our quality of life. It’s a mode of communication in which you can express joy, sadness, gratitude and any number of emotions. Good hearing can make life easier, can ease communication in your relationships, it is not sustained if we abuse it.

This is where Ruhee Kassam comes in. Passionate about hearing health, she advocates that you take care of what you have. In Alberta, our economy has been greatly supported by the industrial and oilfield sector. This means heavy machinery, loud tools, engine noise, horns, and constant idling that can build up to hearing loss. The sad truth is, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. With the job force out there, you are more than likely someone who should be taking precautions to maintain your hearing health.

March 3rd is World Hearing Day. What would you say if I told you that you could invest in hearing protection where you could still hear a concert to the fullest, then get home and hear someone clearly when they ask you to pass the milk the next day. How many times do you ask someone to repeat what they said in a day? If it’s getting worse and worse your hearing loss will be irreversible. Sometimes it’s just a matter of “what did I look into?”, and “what do I wish I had looked into years ago?”. In addition, for those who are hearing impairing led, technology makes advances every year and the odds that your abilities could be improved through innovation have become greater than ever.

Ruhee is passionate about Audiology from a personal experience – seeing first hand what she could provide for a family member who had been struggling with hearing loss and seeing the joy that ensued. You never know if you are hearing everything you should be. The only way to know for sure is to see an Audiologist.

Contest Time!! We are going to be giving away a $50 gift card for Central Social Hall, courtesy of the Audiology Clinic to one lucky person when we randomly select someone on March 3rd! Here’s what you have to do:

Head to Instagram and follow @christianliddle and @yeg_audiology. Comment on the post shown below by tagging a friend and saying the loudest thing you’ve ever heard together. Tag as many friends as you want and if you tag on both pages, your odds increase. We’ll draw a name from all the valid entries on March 3rd. Good Luck!

Finding your fit with “The Projct” and Jordan Jeske

Not just a gym, not just a community, a collaboration.

Jordan Jeske has been a fitness professional and leader in the industry here in Edmonton for a number of years. He has a skill set that is highly beneficial to golfers trying to increase performance but he brings a lot more than just golf with his newest platform that he has dubbed “The Projct”.

So what exactly is it? Well, it’s finding that way to immerse people into the lifestyle of being better and finding a way to involve people with their busy changing lifestyle. Creating space for full potential not just in the gym but with life in general.  It’s not a quick solution and it’s not just about building muscle or burning calories. It’s a journey, because when it comes to personal growth, the growing never stops.

In the months to come, Jordan has a few key projects he has put a lot of passion into. He still has a focus on Golf and has launched a Golf Life Performance Series which is a series of 4 evenings to focus on stability, mobility and functional strength for recreational or competitive golfers.

He has also launched a ladies-specific event called Strong(her), this is 4 weeks long consisting of a workout paired with an informational workshop once per week. The workouts will be transferable, empowering you to find your fit in any gym. Wellness myths will be busted, confidence will be gained. Everyone deserves a full toolbox going into the gym and they all deserve to have confidence  to take on their fitness goals independently in any setting. That will be something to be gained from this experience. It is definitely an opportunity worth checking out for any women out there.

Lastly, an event that is still pre-launch as of this blog post, Jordan has an event for men. It’s designed to specifically target those who have taken on family responsibilities and have lost touch with their bro bonding time. A lot of bros out there have a good idea how to lift, but maybe need a refresher. For those pros out there, sometimes you just need to get the boys together and have a good grunt sesh. Maybe a beer. Maybe some ping pong. Finally the time has come, an excuse to tell the wife you have an important commitment. This is the event ferda boyss.

So if any of this intrigues you, you can find out more about The Projct at www.theprojct.com. In addition, Jordan and I will be collaborating on a HIIT class this Sunday February 25 (doors at 8:30AM, workout begins at 9:00AM – be there early) at Central Social Hall. There are a few spots left, and at $20 including brunch, you won’t find a workout with better value. Eventbrite for that is here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-liddlejeske-brunch-burn-tickets-43099562953 

Find your fit and have fun doing it.

