Home Improvement

Your Guide to Home Insulation

How to Choose Insulation for the HomeHome insulation has a lot to do with how much a homeowner pays each month for their energy, yet it's a big enough job that many homeowners ignore it until their utility bills double in cost - or when they begin to consider placing the home on the market. For those still on the fence, consider the fact that new insulation is one of the better renovation projects for those who want to increase their resale value (going as high as 107.7% ROI). Learn more about what it takes to choose insulation without endangering the home.

Push and Pull

There are two key considerations when it comes to picking out insulation for the home. Owners have to consider how the insulation will function in extreme temperatures, but they also need to be aware of how insulation will impact the overall ventilation of the home. If air can't flow, it can pose a fire hazard for the entire structure.

Start with an Audit

An energy audit serves a few purposes for homeowners looking to upgrade insulation. It shows the homeowner exactly where they're losing air, and why the airflow may have changed over the years. It's common for homeowners of relatively modern homes to assume that their insulation is sufficient, but this isn't always the case. New, flipped, and renovated homes are all susceptible to poor insulation, and an energy audit can show a homeowner exactly how to slash their bills in half.

Grades of Insulation

All insulation in Canada is ...

How to Remediate Pests from Your Home

Pest Remediation Information for Home OwnersPest infestations can make life difficult and unpleasant. Some pests can even make your home an unhealthy environment for you and your children. And one should never think of selling their home with a pest problem. As a homeowner, you can protect your family and your investment by watching for pests and taking steps to eliminate or prevent them. Here's what you need to know about pest remediation.

Do You Have Pests? Know the Signs

It's very rare for a pest to live on a property without leaving behind some evidence of its presence. Here's what to watch out for:

  • Scratching sounds in the walls or ceiling.
  • Chew holes in the walls or in cardboard boxes.
  • Pest sightings.
  • Chewing noises at night.
  • Pest feces on the floor or under sinks.

The warning signs of a pest infestation vary depending on what type of pest has moved into the house. Mice tend to make noises, while insects tend to be seen and not heard. Larger animals that move into the attic may leave more significant damage, like holes in the walls or attic vents.

How to Eliminate Pests

Pest elimination depends on the type of pest being eliminated. Work with a pest control company to ensure that it's done properly. Many pest companies will use poison to eliminate smaller pests like mice and insects....

4 Security Options For Every Home

Which Home Security Option Is Best For You?Every homeowner wants their home to be safe, and there are many solutions that can be turned from easy DIY strategies to professional surveillance. When it comes to things like alarms, home tech and home sensors that many homeowners want in their home security plan, there are four options to pick from. Each one is a bit different and fits different lifestyles differently, so homeowners should be familiar with each of them when picking one for their home. Here are each of the home security options and what they mean for a home.

Option 1: Local Alarms

Local alarms are the most simple and inexpensive of the options. This category encompasses things like motion sensors and alarms that can’t be monitored through an app or service like other more high-tech alarms can. They can be purchased in sets or individually and can be placed on doors and windows. If one of these alarms senses that what it’s attached to has moved, it makes a loud noise to alert the homeowner and needs to be turned off manually. Local alarms are basic by design, but for a homeowner who just wants a little extra security in one specific area, they can be a great addition to a home.

Option 2: Wired Alarm Systems

The next step up from local alarms is a wired alarm system. These systems include motion detectors, sensors, and alarms that are all connected via wires to a central control panel where they can be armed or disarmed. A wired alarm system can...

Tips for Better Home Lighting

What Type of Lighting Is Right for Each Room?The function of lighting is often dismissed by homeowners who have already adapted to poor lighting. However, a home's lighting has a lot to do with how people feel on a day-to-day basis, even if it isn't always apparent when poor lighting is affecting one's quality of life. And great lighting can help sell a home as well. Before a homeowner settles for the lighting the property came with, it may be time to consider how visibility impacts everything from mood to safety.

Family Rooms

Dens, living rooms, family rooms: these rooms are truly multi-purpose on any given day. One person may want to read by the window, another may want to do their homeowner or invite their friends over for a movie night. It's why experts recommend layering the lighting so everyone can be comfortable. If the room has a focal point, such as a painting or fireplace, accent lighting is highly recommended to cast a dramatic pool of light on the object. Finally, concealed cove or valance lighting both create an even distribution of light while simultaneously drawing the eye upward.

