January 19, 2014
Writing about negative renovation experiences is a challenge.
But in sharing them, we can try to educate consumers.
Consider this scenario: A homeowner has experienced a renovation gone bad.
A contractor referred by a friend walked off the job, leaving a huge mess, not to mention that money had been paid for work to be done.
What does a homeowner do? Here is some advice that may
help you get through this type of dilemma and reach a satisfactory conclusion:
January 12, 2014
Now that the Christmas and new year celebrations are over, my guess is we can sit back and see what surprises may pop up.
I am not talking about your credit card statement, although I am sure many people would like to forget about that one.
What I am thinking about is your biggest investment: Your home. Hopefully, Murphy's Law does not rear its ugly head.
Let's consider some things you may have not anticipated, but which could go wrong. These could add to your "unbud...
December 15, 2013
The last few weeks of cold weather have meant we have had to turn up the heat a little in our homes.
When it's cold, we cannot instantly replace windows or doors with air leakage or add insulation to the attic or crawl space; it takes time to arrange for these things. But I would like to explain some things that you may notice happening in your home during the cold weather, which brings in dry air.
Do you hear loud bangs coming from your home'...
December 8, 2013
For many years as I have travelled across Western Canada delivering home-improvement information, I have stressed that this is the time of the year when we must be vigilant as the cold weather sets in and snow may start to fall.
How do you handle ice and/or snow on sidewalks and driveways? The big question is what to use that will not damage concrete driveways, sidewalks, stamped concrete or paving stones. Folks, you would likely be surprised to know how much damage...
December 1, 2013
Today, I would like to offer some suggestions on ways in which homeowners can avoid being victims of poor workmanship or unqualified contractors when they want repairs, maintenance or upgrades to their homes. Here are 10 things to consider when you're asking yourself: Who's coming to my home?
1. How did you find out about this company or person? From a friend? From door-to-door sales? I do not recommend this type of marketing.
2. Does the indi...
November 24, 2013
Since the cooler weather has arrived home owners have been calling regarding about odours emitting from basements, crawl spaces and lower storage rooms.
The first question I ask is ”how much bare concrete, does your home have in basement walls, basement and crawlspace floors or closed up storage areas below the grade level of your home?” Grade level is where the yard area meets the crawl space or full basement foundation of your home.
Raw concrete surfaces are very porous an...
November 22, 2013
Preventative maintenance can save a lot of time and money and fall is a good time to begin assessing your home for any damage or repairs that may need attending to. Conducting a regular home inspection will help keep your house in good condition and maintain its value. Here is a list of maintenance items that can help you identify areas where work may be needed to ensure that minor repairs don’t turn into major expenses.
Window and Door maintenance - Old caulking, missing w...
November 22, 2013
Cool wet winter evenings are here and we all love the welcome treat of cozying up in front of the fireplace. Whether you curl up in front of a wood-burning or a natural gas fireplace, it is important to enjoy your fireplace safely.
When a wood-burning fireplace is in use, air is continually drawn out of the home and up the chimney. This air must be replaced to maintain the air balance flowing in and out of the home. T...
November 10, 2013
When buying a home, it's good to be mindful of the expression "out of sight, out of mind", as this can sometimes refer to items that might be costly down the road.
This may be the case if a home is an older resale property and the buyer has had an inspection report indicating that while the basement or crawl space is dry, there are signs of moisture. This is indicated by a white efflorescent powder along the foundation walls and the footing area. I would treat this ...
November 3, 2013
If you are looking to purchase a strata unit in a building that has not yet been built, there are some things regarding the layout of your potential suite you should be aware of.
You want to be aware of backto-back bedrooms and the level of soundproofing in the walls. This is something that is expensive - if not impossible - to change later.
One suggestion for anyone looking for a new condo or townhouse or resale unit: if you can gain access t...