Welcome to Gentek Canada’s MyDesign Home Studio, our home exterior improvement blog

Get tips and colour choices from our designers and learn about our latest windows, siding and home exterior products.

The Colour Corner: Cobalt Blue

2017 is the year of personality when it comes to home décor trends, and what colour has more personality than cobalt blue? It’s bold, it’s energizing, and when used strategically, can up your interior décor game ten-fold. It’s a colour that oozes confidence, and there are so many ways to incorporate it into your home.

The gorgeous shade sits between indigo and royal blue, and it’s versatile enough to work in a variety of spaces, whether your décor style is sophisticated, edgy or contemporary. Use it for a tiny pop of colour on a bookshelf, or use it on a more grandiose scale to create a stylized impact.

Ready to jump in? Here are 5 ways to deck out your house with cobalt blue.

1. An Accent Door

Accent doors are totally in, especially if the rest of your home exterior is light or neutral. Invest in a First Impressions custom door from Gentek to get the perfect fit and colour for your accent door. Using cobalt blue for a pop of colour will instantly catch anyone’s eye who walks by, and make you happy every time you walk up to your home.

2. Exterior Siding

Exterior siding in cobalt blue will completely transform your home. Before taking this bold step, make sure the colour will fit in with your landscape and neighbourhood, but once it’s a go, get ready to fall in love with your house even more. There’s no doubt this energizing shade will make your house pop. Take a look at Gentek’s world of colour to choose to perfect shade of blue for your home!

3. Kitchen Backsplash

Your kitchen should be the heart of your home, and a cobalt blue backsplash is a great way to make a statement. Since the colour is already quite bold, stick to a subtle tile like subway tile, and cabinets in white or light grey. It will give your kitchen a trendy touch, and every time anyone steps into your kitchen, they’re sure to be blown away.

4. A Couch

A cobalt blue couch will create a gorgeous pop in your living space. Use it in a room with neutral colours and wood furnishings for the perfect contrast that’s both chic and edgy. If you have a cobalt blue couch, you’ll want to make sure the rest of the furnishings, from the throw pillows, to wall art, to the ottoman, don’t clash. Stick to more neutral palettes and pull the blue in through other items, like a rug.

5. Home Office Accessories

Accessorizing your home office with cobalt blue items will completely refresh your space. From a lamp, to a desk chair, a cabinet, or desk organizer, any of these accessories will pop in cobalt blue. Use the accents to create sophistication and style in a room where you need inspiration.

Cobalt blue is one of the hottest shades of the season. Use the bold, energizing shade throughout your home for a stylish impact no one can get enough of!

Make Your Windows Shine with These Tips!


Your windows are the eyes to your home, so you want to make sure they’re always in tip-top shape. Washing them may not be the most glamorous chore, but if you want squeaky clean, streak-free windows, you have to know how to do it right. Skipping a step could result in a poorly done job and windows that need to be cleaned over again.

You should deep clean your windows at least twice a year, or more if they need it. Whether it’s time for spring cleaning or you notice your windows need some sprucing up, take a look at 5 tips to make your windows shine!

And if you’re in the market for brand new windows, Gentek has a beautiful selection of vinyl and aluminum windows to choose from!

1. Get the Right Supplies

To clean your windows and make them shine, you’re going to need the right products and equipment. Make sure you have a window washing solution and window scrubber to apply it, a bucket or spray bottle, a squeegee, towels to catch drips, and cloths to wipe your squeegee between uses. These supplies will ensure smooth sailing for your window washing session!

2. Clean at the Right Time of Day

Did you know you’re not supposed to wash your windows when the sun is shining directly on them? When the sun is shining on your windows, it accelerates the drying of the window solution, which can cause streaks. Clean your windows early before the sun comes up or once it goes down at night. No one wants streaky windows, and if you’re not careful, you’ll have to wash them again to make them shine.

3. Top to Bottom

There is a proper direction to ensure your windows are clean as can be. Always wash your windows from the top to the bottom. This prevents dirt dripping on the parts of the window you’ve already washed. When you go from top to bottom, you can catch the dirty drips on the way down.

4. Where to Wash

Wash your windows on the inside and outside for ultimate shine. If you only wash one or the other, dirt and grime will still be noticeable and build up more and more over time. You won’t be able to get a squeaky-clean look unless you clean the inside and out each time you wash your windows.

5. Don’t Forget to Pre-Clean

Both the outside and inside of your windows need a pre-clean before you fully wash them. Vacuum or dust your inside windows, including the frames and tight corners to prevent dirt from dispersing when you’re washing them. For the outside windows, make sure to clean stains from hard water run-off, minerals and other elements that can lead to grime.

