Children of the Dominican Republic

Instilling their passion for helping Calgary’s youth into the corporate culture at Pinnacle Group has always been important to Paul & Elaine Klassen. They are avid supporters of the phenomenal Calgary’s Safe Haven Foundation that helps at risk teens and recently they lent their support to a group of philanthropic teens at the Glenmore Christian Academy. These incredible students are leaving today on a Mission Adventure to San Pedro, Dominican Republic over Spring Break to build 3 homes for needy families in that country.

Pinnacle generously chose to support this initiative after being approached by one of their valued Client’s daughters who was involved in the trip. We wanted to post the wonderful letter she sent to Pinnacle Group, explaining the scope of the project and their appreciation for Pinnacle’s involvement:

Map of the Dominican Republic

On Friday, March 23, 2012, 47 Grade 9 students plus chaperones will travel to the Dominican Republic over Spring Break to build 3 homes for needy families in that country.  We have been responsible to raise money through bottle drives, chocolate bar sales and a school wide silent auction.  We were also encouraged to think of friends, family and others in the community who would be willing to support this cause.  So, how did Pinnacle Group get involved?

In 2008, Pinnacle Group finished renovating our family home.  For our family, it was an awesome experience working with Paul and his Team!  We love our “new” home!  My parents immediately suggested that I contact Paul Klassen at Pinnacle Group.  Their motto “Creating Homes for Life” seemed to fit perfectly with what we were doing.  Grant McNaughten, Jessica Schultz and I presented our project to the staff at Pinnacle Group in early December 2011.  Each home is the size of a double garage and will house a family who has never had a home of their own.  The Team at Pinnacle Group was very encouraging and committed to a generous donation towards one of the homes.  We were thrilled and very grateful for their support.  Paul Klassen even visited our school to present us with the cheque!  We will keep you posted with photos and details of how the houses came together. Thanks again, Mr. Klassen!

Warm Regards,

Adrianna Good

This past week, Paul & Elaine Klassen have been enjoying sunny Orlando Florida, while taking in all the latest in building trends and innovations at the NAHB International Builders Show (IBS). From the trail of emails we are getting, it looks like they will be bringing back to the Pinnacle team some incredible options for our customers to consider when renovating or building their dream home!

They have already shared with us a few of the highlights including NanaWall’s fantastic new French Slider door in Mahogany wood species. 

NanaWall's French Slider Door

Here is another one of NanaWall’s neweset products, available both framed and frameless. What’s the benefit? Nearly  unlimited opening dimension, curves, angles etc… A recent stadium installation in Boise Idaho was 365 feet long!

NanaWall's Newest Product!

For those of you looking to incorporate an exquisite fireplace in your home, check out the gorgeous ribbon flame fireplace with Swarovski Crystal inlay by Napoleon Fireplace.

Napoleon Fireplace - Ribbon Flame With Swarovski Crystal Inlay

As always Kohler’s amazing display never dissapoints; Paul has shared with us many great new products including their Numi Toilet; a two-in-one Bidet/Toilet designed for the very best in personal hygiene including six wash settings and several dryer settings! What more could you ask for? Well how how about auto lid lift, which it comes with! When you step up to the ‘throne’ into the laser light beam projected on the floor, the seat automatically goes up. If all this weren’t enough, it includes an amazing remote keypad much like a SmartPhone to complete the  full ‘throne’ experience while you’re seated! This is a fantastic product solution to consider when you’re planning on living comfortably in your home for life. 

Kohler's Numi Toilet/Bidet

Keeping on top of the latest industry trends as well as  continued involvement in professional development is top on the priority list at Pinnacle Group. Attendance at this amazing trade show yearly is just one example of Pinnacle’s commitment and dedication to bringing their clients the very best!

Continuing the Questions to Ask blog series… read below for Part 4!

Question 10: Do you charge a deposit?
Pinnacle Group:  Yes we collect a deposit at the onset of your project to place orders for materials that will be required including: exterior windows/doors, framing materials, special-order items such as plumbing fixtures etc. In order to collect deposits or progress billings of any kind, Pinnacle is required by Alberta law to be a Bonded Contractor and carry a ‘Pre-Paid Contractors license’.

