CanWest Blog




Alberta snowfalls are the unexpected-expected part of the winters. Often surprising residents early in the fall season leaving many property owners scrambling to figure out their options before the next snowfall.

The cost of snow removal varies and is typically dependent on the size of the property being plowed and the types of snow clearing equipment used. The average cost of commercial snow removal in the province can run between $125 -$200 dollars an hour and there can be additional charges for ice melters, gravel applications and other add-ons. Usually getting a regular service booked with a local snow removal company is the best bet as there can be discounted pricing within a snow removal contract.


One well-established Alberta company providing snow plow services in Calgary and Edmonton is CanWest Concrete Cutting & Coring. They will provide property owners with a free quote for snow removal services for the entire winter season or on an as-needed basis. They have an extensive line-up of equipment for winter snow clearing in both the Calgary and Edmonton regions and ready to tackle the season NOW! CanWest can completely customize a snow removal plan for commercial and residential properties and give owners the peace of mind for the next snowfall, and the one after that, and the one after that!


There are city bylaws in both Calgary and Edmonton for the removal of snow off public sidewalks in a reasonable amount of time, or 24 hours after a snowfall. The onus is on the property owner to keep the public sidewalks safe for users, the municipality can fine property owners if the snow is not removed. The City of Calgary; however, provides a first-come, first-served salted-gravel mixture for its residents to use free of charge at various sandbox locations around the city.

Business and property owners should make it a priority to have the snow cleared from their properties to reduce the risk of injury to residents, customers and even the employees. Ideally the snow should be removed before workers arrive to work and when business operations start for the day. Plowing the snow from parking lots allows visitors to access the property, park easily and enter the building safely.


Don’t delay your industrial or commercial property snow removal plan this year. Find a reputable company to take care of everything for you, so you don’t have to.




A Guide to Basement Window Replacement

Basement windows do not only bring light into your basement, but they also help in providing insulation, reducing noise, beautifying the property, and providing a route for escape during an emergency, explains Real Canadian Management. Despite all these functions, they often get neglected while replacing other windows in the house.

If you are planning to replace your basement windows, you should answer some important questions. This will serve as a guide to your basement window replacement. The questions include:

  • Is your basement window due for a replacement?
  • What type of window should you use for your basement?
  • What is the best size for a basement window?
  • What type of frame is the best for basement windows?
  • What are the common basement window styles?

Is your basement window due for a replacement?


You should only replace your basement windows when there is a need for it. But how do you know that your basement window needs a replacement? Certain signs will notify you. They include:

  • A draft from your window when it is closed. This indicates that air is leaking from your basement window, and it may cause a surge in your energy bills.
  • Difficulty in opening or closing your basement window.
  • Energy bills become higher than usual. This happens when your window loses the ability to provide insulation to the basement, and the HVAC consumes more energy in an attempt to regulate the temperature in the room.
  • Condensation forming between the glass panes. This shows that your basement window is defective to the extent that water and air can penetrate it.
  • The window frame is rotting. A rotten basement window frame is unsightly.

The presence of one or more of the signs above is an indicator that it is time to replace your basement windows.

What type of window should you use for your basement?

The type of basement you have will decide the type of basement window you should use. There are two types of basements; the unfinished basement and the finished basement.

An unfinished basement is one that serves as a storage or a laundry room. It houses a fridge, mechanical units like HVAC, washer, or dryer and you don’t spend a long time inside them.

They do not need expensive windows that have upgraded hardware, fancy designs, or energy-efficient features. However, you should not use low quality or inferior windows for your basements.

A finished basement is one that serves as a bedroom or living room. That means you spend more time in these rooms. So your choice of window for this type of basement should be fanciful and efficient. The color should blend with the basement. You can choose white or wood-grain.

The windows in a finished basement can be energy-efficient. Ensure that there is proper insulation and sealing when you use energy-efficient windows. Also, all finished basement needs an egress window; this serves as a route for emergency escape. An egress window makes it easy to escape danger or provides access for safety professionals.

