Urban Sky Cares About Edmonton’s Food Bank

Urban Sky Cares is back during the holiday season, and we are thrilled to be helping Edmonton’s Food Bank through our social media buzz and would love for you to become involved!

From now through January 14th, 2018 Urban Sky will be popping up on our various social media platforms and donating $1 for every retweet/post like, or other participatory action with a maximum of $100 per daily blitz!

During this time, we will be blogging and updating you on the success of the campaign. And, we will also be highlighting this organization and sharing what it is that they do in the city, and ways in which you can become involved.

Please watch for us and join in!

To learn more about Edmonton’s Food Bank and other ways that you can help please visit here

The Missing Middle: Your Guide to Identifying an Emerging Housing Type

You may have heard the phrase missing middle, but what exactly is it?

The phrase ‘missing middle’ refers to multi-unit housing forms like duplexes, triplexes, row housing, and low-rise apartments – bridging the gap between small scale single-family homes and larger scale apartment buildings. Coined by architect and urban planner Daniel Parolek (Principal and Founder of Opticos Design Inc.), missing middle Housing was once common (think pre-World War II), but has more or less vanished over the last 60 to 70 years, giving way to single detached houses and soaring apartment towers.
Driven by consumer demand, small-scale multi-unit housing is coming back into vogue. This type of infill housing has the ability to blend relatively seamlessly into a typical mature neighbourhood, if offers a bit more affordability than a typical house, and it often boasts nearby shopping and transit, amenities that appeal to millennials and baby boomers alike.

How to Identify Missing Middle Housing

Still relatively rare, it helps to have a guide in hand to help you spot this emerging housing form.

*It’s usually within walking distance to various amenities and services, and tends to have less on-site parking than a typical house.
*It typically offers a small to medium-sized living area. Missing middle residents are often trading square footage for good design and a convenient location.
*It adds housing options, but remains unobtrusive in existing neighbourhoods.
*It tends to sell at a lower price point than single detached housing in the same area, since unit sizes are smaller.

What Makes Missing Middle Housing so Great, Anyway?

*Since most infill housing is situated within mature communities that are close to commercial destinations and various amenities, opportunities to use alternate transportation such as walking, cycling, or transit are more easily available. This helps reduce overall emissions within the city.
*Infill also encourages better utilization of existing infrastructure and services, so that city spending can be focused more on maintenance and/or upgrading costs as needed (vs continuously building new infrastructure as the city continues to expand outward).
*Another advantage is an increase in housing options. Whether you’re looking to upgrade, or downsize, missing middle housing provides options to stay within a neighbourhood that you love while choosing a home that best suits your needs and budget.
*Local businesses and community services can be sustained through increased density and usage (for example coffee shops, grocery stores, schools, recreation facilities, etc.).

The missing middle is a key form of infill. IDEA (Infill Development Edmonton Association) recognizes that the missing middle will help shape Edmonton into a collection of dynamic neighbourhoods. As our city grows, infill will play a greater role in the redevelopment and overall sustainability of our city. We are excited to see Edmonton evolve as the missing middle takes shape. IDEA is working actively with administration and Council to promote the missing middle in Edmonton.

Example of different forms of housing:


How long does the interior design process take for an infill property?

Assuming that the architectural design is already established, here’s what you can expect:

Start by meeting with the interior designer. This can either be over 1 meeting or over several depending on the scope of the project and client expectations.  It’s during the initial meetings where you’ll discuss design inspiration, start to establish a common language, and begin space planning. Basically, this is where the interior designer learns a bit more about you and your needs so that they, in turn, can recommend a layout that’s functional and adds value. Meetings can take place in the clients existing home where the designer can bring samples and ideas to the client, or at various retailers, depending on each client and their needs.

Next, the exterior design is reviewed. It’s important to spend some time on this component as it is complex, detailed and above all will make or break the first impressions of your home. In Edmonton, the natural elements tend to be hard on exteriors and so choosing materials that best withstand the elements while best capturing the desired look of your home is key. Unsure of which materials to use? Draw inspiration from neighbouring local communities, or through a quick search online, while working with your designer.

Once a design layout is presented, there’s always the opportunity for design changes should the client desire. These discussions may take place over multiple meetings, phone calls or emails. The key at this stage is to ensure the client is confident in the design and vision. And, if it doesn’t resonate, don’t be afraid to say something. Doing so helps to ensure that the end product is achieved as close to the client’s vision as possible, and mitigates the risk of any disappointment with the finalized look of the home. Have questions along the way? Ask. A solid design professional will be able to answer them and help put your mind at ease.