Chris Liddle


Fire Extinguisher Tips

Not very many people have been properly trained in how to use a fire extinguisher. You see them everywhere you go: your workplace, your school, hopefully your home, and any public building, such as shops and restaurants. You may have an idea of how they work, but in the event that you needed to use one would you light up or sizzle out?

Below, we discuss the importance of knowing how to use a fire extinguisher, some tips to remember, and some additional training you can take if you would like to learn more.

Why It’s Important

This seems as it should be common sense. Fires pose a real danger during our day-to-day lives, whether it be at home, school, work or in public. Knowing how to react and being properly trained could mean the difference between life and death in a situation you never thought you would be in.


PASS is an acronym that makes it easier to remember the four main steps to using a fire extinguisher. If you are ever in a situation where you need to use one, follow these steps:

P: Pull the pin that unlocks the operating lever.

A: Aim low.

S: Squeeze the lever above the handle.

S: Sweep the nozzle from side to side.

Things To Know

Different types of fires require different types of fire extinguishers. Fires range of Class A to Class D, as well as a Class K.

Class A: these fires involve ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, or paper.

Class B: these fires involve flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil, paints, etc.

Class C: these fires involve electrical equipment, such as power tools, fuse boxes, wiring, etc.

Class D: these fires involve combustible metals, such as magnesium or sodium.

Class K: these fires involve cooking oils used in commercial cooking equipment.

It is important to recognize what type of fire you are dealing with, as treating a fire with the wrong extinguisher may only cause more problems.

Training/Classes Available

For anyone interested in becoming more knowledgeable and prepared for any situation that may require a fire extinguisher, there are plenty of training courses and information sessions available.

These courses are great for anyone, but would be particularly important for anyone working in a public place with a higher fire hazard rate, such as a restaurant kitchen, for an individual working in a school where children’s lives may be at stake in the case of a fire, or for parents or individuals who wish to keep an extinguisher in their home.

Cool Down

Knowing how to react in the event of a fire, and how to properly use a fire extinguisher, could make a big difference for the people and structures involved. Share these tips with your family members, coworkers, and friends to ensure that all of your loved one’s and acquaintances are properly equipped to deal with any fire related emergencies they may face.

Help keep yourself and others safe; spread the word like wildfire.

Keeping Your Home Safe In The Winter

It is that time of year again, the Canadian winter we all know and love. Amidst prepping their cars and their closets for the upcoming season, there is one thing that most people forget to consider: their homes.

Your home, aside from being your largest investment, is first and foremost the shelter that keeps you and your family warm throughout the winter. What a lot of people don’t realize is that along with winter come a variety of different problems and hazards that can present themselves within your home.

Below, we’ve outlined some of these potential problems and hazards, and possible solutions, to help in keeping your home safe in the winter.

Potential Problems

  • Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are quite common once the temperature drops below zero, and not only are they an inconvenience, but can also caused burst pipes, which are a lot more troublesome and a lot harder to repair. Try these tricks to help keep your homes pipes from freezing.

  • Fireplace Issues

It is important to ensure your chimney has been inspected and is in good working order for the upcoming winter season, as moisture from snow from last winter may have caused a variety of problems for your chimney.

Any home that has a fireplace should also be properly equipped with working smoke detectors and an up-to-date fire extinguisher. While we hope neither of these ever need to be used, they are important to have in the event of any fire related emergency.

  • Heat Related Hazards

Winter is a time of space heaters, electric blankets, and everything else designed to keep us warm. While these products certainly do us a service on the colder days, it is important to remember that they can also come with certain risks.

When using products like this always make sure to take caution. Keep space heaters away from anything sensitive to heat or flammable; the best place is the center of a room. With products like heated blankets or sheets, always ensure to turn them off when you are not using them, and especially when you are leaving the house.


Aside from prevention techniques, the best assurance is insurance. Whether it is your primary residence you are concerned about, or perhaps a rental property, having a proper insurance policy is the best way to protect yourself and your home. Insurance policies cover a variety of situations and are easily tailored to each individuals situation, meaning that you can find the perfect policy to suit you and your property.

What Happens If I Lose My Will?