The egress codes for basement windows are:

  • The maximum distance from the bottom of the window to the floor is 44 inches.
  • It must have an opening that is 5.7 square feet. Enough to allow access for a fully kitted firefighter.
  • It should be at least 24 inches tall and 20 inches wide.


What is the best size for a basement window?

There is no uniform size for basement windows, the sizes vary according to the requirements. There are some common sizes, but you should get a custom-sized window for your basement opening to make it airtight. If you opt for a stock sized basement window, you may need to rework the frames.


What type of frame is the best for basement windows?

The best window frame for an unfinished basement is a vinyl window frame, although most window frames are made of wood. For a finished basement, you will want your window frames to match with the rest of the house. So you can opt for premium window frame materials. Steel-frame basement windows are a good option if you want durable frames.


What are the common basement window styles?


There are three common styles of basement windows.

Glass block windows

These are heavy, thick, and obscure glass that allows light and offers privacy. You cannot open them because they are sealed into the walls.

Hopper windows

They have a hinge at the bottom and a chain at the top right or left. It is cranked open towards the inside.

Sliding windows

These are more expensive than the hopper windows. You can only open one half at a time by sliding it from side to side.


In a nutshell: Guide to Basement Window Replacement

Basement windows bring light into your basement, provide insulation, reduce noise, beautify your property, and provide a route for escape during an emergency.

If you are planning to replace your basement windows, you should be able to know:

  • If your basement window is due for a replacement
  • The type of window should you use for your basement.
  • The best size for basement window
  • The best frame for basement windows
  • The common basement window styles available.

If you are required to enlarge your windows in your basement to the legal requirements of your municipatlity -it is important that you choose a contractor that is experienced in cutting concrete in the foundations of homes. Choose a contractor like us at CanWest Concrete Cutting and Coring, we have over 35 years  experience in the industry and the proper insurance coverage and clearance for working on sensitive projects like home foundations.


First Ring Promise


It starts with the first ring.

Superior customer service is a calling card of CanWest Concrete Cutting & Coring and answering the phone on the first ring is an important part of that philosophy, says marketing manager Valerie Hambrook.

“My husband, Dan, started this business 35 years ago and it’s always been a company motto of ours to answer the phone on the first ring and it’s something we endeavour to do every time,” she explains.

“We are a service business and if you don’t answer the phone, they will call someone else. So, it’s important to us to answer those calls and get out to our customers within two to four hours in case of an emergency. And a lot of other companies can’t do that.”

It’s all part of providing exceptional customer service, which starts with every employee buying into the philosophy.

“Our customers know they can call us and someone will pick up. Whether it’s two in the morning or 10 a.m. on a Saturday, someone will pick up.”

Another important aspect of the customer service promise is the fact the company is a one-stop shop, eliminating the need for multiple sub-contractors by offering a turnkey solution to concrete cutting and coring construction or renovation projects.

“When someone calls us, we can usually handle just about anything that pertains to our area. This helps provide peace of mind and makes it easier to work on big projects because you don’t have to deal with multiple sub-contractors.”

Some of the company’s multitude of services include concrete cutting and coringwire sawingplacing and pouringcrushing and breakingexcavation and repairing and sealing.

And it doesn’t stop there.

CanWest has a full range of state-of-the-art concrete cutting and coring equipment and highly trained operators to service everything from large industrial projects to residential developments.

“We are proud that we can provide our customers access to the newest and most well-maintained fleets of equipment out there today,” Hambrook adds.

The other benefit of having access to a vast network of equipment is turnaround time on any last-minute needs.

It’s all part of the promise to be on time and on budget.

“Time is money. If we’re down and equipment is not working, things come to a standstill. And that doesn’t work for anybody.”

Learn more about how CanWest can meet your concrete and coring needs. Request a free quote on your next project, or contact one of our regional offices.



CanWest Responding to COVID-19

CanWest Concrete Cutting and Coring Inc. is committed to keeping their customers, employees and business safe in the midst of a global pandemic. The situation of COVID-19 means that the regulations and protocols at CanWest are changing rapidly alongside the Alberta Government’s Legislation.