Keep these tips in mind the next time your windows are in need of a wash. The right supplies and guidelines will ensure your windows shine inside and out!

How to Protect Your Home Against Termites

Termites are pesky little creatures, and they’re the last thing you want to find in your home. They’re extremely destructive and cause major damage to many houses, devouring wooden structures, along with furniture, photos and even clothes. The best way to ensure your home is free of termites is protecting your home against them in the first place.

Termites feed on cellulose, a main component in the cell walls of plants, and the most plentiful organic compound of Earth. Cellulose is found in everything from wood to cotton to paper to cardboard. The costs can quickly add up when you’re dealing with termite damage. To save you the headache and the cost, take a look at 5 tips to prevent termites from feeding on your home.

1. Choose Your Siding Wisely

If you’re craving the look of natural wood for the exterior of your home, think twice before investing in wood siding. Try something like Sagiper, one of Gentek’s most coveted products. You get a wood finish, without the worry and maintenance that comes along with natural wood. It’s highly durable, maintenance free, and impenetrable to insects!

2. Check Your Attic Beams

Wooden attic beams are usually exposed, making them easy prey for termites. If you don’t watch out for them, termites could be eating away at your beams for years. Make sure you do regular checks by pressing your fingers against the wooden beams to see if they feel spongey. A termite treatment spray can be applied if need be, and if you’re really worried, you can call an exterminator.

3. Limit Your Wooden Furniture

There are so many options when it comes to furniture materials these days, and when it comes to termites, the less wooden furniture you have, the better. Wooden furniture makes a very appealing host to termites, so try to limit it as much as possible. If you do have wooden furniture, keep it away from the walls so it’s less likely for termites to latch on.

4. Keep Clothes Off the Floor

Clothing, especially cotton, should be kept off the floor and away from walls. Any material made with cellulose is a feeding ground for termites, so you want to make it impossible for the termites to get to it. Kids and teenagers often throw their laundry on the floor in their bedrooms, so be extra careful to check they’re not leaving it there for weeks.

5. Get Rid of Cardboard Boxes

If you use cardboard boxes to store paper and photos, switch them to plastic boxes. Cardboard boxes are susceptible to termites once they enter the home, so get rid of cardboard boxes altogether. Termites can eat through paper and books and destroy the
boxes completely. If you you’re using cardboard boxes for storage, check to see if there’s any damage to them that could be caused be termites. And switch them to plastic as soon as you can.

If you’re worried about termites, use these 5 tips to protect your home now!

Exterior Colour Palettes to Inspire You

Your exterior colour palette sets the tone for your entire house. It introduces people to your home, showcases your style, and enhances your curb appeal. But it’s not always easy to choose the perfect, complimentary colour palette. There’s thought and planning that goes into choosing an exterior colour palette that enriches your entire property.

Depending on your style, your exterior colour palette can give off a bold, classic, playful or contemporary look. The options are endless! Take cues from your surroundings, and look to your neighbourhood, landscape and nature to choose colours that will work best for your home.

Choose colours for your siding, door, and window trim that complement each other and make for a stunning exterior. Two to three colours is usually the way to go. Anything more can feel overwhelming, but can work on large home, or when done creatively!

Take a look at 5 exterior colour palettes that are sure to inspire you!

Light Grey + White 

White and light grey is a classic combination that will make your home exterior look clean and crisp. You can choose from a ton of grey siding options (this one is available at Gentek and is called Storm), and use white exterior paint for your door and window casings. This colour palette is perfect for those who love minimalist, elegant style.

Navy Blue + Cream + Red

All over navy blue siding is dramatic in the chicest way. A red door adds a striking pop of colour that draws the eyes in in the best way. A creamy white is the perfect colour for the exterior casings and trims. Since you already have two bold colours for the siding and door, it’s best to keep the trim and casings as simple as possible.


Green + Pebble + Pure White 

Green can work really well as an accent colour for your home exterior. The trick is for the other exterior colours to be less in-your-face. The pure white helps the green pop and creates contrast with the Pebble siding. All three colours come together perfectly with the brick to create a calming exterior vibe.

Slate Grey + White + Pale Blue

All white siding makes a modern yet classic statement that will keep you happy for years to come. To add some contrast, choose a dark slate grey for your window shutters and a gorgeous pale blue for your door. This palette offers a contemporary farmhouse vibe that’s as chic as it is striking.

Stark White + Black

I love a classic white and black house. The colours create a perfect contrast that goes well with pretty much any lighting, landscaping and neighbourhood. A stark white siding creates a pop without colour, and a black door, shutters and casings offer some subtle drama.