Whether you have a substantial estate, or simply a few sentimental items, having a will is crucial if you want to dictate how your possessions will be distributed when you are gone. Without a will, you are considered to have died “intestate” and the provincial law then dictate the division of your estate.

Perhaps you have lost your will, you are preparing to make a will, or maybe you are wondering whether or not you should make copies of the one you already have.

In any circumstance, the first and foremost thing to know is that a will being lost does not automatically invalidate it. A will becomes invalid only if and when the will maker revokes the will intentionally.

There are a few different factors to consider when a will has been lost, and different processes depending on the situation. Below, we’ve outlined a few of the factors that need to be taken into consideration, and what effect they will have on the estate.

Possession of the Will

If a will is seemingly lost, but was in the will makers’ possession immediately before their death, the assumption is that the will was revoked intentionally. This is difficult to disprove, and in this circumstance, the estate will usually be considered “intestate”.

If the Will is missing but was not in the possession of the will maker before their death, the deceased’s executor will need to find a photocopy of the original.

Copies of the Will

Often, if a person had their Will drawn up at a lawyers office, the lawyers office will keep the original and the individual will take home a photocopy, usually containing the information of the lawyer’s office that holds the original. (Your accountant may also be involved in this process).

If the original is still unable to be found, the photocopy, along with supporting affidavits from the estates executor and the lawyer who prepared the document are more often than not sufficient in proving the photocopy is the deceased’s original Will.

A photocopy is not to be mixed up with a true copy, where a photocopy contains copies of the necessary signatures, a true copy only contains the names of the deceased and the witnesses in quotes. True copies are difficult to have proven as originals.

No Will and No Copy

It is possible, still, to prove the wishes the deceased had laid out in their last Will, even without the original or a copy, through a Court application. The deceased’s family and friends must go before a judge and show evidence supporting their claims of what the deceased’s wishes were for the estate. If no proof is evident, the estate will go into intestacy.


If no Will or proof of last wishes can be found, the estate becomes intestate, in which case the provincial government will decide how your estate is to be divided. There are various ways in which they will typically divide an estate.

  • If you have a spouse and no children, the estate will pass to the spouse
  • If you have a spouse and children, the estate will be divided amongst them
  • If you have no spouse and no children, the estate will pass to your parents
  • If you have no parents, the estate will be divided amongst your siblings, and so on…

Will You?

If you have a Will, you have possessions, money, property, etc. that you want to be given to specific people upon your passing. It is important to keep your Will, or at least a photocopy of it, in a safe place that will be easily found by your executor when the time comes.

If not, you risk having your estate divided up in a way that you have not decided on.

Preparing Your Vehicle For Winter Driving

Winter driving is inevitable in most parts of the country. With the winter season comes plenty of snow and ice, which hinder the driving conditions we are faced with, often resulting in more accidents. These conditions call for increased attention, caution, and preparation to help you stay safe on the road.

Driving in these conditions can be quite intimidating, especially for new drivers. The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do before the snow falls to help prepare your vehicle for winter driving. These preparations, along with safe and condition-appropriate driving, should help you skate through the winter driving season without a problem.

  1. Have Winter Tires Installed

Winter tires should be the first thing you consider when the seasons start to change. A good set of winter tires will combat the snow, ice, and temperature exponentially better than even the best all season tires.

You will have increased traction in the snow, your stopping time will be severely shortened, and you will have more all around control over the vehicle’s handling.

  1. Create an Emergency Kit to Keep in Your Car

While you should have an emergency kit in your car all year round, it is especially important to have during the colder months. If you end up in a situation where you are going to be stuck in your car for an extended period of time, an emergency kit can make all the difference.

Include items such as a blanket, extra hats and mittens, candles, food, and first aid equipment.

  1. Buy Extra Washer Fluid to Keep in Your Car

It’s not news that driving on slushy winter roads means going through washer fluid faster than a kid goes downhill on a crazy carpet.

If you were to run out of washer fluid, you would not make it very far, at least safely, attempting to squint through the thick brown slush building up on your windshield.

Swap out your old wiper blades for a fresh new set, and always keep an extra jug of washer fluid in the backseat or trunk of your car for these lovely, dirty days.

