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Alberta Housing Market Outlook from CMHC – Fourth Quarter 2014

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*reprinted from the CMHC Housing Market Outlook from CMHC for the fourth quarter of 2014


Canadian Housing starts steady, but will moderate slightly in 2016 

Housing starts:

On an annual basis, housing starts are expected to range between 186,300 and 191,700 units in 2014. In 2015, housing starts are expected to range from 172,800 to 204,000 units. Finally, starts for 2016 are forecast to range from 168,000 units to 205,800 units.


Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®)
sales are expected to range between 467,400 and 482,000 units in 2014.
In 2015, sales are expected to range from 457,300 to 507,300 units. Finally,

2016 resales are forecast to range from 448,000 units to 508,000 units.

Resale Prices:

The average MLS® price is forecast to be between $401,600 and $405,400 in 2014. In 2015, the average MLS® price is expected to be between $403,600 and $417,800. Finally the average MLS® price is forecast to be between $407,300 and $424,500.

Provincial spotlight:

In 2014,Alberta is forecast to see the strongest growth in housing starts,
due to stronger economic prospects relative to the rest of the country. Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia are also forecast to see housing starts increase, albeit modestly. In 2015, housing starts are anticipated to increase in Ontario while Quebec and British Columbia are expected

to see modest growth in both 2015 and 2016, supported by improving economic conditions.





Alberta will lead all provinces in economic growth over the forecast period as GDP expands by 3.9 per cent in 2014, 3.0 per cent in 2015
and 2.9 per cent in 2016. Energy development and production will continue to be a key driver of investment and the strong economic performance. A lower Canadian dollar so far this year has helped to increase the value of energy exports, which,

in turn, has helped the Provincial government generate an operating budget surplus. On the demographic front, Alberta is benefiting from a high population growth rate, thanks in large part to migrants moving to Alberta.

Alberta’s economy is projected to generate employment growth of 2.8 per cent in 2014, 2.2 per cent in 2015, and 2.0 per cent in 2016. Employment growth in Alberta will represent the highest provincial growth rates in Canada over the forecast period. Alberta’s unemployment rate will remain low, averaging 4.7 per cent in 2014, 4.6 per cent in 2015, and 4.7 per cent in 2016.

Migration to Alberta is projected to moderate as the relative economic performance in central Canada
and other jurisdictions improve

and reduce some flows to Western Canada. Following a record gain of 86,922 people in 2013, net migration to Alberta is projected to decrease
to 79,000 in 2014, 64,000 in 2015, and 58,000 in 2016. The reduction
in migration is expected to temper housing activity somewhat, yet market conditions are expected to remain robust by historical standards.

*The point forecast for provincial total housing starts is 40,400 for 2014, 37,400 for 2015 and 35,800 for 2016. Economic uncertainty is reflected by the current range of forecasts, which varies from 39,800-41,000 units for 2014, 33,970-40,300 units for 2015 and 32,100-39,400 units for 2016.


Single Starts: Single-detached starts are projected to rise by nearly five per cent to 19,300 in 2014 and then moderate slightly to 19,200 units in 2015 and 19,000 in 2016. New listings in the resale market are rising and are projected to continue to increase over the forecast period. This will provide consumers with more options and create more competition for builders. Employment gains and migration inflows are also expected to moderate over the forecast, easing new home sales.

Multiple Starts: Multi-unit starts in Alberta have increased for five consecutive years with a projected peak of 21,100 starts in 2014. In Calgary, multi-unit starts are forecast to increase nearly 70 per cent in 2014 and be close to the record production set in 1978. With supply elevated, multi-unit starts in Alberta are forecast to decrease to 18,200 in 2015 and ease to 16,800 in 2016. Competition from the resale market is expected to increase and moderate the pace of new condominium sales.

Resales: MLS® sales are projected to increase by about 8.0 per cent to 71,200 in 2014. Momentum from large migration inflows and employment gains are expected to help lift resale transactions to 72,900 in 2015 and 74,600 in 2016. The movement from rental tenure to homeownership, along with supportive incomes, will help increase sales as will move-up buying. On the other hand, moderating migration inflows and higher monthly carrying costs are expected to slow the gain moving forward.

Prices:The average MLS® sales price in Alberta is projected to increase clost to 5.0 per cent to $398,900 in 2014 and rise to $407,800 in 2015 and $417,500 in 2016. Sellers’ market conditions in Calgary are projected to ease as new listings rise, reflecting an overall provincial trend. Overall resale market conditions in Calgary are forecast to remain balanced over the forecast period with the pace of price growth declining through 2016.

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Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year Awards

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Last night, October 23, was a great night of socializing and networking.  The Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2014 Business of the Year Awards at the Coast Hotel and Convention Center.  Over and over the same message was repeated, “Lethbridge is a great city in which to do business and is very supportive of local businesses.”


Karla Pyrch, Executive Director of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce said, “I think that the overwhelming support for small businesses really speaks to Lethbridge’s entrepreneurial spirit.”