Framing of the home then begins! And, following any desired changes, the final design concept is then presented to the client along with prices and lead times for items to begin placing orders. This presentation can include a 3D rendering (an artistic interpretation, though, not an exact document) of what the space will look like. And, most often this stage will include a floor plan, reflected ceiling plan, kitchen and bath detailed elevations as well as a detailed list of finishes (including pictures) and locations. This step tends to either come together very quickly or to be more time intensive depending on the client’s expectations.

Next, fixture locations also need to be determined; because once they are roughed in they are very costly to move. Generic locations may work for some applications but if this is a home that you will be residing in for any period over 2 years, it is best to mark out the locations which best suit your needs during a site walkthrough. Although this can be achieved by clearly explaining your vision to your designer who can then go out to the site to mark the locations, it’s often best to complete a joint walk-through with the designer, project manager, and trades.  It is always best to move through the space and get it figured out in the real world than off of a drawing.
Boarding then begins. And, it is here that drywall is added, mudding and taping take place. Once complete, the house is then painted and finished off with the installation of lighting, flooring, cabinets, countertops, backsplashes and finishing fixtures including accessories and plumbing.

Overall, the interior design process for an infill home depends on a few factors such as the size of the home, what the client desires and what their budget allows, how often a client changes their mind, availability of supplies/materials and sometimes unforeseen setbacks during construction. And, when determining the cost, know that each project has allowable billable hours; some of which is spent with the client in meetings and some are spent sourcing materials, or sketching.  If you are considering hiring an interior designer to either assist you in the design process, or to complete the design from start to finish; set aside a budget, have a clear contract with allowable hours, and if ever there are any doubts check in with them.


You’re confident with the layout and planning of your new home, have made a decision on any last minute structural changes or additions, and you’re happy with the drawings that have been submitted for the development permit! It’s now time to look at PHASE 3:  FINAL PLANS, BUILDING PERMIT AND START OF CONSTRUCTION

  • Once you are satisfied that all your needs have been met, Urban Sky will move to a final set of plans that we will use to actually build your home. After obtaining your development permit, our designers can proceed to the third step of the design process for your custom home.
  • The design team next prepares site plans and drawings needed for the building permit. This entails detailed floor plans, detailed exterior elevations, roof plans and electrical plans. Our team creates a building permit package and takes care of everything required to proceed to the construction process.
  • Urban Sky will complete the full set of construction drawings and specifications for your home once the Development Permit is approved. We will incorporate any items you have added during the interior design process and change orders will be issued for any items that have cost implications from the original agreement. We will meet for a final sign off of the construction documents and then apply for the Building Permit.
  • During the permitting process, Urban Sky will be busy preparing your property for the new build by coordinating demolition, utility disconnects and the removal of any hazardous materials that may be required. In the interim, you will meet with Urban Sky’s professional Interior Designers to start developing the look and feel of your home’s interior. Our Designers will guide you through the selection of all your interior appointments, including everything from colors to cabinets, flooring, lighting, and appliances.
  • Once the Building Permit is issued, construction on your new home can begin. You will be introduced to your Site Superintendent who will schedule regular inspections with you during the building process. This will enable you to watch your new home take shape as the build progresses!

Are you ready to start building your next home? Contact Us! Our team is happy to work with you to bring your vision to life.


We’re passionate about working with you to create homes that boast functionality, intelligent design, your unique tastes and are budget specific! This week we take a look at Phase 2: Revisions and Drawing Preparation for a Development Permit.

Once we’ve had the chance to meet and go over all of your wants and needs within your new home, and have the conceptual design in place, the next step is to turn that design into the highly detailed plans that will be required for the Development Permit Application. Supplementary review meetings will be required to finalize the look of your new home and to determine specifications. Once all reviews and specifications are complete, the final pricing for your home will be established.

Following this, we work to prepare your drawings to obtain a development permit. Urban Sky will then work through a series of revisions in order to refine the initial concept into a computer-generated CAD drawing of your dream home. In this phase, Urban Sky develops the structural design in detail based on your selections for exterior materials and finishes. We will also have refined front elevation and completed drawings that are required for obtaining your Development Permit as well as for preparing your project summary budget.

