We are gearing up for an exciting announcement this Monday December 19th! Just in time for Christmas, a lucky winner will be walking away with a brand new iPad 2 as we wrap up our latest Facebook Contest. Finalists will be chosen from all those that have Liked us on Facebook over the past few months. It’s not too late to have a chance to win this fabulous prize. Like us on Facebook before Monday and you too will be entered into the draw! Three finalists will join us at our Design Studio on Thursday December 22nd, 2011 at 12:00pm for some light refreshments and will be a part of the big moment when we make the final draw for the grand prize! Be sure to visit our Facebook page on Monday December 19th to find out if one of these 3 names is yours!!

Contemplating a renovation or custom home build can be a daunting task, especially considering the numerous organizations to choose from within the industry! There are a number of crucial questions that a client should ask each potential renovator/custom home builder; both to determine their industry experience as well as their overall company integrity.

Over the next few weeks we will be posting a comprehensive list of questions we suggest you use to determine which renovation/custom home build company will be the best ‘fit’ for your project. Of course there are many more that could be added to this list; however this will be a great place to start! These questions were compiled from the recommendations of third party consumer protection organizations including the CRHBA (Calgary Region Home Builders Association), CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation), Better Business Bureau (BBB) and RenoMark™. Only the most qualified and reputable companies will be able to properly answer these questions, establishing the trust necessary to have a worry-free and enjoyable renovation or new home build experience. We have provided Pinnacle Group’s answer to each of these questions to offer a benchmark of standards to look for.

Question 1: Are you a RenoMark™ Renovator?
Pinnacle Group:  Yes we are! In fact Paul Klassen, Founder & GM of Pinnacle Group Renovations is one of the founding members of Calgary’s chapter which is dedicated to providing consumers with access to high quality, integral, and ethical renovation companies. As well, he has served on the RenoMark™ Council for several years, including chairing the Council in 2010-2011.

Question 2. Are you a member in good standing of the Canadian Home Builder’s Association – Calgary Region?
Pinnacle Group: We are a member in good standing and feel the CHBA/Calgary Region is supporting a well-rounded group of builder/renovator members serving the Calgary Region.

Question 3. Do you abide by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Calgary Region Code of Ethics?
Pinnacle Group:  Yes, as a RenoMark™ Renovator we are required to abide by both the RenoMark™ Code of Ethics as well as the CHBA Code of Ethics; to date Pinnacle Group has not been in violation of, or had any unresolved consumer complaints in either RenoMark™ or CHBA’s Code of Ethics.

…Check back in a few days to see the next segment of this blog post!…

Barry Johnson, Operations Manager

There have been some exciting changes around the Pinnacle office recently! Two of our key Team Members have recently changed positions within our company, bringing their involvement in our process to a whole new level!

Barry Johnson, formerly our Production Manager, has taken on a new set of responsibilities to become our Operations Manager! Barry comes from a background heavily involved in customer relations; he was a partner in a retail chain for 10 years before becoming a Service Technician at Morrison Homes. After 6 years with Morrison he joined the Pinnacle Team and has been an integral part ever since! Since joining Pinnacle in 2006, he has been involved in the conception and implementation of numerous processes; as well as daily involvement with staff, clients and trade partners. His honesty, steady character and natural problem solving skills have made him an ideal candidate for upper management. Barry’s new role will see him stepping into the supervision of all areas of the company, and will give him an even greater ability to implement positive changes moving forward.

Jeff Moss, Renovation Consultant

Jeff Moss is moving from his current position of Site Supervisor to become our newest Renovation Consultant, and will be entering the fast-paced world of sales! Jeff formerly owned a residential painting company, and has extensive industry knowledge as well as outstanding charisma with staff and clients alike. After joining Pinnacle in 2008, Jeff immediately began shining as an incredible over-achiever and go-getter. Always going above & beyond to ensure our clients are thrilled with their completed renovation, Jeff has proved himself to be a natural people-person, and is sure to be a perfect fit in the Sales Team! Jeff’s new position will see him involved in fine-tuning our current processes, as well as collaborating to implement positive changes in the future.