Question 11: Do you know about the lien regulations and requirements of the Alberta Government?
Pinnacle Group: Yes – each province has requirements for holding back a portion of all payments to your Builder from date of substantial completion. Doing this protects you from claims if the Builder fails to pay Suppliers and Subcontractors.

Question 12: How many years have you been in business?
Pinnacle Group
:  Paul Klassen, founder and General Manager of Pinnacle Group is an Interprovincial Journeyman Carpenter and has been in business since 1984 as a Professional custom home-builder and Renovator. (Pinnacle Group Renovations by Design Ltd.) was founded in 1998. 

Read below for our 3rd installment of this insightful blog series….!

Question 7: Do you offer a warranty on your work?

Pinnacle Group:  Yes, as a RenoMark™ Renovator we offer a minimum of a two year warranty on all work (excludes minor home repair and manufacturers warranty). Pinnacle Group offers an additional three year warranty on structural components for a total of a five year warranty; as well we offer a ‘Client for Life’ program for as long as you own your home! In terms of New Home Construction, Pinnacle Group offers the National Home Warranty Program’s five year warranty ( ).

Question 8: Do you take care of applicable licenses and permits?

Pinnacle Group:  Pinnacle Group Clients can rest assured that all permits required for renovations and new home builds will be taken care of on their behalf. We have liaised with Calgary’s Permit Masters who use their industry experience and bylaw knowledge to help residential and commercial Clients get the permits they need. They take the hassle out of negotiations with the City, and handle the entire permit process, many times working with homes that have very challenging bylaw or planning department infractions. Their history of applications…through to final permit approvals, have been met with an extremely high success rate! Even if a Client has been turned down before, they are familiar with the bylaws and the ins and outs of the permit system to achieve approval.

Question 9: Do you have proper City Licensing?

Pinnacle Group:   Our Calgary City Occupational License is BL 102048, issued by City Licensing.

Just a reminder to join us tomorrow, Saturday August 13th, for a sneak-peek at a Pinnacle Group Custom Home Build currently underway!

This opportunity comes around only a few times each year, and we encourage you to take advantage of this fantastic chance to view an incredible home in the ‘pre-board’ stage of construction! Pre-board means the home is completed up to drywall installation; essentially the ‘guts’ are in place and now is the only chance to see them before they are covered up forever! The ability to see what’s behind the walls in a home is rarely offered to public viewers, but we feel it provides insight into Pinnacle’s attention to detail and concern with every aspect of the project.

Our Staff, Trades & Suppliers will be on hand to answer your questions and provide personal guided tours of the project – come join us for refreshments and an exciting opportunity to peruse this incredible home!

As promised; the continuation from last week! We feel the questions presented in this blog series are vital for the arsenal of any potential Renovation/New Home Client. These questions should be asked of every Renovator or Custom Home Builder, to determine their industry experience and corporate integrity.

Once again, we have provided Pinnacle Group’s answer to each of these questions to offer a benchmark of standards to look for.

Question 4: Are you registered with the Better Business Bureau?
Pinnacle Group:  Not only are we a member of the BBB and hold an A+ rating, Pinnacle Group was awarded the 2011 Better Business Bureau Ethics Award in the Small Business category! Nominees in this category included all business disciplines across the city of Calgary so to win this Award is truly an honour. Nomination for this Award is submitted anonymously; a rigorous judging panel then scrutinizes the business practices on every level. The areas that are judged include: testimonials from clients, accountability to trade/supplier payment, scrutiny of employee manuals, training policies, safety programs, corporate financial strength, corporate business processes, as well as charity involvement. Somewhat serendipitous is the fact that Paul Klassen, the founder of Pinnacle Group, has spent the last number of years serving on and chairing the RenoMark™ Council to ‘raise the bar’ in Calgary’s renovation industry. To receive an Award of this caliber is a testament to his efforts in contributing to this initiative. In the past, the reputation of the renovation industry has certainly had its challenges; this Award however signifies that the mandate of the original RenoMark™ members has successfully been established.

