Tips and advice on maintaining your home.

Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology is booming. 

Market research shows this is a huge growing market in real estate worth tens of billions of dollars and all predictions are that it’s only going to get bigger.

So smart technology offers convenience but that’s just the start of it’s selling points. Younger buyers and renters appear willing to pay more for homes that have smart technology, so the investment could produce real results. Another huge factor is energy savings. Here’s some of the new smart technologies that can help you save money and the planet without breaking the bank.

Smart Thermostats

It’s the biggest contributor to your energy bill. Heating and cooling your home makes up around half of your bill. In Canada where the climate can be…

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leaky faucet

The City of Calgary says leaks can account for over 10% of the average water used in a home—that can mean a lot of wasted money too.

Early detection of leaks can save money and often advert potential disaster and avoid expensive insurance claims. Here are some tips to make sure your home is leak free.

Check your water meter

One of the best ways to tell if you have a leak in your plumbing system is to check the water meter. To do this, you'll first have to turn off all the water in your home. Shut off all faucets, and make sure the dishwasher and washing machine are not running. Next, watch the meter and see if it begins to change. If it does, you likely have a fast-moving leak. If the meter doesn't change immediately, wait a few hours and…

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Yay, The Taxman Cometh. . .

It can be very confusing determining the difference between the terms “assessed value” and “market value” when either buying or selling a home. Assessed value is often much less than market value, so buyers would prefer the assessed value while sellers would much rather sell at the market value of the home. It is because of this discrepancy that assessed values are not very reliable when calculating true Real Estate values. Let me explain further.

Market Value

Simply put, the market value is how much your home is worth on the market today. The market value is usually what the home will sell for and is typically the price used when calculating a listing price for the property. True market value is ultimately the…

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Whether you own a home or you are looking to buy, the kitchen is the lifeblood of the house. Not only do we cook, prepare food and eat in our kitchens, but we also spend quality time in them. Ever notice where the group congregates at a party or where people go first when they enter the house? Where else would you make your kids pancakes shaped like the first letter of their name or carve pumpkins at Halloween? The kitchen is the central place in a home where people meet, interact and enjoy food together. Therefore, when a home is being renovated, a new kitchen holds great potential for future investment.

According to a 2018 Royal LePage survey of 750 real estate experts, a kitchen renovation has the potential to boost a property’s value by more…

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Spring has finally shown up and in the most amazing way! Temperatures are in the 20s, the sun is shining and wow is the perfect time to get your patio or deck ready for sun and grilling with family and friends!

Here are some quick tips for cleaning your deck or patio:

For Wood Patios:

  • Clean off debris from your deck
  • Inspect for damages: loose boards, nails or rough spots
  • Replace boards if necessary
  • Replace or fix protruding nails
  • Smooth/sand out any rough spots (may need to repaint or restain these spots)
  • Use a deck cleaner (available at hardware stores, ask about the best type for your material)
  • Wear protection when using the cleaner, and hose off patio with water after 20 minutes

For Concrete Patios:

  • Check…

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This weather is a sign of the changing season, and Autumn officially starts today (hard to believe!). The colder temperatures can mean big changes for your home, so this time of year is perfect to tackle some of those home maintenance chores early. We came across a great checklist in Better Homes and Gardens recently, and there were some great tips in there like this one: 

Your roof's drainage system annually diverts thousands of gallons of water from your house's exterior and foundation walls. That's why it is so important to keep this system flowing smoothly. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in your basement. They are also more prone to rust and corrosion. Before the leaves fly this fall, have your gutters…

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It's patio season—that time of year when your backyard becomes another living space. A lot of people will be building decks this over the next few months, so here are some helpful tips we came across to help you pick the right materials for the job.

Whether you plan to do it yourself or hire a pro, the key to success is factoring in all the critical design issues, picking the right material for your budget, climate, and lifestyle, and building a structure that will stand the test of time. [This Old House]

CREATE THE BASE

  • The footings for your deck must meet local codes and be installed properly. The depth of your footings, which will be set in concrete.

CHOOSING THE WOOD

  • Cedar resists moisture, rot and insect infestations.

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It's a new year, it's a new month and it's a new season—a cold one! With winter upon us, there's some crucial maintenance tasks you should tackle at home that will set yourself up for success the rest of the season (and probably save you money too). 

  • Protect your pipes: as we already know in Alberta, temperatures can get very cold in the winter. You can help prevent the opportunity for a burst pipe by insulating your outdoor pipes. You should also be familiar with where your home's water shut-off valve is so you can turn off water quickly in the event of a burst pipe. Other things you can do to prevent water pipe bursts in the winter, is to ensure your heat is on enough at all times to keep your home warm. Many people drop their home's temperature…

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The weather is definitely starting to reflect colder fall temperatures, which means you'll likely be using your fireplace more and more. With a fireplace in your home, electrical or wood burning, there presents an added fire hazard in your home. Since this week is Fire Prevention Week, we figured this was a perfect opportunity to share some tips for fireplace maintenance and safety. 

Wood Burning

  • Clean the chimney, creosote and ash can be fire hazards when you go to light it.
  • Replace any broken or deteriorated lining.
  • Keep the fireplace dampener opened when the fireplace is in use, allowing gases and smoke to exit. Keep the dampener closed when the fireplace is not in use. 
  • Ensure fresh air supply is in your home before you light the…

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Today marks the first day of fall, and it definitely feels like it! Colder temperatures can mean big changes for your home, so this time of year is perfect to tackle some of those home maintenance chores early, so that your home is fully prepared for winter. 

And if you do live in an area with cold winters, take some time this fall to boost energy efficiency throughout your home, and prevent damage from winter storms with proper tree care (we spoke with an expert to find out what you need to do). [Houzz]

Here's our top tips for autumn home maitenance: 

  • Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts: clogged gutters can lead to flooding and other issues.
  • Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors: besides air seeping through, which can…

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