Congratulations, Barry and Jeff on your exciting new positions! We look forward to your success in these new roles in the days ahead!

Leslie Davies

Over the past few months, Pinnacle Group has attained the services of a Professional Image Consultant, in order to give our staff the understanding and advantage of “Dressing for Success”. Leslie Davies is fun and energetic, with 17 years experience in the executive industry; recently she resigned from her executive position in order to concentrate full-time on Image Consulting.

Leslie’s focus of our first session was to impart the knowledge that conclusions are drawn within seconds of meeting us; the decision to trust us, judgement of our financial status, assumption of our educational level… all of these presumptions are drawn from a single first impression. Shockingly, statistics prove that the words we choose make up only 7% of the message we convey in a first impression. Our body language and tone of voice make up 38%, but how we look is by far the most influential factor at 55%!

Ensuring our first impression is a lasting one includes knowing how to dress for professional settings. Leslie gave us a number of tips to help create a powerful first impression:

  • Create a “column of colour” – take a similar colour through the centre of your body from head to toe to make you look cleaner, taller & leaner.
  • Professional clothing is typically in dark, bright or solid colours; navy blue, charcoal, black, pin-stripe, red.
  • Approachable colours are soft, pastel or muted colours.
  • Suits & structure pieces (jacket/blazer) are at the highest end of the “power pyramid”. Separates (not matched but complimentary top & bottom) are more approachable.
  • Fabrics with crisp, fine, texture have the most credibility. Coarse/soft/fluid fabrics are more approachable.
  • Patterns that are geometric (stripes/blocks) have the most credibility. Fluid patterns (paisley) are more approachable.
  • A 3rd piece is very important. You always have the option to take a layer off but you can’t put one on if you don’t come prepared. If you have a vest/cardigan/jacket on it can be removed to ‘dress down’.

We have enjoyed gaining a further understanding of how to Dress for Success, and we look forward to additional sessions with Leslie in the future!

To learn more about Leslie’s services, visit her website at http://lesliewithimpact.com/

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest member of the Pinnacle Team; Office Administrator, Stephanie Waddell!

Stephanie comes to us with numerous years experience in both the construction industry and customer relations. Prior to joining Pinnacle, she was employed at Nuway Floor Fashions where she worked her way up the corporate ladder from Receptionist to Builder Liaison. Possessing both extensive industry knowledge and a fervent attention to details, Stephanie has quickly become an integral part of the Pinnacle office. Serving as the “gate keeper” for all correspondence and “air traffic control” for paperwork flow, she is the hub of all administrative responsibilities!

With everlasting composure and keen to take on new challenges, Stephanie is a wonderful addition to the Team. We are excited to welcome her aboard and look forward to what lies ahead!

Pinnacle Group Renovations is proud of our incredible vendors and trades that together make up our extremely talented and dedicated team. We are unified by our goal to create a positive and respectful working environment and are dedicated to delivering an unsurpassed renovation experience to our clients!

Digital Lifestyles is one such vendor that we have been working with over the past 3 years. We are all aware of the steady progression of technology and the incredible array of lighting, sound, home theatre and security products that can sometimes seem daunting. However, together with Digital Lifestyles, we help our clients discern the best possible digital solutions for their home renovation to enhance the comfort of their home, making it their favourite place to be!

Whether it’s fully automated lighting illuminating your home according to your watch, the entertainment a home theatre provides, impressive music packages with state of the art sound and control, the peace of mind a security system brings, or the convenience of a smart-wired home, Digital Lifestyles has the ability and experience to help our customers create a truly customized digital home environment.