Twelve of Lethbridge’s top business were recognized at the banquet:

Those businesses were:


Business Leadership Award: Galko Homes

Business Legacy Award: D.M.T. Mechanical Ltd.

Business-Environment Connection Award: Umami Shop

Dalton Jordan Memorial Award for Business Excellence: Two Guys and a Pizza Place

Estelle Botfield Memorial Award for Customer Service Excellence:Kapow Ltd. Comics, Cards & Games

Exporter of the Year Award: Haul-All Equipment Services

Innovation Award: Haul-All Equipment Services

New Venture/New Business Award: Smudge Art Studio Inc.

People’s Choice Award: Pro Dynamic

Small Business of the Year Award:

Top Form Construction

Spirit of Lethbridge Award: 5th on 5th Youth Services

Young Entrepreneur Award: Zircon Graphics



Kodiak Mountain Stone is proud to be a member of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce and wishes to pass along our congratulations to all of the winners and wish them all success in the future!

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How to Build Your Own Fire Pit

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We deal with a lot of Do-it-Yourselfers (DIY) at Kodiak Mountain Stone and wanted to share these great DIY instructions on “How to Build Your Own Fire pit” from our friends at  Of course, we would also suggest adding some Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone to the project!


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Solid as a Rock – Business in Focus Magazine article

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Kodiak Mountain Stone had an opportunity in February of 2013 to have a feature article in Business in Focus magazine.


You can find our 2013 article HERE


Once again we have the opportunity to have a feature article in their September 2014 magazine.  You can view the E-Magazine and our article HERE


Below is a reprint of their article from

Kodiak Mountain StoneBy Mark Golombek


Back in February of 2013, we spoke with Kodiak Mountain Stone’s President, D. Jeff Heggie, about the company and its products.  Back then, the company founder told us about the challenge of finding employees for the Cardston factory, and how operations in the U.S. and Canada were thriving.  Jeff was happy to sit down with us again for an update as to what’s new at the company.

With new showrooms up and running, Kodiak Mountain Stone has decided to increase the retail side of its business as it expands. Its own core product is still made in house, but much of the focus has shifted. Rather than just manufacturing its own products, the company has reinvented itself as a supplier of manufactured stone products, acrylic stucco, natural stone, concrete fencing and brick materials from other companies.

“The retail side focus is about our stores,” says Jeff. “We still have our dealer network which is a core part of our business but more and more of the focus has been based on the stores because it gives us more control over how things are happening. We have really tried to get more involved in that side of things.”

An example of this can be seen in Lethbridge. Over the last four years it became more involved with the local branch of the Canadian Home Builders Association and the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce. Jeff is on two committees of the home builders association which has really increased the company’s profile within the community. It has led to more opportunities for networking and meeting with more of the builders, contractors and developers.

“That’s really enabled us to sell through builders of a lot of new homes, but also a big part of the market is in renovations. So, now we are also known to people as the place to go for renovations or do it yourself jobs. They know who Kodiak Mountain Stone is and that we supply a host of different products, which has helped to increase our retail business.”

Many of its dealers only sell Kodiak Mountain Stone’s products and their demand drives the company to diversify its lines.

Offering such a diverse range of products and services is due in part to incorporating new dealers into the fold; it has included a dealer in Saskatchewan and a new dealer in Edmonton. But most of the expansion efforts have been concentrated on the two stores in Lethbridge and Calgary along with the existing dealer network.

“A lot of this is done through awareness and marketing. Some are specifically rock stores and others deal in hardware. A lot of our dealers have such a wide variety that it’s hard to get too much more in there. Product knowledge is also a factor. Staff are going to sell what they know, so we are also concentrating on education.”

Finding employees was a big challenge for Kodiak Mountain Stone in the Cardston factory. A lack of resources and a small employee base hindered progress; getting raw materials into Cardston was quite expensive. Concrete is one of its main raw materials and is significantly less expensive in Utah then Alberta, so the decision was made to move production to the Utah factory.

“Even though we are manufacturing in Utah, we are doing about 85% of sales in Canada. The head office is still in Canada, but we do have subsidiaries and manufacturing in Utah. As for staff, we had our challenges finding the right people in Calgary because there are a lot of competitive jobs in that market. It took a while, but we got it together.”

Employee engagement is an important part of the process in finding and retaining good staff. It is crucial to instill a team atmosphere in order to move forward and keep all staff members up to date. On Mondays, a team meeting takes place via video conferencing to be able to include everyone; the previous week is reviewed and goals for the upcoming week are laid out.

Product knowledge sessions also take place in these meetings. An employee would be assigned a certain product and it is then his or her responsibility to update the team on it. “The more we know about a product, the easier it is to sell. So we try to keep these knowledge sessions going all the time for the benefit of the entire team. We also undertake other things to try and keep the team engaged and together. There are competitions and recently the Calgary store won, so I bought everyone lunch.”