Kitchens

Because accidents are more likely to occur in slippery spots, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Accidents: The last thing a resident or visitor needs is to squint while they're chopping vegetables. Instead, consider getting undercabinet or recessed lighting to give everyone the illumination they need to prepare dinner, wash dishes, and put heavy glass pans away.
  • ...

Tips for Preventing and Removing Mold

How to Get Rid of Mold in Your HomeWhen an area of a Stone Creek home is exposed to too much moisture, it can lead to mildew or mold. Mildew is a relatively minor problem for a home to have, and once spotted, can be cleaned with general cleaners. But mold is the proverbial horse of a different color. Homeowners need to take action to both prevent and treat mold—especially if they live in an area with high humidity.

The Basics of Mold

Most people know that some molds are actually good for them—it can stimulate the immune system and make certain foods tastier. But other species of mold can make people ill and even cause fatal diseases if the infestation goes undetected for too long. Mold can form anytime, anywhere, and invisible inactive spores in the air can make it difficult to truly rid the home of the fungus. If a homeowner has mold, they are highly encouraged to take residents to the doctor, especially if they have a long-standing cough or unexplained allergy-like symptoms.

The Origin of Mold

Mold can come from anywhere in the home where there's water. This includes leaky pipes and appliances, condensation from the shower, and pooling water from faulty drainage. Mold can hide under floorboards, inside walls, and in dark corners in the basement or attic. Homeowners can use a DIY testing kit to understand more about the type of mold they have, though it should be noted...

Constructing An Outdoor Living Space: Tips for Homeowners

How to Construct an Outdoor Living SpaceOutdoor living rooms have become very popular in recent years. People love spending time outside, and they especially love spending time outside in a comfortable living room setting. If you're thinking about installing an outdoor living room in your backyard, these tips can help you get started with the task.

Make a List of Goals

As with any home DIY improvement project, it helps to begin with a list of goals. Making a list of goals will help the homeowner choose the layout and features of the outdoor living space. Having a list of goals can also help the homeowner talk to contractors when the time comes to hire a professional. Common goals and features for an outdoor living space include:

  • Space for entertaining friends
  • Ability to cook and serve food outside
  • Shelter from hot sun or rain

As the homeowner makes their list, they must think about what they want for their outdoor space, and how that can be achieved.

Pick a Colour Scheme and Decor

Installing decor can help make the living space a more enjoyable place to spend time. There are many ways to make outdoor living space more attractive.

Homeowners can start by choosing a colour scheme to tie together furniture and any other decorations. Once a colour scheme has been selected, homeowners can buy furniture to match the colour scheme. Plants can help bring the space to life. If the area is sheltered, homeowners might even consider...

What to Consider Before Installing Residential Solar Panels

Are Residential Solar Panels Worth the Cost of Investment?Homeowners know that the real cost of a home is so much more than its original price. No matter how expensive or stable a home is, homeowners need to perform maintenance and repairs on a regular basis to retain the value of the property. And increasing the value of ones home can help sell the home faster and for more money. However, the cost of solar panels is why they may put off installing green energy technology in favor of more pressing matters.

But before homeowners dismiss solar panels, it helps to understand how they work and what homeowners can expect from their installation. From utility costs to resale value, keep the following facts in mind before deciding to make the investment.

Standard Facts

There are a few start-up facts to face before calling for estimates:

  • Average cost of solar panels is $22,500 (costs vary widely based on province)
  • Tax incentives also vary by province
  • Recouping the full value of solar panels takes between 7 – 20 years
  • Areas with frequent cloud coverage may not be suitable for solar panels

There are ways for homeowners to make solar panels work, depending on their location and vendor they choose. However, they should start with realistic expectations before they take the next steps.

Solar Panel Advancements

Solar panels have become extremely efficient in the past few years, and they're only getting better at extracting energy. Some...

Remediating Unpermitted Work? What You Need to Know

Unpermitted Work RemediationWhen a potential homebuyer decides to stop renting and begins searching for a new home to buy, they may find that some homes may have additions or improvements that have been made in the past. Most of these improvements will need a building permit. Building permits enable local authorities to oversee home improvements and ensure that those home improvements are performed to code. When a permit is pulled, this initiates a process that can't be completed until a building inspector has signed off on the work being done in the home. If the permit is not pulled, the work proceeds unmonitored. Often, unpermitted work is not performed to code.