We recently had the opportunity to tour Digital Lifestyles showroom which they frequently update with the most leading edge, current technology solutions available to our clients and we were incredibly impressed as always! The variety of choices is amazing and we are certainly glad to have Digital Lifestyles on board to help guide our clients through this tech-savvy portion of their renovation.

Just in lighting alone – it is incredible how much has changed over the years.

Essentially, the lighting options that were once only available in upscale, luxury homes are now becoming common place. The cost of automated lighting systems has drastically reduced due to the ease of installation of new products and the decrease in hardware costs. Mike Dummer, at Digital Lifestyles reports that gone will be the day of the traditional on/off light switch; this will be driven by the incredible energy conservation offered by programmed dimming and the ability to create mood and accent lighting scenes that were not possible by the traditional light switch. Programmed dimming, allows you to run your lights at 90%, saving an incredible amount of energy without any noticeable difference in brightness at barely more than the cost of your conventional dimmers and switches. The concept of lighting a home has also changed from installing a single on/off circuit to the ability to customize and design your lighting scene determined by individual room requirements.

We will continue in future blog postings to provide information on additional exciting digital lifestyle solutions available to our clients when renovating their homes.

This coming March will mark the First Anniversary of the opening of Pinnacle’s Design Studio in Calgary. The desire to be a leader in the industry and further enhance our clients’ experience spearheaded our decision to move from our comfortable home office setting that we had operated out of for 24 years. 2009 became a landmark year for us with the opening of the studio which also coincided with our 25th year in business!

We contemplated exactly how we wanted the design studio to service our clients and we decided that we would take a Boutique Approach. As a renovator, it is difficult to showcase what we do – each renovation project is so unique and the product choices available from plumbing & lighting fixtures to flooring and cabinetry are so vast that it didn’t make sense for us to try to display “everything”. We decided to leave the display and showcasing of the product lines available to us to our fabulous vendor and supplier showrooms. Instead, we integrated displays into our working areas and invested in incredible technology which could truly have an impact and evolve our clients’ experience. We also teamed up with our talented custom cabinet manufacturers, Vango Artisans, who operate their millwork studio on our premises.

Pinnacle Group Design Studio

These integrated displays are throughout the design studio from our bathrooms to our main floor kitchen reception area, our interior design area to our boardroom home theatre! Our clients are always surrounded by the Pinnacle touch; whether discussing plans around the spacious granite island in the impressive main floor kitchen area, or anxiously awaiting the 3D visual display of their home renovation on the large screen located in the fully functioning theatre in the board room!

Our goal has always been to provide our clients’ with a unique renovation experience and they have come to expect this from us over the years. The design studio allowed us to take this experience to the next level with our state of the art virtual 3D presentation and our customers’ have responded with resounding enthusiasm! We are able to provide in-perspective, a true life-like view of our client’s home renovation projected onto the big screen before a single wall comes down, using our architect’s sophisticated software. This 3D format literally brings a renovation project to life, allowing the client to walk through their front door and experience all the structural changes, furnishings, moldings, and colour choices as if they are walking through their actual home. The accuracy and realism of this technology has been nothing short of sensational; it is no exaggeration to say that audible gasps have been heard and clients’ have been seen jumping from their seats in awe of experiencing their renovation right before their very eyes, before a single crew member has shown up at their home!

Building a new home vs. renovating an existing home is a completely different science. It is one thing to build a home when there is the ability to see show homes with similar features of the home you are choosing to build. Every renovation truly is a single, one-off custom project – no two renovations are ever the same so the ability to show our clients how this transformation will look is so valuable to their entire experience.

We are thrilled at the benefits our design studio has provided our clients and continue to receive incredible feedback. Starting with our open house last spring where 200 former clients, trades/suppliers and associates joined us at our open house and offered nothing but rave reviews to a year that has progressed with our renovation consultants in hot pursuit of finding an available time to book the popular 3D boardroom! It is without a doubt that the days of sitting around a kitchen table with a laptop just no longer suffice!