With the approval of the final price and specifications we move on to the purchase agreement. Once you sign a Sales Agreement with Urban Sky, we will submit a formal Development Permit Application to the City. The permitting process can take between several weeks, depending on the nature of the development being proposed.

Stay tuned next week as we cover topics like final plans, building permits, and the start of constructing your new home! Have a question or would like to learn more? Contact Us.



It’s an exciting time in YEG as the look, style, and functionality of new homes is evolving and infill housing is increasing in popularity. It’s a great way to revitalize existing neighbourhoods, breathe life into the community, and for new homeowners to have access to some already well-established business and services! So, how does the home buying process work when choosing an infill development? And, more specifically, what can you expect when choosing to work with Urban Sky?

Over the next few weeks, we’ll discuss the phases that exist within the new home buying experience and aim to demystify the process for you!


Initially, you (the new home buyer) start by finding an area of the city that you would love to live in, and then acquire an existing property. But don’t worry, if you have not yet purchased a piece of property, Urban Sky can help you locate the ideal lot. Our realtor partners will search high and low to find a property that matches your personalized criteria.


During our first meeting, Urban Sky will review your New Home Planning Worksheet (found in our New Home Buyers Guide) and discuss your priorities and budget requirements. We will also provide some important information about getting your property ready for your new house while including details about your specific lot as well as the design and permitting processes. Ultimately, this initial consultation will help you determine if Urban Sky is the right fit for your project. (Be sure to check out a free copy of Urban Sky’s New Home Buyers Guide to help you decide what to include on your ‘wish list’ prior to our initial meeting.

Once decided that Urban Sky is a great fit for you, an agreement is then established, and a deposit will be required to cover the initial concept and design work. From there, you’ll have the ability to meet with one of our talented Designers to review your New Home Planning Worksheet and so you can personally share your vision for your new home. This will allow us to begin the concept design process, which entails a comprehensive survey of your property as well as an overview of land use bylaws and development guidelines.

Then comes the fun part! Together we’ll consider your needs and wants in light of your budget to develop the floor plans and exterior of your new home. This will involve a few meetings so we can discuss, review and refine your new home concept. Our priority is to ensure the design captures your vision as completely as possible. And, be sure to bring any ideas that you have to the initial meeting, as they will help you explain your vision to your custom home builder and designer. From this meeting, Urban Sky’s design team will be able to analyze your site and prepare a preliminary design and front elevation for your review.

Urban Sky will guide you through the process one step at a time – we will listen to your desires and will actually begin drawing the rough sketch of your home right in front of your eyes!

Stay tuned as we discuss the next phases of infill home construction and cover topics like drawing preparation, building permit, the start of construction, and interior design selections!

Ready to start building your next home? Contact Us!

Urban Sky Cares – ABC Kid’s Walk/Run Update

The ABC Kid’s Walk/Run (as part of the Servus Edmonton Marathon weekend) took place last Saturday; August 19th, and was a huge success! The event had an amazing 243 registrations, and, through our Urban Sky Cares program, we were thrilled to partner with some really great organizations and individuals and provide 40 of those registrations to deserving kids. Here’s what a few of the organizations had to say:

“Thanks to the generosity of Urban Sky Developments we were able to offer registrations to a number of children. The ABC Kid’s Walk/Run at Remax field provided a unique opportunity for the kids to be able to test their skill and ability levels at the various fitness stations before participating in the 1 km fun walk/run. That you Urban Sky, the kids had a great afternoon!” – Sheri Long, Principal – Lauderdale School

“We had a really great time at the ABC Kid’s Walk/Run. Thanks to Urban Sky, we were able to have a lot of kids benefit from this event. We felt like this opportunity really aligned with our beliefs and allowed these kids a chance to participate in an afternoon of physical activity and fun. Tha, k you Urban Sky for your generous donation. The ABC Kid’s Race was a huge success!” – Kidsport Edmonton

“What a great opportunity! The kids really enjoyed taking part in the 1 km race, and the t-shirts and medals that they received were a definite highlight. Thank you for the generosity Urban Sky. The young participants enjoyed the day. Physical activity supports happiness and wellbeing. “Brian Torrace, Director, Ever Active Schools

*Our Urban Sky Cares program is a local initiative which continually strives to find ways to give back and support the communities in which we serve. We are committed to making a difference. (If you would like to learn more, or to partner with us, please Contact Us).