  1. Have Your Car Taken In For Maintenance

Now, it’s important to keep your car maintained all year round, but at this time of year it is even more so. Making sure your car is in tip-top shape can help you avoid any unwanted situations.

  • Get your brakes checked – with the roads being slippery, being able to stop quickly is even more important
  • Ensure you are using the proper oil for winter – thinner oil (such as 5W30) circulates better in colder weather than thicker oil (such as 10W30) does
  • Ensure your battery is in good condition – the cold temperatures are hard on a car’s battery, and having a car that won’t start is about as useful as having no car at all
  • General Maintenance – make sure everything is in good working condition, such as your lights, heating system, etc.

Slow It Down

While these preparations make your car ready for winter, you need to be ready for winter as well. Prepare yourself mentally and physically for the changes in driving conditions. Drive slower, give yourself more time to get places, stay alert, dress appropriately for the weather, and only get in the car when you need to.

Here Comes The Sun: Benefits of Enlarging Basement Windows

Are you building a new house? Renovating your current one? Or maybe you flip houses for a living?

Whichever one of these you said yes to, there is one thing you all have in common: deciding what to do with the basement.

In the past, basements were typically used for storage, mechanical equipment, or the laundry room, and were often left unfinished. Nowadays, however, basements are being used for anything and everything, from bedrooms, family rooms, game rooms, and even full on suites for guests or renters.

With basements now being used as everyday living space, you’ll want to eliminate the image of dark, damp and unwelcome that the word basement typically equates to. One great way to do this is by letting in as much natural light as possible. Do this by adding more windows or enlarging the ones that are already there.

Aside from creating a comfortable, inviting space, and refreshing the look of your basement, there are a few other benefits of enlarging basement windows that you may not realize.

Safety, Safety, Safety

The most significant benefit of having larger basement windows is the safety factor. In the event of an emergency, such as a fire, having larger windows create an accessible and easy exit.

New building codes often consider larger windows, known as egress windows, a requirement if the basement is going to be used as a living space.


Enlarging the windows in your basement can significantly increase the property value of your home. Firstly, by bringing any basement rooms you have up to legal code, you can then include them in the calculation of your homes square footage. Secondly, adding safety features as well as more appealing design and more inviting space to your home will attract the attention of buyers.

Both of these factors will help raise your assessed property value, thereby increasing your equity or your potential selling price.

Looks Matter Too

Lastly, adding these larger windows and exterior window wells to your basement can give you a new canvas for adding to the design style of your home.

The type of windows you choose and how you build the well can add personality to the outside of your home. You can use different types of stone, bricks, or wood to design a beautiful window well to enhance your homes curb appeal.

Size Does Matter After All

As you can see, enlarging the windows in your basement offers a variety of benefits, ranging from safety code features to your own personal design touch.

Whether you are remodeling an investment property for resale or are working on renovating or building your own home, adding larger windows to your basement should be at the top of your to-do list.



Edmonton Expo 2017-Nicole Murphy

Edmonton Expo: Supporting local talent

By: Nicole Murphy

With big names like William Shatner, Gene Simmons, and Alex Kingston the Edmonton Expo brought in nerds from all around the land! Myself included. Although my fandom lays in mainstream shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, and Harry Potter, what I enjoy
about the Expo is seeing the lesser known artist and shows right in our own backyard. A filmmaker myself I love supporting my community, getting to see my friends shine, and sharing content alike.

I went to a panel discussion called Caution: Comedy! Featuring actors, writers, producers and directors from Edmonton made sketch comedy series, CAUTION: May Contain Nuts. A show that aires on APTN which doesn’t have certain broadcast limitations,  which long story short means they can swear! Which is kickass!!!


During the panel discussion the audience was shown clips from the 4th season that the cast hadn’t even seen yet! The actors answered questions in a humours and inappropriate fashion which is not a surprise, if you have seen the show.  Plus one lucky person won an extras spot on the show filming right now.  The intimate size of the panel discussion made you feel like you were just hanging out with your friends watching youtube videos at home, but the professional quality of the comedy really made you appreciate the talent that lives right here in Edmonton.