Jeff is a big believer in continuing education, and he emphasizes the importance of the company’s education plan. There are certain books that management strongly feels encompass the core thoughts and ideas of the business. Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People is a classic for customer service relations. New employees are given a time to go over the book and then host a meeting with all the staff online to let others know what has been learned from it and, but more importantly, how it could benefit Kodiak Mountain Stone.

“We also added in the aspect of how it would benefit them in their personal lives, not just at work. It’s been a good program for us.”

Since we last spoke, Kodiak Mountain Stone has completed work on two new showrooms in Calgary and Lethbridge. Most of the competition has a showcase of small samples on a board and when customers or clients come into its stores they are forced to make decisions based on these. Kodiak Mountain Stone has endeavoured to make the customer experience very different. Instead of a small sample, customers will see a three foot by three foot area of the wall, against which they can hold up their eavestrough or siding samples to compare colour.

“A lot of them bring in their siding or paint solutions and they can see a better representation of what they are achieving. The feedback on that has been great. Designers and customers love to send their customers in. They can leave with a small sample and take it home for colour matching. But to really get a feel and knowledge of what they are choosing they’re getting a better look at what it is.”

As seen on its website, the walls become the samples. Brick masons have to be brought in to lay the brick and make the impressive sample walls. One wall is made completely of brick of different types and profiles; another wall is all different styles of stone; yet another showcases different styles of stucco.

“That is what we are doing with the new stores. We had our manufactured line of products and then we added the natural stone followed by the stucco. Then we added the brick and the concrete fencing. I think options like that are going to continue as we grow and expand our market share.”

The biggest opportunities for Kodiak Mountain Stone are going to be within the existing marketplace and how it capitalizes on new relationships and partnerships. Its competition has been with companies like Eldorado Stone and Cultured Stone. Jeff has just completed a deal whereby the company is going to be a distributor of Eldorado Stone, which had been its biggest competition. Now the two will be working side by side and really taking a shot at the entire market.

“In my mind, with Kodiak Mountain Stone and Eldorado Stone we have the two best products available in the Lethbridge market. I think that strategic alliances and partnerships like that are what’s really going to help us to see some significant growth.”



To subscribe to Business in Focus Magazine, click HERE

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FAQ: Kodiak Mountain Stone Manufactured Stone Veneer Dimensions

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We often have inquiries about the dimensions of some of our Kodiak Mountain Stone manufactured stone veneer.

Thank you to Casey Wilson of our Calgary AB office for putting together this helpful information:

*In this post we will refer to manufactured stone veneer “flats” and “corners.”  The flats refer to the stone that is on the flat surface of the wall while the corners are the 90 degree pieces that are used to go around corners of a wall.  Even though the dimensions of the stone will vary, you don’t necessarily need to know this when ordering because orders are placed by the total square footage and linear footage of a project.  

Kodiak Mountain Stone Ready Stack and Frontier Ledge


Our Ready Stack and Frontier Ledge manufactured stone is 4 inches tall.

Ready Stack flats will range from 6 – 18 inches per a piece in length.

Frontier Ledge flats will range from 7-13 inches per piece in length

Corner pieces will have one side that is 3 inches on the inside, while the other side will vary in length ranging from 6 to 12 inches

Kodiak Mountain Stone  Rocky Mountain Series Stacked Stone and Dry Stack Ledge

dsl.jpg ss.jpg

Stacked Stone and Dry Stack Ledge is 3 inches tall

Stacked Stone flats are 12 inches long

Dry stacked ledge flats will  vary from 6 to 16 inches long per piece

Corners will have one 4 inch side and one 7 inch side

Kodiak Mountain Stone Southern Hackett


Is a blend of squares and rectangles ranging from 5″ x 11″ to 12″ x 9.5″

Kodiak Mountain Stone Cut Fieldstone


Cut Fieldstone comes in a variety of dimensions ranging from 2″ x 3″ to 16″ x 13″

Kodiak Mountain Stone Villa Stone


Is a blend of squares and rectangles with tumbled edges

Sizes will vary from 3″ x 5″ to 16″ x 7″

Kodiak Mountain Stone Shadow Ledge


Is a blend of  random ledgestones

Sizes will vary from 6″ to 12″ in length and 1″ to 3″ in height

Kodiak Mountain Stone River Rock


River Rock has a more rounded look, with the odd oblong shapes thrown in. Its name really does explain what to expect when you see this stone

Sizes will vary from 4″ x 2″ to 10″ x 10″

*Each profile comes with corner pieces and they are at a 90 degree angle

Frontier Ledge Corner Piece.jpg

Frontier Ledge Corner Piece Example (They will vary)

For more information please contact us at 877-563-4252 or find more information on our CONTACT PAGE

*The information in this post is for information purposes only.  Our stone is ordered by the square footage for flats and the linear footage for corners.  These amounts are determined using a variety of stone sizes during production.  Your order will come with a variety of sizes and specific stone sizes cannot be requested when placing your order.


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