These 5 exterior colour palettes are each gorgeous in their own way. Take inspiration to create your dream home exterior!

Showcase Your Home with Stunning Pathway Lighting

Your renovations are done, you invested in gorgeous landscaping, and picked out striking exterior materials. One way to make your home even more inviting to guests is installing pathway lighting leading up to your front door. Gentle lighting is a great way to lead family and friends to your porch or backyard, without them stumbling in the dark.

With aesthetics and safety in mind, there are a few key things you should know about pathway lighting. First of all, you don’t need to be an electrical engineer to install pathway lighting. While some systems are more difficult to install, others are simple and can be done without a professional. Landscape lighting also doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are many inexpensive, affordable options when it comes to pathway lighting, and you don’t have to skimp on style and quality.

Want to know more about showcasing your home with stunning pathway lighting? Check out these 4 amazing tips!

1. Illuminate Your Exterior Accents
Did you choose a custom door you’d love to show off, or perhaps a stunning stone pathway leading to your porch stairs? Make sure your pathway lighting showcases your home’s most beautiful features. Whether you choose a simple path-light system or stair lights, there are numerous ways to illuminate your exterior accents.

2. Choosing Your Light Fixtures
Depending on your budget, pathway light fixtures can range anywhere from $3 to $400 per piece, cables cost between 50 to 70 cents per foot, and you can find a transformer anywhere from $200 to $1,000. Brass, copper, or stainless steel fixtures will last and shine for a long time. You can put a simple system in over a weekend or hire a professional to help you install more intricate landscape lighting.

3. Pathway Lighting Upkeep
The warranties on your fixtures and transformers can range from one to ten years, but make sure to replace burned-out bulbs as soon as you can to eliminate straining others in the circuit. Also keep them free from overheating by removing leaves and debris off the fixtures. If you take care of your pathway lighting, it should keep your yard lit up for years.

4. DIY Pathway Lighting Kits
It’s easy to create your own pathway lighting these days with DIY pathway lighting kits. If you don’t have much time on your hands, this simple solution comes equipped with everything you need to create your ideal pathway lighting. In one box, you’ll get light fixtures, a transformer, easy-lock connectors and a power cable so you can set your pathway lighting up on your own.

Pathway lighting is one of the best ways to showcase your home. Use these tips to
enhance your home exterior and make your house the most inviting it can be.

Tips to Avoid a Renovation Nightmare

If you’re investing in a home renovation, the last thing you want is problems stacking up on top of one another. It’s becoming increasingly common to buy fixer-uppers in today’s real estate market, which means renovations are on the rise. Many home owners see the value in buying an older, run down property in an ideal area, and sprucing it up with their tastes and needs in mind.

Your home renovation experience should be enjoyable and rewarding. The only problem is, renovations aren’t always easy, and if you don’t plan properly, there’s a big chance it could turn into a renovation nightmare.

Here are 4 tips to ensure your renovation runs smoothly.

1. Hire the Right Help

You may be a pro when it comes to choosing paint colours and matching hardware with cabinets, but if you have no idea how to tear down walls and replace tile, it’s time to enlist some help. A professional designer and contractor are two of the most essential players to your renovation, and you don’t want to rush the hiring process. The right designer will help you design your space properly to maximize the function of your home. And a good contractor will ensure there are no loose ends when it comes to the integrity of your house.

Don’t know where to find a contractor? Gentek works with professional contractors across the country to ensure your renovations meet all your expectations!

2. Be Picky When It Comes to Your Home Exterior

You want the best of the best when it comes to your building materials, especially for your home exterior. Choose a siding that’s weather resistant, durable, eco-friendly, and low maintenance, so you don’t have to worry once the siding’s installed. Gentek has a selection of siding options from aluminum siding, to fiber cement siding, specialty siding and more. Your local Gentek retailer can help you find the best siding for your home reno to make sure it doesn’t turn into a renovation nightmare!

3. Know and Stick to Your Budget

If you’re not strict on your budget, your renovation has the potential to land you in mountains of debt. There are many affordable, quality products available these days, whether you’re looking for light fixtures, windows, siding, or kitchen backsplash. Create a budget for each room in your house, and make sure you do as much research as you need to find products that fit your budget.

4. Determine Your Home Style

Working with a professional designer/decorator to determine your ideal home style is key to a successful renovation. Without having a vision for what you want your home to look like, a lot of time and money can be wasted trying to figure things out. The right designer will direct you so you’re using proper colour palettes, maximize spacing and lighting, while also keeping your personal style at the forefront.

Are you planning a home renovation? Make sure to take these tips into consideration to avoid a renovation nightmare!