Urban Sky Cares About the ABC Kids Run/Walk

It’s back for another year, and we’re thrilled to take part in it!

The ABC Kids Run/Walk is a part of the Servus Edmonton Marathon Family Festival Weekend; taking place on Saturday August 19, 2017. The event is being hosted at Re/Max Field and is a unique opportunity for kids of all skill and ability levels to participate in an afternoon of fun which includes a 1km Run/Walk, and several untimed fitness activity stations designed for kids of all ages to assist with the skills of running, jumping and throwing. Activity stations can be done in any order and as many times as the children would like, and are set-up in a way that mom & dad, friends, and spectators alike can be right beside the activity to cheer them on and take photos!

This exciting program is both gender equitable and adaptive to special needs children and children with disabilities.

Additional highlights include:
-inflatable’s on site,
-a DJ,
-vendors providing juice boxes & fruit, and;
-each child that registers receives a t-shirt, race bib, and upon completion of the ABC Kid’s Run will receive a medal; the same ones that are handed out to the racers competing in all categories of the Servus Edmonton Marathon (but that which are specific for the Kid’s Event)

At Urban Sky Developments, we are excited to have the opportunity to partner with local Edmonton organizations as we provide registrations to kids in need that would benefit from this event.

Follow us on social media or our blog leading up to the event, or to learn more about Urban Sky Developments and how Urban Sky Cares.

Interior Designers: Why You Need One

When it comes to building your new home, working with an interior designer is key! There are many parts of the equation to successfully planning, designing and furnishing your next home. And, choosing a skilled designer means having access to someone who eliminates all guesswork and creates an enjoyable home building experience.

Start with an initial consultation! Most interior designers offer free consults, and will often have tier pricing options available depending on your needs and budget! Working together, they’ll go over each aspect of your new home to get a feel for what is that you want in your next space, how you want it to look, and most importantly; how you want it to function! And, when it’s time to hone in on those details, they’ll also discuss and provide options for items such as; layout of floor plan, windows and coverings, doors, closets, fixtures (electrical, plumbing, hardware) finishing’s (lighting), colour choices (paint, trim) and various other materials such as floor coverings, countertops, etc.

The advantages of hiring an interior designer are huge!

*An interior designer will help you create a realistic budget. Their experience allows them to foresee costs that you may otherwise initially overlook.

*They can recommend favourite products from reputable sources rather than blindly ordering them from unfamiliar manufacturers and are trained to ensure products ordered are of proper proportion and scale to the size of the space which you are renovating.

*Are able to come up with exterior designs that will meet the neighbourhoods requirements, and create a cohesive design plan that will flow from the exterior to the interior.

*They typically have access to skilled trade contacts that they work with, and will coordinate the activities with their partners to create a hassle free experience for you.

*With quality standards and safety codes in mind, they ensure projects are completed properly so that additional time and resources are not wasted on fixing errors down the road.

*They are great at handling timeframes and, with your schedule in mind, can help guide you in the right direction so contractors are able to complete the work on time and avoid delays which can come from when homeowners are struggling to make selections or finalize layouts and designs.

*They know how to balance colours and create harmonious functional spaces to best suit your needs and lifestyle. And if you’re stuck deciding between a few different uses for that space; an interior designer can help you decide on the perfect fit based on practicality and budget.

The end result is a look and feel that is unique to you!


This week we visit part 2 of our interview with Tom Keogh; head of project management and founder of Urban Sky Developments!

Q: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
A: Outdoors, sports, and competing in triathlons.

Q: What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most Challenging?
A: Most satisfying? Building relationships, putting deals together with these relationships. Repeat business is indicative of this and that what we’re doing makes sense.
Challenges? Tight deadlines.

Q: What do you like the most about Urban Sky Developments?
A: Constantly seeing the vision that we have coming to life.

Q: Why do customers choose this company?
A: I’ve been told that it’s because of our old school approach to communicating with our customers and building longer term relationships with them. I.e.) constantly keeping in touch with phone calls, emails, meetings to keep them up to date on the projects and their investments, the progress on their new home, and because we value the relationships that we’ve established with them.

Q: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
A: The uncertainty of what’s to come and what has to be dealt with. Like snowflakes, no two days are ever alike.

Any other questions that you would like to see included in our upcoming interviews? Let us know in the comment section below.

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