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Are Secondary Suites Legal in Your Area?

The City of Kelowna in BC recently approved a new process for secondary suites in single-family homes. The new process makes it easier and cheaper for homeowners to build legal secondary suites in the hopes that it will provide more affordable housing in the city. What's a secondary suite? It's a private, self-contained unit in an existing home. Also known as "mortgage helpers" or "in-law suites", ...

Value of Window Upgrades

I recieved this wonderful information from Mike Hemmerling today. Thank you Mike for letting me pass on this useful information about upgrading windows. Mike does the 'Pillar to Post' news and information letter. Here are some of the great things Mike had to say... Clients often ask Pillar to Post inspectors about the value of upgrading windows. There are many good reasons to upgrade windows but ...
Tags: Renovations

Advantages of a Well Maintained Home

What are advantages of a well maintained home when selling? Your home is more emotionally appealing in and out You create a level playing field or advantage over competition The home’s value is preserved, as inattention lead to costly repairs Speaks of a safe and environmentally healthy home Eliminates or lessens renegotiations due to deficiencies found Results in a profitable net gain ...
Tags: Renovations

What's Hot in Kitchens for 2011

I opened my Facebook this morning and read about one website's opinion on what 2011 Kitchens will resemble. Style at Home states, "The kitchen is the heart of the home. Indeed, no matter how lovely the living room, how comfortable the dining room chairs, you're sure to find a coterie of friends and family hovering around the kitchen whenever they're over. And no one can argue that having an up-to-date ...

Home Upgrades That Don't Pay

If you're getting ready to put your home on the market, it is no secret that it is intensely competitive. With this in mind, you are probably thinking about making some home upgrades that are certain to attract flocks of buyers. While it's certainly a smart move to make a few improvements, don't overdo it. If you spend stacks of cash on remodelling expenses, you'll probably never recoup your investment ...
Tags: Renovations

Fighting Mold

I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Brian Mackenzie of ABM Environmental to talk about mold and indoor air quality.  I was working with a client who was buying an older house and had concerns about mold. We brought ABM Environmental in to test indoor air quality in the basement. Their analysis let us know there was  a mild mold problem. Brian was able to give us some great advice ...
Tags: Renovations

Your Best Investment When Renovating

When it comes renovating, the 2009 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report* suggests that curb appeal wins the day in deciding what replacement costs to take on for your home. That’s because 7 of the top 10 remodels that recover the highest value returns versus their costs are exterior replacement projects. Yet they are among the least expensive. Of 33 remodeling projects, 21 were Mid-level and 12 ...
Tags: Renovations

Have You Checked Your Smoke Alarm Lately?

BEEEEP, BEEEEEP, BEEEEEEP, BEEEEEEEEP!  It might be annoying, especially when you've burned the toast for the 4th time this week, but smoke alarms save lives.  Recently a father and his young daughter were both killed due to a house fire in Toronto. And recently I heard on the news a representative from the Ontario Fire Marshal talking about how this family would have been okay, except ...
Tags: Renovations

Last Call for Home Reno Tax Credit

It's not too late to renovate and get the Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) ... if you don't mind long lines at your local home-improvement store. But you only have exactly one week to do so. A colleague of mine made a trip to a Big Box home reno supply store this past weekend for the express purpose of adding another $2,000 to her 2009 spend on home renovation items - bringing her to the maximum ...
Tags: Renovations

Home Sweet Home Show

This time last year, the aisles of the National Home Show in Toronto were crowded with renovators and other contractors promoting the Home Renovation Tax Credit (HRTC) - the federal government's boost to get Canadians fixing up their homes to help the renovation/contractor industry during a flagging economy. This year, the scene will likely be different when home shows come to your town, since the ...
Tags: Renovations
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