Question 5: Do you have any unresolved or unanswered complaints at your local Better Business Bureau?
Pinnacle Group
:  No, we have had no complaints to date and as such have no unresolved issues.

Question 6: Do you have Business Liability Insurance, and do you carry Workman’s Compensation Insurance?
Pinnacle Group:  Yes, as a RenoMark™ Renovator we are required to carry a minimum of $2 million in liability insurance. We have coverage for workplace safety and employers’ liability and only work with subcontractors who carry such coverage.

Check back next week for part 3 of this informative series!…

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!…

You are unique; unequivocally defined by your DNA blueprint. These distinctions extend to all aspects of your life, including your home. At Pinnacle Group, we understand that to build an authentic living space, a family’s needs, desires and aspirations must be infused into the design of their home. We regard this as a family’s ‘DNA’….defined as our DNA-Process™.

In our view, the family’s ‘DNA’ must be the driving force for a renovation or custom home build. To do it any other way ultimately leads to some dissatisfaction after the fact. Statements such as, “I should’ve done this differently…”, “I didn’t think of that…”, or “I wish I would have…” all result from the fact that the family’s ‘DNA’ was not initially considered.

We believe a home is a family’s personal sanctuary where life’s fondest memories are created and preserved. The family home serves as both an anchor and a compass, providing support and direction to all family members. Capturing the essence of our client families and creating spaces that support their diverse needs is truly the heartbeat of Pinnacle Group’s business philosophy.

You may be asking yourself at this point, “What does a biological term have to do with renovations or custom home builds?”

At Pinnacle Group, our understanding of how to read your family’s unique ‘DNA’ is part of our distinct Vision; is ingrained in our internal proprietary process, and is the core of our success. We go beyond even the highest levels of the Renovation and Custom Home building industry… into a completely new realm of home personification.

When we start the design process of renovating or building a home, we begin with a detailed interview and analysis of who you are—whether you’re a retired executive, a successful professional, a bourgeoning business owner, or a growing family. We find out how you and your family would like to flourish in all areas of your life and choose materials and design directives based on these findings. This process, in combination with expertly completing your project on-time and on-budget, is precisely why we have an enviable client satisfaction rating; this is based on post-project client interviews of all of our clients completed by Client Insight Inc., an independent 3rd party assessment and survey firm.

Pinnacle Group’s DNA-Process™ stands for:

D– Design

N– Needs

A– Alignment

At Pinnacle Group, we go far beyond superficial discussions when determining the right design for your home. From the onset, we pay close attention to all of the details of your vision, no matter how clear or vague that vision may be. Whether or not you are completely sure about what you really want or need, our extensive needs analysis questionnaire that each family member fills out, allows us to uncover the small nuances that often make the biggest differences.

Pinnacle Group has developed an extensive needs analysis questionnaire that we use to precisely determine your family’s unique requirements for your renovation or custom home build. This detailed questionnaire is specifically designed to cover all bases and to compel you to think about what you really need; exploring angles that you may not have ever considered before but are critical to the new design. We are serious about creating the perfect spaces for you and your family that; not only serve today’s needs…but include anticipating the inherent gifts, talents and aspirations that each member of your family possesses.

Once we have a clear understanding of what distinguishes your family’s needs, we can begin creating a design; then progress to a 3D rendering of your newly remodelled space or custom home design. We use this rendering as the starting point of collaboration with you on the actual final design. We completely understand that seeing something on a blueprint or sketch is not the same as seeing something “virtually.” The 3D virtual experience allows you to be able to “walk through” the space and “experience” it without actually being there. Our 3D modeling software allows you the freedom to explore possibilities perhaps not yet considered. If for example you wish to shift a wall to ensure that your unique piece of Art fits perfectly, or move a window ever so slightly to better capture the views, reconfigure your Master Suite to best place your furnishings…etc…we can immediately show you what it will look like; all of these changes can be done in real-time, with a simple click of the mouse!

