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Spring Porch Decorating Tips
Posted on Mon, 30 Apr 2018, 11:00:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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Spring Porch Decorating Tips

Your porch and patio space is crucial to your home's decor. Not only does it send a clear image to visitors and passersby, it can help you plan out the decorations for the rest of your home if you are not sure where to start. Decorating for spring can be especially rewarding, as homeowners who decorate seasonally will find themselves reinvigorated with the raw potential their homes can offer. If you are ready to start decorating your home for the spring, it is strongly recommended for you to take a look at some of these porch decorating tips and see what will work best for your property.


Focus on the Brights and Greens

Spring Porch Decorating TipsOne of the most important aspects of the design process is to focus on colors. When you skillfully choose colors that complement the season, you invite new energy around your home. With springtime, bright, warm colors always set a welcoming tone, and implementing plenty of attractive green fixtures can be just what you need. One of the best ways to combine the two is to invest in a few floral arrangement around the patio, especially if you pride yourself on your green thumb and know you can keep the plants thriving.


Free Space Up

If your patio is cluttered and does not have much in the way of free space, it can be a good idea to free some space up. This may sound easier said than done in some situations, but getting a good energy flow around the patio can be just what you need to revitalize the area and bring in a fresh appearance for spring. The easiest way to do this is to actually repurpose some of the things that you may have lying around, especially if they fit the color scheme you have in mind for the area.


Let the Sunshine in

Find ways to focus on the sunlight in the patio. For many people, this may mean rearranging the existing fixtures and seeing where certain elements may work better when combined with the active lights and shadows on your property. Dark colors can be especially easy to work with if you have active sunlight against the area. Let the sunlight act as a backdrop and arrange fixtures in a way that will lead the eye from one section of the patio space to the next.


Play with Drapery

Billowing drapes are always a welcome addition to the patio. Not only can the right drapery lead the eye, but the natural flowing movements can be extremely soothing to see in the area, particularly when set with stronger centerpieces. Apply drapes to open areas and pay attention to the way the wind plays around on your property. You may be pleasantly surprised by some of the results, especially if you have not decorated with drapes in the past. Choose colors that will work with the central decor, and do not be afraid to experiment if you notice something catch your eye.


Invest in Some Centerpieces

What do you want your patio to say about you? Having a centerpiece on the property can be one of the most efficient ways for you to focus your decorative energy. A good fixture will not only tie the rest of the furnishings together, but it can also become a definite point of pride for the rest of the property. Tables, swings and tapestries are all attractive centerfold options that you can apply to the area, and be sure to focus on the natural shapes to determine where you want the eye to go when you set everything up.

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Seven Ways To Reflect the Summer Season With New Decor In Your Canadian Home
Posted on Sun, 15 Apr 2018, 10:55:00 AM  in Home buying tips
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Seven Ways To Reflect the Summer Season With New Decor In Your Canadian Home

When summer arrives in Canada, you will want to have a home that reflects the season. After a long and difficult winter, it is essential to decorate your home with beautiful summer-themed items. You don't need to spend a fortune to create an inviting home in the summer months, and you can store your autumn or winter items in plastic totes to protect the items. Here are some ways to create a home that has a fresh summertime appearance.


Summer Decor 1: Houseplants or Fresh Flowers

Seven Ways To Reflect the Summer Season With New Decor In Your Canadian HomeCheck the gardening area of your favorite home improvement store to determine if it has an assortment of beautiful houseplants or fresh flowers. Having a living plant inside your home gives it an attractive ambience, but fresh flowers are an excellent alternative to create a gorgeous entranceway or dining room table.


Summer Decor 2: Lighter Weight Curtains For the Windows

If you have kept the heavyweight draperies closed over your home's windows this winter, then it is time to change to lighter weight curtains. Take down the heavy drapes so that you can polish the windowpanes to permit sunlight to enter. Make sure to wash your window screens and windowsills to keep your lightweight curtains clean when you open the windows.


Summer Decor 3: Place Slipcovers On the Upholstered Furniture

Look for stretchy slipcovers that you can place over the upholstered furniture in your home's living room. Choose a brighter color of slipcover such as yellow or orange that will make your home feel more like summer. Remember that you can always remove these slipcovers in the autumn to use a darker color throughout the holiday season.


Summer Decor 4: Create a Nautical Theme In a Room

If you live near the ocean or a lake, then create a nautical theme in a room. Visit a local or online home decor store to find items that have a nautical theme, including small wooden lighthouse replicas, porthole mirrors or boat paddles. By placing three nautical types of decorative objects in a room, you can change its entire appearance.