Actress Aimée Beaudoin explained “It is nice to watch the show with an audience and hear their reaction, it beats watching it at home with my mom and grandma as they fake getting the jokes.”  While in the same sentiment director Galen Pendleton said “ at the end of the day, it is all for them.(Audience).”

Another local Albertan, Spencer Estabrooks creator of Sharkasaurus, and One Hit Die, was at the Edmonton Expo connecting with fans, and building more of an audience for his upcoming graphic novel based on the Sharkasaurus. When asked why he moved into comics he explained “ It really gives me a chance to push my imagination to the limit, because in film it is harder to show certain things.”

His energetic and fun demeanour had people of all ages engaged and interested in the somewhat wacky content that has made up his career as a storyteller. Estabrooks also explained how the Expo gives him an opportunity to find out what is goin and support other local artists.

Overall the Edmonton Expo was a great experience, getting you back into a child like mindset of make believe and bringing celebrities to our doorstep, however getting to hangout and connect with the content creators from right here in Alberta was by far the best experience.

For more information on CAUTION: May Contain Nuts go to www.nutsonline.tv and  check out deadwestproductions.com for Spencer Estabrooks crazy brain children.

Stoneworks Granite & Quartz Inc.

Edmonton Kitchen Trends In 2017

Interior design changes at the drop of a hat. Some features remain timeless, while others are swept out with the waves. If you are yearning to remodel your home in Edmonton in 2017, you’ll need to know what is currently moving the market. Here are some stellar designs to keep in mind:

Changing kitchen trends in 2017

Knobs are gone

Have you ever noticed while you are watching television, or flipping through a magazine, that nobody uses knobs anymore? Simply put, they are awkward and should be nothing more than a memory of your grandmother’s furniture. Fortunately, nobody else seems to miss them, either. Everything in the kitchen is being equipped with wide and stylish handles. It’s an updated look, which very well could become a timeless change in modern-day interior design.

Distressed is over with

Did anyone else hop on the bandwagon for the “distressed” look? I didn’t think so. With the sudden urge to replicate a “country farm” style home, many people opted for the distressed and weathered appearance. Thankfully, this also seems to be out of the running now that most people prefer even-toned, solid-painted cabinets in every corner of their kitchen. Whether you choose modern or rustic, there’s a definite plus to this switch in trends, and it works for every project.

Quartz instead of granite?

Quartz is a fantastic material for durable countertops and is quickly becoming a trend over the long-time reigning champion that is granite. Manufacturers are creating color-engineered quartz countertops to make them more appealing to the mass market; we can certainly appreciate that. They go extremely well alongside wooden cabinetry.

LED Lighting

Recess lighting has always been a fantastic and stylish addition to any kitchen, only now, they’re coming mostly in LED. There is just something in particular that these LED lights do that illuminate and display your kitchen area instead of making it feel like it’s in a shop window; it’s inviting, tying the space together perfectly.

Cabinet Style Range Hoods

This is possibly one of the smartest innovations in recent times. Whatever your cabinet material and design is planned to be, can also be incorporated into a cover that goes over your range hood to tie the space together. It still juts out farther from your cabinets but looks like it was built-in and meant to be there, instead of awkwardly sticking out. It’s a game-changer. Even if you’re used to, and love the slender stainless steel stove ranges, you’ll have to give this concept a try.

Multi-Level Islands

It is unlikely that kitchen islands will ever be obsolete in design as their functionality secures them that spot. More often, a kitchen island will double as a breakfast nook with one side being raised, giving you the feeling that you’re sitting on a pub stool. It’s something we expect to see in a lot more homes as this year goes on.


As they become increasingly sleek, stylish and uniform in design, the thought of a kitchen renovation doesn’t seem so scary anymore. Not when you can see what is there to create and how blending these ideas are a surefire way to craft a beautiful and elegant kitchen in 2017.

About Stoneworks Granite

Stoneworks Granite & Quartz Inc. is a locally founded company, specializing in the sale, manufacture, and installation of granite, marble and quartz surfaces. We offer a beautiful showroom, complete with finished rooms and individual accent pieces to inspire. Come visit us now to explore all the options for your home!