Taking the time to accurately determine the ‘DNA’ of every Client allows us to create a home that each member of your family can truly say is their favourite place to be!

For more information on Pinnacle’s proprietary DNA-Process™, please call our office at 403-720-8789.

“With today’s aging population, professionals who specialize in healthy aging play a more important role than ever before. Aging-in-place is a concept that supports the choice of older adults to remain living in their preferred environment for as long as possible even if circumstances change. Physical environment, social and psychological support, and community resources affect aging-in-place. While the concept is increasingly gaining attention, services and supports to assist older adults to age-in-place continue to grow.” Mount Royal University, Studies in Aging

Paul Klassen is an active member of Mount Royal University’s S.A.G.E. Committee, and has been involved in forward-thinking group discussions regarding their Studies in Aging program. Coinciding with this revolutionary direction of study, Universal Design is a fresh concept that designs a home to meet, or anticipate the needs of an aging-in-place population as well as physically challenged homeowners. From discretely tracking when a homeowner gets up, to timing when they take their medicine, new technology allows family/caregivers to talk live with them at any time, and in emergency situations; caregivers are alerted automatically by phone or video monitors if a situation arises. Curbless showers, walk in tubs, stair lifts, personal elevators… the technological solutions available today to keep homeowners in their home as long as possible, or as long as they wish… are outstanding!

Pinnacle Group is extremely passionate about this movement because for many, there is simply no understanding of the looming tsunami of the Baby Boom population ‘coming of age’. The needs of this age group, both psychologically, physiologically; as well as the physical and health benefits of keeping homeowners in their home in their most beloved environment, are immensely significant on many fronts. Not only is the burden of Government housing and care greatly decreased by facilitating elongated occupancy in their homes, but the independence and mental /physical health of the homeowner is preserved as well. In many cases younger members of the family feel the need to move parents out of their home, and often it is the worst decision possible for their longevity. Not to mention the wonderful contributions that Grandparents make to their children’s families when they are afforded the benefit of living in their home of choice!

In a four-year analysis of aging-in-place, researchers found that the total care costs for participants were thousands less than traditional care options. Costs for living and health care never approached the costs for nursing homes and assisted-living services, and in addition, aging-in-place residents had improved mental and physical health outcomes. Science Daily

Respecting and serving this demographic by helping them stay in their homes longer, has an immense amount of gratification to the staff of Pinnacle. “Making Your Home Your Favourite Place to Be” is Pinnacle’s mantra, and as you get older, this becomes increasingly true. There are more reasons today to stay in your home than ever before, and with Pinnacle it is possible!

To read the study on aging-in-place as released by the University of Missouri-Columbia on March 7, 2011, please click on the link

To view Mount Royal’s SAGE Video Presentation, including an interview with Paul, please click on the link below.

Stay Tuned…and keep your calendar open for Saturday August 13th! One of our wonderful clients has agreed to allow us to host a Current Project Tour at their new estate home we are presently building in the prestigious Dewinton acreage area just South of Heritage Pointe! This is a spectacular property with stunning City, Mountain and river escarpment views; you will not want to miss the opportunity to tour this incredible home!

As with our last Project Tour, this open house initiative is designed to provide visiting guests a chance to view a project currently underway! Our knowledgeable Sales Consultants, as well as a number of our skilled Trade Partners will be on hand to answer your questions. This mid-construction Tour gives you a chance to see all the newest building technologies, energy efficiency initiatives, and the latest construction methods which are all hidden ‘behind the drywall’ in a typical showhome. We’re opening up these homes for you to see all those trade ‘secrets’ before we close up the walls!

Come join us for a tour of this fantastic custom estate home; this is not a renovation, but rather is one of Pinnacle’s ‘New Home Builds’! Enjoy complimentary Tim Horton’s coffee and donuts, and ask your various questions to members of our experienced Team!

Further information about this event will be made available closer to the date; we look forward to seeing you on August 13th!