5 Tips to Picking the Right Colour Scheme for Your Home Exterior

The exterior of your home is the first impression your guests and neighbours get of your residence. It’s important to keep curb appeal at top of mind, and that’s where choosing the right colour scheme for your home exterior comes in. Picking colours that complement each other, as well as your neighbourhood can be the difference between getting stares that are flattering and not so flattering.

At Gentek, you have your choice of exterior colours, from your siding to your doors. Plus, you can get the ICI/Dulux paint codes to complement your Gentek siding to a T! If you’re stuck on how to pick the right colour scheme for your home exterior, check out these 5 amazing tips!

1. Look to Your Neighbours

You don’t want to copy what your neighbour has done with their home exterior, but you can look to them for inspiration. You may want to use similar colours or contrast them completely. You want your home to stand out, without clashing with the homes around you. If your home is on a huge lot, with trees and nature surrounding it, borrow from nature and let it influence your exterior colour scheme.

2. Consider What You’re Not Changing

Aspects of your home exterior such as your roof shingles and driveway likely won’t be changing unless you’re doing a complete exterior renovation. Plan your exterior colour scheme around these aspects as they can help inform your palette. For instance, if you have dark roof shingles, you may want to contrast with a lighter siding colour for your exterior. Or if your roof shingles and driveway both have grey undertones, you can consider using contrasting grey tones throughout your exterior colour scheme.

3. Choose 3 or More Different Paint Colours

3 is usually the magic number when it comes to filling in a colour scheme for your home exterior. The exterior scheme has three different parts: field color, which is the dominate colour; accent colour, usually found on the doors and shutters; and trim colour, used for things like window casings, railings and trim work.

Field colour and trim colour work best when contrasted. If you choose a light dominate colour go with a darker trim colour. Your accent colour can be bold, think: a deep red or pastel blue door that pops against a white house with black trim.

4. Look to Your Interior

A great place to find inspiration for your exterior colour scheme is your interior colour scheme. Your interior and exterior should look and feel like they’re a whole. Your goal is to harmonize your home and it should flow smoothly from the outside in. If your interior is filled with white and grey furnishings with a pop of black here and there, think about using these three colours for your exterior as well.

5. Experiment

Never leave your choices to chance, and never rely on paint chips alone. Bring home paint and siding colour samples to see how they look on a bigger scale. Just like you wouldn’t paint your entire living room without sampling the colour, you’ll want to experiment with your exterior colour scheme as well. Make sure the colours you’ve chosen work well together before you go full force with the updates.

From Dingy Garage to Tiny House: An Amazing Transformation

Do you have a dingy shed in your backyard? Why not transform it into a tiny home for a friend or family member? Tiny homes are all the rage right now, and for good reason. The typical tiny house is 100 to 400 square feet and they’re made for easy and more minimalistic living. With environmental and financial concerns as two of the top reasons for tiny house living, the trend shows no signs of slowing down.

With the right planning, upgrades and décor, you can turn your garage into a cozy abode someone will be happy to call home. One of the best parts? It’s an affordable way to repurpose an old garage with beauty and functionality.

If you’re looking to transform your dingy garage into a tiny house, check out how to do it effectively with these 5 awesome tips!

The Ground Work

Even if your garage has good bones, you’ll have to do some updates to make it a livable home. You’ll likely need upgraded ceiling panels and flooring, and be sure to install new insulation and indoor siding. You can use speciality siding from Gentek for walls and ceiling application. It’s maintenance free, highly durable and will look amazing in your tiny home.

A Green Door

The door for your tiny home can totally transform the exterior and make it evident that it’s no longer a garage. At Gentek you can customize your tiny home door with an energy efficient First Impressions’ door. With a built-for-you door, it will be fit precisely to your door opening and elevate the quality and comfort of your tiny home. They’re also designed to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels, so you can rest assured your tiny house is green.

Exterior Siding

Along with a new door, you may need to update the exterior siding of your garage to give it a more homey vibe. Whether you want vinyl, aluminum, steel, fiber cement, or specialty siding, you can have your pick at Gentek! Figure out what’s most important to you in terms of insulation, energy efficiency, durability maintenance and aesthetics, and your Gentek retailer can help you choose the best siding for your tiny home!

Think Big and Maximize Space

Just because the house is tiny doesn’t mean you want it to look tiny. Make it look as big as possible by maximizing space and keeping the walls and ceilings white. This will enhance the light in the space, making it appear bigger. Another way to do this is with mirrors. Multifunctional pieces will also be key to maximizing space in your tiny home. Get baskets that fit on your bookcase for extra storage, or an ottoman with built-in storage.