Summer Decor 5: Decorative Throw Pillows

When you want an easy and fast way to change the appearance of a room, then buy a few decorative throw pillows. You can place these items on a bed, chair or couch to create a summer ambience with a splash of color or a bright pattern. Remember that throw pillows don't need to have a square shape because you can find pillows that are round or that are in rectangular shapes.


Summer Decor 6: New Wall Hangings

If you have used the same artwork, photographs and other wall hangings in your home for several years, then it is time to update these items for the summer. Change the artwork in your home to paintings of beach scenes or summer picnics in a park. Look for vintage-style wooden signs that have slogans about the summer season, and also, change the frames of your photographs to a brighter color.


Summer Decor 7: Replace Your Home's Lamps

You may have old lamps that look degraded, but summer is an excellent time to replace these items. Lamps are often discounted in the summer because people don't need to turn the items on as much. Look for lamps that have clear bases that you can fill with artificial flowers or seashells to create a summer ambience in every room of your home. If you have problems with invading mosquitoes inside your home, then use special light bulbs that repel flying insects.

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Save Energy and Money In Your New Home
Posted on Fri, 30 Sep 2016, 12:45:00 PM  in My services
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Moving into your new home can be very costly when you add in the supplies, moving company and gas money. You may find yourself looking for ways to save money after your big move. Conserving energy is a great way to save money after moving into your new home. It also allows you to start over in a healthier environment. Use the following tips to save energy in your new home.

Adjust The Thermostat

Turn your thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter. You can always find other ways to cool or heat your home in extreme weather. A programmable thermostat allows you to keep the temperature adjusted when you are not home. You may be surprised at how much money you can save with this method.

lights-energyTrap The Air Inside

You should always keep the doors and windows closed when you are using the heat or air conditioner. It is also recommended to check and seal any gaps. You may find yourself turning the heat or air conditioner up if there are any leaks in your home.

Cover The Windows

Keep the cold air out of your home by closing the blinds at night during the winter season. Leaving the blinds open during the day allows you to warm up your home without turning up the thermostat. During the summer season, close the blinds to keep the sunlight from warming up your home.

Switch to LED Light Bulbs

LED light bulbs use 75 percent less energy than standard light bulbs. The best part is the LED bulbs are bright enough to provide ample lighting.

Unplug Your Electronics

It is no secret that turning off the electronics you are not using can save energy. However, keeping them plugged in may still use energy because there is still power flowing into the device. You can save more energy by turning off and unplugging the electronics. One idea is to invest in a power strip that is designed to stop the power from flowing once you turn the device off.

Trade In Your Desktop For A Laptop

A laptop uses less energy than your desktop, and it is easier to unplug a laptop when you are done using it.

Use Energy Efficient Appliances

Investing in energy efficient appliances is a great way to save energy around the clock. The appliances are designed to perform without using a lot of energy.

Eco-Friendly Laundry Method

You can save up to 40 cents per load by washing your clothes in cold water. If you have the time, hang your laundry on a clothesline instead of placing them in the dryer.

Reduce Your Shower Time

You can conserve water and save up to $15 per year if you cut your shower time by at least a minute. You can save up to $100 per year by cutting your shower down to five minutes.

Fix The Faucet

Do not wait too long to fix the leaky faucet in your bathroom or kitchen. A leaky faucet consumes a lot of water and raises your utility bill over time.

Keep It Clean

Dust can cause your furnace filter, vents, air conditioner, appliances and even your light fixtures not to work properly. This means they are going to use more energy to do their job. It is recommended to check and clean these items regularly.

It is easy to save energy in your new home. All you have to do is keep your home clean, seal up the leaks and make several changes. You can lower your utility bills and create a healthy environment in your new home.

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Windows May Not Appear As They Seem and Doors Can Open Up A Lot Of Problems
Sunday, 15 May 2016, 10:00:00 AM
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It’s often said that purchasing a home is a major milestone for a family, that comes with pride and happiness. In all the organized chaos that comes with the closing of a residential real estate transaction, sometimes the most little noticed, but important issues, go unnoticed. Such a problem is the windows and doors.

Door Functionality
It’s imperative you check all the windows and doors for efficiency. If they’re not efficient, they can become an expensive to replace, not just the doors and windows themselves, but in terms of household energy consumption. A walk through of the home’s interior should show that the doors line up with their frames, and close tightly, without any rattling or stickiness. Door knobs and handle hardware should be firmly attached, twist and turn without hesitation, and locking mechanisms lock, and unlock with ease. Inspect the door frames for gaps when the door is closed. Visible gaps are a highway for cold air to enter during the winter, and exit during the summer. Left unrepaired, your utility bills will skyrocket.