“While our office staff is now working safely from home, we still have Field Technicians doing construction work off- site.”  Debra Killam CanWest Safety Officer reports. “We have implemented extensive measures to eliminate all physical contact with customers. That means, all transactions that would have usually occurred with an exchange of either a tablet or paperwork now occurs via email prior to the work even beginning.”

“Our workers are not to travel in the same vehicle to jobsites,” Killam adds “and if they do require an additional staff member with them on a job, they are to be 2 meters from each other on-site. If the job requires proximity, they are required to wear a specialized mask, and everyone is asked to be clean shaven to accommodate the masks efficiency. In addition to that, our employees are to complete a COVID-19 Disclosure Form with their Hazard Assessment daily. This Disclosure Form essentially identifies any risk of exposure of the staff member.”

“In the early stages of this pandemic, we outfitted all our employees with sanitization kits that included sanitizer and provided education on the proper techniques to protect themselves and others. This included social distancing and other risk mitigations put in place. I am closely monitoring the situation, along with our Management team. We are following the Government rules and regulations closely and we are updating our employees daily.” Killam comments that all employees are following the protocols that have been put in place.

“Our staff understands that this is an important matter of public health, and they’re participating fully in flattening the curve”

CanWest is classified as an essential business, being in the Construction sector and is still providing concrete, demo, residential  and construction services as regulations allow. They have  provide updates on changes inside the organization on their website.

Valerie Hambrook, Owner of CanWest adds “Some of our customers are using this as a time to get work done that they were delaying because they have now been mandated to close their business to the public. We are getting in and doing the work safely without a disruption to their regular services during this unprecedented time.” Hambrook acknowledges the industry has slowed down tremendously but remains hopeful.

“We are experiencing a sense of community; albeit virtually, in not only our business and industry but the country, as a whole. Change may have been forced on us all but how we respond to it and come together is what is going to keep us strong and healthy.”

If you would like to know more about the additions and changes to CanWest’s already robust safety program due to COVID-19 please contact CanWest Safety Officer, Debra Killam directly at (403) 225-4445 ext. 233

Innovation Breeding Success at CanWest

Innovation breeds success.

And part of that success is accountability when it comes to being on time and on budget, a cornerstone of CanWest Concrete & Cutting & Coring’s foundation, says marketing manager Valerie Hambrook. Which is why it’s important that the company was a leader in installing GPS units in its trucks, a vast fleet of which there are over 100 units on the road at any given time.

“We’ve been around for 35 years now and we were the very first company to do GPS on vehicles years ago. We were doing it when nobody was doing it yet,” she says, adding it speaks to the company’s core values of being where they need to be.

“Because a lot of the work we do can be quite urgent, a lot of our customers call and needs service immediately. Our GPS units allow us to see in real time where everybody is and get someone there as quickly as possible,” Hambrook explains, adding the units also contribute to accurate billing. 

“We work in an industry based on trust and not only can we respond in a timely manner, but we use the GPS units to have proof of work, which is very helpful for billing.

Another benefit to having access to a vast fleet of services and equipment is CanWest can better drive to completion on time and on budget, Hambrook adds.

“Time is money. If we’re down and equipment is not working, things come to a standstill. And that doesn’t work for anybody.”

CanWest prides itself on being industry leaders and that same philosophy applies to the equipment it uses. The company has a full range of state-of-the-art concrete cutting and coring equipment and highly trained operators to service everything from large industrial projects to residential developments.

“We are proud that we can provide our customers access to the newest and most well-maintained fleets of equipment out there today. And because we have multiples of everything, there is no downtime if something breaks down.”

The other benefit of having access to a vast network of equipment is turnaround time on any last-minute needs.

“One of our clients biggest pain points is timely access to equipment. If someone needs a saw in two hours, we get them a saw in two hours. Nobody can do that but us,” Hambrook adds.

CanWest operates an industry-leading safety program that includes job-specific safe work practices and procedures, multiple certifications and a stringent environmental policy, hazard assessment and controls.

The company recently invested heavily in a cutting-edge sustainable concrete cutting process where workers can safely recycle the slurry that’s created when they cut concrete. The process separates the contaminants from the water, which can be reused for the next project.

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