Why You Should Remediate Unpermitted Work

Unpermitted work can be dangerous. Permits enable local building inspectors to ensure quality of work, follow the building codes, regulations and standards. They also may require contractors to make repairs if the work done on a home is not correct. Living in a home with unpermitted work could result in problems like fires, leaks, mold and structural damage. Remediating unpermitted work prevents poor workmanship from damaging the home.

What's Involved

To get the work permitted on an old home improvement or addition, the contractor will likely need to open the walls or tear out some work that was previously done. This...

Top Home Safety Hazards Homeowners Should Beware Of

3 Home Safety HazardsYoung children and the elderly may be particularly prone to experiencing accidental physical injuries in a home. Measures often need to be taken to address potential home safety hazards and reduce the risk of injury to occupants, especially after buying a new home and not being familiar with the home.. Know more about home safety hazards found in Canadian homes today.

Risk of Falls and Injury

1 in 5 older adults that fall may incur broken bones or head injuries. Injuries from falls has become a common household hazard. Homeowners may want to take measures to:

  • Remove clutter around front steps and walkways;
  • Improve lighting around entrances and paths;
  • Secure existing railings; and
  • Provide better traction on slippery stairs.

Grayling Terrace homeowners would do well to avoid the use of throw rugs and scatter mats, as well as keep high-traffic areas free of toys or clutter.

Injury and Loss of Life from Smoke and Fire Hazards

The use of working smoke alarms can do much to prevent home fires, injuries and more. Monthly testing, and replacement of batteries every six months can help ensure smoke alarms are working when needed. Multiple smoke alarms are recommended in larger homes and should be installed at every level. Lives have been saved from having working smoke alarms in a home. In the case of...

Think You Have Foundation Trouble? What You Should Know

All About Foundation TroubleFoundation problems are a homeowner's worst nightmare. Often, foundation troubles are expensive to repair, and sometimes they can be dangerous for people living in the home.

A home that is experiencing foundation problems cannot be renovated or improved until the foundation itself is stable and strong once again. As a homeowner, it's important for you to be able to identify the signs of foundation trouble, especially before trying to sell your home. When you see that your home is having a foundation problem, taking quick action can help prevent the problem from getting bigger and more expensive to repair. Here's what you need to know.

Identify the Foundation Trouble

Knowing the signs of foundation trouble can help you take the first steps toward repair. Often, the first signs of foundation problems include cracks in the foundation. These cracks may be found outside the home, or in the basement.

Horizontal cracks more than about 6 millimetres in width are a serious sign of trouble. Cracks that take a stair-step shape between the cement blocks are another sign of a problem. Sometimes, the homeowner will see the wall of the basement bowing inward, or the exterior wall of the home bowing outward. This could be a sign of serious instability, and should be addressed right away.

In addition to the cracks in the foundation, other signs of foundation trouble include:

  • Cracks...

Want a Greener Home? Try One of These Eco Friendly Flooring Options

5 Green Flooring Options For Your HomeNowadays, it’s more important than ever for everyone to do their part to help take care of the environment. Whether that means using reusable bags at the grocery store, driving an electric car or using residential solar panels, there’s many different ways for people can take steps to become more environmentally conscious. Even the flooring used in a home can have an impact on the environment. Here are some of the different flooring options on the market for homeowners who want to help make their home a bit greener.

Wool Carpeting

Carpeting is easily one of the most popular flooring choices to use in homes. It’s soft and stylish, but traditional carpeting is made of synthetic material will end up filling landfills because it doesn’t degrade. Homeowners who like carpet can instead purchase carpet made of wool. Because wool is 100% natural, there isn’t a risk of it lasting hundreds of years, and it has additional benefits as well. Wool is a renewable material that can be gotten from many different animals without hurting them, and it naturally resists dirt and is fire retardant. 

Bamboo

Homeowners love the look of hardwood floors, but traditional hardwood is both expensive and can encourage deforestation if it isn’t harvested responsibly. A greener alternative to traditional hardwood floors is ...

Should You DIY? Important Considerations When Renovating

How to Know When to DIY or Hire a ContractorWho doesn't enjoy a feeling of satisfaction after perform a home improvement or renovation project successfully? Many Canadian homeowners also appreciate saving money on projects when completing it themselves. However, not all home improvements are easy to complete and may become challenging when unexpected issues arrive to complicate the situation or the skillset involved goes beyond that of the DIY homeowner.