Keep the Windows Simple

The last thing you want in a tiny home is big weeping drapes on your windows. This will make it look cramped and busy. Keep the window coverings simple and let the light shine in to give your tiny home some depth.

Ready to transform your dingy garage into a tiny house? Get to it!

PNE Prize Home Lottery


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The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) unveiled its 2017 lottery home in May, and it has ticket holders fawning at the chance to call it their own. Each year, British Columbia holds the PNE Prize Home Lottery, and this year features its 83rd annual prize home.

The West-Coast modern-style home is 3,100 sq. ft. and fully furnished with coveted appliances and furniture design from Lane Home Furnishings. It’s valued at over $1.6 million, and will be relocated for the winner to Naramata B.C. with views over-looking the Okanagan Lake. The three bedroom, 2.5 bath, ENERGY STAR certified home was designed by Freeport Industries, and features a floor to ceiling living space, a gorgeous kitchen and even a home theater. Freeport Industries built 6 module units by truck for 5 hours and then assembled the home on site the fairgrounds in Vancouver.

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Gentek’s Role in the PNE Lottery Home

Gentek supplied Sagiper and Versetta Stone for the PNE Prize home. Sagiper is maintenance free specialty siding that can be used as exterior soffit or for interior walls and ceiling applications. It’s an ideal material to use as it has a high resistance to UV rays, water absorption, and humidity, and is also impenetrable to insects. Plus, the exterior vinyl colour will never fade! The colour for the Sagiwall and Sagirev used in the PNE Prize Home is Knotty Pine E79.

Versetta Stone is cement-based panelized stone veneer that offers the traditional look of stone masonry without the hassle or maintenance of real stone. It’s also very affordable and is made with colours and textures that precisely replicate natural stone. It can withstand any climate and is designed to manage moisture, so the integrity of your home is never compromised. The Versetta Stone used for the PNE Lottery Home is Ledgestone in Mission Pointe.

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The Fair at the PNE

The annual two-week event sees over 1 million people walk through the grounds. This year, the Fair at the PNE runs from Saturday August 19th through Monday September 4th. The public can step inside the prize home Saturday August 19th to Monday September 4th from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM, with the exception of Mondays August 21 and 28 when the fair is closed.

If you’re a B.C. resident, make sure to stop by the fair to check out the PNE Prize Home and buy your tickets today!

The Bro Shed: Reimagining the Man Cave



If you thought the man cave was a brilliant idea, just wait until you hear about the bro shed. Rather than designating a room in your house to be a place for the boys, why not have an entire shed devoted to bro-ing out?

We all need a space we can hang out, unwind, and be ourselves, and sometimes both men and women need time away from their significant other. That’s why the bro shed is the ideal way to check out and relax after a long day at work.

Whether you want to put a TV in there, fill it with books, a mini bar, or create a secluded office space to work on your side project, fill your bro shed with your favourite items to create a space that’s yours. You can renovate it any way you please and truly convert your shed into a space you can’t wait to spend time in at the end of a long day.

Whether you have a shed that’s just taking up space in your yard, or you want to build one from scratch, here are 5 ways to reimagine the man cave and make your bro shed the most epic hangout space.

1. Interior Siding

If you want a rustic bro shed, consider lining the walls with specialty siding. Sagiper Siding (available at Gentek!) can be used for the interior walls and ceilings of your bro shed. It’s extremely durable, maintenance free, and easy to install if you want to take on the project yourself. The vinyl coating looks like wood, so you can get the rustic feel without the hassle of wood maintenance.

2. Natural Light

Just because you want your bro shed to be low key and secluded, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t have any natural light. Quality windows will ensure your space has light ventilation, and brings the outdoors in. Choose from a variety of Gentek windows for ones that suit your bro shed, look good and are low maintenance.

3. An Epic Entry

Your shed can also have an epic entry way with the right entry door. Whether you want double doors that give you a grand opening, or a door with a panel of glass that adds light to your bro shed, you have tons of entry door options to choose from with Gentek. The exterior look of your bro shed is just as important as what’s inside!

4. Paint It

That being said, you can also paint the exterior of your bro shed to reflect your design style. At Gentek, you can get paint codes for ICI/Dulux paints to match your Gentek siding. The ICI/Dulux paints resist fading, abrasions, and aging. They’re long-lasting finish can give your bro shed an upscale appearance in your favourite colour.

5. Make It Your Own

Your bro shed is your space, so make it your own. The furniture, décor and finishes should reflect you and be the ideal space where you can relax and take a load off at the end of the day. The interior and exterior are yours to put your stamp on, so make the most of your bro shed!