They same holds true for windows. Older homes most likely are single pane windows. Exposure to the elements will crack, and dry out perimeter caulking. When his happens, windows will shake and rattle during wind, rain and snowstorms. You risk a loose window pane cracking, or shattering, and like doors, your heating,windows and cooling costs will swell. 

Take note of the direction of the living, and recreation rooms of the house face. If they face the South, you can expect an abundance of natural lighting, yet the opposite happens if the living room faces the North or East, If so, there may be a significant decrease in sunlight. Are shrubbery, and trees in front of the windows, stopping the sun from shining through? Abundant sunlight brings warmth and happiness into a room. 

Age and Condition
Get close up and personal with the window panes. Window panes and storm windows have are spaced apart with an air barrier in between. A thermal window is a single insulated pane which provides greater energy efficiency. Make sure there are screens in the window assembly. Not set in place and visible during the Winter months, when Spring and Summer roll around, you’ll take notice real quick, if there are screens in the window assembly, once bugs and mosquito begin invading your home.

Window and Door Style
With the technical elements of the doors and windows checked for functionality, look closely at their styling. Are the doors smooth or full of nicks, and gouges? Does the initial appearance appeal to you? Is the door flat or have and engraved panel design? Is is painted a dark color? Is the door paint chipping and flaking? If the answer is yes, then you’ll either be spending your free time stripping the doors, resanding, and refinishing them to suit your appearance. If you don’t have the time, then purchasing new doors become a bit expensive.

Bad windows are a homeowner's nightmare, but homes that have bay windows, and sliding glass door windows have some curb appeal to them. Bay windows add a bit of romance to a home's appearance, and sliding glass doors make it easy for family members to go in and out of the house, and into the backyard for playing, skimming or barbecuing. Invest some time in the inspection of the doors, and windows and you'll feel confident about purchasing the home of your dreams.


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How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient
Thursday, 12 November 2015, 02:30:00 PM

Whether it's the scorching summer or freezing winter, your household will use a lot of energy during a given year. In fact, your electrical bill might spook you after a particularly hot or cold month. It's time to reduce your energy use around the household, so that your bills can drop in price. You don't have to live uncomfortably to have an energy-efficient home either. Perform a few of these basic household alterations, and you'll notice the home becoming more energy efficient by the minute.

Alter Your Landscape

The trees surrounding your home can easily create improved household energy efficiency. Add deciduous trees to the west and south sides of your property. They'll offer shade during the summer and ample low-angle sunlight in the winter. Consider evergreen trees for the north side of the home. Because they hold onto their leaves year-round, the home has a natural barrier against those cold northerly winds. Ideally, plant all of these trees in the spring, so that they have time to establish their roots before winter's cold.

Replace or Clean the Central Air Filter

If your furnace or air conditioner works most of the year, your energy efficiency might be compromised by just a dirty filter. Look inside your central air unit bulbwhere the furnace is located. The filter stops almost all particulates from entering the system. As a result, the filter becomes dirty and can actually block incoming air from moving through it over time. Replace or clean this filter as necessary, so that the air system can work at optimal levels.

Investigate Any Structural Openings

Every home has many openings or crevices to the outside elements. Pipes exiting the structure and wall cracks will all contribute to energy loss over the years. Grab your caulk gun and examine every area of your home. Fill in small cracks by using the caulk and install insulation for larger openings. Ideally, you want the entire home to be airtight, and the central air system will work more efficiently.

Update at Least One Appliance

Purchasing a new refrigerator or laundry system is an expensive endeavor, but try to save up each year to replace at least one appliance. As technology improves, appliances become more efficient with each model year. Replacing one appliance each year will slowly alter your energy usage. Try to replace any appliances that are 10 years or older first.

Blanket Those Storage Tanks

If you have a hot water heater or boiler, these large storage tanks can lose a lot of heat over the course of just one day. Visit the local home improvement store and purchase insulating blankets. These covers are designed to be safely wrapped around storage tanks as they protect the appliance from heat loss. Compare your energy usage both before and after the blanket's installation, and you'll see a big difference in efficiency.

Cover the Windows

Purchase some attractive curtains for your windows and close them consistently each night. Thick curtains cover the windows that can actually leak conditioned air to the exterior. With the curtains pulled over the windows, you'll notice the home is warmer in the evening without turning up the furnace. Use curtains during the daytime too as you block hot, summer sunlight from heating up the interior.

If you want a more in-depth household evaluation, there are professionals who can audit the property with just one visit. They'll examine every part of the home and create a detailed account of possible upgrades. With this information, it's possible to perfect the home's energy efficiency for an upcoming sale. In the end, homebuyers always look for a turnkey home with low energy bills as a bonus feature.


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