Explore when it is better to take on a home renovation project oneself and when to reach out to a licensed contractor.

Familiarity with the Skills Required

Fixing a leaking sink can be relatively straightforward and homeowners may want to tackle simple repairs and home improvement projects themselves. Individuals without experience performing the work involved may want to do more than view videos online. Talking to professional contractors or those who have repeatedly completed such tasks can help one understand which issues may arise and ascertain if the project should be done by a professional.

Length of Time to Complete

In the abstract, family members or other occupants may be fully onboard with a specific project. However, if there are significant delays, they may not be as supportive. Most home improvement projects do require some level of adjustment by occupants during the process, as such projects can interfere with the traffic flow in the home and make it more difficult to perform routine tasks. All occupants need a...

Damaged Roof? Here’s What Every Homeowner Should Be Looking For

4 Ways You Can Identify Roof DamageIt’s no secret that roofs are made to endure all sorts of weather. They sit on top of our homes and protect them from every type of weather imaginable, so it’s no surprise that they will eventually need to be repaired or replaced to make sure they can continue doing their jobs. Because of this, all homeowners need to know what to look for when it comes to roof damage so they can either make repairs or consider replacing the roof. Even newer roofs or new home construction roofs are susceptible to many types of potential roof damage. Here are some of the different forms of roof damage homeowners should be keeping an eye out for.

The Roof Is Sagging

One of the most obvious ways a roof can show damage is by sagging. A sagging roof is also the most dangerous of all the different ways a roof can be damaged because if a roof is sagging, it means that the roof has significant structural damage and it means that the roof is close to collapsing. If a homeowner sees that their roof is sagging, they should call a professional roofer as quickly as possible in order to prevent damage to their home and to ensure the safety of anyone living inside it.

Light Can Be Seen In the Attic

An easy way to detect roof damage is by going into the attic and having a look around. The first type of damage the homeowner will notice is if there is light coming through cracks in the roof. If there are cracks in the roof big enough for light to come through, that means they’re also big enough for water to get through. ...

Residential Solar Panels: A Guide

All About Residential Solar PanelsSolar power is a rapidly growing industry that supplies clean energy to homes all over the country. Homeowners who want to reduce their carbon footprint and protect the environment often turn to residential solar panels to power their home. Solar panels are a great way to make a home more energy efficient. Understanding how solar panels work, what makes solar panels more effective and how to sell a home with solar panels can help homeowners decide whether or not solar panels are right for them.

Purchase or Lease?

Homeowners who want to install solar panels on their home have the option of purchasing or leasing their solar panels. Some programs enable homeowners to lease without putting any money down, others require homeowners to make a small down payment. After the solar panels are installed, the homeowner makes monthly payments until the panels are paid off.

Once the panels have been completely paid for, the homeowner becomes the owner of the panels. Any revenues that are generated by the panels during the lease-to-own period may be used to pay the monthly lease for the panels.

The purchase option requires the homeowner to buy the solar panels outright. Once the panels have been purchased and installed, the homeowner has full access to any revenue that the panels generate.

In some cases, homeowners have a third option called a "power purchase...

Home Landscaping Guide to Maximize Outdoor Enjoyment Year Round

Home Landscaping Improvements to Boost Owner SatisfactionHaving a beautiful and functional front and back yard is a wonderful way to boost homeowner satisfaction and allow the spaces to be utilized year round. It also may help sell a home faster and for more money. Here is a short guide to choosing the right improvements to meet your family's needs.

Think Small Additions With Major Impact

Lawn ornamentation does not necessarily have to be expensive or large to complement landscaping, as sometimes small additions can completely transform the comfort and beauty of outdoor spaces in a Buffalo new home. Consider getting a bit splashy with a water feature such a fountain or small water pond, or make affordable and functional additions such as lighting along walkways and within landscaping beds.

Boost Privacy With ‘Fencing' Options

While a wood fence will offer the most privacy, today's modern homeowners and those with spacious distances between neighboring houses are opting for a new type of ‘fence'—natural barriers. By far, the best natural barriers are none other than tall, hearty trees that not only provide privacy but a good deal of protection from elements such as wind. Popular choices for barrier trees in Canada include:

  • Hybrid Willow
  • Sky Pencil Holly
  • Leyland...

Energy-Efficient Upgrades With a High ROI

Efficient Home Improvements to Increase Resale ValueMost homeowners want a home that uses as little energy as possible. They would also like to make periodic improvements that provide them with the best return on their investment. Fortunately, many upgrades to decrease energy consumption can also be an effective choice that increases comfort and overall home value. There are several options homeowners could consider in a variety of price ranges, such as insulation, lighting, windows, and appliances. With these tips, people can make a selection that fits their home and their financial plans.

Insulation

The average Canadian home spends well over $2,000 on energy consumption per year. Since effective heating and cooling is such an important part of home life, that tends to claim the largest share of a home's energy usage. Increasing the insulation in the home's exterior could make heating and cooling more effective. Many older homes lack the insulation needed to keep heat from transferring between walls. In most cases, homeowners do not need to remove existing insulation to make their homes meet current standards. They may be able to add a variety of insulation types to their homes, in the form of:

  • batts
  • loose fill
  • spray foam

Price can vary based on the amount of insulation needed and the material used. When compared to other options, insulation tends to be a smaller investment ranging from several hundred to a few thousand dollars.

Lighting

When homeowners think...

How To Paint a Room: Step By Step Guide to Interior Painting

Meta title: How to Paint Your HomePainting is one of the fastest and easiest ways to personalize a room and truly make it one’s own. And on top of that, painting is an easy enough task that many homeowners opt to do it themselves as a DIY project rather than hire professionals. However, Waterways homeowners who have never painted before may not know where to start. Here is a step by step guide for how to paint a room to give it a brand new look.

Step 1: Clear the Room

Paint can be messy, so it’s important to prepare a room properly. Ideally, this is done by completely removing all furniture from the room in order to make sure it’s completely protected. However, sometimes this is impossible to do with furniture that is especially large, especially in a small living space. In this sort of case, pulling the furniture away from the walls and protecting it with a tarp can be an excellent substitution.

Step 2: Clean and Prepare Walls

In order for the paint to stick to the walls, they need to be clean of any dirt and dust that may have collected on them. Homeowners can use a vacuum to get off things like loose dust and cobwebs, but  for dirt from hands or stains, using a wet cloth and a gentle soap may be required in order to remove it completely. 

Step 3: Place Painter’s Tape and Cut In

...

Smart Tech Installations that Will Save You Money

5 Smart home tech installations with high ROIsSmart tech installations do more than just make a homeowner's life easier, they can actively save people money on their utility and maintenance bills. For those planning to stay in their home, smart tech can reduce the amount of water, power, and gas they use. For those planning to sell the home, they can list their smart tech installations as a perk to tempt home buyers to make better offers. Keep these tips in mind before heading out to the store.

Smart Temperature Control

A smart thermostat is designed to not only heat and cool the home based on zones, but it can also learn the patterns of the residents and adjust as needed. So if the owners get home late on Thursday nights, the system will find a way to maximize energy efficiency while still maintaining the comfort of everyone inside. The right thermostat can shave 12% off heating bills and up to 15% off cooling bills.

Smart Water Detection

Mold is a common occurrence that can end up being an expensive nuisance to remove. Homeowners can buy smart moisture sensors equipped with Wi-Fi to detect the humidity that can lead to mold. So if there's a small leak in the basement or an internal pipe burst, homeowners get the heads up they need to take care of the problem immediately. While these systems are highly recommended for larger homes (because it's less likely that leaks will be spotted),...

4 Home Improvement Projects with Excellent Returns

The Best Home Improvement Projects to Improve Your Resale ValueHome improvement projects can be undertaken for a number of different reasons. Some homeowners may want to improve the functionality of their home, while others may be improving their home in preparation to sell. Often times, home improvement projects will either turn-up or correct potential inspection items during the home selling process.

No matter why an owner wants to improve their home though, one thing to keep in mind is how it will affect their future resale value. Those who want to be strategic may want to consider the underlying rules of real estate and the following four projects to make the most of their budgets.

For informational purposes only. Always consult with a licensed real estate professional before proceeding with any real estate transaction.

Laying the Foundation

Canadian Anzac homeowners are encouraged to make small upgrades to the home that will have a big impact. Recent real estate trends show Canadian buyers favoring privacy and practicality. Homes with fences, carports, and upstairs laundry rooms tend to have a higher demand because they make homeowner's lives easier. Those who can add or improve upon these features to their home may have a head start over similar homes in their area.

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